Bringing the Revolution to the September 21 People's Climate March and Its Call "To Change Everything"

Capitalism Is Destroying the Planet...We Need Revolution, Nothing Less

July 21, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


A coalition of environmental groups has issued a call for a massive protest, a “People’s Climate March,” on September 21 in New York City. The protest is timed to coincide with a UN global climate summit involving the leaders of the states of the world. The organizers are anticipating that tens of thousands of marchers will turn out.

The website for the march declares: “This is an invitation to change everything.” It goes on to say: “With our future on the line and the whole world watching, we’ll take a stand to bend the course of history. We’ll take to the streets to demand the world we know is within our reach: a world with an economy that works for people and the planet; a world safe from the ravages of climate change; a world with good jobs, clean air and water, and healthy communities.” And the organizers also say that, “to change everything, we need everyone on board.”

This march is a very positive development. And the movement for revolution, with the Party at its core, must be in the midst of this. It must be building for this mobilization, mixing it up with other perspectives, and getting a whole dynamic process going. It must be reaching out broadly to those from the various movements who are taking part in this mobilization and become a real force and magnet in the whole scene going into and at the September 21 march.

That means going out to the broad byways of this mobilization and both encouraging people to stand firm in fighting to save the planet and getting out the full program on why revolution is needed if humanity is going to be able to truly confront and act on this environmental emergency. It means getting into with people the content and scope of what it means “to change everything”—and why you need to put an end to the capitalist economic-social system that exploits world humanity and views the planet as a source of limitless wealth to be poured into production for profit.

We must be bringing the elements of the ensemble of revolutionary work into the mix. We must be mobilizing basic people who have been brought forward into the movement for revolution over the summer to join in and positively influence what is shaping up to be an extremely important struggle around the environment.

The website will be a pivot of work. Revolution Books, especially in New York City, will have a crucial role to play. And starting now, we will be organizing a powerful, inspiring, and lively contingent at the September 21 march under the slogan: Capitalism Is Destroying the Planet...We Need Revolution, Nothing Less.

The Climate Crisis and the Growing Movement to Stop Climate Change

The wanton destruction of the planet—its air, water, climate, and all the forms of life that inhabit it—screams out for urgent action. The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report issued earlier this year is an urgent call from scientists to confront reality. Science is showing that the crisis is happening now, not some time in the future: floods in one place, drought in another—with both devastating agriculture and causing mass hunger and starvation; rising seas endangering entire island-nations; salt water from rising oceans poisoning once fertile river deltas that millions depend on; millions and millions without drinkable water; regions pitted against regions in battles over increasingly scarce fundamental requirements of life; major coastal cities everywhere facing more extreme weather disasters.

These multiple threats are rooted in capitalism’s rapacious expansion. There is the real danger that the rich biodiversity of the planet will be ripped apart. Scientists talk about the real possibility of the mass extinction of species on the scale of what wiped out the dinosaurs—only this time the cause is within human society itself. And that cause is the mad, anarchic compulsion of capitalism.

This is what this system has done to the planet, and what the continued existence of this system will make even worse--unless and until it is overthrown by revolution, here and around the world, and replaced with socialism leading to communism.

In response to the environmental crisis, all kinds of movements have emerged. Students have spearheaded a “divestment” campaign, demanding that universities get rid of their investments in fossil fuels that reap profits from emitting carbon into the atmosphere. More broadly, there have been protests against the proposed Keystone XL pipeline that is being built to carry oil from tar sands deposits in Canada across the U.S. These protests have involved many people committing civil disobedience to stop the pipeline. Across the country, the movement to stop “fracking”—the environmentally destructive method of extracting natural gas—has gained momentum. People are debating what a sustainable economy and society would look like and how to achieve it.

These are the kinds of movements and the kind of energy that will be coming together in the September 21 People’s Climate March.

A Basic Dividing Line, a Dynamic Process

To those coming out to September 21, we say: Be true to your convictions and your best principles to save the planet. Fight through on your concerns, whatever the obstacles, pressures, and difficulties. Don’t back off your convictions or lower your sights when you come up against the magnitude of what we are facing.

The people running this system, however you might see them, are enormously powerful and extremely ruthless. But don’t get to a certain point, and say, “Well, if we keep hammering away at this and if we persist on pushing harder and harder, things will break out of a framework that I feel comfortable with.” If you are a scientist, don’t water down your findings and their implications because of pressures from industry, government, or academia. To activists, don’t adapt to the so-called “realities of the system”—that you can’t go beyond certain bounds. Again, don’t stop...keep fighting for your convictions that human society must stop plundering the planet and wrecking things for future generations.

This stand is a basic dividing line at a time when the future of the planet is at stake.

At the same time, the revolution will be there with you. We will be there in the midst of important battles. We will be bringing to people who are seeking a way out, and we will be projecting throughout society, the scientific understanding that revolution is the only viable solution. The reality is that we need to bring about a whole different way of organizing society if we are going to be able to cope with this crisis on the scale and with the urgency required. It won’t be easy. But it is our only chance of achieving a sustainable society and beginning the process of restoring the ecosystems of the planet. Communist revolution is about emancipating all of humanity and enabling humanity to become the caretakers of the planet.

So we envision a dynamic process. The revolutionaries will be joining with people in this vitally important September march, strengthening it with clarity and vision, and with determination and passion. We will be engaging in all kinds of discussion, dialogue, and debate. People will be testing out different ideas and perspectives. We will be learning from each other, and people will be discovering new things.

This is going to be a challenging and exciting process. It can and must contribute to changing the atmosphere in society around the environmental emergency, bringing new people into the movement for revolution and building the Revolutionary Communist Party, and advancing the struggle to save the planet!

Starting Now, Plans for the September Mobilization

The Party has very ambitious plans for this summer and fall. We have a whole ensemble of revolutionary work—the fight to defend abortion rights, focused on the Abortion Rights Freedom Ride in Texas; the Month of Resistance to Mass Incarceration, Police Terror, Repression and the Criminalization of a Generation. Bob Avakian Everywhere sets the context and framework of what is the problem, and what is the solution to all the horrors and outrages of the world today, raising sights to a radically different and far better world concentrated in Bob Avakian’s new synthesis of communism.

Our work around the September climate march is a critical component of the Party’s summer-to-fall plans. will be a pivot: providing continuing guidance, speaking to big questions and controversies, summing up lessons in the struggle, and enabling people to learn about and access key materials, especially the special environmental emergency issue of Revolution, the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America, and Some Key Principles of Socialist Sustainable Development, as well as many other important materials and articles. We invite people to write to the website, and to be part of the larger process of engagement with all the questions of the revolution that are taken up on that website.

The Revolution Books stores around the country, especially in New York City, will have a crucial role to play. In addition to everything just listed above, there are many important books about the environmental crisis that people can learn from—as well as books on other scientific questions like evolution, which is essential to an understanding of what is going on with the environmental crisis.

Revolution Books has to be a place of lively forums and discussions, formal and informal, about what’s going on and what’s at stake. There should be video showings from relevant parts of Bob Avakian’s talks REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS! and Revolution: Why It's Necessary, Why It's Possible, What It's All About, where he addresses why only revolution can take us to a place where we humans are caretakers of the planet.

Activists, writers, and others from the environmental movement should be coming to the stores. Many scientists from around the country have made important contributions to the science of global warming and have been popularizing understanding and sounding the alarm. They should be invited to speak at the stores.

The stores need to be centers of debate, ferment, and exchange of ideas about the depth of the environmental crisis, the causes, and the solution. A place where students come when they need answers to hard questions... where activists come when they are running up against the limits of their understanding and feel they have to take things to another level, and want fuel to take them there. One store has decided to organize a series of study-discussion sessions: first session on what the science has to say about the environmental crisis; second session on why capitalism is the problem; third session on how communist revolution can take us to a radically different world where human society is taking care of the planet and its life-forms.

Who should be involved in these activities at the stores? Anyone who is seriously agonizing over the fate of the planet and looking for a solution.

We should also appreciate the fact that for many college students of the current generation, taking care of the environment is a basic and strong moral imperative. This needs to become a much more powerful force in society.

Imagine a process through the rest of the summer and into the fall where there are programs at the bookstores, other discussions and outings that forge crews, including people from the most oppressed sections of society, who will go onto key college campuses. They will be introducing people to the vision and leadership of Bob Avakian, getting into why it will take revolution to confront and work to solve this crisis—and also why it is so critical that people step forward now to act on their convictions to save the planet.

A major focus of our plans is building a powerful contingent for the September 21 march. This contingent should speak to those tens of thousands marching, to the people in New York City who will be watching, and to the many millions more around the country and the world who will see this march in all different kinds of media and social media.

The contingent should radiate the revolution. It should be full of verve, huge and brilliant banners, chants, T-shirts, drum corps, lively involvement of students, as well as many from the most oppressed sections of society. The spirit of internationalism must be conveyed in diverse ways. The contingent should be disciplined and project passion for the planet and its people, with its slogan “Capitalism Is Destroying the Planet...We Need Revolution, Nothing Less!”

It should bring alive to all who see and hear about it that there is a way out for humanity and the planet—and it should invite in all who feel the depth and urgency of the situation and want to fight to save the planet.

We want people to get a sense from this contingent, and from all that we do, that this is a crucial battle with the highest possible stakes, that we must go all the way, we must save life on this planet...that we cannot stop and cannot back down. People should be getting the sense that there is something new arising in society: the movement for revolution with the leadership, with the strategy, and with the vision and plan to create a liberating society and world that can sustain life and human society and put an end to all the abuses and horrors the capitalist-imperialist system gives rise to. Everyone who cannot tolerate the way things are and is looking for a real solution should want to engage with, and draw strength from and be challenged by, our scientific revolutionary vision of an emancipated humanity and world.

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