Wait -- did I say communists? Isn't that a bit of an exaggeration?
At the New York event, many people noticed that gee, there sure are a lot of communists at this march. But in Oakland -- always on the cutting edge -- the entire "climate change" movement at last fully, irrevocably and overtly embraced communism as its stated goal. Any concerns about "optics" or operating in "stealth mode" were abandoned.
The "climate change" "crisis" is now nothing but the latest justification for "total revolution" and getting rid of capitalism forever.
Yes, capitalism itself is the problem. The primary message of the People's Climate Rally was this: Climate change is caused by capitalism, and merely attempting to reform capitalism will not stop global warming; it is impossible to work within the existing system if we want to save the planet. We must replace it with a new social and economic system entirely.
Until recently, those attacking the capitalist system as the cause of global warming were intentionally a little vague as to what will replace it if we are to solve the problem. But on Sunday in Oakland, that curtain was drawn back and the new system was finally revealed: Communism. Or at least hardcore socialism as Marx defined it -- the necessary transitional phase before true complete communism (i.e. no private property, no families, no individualism). Most countries we tend to think of as "communist" actually self-defined as "socialist": The USSR, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, for example, was (as its name reveals) socialist. I point out this detail in case anybody reading this article thinks that the "socialism" advocated at the rally was merely some kind of squishy soft-hearted semi-capitalism; no, it is the same type of socialism one finds in places generally thought of as communist.
Below you will find irrefutable proof that communist ideologies, organizations and phraseologies have completely moved to the forefront of the "climate change" movement. (I was originally tempted to say that the communists, as they are wont to do, have merely "co-opted" environmentalism. But that would imply that the goal of global warming scaremongering was something other than "destroying capitalism" in the first place. At this point I now know that destroying capitalism has always been the goal; the only thing that changed on Sunday is that the mask was dropped.)
This proof will necessarily entail posting a lot of photographs; in situations like this, the only way to conclusively demonstrate a point is through repetition of evidence. One could summarize the evidence with a few shorthand images, but that would leave open the possibility that the case was being overstated. To quash that counter-argument before it arises, I will post lots and lots and lots and lots of images from all over the rally, from the the sponsors, to the attendees, to the booths, to the speakers, to show beyond any doubt that the entire rally was thoroughly saturated with communism and socialism to the point where these ideologies were the overarching theme of the event.
Ready? All the photos below were taken at the People's Climate Rally in Oakland on September 21, 2014.
Along the way, you encounter the rally's attendees, carrying signs advocating concepts like...
..."eco-socialism," which I nominate as "word of the day," since the theme of the rally was the fusion of ecology with socialism.
"Another Big, Fat, straight, Midwestern, White Man for WORLD REVOLUTION."
"Capitali$m is Destroying the Environment."
Do I even need to point out that socialist and communist countries like China, the Soviet Union, North Korea and elsewhere have absolutely appalling environmental histories, past present and future, which far exceed in ecological destruction anything encountered in capitalist societies? No, I don't need to point that out, because you already know it. You do -- but apparently the people at this rally live in a fantasy world where "socialism" is the opposite of "pollution."
"Capitalism is Killing the Planet. FIGHT FOR A SOCIALIST FUTURE!" This same message from the International Socialist Organization, a self-professed Marxist/Leninist/Trotskyist revolutionary group, was also prominent at the New York climate march.
If you enter the rally from the other side, you encounter
...The Democratic Socialists of America, a comparatively mild-mannered group who want to make America communist via peaceful democratic transition instead of the violent revolution advocated by most other extreme left revolutionary parties....
...and Freedom Socialist, a lesser-known group who nonetheless managed to gain control of the coveted "socialism.com" URL which they use to promote their radical feminist version of communism in "the living tradition of Marx, Engels, Lenin, and Trotsky."
Children were encouraged to hang out in the protest's kid-friendly zone, where they could draw their own signs promoting "revolution."
Had enough? Sorry. I apologize. Because we're just getting started with the proof that communists dominate the narrative of the climate change movement.
Everywhere I turned, I encountered people with the message, "System Change, Not Climate Change." If anything, this was the motto of the entire rally.
All types of people from one end of the park to the other sported the same message.
Some created their own variations on it.
But where did this phrase come from? And what does it mean?
Turns out the same phraseology appeared at many of the communist booths, such as the headline (barely visible in this photo, but you can see the article and the headline here) of the Workers World newspaper, which trumpeted "Fight for System Change!" (The Workers World Party, btw, is "a revolutionary Marxist-Leninist party.")
None of this arose by chance. The entire "System Change, Not Climate Change" meme is a coordinated effort of "an ecosocialist coalition" of far-left and communist groups who banded together and developed a slogan to bring the environmentalist movement within the socialist fold. The effort was apparently spearheaded by the Socialist Party USA, though they don't like to openly discuss which organizations are part of the coalition.
I didn't pay much attention to the people on the stage, but at one point I did catch the speech of one of the keynote speakers, whom I believe was named "Kim Serrano" or something close to that. Here's the video of her speech, which you really ought to watch because it reveals that this "System change, not climate change" meme was an official part of the rally's messaging. (And for anyone who'd rather read the speech than watch a video of it, an exact transcription of her words is given below as well.)
Our situation is dire. But before we can begin to address any of the possible solutions, it is important that we discuss the root cause of the environmental catastrophe that we are experiencing.
What we are facing is a systemic problem. A conflict between two systems.
First is the environmental system, which sustains life on Earth.
Then there is the economic system of capitalism that is attacking the stability of our environment. Capitalism and a healthy environment cannot coexist!
This conflict is not just about the decision-making of a few world leaders, or the bad intentions of capitalists. It is inherent in the system that they maintain. This economic system has one purpose: To generate profit.
To ensure massive profit, there has to be economic growth. That means constantly turning resources into products for sale. In this contradictory relationship, capitalism views our finite resources as opportunities for infinite growth.
For this system, the environment is nothing but means to an end. But for us, it is the basis of our existence.
One way to understand the magnitude and the insanity of this system is to look at the oil industry. Just one company, Exxon Mobil, plans on spending $100 million a day just on research, to find new hydrocarbons to drill out of the Earth. That's just to drill out of the Earth. They are doing this while scientists warn us that even if we stopped CO2 in the atmosphere today, we would still increase the Earth's temperature by 0.8 degrees. That would bring us up to a total increase of 1.6 degrees to what we have already added. Scientists tell us as well that a 2 degree increase, or over, could be catastrophic to life on Earth.
But those who head corporations are fully aware of this. They're complicit with the operations of the system that is endangering the life on this planet.
They [the government] are not going to put a stop to the capitalist practices. They can only mitigate them.
But we're beyond the point of mitigation: What we need is transformation!
That is why we must look at each other as allies. We are the ones that through our collective activity, will be able to create the change that we want to see in our world.
We must look around and see who agrees with us. That in order to stop what is foreseen as the sixth great extinction, that could include all of us, we're going to have to disrupt and transform the capitalist system.
That is why we say, 'System Change, Not Climate Change!'
So how to start to change the system?
Well, the first thing we do is spread the word. We must go into our workplaces, schools, churches, communities, and talk to people about what we we have learned here today.
We can also look around the booths today for ways of being active. If we want to do something about this problem, we're not lacking the options to do it.
And finally, wherever you can, bring up the systemic problem of capitalism. Let's stop looking at all of this as a series of isolated problems. Let's address the problems from what it is and start looking at real solutions.
I'm a revolutionary socialist, and I know that know only do we not benefit from the functioning of this system, but we're also paying for it.
We are the ones that with our work made this society run; We can use our power to bring it to a stop and reorganize it in a sustainable collective way.
We can see that capitalism has run its course and it has written its own death sentence. I think we can all agree that there is no reason we should let a whole society go down with it.
So please don't leave today without checking out out at least one of the many booths and organizations that are doing such hard work to keep us active around this problem.
And please check out our booth. I'm part of Speak Out Now, we're a revolutionary organization that believes in the ordinary power of ordinary people to change the world. It all starts with believing in our own ability to change our world. Thank you very much.
Meanwhile, the crowds at the super-saturated ecosocialist rally continued to grow, and the booths kept popping up. Frankly, even I (who keeps track of these kind of things) didn't know that there were this many socialist and communist groups in the Bay Area.
...with an extensive literature selection, which when viewed up close...
...left no doubt as to what their beliefs were.
While we're at it, we might as well take a closer look at the literature on offer by the other groups at the rally, in case you still have any doubt as to the extreme nature of their political views. Two things you could find at every booth (aside from their new-found affection for environmentalism): 1. Copies of The Communist Manifesto...
...and 2. attacks on Israel. Funny that.
Think we're done with the proof? Think again.
The Wobblies were on hand, old-school anarcho-communists and the most radical of all labor unions.
As were Code Pink, who despite not having an explicit economic platform of their own are actually further to the left than many of the mere socialist groups in attendance.
And don't forget about the Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism (inhales).
"Solidarity, a Socialist, Feminist Anti-Racist Organization" looked a little unhappy despite being opposed to "capitalism, patriarchy, white supremacy, settler-colonialism, heterosexism, the compulsory gender binary, and the imperialist domination of the world by the United States." C'mon -- smile!
In case you're wondering why some of these booths seem a bit ill-attended in these photos:
I purposely arrived early before the official start time of the rally so I could get clear photos of each booth before they became surrounded by crowds, which I know from experience happens at rallies like this: after a while it becomes almost impossible to get a decent photo of anything, as people keep getting in the way.
To ensure I wasn't conveying the wrong impression by exclusively featuring pre- or early-rally sparsely populated images, I went back after the afternoon was in full swing and snapped a couple more photos to show that yes indeed there were crowds at all these booths, once the protesters started showing up.
Far from being ostracized, the communists were instead the center of attention.
A Black Bloc affiliated anarchist group, which publishes photocopied tracts and manifestos advocating violence, had an extensive literature table.
Speak Out Now had a presence -- and despite their innocuous name, they were amongst the most radical and extremist groups at the entire rally, calling for a violent communist revolution based on "the ideas and actions of Marx, Engels, Lenin and Trotsky, on the model of the Russian Revolution of 1917 when the working class showed its capacity to take over" because "Socialism cannot come through a modification of the existing system."
So, is it starting to get a little clearer what they mean by "System change, not climate change"? Good.
But make sure you don't keep any of that money, PM, because Profit Is Destroying Our Planet!
There was a time, not so long ago, when Earth First was considered the most extreme of all radical environmental groups. Now, the aging Earth Firsters at the rally looked around nervously, as if to say, "Why do I suddenly feel like such a moderate?"
Oops -- not done with the endless parade of communist and socialist groups quite yet. NorCal Socialism asserts that only the evil 1% causes pollution.
Brown & Green want us to "Decolonize the Climate," which shows what can happen to your brain on academia.
In addition to all the political parties and groups, there were unions, more unions and even more unions at the rally, which kind of makes no sense if you remember that union jobs depend on economic activity, which is the cause of global warming, but whatever.
The SEIU, needless to say, showed up, though what they have to do with climate change is anyone's guess.
Even more out of place was a huge contingent from the nurses union. In truth, these kind of rallies attract every union with an axe to grind, regardless of the purported topic of the day.
And in the middle of all this was poor 350BayArea, a group actually devoted to combatting "climate change," perhaps wondering how this whole thing spun out of their control and was now in the hands of the most extreme anti-capitalist revolutionaries. It must have felt very strange being cheek-by-jowl with dozens of overtly communist booths on either side of them as far as the eye could see.
The surviving remnants of the Occupy movement staggered in as well.
The MoveOn members looked a little depressed as they scurried past a few of the communists.
OK, OK, I could go on, but I think I've proven my point by now: The Climate Change movement, at least if Sunday's rally is anything to judge by, is now an overtly anti-capitalist movement.
And "anti-capitalist" is of course just a euphemism for "socialist," by which they mean "communist."
Now let's wander around the rally and make fun of people.
What causes Global Warming? Fossil fuels, capitalism, solar flares, mankind's hubris? No no no, of course not: Turns out it was the cheese all along!
When all else fails: Blame the cheese.
An entire industry has sprung up solely devoted to manufacturing polar bear costumes for use at climate change rallies. (Think about how many polar bear costumes you ever saw in your life prior to, say, 2005; yet nowadays they're de rigueur at every protest and march.) This, despite the fact that the meme of polar bears going extinct due to global warming has been totally debunked.
The rally was held on the shores of lovely Lake Merritt. Notice how the banner is careful to cover every potential eventuality:
"Fossil Fuels Cause Sea Rise, Drought+Heatwaves, Extreme Weather, Wild Fires." Thus, if the storm clouds shown in "Extreme Weather" bring a lot of rain -- that's due to fossils fuels. On the other hand, if there's no rain (drought) -- that would be due to fossil fuels as well. If the landscape is extra dry leading to wildfires -- fossil fuels. And if the landscape becomes completely submerged in water -- well, that would be fossil fuels' fault too.
I think we can safely say at this point that whatever happens, it was because of fossil fuels. Sort of a universal axiom.
I for one appreciate the precision of this calculation. If I go vegan, will it cut "greehouse" gases by half? No! It will cut them by exactly 51% -- no more, no less. And it's that extra 1% that convinced me.
The far left has a penchant for clinging tenaciously to past grievances. Here's a guy who's still blaming everything on Bush, six years after his term ended.
While the signmaker and I agree that we need to "Stop the Madness," where we disagree is to what exactly this "madness" refers.
The great thing about going to events like this is that I get to learn new things each time. For example, did you know that all of our freeways, trains, planes and sewage treatment plants -- all of them -- are at sea level? Fascinating.
"Save Green Land - Stop Green House Gases." The irrationality of this sign brings up a troubling point that's always bothered me. Why are they called "greenhouse gases"? Because they help to simulate the conditions found in greenhouses. And what happens in greenhouses? Plants grow. Luxuriantly. Carbon dioxide is essentially "airborne plant food," and an atmosphere rich in this CO2, coupled with a greenhouse-like warmer climate, would lead to more plant growth worldwide, and greater biodiversity. And hasn't that been the goal of the environmental movement for decades? In a sane world, shouldn't environmentalists be demanding more global warming?
"Cancer epidemic" as a result of climate change? Sure, why not. Let's run it up the flag pole and see who salutes.
I guess in the utopia of the future, animals will be people too.
This one really got me scratching my head. Is the "storm" mentioned in the sign a metaphorical reference to the Republican "wave" predicted for the upcoming election? And is the writer expressing mystification as to how so many people could vote Republican in this time of climate crisis? Because if not, then to what storm are they referring? California's in a drought, and we haven't had a "big storm" (i.e. a major weather event) in years. The drought is already being blamed on global warming, so if we have a big storm in the future, alleviating the drought, will that be caused by global warming too? Global warming caused by "Republican"? Discuss.
For a couple years now a vocal contingent in the environmentalist movement has been trying to convince everyone to drop "climate change" for the more dramatic "CLIMATE CHAOS!", but so far they've only had limited success.
At events like this I have a terrible habit of peering over people's shoulders to see what they're reading; almost always, I am saddened and disappointed by what I find. In this case, it was a flyer about the ongoing attempt by far-left and Muslim groups to prevent any Israeli-owned ships from unloading at the Port of Oakland.
Speaking of which -- Rule #1 for any and all political protests in the Bay Area: There must be at least one person present with inappropriate anti-Israel and pro-Palestinian messaging (such as this "Dome of the Rock" kaffiyeh) at every rally, regardless of the rally's intended topic.
I know from personal experience that it is nearly impossible to get from Sonoma County to Oakland on a Sunday using public transit. I can almost guarantee, therefore, that these people drove cars to reach this event. And yet they're bragging about it!
In fact, speakers on the stage asked where everyone in the audience came from that day, and well over half the 1000+ attendees indicated that they originated in areas from which they simply had to have driven in private automobiles.
This has nothing to do with politics, but how oblivious do you have to be to wear an "Animal Liberation NOW" shirt while walking around with a distressed dog on a leash -- and muzzled! Maybe "Animal Enslavement NOW" would have been more appropriate?
After a while I just relaxed and sat down with the crowd to watch the speakers drone on and on about capitalism and weather. At least I got to enjoy a nice view of Lake Merritt.