What can we learn from the role of people power in the Great Depression and in the first year of the Coronavirus Depression? Based on the seven preceding commentaries on the New Deal and the popular movements of 2020, this commentary maintains that popular direct action can play a significant role in shaping the Biden era. It examines the emerging political context and suggests guidelines for navigating the complex landscape that lies ahead.
A few months ago, the national Green New Deal Network, along with nearly 100 Congressional endorsers and a range of climate and national union endorsers,
Rutgers LEARN, the Center for Innovation in Worker Organization (CIWO), and the Labor Network for Sustainability present: Strike! A 50th Anniversary Symposium
The Labor Network for Sustainability calls for a halt to the Line 3 Pipeline, the Dakota Access Pipeline and other climate-destroying fossil-fuel infrastructure of the past. It calls instead to start creating the jobs of the future building the climate-safe infrastructure of the future.
Labor leaders, economic development groups and environmentalists from coal states recently wrote to President Joe Biden to fund a “just transition” from coal to renewable energy. They also asked the administration last week in a letter to immediately establish a White House Office of Economic Transition to work on rebuilding the economies of coal communities.
According to a recent Op-Ed in the New Jersey Star-Ledger, wind energy is going to mean union jobs. The Op-Ed, “Steelworkers and Windmills–Perfect Together,” co-authored by Del Vitale, Director of District 4 for the United Steelworkers and Debra Coyle McFadden, Executive Director for the New Jersey Work Environment Council–both organizations that are partners in the Jersey Renews coalition, which recently sponsored the Time for Turbines Conference.
New York City’s largest pension funds have voted to divest from companies related to fossil fuels. The $4 billion divestment is one of the largest in the country and the first time a major city has committed to complete divestment of fossil fuel holdings.
In case you missed the February 11, 2021 webinar "Climate Justice + Labor Organizing," hosted by Saren Glenn Vincent of the Power Shift Network, you can watch it here. Featuring Labor Network for Sustainability Young Worker Project Organizer Joshua Dedmond and Kayla...
In February, the International Union of Electronic Workers – Communications Workers of America (IUE-CWA) held actions at Walmart locations around the U.S. to save jobs for workers who manufacture LED light bulbs produced by Walmart, who recently announced plans to move production to China.
In the first year of the Coronavirus Pandemic and the ensuing Coronavirus Depression, “people power” played a little-acknowledged but critical role–recounted in the previous commentaries in this series–in protecting health and economic wellbeing. Despite change in the national political context, they are continuing into the Biden era. Movements utilizing people power direct action may be just as important in this era.