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Minneapolis Earth Day marchers say “Fight capitalism to stop climate change”

By Kay Lerohl

 Earth Day march in Minneapolis. | Fight Back! News/staff

Minneapolis, MN – On Sunday, April 21, a march of approximately 300 people from the Twin Cities metro area marched, blocking traffic for Earth Day.

The Climate Justice Committee (CJC) and Anti-War Committee (AWC) led the march. It drew attendees from the nearby Little Earth indigenous-preference housing complex, the surrounding East Phillips neighborhood, and Camp Nenookaasi, an encampment of the unhoused which has been forced by the city of Minneapolis to move many times.

The crowd took the street, making its first stop directly in front of Smith Foundry. Speakers from the neighborhood highlighted the impact the metal foundry has on the neighborhood, from increased asthma and heart disease rates in children to the putrid smells that emanate from it.

Evan Mulholland of the CJC stated, “It’s not right that the neighbors and workers are unprotected from pollution while the profit flows directly to the owner, Zynik capital in Canada,” highlighting the OSHA violations Smith had recently been fined for. Mulholland reminded everyone that “green capitalism is not going to fix white supremacy.”

The march then headed to the site that Mayor Jacob Frey wants to develop into a new 3rd Precinct building for the Minneapolis Police Department, despite residents strongly opposing a new site without meaningful police reform. The previous site had been burned during the uprising after the murder of George Floyd. Danielle Korby from Twin Cities Coalition for Justice explained the necessity for community control of the police to prevent developments, which would force neighbors in need of community resources to enter a building filled and staffed with the most violent gang in the city.

Stacey Gurian-Sherman, speaking for Minneapolis for a Better Police Contract, pointed out the deep connections between the Israeli Defense Forces and police techniques in the United States, including Cop City and similar militarized training facilities soon to be erected across the country. The crowd marched on, chanting “IDF, KKK, MPD, they’re all the same!” and “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free!”

At every stop, the Mexica Dancers danced and blessed the area, doing medicine work, expressing their desire for real change for our planet and neighbors, and were received by cheers by fellow marchers.

As the march came to an end, anti-war and workers’ right activists pointed out how monopoly capitalism is the driving forces behind climate change, and thus we cannot stop one without stopping the other.

Tracy Molm of the CJC and Freedom Road Socialist Organization – Twin Cities concluded the event with remarks on the negligence of the Democratic and Republican Parties on climate change and Palestine, rousing the crowd with an invitation to march on the Republican National Convention and Democratic National Convention later this year.

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