Spaceship Earth: STRIKE — You’re out!

There are plenty of things to do on a Friday here on Tufts campus: getting food with friends, sitting all day in a class or thinking about all the homework you have to get done this weekend (Why is there always so much?). But make this Friday different — take action and join the Global Climate Strike with your fellow students and workers!

Strikes have been used by left-wing labor movements as a means of change for centuries. In fact, the first recorded strike took place in Egypt in the year 1170 B.C. during the construction of the pyramids. Strikes work. As long as workers remain steadfast and are supported by their community, employers are forced to agree to fair contracts. This is due to the fact that workers in a company are the ones who produce all of the value. Without being able to exploit a majority of that value for themselves, shareholders and CEOs have no ways of producing value themselves. Strikes are the real world manifestation of this power imbalance, and until workers simply control their workplaces democratically themselves, they are an invaluable tool for unionized workplaces to take back the value their employers have stolen for themselves. 

Strikes also apply pressure to governments which are funded by taxes on these corporations, in addition to simply pressuring the corporations themselves. Thus, going on strike limits the government’s source of income. Mass general strikes remind us that the U.S. government often fails to make decisions based on the desires of the people. A study by Reuters shows that 69% of Americans feel the government should take aggressive action to slow the rate of climate change. However, our government has failed to make these policies a part of our public policy. Corporate interests are placed above the needs and desires of the people and will be ignored until mass action takes place.

This is extremely clear when it comes to the environment, as the production and consumption of fossil fuels received government subsidies totaling around 30 billion from 2015–2016. Mass mobilization is necessary to disrupt business as usual and to build the people’s power. Back on Aug. 20, 2018, one girl decided to stand up by sitting down outside the Swedish parliament instead of sitting in school. On that day, Greta Thunburg started a climate strike movement that mobilized millions last March and will mobilize millions once again tomorrow, Sept. 20.

Being a Tufts student makes it easy to ignore the scale of the global problems around us. With classwork, internships and activities, it is easy to get caught up in short term problems. But pause for a moment. There is too much at stake to sit around. As we once heard a young girl at a Sunrise Movement event say: “It is worth doing the impractical to avoid the unacceptable.” 

Join us at 10:15 a.m. tomorrow Friday, Sept. 20 at the Campus Center. Sign up for an email reminder and more info at bit.ly/TuftsClimateStrike. Come make history!


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