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Stop Trump/Trudeau’s war on the planet: march for jobs, justice and the climate April 29

Eric Lescarbeau and Jesse McLaren

April 17, 2017

Donald Trump has declared war on the planet. He appointed a climate change denialist to head the Environmental Protection Agency, and made deep cuts to water protection to further the coal industry. He appointed the CEO of ExxonMobil as Secretary of State, increased the budget of the oil-guzzling military, and is fueling more war like the bombing of Syria and Afghanistan.

Trump is reviving pipelines the climate justice movement stopped, including the Dakota Access Pipeline and the Keystone XL pipeline. He is building walls to keep out climate refugees and others. He is trying to silence climate science.

Even before Trump was elected, carbon emissions were heading towards climate chaos, and Trump has put his foot on the accelerator.  When questioned about environmental protect, Trump said “We’ll be fine with the environment. We can leave a little bit.” And that’s all that will be left of the environment if Trump gets his way.  

Trudeau no friend of climate justice

Trudeau came to office on a wave of opposition to Harper’s oily politics and racist attacks on Muslims. His Liberal party was elected on a promise of real change including a solemn commitment to establish a new relationship with First Nations based on the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People and to revamp the National Energy Board’s review process and respect the right of local communities to deny permission for destructive fossil fuel projects. 

Less than 18 months into his mandate he has broken virtually all of these promises, approving Petronas LNG, Site C Dam, Kinder Morgan and Line 3 and promising to work with Trump on the Keystone XL project over the objections of First Nations and local communities.  When Trump revived Keystone XL, Trudeau said he “reiterated [his] support for the project”, boasting that “I’ve been on the record for many years supporting it”.

When asked whether pipelines should be up to First Nations, Trudeau said, “No, they don’t have a veto.” Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr even mused about the government defending pipelines by force, “through its defence forces, through its police forces.” The Liberals have dragged their feet on their promise to revise Bill C-51 which opens the door to dirty tricks and targeting of Indigenous and other climate activists by CSIS operations.  Trudeau’s refusal to support UNDRIP has paralleled his denial of equal funding to Indigenous communities for healthcare, education and child welfare. At the same time his promise to help Syrian refugees has largely been filled by private sponsorships rather than direct government support.  This has opened the door to open racists like Kellie Leitch, Chris Alexander and others in the Conservative leadership campaign who deny the genocide of residential schools and continue to use the refugee crisis ramp up Islamophobia.

Now Trudeau has expressed his full support for Trump’s escalation of the war in Syria. The US war machine is the single largest consumer of fossil fuels on the planet.  At the same time the crisis in Syria which led to the civil war was itself partly a product of climate change, following the worst drought in 900 years which displaced more than 1.5 million Syrians from rural farms and towns.

At the same time Trudeau, like Harper before him, is doing nothing for the tens of thousands of tar sands workers who have lost their jobs and who deserve a just transition to good green jobs.  Instead he is giving tax breaks and subsidies to the oil and gas industry and massive corporate welfare to profitable companies like Bombardier who are cutting thousands of jobs.

Trudeau is continuing the same kinds of neo-liberal policies pursued by Obama which opened the door to Trump: climate rhetoric while expanding tar sands and natural gas, inclusive rhetoric while expanding war and deportations, and corporate welfare in face of mass layoffs.

All out April 29

In the face of Democratic/Republican and Liberal/Tory pursuit of climate chaos, and in the absence of alternatives from the Notley/Mulcair NDP, the climate justice movement is challenging the bigots and climate destroyers with mass action.

On the 100th day of the Trump administration, the People’s Climate Movement will descend on Washington to march for Jobs, Justice and the climate. More than 100,000 are expected to march with hundreds of busses pouring in from across the country.  More than 250 sister marches are also currently planned to be held in cities and towns across North America and Europe and in some parts of Asia.  In Canada marches are being planned in Toronto, Vancouver, Regina, Edmonton, Kamloops, Kelowna, Sudbury, Williams Lake and Tofino. These marches continue the People’s Climate Movement that began in New York in 2014 and mobilized hundreds of thousands around the world during the Paris Climate Talks at the end of 2015.

April 29 will be another important step forward for the climate justice movement as it connects with and builds on the mass anti-oppression movement that has burst open in the wake of Trump’s election and saw millions mobilize for the Women’s March on Washington and in countless demonstrations since. These mobilizations have already won some key victories, including blocking Trump’s Muslim Ban, and have brought together the Black Lives Matter movement with the Fight for $15 and Fairness and the women’s movement opening the door to a broader working class fight back.

April 29 represents an important opportunity in Canada to unite the Indigenous-led fight against climate change and fossil fuel expansion with all those who joined the Muslim solidarity rallies and the Women’s marches. With Trudeau standing shoulder to shoulder with Trump, April 29 will be a key moment to build solidarity with the climate justice movement in the US while challenging our own climate criminals—and demanding alternatives including Indigenous sovereignty, a welcome for refugees, and a just transition for workers.

On April 21-22 join the conference One solution, revolution: Marxism 2017 in Toronto, including the sessions “Leap Manifesto and just transition” with Avi Lewis, Carolyn Egan and André Frappier; and “Pipeline politics, from Standing Rock to Kinder Morgan” with Myeengun Henry, Billie Pierre and Valerie Lannon

On April 29 join a march near you

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