'We will not run'

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Women's day, strikes, and coronavirus concerns

Fossil Free Digest

Woman on stage with a megaphone
The Aurat March on March 8 in Karachi, Pakistan. Photo: Aurat March Karachi

Sunday was International Women’s Day, and despite coronavirus restrictions in some countries many women took to the streets elsewhere in spectacular marches around the world to demand gender equality. To mark the day in this Fossil Free News, we’re naming and celebrating powerful women in the climate justice struggle.

Behind every victory – including all the wins pouring in over the past few weeks – women organizers are building strong movements with leadership, strategy, and compassion.

Take Raya Ahmed from Lamu, Kenya, who fought to stop a coal plant that would’ve devastated the coastal community. She spoke to us about women’s stewardship of nature, and resilience in the face of threats from climate impacts and displacement from fossil fuel infrastructure. Watch the video interview:

Woman facing camera

In Turkey, local leader Tayyibe Demirel just won a new court case against the expansion of an open-pit coal mine towards her village. She’s a big part of No Coal Muğla, a local movement to stop coal expansion and battle pollution in this beautiful area in Western Turkey.

“We’ve been living in these lands for 300 years. Our only demand is to not be poisoned and forcefully displaced. Our struggle hasn’t ended – it’s only just beginning. So far we’ve done 50 actions, and if necessary we’ll do 500 more," she says.

Woman stands at edge of giant coal mine
Tayyibe Demirel holds a banner saying “Break free from coal, save the climate!”

In Case You Missed It

Climate strike: In Brussels last Friday, thousands marched through the EU quarter to demand politicians set more ambitious targets and limit the fossil fuel industry. Greta Thunberg was there – but she’s just one of 8 inspiring female climate strikers you should know about right now. From Mumbai to Istanbul, young women simultaneously headed smaller climate strikes around the world.

Teenagers and young adults with banner at front of march, country flags behind
Brussels on March 6, 2020. Photo: @domipalmer, Twitter

Coronavirus: COVID-19 is dominating headlines as the death toll tragically climbs. Some are wondering whether or not to join upcoming climate mobilizations this April. We’re asking leaders to listen to scientists on climate change, so we’re listening to scientists ourselves on this issue. People’s safety is the number one priority: we recommend following country health guidelines.

Still, we’ve got to stop another glaring public health crisis, too. Climate crisis will cause millions more deaths as impacts worsen – and disease outbreaks become more likely. Yet in the U.S., President Trump has hinted at bailing out fossil fuel companies as the oil price tumbles. It's time to break our fossil fuel addiction and lean in to a rapid and just transition to resilient renewables, with accessible healthcare for all.

7 people gathered outside office building with placards
Outside Mitsubishi Corp.’s headquarters in Tokyo Japan on Tuesday March 3, 2020.

Follow the money: At Mitsubishi offices in Japan, Australia, the Philippines, Indonesia, and the United States last week, people condemned the company’s continued financing of coal. The coordinated action zoomed in on Vung Ang 2, a coal plant the company is funding in Vietnam. Global resistance is surging – you can support the activists and sign the petition.

Divestment win! New Zealand’s government just announced it’ll exclude fossil fuel investments from all default national retirement savings funds. The win is a direct result of brilliant people-powered campaigning from New Zealanders who demanded their hard-earned money not go towards funding the climate crisis.

Inside Story

3 women smiling in the snow
Tetyana Osmak, Olena Berozkina, Nataliya Riabukha in Merefa, Ukraine.

“Eight years ago I was alone, and now the whole community stands behind us.”

Meet three incredible, brave women in a small town in eastern Ukraine who’ve rallied to build a local movement against gas fracking – even in the face of intimidation from the authorities. Read their story

We hope you’ve enjoyed these stories of women leading the resistance. Stay safe, keep organizing, and we’ll see you in two weeks with more Fossil Free News!

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Fossil Free News is a global newsletter published every two weeks, with climate organizing stories from campaigns working for a just and equitable world, free from fossil fuels.

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