Grassroots action for change in the UK is inspiringly vibrant right now. And that’s the focus of this week’s TimeToRise.
The power of organisation
The Insulate Britain campaign group has taken the UK by storm. It’s calling for the government to commit to a “home insulation programme” to save people’s lives and tackle the climate crisis in the process.
In the face of mass arrests, campaigners have occupied motorway junctions in southern England to force politicians to listen. And our friends over at Real Media interviewed some of these activists to find out more:
Real Media also reported on the 12-month prison sentence against Paralympian star and campaigner James Brown. His crime? Taking direct action to highlight the UK government’s lack of meaningful measures to tackle the global climate crisis.
- London Renters Union members have been successfully resisting evictions.
- Young people have been in the streets calling for action against the climate crisis.
- Declassified UK revealed that the British government has spent over £300,000 of public money supporting highly problematic US efforts to extradite journalist Julian Assange. This is despite UN experts consistently calling for Assange’s release. How the Boris Johnson regime can keep a straight face when it condemns arbitrary detention is anyone’s guess.
- Campaigners continue to call for resistance against deportations and the corporations that support the process. They’re also opposing the barriers to healthcare for people who have immigrated to the UK.
- As the DSEI arms fair ends, campaigners are reminding us that there are others fast approaching. So resistance against the trade of death and destruction must continue.
- People have been organising vigils, meanwhile, after the murder of teacher Sabina Nessa.
The global radar
In recent days, the treatment of Haitian refugees at the US-Mexico border has hit the news. Decades of devastating foreign intervention in Haiti have contributed to the suffering of the country’s people; but years of rising violence and a lack of recovery from the 2010 earthquake meant that the widespread destruction of this year’s earthquake and tropical storm have just compounded people’s desperation. Many campaigners have called for support for grassroots Haitian groups in the wake of the latest crises.
The US managing director of Human Rights Watch called the recent treatment of thousands of Haitian refugees “the latest example of racially discriminatory, abusive, and illegal US border policies that are returning people to harm and humanitarian disaster”.
In southern Mexico, meanwhile, people who’ve been forging an alternative to capitalist destruction are sick of facing aggression as a result. And they’ve been receiving solidarity from around the country and the world.
Since 1994, Mexico’s Zapatistas have been building direct democracy. They (and other Indigenous communities that have since followed similar paths) have forged greener farming structures, greater communal control of resources, resistance to criminal gangs and corporations, and independent media.
The Zapatistas’ achievements don’t sit well with the rich and powerful, though. So their communities have been facing paramilitary attacks. And now, they’ve warned that civil war in the area could follow if these aggressions continue.
One big upcoming action in the UK is the strike of Uber workers on 28 September. There’ll be demos around the country, and there’s a call for passengers to avoid booking travel on that day:
— News Club UK (@UKNewsClub) September 24, 2021
Campaigners will follow up a day of action against nuclear weapons on 26 September, meanwhile, with a protest against these arms at the Conservative Party’s upcoming conference (3-6 October in Manchester).
Finally, the COP26 climate conference in Glasgow is coming closer and closer. Amid a “code red for humanity” regarding the climate crisis, people who want to radically change our relationship with our planet will have a big chance to make a stand. And ordinary people are already organising to protest at this key moment.
TimeToRise is Phoenix Media Co-op’s regular newsletter about what’s new in the struggle for a better world, from the UK and beyond. Please get in contact with us if there are actions and/or events you’d like us to include in future TimeToRise newsletters.