In the name of our people and in the name of our mother earth, we are people of color coming together to resist climate change. We believe in the power of our people’s resistance and we trust the power of our communities to reclaim control of our lives, our cultures, and our lands by becoming independent from the industries and institutions that are destroying our earth. To continue to fight in the names of our cultures, our histories, and our lands, we will come together to learn and to build long-lasting relationships with one another at the Confluence, a merging of waters, our own perfect storm.
Points of Unity
- We recognize the pervasiveness of environmental racism, and the fact that the people most hurt by the extraction and burning of fossil fuels, as well as those hardest hit by natural disasters, have been and will continue to be those most disenfranchised by the dominant structures of power. Worldwide, people of color and the poor are least responsible for greenhouse gas emissions and are targeted by the same systems of oppression that are the causes of climate change.
- We have seen with Hurricane Katrina that governments respond to climate disasters with an increased police state and with the same war machine that occupies lands to extract the resources that cause climate change. The entire police security state, including border security and the prison-industrial complex, is a dire threat to life that accompanies any “natural” disaster. Thus, we seek to build grassroots responses to the climate crisis that work within the framework of prison abolition and move towards building accountable community-based justice systems.
- We recognize that it is the responsibility of all movements for social and political change to resist political repression and fight for the release of political prisoners. We reject the militarization of borders and the anti-immigrant policies that criminalize communities here in the United States and elsewhere. We seek to create a space that exposes the cycles of displacement, from colonial land theft to economically forced migration, from gentrification to ICE raids.
- We recognize that these same systems of structural violence extend to the human domination and exploitation of non-human animals, other organisms, and entire ecosystems for profit and power, and that this power imbalance is both supported by and perpetuates other oppressions. We believe in biodiversity and eco-centrism, which affirms the inherent value in all life forms and does not value any life according to its usefulness to humans or value in the market.
- We reject the unjust and false solutions to climate change handed down to us by corporations and governments, such as carbon (cap and trade) markets, clean coal, industrial biofuels, and nuclear power. False solutions create the illusion of progress while allowing the world’s ruling classes and multinational corporations to continue their profit-driven practices which are the root cause of climate change. Moreover false solutions do not address the social injustices that are caused by these same systems, and in fact worsen these injustices under the banner of “saving the planet”.
- We support Indigenous People’s right to self-determination and reject colonialism, neocolonialism, and Western imperialism in all its forms. We support all indigenous struggles for sovereignty, here in the Northeast, throughout the Americas, and throughout the world. This includes but is not limited to the protection of sacred sites, the return of stolen lands, and the cancellation of mineral, water, and atmospheric privatization.
- We recognize that support for indigenous struggles includes the right of Palestinians to freedom and self-determination on all of their historic land. We are against Zionism as a political ideology that equates Jewish heritage, religion, and identity with the colonial settler state of Israel. We also oppose Zionism as practice, meaning the support and maintenance of colonial settlement in any part of historic Palestine. We recognize that confronting Zionism is crucial to any movement against imperialism, militarization, and the oppression of indigenous peoples.
- We are inspired by international campesina movements, and we affirm the values of food sovereignty. We believe that food, water, seed saving, and access to fertile land are a human right rather than a resource for profit, and that people, not markets, should define food production.
- We believe that reproductive justice must be tied with climate justice. We understand that environmentally-based arguments around “overpopulation” have been used to justify racist and xenophobic population control programs (such as targeting women of color with sterilization campaigns and the dangerous testing of birth control drugs). As such, we understand the politics of population control as a form of modern eugenics.
- We believe that successful solutions to climate change and social injustice will be community based, defined and practiced by those most affected by climate change.