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U.S. states have spent the past 5 years trying to criminalize protest

by Naveena Sadasivam, Grist


Highlights

Minnesota has recently been the site of continued protests focused on racial equality and police brutality. The state has also seen many protests concerning the building of new fossil fuel infrastructure such as large pipeline projects. Over the past four years, state lawmakers have introduced ten bills criminalizing protests that include jail time and heavy fines.

  • Various bills were introduced after the murder of Philando Castile by police in 2016 when protesters shut down a major highway. Other bills concerned protests that were against a planned replacement of a pipeline that ran through Alberta, Canada to Wisconsin  
  • Some bills would have allowed protesters to be jailed for up to a year, fined offenders up to $3,000 each, and allowed cities to sue protesters for the cost of police response
  • There are two bills proposed this year:  One would make trespassing on property with oil and gas facilities punishable by up to three years in prison with a fine of $5,000
  • A report by PEN America says that 116 anti-protest bills were proposed in state legislatures between 2015 and 2020 and 23 bills in 15 states became law
  • Minnesota state senator Paul Utke sponsored a bill that would have made training, hiring, or counseling those who end up trespassing on property with a pipeline a felony punishable with up to ten years in prison and a $20,000 fine after the Dakota Access Pipeline protests

The Climate Center’s urgent climate policy goals will only be achieved if we also close the climate gap and ensure that lower-income communities and communities of color get climate justice.


Read more: https://grist.org/justice/states-criminalize-protest-george-floyd-philando-castile-enbridge-dapl

BlackLivesMatter_protest_Berlin_2020-05-30_22

The climate justice movement must oppose white supremacy everywhere

by Mattias Lehman, Medium


Highlights

Mattias Lehman of the Sunrise Movement, a youth-led climate movement working for the end to the climate crisis, shares how environmental groups need to focus more on racial inequality.

  • The climate movement is typically focused on nature-based initiatives such as “Save the Trees” and “Save the Polar Bears,” but rarely provides emphasis on saving the Black and Brown communities that have been experiencing environmental racism throughout history
  • The climate crisis is a major contributing factor to the migration of peoples to other countries. Many are seeking refuge from drought and famine
  • Environmental groups must speak out on injustices within the immigrant communities because immigrants are directly impacted by climate effects. To be silent is to be complicit with the racism that keeps these communities on the frontlines, in detention centers, and held in cages
  • Supporting and working towards defunding, reforming, and abolishing structures in this country built on principles of systemic racism is an important step for building a just, green, and equitable future

The Climate Center’s urgent climate policy goals will only be achieved if we also close the climate gap and ensure that communities of color are no longer disproportionately harmed. There cannot be climate justice without racial justice.


Read more: https://medium.com/sunrisemvmt/the-climate-justice-movement-must-oppose-white-supremacy-everywhere-by-supporting-m4bl-4e338cf91b19

Seattle Black Lives Matter protest by Kelly Kline

The Climate Center Stands Against Racism, Police Violence and Environmental Injustice

The Climate Center stands in solidarity with communities of color and with the protesters in the streets. We join them in demanding an end to institutional racism, police violence, white supremacy, and the environmental injustices that many Black, Brown, Asian and Indigenous communities experience daily.

Shared responsibility and equitable, inclusive solutions are fundamental values we strive to embody in our efforts to realize speed and scale greenhouse gas reductions.

Our urgent climate policy goals will only be achieved if we also close the climate gap and ensure that communities of color are no longer disproportionately harmed. There cannot be climate justice without racial justice. Read more here.

Black Lives Matter protest in Oakland. Photo by Daniel Arauz

Climate Justice is Racial Justice

The recent deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and too many others at the hands of police, are abhorrent and intolerable. Institutional racism, intentionally interwoven into the American fabric since long before our nation’s founding, has locked in major inequalities for people of color in wealth, income, education, health, jobs, housing, and public safety.

Black, Brown, and Indigenous people are more likely to be killed by police than white people, with virtually no officers charged, let alone convicted.

Toxic oil and gas infrastructure – from freeways to oil rigs–are often sited in communities of color, dangerously close to homes, schools, and hospitals due to historic redlining and redevelopment. Constantly in the pall of polluted air, they suffer from significantly lower life expectancy and higher rates of asthma, cancer, and other diseases than white people and those in wealthier neighborhoods.

And these same communities of color are being hit much harder by the dual pandemics of COVID19 and climate.

There cannot be climate justice without racial justice.

Shared responsibility and equitable, inclusive solutions are fundamental values we at The Climate Center strive to realize in our efforts to achieve speed and scale greenhouse gas reductions. We stand in solidarity with communities of color. We stand in solidarity with the protesters in the streets.

The climate movement cannot remain silent any longer. To achieve our urgent climate policy goals, we must close the climate gap to ensure communities of color are no longer disproportionately harmed. We must end police violence, white supremacy, and the environmental injustices that many Black, Brown, Asian and Indigenous communities experience daily.

Take action today. Learn about systemic racism, talk about it, speak out against it, practice anti-racism, and demand racial justice. Together we can ensure a just transition to a clean, green, and equitable future.

Following are a handful of the many resources available online: Systemic Racism Explained (short video), 5 Ways to Show Up for Racial Justice Today, Activism & Allyship Guide, 15 Things Your City Can Do Right Now to End Police Brutality, Anti-Racism Resources for White People, and 8 Ways Environmental Organizations Can Support the Movement for Environmental Justice.