The Feminist Task Force and the Global Call to Action against Poverty, in partnership with Greenpeace International and Inter Press Service joined together with regular folks to sponsor and create “Strengthening Voices: Search for Solutions”Women’s Tribunals on Gender and Climate Justice, a series of 15 tribunals and hearings in Africa, Asia and Latin America. The Women's Tribunals involved a collection of authentic, specific and exemplary testimonies of grassroots and rural women who have experienced climate change related problems in their lives and communities, and their search for innovative and successful solutions to them.
It is not so much the sponsoring organizations that matter here. No, what is significant is all the rural women who have offered testimony on what is happening to them, their families, and their communities, and the effort underway by the multitude, if you please, to fight back against an Empire that simply does not care.
On May 10th, the first such tribunal to occur in the USA took place in Charleston, West Virginia. This particular tribunal concentrated on the impact of mountaintop removal coal mining taking place in Appalachia and featured the testimony of women from throughout Central Appalachia. findings from the tribuanl at the Rio + 20 Conference in Brazil this June.
The OVEC Blog writes:
Can you even imagine the heartache of seeing the place where you were born, where your mama and daddy were born, where your kids were born, destroyed — annihilated — entire communities wiped off the map? Streams where you used to dip bare feet in on a hot summer’s day, sit beside for hours, turning over rocks just to watch the crawdads skitter backwards and quickly disappear, now fouled and polluted. And the giant beech tree, the one where the grandparents carved the big heart to declare their undying love — now gone forever — another victim of “grab and go” coal mining. A real-life tragedy is happening here — generations of culture and history erased — a nearly unbearable price these women and their families are paying for the nation’s so called “cheap” energy.
The following is from the State Journal (a business journal no less).
Appalachian women testify against coal industry
- Lois Gibbs, an activist who organized the Love Canal Homeowners Association when she learned her son's elementary school was built on a toxic waste dump. She later went on to found the Center for Health, Environment and Justice.
- Elizabeth Peredo Beltran, a social psychologist, writer and activist, who is the executive director of the Solon Foundation.
- Grant Smith, an energy policy analyst with the Civil Society Institute.