We are starting to build an extraordinary alliance of labour activists and environmental activists, we are starting to have the difficult conversations about what sort of jobs we need and realising that workers have to have a stake in the transition we need to make to a green economy or it will never happen.
We are finding the courage to fight back on jobs. Fight for every job! This should always be the slogan of the labour movement. It needs to become a concern of the environmental movement. Take action to save the environment! This is the slogan of the environmental movement that must be taken up by the labour movement, including workers who, like the Vestas workers were, are unorganised.
Below is a report sent about a protest in the Weald of Kent – yes, Disgusted of Tunbridge Wells country, although they wouldn’t thank me for pointing this out. This is a protest, a stand, that can be replicated all across the country. Please organise a protest in your town now. This campaign can win. But only if we all act on our beliefs.
Solidarity greetings from the Wealden Progressive Movement
The threat to Vestas, and the Government’s unwillingness to secure the plant’s future either through subsidy or nationalisation, stands in stark contrast to their donation of hundreds of billions of pounds to the banks, no questions asked.
Yet the courageous actions of those occupying the factory stand in the best traditions of the labour and trade union movement. This is a struggle that will resonate with workers across the country and abroad.
It also illustrates the symbiotic relationship between the fight for democratic socialism, for workers’ rights, and for environmental sustainability. Blind and unquestioning obedience to capitalism has poisoned our planet and our social and economic relationships alike. This campaign may be a stage in unleashing the forces that will transform our world for the better.
Victory to the Vestas workers!
P.S. Please find attached a picture, together with copies of petitions and leaflets, from our stall in Tunbridge Wells, Kent, on 1st August 2009. Despite poor weather (which, together with the economic climate, left the town unusually quiet), massive public support was evident.
Julian Wilson, Wealden Progressive Movement