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For Immediate Release

Press Release

Friends of the Earth International Expresses Solidarity with the People of Ferguson, Missouri and People around the World who Face Social and Racial Injustices

WASHINGTON -

During its recent biennial meeting, Friends of the Earth International representatives expressed concern over the growing rise of social and racial injustices, most recently in Ferguson, Missouri. Delegates representing 75 organizations on every continent and whose members comprise the world’s largest grassroots environmental network, have pledged to more aggressively pursue solutions to these issues as part of its work.

Friends of the Earth International issued the following statement and resolution:

“The Friends of the Earth International Biennial General Meeting, taking place in Kandy, Sri Lanka October 2-5, 2014 expresses its solidarity with the family of Michael Brown, a young black man who was unarmed when he was killed by police in Ferguson, Missouri on August 9, 2014, and with the people of Ferguson, the United States and over the world who have taken to the streets to protest this manifestation of the systematic racism, militarization and police brutality that exists in the United States.

"The events in Ferguson are an affront to Friends of the Earth International’s vision of a society of interdependent people living in harmony, wholeness and fulfillment that recognizes equity and human rights. They are a reminder that the struggle for dignity and justice continues across the world.

"We have witnessed the devastating effects of racism in the United States on the people and the environment, especially:

  • The systemic discrimination that continues to be imposed by governments across the country
  • The inequity of opportunities that exist for communities of color
  • The disparate environmental impacts that are borne by communities of color

"We have also witnessed the irreparable impact of militarization and police brutality in the United States on the people and the environment, especially:

  • The systemic use of police and military forces to target minorities and communities of color
  • The waste of scarce resources for militarization, while the resources necessary for a just and healthy world remain un-provided
  • The humanitarian crisis created by discriminatory immigration policies and the fortification of borders

"We stand in solidarity with the people of the Ferguson. We call for all charges to be dropped against all peaceful protestors in Ferguson and for appropriate charges to be brought against those responsible for the killing of Michael Brown. Most importantly, we demand the systemic change that will ensure that events such as those that took place in Ferguson will never happen again.

“Much of our work sees us fighting corporate hegemony in El Salvador and addressing land rights abuses in Malaysia and Liberia. But turning our lens domestically reveals the same types of social, economic and racial injustices in the United States,” said Friends of the Earth U.S. Chair Arlie Schardt.

“Our mission is to help create a more healthy and just world, but we cannot in good conscience, consider a world where inequalities, prejudices and the absence of justice disenfranchise so many, as just,” said Friends of the Earth U.S. President Erich Pica. “So we are taking the first steps to expand our focus beyond environmental injustices, to challenge corporate and financial exploitation, halt systematic oppression and otherwise challenge those that threaten to prioritize greed over public health and safety.”

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Friends of the Earth International is the world's largest grassroots environmental network, uniting 74 national member groups and some 5,000 local activist groups on every continent. With over 2 million members and supporters around the world, FOEI campaigns on today's most urgent environmental and social issues.

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