The Socialist 3 April 2019 |
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Solidarity with youth strikes
Socialist change not climate change
15 March youth climate walkout in London, photo Paul Mattsson, photo Paul Mattsson (Click to enlarge)
Sam Witts, Birmingham Socialist Party
Young people are taking up mass protest action as a means of defending our planet from the ravages of environmental destruction.
Fed up with the decades-long lip service paid by mainstream politicians, institutions and big business to tackling climate change, young people have bravely stood up and decided to fight for their future themselves.
Over the past few weeks we have seen an incredible display of walk-outs, protests and student strikes all over the world. An estimated 1.4 million people have taken part. And with more action planned for 12 April, this fighting determination shows no signs of cooling.
These demonstrations couldn't have come at a better time. Last week it was reported that the five biggest oil and gas corporations have splurged over $1 billion since the 2015 Paris Agreement on "misleading climate-related branding and lobbying". Moreover, just 100 mega-corporations are responsible for over 70% of all global emissions.
In plain and simple terms, these capitalists would much rather spend eye-watering sums of money spreading outright lies to protect their profit system than to save our planet.
The climate strikes are proof that, for many people, this status quo of toothless climate agreements, corporate green-washing and laying the blame on individuals' consumption will no longer be tolerated.
There is a growing recognition that the capitalist system must be scrapped, and the popular slogan of "system change not climate change" is a clear testament to that.
The system change we need is socialist change. It would mean planning production in an environmentally friendly way, based on a democratically run nationalised economy. Socialism would mean gearing resources to human need, not private profit.
Only when working people take the world's vast resources, technology, and human potential, out of the hands of those who exploit us and into our own hands, will we truly be able to steer the planet away from capitalism's destructive course.
Therefore it's vital that the youth strikes continue to build internationally - linking up with the trade unions and the wider working class. Such collective action would hit the bosses where it really hurts - their profits. Then, capitalism and its representatives will really begin to feel the heat!