Boston Climate Justice Teach-In: Race, Class, and the Anti-Ecological Logic of Capitalism (VIDEO)

by Boston Solidarity

April 9, 2014

Around 150 people from Boston and surrounding areas attended the “Climate Justice Teach-In: Race, Class, and the Anti-Ecological Logic of Capitalism” on Saturday, April 5 at Northeastern University in Boston. The event was planned by an ad hoc committee consisting of members of the Boston branch of Solidarity and other local activists. The teach-in was also sponsored by the Northeastern Environmental Justice Research Collaborative.

The goals of the event were to promote a systemic analysis of the ecological crisis; to highlight the important and deep intersections of social justice concerns, inequality, and the capitalist political and economic system with the climate crisis; to emphasize that the climate crisis cannot be dealt with independent of these issues; and to promote climate and environmental justice activism in the Boston area.

In the first session world-renowned soil and environmental scientist and co-author of “What Every Environmentalist Needs to Know About Capitalism” Fred Magdoff spoke on why the climate and ecological crises cannot be solved under capitalism. Sociologist and climate/environmental justice researcher and activist Danny Faber elaborated on these issues and spoke on the problems that can result when environmental activism proceeds without awareness of other social justice issues. Indigenous rights activist and lawyer Sherri Mitchell of the Land Peace Foundation spoke on the longstanding fight against environmental destruction within indigenous and native communities, the centrality of these communities in the fight against ecological destruction, and what we can learn from the indigenous way of life. Climate justice and food sovereignty activist Sara Mersha of Grassroots International closed the session by speaking on social movements of peasants, indigenous peoples, women, and youth in the Global South.

In the second session, representatives of local climate and environmental justice organizations spoke about their work. This was followed by break-out sessions to further discuss this work and how people could get involved. Discussions included planning for local events as part of the Global Climate Convergence and the possibility of forming a local branch of System Change Not Climate Change: The Ecosocialist Coalition.

You can learn more about these organizations on their websites.

Video of the event is by Doug Greene. For more information contact Boston Solidarity: