Credit: Heather O'Callaghan

International Socialist Alternative holds rally in Glasgow during COP26

By Katrina Williams

The group rallied against the way it feels the capitalist system harms the climate.

Following on from their campaign action throughout the day on November 6, the International Socialist Alternative (ISA) held an evening rally called “Capitalism is Killing the Planet.” The ISA introduced the event by focusing on the “immense” tasks that lay before the working class and young people to approach the climate crisis. 

ISA suggested that, at its core, it is the big corporations and billionaires upheld by the capitalist system that have instigated and continued to perpetuate the majority of issues concerning the climate crisis. The introductory speech focussed primarily on the notion that “to save the world, we have to change the world,” discussing how, for the majority of companies, netzero aims are utilised for “greenwashing” rather than supporting any genuine change.

A variety of speakers from around the globe and from various backgrounds spoke at the rally. Students, workers, and politicians took to the stage to comment on their personal experiences campaigning for socialist change, with topics ranging from the February Texas “Freeze” to the burning of the Amazon. Glaswegians discussed issues closer to home, remarking particularly on the “exploitation” of working class people during Covid-19. The overall message communicated was one of unification in approaching the problems that capitalism proliferates, both concerning the climate crisis and the lives of working class people, in order to find a “global and systematic solution.”

“Students, workers, and politicians took to the stage with topics ranging from the February Texas “Freeze” to the burning of the Amazon.”

The Glasgow Guardian spoke to organiser Tom Costello, who said: “we recognise that capitalism as a system can’t just be patched up: it has to go. We have to build a movement that’ll fight for everything we can win under this system, but ultimately challenge the system…what we need is a unity of working-class people and young people to fight for those fundamental changes.”

Costello spoke about the role the ISA takes in organising motivating young people who are “anti-capitalist” and “anti-system” into “something that can actually pose a challenge to the ruling elite.” The day’s rally was a “significant first step towards that”, Costello believes. He highlighted the importance of going back to our communities and planning further action post-COP26. 

Commenting on COP26, Costello told The Glasgow Guardian: “The thing with COP26 is that we don’t want to say that it’s bad that it’s happening. Of course there needs to be global discussion about how we’re going to break free from the current crisis the world is facing. But it becomes a question of who’s being represented in these talks, who is having the final say. And when you look at it in those terms, it’s not the people who are going to be affected most. 

“Ultimately, what that reflects is the desire of ruling elites and of governments around the world to put forward an image for the cameras, to look like they’re ready or prepared to take action, when in reality they’re happy with business as usual if it means that their own ruling class makes a profit.”


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