Climate change is not a looming future threat, it is a clear and present danger, and it is already threatening the livelihoods, living conditions, and life chances of historically oppressed peoples and the working class throughout the South.
From the inhabitants of the coastal lowlands of the Gulf who are witnessing the sea reclaim the land and watching their livelihoods, lifestyles, and ancestral homelands disappear along with it; to the midland farmers and harvesters of the region who are dealing with the rapid flora and fauna change and steady, but growing disruptions to the harvesting and growing seasons, the South is already feeling the destructive impact of climate change. There are also thousands who are beginning to suffer from infectious diseases, old and new, that are beginning to thrive in the region as a direct result of climate change and the havoc it creating to the ecology, like the Nile virus and deadly Amoebas.
The South is also one of the global epicenters of the petro-chemical driven extractive economy, which is at the heart of the capitalist-imperialist world system, and the primary cause of climate change. Oil, natural gas, coal, rare earth materials, lumber, and mass mono-crop, meat and fishing industries are the bedrocks of our regional economy. The South also bears the brunt of the deadly by-products of the extractive industries in the form of environmental racism and the extremely high prevalence of toxin induced cancers, birth defects, learning disabilities, and respiratory diseases that afflict the region.
We have to end the region’s dependence on the extractive economy in a manner that ensures that the workers, families and communities that are dependent on these industries for their livelihoods are not abandoned and disposed of. And deeper still we have to defend Mother Earth – our survival as a species and the species we depend upon require it. In order defend the Earth and avoid ecological collapse, we have to eliminate the capitalist socio-economic system that is destroying our planet. Eliminating a socio-economic system requires a profound mass movement that changes socio-political systems AND alters human behavior, particularly the behaviors that guide our collective choices about who decides what we produce and consume, what we produce and consume, why we produce and consume it, and why what we produce and consumed is distributed in the unequal and inequitable manner that it is. In effect, we need a mass movement for a Just Transition and we have to build it!
Cooperation Jackson invites the people of Jackson, the state of Mississippi, and the Southern region to join us for the Summer of Our Power People’s Movement Assembly, a Climate Justice Alliance and US Social Forum Assembly on Friday, June 26th through Sunday, June 28th, 2015 at the Chokwe Lumumba Center for Economic Democracy and Development located at 939 W. Capitol Street, Jackson, MS 39203.
This Assembly will focus on how to broaden and expand the southern movement for climate justice and a just transition. Space for this Assembly is limited. Priority will be given to Southern based organizations and individuals and organizations affiliated with the Our Power Campaign, the Climate Justice Alliance, the Grassroots Global Justice Alliance, the US Solidarity Economy Network, the US Federation of Worker Cooperatives, and the Reinvest Network.
Registration is $50. Please register immediately at http://www.cooperationjackson.org/new-products-1/summer-of-our-power-peoples-movement-assembly. Registration opens on Friday, May 8th.
For more information visit www.CooperationJackson.org or contact Cooperation Jackson at CooperationJackson@gmail.com or 601.208.0090. You can also get updates on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/CooperationJackson and Twitter at @CooperationJXN.