Friends,

You fought for science – now fight for our climate. In 2014, some 400,000 people thronged the streets of New York to demand action on climate change, a problem that threatens us all. This weekend will see the resurgence of that movement. We’ve explained in the last few weeks just why climate change matters – now it’s up to you to act!

 

unnamed

In addition to attending the People’s Climate March, we have two other action items for you, plus a bonus mini-action item courtesy of our friends at the Daily Resist Boston.

1) March at the People’s Climate March, Saturday April 29

2) Join the May Day mobilization

3) Learn about the French Presidential elections

Since we’ve only got three actions this week – make an especial effort to recruit more people! This week, get at least two new people to take the pledge!

And as usual, don’t forget our one-question survey!

Bonus mini-action item:

An organizer for Black Lives Matter (BLM) Cambridge was arrested and charged with resisting arrest, trespassing and disturbing the peace. They are a few grand short of paying their legal defense team. Donate what you can ($5 is great!) to help them at https://www.paypal.me/BLMCambridge.

Any additional funds raised from this campaign will be used by BLM Cambridge to fund a Black Lives Matter Symposium featuring BLM Co-Founder Patrisse Cullors this summer.

—–

1) March at the People’s Climate March, Saturday April 29

Last week, we discussed the Trump administration’s attacks on science, and in particular climate science, that motivated the March For Science. But climate change existed long before Trump, and issues of science cannot be separated from issues of climate, racial, and economic justice.

This Saturday, hundreds of thousands of people will march for Climate, Jobs, and Justice at the People’s Climate March in Washington, D.C. The PCM, while of course focused on responses to the climate crisis, is built on the ideas that true sustainability is impossible without an equitable and livable economy for all and that solutions are rooted in our communities – which is why it is so critical for “ordinary people” to show up in support.

Over 100,000 people will be arriving in the early morning to take part in the march. After marching up Pennsylvania Avenue towards the White House, thousands of people will take collective action by staging a mass sit-in outside the White House.

This powerful collective action will honor the lives at stake and loudly demand climate justice and good jobs to counteract the climate-denying nonsense that has been coming out of this administration. There will also be a rally with music and art afterwards.

What You Can Do:

  • If you can go to DC, march! There is a full schedule of events here, and more information about march logistics in this short, incredible video by People’s Climate.
  • If you can’t go to DC, but are in the Boston area:
    • On Wednesday, April 26, from 5-8 PM, People’s Climate in Boston will be hosting a final art build before the march on Saturday. There will be supplies to make your own signs: create beautiful big banners to Resist, Build, and Rise for Climate, Jobs, and Justice! Meet at ACE Office, 2201 Washington St, Roxbury, and get more information at the Facebook event page.
    • There is a sister People’s Climate March event in Boston Common on Saturday, April 26 from 12-4 PM. Check out the event details here
  • If you’re elsewhere, there may be a local march near you!

2) Join the May Day Mobilization

Since 1886, May 1, also known as May Day or International Workers’ Day, has been a day of mass action in support of workers’ and migrants’ rights in over 80 countries, including the United States. With a Labor Secretary who doesn’t believe in a minimum wage and a president unwilling to support parental leave, hard-won labor rights in the US are under attack. This May Day (the first of the Trump presidency) is a crucial time to use your voice to speak out for workers and immigrants.

Labor and immigrants’ rights groups around the country are organizing mass protests and rallies on May 1 as a launch point for a Summer of Resistance. Several groups, including the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and Movimento Cosecha, are calling for a nationwide strike on May 1. The strike isn’t against specific employers, but a “strike with the community” in support of immigrants and against the deportations, raids, threats, and hate speech encouraged by the Trump administration.

What you can do:

    • Go to the May Day protests! The Boston May Day Coalition event will start at Boston Common and march to Copley Square from 5-8 PM. More info at the event page here!
      • If you’re in Boston, there will be a May Day “Meet Up for Movement Unity” following the mobilization at the Commons. Connect with fellow organizers and help build capacity for further grassroots movements.
    • Support by donating, doing outreach, volunteering, and/or organizing a group of friends or co-workers to join the boycott.
    • Pledge to strike in support of workers and immigrants.

 

  • BOYCOTT and STRIKE on May 1: don’t go to work, don’t go to school, and don’t buy anything.
  • MIT-specific: Join the student walkout and rally at 2 PM. If you have class, a powerful way to build awareness of the movement is to show up at 2:00, then walk out at MIT time, and give an explanation about why you are walking out.

 

3) Learn about the French Presidential elections

What Happened

On April 23, French voters chose Emmanuel Macron of En Marche and Marine Le Pen of the National Front to advance to the second round of presidential elections. This is the first time in the history of France’s Fifth Republic that both candidates are from outside the mainstream right-left establishment of the Socialist and Republican parties. As the polls came in, establishment candidates quickly rallied around Macron in order to block Le Pen. The two candidates will have a run-off vote May 7.

Macron is a banker who served as President Francois Hollande’s minister of the economy and has never held an elected office before. His party, En Marche, which is centrist and pro-European, won 24.01% of the overall vote. This is in sharp contrast to Le Pen’s National Front (FN), which is a far-right party known for its xenophobic policies; it won 21.3% of the overall vote. Le Pen, who succeeded her father as the leader of the National Front, has just resigned her position as its president, hoping to gain broader support for the French presidency. Her platform is still built on closing France’s borders and leaving the EU.

Why it Matters

While Le Pen did not get the most votes in this round, she got more than any previous FN candidate. This is the latest in a trend toward right-wing populism in global politics, following Brexit and Trump’s election. It may feel sudden, but populism has been growing for decades and is just now making it into mainstream elections. Even if Le Pen goes the way of Geert Wilders in the Netherlands, this is likely not the end of populist politics in Europe but is rather populism’s “adolescence.” Despite the many comparisons drawn between Le Pen and Trump, it seems unlikely that she will win the election (and we should be careful when comparing Le Pen and Trump outright, anyway).

In an interesting plot twist, it looks like Emmanuel Macron’s campaign has been targeted by the same Russian hackers that targeted the DNC (but with far less substantial results). And President Trump, at least, is paying attention to France: after saying that last week’s terrorist attack would likely help Le Pen, he quizzed France’s UN ambassador on the French elections during a working lunch.

Right-wing populist movements are part of an inward-looking, xenophobic, and often regressive global trend, at a time when strong internationalist cooperation matters more than ever. It’s important we keep a close eye on this trend and be prepared to push back!

—–

That’s all for this week. As always, keep encouraging people to take the pledge, and please share any thoughts or questions with us at solidarity@mit.edu. See you at the People’s Climate March!

Until next week,

Solidarity MIT
solidaritypledge.com

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s