In the painful aftermath of the recent racist violence in Charlottesville, we seek to draw a straight line between these white supremacist attacks and the slow violence of unequally borne environmental devastation. The Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) and the Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) routes target rural, poor, African American, Native American, and Appalachian communities from West Virginia, Virginia, and North Carolina to bear the disproportionate burden of their toxic polluting fracked gas infrastructure.

Saturday, October 28th 2017, 11:30a to 7:00p           City Space: 100 5th Street, NE. Charlottesville, VA

See Flyer here [Please print and post]: People’s Tribunal flyer 10-17-17


On October 28, 2017
in Charlottesville’s City Space, we will hold a people’s tribunal to investigate and document evidence of environmental injustice and racism by the ACP and MVP using a human rights query format. Its bases are in the UN Convention on Racism and Racial Discrimination (CERD) and the UN Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal on the Human Rights Impacts of Fracking. UN people’s tribunals create public space to present evidence for and information about issues critical to a just and civil society, especially those that have not been recognized as violations of human rights.

Tribunal testimonies will present evidence of first person impacts of both pipelines on environmental justice communities. In Union Hill, Buckingham, VA — an 85% African American, historic Freedmen community — the ACP purchased former Variety Shade plantation lands from white descendants to site their only Virginia mega-compressor station within 150 ft. of 99 Union Hill households. For the MVP and ACP, the majority of landowners targeted to give up their property rights are rural, impoverished Appalachians.

Other evidence-based testimonies we will document and live-stream will be by historians, environmental scientists on fracked gas infrastructure hazards to ecosystems, medical experts on the health impacts of compressor stations and pipelines, economists on the cost benefits of racism and inequality and also the lack of need to build any more fracked gas transmission pipelines in Virginia.

To build the ACP alone will cost Dominion’s ratepayers $5 billion. Together ACP and MVP will present Virginians with an incalculable bill for climate change costs.

These testimonies will be presided over by experts in these fields as “judges” who will summarize findings and propose recommendations to policy makers.

These are imminent threats. Within the month, ACP and MVP hope FERC will issue certificates of use to start construction. In November, Virginians elect a new governor and legislators. The time is now to provide Virginia residents with the facts about who is being forced by the developers to pay with their health, clean air, water, and soil for the economic benefit of corporate stockholders and not the common good.

 

Ways you can help: as co-sponsors, judges, testifiers, fundraisers, donors and event volunteers in this effort to bring local, state, and national awareness to the environmental injustices within imminent fracked gas infrastructure threats to our climate, health, and sustainable futures.

Your support is so valuable to our efforts in raising awareness and bringing people together! A tax-deductible donation can be made out to: Highlanders for Responsible Development- ABRA, P.O. Box 685 Monterey, VA 24465 (Tax ID #47-0959632) Notation: VA People’s Tribunal

 

For more information on in-kind donations, contact Lakshmi Fjord at (510) 684-1403 or lakshmi.fjord@gmail.com

To volunteer or register for this event, follow link:  https://goo.gl/forms/GlxiLyvYTKkZaewx2
Follow our event on Facebook: VA People’s Tribunal on Human Rights & Environmental Justice

 

With appreciation, for your efforts toward a just and sustainable world.

Co-chairs:
Lakshmi Fjord: lakshmi.fjord@gmail.com (510) 684-1403
Kirk Bowers: kirk.bowers@sierraclub.org

Co-sponsors:
Friends of Buckingham, VA Sierra Club, Allegheny Blue Ridge Alliance (ABRA), Concern for the New Generation – BREDL, Virginia Student Environmental Coalition, Appalachian Voices, Bold Alliance, Protect Our Water Heritage Rights, Yogaville Environmental Solutions, Journey the James, Charlottesville Rising, 350 Central Virginia, Preserve Montgomery, Preserve Franklin, Preserve Giles, Oil Change International, Virginia Organizing, Interfaith Power and Light

 

UN Analysis on Environmental Justice in the US

Excerpt from the 2014 update on the United States [issues identified in U.S. related to racism] by United Nations Committee of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (1965) on:

Disparate impact of environmental pollution

  1.     While welcoming the acknowledgment by the State party that low-income and minority communities are exposed to an unacceptable amount of pollution, as well as the initiatives taken to address the issue, the Committee is concerned that individuals belonging to racial and ethnic minorities, as well as indigenous peoples, continue to be disproportionately affected by the negative health impact of pollution caused by the extractive and manufacturing industries. It also reiterates its previous concern regarding the adverse effects of economic activities related to the exploitation of natural resources in countries outside the United States by transnational corporations registered in the State party on the rights to land, health, environment and the way of life of indigenous peoples and minority groups living in those regions (para. 30) (arts. 2 and 5 (e).”

“The Committee calls upon the State party to:

(b) Undertake an independent and effective investigation into all cases of environmentally polluting activities and their impact on the rights of affected communities; bring those responsible to account; and ensure that victims have access to appropriate remedies.

The UN mandate for the Special Rapporteur on human rights and the environment is as follows:

Building on several other resolutions related to human rights and the environment, and to human rights and climate change, the Human Rights Council established the mandate for the independent expert on Human Rights and the Environment in resolution 2012 during its 19th session. In 2015, the Human Rights Council decided to extend the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and the Environment for a period of three years.

The Working Groups and Special Rapporteurs are part of what is known as the Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council. Special Procedures, the largest body of independent experts in the UN Human Rights system, is the general name of the Council’s independent fact-finding and monitoring mechanisms that address either specific country situations or thematic issues in all parts of the world.

For further information and media requests, please contact Mr. Niraj Dawadi (+41 22 928 9151 / ndawadi@ohchr.org / africandescent@ohchr.org) or Ms. Karin Hechenleitner Schacht (+41 22 917 9408 / khechenleitner@ohchr.org / racism@ohchr.org)

The Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) is the body of independent experts that monitors implementation of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination by its State parties. For further information and media requests, please contact Ms. Nicoleta Panta (+41 22 917 9310 / npanta@ohchr.org)

 

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