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Movement Rights’ 2020 Year in Review & Look Ahead

By Shannon Biggs and Pennie Opal Plant, Co-founders, Movement Rights

To say the least, 2020 has been unlike any year before. Throughout the fear, grief and loss due to the COVID 19 pandemic, social upheaval and the lack of positive political leadership on all fronts, there have been moments of hope. The collective movements for Black Lives, Indigenous Rights, Rights of Nature, GOTV, and climate justice nimbly adjusted to meet the moment, and so did we. Movement Rights is proud of our accomplishments. Our 2020 highlights showcase what we’ve done under quarantine and the work ahead for 2021:


Protect the Peoples Emergency (PPE) Partnership Fund At the very start of the pandemic it was clear that Indigenous communities would be hardest hit. Movement Rights is proud to be a leading partner in this initiative, providing Coronavirus masks and supplies to grassroots Indigenous communities from Alaska to the Amazon throughout the year. We believe our Partnership continues to fill a critical gap for grassroots Indigenous communities that still can’t get the supplies they need to protect their people. This all-volunteer partnership has so far distributed 200,000 masks and other PPE to over 60 communities here on Turtle Island and to our relatives further South including the Yaqui and Tohono O’Odham communities of Mexico, and the Huni Kui of Brazil.


Biden’s First 100 Days to #BuildBackFossilFree: We deserve a world beyond fossil fuels—a world in which workers’ rights, community health, and our shared climate come before corporate profits. Biden can take Executive Action for change right away. That’s why we are joining dozens of BIPOC grassroots and national groups representing millions of people across the country fighting for climate, racial, and economic justice. Look for exciting actions starting in early January as we coordinate and mobilize strong grassroots pressure to ensure Biden becomes the climate president he promised to be. You can help kick things off by signing on to our letter to President Elect Biden today.


Stop “ONE OKLAHOMA” and Protect Indigenous Sovereignty “One OKLAHOMA” is a deadly memo to Congress that could strip the state’s 39 Federally recognized tribes of their environmental authority, Treaty Rights, heritage and culture. It was drafted and signed by the Governor and Trump’s GOP allies, and some of the worst fossil fuel criminals out there and threatens to create a domino effect for tribes across Turtle Island. Learn more about this dangerous project, sign the Petition today, and stay tuned for an international news article by Casey Camp Horinek slated for December 21, 2020.


Recognizing Indigenous Rights of Nature to stop KXL Pipeline & More Tribal Sovereignty is a powerful way to move forward Rights of Nature. Following the Ponca, several tribes have passed similar tribal laws. Just before the pandemic hit nationwide, Movement Rights gathered Indigenous and Tribal lawyers and Indigenous Rights of Nature advocates together to strategize. Our plans included recognizing the Rights of the Salt Fork River and intertribal mass mobilization efforts to thwart the KXL pipeline (and other pipelines). While COVID 19 has pushed some actions and activities to 2021, much of the groundwork was laid in Tulsa, in March 2020. Stay tuned for exciting next steps.


Standing in Solidarity with the Movement for Black Lives As a grassroots justice organization focused on the rights of Indigenous peoples, communities and nature, it is our moral responsibility to stand with the Movement for Black Lives and to confront systemic racism and oppression together. The United States was founded on stolen Indigenous land and made rich on the backs of kidnapped and enslaved Black peoples. We have pledged to prioritize working with BIPOC-led efforts for system change and providing trainings to help communities and organizations do that too. Read our Statement of Solidarity.


2020 Rights of Nature and Indigenous Rights Webinar Series Thousands of people participated in our powerful 2020 series now available on our YouTube channel, featuring global movement, Indigenous and grassroots leaders Vandana Shiva, Patricia Gualinga, Casey Camp Horinek, Kelsey Leonard and many more, on topics ranging from Indigenous-led media to Rights of Nature as System change, and non-violent direct action during a pandemic. We also held and participated in public and private strategy meetings and web panels by The Condor and the Eagle, Move to Amend, the Society of Fearless Grandmothers, the Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature and more.


Global Gathering for Mother Earth Laws Movement Rights was proud to co-develop the agenda and help lead the Global Gathering for Mother Earth Laws (October 28-29). This virtual 2-Day event hosted by GARN brought together over 100 of global allies, leaders, and communities working on Rights of Nature, ecocide, legal personhood, environmental and social justice to share experiences and strategies, build new alliances, and strengthen our global movement. Click here to watch videos, see the story map and learn more.


Our Blog Series and Movement Rights in the News As our colleague Faith Gemmill (Neets’aii Gwich’in) says in our latest blog, “The Trump administration is rushing insane development proposals such as leasing  the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Line 3 and KXL pipelines and the ‘ONE OKLAHOMA’ plan to continue unrestricted and underhanded access to  Indigenous homelands.” Find out what you need to know and how to take action. Read critical blogs and media on our website and sign up for our newsletter to stay informed.


Support Movement Rights Climate Justice Agenda for 2021 Our 2020 highlights also showcase the work ahead for Movement Rights, and our ability to move quickly as new emergencies arise. From recognizing the Rights of Salt Fork River to stopping pipelines and fossil fuel development, mobilizing on the ground for Biden’s first 100 days, supporting Treaty Rights and #LandBack and so much more, we are ready for the New Year. But we need your help to make 2021 a year of transformation. Please join us!

Please make a donation to support Movement Rights today.  We can’t do it without you. 

Movement Rights: Working to Align Human Laws with the Laws of the Natural World since 2014 Movement Rights works for climate justice, the rights of Indigenous peoples and Mother Earth/Nature.We are in the streets, in the news and in the courts, providing research and reports, convening strategic gatherings, speaking at the UN, community meetings, regulatory hearings, and more. We work with national and global climate allies, sovereign Indigenous Nations and communities. We have helped thousands of people connect the dots between the critical time we find ourselves in and the solutions that Indigenous people have always known: human activity must take place within the natural system of laws that govern life on Earth.