Standing for Life this Dia De Los Muertos
My face was burning and it was hard for me to breathe. After four hours of working in Wilmington for a press conference and protest outside of the Tesoro oil refinery, this is how I felt. It took one conversation to be reminded how resilient Spirit is and it is Spirit that is keeping the people of Wilmington alive.
Jasmine, a 17-year-old youth leader from Communities for a Better Environment, an environmental justice organization in Wilmington, grappled with the same challenging questions: “Why are they doing this (Tesoro and Valero)? They’re hurting us so much and they’re hurting me. I have asthma and it’s hard for me to breathe outside. At times I’m like God I just want to go somewhere else but I don’t want to leave my community, I want to help and save it. I want to make sure that when I’m gone that my community and the next generations have good and clean air.”
Jasmine’s leadership and passion are what keep me committed to this movement to stop dirty energy and toward an ecological just future. As humans, collectively, we have frustrated Mother Earth. In particular, Her children in the global south and those of us in the States who trace our roots to the global south are cruelly experiencing the consequences of the destructive, greed-driven behavior on our home, the Earth.
Tonight, the showdown between the people of California and dirty energy and corporate polluters will be realized. We are less than 2 months away from the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change where this same battle will take place amongst the nations of the world in Cancun and where indigenous people and people of the global south will stand together to oppose the dirty energy and corporations that are holding the global economy and our future hostage. The people-powered Communities United Coalition in California and the movements upholding the Rights of Mother Earth and the People's Agreement created in Cochabamba, Bolivia are holding the line for our ecological liberation.
This Dia De Los Muertos my altar will honor all my brothers and sisters around the globe who have experienced death in this life and who will continue to die because of all the toxic violence we’ve done to the environment. My altar will honor those of us who are still surviving and I will say prayer that we find the courage to recognize we need our Mother Earth, we need our health and we need each other. Stand with Mother Earth our human health and Vote No on Prop 23 & 26.