Climate Justice Edmonton stands in support of people resisting anti-Black racism and police brutality near and far.
As a grassroots collective committed to social and environmental justice, Climate Justice Edmonton cannot ignore the outsized role that white supremacy and the carceral state play in reinforcing oppressive hierarchies, perpetuating environmental abuses, entrenching economic inequality, and protecting oppressors. The numerous social, economic, and environmental crises in our communities may feel overwhelming, but they are interconnected. The fight for racial justice is a necessary and powerful part of the fight for climate justice.
We realize that we neglected to share a unified statement of support and solidarity earlier, and apologize for our silence until now. As a group of white and non-Black organizers, we are complicit in anti-Blackness. Most of the systems that uphold white supremacy have actively benefitted us as individuals, and we must work to dismantle those systems within ourselves as well.
Here’s what we’re going to do about it:
- We commit to doing the work to figure out how we can resist anti-blackness and tangibly support Black-led community resistance.
- We commit to engaging our communities, friends, and families in overdue conversations about taking action on racism, white supremacy, and police and prison abolition.
- We commit to sharing our resources with Black-led and abolitionist groups and movements. As a start today we are donating $150 to Black Lives Matter Edmonton (@blm_yeg), and $150 to Free Lands Free Peoples.
- We are going to have a collective conversation to determine actionable steps we can take to support Black-led organizing. We will establish concrete processes to ensure that we are accountable and proactive in this work. We will report back to our community (you!) with this plan within three weeks (by 28 June).
As a part of Climate Justice Edmonton, Free Transit Edmonton commits to the same actions listed in the Climate Justice Edmonton statement. These commitments will be carried out by FTE as part of the whole of CJE as well as in FTE-specific messaging and outreach. Since Free Transit Edmonton advocates on a campaign of justice in Edmonton, we wanted to add some additional thoughts around the situation.
When transit is accessible, reliable, and fare-free, Black and Indigenous people can move more freely, without fear of violence. Transit, through design and implementation, has for decades been used to keep Black and Indigenous peoples from accessing human and civil rights. When we describe mobility as a human right, we acknowledge the targeted ways in which white supremacy has limited access to mobility for Black, Indigenous, and people of colour.
Policing is a violent and racist practice that happens everywhere, including on public transit. From New York City, to Toronto, to Edmonton, we know that the enforcement of fares leads to increased profiling and violence towards Black and Indigenous peoples. Instead of investing in police, part of the solution to violence and brutality includes reallocating police and transit security budgets to fund fare-free transit. Without fares, there is no need for fare enforcement officers. Getting police and transit security off transit reduces violence and prevents violent fare disputes, and makes our city safer for Black and Indigenous people. Our knowledge on these issues is thanks to the labour of these same communities who have been advocating around abolition for centuries.
The fight for good and free transit is a fight for racial justice and abolition. While these have been core values for Free Transit Edmonton since its inception, they have not been as central in our public messaging as they should have been. We recognize that our position as a group of white and non-Black organizers has not only kept this value from being prioritized, but also made us complicit in the silence necessary for white supremacy and anti-Blackness to succeed. We acknowledge our failure to release a statement of support in the fight against anti-Blackness and police violence earlier, and apologize for our silence and delay.