From Ukraine to Your Hood: Black Perspectives on War at Home and Abroad

Webinar hosted by the It Takes Roots Black (African Descent/Diaspora) Caucus featuring Black panelists conversing about the war in Ukraine & its impact on our communities, people & world from a Black perspective.



  • Opening Ceremony & Grounding - Ronel Remy
  • Welcome & introduction to ITR Black Caucus & Program - Trenise Bryant
  • Introduction of Panel - Natasha Erskine, About Face Veterans Against The War

*Michael Simmons
International Human Rights Activist

*Onyesonwu Chatoyer
All African Peoples Revolutionary Party

*Ajamu Baraka
Black Alliance for Peace

*Maureen D. Taylor
Chair of the Michigan Welfare Rights Organization

  • Reading of Joint Anti War statement - National Black Liberation Movement National Unity Initiative



Michael Simmons has been an international human rights and peace activist for over 50 years, beginning as an organizer for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee during the 1960s in the United States. Over his career Michael has taken his work to Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East, pursing issues of social justice and social change organizing in a wide variety of contexts. For more on his international human rights work, please visit Michael's personal website at


Onyesonwu Chatoyer is an organizer with the All African People's Revolutionary Party and the All African Women's Revolutionary Union, an editor with Hood Communist, and member of the National Coordinating Committee for the Venceremos Brigade.




A human rights defender whose experience spans four decades of domestic and international education and activism, Ajamu Baraka is a veteran grassroots organizer whose roots are in the Black Liberation Movement and anti-apartheid and Central American solidarity struggles. Baraka has appeared on and been covered in a wide-range of print, broadcast, and digital media outlets. For more on his work, please visit Ajamu’s personal website at



Since 1993, Maureen Taylor has served as Chair of the Michigan Welfare Rights Organization, a union of public assistance recipients, low-income workers and the unemployed that organizes members to fight for their rights and to eliminate poverty in this country. She was a key consultant on two award-winning documentaries about water rights and affordability. Maureen has a MSW in Social Work and is a Detroit school counselor who is improving student and teacher success rates.

UN climate conference steers away from climate justice, caving to fossil fuel corporations.

NetZero is a carbonunicorn action 11/9/21 photo by Friends of the Earth International

At the conclusion of the 26th UNFCCC Conference of the Parties, dozens of delegates representing workers, frontline climate justice communities, and environmental justice groups who made up the It Takes Roots delegation to Glasgow said:


If the goal of the United Nations’ global climate effort was to halt climate change and hold warming to 1.5 ℃, the UN climate conference in Glasgow was designed for failure. The resulting Glasgow Climate Pact is a farce. Global North nations allied with fossil fuel corporations have eschewed responsibility for climate loss and damage, obstructed human rights protections, and endorsed harmful market-based carbon offset schemes. The only thing the Glasgow Pact ensures is that the Global South and frontline communities around the world will continue paying the highest price for the Global North’s economic greed, with no concern for human lives or the survival and sustainability of the planet.

Much of the conference focused on net-zero targets, which are a fig leaf for fossil fuel corporations determined to keep making money from oil, gas, and coal and continue to endanger our planet and its people. Politicians came to Glasgow to take credit for these targets and other unproven policies, like carbon capture and storage and carbon pricing. These policies are really false promises that do not match the scope of the crisis, and cannot reduce emissions fast enough to stave off the worst effects of climate change. 

In Glasgow, the It Takes Roots delegation represented more than 200 organizations and affiliates in 50 states, provinces, territories, and Native lands on Turtle Island, aka North America. The 60-person delegation representing Indigenous, Black, brown and other frontline communities of color found itself dwarfed by over 500 fossil fuel company representatives. And while like most civil society groups, It Takes Roots delegates were excluded from the rooms where negotiations were held, fossil fuel lobbyists seemed to have no problem influencing negotiations directly.

For decades, communities on the front lines of climate change and pollution have been dealing with the worst effects of the climate crisis, while playing a negligible role in its creation. Rather than waiting for far-off diplomats to decide their fate, they have developed their own practical solutions to climate injustice--solutions that work for our own communities.

It Takes Roots continues to demand the U.S. match the urgency of the moment by immediately ending the expansion of fossil fuels, declaring a climate emergency, reducing emissions at source, and investing in real community-driven solutions. If President Biden wants to really be a climate leader, then he needs to take strong action to stop fossil fuel expansion, including not opening public lands to extraction and halting all new pipelines.


The following are quotes from members of the It Takes Roots delegation to COP 26: 

The world must move quickly and boldly to end the use of fossil fuels entirely, while keeping the focus on people rather than profits. COP26 was just the latest example of how fossil fuel corporations tout false solutions like “net zero” so they can continue to profit from strangling the planet. They hide behind a smokescreen of misleading carbon accounting and unproven and harmful carbon capture technology, while politicians cheer them on. We must stop this madness and do what we all know the world needs to do: eliminate greenhouse gas emissions at their source by ending the use of fossil fuels, and make a just and equitable transition to clean, community controlled, energy, all the while respecting Mother Earth.

Ozawa Bineshi Albert, Climate Justice Alliance and member of the Yuchi and Anishinaabe Nations



We can not meaningfully confront the devastation caused by climate change without confronting the largest single contributor to climate pollution---the U.S. military. The U.S. military is the largest consumer of fossil fuels, and also the largest emitter of greenhouse gases. The U.S. military is one of the most responsible entities for climate disruption. The military again remains exempt from global climate agreements including the Glasgow Climate Pact. It was clear at COP 26 that this was not a space for genuine discussions. It was a forum for transnational corporations, industry, and polluting governments to craft strategies to protect polluting, profiteering, planet-damaging business as usual.

Ramon Mejia, Grassroots Global Justice Alliance and veteran of the war in Iraq


Our recent report “Indigenous Resistance Against Carbon” revealed that Indigenous resistance to carbon over the past decade has stopped projects equivalent to 400 new coal-fired power plants, or roughly 345 million new passenger vehicles. Additionally, Indigenous resistance has helped shift public debate on fossil fuels, carbon pricing, geoengineering techno-fixes, clean electricity standards, food sovereignty, the rights of Mother Earth and the inherent rights and treaty rights of Indigenous Peoples. The traditional knowledge of Indigenous Peoples is essential to finding solutions today and in the future.

Tom BK Goldtooth, Executive Director, Indigenous Environmental Network



I came to COP26 as part of a workers delegation to ensure our voices and reality are heard and understood. We joined with Just Transition Alliance to bring workers from different industries–the airlines, healthcare, farmworkers, education and the oil industry. At COP26, it didn’t matter what topic you chose, Black, Brown and Indigenous people were not consulted about decisions that were made. With any solutions, the first impacts are to the working people, particularly working Black, Brown and Indigenous people in their communities. Yet, most of the solutions the global leaders came up with–whether it was carbon pricing, carbon capture and sequestration or any other newer technologies–the creation and impacts of those so-called fixes are going to affect workers first, particularly marginalized people. We believe it’s important to think of workers first and foremost about any climate change and climate justice solutions.

Jonathan Alingu, Co-Director, Central Florida Jobs with Justice


It Takes Roots Statement on Conclusion of the UNFCCC COP26 Conference of the Parties and Glasgow Climate Pact: Incrementalism Leaves Frontline Communities to Face Increasing Climate Chaos

abajo en español

Global Day for Climate Justice 11/6/21 Photo by Climate Justice Alliance


As negotiations of the UNFCCC COP26 have concluded, the It Takes Roots alliance issues the following statement:

The Glasgow Climate Pact is shameful. Once again the UNFCCC has demonstrated that their interests lie heavily with economic bottom lines rather than in a true commitment to tackling the climate crisis. The It Takes Roots delegation--comprised of U.S.-based Climate Justice Alliance, Grassroots Global Justice Alliance, Indigenous Environmental Network, Just Transition Alliance, and Central Florida Jobs with Justice, representing frontline communities directly impacted by fossil fuel extraction and production--has witnessed the COP26 negotiations move at an incremental pace, while upholding investments in carbon trading and market-based schemes that ensure continued fossil fuel extraction and production far into the future.

Climate false “solutions” such as carbon trading, carbon capture and storage, and market-based mechanisms sold at COP26 are upheld in the final decision document. These are performative actions that allow for the status quo of continued accelerating climate crisis, in which no peoples or nations will be spared. The rules of Article 6 of the Paris Agreement governing carbon markets remain, with several unresolved issues, and recklessly without adequate safeguards for human rights. Carbon dioxide removal (CDR), including carbon capture and storage, was promoted throughout COP26 as a panacea to the climate crisis the fossil fuel industry has created. Technological CDR is a costly, unproven, and a dangerous techno-fix that should not be rolled out. We cannot condone this inadequate text.

The insistence on working toward Net-Zero targets framing this decision, as opposed to truly achieving zero emissions with real solutions, is a cover-up for inaction and business-as-usual. This mathematical sleight-of-hand allows polluters to pretend they can offset and balance the harm they continue to emit into the atmosphere with emissions offsets. This will allow continued pollution in the most harmed communities. These proposals are far afield from the only means that will truly lower emissions: ending the extraction and use of fossil fuels.

We recognize that for the first time in the work of the UNFCCC COP26, the COP decision calls upon Parties to accelerate the phasing down of “unabated coal and inefficient subsidies for fossil fuels.” Specifically stating that fossil fuel emissions lie at the heart of global climate change is a step forward. However, confronting the climate crisis will require the complete phase-out of all coal and fossil fuel subsidies. This commitment should be unqualified. Additionally, divested subsidies must be redirected to investments that build a Just Transition for communities and workers. We laud the naming in the Glasgow decision of the Just Transitions needed to get economies off fossil fuels, but we caution that a real Just Transition must be built from the bottom up, with inclusion of the communities most impacted by transition. This term must not be co-opted or rendered meaningless by vague commitments.

Despite this historic inclusion of fossil fuels phase-out and a Just Transition in a COP26 agreement, this document is not enough for frontline communities. The agreement has made the bare minimum incremental progress on loss and damage for countries and communities impacted by climate chaos. This text fails to uphold the historic common but differentiated responsibilities of countries, and the need for support for the multitudes whose lives are devastated by climate chaos today. This is a matter of our survival and the incremental commitments made at COP26 sacrifice the most vulnerable communities, including the most vulnerable within the U.S. and in the Global South.

Additionally, this document does not endorse or strengthen the Free, Prior, and Informed Consent of Indigenous communities. This is a gross negligence when Indigenous communities are at the frontlines of fossil fuel and mineral extraction, and the forefront of regenerative ecological practices rooted in Indigenous cosmology. This agreement fails to adequately protect the self-determination of Indigenous communities who care for the lands, water, biodiversity, and air on which we all depend.

What we need are global agreements that strengthen a Just Transition to new, living economic and energy models that keep fossil fuels in the ground and eliminate emissions at source at the pace needed to keep global warming from exceeding 1.5°C. These solutions must draw upon the wisdom and knowledge of Indigenous Peoples and the experiences,  expertise, and leadership of Indigenous, Black, Latinx, Asian, Arab, Pacific Islander, poor, and marginalized peoples on the frontlines of the climate crisis. Real solutions that advance climate justice must invest in community controlled place-based solutions that leave no one behind and discontinue the harmful relegation of communities as sacrifice zones. In the face of violent climate chaos perpetrated by colonialist economic and political fossil fuel regimes, we demand greater ambition to end fossil fuels, real emissions reductions at the source, protections of the rights of people and Mother Earth, and real solutions now.



The further weakening of Just Transition language in the agreements here at the COP26 leaves it open to unabated coal and other business as usual. The further co-optation of the term Just Transition is a travesty and by no means keeps to the originality of No Harm to Mother Earth, Workers, those that are disproportionately in harm's way. The legacy of energy pollution continues.
- José Toscano Bravo, Executive Director, Just Transition Alliance


We can’t tolerate another COP to go by with those who view the climate crisis as an economic opportunity rather than a climate emergency, all the while shoving false solutions down our communities’ throats. Instead of paying attention to what we have been saying for decades and even centuries to honor the sacredness of Mother Earth and all her creatures, more care is going into protecting the bottom line of the fossil fuel industry than humanity itself. Net-zero emissions does not equal zero emissions; if we want to safeguard a healthy and thriving existence for future generations we must keep fossil fuels in the ground.
- Ozawa Bineshi Albert, Co-Executive Director, Climate Justice Alliance

This COP26 has become known as the net zero COP touting net zero pledges based upon offset-based carbon accounting tricks and illusory geoengineering techno-fixes like carbon capture and storage, solar radiation technologies and hydrogen energy. Net Zero emissions targets are based upon the assumption that fossil fuel emissions can be compensated for by carbon offsetting and carbon removal. Net zero opens the door to nature-based solutions giving way to a financialization of nature process that separates, quantifies and privatizes the cycles and functions of Mother Earth turning nature into “units” to be sold in financial and speculative markets.The co-opting of the term "just transition" commodifies the natural laws of Mother Earth and Father Sky and violating the Original Instructions of Indigenous Traditional Knowledge. We need real reductions, real solutions with global action towards an immediate just transition to keep fossil fuels in the ground.
Tom BK Goldtooth, Executive Director, Indigenous Environmental Network

We came to COP26 with frontline Indigenous, Black, Asian, Pacific Islander, and Arab leaders impacted by climate crisis, fossil fuel extraction, and pollution. What we have witnessed here is another trade show for corporate and government schemes to evade real solutions that reduce emissions at the source, while they resist winding down fossil fuels. This entire COP has been framed for Net Zero targets, but Net Zero and carbon offsetting schemes enable continued violence on vulnerable communities. We have been given smoke and mirrors in this agreement. Over 500 fossil fuel lobbyists were here at COP, more than any single delegation. Militaries, like the U.S. military—the largest single carbon emitter in the world--remain exempt from this climate agreement again. There is not enough in this document to protect human rights, and this outcome leaves far too many loopholes for fossil fuel corporations to continue their violent business model. People on the frontlines of climate chaos and extractive industry need real solutions and real reductions now.
- Adrien Salazar, Policy Director, Grassroots Global Justice Alliance



Declaración de It Takes Roots al concluir la Conferencia de las Partes UNFCCC COP26 y el Pacto Climático de Glasgow: el incrementalismo deja a las comunidades en la primera línea a enfrentar el creciente caos climático


Glasgow, Escocia — Tras la conclusión de las negociaciones de la UNFCCC COP26, la alianza It Takes Roots emite la siguiente declaración:

El Pacto Climático de Glasgow es vergonzoso. Nuevamente, la UNFCCC ha demostrado que sus intereses están primordialmente en las cuentas económicas en vez de en un verdadero compromiso con abordar la crisis climática. La delegación de It Takes Roots—compuesta de las organizaciones estadounidenses  Climate Justice Alliance, Grassroots Global Justice Alliance, Indigenous Environmental Network, Just Transition Alliance y Central Florida Jobs with Justice, representando a comunidades en las primera líneas directamente impactadas por la extracción y producción de fósiles combustibles—ha presenciado el movimiento incremental de las negociaciones de COP26, mientras que las inversiones en el comercio de carbono y los esquemas basados en el mercado que aseguran la extracción y producción continuas a largo futuro.

Las falsas “soluciones” climáticas vendidas en la COP26, como el comercio de carbono, la captura y almacenamiento de carbono y los mecanismos basados en el mercado, son mantenidas en el documento de la decisión final. Éstas con acciones performativas que permiten el status quo de una crisis climática de continuo aceleramiento, de la cual ningún pueblo ni nación estará exento. Las reglas del Artículo 6 del Acuerdo de París gobernando los mercados de carbono permanecen en pie, con varios problemas no resueltos, y negligentemente sin protecciones adecuadas concerniendo los derechos humanos. La extirpación de dióxido de carbono (CDR por sus siglas en inglés), incluyendo la captura y almacenamiento de carbono, fue promovida durante COP26 como una panacea a la crisis climática que creó la industria de fósiles combustibles. La CDR tecnológica es un arreglo costoso, no probado y peligroso que no debería ser implementado. No podemos condonar este texto inadecuado.

La insistencia en trabajar hacia objetivos de Cero Neto enmarcando esta decisión, a diferencia de verdaderamente lograr cero emisiones a través de soluciones verdaderas, es una cubierta para la inacción y los negocios de siempre. Este truco matemático permite que las contaminadoras pretendan que pueden compensar y equilibrar el daño que siguen emitiendo a la atmósfera con compensaciones por emisiones. Esto permitirá la contaminación continua de las comunidades más dañadas. Estas propuestas están muy lejos de los únicos medios que realmente disminuirán las emisiones: poner un fin a la extracción y el uso de los fósiles combustibles.

Reconocemos que por primera vez en el trabajo de la UNFCCC COP26, la decisión de COP les pide a las Partes que aceleren la eliminación gradual del “carbón incesante y los subsidios ineficientes para fósiles combustibles.” Declarar específicamente que las emisiones de los fósiles combustibles están en el centro del cambio climático global es un paso adelante. Sin embargo, confrontar la crisis climática requerirá la eliminación completa de todos los subsidios al carbón y los fósiles combustibles. Este compromiso debe ser sin calificaciones. Adicionalmente, los subsidios liberados deben ser redirigidos a inversiones que construyen una Transición Justa para comunidades y trabajadores. Aplaudimos que la decisión de Glasgow haya nombrado las Transiciones Justas necesarias para eliminar la dependencia de las economías en los fósiles combustibles, pero advertimos que una verdadera Transición Justa debe ser edificada desde abajo hacia arriba, con la inclusión de las comunidades más impactadas por la transición. Este término no debe ser apropiado ni despojado de su significado por compromisos difusos.

A pesar de esta inclusión histórica de la eliminación gradual de fósiles combustibles y una Transición Justa en un acuerdo de COP26, este documento no es suficiente para las comunidades en las primeras líneas. Este acuerdo ha hecho el menor progreso incremental posible en cuanto a las pérdidas y el daño para países y comunidades impactados por el caos climático. Este texto no logra sostener las responsabilidades históricas comunes pero diferenciadas de los países, y la necesidad de apoyo para las multitudes cuyas vidas son devastadas por el caos climático actualmente. Éste es un tema de supervivencia y los compromisos incrementales que se hicieron en COP26 sacrifican a las comunidades más vulnerables, incluyendo las más vulnerables dentro de los EE.UU. así como en el sur global.

Además, este documento no respalda ni fortalece el Consentimiento Libre, Previo e Informado de comunidades indígenas. Esto es una terrible negligencia cuando son las comunidades indígenas las que están en las primeras líneas del daño de la extracción de fósiles combustibles y minerales, y al frente de las prácticas ecológicas regenerativas arraigadas en la cosmología indígena. Este acuerdo no logra proteger adecuadamente la autodeterminación de las comunidades indígenas que cuidan de las tierras, el agua, la biodiversidad y el aire de los cuales todos dependemos.

Lo que necesitamos son acuerdos globales que fortalecen una Transición Justa a nuevos modelos de vida económica y energética que mantienen los fósiles combustibles en la tierra y eliminan las emisiones en su fuente al ritmo necesario para prevenir que el calentamiento global exceda los 1,5°C. Estas soluciones deben ser nutridas por la sabiduría y los conocimientos de los pueblos indígenas y las experiencias, pericia y liderazgo de pueblos indígenas, negros, latinos, asiáticos, árabes, de las islas del Pacífico, pobres y marginados en las primeras líneas de la crisis climática. Las soluciones verdaderas que promueven la justicia climática deben invertir en soluciones controladas por la comunidad y basadas en el lugar que no dejan a nadie atrás y suspenden la relegación dañina de comunidades a zonas de sacrificio. Frente al violento caos climático perpetuado por los régimenes colonialistas económicos y políticos de los fósiles combustibles, exigimos una mayor ambición para acabar con los fósiles combustibles, lograr reducciones verdaderas de las emisiones en su fuente, proteger los derechos de los pueblos y la Madre Tierra y plantear soluciones verdaderas ahora mismo.


CITAS de les delegades de It Takes Roots

La agravada debilitación del lenguaje de Transición Justa en los acuerdos aquí en la COP26 lo dejan abierto a hacer los negocios usuales de carbón y otros tipos sin disminución. La apropiación del término Transición Justa es una farsa y de ninguna forma se atiene a la originalidad de Ningún Daño a la Madre Tierra, a trabajadores, a aquellos que están en el paso del daño de forma desproporcionada. El legado de la contaminación energética continúa.

José Toscano Bravo, Director Ejecutivo, Just Transition Alliance (Alianza Transición Justa)


No podemos tolerar que pase otra COP con aquellos que consideran la crisis climática como una oportunidad económica en vez de una emergencia climática, a la vez haciéndoles tragar soluciones falsas a nuestras comunidades. En vez de prestar atención a lo que ya se ha estado diciendo durante décadas y hasta siglos, de honrar lo sagrado de la Madre Tierra y todas sus criaturas, se está poniendo más cuidado en proteger las finanzas de la industria de fósiles combustibles que la humanidad misma. Las emisiones cero neto no equivalen a cero emisiones; si queremos proteger una existencia sana y próspera para generaciones futuras, debemos mantener los fósiles combustibles en la tierra.

Ozawa Bineshi Albert, Co-Directora Ejecutiva, Climate Justice Alliance (Alianza por la Justicia Climática)


Esta COP26 se ha denominado la COP cero neto, promocionando compromisos de cero neto en base a trucos de contabilidad de carbono basados en la compensación, y una geo-ingeniería ilusoria de arreglos tecnológicos como la captura y almacenamiento de carbono, tecnologías de radiación solar y energía de hidrógeno. Los objetivos de emisiones cero neto están basadas en la presunción que las emisiones de fósiles combustibles pueden ser equilibradas por la compensación de carbono y su extirpación. Cero neto abre la puerta a las soluciones basadas en la naturaleza abriendo camino a una mercantilización de procesos naturales que separa, cuantifica y privatiza los ciclos y las funciones de la Madre Tierra, convirtiendo a la naturaleza en “unidades” a ser vendidas en mercados financieros y especulativos. La apropiación del término “transición justa” mercantiliza las leyes naturales de la Madre Tierra y el Padre Cielo y viola las Instrucciones Originales de Conocimientos Tradicionales Indígenas. Necesitamos reducciones verdaderas, soluciones verdaderas con acción global hacia una transición justa inmediata para mantener a los fósiles combustibles en la tierra.

Tom BK Goldtooth, Director Ejecutivo, Indigenous Environmental Network (Red Ambiental Indígena)


Vinimos a COP26 líderes de comunidades indígenas, negros, asiáticos, de las islas del Pacífico y árabes en la primera línea del impacto de la crisis climática, la extracción de fósiles combustibles y la contaminación. Lo que hemos presenciado aquí es otra feria comercial para los mecanismos corporativos y gubernamentales que evaden las verdaderas soluciones que reducen las emisiones en la fuente, y a la vez resisten el fin de los fósiles combustibles. Esta COP entera ha sido enmarcada con objetivos de Cero Neto, pero los esquemas de Cero Neto y la compensación de carbono permiten que continúe la violencia contra comunidades vulnerables. Nos han dado espejismos en este acuerdo. Más de 500 lobistas de la industria petrolera estuvieron aquí en la COP, más que de cualquier otra delegación. Las milicias, como las fuerzas armadas de EE.UU.—la mayor emisora de carbonos en el mundo—permanecen nuevamente exentas de este acuerdo climático. No hay suficiente en este documento para proteger los derechos humanos, y este resultado deja demasiadas aperturas para que las corporaciones de fósiles combustibles sigan con su violento modelo de negocios. La gente en las primeras líneas del caos climático y la industria extractiva necesitan soluciones reales y reducciones reales ahora mismo.

Adrien Salazar, Director de Políticas, Grassroots Global Justice Alliance



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Sobre It Takes Roots

It Takes Roots es una alianza de alianzas multiracial, multicultural e intergeneracional que representa a más de 200 organizaciones y afiliadas en más de 50 estados, provincias, territorios y tierras indígenas en la Isla Tortuga; y es liderada por mujeres, gente de género no conforme, gente de color, negra e indígena. Es el resultado de años de trabajo organizativo y de desarrollo de relaciones entre la membresía de Climate Justice Alliance, Grassroots Global Justice Alliance, Indigenous Environmental Network y Right to the City Alliance. Nuestras cuatro alianzas son lideradas por comunidades en las primeras líneas luchando por la justicia racial, de vivienda y climática, y por la soberanía indígena. En COP26, It Takes Roots está centrando las voces y el liderazgo de las comunidades y trabajadores en las primera líneas en el escenario global.


Frontline Island Nations and Community Leaders Call out climate change issues facing Islanders and uplift grassroots solutions at COP26

As part of the It Takes Roots (ITR) delegation, representatives of Island Nations, including Puerto Rico, Haiti, and the Northern Mariana Islands spoke inside COP26 and brought the voices and concerns of Islanders to the world stage. This is a profoundly important juncture for islanders and a turning point in climate change dialogues, so many Island Nations are on the brink of complete annihilation. After Irma and Maria in the Caribbean and ETA and IOTA in the Central American Caribbean coast, Islanders are being exposed to the particular cycle of post-disaster capitalism.  Bound to become more frequent in the future. We will bring island and coastal people’s voices and highlight the particular connections between ecofeminism, militarism and net zero burdens. They also lifted up the grassroots solutions islanders offer to the climate crisis.


Among the speakers were Sheila Babauta of Micronesia Climate Change Alliance will address the situation in the Pacific region. Sheila Babauta is passionate about contributing to a brighter Marianas. At the age of 29, she gained the trust and confidence of her community and began serving as a member in the 21st CNMI House of Representatives. Sheila continues to serve in the 22nd CNMI Legislature and currently holds key leadership positions as Chairwoman of the Natural Resources Committee, Vice-Chairwoman of the Education Committee, and Floor Leader of the Saipan and Northern Islands Legislative Delegation. Sheila says, “I am attending COP26 as an indigenous woman from the US territories in the Pacific. With the increasing militarization of the Pacific region and the climate crisis at our shorelines, we must join our allies to amplify our voices and unify on climate solutions.”

Marissa Reyes-Diaz, Farmer and Organizer with Organización Boricuá de Agricultura Ecológica - Marissa Reyes Díaz from Juncos, Puerto Rico has a bachelor's degree in Wildlife Management at the University of Puerto Rico at Humacao. Since high school, she has developed an interest in biology, science, and society. Took an agroecology course with the El Josco Bravo project in 2014. In 2015, she channeled her knowledge with social interests and began a conversation with a group of people to develop an agroecological project. Since then, Güakiá, Colectivo Agroecológico has existed. At present, she also works in the non-profit organization El Puente: Latino Climate Action Network coordinating the Walk: Puerto Rico against Climate Change and mobilization. Activist and farmer. She believes in collective work, community power, food sovereignty, solidarity economy, alliances and collaboration.

Frontline and Indigenous Leaders Demand JP Morgan Chase Cease Fossil Fuel Financing

photo credit: Indigenous Climate Action

Frontline and indigenous land defenders and community members who are directly impacted by the extraction and destruction funded by JP Morgan Chase delivered their demands for the bank to completely stop financing fossil fuels on Weds Nov 10th, 2021 at the JP Morgan Chase Glasgow Headquarters.

Speakers on Chase’s funding of climate destruction in their communities included:

-Great Grandmother Mary Lyons, speaking about Line 3 in Anishnaabe lands in Minnesota, US

-A representative of the Wet’suwet’en nation in Canada, speaking about the Coastal Gaslink pipeline

-Maricela Gualinga, Vice President of the Kichwa Sarayaku Peoples of the Ecuadorian Amazon, speaking about the Sarayaku peoples resistance to oil companies, backed by the Ecuadorian government, encroaching on their territories

-Nemo Andy Guíquita, Director of Women and Health for the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of the Ecuadorian Amazon (CONFENIAE), speaking about oil drilling in Yasuní National Park in the Ecuadorian Amazon, a UNESCO biosphere reserve

-Miguel Escoto from Earthworks about the impacts of Chase’s funding in the US/Mexico border region and their support of the oil bomb in the Permian Basin in West Texas.


Last month, JPMorgan Chase joined the Net-Zero Banking alliance, a component of the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero (GFANZ). As part of its “net zero” commitments, JPMorgan Chase has pledged to reduce operational carbon intensity by 35% by 2030, and to reduce end-use carbon intensity by 15%. Yet it continues to pour billions of dollars into fossil fuel projects that are directly impacting Indigenous territories across the world, from the Wet’suwet’en peoples in North America to the Sarayaku and Waorani peoples in the South American Amazon.

The JP Morgan Chase Glasgow headquarters have been under 24/7 watch from police since the beginning of COP.

Grassroots Frontline Community Leaders Call Out Militarism as a Culprit of Climate Change at COP26 Climate Conference in Glasgow, Scotland

Grassroots Frontline Community Leaders Call Out Militarism as a Culprit of Climate Change at COP26 Climate Conference in Glasgow, Scotland

Protests took place inside and outside of the COP26 United Nations Climate Talks on Monday, November 8, the Day When Former Us President Barack Obama Speaks

GLASGOW, Scotland – The It Takes Roots (ITR) delegation representing more than 60 frontline communities leaders and organizers took action inside and outside the 26th Conference of the Parties (COP26) meetings in Glasgow today. Former President Barack Obama held a roundtable and meetings with key leaders, and ITR highlighted the ‘Monster of Militarism’ and the contradictions of Obama’s legacy of militarism, including greater military expansion into the Pacific, the expansion of drone warfare and the use of military interventions on water protectors fighting against the Dakota Action Pipeline.

Communities across the world have been devastated by war and occupation. The action during COP26 pointed to the fact that the US military is the single largest consumer of fossil fuels in the world, and has served as the enforcer of occupation of Indigenous and sovereign lands while upholding violent resource extraction across the world. It Takes Roots believes that addressing climate change requires ending the military industrial complex.


Among the speakers during the action were Alejandría M. Lyons of the SouthWest Organizing Project (SWOP). Alejandría states, “I am attending COP26 to represent New Mexico and to tell our world leaders that we are not a sacrifice zone. Our land and water must be protected as well as the rights of future nuevomexicanx generations. We need to hold the US military accountable in this climate conversation no matter how much power they hold in our state.”


Ramón Mejía, the Anti-Militarism National Organizer of Grassroots Global Justice Alliance is another speaker at the protest. Ramon says, “Over 790 military bases across 81 countries, colonies, and territories. The world’s largest consumer of fossil fuels, and the worst emitter of greenhouse gases. We can not meaningfully address the devastation caused by climate change without addressing the top contributors---including the US military. The United States must come to terms with both the human and ecological costs of maintaining the current course."



It Takes Roots is centering the voices and leadership of frontline communities and workers on the global stage. ITR’s frontline delegation demands that world leaders commit to real solutions to advance climate justice and environmental justice at COP26. Allowing for neoliberal constructs such as Net Zero emissions, which equate carbon emission offsets and technology investments with real emissions reductions at source, would exacerbate existing pollution burdens on frontline communities. ITR is calling for a Just Transition off of fossil fuels at the international climate negotiations.

Norman Rogers, 2nd vice president of United Steelworkers 675

Norman Rogers, 2nd vice president of United Steelworkers 675

“The opportunity to stand with and learn from others also facing the double-edged sword of working towards a sustainable climate without the loss of quality jobs is very important; reaching a global solution to impending job loss is inseparable from a global solution for our climate crisis.”


Andrea Mercado, Florida Rising

Andrea Mercado, Co-Executive Director, Florida Rising

Andrea Cristina Mercado is the daughter of South American immigrants and the South Florida mother of two has been working on race, gender and economic equity issues for 20 years and has been recognized for her work leading New Florida Majority, co-founding the National Domestic Workers Alliance, chairing We Belong Together, a national immigrant rights initiative and building the San Francisco Area-based Mujeres Unidas y Activas (MUA). She is fluent in English, Spanish and Portuguese.


Ananda Lee Tan (he/him), Just Transition Alliance

Ananda Lee Tan (he/him), Strategy Advisor, Just Transition Alliance

Ananda Lee Tan has been organizing grassroots movements since 1986 - building coalitions, networks and alliances for land defence, environmental justice, worker rights, energy democracy, food sovereignty, zero waste, community self-determination and climate justice around the world. Over the last fifteen years, Ananda served the Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives, and co-convened the Climate Justice Alliance, a network of frontline communities organizing a Just Transition away from the global, colonial extractive economy. He also co-coordinated the international People’s Climate March in 2014, and the Building Equity and Alignment for Impact, an initiative aimed at shifting philanthropic resources and centering the leadership of  Black, Brown and Indigenous communities on the frontlines of ecological crises. Today, Ananda lives on unceded Coast Salish territories in the Pacific Northwest, and serves as a trainer, facilitator, strategist and guide for grassroots environmental justice formations such as the Just Transition Alliance, a coalition of workers and communities organizing to build local, healthy and sustainable economies that serve the essential needs of people and planet.


“As we engage in COP 26, we must be crystal clear that our world needs real solutions, real reductions of disproportionate harm and burden, real elimination of pollution and poverty, and NO MORE of this Net Zero Nonsense. The UN must start serving human and planetary need, and stop pandering to the dictates of corporate greed! ”

Sharif Zakout, Arab Resource & Organizing Center (AROC)

Sharif Zakout, Membership Coordinator & Organizer, Arab Resource & Organizing Center (AROC)

Sharif Zakout is a Bay Area born and raised organizer and artist. His family comes from the al-Majdal region in Palestine. He works as an organizer for the Arab Resource & Organizing Center (AROC) in San Francisco, CA and on the side creates art and music that uplifts international solidarity with Palestine, linking different struggles, and highlighting our collective resistance. Long Live International Solidarity!


“Climate justice requires a strong antiwar movement. Our earth will not heal until we seriously address global militarism and US imperialism that continue to destroy our land, communities and ways of life."

Alejandría M. Lyons, SouthWest Organizing Project (SWOP)

Alejandría M. Lyons, Environmental Justice Organizer , SouthWest Organizing Project (SWOP)

Alejandría M. Lyons is the Environmental Justice Organizer with the SouthWest Organizing Project (SWOP) located in Albuquerque, New Mexico on unseated southern Tiwa Territory. She began in 2015, by working alongside food sovereignty activists across New Mexico and later water rights activists who aim to protect historic acequias. Alejandría recently received her Master’s in Community and Regional Planning from the University of New Mexico, where she focused on environmental and indigenous planning issues. She supports the efforts of others to use traditional teachings to heal the land and the community in order to protect our natural resources. As a native Nuevomexicana Alejandria understands the importance of being active in her community’s challenges as well as returning to one's ancestral knowledge. Currently SWOP’s work is focused on addressing the Kirtland Jet Fuel Spill, one of the largest aquifer contamination in US history, working to combat environmental racism in Albuquerque's historic neighborhoods, and working statewide to protect water resources.


“I am attending the COP26 to represent New Mexico and to tell our world leaders that we are not a sacrifice zone. Our land and water must be protected as well as the rights of future nuevomexicanx generations. We need to hold the US military accountable in this climate conversation no matter how much power they hold in our state.”

Sheila Babauta, Micronesian Climate Change Alliance

Sheila Babauta, Micronesian Climate Change Alliance

Sheila Babauta is passionate about contributing to a brighter Marianas. At the age of 29, she gained the trust and confidence of her community and began serving as a member in the 21st CNMI House of Representatives. Sheila continues to serve in the 22nd CNMI Legislature and currently holds key leadership positions as Chairwoman of the Natural Resources Committee, Vice-Chairwoman of the Education Committee, and Floor Leader of the Saipan and Northern Islands Legislative Delegation.

She believes that responsible management of our natural resources is essential to improving our quality of life in the Marianas and ensuring future generations have access to these resources. She aims to promote policies that preserve biodiversity, support ecological balance, and encourage the sustainable management of our resources to contribute to the long-term economic development in our Marianas, not just short-term revenue generation.


“I look forward to attending COP26 as an indigenous woman from the US territories in the Pacific. With the increasing militarization of the Pacific region and the climate crisis at our shorelines, we must join our allies to amplify our voices and unify on climate solutions.”


José Bravo, Just Transition Alliance

José Bravo (he/him), Executive Director, Just Transition Alliance

José Bravo is a veteran environmental justice organizer and executive director of the Just Transition Alliance, where for more than 20 years, he has led a coalition of environmental justice and labor organizations–working frontline workers and community members who live along the fence-lines of polluting industries to create healthy workplaces and communities. His work in social justice issues is rooted in his upbringing in Southern California’s avocado fields alongside his farmworker parents. José has participated in the environmental justice (EJ) movement since 1990 and has been involved in drafting the EJ principles and the Jemez principles of Democratic Organizing . José has sat on the National Environmental Justice Advisory Council for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and is presently a coordinator of the National Campaign for Healthier Solutions. Over the years, José has attended numerous U.N. Climate Conferences. Because there will be heavy emphasis around just transition strategies at this year’s United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), José along with members of the Just Transition Alliance and Central Florida Jobs with Justice are organizing a delegation of workers and communities to participate in meetings, actions and events both inside and outside COP26 in Glasgow. “This is a critical moment to come together and force elected leaders at the UN to center the vision, voices and priorities of those workers and communities who are first and most impacted by climate change, so that we can effectively reduce both climate pollution and the direct harm faced by people everywhere,” José says.

Shantell Bingham, Climate Justice Alliance

“Our working class communities of color are on the frontlines of the climate crises. Going to COP26 in Glasgow is about demanding our solutions be front and center of negotiations.”

- Shantell Bingham, Black Membership Organizer, Climate Justice Alliance

Ozawa Bineshi Albert, Climate Justice Alliance

Ozawa Bineshi Albert - Yuchi/Annishinaabe (she/her)

Co-Executive Director, Climate Justice Alliance

Bineshi is one of three women of color Co-Executive Directors of the Climate Justice Alliance. She was part of the Indigenous Environmental Network (IEN) and served as their Movement Building Coordinator and served on their Leadership Team. She has been part of the It Takes Roots alliance, tand international movement spaces. Bineshi supported the creation and development of both an Indigenous Feminist Organizing School and an International Feminist Organizing School. Her work throughout her career has been investing in the development and power building of grassroots community leaders to be in the spaces where decisions are being made that impact their lives. That will continue to be her work while at COP, lifting up and standing alongside frontline grassroots leadership to share how climate change impacts their lives today.


“Solutions to the climate crisis must come from those communities most directly impacted. At COP26, the orientation of the international community must come from them not economists, corporations and politicians who created the crisis in the first place. Solutions can’t be about us without us.”

Frontline Communities & Workers Delegation Demands Real Climate Solutions, ‘No Net Zero’ and an End to Fossil-Fuels at COP26

This November, It Takes Roots sends a U.S. frontline delegation of over 60 people from communities most impacted by the climate crisis to the 26th Conference of the Parties (COP26), the United Nations global climate change conference. They’ll bring the voices and leadership of frontline communities and workers to the global stage, demanding world leaders commit to real solutions that advance climate justice, environmental justice, and a Just Transition off of fossil fuels in international climate negotiations.

As representatives of more than 200 organizations and affiliates in over 50 states, provinces, territories and Native lands on Turtle Island (known as North America), this delegation demands  that the U.S. immediately stop fossil-fuel expansion, declare a climate emergency, and invest in community-driven climate solutions. It rejects the framework of “Net Zero,” a loophole promoted by fossil fuel corporations that leverages carbon trading and offsetting to allow continued fossil fuel extraction, production, and combustion.

Frontline communities including Indigenous Peoples, Black, Latinx, Asian Pacific Islander, poor white communities, and those in “sacrifice zones” bear the disproportionate burden of continued pollution. This delegation demands real solutions to the climate crisis including investment in a feminist Just Transition, a Red, Black, and Green New Deal to uphold Black lives, respect for Indigenous sovereignty, demilitarization and an end to resource wars, and grassroots solutions as outlined in the People’e Orientation to a Regenerative Economy.

As frontline communities suffer the intensifying widespread impacts of climate chaos, frontline leaders demand an end to government collusion with fossil fuels and false solutions that allow continued pollution. Reversing the climate crisis will require reducing emissions at their source, investing in community-controlled solutions, and a just and equitable economic transition off of fossil fuels that leaves no one behind.


“I am attending the COP26 to represent New Mexico and to tell our world leaders that we are not a sacrifice zone. Our land and water must be protected as well as the rights of future nuevomexicanx generations. We need to hold the U.S. military accountable in this climate conversation no matter how much power they hold in our state.”

  • Alejandría M. Lyons, Environmental Justice Organizer, SouthWest Organizing Project (SWOP), Albuquerque, New Mexico


“I look forward to attending COP26 as an Indigenous woman from the U.S. territories in the Pacific. With the increasing militarization of the Pacific region and the climate crisis at our shorelines, we must join our allies to amplify our voices and unify on climate solutions.”

  • Sheila Babauta, Northern Mariana Islands, Climate Justice Weaver, Micronesia Climate Change Alliance


“I am going to COP26 to help build a regenerative future based on the real solutions being innovated and advanced by indigenous and oppressed peoples all over the world. And to fight against the corporate capture of this essential process aimed at trying to preserve the capitalist system.”

  • Kali Akuno, Executive Director, Cooperation Jackson


“The opportunity to stand with and learn from others also facing the double-edged sword of working towards a sustainable climate without the loss of quality jobs is very important; reaching a global solution to impending job loss is inseparable from a global solution for our climate crisis.”

  • Norman Rogers, second vice president of United Steelworkers 675


“Solutions to the climate crisis must come from those communities most directly impacted. At COP26, the orientation of the international community must come from them not economists, corporations and politicians who created the crisis in the first place. Solutions can’t be about us without us.”

  • Ozawa Bineshi Albert, Co-Executive Director of the Climate Justice Alliance


“I am going to COP 26 to not only let my voice be heard on the international level. But to let those in the decision-making seats know that I am demanding a clean future not only for myself but for my great great-grandchildren. We will not stand for false solutions. Indigenous knowledge knows how to heal the land and our voices must be centered.”

  • Joseph White Eyes, Cheyenne River Grassroots Collective