St. Paul, MN – The Climate Justice Committee and allies held a press conference at Metro State University to hold the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) accountable as they start the three year rulemaking process for a new cumulative impacts law passed in Minnesota in 2023. This cumulative impacts law would not just take into account air pollution from one business at a particular site but would look at the cumulative impacts of pollution in the area and make permitting decisions based on historic pollution and how the community in the area has already been impacted.
The MPCA is responsible for permitting all businesses that have an impact of soil, water and air pollution and was responsible for the permitting of Enbridge’s Line 3 oil pipeline.
At this event, the CJC showed up to hold MPCA accountable for its current and future actions around the issue of air pollution.
“Why is the MPCA not working harder to outreach to the communities they say they want to protect, like East Phillips. I am a student at Metro State, and I wouldn’t have known this event was happening if the CJC hadn’t done this event. We see this as another time when communities like East Phillips in Minneapolis will be let down by legislation that could benefit them. It’s time to end half-measures and leniency for people who poison us!” said Mordecai Mika of the Climate Justice Committee.
Mair Allen from the Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy stated, “I’ve lived in East Phillips for 13 years, and I think about my 11-year-old neighbor who died in his house of an asthma attack. And I think about the people who can leave their windows open and can walk around their neighborhoods without coughing; everyone benefits from the environment, but those benefits are uneven. There is no such thing as a ‘community benefit’, it’s not possible to benefit from not having pollution. We shouldn’t have to fight for clean air.” Mair was referring to one part of the legislation that includes making “community benefit” agreements with businesses that would be legally binding.
Climate Justice Committee members and supporters then went into the MPCA meeting to ask questions. The MPCA had intended to only take written comments, but CJC members and other community members forced the MPCA representatives to listen to comments. Several audience members talked about the current lack of community outreach and in particular the lack of indigenous input. Others pointed out the distrust of the MPCA because of its history permitting Line 3. MPCA now knows that the community is watching and will be there to force them to do the right thing and get polluters out of our neighborhoods.
Minneapolis, MN – On June 28, the Climate Justice Committee gathered with around 20 community members outside the former Minneapolis Police Department 3rd Precinct building to stand in solidarity with Atlanta Forest Defenders, who called for a national week of action to stop Cop City as intense political repression continues on the frontlines of that fight. The protest also called for a local demand: no new 3rd Precinct building in Minneapolis.
Minneapolis MN – On February 19, around 100 protesters and community members gathered at the Roof Depot site in the East Phillips neighborhood to protest the impending demolition of the building. The Climate Justice Committee organized the protest as part of the week of action for the Defend the Atlanta Forest, connecting the struggles against environmental racism and police terror in Atlanta to the local struggle against the pollution of oppressed nationality and working-class communities like East Phillips. The Twin Cities Coalition for Justice for Jamar also joined the protest, demanding justice for Manuel “Tortuguita” Paez Teran, a forest defender murdered by Atlanta police.
To no one’s surprise, the COP27 conference has left the world much in the same place that COP26 did the year before, and COP25 before it, and so on. This November, world leaders convened in Egypt to discuss and debate what an international response to climate action could look like (or so they would like you to believe).
Minneapolis, MN – On October 27, around 50 activists gathered outside Mayor Jacob Frey's apartment building in Northeast Minneapolis to demand that he take action to stop the demolition of the old Roof Depot building in the East Phillips neighborhood.
Saint Paul, MN – On Saturday, July 23, roughly 30 climate activists gathered outside the Saint Paul Farmers’ Market to commemorate the 12th anniversary of the Kalamazoo oil spill and demand a stop to Line 3, a new tar sands pipeline. The action was organized by the Climate Justice Committee (CJC).
Minneapolis, MN – 25 community members and organizers entered Mayor Jacob Frey’s office, June 6, to demand that the city stop stifling the East Phillips neighborhood’s efforts to build a community-owned sustainable urban farm on the site of an unused Roofing Depot plant in their neighborhood. The coalition was led by the Climate Justice Committee and the East Phillips Neighborhood Institute (EPNI).
Minneapolis, MN – On September 18 nearly 100 people rallied and marched to call for an end to the Line 3 oil pipeline. The Climate Justice Committee organized the rally to continue pressure on President Biden and Minnesota Governor Tim Walz to end the permits for Line 3.