Erich Pica, President of Friends of the Earth US, on the senseless killing of African Americans by police in Baton Rouge and Falcon Heights, Minnesota; the deadly attack that killed five police officers in Dallas, and the July 13 anniversary of Black Lives Matter.
On behalf of Friends of the Earth, I would like express my condolences to the families of all the people killed and injured over the past week. The fatal police shootings of African Americans Philando Castile and Alton Sterling again remind us about the racial inequity in our society. We also mourn the killing of Sergeant Michael J. Smith and Officers Lorne B. Ahrens, Brent Thompson, Michael Krol, and Patrick Zamarripa at a Black Lives Matter rally in Dallas.
Friends of the Earth condemns the violence and loss of life in Dallas, Baton Rouge, and Falcon Heights, Minn. These tragedies will forever be linked; however we must not let the Dallas shootings be used to delegitimize the Black Lives Matter movement that seeks to end the unjust treatment of Black people by police in this country.
These senseless killings come on the anniversary of the birth of the Black Lives Matter movement. Born in response to the murder of Trayvon Martin and the acquittal of his killer, the Black Lives Matter movement is a clarion voice on racial injustice in America. It is elevating consciousness and challenging the pervasive inequality faced by African Americans.
The Black Lives Matter movement is challenging Friends of the Earth to deeply reassess how our activism redresses our broken economic, justice and electoral systems that neglect and actively oppress people based on the color of their skin. To achieve our mission to champion a healthy and just world, Friends of the Earth recommits ourselves to asking harder questions; starting stronger, more meaningful conversations with our members and activists on racial justice; and being better allies to the Black Lives Matter movement and others fighting for social and environmental justice.
We invite other environmental organizations to do so as well. Black lives matter.