Essay originally drafted for the WPF seminar, ‘What Animates and Challenges the Possibilities for Collective Action today?‘ held in September 2023.
Prelude: with love, truth and courage
Dear Maia, I am here because of you. You whose name means water, mountain, magic, creativity, Spring, love, courage.1 You who have taught me so much in so little time about what matters most in this life –heart, care, truth– and to whom I owe the responsibility to give everything I have to help build liveable worlds.
I want to promise you that “no one will come and devour you/…no one’s drowning/…no one’s/ losing their homeland.”2 But, “If this will drown/ or burn/ then let us drink starlight / night under trees/ sing on beaches./… If we are dying/ then let me rip open/ and bleed Love/ spill it, spend it see how much/ there is/….If this is life ending/ then let me begin/ a new one.”3
Dear Maia, always remember, always dream, “…you are a seed in potent darkness/… touch the earth that is your skin/ call in the magic buried in your blood/ dare to break open in climax by your own hands/ for our work now is to bloom beautiful in chaos.”4 Never give up, never give in, “For everyone, everything…For us joyful rebellion…For us insurgent dignity.”5
Climate colonialism and its permanent war on people and planet
Colonialism/Imperialism is the arsonist setting the world on fire: from Napalm in Vietnam and missiles all over the Middle East, to nuclear tests in the Marshall Islands and forest-clearing in Guinea-Bissau, to the recent unprecedented fires in Maui and Portugal. Before the second 9/117 and its “endless wars,”8 colonialism has operated as a “permanent war,”9 causing genocide and ecocide.10 This foundational and still- central logic of global capitalism, shapes the way we inhabit the world11, and feeds the global climate crisis, the conversations and responses to it.12 Globalized capitalism is “war by other means,”13 a “war with the Earth,”14 but also with particular human and non-human populations deemed unworthy for living. Every year, hundreds of environmental defenders are killed,15 and thousands of species become extinct.
Obscene global inequalities between those who contribute most to the climate crisis, and those who suffer the worst consequences,16 are maintained through this colonial war and its military-industrial complex. The US military is the largest global consumer of petroleum and a major greenhouse gas emitter. The global climate footprint goes together with a military bootprint and an “everywhere war.”17 Global deceit through greenwashing by governments and corporations hides the trillions in annual financing for financing fossil fuels, even after the Paris Agreement.18 The banks like JPMorgan- Chase and Santander that bankroll fossils, also make a killing gambling, laundering, and defrauding highly-indebted countries.19 In this context, global justice movements affirm that “we do not owe, we are the creditors”, demanding colonial and climate reparations.20 The richest countries and fossil fuel companies owe hundreds of billion annually in reparations just for emissions,21 not counting those for crimes of extraction, such as those of Shell in Nigeria, Chevron in Ecuador, Total in Mozambique. More than monetary payments, these reparations require systemic changes to avoid repeating. The status quo is climate genocide and apartheid.22
The fire of hope and imagination
To counter this system’s madness, we need imagination, hope and memory to “shift the narrative of struggle from trauma and violence to care and liberation,” as Sundus Abdul Hadi puts it.23 Hope is a risky outlook towards the future, “trusting the unknown and the possible,” fed by actions of defiance that embody the desired changes, and rooted in memory.24 Remembering is witnessing, it helps us see the wounds and encounter catharsis.25 Memory is thus another word for justice.26 A memory not bounded by the defeatism and conformism of power,27 nor its “crisis” narratives which only foresee more crises.28 Remembering our invisibilized experiences, offer seeds for a “limitless imagination” of the future,29 united by the future.30 Eduardo Galeano in the The book of hugs, gifted by a sister from another mother, refers to this as an “alive memory”: both from and against what it was, “each promise a threat, each loss, an encounter; from fears are birthed the courages/angers, from doubts, the certainties.”31
These are the grounds for another kind of fire, of our ancestral spirit, abuelo fuego, who provides guidance, energy, and cleansing; encircled by rituals and circles of palabra, memory and encounters. This is the fire driving climate and indigenous movements to act collectively to stop the systems killing us and build “collective frameworks for justice, freedom, self-determination, and interdependence.”32 These collective actions are based on the necessary weaving of existing divides between anti- colonial, anti-racist, feminist, and ecological struggles.33 It’s a reimagining “justice as freedom” and abolition from oppressive structures.34 Apart from demands of representation, redistribution, and recognition, this justice is a “defiant worldmaking”35 praxis, to undo systems of exploitation and crate new ways of being, based on care and repair of ourselves and our life-giving systems.36
This fire reminds me that I am inevitably a we, intermeshed with ancestors, family, friends, mentors, who have accompanied me in this journey, and all those human and non-human others who sustain me everyday. We are made of water, air, earth, bacteria, dust of stars. My voice and my knowledge are grounded in my ancestors’ lived experiences in Puerto Rico and other places, and co-inspirations with compas across diverse geographies. In our praxis (joining of critical reflection and action), we have been reflecting on the legacies of colonial capitalism, and on how do we organize and act collectively to resist and build alternatives through different strategies, from direct action to autogestion. We have been experimenting with ways to foster movement articulations and collective care, healing and repairing practices, using encounters, learning about deep listening, empathy, patience, and hope. We have been questioning our roles, as activists, researchers, teachers, apprentice organizers, comrades, parents, partners, humans and more. We are inspired by solidarity scholar-activism as forms of “political and epistemic disobedience”, based on reparative narrating, critical introspection, cohabitation, and a deep ethical commitment to our territories, transcending extractive practices of producing knowledge for its own sake.37
From the colonial hurricane to decolonial ecology in the Caribbean
The world-ship is in the midst of a tempest, and the eye of the storm is in the Caribbean, where colonialism first landed. As Malcom Ferdinand argues, this storm manifests a “colonial hurricane.”38 Island nations in the Caribbean and elsewhere are amongst the most impacted by the climate crisis, despite being amongst the least responsible for this crisis, and having enormous challenges to respond. Our islands are labelled as ‘remote and isolated’, depopulated, ‘poor’, while being subjected to intensive exploitation from offshore rentier capital – from plantations, to petrochemical industrialism, to tourism and banking.39 Many islands remain under the control of imperial powers, subjected to the logic of “let them drown,” as they disappear under sea level and disastrous storms, the same racist logic that lets refugees drown in the Mediterranean.40 This persistent “discriminatory carelessness” is followed by a “discriminatory redistribution,” where disasters become opportunities for reinforcing inequalities and extracting profit.41
This logic is enmeshed with imperialist militarism, which has turned islands into military bases and sites of war experiments and geopolitical games. As Henry Kissinger said in justifying the nuclear testing in the Marshall Islands, “who gives a damn” about a place with so few inhabitants. Yet, the region’s history of anticolonial and environmental struggles opens new visions of a future free of slavery, violence, and injustice, a “decolonial ecology.”42 We are not drowning, we are fighting.43 The sea is rising, and so are we.44
Decolonial maroon autogestion to make “livable worlds”45
Puerto Rico has been a colony since 1492, first of Spain and then, since 1898, of the United States. Climate colonialism has expanded through logics of experimentation, extraction and abandonment. In the 1960s, the US experimented with ‘free’ industrial zones for petrochemical to refine the most toxic fuels, for their military to test their worst weapons, and for birth control pills and operations. The project, title “Operation Bootstrap”, sought to turn us into the “showcase” for the rest of Latin America to stop the advance of communism. It was designed by the Chicago Boys that later experimented in Chile’s Pinochet dictatorship. They argued we were too small, overpopulated, poor, to be sovereign. If fully executed, this plan would have meant genocide. Colonial institutions have continued with these plans since, a toxic legacy that has sickened us and blocked our endogenous development. The costs of cleanup of the 280 active highly-contaminated sites (Superfunds) in Puerto Rico are estimated $770 million USD; similar patterns are in other island-colonies like Guam and in racialized communities in US states.46
Environmental justice struggles have been confronting these projects ever since. They coined the concept “environmental colonialism” to describe this mode of colonial extractivism. Later, others would call it “disasterment.” These movements’ work has been based on sustained grassroots community organizing at the sites of pollution, creation of inter-community alliances, legal and scientific support, accessible educational materials, and community “autogestion” initiatives. From them I have learned of the creative ways in which “deeply rooted” communities work against all odds to make a dignified life.47
In the eastern island-municipality of Bieké (Vieques), which faced and defeated the US Navy. For 60 years, the Navy dropped an estimated trillion tons of munitions, including depleted uranium and napalm, leading to high rates of cancer and other severe illnesses, and one of the country’s worst Superfunds. A fisherfolk struggle for two decades turned in the 1990s into a national movement “for peace and justice.” Direct action through thousands doing civil disobedience, entering the training range during live-munition trainings, over a span of three years, and massive national protests uniting even all political parties, led to the Navy’s exit in 2003. The struggle did not end there, as Vieques faces new bombardements from luxury tourism and other extractive forces, coupled with complete government abandonment and foot dragging on the cleanup of the base. In this context, Colmena Cimarrona (Marroon Hive) was created by a group of women, including the daughter of one of the fishermen leaders of the anti-Navy movement, to foster food sovereignty and solidarity economy, in lands that had been reclaimed from the Navy as part of the struggle. The project includes an agroecological farm and training space, a network of support for similar farms in the island, communal spaces of conviviality for integral health through popular education,48 and food markets. The Hive is part of a broad agroecological movement in Puerto Rico that seeks to create the basis of sovereignty through food and related activism, and with a strong women leadership.49
In the southern town of Salinas, another of the most impacted regions by Bootstrap, the Initiative of Eco-Development of Jobos Bay (IDEBAJO), has taught us of the persistence of resistance and re-existence, based on “intergenerational sisterhoods” of care, mutual aid, solidarity, hope, creativity, and joy.50 Building on their rich cultural and environmental heritage to create socio-productive alternatives to the colonial job blackmail that tells them we cannot govern ourselves and force us to work in what kills them. Projects include an ecotourism initiative, a community solar project, a garden, a youth camp, a bomba music workshop, and a radio show. It’s a way of “making livable worlds” together, building on ancestral black ecological practice-knowledges and rebellious “maroon” politics, to “heal the “fractured bodies” of exploited peoples and their motherland.
In the Central Mountain Range town of Adjuntas, the struggle against mining lasted for almost four decades, until the government finally abandoned it in the 1990s. Casa Pueblo led the last phase of the struggle, making the connection between ecological defense, national sovereignty and above all, life. They developed autogestion as a form of “self-realisation” of their own which own voice and initiatives, their own concrete utopia, breaking political and economic dependency along the way.51 Casa Pueblo’s organizing method of the “three Cs” –(s)cience, community and culture— has inspired me since I first encountered it as a student doing a field visit. Science is transdisciplinary and with a conscience, as a tool for communities’ well-being, for seeding hopes and dreams and promoting “insurgency.” Culture grounds science with other forms of knowing and feeling, local experiences and identities: radio, music, cinema, theatre, visual arts. Community is the point of departure, grounded geographically but networked transnationally, including the diaspora, as well as Latin America and the Caribbean, united by shared interest, and sustained by relations of solidarity. It is the main driving force for change, joining words and action.
These projects are rife with challenges. In a recent meeting in IDEBAJO, they recalled the constant assault from new extractive projects over decades: they stopped the Monsanto herbicide factory, but a few decades later came the transgenic seed fields; they stopped a nuclear plant, but then came the thermoelectric and a coal plant, and now industrial-scale solar farms. This “permanent war” at the local level can easily be demoralizing. And it reminds us that broader political-economic shifts at national and transnational scales are urgently necessary.
Hopeful in the midst of the “colonial hurricane”
2017 was a historic year for extreme weather events in the Caribbean, making more visible. The “colonial hurricane” of Irma and Maria in 2017, was a watershed moment for collective actions in Puerto Rico, and across transnational networks environmental/energy/climate justice, agroecology, debt justice, and just disaster recovery. A year before, the US government, with the support of local elites, imposed a fiscal board (locally known as the Fiscal Control Board or La Junta), made up of bankers, financial lawyers and vulture investors, to impose austerity to pay up on the
$74+ billion, unaudited debt attributed to Puerto Rico. These events added to open traumas, but also lifted the veil on colonialism’s neglect, expendability, and intention to conquer, exploit and dispose.
To survive and counter the sorrow from the government’s criminally-neglectful response to Maria, IDEBAJO, Casa Pueblo, and dozens of other mutual aid initiatives emerged over our islands, to provide basic needs, based on the principles of “solidarity not charity” and “only the people saves the people.” I went to the mountain community of Mariana, in the eastern town of Humacao, to support my friends Luis Rodriguez and Christine Nieves to clean up their house and collaborate in the mutual aid center they had created with the community’s longstanding cultural association, ARECMA. ARECMA’s large kitchen, built for their famous breadfruit (pana) festival, had been turned into an everyday kitchen for the community, based on solidarity exchanges. The place was surrounded by signs and art exclaiming “the disaster is the colony,” “our existence is resistance,” and “moved by happiness.” They told me it was time for action, and that “community was our best chance of survival.”52 I could feel the joy becoming “an insurrectionary force.”53 I was reminded that, as put by poet Ana Portnoy, “in the fissures of crisis there is joy / for without it / there is death.”54
Beyond the immediate disaster response, these initiatives sought to build “popular power” as ways to create freedom and “decolonization from below,” through concrete actions that delink from and transform socioecological relations of (re)production of the colony, particularly those tied to the basic needs of life: food, energy, water. Perhaps leading to a new sovereign “spirit,” in a context where we have never governed. Two years after Maria, in July 2019, a leaked government chat full of misogynistic and racist remarks as well as indications of corruption, generated a month of daily protests, full of music, dancing, and confrontations, and the largest-ever national mobilization, leading to the first-ever resignation of our country’s governor. Participants danced to perreo combativo (typical reggaeton dance with combative spirit), with slogans that affirmed that without music and perreo, and without feminism, there is no revolution.55 Having being stripped of so much, there was a willingness to risk much more. Black, queer trans feminists led the way in a productive contradiction of “hopeful pessimism,” in which “there is little faith in the arrival of a better future, yet a great desire to create the world anew.”56 Reminds us of Gramsci’s old adage: “pessimism of the intellect, optimism of the spirit.“
Encounters as worlding-in-common: embracing and energizing each other
In January 2018, the group Professors in Solidarity Resistance (PAReS) collective, together with local and transnational activists, organized an investigative visit by The Intercept, led by Naomi Klein,57 a public forum and an encounter of movements on “disaster capitalism and the disasters of capitalism” connecting climate and environmental justice, food sovereignty, and education scholar-activists. The encounter, with hundreds of participants from dozens of movements, was held in the mutual aid center of Mariana. A series of follow-up encounters led to the “Manifesto on Emergency/Emergence and Hope” which outlined demands for basic conditions of life, and calls for movement concertation and “permanent assembly”.58 JunteGente was created to pursue this goal. Over two years, we held a series of thematic encounters, guided by the question: What can we do together that we cannot do alone? While JunteGente has dispersed as seeds into several organizations, encounters have continued across various networks within Borikén and transnationally: between coastal communities in defense of beaches,59 “insurgent territories” of autogestion, community energy initiatives, and struggles for debt and environment justice. This experience has left valuable lessons about the tensions between the slowness of deep deliberative listening and solidarity, and the fastness of colonial and disaster-capitalist operations, exacerbated by the climate crisis. Bringing together different struggles and addressing intersecting forms of oppression is rife with barriers and contradictions, requires patience, commitment, and energies, which are often dispersed in fighting colonialism’s everywhere wars.
I have continued to delve into encounters a part of diasporic networks after our post-Maria migration to Portugal. In 2021, together with a small group of compas from outside the academia (Sebitas, Danya and Tati),60 we started to organize another encounter which initially was focused on just transitions, but which we ultimately called “Post-Extractive Futures,” held online in three days in February 2022. The event focused on sharing skills and tools, envisioning ways of doing things differently, and embracing each other to provide the collective energy needed to continue our struggles. The workshop included 35 representatives of organizations from 19 different countries, almost all global South. Practices of groundings opened every day. They were followed by different methodologies of co-learning and co-creation. A shared visioning was done through a collective altar of the future, where we identified the many elements that give fire and hope to our movements. In the sharing circle on the third day, reflecting on how to continue working together, one shared lesson from a participant, drawing on the Zapatistas, has accompanied me since: “advance slowly so as to go far,” like the snail, always from the inside out.
With this intention of going deep, after the encounter, we invited participants to join our biweekly meetings. There, we continue experimenting with methodologies to foster Intimate encounters for weaving caring relations. The Post-Extractive Futures (PEF) group grew with Delmy, Lily, and Vasna.61 One year later, we also organized with Vasna and other compas, led by the Disobedient Futures (formerly Fossil Free Culture), the Towards a Post-Extractive Culture gathering in Amsterdam.62 In three days opened and closed by ceremonies, the event hosted numerous workshops and conversations around the role of artistic expressions in social transformations. Today, they PEF collective forms part of my family and are a major source of joy and inspiration.
Caring and healing our body-territories together
Suffering is usually a very solitary and isolating experience, but healing and transformation are “based on connection, unity, and sharing”.63 Being hit ‘from everywhere’, our movement spaces are often exhausted. Particularly for those suffering from the intergenerational traumas of colonialism and class/race/gender exploitation, we need to do this work of care and healing if we are to reach towards self- determination and liberation as individuals, communities and nations. This requires a commitment to doing the hard emotional labor to care for and heal ourselves as well.64 It also requires a deep solidarity which is a ‘feeling of each other’s pain’, a struggling together, and expression of love for humanity and hope for the future.65
When I received news that my sister Isabel passed away 3 months ago, I was blessed to be together with my PEF family in London. We had spent a week together in an intimate gathering to continue deepening our collective project, and to prepare for our facilitation of a meeting of the Climate Reparations Network. We had been sharing life stories, cooking, laughter and tears, music, literature and dance, walks, meditations, and other exercises. We had done a beautiful cartography of our collective body- territory, a methodology developed from within Delmy’s collective together with feminist community struggles, to express the pains, sorrows, joys, dreams within our bodies and how they are connected to experiences from our territories. I remember the need to hold earth in my hands to connect with Isabel, the reminders to breathe while being held in loving care. Thanks to Seba’s family and their diasporic network, I was taken to a Quechua healer, Sofia, who gave me sacred rapé medicine to help cleanse and calm. The next day, she offered a grieving ceremony in the magical Erpin forest, where we asked for permission to enter to ancestral trees and conversed with the abuelo wachupa (San Pedrito) medicine plant and rapé. We made an altar to Isabel and sang to her, maracas in hand, “Isabel, Isabela, Isabel, Isabela, Vuela Libre, por la Arena.”
We affirmed that these rituals connecting with our more-than-human others should be available to everyone for our collective actions and for life, earth, recognizing plants not only as medicine, but as our ancestors, who together with participants in a circle of the word, help us reach into our souls. We were guided by ayni, sacred word which means reciprocity, sufficiency, and the circle of life. As I travelled home to our homeland, I felt deep calm and gratitude, emotions that percolated into celebrating Isabel’s life through our ceremonies. In the planting of her ashes in our garden, we accompanied her with one of her ceramic vases and a Ceiba tree, extremely powerful species with spines and enormous roots. Our indigenous Tainos buried their dead underneath and later used the wood for their canoes. Remembering Isabel means remembering our childhood games and the forest in our garden, our family, and our ancestors. It means feeling my mom’s and grandma’s hands saying: “Sana sana colita de rana, si no sana hoy sanará mañana.”66
As I returned to Portugal, I prepared to participate in one final encounter that we had been organizing in the Ecology and Society Workshop (ECOSOC) in Coimbra: “Un- schooling the summer: Walking the lines of environmental justice in Alentejo.”67 In a small group of scholar-activists from various countries and backgrounds, we moved across approximately 100 kilometres of Alentejo, witnessing the region’s intense environmental injustices and movements, and its transnational connections. We approached encounters as convivial semi-structured and emergent moments of unlearning, becoming-in-common. Across these sites and in-between, we experimented with undisciplined approaches that transgress traditional methodologies of summer/field schools and workshops: walking in “gentrificatours” and “toxic tours,” counter-mapping, body-territory and sound cartographies, eco- political theatre, “exquisite cadaver” and other collaborative writing.
One of the most special days was the one when we stopped, to go deeper into some methodologies. After an experimental dynamic with collective music-making, led by Ivo, me and Amigxs del Mar compa Eric cooked Puerto Rican rice and beans, remembering our abuelas and mothers’ recipes. Soul food. I danced and sang to Isa again with my maracas, and the wind responded. Then, we did a theatre dynamic to tell each other a story dear to us, facilitated by our ECOSOC compa Teresa.68 It took me to all the trees in my house: the beach grape (Coccoloba uvifera), the yellow oak (RIP), the breadfruit trees (panapén), plantains and gandules (Puerto Rican peas), the moralones (Coccoloba pubescens), the flamboyans, the malaguetas (bay-rum tree), and the Bodhi (‘Budha’s tree’), all the way to Isa’s ceiba. We finished the day with a body- territory cartography, joined by the sea, and a beautiful sunset.
“Struggle never ends, life is all struggle, for the desired freedom”, to quote our national freedom-fighting poet Juan Antonio Corretjer.69 All struggle is also full of life; it is full of joy, and grounded in knowing our mountains and rivers, plants and birds, smells and colors.70 Struggle takes time, many forms, and many scales, from the personal and local community all the way to the transnational. It is full of missteps, of trials and errors, and cannot be predetermined based on existing conditions. But it does require active intersectional organizing strategies, and deep commitment to collective care and healing. Overwhelmed with all of it takes to “change everything”, I call into memory my abuelita: “take me slowly, because I am in a hurry”.
Gustavo García López is an engaged researcher, educator, and apprentice organizer, from the islands of Puerto Rico. He currently works as Researcher at the Center for Social Studies of the University of Coimbra, where he forms part of the Ecology and Society Workshop (ECOSOC).
1 Water in Hebrew, Mountain in Greek mythology, Magic in Sanscrit, Creativity in Hindu, Love in Nepali, Courage in Maori. See Wikipedia (2023) Maya (given name)
2 Part of the poem “Dearm Matafele Peinam” by Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner (2016), dedicated to her daughter, quoted in Gerhard, C. (2020) Sea level rise, Marshall Islands and environmental justice. In Tokar, B. and Gilbertson, T. (eds.), Climate Justice and Community Renewal, pp. 70-81
3 Part of the poem “November” by Lynna Odel (2020), in Johnson. A.E. and Wilkinson, K.K. (eds.) All We can Save: Truth, Courage, and Solutions for the Climate Crisis, p. 36.
4 Part of the poem “A recommendation”, by Edyka Chilomé (2023), in Glisch-Sánchez and Rodríguez Villafañes (Eds.), Sana Sana, p. 109.
5 Ejército Zapatista de Liberación Nacional – EZLN (1996) CUARTA DECLARACIÓN DE LA SELVA LACANDONA. Enlace Zapatista.
6 Paraphrasing Thomas Sankara, revolutionary leader and president of Burkina Faso, murdered in a military coup in 1987. A year before, in Paris, he had denounced the “colonial plunder [that] has
decimated our forests without the slightest restorative thoughts for tomorrow….this struggle to defend the trees and forests is above all a struggle against imperialism. Because imperialism is the arsonist setting fires to our forests and our savannas.” Quoted in Ferdinand, M. (2022) Decolonial Ecology: Thinking from the Caribbean World, p. 16).
7 The first was in Chile, 1973, with the military coup which began the Pinochet dictatorship.
8 Moyn (2021). How the US created a world of endless war. The Guardian, 31 Aug.
9 Maldonado Torres, N. (2016). Outline of Ten Theses on Coloniality and Decoloniality
10 Crook, M., D. Short, and N. South. (2018) Ecocide, Genocide, Capitalism and Colonialism: Conse quences for Indigenous Peoples and Glocal Ecosystems Environments.” Theoretical Criminology 22 (3): 298–317
11 Ferdinand, M. (2022), note 4
12 Sultana, F. (2022). The unbearable heaviness of climate coloniality. Political Geography, 99, 102638.
13 Solnit, R. (2016), Hope in the Dark: Untold Histories, Wild Possibilities, p. 48
14 Foster, J. B., Clark, B., and York, R. (2011). The Ecological Rift: Capitalism’s War on the Earth.
15 Global Witness (2022) Decade of Defiance.
16 While the richest 10% of the world’s people generate c. 50% of all consumption-related greenhouse gas emissions, while the poorest 50% of the world generate c. 10% of these emissions (Gore, T. (2020), Confronting carbon inequality: Putting climate justice at the heart of the COVID-19 recovery.) And just 100 fossil corporations are responsible for 70% of global greenhouse gas emissions (Griffin, P. (2017) The Carbon Majors Database: CDP Carbon Majors Report 2017.)
17 Between 2015 and 2017, the US military was active in 76 countries, including seven countries on the receiving end of air/drone strikes, 15 countries with “boots on the ground,” 44 overseas military bases, and 56 countries receiving counter‐terrorism training. All of these activities require energy. Belcher, O., Bigger, P., Neimark, B., & Kennelly, C. (2020). Hidden carbon costs of the “everywhere war”: Logistics, geopolitical ecology, and the carbon boot‐print of the US military. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, 45(1), 65-80.
18 Coady, D., Parry, I., Sears, L., & Shang, B. (2017). How large are global fossil fuel subsidies?. World development, 91, 11-27; Kirsch, A. (2021) Banking on Climate Chaos 2021.
19 Hedge Clippers (2016) Pirates of the Caribbean; Zambrana, R. (2021) Colonial debts.
20 Kaur Paul, H. and Gebrial, D. (2021) Who Pays? Debt, Reparations and Accountability. In Perspectives on a Global Green New Deal;¸Warlenius, R. (2018). Decolonizing the atmosphere: The climate justice movement on climate debt. The Journal of Environment & Development, 27(2), 131- 155.
21 Grasso, M., and Heede, R. (2023). Time to pay the piper: Fossil fuel companies’ reparations for climate damages. One Earth, 6(5), 459-463; Fanning, A.L., and Hickel, J. (2023) Compensation for atmospheric appropriation. Nature Sustainability, online.
22 Mwenda, M., & Bond, P. (2020). African climate justice. In Tokar and Gilbertson (eds), Climate justice and community renewal. Rice, J., Long, J., & Levenda, A. (2022). Against climate apartheid: Confronting the persistent legacies of expendability for climate justice. Environment and Planning E, 5(2), 625-645.
23 Abdul Hadi, S. (2020) Take Care of Yourself: The Art and Cultures of Care and Liberation.
24 Solnit, R. (2016), note 13, pp. xix, 23.
25 Glisch-Sánchez, D. and Rodríguez-Villafañes, N. (2023) Sana Sana: Latinx Pain and Radical Visions for Healing and Justice.
26 Ejército Zapatista de Liberación Nacional – EZLN (2000) Mamá Piedra. Enlace Zapatista
27 Subcomandante Marcos (2001) Flowers, Like Hope, are Harvested. In Our Word Is Our Weapon: Selected Writings.
28 Garriga-López, A. M. (2020). Debt, crisis, and resurgence in Puerto Rico. Small Axe, 24(2), 122- 132.; Sheller, M. (2020) Island Futures: Caribbean Survival in the Anthropocene.
29 Abdul Hadi, S. (2020), note 21, p. 63
30 Subcomandante Marcos (2001), note 23
31 Galeano, E. (2000) Celebración de las contradicciones I y II. In, El libro de los abrazos, pp. 110-111. 32 Abolition Collective (2020) Introduction. In: Making Abolitionist Worlds: Proposals for a World on Fire, pp. 1-6.
33 Ferdinand, M. (2020), note 4
34 Gilmore, R. W. (2022). Abolition geography: Essays towards liberation. Heynen, N., & Ybarra, M.
(2021). On abolition ecologies and making “freedom as a place”. Antipode, 53(1), 21-35; Pulido, L., & De Lara, J. (2018). Reimagining ‘justice’in environmental justice: Radical ecologies, decolonial thought, and the Black Radical Tradition. Environment and Planning E: Nature and Space, 1(1-2), 76-98; Ranganathan, M. (2017) The Environment as Freedom: A Decolonial Reimagining
35 Glisch-Sánchez and Rodríguez-Villafañes (2023), note 23, p. 6;
36 Rodríguez, I., & Inturias, M. L. (2018). Conflict transformation in indigenous peoples’ territories: doing environmental justice with a ‘decolonial turn’. Development Studies Research, 5(1), 90-105; Velicu, I. (2019). De-growing environmental justice: Reflections from anti-mining movements in Eastern Europe. Ecological Economics, 159, 271-278.
37 Lloréns, H. (2021) Making livable worlds: Afro-Puerto Rican Women Building Environmental Justice, pp. 14-17, 48-59. See also Abolition Collective (2020), note 32, p. 5, in their discussion of an “abolition university” as “space-times for studying and organizing collaborations, resistances, and decolonizing subversions aimed toward dismantling racial-colonial capitalism.”
38 Ferdinand, M. (2022), note 4, pp. 65-74.
39 Sheller, M. (2020), note 26. In the mid-20th century, the Caribbean was the world’s largest
exporter of refined petroleum products, mostly for the USA.
40 Klein, N. (2016) Let Them Drown: The Violence of Othering in a Warming World. London Review of Books, 38(11)
41 Ferdinand, M. (2020), note 4
42 Ferdinand, M. (2022), note 4, p. 3. See also Sheller, M. (2020) note 26; Gerhard, C. (2020), note 2.
43 Pacific Climate Warriors, quoted in Aguon, J. (2021) To Hell With Drowning. The Atlantic.
44 Slogan of climate activists, used as title in an encounter organized by several organizations in Puerto Rico, “La mar se levanta y nosotras también”. See García-López, G., et al. (2019) La recuperación justa ante la emergencia climática. 80grados+. See also Kaufman, C. (2022) The Sea Is Rising and So Are We: A Climate Justice Handbook
45 Lloréns, H. (2021), note 35
46 García López, G., Villalon, E. and Flores Hernández, M. (2023) Deuda, Austeridad y el Desmantelamiento de la Protección Ambiental en Puerto Rico.
47 The idea of “deeply rooted” comes from Abdul Hadi (2020), note 21, p. 8, as “an empowerment phrase…to replace white-centering descriptions of identity such as “marginalized”, “racialized” and “colonized”.”
48 Colmena Cimarrona: http://www.colmenacimarrona.org/
49 Ramos Gerena, C. et al. (2020) Desde mí, desde nosotras Abriendo surcos en la agroecología puertorriqueña. LEISA, 36(1), pp. 31-34.
50 Lloréns (2021), note 35
51 Massol-Deyá, A. (2019) The Energy Uprising: A Community-Driven Search for Sustainability and Sovereignty in Puerto Rico. In Y. Bonilla and M. LeBrón (eds.), Aftershocks of Disaster; Massol- González, A. (2022) Casa Pueblo: A Puerto Rican Model of Self-Governance (trans. A. Ravikumar and P. Schroeder Rodríguez). See also https://casapueblo.org/
52 Nieves, C. (2019) Community is our best chance. In All We can Save, pp. 363-368.
53 Solnit, R. (2016), note 13
54 Portnoy Brimmer, A. (2020) In the fissure of the crisis – Three Poems from the Summer 2019.
Society and Space Magazine
55 Quoted in Abadia-Rexach, B. (2022) Summer 2019: The Great Racialized Puerto Rican Family Protesting in the Street Fearlessly. Society and Space Magazines. The slogans point to feminist socialist Emma Goldman’s famous maxim that “a revolution without dancing is not a revolution worth having”, with a tweak to emphasize the “perreo” dance.
56 Bonilla, Y. (2022) “Pessimistic futurity”. In M. Guerrero (ed.), no existe un mundo poshuracán. Puerto Rican Art in the Wake of Hurricane María; Bonilla, Y. (2020). Postdisaster futures: Hopeful pessimism, imperial ruination, and La futura cuir. Small Axe, 24(2), 147-162.
57 Klein, N. (2018) The Battle for Paradise: Puerto Rico takes on the Disaster Capitalists.
58 Junte Gente (2018). Manifiesto. https://juntegente.org/manifiesto/
59 Amigxs del Mar (2022) Encuentros Comunidades Costeras. www.amigxsdelmar.org
60 Sebastian Ordoñez Nuñez, from Colombia, and currently based in London, coordinates the Global Green New Deal program at the global justice organization War on Want. Tatiana Garavito, also from Colombia, is with the UK climate justice organization Tipping Point, and collaborates in several other spaces. Daniel Macmillen Voskoboynik, from a multicultural Jewish background (Russian- Ukranian-Scotish, raised in Argentina), is a freelance multitalented artist and activist, currently working with Amazon Frontlines.
61 Delmy Tania, from Mexico, has a long history working with feminist communitarian projects, is co-founder of the collective Critical Looks to the Territory from Feminism, and is now based at the University of Chiapas; Liliana Buitrago, from Venezuela, is a co-founder of the Political Ecology Observatory and part of the Ecosocial Pact of the South network. Vasna is part of the Global Tapestry of Alternatives network and a professor at Lund University.
62 See https://www.stedelijk.nl/en/events/towards-post-extractive-culture
63 Abdul Hadi, S. (2020), note 19, p. 19
64 Abdul Hadi, S. (2020), note 19, p. 19
65 To paraphrase the participants in the public event of Day 3 of the first Post-Extractive Futures Encounter: Bumika Muchalla, Rosa Marina Flores, Sabrina Fernandes, Asad Rehman, Thapelo Mohapi, and Harpreet Kaur Paul (2022). Networks. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z20DpyOhUyA&feature=youtu.be
66 A popular saying from our abuelas and mothers in Puerto Rico and across Latin America.
67 A fanzine under production will gather practices, recipes, sounds, writings and other materials produced during the unschool.
68 Teresa Meira, ecological economist, creative educator, theatre director and facilitator, and plant caretaker.
69 Corretjer, J.A. (1977)  Distancias (musicalized version by Roy Brown). https://www.cancioneros.com/nc/8942/0/distancias-juan-antonio-corretjer-roy-brown 70 Corretjer, J.A., note 63
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