Build Socialism or Drown

By the Climate Justice OC

NYC-DSA’s Climate Justice Working Group is gearing up for the People's Climate Movement #RiseNY “Rise For Climate, Jobs, and Justice” rally and march in Battery Park on Thursday, September 6, at 5:30 pm.  We hope to turn out at least 100 DSA members. Sign up here to march with us. The action demands a just transition to 100% renewable energy now, stopping all new fossil fuel infrastructure, and making corporate polluters pay.

The Climate Justice Working Group is part of the citywide organizing committee for the Sept. 6 action, and the Steering Committee for the citywide People’s Climate Movement. We have contributed our perspective on the importance of community control, and designed both posters and T-shirts for the march. The shirt says “People and Planet over Profits.” It is available for pre-order here. A DSA art build is scheduled for August 23. Join us!

As a coastal city that suffered great damage from Superstorm Sandy and one which is vulnerable to both big storms and rising sea levels, New York badly needs  to transform its corporatist and inefficient economic system into a democratic and dynamic system. Our choice is to build socialism or drown.

Thus,  the working group is developing a climate justice platform that calls for giving communities a greater say in environmental decision-making across New York State, for creating a public bank to fund a just transition to 100% renewable energy and creating good green union jobs, and for amending state policies regarding the Value of Distributed Energy Resources metric to give communities democratic control over their energy systems. The Julia Salazar campaign for State Senate has adopted parts of this platform; we have also sent it to the Jumaane Williams Campaign for Lieutenant  Governor.

The Climate Justice Working Group is also part of the New York Dirty Buildings Campaign to pressure owners of the buildings that emit the most greenhouse gases to reduce emissions, and we are starting work on a proactive disaster preparedness plan as an alternative to reactionary plans for privatization that prioritize the lives of the wealthy. Our plan will challenge  capital and build new forms of democratic ecosocialism after storms.

Our next reading group meeting, on August 16, will discuss  Naomi Klein’s Battle For Paradise, which emphasizes the importance of building alternatives  to the disaster capitalism seen after Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico.

The Climate Justice Working Group’s Food Justice Group has been supporting a new food coop emerging in Central Brooklyn and volunteering on community garden days. It has also taken part in  rallies in support of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers’ Fair Foods Program.

The Working Group stands in solidarity with communities fighting for environmental justice and against displacement. In all our actions, we seek to highlight the links between climate and environmental justice and housing justice, racial justice, and socialist feminism. There’s lots to do. New and old DSA members are welcome to get involved.