As the weeklong Youth Climate Strike, this September 20-27, 2019, is catching the attention of media outlets around the world, we know that the climate justice movement needs all of us—in a spirit of solidarity, creativity, and urgency.
Young activists from every corner of the globe are coming together to declare a climate emergency and to demand urgent action so that they can have a . They are using the powerful and historic tactic of the “strike.” Withdrawing labor or participation from business as usual has been an effective tactic for social change activists as long as they can motivate a mass movement—they need enough participation to actually effect capitalism—this is not a tactic where some can sit and click or watch others—we need you to take to the streets too!
At her August 28th press conference, teen activist Greta Thunberg said, “My role is to be one of many, many activists who are pushing for climate action. I don’t see myself as a leader, or icon or the face of a movement.” She’s right—this movement is about all of us. We are all in this together, and our movements should reflect that. She realizes, as many of us do, that it will take economically powerful sectors of society—like labor unions and workers—to force multinational corporate polluters, and the governments that enable them, to change course.
Unions can take a leadership role, and many are, in the struggle for climate justice through workplace actions, work stoppages, and by passing resolutions in support of the global climate strike. Last month the second-largest labor union In Germany, Verdi, which represents service workers, declared its public support for the climate strike. Verdi is two million members strong and is exerting significant influence to bring attention to the climate crisis.
“This is incredible,” tweeted German climate activist Luisa Neubauer. “This is youth and workers uniting behind this crisis. Which union will join next?”
Activists in Portugal are also campaigning to support the climate strike. Union worker José Oliveira of the All Teachers Union (STOP) said teachers are “fully aware of the severity” of the climate situation and that their profession allows them “to reach many students and families to warn them.”
“We call for more institutions, more unions and more civil society organizations to join us. It is a problem that affects everyone,” he said.
The CLDC is proud to stand with the students and workers around the world who are planning and participating in the climate strike. We are with you as you work to shut it down!
Sea levels are rising, and so are we!