There is no time to waste in the fight against climate change. The national Walk Against Warming (WAW) protests on November 10-11 mobilised thousands of people. In most major cities they were joined by sizeable "youth blocs".
Resistance was one of the groups initiating the youth blocs around the country. We felt that it was important for young people to join together on the day, under the slogan "Vote with your feet". However, it was not just the slogan or the idea of coming onto the street that young people found appealing, it was the fact that the youth blocs demanded a rejection of "clean coal" and nuclear as a solution to climate change, and demanded renewable and sustainable alternatives to combat the climate crisis. Different cities also added their own demands, such as to stop the pulp mill in Tasmania. The youth blocs were important as most of the main WAW rallies did not have clear demands.
The youth contingents brought Resistance together with other organisations, in particular the Australian Student Environment Network (ASEN) and — in Canberra — Australian Youth Climate Coalition (AYCC) among others.
Resistance sees the youth contingents as a success and a step forward in strengthening an emerging youth environmental movement. If we are to combat the environmental crisis then we are going to need more action. We need thousands of young people to get involved. We need to work together if we are going to keep the temperature from rising.
We need to "unfuck the world". We all know that there are some very serious problems facing the planet. Currently there are no politicians in Australia putting forward sufficient long-term solutions to the eco-crisis. We are the generation that will come up with sustainable solutions for the planet.
When we use the term "sustainable" we recognise that this requires a total reorientation to the way our planet is organised. We need to be thinking about solutions that will benefit the community and the environment. We need to take power away from the corporations, and the government that acts in their interests. We need a government that is run for people and the planet.
Young people are not fooled by the government's attempts to pose switching to energy-efficient light bulbs as a real solution to the potential destruction of our planet.
Next year needs to be the definitive year for the climate change struggle. Young people must be involved in ongoing action against the development of the Anvil Hill coal mine and the Gunns pulp mill.
Resistance is a socialist organisation because we believe that true environmental sustainability will only be possible by doing away with capitalism, a profits-first economic system, and replacing it with a democratic socialist society that allows people to make collective decisions about how to best use society's resources in a people-friendly and ecologically sound manner. We take inspiration from the Cuban Revolution and the unfolding Venezuelan socialist revolution as examples that radical social change for the better is possible. Despite being a Third World country under siege by the US empire, Cuba has managed to become the world's only truly environmentally sustainable country according to a study by the Global Footprint Network.
Part of fighting for a sustainable system is taking up every struggle against environmental vandalism by the corporate polluters. That's why we see building a mass movement against climate change and the fossil-fuel fanatics is crucial.
The struggle against climate change is the struggle to change the world. It's either system change or climate change.
[Resistance is a socialist youth organisation; for more information visit http://www.resistance.org.au.]