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A Note on the US Election

This is a sobering moment.

Today I am filled with both disappointment and determination, inspired by the demonstrations of love, resistance and solidarity from around the country in response to the election of a president that used racism, sexism, homophobia and transphobia, xenophobia, and religious bigotry to win.

In this moment of reflection, we need to be explicit about the role that racism and scapegoating played in the election. It feels important to open a conversation that I hope will transform frustration into action. As I begin to process the election outcome, I am struck by two things:

  1. The environmental movement needs to directly challenge issues of racism and bigotry. All the time — not just during elections. This is not news and yet it bears repeating. Green organizations have been some of the most effective and well-supported in any nonprofit sector. At the same time, we must acknowledge that mainstream environmentalism is connected to a legacy of racism and land grabbing. It is important to take responsibility for the times that environmental organizations have prioritized increasing their access and financial resources while looking the other way on issues of environmental racism and racial injustice. As a movement, we must intentionally work across issues and make explicit the connections between environmentalism and the fight for racial justice.

  2. The fight to keep fossil fuels in the ground and forests standing can trigger concerns of economic impact on communities that rely on extraction and production jobs. The “jobs versus environment” argument allows those profiting off the backs of workers at the expense of our planet to divide us. When calling for an end to the extractive economy, we must center our solutions around ensuring a just transition for workers. Frontline and fenceline communities are leading this work and it is our responsibility to incorporate this expertise.

At RAN, we remain committed to taking leadership from frontline communities in all of our work And we are strengthened by and committed to supporting the organizing and movement building happening across the country and across the globe — from the ongoing work of The Movement for Black Lives, to the continuing resistance against the North Dakota Access pipeline; from the communities in Texas fighting against fracked gas terminals, to the Indonesian communities fighting against corporate land grabbing.

Today it may seem like achieving our mission — to preserve forests, protect the climate and uphold human rights — is a long way away. When the incoming president believes that climate change is a hoax, we know that we have a long road ahead of us.

And yet, we still believe in people power. More people in this country voted for the candidate who believes that climate change is real, that racism and police brutality exist, and that there is no room for a wall when talking about comprehensive immigration policy. That’s a fact.

I am grateful that we have a strong network ready for this fight. Today I was inspired by the Open Letter to our Nation and call to action from 100 women of color leaders including one of our Board members Deepa Isac. I look forward to seeing many of you on November 15th for the #NoDAPL day of action

For people and planet,
Lindsey Allen
Executive Director
Rainforest Action Network

Rainforest Action Network uses people power to challenge business as usual.

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  • Judy Marsh
    commented 2016-11-19 13:42:22 -0800
    It starts with the first protectors of this country and around the world-
    members of The First Nations People here in the U.S. and Canada
    who have been fighting for centuries over stolen land, broken treaties-
    that have led to destruction of our earth, the air we breath, and the
    water- that we drink, bathe in, and that help grow our fruits and vegetables.
    It is not just standing up to the powerful people with money and power and
    our corrupt legislators in government- its also about making a decision to
    lead a different kind of lifestyle, changing our daily habits, making a
    commitment to honor this earth that God gave us all as a gift- one
    we must honor and protect.
  • eusebio manuel
    commented 2016-11-19 12:09:35 -0800
    Stop Climate Change
  • Vickneswaran Subramaniam
    commented 2016-11-16 16:09:34 -0800
    The secret is out. I know about the hidden ingredient PepsiCo is putting into kid’s snack foods and other products.

    Conflict Palm Oil is enslaving children, killing endangered orangutans, and destroying the rainforest. I will not stand for it in my home.

    I’ve told 20 snack food companies that this issue affects how I feel about their products. Other companies have listened, adopted responsible palm oil policies and taken action to cut Conflict Palm Oil from their supply chains.

    PepsiCo is falling behind.

    It is not acceptable to hide behind weak sourcing commitments or so called ‘sustainable’ palm oil from the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), which continues to certify companies who destroy rainforests, peatlands and abuse the rights of forest communities and workers.

    Earning my dollars comes with earning my trust. To regain my trust, PepsiCo must demand responsible palm oil from its suppliers and eliminate Conflict Palm Oil contamination of its products.

    I encourage you to secure a new global responsible palm oil procurement policy and implementation plan that ensures that the palm oil in PepsiCo’s supply chain is fully traceable, legally grown, and sourced from verified responsible palm oil producers not associated with deforestation, expansion onto carbon-rich peatlands or human and labor rights violations. That means fully fixing your Conflict Palm Oil problem – and half measures, greenwash, and marketing will simply not suffice.

    I have made a stand to protect the last wild orangutans. I will not stand by brands that use Conflict Palm Oil.
  • Lindsey Allen
    published this page in Understory 2016-11-09 19:47:35 -0800