Socialist Worker

Build the climate movement to win a better world

Issue No. 2674

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Back the rebellion from 7 October (Pic: Guy Smallman)


The climate rebellion is entering a crucial new chapter. Thousands of Extinction Rebellion (XR) activists plan to take over parts of central London as part of the International Rebellion.

It follows global climate strikes that saw over seven million on the streets.

The actions of growing numbers of ordinary people have pushed climate chaos to the top of the news agenda.

And the movement shows no sign of losing momentum—the climate and ecological emergency has become the biggest mobilising issue for years.

Not since the five-million strong day of Women’s Marches in January 2017 has there been a global mobilisation on anything like a comparable scale.

It’s exploded at a time of heightened fears that runaway climate change threatens human survival.

But it also taps into wider frustrations about an unjust, oppressive and unequal world.

The school climate strikes and XR have succeeded at turning hope for something better into action.

They’ve transformed fear and anger over climate change into a worldwide movement.

The defiant actions of protesters have put demands on politicians. But many rightly don’t trust them to deliver.

We need to build a movement with the social weight to fight for the change we need.

This will mean more workers, activists, and others not yet involved in the climate movement actively joining demonstrations, occupations and protests.

Some on the left have dismissed XR, others have simply ignored it.

The tactics of the direct action group may appear strange to some.

But XR rebels aren’t lone activists. They are backed up by tens of thousands of others set to join this week’s rebellion who want to win change.

When movements erupt, they don’t always raise the demands or develop strategies that socialists completely agree with.

But fighting back can draw in new layers of people who never saw themselves as political activists. In this, XR has succeeded where many others has failed.

The group, alongside striking school students and workers taking action, has provided a focus for many who are unhappy with the system.

Now is the time to act—not just for a minority of climate activists, but for everyone.

Conservative estimates indicate there is little over a decade to avoid the worst-possible case for climate catastrophe.

For two weeks, London is set to host a festival of resistance as activists occupy streets to demand urgent and necessary action.

Everyone who wants a future should throw themselves into fighting for it, back the rebellion from 7 October and if possible join it.


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