Solidarity with Black Lives Matter
Our country and our city was built on white supremacy and violent structural racism against Black people. The international outcry of grief for George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and the many other victims of racist police/police-adjacent murder is a reminder that we have tolerated the intolerable for far too long. Silence is unacceptable, and we in the climate movement have to own up to the harm of our own past silence on injustice.
Extinction Rebellion Chicago (XRC) is a growing group of activists formed in 2019 to demand, through creative and non-violent direct action, that the government act now to stop climate catastrophe. As climate activists we recognize that the same systemic inequality that devalues communities of color and kills our Black neighbors has led to decades of environmental racism, species loss, and climate change. The structures that guard and propagate white supremacy and overpolicing are the same structures that guard and propagate ecocide. It is crucial to raise the alarm about racial justice as part and parcel of raising the alarm about the possibility of climate collapse so as to allow no quarter to eco-fascism, a dangerous movement that blames and punishes people of color for the climate crisis.
We are called to solidarity—together we must work to change the unjust system that brought us here, and that continues to perpetuate violence on black bodies and on the Earth itself.
XR Chicago’s vision of a liveable planet means nobody is targeted or killed by police—there is no such thing as climate justice when communities live in fear. Climate justice means following the lead of communities of color to work in, with, and for those communities—as around the world it is they who bear disproportionate impacts of climate change. Climate justice means we give our full support to the protests for Black solidarity and against state violence.
Hundreds of thousands of Americans, and many supporters around the world, are mobilizing to call for police accountability, community investment, and an end to white supremacy. We must join in this extraordinary opportunity to transform our society according to an equitable, sustainable vision. Sadly, in many cities these peaceful protests have themselves become targets of police terror, making the need for our presence even more urgent.
Ways to stand in solidarity.
- We can demonstrate our commitment to justice by joining Black-led protests and car caravans, bringing food and water to protesters, or hanging signs and banners in support.
- We can join the calls to defund the police and invest in communities. We can call members of Congress demanding the demilitarization of the police, including a ban on teargas. We can send messages to Lori Lightfoot (firstname.lastname@example.org) demanding police accountability and an end to assaults on peaceful protesters. We can call our alderman demanding the passage of a Civilian Police Accountability Council.
- We can donate to bail funds like Chicago Community Bond Fund. We can help with jail support and call jails to demand detained protesters be released without charge. We can donate to any number of anti-racist and justice organizations.
- We can read books and educate ourselves on the roots of the struggle (here, here, and here, are some resources). We can sign and share the demands of the Movement for Black Lives.
- We can donate or volunteer with My Block My Hood My City to rebuild businesses damaged in the unrest
Join XR Chicago in discussing more ways we can grow this movement to dismantle the structures of racism, white supremacy, militarism and ecological dominance.
Sign up for XR Chi and Get Involved
Extinction Rebellion US is not affiliated with, nor do we support XR America. Our heart and solidarity is with climate justice. XR America has removed the XR US 4th demand and replaced it with an “All Lives Matter” demand and the foundation of their organization and work is based on the false and discredited idea that the Climate and Ecological Emergency (CEE) is separate from social justice.