by Kiri Vadivelu
On September 24, 2021 over a thousand environmental activists took to the streets of Toronto as part of a worldwide climate strike. The event, organized by Fridays for Future Toronto, shouted “Save Our Planet” loud and clear. The protesters, including students, workers, women and children, walked together to end violence against the nature, the planet and humanity.
Students carried signs and banners: “We Need a Revolution”, “Stop the Lies, Stop Funding Crisis, No Planet B”. A large black banner “Code Red” led the march. Environmentalists are furious due to inaction by capitalist politicians. Burning of fossil fuel is the primary cause of global warming today. While most climate deniers changed their position from denial to acceptance, the problem remains unsolved. Most Canadian provinces are in the process of banning straws and polythene bags — too late to make a tangible difference.
Fossil fuel extraction qualitatively increased in the 1950s. Corporate profit ruled ruthlessly. Policy makers relied on the reports of environmental offenders to make policy. They were blind-sided by the cruel nature of capitalism. Fast forward to 2021, people are disrupting the comfort zone of those in power. No more lies, we demand climate justice.
Socialist Action members were prominent with red flags and a banner with the slogan “Eco Socialism or Extinction”. A leading member of Socialist Action, Julius Arscott, stated that capitalism is killing the planet; that working people need to rise together to save our planet. Volcanoes are erupting, nations are being flooded; thunder, lighting and hurricanes are occurring with unprecedented speed and strength, while the rulers still contend with denial of the emergency. Dozens of folks, mostly youths, signed up for more information at the SA canopy and spent over $100 on socialist literature and buttons.
Hundreds of years ago, Indigenous people signed treaties with the colonial settler state to protect land, water and wild life pre-Confederation. None of the conditions were obeyed, resulting in the present calamity. Many Indigenous people, including Miguel Martin Avila Velarde from Toronto Community Housing, say that Truth and Reconciliation is a shameful process to conceal the responsibility of those in power. The truth is climate justice is Eco-socialism or extinction.