Call for an Ecosocialist Conference, April 20, NYC

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CALL FOR AN ECOSOCIALIST CONFERENCE
SATURDAY, APRIL 20TH, 2013, NEW YORK CITY

The extreme weather of 2012 and recent news that climate change is worse than previously thought have made it a front-page issue again. The Obama campaign’s silence on the issue and worldwide government paralysis have added to activists’ frustration and fueled participation in 350.org’s historic February 17th demonstration and campus fossil fuel divestment campaigns. This has also opened the door to a more radical analysis of global warming and environmental destruction.

For a radicalizing and substantial fringe of people touched by the ideas of Occupy, an ongoing economic crisis and growing ecological crisis, they recognize that it’s not enough to limit your analysis to only fossil fuel corporations (though that’s a good start) or absolve politicians based on the lobbying power of those particular companies.

And if that’s the case, then we need far bigger goals than just limiting their investment opportunities with college endowments (though again, it’s a good place to start). Ecosocialists must quickly offer a more holistic explanation that centers round the operation of capitalism and therefore helps to explain why Obama isn’t our ally and why we need an entirely different society.

Everything about the world is driving people toward a socialist critique of the ecological crisis and the need to form alliances with workers to take on the system, rather than Democrats and billionaires.

To that end, the Ecosocialist Contingent is proposing the Ecosocialist Conference on Saturday, April 20, 2013 in New York City. We are looking for groups who agree with the Ecosocialist Statement to endorse, build and participate.

The proposed conference, like the February 17th action, represents a move to a more collaborative left. We hope this conference and this network of left groups and publications grow into something visible enough to attract thousands of new activists towards socialism and powerful enough to push the climate justice movement toward revolutionary conclusions.

To endorse and participate in conference planning, contact
Chris, ecologyandsocialism@gmail.com
or Michael, michaelware1205@gmail.com

5 Responses

  1. dave March 10, 2013 at 1:03 pm |

    How about reaching out to national nurses united (nnu), being one of the only unions to publicly oppose the keystone pipeline. It’ll be important to highlight the role labor can play in fighting for the environmental health of all people, and nurses can strongly connect this to health care.

  2. Roy Brady March 10, 2013 at 6:30 am |

    Another statement! You can’t go to all that expense for a collaborative statement, which could instead be formed prior to the conference. If there is to be collaborative action, bring the recommended actions to the conference to avoid talking about what you might do.

    1. Chris Williams March 10, 2013 at 10:43 am |

      Just to clarify, there is already a Statement, referenced in the call for the conference. It was jointly created and endorsed by multiple organizations prior to the February 17 demonstration in DC.

      We are in the very early stages of planning the conference. Details of workshops and meetings will emerge out of joint discussions and democratic and open debate between all the groups that sign on to be involved. As the announcement states, the purpose is to help us move along a path to a more collaborationist and unified left that sees the need for “System Change Not Climate Change”. A reality that is growing terrifyingly more necessary with every passing day under capitalism, and increasingly apparent to wider and wider numbers of people desperate to fight for, and live in, an entirely different, ecologically-sustainable and socially-just world.

  3. Frank Cetera March 10, 2013 at 12:39 am |

    Wait a second, there’s already an Ecosocialist Convergence happening on March 23 in Troy that’s meant to be a regional gathering. Are you in communication with them, and coordinating to draw people together, and not apart due to multiple events?

    1. Chris Williams March 10, 2013 at 10:33 am |

      Yes, we are in contact and I hope that people are able to go to both. But just to clarify, the Convergence in Troy is set up to do something quite different to the idea of the conference.

      As publicity for the Convergence, which is a 3 day series of activities notes, “A convergence involves an exchange of ideas, but it is not the same as a conference. Convergences are built from the places in which they occur. They are sites of ecosocialist production. They are elemental events in the process of ecosocialist transformation.”

      In contrast, the purpose of the proposed Eco-Socialist Conference, is to bring together all those interested or already committed to working independent of the Democratic Party (or wondering why that might be necessary) to help form a radical and organized leftwing to the climate justice movement. One that seeks to articulate a more systemic analysis of the problem, which will help define who our allies are, suggest next steps for activism and also to put forward the ways in which revolutionary change of society, both socially and ecologically, is necessary in order to truly live in a world that is as ecologically sound as it is socially just.

      Therefore, the conference is much more geared toward bringing together all groups and individuals who are interested or engaged with immediate questions of activism, political analysis and organization and the unity of theory and practice, than it is engaged with pre-figuration.

      Hope that helps.

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