Democracy is messy and in order for it to function many voices need to be heard, when some groups can’t be heard they peacefully take to the streets. Despite a history of protesting for a good cause resulting in beneficial societal change there are people who doubt the efficacy of such movements. There is a long history of groups getting together and rallying behind a common cause which we take for granted today, like weekends and liberty. Given what is happening this week in the USA it’s high time we all show our support (in a non COVID-19 spreading way) for those fighting for human rights and eradicating racism.
In 1911, 146 workers were killed by a fire in an unsafe factory. At the time, workers often dealt with extremely hazardous working conditions. The tragedy prompted a march on New York’s Fifth Avenue of nearly 80,000 people. This march helped to pass new laws to ensure workplace safety and helped the growing union movement. This eventually led to laws that we still use today, like the minimum wage requirement and the right to collectively bargain as a union.
Amazon’s growth has been surprising to many, and their reach into markets seems endless. This expansion means they can greatly influence markets and the global environment. Companies like IKEA are trying to make their systems more efficient so they harm the environment less, and this eco-strategy is gaining popularity amongst other responsible companies. Amazon has done nothing.
The company’s environmental neglect is being noticed by everyone including their employees. And unlike the executives at Amazon, the workers are sick of the company’s negligence.
Employees at Amazon have increasingly criticized the company in recent years for its contracts with large oil and gas firms. In spring 2019, more than 8,700 employees signed an open letter to the CEO, Jeff Bezos, urging him to take bolder action on climate change. The presidential candidates Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren have also offered support of employees for speaking out.
The employee activism is part of a broader trend in the tech industry of employee walkouts and protests against corporate policies. Google workers staged internal protests over sexual harassment policies in 2018 that continued into 2019 and gig workers at Instacart and Uber have organized strikes to fight for better pay and benefits. In June 2019, workers at the online furnishings retailer Wayfair walked off the job to oppose the company’s contracts with detention centers for immigrants.
The Global Climate Strike is today! People who care about the world are out on the streets today to send a message to politicians and those who don’t care that we need to ACT NOW to stop catastrophic climate change.
Archie Graham, 15, and his mates were supposed to be in school today: “What’s the point in going to school if we can’t use that knowledge in future because there won’t be a future for us?” pic.twitter.com/iydpMOSL19
The climate crisis has gotten out of hand. Young people have seen the science and are terrified that they’re inheriting a dead planet killed by their parents and grandparents. Obviously the trajectory the planet’s ecosystem is on is a bad one – and it’s all out fault. It’s now time to own up to our mistakes and correct our errors. This is the time to speak up and tell everyone that a dead planet isn’t what you want. Millions around the world are doing this just that and it’s not too late to join the movement!
Today is just the start, the strike lasts for a week and will culminate in mass action next Friday. Join in the action!
Our house is on fire. The climate crisis is an emergency but we’re not acting like it. People everywhere are at risk if we let oil, coal and gas companies continue to pour more fuel on the fire. Our hotter planet is already hurting millions of people. If we don’t act now to transition fairly and swiftly away from fossil fuels to 100% renewable energy access for all, the injustice of the climate crisis will only get worse. We need to act right now to stop burning fossil fuels and ensure a rapid energy revolution with equity, reparations and climate justice at its heart. But it’s going to take all of us working together to succeed. Join the Climate Strikes starting on September 20 – three days out from the UN’s climate emergency summit and continuing on September 27. Millions of us will walk out from home, work, school or university to declare a climate emergency and show our politicians what action in line with climate science and justice means. The climate crisis won’t wait, so neither will we.
The kids these days aren’t alright with the world they’re inheriting. Many of the homes kids are growing up in will be under water if climate change continues at its current pace. Students who aren’t on the coast will still face extreme weather and crop shortages. Understandably, kids these days aren’t happy about this and want the situation to change. Inspired by reality, and the very determined Greta Thunberg, students are taking to the streets to let their parents, the olds, and politicians that this generation isn’t going to take it.
“The onus is being placed on young people who don’t even have that much money or power to do things,” Rubin said. “People in power are the ones who should be doing something not regular kids – it shouldn’t be up to us to save the world, but it is.”