It Takes Roots

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An Alliance of Alliances
Updated: 10 min 15 sec ago

ITR Action Camp 2018: From Roots to Resilience

Fri, 05/18/2018 - 3:30pm

June 1-5, 2018 (all participants asked to arrive on May 31 and depart on June 6)

WILDSEED, Millerton, NY (about 1.5 north of NYC – Wassaic Stop on the Metro-North)

AT THIS POINT APPLICATIONS ARE CLOSED AND ALL PARTICIPANTS HAVE BEEN ACCEPTED. IF YOU HAVE BEEN ACCEPTED BUT HAVE NOT CONFIRMED AND SENT OVER YOUR FLIGHT DETAILS, SEND THEM TO MAYA@GGJALLIANCE.ORG IMMEDIATELY!  

Prep calls are REQUIRED for all accepted participants. Please register for the calls below:

If you are an accepted participant, you are expected to fundraise $300 to cover the costs of camp by June 20. Find the fundraising packet with more information here! 

The It Takes Roots Alliances (Grassroots Global Justice Alliance, Climate Justice Alliance, Right to the City Alliance, Indigenous Environmental Network), are excited to announce the It Takes Roots & The Ruckus Society, National Direct Action + Community Resiliency Camp to train up our forces on an array of strategic + tactical & self and community based resilience skills to build across our alliances and prepare to continue to wage visionary opposition for our collective liberation. The camp will take place at Wildseed Farm in Millerton NY (about 1.5 hours north of NYC) from June 1-5, 2018.

What is an Action Camp?
A Ruckus Action Camp is an intensive 5 day, off the grid, full immersion training space that brings together leaders, organizers and community members from across many of our communities to do a deep dive into direct action skills, theory and practice. The camp seeks to create a space for participants to familiarize and practice and array of tactical skills, share collective community knowledge around strategy and provide opportunities for community members to share, practice and envision together.

Direct Action + Survival Skills – Resilience in the age of climate disaster
Together with Ruckus, this national camp will be a groundbreaking and first of its kind that seeks to provide in-depth training for our folks in both direct action skills and survival skills. As more and more of our communities are impacted by hurricanes, floods, fires and massive displacement, our need to deepen our capacities to survive amidst climate disaster is critical and move us toward a just transition.

Some of the skills & topics include: 

Direct Action Skills & Practice: 

  • Action Planning (all the roles and considerations of planning direct actions)
  • Scouting Skills during actions planning + survival scenarios (food, water, shelter)
  • Climbing Skills (in tree climbing and rescue settings. This also includes how to building platforms.)
  • Rigging + Knots (for banner rigging usage + as a survival skill)
  • Blockades (working with PVC Pipes, materials and preparing for blockades at actions OR to take control of our communities)
  • De-escalation during actions + time of community crisis
  • Affinity Group Structure (and neighborhood organizing structures)

Earth/Resiliency Skills:

  • Water Catchment / Purification
  • Plant & Food Identification
  • Passive Solar Cooking / Installing Solar Energy
  • Disaster Permaculture
  • Plant Medicine & Disaster First Aid
  • Physical Defense & Safety
  • Healing & Resiliency in times of trauma

The camp will also have deep political education, lots of team building and workshops to learn about each other’s work.

Much of the housing will be camping in tents, but there is limited cabin space available as well.

This camp will be one part of preparation for the Sol2Sol (Solidarity to Solutions) Week of Action from September 8-14 in the Bay Area. Click here to learn more about how to get involved!

Job Announcements: Operations Coordinator & Communications Coordinator

Tue, 04/03/2018 - 10:42am

We are excited to announce job openings for 2 full-time positions that will be split 50% time toward Grassroots Global Justice (GGJ)
and 50% time toward It Takes Roots (ITR):

GGJ-ITR OPERATIONS COORDINATOR

 and 

GGJ-ITR COMMUNICATIONS COORDINATOR

Applications for both positions are due April 24th

Click here to read more about both positions

Please share this with anyone you think would be a good fit!

 

GGJ-ITR OPERATIONS COORDINATOR

Accepting Applications through April 24, 2018 until filled.
You will only be contacted if we are requesting an interview.
Preferred location: Washington DC metro area. This job will include travel.
Compensation: Salary is commensurate with experience. This position is full-time with benefits including health, dental and vision coverage and generous vacation.

Grassroots Global Justice (GGJ) is a national alliance of over 60 US-based grassroots organizing (GRO) groups organizing to build an agenda for power for working and poor people and communities of color. We understand that there are important connections between the local issues we work on and the global context, and we see ourselves as part of an international movement for global justice. GGJ focuses on bringing GRO organizations into a long-term process of relationship building, political alignment and the development of transformational leadership, particularly for working and poor women and gender-oppressed people of color. We weave and bridge together US-based GRO groups and global social movements working for climate justice, gender justice, an end to war, and a just transition to a new economy that is better for people and the planet. For more about GGJ, visit our website: http://ggjalliance.org

It Takes Roots (ITR) to Grow the Resistance is an initiative of Climate Justice Alliance (CJA), Grassroots Global Justice Alliance (GGJ), Indigenous Environmental Network (IEN), and Right to the City Alliance (RTC), and with capacity support from The Ruckus Society and Center for Story-based Strategy.  In the aftermath of the 2016 Presidential elections, #ItTakesRoots to Grow the Resistance spearheaded a response from the grassroots organizing sector that is confronting the attacks on poor communities, Indigenous Peoples and communities of color that has been fomented by this administration.  It Takes Roots is a multiracial effort led by women & gender oppressed people of color and Indigenous peoples on the frontlines of racial, housing and climate justice across the country. Learn more at http://ittakesroots.org

Key Duties Summary: This position will be housed in GGJ with half time supporting GGJ operations and half time supporting ITR operations. This position will coordinate shared administrative needs for the ITR and GGJ staff teams, coordinate travel and logistical support for US based events and international delegations, and lead the financial tracking and bookkeeping for It Takes Roots.  This position will be part of a growing It Takes Roots staff team, will report to the GGJ Deputy Director, and will work closely with the GGJ Bookkeeper.

Job Responsibilities

Coordinate Logistics for GGJ and ITR programs (60%)

1. Support organizing team in preparation for programs.

  • Support creation and distribution of recruitment packets, track applications, and provide logistical information to delegates.
  • Conduct initial logistics research for programs to give input to Organizing team for budget planning.
  • Coordinate, confirm and track all logistical arrangements with delegates, staff & travel service providers: flights, hotel reservations, interpretation, meal plans, legal/security, emergency contact info, equipment/supplies/swag, petty cash and merchandise, etc.
  • Support organizers to set up orientation calls and report back webinars; provide logistical orientations to delegates.

2. Lead logistical implementation, tracking of delegates and supplies, and trouble-shooting on the ground.

  • Attend all major programs to lead logistical implementation.
  • Be aware of and on call for emergency response and contingency plans.
  • Communicate with staff, members and allies about their needs and ours for event planning.
  • Lead backward planning and calendaring for programs in consultation with staff.

3. Support organizing team in follow up from programs.

  • Coordinate and administer travel stipends and reimbursements for delegates.
  • Support creation, dissemination and analysis of evaluation surveys.
  • Support scheduling and implementation of report backs from programs.

4. Coordinate production of organizational materials for GGJ and ITR

  • Research, budgeting, ordering, dissemination, and inventory and storage.

5. Coordinating with logistics staff from other sister or member organizations

  • Create logistics committees for programs as needed.
  • Recruit members to join logistics committees.
  • Create agendas and plans for logistics committees.

Maintain GGJ and ITR administrative systems in parallel (30%)

1. Maintain shared systems: files, receipts, finance forms, shared calendar, materials inventory, digital security protocols.

  • Stay informed about developments in technological platforms or security measures and propose/implement adaptations of systems as appropriate.

2. Human Resources

  • Coordinate staff tracking vacation/personal/sick days.
  • Support management of staff benefits (health/vision/dental insurance and other policies as applicable according to personnel policies).

3. Support Financial Tracking of parallel GGJ and ITR Finances

  • Check mail and make bank deposits every 1-2 weeks depending on volume (if based in Washington DC).
  • Prepare invoices for bi-monthly (every 2 weeks) check cycle.
  • Write approved checks and mail to recipients every 2 weeks.
  • Coordinate and track accounts payable and accounts receivable invoices.
  • Maintain thorough and accurate record of bank deposits and outgoing payments in database, and coordinate reconciliation with bookkeeper.
  • Make payments via international wire as necessary.
  • Coordinate tracking receipts for all purchases and categorize for Quickbooks entry.

4. Support Admin/Finance team with Non-Profit Compliance

  • Ensure updated worker’s comp, disability, state taxes.
  • Track non-profit compliance status, coordinate necessary tasks.
  • Track and complete filing requirements for states where GGJ operates.

It Takes Roots Bookkeeping (10%)

  • Maintain thorough and accurate record of ITR bank deposits in Quickbooks and paper files.
  • Maintain thorough and accurate record of all outgoing ITR payments in Quickbooks.
  • Work with GGJ Bookkeeper and Deputy Director to reconcile financial tracking in database and Quickbooks.
  • Track and maintain ITR invoice files including accounts payable and accounts receivable in Quickbooks.
  • Monthly reconcile ITR payroll reports, bank statements and credit card statements in Quickbooks.
  • Work closely with GGJ bookkeeper to ensure accurate financial tracking of ITR activities.
  • Prepare quarterly ITR budget reports including profit & loss, budget vs actuals and balance sheet for staff and ITR Director Team review.
  • Work with GGJ Bookkeeper to prepare all accounting files and reconciliation work-papers for annual tax return and audit.
  • Maintain Quickbooks software by updating when necessary.
  • Provide other accounting services as may be requested from time to time.

Required Qualifications and Experience

  • At least 3 years high level administrative experience, ideally in remote workplace environment.
  • At least 2 years of accounting or bookkeeping work.
  • Support the mission, vision and goals of ITR and GGJ.
  • Knowledge and experience on at least some of the topics our members work on, such as gender justice, just transition, environmental justice, anti-militarism, indigenous sovereignty, housing and anti-eviction work, etc.
  • Experience in multi-racial, multi-cultural settings.
  • Excellent attention to detail and the ability to maintain a variety of projects and activities simultaneously.
  • Ability to forecast and plan several months in advance
  • Ability to work independently while maintaining close communication with remote teams.
  • Ability to work flexible hours, including communicating with people in other parts of the country in different time zones.
  • Ability to be responsive in a consistent, clear, and prompt manner to communications and requests.
  • Ability to meet deadlines, coordinate multiple streams of work, and keep other staff/members on task.
  • High level of self-management, hold self to excellent work standards.
  • Creativity is encouraged and trouble-shooting skills will be necessary.
  • Outgoing, positive energy, professional attitude in dealing with members, staff, allies and vendors.
  • Attention to quality experience: a ‘customer service’ orientation and ability to provide highly professional logistical support to make activities smooth and efficient.
  • Familiarity with general accounting procedures, principals, and financial tracking systems for 501c3 nonprofit organizations
  • Experience with QuickBooks management
  • Familiarity with CRM systems and Database management (Powerbase).
  • Knowledge of common computer applications: MS Office, Google docs, Dropbox, Mac environment, and Zoom video tele-conferencing systems.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills in English.
  • Willingness to travel: average 5-10 days per month in the US, and 15 days per year internationally.
  • Driver’s license and liability insurance.

Preferred Experience

  • IT systems skills a plus.
  • Ability to write and speak a second language, preferably Spanish.
  • Organizing background in some of the topics our members work on (see above).

How To Apply
Please submit Resume, cover letter, a sample of at least 750 words of an operations plan that you wrote and/or laid out and 3 references (please include someone who has supervised you and someone you have supervised or mentored) to ggjalliance@gmail.com with “Ops Coordinator” in the subject.  Only candidates that are being considered will be contacted.

______________________________________________________________________________________________

GGJ-ITR COMMUNICATIONS COORDINATOR

Accepting Applications through April 24, 2018 until filled.
You will only be contacted if we are requesting an interview.
Flexible location. This job will include travel.
Compensation: Salary is commensurate with experience. This position is full-time with benefits including health, dental and vision coverage and generous vacation.

Grassroots Global Justice (GGJ) is a national alliance of over 60 US-based grassroots organizing (GRO) groups organizing to build an agenda for power for working and poor people and communities of color. We understand that there are important connections between the local issues we work on and the global context, and we see ourselves as part of an international movement for global justice. GGJ focuses on bringing GRO organizations into a long-term process of relationship building, political alignment and the development of transformational leadership, particularly for working and poor women and gender-oppressed people of color. We weave and bridge together US-based GRO groups and global social movements working for climate justice, gender justice, an end to war, and a just transition to a new economy that is better for people and the planet. For more about GGJ, visit our website: http://ggjalliance.org

It Takes Roots (ITR) to Grow the Resistance is an initiative of Climate Justice Alliance (CJA), Grassroots Global Justice Alliance (GGJ), Indigenous Environmental Network (IEN), and Right to the City Alliance (RTC), and with capacity support from The Ruckus Society and Center for Story-based Strategy.  In the aftermath of the 2016 Presidential elections, #ItTakesRoots to Grow the Resistance spearheaded a response from the grassroots organizing sector that is confronting the attacks on poor communities, Indigenous Peoples and communities of color that has been fomented by this administration.  It Takes Roots is a multiracial effort led by women & gender oppressed people of color and Indigenous peoples on the frontlines of racial, housing and climate justice across the country. Learn more at http://ittakesroots.org

Key Duties Summary: This position will be housed in GGJ with 50% of time supporting GGJ communications and 50% of time supporting It Takes Roots communications. This position will guide Narrative Strategy, coordinate ITR communications and media teams, support member groups playing communications roles in programs, and coordinate with communications contractors for both GGJ and ITR.  This position will be part of a growing It Takes Roots staff team, and will report to the It Takes Roots Coordinator and the GGJ Deputy Director.

Job Responsibilities

Develop ITR & GGJ narrative strategy and lead communications plans (40%)

1. Streamline narrative framing & design across organizing and fundraising teams.

  • Edit communications written by staff or contractors to ensure consistent framing.
  • Develop messaging and imagery for organizational materials, ensure consistent messaging and quality for branded items such as t-shirts, hats, stickers, etc.

2. Maintain consistent documentation of activities for internal and external communication about progress, opportunities, and connections.

  • Write summaries & reports of key programs.
  • Coordinate dissemination of communications.
  • Train and coach GGJ & ITR staff and members on messaging.

3. Create and lead media communications plans for GGJ and ITR programs including media presence, member engagement, and orientation of spokespeople.

Lead ITR & GGJ external communications and coordinate consistent public profile (40%)

1. Conceptualize and lead earned media strategies for GGJ and ITR.

  • Coordinate social media presence for ITR and GGJ with organizing teams.
  • Draft and circulate press releases and media advisories, especially during actions and high program periods.
  • Supervise contractors: writers, graphic designers, video producers, and printers as needed.
  • Work with staff, contractors and members to create media content (op-eds, press releases with quotes, talking points).
  • Orient spokespeople for talking to press during programs.

2. Develop and maintain media relationships

  • Maintain database of media contacts.
  • Develop relationships with journalists, media outlets.

3. Coordinate GGJ and ITR social media presence with organizing teams.

  • Ensure consistent presence on social media.
  • Echo member communications via social media.
  • Engage and orient members to amplify ITR and GGJ messaging.

Strengthen ITR Communications Infrastructure (20%)

1. Lead ITR Communications Team

  • Convene and coordinate regular calls of the ITR communications team, including communications staff from each of the alliances and potentially also from member organizations.
  • Coordinate communications contracts to produce media.
  • Ensure regular internal communications within ITR membership and allies
  • Work with ITR Communications Team and GGJ Development & Communications Associate to keep ITR internal communications systems up to date.

2. Maintain ITR media infrastructure

  • Create & post content to keep ITR website updated.
  • Write and send ITR e-blasts.

3. Support Creation of an independent It Takes Roots Media Team

  • Create ITR media team modeled after Indigenous Rising Media structure, to produce ITR videos, reports, articles, etc.
  • Coordinate contract work with ITR Media Team in high program periods.

Required Qualifications and Experience

  • At least 5 years communications experience and demonstrated ability to lead narrative strategy and communications plans in social justice sectors.
  • Support the mission, vision and goals of ITR and GGJ.
  • Knowledge and experience on at least some of the topics our members work on, such as gender justice, just transition, environmental justice, anti-militarism, indigenous sovereignty, housing and anti-eviction work, etc.
  • Experience in multi-racial, multi-cultural settings.
  • Excellent attention to detail and ability to maintain a variety of activities simultaneously.
  • Able to work independently while maintaining close communication with remote teams.
  • Ability to work flexible hours, including communicating with people in other parts of the country in different time zones.
  • Excellent writing and editing skills in English for diverse audiences.
  • Experience using social media & web development tools: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, WordPress, Drupal-based website.
  • Experience and strong familiarity with media and social media monitoring software, such as Melt Water and Cision.
  • Earned media strategy experience and knowledge of media communications trends.
  • Familiarity with CRM systems and Database management (Powerbase).
  • Knowledge of common computer applications: MS Office, Google docs, Dropbox, Mac environment, Slack, and Zoom video tele-conferencing systems.
  • Willingness to travel: average 5-10 days per month in the US, and 15 days per year internationally.

Preferred Experience

  • Proficiency with Design software such as Adobe creative suite.
  • Experience with creative material design (photo graphics for social media, report layout, logo design, etc.)
  • Ability to write and speak a second language, preferably Spanish.
  • Experience with published writing
  • Supervision and/or coaching experience.
  • Driver’s license and liability insurance.
  • Facilitation and training skills with grassroots organizing sector a plus.

How To Apply
Please submit Resume, cover letter, written sample of at least 750 words you wrote (published or unpublished) and 3 references (please include someone who has supervised you and someone you have supervised or mentored) to ggjalliance@gmail.com with “Comms Coordinator” in the subject.  Only candidates that are being considered will be contacted.

Job Announcement: It Takes Roots Coordinator

Mon, 01/15/2018 - 1:24pm

HIRING It Takes Roots Coordinator (click to download Job Announcement as a PDF)
January, 2018

Accepting Applications January 2018, until filled.
You will only be contacted if we are requesting an interview.
Preferred Location:
 Miami, FL, San Francisco Bay Area, CA or Washington, DC.  This job will include travel.
Salary: This position is full-time with compensation of $52,000-$55,000 a year, depending on level of experience.  Benefits include health, dental and vision coverage and generous vacation.

It Takes Roots (ITR) to Grow the Resistance is an initiative of Climate Justice Alliance (CJA), Grassroots Global Justice Alliance (GGJ), Indigenous Environmental Network (IEN), and Right to the City Alliance (RTC), and with capacity support from the Center for Story-based Strategy (CSS) and the Ruckus Society. Learn more at http://ittakesroots.org

In the aftermath of the 2016 Presidential elections, #ItTakesRoots to Grow the Resistance spearheaded a response from the grassroots organizing sector that is confronting the attacks on poor communities, Indigenous Peoples and communities of color that has been fomented by this administration.  We organized a sprint-run from November 2016 through November 2017, and are now entering a phase of long-term consultation and strategic development of our collaborative work.

In this period, there is a need for a coordinator that can move the following pieces of work: coordination of staff from the four alliances, relationship-building and information gathering with key external partners, ensuring the ITR teams are meeting and have what they need, coordination of member consultation leading up to joint member convenings in July and September 2018.

This position will be housed with Grassroots Global Justice Alliance (GGJ) and will report to the National Coordinator of GGJ.  For more about Grassroots Global Justice Alliance, visit our website here:  www.ggjalliance.org.

Job Responsibilities
1. Coordination of staff from the four alliances and movement support organizations
● Hold the overall coordination of the different areas of work of It Takes Roots.
● Work with all the alliances to identify the division of labor, and to create collaborative work-plans.
● Schedule, prepare agendas, and facilitate regular all-staff meetings (primarily via online video conferencing), identifying shared facilitation with other ITR staff.
● Work with It Takes Roots staff on member engagement and preparation.
● Work with staff from ITR alliances, Ruckus, CSS and others to refine our messaging and our actions, and to help determine roles and identify gaps that need to be filled.
● Lay the groundwork for It Takes Roots entering into the next phase.
● Coordinate between ITR team and movement support organizations to clarify work-plan and implementation plan.
● Coordinate and oversee logistics for ITR in person meetings or activities.

2. Relationship building with key external partners
● Represent ITR in ally meetings and maintain relationships with key partners such as The Majority, People’s Climate Mobilization, Mass-Based Resistance/Post-100, etc.
● Bring information back to It Takes Roots team, with recommendations on how to engage
● Ensure that allies and external partners are also lifting up It Takes Roots (in their messaging and comms strategies)
● Identify opportunities for It Takes Roots members to speak and/or play visible and leading roles in mobilizations, conference or meetings

3. Coordinate collective member consultation
● Work with staff of ITR alliances to create plan for collective member consultation
● Streamline consultation for organizations who are members of multiple ITR alliances
● Work with Communications team to share out the ITR proposal for consultation
● Work with leaders and staff to create agenda for consultation meetings
● Ensure documentation process for member feedback from consultation meetings

4. Formalize It Takes Roots structure
● Work with directors to define ongoing structure for ITR work, ie convening organizing team, communications team, etc.
● Set up preparation and orientation of members and delegates, working with ITR organizers to create agendas, trainings, and prepare speakers.
● Work with logistics staff to integrate logistics and programs.
● Coordinate any strategy conversations, trainings, or meetings with members and allies.
● Set up evaluation and reimbursement mechanisms for programs.
● Manage contractors that are brought onto the team on a temporary basis.

5.  Budgetary and Financial Oversight
● Creating and updating ITR annual budget, in coordination with different alliances
● Helping reconcile budgets post ITR events: ensuring timely reimbursements and payments to vendors, members, organizations.
● Helping create reports for funder reporting
● Working with fundraising team to raise funds for ITR program and infrastructure

Required Qualifications and Experience
● At least 5 years of experience with base-building, organizing policy or issue-based campaigns or coordination of coalition or alliances/networks.
● Knowledge and experience on at least some of the topics our members work on, such as gender justice, just transition, environmental justice, anti-militarism, indigenous sovereignty, housing and anti-eviction work, etc.
● Attention to detail and the ability to maintain a variety of projects and activities simultaneously.
● Excellent writing and public speaking skills for diverse audiences.
● Experience in multi-racial, multi-generational, multi-cultural settings.
● Ability to work flexible hours, including communicating with allies in other parts of the country in different time zones.
● Ability to represent ITR in a variety of settings and to establish/maintain broad organizational relationships.
● Support the mission, vision and goals of ITR.
● Ability to write and speak English as well as a second language, preferably Spanish.
● Supervision experience a plus.
● Knowledge of common computer applications: MS Office, Google docs, Dropbox, and Zoom video tele-conferencing systems.
● Understanding of operations and functions of small non-profits.
● Ability to work independently while maintaining close communication with remote staff team.
● Willingness to travel: average 5-10 days per month in the US, and 15 days per year internationally.
● Ability to lead, design, and facilitate trainings with grassroots organizing sector.
● Responsive to emails and messages.
● Driver’s license and liability insurance.

Preferred Experience
● Familiarity with CRM systems and Database management (Powerbase) preferred.
● Strong peer-counseling, conflict-management, and crisis management skills preferred.
● Experience creating and managing budgets preferred.
● Experience using social media & web development tools: Facebook, Twitter, WordPress, Drupal-based website preferred.

How To Apply
Please submit Resume, cover letter, written sample of at least 750 words you wrote (published or unpublished) and 3 references (please include someone who has supervised you and someone you have supervised or mentored) to ggjalliance@gmail.com.  Only candidates that are being considered will be contacted.

“Carbon Pricing Report” Released by Indigenous Environmental Network and Climate Justice Alliance at COP 23

Thu, 11/16/2017 - 4:50am
Groundbreaking “Carbon Pricing Report” Released by Indigenous Environmental Network and Climate Justice Alliance at COP 23

In-depth Analysis By Grassroots Exposes Carbon Trading Markets as False Solutions to the International Climate Crisis

**Link to live stream of Press Conference**

Bonn, Germany — While city, state, and national leaders gather at the UN Climate Talks to launch and implement platforms and agendas that promote carbon trading, carbon offsets, and REDD+, the Indigenous Environmental Network and the Climate Justice Alliance take a bold stance to reject and challenge these so-called innovative solutions by releasing the “Carbon Pricing Report: A Critical Perspective for Community Resistance.”

This report provides in-depth context to why carbon market systems will not mitigate climate change, will not advance adaptation strategies, will not serve the most vulnerable communities facing climate change impacts and only protect the fossil fuel industry and corporations from taking real climate action.

Furthermore, the publication is the first of its kind to be released in the United States and will help frontline communities and grassroots organizations articulate crucial points to challenge carbon markets and climate change. It is a tool in building a carbon market grassroots resistance.

On Wednesday November 15, Tom Goldtooth, co-author of the report, and members from communities who are impacted first and worst by climate change spoke at the UN Climate Change Talks to challenge nations, cities, and businesses who are promoting carbon markets as they violate Indigenous Rights and make way for more fossil fuel extraction near Indigenous, Black, and Brown communities.

Key points of Carbon Pricing Report:

  • Carbon trading, carbon offsets and REDD+ are fraudulent climate mitigation mechanisms that help corporations and governments to continue extracting and burning fossil fuels.
  • Revenues distributed to communities from carbon trading or carbon pricing never compensate for the destruction wrought by the extraction and pollution process required to obtain that revenue.
  • The injustices, racism and colonialism of carbon pricing schemes have worldwide effects that require international resistance.

This publication will help communities and organizations articulate crucial points to resist carbon pricing and climate change.

**Digital Version of Carbon Report**

The following is a statement from the co-authors of the report:

“The linking of carbon markets across the United States and the World is a tool that fossil-fuel companies have shaped and built to continue to extract and dump on frontline communities.  Carbon pricing is a slap on the wrist, a reward really.  History shows that, it does not have the ability to move us away from oil addiction, or reach our targets for climate justice. The only true way to reach our goals of 1.5C is to stop the fossil fuel machine at source, to provide stricter regulations, and to hold polluters accountable for their legacy of pollution.  We need this Just Transition to survive! This report demonstrates through a historical and international lens the mounting threats these markets have wreaked on frontline communities across the world.  It is a call to action for community resistance and resilience.” — Angela Adrar, Executive Director of the Climate Justice Alliance.

“Our Indigenous Peoples and people of color climate justice alliances saw a need to put together a publication that demystifies the carbon market regimes constantly being pushed upon our communities by environmental and climate organizations. Under the rubric of carbon pricing, these cap-and-trade, carbon offsets, carbon tax systems are false solutions that do not cut emissions at source, create toxic hot spots, and result in land grabs and violations of human rights and rights of Indigenous peoples in the forest regions of developing countries. People have a right to know the truth about these national and global initiatives that are nothing but the financialization of nature, the privatization of Mother Earth.” — Tom Goldtooth, Executive Director of the Indigenous Environmental Network

“First of all if we are here it’s because we have a problem. I came here with a mission from my community to bring messages to the cop. These carbon trading mechanism are being implanted in the state of Acre Brazil and they are also implementing carbon offsets in Acre. The first thing that these carbon offset projects cause is division in our communities and when indigenous people and indigenous leaders are divided, there are very adverse social impacts. Everywhere I’ve gone I’ve seen that carbon trading and carbon offsets are not a solution to climate change , it does not reduce pollution, it does not reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In the Brazilian amazon we are seeing a lot of carbon offsets projects with very adverse impacts for our peoples. What’s happening is that Indigenous Peoples are being criminalized by these carbon offset projects. We’re not destroying the forest. We’re the ones who protecting the forest. Now they are offering our communities money in exchange so that the big polluting companies can use our forests for sponges for their pollution. I am saddened to be here at COP23 because this is just one big carbon trading convention. The government and industries are not defending life on earth, they are doing business, they are figuring out ways to make more money. They don’t care about what is happening in our communities, they don’t care about what we’re suffering. All they care about is their profits. Furthermore, climate change is not going to end or be reduced by their solutions, it’s just about a bunch of lies. People don’t know what’s happening with these false solutions in my community and that’s why I’m here, so I really hope that my message is heated and heard, we must not forget that life itself is at stake and we must not believe the lies of industries and governments.” — Ninawa Inu​ ​Huni kim,​ Chief and ​President​ ​of​ ​the​ ​ Federacao Huni​ ​Kui​ ​People​ ​of​ ​Acre

“I think this is a very significant event today launching this Carbon Pricing Report: A Critical Perspective for Community Resistance because the future of the planet will depend on communities standing strong against false solutions. COP is nothing but a carbon stock exchange because what is really being discussed on the negotiation floors are deals, who can buy what and sell what, who has the rights to keep polluting, whether it’s trees in Nigeria or Kenya or Cameron or Uganda…The polluters don’t want to change from the pattern that has brought us to where we are at today and this is the sickening and the sad thing about the COP. How can we pretend that fiction will solve reality. Carbon Pricing is fiction, selling the price of air, of carbon, and doing anything to stop the pollution but instead they keep pumping the toxic stuff into the atmosphere. I think this report is so vital because it shows that the time to stop green-washing is now.” – Nnimmo Bassey, Director, Health of Mother Earth Foundation, No REDD in Africa Network, , Oil Watch, Nigeria, Africa

PRESS CONTACT:

Jade Begay,Communications Coordinator Indigenous Environmental Network

jade@ienearth.org, whatsapp +1 505 699 4791

Media Advisory: Indigenous Environmental Network and Climate Justice Alliance to Launch “Carbon Pricing Report” at UN Climate Talks.

Wed, 11/15/2017 - 6:18am

Indigenous Environmental Network and Climate Justice Alliance to Launch “Carbon Pricing Report” at UN Climate Talks.

In response to the promotion of false solutions like carbon trading, grassroots and frontline organization launch ‘Carbon Pricing Report’.

Bonn, Germany — While city, state, and national leaders gather at the UN Climate Talks to launch and implement platforms and agendas that promote carbon trading, carbon offsets, and REDD+, the Indigenous Environmental Network and the Climate Justice Alliance take a bold stance to reject and challenge these so-called innovative solutions by releasing the “Carbon Pricing Report: A Critical Perspective for Community Resistance”.

This report provides in-depth context to why carbon market systems will not mitigate climate change, will not advance adaptation strategies, will not serve the most vulnerable communities facing climate change  impacts and only protect the fossil fuel industry and corporations from taking real climate action.

On Wednesday, November 15th, Indigenous Peoples who are impacted by the fossil fuel industry and who will be impacted by these false solutions (carbon markets) will speak at COP23 and demand that their community based solutions be recognized by decision-makers at all levels.

**Link to Previous Press Conference**

What: Indigenous Environmental Network and Climate Justice Alliance launch carbon pricing report to challenge the promotion and implementation of carbon markets.

When:

18:00 – 18:30 (6pm – 6:30)  (Local Bonn Time)

Where:

Press Conference Room 2 Theatre | BULA Zone 3

Who:

Tom Goldtooth, Executive Director, Indigenous Environmental Network, United States

Isabella Zizi, Youth Organizer, Idle No More SF Bay, United States, California

Ninawa Inu​ ​Huni kim,​ Chief and ​President​ ​of​ ​the​ ​ Federacao Huni​ ​Kui​ ​People​ ​of​ ​Acre,​ ​

Nnimmo Bassey, Director, Health of Mother Earth Foundation, No REDD in Africa Network, , Oil Watch, Nigeria, Africa

Alberto Saldamando, Legal Expert on Human Rights and Indigenous Rights, Indigenous Environmental Network.

 

Contact:

Jade Begay,Communications Coordinator, Indigenous Environmental Network, jade@ienearth.org; whatsapp +1-505-699-4791

White House Event at UN Climate Talks Overshadowed by Indigenous, Black and, Latinx Water and Land Cer

Tue, 11/14/2017 - 11:26am
White House Event at UN Climate Talks Overshadowed by Indigenous, Black and, Latinx Water and Land Ceremony

Delegates from North, South and Latin America uplift Climate Change Impacted Voices in Civil Disobedience Action at COP23.

Bonn, Germany – On November 13, 2017, The Trump Administration will held it’s only event, “The Role of Cleaner and More Efficient Fossil Fuels and Nuclear Power in Climate Mitigation”, at the UN Climate Talks (COP23) to promote coal and nuclear as a solution to climate change.

The event, hosted by the White House, featured speakers from Peabody Energy and NuScale Power, who promoted fossil fuels as a way to cut emissions and who claimed these industries will benefit “poor communities” globally.

In response, Indigenous Peoples from across the world who represent both low income communities and communities impacted first and hardest by climate change, led a demonstration of song and prayer at the White House event to send a clear message: Keeping coal and nuclear in our energy mix is in complete contradiction to any meaningful climate action plan. The promotion of coal and nuclear power by the United States has serious global impacts and is not an acceptable solution to mitigate and adapt to climate change.

With this event, the Trump Administration is revealing its lack of cooperation with the global community, is promoting dying industries, and is putting more people, especially Indigenous and climate-vulnerable communities at even more risk.

Participant Quotes:

“As Indigenous Peoples with a close relationship to nature, the expansion of fossil fuels extraction and combustion will cause further disruption to the harmony of life as we know it. The dangers and risks of creating a nuclear chain reaction, splitting of atoms and from this so-called nuclear energy, is the creation of nuclear waste that could end up being dumped in sacred Indigenous Peoples treaty lands. The White House policy is rooted in environmental racism and objectifies Mother Earth to no end”, – Tom Goldtooth, Executive Director, Indigenous Environmental Network.

“The current leadership in the United States is extremely disconnected from communities on the frontlines. We suffer every day because of the decisions made in closed rooms without our feedback and participation. The solutions that American people need are solutions that are built by the community. My community, for example, is already doing this work. We are transitioning our community to end systematic dependence on the hydrocarbon industry, we are creating a new democratic economy centered around sustainable methods of productions, distribution, consumption, and recycling, which is locally and cooperatively owned.” – Monica Atkins, Cooperation Jackson.

In Response to America’s Pledge, Californians Ask Governor Brown: Still In for What?

Tue, 11/14/2017 - 7:09am

 

In Response to America’s Pledge, Californians Ask Governor Brown: Still In for What?

As California Governor Jerry Brown arrives to UN Climate Talks to Promote His Climate Agenda, Californians and Frontline Groups Put Pressure on the Governor to Take Bolder Climate Action to Keep Fossil Fuels in the Ground

Bonn, Germany – Today, Californians and those on the frontlines of climate change disrupted Governor Jerry Brown at the American’s Pledge event at the UN climate talks to confront his support of fossil fuels in his state of California.

Governor Brown, deemed ‘America’s Climate Hero,’ has come to the climate talks to promote California as a global model of climate leadership. However, Indigenous Peoples, frontline communities, environmentalists and climate activists held this non-violent direct action to expose his ties to big oil and false solutions such as carbon markets.

In a newly released report, the Center for Biological Diversity found that three-quarters of the oil produced in California is as climate-damaging as Canadian tar sands crude. Moreover, many of California’s oilfields and refineries operate next to homes and schools, particularly in communities of color already overburdened by toxic pollution.

From refusing to ban fracking to letting oil companies dump toxic waste into underground water supplies, Governor Brown promotes policies that incentivize oil and gas production in the state. His cap-and-trade extension includes provisions written by oil lobbyists that prevent state and local agencies from directly limiting carbon emissions from oil refineries. He has also failed to shut down the Aliso Canyon natural gas storage facility, where the largest methane leak in U.S. history forced thousands to flee their homes in 2015.

The groups are calling on Governor Brown to ban new drilling and fracking, phase out fossil fuel production, and commit to a just transition to clean energy for all.

Participant Quotes:

“Northern California has five refineries stretching along our Bay on the North East side of San Francisco. Those living along this Refinery Corridor experience continuous negative health effects such as respiratory problems, birth defects, leukemia and cancers. California’s answer to our global climate crisis, the Cap and Trade extension (AB 398), will continue allowing refineries to expand, pollute, and ultimately destroy life. The Phillips 66 Refinery in Rodeo, CA  plans to expand their marine terminal to increase crude oil imports by water from 30,000 barrels a day to 130,000 barrels a day. We will not let this happen. Decision makers around the world need to understand that Governors Jerry Brown’s carbon market scheme will continue killing our people and poisoning our water, air, and soil. We will not accept the false solution of carbon trading that increase pollution in our hometowns while violating indigenous rights and human rights around the world. We must keep fossil fuels in the ground.” – Daniel Ilario, Idle No More SF/Bay Area

“I wanted to leave a message here, for humanity and all of planet, that the peoples need to join to defend Mother Nature, the soil, water and air because they are being threatened. And humanity needs Nature to survive. So I want to say that Nature and the air are not a means of commerce for anyone and it’s every human’s right to live in peace. Jerry Brown’s “American Pledge” will lead to the displacement of my people and the destruction of my territory. We need to respect the rights of Nature and humans beings that need her to survive.” Ninawa Nuneshuni Kui, President of the Huni Kui People of Acre, Brazil.

“Californians have been asking Governor Brown for years to step up and be a true climate leader. If he is going to be celebrated by the world as a climate leader, he needs to commit to the communities on the frontlines of fossil fuel extraction. Real climate leaders don’t frack. This isn’t just about Californians. The world needs Jerry Brown to do more in his own state.” Eva Malis, Young person from Valencia, CA

Contact:

Jade Begay, Media Coordinator, Indigenous Environmental Network, jade@ienearth.org; whatsapp +1-505-699-4791

The U.S. People’s Delegation Takes on the Trump Administration

Tue, 11/07/2017 - 2:36pm
While the Trump Administration Rolls Back Climate Protections, a “People’s Delegation” is at COP23 to Showcase What Climate Leadership Must Look Like Bonn, Germany — Today, community and grassroots leaders from the United States announced their platform at COP23 called the “U.S. People’s Delegation” to counter the Trump Administration’s fossil fuel agenda and to hold US states, cities, businesses, and the public accountable to commitments to climate action. The platform, includes youth, Indigenous peoples, frontline communities, advocates, and policymakers who have come to Bonn with organizations from across the U.S. They have come together to show what climate leadership should look like. With the Trump Administration rolling back climate protections, expanding fossil fuel development, ramming through dirty infrastructure, and withdrawing the U.S. from its commitments to the Paris Climate Agreement, the People’s Delegation and the organizations involved are taking action to protect communities and isolate the Administration by demanding a fossil free future and real climate action on the local level.

Among the demands are:

  • A just and equitable transition to 100% renewable energy in all cities and states.

  • For U.S. elected officials to step up in meaningful ways  to ensure bold climate action in the face of the current Administration’s rollback on climate protections, the persistence of ongoing climate disasters, and the impact of existing inequalities and governmental negligence on frontline and vulnerable communities.

  • A halt to all new fossil fuel projects, with the understanding that the fossil fuel industry continues to perpetuate the climate crisis and sow climate denial, creating a bleak future for generations to come.

  • A call for all nations to increase their ambition, not decrease it. The commitments countries put forward under the Paris Agreement were already too little, too late and would lead to at least 3.5 degrees of warming, not the 1.5° and 2° goals enshrined in the agreement. We can’t let the US be an excuse for other countries to dial back their action — especially since with cities and states doubling down, the US could be moving forward.

  • A demand  to stop negotiating cap-and-trade, carbon offsets,  carbon pricing, and other market schemes that avoid cutting pollution at the source.

At COP23, while the People’s Delegation is calling for meaningful climate action, the Trump Administration is pushing coal, natural gas and nuclear energy as an “answer” to climate change.

The organizations represented in the People’s Delegation include:  SustainUS, Sunrise Movement, Indigenous Environmental Network, Global Grassroots Justice Alliance, and the Climate Justice Alliance as part of It Takes Roots, U.S Human Rights Network, Climate Generation, Our Children’s Trust, NextGen America, and 350.org.

Quote List:

Varshini Prakash of SustainUS and Sunrise Movement said, “I have seen climate change-fueled floods destroy lives and livelihoods where my family is from in India. In southern India, thousands of farmers have committed suicide because of drought. Within my lifetime, my home in the States could be underwater if we do nothing to stop climate change. No one should have to live in fear of losing the people that they love or the places that they come from. I’m going to COP23 as part of the People’s Delegation to show that the American people are still in, that we’re ready to fight back against Trump and his regressive policies, and that we refuse to let wealthy CEOs and oil barons lead us down the path of destruction.”

Dallas Goldtooth of Indigenous Environmental Network, part of the It Takes Roots delegation said,”We head to COP23 as part of Indigenous Environmental Network and with the U.S. People’s Delegation to continue the to rise up as Indigenous, Black, and Brown communities against extraction, colonialism and to call for real action from elected leaders who have pledged to address climate change.”

Kiran Ooman, a youth plaintiff with Our Children’s Trust said, “Growing up in the Pacific Northwest of the United States I have witnessed the effects of climate change, from the steady increase in forest fire severity to unnaturally high pollen counts. However, my concern also includes the places where my family live, including India and Florida, where the fatal threat of storms are worsening each year. We are working to hold the Trump Administration accountable not only for their inaction but also for the actions they are taking, such as pushing through new fossil fuel infrastructure and cutting back on environmental regulations, which puts the climate and all people of the earth in danger. As young people, we face the consequences of these actions most acutely, and that’s why I’m I’m here at COP 23 with the U.S. People’s Delegation: To remind the international community that despite our youth we are fighting the unjust actions of the US Government, and we need your support in defending our futures.”

Katia R. Avilés Vázquez of Organización Boricuá, representing the It Takes Roots delegation said, “Puerto Rico has been the victim of a perfect storm of natural weather extremes, fiscal austerity measures, bad management and planning, combined with a colonial situation that prevents us from trading and learning from our sister islands in the Caribbean region.  Along with the Caribbean, Puerto Rico was hit by two of the largest hurricanes in recorded history within two weeks of each other in the month of September.  Organización Boricuá has been working on the frontlines under the most dire conditions of colonialism, corruption, and climate change. We demand a Just Transition.”

Dyanna Jaye, representing ICLEI U.S. Local Governments for Sustainability and Sunrise Movement said, “Flooding is routine in my coastal Virginia home town; our lands are being slowly reclaimed by the Atlantic Ocean and communities have been forced to flee their homes. From monster hurricanes to the wildfires and deadly heatwaves in the American West, 2017 has shown that the threat of climate change is now. Yet, Trump has allied with fossil fuel CEOs who are dead set on profiting from pollution, including Exxon CEO turned Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson. They have no right to represent the American people. Though Trump and his billionaire friends may try to pull us backwards, we, everyday Americans, will keep moving our country forward and make sure our cities, universities, and states take the action we need to stop climate change and create good jobs in our communities.”

Ellen Anderson of Energy Transition Lab, with the Climate Generation delegation said, “We are here to let the world know that most Americans support action on climate change, despite what you hear from Washington.  In our state of Minnesota,we are leading the way for the Heartland of America, showing that you can cut carbon, build out renewable energy, create thousands of good-paying jobs, and save money by shifting to a clean energy economy.  Our Lt. Governor said to our delegation last week that our state is completely committed to this clean energy transition, and feels the sense of urgency to move forward faster.  Our delegation represents academia, educators, and students along with civil society, youth, and indigenous communities, all standing together with the other nations of the world to support and learn from each other how to tackle this existential challenge.”

Thanu Yakupitiyage, U.S. Communications Manager and coordination of the U.S. People’s Delegation said, “The U.S. People’s Delegation is at COP23 to share loud and clear the message that communities back home demand a fast and fair transition to a world free of fossil fuels with 100% renewable energy for all. 350.org is proud to be supporting the work of organizations who were already bringing delegations to COP23. Our work collectively as part of the U.S. People’s Delegation is aimed at amplifying the urgency of climate action, holding accountable elected officials who have said they will step up against the Trump Administration to ensure they turn their words into action, and sharing our stories and solutions from diverse communities. We do not have time to waste, we need real climate action now.”

Among the events that the people’s delegation will conduct this week include:

U.S People’s Delegation Speak Out Date & Time: Thursday, November 9th, 4-6pm Location: U.S Climate Action Pavilion, Fiji Room, The DHL Post Tower Charles-de-Gaulle-Straße 20, 53113 Bonn Germany

 

U.S People’s Delegation Town Hall with Elected Officials Date & Time: Saturday, November 11th, 4-6pm Location: U.S Climate Action Pavilion, Fiji Room, The DHL Post Tower Charles-de-Gaulle-Straße 20, 53113 Bonn Germany

 

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For more information on the U.S. People’s Delegation and the organizations involved, please go to www.350.org/uspeoplesdelegation

U.S. People’s Delegation Takes on Trump Administration at COP23

Tue, 11/07/2017 - 2:28pm

Community and grassroots leaders from the U.S. on Tuesday announced their platform at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP23). The “U.S. People’s Delegation” is attending to counter the Trump administration’s fossil fuel agenda and to hold U.S. states, cities, businesses and the public accountable to climate action commitments.

The platform includes youth, Indigenous peoples, frontline communities, advocates and policymakers who have come to Bonn, Germany with organizations from across the U.S. They have come together to show what climate leadership should look like.

“We are here to let the world know that most Americans support action on climate change, despite what you hear from Washington,” said Ellen Anderson of Energy Transition Lab, with the Climate Generation delegation. In our state of Minnesota,we are leading the way for the Heartland of America, showing that you can cut carbon, build out renewable energy, create thousands of good-paying jobs, and save money by shifting to a clean energy economy.”

With the Trump administration rolling back climate protections, expanding fossil fuel development, ramming through dirty infrastructure and withdrawing the U.S. from its commitments to the Paris climate agreement, the People’s Delegation and the organizations involved are taking action to protect communities and isolate the administration by demanding a fossil free future and real climate action on the local level.

“I have seen climate change-fueled floods destroy lives and livelihoods where my family is from in India. In southern India, thousands of farmers have committed suicide because of drought,” said Varshini Prakash of SustainUS and Sunrise Movement. “Within my lifetime, my home in the states could be underwater if we do nothing to stop climate change. No one should have to live in fear of losing the people that they love or the places that they come from.”

Among the demands are:

  • A just and equitable transition to 100 percent renewable energy in all cities and states.
  • For U.S. elected officials to step up in meaningful ways to ensure bold climate action in the face of the current administration’s rollback on climate protections, the persistence of ongoing climate disasters, and the impact of existing inequalities and governmental negligence on frontline and vulnerable communities.
  • A halt to all new fossil fuel projects, with the understanding that the fossil fuel industry continues to perpetuate the climate crisis and sow climate denial, creating a bleak future for generations to come.
  • A call for all nations to increase their ambition, not decrease it. The commitments countries put forward under the Paris agreement were already too little, too late and would lead to at least 3.5°C of warming, not the 1.5°C and 2°C goals enshrined in the agreement. We can’t let the U.S. be an excuse for other countries to dial back their action—especially since with cities and states doubling down, the U.S. could be moving forward.
  • A demand to stop negotiating cap-and-trade, carbon offsets, carbon pricing and other market schemes that avoid cutting pollution at the source.

At COP23, while the People’s Delegation is calling for meaningful climate action, the Trump administration is pushing coal, natural gas and nuclear energy as an “answer” to climate change.

“From monster hurricanes to the wildfires and deadly heatwaves in the American West, 2017 has shown that the threat of climate change is now,” said Dyanna Jaye, representing ICLEI U.S. Local Governments for Sustainability and Sunrise Movement. “Yet Trump has allied with fossil fuel CEOs who are dead set on profiting from pollution, including Exxon CEO turned Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. They have no right to represent the American people. Though Trump and his billionaire friends may try to pull us backwards, we, everyday Americans, will keep moving our country forward and make sure our cities, universities and states take the action we need to stop climate change and create good jobs in our communities.”

The list of organizations represented in the People’s Delegation includes: SustainUS, Sunrise Movement, Indigenous Environmental Network, Global Grassroots Justice Alliance, and the Climate Justice Alliance as part of It Takes Roots, U.S. Human Rights Network, Climate Generation, Our Children’s Trust, NextGen America and 350.org.

Among the events that the people’s delegation will conduct this week that are open to the public:

U.S. People’s Delegation Speak Out

Date & Time: Thursday, Nov. 9, 4 to 6 pm

Location: U.S. Climate Action Pavilion, Fiji Room, The DHL Post Tower Charles-de-Gaulle-Straße 20, 53113 Bonn Germany

U.S. People’s Delegation Town Hall with Elected Officials

Date & Time: Saturday, Nov. 11, 4 to 6 pm

Location: U.S. Climate Action Pavilion, Fiji Room, The DHL Post Tower Charles-de-Gaulle-Straße 20, 53113 Bonn Germany

VIDEO: Ende Gelände Action Sun Nov 5th

Tue, 11/07/2017 - 2:08pm

4,500 People Shut Down Work at One of the Deepest Open-Pit Coals Mines on Earth!

Click here to watch video.

The day before the official start of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change #COP23, in Bonn, Germany, 4500 climate activists from the Ende Gelände alliance took direct action to stop operation of the Hambach open-pit lignite coal mine, near Buir, Germany,

#KeepFossilFuelsInTheGround #EndeGelande #JustTransition

Multicultural and Intergenerational Grassroots Delegation Heads to COP23

Sun, 11/05/2017 - 4:10pm

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday, October 30, 2017

Contact:

Jade Begay,  jade@ienearth.org, whatsapp: +1-505-699-4791

Jaron Browne, jaron@ggjalliance.org, 1-415-377-2822

Multicultural and Intergenerational Grassroots Delegation From the United States to Hold Non-Violent Direct Actions and Events During the UNFCCC Climate Change Convention in Bonn, Germany

 

Indigenous, African American, and Latino Delegates from the United States will participate in the UNFCCC COP23 to bring awareness to how their communities are impacted by climate change

Bonn, Germany – This week, the It Takes Roots Delegation, a U.S. coalition will journey to Bonn, Germany for the UNFCCC Climate Change Convention. This past year the Trump administration has not only backed out of the Paris Agreement but has also made an oil executive secretary of state and has nominated a climate denier to be the head of NASA. These decisions are putting Indigenous and Black and Brown communities at severe risk of climate change impacts and extreme weather.

In response and in solidarity with frontline communities across the globe, It Takes Roots, a coalition comprised of North American based networks of grassroots organizations such as Global Grassroots Justice Alliance, the Indigenous Environmental Network, Climate Justice Alliance, and Rights to the City will be participating in and hosting events throughout the UN Climate Change Convention, Nov 6th – Nov 17th, 2017.

From California to Canadian provinces and down to the Gulf of Mexico, Indigenous communities and communities of color are experiencing the impacts of climate change now; whether that be through sea level rise and the loss of land, extreme weather or changes in seasons which are impacting both urban and rural communities’ health and way of life. The last few months alone have witnessed climate-intensified disasters including hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria that ravages Puerto Rico, Houston, and Florida, to the eight-county wildfires in one of the deadliest firestorms in California history.  The It Takes Roots Delegation will be at COP23 to ensure that these struggles are recognized and to bring more awareness to false solutions, such as offsets and emissions, frontline fights to protect water, and the disregard of human and Indigenous rights in the Paris Agreement.

WHAT:  It Takes Roots, a People of Color, Frontline Delegation, to participate in the UNFCCC COP23 in Bonn, Germany.

   
SPOKESPEOPLE:

  • Dallas Goldtooth, Dakota and Dine,  Indigenous Environmental Network, Illinois
  • Tom Goldtooth, Dakota and Dine,  Indigenous Environmental Network, Minnesota
  • Kandi Mossett, Mandan, Hidatsa, Arikara,  Indigenous Environmental Network, North Dakota
  • Isabella Zizi, Northern Cheyenne, Arikara, and Muskogee Creek, Idle No More, California
  • Kali Akuno, Cooperation Jackson, Grassroots Global Justice, Mississippi
  • Liana Lopez, Climate Justice Alliance, Texas
  • Monica Atkins, Cooperation Jackson/Climate Justice Alliance, Mississippi
  • Katia Vázquez, Organización Boricuá de Agricultura Ecológica, Puerto Rico

EVENTS and ACTIONS:

  • November 5th: Endegalende Direct Action; People’s Climate Summit Plenary
  • November 6th -7th: Climate Justice Summit
  • November 7th – 8th: Global Rights of Nature Tribunal
  • November 7th: U.S. People’s Delegation Press Conference 11AM
  • November 9th: US People’s Delegation Speak Out
  • November 11th: No Climate Change March; US Peoples Delegation Town Hall
  • November 13th:  WECAN Women and Climate Event

 

PARTICIPANT QUOTES:

“Counting carbon alone will not get us to the systemic solutions we need to curb climate change.  Fossil Fuel subsidies continue in the billions while the Frontlines in Puerto Rico, Texas, Florida, the Virgin Islands, and throughout the Southern US are  suffering from climate induced disasters now!  There is no time to wait, it is unethical, it weakens our public sector, and it leaves cities that could otherwise be resilient in peril.  Climate change is real, coal is not coming back, and the people will lead with climate solutions that are in harmony with Mother Earth. We are not coming together in Bonn to negotiate with the same Fortune 500 companies that are polluting our communities and the political leaders they support, they do not have our best interest at heart. We are coming to organize and build power with the Global South and come out resilient. ” – Angela Adrar- Executive Director of the Climate Justice Alliance

“The wildfires, hurricanes and floods of these last few months show us that we don’t have time to play games of climate denial or greenwashing of dirty energy.  COP23 is an opportunity for world leaders to catch up to the solutions already coming from communities on the ground.   The It Takes Roots delegation brings together leaders from North Dakota to Texas, Mississippi, and Puerto Rico who are advancing Just Transition and Just Recovery campaigns that will protect our land and water and move us toward community controlled renewable energy,” said Cindy Wiesner, Executive Director of Grassroots Global Justice Alliance.

“A changing climate with the unpredictability of weather events has extreme negative effects on Indigenous Peoples from Alaska to the lower 48th parallel of the United States. The ambitions of the Paris Agreement and the National Determined Contributions will not save our planet as we know her and only result in average global temperature increase above 3-4°C. We are going to Bonn to see how our voices can be heard to prevent the collapse of the Nature of Mother Earth and Father Sky and prevent further harm to all of humanity and life. The climate agreement from 2015 is nothing but a trade agreement that does nothing but privatize, commodify and sell ocean, forest and agricultural offsets that allow the most responsible not only to buy their way out of compliance for emission reduction but they get to profit from it as well. This is wrong. As Indigenous Peoples we will be networking with Indigenous Peoples of the world in Bonn to demand our rights be fully recognized in the implementation of the Paris Agreement and a process for full and effective participation in the inclusion of Indigenous Peoples globally in the UNFCCC framework of addressing traditional knowledge in climate mitigation and adaptation agreements.” – Tom BK Goldtooth, Executive Director, Indigenous Environmental Network

“Puerto Rico has been the victim of a perfect storm of natural weather extremes, fiscal austerity measures, bad management and planning, combined with a colonial situation that prevents us from trading and learning from our sister islands in the Caribbean region. We demand a Just Transition.” – Katia Vázquez, Organización Boricuá de Agricultura Ecológica

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It Takes Roots is a national multi-racial alliance, led by women, Indigenous Peoples, and queer people of color who are on the frontlines of racial, housing & climate justice across the US and Canada.  It Takes Roots brings together 150 organizations in 30 states nationwide & in Canada

Ende Gelande Action * Here & No Further – Kandi Mossett

Sun, 11/05/2017 - 4:02pm

Today ahead of the opening of the COP23 in Bonn Germany 4,500 people from around the world participated in solidarity with Ende Gelande to shut down the Hambacher coal mine.

The ‘It Takes Roots’ delegation was in a group on a higher level of the mine, I’ll post a video and pix of that but much love and respect to our brothers and sisters that made it deeper into the mine. Our efforts collectively shut down a portion of the mine.

Yesterday I live streamed about Ende Gelande which is not the name of the mine but rather the coalition of German environmental groups which formed in 2015 and means “Here and No Further.” They have shut down the mines more than once and will continue to do so until they shut the four RWE mines in the Rhineland region down for good. I was honored to stand in solidarity today in the non violent direct action. 

I was triggered by everything from the cops to the helicopters to the tanks and tear gas but it felt oddly good and powerful to be a part of this even if we only shut down a part of the mine for one day because I felt that sense of taking back our power.

Seeing this open pit lignite coal mine tore me up inside and made me weep at the rape taking place of our mother and her liver being ripped out. Many relate the coal to the liver of our mother earth because it’s the natural filter for our water systems. The sheer size of this one mine was overwhelming but stopping this assault, if only for a day felt really powerful and good. #Solidarity #OneFight #KeepItInTheGround #ItTakesRoots #WaterIsLife

SEPT 13TH: CJA EMERGENCY CALL WITH DIRECT UPDATES FROM ALLIES & MEMBERS AFFECTED BY HARVEY AND IRMA

Tue, 09/12/2017 - 1:58pm

CJA EMERGENCY CALL WITH DIRECT UPDATES FROM ALLIES & MEMBERS AFFECTED BY HARVEY AND IRMA

Hurricanes Harvey and Irma have devastated communities from the Caribbean to the southern United States. Climate Justice Alliance is hosting a call at 8:00pm EST Wednesday evening to hear directly from our members and allies in Houston, Florida, Puerto Rico, and Haiti.

Find out ways you can support a frontline response that is inclusive of all communities in the recovery effort. Now is the time for all of us to pull together to advance a Just Transition and rebuild for resilience. JOIN US WEDNESDAY!

This call is open to CJA allies, members, and those seeking to help in a Just Transition recovery. The call is limited to 500 members so REGISTER NOW!

The post SEPT 13TH: CJA EMERGENCY CALL WITH DIRECT UPDATES FROM ALLIES & MEMBERS AFFECTED BY HARVEY AND IRMA appeared first on It Takes Roots to Grow the Resistance.

True Climate Justice Puts Communities of Color First

Mon, 05/22/2017 - 2:44pm

A Black Lives Matter member speaks during a protest against the Dakota Access pipeline near the Standing Rock Indian Reservation on November 12, 2016. (Reuters / Stephanie Keith)

https://www.thenation.com/article/true-climate-justice-puts-communities-of-color-first/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss
By Audrea Lim, May 22, 2017
Black and brown communities have long borne the brunt of our addiction to fossil fuels—and now they are leading the fight for a post-carbon economy.

The day before the People’s Climate March in Washington, DC, Preyton Lambert—skinny, dreadlocked and sporting black-frame glasses—was getting hustled on a boulevard near the National Mall. Another boy restrained his arms, before throwing him to the ground. His cheek pressed against the pavement. Two girls recorded the encounter on their phones as a crowd looked on.

The youth were part of a delegation from Philadelphia’s Soil Generation, a group of black, radical, urban farmers, and this was an act of street theater, organized by the national It Takes Roots coalition of grassroots environmental groups. Among them were indigenous, Appalachian, and immigrant activists, each performing the attacks and defense of their communities and environment. “This is what happens to young black men and women almost everywhere,” explained Lambert. Their scene represented the most potent symbol of contemporary American racism: a young black man being brutalized by a cop. “We’re not just here for climate justice.”

So what does police brutality have to do with issues like carbon emissions, rising global temperatures, water pollution and government-by-oil-corporations that have dominated mainstream climate discourse?

Peoples Climate March demonstrators march down Pennsylvania Avenue, April 29, 2017. (Reuters / Mike Theiler)

Standing before the Capitol Reflecting Pool at the 200,000-strong Climate March the following day, Katherine Egland, the chair of the Environmental and Climate Justice Committee for the NAACP National Board of Directors, argued that, because low-income minority communities suffer the most adverse impacts of environmental pollution and climate change, this is also where the transition away from fossil fuels should begin.

Egland lives in Kemper County, Mississippi, which is 60 percent African American and was home to some of the highest numbers of lynchings in the state from 1877–1950. It is also where the Kemper Project, soon to be operational, is located, an experimental “clean coal” plant that was a keystone of President Obama’s climate plan for reducing carbon emissions. The only major coal plant currently being constructed in the country today, it would be the first large-scale plant to use the energy-intensive Carbon Capture and Storage technology (which gasifies the coal, captures the carbon emissions, and stores them in the ground).

Concerns about leaking pipes aside, Egland is angry that, with a $7.3 billion price tag, costs for the nation’s most expensive power plant are now being passed on to residents of one of the nation’s poorest states. “That’s a huge investment in past, unsafe technology, when we could’ve had renewable energy and money to spare,” she said. “I’m not sure why we continue this addiction to fossil fuels when we know that we should be looking at renewable sources of energy.”

Kemper County is hardly the only black community to be sited near a coal plant: At least 68 percent of African Americans live within 30 miles of a coal-fired plant, compared with only 56 percent of the white population. This kind of data has largely been eclipsed by the numbers trumpeted by the climate movement: limiting atmospheric carbon emissions to 350 parts per million, and capping global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

But the racial disparity among victims of environmental pollution are stark: African Americans are exposed to 38 percent more polluted air than whites, and are 75 percent more likely to live in chemical-factory “fence-line zones” than the US average (Latinos are 60 percent more likely). And as global temperatures rise, climate change will also impact poor communities of color more drastically: Heat-related deaths occur at a 150–200 percent higher rate among African Americans than among whites, likely because cities tend to run a few degrees hotter than their surroundings (the “heat island effect”), and most African Americans live in cities and suburbs. As extreme weather grows more frequent, vulnerable communities will become yet more vulnerable.

The Carver Terrace hosing project sits next to an oil refinery in west Port Arthur, Texas. (AP Photo / LM Otero)

These communities remain deeply underrepresented in the climate movement. “When you have to decide between going down to do something about climate change or trying to feed your children, or worrying about police brutality—those kinds of things take immediate precedent over the longer-term issues of air pollution and soil erosion,” said Jazzlyn Lindsey, standing alongside her Black Lives Matter delegation at the march, the whole crew dancing and drumming on overturned buckets.

Yet, for Katherine Egland, climate change and environmental pollution are civil-rights issues, just like criminal justice or education. “What would Dr. King say if he were here today?” she asked. When she was a child, the civil-rights leader would stay at her church when he passed through Mississippi, but he couldn’t have known at the time that they would win the fight against segregated water fountains yet lose the fight for clean water. She recalls the Flint water crisis with sadness. “I think he would be saying, ‘Fossil free at last, fossil free at last, we’re going to be fossil free at last.’”

Some say that the environmental-justice movement is centuries old: Native Americans have been resisting the theft of their lands since the white man arrived; the Chicano-led United Farm Workers have been fighting pesticide use in the fields since the sixties; and black sanitation workers—the keepers of the urban environment—have been protesting unfair working conditions since the Memphis Sanitation Strike of 1968—where Dr. King was heading when he was assassinated.

Yet race has remained a consistent blind spot in the environmental movement. This has begun to change as public attention alights on Native communities along the Dakota Access and Keystone XL pipelines. But without directly addressing how environmental injustice impacts poor communities of color disproportionately, racial and economic inequality is likely to deepen as climate change grows more disruptive.

At least 68 percent of African Americans live within 30 miles of a coal-fired plant, compared with only 56 percent of the white population.

Climate change’s impacts can most frequently be felt through water: too much after a storm, too little during a drought, and how we manage and distribute it in between—mni wiconi, in other words: “Water is life.” Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy have battered America’s shores, and droughts in rural Syria helped fuel the civil war(migration to the cities exacerbated religious and political tensions), much as a severe water shortage is now fueling the civil war in Yemen (the capital city, Sanaa, could run out of water as early as this year).

But subtler environmental changes are also wreaking havoc around the country. Near Bethel, Alaska, gradually warming temperatures and coastal pollution are threatening the subsistence lifestyle of Julien Jacobs’s Alaska Native Yup’ik community. “We’re seeing waves wash over villages, and we’re also seeing a break in our entire ecological system,” he said. What will become of their culture if the whale, beluga, salmon, caribou, and moose they harvest become extinct?

Elsewhere in the United States, coastal retreat poses an existential threat to communities with identities connected to the land. On the Gulf Coast of Louisiana, which loses a football field’s worth of land to the sea every hour, an entire indigenous community—Isle de Jean Charles—is relocating. Already, a matrix of pipelines and canals carved into the wetlands by the oil industry are exacerbating erosion, but Energy Transfer Partners is still planning to build the final leg of its Dakota Access pipeline, the Bayou Bridge, across 11 parishes, including the freed-slave community of St. James. This parish is surrounded by oil refineries and LNG terminals (the area is known as “Cancer Alley” for illnesses connected to the facilities), and according to Cherri Foytlin, state director of Bold Louisiana, they want to evacuate too.

But “the companies aren’t buying them out.” Still, their culture is under threat even if they remain: Some claim that the oil canals are cutting off oxygen to the crawfish in the Atchafalaya Basin. “Who loves crawfish more than Louisiana?” asked Foytlin. The basin is the only place in the state where crawfish are still caught in the wild. “Protecting them and that way of life is important to all the cultures of Louisiana.”

Some communities live off the land more directly than others, but all communities remain inextricably connected to the earth; even Soylent, sometimes dubbed “the end of food,” is made from plants. In California’s Central Valley—America’s produce basket—drought and rising temperatures are already pushing Mexican farmworkers to migrate north to Bellingham, Washington. Edgar Franks, an organizer with Community to Community, a Bellingham grassroots organization for food sovereignty and immigrant rights, recalls them talking about getting nosebleeds and passing out from the 115 degree heat. Cooler climates awaited them in Washington, but the large industrial farms remain, as do the threats of ICE raids on the workers keeping the agricultural industry afloat.

“We’re bringing it back down to local communities, to build the resilience and power of our native nations.”

These corporate factory farms are big contributors to climate change, from the petroleum-based chemical fertilizers to the fuel and refrigeration required to transport the produce across long distances. That is why Franks sees their efforts to establish worker-owned, organic farming cooperatives in Washington’s Whatcom and Skagit counties as integral to the climate movement. “The hope is to start building relationships locally with our food vendors to localize our food system, so money that’s exchanged stays within the community,” said Franks. “So we’re not transporting berries halfway across the world.”

Tribes are shoring up their sovereignty in similar ways, said Tom Goldtooth, executive director of the Indigenous Environmental Network. “We’re bringing it back down to local communities, to build the resilience and power of our native nations.” Reverting to traditional ways of agriculture might entail a return to seeds that preexisted the arrival of white settlers (not to mention genetic modification). These would have naturally evolved to thrive in local ecosystems, and would lead to greater biodiversity than our current food system allows. “Many of them are starting to reevaluate the direction that they’re going, and that’s decades or 50 years from now,” he said of the tribes. “Food sovereignty is very critical.”

Faith Spotted Eagle—the Yankton Sioux Tribe grandmother famed for resisting Keystone XL under Obama—calls the centuries of “manifest destiny” that robbed indigenous Americans of their land, their livelihoods, and often their lives a “holocaust.” The Indian Wars, which accompanied the largest land-grab in US history, were intended to secure farmland and natural resources for white settlers, and were carried out through the mass displacement, genocide, and confinement to reservations of Native people .

Many at the Standing Rock encampment saw their treatment by Energy Transfer Partners and local police (who deployed dogs, tanks, flash grenades, and sound cannons against the water protectors) as just its latest iteration. Now Spotted Eagle is reviving the Cowboy and Indian Alliance—the coalition of white landowners and grassroots indigenous activists who rode into Washington and helped bring down Keystone XL in 2015—in response to the newly resurrected Dakota Access and Keystone XL pipelines. But this is not the only component of the Sioux resistance against the fossil-fuel government.

A row of law-enforcement officers faces Dakota Access pipeline protesters along North Dakota Highway 6, south of St. Anthony, North Dakota, on October 10, 2016.(Tom Stromme / The Bismarck Tribune via AP)

Along the sidelines of the Climate March, Spotted Eagle spoke with pride of the wind farms that her South Dakota tribe, along with six other Sioux tribes, was launching through the Oceti Sakowin Power Authority(established in 2015, it includes the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe as one of its members). This came about after a series of failed attempts by outside developers to harness the muscular prairie winds for a share of the profits. “So we became our own developers,” she said.

The result was the first tribal public power authority in the United States, an independent, nonprofit entity to construct and operate renewable energy resources at a local scale, and for the benefit of the community. Owned and controlled by the tribes (Spotted Eagle is on the advisory council of elders), the agency is designed to distribute surplus revenues back to the tribes for use in local development. And it also provides affordable clean energy to tribal ratepayers, helping to weaken the stranglehold of the fossil-fuel industry, and shoring up their self-reliance and sovereignty.

Community-owned renewables are not only a rural or tribal phenomenon. They exist in cities throughout the United States (including Los Angeles; Seattle; and Chattanooga, Tennessee), with residential customers of public power utilities paying average electricity rates that are 14 percent lower than for investor-owned utilities. In the Brooklyn neighborhood of Sunset Park, home to a sizable Latino and Chinese immigrant population, the community group UPROSE is working on three solar projects that will be community-owned and -governed, and will lower electricity costs for local subscribers (low-income households will be prioritized). But these solar projects are only one part of their larger vision for neighborhood development.

“The focus has always been on the climate,” said Elizabeth Yeampierre, UPROSE’s executive director, of the environmental movement. “But we have to think about co-pollutants, we have to think about racial justice, we have to think about displacement, we have to think about all the things that are putting our communities in harm’s way.”

At the center of her concerns is Sunset Park’s waterfront, home to one of New York City’s six Significant Maritime and Industrial Areas (where heavy industry is clustered). “But we’re losing it because of speculating developers who are turning it into the next destination location for the privileged,” she said. As in other gentrifying neighborhoods, skyrocketing housing costs are already pushing many low-income residents out of Sunset Park. But reserving that waterfront space for green manufacturers (and possibly offshore wind turbines) would not only slow this process but also provide local green jobs. “The industrial sector is the vehicle for our salvation,” she said.

To this end, UPROSE is part of the New York Renews coalition that is drafting state legislation to levy fees against companies for greenhouse-gas emissions, with 40 percent of the revenue to be earmarked for green-energy investment in “disadvantaged communities”—a statewide policy that could encourage decentralized, community-owned renewable energy. (The week of the Climate March, Senators Bernie Sanders and Jeff Merkley also introduced a similar federal bill, the “100 by 50” Act, but with a Republican-controlled Congress and an administration staffed by climate-science deniers and fossil-fuel executives, this was largely symbolic).

“Cap-and-trade can either hurt or help us.”

Five years ago, California paved the way with a similar piece of legislation, Senate Bill 535, and Vien Truong, director of the Van Jones–founded organization Green for All, helped push it through. Truong was born in a Hong Kong refugee camp to parents fleeing Vietnam, but grew up in the Oakland neighborhood known at the time as the “Murder Dubs” because it had the country’s highest homicide rates. It was the kind of place where “you don’t think about climate justice. You think about murder, drugs, education,” she said. Life expectancy in parts of Oakland were comparable to North Korea’s—but this turned out not to be only because of the murders. There was also groundwater contamination, an abundance of freeways bordering the Murder Dubs, and a lack of fresh food.

So when California began considering cap-and-trade—a scheme requiring companies to pay a penalty when they exceed a limit on emissions—Truong saw an opportunity. “Cap-and-trade can either hurt or help us,” she said. “If you do it wrong, you actually force polluters to move their pollution to the poorest, polluted communities, and clean up the richer and more affluent areas.” Her coalition secured a requirement that 35 percent of the revenue be reinvested in California’s most polluted census tracts—communities with some of the highest asthma and infant mortality rates, rent burdens, and numbers of high-school dropouts. Once the funds began rolling in, the communities chose how their allotments would be spent: trees to break up the concrete jungle, affordable housing to combat gentrification, bus passes for seniors, and free solar panels. This in turn created local jobs in solar installation, energy efficiency, and public transportation.

Critics argue that cap-and-trade, like fining small-scale drug dealers to curb organized crime, fails to address the root of the climate crisis: the limitless economic growth and endless consumption that lie at the heart of capitalism. (These critics include Pope Francis). Others believe that, short of ending capitalism tomorrow, a just transition to renewables will require redistributing wealth from polluters to the most polluted communities (through policies like SB 535 and New York Renews). Either way, the grassroots campaigns agree that the fossil-fuel era must end.

“Trump’s here wasting money on walls when we need water and food,” said Preyton Lambert, still buzzing from his performance.

In fact, this broader view of climate justice, which also encompasses issues of inequality, oppression, and sovereignty, hints at a more profound truth: The climate crisis offers a unique opportunity to reshape our economic system, and to create real alternatives to the profit-driven, fossil fuel–dependent system of white, corporate capitalism.

“The way that they zone us, where they locate their coal factories, where they plunder lands in Africa—that’s how slavery started, stealing resources from black and brown communities,” said Jazzlyn Lindsey. The day was balmy, and her Black Lives Matter contingent seemed to be hosting an impromptu party near the head of the march. “Healing that is part of the long list of reparations that America and colonialism has to make up for.”

 

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Activists Hold Peoples Climate March in Washington D.C.

Thu, 05/18/2017 - 1:17pm
CSPAN May 2, 2017 1:38am-3:40am EDT https://archive.org/details/CSPAN3_20170502_053800_Activists_Hold_Peoples_Climate_March_in_Washington_D.C./start/120/end/180?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss The “People’s Climate March” and rally were held in the Washington, DC to bring awareness to the issue of climate change. The march was one of many that were held around the nation to coincide with President Trump’s 100th day in office and to protest his environmental policies. It was organized by dozens of groups as part of a coalition called the “People’s Climate Movement.” Speakers included grassroots activists and representatives from groups including the Sierra Club, the Maryland League of Conservation Voters and the Movement for Black Lives.

Sponsor: People’s Climate Movement

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The March to Save the Planet

Thu, 05/18/2017 - 1:11pm

Peoples Climate March demonstrators march down Pennsylvania Avenue, April 29, 2017. (Reuters / Mike Theiler)

https://www.thenation.com/article/the-march-to-save-the-planet/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss
Saturday’s Peoples Climate March brought together activists from indigenous resistance groups to Black Lives Matter to the Boy Scouts, all demanding: Act now.

By Audrea Lim
APRIL 30, 2017  Washington, DC, was sweltering on the 100th day of the Trump presidency, but that didn’t stop 200,000-some people from crowding the streets of Capitol Hill for the Peoples Climate March this Saturday. Indigenous water protectors led the way, announcing the arrival of the march with hand drums, songs, and Leonardo DiCaprio at their side. Activists, nurses, veterans, students, and science wonks trailed behind for blocks. Adorned with colorful costumes and puppets, they swayed to the brass bands, bhangra, and spontaneous outbursts of “We Shall Overcome” puncturing the crowd.

The march was the big tent of the climate movement, populated by both anti-capitalist activists who had blocked pipelines with their bodies, and Hillary Clinton supporters offering legislative solutions for combatting climate change. Several blocks behind the lively Black Lives Matter activists, a band of uniformed Boy Scouts crowded around their chaperone. A Chinese monk marched by a man in a polar-bear suit, visibly overheated as if in solidarity with his real-life Arctic counterparts.

“I Am a Marshall Islander. Where Will I Go?” read the sign that Netty Ley was cradling as she sat in the grass, watching the contingent of religious groups—“Keepers of the Faith,” as their banner announced—stream by.

“I couldn’t believe how much of the beach has eroded, and how much closer our house is now to the water,” said her husband, James, of their house on the tiny Pacific island that is quickly becoming engulfed by sea-level rise.

“A lot of our allies are realizing that this isn’t just a Native problem,” said Faith Spotted Eagle of the threats that the Keystone XL and the Dakota Access Pipelines pose to the Missouri River. The Yankton Sioux Tribe grandmother—famed for resisting Keystone XL under Obama, and then for being the first Native person to receive an Electoral College vote for President—spoke with pride about the wind farms that her South Dakota tribe, along with six other Sioux tribes, was launching through their Oceti Sakowin Power Authority.

But for Faith Spotted Eagle, as for climate activists around the world, Trump has also set back the clock of progress. With Keystone XL now resurrected, Spotted Eagle was also reviving the unlikely Cowboy and Indian Alliance, whose white landowners and grassroots indigenous activists rode upon Washington in 2015. “We have 17 million water users along the Missouri River that also use this lifeline for their grandchildren,” she said.

Many at the march had their targets set on Trump, who, in his first 100 days, has proposed defunding the Environmental Protection Agency, staffed several agencies with climate deniers, threatened to pull the US out of the Paris climate accord, and rolled back air and water regulations to buoy the dying coal industry. Just days before the march, Trump also signed executive orders to expand offshore oil and gas drilling in the Arctic and Atlantic Oceans, and to consider overturning the designation of more than 100,000 acres of natural sites as “national monuments.” Maybe for this reason, Mar-a-Lago was a recurring theme on the protest placards (“Mar-a-Oh-No!” accompanied by a cartoon of Florida drowning; “Baked Alaska, Not Just a Mar-a-Lago Dessert”).

“The Earth was the first of God’s creations, and in terms of environmental justice, we’re destroying our earth,” said Pat Harper, who had traveled from Chicago, and was marching with 40 others from the interfaith group Faith in Place. “We talk about being conservative—well, conserve our earth. Conserve our water and air, give us natural lands.”

But amid the protest against Trump, some—like Faith Spotted Eagle—were also armed with visions of a just, green future that don’t simply conserve the status quo. Their visions include community-owned solar initiatives to provide low-cost, renewable energy to low-income residents, and establishing green manufacturing in neighborhoods that might otherwise be subject to gentrification.

Traveling from Brooklyn, the members of UPROSE carried painted images of Chico Mendez, Berta Carceres, and Grace Lee Boggs—all environmental activists who had passed away—their faces bobbing above the marching crowd. UPROSE is based in the Latino and Chinese immigrant neighborhood of Sunset Park, which is also home to New York City’s largest Significant Maritime and Industrial Areas (where heavy industry is clustered).

“But we’re losing it because of speculating developers who are turning it into the next destination location for the privileged,” said UPROSE’s executive director, Elizabeth Yeampierre. With skyrocketing housing costs already pushing many low-income residents out of Sunset Park, reserving space in the neighborhood for green manufacturers would not only slow the process, but also provide local, green jobs. According to Yeampierre, “We’re trying to get the governor and City of New York to understand that the industrial sector is the vehicle for our salvation.”

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Indigenous Rising Movement Takes to Streets of DC

Thu, 05/18/2017 - 12:04pm

On Friday afternoon, organizers of the round dance joined collaborative indigenous activism group It Takes Roots to paint a “red line” across the face of the District – figuratively, “to symbolize the multiple lines that must not be crossed by corporations and governments in the increasingly severe climate crisis,” and literally, a long line of people dressed in red clothes.

“It takes roots to weather the storm,” said a speaker, following a march down Independence Avenue and onto the middle of the National Mall on 3rd Street, where about 200 held the street for nearly an hour during song and dance with the Capitol in the backdrop.

The action was divided into five “blocks of struggle,” each representing a class of people impacted by systemic oppression and now finding itself at the forefront of a movement demanding climate action. Including “black struggle,” immigrant rights, and youth, each group put on a brief performance meant to capture and convey its struggle, and upcoming role in leading the People’s Climate March.

“It’s important to talk about the impact of Trump’s agenda on people and the planet,” said Cindy Wiesner, a coordinator with Grassroots Global Justice. “We believe in divestment from the militarization of the budget – we need a divestment from fear and hate, we need a divestment from the corporate greed that we’re seeing.”

Wiesner also attended the 2014 People’s Climate March in New York City, and said she noted a distinct sense of momentum in the three years leading up to its second installment tomorrow. “Our movement is moving,” she said, “we are growing, we are an unstoppable force of nature, we are seeing people come into the streets and stand with each other.”

Like the Thursday action, the “red line” march was a non-violent action resulting in no arrests or otherwise illegal activity. A group of about a dozen young Trump supporters touring the Mall briefly stopped and jeered at the march, chanting “build the wall,” and were booed by protesters before continuing on without incident.

Filmed by Alejandro Alvarez

Please contact Ford Fischer at fordfischer@news2share.com or call (573) 575-NEWS to license video. Photos and additional footage may be available upon request.

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People’s Climate March Encircles Trump White House

Thu, 05/18/2017 - 11:57am
http://ens-newswire.com/2017/04/30/peoples-climate-march-encircles-trump-white-house/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss

WASHINGTON, DC, April 30, 2017 (ENS) – Calling for jobs, climate justice and climate action, more than 200,000 people jammed the streets of the nation’s capital on Saturday in record 90-degree temperatures. The People’s Climate March proceeded down Pennsylvania Avenue to surround The White House, chanting “Keep it in the soil, can’t drink oil!” and “Water is life.”

At least 370 sister marches across the country and around the world attracted tens of thousands more.

All People’s Climate March demonstrators were there send a message to President Donald Trump on his 100th day in office, and to the climate deniers in his administration – even if you don’t care about the climate, we do.

Native American ceremonies, debates, open microphones, social events and musicians enlivened the People’s Climate March activities.

The event drew celebrities such as actor Leonardo DiCaprio and former Vice President Al Gore, a climate activist for many years.

DiCaprio tweeted, “Donald Trump is a threat to the future of our planet, the safety of our communities, the health of our families. Join the People’s Climate March.”

Sister marches took place Saturday across the world: in Japan, the Philippines, New Zealand, Uganda, Kenya, Germany, Greece, United Kingdom, Brazil, Mexico, Costa Rica, and many other places.

In the United States, early counts estimated that more than 50,000 people took to the streets at hundreds of events in nearly all 50 states, from the town of Dutch Harbor in Alaska’s Aleutian Islands to Miami, Denver, Los Angeles, Chicago, New York and other American cities.

“This march grew out of the relationship building among some of the country’s most important progressive organizations and movements,” said Paul Getsos, national coordinator for the Peoples Climate Movement.

The first People’s Climate March was held on Sunday, September 21, 2014, in New York City to advocate global action against climate change. With an estimated 311,000 participants, the New York event was the largest climate change march to date.

“In 2014, the march was planned as a singular moment to pressure global leaders to act on climate change,” said Getsos on Saturday. “There was a simple demand – act.”

He said Saturday’s march was planned before the 2016 election as a strategic moment “to continue to build power to move our leaders to act on climate while creating family-sustaining jobs, investing in frontline and indigenous communities and protecting workers who will be impacted by the transition to a new clean and renewable energy economy.”

In Washington, the march extended for over 20 blocks down Pennsylvania Avenue, with tens of thousands more demonstrators surging along the mall to push back on the Trump administration’s policies and stand up for “climate, jobs and justice.”

“The solidarity that exists between all of us is the key to having a strong, fair economy and a clean, safe environment,” said Kim Glas, executive director, BlueGreen Alliance. “We can tackle climate change in a way that will ensure all Americans have the opportunity to prosper with quality jobs and live in neighborhoods where they can breathe their air and drink their water. Together we will build a clean economy that leaves no one behind.”

The day’s activities in the nation’s capital began at sunrise with a water ceremony led by indigenous peoples at the Capitol Reflecting Pool. Participants included Cheyenne River Sioux tribal members who traveled 1,536 miles by bus from Eagle Bend, South Dakota to attend the ceremonies.

At a news conference, representatives from front line communities spoke about the impact that climate change and pollution are already having on their lives.

They called out the Trump administration for worsening the climate crisis.

They called for a new renewable energy economy that created good paying, union jobs, and prioritized low-income and people of color communities.

“When our communities are most threatened by climate, the solutions we build must allow us to have control of our resources and the energy we produce in an equitable and truly democratic way,” said Angela Adrar, executive director, Climate Justice Alliance.

“They must create meaningful work that allows people to grow and develop to their fullest capacity. They must allow us to retain culture and traditions from our ancestors and give us the freedom of self-determination we so deserve so that we can thrive. This does not come easy and it must come with resistance and visionary opposition,” said Adrar. “Our existence depends on it.”

Dozens of giant parachute banners filled the streets, while puppets danced overhead. Some contingents carried sunflowers, a symbol of the climate justice community, while others raised their fists in resistance.

The march began at 12:30 pm, and by 2:00 p, organizers had succeeded in their goal of completely surrounding the White House.

Marchers sat down silently in the streets to recognize the damage caused by the Trump administration over the last 100 days and those who are losing their lives to the climate crisis.

They then created a movement heartbeat, tapping out a rhythm on their chests while drummers kept the time. The heartbeat was meant to show that while march participants came from many different backgrounds and communities, their hearts beat as one.

It was a heartbeat of resistance, one that began with the Women’s March the day ofter Trump’s inauguration and will continue through the People’s Climate March to May Day and beyond.

“Six months ago, my kids woke up to half a foot of water in our living room,” said Cherri Foytlin, director of BOLD Louisiana and spokesperson for the Indigenous Environmental Network. “Now, Trump wants to open up the Gulf Coast to even more offshore drilling. But we have a message for him, we are not afraid, and we will not stop fighting. With 100 and 500 year storms now coming every year, we are fighting for our lives.”

After the heartbeat, marchers rose up with a collective roar and continued down to the Washington Monument for a closing rally.

President Trump was in the White House at the time of the demonstration, as he did not leave for Harrisburg, Pennsylvania until 5 pm, but he did not tweet about the People’s Climate March.

The Peoples Climate Movement, a coalition of over 900 organizations representing many of the major social justice, labor and environmental groups in the country, has pledged to keep the momentum going from supporting the May Day marches on Monday to organizing at the local level.

“Today’s actions are not for one day or one week or one year,” said Getsos. “We are a movement that is getting stronger everyday for our families, our communities and our planet. To change everything, we need everyone.”

Copyright Environment News Service (ENS) 2017. All rights reserved.

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Photos: Hundreds of Thousands Mobilize for Climate Justice

Thu, 05/18/2017 - 11:47am

The People’s Climate March in Washington, DC on April 29, 2017. (Photo by John Light)

JOHN LIGHT AND JESSICA R. CALDERÓN | APRIL 30, 2017

http://billmoyers.com/story/photos-hundreds-thousands-mobilize-climate-justice/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss

Many of President Trump’s priorities have foundered in his first hundred days, but his efforts to roll back President Obama’s climate change legacy has not. The Trump administration has moved swiftly to hand out favors to coal and oil companies and has advised the Environmental Protection Agency to prepare for deep cuts. On Friday night, a web page that, for 20 years, had given information about climate change, was removed from the EPA’s website “to reflect EPA’s priorities under the leadership of President Trump and Administrator Pruitt.”

Resistance is here to stay, welcome to your 100th day.

And so it is perhaps appropriate that, the next day — Trump’s 100th in office — some 200,000 protesters marched from the Capitol to the White House to express their concerns about climate change, the environment and climate justice. As Trump prepared to decamp for Harrisburg, where he had a rally scheduled to counter-program the White House Correspondents Dinner, these marchers surrounded his new home in an attempt to make their displeasure known.

The march drew people from across the country and around the world, and, though it borrowed a name — People’s Climate March — from a similar protest held in New York City in 2014, yesterday’s event occurred under very different circumstances.

In 2014, momentum was building toward a UN agreement on climate change. That deal was finally hammered out in Paris in December 2015, and though environmental groups maintained that it didn’t go far enough, most viewed it — and the steps the Obama administration had taken to comply with it — as a jumping-off point to finally begin dealing with the threat of climate change, about which scientists had already been warning the public for decades.

Three short years later, Trump is president, one of the EPA’s chief critics now heads the agency, the CEO of ExxonMobil is the Secretary of State, and the fossil-fuel industry-aligned Heritage Foundation has a heavy hand in creating federal policy. Meanwhile, evidence continues to mount that climate change is not merely a future threat — it has arrived, and is impacting American lives.

The 2017 People’s Climate March attempted to elevate the Americans who would be most impacted by policies that continue to ignore the climate crisis. Front-line communities — those who would bear the brunt of a warming world — led the march. “They’re the first hit, and the worst hit,” said Claude Copeland of It Takes Roots, an alliance of several environmental justice groups. “It’s usually low- to middle-income communities, often communities of color.”

Front line communities "are first and worst hit” say Claude Copeland & Angela Adrar of It Takes Roots alliance #climatemarch pic.twitter.com/Yzgv51mquI

— BillMoyers.com (@BillMoyersHQ) April 29, 2017

Another group that the march sought to highlight: The future generations that will have to live with the consequences of decisions that policymakers on Capitol Hill and in the White House make over the next four years.

“Future generations depend on what we do today,” said Montina Sraddha, a lawyer from Washington, DC. “This is actually a duty we have as public citizens and we need to defend all our brothers and sisters everywhere. We need to let the people who are temporarily occupying the White House know that climate change will not be exacerbated on our watch.”

Among the marchers were 14 of 21 young Americans who are suing the government over climate change. The suit started under President Obama, but President Trump inherited it. His election, said Kelsey Juliana, the 21-year-old lead plaintiff, “has really lifted our case up and given our case that much more importance and urgency.” The case is expected to go to trial later this year, despite the administration’s efforts to get it thrown out.

"We’re demonstrating what we know through polls: Latino communities care deeply about protecting climate." @DC_Espinosa w/ #GreenLatinos pic.twitter.com/TZe6x9WgOw

— BillMoyers.com (@BillMoyersHQ) April 29, 2017

The marchers’ ire was as much directed at Trump’s appointees as it was at Trump himself. Scott Pruitt, Trump’s EPA chief who has been unclear about his thoughts on climate change but clear on his desire to roll back Obama’s efforts to combat it, was one popular target. “I’m here to be part of a large, large statement, and hopefully impact someone around this globe. Primarily Mr. Pruitt,” said Jackie Massey of Boulder, Colorado. “No one knows what Trump believes. To me, he’s actually irrelevant.”

The march kicked off shortly after noon, and hundreds of thousands of sign-wielding Americans marched down Pennsylvania Avenue toward the White House. A brass band belted out stadium anthems as protestors chanted and cheered, shouting messages to the administration such as “resistance is here to stay, welcome to your 100thday.”

Passing the Trump International Hotel, a castle-like structure blocks from the White House, marchers booed and shouted “shame.” “Buy my daughter’s fashion line,” said a man whose face emerged from the torso of a large, papier mache Trump that was standing outside the hotel under the watchful gaze of Washington, DC police. A truck-sized inflatable cow drifted down the street over marchers’ heads, towed along by demonstrators carrying signs that implored onlookers to give up meat, which makes a substantial contribution to US emissions.

About two hours after the march had begun, the protesters reached the White House. In sweltering 90-degree heat that rivaled the hottest April 29 on record — in a year following the hottest on record, which followed the hottest on record, which followed the hottest on record — the demonstrators laid down on the grass around the president’s home, still holding up their signs demanding he study the science and recognize that climate change was not, as he once claimed, “bullshit.”

 

Some photos from the march:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TOPICS: ACTIVISM

TAGS: , , , , , ,

JOHN LIGHT REPORTER/PRODUCER

John Light is a reporter and producer for the Moyers team. His work has appeared at The Atlantic, Grist, Mother Jones, Salon, Slate, Vox and Al Jazeera, and has been broadcast on Public Radio International. He’s a graduate of Columbia Graduate School of Journalism. You can follow him on Twitter at @LightTweeting.

JESSICA R. CALDERÓN ASSOCIATE PRODUCER

Jessica Ramírez Calderón is an associate producer for the Moyers team. She has worked for NY1 Noticias and Latin American News Digest, focusing on issues concerning Latinos both in the United States and abroad. She writes regularly on her personal blog about women’s issues. Jessica studied theology and political science at Fordham University.

 

The post Photos: Hundreds of Thousands Mobilize for Climate Justice appeared first on It Takes Roots to Grow the Resistance.

#ItTakesRoots: What’s Next?

Thu, 05/18/2017 - 9:53am

Coming out of our arc of resistance from the elections in November 2016, to the inauguration in January 2017 and through the first 100 days of the current administration, we are now preparing for what comes next.  On May 17th, Compton Foundation hosted a funder briefing for It Takes Roots leaders to share lessons and next steps for the work we are doing to build a Visionary Opposition in the Era of Trumpism.

Click here to watch the recording from the May 17th briefing, to see a brief slideshow report of the first 2 phases, and to download a 2-page wrap up of It Takes Roots at the People’s Climate March.

For more in depth background, click here to watch the video recording of our January 12th briefing.

SPEAKERS:

Sharon Lungo, Executive Director of The Ruckus Society, has been a trainer with Ruckus since 2001, a founding member of the Indigenous Peoples’ Power Project (IP3) Advisory Board, and a key member of the Ruckus staff since 2007. Sharon has an unwavering commitment to holding a racial justice analysis within non violent direct action organizing and implementation, and is the daughter of migrant parents from the Pipil nation (indigenous to Cuzcatlan, El Salvador). She was born and raised in Los Angeles. She is a proud mother, sister, daughter, granddaughter, and auntie.

Melissa Miles is the Environmental Justice and Community Organizer with theIronbound Community Corporation and in that position is responsible for community level base building around local campaigns. She sits on the NY/NJ Coalition of Healthy Ports and participates in national coalitions such as The Moving Forward Network and the Climate Justice Alliance.

Huy Ong is the Executive Director of OPAL Environmental Justice Oregon. He leads an all POC staff in building power for civil rights and environmental justice with low-income and communities of color. For over the past two decades, Huy has been active in local, regional, and national intersectional organizing. He is leading the effort to build the Oregon Just Transition Alliance to center frontline communities and build power with base-building organizing groups statewide. A refugee from Vietnam, Huy calls Portland home and is raising Rosalía with the support of his partner, and extended movement family.

Claude S. Copeland, Jr. is a member and Board Co-Chair with Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW). He was born and raised in Queens, NY, where he still currently resides. Claude is the Climate Justice/Energy Democracy organizer at Northwest Bronx Community Clergy Coalition and a lay leader at his church, New Day Church, in the Bronx. He has been working to highlight the importance of people of color being made aware of the importance of their voices in discussions about climate change, especially around the issue of environmental racism. As a member of IVAW, even further connections have been made around how militarism has played a role in climate change, especially, for communities of color abroad and here in the US.

Cindy Wiesner is the National Coordinator of the Grassroots Global Justice Alliance Alliance (GGJ) and Co-Chair of the Climate Justice Alliance (CJA) and the Our Power Campaign.  She has been active in the grassroots social justice movement for over 25 years. Cindy is originally from Los Angeles and is of Salvadoran, Colombian and German descent and identifies as Queer. She is based in Miami, Florida.

Angela Adrar is the new Executive Director of the Our Power Campaign and Climate Justice Alliance. She has committed her life to advancing the role of the grassroots sector and provides agile leadership to address the changing and complex priorities of local communities while influencing national and international agendas.  She has served as a leading member of local to international organizations that include; La Via Campesina North America, US Food Sovereignty Alliance (USFSA), the Building Equity and Alignment for Impact Initiative (BEAI), US Friends of Movement of Dam Affected Peoples (MAB) and others.

Kandi Mossett: Deriving her heritage from the Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara peoples of what is now North Dakota, Kandi Mossett of the Indigenous Environmental Network (IEN) has emerged as a leading voice in the fight to bring visibility to the impact that climate change and environmental injustice are having on Indigenous communities across North America. After completing her Master’s Degree in Environmental Management, Mossett began her work with the IEN as Tribal Campus Climate Challenge Coordinator, engaging with more than 30 tribal colleges to instate community based environmental programs, discuss issues of socio-ecologic injustice, and connect indigenous youth with green jobs. She currently serves as IEN’s Native Energy & Climate Campaign Organizer, focusing at present on creating awareness about the environmentally & socially devastating effects of hydraulic fracturing on tribal lands.

Dawn Phillips is Executive Director of the Right to the City Alliance. Prior to coming on as Executive Director in January 2016, Dawn served as the Board Chair.  Dawn has been an organizer engaged in a range of social, economic and environmental justice organizations and fights in the Bay Area and nationally for almost 25 years, most recently with Causa Justa :: Just Cause (CJJC) in Oakland, California, a founding member of the Right to the City Alliance.  Dawn is also the Co-Director of Programs at CJJC, a Bay Area membership organization focused on community development, housing and immigrant justice issues.

The post #ItTakesRoots: What’s Next? appeared first on It Takes Roots to Grow the Resistance.

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