Migrant Power Alliance Solidarity Statement with Migrants and People of Color fighting for Ecological Justice and System Change

We are the Migrant Power Alliance (MPA) an alliance of migrant rights groups, individuals and organizations based in New York City. We believe in the claim Evo Morales made in Cochabamba in 2010, Planeta o Muerte,  “Planet or Death!” We believe the most powerful voices on this urgent matter are those of people of color around the world directly affected by colonization, the pillaging of resources and climate change wrought by imperialism and the capitalist system that tramples Mother Earth and has no regard for human rights. We express our solidarity with those fighting for the United States and other imperial powers to own up to climate debt which is rooted in the debts of colonialism and enslavement of native and black populations all over the world.  We believe in the wisdom and solutions of native communities of diverse racial, ethnic and cultural backgrounds from all over the Global South and people of color from around the world who bear the brunt of this destruction. We applaud the interventions they will make this week and support all those who will make their voices and demands heard at the Climate March, the UN Climate Summit and related conferences and panels – which from all accounts are explicitly professional white spaces dominated by organizations that still have a long way to go in being inclusive; we are hopeful that is changing. The presence of people whose lands, resources and bodies have been terrorized shows great resistance and gives us hope that the best solutions will gain support.

Environmental factors, industrial pollution and the violent colonization of lands have long had an impact on global migration as people have been forced or coerced to migrate both internally and across nation-state imposed borders as a result of land dispossession, super exploitation, deteriorating living conditions, resource depletion and natural disasters related to climate change. The MPA denounces nation states, their governments and multi-national/conglomerate corporations bearing disproportionate historical responsibility for mass human suffering, migration and ecological degradation as a result of imperial foreign policies for high resource exploitation. We recognize that in the Global South like in vulnerable communities of color in resource-greedy nations (also known as developed nations), the experiences of environmental hazards due to institutionalized racism, poverty and class inequality have harmed and destroyed entire human communities. Connecting the struggles for migrant justice, anti-imperialism, and self-determination is integral to expanding the concept of Environmental Justice. The social environments in these communities are plagued with issues such as residential apartheid, state-sanctioned and interpersonal violence, mass incarceration, detentions and deportations, underfunded education and healthcare and lack of access to nutritious food and (unmodified) native crops. Addressing the systemic issues that adversely affect the overall health and well being of vulnerable indigenous and communities of color must be at the center of fights for ecological justice.

We express our solidarity with demands from civil society rooted in human rights and the rights of Mother Earth, including eliminating restrictive and violent immigration policies around the world. The imperial foreign policies of today and a profit-driven system is fundamentally at odds with human and planetary wellbeing, which is why we also add our voices to demand not simply climate change but a system change that relies upon the wisdom and healing of our communities.

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