Originally published at Global Justice Ecology Project on September 29, 2014 by Sara Sullivan
Here’s a set of articles and videos highlighting the key role played by Indigenous organizers, many good friends of GJEP’s, in critiques leading up to and coming out of the Climate events of last week.
First, Indigenous Rising posted a video of Kandi Mossett, Climate Campaign organizer for Indigenous Environmental Network, describing her experience within the UN Climate Summit and her frustration at the lack of urgency in world leaders and at how even the few members of civil society allowed in were sidelined. “The planet is going to go on with or without us. It’s up to us to decide if we’re going to be here or not.”
Next , Idle No More Media posted a great video of Indigenous people who participated in Flood Wall Street, including Clayton Thomas-Muller speaking to the crowd: “Indigenous People have a sacred gift to share with the movement of climate justice.”
Moreover, two recent essays on the events featured Mossett and Thomas-Muller.In The Villager, Sarah Ferguson wrote about her exuberance attending the Global Climate Convergence.
While the media focused on the spectacle of 400,000-plus bodies jammed along Central Park West as far as the eye could see, it was the networking that took place between all these grassroots groups and the connections made at events leading up to the march that gave it its real power.
Scores of workshops and gatherings were held in East Village community gardens and other parts of Lower Manhattan as part of the New York City Climate Convergence — which coincided with the annual Lower East Side Harvest festival — creating a synergy of art, music and activism that I haven’t experienced here for some time.
Later, I listened to Native women tell powerful and heart-wrenching stories of resisting frack operations in tribal lands in Canada and the U.S. at a jam-packed symposium at the New School called #Frack Off.
Kandi Mossett, an activist from the Fort Berthold Reservation in the Badlands of North Dakota, showed slides of natural gas being flared off oil rigs in the Bakken Shale Play.
“Where I live, they’re fracking for oil,” Mossett explained. “The gas that’s on top of the oil is just a byproduct because the pipeline infrastructure to capture it currently does not exist.
“Every day more than 100 cubic feet of natural gas is flared away,” Mossett continued. “Just to put it into perspective, that’s enough gas to heat half a million homes.”
Finally, Clayton Thomas-Muller was quoted in an interesting article by Aljazeera America on the juxtaposition (split or bridge?) between the Climate March and Flood Wall Street. He notes on social media that Aljazeera mistakenly identifies his as a primary organizer for FWS rather than part of the media team, but this shows the key role he played that day.
“I think the march represented a mainstream-ifying of a different kind of social movement,” said Clayton Thomas-Muller, one of the primary organizers of the Flood Wall Street protests. “The march represented a fundamental shift. There’s been a popularization of the ability to debate the climate and capitalism.”