for immediate release
Boston, MA: On September 20th, Hurricane Maria, a powerful Category 4 hurricane with 150 mph winds, struck Puerto Rico full force only days after the Irma storm. Two weeks later, Puerto Rico’s 3.4 million residents are suffering intensely in what has quickly become a major humanitarian and environmental justice disaster. A systemic change in relief and response is needed, as well as an engineering vision for sustainable infrastructure that can withstand category 5+ storms predicted by scientists to become more commonplace as a consequence of the changing climate.
The Climate Justice Alliance calls for A National Day of Action on Wednesday, October 11th, to demand that Congress pass an immediate federal aid package designed for the Just Recovery and Resilient Rebuild of Puerto Rico. The relief package must include debt relief, the repeal of the Jones Act, transparency in distribution of resources, an assessment of infrastructure, and additional provisions detailed in the online petition that will be delivered to U.S. representatives the day of the mass actions.
“We as Puerto Ricans and people of color communities in the U.S.A. need to stand up in solidarity and work heart-to-heart and side-by-side with the people of Puerto Rico towards a Just Recovery and a sustainable, resilient rebuild that prioritizes autonomy, food sovereignty, climate and social justice, respect to the Mother Earth and the human rights of all people in the Island. It is our duty to be in the struggle with them! We need to take the lead of the courageous Boricuas organizing on the ground a people’s project, a project of life, with a different political organization to decolonize Puerto Rico,” said Jovanna Garcia Soto, Solidarity Program Officer for Latin America at Grassroots International.
On October 11th, Grassroots International, our partners, and allies will stand in solidarity through direct and online action nationwide to amplify a solid voice of support for a Just Recovery and Resilient Rebuild led by the Puerto Rican people. The people will lead where the government has been inefficient.
“Standard responses to disasters leave behind more pollution, more debt, less democracy, and a weaker infrastructure. In contrast, a Just Recovery would reduce pollution, reduce debt, challenge systemic racism, deepen democracy, and leave behind a sturdier, more resilient public sphere.”
–Naomi Klein, international best-selling author and award-winning journalist.
The demand for official policy adoption of a regenerative economic model and the end of disaster capitalism requires a collective effort to save lives and the planet today and into the future. A Just Transition includes a Just Recovery!
“Puerto Rico today is a living, breathing, suffering symbol of climate injustice. The devastation left in the wake of Hurricane Maria is the culmination of centuries of colonialism, extraction, and repression. As Puerto Rico rebuilds, it must revolutionize the society’s decaying systems of survival and confronting the dominant political and financial institutions that have profited from this decay.” Elizabeth Yeampierre, Executive Director of UPROSE and Steering Committee Co-Chair of Climate Justice Alliance
Marlene Peralta, UPROSE, 646-601-4267