Grassroots Global Justice Alliance (GGJ), Climate Justice Alliance (CJA Our Power Campaign), Indigenous Environmental Network (IEN), and Right To The City Alliance (RTTC) are teaming up for the It Takes Roots to Grow the Resistance Delegation and Translocal Actions in the first 100 days of the Trump administration. Check out this toolkit for information on how to participate translocally and spread the word about #ItTakesRoots:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 17, 2017
CONTACT: Isobel White, 510-828-3554
Bernice Shaw, 310-880-1389
Women of Color Lead: A Call to Grow the Resistance against Trump, to Converge in Washington D.C. Jan 18-21
Interviews available upon request with women of color, undocumented & immigrant women, Spanish speakers, Indigenous Peoples, youth and renters
Washington D.C. | January 18, 2017 — This week, women of color and grassroots leaders from around the U.S. will join forces for the “It Takes Roots to Grow the Resistance” delegation to Washington D.C. to take action against the incoming Trump administration. The delegation, organized by the Climate Justice Alliance, Grassroots Global Justice Alliance, the Indigenous Environmental Network and the Right to the City Alliance, will bring together over 100 grassroots leaders from communities most impacted by a wide range of the incoming administration’s proposed policies.
These leaders – from African American, Latino, Asian, Pacific Islander, Indigenous, and poor white communities across the country – are joining together to resist the threat posed by the incoming administration and to build a vision beyond hate and walls.
“We are in a moment in which racial hatred against our communities of color is stronger than ever, in which we have to organize, unite and defend our rights that we have as immigrants, workers and families. We cannot allow fear to paralyze us. The respect and dignity of and in our communities is our shield to be able to maintain that strength and resistance in our communities.” – Sylvia Lopez, Domestic Workers organizer, Mujeres Unidas y Activas.
These grassroots leaders will join together in workshops to learn from each other’s local struggles and victories and to be trained in community resilience and nonviolent resistance. They will also take part in the direct actions listed below.
“It Takes Roots to Grow The Resistance means that grassroots communities hold the power to pushback against the injustice that a Trump presidency will bring. Grassroots, local, low-income and communities of color are leading the way with solutions right now, such as United Workers shutting down incinerators in Baltimore and the Boston Recycling Coalition pushing their city toward zero waste.” – Ahmina Maxey, Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives (GAIA)
“When people in power have tried to divide our communities, told us to hate and fear each other, it is the women who have brought us together. Now more than ever, we need to ensure that the roots of the resistance are strong, so we are coming together to grow and deepen the resistance together.” – Angela Adrar, Climate Justice Alliance
#ItTakesRoots Actions & Events In Washington D.C. January 18 – 21st
- Friday January 20th at 9:30 AM (1000 Independence Ave SW, Washington D.C);
- #ItTakesRoots direct action at the U.S. Department of Energy and the office of Housing & Urban Development to oppose Rick Perry’s direct ties to the Dakota Access Pipeline, and the threat to housing security posed by Ben Carson, Steven Mnuchin, and Donald Trump.
- Friday January 20th at 12:00 PM at Columbus Circle in Union Station:
- #ItTakesRoots will spearhead a women of color, gender non-conforming folks and allies contingent at the Disrupt J20 March called for by local D.C. communities aiming to disrupt the inauguration.
- Saturday January 21st at 9:00AM, meeting at Garfield Park (Corner of 3rd and G Street SE, Washington D.C.)
- #ItTakesRoots will join in with the Women of Color & Allies Contingent for the historic Women’s March on Washington. Thousands are expected to join the contingent including members of the four alliances, the National Domestic Workers Center, 350.org and more. The contingent will feature frontline Women of Color spokespeople as well as bold and large art & banners.
Local Actions Throughout the Nation:
On January 20th, in solidarity with the delegation in D.C., member organizations are spearheading actions in nine cities across the country including: Chicago, Oakland, San Francisco, Nashville, Los Angeles, Boston, San Antonio, Long Beach and Denver. The #ItTakesRoots coalition also plans to escalate a series of translocal actions throughout the first 100 days of the Trump Presidency to build community power.
It Takes Roots to Grow the Resistance
Grassroots Global Justice Alliance (GGJ)
Grassroots Global Justice is a national alliance of grassroots organizations building a popular movement for peace, democracy and a sustainable world. GGJ weaves and bridges together US-based grassroots organizing groups and global social movements working for climate justice, an end to war, and to advance a just transition to a new economy that is better for people and the planet.
Climate Justice Alliance (CJA)
The Climate Justice Alliance is a collaborative of over 35 community-based and movement support organizations uniting frontline communities to forge a scalable, and socio-economically just transition away from unsustainable energy towards local living economies to address the root causes of climate change. We are rooted in Indigenous, African American, Latino, Asian Pacific Islander, and working-class white communities throughout the U.S. We are applying the power of deep grassroots organizing to win local, regional, statewide, and national shifts.
Right to the City Alliance (RTTC)
Right to the City (RTTC) emerged in 2007 as a unified response to gentrification and a call to halt the displacement of low-income people, people of color, marginalized LGBTQ communities, and youths of color from their historic urban neighborhoods. We are a national alliance of racial, economic and environmental justice organizations.
Indigenous Environmental Network (IEN)
Established in 1990 within the United States, IEN was formed by grassroots Indigenous peoples and individuals to address environmental and economic justice issues (EJ). IEN’s activities include building the capacity of Indigenous communities and tribal governments to develop mechanisms to protect our sacred sites, land, water, air, natural resources, health of both our people and all living things, and to build economically sustainable communities.
* For Immediate Release *
April 20 , 2016
“They don’t even mention Fossil Fuels!”
Three days before world leaders sign the Paris Agreement, an international alliance of frontline and indigenous communities denounce it as a ‘dangerous distraction’
San Francisco, CA – As world leaders prepare to sign the Paris Agreement later this week on Earth Day (April 22) an international alliance of grassroots and Indigenous leaders are calling the historic agreement “dangerous distraction.”
Statement From Cindy Wiesner of Grassroots Global Justice Alliance:
“The Paris Climate agreement doesn’t even mention fossil fuels, the clearest cause of climate change. The agreement is a dangerous distraction that leaves common sense, science, human rights and the rights of communities on the frontlines of climate change on the negotiating table. While world leaders are finally taking action they are heading down the wrong path. Frontline communities and Indigenous Peoples have been calling for a clear path to solve our climate crisis. We can end the privatization of nature, we can stop the use of dirty fossil fuels and we can stop climate change. We know this because we are on the front lines of climate change, we see it, we know it, we live it. The world will not find solutions to climate change without us.”
Statement from Tom Goldtooth, of the Indigenous Environmental Network
“I started attending the UN climate meetings in 1999. Over the last 17 years I’ve witnessed corporate, Wall Street and other financial influence gut any real solutions coming out of the negotiations. As a result, the Paris Agreement goal of stopping global temperature rise by 1.5 degrees C is not real because the pledges each country is making will allow emission levels that will increase global temperature 3 – 4 degrees. This will be catastrophic to the ecosystem of the world, including the ice culture of the Indigenous Peoples of the Arctic. The Paris agreement will result in the cooking of the planet. We, Indigenous Peoples, are the red line against climate change. We can not be idle, we have never been idle. Indigenous voices are rising up globally to demand climate justice for humanity — for human rights and the rights of Mother Earth.”
Statement from Nnimmo Bassey, Director, HOME (Health of Mother Earth) Foundation (Nigeria)
“The Paris Agreement locks in fossil fuels and, to underscore corporate capture of the negotiations, the word, fossil, is not as much as mentioned in the document. It is shocking that although the burning of fossil fuels is known to be a major contributor to global warming, climate negotiations engage in platitudes rather than going to the core of the problem. Scientists tell us that burning of fossil fuels would have to end by 2030 if there would be a chance of keeping temperature increase to 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels. The signal we get from the silence on the fossils factor is that oil and coal companies can continue to extract profit while burning the planet.”
For more background and detailed criticism of the agreement see We Are Mother Earth’s Red Line a report released by the It Takes Roots Delegation to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) 21st Conference of the Parties (COP21) in Paris.
Also available for comment and media appearance:
- Cindy Wiesner, National Coordinator, Grassroots Global Justice Alliance (USA)
- Tom Goldtooth and Kandi Mossett, Indigenous Environmental Network (North America)
- Rossmery Zayas, Communities for a Better Environment, Southeast Los Angeles
- Elisabeth Sanders, Kentuckians for the Commonwealth, Kentucky
- Nnimmo Bassey, Director, HOME Foundation (Nigeria)
- Max Rademacher, Alternatiba (France)
- Pat Mooney, Executive Director, ETC Group (Canada)
- Graca Samo, World March of Women (Mozambique)
In the wake of the Paris attacks, climate activists and the French government are at odds over plans for a massive protest march on Nov. 29 ahead of the U.N. climate talks. French authorities are threatening to curtail public demonstrations and marches, but climate activists insist the right to protest and freedom of speech must be upheld even during a state of emergency. We speak to Alix Mazounie, the international policies coordinator at Climate Action Network France.
French government says demonstrations in closed spaces can go ahead but not those in public places
Major marches which had been planned to coincide with the COP21 international climate talks in Paris will not be authorised for security reasons, the French government has said.
Environmental activists – who had expected attract hundreds of thousands people on 29 November and 12 December – said that they accepted Wednesday’s decision with regret, but were now considering “new and imaginative” ways of making their voices heard.
Following the recent terror attacks in Paris, French authorities said a statement that all demonstrations organised in closed spaces or in places where security can easily be ensured could go ahead.
“However, in order to avoid additional risks, the government has decided not to authorise climate marches planned in public places in Paris and other French cities,” it said.
Environmental activists had hoped the marches would attract large numbers to put pressure on governments to cut greenhouse gas emissions. A range of groups have been involved in planning actions during the summit and the position of every one of them was not immediately clear on Wednesday.
Some of those involved say though that more than 2,000 protests in around 150 countries during the talks have taken on a greater significance. They include the campaign group Avaaz, which released a promotional video for the marches it is involved in organising around the world.
Emma Ruby-Sachs, deputy director of Avaaz, said: “The police have just informed us that the tragic attacks in Paris have made the march there impossible.
“Now it’s even more important for people everywhere to march on the weekend of 29 November on behalf of those who can’t, and show that we are more determined than ever to meet the challenges facing humanity with hope, not fear.”
Jean-François Juilliard, Greenpeace France executive director, said that it was a source of huge regret that the French authorities said that they cannot guarantee safety the safety of marchers but the decision must be respected.
He added: “Huge numbers were expected in Paris, but those people will not be silenced. We will find new, imaginative ways to ensure our voices are heard in the UN conference centre and beyond.
“In hundreds of towns and cities across the world people will still march for the climate, for Paris and for our shared humanity. We stand for a vision of human cooperation that the murderers sought to extinguish. They will not succeed.”
Talks between the French foreign minister, Laurent Fabius, and campaigners over the fate of a huge march before the forthcoming Paris climate summit ended without agreement earlier this week.
Fabius expressed fears on Tuesday about the risk of another terror attack and of the sort of crowd panic seen in Paris’s Place de République on 15 November, when hundreds of people fled a solidarity vigil after firecrackers were let off.
As well as the marches, other protest actions which had been planned include a “people’s summit”, a “climate action zone” involving schools and community groups and a day of civil disobedience at the summit’s end.
Coalition Climat 21, an alliance of civil society groups that had been centrally involved in the Paris protests, had pledged earlier this week to try to continue with public demonstrations within the city in close consultation with the police.
It said in a statement on Wednesday that it would try to find an “alternative form of citizen mobilisation” to demonstrate that COP21 would not just be left to the negotiators.
The organisation said that the climate summit, which was due to be held on 5 and 6 December in the eastern suburb of Montreuil and another event from 7 to 11 December in the centre of Paris should be maintained.
Contact: Preeti Shekar at 510-219-4193, [email protected]
Release Date: Friday, November 13, 2015
Ahead of Paris, Grassroots Activists Demand Real Change:
“President Obama: Listen To The People, Not Polluters!”
The Grassroots Global Justice Alliance (GGJ) is excited to announce a delegation of 100 leaders and organizers from US and Canadian grassroots and indigenous communities headed to the upcoming UNCOP21 in Paris later this month. The delegation, titled It Takes Roots to Weather the Storm joins together three powerful alliances of grassroots activists and frontline communities’ leaders: Grassroots Global Justice Alliance, the Indigenous Environmental Network (IEN), and the Climate Justice Alliance.
As the effects of climate change continue to hit peak levels of catastrophe, global leaders have been promising a new climate agreement through the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Conference of Parties (COP). This year, the COP21 will take place in Paris, France, from November 30-December 11, 2015. Thousands of climate justice movements from around the world will converge on the streets of Paris to demand global action to stop the fossil fuel industry’s continued burning of the planet. The It Takes Roots delegation represents cutting edge leadership of communities who have alternative sustainable solutions to the current failed fossil fuel economies that are destroying the planet.
“Everything we are seeing shows that the negotiating text on table right now for the COP21 falls far short of the action needed to avoid global catastrophe. Our communities are already being hit the hardest — from droughts on one coast to floods on the other. The time has come for the US to break with the fossil fuel industry and refuse to accept false solutions and market strategies,” noted Cindy Wiesner, national coordinator of GGJ.
More About the It Takes Roots Delegation
It Takes Roots is a broad, powerful delegation including indigenous communities in North America and Canada, and a wide array of regional grassroots groups tackling environmental and health impacts of fracking, extraction, oil refineries and other hallmarks of a toxic fossil fuel dependant economy.
The delegates and the groups they represent are intergenerational, comprising a mix of youth organizers and veteran community leaders, who hail from working class African American, Latino, Asian, Pacific Islander and rural white communities, as this cross-section shows:
- Southwest Worker’s Union in San Antonio fighting the impacts of fracking and extraction in Texas.
- The Asian Pacific Environmental Network leading a campaign against Chevron highlighting the health impacts of Chevron’s oil refinery in Richmond, California.
- Cooperation Jackson from Mississippi, building up a network of worker run cooperatives to reduce and challenge waste incineration.
- The Black Mesa Water Coalition waging a powerful campaign to create indigenous owned solar power facilities to replace the coal power facility on native land.
- Kentuckians for the Commonwealth fighting mountain-top removal in Eastern Kentucky.
- Leading social justice organizations like Iraq Veterans Against the War, the National American Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), the Chinese Progressive Association and several other new actors in the climate movement.
Frontline communities mobilizing to Paris comes on the heels of the historic victory last week when President Obama cancelled the Keystone Pipeline project, in direct response to the enormous activism and leadership of several groups that are a part of the It Takes Roots delegation.
“Years of organizing and mounting pressure led by Indigenous communities from North America led to the rejection of the Keystone XL Pipeline. Now frontline Indigenous communities are heading to Paris prepared to use our bodies to draw a red line of resistance to stop extractive industries and fight for a just transition into renewable energies. The question remains — Will President Obama listen to the polluters or to the people?” asks Kandi Mossett, a climate campaign organizer with the IEN.
“From Hurricane Katrina to Superstorm Sandy, recurrent extreme climate change disasters hit our communities first and worst. These storms are the legacy of decision makers lacking the courage to make bold decisions. The time to act is now. We need to stop fossil fuel dependency and look to alternative, sustainable solutions as the only way forward. The KXL pipeline cancellation was a good start, but only the beginning,” notes Elizabeth Yeampierre, a frontline community organizer with Uprose, a New York-based community organization.
In addition to participating in various civil society formations at COP21, the It Takes Roots delegation will be organizing creative and peaceful actions on the streets of Paris, participating in rallies, solidarity marches, leading workshops, and making local and global connections with frontline communities resisting climate change. With art and music, colorful banners and people chanting slogans, the It Takes Roots delegation will be a forceful voice of dissent, calling out on the deep hypocrisies of state leaders, between their rhetoric and actions, and presenting the real, alternative solutions.
Bios of Quoted Delegates:
Cindy Wiesner is the National Coordinator of Grassroots Global Justice Alliance (GGJ) and Co-Chair of the Climate Justice Alliance (CJA), and has been active in the grassroots social justice movement, working on the intersections of labor organizing, environmental justice, ending gender-based violence, queer organizing, and migrant rights for over 20 years.
Kandi Mossett is a leading voice in the Indigenous environmental movement in North America. In her most current role as Native Energy and Climate Campaign Organizer with the Indigenous Environmental Network (IEN), and through speaking at UN forums, and by testifying in front of the US Congress, she has played a crucial role in making visible nationally and internationally, the devastating impacts of climate change on Indigenous communities and tribal lands.
Elizabeth Yeampierre is the Executive Director of Uprose, Brooklyn, New York’s oldest Latino community organization. Her organizing prioritizes just transitions, sustainable development, environmental justice, and building community-led climate adaptation and resiliency. A dynamic public speaker, she has presented at the first White House forum on Environmental Justice, and more recently, spoke at the open climate rally for Pope Francis.
Contact: Preeti Shekar, GGJ Media Strategist at 510-219-4193 or [email protected] for more information, to interview delegates, for quotes for articles/profiles, to discuss pitches, and other media inquiries.