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Cindy Wiesner Calls Out Tax Havens On The Nation

Wed, 12/09/2015 - 1:03am

Activists carried 196 office chairs through the square facing the Montreuil city hall—chairs that had been “liberated” from banks throughout France. “These chairs were requisitioned to reveal the links between the tax evasion practiced by big banks and the lack of funding needed against climate change, particularly the $100 billion a year for adaptation that wealthy countries have promised poor countries but that has been blocked by financial elites,” said Cindy Wiesner of the Grassroots Global Justice Alliance. “Thirty trillion dollars disappears every year into the black hole of tax havens that these banks control, tax havens that benefit criminals and murderers—drug cartels, gun traffickers, and the banks themselves. These 196 chairs represent the 196 countries whose people deserve a seat at the table for a just global economy.”

Read the whole article here: http://www.thenation.com/article/with-1-5-degrees-celsius-target-climate-justice-movement-poised-to-score-surprise-win/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss

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Uprising Radio: Cindy Wiesner on the second week of COP21

Wed, 12/09/2015 - 12:57am

The UN climate conference in Paris has entered its second week with delegates pushing for a final agreement that can be ratified by all. Developing countries and island nations in particular have the most at stake.

Outside the halls of the meeting, activists are gathering despite a ban on protest by the French government in the wake of the ISIS attacks.

Listen here:  http://uprisingradio.org/home/2015/12/08/second-week-of-cop21-begins/#sthash.XOL2q1lP.dpuf?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss

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It Takes Roots Delegate Member Brandon King: We Must Build Our Power

Wed, 12/09/2015 - 12:55am

Within the high-stress, low-waste frenzy of the 21st Conference of Parties, or COP21, there are around 100 organizers from the frontlines of the climate crisis and energy extraction in North America. Drawn from the Navajo Nation, the Appalachian Mountains, Harlem and elsewhere, the It Takes Roots delegation is a joint venture of the Grassroots Global Justice AllianceIndigenous Environmental Network and the Climate Justice Alliance. Its members — some inside and some outside of official UN proceedings — are engaged in a range of efforts back home both against fossil fuel extraction and for the development of community-owned alternatives, as well as a wider-reaching “just transition” away from what they call an extractive economy.

Read the rest here: http://wagingnonviolence.org/2015/12/bringing-solutions-cop21-conversation-cooperation-jacksons-brandon-king/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss

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World Leaders Refuse to Acknowledge The Need to End Fossil Fuels

Wed, 12/09/2015 - 12:52am

The United Nations climate negotiations, known as COP 21, is underway in Paris. Its goal is to produce a binding global climate agreement that would limit the rise in global average temperature to 2 degrees Celsius. Activists have staged mass sit-ins all over the globe to protest the participation of corporate polluters in the climate talks, and to elevate the voice of civil society. But what exactly are various groups in civil society proposing as an alternative? Here to help answer this question are our two guests: Anjali Appadurai and Kali Akuno. Anjali is an activist currently at COP 21 talks in Paris, and Kali Akuno is the co-director of Cooperation Jackson.

Read the rest of the article here: http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=74&jumival=15221&utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss

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On Human Rights Day, US Impacted Communities Protest at Paris Peace Wall: COP21 Agreement is a Crime Against Humanity and Nature

Tue, 12/08/2015 - 7:34pm

On Dec 10, International Human Day, a broad coalition of impacted communities will gather for a street theater protest at the Peace Wall in Paris calling on the US delegation to reject false solutions that are the basis of the COP21 agreement.

Representatives from Indigenous, Black, Latino, Asian and Pacific Islander organizations have united under the banner, It Takes Roots to Weather the Storm, representing communities living alongside fracking wells, coal power plants, and oil refineries and already facing the worst impacts of the climate crisis. “The US delegation has been leading other member states in a strategy of pollution trading that allows big oil to continue to pollute our communities and also threatens the livelihood of indigenous communities across the Global South. On both fronts, COP21 will lead to massive human rights violations.”

The three-pronged action includes performances with powerful visual metaphors of roots, storm and seeds. This action-performance will illustrate the current, global spiral towards environmental and economic destruction, while shining a light on the resilience of climate change impacted communities that are resisting these devastations head on. The action will highlight how it is also these very marginalized communities who are coming up with the real, alternative solutions that can simultaneously rebuild economies through alternative models like just transition, cooperative systems, collective ownership, etc. while restoring essential ecological balance.

“We are deeply concerned at President Obama’s failure to model authentic leadership in the global arena, and appalled by the glaring contradictions between his moving speech and actual action. The US has been leading the model of voluntary emission cuts, carbon market loopholes, and false solutions. We refuse to accept that,” said Brandon King of the It Takes Roots Delegation.

The Protesters chose the peace wall to also call attention to rising US militarism, resource wars and global conflicts. Representatives from Iraq Veterans Against the War will lift a large “No War, No Warming” banner in protest of the escalating bombing of the Middle East.

When: Thursday December, 10, 2015 at 11am

Where: The Peace Wall, Paris, France

Visuals: Street theater, Song, Banners

Media Contacts:

Preeti Shekar, It Takes Roots delegation 510-219-4193, preetishekar@gmail.com
Dallas Goldtooth, Indigenous Environmental Network +33 75 14 13 823

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Frontline Solidarity: Indigenous, Migrant, and Black Communities from the US and Canada Unite with Refugees and Migrant Communities in Paris

Tue, 12/08/2015 - 6:50pm

 

When: Wednesday December 9, 2015 at 10am

Where: Hippodrome de Vincennes, 2 route de la Ferme, 75012 Paris

Télécharger le communiqué de presse en français

On Wednesday, December 9th grassroots organizations from the Americas will join with migrant rights groups and refugee organizations in Paris to speak out against xenophobia, racism, and the criminalization of migration. In a powerful display of international solidarity, grassroots groups will gather in front of a migrant detention center with songs, drums and messages they hope will travel beyond the walls to all those currently in custody.

“We are here to show that when the Northern countries do all they can to raise physical and mental border, we the people from all over the world, from Jackson, Mississippi to Fresnes in Ile-de-France, we stand for climate and social justice and against xenophobia, islamophobia and negrophobia” said Almamy Kanouté, french grassroot activist.

“While the US, Europe and the Global North have been the largest emitters of greenhouse gas emissions, the Global South had been bearing the brunt of the impact. Rising food scarcity, drought and floods are driving global conflicts, war, and climate migration from Africa, Asia and the Middle East. The global community has a human rights responsibility to refugees fleeing violence and fleeing for their lives,” said Cindy Wiesner of the Grassroots Global Justice Alliance.

“As frontline communities in the US, our delegation is made up of Indigenous, Black, Latino, Asian and migrant working class communities. We know state repression, vigilante violence, and xenophobia all too well. In many of our communities extrajudicial killings at the hands of the state is a daily occurrence. We reject Islamophobia and Afro or Negrophobia rising across Europe and North America, as well as the scapegoating of migrants and refugees, being spread by right wing demagogues and their liberal enablers” said Kali Akuno from Cooperation Jackson.

The detention center where grassroots communities are gathering is of particular significance, as it was the site of an historic uprising after the death of a Tunisian man while in custody in 2008. This uprising brought brought national attention to the inhumane treatment of Migrants and Refugees in detention in Paris.

Media Contacts:

Preeti Shekar, It Takes Roots delegation 510-219-4193, preetishekar@gmail.com
Dallas Goldtooth, Indigenous Environmental Network +33 75 14 13 823, goldtoothdallas@gmail.com

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Pablo Solon: Paris COP21 negotiations are New Carbon Markets Under the Name of Sustainable Development

Tue, 12/08/2015 - 7:21am

An Analysis Of COP21 From Within Le Bourget By Pablo Solon, former ambassador Of Bolivia to the UN and an ally of the It Takes Roots Delegation.

A draft climate agreement and decision with 48 pages and 939 brackets has been presented to the ministers in Paris on Saturday 5th of December. Many things can be said about this text. For example, the words “fossil fuels” don’t appear once. There is no proposal [in brackets] to limit coal, oil or gas extraction in the coming years, and no proposal to halt deforestation. Also, as was expected, no text [in brackets] from any country addresses the issue that current INDCs (Intended Nationally Determine Contributions) will actually increased the greenhouse gas emissions gap from a surplus of 12 Gt CO2e in 2020 to around 25 Gt CO2e by 2030. Read the full analysis.

 

 

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Canoes to Paris Garners International Coverage

Tue, 12/08/2015 - 2:47am

Indigenous people fighting for their lives and way of life brought a flotilla of canoes and kayaks to Paris.  With a strong message to defeat the REDD+ deal and to keep 80% of fossil fuels in the ground, tribes from around the world took to the waterways.

“We’re very, very concerned about the fact that reference to indigenous rights and human rights have been moved into an annex in the Paris text,” Cree activist Clayton Thomas-Muller says. “It means that they’ve been put aside to be discussed after the weekend.”

And the world is listening. Check it out below:

The Guardian UK

National Observer

Mashable

APTN

Democracy Now

Indigenous Voices in Asia

 

 

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Day 2 of Its Takes Roots

Mon, 12/07/2015 - 1:16pm
Sunday was the second day full of activities for the It Takes Roots delegation. The big event of the day was Indigenous Environmental Network’s big canoe action! Check out out that and some more highlights on our storify here:

https://storify.com/OurPower/it-takes-roots-dec-6?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss

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COP-OUT 21? | Reject Paris climate deal that will burn planet – NGOs

Mon, 12/07/2015 - 7:51am

By: Joseph Purugganan, Focus on Global South
December 6, 2015 5:35 PM

PARIS – In a jampacked conference hall in Le Parole errante in Paris, representatives of groups and movements from the Climate Space discussed their prognosis of the Paris talks, and the collective message was the much-touted deal to save the world from the climate crisis will most likely end up burning the planet.

Read the rest here: http://www.interaksyon.com/article/121098/cop-out-21–reject-paris-climate-deal-that-will-burn-planet—ngos?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss

Image from Focus on The Global South

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Women on the Frontlines, Paris COP21: Climate Justice Women’s Assembly on Tue, Dec 8

Mon, 12/07/2015 - 7:36am

MEDIA ADVISORY
Monday, December 7, 2015

 

Come find out the crucial intersections of gender, climate change, ending war/conflicts, and building economic alternatives to capitalism.

As thousands of climate justice movements gather in the Climate Action Zone, frontline feminist leaders from global grassroots movements will convene an assembly on the leadership of women within the climate struggle. The World March on Women (WMW)’s International Secretariat, members of the World March of Women Kenya, the US, and Paris, the It Takes Roots delegation, La Via Campesina, the Groupe Genre et Justice Climatique and other feminist groups in Paris will come together with for a climate justice Women’s Assembly. The purpose of this convergence at the critical intersections of environmental justice, gender equality, and economic justice, is to connect the dots between climate change, gender, war, land, and the economy. The assembly will feature speakers, artist performance, and a rally.

Speakers include:

Graça Samo, World March of Women International Secretariat, Mozambique;
Sophie Ogutu, World March of Women, Kenya;
Fania Noel, 350.org and Collectif Afroféministe MWASI, Paris;
Kandi Mossett, Indigenous Environmental Network, USA and Canada;
Rose Brewer, AfroEco, United States;
A representative from Friends of the Earth; and a representative from La Via Campesina
 

When: Tue, Dec 8, 2 pm – 3.50 pm

Where: ZAC 104, the CENTQUATRE, room 200

For Interviews Contact:
Preeti Shekar, preetishekar@gmail.com,
Ph: + 1 510 219 4193 (US) or +33 7 5140 1911 (Paris)

For more information:
www.ittakesroots.org?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss/events
Follow us: @ggjalliance

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Day 1 of It Takes Roots Delegation’s Activities in Paris @ COP21: A Storify Spotlight!

Sun, 12/06/2015 - 6:37am

The nearly 100 members of our It Takes Roots Delegation’s first day was off to a packed and feisty start. Notwithstanding jet lag, they came together by 7 am to review the numerous events, actions and workshops happening, and managed to divide and conquer it. Check out our storify update where we compiled all our tweets into a collective narrative to resist climate change and our efforts to push for real solutions, just transitions and real alternatives! Read our Day 1 Storify Update.

 

 

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Historic Kayak Action Demands Indigenous Peoples’ Rights in Paris Climate Accord

Sun, 12/06/2015 - 5:13am
For Immediate Release:

December 7th, 2015

Contact: Dallas Goldtooth, Indigenous Environmental Network, France: +33 75 1413 823, US: + 708 515-6158, dallas@ienearth.org

Paris –  An all-Indigenous flotilla of kayaks took to the waters of Paris today, followed by a press conference featuring Indigenous leaders from the Americas delivering strong messages: warnings of the worst consequences of climate change, and holistic solutions to protect Mother Earth. This event, proposed by the Kichwa community of the Sarayaku, served as a platform to reject false climate solutions, and to deliver three key documents designed as a means to address climate change.

The flotilla action this afternoon was made all the more poignant and necessary, following the first week of negotiations at COP21, where – despite vocal objections and protestations by Indigenous Peoples and their allies – the operative text of the Paris Accord has had the language concerning the rights of Indigenous Peoples “annexed” (meaning it’s not totally in the draft agreement, nor is it being fully excluded), rendering it’s future inclusion questionable.

“Considering that Indigenous communities often face the worst consequences of climate change, the decision to reject Indigenous Rights and advocate for false solutions is not only offensive and intolerable, but illogical and destructive to the climate change movement as a whole.” – Dallas Goldtooth, Keep Fossil Fuels in the Ground Campaign Organizer. “Carbon trading and REDD+ projects are schemes to continue business-as-usual, nothing more. We, as frontline Indigenous communities, are the arbiters and innovators of real solutions towards mitigating climate change.” 

Indigenous Peoples from the Amazon to the Arctic and their allies have and will continue to gather to demand real climate solutions, including bottom-up initiatives originating in Indigenous knowledge, culture, and spirituality.

“We’re here to present our proposal of kawsak-sacha: the living rainforest, the living Amazon. This proposal respects all living beings and helps achieve a balance of our planet, our Mother Earth. Indigenous peoples live with this wisdom – live in harmony with these living beings, and we’re here to protect the lagoons and the water, the trees and the mountains. We ARE the balance, we LIVE the balance and this is our contribution here in Paris.”  Felix Santi, Sarayaku

“Only if our proposal is heeded will we be able to ensure the future, ensure the planet for future generations – so we present this proposal to the governments of the world and we declare indigenous peoples’ territories of vital and crucial importance to the future of our planet. There must be no more oil drilling, no more mining, no more logging on our lands and territories, and we must embrace this indigenous proposal of the living forest”.

For the second week of negotiations in Paris, Indigenous delegates are calling on their allies to push the parties involved in direct negotiations to reverse this damaging decision, thereby taking the climate change movement forwards, not backwards.

“The ground we walk on is literally melting beneath us. Indigenous peoples of the world are being affected by this climate chaos first, and our issues are compounded by the assault on our traditional territories by the fossil fuel extractive industries.” – Faith Gemmill, executive director REDOIL. “We kicked Shell out of the Arctic but immediately following that, the state and our congressional representatives called for drilling in the last 5% of America’s only Arctic coast: the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, which is sacred to my people. This is our home, these are our sacred places, and it is our belief that the destruction of humanity begins if/when the oil companies gain access to these sacred places. We’re here to call upon the governments of the world to recognise the rights of Indigenous Peoples within the operative, legally binding text. No more business as usual – we don’t have the luxury of time. Humanity’s survival is on the line.  We need a just transition to sustainable energy, economies and communities.” 

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

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

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Yes Magazine: What Paris Can Learn From a Mississippi Co-op at COP21

Sat, 12/05/2015 - 6:24am

Yes! Magazine interviewed It Takes Roots delegate and Cooperation Jackson co-founder and director Kali Akuno, on connecting the dots between local and global and how the environmental justice movement in Paris can draw from the experience of Coop Jackson in the southern US state of Mississippi. Read this insightful article

 

 

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News Article Highlights It Takes Roots’ Position On COP21: “Environmentalists Angry with Paris Agreement”

Fri, 12/04/2015 - 6:16am

The Daily Caller highlighted It Takes Roots delegation’s press advisory on the Paris agreement, and emphasized how many countries are supportive of this position. Read the article.

 

 

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Cindy Wiesner and Ananda Lee Tan on PRI’s Environmental News Radio: Climate Activists Defy Paris Protest Ban

Fri, 12/04/2015 - 4:56am

The French government cancelled all major protests in the wake of last month’s attacks in Paris, but that hasn’t stopped the climate justice movement from making itself heard and its presence felt. Public Radio International’s Environmental News Radio filed this report where they interviewed It Takes Roots delegates Cindy Wiesner and Ananda Lee Tan. Listen to the segment.

 

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Watch A Powerful Video From Our Dec 4 – Solutions21 Action: End Fracking!

Fri, 12/04/2015 - 3:54am

Watch a powerful and inspiring video featuring Kandi Mossett, organizer with the Indigenous Environmental Network and It Takes Roots delegate. This was from an action on Friday December 4, confronting the France based fracking company Suez which is a Solutions 21 corporate greenwash sponsor of COP21. Watch this powerful video and share it with your networks!

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Rhode Island Times Highlights ITR Delegate Seena Chann headed to Paris

Fri, 12/04/2015 - 2:31am

It Takes Roots Delegate from The Environmental Justice League of Rhode Island (EJLRI), Seena Chann was featured in her local town paper, The Rhode Island Times, on her attending the COP21. Read the news article.

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IEN Advisory: Indigenous Rights on Chopping Block of UN COP21 Paris Climate Accord

Fri, 12/04/2015 - 2:02am

December 4th, 2015

Press Contacts:

North America Dallas Goldtooth, Indigenous Environmental Network, dallas@ienearth.org,1-708-515-6158
EU Suzanne Dhaliwal, Indigenous Environmental Network, UK Tar Sands Network
suzanne@no-tar-sands.org +447772694327

Paris – Saturday – December 5th – On Friday December 4th, Indigenous Peoples from around the globe demonstrated inside the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC/COP21) convention centre at Le Bourget. The protest was carried out to highlight objections to the proposed removal of language pertaining to both the rights of Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights from Article 2.2 of the draft Paris Accord, ending the first week of negotiations.

Despite such vocal objections from Indigenous Peoples and their allies, the operative text of the Paris Accord, as it stands today, has had the rights of Indigenous Peoples language/clauses removed, and there is now a proposal to have ‘Human Rights’ removed as well.  At present, this leaves the rights of Indigenous Peoples only reflected within the preamble – which is purely aspirational text, and not legally binding or enforceable in any way.

“The inclusion of the rights of Indigenous Peoples text, in addition to Human Rights text is crucial. A Western, non-Indigenous evaluation of Human Rights does not necessarily adequately protect our rights as Indigenous Peoples,” states Princess Daazhraii Johnson, REDOIL Alaska spokesperson.

“Many of our Indigenous peoples still live off the land, living a subsistence-based lifestyle. And given that many of the world’s fossil fuel reserves are on or adjacent to Indigenous lands, we must protect our collective rights to self-determine our relationship to Mother Earth by rejecting false solutions to addressing climate change,” concluded Ms. Johnson.

In addition, many countries do not recognize the collective rights of Indigenous Peoples as Human Rights. The Western international human rights system is oriented towardsindividual rights, and so a general reference to human rights does not adequately protect the collective rights of Indigenous Peoples.

“At the moment the rights of Indigenous Peoples all over the globe are being violated by ‘green climate projects’ – such as hydropower dams – in the name of ‘climate mitigation’. If such violations are happening now, imagine what will come with a legally binding document, where the rights of Indigenous Peoples are not guaranteed,” stated Eriel Deranger, member of the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation.

Positions against both the exclusion of Human Rights and Indigenous Rights in the operative text are said to be based on concerns about potential legal liability, if climate change is judged to have violated those rights.

With the draft Paris agreement heavily focused on voluntary market-based technological solutions – such as forest and conservation offsets – Indigenous Peoples are gravely concerned that without concrete Indigenous Rights language (and safeguards from privatisation) codified in the operative text, they will be further displaced from their lands. Green economy schemes (like the World bank REDD+) provide financial mechanisms for industrialised nations to justify expansion of fossil fuel regimes – such as Canada’s controversial Tar Sands giga-project in Northern Alberta, or offshore drilling in Alaska’s outer continental shelf. This disproportionately impacts Indigenous Peoples of the North, all the while simultaneously privatising Indigenous Peoples lands in the South for the purposes of laundering Western carbon pollution, via the above mentioned forest and conservation offsets.

“Our fight to get Indigenous Peoples Rights included in the operative text, is non-negotiable,” states Crystal Lameman,Treaty Coordinator and Communications Manager for the Beaver Lake Cree Nation. “We belong in this treaty, we have a place in this discussion. Our future and the future of our children is not up for negotiation. The removal of operative Article 2.2 is the erasure of our existence as People of Color, Indigenous Peoples and frontline communities because we surely will be the first to experience climate catastrophe”

As we enter the second week of negotiations of the Paris Accord, Indigenous People will continue to lobby and challenge those who oppose the inclusion of Human Rights and the rights of Indigenous Peoples into the operative text.

“We cannot negotiate a climate agreement at this critical time without the recognition of the rights of Indigenous Peoples, who are on the front lines of the impacts of climate change and the innovators of solutions we need to stabilize our climate. For the benefit of all human beings, we are fighting for a meaningful outcome from these negotiations, and the rights of Indigenous Peoples MUST be included in Article 2.2 of the Paris Accord,” stated Tom Goldtooth, executive director of the Indigenous Environmental Network.

Draft of Paris Agreement from December 5th 2015 DOWNLOAD

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Global Justice Blog: Shout Out to It Takes Root Delegation

Thu, 12/03/2015 - 7:28pm

In a succinct round up of the COP21, Global Justice Fellow Kevin Smith gives the It Takes Roots delegation a memorable shout out: “…huzzah for the frontline folks representing so hard in Paris. A much-needed breath of fresh air amidst the greenwash and the realpolitik and the corporatisation of the talks. I’ve been particularly impressed by the It Takes Roots to Weather a Storm, a delegation of over 100 leaders and organizers from US and Canadian grassroots and indigenous communities. They are speaking truth to power all over the shop and represent the cutting edge of progressive grassroots organising for climate justice and other NGOs should really be taking the opportunity to listen and learn….” Read the full article

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