Violence by far-right is among US’s most dangerous terrorist threats, study finds

The Guardian

Violence by far-right is among US’s most dangerous terrorist threats, study finds

Jason Wilson           June 27, 2020
<span>Photograph: Logan Cyrus/AFP/Getty Images</span>
Photograph: Logan Cyrus/AFP/Getty Images

 

Violence by far-right groups and individuals has emerged as one of the most dangerous terrorist threats faced by US law enforcement and triggered a wave of warnings and arrests of people associated with those extremist movements.

The most recent in-depth analysis of far-right terrorism comes from the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS).

Related: How the US military has failed to address white supremacy in its ranks

In a report released last week, the Escalating Terrorism Problem in the United States, CSIS analyzes 25 years of domestic terrorism incidents and finds that the majority of attacks and plots have come from the far right.

The report says “the majority of all terrorist incidents in the United States since 1994, and the total number of rightwing attacks and plots has grown significantly during the past six years”, with the far right launching two-thirds of attacks and plots in 2019, and 90% of those in 2020.

The report adds: “Far-right terrorism has significantly outpaced terrorism from other types of perpetrators.” The second most significant source of attacks and plots in the US has been “religious extremists”, almost all “Salafi jihadists inspired by the Islamic State and al-Qaida”.

The report shows the far left has been an increasingly negligible source of attacks since the mid 2000’s. At that time the FBI defined arsons and other forms of property damage as domestic terrorism during a period some have called the “Green Scare”.

The CSIS study came during a new wave of terror attacks and plots from white supremacist and anti-government extremists.

Last Monday, the Department of Justice announced that it had brought an array of charges, including terrorism related offenses, against a US army soldier who subscribed to a mix of white supremacist and satanist beliefs which are characteristic of so-called “accelerationist” neo-nazis like Atomwaffen Division.

Last week, federal charges were brought on Steven Carillo for the murder of a federal security officer and a sheriff’s deputy. Like the three men arrested for an alleged terror plot in Nevada earlier this month, the FBI says Carillo identified with the extreme anti-government “boogaloo” movement, which is principally concerned with removing government regulation of firearms.

But critics question the timing and motivations of the intelligence community’s pivot to combatting rightwing extremism as it comes at a time when some are arguing the legal and institutional counterterrorism apparatus developed to combat overseas terror groups should now be adapted to domestic extremists.

For some that has deep implications for civil liberties and constitutional rights, especially when it comes to suggestions that new laws should be drafted to certify such groups as domestic terrorist organizations.

Eric Ward, executive director of the civil rights nonprofit the Western States Center, said: “We are deeply concerned by the idea of any type of law that creates a legal definition around domestic terrorism. There are significant laws already on the books that meet the challenges of this moment.”

Ward said that rather than new laws, “we need a responsible leadership that is actually willing to use the tools that are already on hand”.

Ward added: “Too often we have to respond to political crisis with criminalization. And I think that is a mistake”.

But the push for new laws is an ongoing one.

In April, a joint report from George Washington University’s Program on extremism (GWU PoE) and the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) included a proposal for a “rights protecting domestic terrorism statute”. They said the law could provide “more tools for the investigation and prosecution of groups and individuals” associated with rightwing extremism.

The report did acknowledge “significant constitutional questions” would be raised by such a statute, and the possibility of “unintended consequences, particularly for members of minorities”.

There are also concerns around the creation of a surveillance state.

The GWU/ADL proposal called for increased information sharing between law enforcement agencies, increased data collection and increased resourcing.

Similar arguments have been made by influential legal and national security academics, national security nonprofits and policy shops.

Congressman Max Rose, a New York Democrat, has gone further in calling for the formal designation of US-based groups with international connections as Foreign Terror Organizations.

The FBI, meanwhile, is increasingly prepared to make comparisons between right wing extremists and Islamist terror groups.

Seth Jones, the lead author of the CSIS report, offered qualified support for the formal designation of terror groups, saying: “I still think it’s important to think through the first amendment implications and other pros and cons. But I do support taking a serious look at designation.”

Designation could open the way, he said, to also investigating people who support such groups without having formal membership in any.

But critics are alarmed by what they see as the application of ideas derived from the “war on terror” to domestic extremists.

Mike German, Brennan Center fellow, is a former FBI agent who investigated rightwing extremists but is now focused on law enforcement and intelligence oversight and reform. He sees arguments for domestic terror statutes as part of a broader reorientation of the “national security establishment” away from conflicts in the Middle East.

German attributes this move to a realization “that Isis and al-Qaida were were not as threatening to Americans as they had been, and that foreign counter-terrorism in general was sort of running out of steam”.

German said: “It’s a way of expanding the target realm that gives the counter-terrorism enterprise targets that they can use to to get statistical accomplishments, rather than looking at whether or not the violence itself is reduced.”

German has argued federal authorities should prioritize the investigation of the violent crimes of far right extremists, and call them terrorist acts where appropriate, but that they should be prosecuted using existing laws, with a consideration of alternative responses like restorative justice.

He added: “When I worked these cases in the 1990’s, no one suggested that we didn’t have sufficient legal authority.”

White House struggles to understand the ACA case it supports

MaddowBlog

White House struggles to understand the ACA case it supports

By Steve Benen          June 30, 2020

 

Image: Kayleigh McEnanyWhite House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany speaks during a press briefing at the White House on May 1, 2020.Evan Vucci / AP

Last week, Donald Trump and his team asked the Supreme Court to tear down the Affordable Care Act in its entirety, despite the ongoing pandemic. If the president succeeds in getting what he wants, his own country’s health care system would be left in shambles, and tens of millions of families would lose benefits they’ve come to rely on.

It was against this backdrop that White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany appeared on Fox News yesterday morning, and one of the co-hosts asked about the potential political fallout of destroying the existing system without having a replacement ready. The president’s chief spokesperson made the case that it’s actually Democrats who’ll have a political problem.

“Look, the American public looks at this and what they say is this: If Democrats passed an unconstitutional law several years ago, then it’s on Democrats to come forward with a solution.”

McEnany went on to argue that the Affordable Care Act represents a “government takeover of health care” (that’s not true), that the White House has “put forward solutions” (that’s not true), and that Democrats are moving toward “eliminating Medicare” (that’s not true).

There was, in other words, quite a bit wrong with the press secretary’s pitch. But let’s focus on two key elements.

First, to hear McEnany tell it, if Supreme Court conservatives agree to destroy the existing health care system, it will be because Democrats “passed an unconstitutional law several years ago.” She’s confused: the pending ACA case is not a test of the original law’s constitutionality. That case has already come and gone.

Rather, the current case relates to the Republicans’ 2017 tax plan and the GOP’s apparent belief that it altered the ACA in such a way as to render it unconstitutional. It’s the sort of detail the White House really ought to know while it tries to take health care coverage from millions of families.

In reality, however, it’s Democrats who’ve already “come forward with a solution” — it’s the ACA, and it’s working — which they continue to take steps to improve. Meanwhile, it’s Republicans who’ve spent more than a decade promising to craft an alternative to “Obamacare” that does more and costs less.

At least so far, McEnany’s party has failed to keep that promise.

Up to 3 Billion will live in extreme heat by 2070, study warns.

USA Today

Unsuitable for ‘human life to flourish’: Up to 3 Billion will live in extreme heat by 2070, study warns.

Doyle Rice, USA TODAY                May 4, 2020

 

If global warming continues unchecked, the heat that’s coming later this century in some parts of the world will bring “nearly unlivable” conditions for up to 3 billion people, a study released Monday said.

The authors predict that by 2070,  much of the world’s population is likely to live in climate conditions that are “warmer than conditions deemed suitable for human life to flourish.”

The study warned that unless greenhouse gas emissions are curtailed, average annual temperatures will rise beyond the climate “niche” in which humans have thrived for 6,000 years.

That “niche” is equivalent to average yearly temperatures of roughly 52 to 59 Fahrenheit. The researchers found that people, despite all forms of innovations and migrations, have mostly lived in these climate conditions for several thousand years.

“We show that in a business-as-usual climate change scenario, the geographical position of this temperature niche is projected to shift more over the coming 50 years than it has moved (in the past 6,000 years),” the study warned.

Climate change: 2020 expected to be Earth’s warmest year on record, scientists say

These brutally hot climate conditions are currently experienced by just 0.8% of the global land surface, mostly in the hottest parts of the Sahara Desert, but by 2070 the conditions could spread to 19% of the Earth’s land area.
These brutally hot climate conditions are currently experienced by just 0.8% of the global land surface, mostly in the hottest parts of the Sahara Desert, but by 2070 the conditions could spread to 19% of the Earth’s land area.

 

The future scenario used in the paper is one in which atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases are high. The burning of fossil fuels such as coal, oil and gas releases “greenhouse” gases such as carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane into Earth’s atmosphere and oceans. The emissions have caused the planet’s temperatures to rise to levels that cannot be explained by natural factors, scientists report.

Temperatures over the next few decades are projected to increase rapidly as a result of human greenhouse gas emissions.

Without climate mitigation or migration, by 2070 a substantial part of humanity will be exposed to average annual temperatures warmer than nearly anywhere today, the study said. These brutally hot climate conditions are currently experienced by just 0.8% of the global land surface, mostly in the hottest parts of the Sahara Desert, but by 2070 the conditions could spread to 19% of the Earth’s land area.

This includes large portions of northern Africa, the Middle East, northern South America, South Asia, and parts of Australia.

“Large areas of the planet would heat to barely survivable levels and they wouldn’t cool down again,” said study co-author Marten Scheffer of Wageningen University in the Netherlands. “Not only would this have devastating direct effects, it leaves societies less able to cope with future crises like new pandemics. The only thing that can stop this happening is a rapid cut in carbon emissions.”

Rapid reductions in greenhouse gas emissions could halve the number of people exposed to such hot conditions. “The good news is that these impacts can be greatly reduced if humanity succeeds in curbing global warming,” said study co-author Tim Lenton, a climate specialist from the University of Exeter in the United Kingdom.

“Our computations show that each degree warming (Celsius) above present levels corresponds to roughly 1 billion people falling outside of the climate niche,” Lenton said. “It is important that we can now express the benefits of curbing greenhouse gas emissions in something more human than just monetary terms.”

The study, which was prepared by an international research team of archaeologists, ecologists and climate scientists, was published Monday in the peer-reviewed journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

In our current climate, the most extreme heat is restricted to the small black areas in the Sahara Desert region. But by 2070, that area will expand to the shaded areas across portions of Africa, Asia, Australia and South America, according to the study.

Russia Offered Afghans Bounty to Kill U.S. Troops, Officials Say

The New York Times

Russia Offered Afghans Bounty to Kill U.S. Troops, Officials Say

Charlie Savage, Eric Schmitt and Michael Schwirtz        June 27, 2020

WASHINGTON — American intelligence officials have concluded that a Russian military intelligence unit secretly offered bounties to Taliban-linked militants for killing coalition forces in Afghanistan — including targeting American troops — amid the peace talks to end the long-running war there, according to officials briefed on the matter.

The United States concluded months ago that the Russian unit, which has been linked to assassination attempts and other covert operations in Europe intended to destabilize the West or take revenge on turncoats, had covertly offered rewards for successful attacks last year.

Islamist militants, or armed criminal elements closely associated with them, are believed to have collected some bounty money, the officials said. Twenty Americans were killed in combat in Afghanistan in 2019, but it was not clear which killings were under suspicion.

The intelligence finding was briefed to President Donald Trump, and the White House’s National Security Council discussed the problem at an interagency meeting in late March, the officials said. Officials developed a menu of potential options — starting with making a diplomatic complaint to Moscow and a demand that it stop, along with an escalating series of sanctions and other possible responses, but the White House has yet to authorize any step, the officials said.

An operation to incentivize the killing of American and other NATO troops would be a significant and provocative escalation of what American and Afghan officials have said is Russian support for the Taliban, and it would be the first time the Russian spy unit was known to have orchestrated attacks on Western troops.

Any involvement with the Taliban that resulted in the deaths of American troops would also be a huge escalation of Russia’s so-called hybrid war against the United States, a strategy of destabilizing adversaries through a combination of such tactics as cyberattacks, the spread of fake news, and covert and deniable military operations.

American troops at Camp Shorabak in Helmand province, Afghanistan, Sept. 26, 2019. (Jim Huylebroek/The New York Times)
American troops at Camp Shorabak in Helmand province, Afghanistan, Sept. 26, 2019. (Jim Huylebroek/The New York Times)

 

The Kremlin had not been made aware of the accusations, said Dmitry Peskov, press secretary for President Vladimir Putin of Russia. “If someone makes them, we’ll respond,” Peskov said.

Zabihullah Mujahid, a spokesman for the Taliban, denied that the insurgents have “any such relations with any intelligence agency” and called the report an attempt to defame them.

“These kinds of deals with the Russian intelligence agency are baseless — our target killings and assassinations were ongoing in years before, and we did it on our own resources,” he said. “That changed after our deal with the Americans, and their lives are secure and we don’t attack them.”

Spokespeople at the National Security Council, the Pentagon, the State Department and the CIA declined to comment.

The officials familiar with the intelligence did not explain the White House delay in deciding how to respond to the intelligence about Russia.

While some of his closest advisers, like Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, have counseled more hawkish policies toward Russia, Trump has adopted an accommodating stance toward Moscow.

At a summit in Helsinki in 2018, Trump strongly suggested that he believed Putin’s denial that the Kremlin interfered in the 2016 presidential election, despite broad agreement within the U.S. intelligence establishment that it did. Trump criticized a bill imposing sanctions on Russia when he signed it into law after Congress passed it by veto-proof majorities. And he has repeatedly made statements that undermined the NATO alliance as a bulwark against Russian aggression in Europe.

The officials spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe the delicate intelligence and internal deliberations. They said the intelligence has been treated as a closely held secret, but the administration expanded briefings about it this week — including sharing information about it with the British government, whose forces are among those said to have been targeted.

The intelligence assessment is said to be based at least in part on interrogations of captured Afghan militants and criminals. The officials did not describe the mechanics of the Russian operation, such as how targets were picked or how money changed hands. It is also not clear whether Russian operatives had deployed inside Afghanistan or met with their Taliban counterparts elsewhere.

The revelations came into focus inside the Trump administration at a delicate and distracted time. Although officials collected the intelligence earlier in the year, the interagency meeting at the White House took place as the coronavirus pandemic was becoming a crisis and parts of the country were shutting down.

Moreover, as Trump seeks reelection in November, he wants to strike a peace deal with the Taliban to end the Afghanistan War.

Both American and Afghan officials have previously accused Russia of providing small arms and other support to the Taliban that amounts to destabilizing activity, although Russian government officials have dismissed such claims as “idle gossip” and baseless.

“We share some interests with Russia in Afghanistan, and clearly they’re acting to undermine our interests as well,” Gen. John W. Nicholson Jr., commander of American forces in Afghanistan at the time, said in a 2018 interview with the BBC.

Though coalition troops suffered a spate of combat casualties last summer and early fall, only a few have since been killed. Four Americans were killed in combat in early 2020, but the Taliban have not attacked U.S. positions since a February agreement.

American troops have also sharply reduced their movement outside of military bases because of the coronavirus, reducing their exposure to attack.

While officials were said to be confident about the intelligence that Russian operatives offered and paid bounties to Afghan militants for killing Americans, they have greater uncertainty about how high in the Russian government the covert operation was authorized and what its aim may be.

Some officials have theorized that the Russians may be seeking revenge on NATO forces for a 2018 battle in Syria in which the U.S. military killed several hundred pro-Syrian forces, including numerous Russian mercenaries, as they advanced on an American outpost. Officials have also suggested that the Russians may have been trying to derail peace talks to keep the United States bogged down in Afghanistan. But the motivation remains murky.

The officials briefed on the matter said the government had assessed the operation to be the handiwork of Unit 29155, an arm of Russia’s military intelligence agency, known widely as the GRU. The unit is linked to the March 2018 nerve agent poisoning in Salisbury, England, of Sergei Skripal, a former GRU officer who had worked for British intelligence and then defected, and his daughter.

Western intelligence officials say the unit, which has operated for more than a decade, has been charged by the Kremlin with carrying out a campaign to destabilize the West through subversion, sabotage and assassination. In addition to the 2018 poisoning, the unit was behind an attempted coup in Montenegro in 2016 and the poisoning of an arms manufacturer in Bulgaria a year earlier.

American intelligence officials say the GRU was at the center of Moscow’s covert efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election. In the months before that election, American officials say, two GRU cyberunits, known as 26165 and 74455, hacked into Democratic Party servers, and then used WikiLeaks to publish embarrassing internal communications.

In part because those efforts were aimed at helping tilt the election in Trump’s favor, Trump’s handling of issues related to Russia and Putin has come under particular scrutiny. The special counsel investigation found that the Trump campaign welcomed Russia’s intervention and expected to benefit from it, but found insufficient evidence to establish that his associates had engaged in any criminal conspiracy with Moscow.

Operations involving Unit 29155 tend to be much more violent than those involving the cyberunits. Its officers are often decorated military veterans with years of service, in some cases dating to the Soviet Union’s failed war in Afghanistan in the 1980’s. Never before has the unit been accused of orchestrating attacks on Western soldiers, but officials briefed on its operations say it has been active in Afghanistan for many years.

Though Russia declared the Taliban a terrorist organization in 2003, relations between them have been warming in recent years. Taliban officials have traveled to Moscow for peace talks with other prominent Afghans, including the former president, Hamid Karzai. The talks have excluded representatives from the current Afghan government as well as anyone from the United States and at times have seemed to work at crosscurrents with U.S. efforts to bring an end to the conflict.

The disclosure comes at a time when Trump has said he would invite Putin to an expanded meeting of the Group of Seven nations, but tensions between U.S. and Russian militaries are running high.

In several recent episodes, in international territory and airspace from off the coast of Alaska to the Black and Mediterranean seas, combat planes from each country has scrambled to intercept military aircraft from the other.

Coronavirus exposed fragility in our food system – it’s time to build something more resilient.

The Conversation – World

Coronavirus exposed fragility in our food system – it’s time to build something more resilient

Luke Owen, Assistant Professor, Centre for Agroecology, Water & Resilience, Coventry University and Emma Burnett, Researcher, Centre for Agroecology, Water & Resilience, Coventry University.        

 

Most people rely on supermarkets, and these megastores dominate our food economy. They are part of a system that depends on large-scale agriculture and production, smooth-flowing international food trade and fast turnaround times.

But what happens when system vulnerabilities are exposed and they break down? What catches our fall?

We need a resilient food system. This means going beyond the ecological idea of resilience as merely survival during times of stress, and instead proactively building a food system that can both respond quickly to changing circumstances and act as a safety net.

What we’ve seen during the COVID-19 pandemic is exactly what you’d expect from a vastly underprepared population: panic buying, spread of misinformation, and passing blame. The cascade of panic has highlighted major economic, social, and political flaws.

But alongside this, we have seen a surge in self-organised responses which can help build resilience. Think of people producing homemade NHS scrubs, for example.

Supermarkets, and much of the supporting infrastructure, have in many ways stepped up during the crisis. They ramped up online shopping and delivery capacity, prioritised those being shielded, provided free meals and priority shopping access to NHS workers, and donated to food banks. However, rapid changes and crisis-driven hoarding led to empty shelves (a shock for those used to “on demand”) and unavailable online delivery slots.

Because of this, many people turned to alternatives. Demand for veg boxes, milk, and dry goods deliveries spiked, as did requests to join community supported agriculture and local farm schemes. Huge numbers of community-based food hubs, food banks and small farms and even independent gardeners responded. When supermarkets ran out of stock or delivery slots, localized initiatives expanded to meet demand, or found new sources of goods and produce.

Beyond supermarkets

Diversity in the food system is paramount. This goes beyond the number of options in a shop. We need to look at how food is produced, processed, transported, and made available, along with impacts and knock-on effects.

Take the mass retail model that provides food to most people across the global north. The sort of industrial agriculture it relies on is ideal for producing masses of uniform food, but not for planetary or human health and well-being. Industrial agriculture thrives on mono-culture, where whole fields and farms are planted with a single crop, but so do pests and diseases.

 

By removing biodiversity we have made it easier to sow and harvest, predict and control. But generations of selective breeding means increasingly homogeneous crops and livestock, which lack the genetic diversity to adapt to evolutionary pressures like diseases.

Large-scale intensive agriculture amplifies this risk. In mono-cultures, there are no physical barriers or buffers to hinder selective sweeps in susceptible populations. When something virulent crops up, it can spread like wildfire.

We have seen this before. Repeated potato famines in Ireland, due to blight (and the impact of British colonial rule), killed millions. In the 1950’s, the most popular banana variety was driven to near extinction by a single fungus.

Outbreaks of Nipah virus in several Asian countries led to hundreds of deaths between 1998 and 2018. In 2019, African Swine Fever killed hundreds of millions of pigs in China. COVID-19 joins a long list of blights that we have unintentionally encouraged.

A safety net

We live in a house of cards. Our support systems are unstable, and constantly being eroded – one knock could see them all tumble down. This is why agroecologists argue that food systems need to encourage diversity: of crops, of business models, of people. Let’s look beyond the supermarkets and industrial farms to systems that have a track record of being highly adaptable, even without supportive policies.

Community groups and small enterprises have stepped up during the pandemic, utilizing their networks to look after the vulnerable, and generally strengthening the fabric of social safety nets. This has happened despite years of cuts.

Organisations and initiatives, are going beyond their original purposes to deliver services and care, including food. Community supported agriculture schemes, food banks, and food hubs can do this because they are already networked locally and can rely on emergency helpers. Their adaptability means they are fleet-footed, and capable of picking up the slack of an inflexible, industrialized food system.

This is not to say that supermarkets should not be applauded for their recent actions. But they are inexorably linked to industrial agriculture systems. These pose a dual risk, potentially both triggering global crises and failing to deliver provisions. For our own welfare, we should ensure that there is more to the food landscape than industrial agriculture, large-scale processing, and mega-retail.

The diverse production and distribution systems that have long been on the periphery need proper funding and nurturing, because they provide a safety net. If we fail to heed the root causes of systemic problems in our food supply, we will likely face another global crisis perilously unprepared.The Conversation

The Conversation

Emma Burnett receives funding from sankalpa for her research, and sits on the Board of Directors at Cultivate Oxfordshire.

Luke Owen does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.

This gay guy’s hilarious rant about small town Trump supporters is absolute perfection

Five Minutes of Hot Tea

This gay guy’s hilarious rant about small town Trump supporters is absolute perfection

By Daniel Villarreal          June 10, 2020

 

Despite pandemic, new U.S. solar capacity will grow 33% in 2020

Reuters – Business

Despite pandemic, new U.S. solar capacity will grow 33% in 2020

FILE PHOTO: An array of solar panels is seen in the desert near Victorville
An array of solar panels is seen in the desert near Victorville

 

(Reuters) – New U.S. solar installations will increase by a third this year, a report published on Thursday showed, as soaring demand by utilities for carbon-free power more than outweighs a dramatic decline in rooftop system orders for homes and businesses due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The solar industry will install 18 gigawatts this year, enough to power more than 3 million homes, according to the report by the U.S. Solar Industries Association and energy research firm Wood Mackenzie. That is 9% less than the group’s forecast before the outbreak prompted construction delays, weakened consumer demand and tightened access to financing.

But utility-scale solar is on track for a record year, the report said, with 14.4 GW of new capacity expected to be installed in 2020. State renewable energy targets and solar’s low cost are underpinning the sector’s robust demand.

Risks to the sector’s medium and long-term growth, however, include increased capital costs due to weak markets, reduced demand from commercial and industrial customers experiencing financial hardship, and delays in utility procurement plans.

SEIA reduced its five-year solar installation outlook by about 3% to 113 GW, citing “considerable uncertainty” caused by the pandemic.

Solar accounted for 40% of new U.S. capacity additions in the first quarter, ahead of natural gas and wind.

The smaller market for residential and commercial systems has been hit hard by the pandemic due to stay-at-home orders that slowed construction and selling. Home installations are expected to be down 25% this year, the report said, recovering to rise 26% next year.

It will be several years before the sector reaches installation levels that had been forecast before the outbreak.

Installations in the non-residential segment, which includes rooftop systems for businesses, will be down 38% this year, the report added.

(Reporting by Nichola Groom; Editing by Richard Chang)

Want to See Food and Land Justice for Black Americans? Support These Groups.

Civil Eats

Want to See Food and Land Justice for Black Americans? Support These Groups.

Food justice is racial justice. As the nation rises up to protest atrocities against Black people, here are some organizations working to advance Black food sovereignty.

Protestors march in Philadelphia on June 1, in the aftermath of widespread unrest following the murder of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and others.

Food justice is racial justice. Food and agriculture, like everything in this country, are deeply intertwined with our nation’s entrenched history of slavery and structural racism. Our food system actively silences, marginalizes, and disproportionately impacts people of color, who are also being hardest hit by COVID-19.

As Americans rise up to respond to the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and countless others, and to the ongoing violence, suppression, and brutality facing the Black community, we hope this list of organizations working to strengthen food justice, land access, and food access in the Black community will inform, inspire, and energize you to show up for racial justice.

Black Church Food Security Network works to connect Black communities and other urban communities of color with Black farmers in hopes of advancing food and land sovereignty. Read more.

Black Dirt Farm Collective is a collective of Black farmers, educators, scientists, agrarians, seed keepers, organizers, and researchers guiding a political education process.

Black Urban Gardeners and Farmers Cooperative of Pittsburgh works with Black communities in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to grow food and to share Black cultural traditions through a farm, youth program, and policy work. Read more.

Black Urban Growers (BUGS) is committed to building networks and community support for growers in both urban and rural settings. Through education and advocacy around food and farm issues, it nurtures collective Black leadership.

Castanea Fellowship offers a two-year fellowship for diverse leaders working for a racially just food system in any of the areas of health, environment, agriculture, regional economies, or community development. Read more.

Cooperative Food Empowerment Directive (CoFED) is a queer and transgender people of color-led organization that partners with young folks of color to build food and land co-ops.

Detroit Black Community Food Security Network ensures that Detroit’s African American population participates in the food movement through urban farming, youth education programs and the much-anticipated Detroit People’s Food Co-op. Read more.

Family Agriculture Resource Management Services (FARMS) is a legal nonprofit, committed to assisting Black farmers and landowners in retaining their land for the next generation. Read more.

Federation of Southern Cooperatives/Land Assistance Fund is a non-profit cooperative association of Black farmers, landowners, and cooperatives, with a primary membership base in the Southern States.

Food Chain Workers Alliance is a coalition of worker-based organizations whose members plant, harvest, process, pack, transport, prepare, serve, and sell food, organizing to improve wages and working conditions for all workers along the food chain. Read more.

Food First works to end the injustices that cause hunger through research, education, and action.

Freedom School Demonstration Farm runs a Fresno, California-based program aimed at empowering Black and brown youth to grow their own food. Read more.

HEAL Food Alliance brings together groups from various sectors of movements for food and farm justice to grow community power, develop political leadership, and exposing and limiting corporate control of the food system. Read more.

The Land Loss Prevention Project responds to the unprecedented losses of Black-owned land in North Carolina by providing comprehensive legal services and technical support to financially distressed and limited resource farmers and landowners. Read more.

The National Black Farmers Association is a non-profit organization representing African American farmers and their families in the United States.

National Black Food and Justice Alliance organizes for Black food and land, by increasing the visibility of visionary Black leadership, advancing Black people’s struggle for just and sustainable communities, and building power in our food systems and land stewardship. Read more.

New Communities Land Trust is a grassroots organization that has worked for more than 40 years to empower African American families in Southwest Georgia and advocate for social justice. Read more.

The Northeast Farmers of Color Land Trust advance land sovereignty in the Northeast through permanent and secure land tenure for Indigenous, Black, Latinx, and Asian farmers and land stewards.

Planting Justice works to empower people impacted by mass incarceration and other social inequities through a nursery, land trust, and various community farming efforts. Read more.

Restaurant Opportunities Centers United is fighting to improve wages and working conditions for the nation’s restaurant workforce. Read more.

Sankofa Farms seeks create a sustainable food source for minorities in both rural and urban areas located in Durham and Orange County, North Carolina.

The Seeding Power Fellowship is an innovative 18-month, cohort-based food justice fellowship program. Read more.

Soil Generation is a Philadelphia-based Black- and Brown-led coalition of growers building a grassroots movement through urban farming, agroecology, community education, and more. Read more.

Soul Fire Farm is a Black, Indigenous, and people of color-centered community farm committed to ending racism and injustice in the food system. Read more.

Southeastern African American Farmers’ Organic Network is a regional network for Black farmers committed to using ecologically sustainable practices to manage land, grow food, and raise livestock that are healthy for people and the planet. Read more.

Want more? Read our ongoing coverage of the many worthwhile efforts to expose and address structural inequities in the food system.