FOR THE SOCIALIST COOPERATIVE
963 people have been arrested during the on-going climate change protests. Greta Thunberg was enthusiastically greeted when she took to the platform in front of thousands of people at the rally in Marble Arch and made a speech of solidarity with the protesters. The Swedish teenager told the crowd "humanity is standing at a crossroads" and that protesters "will never stop fighting for this planet". She said: "For way too long the politicians and people in power have got away with not doing anything at all to fight the climate crisis and ecological crisis. But we will make sure they will not get away with it any longer." The Swedish student took aim at the “politicians and people in power” and declared that governments would no longer be able ignore the impending climate and ecological crisis.
“I come from Sweden and back there it’s almost the same problem as here, as everywhere, that nothing is being done to stop an ecological crisis despite all the beautiful words and promises,” she said. “We are now facing an existential crisis, the climate crisis and ecological crisis which have never been treated as crises before. They have been ignored for decades and for way too long the politicians and the people in power have gotten away with not doing anything. We will make sure that politicians will not get away with it for any longer.”
Extinction Rebellion have said there will be a “people’s assembly” at Marble Arch on Monday afternoon to decide what will happen in the coming week, with the movement appearing to disagree on what next steps to take in their campaign of non-violent civil disobedience.
Extinction Rebellion member Farhana Yamin said the group had offered to "pause" protests and begin "a new phase of rebellion" to achieve "political aims". She said the move would show the group was an "organised and a long-term political force to be reckoned with".
However, another Extinction Rebellion organiser Larch Maxey told the BBC there "certainly won't be a pause in our activities". He said: "On Tuesday we've got a series of strategic points around the city which we will be targeting to cause maximum economic disruption while simultaneously focusing on Parliament and inviting MPs to pause." Asked if MPs would be able to get into Parliament, he added: "Not if we are successful, we're going to prevent them getting in so they have time to separate themselves from the politicking and concentrate on what's at stake here."
Many in Extinction Rebellion very correctly see the solution to the environmental crisis as lying in the achievement of a system of human activity which is in harmony with the Earth’s life-sustaining systems only they imagine that this can be done while retaining production for the market. Whenever wealth is produced for sale on a market it acquires a commercial exchange-value in addition to its use-value, or capacity to satisfy some human need, and this unleashes economic forces which come to dominate production and orient it away from production for need. The goods, whether primaries or manufactures, that the self-governing communities would be producing for exchange with other communities would be commodities, or goods having an exchange-value, and so would be subject to the same laws of commodity production as apply in any market economy. The greens would come under exactly the same pressure as are today’s private and state capitalist enterprises to seek to maximise sales and accumulate the money obtained as capital invested in new means of production.
Nature has begun more and more to show its disagreement with humankind’s administration of this planet with increasing occurrences of extreme weather events. We sometimes like to believe that the matter of global warming are something for our children and grandchildren, in the future to deal with but already climate change is dragging us down. Typhoons and tsunamis that scourge us are growing more predictable as scientists link them to changes in our weather patterns. Our environment is constantly destabilising and more and more incompetent governments fail to tackle the rapid change. Droughts as well as floods will become endemic. Even if many disasters are ‘natural’, the mismanagement of them is man-made.
Nature has no national borders. It doesn’t have a flag. Climate change is global. There will be no change unless we challenge the entrenched interests of the whole rotten edifice of capitalism. The people must be the agents of their own destiny.