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WECAN Responds to the 2020 U.S. Election: Building the Healthy and Just World We Seek

Like the majority of U.S. citizens and people around the world we are relieved and celebrating the win of newly elected President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris. The disastrous four years of the Trump Administration have finally come to a close with the country left on a dangerous precipice— with the Covid-19 pandemic growing ever rapidly, increased racial violence, blatant encouragement of white supremacy, nearly 100 reversals and rollbacks of environmental regulations, the expansion of children held in immigration detention centers, the withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement at the height of the climate crisis, and we could go on.

As we assemble to repair and reweave our society toward justice and wellbeing, we know there is tremendous work to do to comprehend more deeply what is needed for systemic change in the United States.

It must be recognized and celebrated that the Biden/Harris victory was delivered in great part due to the extensive grassroots organizing and voting of Black, Latinx, and Indigenous communities and youth who helped flip key states, and secure election results that steered the country away from fascism. Specifically we uplift the mobilization work of Black women in Georgia, including Stacey Abrams, Tamieka Atkins, Helen Butler, Nse Ufot, Deborah Scott, and many more who worked ceaselessly to register voters and combat voter suppression. Rural Utah Project helped register more than 4,000 Native American voters in Arizona, 97% of whom voted for Biden, clinching the race. In Wisconsin and Nevada, Latinx voters were central to delivering vital victories.

While we are relieved that Trump has been removed from office, we are deeply dismayed that the repudiation of Trump and his administration was not stronger, particularly from white voters. Though Biden won the popular vote by close to 5 million votes, over 70 million Americans voted for Trump’s fascist and racist regime to continue. Notably, exit polls revealed that 55% of white women voted for Trump, exemplifying the ways in which white supremacy continually undermines intersectional feminist leadership and collective liberation. These election results exhibit the ongoing deep rooted white supremacy, patriarchy, fear-mongering, corporate power grabs and media misinformation that seek to destabilize the country. We have considerable organizing to do to build the healthy and just world we seek.

Founded on the genocidal colonization of Indigenous Peoples and global enslavement of African Peoples, U.S. democracy has never been fully established, and we see how structural neo-liberal capitalism, colonization, racism, and patriarchy continue to undermine the dream of a fully inclusive and operating democracy. However, our hope remains steadfast as we remember the ways in which mass movements for rights and liberation have strengthened our struggling democracy for decades. We continue to be encouraged by Indigenous-led resistance movements, the Movement for Black Lives and the Me Too movement that illustrate how people have been and are ready and willing to fight for justice in the United States. We will not stop until there is accountability, justice, and liberation for all.

Moreover, it has never been more clear that we must continue our collective efforts for intersectional movement building— there is no climate justice without racial, economic, immigrant and gender justice. There will be no true forward motion without all of us and our interlocking movements working together.

We carry hope as we look to the future. This election we saw historic voter turnout, milestone wins for LGBTQ+ candidates, a record number of Native American women elected to the House of Representatives, Missouri’s first Black congresswoman, and of great significance, the first Black, South Asian American woman to be elected to Vice President, Kamala Harris. 

Decades of organizing is coming to fruition. Yet, there is a reckoning coming, and it will take multiple strategies and actions to dismantle the systems that no longer serve us and to instead, build the world we know is possible and desperately needed. 

As we meet this present moment we know we are not alone. Internationally, from Nigeria to Chile to Belarus, feminist people’s movements are leading the fight for fully inclusive democracies through nonviolent demonstrations and civil disobedience. In the U.S., grassroots organizing has been building to this moment and coalitions have emerged with plans to powerfully rebuild our society and support communities and Mother Earth. 

Whether it is the principles for a Feminist Green New Deal where WECAN sits on the Steering Committee, or the comprehensive THRIVE agenda for socio-economic renewal generated by the Green New Deal Network, or Climate Justice Alliance’s vision for a People’s Orientation to a Regenerative Economy— peoples movements are coming together and leading the way toward a just and transformative society. 

The Biden Administration has re-affirmed the U.S. will rejoin the Paris Climate Agreement, but we know this is not enough. We are poised to pressure the new Administration along with organizational partners to take immediate action on several executive actions on the climate crisis and implement a plan to put us back on track toward urgent global climate targets. We also call for the new Administration to acknowledge who delivered this victory by uplifting and supporting Black, Indigenous, Latinx, Asian leadership and frontline communities.

As the election passes, and we look toward a new year, we will continue to work ceaselessly alongside so many passionate and courageous activists, organizers, and visionary leaders as we fight for our beloved communities and Mother Earth. We are fighting for forests that continue to be maimed, logged and destroyed; for the end of fossil fuels; for the proliferation of renewable and just energy; for the rise of a new economy grounded in community and care; for Black liberation, Indigenous sovereignty, Immigrant rights; for the Rights of Nature; for comprehensive and inclusive healthcare; for current and future generations to have a place not only to survive but to thrive; and for the dreams of liberation and freedom that sit seeded within the deepest parts of our hearts, pushing forth a renewed society and system that does not have sacrifice people or sacrifice zones, but recognizes the inherent dignity and rights of every being on this planet. 

We knew in our bones this time was coming, and now we must act boldly more than ever, continuing to build a powerful movement founded on principles of justice, love, and a fierce dedication to our planet and each other.


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