Emily Satterwhite detained the construction of the Mountain Valley Pipeline for 14 hours by chaining herself to a backhoe. She is an active part of Appalachians Against Pipelines, defending the mountains and forests in West Virginia. In this interview, she discusses the role of lobbyists, the influence of corporate interest, and the struggle to keep fracking pipelines outside of the state. She refutes many myths regarding pipelines, emphasizing that Dominion Energy and it’s investors are profiting, but there is no benefit for West Virginians.Photo Credit: Thunderdomepolitics.com
At the 2018 Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco California, Niria Alicia stood up and sang out in protest to Governor Jerry Brown’s refusal to take action against oil and gas companies. In this piece, Niria describes why she joined eight other young people in singing the Women’s Warrior Song as an act of resistance at the summit. Niria sites her own identity as an Indigenous woman, and daughter of a farmworker to poignantly explain the consequences of fossil fuel divestment. Photo credit: Niria Alicia
Two female chemical engineer students developed a prototype that converts polluted water into clean energy through a purifier and an electrolyzer. Jeimmie Gabriela Espino Ramírez and Lisset Dayanira Neri Pérez, at the National Polytechnic Institute of Mexico, are the creators of this device they named Gimfi, which in the Otomi language means “dirty water”. The students designed Gimfi to be both portable or nonportable in order to provide clean fuel for stoves and ovens in marginalized areas. The filter is made of natural elements like cotton, sand, volcanic rock, gravel, marble and charcoal. The hydrogen generated is currently produced with electricity but they plan on adapting it to solar panels, which would make Gimfi even more sustainable. Photo credit: Serg Velusceac/El Universal
Kayah George a young indigenous water protector has been fighting the destruction of her homeland. Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain Expansion Pipeline runs from Alberta to West Coast of Canada to Tsleil-Waututh Nation of United States of America. The pipeline poses a threat to coastal cities as well as wildlife due to the high chances of an oil spill. Unfortunately, the Canadian government continues to support this destructive project despite the ramifications to local communities. Despite this, 19-year old Kayah continues to fight and build a peaceful movement to protect her home. . Photo Credit: Emma Cassidy
Emily Satterwhite, an Appalachian Studies Professor at Virginia Tech, blocked the Mountain Valley Pipeline crossing through Brush Mountains for 14 hours. She used a sleeping dragon to lock herself 20 feet off the ground to the excavator but was later lowered down by law enforcement. With this technique, her arms were inserted at each end of an elbow-shaped piece of pipe, and her hands chained together inside the pipe, making it difficult for her to be removed from the equipment. She chose to protest the pipeline because it threatens the nearby environment. Photo Credit: Heather Rousseu/The Roanake Times
In this 1-hour long podcast we meet Mary Anne Hitt, the Director of Sierra Club's Beyond Coal Campaign. Mary Anne has worked tirelessly toward achieving 3 main objectives: to stop the construction of new coal plants; to retire 2/3 of the current operating coal plants by 2020; and by 2030, to have a power grid in the United States that is free from fossil fuels. Mary Anne reflects on her passion to protect the environment and on the importance of taking action. Photo Credit: Mrs. Green World
Teresa “Red” Terry and her daughter, Minor, are perched 32 feet up in the trees. They are there to protect their family farm in a wooded enclave of Bent Mountain, Roanoke from the Mountain Valley Pipeline, which threatens not only the forest but the water supply of this region. Enduring harsh weather for three weeks, they also face formal charges of trespassing, obstruction of justice and interference of property rights. Their trees are surrounded by police waiting to arrest them -- but the two women, ages 61 and 30, remain committed to their protest, and community support is high, as they see the 300-mile pipeline as a violation with no local benefits. Photo credit: Michael S. Williamson/ The Washington Post
Ashley Hernandez grew up in Wilmington in South Los Angeles, a primarily latino community and home to one of the largest oil fields in the United States. Hernandez tackles environmental justice issues by educating her community about pollution. Her first campaign, “Clean Up Green Up,” led the Los Angeles City Council to support a pollution prevention and reduction strategy. Her new campaign is calling on Governor Jerry Brown to make California the first oil-producing state to phase out existing oil and gas production and to transition to sustainable fuels that can provide new jobs for workers while also protecting public health of vulnerable communities. Photo Credit: Melissa Lyttle for HuffPost
The expansion of the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Pipeline would triple the oil pumped from Northern Alberta through British Columbia to oil refineries in California, with 36 oil spills expected in a 50 year lifetime. Women are on the front of the fight against this pipeline. From Kayah George, of the Tsleil-Waututh Nation in Vancouver who uses storytelling to inspire action against this project which would destroy her homeland inlet which represents her community’s oldest ancestor; to Mary Lovell who has helped organise the Pull It Together campaign to raise funds for First Nations that are legally challenging the pipeline, raising over $600,000 in 2 years alone. And Kanahus Manuel, a Secwepeme woman who is leading the Tiny House Warriors: Our Land is Home movement. 10 solar powered homes solar block the pipeline route, half of which runs through un-surrendered Secwepeme territory. On March 10th Indigenous leaders led 10,000 local supporters on Coast Salish Territory in Vancouver to challenge this destructive project, declaring the pipeline will not be built. Photo credit: Jason Redmond/ AFP/ Getty Images.
In this article, Indigenous youth activist, Ocean Hyland, a member of the Tsleil-Waututh Nation in British Columbia, shares her experience protesting the Kinder Morgan oil pipeline with 10,000 people. In the resistance project, “Kwekwecnewtxw: Protect the Inlet,” Indigenous land defenders and allies built a watch house to mark the threat and sit as a physical symbol of opposition. She describes how community, identity, and solidarity are central to sustaining her Indigenous culture, and how fossil fuel divestment and clean energy investment will help realize equitable futures for the people and the land. Photo credit: Nancy Bleck
Former Trans Mountain environmental engineer, Romilly Cavanaugh, was arrested with students and youth for protesting and occupying Kinder Morgan’s Burnaby Mountain node of its controversial oil project. Despite being a former employee, she was motivated to stop the project knowing that an oil spill would cause long-term environmental damage because of limited recovery efforts. Her brave activism is among thousands of other solidarity actions and daily resistance women across British Columbia and Washington State. Photo credit: Coast Protectors
Women are at the centre of the Turkish climate movement. 350.org shares three of their favourite stories of Turkish Villagers for International Women’s Day. 1) The women of Yirca were outraged by the uprooting of 6,000 olive trees, their source of livelihood, to pave the way for a coal plant. Their powerful resistance prompted a national outcry that resulted in the suspension of the project. The same day the women planted new olive seedlings to mark the power of people against coal. 2) Dudu Sözcüer, a math teacher, set up a solar power plant in Manisa with 2,200 solar panels. She has inspired other women to play a role in the Turkish solar industry. 3) Süheyla Doğan, a well-known environmental activist, has been at the centre of struggles against gold mining in Havran. She is also active leader in resisting the 16 proposed coal plants in Kazdağlan and works to promote conscious consumption and natural and traditional living. Photo credit: 350.org
On the legislative stage, Lissa Lucas took a stand against West Virginia lawmakers’ deep ties with the fossil fuel industry. In her testimony against legislation that would relax requirements for oil and gas drilling and weaken private land rights, Lucas read aloud campaign contributions that House Delegates had received from fossil fuel companies. However, she was cut off and forcibly removed from the chambers for her activism. Photo credit: West Virginia House of Delegates
In June 2017, 23 year-old indigenous activist Jackie Fielder quit her job to join Mazaska Talks, an organization that promotes community divestment from banks that fund fossil fuel projects and companies. Inspired by the Seattle City Council’s commitment to divestment, Jackie has since been at the forefront of community-based divestment efforts, traveling around the country and the world to mobilize citizens towards similar local-level, legislative action. She has continued to mobilize her own community with the creation of the San Francisco Defund DAPL Chapter, in which she actively shatters negative stereotypes placed upon indigenous women and holds fossil fuel companies accountable for their contribution to climate change and cultural genocide. She has also traveled with other Indigenous women to meet with major banks in Europe to advocate for fossil fuel divestment. Photo Credit: Jackie Fielder
Representatives of the Secwepemc Nation composed and delivered a Historic 'Women’s Declaration Against Kinder Morgan Man Camps' to the CEO of Kinder Morgan in Vancouver, Canada in Winter of 2017. The Declaration, which had been signed by over 2,800 international organizations and individuals, attests that the Secwepemc people never have and never will give their free, prior and informed consent to oil extraction in their territories, and specifically to the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Pipeline Project and the Kinder Morgan Man Camps. Speaking out as Indigenous women, the Declaration authors describe how women have borne the brunt of the impacts of colonial resource extraction. They speak to the horrors of the epidemic of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women (MMIW) - and how this intensifying attack has risen in connection with growth of oil extraction economies in Indigenous territories. In response, they present the movement for land protection being led by the women of the Tiny House Warriors. Photo credit: Secwepemcul’ecw Assembly/Linda Roy of Irevaphotography
In this article, artist and activist Suzanne Dhaliwal of the UK Tar Sands Network marks a year of successful divestment efforts against the fossil fuel industry to mitigate climate impacts and defend Indigenous rights. Dhaliwal highlights the decision of Canadian-based Indigenous Climate Action and executive director Eriel Deranger, to reject a cash prize tied to tar sands projects and pipelines. This moral stand is among divestment commitments in 2017 from many financial institutions including AXA, BNP Paribas, KLP, and the World Bank. Going into 2018, Dhaliwal writes that continued action must focus on an intersectional just transition that puts everyone at the table, reinvests in the communities most impacted by climate change, and does not leave behind those previously dependent on the fossil fuel industry. Photo credit: Flickr/BeforeItStarts
Indigenous water protector, Karla Colon-Aponte, and pipeline protester, Priscilla Lynch, are among more than 100 activists who have been arrested at Kinder Morgan’s Connecticut Expansion Project despite nonviolent direct action. Cathy Kristofferson of the Massachusetts Pipeline Awareness Network and Abby Ferla of the Sugar Shack Alliance believe that the company’s payments to state law enforcement—which total over $950,000—may be influencing police priorities at the natural gas pipeline. These organizations and protestors hope to continue to highlight human rights injustices by mega energy infrastructure projects and the country’s harmful reliance on fossil fuels. Photo credit: Eoin Higgins
Women Speak: Casey Camp-Horinek Is Fighting Keystone XL In The Name Of Indigenous And Environmental Justice
Casey Camp Horinek, Ponca Nation Councilwoman, elder and long-time Indigenous rights and environmental protector, speaks with Ms. Magazine about her experience growing up as an Indigenous woman, and her work in the movements to stop extraction projects such as the Keystone XL pipeline - and shares her advice to young women, mothers and fellow grandmothers who are taking a stand for their communities and the Earth. Photo credit: Emily Arasim/WECAN International
1st Female President Of The Marshall Islands And Her Poet Daughter: We Need Climate And Nuclear Justice
During COP23, held in Germany under the leadership of Fiji, women of Pacific Island Nations took action at the forefront of advocacy efforts as a voice for women and most-vulnerable island communities impacted by climate change. In this Democracy Now! interview, first woman president of the Marshall Islands, Hilda Heine, and her daughter, world-renown climate justice activist and poet, Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner, share poignant analysis on the fight against nuclear contamination in the Marshall Islands, about the need to expose the dangerous policies of the Trump Administration at COP23, about women's leadership, and about the global struggle to keep fossil fuels in the ground. Photo credit: Democracy Now!
Melina Laboucan-Massimo, member of the Lubicon Cree First Nation and leader of Lubicon Solar grew up in Little Buffalo, Alberta, a witness to the damaging impacts of the tar sands oil industry on the land and her community, including the observation that people in her community were trapped into cycles of working for the very companies undermining their health and futures. Her experiences inspired her to begin to envision a post-oil economy for her community and Indigenous peoples across the region, founding the community-run Pîtâpan Solar site and Lubicon Solar project. Photo Credit: Melina Laboucan Massimo
Here’s How The All-Woman Chief And Council Of The Saik’uz First Nation Is Changing The Way Leadership Works
Early 2017 was marked as an auspicious year for Saik'uz First Nation which selected five women – Priscilla Mueller, Jasmine Thomas, Marlene Quaw, Allison Johnny and Chief Jackie Thomas to lead the tribe. The council of five women identified four key areas to work – governance + finance, environmental stewardship, socio-cultural issues, and education + employment. Jasmine Thomas, the youngest member of council was inspired to lead after Chief Thomas's success against the Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline. Her work helped lead to the Tsilhqot'in Land Ruling, which now requires the government and companies to work with First Nations in order to develop natural resources, rather than going around them. Photo Credit: Andrew Kurjata/CBC
In this article, youth climate leader, Maia Wikler, shares why she is deeply invested in claiming the right to a healthy environment for herself and for the world. Born in the same year of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, she describes her struggles growing up with severe asthma and how her access to clean air has been negotiated on the international stage her entire life. To reclaim this space, she attended the 2017 climate talks as a youth delegate for SustainUS and protested with other frontline communities against the U.S. panel on ‘clean’ fossil fuels and nuclear power. Photo credit: Maia Wikler
22 year old, Sophia Wilansky was standing outside the Dakota Access Pipeline encampment when she was flattened by a deafening explosion. This became the emblematic moment of violence at the Standing Rock protest was likely caused by a cop’s concussion grenade. The explosion ripped out her bone, muscles, nerves, and arteries in her left arm. Despite this, Wilansky vows to continue the fight against climate change and for the rights of indigenous people. Photo Credit: Annie Wermiel
Michaela Mujica-Steiner, a SustainUS delegate at the United Nations and a youth from Colorado helped organize a singing disruption at the Trump Administration's fossil fuel panel. At the 2017 UN Climate Talks, the Trump Administration held a panel to promote the use of fossil fuels. With the intention to set the terms of the debate on fossil fuels, disrupt the Trump administration's lies, inspire people back home, and most importantly, stand on the right side of history, Mujica-Steiner’s delegation disrupted the Trump Panel by silencing their lies with song. She is advocate and change maker working to educate people about environmental justice issues. Back home, she is ready to ensure that governor of Colorado, Hickenlooper, doesn’t harm the rights of environment by increasing the hydraulic fracking. Photo Credit: Unknown
Angelika Soriano is a 12-year-old climate warrior who is leading the fight against air pollution in East Oakland, an area of Alameda County, California where 93 percent of the residents are people of color. After suffering from an asthma attack in the fourth grade, Angelika became an advocate for herself and other children in East Oakland who are twice as likely to visit the emergency room or be hospitalized for asthma than those in other parts of Alameda County. As a member of her school’s club Warriors for Justice, Angelika helps stage protests against polluters in her area. On Halloween, 2017, Angelika led a “Zombie March on Coal” to the home of local developer Phil Tagami. At the event, she proclaimed that although she may be small, her impact is mighty. Photo credit: Antonia Juhasz
As part of the five-part ‘The Story We Want’ video series, the Moms Clean Air Force and Climate Listening Project travel to New Mexico in the Southwest United States, where they hear from Diné women leaders, including Kendra Pinto and Louise Benally, who are standing up to protect their families, communities and the Earth from methane pollution, growing oil and gas operations, and a dangerous "culture of extraction". Photo credit: Mom’s Clean Air Force
Jackie Fielder, a member of three affiliated tribes, founded the San Francisco Depend DAPL Chapter to exclude banks that invest in oil pipelines (such as Wells Fargo) from the city’s budget. She is part of a broader municipal divestment movement that began shortly after the dissolution of the Standing Rock camp. The movement has divested billions of dollars from big banks in major cities like Seattle and Santa Monica. However, for Fielder, who was the youngest member of the Indigenous Women’s Divestment Delegation, her efforts are about something more than defying big banks and stopping pipelines: she says her efforts are rooted in supplanting extractive economies and industries with socially just solutions. Photo credit: Teena Pugliese
Michelle Cook, a Diné human rights lawyer, founding member of the of the Water Protector Legal Collective at Standing Rock, and delegate to the Autumn 2017 Indigenous Women's Divestment Delegation to Europe, speaks on Rising Up With Sonali TV, providing hard hitting analysis of why financial and political institutions are morally and legally obligated to change their practices to respect Indigenous rights, human rights and the Earth - and how Indigenous women are taking action to push for this accountability and action in some of the European nations home to major investors and institutions funding fossil fuel extraction projects such as the Dakota Access Pipeline. Photo credit: Teena Pugliese
As part of ‘The Story We Want’ video series, which follows the efforts of women across the United States who are coming together to confront fossil fuel industries and a culture of extraction, the Climate Listening Project and Mom’s Clean Air Force speak with women from Porter Ranch, California who were affected by the Alison Canyon methane blow out. The blow out released more than 100,000 tons of toxic methane gas over four months. Two mothers recount the health impacts felt by their families, and the local organizing efforts that have emerged to counter the danger in their community. Photo credit: Moms Clean Air Force
In response to a history of abuses and a recent onslaught of years of intensive fracking development, the Ponca Nation of Oklahoma voted on October 20, 2017 to pass a statute recognizing the Rights of Nature, as a tool to legally block continued fracking, and resultant poisoning of land and water, health issues, earthquakes and other dangerous impacts. When enacted, the Ponca will be the first United States tribal nation to recognize the Rights of Nature in statutory law. Casey Camp Horinek, member of the Ponca Tribal Business Council, grandmother, and longtime leader and Indigenous rights and Earth protector - and her family, have been central to ensuring this forward motion. Allied climate justice organizations, such as Movement Rights, have also supported efforts. Photo credit: Movement Rights
A delegation of Indigenous women leaders from the United States traveled to Europe in October 2017, where they met with leaders of government and financial institutions in Norway, Switzerland, and Germany to share their experiences, and calls to action for immediate action to divest funding from the Dakota Access Pipeline and Energy Transfer Partners, as well as other dangerous fossil fuel extraction projects across Indigenous lands. In this Yes! Magazine interview, delegate Jackie Fielder (Mnicoujou Lakota and Mandan-Hidatsa), campaign coordinator of Lakota People’s Law Project and organizer with Mazaska Talks, discusses the events of the Delegation, as well as ongoing global, Indigenous-led movements for fossil fuel divestment such as the Divest The Globe and Equator Banks Act campaigns. Photo credit: Teena Pugliese
London-based activist Victoria Henry scaled a massive cargo ship in the Thames Estuary to prevent a ship carrying Volkswagen diesel cars from offloading its cargo in the United Kingdom. Diesel is often advertised as a clean fuel, but this is a common misconception that the activists were trying to debunk with their direct action. Henry had previously climbed Europe's tallest building to protest Shell’s plans to drill in the Arctic. Photo credit: Phil Ball/Greenpeace
Charlene Alek, the granddaughter of Chief Dan George and an elected Councilor for the Tsleil-Waututh Nation, explains the disastrous consequences of the Kinder Morgan pipeline project in Canada. While Prime Minister Trudeau announces that he would approve the pipeline as he considers it safe, officials in Washington State have expressed serious concerns about Canada’s inability to respond to a potential spill. Photo credit: Pull Together
The Oceti Sakowin (Seven Councils Fires) is comprised of seven bands of Lakota, Dakota, and Nakota Indigenous peoples, who traditionally lived across in the Northern plains of the United States. Women’s knowledge and leadership, always central to the Oceti Sakowin, has been brought again to the forefront as part of the Standing Rock, Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) resistance movement. Ihanktonwan Nakota elder, Faith Spotted Eagle, has been a key voice in opposition to the pipeline, and has also taken ceaseless action to support Oceti Sakowin women through the Brave Heart Society, which is helping resprout many traditional women’s teachings and ceremonies which were fragmented over generations of colonization, displacement and extractive violence. Photo credit: University of Nebraska-Lincoln
In this interview, Faith Spotted Eagle, elder of the Yankton Sioux Nation in Lake Andes, South Dakota, shares her reflections, experiences and advice to young activists as an Indigenous woman community organizer, land defender, healer and leader - most recently active in the fight against Keystone XL Pipeline and Dakota Access Pipelines (DAPL). Through the White Buffalo Calf Woman Society, Spotted Eagle also works to address sexual abuse, assault and PTSD amongst community members. Connecting these two issues, she speaks on the impacts of the oil industry on violence against Indigenous women. Photo credit: Louisiana Mei Gelpi
Young women such as Rose Whipple and Valyncia Sparvier are on the forefront of action by Indigenous youth in the Great Lakes region to oppose the Enbridge Line 3 pipeline through a 250 mile “Paddle to Protect” action held over Summer 2017. The proposed project threatens water quality, Indigenous rights, and vital ancestral food producing regions - prompting the youth to take to their local waterways to draw public attention to the dangers of the project on the land, water and their future. Honor the Earth, a Minnesota-based Indigenous rights group directed by Ojibwe woman leader, Winona LaDuke, had been central to support of the youth involved in the paddle and continued advocacy. Photo credit: John Collins
Eriel Tchekwie Deranger of the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation (ACFN) and Executive Director of Indigenous Climate Action spoke at 2017 LUSH Summit about Indigenous rights and climate change. Deranger challenges extractive models of development and their impacts on people and the planet, and postulates that we must begin to draw inspiration from Indigenous beliefs of the Earth’s sacredness for collective life to persist. Her community resides downstream from large-scale Canadian tar sands surface mining fields and collectively, the ACFN have witnessed first-hand the complex impacts extractive industry can have on Indigenous peoples and the planet. Photo credit: LUSH Player
The Secwepemc First Nation constructed roughly ten micro-homes along a section of the proposed route of the Trans Mountain pipeline in British Columbia. The First Nation has declared formal opposition to the project, which would ship 900,000 barrels of crude oil (or tar sands) a day through Secwepemc territory. This article in VICE features an interview with Kanahus Manuel, the woman Indigenous leader who spearheaded the direct-action project called Tiny House Warriors to protest the tar sands pipeline proposed by Houston-based oil giant, Kinder Morgan. Photo credit: Ian Willms
Kanahus Manuel, a determined woman Indigenous leader, is leading her First Nation’s movement to fight a dirty tar sands pipeline expansion. If built, the pipeline would bisect the Secwepemc First Nation’s territory in British Columbia and threaten their livelihood, water and the Earth’s climate. This blog, published by Greenpeace, includes testimony from Manuel about her personal and cultural motivations to fight the fossil fuel industry, the risks she faces specifically as a woman in doing so, and how she came to form the group, Tiny House Warriors (THW). THW have been constructing tiny homes in the path of Kinder Morgan’s proposed Trans Mountain pipeline to protest its expansion. Photo credit: Ian Willms/Greenpeace
This report chapter by WoMin and Oxfam focuses on the right of consent of women and their communities with regards to mega-development and extraction projects, and emphasizes how the collaboration between corporations and states undermines community fights for sovereignty. The community of Xolobeni, South Africa is used as a case study of how the right of consent is determined by inequalities, and how women are too often excluded from decision-making and consent-giving processes due to their class and gender. The study confirms how women confined by the prevailing societal patriarchal structure, especially those with lack of resources and land ownership, have their voices silenced, and their opposition to dangerous projects ignored.. Photo credit: Oxfam
Alison Stine reports from her home in a rural part of south-eastern Ohio, along the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, where out-of-state fracking companies are dumping toxic waste into injection wells in what was once coal country. The contamination of the local environment has threatened local agriculture, left water undrinkable, and is affecting tourism in the region. In 2012, Madeline ffitch (whose last name is traditionally spelled lowercase) was arrested for blocking the entrance to a pit well. Two years later, Christine Hughes was arrested for protesting at another site. In 2016, the Bureau of Land Management began selling off land in the state’s only national forest and authorized it for injection wells as well as fracking. ffitch says that the most impacted communities – older women, Indigenous communities, and people of color – are leading the resistance against wastewater injections. The companies have chosen their communities, they say, because they are isolated, poor, and lack resources more readily found in cities. Photo credit: Alamy Stock
Tzeporah Berman, a Canadian woman environment leader and author, argues that the construction of pipelines, such as the Energy East Pipeline, is contrary to the commitments Canada made in Alberta Climate Plan and the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change. She urges Canada's elected officials to be honest: locking in emissions by building more fossil fuel infrastructure is not the way to a renewable energy future. Photo credit: Kris Krug
In this article, Vien Truong, CEO of Dream Corps, mobilizes mothers across the United States to use their economic and political clout to amplify the grassroots green movement and build clean, healthy communities. She advocates for strategies such as renewable energy, clean transportation, and female representation in government offices to eliminate pollution and the severe health impacts 0f fossil fuels. Photo credit: Dream Corps
Maria Nailevu recounts how her lived experience of climate change on the island of Taveuni has led to her current work on gender and climate change. She details her important work with feminist and community-led organization Diverse Voices & Action for Equality (DIVA). She recounts the work of the Women Defend the Commons campaign, which promotes social, economic and ecological justice in a women-led Suva-based organisation. Photo credit: Christine Irvine/Survival Media Agency
The Association for Women in Development (AWID and the Women Human Rights Defender International Coalition published a report entitled “Women Human Rights Defenders Confronting Extractive Industries” that lays out recommendations for practitioners to support this crucial work. They advocate for the recognition and support of women human rights defenders, an end to the criminalization of their activities, and empowerment and capacity-building for key leaders.
On September 26, 2016, the Grassroots Global Justice Alliance sent a "Berta Vive" Feminist Delegation to the Standing Rock camp in solidarity with the struggle to protect the water and land from the proposed Dakota Access Pipeline. Women and two-spirit (LGBTQ) delegates supported the camp via food prep and participating in the Indigenous Environmental Network’s Women Warrior press conference. Photo credit: Grassroots Global Justice Alliance
Tara Houska (Ojibwe of the Couchiching First Nation), a tribal rights attorney, Campaigns Director with Honor the Earth, and former Native American advisor to Senator Bernie Sanders, was awarded the Good Housekeeping Awesome Women award in 2017. The recognition comes for her ongoing work to speak up for Indigenous rights, and stand in opposition to fossil fuel pipelines including the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) and Enbridge Line 3. Photo credit: Indian Country Today/Instagram
As part of the 5th annual “Love Water Not Oil” tour, 27 water protectors and members of Honor the Earth rode their horses along a proposed pipeline route to increase community awareness of the fosil fuel project. Winona LaDuke, who participated in the ride, denounces Enbridge’s plans to build Line 3 and argues that the replacement line violates 1855 treaty territory rights. On their journey, the water protectors stopped at Chengwatana Farm. Lynn Mizner, the farm’s owner, has been an outspoken opponent of Line 3 since she learned it would cut through her 200-acre property. Photo credit: Brielle Bredsten
Juan Carlos Davila and Laura Gottesdiener of Democracy Now! report on the growing movement in Puerto Rico of residents who are demanding that the island’s only coal-fired power plant be closed. Wearing hazardous waste suits, demonstrators dumped buckets of toxic coal ash onto the steps of the government’s capitol building in San Juan to draw attention to Applied Energy Systems, a private company, is polluting natural resources. Activists Jocelyn Velasquez and Yanina Moreno spoke about the risks posed by the poisonous ash to their health and the environment, which led community members to attempt to stop the dumping via blockade, which was broken up by government forces. Photo credit: Democracy Now!
In this video, women of the Hidatsa, Arikara and Mandan nations march in a healing walk in the heart of the Bakken Oil Formation. Indigenous activists assert that extraction zones such as the Bakken Oil Formation are where environmental racism begins, and it ends with contaminating communities of color across the country. Photo credit: Facebook/Grassroots Global Justice Alliance
In this podcast, Claire Schoen interviews different women activists of the “1000 Grandmothers” group and focuses on stories of civil disobedience for protesting for defending the Earth. Following in the noble tradition of Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr., climate activists, young and old, are taking control of this new political era. Photo credit: Stepping Up
Canada’s only Indigenous-led climate justice organization, Indigenous Climate Action, has named as its Executive Director Indigenous woman leader, Eriel Tchekwie Deranger of the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation. Eriel has spent many years working with environmental organizations, and front-line Indigenous water protectors and land defenders across her region and around the world. She is an advocate with the United Nations Indigenous Peoples Caucus, and has proven to be a vital leader both on the streets and in the halls of international conferences and meetings. With her leadership, the organization will look forward to produce a Indigenous Knowledge Climate Change Toolkit, and deepening community engagement and movement building for Indigenous led climate action in Canada. Photo credit: Indigenous Climate Action
Francis Crowe and other members of the Sugar Shack Alliance continue to be arrested for trespassing and blocking access to Kinder Morgan’s pipeline expansion in the Otis State Forest. Crowe, who is 98 years old, is ready to go to jail to protect the forest and stop the natural gas line’s construction. Lawyers for the Sugar Shack Alliance, a direct action group that organizes nonviolent resistance to the fossil fuel industry in the northeastern United States, argued the pipeline’s expansion violates an article in the Massachusetts state constitution that protects the conservation land and state forest. Photo credit: WAMC Northeast Public Radio
This video profiles leaders Corazon Amada of Diablo Rising Tide and Isabella Zizi of Idle No More SF Bay, along with others, who participated in a protest to block the entrance to an oil storage facility in Richmond, California. The women took a strong stance against Canada’s approval of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project, which they say could be worse than the Keystone XL pipeline in terms of environmental impact. They voiced their support and stood as allies to First Nations people. The expansion project would significantly increase the amount of crude oil shipped from Canada to the west coast of the United States. Many of the protestors at the event were arrested. Photo credit: Fusion Media Network
During an event organized in honor of Ms. Ushigua from the Sapara Nation in the Ecuadorian Amazon, Indigenous women from Ecuador and the United States gathered to make their voices heard against the destruction of Mother Earth. Ms. Ushigua presented on the problems that her tribe is facing as their territory is covered by oil blocks and the oil is extracted for export to China. She discussed how, when her tribe was informed about the drilling plans, five Sapara women protested the destruction of their land and prevented the planes from landing in their territory. Gloria points out how Indigenous women in her area are victims of violence every time they fight for their land and rights, and shares thoughts on exactly why it is so important for her and her community to be part of the Indigenous Women of the Americas Defending Mother Earth Treaty, which was written by and for Indigenous women leaders of North and South America, uniting to defend their land and lives. Photo credit: Nanette Bradley Deetz
Jun Yasuda, a Buddhist Nun and internationally renowned environmental activist, walked 170 miles in the “Water Walk for Life” to protest the Parallel Pilgrims pipeline. The pipeline is expected to cross 235 regulated streams in New York and two drinking water aquifers in New Jersey. If constructed, the pipeline would disrupt and destroy wildlife habitats and imperil clean water sources for about 100,000 residents. Photo credit: wamc.org
A group of Catholic nuns in Columbia, Pennsylvania, are taking creative legal means to stop the construction of a natural gas pipeline on their land. After corporate attempts to seize the land, the nuns have made a legal claim that the pipeline violates their religious liberty, stating the project would infringe on their “land ethic” to protect the holy land. The nuns have occupied space along the projected site and aim to maintain a protest vigil until the project is denied.
Youth activist Emily Kelsall is at the forefront of the launch of a new program to place warning labels on all gas pumps in the Canadian town of North Vancouver. In collaboration with the climate action group Our Horizon, Kelsall has worked tirelessly to convince her local city council and mayor of the necessity of using this platform to connect with people and showcase the impact of fossil fuel use on climate change and the acceleration of environmental devastation. Photo Credit: Andrea Crossan
In this video, hundreds of women and their allies associated with the organization Mothers Out Front rally at the State House in support of Andrea Honore. Honore, a mother from Weymouth, had waited over 70 days to speak to Governor Charlie Baker about a proposed natural gas compressor station in her New England community. Honore and most of her community oppose the station’s construction for the health and public safety risks it poses. The site would be a key link in Algonquin Gas Transmission’s Atlantic Bridge pipeline to Nova Scotia. Mothers Out Front urged the governor to deny all existing permits, visit the proposed site and meet with local citizens. Photo credit: Mothers Out Front/Facebook
Cherri Foytlin, Indigenous leader with Bold Louisiana, is at the forefront of local efforts to build and sustain a peaceful encampment of protectors, standing in opposition to the Bayou Bridge pipeline, an Energy Transfer Partners project which would be the the tail end of a network of pipelines carrying tar sands-oil from Canada and North Dakota, down to Texas and Louisiana. Foytlin and hundreds of supporters are holding the space for community organizing, prayer, and creative strategy building, seeking to protect the vital wetlands of the region, and the lives and dignity of the residents who would be impacted. Photo credit: Chris Granger, NOLA.com
One of the beloved core leaders of the 350 Pacific climate movement, Koreti Tiumalu, has passed away after a long battle with cancer. This 350 Pacific video pays tribute to the Samoan sister who coordinated the Pacific chapter of 350.org. As a staunch defender of Indigenous land rights, climate change and water sanctity, Tiumalu was instrumental in the recent #RAISEAPADDLE trip of a group of Pacific Islander activists to the Canadian Tar Sands. In this video, Tiumalu organised a flotilla of paddlers to protest President Trudeau’s support of the fossil fuel industry and stand in solidarity with the local Aboriginal populations. Photo credit: 350.org
In this podcast from the Democracy Center, Food and Water Watch Director Wenonah Hauter shares lessons the American anti-fracking movement has learned in order to assist the international fight against fracking. She speaks about the necessity to track the activities of international corporations that impact multiple communities while manufacturing plastic or shipping fossil fuels.
Esther Kiobel, Victoria Bera, Blessing Eawo and Charity Levula are bringing Shell to court in the Netherlands for complicity in the execution of their husbands in 1995. The men were killed by Nigeria’s military government after 300,000 peaceful demonstrators publicly opposed the widespread pollution of Ogoniland. The company denies culpability, but Audrey Gaughran, senior director of research at Amnesty International, who is supporting the plaintiffs, argues that Shell had plenty of evidence about the human rights abuses suffered by demonstrators at the hands of the military government. Photo credit: Amnesty International
Water protector Red Fawn Fallis was set to be released pre-trial to a halfway house in Fargo after spending nearly 8 months in the custody of U.S. Marshals since her arrest on October 27th, 2016. Red Fawn will be outside the walls of the Rugby, North Dakota jail and able to prepare for trial. Her fight for freedom, for all that is sacred and for Indigenous sovereignty continues. Photo credit: Free RedFawn
On the eve of the opening of the L’eau Est La Vie (Water is Life) Camp in South Louisiana, Cherri Foytlin with the Indigenous Environmental Network discusses the proposed Bayou Bridge Pipeline, its connection to the Dakota Access Pipeline, whom the pipeline will impact, and why this Energy Transfer Partners pipeline needs to be prevented from receiving government permits. She points to the inherent genealogy of resistance present in Indigenous people across the world and how this knowledge guides her. Photo credit: Indigenous Environmental Network
Tara Houska, an Ojibwe woman of the Couchiching First Nation who is a tribal attorney in Washington, D.C., and Native American Affairs Advisor to Bernie Sanders, discusses the biggest challenges and lessons from her time on the front line at Standing Rock and what’s next in the fight against corporate environmental destruction and systemic racism. She advocates engaging with local governance, taking direct action (such as protesting or participating in lawsuits) or indirect action (such as refusing to support corporations that fund destructive activities), and using social media to raise awareness of climate issues and protests. Photo credit: NITV
Diné Woman Kendra Pinto Testifies Before US House Natural Resources Subcommittee On Oversight And Investigations
Kendra Pinto from the Counselor Chapter of the Diné (Navajo) Nation in New Mexico is fighting for the US Congress and Bureau of Land Management to strengthen federal protections in the San Juan Basin of the southwestern United States. Pinto advocates for stricter regulation of methane waste and hydraulic fracturing (fracking) to protect Diné tribal lands and sacred sites from current and future water and air pollution impacts that stem from local oil and natural gas industries. Photo credit: Frack Off Greater Chaco
Selina Leem, a young activist from the Marshall Islands, explains that she protests climate change to ensure that her low-lying atoll island nation will survive the coming decades and to protect the identity, culture and well-being of her people. As a member of renowned poet-activist Kathy Jetñil-Kijiner’s youth nonprofit environmental organisation Jo Jikum, she works with other members to address issues of climate change through the arts and creativity, locally and in international forums. Photo credit: Impolitikal
In 2013, Alice Eather, an Indigenous activist and poet from Australia’s Northern Territories, discovered that Paltar Petroleum had applied to frack the ocean of her community of Maningrida. Alice cofounded the Protect Arnhem Land campaign group, which mobilized local communities to oppose the project. In 2016 the company withdrew its permit application. Eather will be remembered for her fierce poetry, as memorialized in the documentary Stingray Sisters. Photo credit: ABC
Aboriginal activist Murrawah Johnson is fighting for self-determination for the Indigenous Wangan and Jagalingou people. For the past two years, after being named spokeswoman of the Wangan and Jagalingou Traditional Owners’ Council, Johnson has been the public face of the campaign to protect her country from the proposed Adani Carmichael coal mine on the Galilee Basin. She has travelled across Australia and the world, lobbying big banks and investors, and gave a keynote address at the largest Aboriginal conference on the circuit, the National Native Title Conference. Photo credit: The Saturday Paper
Lindsey Allen, the Executive Director of the Rainforest Action Network and woman climate leader, explains how RAN has exposed the list of banks that are financing the Keystone Pipeline, a project that would mean game over for the climate if built. Allen urges us to push banks to refrain from supporting such destructive projects, a strategy that proved effective in the Dakota Access Pipeline fight. Photo credit: CREDO Mobile
In 2012 Judy Wanchisn (74) and her eldest daughter Stacy Long learned that the Environmental Protection Agency was planning to allow Pennsylvania General Energy (PGE), an oil-and-gas exploration company, to maintain a fracking wastewater well beneath their small township. In response, the women founded the East Run Hellbenders Society to help propel their community to the frontline of an emerging movement to establish laws that establish the legal right for nature to defend itself. Both the women and their rural community are continuing to fight the establishment of PGE’s injection-well site. Photo credit: Mike Belleme for Rolling Stone
Councilwoman Casey Camp-Horinek of the Ponca Nation traveled to New York City to speak at the “Indigenous Women Protecting Earth, Rights, and Communities” event presented by WECAN International. Camp-Horinek joined thousands of other peaceful protesters at Standing Rock in 2016. During the event in New York, she expressed continued commitment to fighting the expansion of Keystone XL pipeline, as well as other extractive projects that directly impact the health of her people. Photo Credit: Emily Arasim/Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network
In this video, EarthRights International offer three portraits of communities that are resisting fossil fuels in Thailand. Mae Moh in the North, and Baan Krut and Bo Nok in the South are battling coal-fired power plants and coal mines in their regions. They speak about the strategies they have used to defend their communities, including lobbying and standing up for their rights as minorities. Photo credit: EarthRights International
Indigenous youth activist Isabella Zizi recounts her personal experience witnessing the explosion of a local Chevron oil refinery, which led her to organize in many different movements, such as #IdleNoMore, Black Lives Matter and immigration rights. Today she fights as an Earth Guardians Bay Area crew leader and RYSE youth council member. She draws upon the resilience of her ancestors in her activism, “disrupting business as usual and visually being noticeable through creative art.” Photo credit: Alana Conner
Honor the Earth and other allies marched along the sacred waters of Ininwewi-gichigami, or Lake Michigan, to BP’s refinery in Whiting, Indiana where they protested the continued processing of heavy crude oil extracted from Canada’s tar sand deposits. In this video, Tara Houska explains her cultural duty as an anishinaabekwe (woman) to be keeper of the water, and calls for an immediate and just transition away from extractive industries. Photo credit: Honor the Earth
Kenyan politician Shakila Abdalla is fighting to keep the proposed Sh200 billion coal plant out of Lamu, Kenya. Mobilizing residents and activist groups, Abdalla has spoken out about the deleterious impacts on human health, World Heritage Sites and tourism of the project. If the National Environment Tribunal does not consider the health hazard of this project, Abdalla said she will take the case to court. Photo credit: Alphonce Gari
In a panel on Fossil Fuel Resistance at the Evergreen State College in Washington State, Faith Spotted Eagle and Rueben George, key leaders of Native-led alliances to stop oil pipelines, and Lummi youth who visited Paris for the 2015 UN Climate Summit, shared their experiences. In this panel they discuss the Quinault stand against Grays Harbor oil terminal, First Nations' stand against tar-sands pipelines sponsored by the Kinder-Morgan company, and the Puyallup stand against Tacoma LNG plant. Photo credit: The Evergreen State College Productions
Kandi Mossett, an indigenous activist and organizer with the Indigenous Environmental Network and a member of the Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara Nations spoke out about climate justice and access to water during the 2017 People’s Climate March. She and leader Tom Goldtooth are marching not only for her brothers and sisters in the north and the south, including Berta Cáceres, but also to defend the sacred from toxic fossil fuel projects like the Dakota Access Pipeline and threats to traditional ways of life. Photo credit: Democracy Now
Standing Against The Banks: DAPL Divestment And Water Protectors’ Fight For Justice, Indigenous Rights, Water And Life
Michelle Cook, a Dine/Navajo human rights lawyer and founding member of the Water Protector Legal Collective at Standing Rock, and Osprey Orielle Lake, Founder and Executive Director of the Women's Earth and Climate Action Network, share an in-depth analysis on the need for Indigenous-women led movements to push policymakers and financial institutions to divest funding from fossil fuel extraction projects across Indigenous territories and around the world, drawing on their experiences in Europe during the Spring 2017 Indigenous Women’s Divestment Delegation to Norway and Switzerland.
Activists from different including environmental and Native American groups congregated on the Capitol Lawn to protest the Trump administration’s handling of environmental policies and regulations and to fight for minority and environmental rights. The non-violent protest aimed to demonstrate to the public the harmful impacts of mineral extraction and the waste generated from it. Attending, amongst others, were activists Puja Dahal of the Asia Pacific Environmental Network, Kandi Mossett, event organizer and leader of the Indigenous Environmental Network, and Michael Marceau of Veterans for Peace. Photo credit: InsideSources/Erin Mundahl
In North Dakota, the Dakota Access pipeline puts at risk water resources in the area, which is the reason why Coya White Hat-Artichoker and her cousin, Aldo Seoane, act as water protectors for the Dakotas. According to Coya, the Lakota word for womb translates as “her water,” a reminder that women’s reproductive health, as well as water, is vital for the perpetuation of life. The same dangers are posed on other Indigenous communities in the United States, such as the many peoples from Los Alamos, in New Mexico. The disrespect for water also means disrespect for their lives. Photo credit: Reuters/Andrew Cullen
Building off of findings from the report, “Women Human Rights Defenders Confronting Extractive Industries,” the Association for Women's Rights in Development (AWID) outlines the gender-specific barriers Women Human Rights Defenders (WHRDs) encounter when they defend their land and communities from extractive industries and environmental degradation. Testimonials from the women illustrate their individual experiences. In this post, AWID also emphasizes the inseparable link between extractive models of development and risks and threats WHRDs face worldwide. Photo credit: ACDI/Katalina Morales
Brenda White Bull, member of the Standing Rock Sioux nation, army veteran, and descendant of Lakota Chief Sitting Bull, presents an intervention at the 2017 United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues in New York City, exposing human and Indigenous rights violations, as well as treaty violations, perpetrated through the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL). She speaks directly to the connection between ongoing violence against the Earth, and the violence against Indigenous women by police and other armed forces, which was seen and documented throughout months of action to protect the land and water. Photo credit: Indigenous Environmental Network
A study published in the Journal of Environmental Protection shows for the first time that contamination from fracking is related to increased infant mortality. The Marcellus shale area of Pennsylvania was one of the first regions where hydraulic fracturing of subsurface rock, or fracking, gained prominence. The epidemiological study by Christopher Busby and Joseph Mangano examines early infant deaths zero to twenty-eight days before and after the drilling of fracking wells, using official data from the US Center for Disease Control to compare the immediate post-fracking four-year period 2007–2010 with the pre-fracking four-year period 2003–2006.
Blocking the entrances to the 2017 Petroleum Conference in New Plymouth, Sina Fitzjohn offers a personal retelling of blockading local and international oil delegates from arriving to discuss the expansion of the oil and gas industry in New Zealand. The action was the result of collaboration between many climate change resistance groups led by women, including the Climate Justice Taranaki, Friends of Waitara River, Frack Free, Parihaka, Oil Free Wellington, Oil Free Auckland, Greenpeace, Auckland Peace Action, 350 Aotearoa, Pacific Panthers, and Ngatiawa Ki Taranaki Trust. Photo credit: Hera rain
Environmental groups from around the world (Climate Action Network, Timberwatch, Global Forest Coalition, and Friends of the Earth International) have joined together to protest the development of a coal power plant near the Sundarbans forest of Bangladesh. They believe the development would endanger women’s lives, irreparably damage the mangrove forest’s ecosystem, and threaten the livelihood of millions—including farmers, fishers, and forest dwellers. Displacement (due largely to the power plant’s construction) positions local women to live with an increased risk of gender-based violence, prostitution, and trafficking.
Larissa Baldwin is the national co-director of the Seed Indigenous Youth Climate Network, which addresses the impact of climate change on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people through numerous campaigns. Baldwin asserts the need for an indigenous-led climate movement and explains how the environmental concerns of Indigenous people frequently overlap with broader issues of colonialism, systemic racism and land rights.
A delegation of Indigenous women from Standing Rock and their allies who observed and experienced human and Indigenous rights violations in North Dakota due to the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) traveled to Norway and Switzerland in the spring of 2017 to share their stories as women leaders living and working in communities directly impacted by fossil fuel development and infrastructure. Wasté Win Young, Standing Rock Sioux leader and former tribal historic preservation officer; Tara Houska, Anishinaabe tribal attorney, national campaigns director of Honor the Earth and former advisor on Native American affairs to Bernie Sanders; Dr. Sara Jumping Eagle, Oglala Lakota and Mdewakantonwan Dakota pediatrician living and working on the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation; Autumn Chacon, Diné artist and water protector; and Michelle Cook, Diné human rights lawyer and founding member of the Water Protector Legal Collective all met with actors including Den Norske Bank (DNB), the Council on Ethics for the Government Pension Fund Global, and the Norwegian Parliament to advocate for divestment from fossil fuels and respect for Indigenous rights. During their time in Europe, the presence of delegation members helped tip the scale for announcements of a large divestment by DNB.
At the start of the People’s Climate March in Washington DC in 2017, Erin and Jayden Foytlin speak about the direct climate impacts they have faced at their home in southern Louisiana, including flooding, hurricanes, severe land loss. They are followed by their mother, renown Indigenous rights and Earth protector, Cherri Foytlin, who is State DIrector of Bold Louisiana, and a signer of the Indigenous Women of the Americas Defenders of Mother Earth Treaty. She speaks about the efforts of L'eau Est La Vie Camp to stop the Bayou Bridge pipeline, which would threaten Indigenous lands and vital waterways and wetlands across the region; and the power of youth, particularly Indigenous youth, in leading movements for a livable and just future. Photo credit: 350.org
A delegation of Indigenous women traveled to Norway to share their experiences from the frontlines of Standing Rock and to advocate that Norway’s largest financial services group, DNB, divest from Dakota Access Pipeline. The delegation, which included Dr. Sara Jumping Eagle (Oglala Lakota and Mdewakantonwan Dakota), Wasté Win Yellowlodge Young (Standing Rock Sioux), Tara Houska (Anishinaabe of Couchiching First Nation), Michelle Cook Dineh (Navajo), and Autumn Chacon (Navajo/Diné), spoke directly to a member of the Norwegian parliament. Photo credit: Censored News
A team of ten women researchers from the drought-stricken and mining-impacted communities of Somkhele and Fuleni launched the No Longer a Life Worth Living report as part of the Women Building Power initiative. The report emphasizes the impact of drought and subsequent water scarcity, as well as the impact on families and communities of Tendele Mine’s activities related to water access and water pollution. The researchers highlight the failures of the local municipality to address the water challenges faced by these communities and call on the government to revoke water licensing for coal mines in the area. Photo credit: WoMin
One of the ways to fight climate change is to simply make carbon pollution more expensive. Camila Thorndike and Page Atcheson took this principle and created the Put A Price On It campaign, designed to hold major carbon producers financially responsible. They are doing this by organizing youth leaders from around the country to push state legislation for carbon taxation. Photo credit: Grist 50!
Nanette Barragán is a member of the city council of Hermosa Beach California. She has already taken on oil and gas companies looking to drill wells on the local beach. Once those projects were stopped, Barragán began to focus on ensuring that the current environmental rollbacks won’t impact community members in the districts she represents, the majority of whom are minorities and are exposed to heavy pollution. She is now the chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus’s environmental task force and a member of the House Committee on Natural Resources. Photo credit: Grist50!