Leaflet distributed by Socialist Alternative at ‘The Big One’ – four days of climate protest called by Extinction Rebellion from 21-24 April.
London Socialist Alternative public meeting
“How can a mass, revolutionary climate movement be built?”
Monday 24 April, 7:15pm
5 Caledonian Rd, London N1 9DY
Capitalism is killing the planet. Last year’s deadly heatwave saw rivers dry up and power supplies fail across the world. In Europe alone, 20,000 deaths have been linked to the extreme heat. In Pakistan, unprecedented rainfall left a third of the country underwater, displacing millions.
But rather than immediate, radical action on the climate, we have seen targets repeatedly missed. Capitalist governments around the world are ratcheting up military spending to fund imperialist wars, which involves some of the most polluting industries in the world today. In response to the war in Ukraine and threats to oil and gas supplies, capitalist governments have launched a frenzied drive toward new fossil fuel projects. It has never been clearer that the capitalist system on a world scale is totally incompatible with the climate.
Rebuild a mass climate movement!
Over the past year, workers in Britain and around the world have organised strikes to fight back against rising costs of living. In doing so, they have shown that a powerful movement can be built to win if we use our power as workers to grind the system to a halt.
We need a new round of climate strikes, going much further than the heroic climate strikes in 2019 which forced world leaders to start talking about this crisis. But talk is not enough – we need action! A new, mass, revolutionary climate movement, with students and workers at its head, could paralyse the capitalist economy and force leaders’ hands to win real gains. But in doing so, our movement can show who really runs society, and fight for a society run in our interests – and those of the planet we live on.
Today’s protest is an important step toward building such a movement, as have the picket visits from XR and other climate organisations. This should be taken further, toward a united front of the workers’ and climate movements around our shared demands for decent public transport, affordable green energy and more. This would be an important step toward rebuilding a movement that can make the demand for ‘system change not climate change’ a reality.
- Climate struggle is class struggle! For mass working-class struggle against the cost of living and climate crises.
- For solidarity visits to picket lines of striking workers. Form democratic committees of joint struggle, drawing together climate activists and workers from other sectors to fight for our shared demands. Stand with rail workers fighting to renationalise the railways!
- Force the unions to take action for the climate! The unions have shown their strength – now they must take up the climate struggle.
- For massive, immediate investment in green energy and infrastructure. The wealth for this exists for an immediate programme of renewable energy, home insulation and green public transport, but it is in the wrong hands. As a first step, we need to tax the super rich, close down the tax havens and take the banks and energy corporations into democratic public ownership.
- For planning not market chaos! Take the key sectors of the economy into public ownership, with democratic workers’ control and management to ensure immediate changes in all major industries, and reorganise the economy to serve people and the planet
- The climate crisis is international – our struggle must be too! For an international movement, coordinated across national borders to fight for system change in all countries. For international solidarity against the new cold war and imperialism!
- To make this possible, we need a revolutionary organisation, active in workplaces, universities, trade unions and social movements to put forward a strategy that can link struggles together and fight for a socialist society run democratically by workers, young people and the oppressed. Join ISA to help build such an organisation!
Model motion for trade unions
The following model motion has been written by members of Socialist Alternative in the trade union movement. If you would like help in moving this motion in your local trade union branch, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This branch notes
- The global climate crisis is worsening. The 10 hottest years on record in this country have taken place since 2003, and reflects the process of global warming driven by fossil-fuel emissions.
- A majority of CO2 pollution since 1988 has been primarily driven by just 100 companies.
- Climate protests and strikes around the planet, including the recent protests in London as part of ‘The Big One’ organised by Extinction Rebellion. Many trade unionists have participated in these protests.
- That the climate crisis is a workplace issue. The 2023 heatwave exposed again the lack of a maximum workplace temperature. All workers, whether office-based or outdoors, have the right to work in decent and safe conditions, regardless of weather.
The branch believes
- That the climate crisis is caused by profit-driven capitalism, which puts corporate greed before the needs of the planet and ordinary people worldwide.
- We need a real ‘green new deal’ and ‘just transition’ based on public ownership of the banks and big corporations to enable a switch to a sustainable economy.
- Necessary policies include: investment to enable a complete switch to renewable energy, high quality public transport, fully insulated and air-conditioned homes for all, a fully funded fire service and other emergency/disaster responses, housing and jobs for refugees, and sustainable food production with real living wages for all working people.
- A new upsurge in climate struggle will require the backing of the trade union movement to win such demands.
This branch resolves
- To support and take part in climate protests and events, and to contact climate campaigns and unions in our locality to coordinate.
- To facilitate discussion amongst our membership about how the climate crisis can be fought.
- To demand changes to the law regarding a maximum workplace temperature and for employers to adopt a safe maximum already.
- To publicise this motion to our members and to forward to other bodies of our union and the wider labour movement as appropriate.