Socialist Alternative: What is the Way Forward for the Environmental Movement?

Socialist Alternative

(The following was originally published on the Socialist Alternative website.)

 

Upwards of 400,000 people participated in the People’s Climate March in New York City on Sunday. Billed as the largest climate change march in U.S. history, it far surpassed organizers’ original estimate of a 100,000 person turnout. The march was not only massive in size but also had a huge number of youth participants. It was a key moment in the radicalization of a generation. Huge numbers of students  – one contingent alone had over 50,000 people in it — were also present, they had been bussed in from all over the country. While many of them held signs that vaguely said, “Youth Choose Climate Justice,” there were also many who held bolder signs that read, “Youth Choose System Change.”

The significant union presence (including the SEIU, CWA, Teamsters, IBEW, AFSCME, UAW, NYSNA and the TWU) on Sunday’s march also shows a growing consciousness in the labor movement about the connection between our current economic system and the devastation of our environment.

The march spanned a total of about four miles, from 90th Street all the way down to 34th Street. Organizers established six primary “themes,” fitting each individual contingent into a broader category. Socialist Alternative’s contingent was grouped into the “Anti-Corporate Campaigns, Peace & Justice & More.” Our banner read: “Capitalism failed people and the planet; join the struggle for socialism.” Other nearby contingents were System Change Not Climate Change, as well as the Flood Wall Street contingent, a group that would go on to lead direct actions the next day, shutting

Beginning of a New Mass Movement

While the organizers of the march should be credited for setting off a new phase of the environmental movement, there were clear political weaknesses. The march  received sponsorship from a number of corporations, including Lockheed Martin, BP, and Goldman Sachs. The organizers also failed to put forward any clear demands and did not allow any groups to put forward speakers.

Most serious of all, while the organizers openly and correctly stated that one demonstration would not solve the problems facing the environment, they failed to provide any guidance or leadership on what the next steps of the movement would be.  If the march had called for taxes on the corporations and super-rich to fund a green jobs program, this could have given direction and impetus to future climate justice actions. From there, campaigns could be organized with mass protests on campuses and in communities to demand a huge expansion of public transportation and a transition to publicly-owned green energy.

But although the organizers weren’t clear on these points, the large numbers of the protesters were. The theme of “system change” appeared throughout the march, from the eco-socialist contingent to explicit calls for the need to overthrow capitalism, many on homemade signs. The calls for systemic change clearly indicate a real understanding among a broad swath of people of the need not just to reform our current capitalist system but to actually break with the system altogether. Of course, there is still a great deal of confusion about how to go about this or the next steps to be taken.

The hunger for answers was reflected in the overwhelmingly positive response Socialist Alternative got at the march. People were flocking to our tables looking for more information about our work, many of whom openly identified as socialists. What became clear from these discussions and the signs people were carrying is that an anti-corporate and even anti-capitalist consciousness is rapidly developing, spurred not only by the threat to the environment but also by the other products of capitalism: inequality, racism, sexism and war. Capitalism destroys more than just the environment, and it is our task to connect the struggle against human-caused climate change to the myriad of other injustices and degradations wrought by capitalism.

Building a Real Alternative

Deep frustration with the Democrats, particularly with the Obama administration, which has overseen a massive expansion of oil and gas production while talking about the need to do something about climate change, was a constant theme in our discussions at the march. The night before, Socialist Alternative participated in an electrifying panel with Kshama Sawant, Chris Hedges, Naomi Klein, Bill McKibben, and Bernie Sanders which was attended by over 900 people in Manhattan (see a full video here). When Sawant encouraged Sanders to make a break with the Democrats, the church burst into applause, signifying people’s readiness for a real alternative to the choice between the “lesser of two evils.”

With so many people convinced of the need for system change, it becomes the task of socialists to explain and articulate what kind of system we need to put in capitalism’s place as well as the way forward for the movement.

Bold actions and campaigns are required to build on the momentum from September 21st. For example, on the same day, as already reported, the climate change protest in Seattle ended with a successful direct action to block an oil train. There is a rapidly growing movement on college campuses calling for divestment from fossil fuels. These campaigns and calls to action need to be broadened and lead to further mass mobilizations. The labor movement needs to become more involved and prepared to take solidarity action with the environmental movement.

The movement also needs to adopt a clear set of demands that can mobilize the widest possible support from the working class. As stated above, these should include the demand to tax the rich in order to create a massive green jobs program, a massive expansion of mass transit, and public ownership of the energy industry. But the movement also needs to establish independence from both political parties of corporate America. The environmental movement, alongside the movement for a $15 minimum wage and other social struggles, urgently requires expression through a new political force representing the interests of the 99%. As a first step, we need far more genuine left candidates like Socialist Alternative’s Jess Spear, an environmental scientist who is running speaker of the Washington State House.

But in order to end climate change, we need to end capitalism. The huge wealth and power held by big polluters has been gained at the expense of humanity and the environment. Rather than further destruction, that wealth should be used to rapidly transition to 100% green energy use and to organize our society’s huge potential to meet the needs of everyone. This is what a socialist society would look like.  Join Socialist Alternative in that fight today!

12 thoughts on “Socialist Alternative: What is the Way Forward for the Environmental Movement?”

  1. Unfortunately it is too late. The Earth will be made uninhabitable by global climate change in the very near future. Realistically, Man cannot reverse it. However, there is an actual alternative to resolve the issue for Man. The solution is in the sky. Our only obstacle is time and money.

    We must accept the Earth’s fate and stop wasting time on band aides. These simply waste time and money on a lost cause. We need to raise funds for research and technological development in order to ultimately terraform Mars for human settlement. To raise these funds we must use our superior technology in drilling to take advantage of the untapped potential of oil under Siberia. To do this we need to acquire Siberia from Russia and then employ hydraulic fracturing to obtain the oil. The proceeds from this will fund the terraformation project.

    This is what we need to do to maintain the existence of mankind.

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    1. New article:

      Martin Areola: The Master Bates Party.

      I have decided to form a new political party. It is called the Master Bates Party and it will run a 2016 presidential ticket. It will have a Master at the top of the ticket. The running mate will be Kathy Bates.

      The presidential nominee will be decided in a contest to determine who is the ultimate Master. The contest will begin with a penis measuring. The candidates will then be seeded based on their length. A tournament will then be held in which each candidate will face each other one on one and attempt to insert their penis into their opponent’s anus, thus mastering him. Those mastered will be eliminated. Those mastering will move on to the next round to face another opponent. The final two will get their chance to dominate Kathy Bates and afterwards she will decide who is the ultimate Master. The second place finisher will be the alternate and will keynote the 2016 Master Bates Party Convention.

      I am 100% certain the Master Bates Party nominee will win because George Washington was a slave Master and he had to have sexual intercourse with Martha Washington who was similar to Kathy Bates. He won 100% of the vote in the 1789 and 1792 presidential elections. This is indisputable proof the Master Bates nominee will win in 2016.

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      1. His name is actually Marlon Areola. I have a news update on this man.

        Yesterday at approximately 7:30 am EST, a Hispanic man meeting the description of Marlon Areola was found at the busy intersection of Main and Court St. masterbating over an open manhole.

        Eyewitnesses report Areola exited his vehicle ranting about traffic when he suddenly started removing his clothing and claiming to be both Jesus and Obama.

        It is not known why Areola started masterbating thereafter, but while doing so, he allegedly repeated, “I am dominating. ”

        Areola was booked on charges of indecent exposure. He is now free on bail.

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  2. I know we all want an update on Areola, but I don’t have one. Today I want to talk about faggotry.

    Oral simulation of the penis is not necessarily gay. It is just a fun activity that brings about pleasure and good will. How is it any different than receiving a massage from a male massage therapist? A massage brings about pleasure and good will. Plus, it usually ends with hand relief and ejaculation. Why is it “gay” to be stimulated to ejaculation by a man’s mouth (not a sex organ), but “not gay” to pay to be stimulated to ejaculation by a man’s hand?

    The answer is that neither activity is “gay” because neither activity is unhealthy. However, anal intercourse, the physical manifestation of homosexuality is per se unhealthy. Like the ban on shellfish, the Bible’s ban on homosexuality is based on the fact that the act causes sickness.

    Homosexuality causes incontinence, excessive flatulence, hemorrhoids, and constipation. It is sickening. It is gay. It is faggotry.

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  3. There is something important I want to share with you here today. Today was life changing. I will never be the same.

    While watching the Family Feud on television, I saw an old face. She was a contestant on the winning family. Her name is Irene but I think she was using an alias.

    Anyway, she looked exactly as I remember. Very beautiful. Striking. Its been 10, 12 years since we last met. Well, since we last saw each other. She never really met me but I know she was interested because she always sat in my vicinity during lunch. She never got the courage to tell me.

    Well, back to the original story. As I watched the Family Feud today, Irene’s family won and Irene was selected as one of the two to do the final segment. First her alleged husband went. He did poorly. But what happened next blew my mind.

    As Richard Dawson asked the questions, every answer she gave somehow related to me. My favorite food, my favorite color, my hamster’s name … Then as the show went off the air, she did something I’ll remember for the rest of my life. She looked into the camera and she winked at me. It was so surreal.

    I now know that it’s just a matter of time before we’re together. Come on Irene, I know you’re reading this. Meet me at our special spot. I know you know what I mean.

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  4. I went to the school cafeteria to meet Irene at our special place. After a few days, she never showed. I was about to give up when I found a folded note on the table.

    The note read as follows:

    “I no u like suckin dat 8===> I like boning da shit outta ya. c u BB @ 3.”

    This was obviously a note from Irene to me. She wanted to see me in the bathroom at 3.

    So at 3 that day, I went into the closest bathroom. Nobody was there other than a black student who was obviously smoking marijuana in the stall. Someone made a huge mess in the other stall. The floor was completely brown.

    It was not a complete waste though. I did read some markings on the wall that I think came from Irene. I saw a drawing of the symbol 8===> This was the same symbol Irene wrote on the note.

    I did some research and apparently the sign represents the penis. Irene wants me so much.

    I don’t know when I’ll find the next sign but she’s got me intrigued.

    Irene, I look forward to seeing you again and having intercourse.

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  5. I have no new information on Irene but with all the Nazi talk, I’d like to submit my own Nazi story from a few years ago.

    One day I was at the urinal expelling some urine. There was a guy standing next to me. Like always I sneeked a peek. As I examined the penis I noticed a swastika tattoo on the shaft.

    I struck up a conversation with the guy about sports, the news, whatever. He was a nice guy. Very intelligent. Very personable. But he was a Nazi. Well, Nazis are people too.

    Sure, some Nazis are vile people, but don’t use someone like Vernon Frankel as an example of the stereotypical evil Nazi. Vernon is a fake Nazi. He’s a Jew trying to perpetuate the stereotype. The stereotype is wrong. Most Nazis are decent like the man with the tattooed penis.

    Remembering this experience has made me think about getting a tattoo myself. I would like to tattoo an image of Rand Paul on my penis. I’m so excited about all the talk that he will be the Libertarian Party’s presidential nominee in 2016. I actually came up with the idea to nominate Rand Paul. I hope it happens.

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  6. I was talking to Harry Areola today. He told me he voted straight Democrat on Tuesday. I think he’s an illegal Mexican. His brother Marlon says he’s Puerto Rican. I don’t believe him. Marlon lost all credibility with me since the incident at the manhole. The Bible might not ban such behavior but it’s a public health hazard and should be avoided.

    Marlon plans to go to Iraq to fight ISIS. He thinks this is a way to get out of his indecent exposure offense. I read at the Saturnalian that ISIS legalized homosexual marriage. I think that’s his real reason for going.

    I’ve made progress on my search for Irene. At the mall I saw a mannequin that was identical to her. She must have been the model for that mannequin. I believe if I find the artist I can find Irene.

    This game she’s playing with me has really piqued my interest. I’ll keep following her clues until I find her.

    Like

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