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Greenpeace joins ‘Our Power Puerto Rico’ to deliver aid

By on October 18, 2017

SAN JUAN – Greenpeace has joined the “Our Power Puerto Rico” campaign (#OurPowerPR), a project launched by the Climate Justice Alliance and UPROSE with a number of other entities that form part of the environmental movement.

Greenpeace USA made the announcement in New York last week, when its Arctic Sunrise ship docked in Brooklyn, sporting a banner in support of Puerto Rico. The vessel will be going on a month-long tour along the U.S. East Coast, educating communities about the dangers of plastics and other threats to the ocean.

The tour will end with the delivery of materials to Puerto Rico, including solar systems, sustainable agricultural goods and tools. Jones Act restrictions don’t allow the Norway-manufactured Arctic Sunrise to dock in Puerto Rico, forcing the organization to pay for additional charter boats to transport the aid, according to an #OurPowerPR press release.

The Greenpeace Ship Arctic Sunrise departs New York displaying a support message for Puerto Rico. (Courtesy)

“I want to thank our partners, the Climate Justice Alliance and Greenpeace for making this vessel available. We had hoped to load this vessel provided by Greenpeace with what the people of Puerto Rico had asked us for: soil, seeds, solar lanterns and bicycles that would make it possible for them to navigate their way through the island. Sadly, we can’t use this vessel because the Jones Act has shackled our ability to help. The federal government does not want to help Puerto Rico and does not want to make it possible for others to do so either.

“This is why this campaign, #OurPowerPR is demanding a repeal of the Jones act, demanding the debt be lifted and a path to a just recovery and Regeneration be forged by Puerto Ricans for Puerto Ricans,” said Elizabeth Yeampierre, executive director of UPROSE and Steering Committee co-cChair of Climate Justice Alliance.

Greenpeace will also be sending a brigade to help deliver sustainable resources to the island, the Climate Justice Alliance and UPROSE say in a joint release.

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“Greenpeace is honored to play a role in ensuring a just recovery for the victims of climate catastrophe in Puerto Rico,” said Annie Leonard, executive director of Greenpeace USA. “People continue to suffer and the Trump administration has left them behind in favor of malicious tweets. If the U.S. government won’t step up to properly assist with recovery, the people will rebuild in a way that puts climate justice at the forefront.”

The #OurPowerPR campaign’s mission is to deliver critical rebuilding supplies and expertise to rural Puerto Rico communities affected by Hurricane Maria’s devastating impact. Besides Climate Justice Alliance, UPROSE and Greenpeace, other organizations involved in the effort include Organización Boricua, It Takes Roots (Indigenous Environmental Network, Right To The City, Grassroots Global Justice Alliance, Climate Justice Alliance), WhyHunger, USFSA, Grassroots International, the Ruckus Society, Just Transition Alliance, Movement Generation, Solutions Project, the LEAP, with the support of Wallace Global Fund, the Center for Earth, Energy and Democracy (CEED), Solutions Project, Solidaire Just Fund Portal, Rose Foundation, Underdog Fund and others.

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