No Justice, No Peace, No Racist Police at the March for Science

Rev. Lennox Yearwood, president and CEO of the Hip Hop Caucus, was slammed into the side of a food truck and detained because he “might be on drugs” / for walking across a street to get to the March for Science in DC this past Saturday, April 22nd. Read the original article by Rev. Yearwood here. 

This is case and point of why focusing energy only on climate issues without a racial and economic justice praxis because “if we don’t solve climate, none of the other justice struggles matter” is not nearly good enough analysis. Who feels safe enough in the streets to march with you? Answer: mostly privileged / white people, usually. Or has enough money to take time/days off work to protest or advocate or attend trainings and summits? Answer: mostly privileged / white people, usually.

Even a renowned black religious leader of the climate movement can’t go to a climate march without being profiled and mistreated (I might add: a very obviously intentionally a-“political” climate march — i.e. let’s call out Trump’s policies and talk about clean air and water while totally avoiding the word “justice”). The idea that we can collectively “solve” the climate crisis and then collectively pivot gears towards making progress on other justice issues is an impractical, flat fantasy that doesn’t recognize how the root causes of the climate crisis are linked to systemic racial, economic and political injustices that won’t get solved by a bunch of comfortable white saviors — and that the human impacts of the climate crisis are going to be largely an exacerbation of already existing migration, racial, economic, and environmental justice issues and unjust wars.

Who is going to have money to relocate or rebuild their homes? Who is going to get killed for protesting extraction projects or water price extortion, or slowly poisoned every single day because it’s politically easier to put a toxic industry in a poor / brown or black or Indigenous community? Who is being left to starve / drown / etc? Whose lives and futures matter?

Aly Tharp
Aly Tharp
Aly Tharp is the program director at the UU Ministry for Earth and has been with UUMFE since 2014, initially serving as the network coordinator for the UU Young Adults for Climate Justice. Aly lives in Austin, Texas, and in their free time is an arts-activist and community organizer supporting a local food forest on public parkland and Gulf South climate justice movements.