Tag Archives: environmental justice

Our Last Best Hope to Save our Water, Air and Earth

30 May

by Clayton Thomas-Muller /Canadian Dimension

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Clayton Thomas-Muller is a member of the Mathias Colomb Cree Nation also known as Pukatawagan in Northern Manitoba, Canada. Based out of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, Clayton is the co-director of the Indigenous Tar Sands (ITS) Campaign of the Polaris Institute as well as a volunteer organizer with the Defenders of the Land-Idle No More national campaign known as Sovereignty Summer.

The Rise of the Native Rights-Based Strategic Framework

Years ago I was working for a well-known Indigenous environmental and economic justice organization known as the Indigenous Environmental Network (IEN). During my time with this organization I had the privilege of working with hundreds of Indigenous communities across the planet who had seen a sharp increase in the targeting of Native lands for mega-extractive and other toxic industries. The largest of these conflicts, of course, was the over-representation by big oil who work— often in cahoots with state, provincial First Nations, Tribal and federal governments both in the USA and Canada—to gain access to the valuable resources located in our territories. IEN hired me to work in a very abstract setting, under impossible conditions, with little or no resources to support Grassroots peoples fighting oil companies, who had become, in the era of free market economics, the most powerful and well-resourced entities of our time. My mission was to fight and protect the sacredness of Mother Earth from toxic contamination and corporate exploration, to support our Peoples to build sustainable local economies rooted in the sacred fire of our traditions. Continue reading

$10 Million to Injured Workers from Chevron Payout

12 Feb

A “drop in the bucket,” most of the payouts covered medical exams and treatments at hospitals for those sickened by the smoke from the Richmond, CA refinery fire.

Chevron paid approximately $10 million to cover medical expenses and other claims in the wake of the fire at its Richmond refinery on Aug. 6. Most of those payouts went to local hospitals to cover medical exams and treatment received by residents sickened by toxin-filled smoke that spread for miles after the fire.  At least 15,000 people sought medical treatment due to health issues related to the fire, and 23,900 claims had been filed as of last week to cover costs incurred due to the blaze.

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Honoring Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Legacy in the Environmental Justice Movement

21 Jan
Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

“It really boils down to this: that all life is interrelated. We are all caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied into a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one destiny, affects all indirectly.”
– Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

 

 

Environmentalism certainly isn’t the first topic that comes to mind when reflecting on the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. It can be said that in the United States, the Civil Rights movement predated the environmental movement by about a decade. Attorney General Eric Holder in 2011 said Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., in addition to his many other achievements, helped “plant the seeds” for what would become our nation’s now-thriving “environmental justice movement.”

Dr. King’s firm stance against militarism and the military industrial complex, the biggest polluters on the planet, was unwavering throughout his years of activism.

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NAACP Study “Coal Blooded: Putting Profits Before People”

18 Nov

By: Jenée Desmond-Harris

(The Root) — It’s not news that coal-fired plants cause pollution, and it’s not surprising that it’s low-income people and people of color who tend to live closest to them. But “Coal Blooded: Putting Profits Before People,” a new report released this week by the NAACP, the Indigenous Environmental Network and the Little Village Environmental Justice Organization, breaks down the numbers to communicate just how bad the environmental injustice is.

The organizations ranked 378 coal-fired power plants in the nation based on their Environmental Justice Performance, a score based on the plants’ toxic emissions as well as the demographics of their surrounding areas (things like race, income and population density). The results led NAACP President and CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous to conclude, “Coal pollution is literally killing low-income communities and communities of color … There is no disputing the urgency of this issue. Environmental justice is a civil and human rights issue when our children are getting sick, our grandparents are dying early, and mothers and fathers are missing work.”

Here’s some of what they found: The 6 million Americans living near coal plants have an average income of $18,400, compared with $21,857 nationwide, and 39 percent are people of color. That’s especially troubling news for those who can’t afford to live elsewhere, because pollutants emitted by coal plants have been linked to asthma attacks, lung inflammation, chronic bronchitis, irregular heart conditions and birth defects. According to the Clean Air Task Force, coal pollution is estimated to cause 13,200 premature deaths and 9,700 hospitalizations per year across the United States. Continue reading

Environmental Justice Rally Against MegaInfrastructure Project in Long Beach

22 Oct

In the latest confrontation over a proposed railyard on Long Beach’s western border, more than 100 people rallied to oppose the project Thursday night before a public hearing.

As the 6 p.m. hearing being held by Port of Los Angeles officials got under way, the crowd filled the room to give written comments on the port’s environmental impact report analyzing the development.

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Coke Plant Expansion Shut Down by Protestors in India

27 Aug

A call to protest evoked near-total response in the Amona and Navelim village on Monday. (photo from Sezari, with original story)

India – Thousands of villagers from Navelim in Bicholim taluka of Goa today observed a day-long Bandh against the Sesa Corporation’s Goa metallurgical coke plant in the village, with complaints that it is polluting their surroundings. Originally a Hindi word meaning ‘closed’, Bandh is a form of protest used by political activists, during which a political party or a community declares a general strike.

The bandh started at 6 am, with locals blocking the entire stretch connecting Panaji to Bicholim taluka.

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