NUS Vice-President (Society & Citizenship) Zamzam Ibrahim shares some of the discussion from a panel event she recently chaired called ‘C02lonialism: climate change is a racist issue'. Organised by SOAS Students' Union, speaking on the panel was the formidable SImmone Ahiaku from People & Planet and the ever-inspiring Asad Rehman from War on Want.
Found that your university management are sometimes uncooperative or even belligerent? It’s likely that staff are just as tired of them as you are. The forces that students are fighting against are the same ones that led to pay cuts for staff and increased workloads and zero-hour contracts. We have far more in common with our lecturers than we might initially think.
Discussions of climate change go hand in hand with issues of justice and distributive fairness, this is because the burdens of climate change disproportionately affect the poorest areas of the world where its inhabitant are the least equipped to deal with its impact, due to geographic vulnerability and poverty. Therefore, it seems logical that the international response to climate change, in the form of international agreements; aim to avert the climate crisis whilst being sensitive to questions of justice and fairness.
Want to know how a small grassroots organisation with a big impact works? Keen to have a hand in its strategy, planning and budget? Chuck a welcoming, inclusive environment where your opinions are valued into the mix – and surely being a student trustee for People & Planet is a winner. Looking back over my two-year term, I can wholeheartedly say that running to be a trustee was one of the most fantastic decisions I made at uni.
People & Planet groups across the country are participating in 48 Hours of Action this October, calling attention to union busting in Samsung and other major brands in the electronics industry. Kicking off in Cardiff outside the Samsung Experience Store on Queen Street, we filled the Welsh capitals streets with chants of “What do we want? Workers rights! When do we want them? Now!” and “Union busting? That’s disgusting!” whilst distributing flyers and collecting signatures for People & Planets petition asking Samsung to end their no-union policy.
The actions of Loughborough People & Planet secured meetings with the Vice Chancellor and Chief Operating Officer, and these discussions have been ongoing since the Easter break in order to bring about a binding motion at University council and secure this victory.