Indigenous Peoples’ Summit on Climate Change – Final Declaration

28 04 2009

Indigenous peoples from across the Americas gathered in Anchorage, Alaska to address the climate crisis last week. Below is their final declaration. See Ben Powless’ photos here.

The Anchorage Declaration

24 April 2009
From 20-24 April, 2009, Indigenous representatives from the Arctic, North America, Asia, Pacific, Latin America, Africa, Caribbean and Russia met in Anchorage, Alaska for the Indigenous Peoples’ Global Summit on Climate Change. We thank the Ahtna and the Dena’ina Athabascan Peoples in whose lands we gathered.

We express our solidarity as Indigenous Peoples living in areas that are the most vulnerable to the impacts and root causes of climate change. We reaffirm the unbreakable and sacred connection between land, air, water, oceans, forests, sea ice, plants, animals and our human communities as the material and spiritual basis for our existence.

We are deeply alarmed by the accelerating climate devastation brought about by unsustainable development. We are experiencing profound and disproportionate adverse impacts on our cultures, human and environmental health, human rights, well-being, traditional livelihoods, food systems and food sovereignty, local infrastructure, economic viability, and our very survival as Indigenous Peoples.
Mother Earth is no longer in a period of climate change, but in climate crisis. We therefore insist on an immediate end to the destruction and desecration of the elements of life.

Through our knowledge, spirituality, sciences, practices, experiences and relationships with our traditional lands, territories, waters, air, forests, oceans, sea ice, other natural resources and all life, Indigenous Peoples have a vital role in defending and healing Mother Earth. The future of Indigenous Peoples lies in the wisdom of our elders, the restoration of the sacred position of women, the youth of today and in the generations of tomorrow.

We uphold that the inherent and fundamental human rights and status of Indigenous Peoples, affirmed in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), must be fully recognized and respected in all decision-making processes and activities related to climate change. This includes our rights to our lands, territories, environment and natural resources as contained in Articles 25–30 of the UNDRIP. When specific programs and projects affect our lands, territories, environment and natural resources, the right of Self Determination of Indigenous Peoples must be recognized and respected, emphasizing our right to Free, Prior and Informed Consent, including the right to say “no”. The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) agreements and principles must reflect the spirit and the minimum standards contained in UNDRIP.
Calls for Action
1. In order to achieve the fundamental objective of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), we call upon the fifteenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC to support a binding emissions reduction target for developed countries (Annex 1) of at least 45% below 1990 levels by 2020 and at least 95% by 2050. In recognizing the root causes of climate change, participants call upon States to work towards decreasing dependency on fossil fuels. We further call for a just transition to decentralized renewable energy economies, sources and systems owned and controlled by our local communities to achieve energy security and sovereignty.

Sugar fast: Day twelve

17 04 2009

A few weeks ago several Arab organizers were arrested and beaten at a peace demonstration on the anniversary of the Iraq war. I’ve had a pretty debilitating sugar addiction for all of my adult life. I’m ready to kick it. Some people run marathons and ask people to sponsor them, pledging some money for every mile they run.

Twelve days ago I asked friends and family to match my contributions and donate a dollar per day that I manage to go without refined sugar, with the goal of a month of sugary abstinence.

Proceeds go to support the Arab Organizing and Resource Center (AROC).

The most recent police targeting and repression is just one moment in the ongoing struggle that Arab organizers face. Supporting their work is crucial right now, especially with the election of the far-right in Israel and horrible violence in Gaza and elsewhere. This little fundraiser is a way I celebrated Pesach (Passover), a holiday where Jews reflect on our history of oppression and pledge solidarity and support with oppressed peoples.

After 12 days, I literally have dreams where I eat pastries and then realize I’m on a sugar fast and then feel super guilty. I wake up in a cold sweat, thankful that I’ve stayed faithful in real life. Guess that’s part of the detox process?

Will you to sponsor me in my sugar fast? It will help get funding to support an important organization in a time of need, as well as give me a way to feel more accountable to my personal commitments to live a healthier life. If so, message me thru the facebook page or leave a comment. So far 49 people have pledged to hold me accountable in stepping off the path of diabetes, uncontrollable brownie binges, and fantasies of molten chocolate dunk tanks. Will you be #50?

These rockstars support human rights, sustained organizing, and Josh not getting diabetes:

1. Adrienne Maree Brown
2. Max Elbaum
3. Shadia Fayne Wood
4. Mahfam Malek
5. Max Uhlenbeck
6. Clare Bayard
7. Manjula Martin
8. Katharine Wallerstein
9. Nupur Modi
10. Max Bell Alper
11. Kimia Ghomeshi
12. Rahula Janowski
13. Robin Beck
14. Jocelyn Berger
15. Josh Rosenthal
16. Kathryn Hollender-kidder
17. Virginie Corominas
18. Khalid Matthew Stehney
19. Amie Fishman
20. Alexa Markley
21. Ragini Kapadia
22. Marla DiCarlo Deschenes
23. Christy Tennery
24. Adrian Wilson
25. Sharon Lungo
26. Danny Raposo
27. Harjit Singh Gill
28. Callie Mackenzie
29. Bruin Christopher Runyan
30. Jonathan Kosakow
31. Adrianna Hutchinson
32. Patrick Reinsboro
33. Amy Kahn Russell
34. Sarah Light
35. Jennifer Chen
36. Lara Cushing
37. Amanda Starbuck
38. Michael Weber
39. Jodie Tonita
40. Aurora Levins Morales
41. Juliana Williams
42. Kasha Ho
43. Michelle Proffit
44. Lynn Stone
45. Matt Kern
46. Maryam Adrangi
47. Jessamyn Sabbag
48. Kim Leutwyler
49. Fernando Ausin-Gómez
50. Ted Nace
51. Lauren Greis
52. Aaron Newman
53. Michael A. Weber
54. Josh Lynch
55. YOU???

Also, here is a quick Josh’s-Sugar-Fast-for-AROC-FAQ (JSFAROCFAQ):

Read the rest of this entry »

Focus Earth on the Capitol Climate Action and Power Shift

10 04 2009

Great news segment on the Capitol Climate Action and Power Shift 09

Toronto activists award RBC “fossil fool of the year” for Tar Sands financing

2 04 2009

Five actions in one day in downtown Toronto? No foolin!

Today Rainforest Action Network activists kicked Fossil Fools Day off with a bang, dropping banners off of a highway, greeting over 4,000 cars stuck in deadlock traffic over a period of two hours. From bridges, we broadcast messages about Royal Bank of Canada (RBC)’s financing of the Canadian Tar Sands from our makeshift Pirate Radio station. Our banners read “Pirate Radio 89.9 FM Tune in now” and “Royal Bank creates climate chaos. Renewables not tar sands.” The pouring rain didn’t block our view of car after car reaching for the radio dial as they drove under us. Listen to the audio broadcast we played here!

We moved on to RBC’s headquarters downtown, and throughout the day were joined by over 30 activists filtering in and out for the festivities.

We began by dressing up and impersonated bank employees. About 16 of us rode elevators for up to two more hours, chatting up other RBC personel – “Hey, on my way to work today I heard about how RBC is financing the destruction of Native territories in Alberta, causing people cancer and polluting the water! Tar Sands are the world’s dirtiest oil. Did you know that? I had no idea! I’m telling my manager right away!”

Meanwhile, outside the HQ, several more of us leafleted and held banners reading “RBC Creates poisoned water in our community,” “Renewables not tar sands” and “RBC: financing cancer and toxic sludge.”

Back inside, a lone Torontan walked inside the main office with a beautiful bouquet of balloons. I don’t know where he got the idea to release them in the atrium, or how a banner reading “ROYAL BANK CREATES CLIMATE CHAOS” got attached….I also don’t know how they’re gonna get it down. We have undercover footage of the prank here:

Later that evening, dozens of activists reconvened outside RBC headquarters alongside “Tarbie,” an oil-soaked version of RBC’s prized mascot “Arbie” who explained to passersby that he and RBC are helping finance one of the fastest growing sources of water pollution and greenhouse gas emissions on the planet, and how they conflict with the financial giant’s PR promises to promote clean water.

Read the rest of this entry »