We’ve seen the pictures: The amazon is on fire. The governmental inaction is genocidal to the Indigenous nations that live there and depend on it and to the many endangered species who have nowhere to go. To make it much worse, the fires are not an accident. The Waorani people of Pastaza recently won a lawsuit giving them control over their traditional and rightful rainforest homelands that kept their lands from being auctioned off to big oil companies without their consent. The fires began shortly after and leaked documents suggest that Bolsonaro’s work is really sinister. As is my consistent refrain, this is not a time for us to just spread fear and panic without concrete action. This is not a time to spread helplessness and the idea that there is nothing we can do. The lungs of our earth our on fire. What will we do about it? Here are some concrete steps I am taking, please join me!
Support Amazon Watch:
Indigenous nations are organized in the work to protect their home and, by extension, life on this planet. The organization Amazon Watch is mobilized for this protection through multiple projects: fighting corporations such as Cheveron, Black Rock, Geopark, and Amazon, advocating for Women Defenders of the Amazon, protesting crude oil, agitating the government, and building solidarity. The links make it easy, please follow them and do what you can.
Amazon Watch is doing the hard and practical work to preserve life for all of us. I urge everyone who is sharing pictures of the amazon burning (and yes, we need to know it’s happening) to also share the work of Amazon Watch and support their calls to action. If you have any wiggle room in your budget, you can donate to them here: https://amazonwatch.org/donate
Sign and Circulate Petitions:
- Gabriel Santos, a lawyer in Rio Branco, is circulating a petition to urge all levels of government to take action and to gain support for the investigation into governmental causes of the fires as way to sabotage Indigenous sovereignty, control, and survival. Sign and circulate here: http://chng.it/w5bdrVq8xy
- Greenpeace is also generating support: http://act.greenpeace.org/page/39922/-/
I called PM Justin Trudeau and the Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs as well as the Governor of Washington and Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell. For each, I recited the following script which you are welcome to use either whole or in part:
“I am calling as a concerned [citizen, constituent, community member] regarding the amazon fires. I urge you as [role] to pressure the government of Brazil to take swift action to fight the fires with much more efficiency and to offer concrete and practical support to make this happen. We all depend on these forests as they provide 20% of the world’s oxygen. We are not in a time when any government can afford to be complacent. Please take fast action to ensure the well-being of future generations.”
Canadian Government Contacts:
Hon. Chrystia Freeland
Minister of Foreign Affairs
- Prime Minister Justin Trudeau:
State Governors and US Senator Contacts:
- Contact you state governor
- Contact senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell: https://www.governor.wa.gov/contact
Here is my request to everyone: please copy the link to this post or to Amazon Watch and paste it as a comment to every post you see on social media that show the fires without a call to action. We need to develop a habit of action and support each other in taking up our personal power to do this work.