The Auckland chapter of a New Zealand based climate activism group, School Strike 4 Climate (SS4C), announced that they are disbanding in a lengthy statement on Facebook.
Here was the group's central argument for shutting down:
BIPOC communities are disproportionately affected by climate change, so the fight for climate justice should be led by their voices and needs, not Pākehā ones.
(Pākehā refers to white New Zealanders)
Here's part one of the post:
This is the best part:
We are disbanding because, since 2019, SS4C AKL (as well as the wider national group, though we can't speak on their behalf) has been a racist, white-dominated space. SS4C AKL has avoided, ignored, and tokenised BIPOC voices and demands, especially those of Pasifika and Māori individuals in the climate activism space. As well as this, the responsibility and urgent need to decolonise the organisation has been put off for far too long. SS4C also delayed paying financial reparations for the work BIPOC groups/individuals within and alongside the group have done for this organisation in the past.
So let me get this straight, BIPOC communities are most impacted by climate change, so it's their job to lead the fight against it? I don't know about you, but that seems a bit like victim-blaming to me.
The statement continued:
* * *
Since New Zealand as a country is about 75% white, it may be time to start "decolonizing" the country. But let's not give them any more ideas.
To give the youth organization full credit here, they were really in a "woke-bind." They could either fight climate change on behalf of BIPOC communities and become white saviors OR thrust the responsibility of climate activism on those they say are the most marginalized among us.
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