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The Climate Change Movement and Ferguson, MO

Here in the USA we were gripped, shocked (or not so shocked), and moved to anger and action over the shooting death by a white police officer of Michael Brown, an 18 year old Black man in Ferguson, MO. Our own team member, Dr. Keisha McKenzie, wrote about Ferguson and her thoughts and feelings in the post: On #NMOS14, Ferguson, and Rooting for a New World.

At this blog we have been highlighting the intersectional nature of the climate work we are pursuing. We have been learning and sharing about how environmental injustice affects people of color, indigenous populations in North America and Australia, and adds to the disproportionate suffering of people living in the Global South.

Our last article this week: Why the Climate Movement Must Stand with Ferguson, is a powerful essay by Deirdre Smith, 350.org’s Strategic Partnership Coordinator. In it, she helps us see the connections to climate change and on-going discrimination. This gets played out dramatically in times of crisis.

'We are in this together and our fights are connected,' writes Smith. (Photo: flickr / cc / Light Brigading)

‘We are in this together and our fights are connected,’ writes Smith. (Photo: flickr / cc / Light Brigading)

It’s all over the news: images of police in military gear pointing war zone weapons at unarmed black people with their hands in the air. These scenes made my heart race in an all-to-familiar way. I was devastated for Mike Brown, his family and the people of Ferguson. Almost immediately, I closed my eyes and remembered the same fear for my own family that pangs many times over a given year.

In the wake of the climate disaster that was Hurricane Katrina almost ten years ago, I saw the same images of police, pointing war-zone weapons at unarmed black people with their hands in the air. In the name of “restoring order,” my family and their community were demonized as “looters” and “dangerous.” When crisis hits, the underlying racism in our society comes to the surface in very clear ways. Climate change is bringing nothing if not clarity to the persistent and overlapping crises of our time.

Read the entire article here:

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Author: Peterson Toscano

Peterson Toscano is a quirky queer Quaker concerned about Climate Change. His website is www.petersontoscano.com

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