Socialist Worker

This Changes Everything conference calls for radical action to save the planet

by Dave Sewell
Issue No. 2447

Up to 1,000 mostly young people met in central London last Saturday to discuss radical social change in response to climate change.

The This Changes Everything conference was named after a recent book written by Naomi Klein.

She gave the keynote speech via video link and said stopping climate change “means changing everything about our profit driven economic system”.

“Our leaders aren’t going to do that—they are too embedded in that profit-driven logic,” she said. “So social movements have to grab the wheel from them.”

The conference came just three weeks after a 20,000-strong Time to Act demonstration in London.

Medical student James told Socialist Worker, “Bringing social movements together is really important. It’s when people are on their own that they feel disempowered.”

Marcher Kay said, “We need a political movement that can take on the big structures.”

Klein called for “bold, radical demands”. She said protests can turn the United Nations talks on climate change in Paris in December into “a megaphone for the movement”.

Workshops discussed how to bring about the change needed to save the planet.

In the final session celebrity campaigners Russell Brand and Francesca Martinez spoke about how their experiences had led them to reject the system.

PCS union general secretary Mark Serwotka said trade unionists and environmentalists should challenge the lie that tackling climate change isn’t in workers’ interests.

The conference organisers called for a “day of dissent” against the TTIP trade deal on 18 April.


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