Eddy Jinks, York Socialist Party
On 25 October, around 30 mostly young people and students gathered in York to protest against the destruction of our environment and the imminent threat of climate catastrophe. The Socialist Party was present with a campaign stall and two of our members spoke.
Maurice Cooper brought up the need for students nationwide to fight for student unions, as schools have introduced harder and more aggressive sanctions to students choosing to strike. And James Leech gave a powerful speech on how we need a socialist approach in order to effectively combat climate change and putting the blame for ecological disaster where it really belongs: capitalism.
“The picture in front of us is quite clear: the planet is burning. And it is the rich, the corporations, big business – what we socialists would call the capitalist class – that are holding a torch to the face of the Earth.”
Climate change isn’t an issue that will simply dissolve, as long as the capitalist class reigns dominant they will continue to destroy our planet for every last bit of profit they can extract. Only as a united working class can we take action and force governments to make policy to combat climate change, such as nationalising carbon-intensive industries.
Our environment can’t be truly prioritised until we replace the capitalist system with a system that puts the interests of humanity and the planet first. As James put it: “It is, as a famous German revolutionary, Rosa Luxemburg once said – socialism or barbarism. It is socialism or climate catastrophe. It is socialism or extinction.”
Tom Baldwin, Bristol Socialist Party
About 150 young people took to the streets of Bristol in the latest climate strike on 22 October. The event was officially supported by the student unions of both the city’s universities, which marks a step forward.
Most participants were university rather than school students, who have made up the bulk of previous larger climate strikes. The demonstrations around COP26 give an opportunity to rebuild the momentum of the movement that was cut across by last year’s lockdown.
Socialist Party and Socialist Students members joined the demonstration and got a very positive response to our call for socialist planning to stop climate change. Two people have said they want to join the Socialist Party.