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Strike for the climate

March 8, 2019

Students are in revolt. They are marching against cuts in Ontario. They are organizing to stop tuition increases in BC. And they are striking across the globe calling for action on climate change.

March 15 will be an international student strike for the climate. Thousands of students have already struck around the world, and the March demonstrations are expected to be huge.

In Québec, students at several universities have already pledged to strike on that day, building on the success of last fall’s mass mobilizations demanding urgent action by the Québec government. Secondary students have also been  joining walkouts as part of Fridays for Future.

Greta Thunberg, one of the leaders of the student movement, speaking to the European Economic and Social Committee, said:
“We know that most politicians don’t want to talk to us. Good. We don’t want to talk to them either. We want them to talk to the scientists instead. Listen to them. Because we are just repeating what they are saying and have been saying for decades.”

The response from European leaders to the mass actions was to peddle the absurd conspiracy that Greta and the thousands of students who joined her are Russian agents. As if we needed more evidence that politicians are not taking this threat seriously.

When students met with US Senator Diane Feinstein last month asking her to support the Green New Deal, she said it would never pass the Senate, condescendingly telling them, “I’ve been doing this for thirty years. I know what I’m doing.” But that’s the problem. She and the political establishment she represents have done nothing substantial in all those years, with catastrophic consequences for people and the planet.

These students are tired of politicians and their rich backers mortgaging the future and are making increasingly radical demands.

They are not alone. There is a mood to fight back is growing across the globe.

Workers in revolt
The radicalization is not just among the students. Workers are starting to find their power again.

The strikes by teachers in the US are showing that workers have the ability to change society and to challenge the austerity and cuts foisted on us by the 1%.

India just went through one of the largest general strikes in its history. General Motors workers in Oshawa are pushing for more radical action to save their jobs while the union leaders dither.

And the solidarity actions with postal workers when their right to strike was taken away through back-to-work legislation created an example for rank and file militants in all sectors.

The Ontario Federation of Labour and the Toronto and York Region Labour Council have called for mass stewards’ assemblies to stop the anti-worker laws being proposed by Doug Ford’s Conservative government. They are organizing meetings across the province, where thousands will gather to decide how to make their stand.

Liberal corruption
And on the federal level, the Trudeau Liberals are floundering. The SNC Lavalin scandal has finally exposed Trudeau for what he is – another stooge of the rich.

He started his mandate proclaiming his support for feminism and reconciliation with Indigenous peoples. He has recently demoted the only Indigenous woman in his government because she wouldn’t sweep the corruption under the table. Judy Wilson-Raybould may be out of cabinet, but she will certainly be top of mind as the Liberals crash and burn in an election year.

The faultlines are being exposed everywhere. The possibility of real growth in socialist ideas is real and the radicalization is palpable. If you want to work to ensure that promise of change becomes a reality, join us and fight for the better world we know is possible.


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