(Photo by Austin Smith)
Black Lives Matter. There is no climate justice without racial justice.
We are in the middle of the largest nationwide uprising since the 1960s. For the past week, there have been huge protests here in Seattle and around the world, and they show no sign of slowing down. History shows that sustained and disruptive protest is one of the only ways to bring about deep systemic change, and we stand in solidarity with the fight against anti-Black racism and the police state. We know that there is no climate justice without racial justice, and as part of that work, we offer these ways for our community to engage:
All day, every day: the occupation of the East Precinct by Cal Anderson Park in Capitol Hill.
Mondays at 6:00pm: South Seattle Action for Justice will hold in-person vigils weekly in Columbia City (near Full Tilt on Rainier Ave.).
Participate in calls for action from the national Movement 4 Black Lives. Visit their website for a list of ongoing action items, broken out into level of risk categories (red, yellow, green) based on the public health crisis.
Additional in-person and virtual events are surfacing daily in Seattle, so use this Seattle Black Lives Matter Solidarity doc for updates. We recommend following local groups on social media for updates, such as Got Green, No New Youth Jail, Not This Time and Black Lives Matter-King County.
Support Seattle City Council Member Kshama Sawant’s upcoming legislation to ban the use of chemical irritants and chokeholds by the Seattle Police Department by commenting in person (virtually) on Monday, June 8, or via email here.
Sign this local petition to defund the Seattle Police Department, organized by Seattle COVID-19 Mutual Aid and supported by Nikkita Oliver and other Black/Indigenous People Of Color (BIPOC) organizers in Seattle. Are you part of any organizations? Sign on as an organization. Need to know more about this idea? Here, are, some, recent, articles, to get you started. And here’s the national sign-on.
Following the recent precedent set in Minneapolis and in other school districts across the country, students, parents, teachers, and allies are calling for Seattle Schools to end their relationship with the Seattle Police Department. Sign on to support this demand here and here.
Last week, the University of Minnesota ended its contract with the Minneapolis police union in response to the murder of George Floyd, and students across the country are demanding that colleges do the same. Calling all UW students, alum, employees, faculty: Sign this petition calling on UW administration to cut its contract with SPD.
Donate to Black Lives Matter Seattle–King County to support Black Lives Matter organizing in and around Seattle. (The bail fund they created received a huge number of donations and is now closed, but you can support the chapter’s general fund.)
The Northwest Community Bail Fund provides cash bail for marginalized people charged with crimes who are unable to afford bail and find themselves incarcerated while awaiting routine court appearances in King and Snohomish Counties in Washington State.
Support legal representation for protesters arrested in Seattle. Funds raised will support Smith Law LLC on costs associated with legal representation. Any remaining funds will be redistributed.
For emotional strength and grounding, we suggest spending some time with Healing Resources for BIPOC Organizers & Allies Taking Action for Black Lives from BJ Star and Irresistible, a global community of practice in collective healing and social justice.
ART FOR THIS MOMENT
We invite you to join us in making art for this moment, in support of Black Life and Defunding the Police to fund Community Care. There is no Climate Justice without Racial Justice. Make posters for your window or telephone poles; chalk or tempera paint the sidewalks; get conversations going with friends, neighbors, and colleagues to support the uprising for systemic change. No skills needed! More information here.
This webinar on how to shoot and edit videos on a phone has been updated to include information and resources about how to safely document protests. It will now provide insight about the ethics of photojournalism, how to protect the identities of protestors, and the historical context of white photographers and videographers documenting issues of people of color (POC).
Edit a Movie on Your Phone!
Friday, June 12, 6:00–7:00pm
Online webinar: register here.
We’ll still teach attendees how to use the app Adobe Rush to edit videos from a phone, but we’ll also provide tools on how people can safely document the current protests for Black Lives Matter.
Join the Artful Workgroup and get on our email list: We welcome all skill levels in any art form, but during these stay home, stay healthy times, some skills are needed more than ever!
We’re looking for people with tech, graphic design, and video skills! Yep, we’re thinking how-to webinars, coordinated individual art actions, and more, so we can still be impactful and connected with art across distance! Got creative ideas and know-how? Comfortable with Zoom, webinar, or web presentations? Let’s talk! Contact Lisa.
SONGS FOR THIS MOMENT
The People’s Echo are community leaders catching songs for social/climate justice, teaching them out, and raising up song leaders in the neighborhood. Join us for our June song teach-in as we sing songs for grief, for the ancestors, for our elders, for this Great Turning, for and with each other. Watch our April teach-in here.
Song Teach-In for Social and Climate Justice
Wednesday, June 24, 6:30–8:00pm
Details and link here.
For the call, we recommend, if you are able: headphones (it really adds to the experience by a few miles), staying muted unless otherwise indicated, arriving five minutes early (6:25pm), and using your video (we want to see your sweet face singing!).
BIG BUSINESS TAX
350 Seattle’s Big Business Tax Team stands in solidarity with calls to defund the police and pressure our leaders to invest in community-based health and safety, including affordable housing, community-based anti-violence programs, and free public transit. We demand safe, healthy alternatives to the systems that have failed and harmed Black communities and communities of color.
As we fight to redistribute resources away from harmful institutions such as the Seattle Police Department, we will also continue to build long-term power for progressive taxation that leverages our region’s financial resources for the health and safety of the people who live here—especially the communities of color who are most impacted by COVID-19, the climate crisis, and economic inequality, in addition to the white supremacist police state. All of these impacts and injustices are linked—to address one of them, we must address all of them. There is no climate justice without racial justice.
Even as Seattle City Council Members consider legislation for a big business tax that would fund some of the alternatives our communities fiercely need, we are gathering signatures to take progressive taxation to the November ballot, to fund affordable housing and create thousands of good, green jobs. And we will continue to clarify the connections between racial injustice, economic injustice, and climate change through outreach and action. To join our team and help, email Amanda.
NEW TRANSPORTATION AND RACIAL JUSTICE LEARNING GROUP
Some of Seattle’s recent open streets “wins,” such as Stay Healthy Streets, aren’t wins when we recognize that Black and Brown bodies aren’t safe in our streets to begin with. And as thousands of us take to those same streets to protest police brutality, our Transportation Team is clear: There’s a deep need to transform our organizing in response.
This learning group will explore how to do transportation organizing with a deeper racial justice lens. We will read and discuss texts at the intersection of race, transportation, COVID-19, and climate justice. Whether you want to simply read and debate with us, or write follow-up Letters to the Editor, blog posts, or other social media, we’d love to have you with us. Together we will engage in new learning for the climate movement, and hope to push the movement conversation on climate justice forward. For more information, or to join our learning group, email Ingrid.
AMAZON ENABLES OUR RACIST SYSTEMS
Amazon’s statement of “solidarity with the Black community” rings hollow. Just compare it to what they do: Amazon sells facial recognition software and Ring surveillance access to police departments that kill Black people with impunity; it fires and smears Black employees organizing for better working conditions; and it perpetuates environmental racism with its pollution disproportionately harming Black and Latinx communities.
Amazon Employees for Climate Justice (AECJ) endorses the call to Defund Seattle Police. Amazon tech workers recently presented their resolution on eliminating environmental racism to Jeff Bezos at the annual meeting, in collaboration with allies at Center for Community Action on Environmental Justice.
Watch and share this video (here on FB) about how the San Bernardino, California, community is fighting for a Community Benefits Agreement from Amazon. And here’s more about how Amazon’s emissions are hurting communities of color.
Amazon employees: Sign up here to stay in touch with AECJ.
SEATTLE MUTUAL AID: NEIGHBORHOOD PODS
Responding to the COVID-19 crisis, we now have 40 neighborhood pods and growing in a city-wide network of Mutual Aid to cultivate community resilience. We invite you to take leadership to help community grow within your own neighborhood so that people can help each other where there is need.
We’re connected with COVID-19 Mutual Aid, so our pods respond to the needs requested through that site. We’ve shared requests for mask-making, supplies for striking farmworkers fighting for social distancing conditions, and other opportunities to address the huge impacts the pandemic is having on the most vulnerable communities.
We’ve got lots of tools and people to help you get it going and figure things out along the way! We also have other volunteer opportunities, so let Lisa know if you are interested and have skills to share.
KEEPING PEOPLE HOUSED
Senator Maria Cantwell still hasn’t signed onto the Emergency Rental Assistance and Rental Market Stabilization Act—clearly, she needs to hear more from us. Send a letter here.
And although Governor Inslee has extended the eviction moratorium through August 1, we’ll need much more than that to ensure housing security for those housed now, and health and safety for those experiencing homelessness. Here’s a Washington Low Income Housing Alliance petition with actions the Governor should take to help ensure that new and existing COVID-19 resources reach those who need them most.
As climate change intensifies cycles of injustice, Got Green fights for transformative change by building community power in South Seattle, most recently with their Emergency Justice COVID-19 Platform and petition.
350 Seattle is again hosting 350 Ways to Love Got Green, a team in this year’s online Green-A-Thon. We’re using this opportunity to directly support Got Green by donating, encouraging 5 friends and family members to donate, and getting involved in the fight for Emergency Justice.
Questions? Want to join the team? Email Paul!
Over the past month, hundreds of fruit-packing workers in the Yakima Valley have gone on strike, demanding protections from COVID-19 and hazard pay. At several companies, strikes have won meaningful improvements, but at Columbia Reach, the management is still refusing to negotiate with workers who have been on strike for three weeks.
The workers have asked for community members to call Columbia Reach owner Bruce Allen and urge him to negotiate safe and fair working conditions and wages right now: 208-264-5712. Here’s more info and a script.
For more background on the strikes, read this excellent article by David Bacon.
Funds are still needed to cover lodging for the team of organizers on the ground, port-a-potties at the strike line, and gas for caravans to Olympia to pressure the state to take action; if you are able, use the Donate link here.
Art in support of striking farmworkers: Paint and donate umbrellas and signs for farm workers striking for basic protections against COVID-19 exposure! Support is greatly appreciated, and there are frequent runs of supplies going from Seattle.
- Umbrellas are great for rain and sun protection while social distancing. Please consider donating yours. If you are inspired, paint clear messages on them with a thin layer of acrylic paint. (Acrylic house paint works great too.)
- Banners and signs with messages such as, “On strike for safe working conditions!” and “Negotiate with the workers, COVID-19 protections now!”
Questions? Got umbrellas, banners, or signs to donate? Contact Lisa.
JOIN THE SOLIDARITY TEAM
The Solidarity Team works to build coalition across justice-oriented movements. We do this because we know that fighting against climate destruction means fighting against all the systems that fuel the destruction of our planet, including white supremacy, colonialism, heteropatriarchy, classism, ableism, and more. That means building deep community and long-term reciprocal relationships across movements. 350 Seattle already has relationships with a variety of local groups, and this team aims to be part of the continued growth of those relationships while creating additional partnerships.
How do we do this? We use a node model, where smaller groups of folx organize into areas of interest (e.g. supporting immigration justice), and then work together to form relationships and partnerships with organizations and communities pushing forward those issues. Nodes meet at least once per month, plus a larger monthly meeting for the whole Solidarity Team.
Above all else, we do this work in solidarity and seek real power shifts and transformational change. We believe deeply in both action and reflection as we work to avoid re-creating the same systems we want to break down. Hope to see you there!
As this whirlwind moment exposes the racism inherent in public institutions, the People’s Assembly process offers a real alternative that restores public dialogue and strengthens actual democracy while subverting politics as usual.
Assemblies randomly sort residents into a mirror of the people, representative for ethnicity, gender, age, income, politics, and location. These forums amplify minority and frontline voices, creating space so each one influences the whole to shape the climate policies that will impact their families most.
Committee chairs in the state legislature have stepped up, calling for an online assembly to address climate change this summer.
That’s great, but it’s going to take some work, starting with fundraising and organizing. Can you help? Is this your moment? Learn more and get involved at ClimateAssembly.us.
STOP THE MONEY PIPELINE
Defund the Police: As the call to defund the police reverberates nationally and locally, Stop the Money Pipeline placed this op-ed in Common Dreams about why every climate activist should be supportive of the demand to defund the police.
Chase: This month was Chase’s largest shareholder meeting of the year. The night before, we partnered with New York activists to beam 30-foot-high messages from people from around the country right across the street from Jamie Dimon’s Park Avenue home. At Chase the next day, there was one big surprise: 49.6% of shareholders voted in favor of a resolution that calls on the bank to produce a detailed report on how it intends to align its lending model with the Paris Agreement. You can read more about our take on that in our op-ed here.
Liberty Mutual: A new report reveals that Liberty Mutual is one of the largest advertisers on Fox News, backing programs that spout disinformation about COVID-19 (with the same tactics they have long used to seed climate denial). And in this moment, many of these same programs are saying that systemic racism isn’t real and cheering on violence against protesters. Now, more than ever, sign on to demand that Liberty Mutual stop advertising on Fox News.
And in case you missed it, the Stand Up To Oil coalition hosted a webinar on resistance to the Trans Mountain pipeline, featuring Rueben George of the Tsleil-Waututh Nation. We took collective action to demand that the pipeline’s insurers drop the toxic project, as the insurance policy is up in August. Call Liberty Mutual and AIG today and demand that they drop their coverage for Trans Mountain.
FEDERAL GREEN NEW DEAL
Want to stay up to date on federal legislation that’s consistent with the goals of the Green New Deal? We’re organizing bill trackers and bill supporters at the federal level and can connect you to upcoming webinars and allied groups. For example, the Sierra Club has outlined a strong climate and economic recovery plan for our country; here’s the one-page summary.
As we prepare for 2021 (when we might have a Democratic Senate, right?) we’ll need lots of us, all pushing together, for strong federal legislation. To get involved, contact Selden.
Join Native Daily Network and 350 Seattle for an online screening and panel discussion of the 2018 documentary Ancestral Waters.
This film follows the Puyallup Tribe and Puyallup Water Warriors in the fight to protect their Treaty, their water, and their way of life from Puget Sound Energy’s massive fracked gas refinery and storage facility currently being built on Medicine Creek Treaty Territory.
This project has been controversial from the start—construction beginning before permits were issued, without legally mandated consultation with the Tribe; no health or safety assessments analyzed; data for air emissions based on science over a decade old; and underreported methane leakage rates. The air permit will see the Puyallup Tribe and Earthjustice’s legal appeal decided in court this coming October.
The panel after the film will dig into the similarities between police violence, environmental racism, and unequal legal protections that we see play out in the film, to the systemic issues at the heart of the current movement for Black Lives Matter.
Check out the trailer for Ancestral Waters here.
CRUISING TOWARD CLIMATE COLLAPSE
While the Port of Seattle has officially put plans for a new, third cruise ship terminal on hold until at least the fall, we must work to ensure the costly expansion is canceled permanently. Sign the petition here!
Currently, Port Commissioners plan to look at only the profitability of the cruise market this fall to determine whether they move forward. That’s not enough! They should be considering the health consequences for communities, the climate impacts of such a fossil-fuel-intensive industry, and the equity concerns of prioritizing luxury leisure travel over our health and planet.
Can you help tell elected Port Commissioners to permanently abandon cruise expansion plans? Public comment is accepted twice a month at Commission meetings, and we are encouraging people to just speak from the heart. You can participate via phone! Details here.
NEW ALLY FOR TOKITAE
Earth Law Center has joined the effort to free Sk’aliCh’elh-tenaut (Tokitae/Lolita) from her 50-year captivity at the Miami Seaquarium and bring her home to the Salish Sea!
This event will include a ceremonial invocation, remarks from Lummi tribal members Tah-Mahs (Ellie Kinley) and Squil-le-he-le (Raynell Morris) and their traditional witnesses, from the Earth Law Center, and questions from the press.
Stay strong, friends.