It Takes Roots
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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Grist Article, drawing from It Takes Roots’ Delegation’s Nov 30 press advisory, highlights our disappointment with the Paris Agreement and how it lacks in any political teeth to make any real or meaningful solutions to mitigate the already devastating impacts of climate change. Read the Article
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It Takes Roots delegate and Indigenous Environmental Network organizer Kandi Mossett discusses in this daily edition of Climate Voices Podcast, how Indigenous communities are leading the movement to fight climate change, and how their communities are already bearing the brunt of the impacts of fracking and other invasive (Scroll to 11 min for Kandi’s segment):
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ITR Delegate Shawna Foster in the New Internationalist: End (War)ming! We Need System Change, not Climate Change!
It Takes Roots delegate and organizer with Iraq Veterans Against the War, Shawna Foster, shares her personal story and political reflections as a war veteran and how in the context of climate change, militarism and wars are false solutions to real peace and environmental justice. Read the article published in the New Internationalist.
On day three of the climate talks, we’re hearing about the long build up to Paris from Copenhagen. Six years ago world leaders met in Copenhagen, Denmark. That summit was billed as our chance to save the world from climate change. However the talks ended in failure and took the wind out of the climate movement. In this episode, listen to Cindy Wiesner on bringing real diversity into the movement. Listen to the podcast.
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, December 2, 2015
Dallas Goldtooth, Indigenous Environmental Network,
France: +33 75 1413 823, US: (708) 515 6158, email@example.com
Andrew Miller, Amazon Watch, (202) 4234828, firstname.lastname@example.org
Jonathon Berman, Sierra Club, (202) 495-3033, email@example.com
Indigenous Press Conference Demanding True Climate Solutions at COP21
During the COP21 climate talks in Paris, Indigenous Peoples from the Arctic to the Amazon and their allies will gather to demand real climate solutions, including bottomup initiatives originating in Indigenous knowledge, culture, and spirituality.
What: Sunday’s press conference will include Indigenous leaders from the Americas offering solutions to stave off the worst of climate change and protect Mother Earth.
● The launching of a declaration calling on world leaders to keep fossil fuels in the ground, led by Indigenous peoples and signed by over 150
● The signing announcement from Indigenous women leaders from North and South America of a treaty to protect Mother Earth.
● Presentation of the Kawsak Sacha “Living Forest” proposal from the Amazon rainforest by the Kichwa Indigenous people of Sarayaku.
● Indigenous flotilla on the Bassin de la Villette, including Sarayaku’s “Canoe of Life” which has traveled 6000 miles to Paris with a message from the Amazon.
Indigenous spokespeople and supporting organizations including leading environmental groups will be available to the media after the press conference.
A reception and cultural event will immediately follow the press event.
When: Sunday, December 6th at 2 pm Paris time.
Where: Péniche Antipode barge on the Bassin de la Villete Canal (55 Quai de la Seine, 75019 Paris, France)
Who: The press conference will be held by Indigenous peoples organizations and movements including Indigenous Environmental Network; Idle No More, and the Kichwa community of Sarayaku from Ecuador.
• Indigenous “Canoe of Life” from the Amazon and flotilla of at least 25 kayaks adorned with Indigenous art work representing the different Indigenous cultures participating in the event;
• Colorful banners and flags; and
• Indigenous representatives wearing their traditional attire and regalia
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An in-depth analysis on the COP21 accord in the Eurasia Review showcases It Takes Roots’ (ITR) Delegation’s position: “The UNFCCC process has been hijacked by the fossil fuel industry, which is seeking to expand pollution markets and privatize and sell everything from our air to the algae in our water. From cap and trade in California, to the carbon trading requirements of the Clean Power Plan, the U.S. is aligning other member states around false solutions instead of holding steadfast to renewable energy and other genuine sustainable solutions,” said Kali Akuno from Cooperation Jackson in Mississippi, and an ITR delegate. Read the full article
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Kali Akuno on WBAI Radio, New York: Why Community-led Activism Is The Only Way We Will Collectively Tackle Climate Change
Veteran organizer, director of Cooperation Jackson, author, public speaker and It Takes Roots delegate Kali Akuno was interviewed on WBAI (Pacifica network)’s radio on how the ongoing COP21 discussions are focused on false solutions that just continue the dangerous status quo in new ways . Listen to the archive link. (interview with Kali starts at 1 hr 26 min into the 2 hour link)
Grist Article Lauds ITR Delegation: Here’s what frontline communities are pushing for at the Paris climate talks
Jacqueline Patterson, director of the NAACP’s Environmental and Climate Justice Program, and a member of the Climate Justice Alliance, wrote this comprehensive analysis in Grist Online, where she gives props to the It Takes Roots Delegation: Read full article
Berkeley, California, based Pacifica Radio (KPFA 94.1 FM) interviewed It Takes Roots delegate Pam Tau Lee on their daily news show, Upfront. Pamela discusses the importance of grassroots leadership mobilizing at COP21, her checkered experience in organizing across . Listen to the archived podcast.
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Indigenous Environmental Network Executive Director and It Takes Roots Delegate Tom Goldtooth discusses his views and reflections on COP21 and the urgency to listen to indigenous leadership as the key way to mitigate climate change and restore the balance of nature. Read this incisive discussion
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Democracy Now! Spotlights Indigenous Activists From ITR Delegation: Paris “Police State” is the Reality Frontline Communities Live With
Democracy Now! caught up with It Takes Roots Delegates Dallas Goldtooth, and his father Tom Goldtooth, Executive Director of Indigenous Environmental Network. “If you look at the scenario we’re facing right now in Paris, you have a heightened police state, you have unreasonable bureaucracy, limited resources,” says Dallas. “This is our element as frontline communities. This is the world we exist in.” Watch the Segment
Ahead of COP21, Films for Action in collaboration with the New Internationalist Magazine showcase indigenous and majority world voices from the frontlines in the fight for climate justice. Watch a powerful video featuring Indigenous members of the It Takes Roots Delegation, and with the Indigenous Environmental Network. Watch this powerful video.
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by brandon king, CooP Jackson
yesterday while at the Eiffel Tower, i saw two Roma womyn hustling a homeless, handicap petition. i thought nothing of it and gave them some euros. as my comrade went to give this sister change, a self-proclaimed “vigilante” cursed the womyn, told them to scram, and ripped up their petition, telling us that what they’re doing was fake, a scam.
this is our fourth day in Paris, France and i have not even begun to catch my bearings. just yesterday i was pick-pocketed by other Africans for my iphone 6 and gloves, after visiting Alternatibas’ commons/convergence space along the outskirts of Paris. they are building an alternative to climate change and the energy crisis in concrete ways to lower emissions of greenhouse gases in all sectors. it was really cool to see their space and to hear about their work. for them to be at the scale they’re at with over 10,000 members, i find very impressive.
but yeah. i thought about those two incidents as i reflect on why we’re even here in the first place. to demand climate justice and to say no to the false solutions that the COP21 delegates are retorting.
even though i was super upset that my phone was stolen, i couldn’t help but think about the conditions that contribute to people’s decisions and what choices everyday people actually truly have. especially migrants.
i think about the COP, and these corporations and governments who make decisions that have global implications. these world “leaders” who have no regard for life, and actually have had the audacity to enslave mother nature, and in some cases, other humyn beings. this COP meeting is the 21st of it’s kind, and they still haven’t been able to come to an agreement, let alone put a break on carbon emissions. in fact, over the previous 20 COPs, carbon emissions from fossil fuels have risen 50%, as the nations of the world have put global trade and profits over life itself.
frontline communities prey on each other because we never actually see our true enemies. these corporations and world “leaders” manage an economy that’s based on a non-logic of perpetual growth even though there’s clear limitations on how much resources can actually be extracted.
the recent terrorist attacks in Paris coupled with the heightened repression that Arab, African and Muslim communities have experienced is a direct byproduct of these imperialist wars for control over fossil fuels. the capitalist system and the states that protect and enforce it, creates the conditions that make the oppressed and exploited turn against each other. my oppressed and exploited sisters and brothers, systemic survivors, were the people that swindled me and my comrade out of a couple of euros and stole my phone.
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Defying the ‘Shock Doctrine’ in Paris as Thousands March Despite Protest Ban: CommonDreams Quotes Cindy Wiesner
CommonDreams‘ update on Sunday, Nov.29th actions in Paris before the COP21 kickoff quotes It Takes Roots delegate Cindy Wiesner from the press advisory on how the demonstrators on Sunday “…stood in defiance …to defend democracy, reclaim the streets, and stand in solidarity with people living alongside fracking wells, REDD projects, and nuclear facilities—all rejecting these false solutions that COP21 is intending to advance.” Read the full article
November 30, 2015
A broad alliance of leaders from communities on the frontline of the climate crisis have traveled to Paris to speak out against the proposed global climate agreement, saying that it falls far short of what is needed to avoid global catastrophe.
With more than 100 delegates from dozens of climate impacted communities across the US and Canada, the It Takes Roots delegation is calling on world leaders to come out of Paris with an agreement based on real solutions.
“Climate catastrophes are a reality right now. But the COP21 is not based on that reality, only on what is politically expedient. The agreement 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 trading schemes that result in land grabs and human rights violations,” said Alberto Salamando, a human rights expert with the Indigenous Environmental Network.
“The UNFCCC process has been hijacked by the fossil fuel industry, which is seeking to expand pollution markets and privatize and sell everything from our air to the algae in our water. From cap and trade in California, to the carbon trading requirements of the Clean Power Plan, the US is aligning other member states around false solutions instead of holding steadfast to renewable energy and other genuine sustainable solutions,” said Kali Akuno from Cooperation Jackson in Mississippi.
“Our delegation is more than 25 years in the making. From the People of Color Environmental Justice Summit, through the Kyoto Accords, and the entire COP process, we have been the voice of urgency and clarity at every turn, because protecting our communities, our families and the planet has been our only true interest. We know, just as these negotiators do, that real reductions require a fundamental shift from the extractive economy and stopping climate pollution at the source,” said Jose Bravo of the Just Transition Alliance.
“Members of our delegation include a young person from Alaska whose community will be evacuated in the next ten years because of sea level rise. They are mothers and children living alongside fracking wells, coal mines, and oil refineries. We don’t have the luxury of pretending that pollution trading works when we know that it is a hoax. The climate movement as a whole is growing in alignment that our survival requires the kind of leadership and strategies that come from the grassroots.” said Cindy Wiesner, National Coordinator of Grassroots Global Justice Alliance.
“We see through this latest attempt by world leaders to escape responsibility. If the Obama administration is serious about climate change they also have to be serious about the changes they are willing to make. Those changes will not be easy, but going the easy way and conceding to fossil fuel interests is what got us to this crisis in the first place. Coming into an international negotiation looking to avoid negotiations and responsibility is not ok. It’s time to change and stand with the people, not the polluters.” said Kandi Mosset from the Indigenous Environmental Network.
Dallas Goldtooth, firstname.lastname@example.org;
Contact No: +1708-515-6158 (US); +33 751 413 823 (Paris, France)
Preeti Shekar, email@example.com
Contact No: +33 751 401 911 (Paris, France)
For more information:
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By Cindy Wiesner, It Takes Roots Delegate and National Co-ordinator, Grassroots Global Justice Alliance
On Sun, November 29th, a day before COP21 is set to kickstart in Paris with world leaders attending the opening week, more than 10,000 people took to the streets of Paris, participating in a creative action called a “human chain.” The chain stretched the length of the intended march route in a powerful display of the voices of popular movements who have been shut out of the COP process through the protest ban. Later in the afternoon, hundreds of protesters took to the streets and over 280 people were arrested and faced police violence. Worldwide, more than 600, 000 people in 175 countries took to the streets, demanding real responses to climate change.
“Members from the It Takes Roots delegation stood in defiance today to defend democracy, reclaim the streets, and stand in solidarity with people living alongside fracking wells, REDD projects, and nuclear facilities – all rejecting these false solutions that COP21 is intending to advance,” noted Cindy Wiesner, with Grassroots Global Justice Alliance.
The It Takes Roots Delegation participated in the Frontlines and Indigenous peoples sections of the Human Chain devoted to representing communities directly impacted by the climate crisis at Sunday’s action co-organized by Alternatiba, Attac, 350, Friends of the Earth and many other members of the Climate Coalition 21. Our powerful messages and demands were reflected through our colorful banners, signs, lively chants and feisty music marked the one hour human chain that spread for nearly two miles across the streets of Paris.
“Now it is more critical than ever to take to the streets to denounce the bad climate deal. COP21 will be the worst of all COPs because it will see the planet burn. We cannot accept that,” said Pablo Solon, former Climate Chief Negotiator from Bolivia and Climate Space Ally.
Grassroots activists from the global north and south are converging in Paris these next two weeks, outside of Le Bourget, where the official COP21 takes place, to demand that governments listen to people, and not the polluters. The It Takes Roots Delegation represents the global south within the global north, and also stands in strong solidarity with groups across the global south who are determined to have their voices heard as COP21 begins to unfold this week. This delegation will be an active participant and organizer of civil society led activities, workshops/panels at People’s Climate Summit, and other creative ways to hold governments accountable to their people, not corporate powers.
Some photos from Sunday’s action below. More on our photos page.
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It Takes Roots Delegates On Uprising Radio with Producer Sonali Kolhatker, November 20, 2015
GUESTS: Diana Lopez is an organizer with the Southwest Workers Union for worker rights, environmental justice and community empowerment in San Antonio, Texas and has attended several UN climate conferences;
Shawna Foster, veteran of the US National Guard where she served as a Nuclear Biological Chemical Weapons Specialist. She is currently the Board chair of Iraq Veterans Against The War. Both Akuno and Foster are members of the It Takes Roots delegation to COP21.
The French government has canceled two major climate justice marches that were organized around the upcoming Conference of Parties talks in Paris (COP21) in late November, early December. The recent ISIS attacks in Paris that resulted in 129 dead, were impetus for the announcement. Tens of thousands of activists from around the world are expected to converge between November 30th and December 13th outside the international climate conference to demand that country representatives hash out a strong agreement to curb global warming and to fund adaption efforts by developing nations.
Activist groups in the United States representing people of color, and poor and working class communities, have planned a significant presence at COP21. Grassroots Global Justice Alliance, the Climate Justice Alliance and the Indigenous Environmental Network are leading a delegation of over 75 activists called It Takes Roots.
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Ecologist Highlights It Takes Roots Delegation: No War, No Warming: Build an Economy for People and Planet’
In a feature update leading up to the COP21, The Ecologist highlights how climate change focused groups and organizations around the world are continuing to mobilize and organize in Paris, and spotlight It Takes Roots delegation’s strong message on: No War, No Warming – Build an Economy for People and Planet.’ Read the full article
Yes! Magazine Profiles ITR Delegate Sarra Tekola: Meet 5 Everyday People Heading to the Paris Climate Talks
Yes! Magazine profiled It Takes Roots Delegate and precocious youth organizer Sarra Tekola in an article titled Meet 5 Everyday People Heading to Paris for the Climate Talks. Read the article