This blog was written by the 350.org Divestment Team.
It has been a couple of weeks since the Movement for Black Lives released a policy platform, and it is beautiful. We initially wanted to write this blog to acknowledge and celebrate the inclusion of fossil fuel divestment in the platform, but as we sketched out some notes, we realized that we had more gratitude and lessons learned to share than a simple acknowledgement would allow.
The thing about the Movement for Black Lives platform is that it’s a seriously brave thing to create and share — it’s visionary. Social movements often arise in opposition to injustice, oppression, and untenable conditions. But, the fight for Black liberation (past and present) is a powerful model for the kind of complexity that our movements need to hold in order to be successful. The Movement for Black Lives, and this platform, shows its power in the boldness of its vision, but also in its honesty about grief and the need for fearless demonstration. It centers humanity, and that is a model and a gift to all of us as we struggle towards liberation.
For allies looking for their stake and a role in the fight for collective liberation, this platform creates a roadmap for us. We’ve got a lot of work to do to build a nation that works for everyone. And while taking action in the fight for racial justice is our shared responsibility, this platform allows us to take leadership from some folks who have been thinking hard about what that action could look like.
But what does this mean for the Fossil Fuel Divestment Movement? Divest and Invest is a clear part of the strategy. For generations, wealth and labor have been extracted from the Black community. As leaders in one of the most historically powerful divestment movements, we have an opportunity to shift money and resources away from destructive industries, such as the fossil fuel industry, and create a clear pathway to a just transition. We know that climate justice means justice. Climate change hits communities of color first, and hardest, and while certainly natural disasters don’t discriminate, the fossil fuel industry, our economy, and the way governments support people to survive, rebuild and thrive does. Fighting climate change is fighting for survival. It means delegitimizing the fossil fuel industry’s ability to force communities of color to bear the brunt of the crisis, and demanding solutions to the crisis that don’t lead to more state violence and militarization of our communities.
We are humbled by such visionary leadership demonstrating clear links in our movements toward liberation and equity. The Movement for Black Lives is fighting for a country that values and works for everyone. As we move forward we need to demand the kind of investments, reparations, and equitable services that make all communities safer. We must fight for a just and stable future, and we must mobilize in solidarity with the movement for Black lives.