Dear UK climate twitter, please brew a cuppa and sit down? Because we need to talk about how you talk about refugees, immigrants, as well as police and border repression and violence more generally. Thread ... 1/
Several times, over the last weeks, I've been told "Why don't you just get them [=right-wing politicians, journalists, etc] that climate change will cause waves of desperate refugees and immigrants? They care about that, so that'll get them to care about climate change!" 2/
Some of you will have spotted the problem here. Right-wing folks "care" about immigrants and refugees and vulnerable brown people in other countries the same way a fox "cares" about baby chicks. They like to use them as a maligned other to prop up their political programs ... 3/
they like to use the threat of their presence to rile up their base and get votes (like Brexit), they like to hate them, make their life miserable, and destroy them. So they "care", yes, if you remove any speck of human empathy from the word "care", and leave only hate. 4/
Now I expect much, much, much better from the green and climate movements. I expect us to build welcome for immigrants and refugees into our programes, as well as not harming them in their locations of origin. Because of course, here's the thing. 5/
Even if we reduce emissions to zero overnight, there is already climate harm built into the system. We've already left the agriculture-sheltering Holocene behind, and people are already being killed, harmed and displaced (often within countries, like the USA, btw). 6/
So even if we succeed beyond our wildest dreams, there will be refugees and immigrants - just fewer. And we better treat them like our long lost relatives (which they are), harmed by our countries' industrial colonizing past (which they are). 7/
And feeding into the right-wing narrative of hating on immigrants, by saying "Act on climate and fewer brown people will try to get in our country" is the LAST FUCKING ARGUMENT I EVER WANT TO MAKE for climate change. It's true, mind you, but the framing is pure evil. 8/
Because it comforts the right wing narrative that immigrants are a problem to be avoided, rather than human brethren to be embraced. The climate movement, if I have my way, will be a pro-human movement, not a pro-some-white humans movement. That includes immigrants & refugees. 9/
Which (reminder) we should be preparing to welcome, no matter what. We also need to remember that right-wing politicians already have great plans on climate breakdown & climate adaptation. Your definition of "great" may vary, but they have a plan & are putting it in practice. 10/
These plans involve: propping up & subsidizing fossil-fueled capitalism; keeping fossil companies in business no matter the human, environmental or economic cost - so accelerating climate breakdown. That's their plan for that one. Some examples here: 11/…
The right-wing plans on climate adaptation are also in full swing. These involve building fortress states for the few, blocking, harming and killing refugees at the border. @NaomiAKlein's been talking about this forever. 12/
The Trump administration is doing this, the EU & UK administrations are doing this. It's in full swing already. Hooray! Action on climate, finally! Except it's literally turning back migrants to torture, slavery and death in Libya. Paid w/ our taxes. 13/
So please forgive me if I think that convincing right-wingers to act on climate change by activating their hatred and fear of immigrants is not, like, the most enlightened course of action. They already have a fucking plan, involving causing and accelerating genocide. 14/
Also your periodic reminder that caring about the environment is not a guarantee of caring about other people. Ecofascism is a thing, it's been a thing in the past, continues to be today, and we need to fight it actively to stop from being a bigger thing in the future. 15/
Go read Janet Biehl & Peter Staudenmaier, then come back and let's have a chat [spoiler alert: that book is so powerful, no one ever comes back to chat. They come back thankful & convinced.] 16/…
Also reminder that some UK right-wing media figures have already used to the opportunity of the Extinction Rebellion protests to have coming out parties in favor of capitalism-justified genocide. This is not a blip: it's the bigger pattern. 17/
Ok, so onto how we talk about police brutality. Getting arrested is tough. I admire the courage of the 100s of amazing XR activists getting arrested, the courage and principle of non-violent civil disobedience. But let's be real. It's tough. 18/
Going up against power generally provokes violence, and the police & border agents are the ones tasked with enacting the violence powerful actors want. So as much as I would like to see the police as allies, and some of them are, and will become more so, their overall ... 19/
historical job description and actions are not so great. Also, the REASON they are more gentle with white middle class educated ppl like myself is BECAUSE we are associated with their bosses. Poor and/or POC are NOT. They are at much higher risk as a result. 20/
See some discussion here. I agree 💯, so if any of you disagree with @PriyamvadaGopal, take your vitriol to me and leave her well out of it. Ugh behave better, internet. 21/
Anyway, that's it. Time for my next cup of tea. Hope yours was sobering. Haha. Now go forth and be decent to foreigners and POC. End/
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