The Moral Imperative to Support Migrant Rights Struggles

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Throat-clearing: this piece owes a lot to the ideas of people of colour, migrants, and diasporic communities. Particular recognition here must go to Eros Sana (@eros_sana) and a recent workshop on climate change and migration he ran at a Young Friends of the Earth Europe (@young_foee) gathering which inspired this piece. These are not all our original thoughts but we write them here for a Global North audience, as Northern peers, because this conversation is both necessary and lacking within the climate justice movements.

It is sadly telling of the times we live in that we must begin with these axiomatic words: migration is not bad. It seems insulting even to say, but because we live in Europe and North America where headlines, even elections, are heavy with alarming levels of anti-migration rhetoric, we need to remind ourselves of such rudimentary facts on a daily basis. Xenophobic fear is a tool put to use by the elites; it serves them well to get the face of anti-migrant sentiment to be working class people whose legitimate insecurities have been misdirected towards the Other. …

As much of the Western world launches into 2016 determined to uphold resolutions such as quitting smoking, going to the gym, and calling home more often, we thought this would be a good moment to reflect on what this year held for the climate justice movements. In the spirit of lofty goal-setting that will pervade this week and next, we offer our thoughts on some steps that would help the climate justice movements bring home a resounding 2016 victory for people and the planet.

The very definition of a social movement is that it fights for a set of ideals or values, some of which can be reflected in policy changes. The climate justice movements are dreaming of and fighting for a new world, the exact shape of which none of us knows. As such, we believe in the importance of reflection, not just within our local struggles, but also at a macro level. …

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Welcome to the circus

Climate change negotiations have been going on longer than the world wide web has existed. But while the internet has progressed from a dozen or so green and black html pages to the lifeblood of modern civilization, the UNFCCC has… not.

Twenty years seems like it should be enough time for the world to figure out what the hell actually goes on in the negotiations. …

The hour is late and we have arrived at a critical moment in human history: it is a moment in which ecology, economy and ideology collide to produce the climate crisis as we know it. The battle for a livable planet is being waged everywhere: in the halls of power, in frontline communities, on indigenous peoples’ lands, upon the bodies of the world’s poor, and yes, on the internet too.

Whose struggle is it? In short, everyone’s. But it is closer to home for some. And lapping at the ankles of others. And chained to an oil rig, sometimes. Who or what is the struggle against? It is no longer easy to point to just one thing (though it was never just one thing). It is a struggle for and against many things, visible and invisible. The enemy resides not only in the economic or political system, it also resides in our hearts and minds. Accordingly, our strategy requires a radical rethinking, and our resistance must take place upon increasingly diverse stages. As for us, we play our part on this online stage as writers and curators of stories. We write in solidarity with and full of respect for those whose struggle is a matter of life and death: First Nations warriors blockading pipelines on loved traditional lands, or Nigerian activists protesting the violence of the fossil fuel industry in their communities. We write because we are tired of the big, bulky NGO approach to social change. We write because we are, as young people the world over have taken to claiming, in Decade Zero of the climate crisis. …


Tipping Point Collective

A collective of climate justice activists organizing at a global level

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