Tag Archives: advocacy

Join the Fight Against Local Overdevelopment

On the waters of NYC, you learn quickly that everything in the city is connected. We deal with the legacy of industrialism and unchecked development every day. We see the damage wrought by the pursuit of profits at any cost, and we know that only determined, careful, and vocal action by local communities can hope to check the partnership of capital and politics before every living space in the city is overwhelmed.

Klaus steers the Public Paddle

The population of the areas surrounding our home waters has grown dramatically in recent years, and there has been almost no effort to control this growth or make sure that infrastructure and services grow also or to prevent long-term residents’ being priced out of their homes and neighborhoods. Come out to Long Island City’s New York Irish Center on September 12 to TAKE BACK LIC from overdevelopment:

Global Canoe Earth Day Action at NBBC

Global  Canoe and the NBBC

Global Canoe and the NBBC

On April 22, 2016, the North Brooklyn Boat Club hosted a Global Canoe event that brought together indigenous people’s leaders from all over the world in an action that sought to highlight the exclusion of indigenous peoples from the Paris climate accords signed with great fanfare that day at the UN.





The event was organized by the Mesoamerican Alliance of Peoples and Forests, an alliance of grassroots indigenous and local community organizations from across Central America. In addition to NBBC, other groups that supported Global Canoe included COICA, the main coalition of indigenous
organizations from the Amazon; AMAN, which represents millions of indigenous peoples in Indonesia; the Rainforest Foundation US; If Not Us Then Who?; and Advice Project Media. Global Canoe sought to bring three points to the attention of the world leaders at the UN and world public:

  • Stop the murder of indigenous leaders
  • Allow access to climate funding to indigenous peoples organizations
  • Recognize land titling of indigenous territories

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At the Broadway Stages Boatyard, speakers included Candido Mezua, from AMPB; Mina Setra, from AMAN/Indonesia; Jorge Furagaro from Coica/Colombia; Sara Omi, from the Alto Bayano Congress in Panama; and Chief Phil Lane Jr., from Four Worlds International. We were joined by members of the Onondaga Nation from upstate New York.


The speeches and ceremonies at the boatyard highlighted the struggles of indigenous peoples, whose rights are ignored and whose people are murdered by both the forces of globalization and the very governments celebrating their “accords” on the other side of the river. Chief Lane spoke of a 500-year-old prophecy that predicted that the peoples of the eagle, the condor, and the coatl would come together in a time of danger and that their meeting would usher in a new age of healing for the world. He declared that that day had arrived and that the prophesied meeting was taking place right there in Greenpoint.

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After the ceremony, we loaded up both of NBBC’s 25′ canoes and every tandem canoe on the site to take these members of paddling cultures across the East River to just below U Thant Island, opposite the United Nations. Despite close attention from the NYPD, we peacefully lit a ceremonial tobacco pipe, and Chief Lane led the boats in an invocation that the world might hear the simple plea we made:


  • Stop the murder of indigenous leaders
  • Allow access to climate funding to indigenous peoples organizations
  • Recognize land titling of indigenous territories

All the peoples, including the Brooklynites, then gathered together back at the boatyard to sing and play and be together and hope that the plea had been heard.