YOUTH in their hundreds of thousands rose up all over the world yesterday in a global strike against climate change.
In every continent, and in 90 countries, tens of thousands of school students walked out of class, took to the streets and demanded a future, something which capitalism cannot provide for them. Young people rose up across Europe, Australia, Asia, Africa and the Americas.
They demanded ‘save the planet’ and pointed to capitalism as the source of the climate change disaster.
The strikes began last year when one teenager, Greta Thunberg, held a solo protest outside the Swedish parliament. Since then the movement against climate change has erupted worldwide.
Yesterday, there were 51 protests in Canada, 158 across the States, 27 in Mexico, 17 in Brazil, 17 in Argentina, 48 in Australia, 16 in New Zealand, 26 in India, 178 in Italy, 63 in Spain, 123 in Sweden, 25 in Finland, 195 in Germany, 209 in France, 28 in Ireland and 107 across the UK.
This is truly an international revolutionary movement of young people determined to stand up, speak out and change the world for the better.
In fact, the youth are the most revolutionary section of the working class, and revolutionary situations have always begun with a mass revolt of the youth against the oppressive system of the day.
Today this system is capitalism. It is in its death agony and determined to drag the whole planet down with it. The rebellious millions of youth are now fighting alongside and inspiring the only really revolutionary class in society to take action.
For instance in Belgium, thousands of workers joined the youth strike yesterday in Antwerp, Bruges and Liège, before travelling to Brussels for a large demonstration.
Gina Heyrman, a spokeswoman for the 1.6 million-strong Belgian socialist trades union ABVV-FGTB, said the movement has similarities with the Paris protests of 1968. She said: ‘This is the first time we have had a political strike together with young people. Maybe we’re at the beginning of a new era. I hope so. Everyone talks about the climate now. Everyone is aware of it, thanks to the students.’
However, the situation is much more revolutionary now than in 1968. This revolutionary movement of youth comes at a time when capitalism is completely bankrupt, where the working class is on the move in country after country, where the ‘Yellow Vests’ uprising in France is escalating.
There are constant battles on the streets of Greece between workers and police, there is mass youth unemployment in both Spain and Italy, and the Italian banks are on the verge of a further crash.
That crash will bring the banking system of Europe down with it. The European Union is breaking apart and the Brexit revolution is the response of the UK workers to this crisis.
In Britain, there is an entire generation of workers who have had enough after ten years of austerity, with school heads and nursery heads marching on Parliament furious that education has been cut to the bone, three years of rail strikes to keep the guards on the train, strike after strike of NHS staff. The strike wave in Britain has only just begun.
As one school student from east London said on the London march: ‘I am for socialism because capitalism is the wrong way forward. Capitalism is destroying the planet. The only way is a worker-controlled country for a sustainable world. I try not to buy too many products. There is overproduction and crisis which causes job losses. Revolution must be done here and all over the world.’
Youth know that capitalism by its very essence must destroy to survive, it is a system completely driven by profit. Where bosses exploit markets, use an army of slave labour, make as much profit as they possibly can … and when they can make no more, sack the workforce, shut down the industry and move on in search of a new market to exploit, just like a swarm of locusts.
The masses of youth who are on the march have a real mission. That is to be the vanguard of the workers revolution, and to mobilise the working class for the overthrow of capitalism and the introduction of socialism.
To carry this out, the masses of youth must join the YS and the WRP, to provide the really revolutionary leadership that the working class requires.