By Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese for Popular Resistance. Environmental injustice makes social justice impossible. To achieve environmental justice, we have to recognize the role that capitalism plays in exploiting communities for profit and driving wealth inequality, particularly in communities of color. The struggle of our time is people power versus corporate power. All over the world people are taking action for economic, racial, environmental and climate justice. We can, and we must, prevail by stopping harmful policies and practices and putting in place new systems that are rooted in solidarity, cooperation and sustainability.
Global Climate Convergence
A global climate strike is a next step in the international uprising that insists that another world is possible. That uprising has taken to the streets in the tens of millions. It has even occupied capitol buildings and the halls of capital. Yet the street demonstrations have yet to work because most global elites are not listening and will not listen. And while the occupations and blockades have succeeded here and there, the bulldozers of profit keep moving everywhere else. It is time to shock the system with a global climate strike. What makes a strike different from mere protest? A strike is an economic stoppage. A strike does not plead. It does not demand. It simply does. A global climate strike stops the economic and political systems responsible for the climate crisis. Workers and students stop their usual work. Machines and money stop moving. And communities step forward into the breach to build the new economy that puts people and planet over profit.
Saturday, September 20th 10:45a-12:15p NYC Climate Convergence 16 Beaver, 4th Floor FREE and OPEN TO THE PUBLIC In the lead up to #PeoplesClimate March on 9/21, we're particpating in a day of teach-ins and workshops. JOIN US! Formed by The Yes Men, the Yes Lab helps activists and organizations carry out media-getting direct actions. In this workshop, we will share some juicy nuggets of how we develop effective, fun and meaningful actions that you can use for raising climate awareness. We'll also preview our brand new tool, the Action Switchboard, which is a human moderated online platform that will be released next month. It will allow you to initiate and join direct political actions, connect with supportive NGOs, receive training and resources to help put important issues into the spotlight, and share stories of your actions. Join Andy and the Yes Lab team to be among the first to get a peek!
The climate crisis is a crisis of democracy requiring a coordinated global grassroots mobilization to stop harmful policies and practices and build alternative systems that are effective and equitable. The climate crisis affects all of us and touches everything we care about. It will take a mass "movement of movements" to counter the power of money and corruption that prevents the change we need. The last two decades have been wasted by political misleadership and, as a result, immediate action is required. A landmark report issued last week concluded: “By 2018, no new cars, homes, schools, factories, or electrical power plants should be built anywhere in the world, ever again, unless they’re either replacements for old ones or carbon neutral.” We have a big task before us and need to build a global movement to make it a reality.
Timeka Drew of the Global Climate Convergence in conversation with Dennis Trainor, Jr. The Global Climate Convergence is calling for AN EMERGENCY GLOBAL GREEN NEW DEAL
In our previous article, we described how the U.S. has undermined the United Nations Conference of Party (COP) meetings to force a pro-industry agenda, even going so far as spying on countries and negotiating in secret. The same activities are occurring at home to stop attempts to end the current extraction-based energy economy and move into a low-carbon, renewables-based one. Now, the climate crisis is here and we must take serious action to mitigate it and build systems that allow us to adapt to its effects on our life systems. Solutions exist to accomplish this, but they won’t be coming from above. Rather, they will come from a mobilized grassroots demanding transformation to a carbon-free, nuclear-free energy economy. This month, when the United Nations holds climate meetings in New York, people in the U.S. have an opportunity to gather, raise awareness about the roots of the crisis, and build a broader "movement of movements" that cooperates through a unified strategy.
The recent report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is the most worrisome so far. Paired with data from the 2014 National Climate Assessment, there is no question that the climate crisis is here and is accelerating at a faster pace than predicted. Its effects are widespread and dangerous, yet real solutions are being suppressed. The climate crisis is a ticking clock that demands immediate effective action, but the United Nations Conference of Parties (COP) – the international body responsible for creating agreements on climate change – has become nothing more than a tool for multinational corporations and financiers to force a neo-liberal agenda and profit from the crisis. The false solutions being promoted displace and exploit people, destroy the environment and worsen climate change. The climate crisis is our greatest challenge.
Jill Stein was the Green Party's 2012 candidate for President of the United States. She is an organizer, physician, and pioneering environmental-health advocate. She has helped lead initiatives promoting healthy communities, local green economies and stronger democracy - including campaign finance reform, green jobs, racially-just redistricting, and the cleanup of incinerators, coal plants, and toxic-pesticides. She now helps organize the Global Climate Convergence for People, Planet and Peace over Profit, an education and direct action campaign beginning Spring 2014 with an "Earth Day to May Day" wave of action, across the US and beyond. The Convergence provides collaboration across fronts of struggle and national borders to harness the transformative power we already possess as thousands of justice movements, rising up against the global assault on our economy, ecology, peace and democracy.
Convergence Day in Parr Field, Taos, NM. Global Climate Convergence Taos hosted a Convergence Day at our local elementary school field. Pat McCabe, Woman Stands Shining, gave a ceremony/presentation on Sustainability, the Science of Right Relations. Food Not Bombs and the Love-In-Action Network fed everyone a picnic despite the wind. The Community Parade was a great success! Penasco school kids, parents, and teacher Nicole Kowalski, brought a huge recycled plastic dragon they had built and carried it in the parade. A protest marching band showed up like an unexpected miracle and had us all literally dancing down the street. The 30mph winds flew the large banners flat as billboards! www.globalclimateconvergencetaos.com
In celebration of Earth Day and to mark the beginning of the Global Climate Convergence, students and alumni at Portland State kicked off their campaign to end PSU’s ties to the fossil fuel industry and Wall St. With their endowment, foundation, and board of trustees deeply connected to the destruction of our communities at home and abroad, PSU can no longer brand itself as a “green” or “sustainable” university. PSU’s branding is handled by Gard Communications, who market PSU as a green university while also doing PR for coal exporting proposals along the Columbia. Even one of PSU’s buildings, the Peter Stott center, is named after a profiteer from the tar sands infrastructure-shipping company Omega-Morgan. We as students, alumni, and community members are waging a campaign on all fronts to ensure that the university claiming “Let knowledge serve the city” can no longer greenwash its image and is truly dedicated to putting People, Planet, and Peace over Profit.
As a part of Earth Day to May Day 2014 the Shut the Chamber! campaign – organized by Liberty Tree together with CODE PINK!, Popular Resistance, Alliance for Democracy, the Overpass Light Brigade network, and more – held a national day of action to take on the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Below is a photo gallery of the protest in Washington, DC at the national headquarters of the US Chamber of Commerce. The U.S. Chamber is notorious for blocking climate action and buying off politicians to put corporate profits ahead of people, planet and peace. Now the Chamber is trying to force through the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) – a secretive job-killing trade agreement that would give multinational corporate tribunals the power to overrule economic and environmental decisions made democratically at the local level. Interested in getting involved with the Global Climate Convergence? For regular updates about Earth Day to May Day 2014 and beyond click here. To see a full schedule of planned Earth Day to May Day actions (or to register your own- it's not too late!) click here.
As you know, the movement for democracy and justice is sweeping the globe – from democracy revolutions to occupy protests, movements for the rights of workers, students, immigrants, women and Indigenous peoples; resistance to NSA spying, endless war, prison pipelines, tar sands, fracking, nuclear power, GMOs and more. The accelerating climate disaster – now predicted to dismantle civilization as we know it as soon as 2050 - intensifies all these struggles, and provides new urgency for collaboration and unified action. Clearly there is no time to lose. The Convergence calls for a solution as big as the crisis barreling down on us – an emergency green economic transformation, including full employment and living wages; 100 percent clean renewable energy by 2030; universal free health care and education; food and housing security; an end to deportations and mass incarceration; economic and political democracy; demilitarization; ecosystem restoration and support for the rights of Mother Earth; and more. These goals will only be achieved by masses of people coming together in a unified movement, which is exactly what the Convergence is working towards!”
“The IPCC has finally stepped up to the plate in saying what we are up against,” says Dr. Stein, “but they have not begin to step up to the plate, in fact they are really not qualified to say how we fix this. The IPCC is not calling for radical transformation. They have yelled, ‘fire!’ and come out with a squirt gun. What they are calling for is not what we need.” In the second half of the show, Dennis sits down with Dr. Margret Flowers. Recently, Dr. Flowers initiated an online petition declaring herself a consciences objector to the Affordable Care Act and asking others to send a message to President Obama that the ACA is a scam. “The most important conversation we should be having right now in the United States is not how many people are insured,” says Dr. Flowers “knowing that insurance is not protective, it’s: do we want to continue to treat healthcare as a commodity where people only get what they can afford, or do we want to join the rest of the industrialized nations in the world and treat healthcare as a public good and create a system where people can get what they need.”
From CreativeResistance.org: As part of the Global Climate Convergence, 10 Days to Change Course: Mother Earth Day to May Day National Actions, join the GCC (Global Climate Convergence) the OLB (Overpass Light Brigade) and the Light Brigade Network in “Light Up the Skies for People, Planet & Peace Over Profit” April 25, 2014 as part of the 10 Days to Change Course Mother Earth Day to May Day national actions. No matter where you’re located, you can use your creativity to get out into the night & take action! Light up the skies simply by meeting at the beach with candles or at the park with flashlights. Get out your glow sticks! Use artistic tools and your imagination to express what you are passionate about this Earth Day to May Day! Join a Light Brigade near you. Create a vigil. Bring out glowsticks and candles. Project images or hold your handheld tablets high! Imagine Light!