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Environmentalists Demand End to Capitalism!

The most noteworthy trend in the environmental movement is the way that it has morphed into a demand for fundamental change. Note the organization prominent in the May 25, 2016 protest against Exxon, "System Change, Not Climate Change." According to the Dallas paper this is a growing organization with a dozen or so chapters in different cities. The newspaper said that they want an end to capitalism!

System Change

I didn't really get involved in environmental issues until Karen Silkwood was killed while defending her fellow workers against nuclear radiation in Oklahoma. In 1978, when we were fighting against nuclear power in Dallas, Karen was still my guiding light. Environmentalists always seemed, to me, very moral people with little concern for building a mighty movement. Their actions tended to be small, generally isolated, and not something the general public could relate to easily.

The big change was the "Battle in Seattle" against the World Trade Organization in 1999. I was there. "Teamsters and Turtles" was a main slogan, because environmentalists and the newly progressive AFL-CIO joined forces to oppose unfair trade laws. During the big all-inclusive march, some of the fringe environmentalists turned it into a circus of violence and destruction. Setting fires and breaking windows was, in their minds, a good way to convince the American people of the rightness of their cause. The progress that had been made in building a big movement got a setback. But unions and environmentalists continue to work together on fair trade issues today, and each is much stronger for it.

In the May 25 action, called and carried out by a coalition of environmentalist groups, a number of union people turned out. Herb Keener, an officer of the Communications Workers Local 6215, spoke to the crowd.

Most of the environmentalist groups, and most of the labor groups, continue to set forth temporary goals in hopes of reforming the system we live under. But not all. Some seek fundamental change and say, as I do, that pollution and capitalism are made for each other!


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