My self congratulating selfie after successfully pulling off @culturestrike ’s end of the year retreat . Bringing together all the staff , board members and ED and collectively brainstorming a phenomenal 2016!!! Incredible three days with the badass team : @eslvis @favianna1 @ikacook @zentronix , Michelle , Andy , and @juliosalgado83 (thanks boo for helping coordinate). Next year marks the 5th year anniversary of CultureStrike; we are bringing major culture shifts , art, artists , and funky visionary projects !! Stay tune !! #poc #femmesofcolor #migration #migrant #qtpoc #woc #qwoc #artist #art4 #art #borders #climatejustice #racialjustice #crimigration #writers #literary #writersofcolor #undocumented (at Oakland, California)
We want to do something on climate change but the minute you look at what that means, people back away and say not that, not that.
There’s a fundamental dishonesty here, to tell the world Canada will play its role on climate change and then tell Canadians there will be absolutely no limit on the expansion of the [oilsands] sector.
Nobody is talking about shutting it down tomorrow. This is about how much is it going to expand, what are we going to do over time and how are we going to phase this out over the coming decades because that is what Canada has committed to.
Keith Stewart, Greenpeace energy and climate campaigner, and part-time faculty member at the University of Toronto.
While climate change affects us all, the fight for climate justice acknowledges that is the most vulnerable communities that bear the brunt of the effects as highlighted in the NAACP blog on climate adaptation. This is true in the US Gulf South – Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida- where communities that have dealt with generations of oppression are on the frontlines of the climate crisis. This region has historically been the sacrifice zone for the US. Time and again we are used and mistreated, putting us directly in the position to bear the weight of the negative effects of climate change.
It’s a common perception that Black southerners don’t care about climate change. Black people do not do polar bears. Tree-huggers we are not! The planet’s getting hotter? Hell, it’s always hot in the South. What’s the difference?
And while the impacts on polar bears and trees may be warning signs of climate change, climate justice is about the people and cultures that share this earth. Climate justice is about equity in the aftermath of hurricanes, justice for owners of eroding land, access to health care for workers and residents exposed to toxic products and process of the fossil fuel industry. Climate justice is about protecting the human right to clean water, clean air and healthy food. Climate justice is about protecting the everyday lives of all people. Black people- poor people- people of the Gulf south. Here’s what I mean.
An elderly Black man lives in Galveston, Texas with a physical disability, no car, and no homeowners insurance (because he can’t afford it since prices skyrocketed after Hurricane Ike hit). It’s hurricane season and there’s a big one heading for the Gulf. Climate change is about the frequency of more extreme storms. Climate justice is about the systems in place to keep you safe and help you recover.
A Black woman is living in Gulfport, Mississippi where her family has lived for almost 200 years. It took her family longer than most to amass enough wealth to establish a successful B&B. Climate change is about the issue of sea-level rise that now threatens this generational investment. Climate justice is about addressing the historical segregation of Black communities in low-lying areas when you have to be compensated for business or personal loss.
Climate justice is the fight of 5th generation descendants of Africatown, Alabama against the proposed more than 2 million gallons of tar sands oil will pass through your neighborhood by rail, and then unloaded through a controversial process converting tar sand sludge into a liquefied chemical before traveling by pipeline under the Mobile River Climate change is about the carbon emissions produced in the extraction and transportation of the Tar sands.
The Black Future of Climate Justice is why the NAACP is participating in the UN climate talks. Climate Justice is why Dillard University in New Orleans (an HBCU) is involved in addressing demanding equal access to food, saying no to Keystone pipeline. This is why GCCLP’s work starts at the intersection of Climate Justice, Migrant Rights, Land Sovereignty, and Economic Opportunity for communities on the frontlines of climate change.
Injustices that created and maintain frontline communities did not end with the Selma to Montgomery March or when Senator Barack Obama was elected President of the United States. This Black History Month we must choose to learn from to those who came before us, those who fought for our right to vote, to have quality education, to get equal pay for equal work, to sit wherever the hell we want to on a bus or in a movie theatre. The struggle for justice continues, my friends. This Black History Month we must be resolute in connecting climate change to our continued struggle for justice.
“My name is Hueiya. I fight for my community and for the children in the future to not suffer and live in peace, and to breathe clean air. I’m fighting for my children to live without pollution, have fertile land, clean rivers, and can drink clean water.” [Photograph by Felipe Jacome , part of his “Amazon: Guardians of Life"series that documents the struggles of #indigenous women defending the #Ecuadoran #Amazon through portraits combined with the powerful written testimonies…. "On Oct. 12, 2013, a group of nearly 300 women from seven indigenous nationalitiesmarched to Quito, Ecuador, arriving in the capital four days later with their children in their arms, the sharp angles of their faces — young and old — decorated with vegetable ink designs, covered in the same strength and determination with which they began their journey. They were marching to Quito to ask the central government to respect their ancestral lands, to refrain from exploiting the oil that lies beneath his Kawsak Sacha, aliving jungle. In November of that same year, a smaller delegation of women peacefully protested during the 11th Oil Licensing Round, an auction of 6 million acres of ancestral indigenous land for oil exploitation. The protests, however, turned sour when oil executive and politicians scolded protesters, and Ecuadoran President Rafael Correa subsequently demanded the closing of the NGO Fundación Pachamama and indicted 10 indigenous leaders on charges of terrorism.
While women have always played an active role in historic marches that marked the struggle for the rights of indigenous peoples in Ecuador, this was the first walk organized and led by women.” Read More on : http://wapo.st/1tXdOeE #woc #ClimateJustice #art4
jc holding the new 1 color, hand-pulled screen print (of herself as a six month old). it’s titled “rethink coal” + drops for $35. (contact info in the header.) #climatejustice #rethinkcoal. print is also available at #justseeds. peace.
South Asians Demand Climate Justice at People’s Climate March in New York
New York, September 21 — One hundred fifty members of eleven South Asian community groups came together in New York City Sunday morning to participate in the People’s Climate March, the largest such event in history. Participants in the joint South Asians for Climate Justice group came from as far away as California and the UK, carrying signs like “when fossil fuels burn, Kashmir floods” and “we are armed only with peer-reviewed science.” A South Asians for Climate Justice contingent also met at a parallel Sunday afternoon event in the San Francisco Bay Area, in addition to large climate marches and gatherings in in major cities throughout South Asia over the weekend, including New Delhi, Islamabad, Dhaka, Kathmandu, Colombo, and Malé.
The New York event saw three generations of South Asian environmental activists coming together to learn and march. It started with members of the Bangladeshi community sharing their hopes for the talks. According to Sayed Rahman from the Bangladesh Environmental Network, “while world leaders are dithering, climate refugees in Bangladesh are living with the consequences of catastrophic climate change created by major greenhouse gas polluters like the United States and Europe. We call on world leaders, particularly President Obama and the U.S. Congress, to work toward ambitious international emissions reduction targets.”
The large Sikhs for Climate Justice group began the morning with a prayer before the march, linking their environmental activism with their faith. According to Bandana Kaur, environmental researcher and Program Ambassador of EcoSikh, “we march because this understanding of the universe is embedded within the Khalsa ideal for Sikhs—a word that also signifies the sovereign body of Sikhs who make a commitment to protecting the most marginalized among us, a strong call to environmental justice.” Sonny Singh of Red Baraat and a small army of musicians marched with the group, providing an energetic soundtrack to a charged and emotional day.
New York-based organizing groups emphasized the links between local and global. Padma Seemangal of the Indo-Caribbean Alliance said her group was participating because “As a community we have witnessed first-hand the devastating effects of Hurricane Sandy both in our neighborhood and across New York City.“ Rasel Rahman, a senior community organizer at Chhaya CDC sees deep links between the global climate justice movement and his agency’s housing rights work in New York. “From Hurricane Sandy in New York to mega-floods in Kashmir, climate change robs communities around the world of their support systems. We demand equitable reinvestment in all our communities, and call for UN Climate Summit participants to fully fund the Green Climate Fund.”
“Desis can play a critical role in the American climate movement,” described Barnali Ghosh of the San Francisco Bay Area-based group Brown and Green: South Asian Americans for Climate Justice. “South Asia is climate ground zero, and our actions in the United States can either reduce the risk or further endanger 1.7 billion people. That means every time we take action in the US to vote for climate leaders, shut down another dirty energy facility, divest from mega-polluters, or reinvest in real solutions, we achieve a double victory—not only helping communities in the US, but simultaneously also in our homelands. We call on President Obama to show world leadership in ending public funding of the dirty energy economy.”
Devika Ghai of the Alliance of South Asians Taking Action was one of twenty community members participating in a parallel climate rally taking place in Oakland, California. She worried about her grandmother, whose community had been affected by the 2013 Uttarakhand floods in India. Ghai compared the climate crisis to colonialism, where much of the atmosphere’s ability to absorb carbon has been monopolized by a small group of industrialized nations, while residents of the most vulnerable communities around the world pay the price.
Linked events were held in every South Asian country Saturday and Sunday. “Even though we bear the least responsibility for causing global greenhouse gas emissions, we are being hit the hardest,” writes Nepalese Youth for Climate Action and other organizers of the People’s Climate March Kathmandu. “Climate change is an extreme global injustice as well as a contributor to inequality. Urgent action is needed to reduce emissions and support the poorest to adapt to climate change. The UN climate summit provides a historic opportunity.”
After the New York event, writer and performer Alok Vaid-Menon, known for their work with South Asian spoken word group DARKMATTER, blogged about the day, referencing those most impacted by climate injustice, including “the Global South, indigenous peoples, gender minorities, poor people, small farmers, fisherfolk, and nomadic peoples. We regard climate change not as a phenomenon that is created by ‘humans’ but by the continuation of colonial systems into the atmosphere. The division of 'humans’ and 'environment’ is itself a colonial one. 'Climate change’ is not a failure of Western capitalism, but actually the total success and realization of it. The same poverty-generating systems that built the West are the ones wreaking havoc on the water, air, and land. The 'solution’ then, is not to get down to 350 parts per million, or to institute a carbon tax, or create more solar panel startups, or fund another wind farm, or screw in better light bulbs. The goal is to continue to fight state violence, colonialism, and capitalism at their roots.”
List of organizations participating in the South Asians for Climate Justice contingent at the People’s Climate March:
7th installment of the “We Are The Storm” climate change art portfolio!
@culturestrike, in collaboration with @justseeds, has forged partnerships between artists and frontline environmental justice organizations to create a provocative, limited-edition art print portfolio that highlights the urgency of climate change on these communities.
This piece is by Meredith Stern in collaboration with Bridge The Gulf.
Artist statement: “This piece aims to represent the work that Bridge the Gulf does - using storytelling as a means of working for justice and sustainability. The people depicted in the piece are part of this grassroots movement working for environmental justice in the Gulf Coast.” -Meredith Stern
To purchase this print, go to: bit.ly/watsmeredith
My organization @CultureStrike is 1 of the 10 finalists for the SF Foundation’s Innovation Award, and we need YOUR online votes to win $20,000. We only have 48 hours. CultureStrike is founded by Artists, run by Artists, and brings ART to the Movement!
#NY are you ready ?! We need your help !! Come out on Sunday for #PeoplesClimate March ( @peoplesclimate ) and march with #migrants rights bloc . Come hold some #art !! To march with @culturestrike meet us at 10 am on 65th Street and Central Park West !! For more information/RSVP contact me . #Art4 #immigration #climatechange #climatejustice #woc #qtpoc #youth #undocumented #culturestrike #nyc #centralpark