As the UN prepares for the 2014 World Conference on Indigenous Peoples, a new campaign of bigotry has mobilized in the form of Anti-Indian environmental racism. With the all-out push to export North American energy reserves to China, AFL-CIO has endorsed two of the most destructive projects to indigenous communities in Canada and the US: the Tar Sands pipelines, and the Powder River coal terminals.
Having already devastated indigenous communities, the Tar Sands and Powder River strip-mines are officially supported by organized labor, thereby placing unions in the position of urging the governments of Canada and the US to continue violating the human rights of North American Indian nations adopted in the 2007 UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
As I noted in my editorial, AFL-CIO can be counted on as spear-carriers for Wall Street; it is what they have always done. But that doesn’t mean they should be given a free pass for their bigotry. Indeed, if the social justice movement in North America means anything at all, it is time for its members to speak out against environmental racism–no matter who it comes from.