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From The Socialist newspaper, 3 April 2019
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!
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Coronavirus crisis - Finance appeal
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 government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.
- 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.
- Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
- When the health crisis subsides, 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.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our special coronavirus appeal.
In The Socialist 3 April 2019:
What we think
Corbyn and workers' movement must lead fight for general election and socialist alternative to EU bosses' club
International socialist news and analysis
Mueller report underlines Democrats' weakness
40 years after Three Mile Island disaster
Corporate capitalism jeopardises air safety
Cuts and chaos. Enough. General election now!
End Tory cold cruelty: life under austerity in Merthyr
Working families in poverty: fund homes and childcare
Toxic Grenfell fire residue threatens survivors
Poor doors, segregated playgrounds
Probation privatisation failure
Thousands of Honda workers march in Swindon
Greenwich Unite demands workers brought in-house
Well-supported strike against cuts at Bradfield school
Chesterfield hospital privatisation plans
Workplace news in brief
PCS elections: Support socialist candidates
Socialist Party reports and campaigns
Socialist change not climate change
Vote for socialist mayor and council candidates
NHS marches in Yorkshire and London
Financing the fightback
Discussion and debate at Leeds Trans Pride
Socialists say we need a workers' Brexit at Young Labour debate
Reclaim the Game book launch
The Socialist Inbox
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