This story originally appeared in Common Dreams on March 2, 2022. It is shared here with permission under a Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0) license.
Youth climate movement Fridays for Future announced Wednesday a series of global solidarity strikes to demand an end to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and denounce fossil fuel-based economic systems they say lead to such wars.
The first such strikes are slated to take place Thursday, March 3, and have already been scheduled in over 50 cities from Warsaw, Poland to Abuja, Nigeria to Washington, DC.
The announcement follows a plea on Tuesday from the Ukraine arm of Fridays for Future urging fellow climate activists and others opposed to the war to hit the streets Thursday to “fight for peace in our name.”
In their Wednesday statement, the global group linked Russian President Vladimir Putin’s current attack with the planetary crisis.
“Fossil fuel capitalism is one of the roots of this war, financing Putin’s invasion, and many other conflicts and crises around the world,” the group said. “That is why, during the next few weeks, we also want to call out the era of fossil fuel, capitalism, and imperialism that allows these systemic oppressions.”
“We are at a critical moment,” the group said, when “political leaders can take the side of people or of money, greed, and the fossil fuel industry.”
Global leaders, they added, must “stop financing Putin’s whims, and end the import of oil, coal, and gas from Russia” including by fully pulling the plug on the Nord Stream 2, which is set to transport Russian gas to Europe through a Baltic Sea pipeline.
In a video shared on Twitter Wednesday, Ilyess El Kortbi of Fridays for Future Ukraine echoed the group’s earlier statement, saying that “we the activists are usually fighting against a climate crisis we didn’t create” but “now we are in a war fueled by fossil fuels. These wars are wars for resources we no longer need.”
El Kortbi called upon global activists to take part in actions Thursday “in support of peace everywhere without fossil fuels.”
The planned demonstrations drew strong support from Fridays for Future Russia.
“All wars are battles for resources, including this one in Ukraine,” the Russian group said. “Putin is trying to keep the status quo in which petroleum rules, but the era of fossil fuels is coming to an end.”
“Societies that depend on fossil fuels provided by autocrats cannot be safe,” they said, and called for “international political mobilization. Everyone worldwide should take a stand against war. There’s no such thing as neutrality in war.”
Antiwar activists have taken part in demonstrations in cities across the globe, including within Russia, to denounce the invasion since it began Feb. 24.