“The electric atmosphere on the Strike demos on 1 February is a sign that a new solidarity is being forged, new connections and networks built; and the government should be worried.”
By Paul Atkin, Greener Jobs Alliance
It’s going to be a long, hot Summer in more ways than one. The last few years of exceptionally hot weather have been during a La Nina period, when the Earth’s temperature is supposed to be lower than average. This Spring we move into an El Nino upswing, with ferocious heat spikes demonstrating the warning that, unless we act faster and more profoundly, the 1.5C limit will slip beyond our grasp.This should be a klaxon going off in all our heads demanding action.
Three out of every four people say that they want that faster, deeper transition to save our futures, so every mobilisation, from XR’s “Big One” on 21 April onwards, should seek to express that majority. At the same time, we should make it explicit in our union campaigns, on every leaflet and every platform in the Spring and Summer wave of strikes being driven by the cost of living crisis, that it is driven by the increased costs of fossil fuel energy, for heating, cooking and transport; with knock on effects on food and everything else, so that our movement is putting forward solutions for the whole of society as well as defending our members.
With the climate crisis so severe, there is no prospect of a return to any kind of “normal”. We are not in the Holocene any more. The government recognises that in all the wrong ways; and is moving to try to break union capacity for effective strike action, criminalise protest and suppress votes; the sort of measures that pre war Romanian playwright Ion Ionescu described as “the rhinocerisation of the state”.
All of which we have to resist. The electric atmosphere on the Strike demos on 1 February is a sign that a new solidarity is being forged, new connections and networks built; and the government should be worried.
- This article was originally published by the Greener Jobs Alliance (GJA) February 2023 Newsletter – you can read the newsletter in full here.
- Paul Atkin is the editor of the GJA, you can follow them on Facebook and twitter.