October 1st, 2020
Statement on the importance of dismantling systems of oppression
Last June, The Climate Reality Project Canada stood in solidarity with those demanding justice for George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Régis Korchinski-Paquet, Pierre Coriolan, and countless other lives lost to systemic racism, white supremacy, and police brutality.
Those past incidents revealed a disturbing trend: The murder of BIPOC is made common by a system that is rigged against them. The facts are there, the stories have been told, now we need action. Already a year ago the Viens Commission has shared its report confirming that systemic racism against Indigenous people exist in public services in Quebec.
Yet, Joyce Echaquan went to receive care at the Joliette Hospital, and was instead subject to the most abject racism, disregard for her rights and neglect of her repeated demand to stop to give her morphine. On September 29th, this 37 years-old Atikamek woman, mother of 7, died in horrific conditions. She leaves a husband, her children, a family, friends, a community, a Nation and Quebec to mourn her unjustifiable death.
On Tuesday evening, her heartbreaking cry for help, now broadcasted to millions, shed light on how systematic racism disenfranchises Indigenous people and people of color in the most insidious ways. We do not need a video to believe the testimonies of victims. How much longer will we stay idle when lives are stolen, when discriminations are only condemned with words, but no structural measures that will dismantle this system for good. A guarantee that, never again, a human being receives a different treatment based on their identity, the color of their skin or race is needed.
White supremacy is a system of oppression that bleeds into every sector of society. The racism that Joyce fell victim to (in a medical environment) is proof to that.
The Climate Reality Project has a responsibility to contribute to dismantle such systems of oppression with the help of our networks, colleagues, partners and if you accept it, now you.
What you can do to help?
Join the peaceful social distancing vigil in honor of Joyce Echaquan and her family. Community members and allies alike are invited to mourn, share and bring awareness for the mistreatment and systemic racism against an Atikamek woman.
The rally will begin this Saturday, October 3rd, at Place Emilie Gamelin at 1PM EST and the march itself begins at 1:45PM EST Masks are mandatory.
Find more information and get in touch with the organizers of the vigil through the Facebook event:
If you are able, we urge you to support Joyce Echaquan’s family by donating to their GoFundMe campaign :
Our causes are inextricably linked, and our mission to build an equitable and fair climate movement is only possible if we continue to fight for the health, safety, and fundamental human rights of all people. Stand with us.