A message from Bill McKibben
The first few months of this year have been among the most exciting on record--people in half a dozen countries have stood bravely up for their rights. Many of them have won, overthrowing dictatorships that date back decades.
Our 350.org colleagues in those countries have--predictably--been a big part of the freedom movement, and they’ve been keeping us up to date on how they’re using everything from Twitter to graffiti art to spread the word. Most of all they keep saying how wonderful it finally feels to be in motion: to be marching, running, moving after years of being stuck in the same tired place.
That feeling of being stuck is how we’ve felt in the climate movement for years now. The scientists have told us why we must change--and every record flood and heat wave adds to their message. The engineers have told us how we can change, as they’ve quickly turned windmills and solar panels from promising experiments into tested technology. The only thing now preventing change is the hold of the financially powerful status quo--all those coal and oil barons, and their friends in high government places, keeping us stuck in the polluting mud of inaction.This year is going to be about movement in every sense of the word.
Not just the big shoulder-to-shoulder campaign we’ve built together across the world these last two years, but also actual, powerful, fun dramatic movement in the streets -- putting into action our demand for a future free from fossil fuels and dangerous climate change.Circle September 24 on your calendar--that’s the day for what we’re calling Moving Planet: a day to move beyond fossil fuels.
On 24 September we’ll be figuring out the most meaningful ways to make the climate message move, literally. We'll show that we can use our hands, our feet, and our hearts to spur real change. In many places, people will ride bicycles, one of the few tools used by both affluent and poor people around the world. Other places people will be marching, dancing, running, or kayaking, or skateboarding. Imagine the spectacle: thousands of people encircling national capitals, state houses, city halls.
But we won't just be cycling or marching--we'll also be delivering a strong set of demands that can have real political impact.
They’ll differ from one country to the next, of course, because the steps we need to take depend on how much fossil fuel we already use.
To make this political impact we need to start building momentum now. In the US, 10,000 young leaders got the ball rolling at the Power Shift 2011 summit and rally in Washington, DC last weekend. We'll build this momentum together over the next five months, with hard-hitting online campaigns, focused grassroots organizing at the local level, and climate leadership workshops around the world.
Our friends in Tunisia, Egypt, and throughout the Middle East have proven that change can come quickly. The greatest achievements have been without violence, but not without sacrifice. They’ve done it with bravery, and also good humor; with the internet and also with face-to-face organizing. They’ve got things unstuck in countries that seemed rusted shut. They’re our inspiration for the months ahead.
P.S. While we’re gearing up for Moving Planet, we’re also hard at work on other focused campaigns around the world, like the U.S. Chamber Doesn’t Speak for Me
campaign I described in in my speech Powershift 2011
. But on 24 September, we will get to combine our local actions into something very big and very beautiful--and put the powers that be on notice that the dirty status quo won’t hold much longer.READ MORE
For those of us who identify as 'ecosocialists', finding a group or political organization that truly fits is not as straightforward as should it be. National Green parties vary in their closeness of fit as do socialist parties. Grass roots movements are often focal or single issue but clearly are a part of the ecosocialist vision. It is of no doubt that the ecosocialist movement will grow and is growing and there simply must be collectives both virtual (such as the ecosocialists unite
project) and actual that are representative. To that end it is notable that Socialist Worker New Zealand has released this statement that acknowledges this division and aims to bridge the divide.
Statement by Socialist Worker central committee
August 11, 2011 -- Unityblog
-- The crises of global capitalism, coupled with catastrophic climate change and peak resources, is going to bring about profound social, ecological and political upheavals.
There is evidence of this happening globally already. We can point to the Arab revolts that have toppled US-backed regimes and the emergence of anti-neoliberal movements of workers and young people in a number of European countries. Part of the context for these revolts is the global financial crisis, which is ongoing and will unravel further, impacting severely on the lives of grassroots people around the world.
While the current political situation in New Zealand is a big step away from mass revolt, the forces at work in this country are similar. Masses of ordinary people are hurting, there’s simmering anger towards politicians and other corporate elites, and there’s growing concern at the ecological catastrophe that humanity faces. The political quietism will not last indefinitely.
What can eco-socialists do today to prepare our forces for the historic challenges in front of us?
Socialist Worker believes the time is right to encourage further cooperation among people who identify as eco-socialists. Across the New Zealand’s existing left parties and socialist groups there are people who broadly share a common political perspective, who want to work towards a sustainable, equitable and democratic future.
But equally importantly, there is probably thousands of people not currently belonging to any political party or organisation who broadly share an eco-socialist vision.
We think it’s necessary, and possible, to cohere and grow the network of eco-socialists in New Zealand. For this reason, Socialist Worker has started trialing an eco-socialist network sign-up sheet. (To view the sign-up sheet click here
While it’s very early days, there are some encouraging signs that people are interested in joining an eco-socialist network.
In the near future we want to set up an eco-socialist website/discussion forum on the Internet. We envisage this new site being free of any party branding and that it would evolve, we hope, into a forum jointly run by a number of organisations and individuals.
Such a web presence would maximise the sharing of information and ideas relevant to an eco-socialist vision. The site would connect with people through email newsletters and social media.
Socialist Worker believes that building a broad eco-socialist network in the short term will be one practical “here-and-now” foundation for a mass-based broad left movement in the future.
An eco-socialist network would complement other positive developments on the left, particularly the emergence of the Mana Party, which is uniting a flaxroots Maori movement with radical left activists from socialist and union backgrounds.
An eco-socialist network would also build on the closer cooperation between leftists that we’ve seen in recent years around campaigns like $15 per hour minimum wage, NZ Not For Sale, Kia Ora Gaza, Tax Justice and anti-mining/oil drilling. An eco-socialist network could look to achieve these goals:1.
Draw people together across parties and organisations who self-identify with the word “eco-socialist”, and thus be a force for breaking down barriers and opening up democratic debate, so essential to building a broad movement for change;2.
Facilitate open discussion about all aspects of the political struggle in New Zealand and globally.3.
Foster increased cooperation around anti-neoliberal campaigns initiated by a range of groups and organisations;4.
Work towards launching popular strategic campaigns that target neoliberalism and bring activists into contact with broad layers of grassroots people.5.
Encourage a dynamic analysis of the crisis of global capitalism and its impact on material conditions in New Zealand, from which sound political strategies can emerge that provide us with realistic pathways towards a sustainable, equitable and democratic future.
While there is a lot to work out in practice Socialist Worker believes a web-based eco-socialist network has considerable potential.
We would like to invite interested individuals and organisations to contact us directly about supporting and getting involved in this initiative. Contact Vaughan Gunson, email email@example.com
or ph/txt 021-0415 082.For more on the crisis of global capitalism, which compels the eco-left to join together, read Capitalism's terminal crisis and the global cooperation of eco-socialists by Grant Morgan.
Socialist Worker’s central committee:
Chris Hedges: "Civil disobedience is the only weapon we have left to save not only the ecosystem that sustains life but the nation itself. Corporate forces, unregulated, unfettered corporate forces exploit everything; human beings, the natural world, until exhaustion or collapse. Karl Marx was right, unfettered, unregulated capitalism is a revolutionary force........."
Continued in the video below.
Court of appeal judges have quashed the convictions of 20 climate change protestors. The protestors were convicted of conspiracy to break into Ratcliffe-on-Soar power station in December last year, but those convictions have been
overturned after judges ruled that undercover police officer Mark Kennedy
was "involved in activities which went much further than the authorisation
he was given, and appeared to show him as an enthusiastic supporter of the
proposed occupation of the power station and, arguably, an agent
Green Party spokesperson Penny Kemp said:
"These people were not terrorists, but were involved in peaceful direct action to bring about urgent political change where governments are failing to act. Infiltration of a peaceful group was a grossly disproportionate exercise and wasted an enormous amount of public money. Not only that, but Kennedy's actions continue to affect those whose trust he manipulated and abused. Those at Climate Camp and the Big Green Gathering were unfairly targeted for taking responsibility for our planet and for future generations."
The Syrian regime switched off the internet 10 days ago.This message has just arrived in theecosocialist inbox and explains how to get online and let the world know what is happening:
ATTENTION PEOPLE OF #SYRIA - Let the world know! Here is how! #telecomix #emcom #rev11info #killswitch
00431962962, User=selfnet, Pass=selfnet
0034912910230 no password
0016033715050 no password
004721405060 no password
Dial up access for #Syria: +46850009990 +492317299993 +4953160941030 user:telecomix password:telecomix #syria #killswitch by @telecomix RT'd
@speak2tweet works in #Syria. Call +16504194196 or +390662207294 or +442033184514 to hear tweets or leave a tweet.
http://188.8.131.52/ seems to work for accessing the Google search page. Other features might use different servers at different IPs.
scroogle.org will let most ppl get around blocks on google. Try it if you need to. ^^
Severn Cullis-Suzuki has been active in environmental and social justice since she was a child. She founded the Environmental Children's Organization (ECO) aged 9. ECO was a small group of children committed to learning and teaching other kids about environmental issues. In 1992 they raised enough money to go to the UN's Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro. Severn addressed the representatives at the summit with a powerful speech aged only 12 years. Her aim was to remind the adult world of whom their actions or inactions would ultimately affect.
Message From Avaaz:
Frank Mugisha and other brave human rights defenders delivering our petition to the Ugandan Parliament just before leaders dropped the gay death penalty law. Uganda's anti-gay law has failed! It looked sure to pass last week, but after 1.6 million petition signatures delivered to Parliament, tens of thousands of phone calls to our own governments, hundreds of media stories about our campaign and a massive global outcry, Ugandan politicians dropped the bill!
It was down to the wire -- religious extremists tried to push the bill through on Wednesday, and then convened an unprecedented emergency session of Parliament on Friday. But each time, within hours, we reacted. A huge congratulations to everyone who signed, called, forwarded and donated to this campaign -- with our help, thousands of innocent people in Uganda's gay community do not wake up this morning facing execution for whom they chose to love.
Frank Mugisha, a courageous leader of the gay community in Uganda sent us this message:
"Brave Ugandan LGBT activists and millions of people around the world have stood together and faced down this horrendous anti-homosexuality bill.The support from the Avaaz global community has tipped the scales to prevent this Bill going forward. Global solidarity has made a huge difference."
The EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs' Office also wrote to Avaaz:
"Many thanks. As you know, thanks to a very large extent to the intensive lobbying and combined effort of you, other civil society representatives, EU and other governments, plus our delegation and embassies on the ground the Bill was not presented to the Parliament this morning."
This fight is not over. The extremists behind this bill could try again within just 18 months. But this is the second time we've helped defeat this bill, and we'll keep going until the hate-mongers give up.
Transforming the deeper causes of ignorance and hatred behind homophobia is an historic, long term struggle, one of the great causes of our generation. But Uganda has become a front line in that struggle, and a powerful symbol. The victory there echoes across many other places where hope is desperately needed, showing that kindness, love, tolerance and respect can defeat hatred and ignorance. Again, a huge thanks to all who made it happen.
With enormous gratitude and admiration for this amazing community,
Ricken, Emma, Iain, Alice, Giulia, Saloni and the whole Avaaz team.
Congratulations to Michael Lowy, Joao Alfredo
(pictured left) and all who took part in PSOL’s (Partido Socialismo e Liberdade) first ecosocialist gathering in the Brazilian city of Curitiba from 1 to 3 April. Members discussed how the PSOL could be transformed into an ecosocialist party. As a result
the Curitiba Charter was adopted, outlining the principles and campaigns that they would promote. In addition a specific Ecososcialist Section within the party has been initiated to coordinate and oversee future activities.
The Charter was dedicated to the memory of Chico Mendes and Dorothy Stang; the great environmentalists who's passion and influence inevitably acted against corporate interests thus leading to their respective murders.
Part of the statement from the meeting is below:
Only a party that places itself firmly in the anti-capitalist tradition, but which has broken with the authoritarian, bureaucratic and predatory experiences of “really-existing socialism” – a party in constant exchange with traditional communities and social and environmental movements – can confront such regression and build the tactical and strategic alliances needed for ecosocialist struggle. It is true that Ecosocialism remains a promise, a gamble on the future, but it is a pressing necessity if we are to ensure our survival as a species and as a society, as well as that of all other forms of life. It is something in process, under construction, which is based on principles of social equality, ecological sustainablity, the defence of diversity in its biological, social, ethnic and cultural dimensions, as well as on a new way of life, that takes as its starting point “being”, not “having”.
Ecosocialists propose a transversal intervention, across the board, because the environmental struggle should interact with all the different movements that make up the struggle for social emancipation, including those that raise demands for land reform and urban reform, trade union and youth struggles, as well as movements against environmental racism and for racial and gender equality.
Finally, what is at stake for humanity is the challenge of building a new society that can be, at one and the same time, politically democratic, socially just and egalitarian, culturally and ethnically diverse and environmentally sustainable. As Michael Lowy suggests, we need to update Rosa Luxemburg’s slogan to read, “Ecosocialism or Barbarism”!Full article here
PR Dave Cameron pledged that this would be "the greenest government ever".The recommendations of the statutory body set up to advise the government on global warming policy (committee on climate change C.C.C.) were accepted in full by the previous government. The target was to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 60% by 2030, compared with 1990 levels. But now this is under review. They will cut everything going but may now be set to prove there is an exception when it comes to carbon emissions.
Jonathon Porritt has examined
the credentials of the "greenest government ever" covering 77 green policies and reports little or no progress in more than three-quarters of them, describing the governments environmental assertions as "vanishingly remote", and judged that many policies had already been "delayed, watered down or abandoned". The crucial decision will be taken at a meeting on Monday. In response an emergency demonstration has been set up by the campaign against climate change:Next week: Monday 16th
8.00 am at Lib Dem HQ, at 4 Cowley Street, Westminster
8.45 am Move on to Downing StreetClick here for more information
In the next 72 hours, conservative lawmakers could move a bill that would make being LGBT in Uganda a crime punishable by death. Click the link below to sign the petition demanding that Ugandan President Museveni stop the human rights violations by publicly vowing to veto the "Kill the Gays" bill.Click this link to sign the petition
More information in the video below:
(This film needs funds to proceed. You can contribute by clicking this link)