Other official partners include Catholic groups like the Franciscan Action Network, and unions like the American Federation of Teachers, American Postal Workers Union, Service Employees International Union, and Communications Workers of America.
The Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), a group that backed Obama from the start of his political career, is a partner, as is the Socialist Party and the American Humanist Association.
Academia is represented through such organizations as the American Association of University Professors.
But there’s more: the Global Muslim Climate Network, the Islamic Society of North America, and a group called Green Muslims have signed on as partners.
Native Lives Matter has been formed, and they, too, are a partner of the climate march.
“On the 100th day of Trump’s presidency,” say the organizers, “our march will celebrate both the diversity of our movements and demonstrate our unity in the face of Trump’s attempts to divide us.” This is apparently a reference to President Donald Trump’s decision to enlist some industrial unions in a coalition to create jobs through the use of America’s oil and gas resources.
Trump’s electoral success has split apart the Democratic Party coalition that depended on unions and workers to help liberals win on Election Day.
One of the speakers, Jazzlyn Lindsey of Black Lives Matter DC, is described as someone who “utilizes her innovative interpersonal skills to educate and engage her peers on issues pertaining to the history of punishment and prisons, environmental racism, and intersectional feminism.” A picture on her Facebook page shows a “Black Muslims Matter” sign.
The national coordinator of the group behind the march, the Peoples Climate Movement, is Paul Getsos, who says, “We are a broad-based formation of over 50 organizations working with movements across the country to stop the Trump Administration’s and Congress’ attacks on our planet, people and communities. We demand an economy and government that works for all, clean air and water and a healthy environment. This administration must immediately stop attacks on communities of color and immigrant, Muslim, indigenous and LGBTQIA communities. We are marching from the Capital [sic] to the White House on his 100th day in office to show our resistance to the policies that favor the 1%, hastens climate change, poisons our water and air and harms our communities and people and then returning home to do the work of continuing to build this movement in every community across the country.”
The first Peoples Climate March was held on September 21, 2014 in New York City.
Getsos, described as a political strategist with his own consulting firm, was a contributor to the “Ear to the Ground Project” associated with the Freedom Road Socialist Organization. Another contributor was “former” communist and CNN analyst Van Jones.
One of their recommendations is to reach out beyond the far-left: “We need to identify a set of people who are our best communicators, and their role should be to hold down movement ideas, in a smart way, in public debates, online, on CNN, etc. Not just in ‘alternative’ or progressive media.” Another recommendation is, “Need more funny people turning our political ideas into widely distributed to large numbers of people. Political humor, satire, that can go viral and make a mass impact.”
Stephen Colbert is apparently not far-left enough for these characters.
Under the heading of “political formations,” leftists are told, “We need a new Left party. A united party for socialism. Not primarily an electoral vehicle. Should be explicitly anti-capitalist, a bridge between generations, training activists. An eye on the fight for people’s power. Without a hard left you have a weak middle. I don’t mean dogmatic, but it’s clear that capitalism does not have the answer to the world’s problems and we need a socialist alternative.”
However, billionaire Tom Steyer, president of NextGen Climate, is a big backer of the rally. “Tom founded a successful California business, which he left to work full-time on non-profit and advocacy efforts,” his bio says. In fact, he ran a financial hedge fund, Farallon Capital Management, which is considered to be on the cutting edge of the highest stage of capitalism, to use Marxist jargon. He sold his stake in the firm in 2012 and is now worth $1.6 billion. Forbes points out that he spent more than $65 million to back environmental causes and the Democratic Party in 2016. “Trump’s victory shocked him,” the magazine says, “Now Steyer, the founder of Farallon Capital and the environmental group NextGen Climate, is using his voice—and his wallet—to battle[the] Trump administration.”
Like the hedge fund associated with George Soros, another billionaire backer of the “people’s revolution,” Farallon has specialized in managing equity capital “for high net worth individuals.”
It all sounds pretty capitalist to me.
Cliff Kincaid is the Director of the AIM Center for Investigative Journalism, and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org