The theme of our 2020 march is “Unity Across Communities to Save Our World,” a call to unite across identities and geography to demand action on the climate crisis. We approach these issues through an intersectional1 lens, which acknowledges that the unique aspects of identity (e.g. gender, race, class, ability, sexuality, national origin) combine to create unique forms of discrimination and oppression and that our demands must take into account how policies and actions uniquely affect Indigenous women, black women, latinx women, disabled women, LGBTQIA+ women, young women, etc.
We have seen how the climate crisis disproportionately affects women, who, according to a United Nations report, make up 80% of the population displaced by climate change, including the effects of flooding, drought, earthquakes, and other significant weather events. The predominant role of women across the globe as caregivers makes women and girls increasingly vulnerable to lack of food and other resources caused by climate change. From Springfield to New Orleans to Puerto Rico we have seen how low-income communities and communities of color are among the worst affected by heightened weather events and have a harder time rebuilding everything from homes to infrastructure to jobs following these floods, hurricanes, fires, earthquakes, and droughts.
We also acknowledge that no issue exists in a vacuum and that we must continue to fight for all the issues that affect us and our fellow women and gender-oppressed people: reproductive justice, equal pay, stopping endless wars, criminal justice reform, immigrant rights, LGBTQIA+ rights, racial justice, equitable healthcare, disability rights, violence against women, gun control, voter suppression and more. Here are some of the demands we put forth for the 2020 Pioneer Valley Women’s March.
CLIMATE SPECIFIC DEMANDS
- Adopt a Green New Deal2
- Transition to renewable energy sources & net-zero emissions
- Provide low cost, energy-efficient public transportation (high-speed rail, RTAs) to keep cars off the road
- Lift up Black, Indigenous and Latinx voices working toward food and land sovereignty3
- Prevent and abate air & water pollution here in Western Mass4
- Build community resiliency and autonomy with access to clean air and water, green spaces and healthy food
- Stop local pipeline expansion5
- No war with Iran
- Adopt the ROE Act in Massachusetts6
- Remove the impeached president from office
- Ratify the Equal Rights Amendment7
- Adopt Medicare for All8
- Ensure fair and open elections and restore voting rights
- Adopt the Safe Communities Act in Massachusetts9
- Adopt the Work and Family Mobility Act in Massachusetts10
- Release the full 42 billion dollars owed to Puerto Rico after hurricane Maria
- VOTE! Reach out to your networks to make sure everyone you know is registered to vote and goes out to vote on November 3rd.
- Support Mass Forward Climate Lobby day on January 14th: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSeVGMvALrTekzeWDlfEzXhNDR_CrK6bFb1OjTIYlmh0OvW9YQ/viewform
- Attend the Safe Communities Act public hearing at the statehouse on January 24th: https://www.aclum.org/en/events/safe-communities-act-hearing
- Call and email stage legislators to pass the ROE Act: https://www.plannedparenthoodaction.org/planned-parenthood-advocacy-fund-massachusetts-inc/issues/roe-act/roe-act-house
- Call and email state legislators to pass the Work and Family Mobility Act: https://actionnetwork.org/petitions/dff-petition
- Call Congressman Richard Neal and demand he sign on to the Green New Deal (CD1 residents).
- Call members of Congress and demand that the President immediately release the full 42 billion dollars owed to Puerto Rico after hurricane Maria (only 15 billion has been released after 2.5 years. Hurricane Maria inflicted an estimated $90 billion in damage on the island).
- From Juanita Batchelor, PVWM 2020 Speaker: “Let’s work together to bring about justice and help solve the more than 90 unsolved homicides in Hampden County. I ask that if you know something, say something. Please text-a-tip to 274-637, call the state police detective unit, the police detective bureau, or the district attorney’s office.”
- From Rhonda Anderson, PVWM 2020 Speaker:
- Recognize and make small changes to the dominant narrative that glorifies colonization and genocide of Indigenous peoples of this area. Problematic terms like “Pioneer Valley” is a reminder of the legacy of dispossession, removal, and subsequent erasure.
- The Nipmuc Cultural Preservation is actively seeking assistance with the funding and restoration of repatriated land in Petersham, and their only tribal building on 4 1/2 acres of reservation land in Grafton.
- There are 6 bills that the Tribes of Massachusetts support in the State House right now that address imagery, mascots, the state flag and seal, respecting cultural heritage, tribal sovereignty, and a bill to create appropriate educational curricula for and by Indigenous people. Please contact your local legislator through MAIndigenousAgenda.Org and encourage them to support these bills.