December 7th, 2015
Contact: Dallas Goldtooth, Indigenous Environmental Network, France: +33 75 1413 823, US: + 708 515-6158, email@example.com
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.”
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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
The post Yes Magazine: What Paris Can Learn From a Mississippi Co-op at COP21 appeared first on It Takes Roots.
News Article Highlights It Takes Roots’ Position On COP21: “Environmentalists Angry with Paris Agreement”
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.
Cindy Wiesner and Ananda Lee Tan on PRI’s Environmental News Radio: Climate Activists Defy Paris Protest Ban
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.
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!
The post Watch A Powerful Video From Our Dec 4 – Solutions21 Action: End Fracking! appeared first on It Takes Roots.
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.
The post Rhode Island Times Highlights ITR Delegate Seena Chann headed to Paris appeared first on It Takes Roots.
All workers deserve a living wage! While we’re fighting for $15 across the U.S., Cambodian unions are leading a historic campaign to raise their federal minimum wage to $177/month. Many workers currently earn a mere $128/month producing for popular brands and retailers like H&M, the GAP, Zara and Walmart – but this is not enough.
Without a living wage, workers can’t afford to support themselves and their families. Workers often pass out on the job due to malnutrition, and don’t earn enough to afford basic healthcare. At the same time, the brands they’re producing for are bringing in extreme profits. Just last year, H&M earned over $10 billion in profit, but where is all that money going? With that kind of cash, there’s no question that brands like H&M should be prioritizing the health and safety of their workers by paying them a living wage.
Together, fourteen Cambodian unions are calling for a global day of action on December 10th, International Human Rights Day. USAS members across the country will be joining the International Labor Rights Forum to demand H&M and Walmart listen to the needs of their workers by agreeing to pay more. From the U.S. to Cambodia, workers can’t wait any longer for a living wage.
What are you doing on International Human Rights Day?
In the news:
December 4th, 2015
North America Dallas Goldtooth, Indigenous Environmental Network, firstname.lastname@example.org,1-708-515-6158
EU Suzanne Dhaliwal, Indigenous Environmental Network, UK Tar Sands Network
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
The post IEN Advisory: Indigenous Rights on Chopping Block of UN COP21 Paris Climate Accord appeared first on 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
The post Global Justice Blog: Shout Out to It Takes Root Delegation appeared first on It Takes Roots.
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
The post Grist Article Highlights It Takes Roots’ Delegation’s Disappointment With Paris Agreement appeared first on It Takes Roots.
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):
The post Kandi Mosset on Climate Voices Podcast: Indigenous Communities Are The Frontlines of Resistance appeared first on It Takes Roots.
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.
The post Climate Voices Podcast Features A Powerful Discussion with Cindy Wiesner appeared first on It Takes Roots.
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
The post Indigenous Press Conference Demanding True Climate Solutions at COP21 appeared first on It Takes Roots.
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
The post Eurasia Review Highlights Our Analysis: Vulnerable Communities Reject Proposed COP21 Accord appeared first on It Takes Roots.
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
"Every nation must now develop an overriding loyalty to mankind as a whole in order to preserve the best in their individual societies."
Press Release: 1 December 2015
Contact: Keith Brunner, Vermont Workers’ Center, 802-363-9615
Vermont Workers’ Center leaders join grassroots delegation at Paris climate talks calling for “system change, not climate change”
Shela Linton and Senowa Mize-Fox, of Brattleboro and Burlington, head to Paris this week to attend the United Nations’ COP21 global climate negotiations from December 3rd to December 11th. The two VWC members will travel as part of the historic “It Takes Roots to Weather the Storm” delegation, joining over 100 grassroots leaders from dozens of climate impacted communities in the US and Canada. 
The “It Takes Roots” delegation joins a broad alliance of organizations from across the world who 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.  The delegation is calling on world leaders to come out of Paris with an agreement based on real solutions, which require a just transition from the extractive economy towards local, living economies that ensure our human rights and ecological stewardship.
“From Paris to Montpelier, we’re seeing politicians push false solutions to climate change like fracking and carbon trading,” said Mize-Fox, one of the Vermont It Takes Roots delegates. “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.”
Here in Vermont, from April 30th to May 1st, 2016, the Vermont Human Rights Council and labor partners are hosting a People’s Convention & Just Transition Assembly, in which participants will outline a just transition strategy for Vermont towards a human rights economy for people and the planet. 
NOTES FOR EDITORS
The “It Takes Roots” delegation is organized by Indigenous Environmental Network, Climate Justice Alliance, and Grassroots Global Justice Alliance -- more info at www.ittakesroots.org.
It Takes Roots Media Advisory: Paris Climate Accord is “crime against vulnerable communities.” http://ittakesroots.org/paris-climate-accord-crime-against-communities/
- The Vermont Human Rights Council includes Migrant Justice, 350Vermont, Rising Tide Vermont, Green Mountain Self-Advocates, Vermont Center for Independent Living, and the Vermont Workers’ Center.