On the 17th of October, 2014, 30 Pacific Climate Warriors representing 12 different Pacific Island Nations, paddled out into the the port of Newcastle – the largest coal port in the world – in hand carved, traditionally built canoes with one goal in mind: block coal ships from passing through that channel, and highlight the devastating impacts the fossil fuel industry has on their Island homes
On that day, the Climate Warriors, along with the support of hundreds of Australians, showed the world their strength in standing together in solidarity to change the narrative of Pacific Islanders, from mere victims of climate change, to Warriors of the Pacific- ready to defend their island homes, their cultures, and their identity.
Today, a little over 6 months on from the canoe blockade, we are launching this new video to remind you of that strength, and of our Warrior Spirit.
In this new video, you hear from a few Climate Warriors who share with us, what that moment in Newcastle meant for them. Climate Warrior from Papua New Guinea, Arianne Kassman, shared her story, and boldly spoke truth to power by declaring, we are not drowning, we are fighting!
That declaration sincerely sums up our mantra, and our shared spirit, as Climate Warriors!
Our message to the world, is that we are more than just broken down seawalls, dead breadfruit trees and fewer fish. We are also resilience, sheer courage and shared hope, in the face of climate change!
We are a people connected to our lands, informed by our cultures, and grounded in our traditions.
We are a people who will fight to keep fossil fuels in the ground, and to keep our island homes above water.
Now, 6 months on, we are stronger than ever. We are determined, we are empowered, we are hopeful, and we are still doing what we must to stand up for the Pacific, and demand that fossil fuels remain in the ground!
6 months on, the Pacific Climate Warriors are still committed to building a narrative of the Pacific Islands that speaks to our entire truth. A narrative that acknowledges our climate realities, as well as, our Warrior Spirits.
6 months on, we are not drowning, we are fighting!!
Today, the world needs to hear the story of the Pacific Climate Warriors. The world needs to be reminded of our Warrior Spirit.
Share our story and stand in solidarity with us, as we continue to “paddle our canoes” and stand up to the fossil fuel industry.
Together, we can shape and grow this climate movement.
Together, we can win this fight!
Fenton Lutunatabua, Aaron Packard and Koreti Tiumalu on behalf of the Pacific Climate warriors.