Bolivia. Haiti. Iraq. Ecuador. Puerto Rico.
Across the world, millions of common folk are standing up to austerity, corruption and injustice. They are rejecting coups, calling for functioning social services and basic human compassion. And hundreds, if not thousands, are losing their lives in the battle. Bravery doesn’t begin to describe the sacrifices made by the protesters on the ground, as they face fascistic security forces.
Climate change, too, is inspiring global action. Across the world, from Pakistan to Storrs, activists are demanding climate justice. We are demanding bold action from world leaders, and building the intersections of race, class and gender into the foundations of the movement.
We would be blind to not connect the dots. The world, our world, is a tinderbox ready to ignite. The 21st century global revolt has begun.
Now, more than ever, we must work to synthesize these movements. They are all connected by common themes: These struggles represent a joint venture of hope, of compassion and of kinship. They represent a global class consciousness. These struggles represent a multiracial movement of women, indigenous peoples, workers and students.
They are all tied together by the common causes of imperialism, neo-colonialism and neoliberal capitalism. In Bolivia, anti-coup activists are fighting the two-headed snake of capitalism and imperialism, which violently pushed the democratically elected Evo Morales out of office earlier this month. In Puerto Rico, protestors are determined to break from their colonial relationship with the United States. “La junta” — the unelected board of bankers which oversees the island colony’s finances — must go.
In light of the whirlwind of political activity on campus this semester, I was recently asked whether I felt other movements (for racial and gender equality) detracted from the movement for climate justice. For many, it’s a genuine question. For me, and all of the fantastic activists on campus, it’s a no-brainer: Of course not!
If someone tells you they want to defeat climate change while ignoring the struggles for racial justice, gender equity, LGBTQ+ rights and economic justice, they’re missing the point. Climate justice isn’t an empty phrase — it’s a commitment to not just defeating climate change, but to building a just world in place of our current hellish iteration.
Climate justice extends across borders. As I’ve written before, climate justice is the antonym of eco-fascism, an apocalyptic ideology which plans to fight climate change by building walls and hoarding resources. To save our world, we must support our brothers and sisters in Bolivia and Haiti and Puerto Rico. Their struggles may seem distant to some of us, but they are deeply intertwined with our global struggle.
Solidarity is key.
Tomorrow, at noon, the UConn NAACP, UConn Collaborative Organizing, Revolution Against Rape and Friday’s For Future are holding a “March Of Solidarity.”
This collaboration hammers home the point: At the root of all modern struggles — for racial justice, gender equity, LGBTQ+ rights, climate justice and economic justice, amongst others — is a fundamental power inequity, an extractive economic system which marginalizes and exploits most, while elevating the rich over the fray. Capitalism.
Solidarity is the solution. Join us tomorrow to show yours.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed by individual writers in the opinion section do not reflect the views and opinions of The Daily Campus or other staff members. Only articles labeled “Editorial” are the official opinions of The Daily Campus.
Harry Zehner is the opinion editor for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at email@example.com.