I have been part of Extinction Rebellion (XR) in York since December.
From the first meeting it was clear that the people involved were completely focused on waking the world up to the climate catastrophe we face.
This emergency requires emergency tactics and crucially directly challenging the system as a whole.
Our group travelled by coach to London together and on the first Monday of the rebellion was responsible for blocking one of the roads into Parliament Square.
Different groups worked in shifts and were able to block the traffic from large areas of London.
Walking around a traffic-free London gave an inspiring glimpse of what a city centre with a decent free public transport system and no need for cars could look like.
Dancing in Oxford Circus with people singing, “The people have the power,” felt like the start of a movement that inspires hope in a better world.
A world that feels achievable if people are willing to stand up to the state.
XR refuses to let business as usual continue. Governments around the world have failed and there is no time left to allow them to continue to fail.
As I am writing this XR activists are blocking the Stock Exchange holding signs saying, “You can’t eat money.” They are right. While profit remains the motivating force of our system we can’t save our planet.
Either capitalism dies or we do.
Julie Forgan, York
London mayor Sadiq Khan said he shares protesters’ “passion about climate change”.
He went on to urge a return to “business as usual”.
Business as usual has brought us to the edge of the abyss with only 11 years at most to avert a catastrophe threatening the natural world and human civilisation.
All power to Extinction Rebellion.
Sasha Simic, East London
Don’t ignore allegation of rape facing Assange
I agree with Cathy Porter that we should be against the deportation of Julian Assange to the US (Letters, 24 April).
But this is precisely what Socialist Worker said.
Perhaps the real issue is that Socialist Worker also said that supporters of Assange can’t ignore the rape allegations that have been made against him.
I hope Cathy Porter also agrees they can’t be pushed aside or the women belittled. We need to defend Assange against the US state—and also support Chelsea Manning.
A federal appeals court on Monday denied her a release from jail on bail, and upheld a lower court’s decision to hold Manning in civil contempt for refusing to testify before a grand jury. Manning has shown great courage. Let’s back her.
Alice Willis, West London
Same old racism with Change UK
Perhaps the class collaborating Change UK party should rebrand itself No Change UK?
It seems that the same old racism—one of the justifications given by former Labour MPs who joined it—is still around.
Within 24 hours of announcing their candidates, two stepped down. One stood down for stating that 90 percent of pickpockets on the
London Underground are Romanian.
The other for saying black women scared him because, “I was chased by a black whore in Amsterdam”. Anyone voting Change UK will soon realise that they have been short changed.
John Curtis, Ipswich
Where’s the justice for Blair Peach?
Blair Peach worked at my dad’s school and I met Blair when I was a young woman a number of times. He came to visit my dad.
I do not understand, nor ever will, why his death was not investigated. Jack Straw promised to look into it, but never did.
I knew Blair, he was such a gentle and kind person.
Why was no one ever brought to account for his murder? I always remember him, especially on the anniversary of his murder.
I want the truth, but it would seem I will never get it.
Get ready to fight for our NHS
White City is a deprived but diverse community with specific health needs.
Sadly and cruelly, Hammersmith Hospital Accident and Emergency in west London was shut down to the detriment of our community.
Until our NHS is renationalised and its budget ringfenced, our NHS and its vital outreach services are not safe with this Tory government.
Don’t doff your soft cap. Keep your hard hat on for the struggle to sustain and save our NHS.
Thank you to all who are doing that. Those who are vulnerable rely on it.
Desi Cranenburgh, West London
Let’s build XR everywhere
Great reporting by Socialist Worker on the Extinction Rebellion (XR) demos. Many thanks—hard to find elsewhere.
Some of us can’t get to London—for reasons of work, childcare, expense, etc.
As well as urging people to come to London, ideas as to what we can do to support the demonstrations and the movement?
Julia Richardson, Swansea
I am a lifelong Socialist Worker Party type socialist, and now involved with XR as well as library and NHS campaigns.
XR is impressive, and we all should be supporting it.
Shan Newhouse, On Facebook
Rich laugh at housing chaos
This happened in Elephant and Castle in Southwark, south London (Labour promises to end slum housing, SW online, 24 April).
Local authority residents were promised the right to return to upgraded apartment blocks where their now demolished council flats had been.
But the developer didn’t stick to the agreement and sold the luxury flats to the highest bidders, making a mint.
Now taxpayers are paying for the former residents to live in poorly converted office blocks on an industrial estate in Harlow.
Meanwhile, the developers are left to enjoy their profits.
Brian Eggleston, On Facebook
Smears target Polish strikers
I’m currently in Poland (School’s out in Poland, Socialist Worker 24 April).
The level of government propaganda in collaboration with public television and a massive amount of right wing media to smear teachers is mindblowing.
Tories should be learning from them.
Rafal Ziemak, On Facebook