Socialist Worker

Building movements to defend the planet from the climate catastrophe

by Sarah Bates
Issue No. 2690

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Activists from across Scotland packed into the meeting (Pic: Campaign against Climate Change Glasgow/Facebook)


It’s not just the planet that’s hotting up—action to defend it is also ramping up a gear.

The Tories announced this week their “strategy” for November’s Cop26 climate talks in Glasgow.

But even that was beset by government infighting and chaos, as Boris Johnson sacked Claire O’Neill—the president of Cop26.

O’Neill was due to lead the British intervention in Glasgow but now she’s due to be replaced with a minister. Whichever Tory is overseeing the talks—they will be met with resistance.

Mobilising

In Glasgow, around 150 activists from across Scotland gathered last Saturday for a “mobilising meeting” focusing on organising the fightback for Cop26.

It drew together activists from Extinction Rebellion (XR), universities, Scottish Youth Climate Strike, workers from six unions and Friends of the Earth.

Lewis Nielsen from the Campaign against Climate Change steering group said Cop26 could produce “the biggest mobilisation for the climate that Scotland has ever seen”.

He argued that everyone needed “to try and go as big as we possibly can”. Activists heard from youth strikers, and discussed how to support the upcoming school students’ strike in February

They also discussed how to campaign to demand free public transport and how to mobilise a climate justice bloc on the Stand Up To Racism demonstration in Glasgow on 21 March.

School students across Britain are set to take to the streets on Friday next week in the latest phase of climate strikes

UK Schools Climate Network (UKSCN) London said, “It’s been a year of lots of talk but very little actual action. When people are already dying we can’t afford to call talking ‘progress’. Join us on the 14 February.”

The strike is coordinated by the UKSCN, which has four demands.

It’s calling on the government to implement a Green New Deal and “communicate the severity of the ecological crisis”.

The UKSCN is also demanding that schools teach young people about the climate catastrophe. A fourth demand, to implement proportional representation in elections and reduce the voting age to 16, was added recently in response to the general election.

And activists are buoyed by the news that XR has called for a mass demonstration.

Planned for Saturday 22 February, the direct action group said, “We are thousands of ordinary people who care. Together we will put out the fire.”

For more on the XR mobilisation go to bit.ly/XRFire
For more climate justice summits visit bit.ly/CACCevents

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