Marching for the future

On February 17, tens of thousands of people will gather at the National Mall in Washington, D.C., for the "Forward on Climate Rally", called "to tell Barack Obama it's time to lead in the fight against climate change, beginning with the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline." From the fight against fracking to demands for indigenous rights to the struggle to stop the catastrophic climate change, activists will send a message to the Obama administration that the time has come for real action on environmental issues.

An Ecosocialist Contingent--sponsored by Solidarity and the International Socialist Organization (the publisher of SocialistWorker.org), with an endorsement list in formation--will be a part of this historic event and offer a focal point for those interested in building an independent, grassroots fight for a world where human needs are a priority over profit and corporate greed. In this statement, organizers of the contingent explain what they are fighting for.

Marching against tar sands production and pipelines in Asheville, N.C. (Will Wysong)Marching against tar sands production and pipelines in Asheville, N.C. (Will Wysong)

TENS OF thousands of activists, including students, indigenous leaders, religious groups and community organizations, will assemble in Washington, D.C., on February 17 for one of the largest climate and environmental justice demonstrations ever. The climate extremes of 2012 have shifted public opinion in favor of change, despite Obama's electoral silence. The rise of Idle No More has further energized the movement and internationalized perspectives.

February 17th should mark the beginning of a more united, grassroots climate movement with no illusions in the free market or the Democratic Party. We ecosocialists are honored to stand with so many and say no to the Keystone XL! No to extreme energy!

Ecosocialists believe capitalism is killing the planet. The drive to increase profits assumes endless growth on a finite planet. Capitalism depends on cheap oil and gas, and shuns energy conservation and a swift switch to renewables as unprofitable.

The U.S. war machine has devastated the Middle East in the service of ExxonMobil. Fossil fuel corporations continue to scour the planet for ever-more oil, gas, coal and profit. This must change. We must bring human society back into balance with nature. Politicians such as President Obama are beholden to corporate interests and refuse to do what's necessary to avert ecological catastrophe. Only the self-organization of the 99 percent can turn society around.

What you can do

To participate in the Ecosocialist Contingent, meet at 11 a.m. at the Smithsonian Metro stop at 12th Street and Jefferson Drive, SW, for a march to the Forward on Climate rally at Constitution and the Washington Monument.

To add your signature to the call for the Ecosocialist Contingent, e-mail ecologyandsocialism@gmail.com or ndvnprt@gmail.com. Visit Ecologicalsocialists.com for information about the contingent.

Mobilizations like those of the First Nations people, farmers and towns who are blocking pipeline construction through their lands offer a way out of the crisis. Progressives, radicals, the labor movement and First Nations must unite. We demand President Obama reject the Keystone XL permit. We demand a massive public works campaign, green jobs and cuts to defense spending. We support broad action campaigns for free and publicly owned mass transit, public ownership of renewable energy, as well as an end to racism, sexism, homophobia and oppression.

The capitalist system is in fundamental conflict with the climate system. Capitalist exploitation of nature is the flip side to the exploitation of human labor. Ultimately therefore, to solve the ecological and social crisis, we need a revolutionary movement that creates a new society free of exploitation, oppression and the profit motiveā€”a society which measures the quality of life not through the competitive acquisition of things, but by our relationship to each other and nature, that acts to protect and restore our planet for future generations.

-- No to the Keystone XL Pipeline, fracking, mountaintop removal, nuclear power and extreme energy
-- Respect indigenous rights
-- Tax the polluters! Build a renewable infrastructure with union labor
-- Another world is possible! For a society based on human need, not profit.