This post was written by Fenton Lutunatabua for 350.org Pacific and is published on Global Voices as part of a content sharing agreement.
For many years, the story told about Pacific Islanders is one that portrayed them as mere victims, a far away people who cannot do anything about the causes or realities of climate change. The media has portrayed Pacific Islanders as helpless victims ready to drown with their islands or become refugees.
So in a move to change this narrative and harness more support from people around the region, a new campaign has been launched by 350.org in the Pacific vowing to make 2014 the year that people of the Pacific Islands stand up for themselves in the face of threats to their land and ocean from climate change.
The #StandUpForThePacific Campaign will seek to call upon people throughout the region to pledge their commitment to be active in 2014 in standing up for the Pacific Islands in the face of the regions biggest threat: climate change.
The campaign will allow Pacific Islanders to be positioned within a unified narrative of cultural revival and strength, as Warriors of the Pacific, prepared to rise up to protect their land, ocean and identity.
Already more than 600 people have taken a pledge, to make 2014 the year that the Pacific Islands stand up for ourselves in the face of climate change, and in the face of the fossil fuel industry. Together we will change the narrative from that of “they are drowning victims” to they’re powerful, peaceful warriors, drawing on our cultural strength to confront the fossil fuel industry that threatens our very existence.
As we get further into 2014, we’ll be turning the pledges into action, pressuring multinational corporations that operate in the Pacific Islands to divest from the fossil fuel industry. Let’s just say, if they don’t they will be confronted by peaceful, warrior action.
Below a series of photographs depict the warriors from Fiji calling upon the people of the land and the sea to become Warriors of the Pacific, regardless of their profession, gender, age, location or creed…