On Friday 25 November Democracy Now spent the whole programme on a conference on Occupy held at New School, New York. The whole programme is worth listening to concerning Occupy – download here.
But I want to focus on the climate message. Naomi Klein begins by explaining why Occupy helped the Keystone XL pipeline.
Then she explained that Occupy has an “ecological consciousness” including:-
grey water system
In Seattle the media asked “what are the alternatives?” Since Seattle (anti-globalisation movement) people have been organising local movements, farmers’ markets, community-supported agriculture, diversifying local economies, community-renewable energy, the “solutions to the economic crisis are the solutions to the ecological crisis”. These are not two problems but one solution.
“What do we want to build in the rubble of this failed system?” Solutions have to have the ecological crisis front and centre”, “these are where the jobs are”. Obama’s green imperialism that hasn’t taken off.
Later she spoke of how the movement might progress:-
“State power can just be as alienating as corporate power”. “State action can systematically devolve power to the community level”, but “we won’t get there without strong intervention”. She didn’t go into why the state would allow such a strong intervention, but perhaps now such realities don’t belong with Occupy.
She earlier described that Occupy is the “no kidding-around moment”. My age makes me feel that this moment is not unique in history, but I do feel that this is one of the few moments in peoples’ lifetimes where there is a unique air for change. It is a moment to mobilise. For me I missed Vietnam in ignorance, and I miss this one in retirement and location, but I hope it is mobilisation for many others. It is the moment to be grabbed by all and sundry in the West, it is the moment when grass roots trade unionists say that their unions are cap-in-glove to the 1% that the patchers turn round and say that left-wing activists will not hold together the Labour party, Democrats and other corrupted Labour movement parties. Occupy is the movement.
Here is the full talk at New School (2 hours) taken from her website:-
and here is a talk she gave at OWS.
The essence of these global Occupy movements is a complete change to the grass roots working for One Planet, and not capitulating to outmoded controlled negotiation for marginal profits.
I have one final fear. Following the the love and compassion of the 60s was the deregulation of Thatcher and Reagan that hastened the current crisis. If this “no kidding-around moment” is not siezed, what will the 1% do to us?