When you travel forward in time (zones), it's hard to tell when the "day" really begins. Not too long ago, I was hanging out in Boston with four other members of the UU Young Adults for Climate Justice --- I had just arrived from Dallas, Texas, and some of them had only been back for a few hours from a direct action protest against Spectra's new fracked gas pipeline pipeline in Rhode Island (in which 8 folks were arrested, and have all been released) organized by FANG: Fighting Against Natural Gas (check out their photo album: "Burriville Mobilization: Where's Our Restitution?"
[From left to right:] Lee Stewart, Shelby Meyerhoff, Aly Tharp, Jimmy Betts, Evan Seitz
By the following evening I was on my way to Paris. Half my time flying over the Atlantic Ocean was spent sleeping and the other half reading "An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States".
The rights of Indigenous people are a major climate justice issue, and it is currently up in the air as to whether or not the #COP21 climate protocol being negotiated in Paris will recognize this connection and these rights. I don't see how the UU faith contingent could call this a fair and just climate agreement if the clauses about Indigenous and Human rights in article 2.2 of the document is removed.
Yesterday, Indigenous climate justice leaders led a historic kayak action on the Seine River. Many Indigenous nations have coordinated to bring kayaks and canoes here for a #PaddletoParis action, including the Lummi Nation, with whom the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) has developed a direct relationship of solidarity and support.
Photos by Aly Tharp
My first full day out in the city is about to begin. I am staying in a house rental with a bunch of other organizers, and have heard some amazing stories of direct actions taking place. Here are some highlights from the past few days:
1. This "toxic tour" of the "Solutions 21" corporate expo event that was covered on Democracy Now yesterday:
I'm excited to get going for my first full day in Paris -- and will do my best to post regular updates. Thanks for reading!