Extinction Rebellion groups around the country are united in officially stating their solidarity with the Black-led movement against racism and police violence.
Grief and rage over the police killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery have sparked a powerful international uprising demanding racial justice. Extinction Rebellion members echo the outcry from Black, Indigenous and other communities of color that they are routinely targets of police surveillance and dehumanizing brutality. The communities pleading for an end to police violence suffer disproportionate impacts from disinvestment, from pollution, and from poor health outcomes that can all be traced to decades of racist policies. These areas are also the least prepared to adapt to water scarcity and climate changes as our planet heats up.
Many Black, Indigenous and POC organizations, like Movement for Black Lives, recognize that the same historical racism that devalues nonwhite communities is also responsible for the fossil fuel extraction that has devalued our planet and sparked the climate emergency. We need to overhaul our society and our economy.
Massive non-violent resistance is necessary to produce the changes that we need, to end over-policing, and to build a just world where Black and Brown peoples’ lives are valued. In our oppressive society, these popular protest movements now face militarized state-sanctioned backlash, which can put ulnerable communities in even greater danger. Government officials have empowered police to assault, tase, shoot, poison, detain, impoverish and kill us for exercising our rights, with especially harsh punishment for Black activists. Police have refused to respect Covid-19 precautions, further risking the health of those they punish and arrest. They also target journalists who are providing vital information about these crimes, making the media itself a source of growing outrage supporting the protests.
The onslaught of police violence makes it even more important for climate activists to commit ourselves to anti-racist speech and action that protects targeted communities and elevates their demands. Despite all the risks, we are seeing that ongoing resistance movements with clear demands can achieve gains that once seemed impossible.
Extinction Rebellion stands with racial justice movements as allies. Structural racism and institutional violence are features of the toxic system we seek to dismantle. Many of our members have already joined the protests for Black Lives Matter movement as individuals and we encourage them to continue to do so.
We uphold the following goals:
- We demand an end to the silent acceptance of injustice by bystanders and law enforcement.
- We demand the immediate release of jailed protesters and that the charges be dropped.
- We demand the protection of journalists.
- We demand an end to racial profiling.
- We demand an end to Qualified Immunity and chokehold type restraints.
- We demand removing military-style weapons like teargas and drones from local police departments.
- We demand the arrest and prosecution of all officers charged with assault or murder.
- We support calls for increased transparency and police accountability.
- We support calls to defund police departments and reinvest in community needs.
Extinction Rebellion joins other climate groups such as Sierra Club, 350.org, and Greenpeace in stating that there can be no climate justice without racial justice. We will continue to work in solidarity with the movement and to incorporate anti-racism in our climate justice work.