TODAY, a week of action across the world starts with a Global Climate Strike in at least 137 countries.
This follows mass action in every continent in March this year which saw tens of thousands of school students walking out of their classrooms, taking to the streets, and demanding a future.
What has a revolutionary significance in today’s strike is that it has marked a conscious turn by youth across the world towards the working class and the trade union movement.
At last week’s annual TUC Congress, young people lobbied delegates demanding support for a motion submitted by the University and College Union (UCU) which warned ‘the future of the planet is at risk if we don’t force governments to cut emissions’.
The motion, which was passed unanimously, called on workers to support today’s school student strike and for affiliated unions to organise a 30-minute workday ‘stoppage’ campaign to coincide with it.
As Sean Vernell, a member of UCU National Executive, noted: ‘It is the first time that the TUC has called on its 6.5 million members to demonstrate support for school students taking action. Indeed, it is the first time in many years the TUC has called on its members to demonstrate its collective power in solidarity with anyone.’
It was the determination of school students that forced the TUC out of its usual inactivity and start to mobilise the strength of the unions behind the climate strike.
Vernell criticised the TUC for taking out the demand for unions to organise a ‘stoppage’ from the UCU’s original motion on the grounds that a solidarity strike in support of school students would be illegal under Tory anti-union laws.
Despite the TUC leaders shying away from the call for strike action, there has been massive support throughout the country from union branches with hundreds of universities taking action along with local government unions, schools and civil service unions.
The Bakers union passed a similar motion at its recent conference. In Oxford CWU postal workers will be taking solidarity action, while BEIS workers on indefinite strike for a living wage will be joining the climate strike.
Globally, the response from workers has been massive, with over 900 workers at Amazon’s Seattle headquarters pledging to walk out over the company’s inaction over climate change – the first time in its 25-year history that employees have walked out. In Australia, over 1,200 businesses have been forced by this movement to pledge to enable workers to join the strike.
Young people across the world are taking action demanding a future and a change in society and, in turning to the working class and demanding the support of trade unions, they are turning to the only class that can bring about the revolutionary change in society that the climate crisis demands.
Youth know that capitalism with its insatiable drive for profit at all costs is the source of the climate change disaster, and that the only way to secure a future for young people across the world is to put an end to capitalism.
Young people are today on the march globally against a bankrupt capitalist system that in its death agony can only survive by the mass exploitation and destruction of the world’s resources through wars and pollution, while at the same time waging war against young people through unemployment and slave labour schemes.
Young people are the most revolutionary section of the working class and are in the vanguard of the struggle to overthrow capitalism and replace it with socialism. By turning out to the adult workers and unions, youth have given a massive revolutionary lead in mobilising the working class to overthrow capitalism and advance to a planned socialist economy.
Only under a planned socialist economy can the necessary steps be taken to avert the climate crisis capitalism has produced. To carry through the overthrow of capitalism, it is essential to build a really revolutionary leadership amongst youth and the working class.
We call on every young person to join the WRP and Young Socialists to build the revolutionary leadership that the working class requires to build a future for everyone.