Plane Stupid stands in solidarity with #BlackLivesMatter's #ShutDown
Yesterday morning #UKBlackLivesMatter carried out a series of actions across the UK following a call for a #ShutDown.
Their actions were highlighting that for Black and Brown people, every
day is a crisis in a system based on White Supremacy. That racism can be
felt in many different ways, from the extreme brutality inflicted by
police and state violence, which has resulted in 1,562 people losing
their lives in police custody in the last 20 years; to the abhorrent
detention of people fleeing war-zones; to the subtle and insidious forms
of racism such as Black people being up to 37 times more likely to be
stopped and searched. #BlackLivesMatter call for a #ShutDown of racism,
and only by taking disruptive direct action are their voices beginning
to be heard. Business as usual is a crisis. Therefore, we must #ShutDown.
By no small coincidence, some of these actions affected two major UK
airports: Heathrow and Birmingham. For us the links between our
struggles are clear. Expanding aviation, which is driving climate chaos,
is part of the same way of thinking that is driving racism in the UK.
Politicians and businessmen want to expand aviation to make more money
for them and their friends. Also, the majority of flights in the UK –
over 70% - are taken by a rich minority of the population – just 15%.
Globally, just 5% of people have ever taken a flight. The rich minority
benefit, whilst other people pay the cost. This can be through losing
their homes and or suffering pollution which affects their health
locally and globally. The rich want to profit at the cost of other
peoples' lives and communities.
Climate change is already killing 300,000 people a year and this will
only get worse. The effects of climate change aren't colour blind, as it
is primarily Black, Brown and indigenous people in the Global South who
feel the effects first and hardest. The UN estimates there will be 75
million climate refugees by 2030. We're already able to see the effects,
for instance, in Syria. It is only because those in power don't consider
these lives to matter that they can make such life destroying decisions.
The rich in the Global North benefit whilst the Global South pays the
price. This is Climate Colonialism. This is Environmental Racism.
Our movements have a lot to learn from one another and have so much in
common. Fundamentally, systemic change is needed to bring an end to both
racism and climate change. People of colour's struggles have much to
teach us, historically and in the present day, about what it means to be
affected by these issues and how to fight back. #BlackLivesMatter are
bringing these issues to the fore, and showing the rest of us that
direct action is necessary to bring about change. It's time to #ShutDown.