#LandBack is Climate Justice. You can see the signs about land back in photos such as the one below from the protests going on in Washington, DC, this week.

Indigenous youths, climate activists to march to U.S. Capitol on final day of People vs. Fossil Fuels protests by Ellie Silverman, The Washington Post, October 15, 2021

Demonstrators head toward the White House on Oct. 11 during a People vs. Fossil Fuels rally in Washington.
© Eric Lee for The Washington Post

This has been a week of actions to pressure President Biden to declare a climate emergency. As of yesterday, nearly four hundred people had been arrested outside the White House.

Washington, D.C. — Demonstrators returned to the White House on Wednesday morning for the third day of the “People vs. Fossil Fuels” mobilization, keeping up the pressure on President Biden to declare a climate emergency and stop all new fossil fuel projects.

Under a giant banner that read “Biden: Our Communities Can’t Wait,” hundreds of people marched to the White House this morning to highlight the dangerous ongoing impacts of the climate crisis across the country and the world. As hundreds rallied in Lafayette Square Park, 90 people sat in at the White House fence, risking arrest for the third straight day of civil disobedience.

The Biden Administration has so far avoided questions and refused to comment on the mass civil disobedience or respond to the demonstrator’s demands. Many in attendance at the White House today and throughout the week come from communities, like Cancer Alley in Louisiana or Native communities, that the administration has made public promises to defend but remain threatened by fossil fuel projects, including pending projects that Biden could reject right now. Many now say those promises are being broken.

Meanwhile, demonstrators will be returning to the White House on Thursday, urging the Biden Administration to finally respond and acknowledge their calls to action. On Friday, the mobilization will march to Congress, where dozens are expected to commit civil disobedience on the steps of the Capitol.


Here is a list of 25 Executive Orders the President can take now to protect and invest in communities, end the era of fossil fuel production.

Mr. President, you should use all the tools at your disposal to avert further climate devastation while helping people recover from the pandemic. That means using your executive authority from Day One to:

  • Stop the Bad  Stop approving the fossil fuel projects dueling climate chaos.
    Protect the Black, Indigenous, Brown, AAPI and working-class communities that are disproportionately harmed.
  • Build the Good — Declare a climate emergency. Repair the harm caused by environmental racism and Build Back Fossil Free, delivering jobs, justice, and clean energy for all.


People vs Fossil Fuels
Demand #1: President Biden must stop approving fossil fuel projects and speed the end of the fossil fuel era.
Demand #2: President Biden must declare a national climate emergency and launch a just, renewable energy revolution.
Demand #3: President Biden can use the Defense Production Act — the same law he used to respond to the COVID-19 crisis — to oversee a coordinated, economy-wide investment in unionized, just, and renewable energy development.

Dear Relatives, 

We, the undersigned, come from the trenches in the fight against fossil fuels. From fracking sites and oil wells, to pipelines and refineries, to plastic plants and more, we are impacted Indigenous, Brown, Black, and low-income communities living on the frontlines of this climate emergency. Over the years we have written thousands of messages to politicians, attended countless hearings, testified hundreds of times, and have placed our bodies on the line when needed, all the while our government continues to ignore the science and Indigenous traditional ecological knowledge and steers us toward climate catastrophe. 

We have everything to lose and no time to wait. President Biden promised to address the climate emergency and a history of environmental injustice, but so far, his administration continues to allow the fossil fuel industry to poison our communities and desolate our Mother Earth. The President could stop dangerous fossil fuel projects like the Line 3 pipeline and Formosa Plastics plant with a stroke of his pen, but his inaction is continuing widespread environmental injustice and the violation of Indigenous rights and rights of nature. We will hold Biden to his “Justice 40” initiative; we expect him to help stop the destruction of fenceline communities, homelands and neighborhoods by the fossil fuel industry, and demand equity, restorative justice actions for the same.

We are asking you to stand with us. As representatives of communities who have carried the brunt of the harm from fossil fuels for generations, we ask you to join us in solidarity—and risk arrest—in Washington DC, October 11-15, 2021, as part of Build Back Fossil Free’s People vs Fossil Fuels Week of Action

We will be going to Washington DC, to the White House itself, to send a clear message: “President Biden, in light of the upcoming COP26 United Nations climate summit, you cannot claim to be a climate leader when you are still supporting fossil fuels. Stand with frontline communities, stand with future generations, stop approving fossil fuel projects, declare a climate emergency now.” 

The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)’s 2021 report led by hundreds of scientists once again made it unmistakably clear: Climate change is here, it’s a crisis, and it’s caused by fossil fuels. The report tells us that the window to stop irreversible harm to all life on Earth is closing while Congress wastes time bickering over baby steps.

If we don’t stand together now, no matter where we live, all of us —you, your children and grandchildren will all eventually live in sacrifice zones of drought, record temperatures, wildland fires, hurricanes, floods, food shortages, pandemics and more. Transitioning away from fossil fuels cannot be put off any longer—we can either come together as a species now, or make this planet uninhabitable for the foreseeable future. 

We know that participating in People vs Fossil Fuels is a big request. This would be a sacrifice of time, money, energy and freedom, and all under the shadow of a resurgence of COVID-19 cases. But we also know the despair many of you feel, the anxiety of this moment, seeing environmental devastation and human rights abuses around you, but not knowing how to help. 

If you have ever marched, rallied, called your representatives, lobbied, signed petitions to urge governmental leaders to act — we call on you to take the next step. Nonviolent civil disobedience is a time-tested tactic for change. Every movement for change—from suffragettes to the Civil Rights movement, has proven that the defining moments are those where people are willing to risk arrest. 

If we all come together, put our bodies on the line in the name of climate justice, we may be able to change the course of history. Please consider joining us on October 11-15 for one day, for the entire week, or for whatever time you can offer.

In solidarity for the protection of Mother Earth and the next seven generations of life,

Dawn Goodwin, RISE Coalition, Stop Line 3
Taysha Martineau, Camp Migizi, Stop Line 3
Winona LaDuke, Honor the Earth, Stop Line 3
Sharon Lavigne, Founder, RISE St. James
John Beard, Jr., Founder and CEO of the Port Arthur Community Action Network
Joye Braun, National Pipelines Organizer with Indigenous Environmental Network
Juan Mancias, Carrizo Comecrudo Tribe of Texas
Tasina Sapa Win Smith, Cheyenne River Grassroots Collective
Siqiniq Maupin, Sovereign Inupiat for a Living Arctic 
Crystal Cavalier, Stop MVP Pipeline Organizer
Pueblo Action Alliance Leadership, Tiwa Territories
Casey Camp-Horinek, Environmental Ambassador, Ponca Nation of Oklahoma 
Cesar Aguirre, Central California Environmental Justice Network
Native Movement Alaska

3 thoughts on “PEOPLE VS. FOSSIL FUELS

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