The decision by the Metropolitan Police to ban Extinction Rebellion (XR) protests in London is an attack on civil liberties, and ignores the urgency of the climate emergency facing us. The use of Section 14 to enforce this ban is especially worrying.The right of assembly and protest is an important one that has been fought for by campaigners, the Labour movement and trade union movement over many years.
Guest post by Sean Vernell, University and College Union National Executive Committee
The TUC passed, unanimously, the composite motion calling for a 30-minute workday campaign action to coincide with the global school student strike on the 20th September. It is the first time that the TUC has called on its 6.5 million members to demonstrate support for school students taking action. Indeed, it is the first time in many years the TUC has called on its members to demonstrate its collective power in solidarity with anyone.
The trade union movement has a great debt to pay to the school students for transforming the debate over climate change and making it one of the main priorities amongst working people.
TUC conference has today unanimously passed a motion to support the school student Global Climate Strike on 20th September and has called on TUC affiliate Unions to organise a 30 minute work day campaign action to coincide with the school students strike on 20th September.
We congratulate the delegates at TUC who have voted to recognise the significance of the Global School Students strikes, initiated by Greta Thunberg and the need for adults and especially the Trade Union movement to stand alongside young people, to ensure they do not stand alone in fighting for the urgent action needed to tackle climate change and ecological crisis and to deliver Climate Justice.
We ask all Trade Unions to now turn words into action and get organised to build on the fantastic examples of Trade Union solidarity action already in place for 20th September.
The 20th September is already set to be the biggest turnout of working people many organised through their Trade Unions in the UK uniting in solidarity with young people. But it can be even bigger and we still have two weeks to deliver solidarity action to put hundreds of thousands of Trade Unionist onto the streets.
We would like to salute the young people who have led the action and also the UCU NEC members who put forward the motion to TUC conference calling for a 30 minute stoppage. They have been bold enough to recognise the urgency of the climate crisis and the need for Trade Unionists to not only respond to the call for Trade Unions to join them but to be bold in their actions and demands. The support for the UCU statement with over 2000 Trade Unionists and over 100 organisations backing the call for solidarity and a 30 minute workplace stoppage on 20th has also shown us the appetitive that there is for climate action within the Trade Union movement.
We ask all Trade Unionists to do everything they can to match the boldness required of us by the urgency of the Climate Crisis. We have just under two weeks now to build maximum solidarity on the 20th.
This is just the beginning and we will need to continue the work of building solidarity, fighting to ensure our unions have the most progressive policies which match what the science tells us that we need to do and to continue to demand the Climate Jobs and a Green New Deal which can deliver the Just Transformation that we need.