“Do nothing climate policy is racist policy, since the predominately non-White global south is being victimized by climate change more than the Whiter global north, even as the Whiter global north is contributing more to its acceleration. Land is sinking and temperatures are rising from Florida to Bangladesh. Droughts and food scarcity are ravishing bodies in Eastern and Southern Africa, a region already containing 25 percent of the world’s malnourished populations. Human made environmental catastrophes disproportionately harming bodies of colour are not unusual; for instance, nearly four thousand US areas—mostly poor and non-White—have higher lead poisoning rates than Flint, Michigan.” —Ibram X. Kendi, How to Be An Antircist
An online journal of creative works devoted to climate justice and the climate crisis.
MISSION: CLIMATE JUSTICE AND ANTI-RACISM
When the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) sounded the alarm bell in their October 2018 report, the message was that the world cannot continue on the same path. Carbon emissions must be reduced.
In August of 2019, the IPCC’s reported that the additional stress on land caused by climate change,“exacerbates existing risks to livelihoods, biodiversity, human and ecosystems health, infrastructure, and food systems."
Despite these dire warnings, governments are not responding to the call for action by either the scientific community or Indigenous communities. The climate emergency disproportionately affects BIPOC, and other socially, politically, and economically marginalized communities, in Canada as well as in other parts of the world.
We believe the fight for justice must be at the heart of all environmental endeavours, activisms, or actions.
Watch Your Head's literary mandate is to publish works that focus on the following: climate justice, decolonization, anti-racism, anti-Black racism, anti-imperialism, critiques of consumerism, neoliberalism, and human exceptionalism as they intersect with, implicate, and are implicated in the climate emergency and to centre the voices of BIPOC and LGBTQ2S+ communities, people who identify as living with a disability or as disabled, women, scientists, young people, and people outside traditional art and literary communities, and those who identify with other underrepresented groups.
In addition we use our platforms to amplify grassroots activism, calls to action, and educational resources to combat anti-Indigeneity, anti-Black racism, anti-Asian racism, transphobia, ablism, and all forms of violence and oppression and support climate justice initiatives.
Any money raised through fundraisers or through any Watch Your Head publication will be donated to organizations that support these values. See our Donations page for suggested organizations and campaigns to support.
All proceeds from our print anthology will be donated to RAVEN and Climate Justice Toronto.
STATEMENTS OF SOLIDARITY
SOLIDARITY WITH INDIGENOUS PEOPLES
Indigenous communities have lead environmental activism in Canada since colonization protecting and defending land, water, and resources as well as preserving, livelihood, culture, sovereignty in the face of genocide and oppression that continues to this day.
The opposition of the Wet'suwet'en heredity chiefs to the Coastal GasLink pipeline and the violence the RCMP enacted on this community is just one example of present-day colonialism and environmental racism.
Watch Your Head condemns these acts of oppression and violence and joins in solidarity with Indigenous Peoples across Turtle Island.
SOLIDARITY WITH BLACK COMMUNITIES
Canadian politicians declared, amidst the recent anti-Black racism uprisings sparked by the police murder of George Floyd, that Canada is not as racist as the US or that we don't have a problem with system racism or police violence. Ontario Premiere Doug Ford claimed that Canada doesn't have the same "systemic, deep roots" of racism.
Not only is this galling in the shadow of the death of Regis Korchinski-Paquet, but also it contributes to the ongoing denial of Black lived experience of police violence so the country's politicians and white citizens can continue to perpetuate the myth of a benign, "multicultural," and progressive Canada that is somehow morally superior to the US all the while continuing to enact or ignore ongoing racialized violence.
This party line prevents serious discussion about racism in Canada to take place in the mainstream which ultimately hinders anti-racism efforts and action. The consequences have and continue to be deadly.
Watch Your Head supports Black Lives Matter, the calls for abolition of the police, and the many protestors who are risking their lives in the face of relentless police brutality.
SOLIDARITY WITH ASIAN COMMUNITIES
Over the course of the pandemic there has also been a rise in anti-Asian racism, verbal assaults, and violence. Singer Bryan Adam's racist rant on Instagram and Twitter in May 2020 is bringing to light anti-Asian racism that like anti-Black racism has always existed in Canada but has gone unacknowledged.
Adams' deeply dangerous framing of the origins of COVID-19 results in violence towards Asian people and incites racists especially coming from a well-known celebrity.
We denounce anyone especially any environmental group that makes these types of claims and all forms of anti-Asian racism.
Aydryan Corcione's recent Teen Vogue article "Eco-fascism: What It is, Why It's Wrong, and How to Fight It" offers a great primer on how to be on the look out for Eco-fascism beliefs, language which are often rooted in far-right racism and anti-immigration. Although Corcione also explains that "Eco-fascism is not exclusive to the right. Eco-fascist myths have appeared in the narratives around the COVID-19 pandemic."
In "Humans are not the Virus-Don't be an Eco-Fascist," Sherronda J. Brown writes that "the people who are and who will continue to be impacted the most by this pandemic are poor, working-class, unhoused, incarcerated, and detained communities who are disproportionately BIPOC."
When anyone claiming to care about the climate describes COVID-19 as "earth's vaccine" or "Mother Nature's vengeance," Brown says that "they imply that the massive loss of life and our collective grief over those lost lives are somehow worth it for the sake of the planet, or even necessary."
Watch Your Head is a site deeply concerned about the environment and the climate crisis; however, justice is at the centre of our activities. We denounce all eco-fascist statements and actions.
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
Volunteer for a climate justice or anti-racism group.
Support land and water defenders.
Support BIPOC communities and anti-racism initiatives.
Use your platform to draw attention to the crisis.
Demand action from your politicians.
Alert family and friends to the situation.
Donate to climate justice, anti-racism, and Indigenous organizations.
This is a living document and will be updated regularly.
Last update: June 3, 2020.