There can be little doubt about the centrality and severity of the environmental crisis in the present day. Driven by the mindless "grow-or-die" imperative of capitalism, humanity's destruction of the biosphere has reached and even surpassed various critical thresholds, whether in terms of carbon emissions, biodiversity loss, ocean acidification, freshwater depletion, or chemical pollution.
While the year 2020 saw numerous activist mobilizations, it was the police murder of George Floyd that instantly filled streets around the world with outraged protest. People marched, torched police stations, tore down statues, and confronted police in actions noticeable both for their dedicated persistence and the diversity of participants.
As a kid, I lived through multiple military coups. All told, over a decade of my childhood in Bolivia was spent under dictatorship / military rule. It was often frightening, as a child, to be surrounded by a relatively constant hum of gun-toting soldiers, surveillance, armored tanks, and state violence.
If you’ve been watching mainstream TV news programs lately, you’ve probably noticed that a number of corporate journalists—prodded by the marvelous protests against police violence—seem to have learned a new phrase, which they invoke regularly: “systemic racism.”
That’s an improvement from a dozen years ago, when some in establishment media were hailing our society as "post-racial" because of the election of President Obama.
There have been more than a dozen strikes in the past two weeks by workers striking to protect themselves against infection by the coronavirus. They have already won increased protection. What do they portend for the future?