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Climate strikers link planet fight to system

Activists are making links between capitalism’s profit-based system and climate crisis, says Sophie Squire
Issue 2797
Climate strikes in Glasgow in 2021

Protesters taking to the street for climate strikes in Glasgow last year

Hundreds of thousands of young people were set to take to the streets this Friday across the world to demand action over climate change. The global climate strike carries the slogan “people not profit” and has been organised by youth group Fridays for Future. 

The campaign is drawing links between the climate crisis and the war in Ukraine, insisting the fight against climate change must also be a fight against war. In Britain 40 events are scheduled from Ullapool to Exeter.

Strikes in Germany are set to be big, with protests organised in 200 separate villages, towns and cities. In the US there are set to be strikes at 180 schools and colleges. Countries expected to be hit hardest by climate change will also be joining the strike.

Over 50 actions were set to take place in India, 80 across south east Asia and 70 separate strikes have been ­organised across the African ­continent, including five in Kenya. Fridays for Future Kenya tweeted, “Join us for the Global Climate Strike as we demand ­policy makers and world leaders to ­prioritise people not profit.”

In Australia, students have organised over 20 strikes. After widespread flooding, the School Strike 4 Climate group wrote on Twitter, “How can we get an education when our schools are under water? Or on fire? How can we get an education if nothing is done about the climate crisis. This is why we strike.” 

Fridays for Future released a statement ahead of the strike that drew links between the climate crisis and capitalism. 

It said, “The catastrophic climate ­scenario that we live in is the result of centuries of exploitation and oppression through colonialism, extractivism and capitalism, an essentially flawed socio-economic model that urgently needs to be replaced.

“It’s a system where rich nations are responsible for 92 percent of global emissions, and the richest 1  ­percent of the world population are responsible for double the pollution ­produced by the poorest 50 percent.” 

The strikes could not come at a more important time as extreme weather events continue and ­temperatures keep rising.  A new report has found that vast sections of the Great Barrier Reef in Australia have been severely damaged by coral bleaching caused by climate change. 

The bleaching was the result of abnormally warm ocean water temperatures—especially from 2016 to 2018.

Greenpeace Australia ­campaigner Martin Zavan told Sky News, “Corals can take 10-15 years to recover from bleaching-induced heat stress, and with little time between bleaching events as climate change ­worsens, it’s almost impossible for corals to survive”.  The destruction of coral reefs could have a tragic effect on the health and biodiversity of the world’s oceans.  Socialists should back the Climate Strikes on Friday and rage against a system that is suffocating the planet.  

For more info about a strike near you go to fridaysforfuture.org

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