The first Earth Day was on April 22 1970 as a gathering to raise concern for the environment, and it marked a pivotal point in the birth of the U.S. modern environmental movement. But in the decades since it has become clear that the environmental movement alone cannot stop the climate crisis. It is both too small and too narrow. The climate crisis is interconnected and inextricable from the crises of racial, social, and economic injustice and it cannot be solved separately. We need a movement of movements to come together that tackles all aspects of the common root cause we are up against – imperialist white supremacist capitalist patriarchy. That’s why 350PDX is not an environmental organization, but a climate justice organization proud to be part of this movement of movements.
So on Earth Day 2021, and on every other day, we’re fighting not just for the Earth, but for the people of Earth too.
Tuesday’s verdict provided a measure of much-needed and all-too-rare accountability, but it is not true justice for George Floyd and the thousands of others whose lives have been lost to police violence. At least 65 people died at the hands of law enforcement nationwide as the murder trial of former police officer Derek Chauvin was underway, including Daunte Wright, 20; Adam Toledo, 13; and 16-year old Ma’Khia Bryant, killed by Columbus police almost exactly at the same time as the Chauvin verdict was read.
One verdict does not dismantle this country’s interlocking systems of oppression. Nor does it take away the trauma Black Americans experienced as they waited to learn if, for once, their lives mattered in a court of law.
It does not change the fact that the communities who bear the brutalities of policing are the same communities who are forced to breathe toxic fumes, designated as “sacrifice zones” for the benefit of extractive industries, stripped of their voting rights and robbed of their lands. That it took one of the most clear-cut and egregious cases of extrajudicial killing, sparking the largest racial justice protests in history, to reach this point is a testament to how far we still have to go.
The Climate Case for Abolition
Read the full interview from Sam Grant, Executive Director of Minnesota 350, taken immediately following the Chauvin verdict on Tuesday on the case for police abolition.
“We have a number of systems that are all joined together, that collectively are playing roles in shaping negative outcomes for the climate and human life. And it’s important for people who are in the climate movement to recognize the intersectionality of systems. The systems that hurt the climate and the systems that hurt human life are the same systems.
It’s also important to not believe any longer that, because of the severity of the climate crisis, we have the luxury of saying no to climate justice. We have to have systems change, not climate change, as Naomi Klein and many others have talked about. We have to not allow ourselves to be divided from each other as we work for climate integrity.
The path to bringing down greenhouse gas emissions to zero is a path that heals our relations with each other; that ensures we are honoring all of life and each other. Doing that allows us to create a future in which it is far less likely that a police officer like Derek Chauvin could have his body on top of George Floyd’s body and suffocate the life out of him without having awareness shock his consciousness into mutual concern for his life sooner rather than later.
It was nine minutes and twenty nine seconds of opportunity for that to have gone a different way. All of those seconds were wasted, and there’s something about bringing awareness to how we relate to each other and saying “your well-being is important to me. My well-being ought to be important to you as a police officer.”
I often say that privilege makes you blind. Power similarly makes you blind. And we have to work on healing our relationships with privilege and power so that we stop perpetrating violence on each other.”
Here’s your 350PDX weekly update.
All these actions and more can be found on our website’s Take Action page – 350pdx.org/action
Whether you’re a full time volunteer or are just on our mailing list, please consider taking 5-10 minutes to fill out our annual Volunteer Activist Survey. Deadline is April 23, but please take the time now if you are able. Thank you!
Action from Extinction Rebellion PDX: Earth Day is today and environmental groups across the country as well as the Center for Biological Diversity are demanding that the Biden administration Declare a Climate and Ecological Emergency that would allow for the use of emergency powers to address the crisis before it is too late! Please sign and spread this petition throughout all your social network: Sign the petition now! In support of the movement to declare a national climate emergency, join us in Downtown Portland, across from the Federal Building [map] on Earth Day, April 22nd at 4 pm
We are hiring for a new position at 350PDX, a Communications Manager. The position is half time with the opportunity to become full time at the start of 2022. Read the job description here and feel free to share with anyone you know who might be a good fit for the role. Priority application deadline is May 12 2021.
We’re also looking for a fulltime Finance & Operations Manager. Read the job description here and feel free to share with anyone you know who might be a good fit for the role. Priority application deadline is May 12 2021.
- In-person Sunrise Earth Day Festival
TODAY Thurs Apr 22, 3:30PM – 8:00PM, Mt Tabor, Bottom of middle reservoir
Sunrise PDX is hosting an Earth Day festival at Mt Tabor
“There is so much we are fighting against — let’s hold a space of regeneration to celebrate what we are fighting for. Join us for an evening of music, community, speakers, and more! Wear a mask, social distance, bring friends, dress like the Earth! See the event schedule and sign up here: https://www.sunrisepdx.
- Rad◦i◦cle: National Forests on Stolen Lands (Part 2)
TONIGHT Thurs Apr 22, 6:00PM – 7:30PM, Online
Join Bark for the second part in their excellent series on the history and impact of how the U.S. federal government turned Indigenous land into national forests, including the forced removal of people, termination of native title, nullifying treaty agreements, and terminating tribes. Register here and watch part 1 here.
- Cordillera Day 2021: Rally to Defend Land, Life & Honor
Sat Apr 24, 4:00PM – 6:00PM, Montavilla Park, Facebook event here
Join to celebrate Cordillera Day, honoring the heroes of the Cordillera. Multinational corporations have had their eye on the Cordillera region of the Philippines for decades, desperate to exploit the land and people for profit, but indigenous activists, land defenders, and advocates are waging a powerful resistance – despite increasing attacks from the state and corporate forces. Meanwhile, the state of Oregon invests our hard-earned tax dollars in Chevron – one of the companies threatening to destroy the Cordillera. We refuse to be complicit in attacks on land defenders in the Cordillera and we are demanding that the Oregon State Treasury divest from Chevron. Learn more and sign the petition at tinyurl.com/oregon-divest-
Join Kalikasan Solidarity Organization, Anakbayan PDX, Anakbayan East Portland, 350PDX, and Sunrise PDX to celebrate this unstoppable people’s movement and say NO MORE IN OUR NAME!
- 350PDX May General Meeting
Mon May 3, 6:00PM – 7:15PM, Online
Join us for next month’s General Meeting which is open to all and is a great place for new and existing volunteers to meet staff and other volunteers, come and hear what the other teams are up to, and to do a deep dive into a topic. The topic isn’t decided yet, so register and watch this space 🙂
- Climate Justice Q&A with State Treasurer Tobias Read
Wed May 5, 7:00PM – 8:30PM, Online
State Treasurers have an enormous – and often underutilized – role to play in fighting the climate crisis. Oregon State Treasurer Tobias Read manages the $110 Billion state pension fund investments and votes those shares at the Annual General Meetings of some of the largest financial institutions and fossil fuel companies in the country.
350PDX is organizing this Q&A to educate the community about the power of state treasurers in the fight against the climate crisis and to continue to push the Treasurer Read to vote and invest as a climate champion. Join us to hear directly from the Treasurer and from activists and community members from around the state.
- Training: Policy Advocacy
Sat May 15, 11:00AM – 1:30PM, Online
This is the fourth in a series of five FREE 1.5 hour trainings run by 350 groups around the country, to ground us in shared principles and empower us to take bolder and more strategic action.
This training is about Policy Advocacy: How to advocate, how legislative bodies work, and how to influence electeds–with examples from local affiliates to demonstrate common tactics and best practices.
All members/supporters of 350 affiliates in North America are welcome! Whether you are a new volunteer looking to jumpstart your activism skills, just on the email list and curious about learning more, or a more experienced group member looking to stimulate thinking about new concepts and create stronger connections with peers across the 350 network, these trainings are for you! Recordings and training materials will be available.
The final training – Strategic Campaigning is on Sat May 22 11am and you can register at the same link.
- Portland Black Lives Matter Protests
Throughout the week @ across the city – details here
Click here for our advice for showing up to protest
Thank you all for the work that you do, stay safe, we’re all in this together,
Chris, Chuck, Dineen, Gaby, Indi – the 350PDX staff