To help facilitate System Change for an equitable, sustainable world
To Build the Movement for Environmental Justice through:
- Physical occupations, demonstrations and other nonviolent action
- Education on environmental justice problems and solutions
- Training sessions and workshops for activists
- Building unity through team building, encouragement and by opening meetings with ceremony
- Facilitating collaboration amongst allies through the co-creation of strategies, actions and campaigns
[Note: a PDF version of our Framework Statement with links to source documents is available here]
System Change Not Climate Change!
An evolving outline given our local and global situation – Version 2.4.2 April 17, 2012
The growing local and global resistance to tar sands pipeline expansion, and to the very idea of continuing our dependence on fossil fuels—is a last stand—we cannot "progress" one more step down the road the 1% and Big Oil want to lead us down. The species of this earth—including the human species—cannot survive it. It is up to us, the 99%, to change our energy and economic system. We are inspired by and stand in solidarity with the Indigenous Nations who in the Save the Fraser Declaration state they "will not allow the proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipelines, or similar Tar Sands projects" to proceed.
We operate under Occupy Vancouver's Statement of Unity and stand in solidarity with the proposed Universal Declaration of the Rights of Mother Earth1. We adopt the Gehl Ally Bill of Responsibilities2 and Four Worlds Guiding Principles to guide our work, and acknowledge that the Tsleil-Waututh are the traditional stewards of Burrard Inlet. We are also inspired by indigenous leadership on the climate crisis, including the recent Declaration of the Indigenous Peoples of the World to the UNFCCC COP 17 International Indigenous Peoples' Forum on Climate Change:
"For decades, Indigenous Peoples have warned that climate change confirms that the harmonic relationship between humans and Mother Earth has been ruptured, endangering the future of humanity in its entirety. . . The alternative is to change the system, not the climate, based on a new paradigm for civilization, Living Well with harmony between the peoples and Mother Earth."
To Live Well in harmony with Mother Earth, we must transform the unequal, unfair and growing disparity in the distribution of power and wealth in our city and around the globe.3 To successfully deal with the climate crisis requires challenging corporate greed, corruption, and the collusion between corporate power and government.
As David Suzuki emphasized while speaking to Occupy Vancouver, we must learn to live within the "limits imposed by nature [and] put the eco back into economics". We also acknowledge that unlimited growth on our finite planet is impossible, so we must find a way to prosper without growing material and energy consumption. Reports such as Prosperity Without Growth and The Spirit Level outline how our wellbeing could be enhanced with the move away from economic growth and consumerism to meeting human needs and improving quality of life through increased equality.
Our automobile-dominated transportation system was created to do more than move people and goods; it was created largely to spur on the consumption of materials and energy to keep our economy growing. Therefore, changing to a system much more reliant on electric trains, public transit, bicycles, and walking is an essential part of the system change needed to Live Well without tar sands oil.
Many Indigenous Peoples have made their position clear: new pipelines will not pass over their unceded territories, nor will they stand any longer for the unsustainable abuse of this planet. We must now stand with them.
We say NO to
- The proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline
- The expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline and its terminus, Vancouver's Kinder Morgan oil port on Burrard Inlet
- New or expanded Tar Sands extraction facilities, 'natural' gas pipelines, or coal mines in BC
- Public spending that worsens our dependence on tar sands oil, including airport and urban roadway expansion
- Other abuses of Mother Earth including deforestation and overfishing
We say YES to
- Protecting Burrard Inlet, and the coast of BC, from tar sands bitumen tankers and spills.
- Reducing the use of tar sand oil and vulnerability to volatile oil prices by investing in electric passenger rail, public transit, bicycles, and walking
- Phasing out fossil fuels through energy conservation and the careful development of renewable energy that respects the rights of indigenous peoples
- Non violent mass action by the 99% to protect Mother Earth from the 1%
The measures of prosperity can no longer be the destructive arithmetic of GDP, stock markets, and barrels of oil. The measures of prosperity need to be the measures of justice, community, wellbeing and ecological balance. We find true wealth when we build ways to Live Well together, as a community and an ecology.
 The term 'Mother Earth' refers to the global ecological system humanity depends on for survival, and that we are a part of.
A bill of responsibilities more specific to Occupy and climate justice work is in the works!
 Living Well (Vivir Bien) is an indigenous concept originating in South America. It implies building community and striving for quality of life within natural limits, rather than on producing and consuming more and more goods in an attempt to achieve endless economic growth on our finite planet.