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- Posted on July 20, 2020

In Global Solidarity with #BlackLivesMatter

#BreakFreeFromPlastic Members around the world will continue to speak out for Justice in deep solidarity with all the leaders and organizations who are helping advance the #BlackLivesMatter Movement. 

Break Free From Plastic

Social Justice. Racial Justice. Environmental Justice. We believe these are all part of a single, globally-connected Movement for Justice. We are committed to utilizing our platforms responsibly and proactively, centering the voices of our Black, Indigenous, and People of Color  (BIPOC) community members at all levels of our leadership, and continuing to fight racism and systemic oppression around the world.

As a global movement rooted in the pursuit of justice and systems change, we recognize the importance of lifting up our voices together to proclaim solidarity with those who continue to face systemic racism, oppression, and violence. In recognition of how this struggle has manifested for Black community members in the United States, and how that struggle is deeply interconnected with the challenges facing historically-marginalized communities in so many countries, we offer these statements of solidarity from diverse members in the Break Free From Plastic Movement in the US and around the world.

“We need to recognise white privilege and dismantle the deep-rooted systemic racism that shows through in employment, housing, media, politics, policing, healthcare and the impacts of climate change

Greenpeace already works to support under-represented groups, including by funding positions for people of colour on the Campaign Bootcamp training programme, running our own activist trainings and offering our warehouse space and equipment to activist groups – and of course we must do more.

If you are an anti-racist/ BAME (Black, Asian and minority ethnic) led group or collective and would like to explore how Greenpeace could support or work alongside you, please email me.” -- Meena Rajput, Greenpeace, United Kingdom

“It is long past time to dismantle the systems that murder, incarcerate, pollute, impoverish, and otherwise harm the bodies and psyches of Black, POC, and indigenous people. The murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and Tony McDade, and countless Black people have ignited a global movement to end centuries of violence on Black communities. We stand in solidarity with the Movement for Black Lives, humbly follow Black leadership who have been fighting this fight for generations, and call on the environmental movement to join us - in this moment and for the long battle ahead.” -- Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives, United States

“As we in the Philippines and other parts of Asia Pacific struggle against the abuse of power, the neglect and often inhumane treatment of our marginalized communities, and the shrinking civic spaces, we stand alongside the #BlackLivesMatter movement. Our histories and experiences may differ, but our pursuit of justice, equality, and a better future are the same. We hear you, we support you, and we are in this fight against systemic oppression together with you for the long haul.” -- Skye Male, Break Free From Plastic, Philippines

“Earthworks is committed to climate justice and environmental justice in order to improve the health, safety and well-being of all communities. Yet the cruel, inhumane treatment of Black and Brown people in the U.S. today makes it extremely difficult to imagine justice for communities of color. The murder of George Floyd by police in Minneapolis is the latest killing in an intolerable history of racist violence in the U.S.

Earthworks is committed to challenging and dismantling the systemic oppression embedded into our society that allows these tragedies to continue. If we want to create communities that are truly safe, just, equitable, and free from environmental harm, then we must challenge racist violence against Black and Brown people. We stand in solidarity with the movement for Black Lives and demand justice and action in Minneapolis and around the country.” -- Earthworks, United States

“The Aotearoa Plastic Pollution Alliance (APPA) has released a statement in support of #BlackLivesMatter which also ‘acknowledges that these same injustices and oppression exist around the world, including here in Aotearoa New Zealand. APPA acknowledges and stands against all forms of racism and injustice toward Māori and Pasifika peoples, including institutional racism and discriminatory police and penal system power in this country.’” -- Aotearoa Plastic Pollution Alliance, New Zealand

“All of us in the UPSTREAM community stand with #BlackLivesMatter. We stand with all those who loved George Floyd and all the named and unnamed who have been taken. Because black lives are not disposable, and we want to co-create a world where this is true.” -- UPSTREAM, United States

“We live in a profoundly unequal world that requires interconnected work and intentional solidarity to balance historical gaps, provide opportunities to vulnerable groups and build a common vision of the future that can benefit many. Based on that, Nipe Fagio in Tanzania allies social justice to environmental responsibility when implementing community work, so that the planet is taken care of together with its people.” -- Ana Le Rocha, Nipe Fagio, Tanzania 

We know that pollution is not simply the result of “broken systems”, but the result of unjust systems that enable discrimination and protect the violation of human rights. Make no mistake, environmental injustices and social injustices are inextricably connected. As Algalita works to empower young people to think critically and act as agents for long-lasting change, we will continue to teach how fighting structural racism is – and must be – integral to the mission of any environmental movement. -- Algalita, United States

“From Slavery, Colonialism, Apartheid to civil rights, environmental justice - we will not be forced back to injustice. #blacklivesmatter” -- Bobby Peek, GroundWork, Friends of the Earth South Africa

“FracTracker Alliance stands in solidarity with Black communities around the nation who have faced police violence, racism, and inequality. We are firmly committed to the pursuit of environmental justice, and believe that building a more equitable and sustainable future requires addressing systemic injustice in its many forms. We pledge to respond to the leadership of communities on the frontlines of dangerous oil and gas activities, elevate environmental justice perspectives, and defend human rights. #BlackLivesMatter” -- FracTracker Alliance, United States

“In the Philippines and other parts of the Asia Pacific region, we have been experiencing abuse of power by authorities enabled by authoritarian populist governments. There is a seemingly shrinking civic space to show dissent and a crackdown on our right to exercise our civil and political rights. Thus, we are in solidarity with #BlackLivesMatter movement for justice, systemic change, and emancipation!” -- Jed Alegado, Break Free From Plastic, Philippines

“The National Caucus of Environmental Legislators (NCEL) recognizes the historic, systemic, and institutional racism that has contributed to violence and injustices against people of color. NCEL condemns police violence and systemic racism, and stands in solidarity with the black community and people of color everywhere. 

Communities of color disproportionately face more dangerous outcomes from environmental threats and injustices. Ensuring a healthy environment means fighting for the truth that Black Lives Matter. NCEL is committed to ensuring environmental and social justice in our efforts. Our vision of a ‘healthy environment for all’ can and must include a world free of systemic racism.” -- National Caucus of Environmental Legislators, United States

As an environmental organisation made up of predominantly white women, our team at City to Sea know we’ve got a LOT of work to do. We know marching and retweeting Black Lives Matter content isn’t enough. We want to respond meaningfully to issues that have too often been ignored, but are now being brought into the foreground. These issues include unequal employment, education, one-sided versions of history, police brutality and discrimination and other forms of systemic racism which affect countless millions daily, 365 days a year. We feel it is our duty to listen, learn and make genuine change.

Racial justice and environmental justice are so intertwined it’s impossible to separate them. We’re sharing a message of solidarity to the Black Lives Matter movement and letting our supporters who have been frustrated by a lack of representation and equality in our movement, know that we see you, we hear you, we’re standing with you and actively learning and changing.

We’re now committed to stepping up and embedding anti-racism work into our organisation and campaigns. Find out more about our commitments here.” -- City to Sea, United Kingdom

“The Story of Stuff Project stands with those marching for police accountability and an end to systemic racism because we know we cannot talk about plastic pollution, access to affordable, clean water, the rights of workers or any of the other issues we care about -- let alone fix them -- without boldly confronting the disproportionate impact these injustices have on black, brown, and indigenous communities in America.” -- The Story of Stuff Project, United States

“Through our advocacy for ambitious waste prevention measures and a massive reduction in the use of virgin plastic, VOICE stands not just for environmental protection here in Ireland but for environmental & social justice worldwide through our involvement with Break Free From Plastic. We support fully the #BlackLivesMatter movement to fight racism around the globe.” -- Tad Kirakowski, VOICE, Ireland

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