The Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF) has championed the fundamental rights of all people and of nature for decades. We are firm in our support of human and civil rights for all people, no matter how they identify themselves, including the transgender community, without exception. Those rights demand the respect of everyone, and we disagree utterly with those taking a different position.
CELDF fully supports the actions and litigation taken to protect Thacker Pass, in the context of the broader planetary implications, the local environment, the region’s history, and the rights of all inhabitants of the area. The encampment at Thacker Pass is about fundamental rights, no exceptions. And our values are grounded in creating a safe environment for all.
The encampment at Thacker Pass in Nevada is grounded in protecting Nature from destruction and poisoning by a corporation intent on excavating the sagebrush strewn rolling hills for lithium. The cost of extracting the metal for production of what’s claimed to be eco-friendly batteries would include leaving behind a massive wound and a ruined environment and desecrating lands sacred to the People of Red Mountain and the Reno-Sparks Indian Colony.
This is about more than just this singular fight. The struggle for our children’s future is occurring across the country. This is a fight being taken up by every person tree sitting, every water protector that chains themselves to pipeline equipment, every person who creates a blockade, participates in walk-outs or sit-ins, or throws the first brick. At CELDF, we recognize that it is our responsibility to ensure that members of the LGBTQIA+ community are not excluded from participating in creating a just democracy. As a non-profit organization, we recognize that our history is tied to a white supremacist culture that has spent years elevating privileged identities. We know young activists will look at examples of former staff, past relationships and judge us. We accept our responsibility to be part of the solution. There is no excuse for not doing better.
What is happening at Thacker Pass is an example of how the environmental movement is changing. A new generation who grew up fighting for their right to be who they are is taking charge and demanding that details not be missed or ignored. We fully support the efforts of Indigenous communities and their allies at Thacker Pass to protect the land that they are part of, where their history and their future lie. We do not support the efforts of those trying to divide rather than unite. The cause of saving the Earth is the province of all people, and all must be welcomed to the cause.