The People’s Global Climate March turned out an impressive 400,000 participants in New York City a year ago. Its real significance, however, rested with the unprecedentedly broad constituencies rallying together under its huge umbrella.
Groups representing everything from women’s rights and gay equality to labor and immigration struggles, with many more in-between, united in realization that all of their causes would come to naught if planetary extinction came to pass.
Understanding that subordinating individual issues before a greater, overriding purpose—thereby allowing those “lesser” objectives to eventually, collectively triumph—is best conveyed through a very simple example:
It’s easy to snap a single yellow pencil. But many pencils of different colors tightly bundled together can’ t be broken.
Solidarity encompassing a wide array of allies, even if superficially seeming to be unrelated, builds strength that not even the malevolent might of Wall Street, with all of its media and political tentacles lashing out in desperate response, can defeat.
Across America today, we’re witnessing an inspiring movement taking action against routine police violence targeting primarily young black males.
Good folks of all ethnicities and backgrounds are demanding that this intolerable conduct be stopped. They’re demonstrating in major metropolitan areas throughout the country, with supportive gatherings occurring in smaller locales as well.
Crucially, there has been active overlap with striking fast-food and big-box employees kept too poor to survive on poverty wages.
Pencils of many colors are coming together, almost by accident, but actually as the inevitable result of a profits-before-people system that victimizes virtually everyone as it selfishly shifts wealth from increasingly pauperized multitudes to a stupendously avaricious elite.
“Everyone” is too big an entity to be crushed by those who never feel guilt as they luxuriate far above any justifiable level while those that they rip off and the planet upon which they reside are ravaged.
There will be attempts to divide us. Outright repression can also be expected. Nevertheless, all around the world, uprisings of unparalleled scope and magnitude are spreading and coalescing.
Here at home, recent populist developments include a remarkably broad alliance of incensed opponents to the Trans-Pacific Partnership “fair trade” scam, mass resistance to Orwellian spying on U.S. citizens under a fervid anti-terrorist rationale, and the wildfire growth of enthusiastic backing for presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, who correctly sees our main enemy as a plundering plutocracy that painfully impoverishes everyday citizens.
Almost daily, new pencils are being added to an already large, strong bundle.
Who dares bet that the causes those pencils represent won’t ultimately, jointly prevail?
Dennis Rahkonen of Superior, Wisconsin, has been writing progressive commentary with a Heartland perspective for various outlets since the ’60s.