Has a “Climate Insurgency” Begun?

Environmental Activists Take to Local Protests for Global Results”  in the New York Times (March 19)  features the arrest of Bill McKibben at a protest at Seneca Lake, New York, and illustrates the growing climate protest movement. Case in point: Breakfree 2016  is scheduled for May 4 – 15, and will coordinate  a “global wave of mass actions will target the world’s most dangerous fossil fuel projects, in order to keep coal, oil and gas in the ground and accelerate the just transition to 100% renewable energy.” In  “A New Wave of Climate Insurgents Defines Itself as Law-Enforcers”,  Jeremy Brecher of  Labor for Sustainability characterizes the Breakfree protests as part of  a “climate insurgency”, which is seen “not only as a moral but as a legal right and duty, necessary to protect the Constitution and the public trust for ourselves and our posterity”. Brecher catalogues other U.S. examples, including the court challenges led by Our Children’s Trust .  In an article in Rolling Stone , (March 12), the children’s case is described as part of an emerging legal strategy dubbed “Atmospheric Trust Litigation”.

In contrast to the right to protest that many North American activists enjoy, there stands the murder on March 3  of Berta Cáceres , the Honduran Indigenous and environmental rights campaigner and winner of the Goldman Environmental Prize in 2015.  A website for Berta http://bertacaceres.org/   tells her story and that of other environmental activists worldwide, and compiles the calls from around the world of outrage and for an independent inquiry.  In Canada, a rally was held  at the Honduran embassy in Ottawa on International Women’s Day.

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