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Sunrise Movement statement

Mattias Lehman, Sunrise Movement  |  Issue:

Our country is in a moment of reckoning. As part of the climate movement, it is imperative that we show up for Black lives right now.

America was founded on one belief: that all people are created equal, that all people have basic human rights. That our founders wrote these words while owning Black slaves, while murdering and stealing land from Indigenous people, is the cruelest of hypocrisies, hypocrisies which have tainted these ideals and corrupted our society.

Instead of creating a world where all lives matter, they created a world where “all lives matter” would only be used as a mockery of Black people’s cries for America to live up to its promise. Why?

For the same reasons we face the climate crisis today: even our nation’s founders were unwilling to believe in the humanity of all people when that humanity stood in the way of vast sums of money.

Pipelines run through Indigenous lands because wealthier communities refuse to have them in their backyards. Toxic facilities are located in poor neighborhoods because wealthier, whiter ones don’t want them in theirs and have the economic and political power to stand up to the CEOs. These inequities are a product of environmental racism.

If all of our lives were treated as having inherent and equal value — there would be no climate crisis. There would be no pollution, no people unable to feed their families, no executions of Black people in broad daylight. This is the root of all our shared struggles. We are not free until we are all free. We won’t win a Green New Deal unless we address the deep trauma embedded in the soul of America: white supremacy. 

In this moment of reckoning for our country, we must make sure this burning energy doesn’t stay only in Minneapolis, and isn’t carried only by Black communities — but that it’s a flame we carry within ourselves, that we tend to and spread like wildfire. We ALL have a role to play in that,  white people, Black people, people of all racial identities.

Thank you for standing with us and joining us in demanding and building a society where Black lives matter.

Solidarity forever,

Mattias Lehman

Sunrise Movement
50 F St. NW #700
Sunrise Movement
DC, DC 20001
United States

 

Here are some ways you can take action:

1.  Show up locally. One of the most important things we can do right now is to show up in support of local organizing. This may look like attending protests, providing jail support or mutual aid, or calling targeted politicians. Protesting during COVID poses risks, and we encourage you to determine what safety means for you and what risks you can take. Don’t go out if you have any symptoms. Always protest with a buddy, wear a mask, bring hand sanitizer, and remain hydrated. You can add and find events here, and here is information about how to stay safe during protests.

2. If you are a part of a Sunrise hub, host a meeting in your hub about racial justice and the protests for Black lives. Sunrise Principles #2 is: We grow our power through talking to our communities. We need everyone to speak up against racism and white supremacy, and we’re asking hubs to come together to talk, learn, and mobilize. Right now, this means bringing your hub into the work of racial justice by having a conversation like the one we had on zoom last night with nearly 700 Sunrisers. You can find an agenda for these meetings here. Will you organize a meeting with your hub in the next 4 days? If you’re a young person who is not yet part of a hub, join one!

3. Donate to Black-led organizations leading resistance on the ground or in your community. Here are some we’re supporting:

  • Black Visions Collective (Minneapolis)
  • Reclaim the Block (Minneapolis)
  • Dream Defenders (Florida)
  • Louisville Community Bail Fund (Louisville)

4. If you’re white, check out this resource from Showing up for Racial Justice (SURJ) on 5 Ways For White People to Take Action.

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