By DON HARMON
“Rise for Climate, Jobs and Justice” is one of the rallying cries for the march and protest to be held in San Francisco and many other cities on Saturday, Sept. 8. (Sept. 6 in New York City.) In San Francisco, the march will begin at 10 a.m. at the Embarcadero Plaza and continue up Market Street for a rally at the Civic Center. Some 300 organizations have endorsed the San Francisco action, including 54 labor organizations.
The Peoples Climate Movement, with climate organizations such as 350.org, launched the “Rise for Climate, Jobs and Justice September 8” mobilization. People from around the country and the world will take to the streets to demand bold action on climate change.
In the past year, the Trump administration has acceded to the oil, coal, and automobile industry moguls by rolling back numerous climate and health policies. Recently, more than 200,000 people marched in Washington, D.C. to show their resistance to Trump’s life-killing actions. This year the Peoples Climate Movement aims to transform this energy into action, to build both local and national climate movements calling for a just transition to a 100% renewable economy.
The Sept. 8 day of protest evolved from California Governor Jerry Brown’s call for a Global Climate Action Summit to be held in San Francisco, Sept. 12 -14.
According to its website, the Summit “will bring together state and local governments, businesses and citizens from around the world to showcase climate action taking place, thereby demonstrating how the tide has turned in the race against climate change and inspiring deeper national commitments in support of the Paris Agreement.” Among those in attendance will be former U.S. Vice President Al Gore, actor Alec Baldwin, scientist Jane Goodall, former U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, and other elected officials. Also, such capitalists as Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff and Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson will be attending.
Governor Brown, though he has been a long-time supporter of the oil and fracking industries in California, now wants to place himself in a leadership position in the growing climate change movement that shouts “Keep it in the ground!” As a capitalist politician, Brown contradicts himself. He and his ilk represent the problem, not the solution.
Climate activists can use Brown’s initiative to advance climate justice far beyond the governor’s limited, corporate-led response and build connections that will lay the groundwork for a fighting movement that is not hemmed in by the capitalist parties of either Democrats or Republicans. Climate change attacks working families all across the planet. In the U.S., the working class, people of color, and the poor are most heavily impacted by dirty air and water, and are suffering with increasing levels of cancer and respiratory issues.
Sept. 8 organizers, through many planning meetings held throughout the Bay Area, are building connections and linking climate activists together around important issues such as economic and racial justice, gender equality, workers rights, and immigrant rights.
“Brown’s Last Chance” will be one of the marching contingents, calling on Gov. Brown to end all new fossil fuel permitting in California and undertake the conversion of industry to sustainable methods of production.
Among the demands for Sept. 8 are “Stop Fossil Fuels! Build 100% Renewables!” “No to the Keystone XL Pipeline!” “The Oil Companies Don’t Care About Lives, Only Profit!”
As Desmond Tutu said, “People of conscience need to break their ties with corporations financing the injustice of climate change.” The Sept. 8 protests are our opportunity to voice our opposition to corporate destruction of our planet and to build a growing movement that is independent of the capitalist parties and their politicians.
All out for September 8th! March to protect our lives and the planet!