Inari Sosa <>, Paulina Zedillo
<> and Fercho Tekuatl
An international struggle for science and justice
November 6, 2018

With a growing recognition of the urgent need to act to stop climate change
— and the inherent ecological destruction that is built into capitalism, a
system predicated on relentless growth and the drive for profit — activists
with Science for the People, an organization dedicated to building a
movement around radical perspectives on science and society, is expanding
the fight for climate justice and ecosocialism.

Inari Sosa <>, Paulina Zedillo
<> and Fercho Tekuatl
<>, biologists of the National
Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) and members of the promotional core
of Ciencia para el Pueblo (Science for the People-Mexico), explain the
launch of the group there, in a statement translated into English by Martín
Ochoa and Brian M. Napoletano.

IN LIGHT of the serious social and environmental problems the world faces,
we in the scientific community cannot afford to remain ensconced in
academia’s ivory towers, as though we were not involved directly in these
issues. Facing a corporatist techno-science in service to capital
accumulation, we must take the opposing side of a critical science linked
to struggles for justice. Construction of a science from, with, for and of
the working people is a key task of those fighting for social liberation
and respect for all life on Earth.

Those of us in the different areas of investigation and applied science
must assume that in addition to intellectuals, we are also part of the
working class that moves the world and its history. Thus, our opportunities
for employment are governed by the constant changes in the labor market;
even the orientation and development of our creative powers are strongly
conditioned by the funding of powerful political and economic interests
whose support is premised on their own profit. Thus, the results of
scientific knowledge are constantly being appropriated by private interests
in contradiction to the common good.
[image: Meeting after the March for Science in Mexico City in 2018]
Meeting after the March for Science in Mexico City in 2018 (Fernando
Estañol Tecuatl)

We therefore have a duty to stand for and fight alongside the rest of our
class: the working class, as well as the other groups oppressed by the
capitalist system. For this, we require complete political independence
from the bourgeoisie and its parties.

WITH THIS perspective we, scientists of different political allegiances, at
the beginning of 2016 agreed that we need an anti-capitalist rallying point
to facilitate efforts to politicize, organize and mobilize our profession.
We, along with our comrades in different states around the country, come
together in the promotional core of a broad new anti-capitalist group:
Science for the People-Mexico.

In so doing, we support the historical project of Science for the People
<>, a social movement that emerged in many
universities in the United States at the end of the 1960s, and that, for
more than two decades of intense political and intellectual activity,
contributed to the struggle in defense of the environment, against racism
and imperialism, and on many other fronts fought for a better world.

This political position was bolstered by two important factors: (1) the
strong internationalist connection we have had with Science for the People,
which is re-emerging and rebuilding itself; and (2) the anti-capitalist
tendencies and approaches that we — those who make up the promotional core
— have developed in our participation in various movements, such as the
Unión de Científicos Comprometidos con la Sociedad (the counterpart to the
Union of Concern Scientists of the USA), the “#Yosoy132Ambiental,” the
postgraduate assemblies against the CONACYT’s (the National Council for
Science and Technology) funding cuts, the Nueva Central de Trabajadores
(New Workers Center); work with several labor unions such as the AMINSHAE
(an important union of researchers and other workers in the medical
sector), the “Consciousness for Humanity” of the EZLN (the Zapatista Army
for the National Liberation); several other initiatives aimed at
popularizing knowledge and local ecological activism; involvement with
other left organizations of different traditions; and other experiences we
have had that enrich this project.

In January of the present year, we convened the first meeting as the
promotional core of Science for the People-Mexico at the UNAM’s Institute
of Ecology, with the international presence of Ivette Perfecto and John
Vandermeer, activists in Science for the People at the University of

Thereafter, we have undertaken several activities, such as: the
participation of one of our delegations in the congress to relaunch Science
for the People, held in Ann Arbor, Michigan; the elaboration of
pronouncements and manifestos; the organization, in alliance with other
groups, of the second march for Science in Mexico City and Morelia;
solidarity and support to labor unions in the medical and research sector;
meetings for programmatic discussions and debate about the current
political situation; solidarity with diverse local struggles; contribution
to debate in different scientific forums; and the realization of our own
forums in Mexico City and Morelia, with the collaboration of some of our
comrades such as Lala Peñaranda from Science for the People-New York.

“Ciencia para el Pueblo” is constituted as the Mexican branch of the
international Science for the People organization, although we have
programmatic and organizational autonomy. Within the Mexican context, we
are an internationalist referent that does not adhere to borders and
boundaries. We are a broad space of cooperation between different leftist
political currents, as well as activists with no political affiliations.

At present, we are involved in a growing campaign for organization and
programmatic discussion about the development of a science that fights for
social liberation and the care of life on Earth. In the medium term, we
intend to consolidate a network of committees and contacts in several parts
of the country, with a view to holding a congress in which we could
consolidate a national organization that coordinates active participation
in multiple struggles and produces materials on diverse themes, including
agroecology, gender studies, integrated watershed management, political
ecology, political economy, sustainability, climate change, etc.

THE NEXT administration, headed by Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO), will
be the result of a negotiated transition that guarantees the maintenance of
the interests and privileges of the oligarchy in the face of the regime’s
political crisis on the one side, yet attempts to diffuse the social unrest
channeled into the polls on the other. It is already expressing ambiguities
and contradictions in several areas, for example: the appointment of Elena
Álvarez from the Unión de Científicos Comprometidos con la Sociedad (the
Union of Scientists Committed to Society) at Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y
Tecnologia (the National Council for Science and Technology) and the
appointment of Víctor Villalobos — see the “Monsanto Law” — at the
Secretaría de Agricultura, Ganadería, Desarrollo Rural, Pesca y
Alimentación (the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Rural Development,
Fisheries and Food); or the proposal that major issues such as the
decriminalization of abortion or the construction of the new Mexico City
International Airport.

AMLO will, obviously, retain intact the foundations of neoliberalism while
at the same time seeking to form a political clientele through mostly
symbolic concessions to social movements.

In this scenario, the possibility of changing the correlation of forces in
favor of the working-class majority, the native people, and the care for
biodiversity will lie with the independent mobilization of all the groups
in resistance today. Science for the People supports national and
international self-organization in peasant movements, student movements,
urban workers, women, gender activists, people living with disabilities,
those affected by environmental degradation, migrants, victims of
structural violence, and other oppressed groups, with the aim of forming a
social pole capable of challenging the national oligarchy and its
international backers, and of initiating a process of radical
transformation of the country and the world.

For a science for life, for a science for the people.

*First published at the website of the* *Workers’ Revolutionary Party of
Translation by Martín Ochoa and Brian M. Napoletano*.