Following Liberty’s disappointing annual meeting, we’re doubling down

By Elana Sulakshana

A movement is rising to demand that Liberty act with the urgency the moment demands by withdrawing its reckless support for fossil fuel expansion projects that the climate simply cannot afford and that are being built without the consent of impacted Indigenous communities. 

Liberty’s annual meeting: what happened?

On April 14, Liberty Mutual held its annual meeting for customers, where anyone that owns a Liberty Mutual policy can vote on key issues like the company’s Board of Directors and ask questions. Or so they say. The annual meeting lasted only SEVEN minutes, and Liberty executives refused to answer the 2,700+ of questions that the company received about fossil fuels and Indigenous rights from all of you.

Instead of addressing any questions and concerns, Liberty enthusiastically announced the launch of the company’s new sustainability report and referred customers with questions there. In the report, Liberty Mutual committed to supporting a “just transition to a low-carbon economy,” but had extremely vague details on what that translates to concretely. Liberty Mutual did not make a single new commitment to limit fossil fuel insuring or investing in and did not mention Indigenous rights or human rights at all in the report. (You can read our detailed analysis here.)

Our response

The lack of concrete action is disappointing, but it is also a powerful motivator and reminder that we need to double down on the pressure and bring the campaign directly to key executives. We know the names of individuals that are making these decisions to insure and invest in projects that are fueling the climate crisis and violating Indigenous and human rights, from the Arctic to Australia, and we’re not afraid to call them out.

In the lead-up to the meeting, more than 140,000 people signed a petition urging Liberty Mutual to stop insuring tar sands, Arctic drilling, and all fossil fuel expansion projects, including more than 10,000 of Liberty’s customers. We made sure the executives heard that message loud and clear by putting it onto a billboard truck and driving it around the company’s Boston HQ and their houses in the nearby suburbs. 

And just a few hours after the annual meeting, we came together for The People vs. Liberty Mutual: Voices from the Frontlines Digital Rally. We refuse to let Liberty ignore the stories and testimonies from communities that they are impacting with their business decisions, and so we created our own meeting space to join together in community and take action collectively for communities and the planet. If you missed it, you can watch a recording here or catch the highlights in RAN’s live tweet thread.

Joye Braun (Indigenous Environmental Network) and I had the honor of emceeing and introducing incredible Indigenous land and water defenders that are resisting fossil fuel expansion across North America. The incredible speakers shared powerful stories about the impacts of colonialism and fossil fuel extraction on their communities and clearly linked these impacts to Liberty’s destructive human rights and climate record. Nauri Toler (Native Movement), Melina Laboucan Massimo (Indigenous Climate Action), Kanahus Manuel (Tiny House Warriors), and a member of the Braided Warriors Indigenous youth collective told their stories and invited the hundreds of people joining the event to join the fight for Indigenous sovereignty and a just transition by pressuring Liberty Mutual executives to stop their destructive, business as usual pursuit of profit above all else.

Together, over the course of the rally, we flooded the email inboxes of Liberty Mutual executives and swarmed Liberty’s social media pages so that anyone who visits the company’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or LinkedIn can learn about their dirty dealings.

What’s next?

At the end of April, Liberty Mutual announced that it was pausing its plans to build a giant new coal mine in Australia. Farmers and ranchers and Traditional Owners that have been fighting this project for nearly ten years welcomed the news and called on Liberty to officially cancel the project once and for all. 

We know we need to do more to move Liberty Mutual to even bolder action to abandon the coal mine and all other new fossil fuel projects, and so we’re shifting the campaign tactics from email inboxes to mailboxes. We’ve set a goal of sending 5,000 postcards to the homes of top Liberty Mutual executives, and we need your help to meet it.

Can you help translate our campaign demands to snail mail that these executives can’t just delete with a click of a button? Join us and sign up to send your own postcards directly to the homes of the executives and demand that they #InsureOurFuture

Sign up to send postcards directly to Liberty Mutual executives’ homes