October 5TH, 2023


Sabrina Chapa [email protected] 

Anthony Diaz [email protected]

Statement From Community Supported Organizer, Jacob Johns

Shot Last Week at Peaceful Prayer Circle

A Call for Justice and Unity After Terrorist Attack 

On Thursday, September 28, 2023, a harrowing and racially motivated incident occurred while members of the US Climate Action Network (USCAN), members of local Tewa tribes, various Pueblos, Indigenous and Hispano community at large and Española/Rio Arriba County citizens came together for a spiritual convening/ceremony to continue to pray for a favorable resolution against the reinstallation of the Don de Oñate monument in front of the Rio Arriba County Offices. Invoking prayers from the future to weave a bond of spiritual unity, Jacob Johns (Akimel O’otham and Hopi) a community supported organizer and member of USCAN was not just a participant, he was invited to deepen his spiritual involvement by partaking in an overnight prayer vigil on Wednesday evening, prior to a larger gathering the next morning. This vigil, which had begun  on Tuesday, September 26th, culminated in a sunrise prayer ceremony on Thursday morning, heralding a new dawn of hope and unity. Throughout, Jacob stood in harmony with new relations of similar convictions, praying and singing with Indigenous matriarchs, elders, children, and allies/accomplices, nurturing a collective vision and shared dreams.

Prayer video 1 (Provided by Celina Garcia)

For generations, Pueblo people have experienced harm, loss, and systemic discrimination at the hands of Spanish, American and equally insidious nuclear colonialism, even as they've held steadfastly to the original instructions bestowed upon them at the beginning of this world. The deliberate act of violence last week, targeting a tranquil prayer camp at the planned location for the reinstallation of the Oñate statue, taken down by Rio Arriba County in 2020 is yet another painful reminder of the myriad injustices rooted in our collective Indigenous history. This tragic event underscores the long saga of dehumanizing systems and divisive ideologies that the Pueblo community, following their ancient instructions, have continually rallied against and resisted. The Pueblo people of New Mexico are credited with the only successful uprising against colonial occupation/power in the Americas, the Pueblo Revolt of 1680. We have long fought for our humanity in our own homelands. 

I want to emphasize the importance of focusing on a narrative of unity rather than division. It's vital to give prominence to the experiences and perspectives of everyone present during the spiritual gathering and those affected by the pervasive culture of violence. The repercussions, both physical and emotional, that Jacob has endured will last a lifetime. However, Jacob I am not the sole victim. While I bore the physical wounds, the broader community, including women, children, and elders present that day, experienced and continue to experience deep emotional distress. Their stories deserve to be heard. 

It is essential to underscore that this wasn't merely a “protest” or simple altercation. Myself, members of local Pueblos, Native New Mexicans and the larger community were deeply engrossed in a peaceful gathering when we were ambushed in what could have potentially been a mass murder. After I was shot point-blank in the chest, the refrain 'I can't breathe” echoed once again, this time in New Mexico, capturing the anguish many felt during the uprising across the country in 2020. The subsequent malfunction of the shooter's weapon miraculously spared the lives of others, including lifelong Rio Arriba resident, Malaya Peixinho. This is the power of our prayers at work. Yet, the startling fact remains, this heinous act of violence could have easily been prevented. By the police who let this agitator who had more weapons in his car back past the safety line and let him engage once again with the prayer circle and then left.

While police were present earlier in the day and had previously attempted to escort the shooter away for disruptive behavior, they later permitted the shooter to return citing his “civil liberties” and then vacated the premises, abandoning our peaceful demonstration despite the clear threat to our safety. LaVerne McGrath, my mother, asks that this tragedy lead to a re-orientation of the role of police, from one in which threats to Black, Indigenous and People of color are downplayed and intervention only occurs once those threats become violence, to one that upholds peace and safety.

Throughout the day, the shooter made the point to introduce himself to members of the media, requesting that he be photographed and filmed. This coverage proves the notoriety he sought and further exacerbates the harm he has perpetrated on myself and loved ones, the community impacted, and all Black, Indigenous and People of Color for whom racial violence creates ongoing trauma.

Though the shooter remains in jail as of today, our work must continue to ensure that he accounts for his crimes through our legal system.  The state of New Mexico has an opportunity to send a strong message that violence targeting Indigenous Peoples, Black people, and other historically and systematically oppressed peoples, the majority in this state, will not go without firm consequence. The state of New Mexico has a chance to ensure the safety of all residents’ right to celebrate, pray, mobilize for their well being and mourn by supporting systemic change that centers community safety and well-being. 

For countless generations, Indigenous Peoples have been subjected to harm, death, and systemic oppression. The premeditated shooting last week is another marker of the systemic injustices in Pueblo and Indigenous history. The violence was targeted at a peaceful prayer camp situated at the proposed site for the reinstallation of the Oñate statue. It highlights the long history of injustices against Indigenous Peoples by dehumanizing systems and divisive ideologies that the community had gathered to spiritually count. 

PRAYER VIDEO 2 (Provided by Celina Garcia)

This incident should not be misconstrued as a clash between protestors. Indigenous community members were engaged in a peaceful and spiritual gathering when they were ambushed in what could have been a mass murder. 

Despite the police being present earlier and intervening due to the shooter's disruptive actions, their decision to let him return later compromised the security of the peaceful assembly. This unfortunate incident should not only prompt law enforcement to reexamine and redefine their approach to such events in the future but also act as a catalyst for redefining police roles to protect our communities.. The emphasis should shift towards proactively addressing threats to Black, Indigenous, and People of Color, prioritizing their peace and safety above all.

In the swirling nexus of time and intention, we stand as the essential links between the present and an envisioned tomorrow. As intermediaries, our role is not just to relay the messages of today but also to channel the potent prayers from a future waiting to manifest. These aren’t simply ephemeral hopes but intentional summons that rise from the collective heartbeat of a world aspiring for health, justice, and sustainability.

This is a crucial moment, one where we can bear witness to the profound miracles of collective will and faith. When so many joined hands, hearts, and spirits in prayer for me, they crafted a luminous space, a sanctuary for my consciousness to evolve, to heal, and ultimately, to rejoin the shared tapestry of our existence. Amid the roaring blades of a helicopter, I crossed the fragile line between life and death multiple times. But in that otherworldly realm, the wisdom of our ancestors rekindled the reasons for my return, the significance of this journey we know as life. They bestowed upon me clearly defined paths, blueprints for navigating the future we so desperately seek.

Incremental steps, though significant, are no longer enough. They can feel like mere ripples against the vast tide of challenges we face. Thus, we must be more: we must embody the envisioned future — a future radiant with justice, harmony, and vibrancy.

The canvas of tomorrow, though unwritten, pulses with the potential of our shared dreams. Every intentional thought, every affirmative prayer, casts ripples into this vast expanse, crafting the world we yearn for. It's like tuning into a celestial song, harmonizing our aspirations with the rhythms of the universe.

Together, bound by shared purpose and unwavering belief, we have the power to co-create our world. Channeling these prayers from the future, they not only guide us but also remind us of the sanctity of our journey. Though the future is unwritten, with every combined prayerful intention, we inscribe our deepest desires onto its ever-evolving narrative, forging a destiny filled with miracles and hope.

Within the intricate dance of time and intent, we find ourselves as pivotal connectors between today's realities and a vision for tomorrow. As guardians of this temporal bridge, we don’t merely pass on current messages but also channel profound prayers from a future yet to be realized. These aren't fleeting wishes but deliberate calls emerging from the collective soul of a world longing for wellness, fairness, and continuity.

This pivotal juncture invites us to witness firsthand the miracles born of collective hope and faith. As numerous souls united in prayer for my well-being, they wove together a radiant haven where my consciousness found space to heal, evolve, and re-immerse into our communal journey. Even amidst the thundering resonance of helicopter blades, I teetered on the delicate threshold of life and the beyond. Yet, in that transcendent space, ancestral wisdom illuminated my path back, underscoring the profoundness of our shared earthly journey. They imparted to me a crystalline roadmap for traversing the desired future that beckons us.

While incremental progress holds its value, it can often seem dwarfed in the face of the immense challenges before us. Therefore, our call is to transcend and truly become embodiments of the luminous future we envision — a horizon aglow with justice, unity, and life.

The tapestry of the morrow, still in its weaving stages, resonates with the dreams we hold close. Each purpose-driven thought and heartfelt prayer sends waves through this vast continuum, shaping the world we ardently hope for. It's akin to aligning with a cosmic symphony, our dreams resonating in harmony with the universe's grand design.

United by a common vision and unshakeable faith, we harness the capacity to sculpt our shared destiny. As we draw forth these future-focused prayers, they serve as both beacons and reminders of our sacred journey's essence. We must remember that the future is unwritten and it is us who decides our fate. 


Para publicación inmediata 

3 de octubre de 2023 


Sabrina Chap [email protected] 

Anthony Diaz [email protected] 

Pronunciamiento de la familia del activista indígena Jacob Johns, quien fue baleado la semana pasada en  un círculo de paz y de rezo 

Durante generaciones, los pueblos indígenas han enfrentado estragos, muerte y opresión sistémica. El de  la semana pasada es un acontecimiento más en una serie de injusticias sistémicas en la historia indígena.  Este acto de violencia premeditadae intencionadase perpetró contra un campamento de paz y de rezo que  se colocóen el lugar propuesto para la reinstalación de la estatua de Oñate. Esto llama la atención sobre la  larga  larga historia de injusticias contra los pueblos indígenas por parte de los sistemas deshumanizantes y las  ideologías polarizantes contra las que protestala comunidad. 

La familia busca preservar la atención en una narrativa de unidad, y no en una de división. Es esencial poner  en el centro las perspectivas de todos los que acudieron al evento espiritual y aquellos afectados por la  violencia. El trauma físico, mental y emocional que esto ha causado a Jacob será para toda la vida. Jacob  no es la única víctima aquí. El trauma físico lo sufrió Jacob, pero hay otros traumas emocionales que se  infligieron a toda la comunidad, incluyendo mujeres, niños y ancianos que estaban presentes ese día, y cuyas historias deben ser contadas. 

Ante todo, es esencial que este incidente no sea descrito como un enfrentamiento entre manifestantes. Los  miembros de la comunidad indígenasestaban celebrando una asamblea pacífica y espiritual cuando fueron  atacados y hechos víctimas en un intento de asesinato en masa. Sólo porque el arma del tirador se atascó  Malaya Peixinho y otros no resultaron también heridos o incluso peor. (Para una descripción más detallada  del incidente, véase el comunicado de prensa de la Nación Roja, The Red Nation). 

Segundo: Aunque la policía se encontraba presente desde la primera hora del día y que previamente había  retirado al atacante debido a su comportamiento perturbador, más tarde le permitió que regresara y procedieron a marcharse, abandonando a los manifestantes pacíficos a pesar de la clara amenaza.LaVerne  McGrath, madre de Jacob, espera que esta tragedia pueda conducir a cambios sistémicos que impidan 

restarle importancia a las amenazas contra los pueblos indígenas y otros grupos sociales históricamente  oprimidos. Tercero: El atacante se presentó con los miembros de los medios de comunicación y pidió que se le  fotografiara yse lefilmara. La cobertura le proporcionaríala notoriedad que claramente buscabayexacerba  el daño que ha causado a Jacob y a sus seres queridos, así comola comunidad Tewa y a todas las personas  negras, indígenas y de color para quienes la violencia racial crea un trauma permanente. 

Aunque el atacante siga en la cárcel, nuestro trabajo debe continuar para garantizar que rinda cuentas de  sus crímenes ante el sistema de justicia. El sistema de justicia de Nuevo México tiene ahora la oportunidad  de enviar el mensaje de quela violencia contra las personas negras, indígenas y de colorno quedará impune  y sin serias consecuencias. El estado de Nuevo México puede utilizar este momento para garantizar la  seguridad de todos los residentes y su derecho a celebrar, a rezar, a protestar y a guardar luto, apoyando  un cambio sistémico que se enfoqueen la seguridad y el bienestarcomunitarios. La familia está pidiendo la  plena rendición de cuentas para sentar un precedente respecto de este aberrante acto y para asegurar un  alto a la supremacía blanca en todas sus formas y consolidar la seguridad de la comunidad. 

Demandas de la familia de Jacob Johns 

  • Al Juez del Tribunal de Distrito: Aprobar la moción para evitar la liberación del atacante y en su  lugar mantenerlo en custodia preventiva, ya que representa un riesgo significativo para nuestra  comunidad y todas las comunidades. 
  • Al Fiscal del Condado de Arriba y al Fiscal del Primer Distrito Judicial: Añadir el delito federal de  odio a la lista de cargos, y buscar la sentencia máxima. Este fue un crimen de odio, racial y  culturalmente motivado y debe ser tratado como tal. 
  • Al público en general: Continuar apoyando a la familia y sus necesidades monetarias: o Gofundme para gastos médicos

o Gofundme para gastos inmediatos 

  • A los Oficiales del Condado de Rio Arriba y al Estado de Nuevo Mexico: Asegurar que la estatua de  Oñate no sea reinstalada, y que todos los monumentos y estatuas que glorifican o celebran el  genocidio sean retirados. 
  • A los medios de comunicación: Dejen de mostrar las fotos y videos del atacanate, que pueden  alentarviolencia similar y, en su lugar, muestren imágenes y vídeos de la realidad del daño causado  a Jacob John y a su familia. (Enlace a las fotos facilitadas por la familia)


October 3rd, 2023


Sabrina Chapa [email protected]

Anthony Diaz [email protected]

Statement from Family of Indigenous Activist, Jacob Johns, Shot Last Week at Peaceful Prayer Circle

For generations, Indigenous Peoples have faced harm, death, and systemic oppression. Last week’s premeditated shooting is just another historical event in a series of systemic injustices in Indigenous history. This intentional premeditated act of violence was perpetrated against a peaceful prayer camp located at the proposed site for the reinstallation of the Oñate statue. This draws attention to the lengthy history of injustices against Indigenous Peoples by dehumanizing systems and divisive ideologies the community was protesting.

The family wishes to keep attention on a narrative of unity, not instead of division. It is essential to center the perspectives of all those involved in the spiritual event and those impacted from the violence. The physical, mental, and emotional trauma this has caused to Jacob will be lifelong. Jacob is not the only victim here. The physical trauma was with Jacob but there are other emotional traumas that were inflicted on the full community including the women, children and elders that were present that day and their stories must be told. 

At the foremost, it is essential that this incident is not described as a clash between protestors. Indigenous community members were conducting a peaceful and spiritual assembly when they were attacked and made victims of an attempted mass murder. It is only because the shooter’s gun jammed that Malaya Peixinho and others were not also injured or worse. (For a more detailed account of the incident, please see this press release from The Red Nation.)

Second: While police were present earlier in the day and had previously escorted the shooter away for disruptive behavior, they later permitted the shooter to return and then left, abandoning peaceful demonstrators despite the clear threat. LaVerne McGrath, Jacob’s mother, hopes that this tragedy can lead to systemic changes in which threats to Indigenous Peoples and other historically oppressed peoples are not downplayed.

Third: The shooter made the point to introduce himself to members of the media and requested that he was photographed and filmed. Coverage that provides the notoriety he clearly sought exacerbates the harm he has perpetrated on Jacob and his loved ones, the Tewa community and all Black, Indigenous and People of Color for whom racial violence creates ongoing trauma.

Though he remains in jail today, our work must continue to ensure that the shooter accounts for his crimes in the justice system. New Mexico’s justice system has an opportunity to send a message now that violence targeting BIPOC people will not go without firm consequence. The state of New Mexico has a chance to ensure the safety of all residents’ right to celebrate, pray, protest, and mourn by supporting systemic change that centers community safety and well-being.  The family is asking for full accountability to set precedence on this evil act to ensure that we stop white supremacy in all its forms and ensure community safety.

Jacob Johns’ Family’s Demands

  • To the District Court Judge: Approve the motion to prevent the shooter’s release and instead keep him in pre-trial custody, as he poses a significant risk to our community and all communities.
  • To the Arriba County Prosecutor and First Judicial District Attorney: Add federal hate crime to the list of charges, and to seek the maximum sentence. This was a racially and culturally motivated hate crime and must be treated as such.
  • To the public: Continue to support the family and their monetary needs: 
  • To Rio Arriba County Officials and the State of New Mexico: Assure the Oñate statue is not reinstalled, and that all monuments and statues that glorify or celebrate genocide are taken down.  
  • To the media: Stop showing the pictures and videos of the shooter which can encourage similar violence and instead show the pictures and videos of the reality of the harm that was done to Jacob John’s and his family. (Link to photos provided by the family)


September 28

USCAN Statement 1

We were heartbroken to learn that one of our beloved members and climate warrior Jacob Johns was the victim of a violent, white supremacist shooting during a peaceful protest in Tewa Territory (Española, NM) against resurrection of a statue of conquistador Juan de Oñate. Jacob was flown to a hospital in Albuquerque, where he is in stable condition. Our hearts are with Jacob, his family, and the Indigenous Peoples of New Mexico who endure ongoing assaults on their bodies and lands. USCAN is staying close to the situation and will issue a formal statement, and ways to stand in solidarity, when we have more information. In the meantime, please keep Jacob and his family in your best thoughts and prayers.  You may reach out to [email protected] with any questions.

September 29

USCAN Statement 2

On September 28, during a peaceful prayer ceremony to oppose the resurrection of a statue of  conquistador Juan de Oñate on Tewa Territory, Española, New Mexico, one of our beloved climate warriors , Jacob Johns (Backbone Campaign) became the victim of a violent, racist shooting. Prior to the shooting, the gunman was among a group of MAGA hat-wearing folks that opposed the peaceful prayer rally and began disrupting the ceremonies underway.  According to witnesses, he was asked by police to leave the area, but was then permitted to return under the guise of protecting free speech.  He continued to disrupt.  As a couple of participants stepped in to deescalate the situation, the gunman shot Jacob in the torso.  The gunman was apprehended and witnesses were interviewed by local police and members of the FBI. 

Today, we sit in the aftermath of this racist act of violence against a Hopi and Akimel O'odham father, artist, and community builder who showed up to the prayer rally in solidarity with kin from The Red Nations and the Three Sisters Collective.  Though stable, Jacob is not completely out of the woods and family and supporters continue prayers for his healing and full recovery. Friends have been with him through his surgeries, and his family just arrived to see him. 

More fundamentally, this is a hate crime.  This agitator didn’t merely target Jacob, but sought to disrupt a gathering in which dozens of Indigenous Peoples of New Mexico gathered together to offer prayers that a symbol of colonial genocide wouldn’t be permitted to be installed.  This was an attack on Indigenous People’s rights to gather peacefully; an attack on the right to not have a brutalizer of their ancestors canonized in such a public way; and an effort to silence the voices of many Indigenous Peoples across time and space to advocate for their lives. 

USCAN staff and members were convening nearby in New Mexico and a few USCAN members accompanied Jacob to the action to learn more and display solidarity.  


Stay tuned for opportunities to gather with USCAN members and more ways to support Jacob, his family, and our partners in New Mexico to make sure that this injustice is not ignored by local authorities.

Also, please let us know if you have any experience or contacts with experience countering racist and white supremacist violence. We are using the Backfire Basics as a framework for responding publicly and making sure Jacob has all the support he needs. Although this is not violence from the state, it is violence that was fomented by the state and we do not know yet if local authorities will take this crime seriously without our intervention. 

Also, we ask that you…

  • Help cover medical bills of Jacob by donating to Go Fund Me and sharing it with with others
  • If you have connections to government leaders in the US, outside the US, or at the UN please ask them to post on social media with the hashtags #SolidarityWithJacob 
  • Donate to Red Media to nourish, sustain and support Indigenous Peoples Movements

And demand that…

  • Federal hate crime charges be filed against the shooter
  • Local government officials refrain from installing a symbol of historical violence 
  • Government officials in New Mexico and federally commit to not resurrecting the statue of conquistador Juan de Oñate

Links to Resources

Farewell and Thank You

Executive Director Keya Chatterjee announced in November 2022 that she will be leaving her role at the beginning of March after more than eight and a half years with USCAN. Below is the email she shared with the USCAN community, followed by answers to questions you may have about what happens next.

Dear Friends:

Happy first day of COP and election eve! I am writing today to share some news with you: after nine annual meetings, our upcoming annual meeting in February 2023 will be my last as Executive Director of US Climate Action Network.

I love USCAN, and it will always be a part of me. I am incredibly proud of the work that we have done. During this time, we have turned a large but struggling network into a thriving community that is increasingly recognized as a national leader in centering relationships, equity and justice in our struggle for climate justice. Our network leaders pushed for the passage of the Paris Climate Agreement, have led press conferences at the UN Climate meetings, have led acts of disruptive humanitarianism taking on dirty companies that are poisoning our communities, and held briefings for Congress urging the US to play a better role in the world, together. 

We started, expanded, and evolved a peer-review grants program where our members decide who gets resources.  We began giving stipends to leaders of color for time spent on network collaborative work. We began using ranked choice voting to decide our priorities so that our members can lead the way, and we can live the kind of decision making we want to see in the world. We drafted a massive policy document, the Vision for Equitable Climate Action (VECA) that guided our input to the Green New Deal and the THRIVE act, that created space to pass the good things in the Inflation Reduction Act, and that we are using to do popular education. We welcomed new activists through our Arm in Arm programs and deepened our impact through a new 501 c(4) organization. We started a DC political action committee to launch and support the work of Green New Deal for DC. We established a Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) statement, plan and committee that is copied and used by organizations around the US, and is focusing its attention on accountability.  We have transitioned our board into being majority people of color.  In collaboration with our partners, we established the Green New Deal Network, providing a justice-focused counterweight to the Climate Action Campaign, where we continue to collaborate with the largest of our member organizations in campaigns.

USCAN has grown substantially over the past nine years and is in a strong financial position, which has allowed us to successfully weather the COVID-19 pandemic when we could not host in person fundraisers. You can remain confident that USCAN and our partnerships and collaborations are in very good shape for the transition to come.

I fell in love with USCAN because of its passionate and fun members, its potential to advance anti-racism within climate activism, its boldness to challenge systemic inequities, and its willingness to accomplish big and exciting things. But what I have loved most about this role is the community of people I have had the honor to work with. I love my USCAN family!

Little will change for USCAN members in this transition. We have a truly dedicated team and an incomparable board. Carrie Clayton will continue in her role as Network Systems Senior Director with the support of  Stephanie Ready and our newly hired Deputy Director, Amelia Cole; Rosita Scarborough will continue to lead the Engagement team along with Marie Risalvato and Natalie Lucas, and Lindsay Harper will continue to lead the amazing Arm in Arm team. 

I informed the Board of Directors in the summer of 2022 of my plan to leave after the next annual meeting and my last day will be on my birthday March 4. The Board is in the process of hiring an Executive Director and will conduct a national search with Koya Leadership Partners for a new Executive Director. I will be available to the organization for several weeks afterwards to provide knowledge and support during the transition. I am mindful of the imperative that all of our collaborations, and the strategic plan be seamlessly picked up by the next Executive Director, and I chose this time to transition partly so that a new Executive Director can own the next Strategic Plan and take our network forward in exciting ways.

Thank you for being a part of USCAN’s activist community!

With much gratitude,

Keya Chatterjee

Read more

US Organizations Call for Postponement of COP26 Vaccine inequity threatens to derail meaningful climate talks

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 7, 2021

CONTACT: Natalie Lucas, [email protected], 928-600-7844

US Organizations Call for Postponement of COP26
Vaccine inequity threatens to derail meaningful climate talks 

The US Climate Action Network, a vital network of nearly 200 climate organizations across the United States, joins Climate Action Network International in calling for the postponement of the 2021 in-person United Nations Conference of the Parties (COP26) and for the world’s wealthiest countries to take immediate action to address inequities in global access to Covid-19 vaccines, in solidarity with Climate Action Network International. At the same time, we call on richer countries to move forward with urgency on their domestic climate commitments--including ambitious emission reduction policies and the delivery of international climate finance--regardless of the status of the COP. The climate crisis cannot wait. 

Rich countries have had months to distribute vaccines equitably across the globe to create conditions that would allow for safe travel and large gatherings. However, they have failed to do so, by continuing to allow pharma companies to profit from vaccine inequity. Rich countries can change this today by providing the tools to manufacture and produce the vaccines, testing and treatment at the scale needed to end the pandemic. This includes advancing the World Trade Organization Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (WTO TRIPS) waiver which is supported by over 100 countries, contributing adequate vaccines to the COVAX Facility, and sharing the technological know-how through the World Health Organization’s Covid-19 Technology Access Pool (CTAP).

The current safety protocols set by the UK government for COP mirror global inequities, such as the unfair quarantine rules, that make it prohibitively expensive for delegates to attend, especially from the Global South. "The quarantine process is not fair. Red list countries have to quarantine whether or not they have been vaccinated while unvaccinated individuals from countries like the US where Covid transmission is high does not require any quarantine," states Natalie Lucas, Executive Director of Care About Climate. She continues, “With the present logistical and financial barriers, an in-person COP26 will be a COP of the Global North.” 

This call also comes at a time when infection rates of COVID-19 are increasing worldwide. There is little clarity about the safety protocols from the UK about how the COP will proceed. Delegates to the Conference have not received the vaccines promised by the UK and the window for delegates to arrive fully vaccinated is closing. USCAN joins our international colleagues in determining that at this point it will not be possible to offer a safe, inclusive and equitable COP. Moreover, USCAN does not support a virtual COP at this time as there are serious inequities relating to internet access that have not been addressed. The ability to hold a safe and inclusive in-person COP26 in the future requires urgent action to enable poorer countries to access adequate and timely Covid-19 vaccines, testing and treatment. 

This summer the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released a report indicating that we are in “code red for humanity.” The call from US and international groups to postpone COP26 is not a call to postpone climate action. In fact, it is a call to do more. 

“Covid-19 and climate change are both crises that disproportionately impact already vulnerable communities, especially in poorer countries. Rich countries like the US need to step up and ensure developing countries have access to adequate Covid-19 vaccine supplies. At the same time, with the climate crisis raging on, the US needs to immediately reduce our emissions and provide the finance and technology needed for developing countries to do the same. We must do our fair share for the global community to ensure that people and the planet can survive and thrive,” notes Brandon Wu from ActionAid USA. 

Rachel Cleetus from Union of Concerned Scientists notes, “It is clear that the international climate talks, if they proceed as currently planned, cannot meet science-based public health guidelines in an equitable way. We are calling on richer nations to take swift action to address the gross global COVID-19 vaccine inequity and limit the power of major pharmaceutical companies to control vaccine access. The rapidly worsening climate crisis is also intersecting with the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting economic crisis, compounding harms for the most vulnerable. Policymakers must meet this moment with bold, just and equitable public health, economic and climate policies.”

The UK government has indicated that they are moving forward with the conference and are starting to send out vaccination doses now. However, US groups have heard from their international partners that this is too little too late as the vaccination window closes. 




About US Climate Action Network (USCAN): USCAN’s mission is to build trust and alignments among members to fight climate change in a just and equitable way.  

USCAN’S vision is a powerful, inclusive, and trusting network of US organizations who worked together to meet the global goals in the Paris Climate Agreement and exceed the US targets outlined in that agreement.

Statement by USCAN Executive Director Keya Chatterjee: "We must step up to defend Black life as part of our commitment to Climate Justice."

COVID-19 has now killed more than 100,000 in the US, and a quarter of those deaths are Black Americans thanks in part to racism, social inequity, and environmental injustices that have purposefully robbed the Black community of health and well being.   The murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Nina Pop, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, Sean Reed, and the racialized targeting of Christian Cooper while birding are the devastating results of 400 years of slavery, theft, mass incarceration, and other white supremacist institutions, and decades of failure to address police violence and neoliberal policies that prioritize profit over people. 

The police in the US are militarized, and they are escalating violence around the country as part of a system of racist oppression.  On top of that, there are reports of infiltrators among peaceful protestors who are escalating tensions and are allied with white supremacists.  And to cap it all off, as President of the United States, Donald Trump, is inciting violence against protestors, using thinly veiled racist references to releasing dogs on people and threatening to shoot protestors.   While the US Government has not been able to find protective equipment for nurses, doctors, grocery workers, or bus drivers who are essential workers during a global pandemic, thousands of militarized police have all the equipment they need to terrorize the public. All over the US tear gas and rubber bullets, and in many cases direct physical violence, are being used against the public and journalists. Journalists have become a police target, especially Black journalists, even when they are on live TV. That is the current state of the United States of America. 

This dark time in this country is also a time for reckoning and change.  We must scream from the streets and the rooftops that #BlackLivesMatter, and that the police need to be demilitarized and defunded in favor of violence reduction interventions. 

We must also be clear that the climate crisis’ significant impacts on vulnerable communities are being realized because this country was willing to sacrifice black, brown and indigenous lives by placing polluting and extractive facilities in black, brown, and indigenous communities in the United States, and around the world.  The climate crisis is, at its core, a racial injustice crisis. The climate crisis is the result of racism and colonialism, and the imperialist worldview that sees indigenous lands in Africa, Asia, the Americas and beyond as places to plunder, steal, and extract from, instead of as places with deep histories, knowledge, families and cultures to protect and defend.  US imperialism and profit-obsession has put black and brown bodies on the line all over the world as the climate crisis unfolds. The communities that have done the least to contribute to the climate crisis are hit worst, precisely because they have been purposefully made vulnerable by racism and imperialism.  

We at US Climate Action Network (USCAN) believe it is possible to transform the whole economy in our lifetimes and we believe it is possible to do so in a way that dismantles racism and white supremacy. We must work with our allies to make sure that this moment is actually looked upon historically as the moment when white supremacy was in its death throes.  We can do this.  We have already launched Arm in Arm in the US to do this.  Together we are demanding a "new normal". Our communities will ignite an era where we end the climate crisis by centering racial and economic justice.   

We must have justice for George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Nina Pop, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, Sean Reed, and all other Black people that have been subject to violence. We must step up to defend Black life as part of our commitment to Climate Justice. We at USCAN and at Climate Action Network International (CAN-I) are fully committed to making that happen, and the first step is for us all to state unequivocally that Black Lives Matter.

US Climate Action Network Media Advisory For: Thursday, December 5, 2019

US Climate Action Network

Media Advisory For: Thursday, December 5, 2019

Contact: Chloe Noël, [email protected]

Leaders From Front Line Communities To Speak Out 

Against False Climate Solutions 

Panel Will Center Marginalized Voices to Highlight Their Struggles and Amplify Grassroots Solutions  

Location: Room 1, Area 4, IFEMA or via this link 


Madrid  – Thursday, 05 December 2019: Coopération Internationale pour le Développement et la Solidarité and the US Climate Action Network are hosting a panel discussion at COP25 to amplify the voices of front line communities across the Americas.


What: The impacts of climate change disproportionately hurt the most vulnerable communities, including youth, women, communities of color, income-challenged communities. At the same time, false energy solutions are impacting or bypassing some marginalized communities. Yet these same communities are often generating innovative, just and scalable clean energy solutions.  Our panel speaks to both false solutions and community-based positive alternatives. To ask questions of the panelists, email [email protected] or tweet at @uscan




  • Andreia Fanzeres, Coordinator Indigenous Peoples´ Rights for Operação Amazônia Nativa (OPAN)
  • Jacob Maurice Johns, Community Supported Organizer, Backbone Campaign USA 
  • Margarita Parra, Mobility Equity Lead, GRID Alternatives & Clean Energy Works USA
  • Antonio Zambrano: Coordinator of Clean Energy Program for Movimiento Ciudadano frente al Cambio Climático (MOCICC), Peru


When: Thursday, 05 December 2019 - 16:45—18:15 CET


  •   Room 1, Area 4, Feria de Madrid, IFEMA in Av. del Partenón, Nº 5, 28042 Madrid, Spain 
  •   Live broadcast is available via Skype Meeting Broadcast and will be available on-demand via this link.

Contact: Chloe Noël, [email protected],  +1 (202)-832-1780


About US Climate Action Network (USCAN): USCAN’s mission is to build trust and alignments among members to fight climate change in a just and equitable way.  

USCAN’S vision is a powerful, inclusive, and trusting network of US organizations who worked together to meet the global goals in the Paris Climate Agreement and exceed the US targets outlined in that agreement.

About Coopération Internationale pour le Développement et la Solidarité (CIDSE): CIDSE’s mission: Working together with others, we want to serve the poor, promote justice, harness the power of global solidarity and create transformational change to end poverty, inequalities and threats to the environment both global and local.

CIDSE’s vision: We are part of a worldwide community of learning and action that is open to working with all people and groups of goodwill. At CIDSE we think and act along the following values and principles: Dignity, Solidarity, Ownership, Partnership, Dialogue, Subsidiarity, Sustainability, Living Simply and Stewardship. 


Member Center Action Teams