It Takes Roots
Activist art creation at the #COP21 resistance was central to the people-led mobilizations outside Le Bourget. Everyday artivists gather to create art in a warehouse near the Alternatibas’ Global Village. The artspace changes every day. Clotheslines run through the place on exposed ceilings. Plastic tarp covers the floor with slogans that had been printed on cloth and dried. The overarching color is red, because of another organization’s slogan of a red line against climate change – a red line against carbon emissions.
People make tables out of saw horses and plywood. Art is strewn everywhere, with slogans like “Keep it in the Ground” and “Climate change is Climate Violence”.
It Takes Roots’ art table drew a lot of appreciation. One of our members, Arty, developed 10 placards of the things we are fighting: genocide, patriarchy, false solutions, fracking, GMOs, environmental racism, pollution, poverty, Obama, and more.
In the art space, the delegation developed the main messaging: It ta
kes roots to weather the storm. The storm is all the bad ideas at the #COP21. The extreme climate conditions, militarism, war, racism. This is the storm frontline communities weather through roots. We are the roots. We are the representatives of our root communities resisting the storm. We have been called to plant the seeds for the next generation, to stop the #COP21 and all the apparatuses of exploitation. The deep resistance rises up to say: this our planet, for the people; not just for a few.
This gave rise to embodying this powerful metaphor through visuals and song. The first act will be the storm that is blocking the peace; the placards that Arty designed. The second act is our resistance, our struggle and tearing the placards down. Then, the delegation will come out and sow the seeds of a just transition, women leadership, keeping the fossil fuel in the ground, the wisdom of frontline communities being heard and made the law of the land. The final act is a joyous celebration of sunflowers and all our people dancing, chanting, celebrating that we are the ones we have been waiting for.
It was exhilarating to have everyone at the art space for the dress rehearsal. Other artists stopped what they were doing and watched our street theater; they clapped and chanted with us, they wanted to join us. The action is strong in its critique and solution and is deeply inspiring to all who watch it. It is an act of defiance. And speak, and shout we will tomorrow and every day, until the world is at it should be.
Watch A Powerful Video Of the It Takes Roots’ delegation’s Dec 10 Human Rights Day Action @ the Peace Wall in Paris:
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December 10, 2015
Grassroots Groups Say Climate Policies Violate Human Rights
& the Rights of Indigenous People
(Paris, FRANCE) Grassroots leaders from climate-impacted communities in the US rallied at the Paris Peace Wall to denounce the role of the US delegation for a legacy of environmental racism and in undermining the possibility for genuine climate justice coming out of Paris COP21 accord. Over 350 people participated in an action in front of the Peace Wall in Paris, a venue chosen to symbolically challenge the grave and violent implications of the current COP21 Agreement. Massive banners, signs, fierce chanting, singing, and street theatre marked the It Takes Roots delegation-led action for Human Rights Day.
“Here in Paris, as with every COP before now, we see the role of the US in holding back any efforts at real mandatory emissions cuts, and accepting true historic and current responsibility as a leading greenhouse gas emitter. The US 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 livelihoods of indigenous communities from the Global North to the Global South. The decisions coming out of COP21 will lead to massive violations of human rights and the rights of indigenous peoples,” read Edgar Franx, from the It Takes Roots statement to Obama on Human Rights Day.
“The prosperity of fossil-fueled societies has been built on the backs of historically marginalized communities: Indigenous Peoples, coal miners, fisherfolk, working class communities across the world — all of whom have paid the price of our “cheap fuels” and will suffer the consequences of global climate chaos disproportionately. Solutions that protect the welfare and rights of these communities will prove more durable, more equitable, and safer – for all of us. Indeed, on December 10 Human Rights day, there can be no better demand of COP21 – to be accountable to all people,” noted Dallas Goldtooth, with the Indigenous Environmental Network, and an It Takes Roots delegate.
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.
Today’s peace action called out the US and other countries of the Global North whose invasive foreign policies have played a large role in the current devastating and vicious refugee crises, conflicts, and resource wars due to land grabs and displacement triggered by neoliberal globalization.
Check out the list of media spokespeople from the It Takes Roots delegation:
Check out updates about our events/actions the delegation participated/co-organized:
Visit Our Flickr Photostream (please credit photos to: It Takes Roots)
Watch a quick video highlight of today’s action by Indigenous Environmental Network
To schedule interviews with our media spokespeople, and to get video clips from today’s action contact:
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It Takes Roots delegate Sarra Tekola shared her disturbing experience of racism from the police while in Paris for COP21. Read the full article.
The post Sarra Tekola: Police Are Racially Profiling COP21 Attendees appeared first on It Takes Roots.
Outside the confines of the conference being held in Le Bourget, a Paris suburb, hundreds of activists gathered next to the Peace Wall at the Eiffel Tower to mark International Human Rights Day and draw clear links between human rights and climate justice. The gathering, organized by the It Takes Roots Delegation, consisted of people from indigenous and other communities of color from all over the world. Read the full article.
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One of the first big assemblies of the Climate Action Zone was the Just Transition Assembly put on by the It Takes Roots delegation. Climate leaders got together to talk about the connections between labor and climate, and the importance of local economies in a just transition. Participants were also given the opportunity to talk about the vision and challenges of achieving a just transition in their communities. To learn more about work around a just transition, visit ourpowercampaign.org or ggjalliance.org.
For live coverage of the event via Twitter, visit:
On Wednesday, December 9, nearly 200 grassroots activists converged and marched, chanted, and sang with colorful banners, posters and outside the Vincennes detention center in Paris where several immigrants are illegally detained by the French government.
The Vincennes detention center where grassroots communities gathered 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 national attention to the inhumane treatment of migrants and refugees in detention in Paris.
It Takes Roots delegates organized and participated in this march in solidarity with thousands of impacted refugees and migrants, detained by the French government. Local community leaders and activists working at the intersections of migrant and refugee rights joined our delegation.
This action was in solidarity with refugees fleeing situations of grave conflict, and made vital connections between migrant rights, Indigenous rights, gender equality, and climate change. Check out a few photos from our action today below and visit our photos page for more visual updates.
Key spokespeople at the march highlighted how social and environmental justice are deeply linked, and the largely US delegation expressed their solidarity with migrant rights, especially activists working with immigrant communities along the US-Mexico border, and Indigenous activists, who highlighted how colonialism is not really dead, but alive in new and dangerous ways.
The post Dec 9 Migrant Justice Action Update: Over 200 Activists March In Solidarity appeared first on It Takes Roots.
The It Takes Roots delegates have real, community-based solutions to combat the climate crisis. They have come to Paris to present these solutions and move away from the climate crisis. Here are some memes to highlight the amazing work of these frontline leaders.
Shela Liton and Senowa Mize-Fox, representatives of the Vermont Workers Center in Brattleboro and Burlington, are also attending the Paris climate talks. Linton and Mize-Fox are part of the 100-plus person delegation called “It Takes Roots to Weather the Storm,” a collection of grassroots leaders from dozens of communities in the U.S. and Canada that have been impacted by climate change.
“From Paris to Montpelier, we’re seeing politicians push false solutions to climate change like fracking and carbon trading,” Mize-Fox said in a news release. “We need to recognize the leadership and strategies coming from social movements at the grassroots, who understand the interconnections between racial, gender, economic and climate justice and are calling for system change, not climate change.”
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Arturo Trejo, an activist with the Southwest Workers’ Union in San Antonio, Texas, attended Wednesday’s migrant rights rally. I spoke with him about why he is in Paris and what happened at the gathering today.
The post Truth Dig: Sonali Kolhatkar interviews Arturo Trejo on Migrant Justice and Climate Change appeared first on It Takes Roots.
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.”
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.
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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 Alliance, Indigenous 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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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
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
Preeti Shekar, It Takes Roots delegation 510-219-4193, email@example.com
Dallas Goldtooth, Indigenous Environmental Network +33 75 14 13 823
Frontline Solidarity: Indigenous, Migrant, and Black Communities from the US and Canada Unite with Refugees and Migrant Communities in Paris
When: Wednesday December 9, 2015 at 10am
Where: Hippodrome de Vincennes, 2 route de la Ferme, 75012 Paris
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.
Preeti Shekar, It Takes Roots delegation 510-219-4193, firstname.lastname@example.org
Dallas Goldtooth, Indigenous Environmental Network +33 75 14 13 823, email@example.com
Pablo Solon: Paris COP21 negotiations are New Carbon Markets Under the Name of Sustainable Development
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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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: