Wednesday, August 5, 2020

The Fossil Fuel Industry's Environmental Racism and Funding of Racist Police

As revealed in a July 27th report, fossil fuel companies are guilty of environmental racism and they also support racist cops who terrorize the communities they are supposed to be policing. The fight against racism is intimately connected to the fight for environmental justice. It is no secret that people of color are far more likely to be exposed to dirty air and polluted water and they are also much more likely to to be the victims of police brutality.

"This symbiotic relationship between the fossil fuel industry and police often means that the companies that are polluting Black and Brown communities ... are the same ones that are aligned with and propping up police forces in these same cities," the report says. "This is why divesting from fossil fuels and fighting to end environmental racism goes hand in hand with defunding the police in the fight for racial justice and reinvestment in Black and Brown communities," it continues.

As stated in the report, corporations are backing police power and racist policing. The fossil fuel industry, utilities and banks are funding technologies that are being used against peaceful protestors. Heavily militarized police forces are using these resources against BLM protestors. This includes drones and other controversial surveillance equipment like long range acoustic devices (LRAD).

"This report sheds a harsh and needed light on the ways police violence and systemic racism intersect with the climate crisis," said Carroll Muffett, president of the Center for International Environmental Law, said in a statement.

As Zorka Milin, a senior advisor at Global Witness, sees it, "The fossil fuel industry's ties to police foundations show a willingness to ignore the calls of racial justice advocates to dismantle the systemic racism of policing—despite some oil and gas companies' hypocritical claims otherwise. In reality," said Milin, "they are part of the system that upholds structural racism in the U.S."

*The term "environmental racism" is used to describe environmental injustice that occurs within a racialized context both in practice and policy.

Related
Combating Environmental Racism as the Nexus Between Civil Rights and Eco-Advocacy
Casting Peaceful Protestors as Terrorists is the Key to Trump's Authoritarian Gamble
The Fossil Fuel Industry's Environmental Racism and Funding of Racist Police

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