Divest from Racism, Invest in Justice

There is no human right more fundamental than the right to live. We stand in solidarity with all those who are demanding justice for the killing of Black people like George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade, Nina Pop, and the countless other lives that have been ended at the hands of police and white supremacists.

Black Lives Matter. White supremacy must be dismantled. Police brutality must end. There is no climate justice without racial justice.

Many of our member organizations have already spoken out against the murder of innocent Black people. They’ve condemned the police brutality that has long plagued Black, Brown and Indigenous communities, and is now on full display in cities across this nation. They’ve joined the call to defund the police and invest in communities of color.

Today we are adding our collective voice to this choir. In March, Stop the Money Pipeline adopted a set of Organizing and Equity Principles to guide our work as a coalition. The principles read, “In our movement and escalation, we commit to disrupt and transform systems of oppression including: racism, white supremacy, patriarchy, transphobia, heteronormativity, ableism, classism, colonialism, imperialism, sexism, anti-Blackness, and more.”

These systems must be overthrown because they are immoral. They also stand in the way of our coalition’s efforts to end the financing of climate destruction. Our financial system is built on the legacy of exploitation, colonialism, slavery, and white supremacy. Financial institutions create and maintain racial inequality through policies like red-lining, and predatory and discriminatory lending practices. The Wall Street banks who invest in climate destruction also profit off police brutality by funding the militarization of law enforcement and selling bonds that departments use to pay settlements that result from incidents of police violence.

We are fighting interconnected systems of oppression. The same forces that prioritize corporate property and white comfort over Black lives, prioritize profit over people and biodiversity. Banks finance dangerous fossil fuel projects in communities of color because they don’t value the lives of people who live there. The white CEOs of major financial institutions don’t prioritize addressing the climate emergency because the worst impacts of the crisis are born by people who don’t look like them or can’t afford to live in their neighborhoods. Racism fuels climate destruction.

The coronavirus pandemic and the corporate bailout have torn back the curtain on this unjust system. Black, Indigenous, and people of color have been hardest hit by the virus and economic fallout, but government bailout money has gone to Wall Street and rich CEOs instead of the communities in need. The Trump Administration has used the pandemic to give the fossil fuel industry free license to pollute and poison Black and Brown communities, giving another meaning to the phrase “I can’t breathe.” Stop the Money Pipeline will continue to fight this corruption and do everything we can to ensure that money goes to people — especially people of color — not polluters.

It is no coincidence that the same police department that killed George Floyd and brutalized the people of Minneapolis sent officers and equipment to Standing Rock in 2016 to attack Water Protectors who opposed the Dakota Access Pipeline. The forces that defend white supremacy and the fossil fuel industry are one in the same. The institutions that finance police brutality and racial discrimination are the same that finance climate destruction. We share common enemies and our struggles must be united.

Now is a moment for all of us to stand with the Movement for Black Lives and Black-led organizations fighting for racial justice. Saying “I’m not racist” isn’t enough. We urge all of our supporters to do what they can to educate themselves and work for change. Those of us who identify as white need to do the work to dismantle white supremacy and follow the leadership of Black, Indigenous, people of color, the poor, and frontline communities.

Stop the Money Pipeline is redoubling our commitment to this work. We urge all of our partners and supporters to do the same.

Stop the Money Pipeline is a coalition of over 100 organizations working together to pressure financial institutions to stop financing climate destruction and start respecting Indigenous sovereignty and human rights.

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