It Takes Roots

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GGJ / IEN / CJA / RTC
Updated: 31 min 14 sec ago

They tried to bury us. They didn’t know we were seeds.

Thu, 01/26/2017 - 3:36pm

Women of color led the way.  This weekend we all helped to build the largest mobilization against the inauguration of a President in the history of the United States!  From DC to Los Angeles, Boston, Atlanta, New York, Oakland, to countless cities and towns across the country and around the world, millions of people took to the streets.  While many of the marches drew broad participation from primarily white women of many ages, the majority of these mobilizations were multi-racial, led by women of color and gender non-conforming folks.

#ItTakesRoots to #GrowtheResistance is an effort led by women of color on the frontlines of racial, housing and climate justice across the country, which brought together over 100 grassroots leaders in DC this past week to grow our resistance, and organized translocal actions in 8 cities on inauguration weekend.  It is an outcome of years of organizing and relationship building across the Climate Justice Alliance, Grassroots Global Justice Alliance, Indigenous Environmental Network, and Right to the City Alliance.

We came together as four national grassroots alliances immediately after the elections because we heard loud and clear from our membership that our priority in this next period should be to build a visionary opposition to the racist, misogynist and xenophobic politics and practices of Trumpism.  The leadership of frontline communities in the historic mobilizations of this past week are a testament for what is to come.

Within hours of taking office, President Trump signed an executive order to pave the way towards repealing the Affordable Care Act, and reinstated the global gag rule originated by Ronald Reagan in 1984 that prohibits US funding to any international organization that includes education about abortion in their reproductive health and family planning options. Today he signed executive actions to advance the Keystone XL and Dakota Access Pipelines–both of which have been the center of some of the largest environmental justice mobilizations in US history.

This President is intent on destroying our bodies, our communities, and Mother Earth. We will not let it happen.  Join us to Grow the Resistance.

Training Labs and Strategy Exchanges
Our delegation to DC spent a day and a half together in training labs and strategy exchanges.  Members shared models of 21st century Sanctuary Cities and rapid response collectives, discussed the connections between climate justice, gender justice, land, and housing fights, strategized around what a Just Transition will look like for our communities in this period, and trained each other on direct action tactics for strengthening our visionary opposition.

J20 Action at DOE and HUD
In the final hours before the inauguration of Donald trump, we led a two-part action starting at the Department of Energy and ending at the Department of Housing and Urban Development calling out the incoming administration’s picks for both departments and demonstrating the kinds of policies we want them to put forth that represent community solutions.

Learn more about the actions in this piece by Yessenia Funes with ColorLines

J20 Marches and the J21 Women’s March
On January 20th and January 21st, the #ItTakesRoots women of color-led contingent was on the frontlines of resistance to Donald Trump’s inauguration at #DisruptJ20 and the historic Women’s March on Washington. The contingent of Black, Latin@, Asian, Arab, and Indigenous women and gender nonconforming people are leading grassroots voices and organizers for climate, housing, gender, racial and indigenous justice.

CLICK HERE TO SEE MORE PHOTOS

Solidarity in Action
The #ItTakesRoots delegation was supported by the Ruckus Society and the Center for Story-Based Strategy.  On Thursday we supported an action by indigenous groups to protest outside a Trump gala with a flash round dance led by indigenous women and youth.  On Saturday, we marched with our sisters from the National Domestic Workers Alliance and other allies to be one of the liveliest contingents with our songs, drums, chants and dance.

Where do we go from here?
You are not alone.  We have your back and we need your support now more than ever.  It Takes Roots to Grow the Resistance is our response to this moment.  We are committed over the next 100 days to translocal actions around the country, to continued conversations on longer-term strategy, and to developing our sector to fight together.

Join us to #GrowTheResistance and build a world with liberation and justice for all:

  1. Take the pledge at: www.GrowTheResistance.org?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss

  2. Follow Indigenous Environmental Network for updates on how to support the continued fight against the Dakota Access Pipeline and the Keystone XL pipeline, in the wake of Trump’s executive order.

  3. Host an #ItTakesRoots strategy session and rapid response collective action in your city or region to #GrowTheResistance.  Contact Malcolm at  Malcolm@righttothecity.org to get connected.

  4. Support the #ItTakesRoots to #GrowtheResistance Movement.  Click this button to donate online TODAY

Mark your Calendar

  • Join our national call: Lessons and Next Steps from #ItTakesRoots to #GrowtheResistance on Wednesday, February 8th from 1-3pmPT/2-4pmMT/3-5pmCT/4-6pmET.  Click here to RSVP

  • Join us April 29 – People’s Climate Mobilization in Washington DC.

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2/8/17 – RSVP for: “Lessons and Next Steps from #ItTakesRoots to #GrowTheResistance” Call // Inscríbase aquí para llamada de: “Lecciones y Pasos Siguientes sobre Se Necesitan Raices para Cultivar La Resistencia”

Tue, 01/24/2017 - 1:55pm

Join Grassroots Global Justice Alliance, Climate Justice Alliance, Indigenous Environmental Network and Right To The City Alliance on February 8, 2017 at 4-6 EST / 1-3 PST for our call about historic #ItTakesRoots to #GrowTheResistance mobilization in D.C. and around the country and discuss next steps in the first 100 days to grow the resistance.

Please fill out the form below to RSVP.

Únete a Grassroots Global Justice, La Alianza de Justicia, Indigenous Environmental Network y Right To The City Alliance el 8 de Febrero a las 4-6 EST / 1-3 PST por nuestra llamada sobre la movilización histórica de Se Necesitan Raices para Cultivar La Resistencia en D.C. y en todos partes del país. Discutiremos los pasos siguentes en las primeras 100 días para cultivar la resistencia!

Por favor llena la forma abajo para inscribirse. 

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Women of Color Lead With United Vision: Resist and Protect Each Other

Fri, 01/20/2017 - 6:29pm

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

January 20, 2017

A contingent of immigrants, domestic workers, housing and climate justice leaders join forces at Women’s March

VISUALS:      75-foot banners, beautiful art, colorful signs.

ACTION:         Due to increasing threats on protesters’ safety at the J20 actions, staging details will not be revealed yet.

WHEN:           Saturday, January 21, 9:00 a.m.

WHERE:         Meeting at Garfield Park (corner of 3rd and G Street SE), Washington, D.C.

WHO:             The #ItTakesRoots contingent, led by women from communities most impacted by the new administration’s proposed policies. Thousands of women of color, domestic workers, leaders of immigrant rights and climate justice organizations and allies.

  • Among the organizations participating: Grassroots Global Justice Alliance, Climate Justice Alliance, Right to the City Alliance
  • Marching with: hundreds of Domestic workers and women in climate leaders from across the US, representing groups like: 350, Sierra Club, Amazon Watch, National Domestic Workers Alliance.

WHY:              The new administration poses tremendous threats to national parks, sacred land, water, our bodies and homes. Women of color and grassroots leaders are joining together to resist and to lead the way with solutions right now.

CONTACT:     Isobel White, 510-828-3554

Bernice Shaw, 310-880-1389

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It Takes Roots to Grow the Resistance

www.growtheresistance.org?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss

 

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Women of Color protect the land, water, and housing for all of us.

Thu, 01/19/2017 - 4:33pm

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 19, 2017

Hundreds of Indigenous leaders, veterans, climate and housing activists from across the country join together to stage disruption at Department of Energy and HUD

WHEN:     Friday, January 20
9am at the Department of Energy;
10am at the Department of Housing and Urban Development

WHERE:     Beginning at 1000 Independence Ave. SW, Washington, D.C. (Department of Energy)

WHO:     Hundreds of Indigenous peoples, leaders of climate justice movements, veterans, women of color and allies gathering to defend the land, water, bodies, and homes from tremendous threats posed by the incoming administration.

WHY:     The appointments of Rick Perry, Steve Mnuchin, and Ben Carson make clear the Trump administration’s intention to ramp up the exploitation of land for private profit, wreaking devastation for the climate, for our water, and for our homes.

  • Until a week ago, Rick Perry was on the Board of the company driving the Dakota Access Pipeline, which threatened the water of 17 million people.
  • Trump has signaled his desire to re-enter an arms race, leading to a greatly intensified risk of nuclear war and to increased health threats in indigenous communities and communities of color where nuclear testing occurs.
  • Mnuchin, Carson, and Trump together will threaten the homes of both homeowners and renters. Mnuchin is known as the “foreclosure king” for the over 36,000 foreclosures he instigated during the financial crisis. With half of all renters facing unaffordable rents and evictions at all-time highs, Carson has stated that he plans to turn public housing over to private interests, which will only worsen the displacement and affordable housing crises faced by communities around the country.

VISUALS:    75-foot banners, Indigenous women from Standing Rock, veterans, street theater to showcase threats posed by the Trump administration and what an alternative could look like – protecting the climate, land, and water for all people.

CONTACT:     Isobel White, 510-828-3554
Bernice Shaw, 310-880-1389

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It Takes Roots to Grow the Resistance
www.growtheresistance.org?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss

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It Takes Roots to Grow the Resistance Translocal Toolkit

Thu, 01/19/2017 - 3:15pm

Grassroots Global Justice Alliance (GGJ), Climate Justice Alliance (CJA Our Power Campaign), Indigenous Environmental Network (IEN), and Right To The City Alliance (RTTC) are teaming up for the It Takes Roots to Grow the Resistance Delegation and Translocal Actions in the first 100 days of the Trump administration. Check out this toolkit for information on how to participate translocally and spread the word about #ItTakesRoots:

It Takes Roots to Grow The Resistance – Narrative Toolkit

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Women of Color Lead: A Call to Grow the Resistance against Trump, to Converge in Washington D.C. Jan 18-21

Tue, 01/17/2017 - 5:22pm

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 17, 2017

CONTACT: Isobel White, 510-828-3554
Bernice Shaw, 310-880-1389

Women of Color Lead: A Call to Grow the Resistance against Trump, to Converge in Washington D.C. Jan 18-21
Interviews available upon request with women of color, undocumented & immigrant women, Spanish speakers, Indigenous Peoples, youth and renters

Washington D.C. | January 18, 2017 — This week, women of color and grassroots leaders from around the U.S. will join forces for the “It Takes Roots to Grow the Resistance delegation to Washington D.C. to take action against the incoming Trump administration. The delegation, organized by the Climate Justice Alliance, Grassroots Global Justice Alliance, the Indigenous Environmental Network and the Right to the City Alliance, will bring together over 100 grassroots leaders from communities most impacted by a wide range of the incoming administration’s proposed policies.

These leaders – from African American, Latino, Asian, Pacific Islander, Indigenous, and poor white communities across the country – are joining together to resist the threat posed by the incoming administration and to build a vision beyond hate and walls.

“We are in a moment in which racial hatred against our communities of color is stronger than ever, in which we have to organize, unite and defend our rights that we have as immigrants, workers and families.  We cannot allow fear to paralyze us. The respect and dignity of and in our communities is our shield to be able to maintain that strength and resistance in our communities.” – Sylvia Lopez, Domestic Workers organizer, Mujeres Unidas y Activas.

These grassroots leaders will join together in workshops to learn from each other’s local struggles and victories and to be trained in community resilience and nonviolent resistance. They will also take part in the direct actions listed below.

It Takes Roots to Grow The Resistance means that grassroots communities hold the power to pushback against the injustice that a Trump presidency will bring.  Grassroots, local, low-income and communities of color are leading the way with solutions right now, such as United Workers shutting down incinerators in Baltimore and the Boston Recycling Coalition pushing their city toward zero waste.” – Ahmina Maxey, Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives (GAIA)

“When people in power have tried to divide our communities, told us to hate and fear each other, it is the women who have brought us together. Now more than ever, we need to ensure that the roots of the resistance are strong, so we are coming together to grow and deepen the resistance together.” – Angela Adrar, Climate Justice Alliance

#ItTakesRoots Actions & Events In Washington D.C. January 18 – 21st

    • Friday January 20th at 9:30 AM (1000 Independence Ave SW, Washington D.C);
      • #ItTakesRoots direct action at the U.S. Department of Energy and the office of Housing & Urban Development to oppose Rick Perry’s direct ties to the Dakota Access Pipeline, and the threat to housing security posed by Ben Carson, Steven Mnuchin, and Donald Trump.

 

  • Friday January 20th at 12:00 PM at Columbus Circle in Union Station:

 

      • #ItTakesRoots will spearhead a women of color, gender non-conforming folks and allies contingent at the Disrupt J20 March called for by local D.C. communities aiming to disrupt the inauguration.

 

  • Saturday January 21st at 9:00AM, meeting at Garfield Park (Corner of 3rd and G Street SE, Washington D.C.)

 

    • #ItTakesRoots will join in with the Women of Color & Allies Contingent for the historic Women’s March on Washington. Thousands are expected to join the contingent including members of the four alliances, the National Domestic Workers Center, 350.org and more. The contingent will feature frontline Women of Color spokespeople as well as bold and large art & banners.

Local Actions Throughout the Nation:

On January 20th, in solidarity with the delegation in D.C., member organizations are spearheading actions in nine cities across the country including: Chicago, Oakland, San Francisco, Nashville, Los Angeles, Boston, San Antonio, Long Beach and Denver. The #ItTakesRoots coalition also plans to escalate a series of translocal actions throughout the first 100 days of the Trump Presidency to build community power.  

 

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It Takes Roots to Grow the Resistance

www.growtheresistance.org?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss

 

Grassroots Global Justice Alliance (GGJ)

Grassroots Global Justice is a national alliance of grassroots organizations building a popular movement for peace, democracy and a sustainable world.  GGJ weaves and bridges together US-based grassroots organizing groups and global social movements working for climate justice, an end to war, and to advance a just transition to a new economy that is better for people and the planet.

www.ggjalliance.org?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss

@ggjalliance

 

Climate Justice Alliance (CJA)

The Climate Justice Alliance is a collaborative of over 35 community-based and movement support organizations uniting frontline communities to forge a scalable, and socio-economically just transition away from unsustainable energy towards local living economies to address the root causes of climate change.  We are rooted in Indigenous, African American, Latino, Asian Pacific Islander, and working-class white communities throughout the U.S. We are applying the power of deep grassroots organizing to win local, regional, statewide, and national shifts.

http://www.ourpowercampaign.org?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss

@cjaOurPower

 

Right to the City Alliance (RTTC)

Right to the City (RTTC) emerged in 2007 as a unified response to gentrification and a call to halt the displacement of low-income people, people of color, marginalized LGBTQ communities, and youths of color from their historic urban neighborhoods. We are a national alliance of racial, economic and environmental justice organizations.

http://righttothecity.org/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss

@OurCity

 

Indigenous Environmental Network (IEN)

Established in 1990 within the United States, IEN was formed by grassroots Indigenous peoples and individuals to address environmental and economic justice issues (EJ). IEN’s activities include building the capacity of Indigenous communities and tribal governments to develop mechanisms to protect our sacred sites, land, water, air, natural resources, health of both our people and all living things, and to build economically sustainable communities.

www.ienearth.org?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss

@ienearth

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5 Things you can do to Stand with Standing Rock

Wed, 11/02/2016 - 12:01pm

State violence is escalating against the Indigenous Water Protectors on the frontlines of the struggle against the Dakota Access Pipeline.  Join us in responding to the call for national and international solidarity:

  1. GO TO STANDING ROCK and stand with the Indigenous-led water defenders on the frontlines.
  2. DONATE to indigenousrising.org or ocetisakowincamp.org to support the legal team and the ongoing infrastructure needs.
  3. DISRUPT BUSINESS AS USUAL at the Army Core of Engineers Offices in your local community and demand that they deny the permit to bore under the Missouri River. Demand a full Environmental Impact Statement be completed.
  4. ORGANIZE LOCAL ACTIONS targeting the funders of DAPL, including the banks
  5. CALL THE WHITE HOUSE and urge President Obama to step in and reject the DAPL (202) 456-1111 or (202) 456-1414

The Indigenous-led struggle in Standing Rock, North Dakota against the Dakota Access Pipeline is a turning point in the climate justice movement. The proposed $3.8 billion Dakota Access Pipeline, if completed, would carry a half a million barrels of oil per day from the Bakken Oil Shale Fields. The route the pipeline would take lays under multiple bodies of water, including the Missouri River that supplies drinking and irrigation water that more than 10 million people depend on.

What began with Oceti Sakowin youth running 2000 miles from North Dakota to Washington DC in April of 2016 has now grown into a powerful grassroots movement that is forcing an injunction against one of the largest pipeline projects in North America.

#StandWithStandingRock #NoDAPL #WaterIsLife

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Statement on Paris Agreement Signing – International Alliance of Frontline Communities

Tue, 04/19/2016 - 2:41pm

* For Immediate Release *

April 19, 2016

Press Contacts:

Jaron Browne, (415) 727-6687, jaron@ggjalliance.org

Dallas Goldtooth, (708) 515-6158, goldtoothdallas@gmail.com

“They don’t even mention Fossil Fuels!”

Three days before world leaders sign the Paris Agreement, an international alliance of frontline and indigenous communities denounce it as a ‘dangerous distraction’

 

San Francisco, CA – As world leaders prepare to sign the Paris Agreement later this week on Earth Day (April 22) an international alliance of Indigenous leaders are calling the historic agreement “dangerous distraction.”

 

Statement From Cindy Wiesner of Grassroots Global Justice Alliance:

“The Paris Climate agreement doesn’t even mention fossil fuels, the most agreed on cause of climate change. The agreement is a dangerous distraction that leaves common sense, science, human rights and the rights of Indigenous Peoples on the negotiating table. While world leaders are finally taking action they are heading down the wrong path. Frontline communities and Indigenous Peoples have been calling for a clear path to solve our climate crisis. We can end the privatization of nature, we can stop the use of dirty fossil fuels and we can stop climate change. We know this because we are on the front lines of climate change, we see it, we know it, we live it. The world will not find solutions to climate change without us.”

 

Statement from Tom Goldtooth, of the Indigenous Environmental Network

“We, Indigenous Peoples, are the red line. We have drawn that line with our bodies against the privatization of nature, to dirty fossil fuels and to climate change. We are the defenders of the world’s most biologically and culturally diverse regions. We will protect our sacred lands. Our knowledge has much of the solutions to climate change that humanity seeks. It’s only when they listen to our message that ecosystems of the world will be renewed.”

For more background and detailed criticism of the agreement see We Are Mother Earth’s Red Line (LINK) a report released by the It Takes Roots Delegation to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) 21st Conference of the Parties  (COP21) in Paris.

 

Also available for comment and media appearance:

  • Cindy Wiesner, National Coordinator, Grassroots Global Justice Alliance (USA)
  • Tom Goldtooth and Kandi Mossett, Indigenous Environmental Network (North America)
  • Rossmery Zayas, Communities for a Better Environment, Southeast Los Angeles
  • Elisabeth Sanders, Kentuckians for the Commonwealth, Kentucky
  • Nnimmo Bassey, Director, HOME Foundation (Nigeria)
  • Max Rademacher, Alternatiba (France)
  • Pat Mooney, Executive Director, ETC Group (Canada)
  • Graca Samo, World March of Women (Mozambique)

 

The We Are Mother Earth’s Red line national report coincides with the premier of the highly acclaimed Not Without Us film this week in San Francisco and Washington DC.  Not Without Us follows seven multi-generational, grassroots activists from around the world as they head to the COP21 mobilizations in Paris.

The “It Takes Roots to Weather the Storm” delegation brings together Grassroots Global Justice Alliance (GGJ), the Indigenous Environmental Network (IEN), and the Climate Justice Alliance (CJA) organized the delegation.   During the UNFCCC 21st Conference of Parties (COP21) It Takes Roots mobilized more US and Canadian grassroots and Indigenous groups who took to the streets of Paris during the COP21, despite a ban on public protest—and amplified the pressure that Indigenous Peoples, civil society, and grassroots movements have built throughout the 21 years of UN climate talks.

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Storms, Roots, And Seeds: Beyond COP21!

Wed, 12/30/2015 - 4:02am

“What other than injustice could be the reason that the displaced citizens of New Orleans cannot be accommodated by the richest nation in the world?”

— Wynton Marsalis, Jazz musician

The storm hurtled across the land, bringing the sea and everything with it. Trees snapped, houses washed away, vehicles became projectiles into second story windows, coconuts became cannon balls smashing bone and wood beams. My great grandmother’s cashew farm splintered in the salt and the wind. This particular storm was called Typhoon Haiyan and it hit the Philippines in November 2013 – the largest storm on Earth ever to make landfall at that time. The Philippines has still not recovered from the impact of Haiyan —or rather its government and the corporations it is beholden to are trying to militarize and privatize it.

This year I was at work and another storm hit me right in the chest. The LA area Exxonmobil refinery a block away from where I grew up had an explosion that registered 1.7 on the Richter scale. A faulty fluid catalytic converter caused the blast and threw an 80,000 pound piece of equipment a hundred feet. Windows blew out and the sky filled with “ash”. I got on the phone and breathed again when I heard my mom’s uninjured voice, my dad was busy outside with a mask, watering the house down so nothing caught on fire—their vegetable garden ruined as sludge gray water loaded with heavy metals oozed over the front yard.

As it stands, the COP21 agreement is brewing another kind of storm for communities on the frontline. World leaders converged to talk about greenhouse gas emissions in the parts per million, keeping up endless growth through a force of green consumers, and making sure polluters and their false promises can come along for the ride without losing any profits. Without long-term vision, accountability, and concrete steps to de-carbonizing all economies, we’re headed towards destruction that neither we nor this planet deserve.

At the end of these talks much is being heralded about the US actually signing on to an agreement despite internal right wing pressure and climate deniers in Congress. There is a lot of talk about state-by-state innovations—including California Governor Jerry Brown pushing offsets agreements with regional partners. These steps are at best helping climate change become a daily conversation. At worst they are pushing for increased privatization, confiscation of Indigenous People’s lands, loss of cultural and biological diversity, and human rights violations. What we need now post-COP is bold action to keep fossil fuels in the ground, reject the fundamentalist ideology of globalization, a commitment to the well being of people over the profiteering of a few, and infrastructure and resource support for locally owned and controlled renewable energy solutions.

Earlier this month, I traveled to Paris as part of the It Takes Roots delegation to build towards just that: a community rooted deeply in place, connected globally through solidarity, and that has the strength and know-how to weather all the storms that are yet to come. We know our communities have been on the cutting edge of true climate resiliency work for generations. We have always been the ones hit first and worst—and we’re still here and will continue to lead the transformative path towards a regenerative economy and a living planet.

Community by community, we’re linking up to show our own solutions. At the  Asian and Pacific Environmental Network, (APEN) we build leadership and power in the Asian American & Pacific Islander communities for bold action. Our members stand up to the largest stationary polluter in the state of California, educate legislators and neighbors on climate policy in six languages, and are working on building a living model of a just transition through community-owned solar power.

APEN and the groups who are part of the It Takes Roots delegation are just some of the many grassroots organizations in the US doing the work necessary to change the system, build people power, and save our climate. Amazing solutions are happening all over the world too. In the Philippines—a country of over 7,000 islands and 175 languages in a portion of the Pacific known as “Typhoon Alley”—solutions are sorely needed. Salugpongan International is one network that speaks to the core of climate justice: supporting Indigenous People’s local initiatives to protect rights to the land and culture, of knowledge of place, and of education by the people for the people. A global movement—against war, against warming, for community rooted power—is growing.

The indigenous people of the world deserve to thrive. The people of Richmond, California, deserve to thrive. Your community deserves to thrive. The COP21 process closed without real, durable and lasting commitments that bring us any closer to a cleaner, greener world—much less a more just one. But life goes on after the COP and so does grassroots organizing. So let’s feel our roots, keep an eye on where we can sprout and build the world we do deserve.

But there is unspeakable love:
we use our ten thousand tongues
let the tides loose and truths
be storm surge
in this surrender
to our humanity

Of Storms and Tears, Aimee Suzara

 

Shina Robinson is a part of the It Takes Roots Delegation and works with the Asian and Pacific Environmental Network.

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What’s hot and what’s not at Paris COP21: It Takes Roots In New Internationalist’s Hot List!

Mon, 12/14/2015 - 12:26pm

In a provocative feature listing all that was hot and all that was not at the Paris COP21, the New Internationalist highlighted It Takes Roots in its hot list for “serving frontline fierceness inside and outside the COP. Slick production values for some very real people.” Read the full list!

 

 

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Democracy Now! Interviews It Takes Roots Delegates

Mon, 12/14/2015 - 11:28am

In their COP21 spotlight of the Dec 12 march, the widely watched independent news show Democracy Now! took to the streets of Paris and spotlighted a diverse array of activists and groups who came together for the final march to the Eiffel tower. Watch It Takes Roots delegates spotlighted in their COP21 special, including Sarra Tekola, Derek Mathews and Shawna Foster.

 

 

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Incineration Is Not the Solution: Zero Waste for Climate Action

Mon, 12/14/2015 - 6:23am

 

For decades the incinerator industry has been plaguing environmental justice communities worldwide. Now, rebranded as so-called “waste-to-energy,” this dirty industry is trying to position itself as a source of clean power. The US government, and many others, are using COP 21 to push for incineration as a solution to climate change. However, incinerators create very little energy— and a lot of climate and toxic pollution. To produce the same amount of energy, incinerators release even more carbon dioxide than coal plants.  At the same time, the toxic air pollution from these facilities greatly harms local communities.  

In the United States, in cities such as Detroit in the state of Michigan, residents suffer from the health and environmental consequences of incineration. Community leaders like Siwatu Salama-Ra of the It Takes Roots delegation became involved in the fight against incineration out of love for her family, community, and city. In Detroit, asthma rates are three times the state average, and many members of Siwatu’s family suffer from this preventable disease. These rates are only exacerbated with every year that the incinerator remains open.

After 23 years of climate negotiations, governments are no closer to meaningful action on climate change.  

“GAIA (Global Alliance of Incinerator Alternatives) will not stand for corporations pushing their agenda of greenwashing (false solutions) to combat climate change during these negotiations, the only solution is a zero waste solution” said GAIA delegate Mahyar Sorour from Minnesota Public Interest Research Group.  

To call out false solutions such as incineration, It Takes Roots and GAIA delegates protested on Wednesday, December 9th at the Ivry incinerator in Paris.  We stood in solidarity with local community organizations – Collectif 3R and Zero Waste France – who are pushing for zero waste alternatives to incineration.  The Ivry incinerator and others like it in the Paris region, are responsible for burning the majority of Paris’ waste.  In fact, much of the waste currently being generated at COP 21 will be burned in nearby incinerators, leaving local communities to bear the burden of toxic and climate pollution.

In addition to pushing back against false solutions via direct action,  GAIA members from around the world demanded that our government leaders and the COP21 delegation confront industry lies and promote community-based solutions.

Some highlights of these demands:

  • We highlight the negative health impacts that incinerators impose on host communities and the environmental injustice this represents.
  • We welcome the global consensus that carbon based pollution is driving dangerous climate change that cannot be ignored.
  • We call for an end to climate finance for incineration.
  • We urge all governments to remove the eligibility criteria for biomass burning in all renewable energy credits, benefits and subsidies.
  • We call for investment in zero waste solutions to address impending climate threats.

Co-Written by Molly Greenberg from Ironbound Community Corporation and New Jersey Environmental Justice Alliance and Ahmina Maxey from GAIA.

Molly, Ahmina and Siwatu are also It Takes Roots delegates.

To read the full GAIA declaration visit www.no-burn.org?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss.

 

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Cindy Wiesner on Telesur News: “Our global leaders have failed us”

Sun, 12/13/2015 - 11:59am

“I think for us, Grassroots Global Justice, Indigenous Environmental Network, and the Climate Justice Alliance as grassroots and impacted communities in the United States and Canada, I think our global leaders have failed us, and I think that’s what is clear is that they did not do an ambitious enough negotiation to really save the planet…” noted It Takes Roots delegate and national co-ordinator of Grassroots Global Justice, Cindy Wiesner, in an interview with Telesur News. Read the whole interview.

 

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New Internationalist: Why We Should Feel Positive About Paris

Sun, 12/13/2015 - 7:34am

In their wrap up analyses of COP21, the New Internationalist shines a light on why despite the dismal failure of the #COP21 agreement, there maybe hope – thanks to a massive people-led mobilization for climate justice that refuses to back off – including It Takes Roots delegation. They write: “Indigenous representatives from the incredible It Takes Roots grassroots delegation opened the Paris demonstrations with a powerful healing ritual. Alongside other Indigenous and frontline representatives they held a series of events and actions throughout the fortnight, including a flotilla of kayaks challenging fossil fuel extraction. Read this inspiring analysis.

 

 

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CALL TO ACTION: The COP21 Paris Accord Is a Massive Failure

Sun, 12/13/2015 - 4:33am

The COP21 Paris Accord failed humanity, and impacted communities must take things into our own hands and push at all levels of government

As impacted communities, we are deeply aware of the imperative of the climate crisis.  Our waters are being poisoned from fossil fuel extraction, our livelihoods are threatened by floods and drought, our communities are the hardest hit and the least protected in extreme weather events.  The climate crisis is a reality, but the COP21 Paris Accord is not based on that reality.

The atmosphere within the COP21 meeting was one of business instead of saving Mother Earth.  World leaders were in deep negotiations not over climate policy, they were in negotiations about commercialization of nature.   The result is a Paris Accord that is based on a carbon market that allows developed countries to continue to emit dangerously high levels of greenhouse gasses through shell games, imaginary technofixes, and pollution trading schemes that simultaneously let big polluters to continue polluting and result in land grabs and violations of human rights and the rights of Indigenous Peoples.

When Obama says we are doing out best, it is simply not true.  From cap and trade in California, to the carbon trading requirements of the Clean Power Plan, the US came into Paris with a predetermined model based on false solutions and bullied other countries to jump on board.  The commitments they made ignore the overwhelming historic responsibility as a leader greenhouse gas emitter, and are far too low to stop the burning of the planet.

The COP21 agreement is a failure, condemning humanity to a slow and painful death.   In imposing a market strategy, global leaders, particularly those in the US and Canada, are choosing a course of inaction that is blind to the stark realities of climate crisis.

Our Movements Represent Life

The Paris Accord failed humanity and now we have to take things into our own hands and push at all levels of government. We know that the extraction of fossil fuels must end completely by 2050 to keep the earth from warming more than 1.5 degrees.  The Paris Accord will now be moved into implementation at the national, regional, and local levels and we need to be organized to remain vigilant around the demand to keep fossil fuels in the ground, because anything short of that equals destruction.

 We join the call for System Change, Not Climate Change because we know that the fundamental driving force behind the climate crisis is capitalism, and the very nature of the extractive economy as a whole.  Climate justice is not only about the environment.  It is tied to jobs, housing, poverty, migration, food security, gender equality, access to health care.  System Change requires fundamental respect for human rights, particularly the rights of Indigenous Peoples, as well as the rights of Mother Earth. System Change requires that we reject the corporate driven, free trade and investment agreements and how that is linked to also harmonizing the trading regimes, and investment regimes, and trees, and nature itself.  We are building new alternative economic models based on an internationalist strategy ofJust Transition toward renewable energy, cooperative economies, and community control.  We will continue to resist extraction at the local level in all frontline communities.

We had no illusion coming into this COP.  We knew that the fossil fuel companies had already hijacked the UNFCCC process.  We leave Paris only more aligned, and more committed than ever that our collective power and growing movement is what is forcing the question of extraction into the global arena.   We will continue to fight at every level to defend our communities, the earth and future generations.  As Franz Fanon wrote, “the magic hands are the hands of the people.”

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AJ+ Spotlights It Takes Roots Delegates At Dec 12 March

Sat, 12/12/2015 - 6:24am

On the big day of the march on December 12, Parisians and local activists joined forces with diverse global environmental justice organizations and activists who had converged in Paris for COP21. AJ+ crew followed the march and tracked down some of It Takes Roots’ delegates and live streamed-interviewed them in this hugely popular video.  Watch and share this video posted on AJ+ Facebook.

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Dec 10 Action Highlight In TruthOut: Combating the Climate Counterrevolution in Paris

Sat, 12/12/2015 - 2:39am

TruthOut Highlighted It Takes Roots Delegation’s December 10 Human Rights Day Action at the Peace Wall, and spoke to Jihan Gearon, one of our delegates: “…here have also been strongly led by people of color working to center environmental justice issues and calling out environmental racism, especially Indigenous peoples protesting the omission of Indigenous rights from the accord.

A lot of the most pristine, biodiverse places that exist now are because Indigenous people live there; they protect those areas,” said Jihan Gearon, who is Diné, from the Navajo Nation in Arizona. She is the executive director of the Black Mesa Water Coalition, a part of the Indigenous Environmental Network. “And if the UN doesn’t protect us, then those places are just going to go away.” Read the full Article.

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Ananda Lee Tan in CommonDreams: Decrying Draft Deal that ‘Fails Humanity,’ COP21 Protesters Draw Red Line

Fri, 12/11/2015 - 11:58am

Even as people led mobilizations stages protest inside the COP-21 summit, and plan to march in the thousands on Saturday, It Takes Roots delegate and organizer with Climate Justice Alliance, Ananda Lee Tan, breaks down the serious issues with the current draft agreement: “”Once again, world leaders have shown they lack the political courage, decency, and integrity to stand up for the needs of the most impacted communities around the world in the biggest ecological crisis of our time.” Read the full article.

 

 

 

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Global Justice Now News Blog Celebrates It Takes Roots Yet Again

Fri, 12/11/2015 - 11:27am

In another incisive analysis by Global Justice Now fellow Kevin Smith, It Takes Roots’ delegation got a memorable mention as one of the amazing things happening at COP21 despite the bans on protest and restrictions on freedom to mobilize. Read the full article.

 

 

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It Takes Roots: Community-Led Solutions to Global Climate Change

Fri, 12/11/2015 - 6:44am

Global Sisters Report writes of It Takes Roots as “an example of the growing “intersectional” movement uniting grass-roots organizations across peace, social justice, civil/human rights, gender, indigenous, and environmental issues. Its focus is on community-based and community-led solutions to addressing climate change.  Read the full article

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