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From The Socialist newspaper, 13 March 2019

For socialist change, not climate change!

Young climate strikers in London 15 February, photo James Ivens

Young climate strikers in London 15 February, photo James Ivens   (Click to enlarge)

Connor Rosoman, Brighton and Sussex Socialist Students

Last month, tens of thousands of young people took to the streets to protest against climate change. With more walkouts set for Friday 15 March, this could be the beginning of a new mass youth and student movement.

This environmental crisis has been caused by big business, which prioritises profit over anything else - including the planet and people's needs. Just the top 100 companies are responsible for 71% of all greenhouse gas emissions.

Although some groups see the climate movement as 'apolitical' or bigger than politics, the struggle against climate change is fundamentally linked to the struggle against capitalism.

Walkouts, as well as direct actions and publicity stunts, are a positive development. But in order to beat the climate crisis we must build a mass movement with the power to end the captalist system causing it.

The trade unions represent more than six million workers. If the working class stopped working then industry, shops, transport, schools and the whole of society would stop.

This is why the organised working class is potentially the most powerful force in changing society. If the student movement linked up with the workers and the unions, we could build an almighty mass movement against climate change.

Students should also organise student unions within their schools and colleges to fight for the right to protest, and against any reprisals they may face.

Such a movement, united on a programme for 'socialist change - not climate change', would be able to end the environmental catastrophe capitalism is racing toward.

Socialist alternative

The Tory government, like all pro-big business governments, offers no real solutions to halt runaway climate change and has been repeatedly found guilty in court over failing to deal with deadly air pollution. It stands for the interests of the corporations that have caused this crisis in the first place.

The Tories may have signed up to the Paris climate change agreement but those targets are voluntary and not enforceable.

A Labour government led by Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell should fight for policies that do not bend the knee to 'big oil' and the other major corporations responsible for pumping out greenhouse gases, but instead put people first.

Such a programme would require a socialist government taking the banks and major corporations into public ownership, under democratic workers' control and management. On that basis, we could fund the massive, immediate investment into green energy we need, and run the economy according to a sustainable plan of production based on people's needs - not profit.

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The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • We must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
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In The Socialist 13 March 2019:


News

Anger after violent youth deaths - Communities need public services not cuts

Weak Tories must go. General election now!

Them & Us


Opinion

History: Alice Wheeldon - an anti-war socialist persecuted by the state

The Socialist Inbox


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

International Women's Day protests

For socialist change, not climate change!

Southampton: Socialist stand against cuts

No to racism - Fight for socialism

Memorial to working-class fighters who fought fascism


What we think

Only socialist planning can save the planet: Build a mass working-class struggle to achieve it!


Workplace news

Neither Tories or EU - only fighting trade unions and a Corbyn-led government can deliver workers' rights

PCS union elections: Huge support for Chris Baugh

Newark NSK strike: "Even Victorian workers got a day off each week. We're expected to have just one weekend off every three weeks"

Breaking news: Birmingham bin workers' strike suspended pending new deal

Workplace news in brief


Universal Credit

Tories out. Scrap Universal Credit. Fight for living wages and welfare!


International socialist news and analysis

Brazil: The Threats, attacks and contradictions of Bolsonaro's regime


Obituary

Obituary Joan Beale - Labour women's activist and Militant supporter


 

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Related links:

Climate change:

triangleUnprecedented floods in British Columbia

triangleSunak's climate finance agenda typifies capitalism's COP26 failure

triangleYouth fight for well-paid green jobs and socialist change

triangleHackney & Islington Socialist Party: Socialist change to reverse climate change

triangleThousands march in Glasgow and elsewhere to save the planet

Socialist:

triangleSwansea Socialist Party: Do wage rises cause inflation?

triangleSwansea Socialist Party: Socialist nationalisation - what it is and why we need it

triangleIt's my party, and I'll lie if I want to

triangleUK Covid-19 mortality similar to Spanish Flu

Student:

triangleThis is students' chance to fight back - help build 2 March NUS walkout

triangleSouthampton uni ignores staff and students in exam farce

triangleNUS walkout: Organise to fight for free education on 2 March

Government:

triangleBritain's waterways choked with a 'chemical cocktail'

triangleEducation: Workload and inflation goes up, incomes fall

Schools:

triangleOaks Park School: valiant strike exposed state of schools

Students:

triangleSouthampton student vote for online exams must be accepted

Socialist Students:

triangleSocialist Students conference

Young people:

triangleChile's working class delivers a landslide vote against ultra-right Kast

Youth:

triangleSwansea Socialist Party: Youth fighting back by joining trade unions

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