The latest in the series of global youth strikes for climate is on Friday, 24 May. These monthly actions have been hugely successful with tens of thousands of students walking out of British schools, colleges and universities to join protests, coordinated with events across the entire planet.
Young people have confounded negative stereotypes of being a self-obsessed generation with their willingness to come together and fight for their futures. These protests can be the impetus to build school student unions. These would help democratically organise the movement and protect those taking part from being victimised. Student unions would also be able to discuss a response to all the other issues facing young people in this age of austerity.
The climate strikes are not just an excuse to bunk-off. Protesters have been engaged politically and open to radical solutions to save the planet.
Socialist Party calls for 'socialist change not climate change' have been widely welcomed and have also provoked discussion and debate at the open mic street meetings.
Protesters' anger has largely been directed at the big businesses that have profited from destruction of the environment and the politicians that have allowed them to get away with it.
The most prominent of these, US president Donald Trump, will be coming to Britain for a state visit on 3-5 June. The built-up momentum of the youth climate strikes should be fed into the mass demonstrations that will greet him on 4 June. This climate criminal has pulled the US out of even the extremely limited Paris Agreement and showed his support for expanding fossil fuel industries.
Trump's climate change denial doesn't just come from scientific illiteracy. He represents the interests of those billionaires who want to profit at the expense of our planet.
The same interests lie behind his ratcheting up tensions on the world stage and his attempts to divide the working class with sexism and racism. We will be protesting not just against Trump himself but the capitalist system that he represents and raising the socialist alternative.
18 Sep Building a new left in PCS
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