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All out for the Climate Camp!

Climate Camp 2009 will “swoop” on a site near the hated City of London, on August 26 and the camp’s website sets out 10 good reasons for choosing this location.

One reason is that there are more branches and subsidiaries of international banks in London than in any other city in the world. “The Royal Bank of Scotland, Britain’s high street bank most closely associated with financing fossil fuel projects, has received billions of pounds of public money and is now more than 70% owned by the UK government.

“Yet despite this, research shows that, since October 2008, RBS has financed loans to companies involved in the oil, coal and gas industry worth almost £10 billion. And yet renewable energy projects, like the Isle of Wight wind turbine blade factory, are being abandoned,” says Climate Camp 2009.

Top of the list for being in the City, however, is the fact that “London is currently the natural habitat of the transnational corporation, one of today’s most powerful causes of social and ecological injustice. Unaccountable, undemocratic and causing catastrophic climate change, these creatures need to driven into extinction.”

How to achieve this excellent goal will be the focus of the workshop that A World to Win is hosting on Saturday, August 29.

The title of our workshop is “Composting Capitalism”, and we will argue that it is the capitalist state that stands between us and a sustainable future for humanity and other species and eco-systems.

The transnational corporations do not maintain their rule over us directly. For that they rely on the state - parliament, local government, education, the police, the army and of course, the monarchy. This network of control maintains the rights of private property and the right of the transnationals to exploit the planet for the extraction of profit.

Whether we like it or not, we can’t ignore the state, jump over it, or opt out of it. And experience shows that it is impossible to reform it, either. We must not rely on these structures to act to halt climate change.

We cannot start to tackle the devastation wrought by the capitalist drive for profit until we liberate the resources, talents and technologies created by humanity as a whole from their power and control.

We need to overcome what Marx called the “metabolic rift” that capitalism has imposed between humans and nature. Only in this way can we defend our own society, other species and eco-systems.

Therefore, creating a new democratic, transitional state is the key to liberating nature from corporate pillaging. We need to start now by organising local, regional and national Conventions that bring together people whose lives and livelihoods are being destroyed by the capitalist crisis.

As more and more people reject parliamentary politics and parties and start looking for new democratic solutions, we have a window of opportunity. We should not hesitate to establish our own parallel structures as test beds for democracy.

Direct actions along these lines would amount to a sustained challenge for power.

We look forward to seeing you at Climate Camp, and hearing your views!

Penny Cole
Environment editor
21 August 2009

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