From Africa to the US to Haiti, climate change is a race issue
Just over a year ago, Black Lives Matter UK successfully shut down London City airport. Our aims were to call attention to three things: Britain’s historical responsibility for global temperature changes, while the UK remains among the least vulnerable countries to the direct effects of climate change; second, that black people and poor people globally suffer the most from environmental impacts; and third, that safe freedom of movement is a reality only for the privileged, wealthy and mostly white.
Many people are increasingly being forced to flee their homes owing to environmentally driven conflicts, such as those in Sudan, whose plight was named by the UN as the tip of a melting iceberg when it came to increased forced climate-related migration and conflict. Ten years on, we are witnessing another year in which hundreds do not survive their attempts to reach British and European shores.
After the direct action, there came a storm of backlash. We were told that Black Lives Matter UK had been hijacked, that we were pushing a “white” agenda. That Black Lives Matter in the US is a single-issue movement with a sole aim, to abolish the police state.