Post-Election Statement – Climate Justice Coalition

Fuck Donald Trump.

As individuals and as an org, the Climate Justice Coalition is frightened on behalf of our lives, the lives of people we love, and for our work for climate justice. This is not business as usual, and we should never let it become normal. Everything Trump stands for ultimately endangers all of us.

We stand in solidarity with those most marginalized and endangered by a Trump presidency –  undocumented immigrants, people of color, the LGBTQIA+ community, Muslims and people of other marginalized faith groups, disabled people, mentally ill people, low-income people, and women. Trump’s rhetoric is unacceptable, and has legitimized a spree of hate crimes in the last two weeks. The hate he draws on existed in America long before this campaign, and dates back to the very founding of this country upon slavery and the genocide of Native peoples.

We also stand with the environment. Throughout Trump’s presidential campaign, he made it very clear that he will destroy everything that climate justice activists and environmentalists have worked hard to accomplish in the last 20 years. He has said he intends to abolish the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Obama’s Clean Power Plan, and most recently has appointed a climate change denier to head the EPA. The EPA and the Clean Power Plan might be flawed, but having them is better than not having anything. He also supports the expansion of coal mining and natural gas fracking in the United States. His policies will expand fossil fuel infrastructure such as the Dakota access pipeline and the KXL pipeline, and move us further away from climate justice.

Despite Trump’s orange appearance, he is not in support of divestment. Trump and his advisors are also working hard to have the United States withdraw from the historic (if flawed) Paris Climate Agreement. The rules of the Agreement make it difficult for countries to withdraw before 2020, but Trump is looking for other ways to avoid these (nonbinding) commitments, such as removing the United States from the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change or the United Nations itself.

We will continue to fight hard for intersectional climate justice. We call on Mount Holyoke College, as a progressive institution, to do the same.


Solidarity forever,

The Mount Holyoke Climate Justice Coalition

Take care of yourselves and look after each other! Here is a cute polar bear!


[image description: smol polar bear licking snow]


The Climate Justice Coalition Stands With Standing Rock

The Mount Holyoke Climate Justice Coalition stands in solidarity with those fighting for justice at Standing Rock. As an organization that works for intersectional climate justice, this is not an issue that we can ‘choose’ to take a stand on – it is a cause inherent to our mission. What is occurring at Standing Rock is the product of 500 years of colonialism and violence against Native peoples, and represents the valuation of fossil fuels over native lives by the United States Empire.

The construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline is the direct result of increased financial investments in the fossil fuel industry. Although the expansion of fossil fuel infrastructure should have been halted in 2010 in order to avoid climate catastrophe, continued investments in the industry allow the burning of fossil fuels to continue. Mount Holyoke College’s continued investments in fossil fuel companies directly supports the industry’s actions regarding the Dakota Access Pipeline and countless other fossil fuel infrastructure projects. The Climate Justice Coalition advocates for fossil fuel divestment in order to denounce the actions of these companies. By stigmatizing the industry through divestment, fossil fuel companies will have less control over the economy and political system, preventing them from exercising their power over marginalized communities.

The Dakota Access Pipeline is proposed to transport 450,000 barrels of ‘light sweet crude oil’ from the Bakken Fields of North Dakota for 1,172 miles to Patoka, Illinois. On its route, the pipeline will cross over the Ogallala Aquifer (one of the largest aquifers in the world), and under the Missouri River (the longest river in the United States). The pipeline is slated to be ready for service by January 1, 2017. Historically, crude oil pipelines are susceptible to explosions, which can sometimes be deadly. The Dakota Access Pipeline was rerouted away from Bismarck, North Dakota, which is a primarily white city. Instead, it now passes directly through sacred Native land.

First and foremost, this is a struggle about Native American liberation, self-determination, sovereignty, and survival. The #NoDAPL fight is a continuation of 500 years of colonial and neocolonial history on Turtle Island. Since European settlers first arrived on this continent, Native peoples have faced campaigns of assimilation, cultural erasure, and genocide. The United States government has continuously violated Treaties and taken land. This is not history; it continues today. The latest example of these human rights violations is the work of Energy Transfer Partners and countless banks and financial institutions funding the Dakota Access Pipeline, as well as law enforcement and politicians in North Dakota to construct a dangerous and destructive infrastructure project that is in violation of Treaty agreements.

We #StandWithStandingRock. We call on the Mount Holyoke community to #StandWithStandingRock. If you would like to know more about #NoDAPL, we recommend reading the articles we have listed below, as well as the official Standing Rock Syllabus. The Standing Rock Camp is preparing for a harsh North Dakota winter and they need donations and supplies. In addition to and beyond that, we need to decolonize every aspect of our lives: our education system, our workplaces, our food, and our energy. This is a fight for all of us. We demand a sustainable future for all of us. We continue to resist the expansion of the fossil fuel economy and we will support the Standing Rock resistance until the Dakota Access Pipeline is terminated.

#NoDAPL #WaterisLife #StandWithStandingRock #Solidarity #StandingRockSiouxTribe

Useful Articles About Standing Rock