DivestNY stands with protesters in Minneapolis, New York and cities around the world who call for justice for the murder of George Floyd at the hands of the police. We call for the full prosecution of all police officers involved in this heinous act, for reparations to the family and the community, and for an end to militarized policing. Police brutality is part of the same system that sees people and our planet only in terms of their usefulness for generating profits. We call for the reduction of police budgets – defunding the police – and the investment of these funds into better, responsive community based health and care services.
Standing in solidarity with the Movement for Black Lives, we demand justice for Black brothers and sisters and all peoples and communities of color who have suffered under a long and shameful history of institutional and systemic racism in this country. We demand action.
We call out the years of looting that have diverted trillions of dollars of wealth to a tiny, privileged slice of America. Massive corporate tax breaks, subsidies, union-busting, wage cuts and the systematic defunding of schools, food support, public libraries and public health have damaged the life prospects of many Americans, especially the poor and people of color.
We recognize that the face of the environmental movement has been mostly white and highly privileged; until this changes, our work is not done. We are part of a system that breeds robber barons, oil barons, soulless corporate drones, and brutal law enforcement—a system that plunders the earth for profit with extractive zeal and a boundless sense of entitlement. Dependence on fossil fuels, once the engine of growth, has become the engine of our destruction. As we work to break free from fossil fuels, we must grow beyond the oppressive system that supports their extraction and use, with all of their associated harms.
The work of addressing white supremacy is critical to building a climate movement rooted in justice. There is no just recovery for climate, without addressing the systemic extraction, harm and violence towards Black communities. Building a movement rooted in the needs of those most oppressed is the only way we can achieve liberation for all.
As we recover from our public health crisis, which disproportionately affects front-line communities and communities of color, we must build a new economy that does not depend on profits at the expense of people and the planet. And we must ensure that the people and communities most affected benefit most from recovery efforts. There can be no climate justice without racial justice.
DivestNY’s work for a just transition away from fossil fuels is interwoven with the larger progressive movement, and we honor the leadership of our allies who have been focused on the liberation and protection of communities of color. As a coalition, DivestNY has signed the Movement for Black Lives petition and supports the Movement’s demands. We encourage all organizations to step up and do their part to dismantle white supremacy and build a multiracial movement for justice for all.
The DivestNY Coalition
Big thanks to Fossil Free California for inspiring some of the content of this statement.