DESPITE having access to technology which allows for immediate interaction with almost anyone, almost anywhere on Earth, opportunities in our day-to-day lives to be in struggle and solidarity with our sisters across the world are limited.

Sometimes, a narrative from a segment on the news or an advert requesting aid is powerful enough to compel us into donating money to a worthy cause. When we are shopping, companies selling chocolate, coffee, or clothes ethically, with sustainability and empowerment of women credentials, convince us to purchase goods.

The ways we are able to be in global struggle are often defined by those who create the harmful living conditions our sisters face and by our ability to give money – usually to organisations which reinforce harmful ideologies. Our abilities to question the root causes of our shared oppressions are greenwashed and wokewashed away, allowing complicit corporations, governments and institutions to hide behind superficial acts of economic, environmental and social “justice”.

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Ongoing and current “crises” such as settler colonialism, the climate crisis, the cost of living and the so-called refugee crisis are often portrayed as a series of one-off events disconnected from each other.

In a world shaped by colonialism, imperialism and globalisation, our personal, local and national struggles are linked to global struggles. Our stories of oppression based on race, class and gender are interconnected. For our collective healing and making of worlds free from harm – it is vital we acknowledge this and move beyond single expressions of solidarity.

How can being in struggle with the people of Palestine help us collectively remake the fabric of everything?

The roles of colonialism, militarism and war in creating the climate crisis have been a part of the climate justice movement’s narrative for decades. New research published on Social Science Research Network calculates that the carbon cost of rebuilding Gaza’s 100,000 damaged buildings using contemporary construction techniques will generate at least 30 million metric tonnes of warming gases. This is higher than the annual CO2 emissions of more than 130 countries.

Damage is by no means limited to wartime. Although it is difficult to calculate military emissions due to a lack of transparency, it has been estimated that the world’s militaries produce around 6% of global emissions and the US and UK militaries bear some of the greatest responsibility.

In a report by Common Wealth, the UK and US militaries have jointly emitted at least 430 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent since the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement – more than the total greenhouse gas emissions produced in the UK in 2022.

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In 2016, the House of Commons approved the decision to maintain Trident – the UK’s nuclear deterrent – beyond the early 2030s. The initial cost of the programme was £21 billion in today’s money, with £10bn in contingency set aside. Annual in-service costs will be 6% of the defence budget, which was calculated at £3.1bn for 2023-24. The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) has calculated that replacing Trident will end up costing at least £205bn. The Ministry of Defence has contracted BAE Systems and Rolls-Royce for production, estimating 30,000 jobs across the UK will be directly or indirectly created by the programme.

Both companies have seen their profits soar during the war on Gaza. Reports say that BAE Systems and Rolls-Royce have either sold directly to Israel or indirectly supplied important parts, in recent years.

Governments and the arms industry have long claimed that spending on defence and weapon manufacturing supports job creation and economic development. However, the Scottish CND/Scottish Trades Union Congress study Cancelling Trident: The Economic And Employment Consequences For Scotland, established that Trident is not an efficient job creation scheme, and more jobs would be created if the same amounts of money were invested in other areas of public spending.

Investment in public services can support ways of living fully which are nourishing and caring, where all our needs are met.

War and militarism is violent, and violence is gendered. To be in struggle with our Palestinian sisters means moving to build infrastructures rooted in care, safety and belonging for all. We still have the means to refuse, and we still have the means to dream.