Link-ups on 29 November climate strike

Submitted by AWL on 4 December, 2019 - 6:26 Author: Misha Zubrowski
climate strike

Climate strikes on 29 November saw large number of school students and older people turn out, all across the country.

In many places there were smaller turn-outs than previous strikes: partly because of the election; partly because — unlike the 20 September — there was no central emphasis on trade unionists and workers joining; and maybe partly because of a slight loss of steam. There were still fairly good and energetic turnouts, even if smaller, in most places that I got reports from.

It coincided with the UCU strikes. Some places seized the opportunity presented by that, others failed to.

Leicester provides the best model, that I’m aware of. It was the biggest they have had yet — hundreds, in a relatively small city — and energetic. The climate strike marched to the UCU picket lines, met up with it, and then all marched together. They had a UCU contingent of around 100.

A Solidarity supporter and student, who has been active both with the climate strikes and the picket lines, spoke — along with a couple of others — to both parties, and arranged to ensure this happened.

Bristol and Sheffield both had a more trade-union banners than previously, although the general model remains as one-or-two people from each union, rather than a delegation of workers.

In Bristol, the main contingents were school students, odds and ends, a few university students and UCU members. There weren’t any significant workplace delegations that I was aware of. UCU in Bristol decided to not have picket lines on that day (or the strike day before, or the two following), which can’t have helped. They did suggest that people attend the climate strike, but that it failed to happen en masse, could have been predicted. To get a mass delegation of workers, you need to organise it as a delegation.

Afterwards there was a “teach out” on climate change.

In Sheffield, students from both universities attended, and from University of Sheffield a few individual UCU members — but not a big turn-out compared to the number on strike. As in Bristol, related teach-outs and the climate strike had been communicated to staff in an atomised way, rather than an organised delegation.

In London, the climate strike had thousands of young people, and the UCU march had 400 people. However, it didn’t meet up with the climate strike.

In Glasgow, two separate delegations from the University of Glasgow UCU picket lines to the climate strike — one organised by Extinction Rebellion, one by the “Scottish Momentum Organiser” — failed to materialise. However, several individuals joined it plus a UCU delegation marched down from the (much closer) Strathclyde University.

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