USA — This Saturday, August 29, 2020, communities around the world are commemorating the 15th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina hitting the Gulf Coast. Katrina devastated the lives of millions and exacerbated racist inequities deepening the impacts of the climate crisis.
Amidst a national reckoning on racial justice and a global pandemic, this commemoration comes as climate disaster Hurricane Laura swept through Louisiana and Texas, bringing 150 mph winds, an “unsurvivable’ storm surge, and doubling disasters in the volatile, toxic and dangerous petrochemical hotspot of the region.
In commemoration of the 15th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, Tamara Toles O’Laughlin, 350.org North America Director, shared:
“15 years after Hurricane Katrina, Black communities, the United Houma Nation, Indigenous Peoples, immigrants, Latinx, and people of color across the Gulf South are still recovering and rebuilding. On top of ongoing police violence and COVID-19, Hurricane Laura and a barrage of fossil-fueled storms are tearing through communities. Katrina laid bare racism in the United States as Black people were left behind in the storm’s aftermath.
“Climate justice means challenging racist systems that protect profit for the wealthy few, and concentrate harms, risk, and exposure in Black communities. Police and filthy fossil fuel corporations share racist, colonialist, and fascist roots because they were both designed to further systems of white supremacy.
“We demand redistribution of polluters and billionaires’ resources to Black, Indigenous and communities of color. We demand real solutions for workers, and land back to Indigenous communities. We demand divestment, defunding, and abolition of all systems of white supremacy, racism, and anti-Black violence — including police and prisons, ICE, and fossil fuels. We demand reinvestment of every penny into trauma care, health, education, housing and community-owned energy.
“We stand with frontline communities as we honor the lives and homes lost, hold fossil fuel executives accountable, and build a Just Recovery toward a Green New Deal that prioritizes our health and safety.”
In the last decade, the number of billion dollar disasters has doubled, with over 13 named storms well-ahead of the historic start of the hurricane season. Just 90 companies are responsible for 71% of global climate pollution, with the top eight fossil fuel companies responsible for 20%.
Unfolding storms come as globally we experience record-breaking temperatures; the Greenland Ice Sheet passing the point of no return; year-round fires from the West Coast to Colorado forcing people from homes, causing rolling blackouts, bringing poisonous air and water, and threatening workers, food, and health; warming oceans bringing unprecedented hurricanes, floods and storms throughout the Carribean, Gulf and Atlantic Coasts; and rare derechos bringing hurricane-like conditions to Iowa and the Midwest.
Today, August 28th, 2020, the Movement for Black Lives is holding the 2020 Black National Convention. On Wednesday, September 9, 350 US will hold the second of four mass Solidarity School calls on “Defund, Abolish & Divest: Climate, Racial & Economic Justice.”
Contact: Lindsay Meiman, [email protected], (347) 460-908