by Paul Garver
By 12th December the Paris climate talks will have ended. Political leaders will have made promises to voluntarily reduce carbon emissions. Whether these promises are kept or not kept over the coming decades depends upon us.
We know what we need: real climate solutions that create secure union jobs and strengthen community power and resiliency.
To get there, we must build an unstoppable grassroots movement that unites workers and labor unions with immigrant rights. racial justice and climate justice movements.
Representatives of these movements are calling for a rally and march in Boston on 12th December to Defend New England’s Future. Organizers include 350 Mass for a Better Future and Jobs with Justice. Endorsers include labor unions [Vermont State AFL-CIO, SEIU Locals 1199 and 509, Mass. Nurses Association/National Nurses United, Boston Musicians, Local 3844 American Postal Workers Union], worker centers from Vermont, Southern Maine and New Bedford, and numerous community and social rights groups like City Life/Vida Urbana, the Migrant Center and Interfaith Workers Justice.
They will join with a broad network of climate justice and environmental groups including numerous 350 MA nodes, campus divestment groups, Mass Peace Action and the Sierra Club in rallying in Boston Common and in front of the Mass. State House. The march will also take support for organizing low wage workers at McDonald’s and Primark. Flyers are being prepared in Spanish and Portuguese as well as English to help reach out to immigrant communities.
Although social movements have been gathering momentum and winning specific legislative victories in Massachusetts and other New England states in the years since the Occupy movement, they have been somewhat isolated into separate “silos.” Organizers of the 12th December Rally and March hope to help spark a more inclusive and unified grassroots’ movement that reaches broader mass constituencies beyond their organizational leaders.
For some background on how the 12th December actions being organized throughout the world relate to the Paris talks, see http://www.religioussocialism.org/global_climate_justice_a_new_great_awakening.