Convicted Climate Activist: “we need … a different form of democracy”

Essay by Eric Worrall

Speaking to World Socialist Web Site, convicted Aussie climate activist Deanna Coco explains why we need a form of democracy which doesn’t involve public elections to solve the climate crisis.

Australian climate activist Violet Coco speaks on her jailing for Sydney Harbour Bridge protest

Our reporters 27 December 2022

In a serious attack on basic democratic rights, Coco was initially sentenced to 15 months’ imprisonment, with at least eight months without parole, and denied bail. She was the first to be sentenced under laws introduced by the New South Wales (NSW) state Liberal-National government to impose fines of up to $22,000 and jail terms of up to two years for protests on roads, rail lines, tunnels, bridges and industrial estates.

VC: People are becoming increasingly concerned about the lack of action on the climate and ecological emergency and that is a threat to the people who are making a lot of money off the fossil fuel industry. The more we make noise about the climate and ecological emergency the more they are threatened. It makes sense that they are going to try and silence us, and we can’t let their bullying tactics get in the way of protecting the habitability of our planet. 

WSWS: What are the political implications of the fact that both Labor and the Liberal-National Coalition support the implementation of these laws to defend the profits of big business? 

VC: It is clear that our politics has failed us and what we need is a different form of democracy to resolve this emergency situation. I have done a lot of work with Extinction Rebellion, who promote citizens assemblies. It is a form of deliberative democracy with a random and representative selection of the population, informed and facilitated. A bit like jury duty, but for legislation. 

We cannot trust either Labor or the Liberal-National Coalition to act in our best interest.

Read more: https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2022/12/27/efxg-d27.html

Climate activist attacks on forms of democracy which aren’t delivering the outcomes they want are nothing new.

The reality is all activists need to do to get their way is persuade ordinary people to support them. But despite decades of disappointment, activists still can’t bring themselves to admit the failure is their fault. They just aren’t persuasive enough.

via Watts Up With That?

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January 3, 2023 at 12:56AM

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