Report back on solidarity vigil with Tortuguita and Stop Cop City in Binghamton, New York.
On a cold Saturday afternoon in unceded Onondaga Territory, 20 friends gathered to share in the memory and honor of Tortuguita, their life, family, friends, and their contributions to our world. We created, spoke to each other, and learned from each other. We learned of what we could find of Tortuguita’s life, family, and of Tortuguita’s deep connections and commitment to the land they always sought to return to native sovereignty.
We were all reminded of the many lives we have lost in the struggle for self-determination, survival and free life for all, human and non-human. Speakers highlighted the truth that defense of the forests and the land must first and foremost one and the same as the defense of the lives and freedom of indigenous peoples, black people, and queer peoples in colonized territory. We all learned how the struggle in defense of the Weelaunee has shown us all that we all are called to confront the totality of social existence and that we must act since the struggle is everywhere. For the memory of Manuel Paez Teran, of Tortuguita, and for the thousands who we have lost, and for our futures.
We raised money for Tortuguita’s family, as well as created together and shared zines and materials on the defend the Atlanta forest/Stop Cop City movement. And most importantly we created a space to collectively express our grief and determination, support each other near and far, and build our connections to each other near and far.
-Friends of the Weelaunee Forest, Chenango region
-We encourage everyone living in our region to read and understand the Onondaga Nation’s Land Action against New York State.