August 2020

Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

Friday, November 11, 2022

Northern Arapaho and Akimel O'otham Hopi Interrupt Biden at COP27: No Time Left for False Solutions


Jamie Wefald, Jacob Johns, Big Wind, and Angela Zhong missed the second week of the climate conference after being suspended for standing up with a “People vs Fossil Fuels” banner during Biden’s speech.

Credentials yanked after war cry and banner drop

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The Guardian Update
Photo by CNN

Jacob Johns, Akimel O'otham and Hopi, and Big Wind Carpenter, Northern Arapaho,  were among four climate activists whose credentials were removed after their war cry and banner drop during President Biden's address.

Johns told the Guardian, “We’ve been locked out, our voices silenced,” said Johns, 39, a Washington state-based community organizer. “The climate collapse is coming, we are literally fighting for our lives. If we’re not allowed to advocate for our future, who will? It’s shameful."

”The world is falling apart but inside the destruction, there is creation and a healthy liveable future, and we try to bring this energy to the chaotic negotiations. International spaces have been historically off-limits to indigenous peoples, but different perspectives can hold a lot of power. I’ve been denied that basic right.”

Johns raised his own funds to attend COP27 and was then locked out

Big Wind, Northern Arapaho, told the Guardian, “This is a clear example of radical Indigenous people and youth being silenced, we’re muted when we try to express our frustration in these spaces. It shows the UN’s true colors.”

“We need to accelerate the transition but that’s not going to happen by partnering with big polluters like Amazon and PepsiCo, and so we needed to call that out,” he said, in reference to an announcement earlier this week by US climate envoy John Kerry, the Bezos Earth Fund, PepsiCo and others about plans to design an energy transition accelerator. 


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Northern Arapaho Big Wind interrupts Biden's talk at COP27, says no time left for false solutions.

Today: Biden's speech was interrupted before the suits moved in, as Egypt forbids protest in the Blue Zone at COP27.

The Guardian reports: Protesters interrupt the US president's speech by Nina Lakhani:

"Four protesters holding a banner which read ‘people vs fossils’ interrupted the speech of Joe Biden, the US president, to Cop27.


"The protesters were youth and Indigenous activists from the US, and they were calling on Biden to stop pushing fossil fuel extraction. They spoke with the Guardian shortly after being escorted out of the plenary hall by security staff.

“The president, members of Congress and the state department have come to this international forum on climate change proposing false solutions that will not get us to 1.5C,” said Big Wind, 29, a member of the Northern Arapaho tribe in Wyoming.

“We need to accelerate the transition but that’s not going to happen by partnering with big polluters like Amazon and PepsiCo, and so we needed to call that out,” he said, in reference to an announcement earlier this week by US climate envoy John Kerry, the Bezos Earth Fund, PepsiCo and others about plans to design an energy transition accelerator.

Biden referenced Indigenous peoples in his speech, yet has failed to leverage his power to support them directly through direct access to funds needed by communities to adapt to the climate crisis, said Big Wind.

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