Filed under: Announcement, Climate Change, Event, Northeast
Call for large scale actions in New York on September 27th against climate change.
New York, NY — Earth Strike NYC announced that on Friday, September 27, a radical frontline coalition will gather in Sunset Park as part of a Communities Strike for Climate over Colonialism. This comes as part of a global strike day organized by Earth Strike, marking the last major event of this year’s climate week.
The strike, with an accompanying rally and march, is organized by Earth Strike NYC, an autonomous member of the global Earth Strike collective, in collaboration with a coalition of community organizations and unions. The event will be co-hosted by UPROSE, and endorsing organizations include Outlive Them, the NYC Democratic Socialists of America Ecosocialists working group, Rise and Resist, Sane Energy Project, Bronx Climate Justice North, MACC (Metropolitan Anarchist Coordinating Council), Af3rim, AFT chapter 2375, Jewish Voice for Peace NYC, Code Pink, People’s Climate Movement, FIRE (Fight for Im/migrants and Refugees Everywhere), and Science for the People.
The coalition has chosen to draw attention to Sunset Park as “an epicenter of the fight for climate liberation.” A waterfront community that was devastated by Superstorm Sandy in 2012, Sunset Park faces gentrification, disinvestment, and displacement. Its residents have organized as UPROSE to reject city rezoning plans requested by the real estate firm Jamestown Properties and to advance their own vision for Sunset Park.
“Our communities live and struggle at the intersection of racial injustice and climate change,” said Elizabeth Yeampierre of UPROSE. “The fight for climate justice is local and nowhere is it more evident than in Sunset Park. As an old guard developer, Jamestown has turned Industry City into a high-end retail and commercial space instead of a modern industrial waterfront that builds for local and regional climate adaptation, mitigation and resiliency needs and missing the opportunity to develop good-paying jobs. The consequence of this dated vision is the displacement of small businesses and residents and the disruption of social cohesion, making our frontline community even more vulnerable to recurrent extreme weather events.”
The strikers are also calling attention to the role of international commodity markets in colonial genocide and ecocide.“With the help of Jair Bolsonaro…farmers and agribusinesses are setting fire to the Amazon [and other ecosystems] to clear for cattle raising and soybean planting,” said Natalia from Defend Democracy in Brazil. “They are also burning down entire indigenous villages and killing indigenous peoples. A radical climate strike is necessary to bring further awareness to the fact that everyone can take action by educating themselves and boycotting agricultural products such as meat and soy, wood from deforested areas, and products of illegal mines like gold and other minerals.”
The coalition is warning of increasing right-wing, fascist responses to ecological breakdown and social decay. “As anti-racist and antifascist Jews, we see the climate crisis in the ecofascist border policies of the current administration, which evoke the “blood and soil” and “lebensraum” rhetoric of Naziism,” said Ruth from Outlive Them. “By striking, we can build the kind of people power necessary to confront the fascistic response to climate change and apply pressure on the structures of power that have created and continue to benefit from systems of domination and oppression.”
The strikers are launching a drive to organize a citywide general strike as a tool to combat the climate crisis. The strikers are also calling on environmental activists to endorse “a genuinely intersectional politics,” in line with their demands.
“The global north is fixated on the future of its white children, but look around: the present is already one of terror for black and brown people. And if we confronted that, we’d stop denying that capitalism, colonialism, and the climate crisis are a deadly mixture,” said Lola Jusidman, an organizer with EarthStrike.
Earth Strike believes that the potential power of a general strike is clear: militant teacher strikes and worker walkouts against ICE have been successful in winning concessions and mobilizing workers. Early in 2019, murmurings of a General Strike were enough to end the government shutdown.
“Organizing a general strike will be a difficult, long-term process, but given the scale of the climate crisis, I believe that a massive, radical, intersectional response by frontline communities against the structures that created the crisis is desperately needed,” said Jacob Friedman, an organizer with Earth Strike NYC.
On September 27, strikers will make the following radical demands:
End Climate Imperialism | Reject Eco-Fascism | End Gentrification | Prison Abolition | Community Ownership | Intergenerational Leadership | Animal Liberation | Climate Reparations