There are two major reasons why it is so important that the Peoples Climate March April 29th in DC be a big success.
The main one is the desperate need for a massive showing of opposition to the Trumpist Republican attacks, on every front, against virtually all efforts to shift from fossil fuels to renewables and energy efficiency. Our disrupted and destabilizing climate needs just the opposite. We need a society-wide mobilization to make that shift as if we were in great danger from a powerful enemy, which of course we are.
The enemy isn’t human beings using fossil fuels. The enemy is a big-money dominated political and economic system in which fossil fuel corporations have great power. Because of that power they have obstructed for decades efforts to shift to a truly clean energy economy, something that is totally feasible right now and will only become more feasible and less expensive with each passing year. It is also something that is and has been popular with a large majority of the American people for many years.
The Peoples Climate March doesn’t name “the system” as the enemy, but it is building the effort in a way which moves us forward toward the kind of alliance we need to succeed in the transformation of that system into something much more just and healthy for the earth and all of its life forms.
The PCM calls for: “solutions to the climate crisis rooted in racial, social and economic justice; clean air, water, land, healthy communities and a world at peace; stop attacks on immigrants, communities of color, indigenous and tribal people and lands and workers; public funds and investments in good paying jobs [and benefits] that preserve workers’ rights, including the right to unionize; investments in our communities, people and environment to transition to a new clean and renewable energy economy that works for all; and protection of our basic rights to a free press, protest and free speech.” http://peoplesclimate.org/#sign-up
There’s another reason why it’s so critical for the PCM to be a huge success: we need to keep building the people’s movement against Trump and the Republicans who have control for now of both houses of Congress and the White House.
I remember being at a strategy meeting in DC on January 18th of climate activists from around the country. Several people were articulating the view that as we continued to work on the climate issue, we needed to also prioritize defeating the efforts to establish a 21st century version of fascism, and that meant fighting Trump and his corporate and Congressional supporters across a range of issues.
In the 65 days since Trump was inaugurated, the overall progressive and grassroots movements have done a very good job of building a serious resistance movement. Indeed, it’s not just progressives; major segments of the mass media, federal judges, much of the movie industry (remember Meryl Streep’s speech?), Democrats in Congress, getting tremendous pressure from the grassroots, have foiled the Trumpist Republicans’ plans on front after front. There is the deepening crisis, for Trump, of Russiagate. And the defeat in the House of Republican efforts to repeal and replace Obamacare was a huge, watershed moment.
But does anyone think that these guys—and it is overwhelmingly “guys,” white guys—are going to stop with their regressive and dangerous agenda? Of course not.
It is essential that people, large numbers of people, be in the streets, visibly taking action. It was the Women’s March on January 21st, with its massive numbers in DC and around the country, that led the way for the resistance movement. Now it’s the turn of the climate and climate justice movements at the 100-days-in-power mark to cap those 100 days with an exclamation point by the people’s resistance that keeps it all going.
Let’s rise to the occasion and turn the people out!
Ted Glick has been a progressive activist and organizer for 49 years. Past writing and other information can be found at http://tedglick.com, and he can be followed on twitter at http://twitter.com/jtglick.