Many of us have been touched by the recent Grand Jury decisions in Ferguson and Staten Island not to indict police officers who killed unarmed black men on the streets of America. Sierra Club members, staff, and allies have been out in the streets throughout the country, protesting these injustices and countless more, and demanding civil rights and racial justice for all Americans.
This week the Club’s Executive Director, Michael Brune, wrote a blog post about why we can’t be silent on this issue. He wrote:
The Sierra Club believes that all people deserve a healthy planet with clean air and water and a stable climate. All people also deserve equal protection under the law and the right to live their lives free of discrimination and hatred. These issues are not separate. Indeed, we believe that working toward a just, equitable, and transparent society is not only morally necessary but also exactly what we need to confront the unprecedented environmental challenges we face.
Injustices in our political system and in our culture empower polluters and lead to the destruction of our most cherished places. Those same injustices often breed hatred, sow division among us, and threaten our health and safety. The Sierra Club’s mission is to “enlist humanity” to explore, enjoy, and protect the planet. That mission, which applies to everyone, cannot be achieved when people’s rights are being violated and their safety and dignity are being threatened on a routine basis. This must stop.
That is why we must speak out on these issues. As Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”
We want to invite you to join us in participating in several actions this weekend to reflect on the injustice that people of color face every day in this country, reflect on all we have lost, and demand action from our elected leaders to change the system that has brought us to this point. At each of these events, we will have a Sierra Club contingent present to show solidarity with our allies and to show our commitment to fighting for racial justice as part of our mission to achieve equity and climate justice for all. Please wear black so we can identify each other.
Saturday, December 13th, 9:30 am
Join Outdoor Afro for a Healing Hike to Breathe
Meet at Inspiration Point in Tilden Park. **Check for updates due to weather and trail conditions.
Sierra Club folks will meet at the Inspiration Park sign on Wildcat Canyon Road.
Saturday, December 13th, 2 pm
Millions March for Justice, San Francisco
Meet Chapter Director Michelle Myers and the Sierra Club/ Environmental Justice contingent in green at the Vaillancourt Fountain in Justin Herman Plaza. Wear black and bring signs!
Saturday, December 13th, 2 pm
Millions March for Justice, Oakland
Meet Chapter Conservation Manager Jess Dervin-Ackerman and the Sierra Club/ Environmental Justice folks in green on the steps of Oakland’s City Hall. Wear black and bring signs!
Each of these events is well organized and family friendly, with specific routes determined in advance. The marches will have monitors and peacekeepers to ensure everyone’s safety. Please feel free to bring family and friends. If you can’t make it this weekend, there will surely be other events in the near future that we will be participating in.