Editing this issue of Race, Poverty & the Environment with the analytical framework of imperialism has been a fascinating task. To do the theme justice, we decided to gather a set of introductory articles that define and frame imperialism as a challenge to environmental justice.
In this introductory section, U.C. Berkeley Professor R.A. Walker defines imperialism first as a “geographic term: the power of one place over another.” An author of several articles about Bay Area development, Walker describes how elite “command over space and place” has characterized urban development throughout the United States, and particularly in San Francisco and the East Bay. Tom B. K. Goldtooth of the Indigenous Environmental Network provides readers with an historical overview of colonialism’s impact on Indigenous populations and explains how exploitation of Indigenous land and resources continues today. To close this section, a Q&A with Eric Mann, director of the Labor/Community Strategy Center in Los Angeles, articulates why anti-imperialism has long been a part of the Center’s mission and what organizers can do now to further the global justice movement.