• Weeks before the coronavirus pandemic ravaged the world, indigenous activists were in the streets across Canada engaged in protests seeking to block construction of a natural gas pipeline across Wet’suwet’en lands in northern British Columbia. The actions triggered what Foreign Policy magazine called the “Year of Indigenous Activism” in Canada, which forced Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to intervene in the conflict between the First Nation Wet’suwet’en and British Columbia’s provincial authorities.
(“2020 Was the Year of Indigenous Activism in Canada,” Foreign Policy, Dec. 17, 2020)
• Around the world, climate change is causing drought, desertification, flooding and unbearable heat, threatening to make vast regions less habitable. Science predicts that over time these changes will set-off one of the largest migrations of refugees in human history. But, as the New York Times Magazine observes, for a few nations, climate change will present new opportunities, as the planet’s coldest regions become more temperate. These regions experiencing warming temperatures will also likely witness a significant influx of climate refugees, driven from the hottest parts of the world where life will become increasingly harsh.
(“How Russia Wins the Climate Crisis,” New York Times Magazine, Dec. 20 2020)
• Labor activists are celebrating a breakthrough in New Mexico, which reformed its public sector labor laws in March. It became one of a few states to allow card check elections, where public employee unions are recognized if a majority of workers sign union cards. Federal labor reform legislation, dubbed the Employee Free Choice Act, proposed authorizing card check union elections in the early days of President Barack Obama’s first term, but the measure died in Congress.
(“The Stunning Workers’ Victory in New Mexico That You Haven’t Heard About,” In These Times, Dec. 22, 2020)
This week’s News Summary was narrated by Anna Manzo.