Recently, many of our NISCN strikers became involved with a new emerging international movement called Polluters Out. We spoke to Kaitlyn Laverty, a member of Polluters Out NI and one of our Belfast strikers, to learn more about the movement and why she joined.
Please can you introduce yourself.
My name is Kaitlyn – I am an 18-year-old student-activist from Belfast and a member of Polluters Out NI. I have been a local environmentalist activist for the past few years, but unfortunately, due to the outbreak of COVID 19, many of the organisations I am part of are unable to function due to social distancing measures.
What is Polluters Out?
Polluters Out is a new environmentalist activism project currently based around the logistics of activists socially distancing/isolating, and is therefore organised online. It is a youth led coalition dedicated to kicking the fossil fuel industry out of COP, universities, government and banks. Polluters Out has three main demands;
- For the UNFCCC to reject fossil fuel money for the COP and in addition revoke the ability of fossil fuel corporations, executives and lobbyists to take part in negotiations, panels and critical discussions.
- For Indigenous Rights and Human Rights to be added into Article 6 of the Paris Agreement.
- For 100% transparency in all climate-related policies and decisions.
Why did you decide to join the organisation?
I decided to join so that I could continue passionately advocating for system change regarding environmental legislation while confined to my bedroom. We carry out our meetings on video calls and stay in contact through social media. These are also the platforms that we carry out our weekly strikes on, which we refer to as Digital Strikes.
What have you done as an organization?
Although it is still early days for the coalition, so far we have taken part in twitter storms, sending emails to targeted companies and have raised awareness via social media in order to put pressure on the fossil fuel industry to remove themselves from the environmentalist conversation. Our Digital Strikes have taken place on video calls, each member with their own Polluters Out sign, and have then been posted online.
How can people support and get involved with Polluters Out?
In the near future we hope to do a press release for Polluters Out NI in order to reach activists who might want to become involved. People can support and get involved with PONI by following us on social media, where they can then find out information about taking part in twitter storms, Digital Strikes and more. We can be found on Twitter and Instagram at @pollutersoutni