From the Massachusetts staff and advisory board members of Clean Water Action
As an organization dedicated to the creation and preservation of a healthy environment for all we are appalled and sickened by the recent murders of Black people by police (George Floyd and Breonna Taylor) as well as police complicity with vigilante murder (Ahmaud Arbery). Their names are added to a long list of Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) killed by police and white supremacists, almost entirely with impunity.
This reveals a pandemic of institutionalized racism, more starkly evident with the backdrop of the coronavirus pandemic that continues to kill people of color in vastly disproportionate numbers. Clean Water has been dedicated to fighting the longstanding epidemic of environmental racism that subjects BIPOC to the ravages of polluted water, land, and air, leading to illness, injury and early death in these populations (with systemic response to COVID following the same pattern). The recent overt killings also follow this pattern of institutionalized racism and demand our attention.
We stand in solidarity with all those across Massachusetts and the country who are mourning losses and join those who are demanding justice and systemic change. Police brutality must stop now. Individuals and institutions that have killed people of color must be brought to justice. Racism in all its forms must end.
Taking a stand against racism and police brutality is in line with Clean Water Action’s mission. As an environmental advocacy organization we know that climate justice and environmental justice also mean racial justice, economic justice and migrant justice. None of these things is possible without the others. In the words of the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.
To that end, we urge you to take 15 minutes (or more) out of your day to show solidarity:
Urge your Massachusetts state legislators to:
Support H.4652, An Act Regarding Decarceration and COVID-19 which would provide for the release of certain people who are incarcerated and who do not pose any immediate physical threat to the community, with a focus on people who are at increased risk for COVID-19.
Support the 10 point plan of the Massachusetts Elected Officials of Color to combat systemic racism, police brutality, and various forms of injustice.
Follow, amplify, support, and donate to organizations working locally for racial justice and criminal justice reform, for example:
There are many more systemic changes needed and developing those demands and campaigns is an ongoing process. We are committed to being part of that process and working with partners on taking action to influence policy for just outcomes. Stay tuned for how you can help.