Youth Climate Strike

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Joined: 29-03-07
Sep 22 2019 07:56

Statement of Priama akcia and photo report from Bratislava

R Totale's picture
R Totale
Joined: 15-02-18
Sep 22 2019 10:24
Mike Harman wrote:
There's also the David Simon 'give your staff the afternoon off' approach of company-sponsored afternoons. This happened with some of the anti-ICE / anti-Trump stuff in the US where I think Google campus had an official company event. Now I think that was a response to Google employees talking about joining the event so an afternoon of that instead of sitting at a desk can still be a step forward but it could also be a step into a cul-de-sac where it doesn't go further than this.

I think this point is really worth considering. Yeah, it's possible for this stuff to happen in a totally interclassist way if it's just eco-friendly small businesses with a conscience giving their staff the day off, but, if it's an actual demand being raised by workers first - "you say you're a sustainable green employer, now prove it by giving us time off", then I think that's actual worker agency, no? In my workplace, there was a demand raised that management should give a guarantee not to victimise anyone taking time off to participate, which we weren't able to win, but - at the risk of sounding like a transitional demands trot - I think the process of formulating that demand and raising it collectively was a good experience in terms of bringing workers together, exposing the limits of progressive management rhetoric and so on.

So this was at least normal activist advice if you get arrested, and not telling people to do yoga and run their mouth off to any cop that will listen to them.

I briefly just got the fear in case they turned out to be yet another SWP front group, but having done a quick check I don't think they are.

Spikymike wrote:
This short report of the Salford and Manchester rallies gives us a picture of the extent to which the 'climate strike' was limited there to (mostly authorised) student absence from schools with token representatives from the official trade union and Labour Party and no actual workplace strikes.

On this, in the video I'd posted above (which definitely does feature some SWP faces, although I don't think the Salford Unison person is one of them), there's someone talking about how Salford council workers were giving the option of taking unpaid leave to join the protests, although if there were only 100 at the Salford one it sounds like not that many of them took it up. But again, I'm kind of intrigued: how much of a real distinction is there between a legal, officially protected strike and workers taking co-ordinated unpaid leave together?
Also nice to see someone in that article with the "wrong amazon is burning" slogan, which seems like a good snappy summation of an anticapitalist perspective.

Anyway, I think it'd be a bit daft and unrealistic to expect that, starting from where we're at now, there would have been big political strikes that would have necessarily been totally illegal and outside the whole framework of trade union law, I don't think there was ever a realistic chance of that happening. What I'm interested in is whether yesterday's events, and the process of mobilisation led up to them, played any kind of positive role in a process of class recomposition that could make those kinds of strikes more possible. And I suspect the answer to that question will probably be very different depending on different sectors of the workforce - like, I imagine there probably won't have been much/any impact at all in the unorganised private sector workplaces that make up most of the economy, and probably not for anyone working outside of the city centre. But in places where some level of organisation and confidence already exists, and the bosses' rhetoric is green and eco-friendly enough to be hypocritical, I think there might be something going on. Although I appreciate that from the outside it's always hard to see the difference between "important subterranean microcosmic developments" and "nothing happening".

Alf wrote:
Sunny weather , a park by the Thames. Plenty of loud music and amusing placards. So more of a day out than a 'strike'.

Would it have been more of a proper strike if the weather was horrible? tongue

There is a real indignation here, an awareness among some very young people of something utterly flawed in the way society functions, which makes it all the more sickening that an adroitly set up campaign has so rapidly taken charge of the whole 'discourse' and is defining all the parameters of organisation and action.

This is another point of disagreement - I'm really not convinced that campaign organisers have that much control over the schoolkids' walkouts in any real sense. I think there's a process of self-organisation going on here, where the parameters of organisation and action are being defined in ways that are necessarily as opaque to us as anyone else. But I'm not so sure that they're being set from above.

Joined: 6-01-07
Sep 23 2019 09:24

RT. Not sure what you made of my Salford linked report but 100 people is not 100 Council workers. Apart from the young people, this lunchtime rally was attended mainly by Council and Union officials and not any ''coordinated' use of 'permission' to take unpaid leave!! The Manchester rally I attended was as I described with the SWP making their usual opportunistic use of the event together with the Local Labour Party via Andy Burnham, together with the interpretation of the issue via the reformist campaigns and the influence of the local schools administrations. This is not to detract from the growing interest of the young people in the serious issue of climate change and ecological deterioration which has potential yet to fully materialise.

Mike Harman
Joined: 7-02-06
Sep 23 2019 11:47
R Totale wrote:
But again, I'm kind of intrigued: how much of a real distinction is there between a legal, officially protected strike and workers taking co-ordinated unpaid leave together?

I don't think there's that much difference - the main distinction would be that it's legally impossible to have an officially protected 'climate strike' in the UK because strikes are only lawful when part of a trade dispute.

This is why when union leaders talk about 'general strikes', apart from being posturing in the first place, the closest they could get to without union funds being sequestered would be co-ordinating the timing of strike action in relation to multiple different trade disputes to coincide on the same day/week.

Alf's picture
Joined: 6-07-05
Sep 23 2019 20:43

On police attitudes: any smiley face is obviously not a real smile, and there were inverted commas around considerate. I am sure the mask slipped on a number of occasions, as Battlescarred recounts. But I think the approach of the state as a whole, or certainly a substantial part of it, to these events is the phony smiley one, and the police will have orders to carry out this out - "respect for diversity and equality" is the official police ethic after all - even if many of its officers on the spot are not very good at applying it.
A more global example of this policy is the UN enabling Greta to make an angry speech about the inaction of the world leaders, and praising her courage to the skies.

Noah Fence's picture
Noah Fence
Joined: 18-12-12
Sep 24 2019 04:12
A more global example of this policy is the UN enabling Greta to make an angry speech about the inaction of the world leaders, and praising her courage to the skies.

Indeed, though I must say, even as a pretty cynical old fuck, I still found a potential glimmer of hope for a more radical approach from the young folk in said speech. Sure, the hope lies with the proles, but maybe with the youth too?

R Totale's picture
R Totale
Joined: 15-02-18
Sep 25 2019 20:31

I kind of hate the fact that they post these huge lumps of audio rather than breaking it up into manageable pieces, but anyway, from about 40-odd minutes to a bit past an hour here, IGD interview in an anarchist involved with XR Atlanta:
Interesting that they seem to voice criticisms of the UK XR group probably very similar to ones many people here might have - from about 1 hour 6 minutes in or so if you just want to listen to that bit.