As a movement, we have a responsibility to recognise that the fight for justice for First Nations people and racial justice is at the heart of the fight for climate justice.
We also have a responsibility to stand with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and People of Colour in Australia and around the world.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities are targeted and incarcerated by police. Since the Royal Commission into Black Deaths in Custody, 432 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have died in police custody, and not a single officer has been charged.
First Nations resistance to police brutality, big mining companies, government funding cuts to essential services and over-incarceration is strong, and the onus is on all of us to stand in solidarity with frontline voices every day.
Solidarity must be a verb. There are many ways of supporting First Nations Justice, here are a few to start with:
- Donate to families who have lost loved ones to deaths in custody including Justice for David Dungay Junior, Justice for Yuendumu: Inquiry into Police Violence, Justice for Joyce Clarke, and Day Family Fundraiser.
- Support campaigns to stop black deaths in custody, including supporting your local Aboriginal Legal Service, Change the Record and Deadly Connections, an organisation working with First Nations people, families and communities who’ve been impacted by criminal justice and child protection systems. A growing list of First Nations-led organisations to support is available here.
- There are protests organised by the Warriors of Aboriginal Resistance in Meanjin (Brisbane), on Gadigal land (Sydney) Naarm (Melbourne) and many more First Nations actions can be found on social media. Please follow local government restrictions, stay safe, and amplify and watch on social media.
- If you’re looking to educate yourself on Black Lives Matter and Deaths in Custody, see this resource put together by our friends at AYCC and Seed.
Tackling structural racism is critical to building a climate movement that is rooted in justice.
Around the world Indigenous, Black and communities of Colour are the ones hardest hit by the climate crisis and extractivism. We see it here with rising sea levels in the Torres Strait, fracking in the Northern Territory, extreme heat in remote communities, and mega coal companies like Adani fighting Traditional Owners’ land rights in court.
We also know that the fossil fuel companies responsible for the vast majority of emissions driving the climate crisis are the same ones pillaging the ancestral lands of Indigenous peoples without free, prior and informed consent. These industries also disproportionately displace and compromise the health of Black and poor communities.
At 350 Australia, our mission has always been to build a people-powered climate movement. We strive to build a movement that is rooted in justice. We know that our planet isn’t in crisis only because of rising emissions, but because of systems of extraction and exploitation that put profit ahead of people.
We have learned through years of organising people to fight for the climate, that we cannot address the climate crisis without addressing rising social and economic inequality, or the deep roots of racism and colonialism.
I hope you will join us in solidarity with First Nations people, and People of Colour today, and every day.
Lucy Manne, for the whole 350 Australia team