A guest post by GORDON PETERS, a socialist and community activist, who is currently representing StopHDV, a community-based campaign, in its legal challenge to Haringey Council, which wants to hand control of most of its property to HDV, a property development company. Gordon was both a local government chief officer and a long-time trade unionist, and in 2015 stood in the general election for the Green Party.
How can ecosocialism respond to the operation of power in capitalist accumulation and reproduction? Does ecosocialism help provide answers to struggles taking place in the local state and in sites of contest?
I want to suggest that it does provide such answers – in four broad ways:
1. The refusal strategy
This has a long lineage in class struggles in many different ways, but came to be articulated by the Italian Autonomists. Here I can only draw together some links from very different places in recent
times, which all have as their distinct characteristics a refusal to yield to the capitalist logic and to say no to displacement.
For instance, indigenous struggles in Latin America particularly against mining, deforestation and land grabbing demand an anti-capitalist sustainability, and in Bolivia were enshrined in the Cochabamba Declaration and the Rights of Mother Earth.
The “boycott, divestment and sanctions” movement, when applied to fossil fuels; the principle of “leave it in the ground”; anti-fracking protests in southern England and in Lancashire and Yorkshire; and campaigns on housing rights against estate demolition – all are increasingly confronting the demands of corporate capital and, in their own sites of struggle, reframing demands in terms of rights to land, community, place to live, clean air and water, and freedoms, which are essentially ecosocialist.
Housing struggles in London are having to resist speculation, and the maximisation of value from Read the rest of this entry »