As part of a global action day of the climate movement “FridaysForFuture”, also an action in the city of Qamislo in Rojava took place. Together with the city administration of Qamislo, Internationalists from ‘Make Rojava Green Again’ and students of the Rojava University, demonstrated and cleaned up the city.
With banners and shouting slogans, more than 50 students of the Rojava University in Qamislo walked through the city and drew attention to ecological difficulties, from waste in the city to the global climate crisis. With this demonstration the activists took part in the global climate movement FridaysForFuture, which had called for a worldwide action day on the Friday. Besides the students and activists of the city administration, also internationalists of the campaign Make Rojava Green Again took part. On the banners brought along and carried by the students, was written: “To defend nature we have to organize ourselves – system change not climate change”, signed with FridaysForFuture-Rojava.
The slogan brings it to the point: only in a self-organised society, that is able to determine its future outside the logic of capitalist production and inner need to produce and to consume more, will there be a solution of the ecological crises we are facing today. Only in a society, that lives on the values of solidarity, with a holistic understanding of the world, can a future be built.
In the demonstration in Qamislo, Mahir Pir, a history student at Rojava University, emphasized that the way we deal with nature and the cleanliness of cities also reflects the mentality of a society. Cleanliness in daily life, cities, homes and the preservation and defense of nature, is one of the essential things in life.
The students underlined the importance of leading this action as the youth, because in the youth the strength of society lies. Especially in current times, in the global movement for a radical change of the economical and political system, we can see this importance. At the front line of every Friday demonstration, the youth is marching, claiming a future worth living in.
As in the defense of the revolution in Rojava and the Democratic Federation of North East Syria, with the building-up of the democratic system and an ecological society, the revolutionary youth is playing a significant role.
With the action in Rojava on the second global day of action of the climate movement, the activists also sent their warmest and revolutionary greetings to the people on the streets of the world, wished them every success in struggle for a democratic modernity, in harmony with nature.
We have already established that the very existence of the Universe is an act of Rebellion -the original act of Rebellion.
The Hubble Space Telescope and other measuring tools have shown the first galaxies took shape from around one billion years after the Big Bang or the Original Rebellion, as you might call it.
There are two main theories to explain how the first galaxies formed. The truth may involve both theories.
One theory says that galaxies were born when massive clouds of gas and dust collapsed under their own gravitational pull, allowing stars to be created.
The other theory says the young universe contained many small “lumps” of matter, which coalesced to form galaxies.
Every galaxy is a rebellion, because before galaxies, there were no galaxies. Extinction Rebellion is just such a galaxy.
According to the McDonald Observatory, ‘The galaxy-formation process has not stopped. Our universe continues to evolve. Small galaxies are often pulled into larger ones.’
Extinction Rebellion attracts other smaller social movements, gives them a platform and a new, larger centre of gravity.
‘Galaxy mergers happen fairly often. A large portion of the bright galaxies that we see today may have formed from the mergers of two or more smaller galaxies.’
Extinction Rebellion joins in solidarity with other global non-violent direct action movements for ecological and social justice, like Youth Strike For Climate and Earthstrike. Together we can form one uber-movement.
‘Mergers can take anywhere from a few hundred million to a few billion years to complete. They can trigger intense bursts of new star formation’.
Extinction Rebellion is making stars of all of us, but let’s not take too long about it!
‘Galactic collisions rarely produce head-on wrecks between individual stars. Even when two galaxies ram together, the distance between stars is enormous’
Extinction Rebellion and every other global non-violent direct action movement can work together without anyone getting hurt.
‘While galactic collisions rarely destroy stars, they often create them. As vast clouds of gas and dust in merging galaxies slam together, they can create thousands or even millions of new stars.’
The more Extinction Rebellion joins with other movements, the more new volunteers will appear in all movements.
On 15 March students from around the world will join a global Youth Strike for Climate, leaving school and college to demand that their leaders urgently take climate action. In this guest blog Farhana Yamin, CEO at Track 0 and Extinction Rebellion Activist and Jake Woodier, an organiser of #YouthStrike4Climate explain why.
Politicians beware. Young people are demanding answers from governments to some tough questions.
Why have scientific warnings about the climate and ecological crisis been ignored for so long?
What emergency actions can now be put in place to stop the extinction of life on Earth?
Tired of the apathy and denialist campaigns funded by vested interests, young people are taking to the streets and joining new social movements that are demanding solutions be put in place in 10 years or less.
That timeframe more or less matches the 12 year deadline given by the United Nation’s chief scientific body, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). In October 2018, the IPCC spelt out the consequences of what a hotter more disruptive climate would look like. Unless we cut global greenhouse gases emissions by 50% in the next 11 years, billions of people would be exposed to increased storms, wildfires, droughts, floods, acidified oceans and sea level rise which would result in water and food shortages and mass migration.
Students strike for climate in London in February 2019. (Photo: Socialist Appeal/Flickr)
Fearing for their future and acting out of solidarity with their fellow global citizens, this week hundreds of thousands of young people are expected to walk out of schools and colleges to join the school strike movement. They are inspired by 16 year old Greta Thunberg, who in August 2018 stopped going to school on Fridays to sit outside the Swedish Parliament and demand climate action. Since then, thousands of young people around the world have joined the Youth Strike 4 Climate movement with campaigns now active in around 71 countries. In Belgium, around 50,000 children and young people take to the streets every Friday. The UK’s student movement is gathering momentum. The first national strike resulted in 15,000 students and young people ditching classrooms to demonstrate a need for radical and urgent action to achieve climate justice for current and future generations.
“The burden of holding powerful actors to account over their climate records has unfortunately fallen on the young. We’ve been betrayed by the climate inaction of previous generations. We’re having to rise up and fight for those around the world already suffering the devastating effects of climate change, and for our very futures.”
The youth led Sunrise Movement rally in San Francisco in December 2018. (Photo: Peg Hunter/Flickr)
Long held attitudes of moderation are now woefully insufficient given the global climate emergency we all face. From the “Green New Deal’s 10 year plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to zero in ways that generate clean jobs, supported by the youth-led Sunrise movement and championed by Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, to the Extinction Rebellion’s campaign of mass civil disobedience to dismantle the toxic systems that are putting all life on Earth at risk, it is clear that the desire to build a more inclusive society based on respecting nature’s boundaries is beginning to reshape politics.
No-one knows what will happen and no-one can say for sure whether or not fundamental ecological tipping points have already been breached. The good news is that there are millions of people – old and young – who are mobilising around the world to stop humanity from falling off a cliff.
Extinction Rebellion protest at Oxford Circus, London in November 2018 (Photo: David Holt / Flickr)
We can and must succeed in catalysing a peaceful revolution to end the era of fossil fuels and economic systems based on the extraction and extinction of nature. Life on Earth literally depends on it.
That is why we will be supporting students on strike and all those working to defend life on Earth. As citizens around the world join together to courageously speak truth to power, we hope you will give your full support to strikers and rebels where ever you are.
Views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Elders or The Elders Foundation.
This speech was planned to be read during the Youth Strike 4 Climate, in Exeter on February 15th. Youth Strike for Climate is an international movement that is gaining traction and support all the time. February 15th was the first mass countrywide UK action. Exeter was one of the biggest events. XR unequivocally supports Youth Strikes. Some Youth Strike members are also XR Youth members, including in Exeter. Thanks to ‘Jack’ for the YouTube video above. Jack, please get in touch -one of our editors would like to create some content with you!
by Molly Bovet, 17 years old
To those with the
greatest power, from those who must break the system to claim it:
There never should
have been a ‘time for waiting’, and now even those stolen years have run out.
generation has failed to keep us safe in this time, and now we, your children,
are left to pick up the pieces and provoke you into action. The promises that
have been made and the plans that have been discussed so far are too vague and
have, at best, twelve years left before the state of our planet becomes catastrophic
and we run out of time for action; that is not time that can be wasted like the
politicians and major companies of the world have wasted the years leading up
are the ones who have created this mess and now we are here to force you into
action. You are the ones with the power to help us.
are raised to be quiet when they’re angry and to do as they’re told, but this
is one issue that we cannot be silenced on.
just the past twenty five years, you have emitted more CO2 than the entirety of
the human race before you. The climate we have been born and raised in, the
climate that you have created, is born of obliteration.
may even see climate collapse as soon as within the next five years, and if we
don’t amend that, cultural collapse will inevitably follow within our
these horrific facts are things that we have had to seek out ourselves; our
schools do not equip us with the knowledge and ability to mitigate the worst-case
scenarios. Nor do they teach us about the direness of our climate situation or
how we can live low carbon lifestyles.
do not want to live in fear but you give us no choice. We trusted you, the
adults, to keep us safe but you have failed to secure our future.
You want to raise good kids, people who will be kind to one another and the world around them, work passionately and take their educations seriously. These kids are here, begging at your feet to spare us a future in flames. We will care for this earth and its creatures. We will love every precious second that we are here; just as long as you do the same.
This is my only planet
by Holly Errington
This is my only planet
I must defend it
This is your beautiful planet
You must help us
Tired of endless excuses
Governments saying “We’ll fix it later”
And walking away with a smirk
Their pockets full and our planet empty
We will not settle for later
We don’t care if you think we’re crazy
We can band together
are happening now
Do not let others pollute your vision
Be a protector of precious life
Let us hold hope by the hand
Pray that we will be sitting amongst wildlife
In years to come
Talking about our defiance
Against this ecological destruction
We Have the Facts, We Will Have Climate Justice
by Lauren Fenton, 18 years old
In a world where governments care more
about money than the environment, it has been left to the people to decide
which shade of green we want for our planet.
With an estimated 18 billion pounds of
plastic waste entering the world oceans from coastal regions annually and
Donald Trump looking to re-open coal mines in the USA, it is now down to the
people to make the change.
But we need the support of the government, we need them to wake up and take responsibility and write legally binding agreements to cap the global temperature rise by less than the tipping point.
Limiting global warming to 2 degrees Celsius is not good enough. A two-degree increase in the average global temperature means that mountain glaciers and rivers will start to disappear, 10% of the world’s population will be displaced due to sea level rise and A THIRD OF ALL LIFE ON EARTH WILL FACE EXTINCTION!
As a population we need to band together to
pressure the officials to enforce a mandatory cap in temperature rise at 1.5
degrees C above pre-industrial levels and become carbon neutral by 2030. By the
time we reach 2050 It will be too late.
In 2014, only 5 countries accounted for 70%
of global CO2 emissions: China, the United States, the European Union, the
Russian Federation and Japan. This sparked the launch of the “land mark
agreement” to combat climate change in 2015 – COP 21, The Paris agreement,
Which THE USA HAS NOW PULLED OUT OF.
China is so far the only country to make a
major difference, announcing plans to invest over $USD 3 Billion in renewable
energy. Whist the EU’s aim is become carbon neutral by 2050 and cut energy use
by 20% below business-as-usual projections by 2020. This is NOT good enough! We
are the 3rd largest contributor to CO2 emissions globally and our
member states are among the wealthiest countries in the world. With these stats
there is NO EXCUSE for not making more of an effort to become carbon neutral!
Because of our governments idleness we are now on track for a global
temperature rise of 2.7 degrees C, 0.7 above the tipping point.
Despite all these
statistics, there has still been no legally binding agreement to combat climate
change since 2009. And there are still countries refusing the latest agreement
(Katowice 2018), including the USA, Russia and Saudi Arabia. Knowing this, how can
we rely on governments who are not willing to make a sacrifice to save the
planet? If the temperature continues to rise there will be no trade, there will
be displacement of people and there will be extinction!
We have the facts.
We have the power. We will have Climate Justice.
We did not seek permission to re-post but consider it ‘fair use’ to re-post in full and credit the original source. Please get in touch if you are the original author and would like the post altered or taken down -The Editors.
A new initiative aimed towards expanding students’ understanding of climate and sustainability issues is set to take place between the 18th and 22nd of February.
Promotional material distributed to advertise the cause stresses the need to demand ‘climate justice’ and ‘take back our education’.
The four-day movement aims to encourage teaching on climate change-related matters, through a collaboration between academics and students.
Teach-In Week encourages a refusal of the current university curriculum, attempting to encourage a discussion over putting more powers into the hands of students in determining the content of their studies.
Organisers of the event claim that the intention is not to disrupt courses and lecture content, but rather provoke a meaningful debate over the true purpose of a university education.
Lizzy Haughton, the Activities and Development Officer at the SU, who is behind the cause, pointed to the Youth Strike 4 Climate campaign in Switzerland and Germany, that saw over 30,000 students strike over the failure of their degree programmes to adequately educate themselves and their peers over the planet’s future.
In an email explaining the cause, Haughton argued that students had to be ‘shown the way’ in regards to such issues. Identifying a 12-year estimate for dealing with climate breakdown before facing human extinction, Haughton was clear that the issue was not whether “they [students] care enough”, but “telling them that they have to care”.
Haughton herself is involved in the Extinction Rebellion movement, that seeks to achieve radical change and sometimes controversial methods, including the welcoming of arrest.
The objective of overhauling government and economic policy in regards to environmental issues has developed a new branch as it enters grassroots involvement in university education, with possibly transformative effects.
For those looking to get involved with Teach-In Week, there are weekly information sessions up until the event itself, held every Tuesday from 3-4pm in room 1.3 of the SU.
Those interested are also encouraged to contact Lizzy Haughton at firstname.lastname@example.org, or alternatively, Ryan Woods, at email@example.com.