In the second plenary session of the conference Simon Pirani and Mary Church reflected on the growth of the climate movement and the challenges we face. This post includes video of most of Simon’s contribution. He began by reflecting on the connections between some of the struggles for just transition highlighted in the REEL News films and the onslaught on working class communities that took place in the Miner’s Strike of 1984/5. Miners were fighting for their communities and lives and livelihoods. He argued that in the context of climate crisis we are defending communities no less than we were in 1984/1985.
Simon was clear that there is a still an argument to win. Some trade unionists suggest that jobs and climate action are in opposition. He argued that this a false choice – without system change we face disaster on an unimaginable scale – our fight is for effective action and social justice. Each depends on the other.