Ecologism

Amanda Tattersall amandatatts at hotmail.com
Wed Dec 12 02:28:17 MST 2001


On the topic of environmental movements and Marxism - if you are searching
for specific examples of where the working class has been instrumental in
the success of environmental movements you cannot go past the 'green bans'
movement in Australia.  Led by the New South Wales Builders Labourers
Federation (specifically between 1969 and 1974) that union extended what
were militant (arguably revolutionary) tactics in workplace struggle to the
protection of the environment.  Their refusal to work on construction jobs
that harmed the environment extended from wilderness areas to urban working
class areas, where for instance, they refused to demolish working class
housing and refused to build over inner city parks.

Although their work has been applied internationally, the most detailed
studies of the issue written by Australians - and you may have trouble
getting materials.  However two important books are:

Burgmann, M., Burgmann, V.   Green Bans Red Unions.  Published by UNSW
Press.

Burgmann, V.  Power and Protest. (this has a chapter that deals with the
BLF.  Argument of this book is that environmental movements, as will new
social movements generally only have significant success and power when
united with working class movements.

Also note articles that appear in recent (Australian) Labor History
journals.

I have written an essay on this topic which I could send to you if you want
further information.

Amanda

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