On the morning of September 24, 2019 indigenous-led climate activists will gather at the Washington State Capitol to demand that Governor Inslee declare a Climate Emergency and use his executive power to terminate all current and future fossil fuel expansion projects in the state of Washington. The gathering is the culmination of a four-day, forty-mile Walk to Protect & Restore the Salish Sea, which began at the site of the 8-million gallon Tacoma LNG tank being built on Puyallup land.
The activists point out that the Olympia Capitol is built on Nisqually land, formerly a village known as Sta’chas, and call on Inslee to prove that he honors treaty agreements by helping to secure a livable future for all children in Washington State, including his own, and putting a halt to all fossil fuel projects—including the proposed LNG Facility in Tacoma, methanol refinery in Kalama, Par Pacific Tar Sands Expansion Project, Puget Sound Pipeline Tar Sands Expansion Project. and the North Seattle Lateral Pipeline.
“If Inslee wants to be a truly progressive person he cannot continue to support fossil fuel expansion,” according to Paul Cheyokten Wagner, Saanich activist and co-founder of Protectors of the Salish Sea. “Our children, his children, all children, deserve a future free of the threat of climate disaster and toxic water. It’s their birthright. Unless he turns it around and stops these projects then he’s lobbying against his own children’s birthright.”
While the Arctic recently experienced unprecedented 87-degree heat waves and more than 40 million acres burned in colossal wildfires, Washington State continues upon a path of climate system degradation by expanding fossil fuels and likewise breaking all of the treaties with Washington State Tribes by contributing to climate chaos that is causing the shallowing and warming of our rivers and estuaries which in turn is causing salmon populations to go into shock and die.
Governor Jay Inslee has a responsibility to uphold the supreme law of the land laid out in the treaties between the US government, US citizens. and Washington Treaty Tribes by deescalating the largest existential threat to all life — our current Climate Emergency, which is resulting in the genocide of indigenous peoples around the globe. Walkers are demanding that he call an immediate moratorium on all fossil fuel expansion projects in the state and immediately convene a special legislative session on climate emergency. The Climate Emergency Gathering is being held in solidarity with the International Climate Strike and Global Week of Action that kicked off on September 20th, the day they began their walk.