hundred days on, as the climate justice movement looks back to the COP21 Climate Summit to see what may be learned, we reflect on the context of the violent attacks of November 13, 2015 that foreshadowed the unstable and volatile world we will all inhabit for the rest of our lives.
Quito, Ecuador – The Ecuadorian government has announced imminent plans to sign contracts for two controversial Amazonian oil blocks which are facing adamant opposition from local indigenous people residing within the roughly half-a-million acre concessions and beyond. The blocks, known as 79 and 83, overlap with the territory of the Sápara indigenous people, a small threatened group of only 300 which has official recognition by UNESCO as an “Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.”
TransCanada, the company behind the now-defunct Keystone XL, is proposing another pipeline that would ship Alberta tar sands oil to Canada’s Atlantic coast. But fierce opposition from First Nation communities could derail this controversial project.
The history of Bolivia’s Guaraní, an indigenous people living in the country’s southern lowlands, is one of struggle in defence of their territory. In 1892, an uprising against local landowners ended with the massacre of more than 2,000 Guaraní.
On August 19, members of the People’s Guarani Assembly of Takova Mora blocked a main highway in the Chaco region of Bolivia demanding their right to free, prior and informed consent regarding oil extraction on their communal lands. The Government responded by sending in 300 police who broke up the demonstration by force.
Policers officers have not directly confirmed or denied rumours of an impending raid of the Unist'ot'en Camp in northwestern B.C., which has long been on their radar for repeatedly denying the oil and gas industry access to its territory.
The Unist’ot’en Camp, an indigenous-led pipeline blockade in remote, mountainous central British Columbia, is permeated with the savory smell of bear poutine pizza — shredded bear meat, homemade French fries, green onions, and cheese on a scratch whole wheat crust. Ambrose Williams, a member of the nearby Gitxsan nation, is cooking dinner tonight for his partner Erin’s birthday. Because it’s a special occasion, someone has ventured down into the work-in-progress root cellar to excavate a jar of spicy dill pickles made from cucumbers grown in the camp garden.
Dozens of social movement organizers recently gathered in Toronto at a meeting convened by the This Changes Everything team to envision a new economy centered on climate justice. With relentless extractions of labour and land harming all life on earth, cross-sectoral alliances are necessary.