We spoke at Green New Deal Rising’s “Labour Be Bold” Protest

5 Oct, 2023

✊ Aerospace engineer and Safe Landing member, Finlay Asher, spoke in support of Green New Deal Rising’s “Labour be Bold” protest outside the UK Labour Party Headquarters in central London:

👨‍✈️ Former pilot, and Safe Landing member, Todd Smith was also there to support.

👷 We had been invited via the “Unite Grassroots Climate Justice Coalition”, a grassroots worker movement within Unite the Union, which aims to advance progressive climate policies through one of the largest trade unions. Read more about our work in this group here.  

🔴 GND Rising is a group aimed at the youth flank of the climate movement, and is open to activists aged between 18-35. We believe that the Labour Party, and the wider worker / trade union movement, should create more space to both listen to, and enact, the demands of young people.

🗣️ GND Rising’s demands include:
1. Expand Public Ownership
2. Tax Wealth Now
3. Promise a Green Jobs Guarantee and secure income for all
4. Enact a National Nature Service
5. Make Polluters Pay

👉 Read more about their campaign and it’s demands here: www.gndrising.org/campaigns/labour-be-bold

GND Rising Protest

🙋‍♂️ Young people are our future. They have the most at stake when considering a sustainable, green, clean and healthy vision for the world we would like to inhabit tomorrow. When it comes to addressing the climate and ecological emergency, we should be listening to them: addressing their anxieties/concerns and genuinely acting like we’re in an emergency when developing and delivering policies.

🌍 However, since declaring a climate emergency in 2019, the Conservative UK Government has been delaying necessary climate policies, and has even watering-down existing policies and has back-tracked on it’s climate targets.

🙅‍♂️ The opposition parties, primarily Labour, have also disappointed. Keir Starmer, the leader of the Labour party, has refused to be drawn on the specifics of many climate-related policies and has been co-opted into a distracting culture-war over ‘climate protestor tactics’. They have also refused to commit to cancelling the many new UK oil and gas projects being announced by the current government – which Safe Landing have released a collective statement to condemn. It appears that being ‘not as bad as the Conservatives/Tories’ is good enough for Keir Starmer’s Labour, and they are simply looking to avoid rocking the boat. It seems they hope to cruise to an election victory while remaining as non-committal as possible around any potentially contentious topics – climate policies included.

Finlay speaks at GND Rising's Protest

Finlay speaks at GND Rising’s Protest

💥 However, we firmly believe that we are in an existential emergency, and a fight for our lives and everything we hold dear on this planet. The younger generation, and quite frankly everybody – including many low-income groups suffering extreme climate impacts such as heatwaves, drought, wildfires, crop failure, flooding, and famine: right here and right now – need to see better than this.

⚠️Now isn’t the time for cowardly conversations, and timid manifestos – now is the time for bold, radical, transformative politics. Labour are meant to be the party of the working-class, and of social and economic justice. They should be the party who are most keen to tax the super-rich individuals, organisations and companies who benefit most from polluting our planet, in order to fund public services and infrastructure that make the lives of lower-income families and communities healthier, cleaner and more equitable. The necessary response to the climate crisis requires that we act to address inequality of wealth, of energy use and of emissions. This isn’t about political preference, it’s simply a scientific and mathematical reality:

👩‍✈️ Across both the climate and worker movement, we need to work together to combine our resources and diverse perspectives/skills. We need to do more to engage with, platform and nurture the younger voices in our communities who have most at stake, yet due to power dynamics (in politics, the workplace, trade unions, and wider society) tend only to be paid lip service to – rather than have their ideas taken onboard. We commit to standing shoulder-to-shoulder with GND Rising, and any other organisation, to push political parties of all stripes to go harder and faster on policies that will deliver rapid reductions in emissions across our economy.

Solidarity

 

 

 

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