Climate Change is Not Just a White, Middle Class Issue
We are joining “The Wretched of the Earth” Global South Bloc at the People’s March for Climate Justice and Jobs On Sunday 29th November
The presence of the bloc at the front of the march, reminds us that it is Indigenous people, and black and brown people the world over who are at the frontlines of the fight against climate change.
Inside the bloc, several placards read “First to Die, First to Fight, First to March”.
Climate change is not simply about recycling and polar bears; it is about genocide and ecocide. We, as Indigenous people, black and brown communities all over the world are the first to face the furious impacts of climate change, and the first to fall in the fight for climate justice. But we are also the first to fight back, and that’s why we are leading this march.
The Climate March takes place just two weeks after the burst of a tailings dam in Brazil,, spreading 40 million cubic metres of waste from the Anglo-Australian company BHP Billiton’s iron-ore mine in the South-East of the country, leaving a trail of destruction behind and destroying the livelihoods of hundreds of people. Utah Phillips powerfully said “The Earth is not dying. It is being killed. And those who are killing it have names and addresses.” And indeed, the culprits of climate change and disasters, ‘terrorists in suits and ties’, not only roam our streets with impunity, but make profits out of it. The march came to a halt, when a delegation from the Bloc took a left turn on St James’ Square to deliver coffins to the headquarters of nearby BP.
In the past few months, Europe has awakened to an overwhelming migrant crisis. While today’s march was advertised as a march for the climate, protesters in the Wretched of the Earth bloc are wary of attempts to see climate change as an isolated challenge. At the moment we are facing a migrant crisis; today we are talking about the climate crisis. And it’s really dangerous to see them as separate issues. Our economic system causes imperial war, chronic poverty, and climate change; imperial war, poverty and climate change are the main drivers of displacement. So what we’re saying here today, is that we have to understand that all these different issues are linked.
Because at the end of the day, the only way we’re going to be able to solve climate change, is by understanding that it’s part of a much bigger problem, and dealing with a political and economic system that is failing the 99%.
The march takes place as the climate talks begin in Paris, where world leaders will attempt to negotiate a possible new global agreement to curb emissions. Inside the Wretched of the Earth bloc, no expectations are placed on the talks.
By any objective measure Paris is going to fail. The way to fix this mess is to talk about decolonisation and reparations…Communities around the world are fighting. We must support them and amplify their voices.
- The Wretched of the Earth – Global Frontlines Bloc was called by Algeria Solidarity Campaign, Argentina Solidarity Campaign, Black Dissidents, Colombia Solidarity Campaign, Environmental Justice North Africa, Global Afrikan People’s Parliament, Global Justice Forum, Kilombo, London Mexico Solidarity, Movimiento Ecuador Reino Unido (MERU), Movimiento Jaguar Despierto, PARCOE, South Asia Solidarity Group, The London Latinxs, This Changes Everything UK.