Interesting. I have seen some of this personally.
We’re so excited to announce our next teach-in in our Forgotten Conflict series. After a powerful talk by Hafsa Kanjwal, Mohamad Junaid, and Amin Hussain on Kashmir’s occupation, our next topic is Militarized Disaster Response, with case studies from the Philippines and Puerto Rico. It will be at WRL’s office at 168 Canal St, New York, NY, on Dec. 8th from 3 pm to 5 pm. We’d love to see you there.
As climate change continues to accelerate, the military and private mercenaries have become more involved in response efforts to disasters. While the US and other governments refuse to do anything meaningful to stop climate change, they use increasing conflict over water, widespread flooding or fires, and desertification to justify the deployment of militaries and mercenaries. We know that people of color and indigenous communities face the bulk of impacts from climate change, and also face the majority of imperialist, militarized repression in the world.
From Blackwater deploying into post-Katrina New Orleans, to prisoners in California fighting wildfires, to the US Military using disaster relief as a justification for increased presence in the Philippines, to private military contractors patrolling the streets of Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria, the relationship between increasing militarization of our planet and climate change receives very little mainstream coverage. We’re pleased to be hosting speakers from the International Committee on Human Rights in the Philippines (ICHRP) and A Call To Action on Puerto Rico, discussing how humanitarian disaster relief is used as a cover for increasing US military presence, and the worrying trend of civilian disaster response agencies contracting with mercenaries. In the drive to deal with the fallout of climate change, militarization can only exacerbate environmental racism.
The US military is the largest polluter on the planet. Climate change is tied up in neo-colonialism and resource extraction that the Pentagon is tasked with defending. Puerto Rico and the Philippines both serve vital economic and geostrategic purposes for the US, which contributes to the US continuing to undermine movements for climate justice and decolonization. Come to WRL and hear from our amazing guests what their communities are asking folks in the anti-militarization and climate justice movements to mobilize around!
ICHRP, A Call to Action on PR, and WRL