31 May 2006

Bakhtin...prince of the pixies

Is academic work worth it...when faced with the RAE, etc...it seems like another game , a counting game, a market game...but sometimes it is worth it, just may be, Bakhtin who was great fun, a great scholar, a Marxist materialist in the best sense and a very zen Christian argued that political struggle went down to individual words. so nice to see Alex Plows effort as an ex-Earth First! donga gaining recognition for pixing....cited in an article which Brian Doherty and myself helped her with...here in this rather nice web dictionary

Here is the pixie stuff pasted in, do try this at home kids...well may be...

http://www.doubletongued.org/index.php/dictionary/pixie/

Dictionary definition of “pixie”
pixie v. to practice sabotage as an expression of environmental politics.
Editorial Note: Pixieing can range from mischievous to criminal acts, including occupying a site, crippling machinery, or removing survey markers. Etymological Note: The article cited in the Oct. 2004 citation says, “The Earth Liberation Front initial ELF led to the use of the term ‘elf’ and then to ‘pixie-ing.’” Related: repmobile — waps — mottainai — auroral chorus — English — United Kingdom — Environment — Slang



Citations: 1997 Do or Die “Life on the Battle Star” no. 6, p. 82: The security started putting up fences between the camps with razor wire. You could lose your finger on it. We started resisting, they started arresting us. Soon the security started conniving with the police to help beat us so we pixied at night generally just snipping it and taking it back to camp for building material. 1998 UHC Collective (United Kingdom) (Summer) “DIY tunnelling”: Its best not to get too nocturnal as it can make your body clock do weird things and means that others aren’t as able to help you—though it can make pixieing more convenient. 2001 SchNEWS (United Kingdom) (July 13) “Race Against Time: Peatiful” no. 313,: After pixieing for the day and seriously affecting the peat harvesting everyone left the site, no arrests were made. 2001 Andy Letcher Folklore (Oct.) “The Scouring of the Shire: Fairies, Trolls and Pixies in Eco-Protest Culture”: The final example is the use of the word “pixieing.” It is in extremely common usage among protesters. It can mean any act of cheeky defiance of authority, such as the snatching and wearing of a security guard’s hard hat, but it more properly refers to acts of eco-sabotage. Here the heavy machinery used in, say, the construction of a road, is damaged so as to prevent it being used again and to escalate the costs.…"Pixieing” is a word specific to Britain, reflecting the underlying fairy mythology in British protest culture. In contrast, eco-sabotage is called “monkey-wrenching” in America. 2004 Alexandra Plows, Derek Wall, Brian Doherty Social Movement Studies (Oct.) “Covert Repertoires: ecotage in the UK” vol. 3, no. 2, p. 205: I went on rallies for example, but I never really did that thing of kind of living in the trees and being there when evictions were happening. But things I did were more like ‘pixieing.’ So at that time I was going along in the middle of the night and you know putting knives in tyres of the Landrovers [sic] that the security guards were in, and you know, or otherwise when they started putting out signs for where the road was going to go…I’d be out there moving them somewhere else. 2006 [avocado] Kathleen’s internet journal (Sheffield, U.K.) (May 12) “Fucking Finished The Essay Of Doom”: “Pixieing” is a slang term for the act of damaging or sabotaging machinery, usually carried out in a covert way. This tactic differs from some symbolic actions carried out by peace groups, where protestors damage military equipment and then wait to be arrested, in that those doing the “pixieing” hoped and tried to evade arrest.

Actually existing eco-fascism in Glasgow?

There seems to be very little discussion of actual far right Green politics, much of the use of the term 'ecofascism' is a silly insult from right wingers who fear environment legislation. Commentators in the US might see concern over global warming as leading to 'ecofascism' or of 'ecosocialism'. Green fascism/Nazism is an oxymoron in a sense because one of the pillars of green politics is social justice. Often criticism of 'ecofascism' is something else, for example, I have seen the primitivist John Zerzan labelled a 'fascist' now while you may disagree with primitavism it is not a racist ideology?

I think sadly in Scotland we have actual existing ecofascism in the form of Alistair Mcconnachie who has stood in several elections as the Independent Green Voice candidate.

His manifesto is strong on the environment and opposition to debt slavery but also hostile to 'bogu' asylum seekers and 'environmentally damaging immigration'.



'Independent Green Voice is an ecologically-aware political party based in Glasgow which campaigns for policies based around the theme of Localism, not Globalism. We are standing in Glasgow South West on the basic, common-sense platform of stopping unsustainable and environmentally damaging immigration and bogus "asylum seeking", leaving the costly and undemocratic European Union, establishing a Public Investment Bank to create debt-free money for public services, supporting our pensioners and young families, and opposing the Iraq War. ' fromhttp://www.sovereignty.org.uk/features/articles/manifesto05/05manifesto.html

As noted before he was kicked out of UKIP for being a holocaust revisionist and stocks AK Chesterton's The New Unhappy Lords. Chesterton was the founder of the National Front and a right wing anti-semitic anti-globalist, concerned with the Bilderberg group and Trilateral Commission.

Now I guess that he would deny being a fascist, despite the fact that he has also been supportative of the BNP...but the links between monetary reform, anti-semitism and hostility to immigration and 'bogus' asylum seekers, seem all to clear.

Worryingly as environmental problems bite we could see more of this particular 'greenwave', Greens and socialists in Scotland be warned.


Social creditors argue that I criticise their anti-semitism because I am hostile to social credit, in fact I am hostile to social credit because of its links to anti-semitism.

30 May 2006

Kingston Green Fair

Kingston Green Fair was well attended and fun, we only stayed for a bit, being quite busy. Very good to run into Liz Davies, ex Labour NEC member and chair of the Socialist Alliance, she is not a Green Party member but has been very supportative of Caroline Lucas and Jean Lambert, our MPs. She was famously blocked from standing as a Labour parliamentary candidate in Leeds, although generally pro Green she did criticise the Leeds Green Party (Farnley and Wortley) for working as part of a conservative-Lib dem adminstration. How can Green local councillors maximise their impact in the way are excellent MEPs have done? Can change be achieved without compromise with other parties, if not what compromise is acceptable?

She was talking about peace and reconstruction efforts in Iraq, stressing that there is an obligation to work for these goals while removing troops.

My debate with Adam Buick of the Socialist Party of Great Britain, attracted a tent full of 30 plus people, we didn't seriously disagree about the need to replace capitalism. The question of how to do so was trickier, the SPGB argue for revolution and against reform but this seems to prevent positive action that leads to the revolution!

I noticed that there DVD which I will watch and review 'Capitalism and other kids stuff' has been praised by Venezuelan television. Anyway these events get ideas across, a green society will demand deep thought and much difficulty, pretty alien in this era of sound bite, text sized politics.

29 May 2006

Nobody was supposed to survive

'The question is: Did they deserve the harassment, abuse, and, finally, the vicious death other people's intolerance of their life style brought upon them?

Every bomb ever made falls on all of us.

And the answer is: No.' Alice Walker


Notice I have a post from 'Team America', all I can say is that when you meet a mother Sue Africa whose beautiful child, the spitting image of your own, has been killed by the FBI, in an action that burnt down a dozen blocks, it makes you think.

I guess not everybody in the US and in their mind set is thinking.

Ofcourse MOVE were and may be are far from perfect but in Team America, murder is the sport of the elected, in the USA which is being extended from prison nation to prison planet.

Both the MOVE experience and my visit to Venezuela, show how much right wing opinion is based simply on racism.

I guess if the facts of the anti-Mumia crowd were true, Alice's article is answer enough but when in the 1980s the US authorities were accusing MOVE of developing nuclear weapons, I stopped listening.

Nobody was Supposed to Survive (Also in Green History.Wall 1994)
by Alice Walker
from Living by the Word, London: Women's Press (1988), 155-7, 159-60.



'Nobody was supposed to survive.' - Ramona Africa (New York Times, 7 January 1986)



Police Drop Bomb on Radicals' Home in Philadelphia - New York Times 14may85
After the Inferno. Tears and Bewilderment - New York Times 15may85
Nobody was Supposed to Survive - Alice Walker from Living by the Word 1988
Philadelphia, city officials ordered to Pay $1.5 Million to MOVE Survivor - CNN 24jun96
6 Bodies in Ashes of Radicals' Home; Assault Defended - New York Times 15may85

I was in Paris in mid-May of 1985 when I heard the news about MOVE. My traveling companion read aloud the item in the newspaper that described the assault on a house on Osage Avenue in Philadelphia occupied by a group of 'radical, black, back-to-nature' revolutionaries that local authorities had been 'battling' for over a decade. As he read the article detailing the attack that led, eventually, to the actual bombing of the house (with military bombing material supplied to local police by the FBI) and the deaths of at least eleven people, many of them women, five of them children, our mutual feeling was of horror, followed immediately by anger and grief. Grief: that feeling of unassuageable sadness and rage that makes the heart feel naked to the elements, clawed by talons of ice. For, even knowing nothing of MOVE (short for Movement, which a revolution assumes) and little of the 'City of Brotherly Love', Philadelphia, we recognized the heartlessness of the crime, and realized that for the local authorities to go after eleven people, five of them children, with the kind of viciousness and force usually reserved for war, what they were trying to kill had to be more than the human beings involved; it had to be a spirit, an idea. But what spirit? What idea?

There was only one adult survivor of the massacre: a young black woman named Ramona Africa. She suffered serious burns over much of her body (and would claim, later in court, as she sustained her own defense: 'I am guilty of nothing but hiding in the basement trying to protect myself and ... MOVE children'). The bombing of the MOVE house ignited a fire that roared through the black, middle-class neighborhood, totally destroying more than sixty houses and leaving 250 people homeless.

There we stood on a street corner in Paris, reading between the lines. It seems MOVE people never combed their hair, but wore it in long 'ropes' that people assumed were unclean. Since this is also how we wear out hair, we recognized this 'weird' style: dreadlocks. The style of the ancients: Ethiopians and Egyptians. Easily washed, quickly dried - a true wash-and-wear style for black people (and adventuresome whites) and painless, which is no doubt why MOVE people chose it for their children. And "for themselves: 'Why suffer for cosmetic reasons?' they must have asked.

It appeared that the MOVE people were vegetarians and ate their food raw because they believed raw food healthier for the body and the soul. They believed in letting orange peels, banana peels, and other organic refuse 'cycle' back into the earth. Composting? They did not believe in embalming dead people or burying them in caskets. They thought they should be allowed to 'cycle' back to the earth, too. They loved dogs (their leader, John Africa, was called 'The Dog Man' because he cared for so many) and never killed animals of any kind, not even rats (which infuriated their neighbors), because they believed in the sanctity of all life.

Hmmm.

Further: They refused to send their children to school, fearing drugs and an indoctrination into the sickness of American life. They taught them to enjoy 'natural' games, in the belief that games based on such figures as Darth Vader caused 'distortions' in the personalities of the young that inhibited healthy, spontaneous expression. They exercised religiously, running miles every day with their dogs, rarely had sit-down dinners, ate out of big sacks of food whenever they were hungry, owned no furniture except a few pieces they'd found on the street, and refused to let their children wear diapers because of the belief that a free bottom is healthier. They abhorred the use of plastic. They enjoyed, apparently, the use of verbal profanity, which they claimed lost any degree of profanity when placed next to atomic or nuclear weapons of any sort, which they considered really profane. They hated the police, who they claimed harassed them relentlessly (a shoot-out with police in 1978 resulted in the death of one officer and the imprisonment of several MOVE people). They occasionally self-righteously and disruptively harangued their neighbors, using bullhorns. They taught anyone who would listen that the US political and social system is corrupt to the core - and tried to be, themselves, a different tribe within it....

... the city officials and MOVE neighbors appeared to have one thing in common: a hatred of the way MOVE people chose to live. They didn't like the 'stench' of people who refused, because they believe chemicals cause cancer, to use deodorant; didn't like orange peels and watermelon rinds on the ground; didn't like all those 'naked' children running around with all that uncombed hair. They didn't appreciate the dogs and the rats. They thought the children should be in school and that the adults and children should eat cooked food; everybody should eat meat. They probably thought it low class that in order to make money MOVE people washed cars and shoveled snow. And appeared to enjoy it.

MOVE people were not middle class. Many of them were high-school dropouts. Many of them were mothers without husbands. Or young men who refused any inducement to 'fit in'. Yet they had the nerve to critique the system. To reject it and to set up, in place of its rules, guidelines for living that reflected their own beliefs.

The people of MOVE are proof that poor people, not just upper- and middle-class whites and blacks who become hippies, are capable of intelligently perceiving and analyzing American life, politically and socially, and of devising and attempting to follow a different - and, to them, better - way. But because they are poor and black, this is not acceptable behavior to middle-class whites and blacks who think all poor black people should be happy with jherri curls, mindless (and lying) TV shows, and Kentucky fried chicken.

This is not to condone the yelping of fifty to sixty dogs in the middle of the night, dogs MOVE people rescued from the streets (and probable subsequent torture in 'scientific' laboratories), fed, and permitted to sleep in their house. Nor to condone the bullhorn they used to air their neighbors' 'backwardness' or political transgressions, as apparently they had a bad habit of doing. From what I read, MOVE people were more fanatical than the average neighbors. I probably would not have been able to live next door to them for a day.

The question is: Did they deserve the harassment, abuse, and, finally, the vicious death other people's intolerance of their life style brought upon them?

Every bomb ever made falls on all of us.

And the answer is: No.

28 May 2006

Worm bin toilet

I found the above link, cool, but would it work in the UK, I guess in the winter it would become too cold to use outside and the worms would die with absolutely catastrophic results. Marx's ecological concerns centred around the waste of sewage that was flushed away rather than used as sweet might soil for the land.

Marx noted that capitalism 'disturbs the circulation of matter between man and the soil' in Chapter XV of Capital One, I don't think Mrs Jenny Marx was prepared to put up with an outdoor eco toilet, now of across in a socialist country like Cuba I guess this is normal and in Venezuela compost toilets are being put into the barrios, this is a public health measure where there is no connection to the sewage system.

Anyway see some of you tommorrow at the Kingston Green Fair, where I am sure Adam Buick of the SPGB will roundly condemn me for discussing actually existing ecological reforms, when eco will only come after the socialist revolution...



But at the same
time it creates the material conditions for a higher synthesis in
the future, viz., the union of agriculture and industry on the
basis of the more perfected forms they have each acquired during
their temporary separation. Capitalist production, by collecting
the population in great centres and causing an ever increasing
preponderance of town population, on the one hand concentrates
the historical motive-power of society on the other hand, it
disturbs the circulation of matter between man and the soil
(i.e., prevents the return to the soil of its elements consumed
by man in the form of food and clothing); it therefore violates
the conditions necessary to lasting fertility of the soil. By
this action, it destroys at the same time the health of the town
labourer and the intellectual life of the rural labourer.(244*)
But while upsetting the naturally grown conditions for the
maintenance of that circulation of matter, it imperiously calls
for its restoration as a system, as a regulating law of social
production, and under a form appropriate to the full development
of the human race.

Green lifestyle

Well, I have been planting more beans, leeks, coriander, tomatoes.....using the compost and filling tyres which can be used for growing with soil.

Lifestyle....well we need to change structures not view personal effort as key, Green parties need to be putting in the ecological structures cycle lanes, kirbside collection of waste for recycling, green building standards, green policy should be focussed on these kind of reforms, small scale local energy production rather than nukes, composters not incinerators.

Lifestyle...should be a pleasure, nice bit of digging if you like digging but a mulch of cardboard or appropriate compost kills the weeds and conserves water with less long term effort.

Lifestyle...from freeganism, squatting, growing useful basics like herbs can mean that we are less dependent on a capitalist economy.

Lifestyle...its about cultural identity but competitive lifestyle action, I recycle more than you can be a pain like competitive consumption, although with less bling and fewer green house gases.

Lifestyle...its about taking what you like from different cultures, blogging and permaculture, italism in your own local context.

Lifestyle...share more, consume less, enjoy life....zen is necessary here as well.

There are lots of good blogs on thissuch as How to Be Green

27 May 2006

David Orton/Synthesis/Regeneration

I notice that a lot of Green bloggers are Canadian, so I thought I would post this from David Orton, a long standing ecosocialist and deep ecologist from the Green Party of Canada, looking at the reasons why the NDP are neither Green nor Red, Synthesis/Regeneration is the main discussion/theory magazine for US Greens much of it open source on the web and worth looking at



Synthesis/Regeneration 40 (Summer 2006)

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Some Critical Thoughts on the NDP
by David Orton






Some members of the Green Party become quite excited when people associated with the New Democratic Party of Canada (NDP) make various criticisms of the party. I believe one should always be open to hearing criticisms and looking at one’s own practices, to see if some rectification is needed. I make a distinction in my own mind between those who criticize the GP from a position of fundamental opposition to what Greens stand for, as opposed to those who believe in the overall Green agenda but who raise various points of disagreement with what we are doing and how we are going about it.

I think sometimes that GP policies are all over the map and that, perhaps, a particular environmental policy of the NDP may be more progressive than that to be found in the GP. It is only within our Party, however, that a certain kind of debate is taking place about the fundamental shift in consciousness needed in how we humans should relate to the earth. We need this debate as the existing industrial capitalist societies, in Canada and worldwide, are destroying the very conditions of life, not only for humans but for other species and the earth itself.

The GP, theoretically, sees itself as a voice for those species that have no representation—hence our stated support for deep ecology and our welcomed stand finally, after long internal struggle, on opposing the annual seal slaughter. This debate cannot take part in the NDP, a capitalist human-centered reform party, but a party which does have a record of bringing social justice concerns to the foreground. This past social justice contribution should be acknowledged by GP members engaged in debates with NDP opponents.

The NDP has nothing to do with socialism. It is a capitalist reform party and has always upheld the parliamentary road. The NDP is opposed to serious extra-parliamentary struggle and has not hesitated to remove or neutralize more radical voices who were seen as threatening in some way the electoral acceptability of the party—the Waffle, and later the so-called “Green Caucus” within the NDP that both failed to realize that more economic growth, unionized jobs, and rising consumerism will always win out in this Party over long-term environmental concerns, or the ecological justice concerns of non-human species.[1]

Canadians concerned about social justice have, in the past, gravitated to the NDP. Many GP members have come from such a background. So we need to keep this in mind and welcome (but not capitulate to) green Tories or green Liberals who cross over. In general, Greens should be more sympathetic to the NDP than to the Liberals or the Tories, because of their past and ongoing social justice contribution, both federally and provincially, to Canadian politics.

The shallow and the deep

The NDP, because of its overall orientation, cannot be an ecological party, except perhaps in the “shallow ecology” sense written about so long ago by Arne Naess, the founder of the deep ecology philosophy.[2] Many honest, hard-working environmentalists from the mainstream movement in Canada, e.g. Sierra Club, CPAWS, Greenpeace, etc. have gravitated to NDP politics. Such people have usually been human-centered and also believe that environmental policies can only be achieved by working with and massaging the existing economic and political system.

This behaviour, while sometimes “successful” in the short term, upholds the very legitimacy of the industrial capitalist system which has created the ecological and social problems in the first place. So these mainstream environmentalists are “system loyalists,” not ecocentric radicals.

The GP should not quiver before the pronouncements of such people but, instead, see if there are any grains of truth in any unflattering comparisons between the NDP and the Green Party. Unfortunately, many GP members do not seem to have an activist environmental history and appear to be, if not in total denial, easily intimidated by the spokespersons of the mainstream environmentalists.

At the same time, we need to understand the basic political point that there is some competition for a particular coveted social base between the NDP and the GP. While ecological justice for all species needs to be primary for the federal GP, the party must also uphold social justice for the human species.




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The NDP, because of its overall orientation, cannot be an ecological party.

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For deeper greens, the social justice aspect often gives way to ecological justice. This will never be true for the NDP. The NDP, while having this social justice past, if called upon by the business class has always defended the interest of Capital. They have no alternative economic model other than a more fettered Capitalism, rooted in more economic growth.

They have not hesitated in the past to bring in “back-to-work” legislation to break workers’ strikes. NDP radicals have filled the pages of Canadian Dimension for about 30 years now, moaning about how various progressive policies have been neutralized or betrayed by the party hierarchy, but they still end up casting their ballots for this party.

The cold war has now, hopefully, passed but the NDP always bent over backwards to prove its “loyalty” to the western economic and political model, e.g. the rabid anti-communism of David Lewis, the former federal NDP leader. Today another rabid but holier-than-though social democrat would be Tony Blair, European front man for George Bush.

The role for a green left

What is the role for a green left either within the Green Party, or for those holdouts within the NDP, who cannot yet see the anti-ecology writing on the social democratic wall? Leading the move from a human-centered to an ecocentric consciousness is fundamental.

Ecocentric justice is much more inclusive than human justice. A Green Party has to decide about all this, not just how to run its affairs democratically, from a human-centered perspective. For the deep green, or ecocentric, left, what it means to be a “deeper” green, is therefore the primacy of ecocentric consciousness, that is, deep ecology; social justice, while very important, is secondary to such a consciousness. The left-right distinction is therefore secondary to the anthropocentric deep ecology divide.




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Both the NDP and the left minimize individual responsibility for destructive social or ecological actions.

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The NDP is committed to economic growth and consumerism within a capitalist, taken-for-granted economic framework. Within such a framework the corporations must always ultimately emerge victorious because they are seen as the only economic motor in town. This party is pro-capitalist and does not have a clue about what a different type of ecocentric economy might look like, a discussion which is supposedly ongoing in the GP. The NDP has no alternative economic model to that of the global market economy.

The NDP is totally human-centered in its overall orientation and will always put human interests first, particularly unionized workers’ interests, which still play a major role in the Party’s social base. The GP, at least theoretically, says it supports deep ecology and the much larger community of all life forms.

Everywhere the NDP has been in political power provincially; it has always worked within the industrial capitalist exploitive and expansionist paradigm, e.g. in forestry, agricultural and fisheries policies. Thus, in industrial forestry the NDP has been firmly in the clearcutting, spraying, and all-out support to the pulp mills camp. NDP interventions do have a bias towards workers’ interests but both worker and capitalist interests disregard the interests of the forests and their non-human inhabitants and degrade the forest base over the long term.

Both the NDP and the left minimize individual responsibility for destructive social or ecological actions. We need to place the welfare of the earth and all its life forms first. “Community” has to include not just humans but other animals, plants and the earth itself. In past animistic societies, this was the situation. We need to bring back their sense of earth-spirituality. There is not only a liberal capitalist democracy, with all its limitations for deeper greens, but there is also an ecocentric democracy and governance.




David Orton is affiliated with “Green Web,” an independent environmental research group with a biocentric perspective. He is a frequent contributor to Synthesis/Regeneration.








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We need to fundamentally change Canada’s energy policy!
Press Release. January 5, 2006, Saltsprings, Pictou County

Green Party candidate David Orton says:

“We need to rapidly wean ourselves off fossil fuels, because the oil that underpins industrial society is now in decline worldwide, and present use of fossil fuels is causing climate change and global warming. Two-thirds of the oil and gas production goes south of the border. Moreover, because of NAFTA, our country is REQUIRED to supply the US, even if we have a critical shortage in our country. Some Canadian sovereignty!

“The world-wide decline of oil production has enormous implications for our industrial society, for how food is produced and transported around the world, and for manufacturing. Population increase has been one of the consequences of the fossil fuel age. The globalized economy is going to drastically shrink, as cheap oil becomes increasingly expensive and fought over by the rising industrial giants like China and India competing with the United States for whatever oil and natural gas supplies remain in the world.

“We should treat our own remaining oil and gas with reverence, to be used extremely circumspectly, as we seek a new local economy within Nature’s balance. We must heed the warnings—climate change is happening. This can be seen in the increasing and unusual weather disturbances, such as hurricanes which feed off warmer ocean temperatures; melting of arctic sea ice, permafrost and glaciers, etc. The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says that greenhouse gas emissions must be cut 50–70% if the atmosphere of the planet is to remain hospitable.

“Our fossil fuel extraction for export to the US is wrong. It goes to a country which uses up to 25% of the world’s daily oil production for about 5% of the world’s population, and produces about 25% of the world’s greenhouse gases. Isn’t this economic and ecological madness on Canada’s part? Here in the Maritimes, we also have to be concerned about liquid natural gas (LNG) terminals and tankers. In Canada, natural gas production has had its own peak and is probably declining. Now we see a promotion of LNG terminals in our region, after having vastly overstated the extent of the Sable Gas Project.

“Yet, we are opening up our region to potentially highly dangerous LNG tankers (think 1917 Halifax explosion!). Maritimers have little knowledge of the dangers involved with shipping of liquefied natural gas, which will be coming our way from countries such as Russia, Algeria, Qatar, and Trinidad. For LNG tanker transport, natural gas is cooled and greatly reduced in volume, making it liquid.

“At the LNG terminal, the liquid is warmed and becomes a gas again as it enter the pipeline system. With this additional gas, there will be more compressor stations and ‘pipeline looping.’ Thus the pipeline expansion will further disrupt the ecology and the lives of Nova Scotians and New Brunswickers on the pipeline route. All this is coming our way, if we don’t organize to stop it!”


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Notes

1. The Waffle was a socialist and nationalist group within the NDP whose leaders were Mel Watkins and James Laxter. It was established in 1969 and reflected the new-left politics of the time. The Waffle group was ultimately purged from the electoral party.

2. “Shallow” here means thinking that the major ecological problems can be resolved within and with the continuation of industrial capitalist society

First year of Venezuela Solidarity

Here is a report on the first year of Venezuela Information Centre in the UK, click on the left to join....don't forget Green Revolution meeting next sunday June 4th, mail me on wallddd@hotmail.com to find out more.

Venezuela is a good example of where we are slowly and not without contradictions growing anther green world


VENEZUELA INFORMATION CENTRE (VIC)

Summary of VIC’s activities in its first year

Today (25 May 2006) marks the first anniversary of the Venezuela Information Centre which was launched at a packed public meeting in London.

VIC was set up in response to the spreading of misinformation about Venezuela. In its first year, VIC has been campaigning to build the widest possible support for progressive change in Venezuela and opposition to US intervention.

VIC’s aims are:
· To support the defence of Venezuelan national sovereignty and the right of the Venezuelan people to determine their own future free from external intervention;
· To oppose US or other foreign interference in Venezuelan internal affairs and any threatened military aggression against the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela;
· To campaign for the British government to use its influence to prevent any such intervention or aggression;
· To counteract media misrepresentation and distortion of the situation in Venezuela and:
· To provide accurate and up-to- date information about political developments, trade unions, social movements and political organisations in Venezuela;
· To campaign to win widespread support for these objectives, through activities raising awareness and seeking to ensure a better understanding of the Bolivarian process.

Since May 2005, VIC has undertaken a wide range of activities to develop these aims and to link up with all important constituencies of support for Venezuela, including the labour movement, political representatives, Latin America and Caribbean communities, writers, academics and students, and campaigning bodies and NGOs.

Below is a summary of these.

VIC ACTIVITIES IN ITS FIRST YEAR

· MAY 2005:
VIC was launched at a large public meeting, “Venezuela: an example for Latin America”, attended by nearly 300 people. This showed the enormous interest in Venezuela, and the potential for large scale solidarity.

Speakers at the launch event included, Richard Gott, Julia Buxton, Frances O’Grady and Keith Sonnet. The event was sponsored by trade unions (UNISON, TGWU, GMB, RMT, AUT, CWU, FBU, ASLEF and the General Secretaries of NATFHE and NUJ), MPs, NGOs and campaigning organisations, academics and journalists, including Hugh O'Shaughnessy, Tariq Ali, George Monbiot and John Pilger.


· JUNE 2005:
VIC organised the visit of Venezuelan trade unionist Ruben Linares to address the RMT conference, the first ever visit by a member of the UNT's National Co-ordinating Committee to Britian. VIC also facilitated meetings for Ruben with UNISON, FBU, TGWU, NATFHE, the TUC's International Department, the International Transport Federation (ITF) and the Latin American Workers’ Association.

· AUGUST 2005:
VIC organised the launch meeting of Richard Gott’s book Hugo Chavez and the Bolivarian Revolution, which is widely regarded as essential to understanding the process in Venezuela. Two hundred people attended the event, which was also addressed by Tariq Ali, and was held at the Venezuelan Embassy’s Bolivar Hall.

Following the successful World Festival for Youth and Students in Caracas, VIC held a report back meeting with delegates to the Festival. This established relations with executive members of both NUS and the TUC Youth Committee. These have been developed since, with both the NUS and TUC Youth Conference passing policy to support VIC.

· SEPTEMBER 2005:
ASSISTING THE ADOPTION OF TUC MOTION SUPPORTING VENEZUELA.
VIC worked with trade unionists for the successful adoption of Motion 79 on Venezuela at the TUC 2005 conference.

The motion proposed by NATFHE was was based on the model resolution that VIC had circulated among trade unions. VIC was also pleased to assist John Wilkin, NATFHE's president, in the organisation of his trip to Venezuela which included meetings with the UNT National Co-ordinating Committee and visits to some of the "misiones".

VIC received a letter from Sr. Alfredo Toro Hardy, the Venezuelan Ambassador to London, passing on the gratitude of President Hugo Chavez for our contribution to the adoption of the TUC motion in support of Venezuela.

· NOVEMBER 2005:
Following the TUC resolution, VIC organised the first ever British trade union delegation to Venezuela. This delegation met with President Hugo Chavez as well as the Vice President and the Minister for Foreign Affairs. Participants included Rodney Bickerstaffe, Joni McDougall (GMB), Bob Abberley (UNISON) and Richard O’Brien (AMICUS)

This delegation followed VIC establishing the Trade Union Committee For Venezuela, which met in August September and November to prepare the delegation.

The delegation was reported in the labour movement press and a written report has been published to be distributed at trade union conferences.


· DECEMBER 2005:
Latin America 2005, was a successful day conference event attended by over 300 people and jointly organised by VIC with the Cuba Solidarity Campaign, Justice for Colombia and other Latin American solidarity groups.

Key Venezuelan speakers were Carlos Polanco, adviser to the Minister of Higher Education and the Venezuelan ambassador Sr. Alfredo Toro Hardy. Other speakers included Tony Benn, Jeremy Corbyn MP, and Rod Stoneman, Executive Producer of the film “The Revolution Will not be Televised”.

· DECEMBER 2005 AND JANUARY 2006
VIC helped organise two events at the House of Commons to develop parliamentary work: a report back on the trade union delegation to Venezuela and a briefing meeting for the All Parliamentary Group on Latin America with Julia Buxton and George Philip. These was followed by a number of initiatives taken by MPs including the EDM signed by 118 MPs, which we have lobbied MPs to support.

A delegation of 18 people was also taken to the World Social Forum in Caracas in January. As well as involvement in the Forum, delegates had the chance to visit the Missions, and some delegates met with the Culture and Information Ministries and the Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs. VIC, with Grupo Sur (Belgium), OSPAAAL (Spain) and France-Amerique Latine (France) held a successful seminar at the Forum entitled: "Latin-America - Europe: Two Continents United Against Neo-liberal Globalisation and Imperialism."

· FEBRUARY 2006:
VIC organised the visit of leading trade unionist Jacobo Torres, International Secretary of the Bolivarian Workers Force (FBT), the largest grouping within the UNT. Jacobo addressed the European Conference on Cuba and Latin America at the GLA, held meetings with Steve Wharton, AUT President and Colin Burgon MP and was received at a reception held at Unison.

Jacobo addressed a VIC public meeting in Manchester attended by 80 people as well as meeting with Unison North West Regional Secretary, the Lord Mayor of Manchester and Manchester University Student Union. In London he met with the TUC, Southwark NUT and students at the London School of Economics. He also addressed a meeting at Unison.

· MAY 2006:
Supporting the successful visit of President Hugo Chavez to London. VIC liaised with the Venezuelan Embassy and the Office of the Mayor Of London - which hosted the visit - to do all we could to contribute to its success.

We organised welcoming presences at each of President Chavez’s engagements, produced supportive materials around the visit, liaised with the media and refuted media lies, and developed links with the African Caribbean and Latin American communities to engage them in the visit.

In addition to these events, VIC has held a commemorative event to mark the fourth anniversary of the defeat of the coup d’etat; addressed the Green Party annual conference; has spoken at numerous public meetings; co-organised two fundraising events at Bolivar Hall with Venezuelan musicians; participated in the trade union conferences which have so far taken place this year - with the NUS, NUT, and AUT all passing policy in support of Venezuela; regularly posted materials on the website for supporters and circulated briefings and updates; set up local groups; challenged biased media reporting on Venezuela – including with the recent anti-Chavez piece on Channel 4 news- and written articles for the progressive press.
















25 May 2006

26 May 2006

Darker shades of green

This is my essay on ecofascism, it was sparked off by Anna Bramwell's Ecology in the 20th Century which argued that the Nazi regime in Germany was the first to advocate green policies. I countered this 'Hitler was a vegetarian' stream of argument by Anna, who as far as I could tell was on the outside of the Tory right. This was back in 1989 when I was one of three Green Party Principal Speakers (along with Sara Parkin(where are they now?) and Jean Lambert, now a stunningly good and effective Green MEP).

I was the ecosocialismo candidate, threatening to some even in the era before Chavez, and the conflict between the 'realos' and 'fundis' was beginning. At the Spring Conference in London, all three of us made plenery speeches. I used mine to insist that the party had to be on the side of justice least 'greens' be labelled as right wingers by the likes of Anna Bramwell. Sandy Irvine got up to speak, he was an ex International Socialist full timer (you know the group who based their ideas on Rosa Luxemborg before taking the Lenninist turn), Sandy has been something of a conservative deep ecologist, a Malthusian, he also supported the 'realos' (complicated isn't it).

I was expecting him to ask some penetrating and hostile question but he came up with something very ecological!

Somebody else then got up to say Anna Bramwell was in the audience and very upset by my comments...

All of this caused a stir, I wrote quite a bit on far right greens because at the time Nick Griffin's third positionist wing of the National Front were experimenting with ecofascism and even established 'green wave'. Did stacks of research....ongoing, lots of digging out Rolf Gardiner tracts in the British Library

Much more to write about another time, this article from Red Pepper needs up dating, the live link between greens and the far right, the dangerous one is of course via social credit and monetary reform.

David Icke's turn to NF sourced conspiracy from AK Chesterton is part of the story, suggestions to David that it might be dodgy to cite anti-semitic sources like the protocols of the elders of Zion, were met with his hostile. I was obviously part of the reptile takeover, along with Penny Kemp and George Bush.

Sadly the BNP and even the NF are succesfull enough in pushing anti-migrant policies on Tony Blair, in picking up seats at a local level and in celebrating the victories of their allies in France and Germany that they don't need to experiment with 'ecofascism', racist multiculturalism, the Europe of a 100 flags, Julius Evola or Satrivi Devi....fascist fascism is enough.



Darker shades of green
Derek Wall traces the thread of ecofascism through the Green movement's history.
Paradoxically, while Greens argue for social justice and other left themes, environmentalism is often linked to the right. Hitler believed in a politics of hatred ordained by iron 'laws of nature'. Former Green Party speaker David Icke advocates a convoluted anti-semitic conspiracy arguing 'that a Jewish clique' caused the Russian Revolution, two world wars and now runs the world. US Earth First!er Chris Manes praised the Ethiopian famine and AIDS for reducing population. In the 1930s, the grandfather of post-modernism, Heidegger, attacked the alienation of industrial society and supported the Nazis as an antidote.

Far-right attempts to influence the British Green movement take three forms. Firstly, an authoritarian strain in the environmental movement has proclaimed the need for a centralised and strongly 'eco'-policed state, since the publication of Garrett Hardin's 1968 essay 'The Tragedy of the Commons'. Immigration, seen as threatening the ecological carrying capacity of a country, should cease. Population must be cut, by coercion if necessary. Social issues such as homelessness and poverty are seen as a distraction from the essential job of tackling the environmental crisis. In Britain, this strain dominant in the environmental movement of the early 1970s has waned considerably. It is represented by the Campaign for Real Ecology and eco groups disillusioned with the Green Party, with an ideology rooted in the pessimistic conservatism of Malthus. Far from overtly racist, despite some frankly repellent views - neither can this conservative environmentalism be seen as a fascist movement - it is clearly positioned on the statist right.

Its main ideologue, Sandy Irvine, a former International Socialist organiser, criticises those who in ecological destruction from individuals to wider social forces such as the multinationals and financial institutions. Ecological salvation is rooted in personal lifestyle choice. Empowerment (a buzz word of radical greens) is part of the problem. He even condemns the fact that 'women working at night are glad to see lights wastefully left on in empty corridors, simply because they feel safer.' [Irvine 1996]

Secondly, in contrast with the Malthusians are groups with neo-Nazi pedigree who claim to advocate 'social justice' and decentralization. In the 1980s, the National Front's Joe Pearce described 'Social Justice, Ecology and Racial Purity' as the three pillars of 'nationalism'. Ruralism, spiritual values, social credit and even animal rights are themes that both appeal to greens but are also given a far-right spin by these groups. Social Credit is a 1930s theory devised by anti-semite Major Douglas, which advocates community take-over of banks, that places the blame for ecological destruction on the banking system rather than capitalism/industrialism. And from here it is a short step to the NF's shrilling about a global Jewish banking conspiracy and 'Alien Bankers Destroying British Countryside' (see Nationalism Today, March 1980). Their espousal of animal rights focuses on ritual slaughter, with the right forgetting that kosher and halal practices are intended to reduce the suffering of animals.

The Naalso advocates of decentralisation. The most sophisticated group, Trans-Europa, publishes Perspectives, a cultural magazine advocating a Europe of the regions. The slogan 'Europe of a Hundred Flags' sounds appealing but hides the racial separatism assumed in Fascist decentralization. A model for these variants of the far right is contemporary Croatia. The small-scale racial state is utilised to challenge internationalism and the formation of 'One World' government. Richard Hunt - former editor of Green Anarchist, who regularly publishes material from Perspectives, Patrick Harrington and others on the far right - speaks of the 'unspoken, illegal, iron law "Our side, right or wrong". This loyalty to the family, then to the group - the clan - the nation, is the glue which holds the small community together' (in Alternative Green no.2).

Finally, we have those like David Icke who explicitly advocate the anti-semitic conspiracy. The far right have long argued for the existence of a Jewish-Masonic conspiracy, which manipulates the world. For example, funding the Russian Revolution and, confusingly, Hitler's rise to power. The conspiracy provides an explanatory framework to describe the origins of almost any popular fear, from progressive concerns to irrational prejudice. Icke now argues that environmental problems have been manufactured by the conspirators as yet another excuse to introduce 'Onwhich is far younger, larger and socially active, than any that the likes of John Tyndall or other far-right leaders are likely to attract.

Eco-fascism also has a lengthy lineage in Britain. The Soil Association, Britain's organic lobbyists, counted amongst their earliest members Jorian Jenks, former agriculture advisor to the British Union of Fascists. AK Chesterton, first Chairman of the National Front, was closely linked to far-right environmentalism of the 1930s. His uncle GK, Catholic apologist and purveyor of the Father Brown stories, invented the ideology of Distributism with Hillaire Belloc. Distributism, proclaiming the principle of 'three acres and a cow', seen as a 'third way' between capitalism and communism, drifted into the anti-semitic sphere before becoming the inspiration behind the modern remnants of the Front. Issues of Distributist newsletters in the 1950s advertised support for car free cities, decentralisation, the racist League of British Loyalists and Rudolf Hess.

To an extent all of this is unsurprising. The far right in Britain have tried to gain legitimacy by appealing to green sentiments, while ignoring manifestations of environmental concern that they find unpalatably egalitarian, anti-sexist and multi-cultural. Equally, opponents and especially the State have an interest in labelling greens as 'Nazis'. What better way, after all, of destroying a radical movement than by connecting surrogate body to suggest that infiltration by the far right has occurred and that names/addresses should be handed over for prudent disinfection?

Greens have, to their credit, fought back. Earth First! now prioritises anti-racist campaigning, proclaiming the slogan 'Monkey Wrench a Fascist' and work with the predominantly black radical ecology group MOVE. After research by veteran anti-fascist and state watcher Larry O'Hara, the Green Party banned Icke. Green Anarchist threw out both their former rapidly-moving-right editor Richard Hunt and apparent agent provacateur/BNP member Tim Hepple. The Third Positionists have remained a tiny, divided and whole uninfluential force. Yet often Greens argue that their politics is 'new' and beyond, as they see it, the essentially trivial 'old' arguments of left and right. Without engaging with such 'old' politics, Greens can place themselves in a position were appropriation by both the State and the far-right becomes all too easy. Ironically, Herbert Gruhl - who coined the phrase that Green 'is neither Left not Right but ahead' - promptly left the German Greens to form his own far-right Ecological Democratic Party in the 1980s, complete with neo-Nazi sympathisers.

Ignorance is far from bliss. Fascism/Nazism is a surprisingly plastic fundamentalism, willing to change ideological clothes to gain support and win power for a core philosophy. The far-right, briefly, inhistorically recruited radical Greens and successfully presented their own arguments as part of an environmental agenda. Unless Greens clearly define how they differ from the far-right, they will continue to be ripe for reappropriation by softly-spoken Nazis who articulate a rhetoric of decentralisation, justice, and the rural, while seeking to build insular authoritarian communities based on atavistic notions of blood-and-soil and anti-semitic hatred.

The Green movement, often better at providing a description of crisis and utopian prescription, seems to lack a firm and convincing explanation of why we live in a world of injustice and ecological destruction. Yet without an analysis of power and a much clearer debate around the issue of agency, the world merely appears to be a confusing and depressing place, where Conspiracy can become a way of explaining apparent injustices and irrationalities. Far-right ideologies, although relatively isolated, are dangerous because they provide an explanatory framework within which any problem can be placed, and presented to groups who feel disempowered and under threat. The authoritarian environmentalists can be seen as substituting social explanation for biological myth, seeing destruction of the Earth as a function of diffuse human nature. Without an account of how capitalism fuels ecological destructive growth and feeds from human exploitation, Green politics is prey to righ

But Green concerns are spectacularly multi-cultural. They are to be found in Jamaican society, amongst African-American deep ecologists such as MOVE in Philadelphia, amongst the emerging West African Green Parties, within Muslim and Jewish traditions. The opportunity for learning and mutual criticism is almost infinite but relatively unexplored.

Global environmental destruction and poverty are products of racist colonialism and neo-colonialism. Without a culturally informed self-critical and anti-imperialist analysis, today's youthful environmental protester could, via the explanations of the far right, become tomorrow's embittered anti-semite.

Derek Wall is a member of the Green Party's Anti-Fascist and Anti-Racist Network, author of Green History (Routledge 1994) and co-founder of the multi-cultural green group Friends of Move with Jamaican poet Brian Wilson in 1995. He teaches at the University of the West of England.

Further reading: Alan Roberts, The Self-managing Environment (Allison and Busby, 1979). David Icke: Time for the Hard Truth by Larry O'Hara in Greenline, Winter 1995. Stan Taylor, The National Front in English Politics (Macmillan, 1982). Open Eye magazine, issues two and three (send £1.50 for each copy to Open Eye, BM Open Eye, London WC1N 3XX); D.Gasman, The Scientific Origins of National Socialism.

Top Back to cultural archive

25 May 2006

Tatchell defies Moscow gay ban

This is another area where Green Party of England and Wales members via Outrage, personally or through the Party having been working hard. Shocking to see the Grand Mufti, the Chief Rabbi and heads of the Russian Orthodox Church competing to make hate statements (just as well the Dala Lama is away from his Moscow Dacha this week).

Peter Tatchell is a consistent and very brave campaigner, the Greens have been drawing attention to the rise in anti-gay sentiment in Eastern Europe. Yet another reason for joing the Party, just click on the right, you know it makes sense.





Tatchell defies Moscow gay ban

Moscow Mayor threatens mass arrests

Religious leaders pledge violent counter-protests

Threats will not stop Russia’s first Gay Pride march

London – 25 May 2006

Human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell will join Russian gay activists
and defy a ban on this Saturday's Gay Pride march in Moscow.

Despite the Moscow mayor's threat of mass arrests, and the threat of
violence from nationalist and religious leaders, Tatchell and other
international human rights activists will join the historic first Gay
Pride march in Russian history. It will take place this Saturday, 27
May, which is the thirteenth anniversary of the 1993 abolition of
Soviet-era laws against male homosexuality.

The Mayor of Moscow, Yuri Luzhkov, has banned the gay parade and is
threatening to also outlaw the parallel gay rights conference and
festival.

Mr Luzhkov says he will not allow a Gay Pride parade "in any form" and
that any attempt to march in the streets will be "resolutely
quashed".

The Mayor's diktat follows inflammatory statements by the leader of
Russia's Muslims, which threatened violence if the planned Moscow Gay
Pride parade goes ahead. Condemnations of gay people and the gay
parade have also been made by Russia's Chief Rabbi and the leaders of
the Russian Orthodox Church.

Announcing the parade ban, the Mayor's office said last week: "This
march can provoke the wave of protest actions which can lead to group
breaches of public order and mass disturbances…the application for the
march is not agreed on."

Mr Tatchell and his gay human rights group, OutRage!, have condemned
the ban:

"The Mayor of Moscow says he supports democracy. We ask him to prove
it by giving the go ahead to Moscow Gay Pride. Democracy means
respecting the rights of minorities.

"Who does Luzhkov think he is? Joseph Stalin? Someone should remind
the Mayor that the anti-gay Soviet Union is dead. Russia is now a
democracy and in a democracy people have a right to protest
peacefully.

"These attempts by the Russian state to suppress Moscow Gay Pride are
a throwback to the bad old days of czarist and communist
totalitarianism. Threats and intimidation by the Mayor of Moscow will
not stop the gay freedom struggle in Russia. The right to sexual
self-determination and the right to protest are fundamental human
rights that every democratic nation must respect.

"The ban on Moscow Gay Pride is a violation of the Russian
constitution, which guarantees freedom of expression, assembly and the
right to peaceful protest. Russian gay activists are currently
challenging the ban in their own courts. If necessary, they will
appeal to the European Court of Human Rights,” said Mr Tatchell.

Much of the anti-gay sentiment that is sweeping Russia has been
whipped up by religious leaders.

Threatening violence against Moscow Gay Pride, the Chief Mufti of
Russia’s Central Spiritual Governance for Muslims, Talgat Tajuddin,
said: “Muslim protests can be even worse than these notorious rallies
abroad over the scandalous cartoons.”

"The parade should not be allowed, and if they still come out into the
streets, then they should be bashed. Sexual minorities have no rights,
because they have crossed the line. Alternative sexuality is a crime
against God," he said.

Mr Tajuddin called on Russian Orthodox Church members to join Muslims
in mounting a violent response to Moscow Pride.

A spokesman for the Russian Orthodox Church, which also urged the
Moscow Mayor to ban the parade, spoke out against Moscow Pride,
telling media outlets that homosexuality is a "sin which destroys
human beings and condemns them to a spiritual death."

Not to be left out, Russian Chief Rabbi, Berl Lazar, said that if a
gay pride parade was allowed to go ahead it would be "a blow for
morality". He stopped short of calling for violence, but warned that
the Jewish community would not stand by silently. "Sexual
perversions", he said, did not have a right to exist. Lazar said that
gay pride marches were "a provocation” similar to cartoon depictions
of Mohammed".

Many well known gay rights campaigners from around the world will
attend Moscow Gay Pride. Other prominent attendees include the Deputy
Mayor of Paris and several members of the European Parliament.

Over 250 representatives from more than 30 countries will participate
in the simultaneous Moscow International Gay Festival from 25 to 27
May. This festival will feature a series of lectures by Merlin
Holland, the grandson of Oscar Wilde.

Moscow Pride takes place a week after the start of the Russian
Presidency in the Council of Europe and just before the summit of G8
leaders in St Petersburg. President Putin has not commented on the
banning of Moscow Pride or on the threats of violence from religious
leaders.

For further information:

Peter Tatchell is in Moscow for the Gay Pride conference and parade
from 25 to 29 May inclusive.

He can be contacted via the main Moscow Gay Pride organiser, Nikolai
Alexeyev, on +7 916 255-8240, or via Nikolai Baev on +7 916 377-5461

You can also try to contact Peter Tatchell via email:
peter@tatchell.freeserve.co.uk

Further information: Brett Lock OutRage! 0770 843 5917

ENDS

Green Trade Unionists back AUT and NATFHE

Well I am hoping that today's talks between the unions and the universities bring a swift settlement so that I can clear my marking back log. All very 'memories of a callous picket' circa the winter of discontent 1979...one saving grace is at least you know where you are with the Conservatives. In a week when I thought I must have been writing David Cameron's speeches, good to see Boris Johnson attacking those of us taking industrial action, together with GLA Conservative support for the right wing opposition in Venezuela, I know where I am again and we can see that right wing Labour are faced by traditional right wing Conservatives...

Its already proved to be a bitter dispute, university pay has been sliding and of course, many courses are provided by part time visiting tutors (like yours truly) or even by graduates who are still studying. Universities are increasingly part of the market, so strong Union action from both students and employees is needed. Union action for pay is not the 'revolution' but without some kind of struggle universities are going to keep sliding...good to see some Green Party support


'At its meeting last night the Green Party Trade Union Group unanimously adopted the following policy statement on the current dispute in Higher and Further Education, being undertaken by the teaching trade unions (NATFHE and AUT).


Joseph Healy
GPRC Trade Union Group Representative






The Green Party deplores the damage being done to Universities and
Higher
Education in the United Kingdom by academic salaries that are not
internationally competitive, and which are not competitive within the
UK when
compared to other professions that academics can work in.

The Green Party notes that even Tony Blair has recognised "The
shortfall of
teaching funding has badly hit the salaries of academic staff, which
have shown
practically no increase in real terms over two decades." (speaking to
Universities UK, 14 January 2004).

The Green Party recognises that these low salaries damage the education
of
current and future students, and notes that the National Union of
Students
supports the campaign by the academic trades unions for better pay.

The Green Party notes that the need to increase low academic salaries
was,
according to current Education Secretary (and then Higher Education
Minister)
Alan Johnson, a key reason for the introduction of top-up fees.

He told the House of Commons (29 April 2004) it was "one of the reasons
why we
are pursuing the controversial measures in the Higher Education Bill.
Not only
are we putting in an extra #3 billion from the taxpayer, but an extra
#2
billion will come through existing fees and through the increase.
University
vice-chancellors tell us that, in general, at least a third of that
money will
be put back into the salaries and conditions of their staff. That will
make an
enormous contribution in tackling a very serious and deep-seated
problem.'"

The Green Party calls upon Alan Johnson to put pressure on University
vice-chancellors to stand by their word.

The Green Party is deeply concerned about the damage being done by the
pay
dispute to current students, the reputation of UK universities and
Higher
Education institutions, and relations between staff and management in
UK
universities and Higher Education institutions.

The Green Party notes that the academic trades unions made their pay
claim
early, in October 2005, to enable pay negotiations to be settled well
before
the exam season and before there were adverse effects on students. The
Green
Party also notes that no pay offer of any sort was made in response
until March
2006. The Green Party condemns this delay, which has meant that the
dispute
has not been resolved in time to avoid serious problems.

The Green Party further condemns the refusal of the employers to meet
with the
trades unions until May 8th, and notes that the offer made by the
employers at
that stage was so low that the one academic union that was not already
taking
industrial action, the Educational Institute of Scotland, resolved
immediately
afterwards to ballot about industrial action.

The Green Party calls on all universities and higher education
institutions to
stop docking the pay of staff who have always continued to do the vast
bulk of
their work, and to return the pay docked to all staff who have suffered
such
pay docking.

The Green Party echos the call of the National Union of Students for
the
employers to return to the negotiating table.

The Green Party reiterates its continuing opposition to top-up fees;
but urges,
if there are to be top-up fees, then any pay settlement should be based
around
one third of the extra #5 billion (referred to by Alan Johnson in 2004)
being
used to improve salaries and conditions for staff. '

24 May 2006

Green's take action on trade union disability protest

Some good work here from Joseph Healy, who is the Party national disability advisor and also one of those organising the Green Party socialist Platform (meeting reminder ...June4th, open to party members, mail me on wallddd@hotmail,com)



The Green Party is supporting trades unionists working for Remploy, the UK’s biggest employer of disabled people, who protested today in London at a government review they believe will throw thousands of working disabled people back onto benefits.

The protest was aimed at Work and Pensions Secretary John Hutton, as he spoke at the TUC Disability Conference on Wednesday 24th May.

Remploy is a subsidised manufacturing company, run by the Department of Work and Pensions, which was set up more than 60 years ago to provide work for disabled people. It now employs more than 5,000 people in 83 factories in the UK making a huge range of goods for the public sector, from police chemical protection suits to furniture for university halls of residence.

However a strategic review launched in March this year means that every Remploy factory in the UK is now under direct threat of closure, with the spectre of thousands of disabled people being thrown out of work and onto benefits. Bob Warner the Chief Executive of Remploy has made it plain that there will not be 83 factories left as a result of the review, and unions suspect the entire operation may close.

Dr Joseph Healy, National Disability Advisor for the Green Party, says: “At a time when the government proclaims its intention of encouraging disabled people back into the labour market, it beggars belief that the existence of Remploy, an organisation which employs many disabled people is being threatened.

“It is a well known fact that rates of unemployment among disabled people are far higher than for any other group in society. Not only do disabled people have to deal with discrimination from potential employers and coercion from the Benefits Agency, but now the government removes one of the few organisations which is a model of employment creation for the disabled community.

“Remploy and its employees, far from being shelved, should be a model which is properly funded and rolled out across the country, so that thousands of disabled people currently eking out a meagre existence on benefits, many of whom are eager to join the labour force, could find a welcoming work environment, where they could develop their economic and personal potential.

“The Green Party calls upon the government to ensure the continued existence of Remploy and its staff ,and to follow up its stated intentions towards disabled people with a concrete decision to save their jobs, rather than meaningless platitudes about 'social inclusion'."

ENDS

From Green Party press office, 020 7561 0282.

Published and promoted by Jim Killock for the Green Party, both at
1a Waterlow Road, London N19 5NJ.

23 May 2006

BAA BAN CAROLINE LUCAS

Caroline Lucas and Jean Lambert our two GPEW Euro-MPs are an excellent advertisment for the Party, day after day, they campaign on the environment and justice issues, supporting asylum seekers, UK prisoners wrongfully imprisoned abroad, fight to stop giant incinerators....I worked around the clock in 2004 to make sure Caroline Lucas was re-elected...if you want some practical action to save the planet, click on the link on the right and mail back the join the Green Party form. We need you, what are the alternatives the Lib Dems (all things to all people, despite the radical liberal tradition, in almost permanent identity crisis), the Labour Party (Friends of Berlesuconi), British far left groups....ecosocialism is advancing in the Greens.

Any way rant over, here is an example of Caroline's work on climate change.





May 23rd,
2006


GATWICK BANS MEP’S PHOTO IN CLIMATE CHANGE ROW

‘KEEP OUT – DON’T TELL THE PUBLIC ABOUT THE DAMAGE WE ARE DOING’

THE owner of Gatwick Airport has refused permission for a Euro-MP examining
the aviation industry’s impact on climate change from taking photographs in
a public area of the airport.

Staff at BAA told Green Party MEP Caroline Lucas and local environmental
activists they would be prevented from taking photos – even in public areas
– to illustrate the issue of air travel’s growing impact on climate change.

Dr Lucas, who has drafted a report being examined by MEPs into how to reduce
the impact of flying on climate change, said: “Aviation is the fastest
growing contributor to climate change – in fact, researchers have shown it
will account for all permissible greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 if it is
allowed to grow unchecked.
“I wanted to illustrate this with a series of photographs depicting the
level of damaging emissions produced during each flight – and I am amazed
and appalled at BAA’s head-in-the-sand attitude, especially at a time when
the government and the EU are trying to raise public awareness about how to
reduce CO2 emissions.
“The EU is currently considering Green Party proposals to introduce a range
of measures to reduce the sector’s emissions – by ending tax breaks and
hidden subsidies and making the industry meet the true costs of its social
and environmental impact.”

Dr Lucas had originally sought permission to take photographs of a mock
passenger carrying 85 kilo bags of sugar – equivalent in weight to the
carbon released per passenger on the average air journey from Gatwick,
according to a recent report ‘Gatwick – Climate Change Culprit’, produced by
the Gatwick
Area Conservation Campaign (GACC).

GACC calculate that on average each passenger departing from Gatwick adds 85
kg of carbon to the atmosphere where it remains for up to 100 years.

GACC chairman Brendon Sewill, said: “It is ironic that BAA says that the
climate change impact of aviation is being dealt with through the EU
emissions trading scheme.

“Over the past five years BAA has led the airlines in their support of a
policy of getting aviation into the EU emissions trading scheme – a policy
which would allow the airlines to effectively carry on with business as
usual.

“As Mike Clasper, Chief Executive of BAA, has himself admitted, ‘In future
[with emissions trading], the climate will not be a restraint on growth or a
limit on the expansion of aviation or of airports’.”

Dr Lucas, in her role as rapporteur of the EU Parliament Environment
Committee, has infuriated the aviation industry by recognising this, and
proposing parameters that reflect the real climate change damage caused by
air travel.

“BAA and the airlines dare not face up to the fact that we will have to fly
less if we are to prevent devastating climate change,” said Dr Lucas.

“85 bags of sugar, or 85 kg of carbon, may sound small but with 16.5 million
passengers departing from Gatwick that means 1,400 million kg of carbon
polluting the sky each year.”

Dr Lucas’s report will be voted on by the European Parliament in July.



ENDS

Notes to Editors:

1. More information on the Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign, and the
report ‘Gatwick – Climate Change Culprit’ – can be found at www.gacc.org.uk
2. For more details on Dr Lucas’s parliamentary report, see
www.carolinelucasmep.org.uk




For more information please contact Ben on 01273 671946, 07973 823358 or
ben@greenmeps.org.uk

www.carolinelucasmep.org.uk



Ben Duncan
Media Officer to Caroline Lucas MEP
benduncan@greenmeps.org.uk
01273 671946 (office)
07973 823358 (mobile)

22 May 2006

Telephone Tappers 'R US'

Well more for Mumia because he can write better than I can, mainly preparing for the Green Revolution meeting, sunday PM, June 4th, mail me on wallddd@hotmail.com, if you want to get involved in building a green left network in the Green Party.

Zazen later, essential.

Do ofcourse subscribe to Mumia and support his and MOVE's prisoner campaigns.



'SILENCE OF THE LAMBS'
======================
[Col. Writ. 5/14/06] Copyright 2006 Mumia Abu-Jamal

The recent report that the nation's largest phone companies turned over data on millions of Americans is less surprising than the somewhat muted response it has evoked.

If polls are to be believed, nearly 70% of those polled find nothing objectionable with the secret tracking of phone calls by the National Security Agency (NSA).

Without directly challenging the accuracy of such polls, the simple facts that folks aren't up in arms, marching on the White House like angry cinematic villagers, torches in hand, on the tracks of a Frankenstein monster, is stunning.

The relative silence of Americans -- not pundits, who are paid to have an opinion -- but of average folks on this earth-shattering issue, suggests that it may be true.

What does this say about Americans?

It suggests that people have incredible faith in the government, or are so immobilized by fear that they welcome virtually anything the State advances, as long as it promises safety.

Some will say this is a natural response after 9-11.

Yet, this didn't begin on 9-11.

Illegal government spying on Americans has a long history in this country, occasioned by the fears unleashed during the Cold War. However, even when in the 1970s', such spying was uncovered, it didn't result in any end to such practices, but a transfer to another file, under another pretext. One need only read Frank Donner's 1981 book *The Age of Surveillance: The Aims and Methods of America's Political Intelligence System*. This documented history is long, clear and undeniable.

Yet most Americans neither know, nor seem to want to know about what happened then, or what's happening now.

That great French observer of America, Alexis de Tocqueville, saw these qualities in Americans over 150 years ago, writing in his 1835 classic, *Democracy in America*:

"A nation that asks nothing of its government but the maintenance of order is already a slave at heart -- the slave of its own well-being, awaiting but the hand that will bind it. By such a nation the despotism of faction is not less to be dreaded than the despotism of an individual. When the bulk of the community is engrossed by private concerns, the smallest parties need not despair of getting the upper hand in public affairs. At such times it is not rare to see upon the great stages of the world, as we see at our theaters, a multitude represented by a few players, who alone speak in the name of an absent or inattentive crowd: they alone are in action whilst all are stationary; they regulate everything by their own caprice; they change the laws, and tyrannize at will over the manners of the country; and then wonder to see into how small a number of weak and worthless hands a great people may fall." [From: de Tocqueville, Alexis, *Democracy in America* [2 vols.] (New York: Bantam Classic, 2004) [orig. publ. 1835] ].

As the White House and its lapdog press peddle the potion of fear, and beats the drum for more war, the alleged 'guarantees' of the Constitution are shredded like tissue-paper, daily. Wars based on lies; US torture chambers in Guantanamo, in Iraq, in Afghanistan; secret CIA prisons in Eastern Europe, North Africa, and beyond; and now the tracking of millions of calls of Americans ...

Something is broken in Babylon; yet all we hear today is the silence of the lambs.


Copyright 2006 Mumia Abu-Jamal

[Mr. Jamal's recent book features a chapter on the
remarkable women who helped build and defend
the Black Panther Party: *WE WANT FREEDOM:
A Life in the Black Panther Party*, from South
End Press (http://www.southendpress.org); Ph.
#1-800-533-8478.]
===============================

"When a cause comes along and you know in your bones that it is
just, yet refuse to defend it--at that moment you begin to die.
And I have never seen so many corpses walking around talking about
justice." - Mumia Abu-Jamal

MUMIA'S COLUMNS NEED TO BE PUBLISHED AS BROADLY
AS POSSIBLE TO INSPIRE PROGRESSIVE MOVEMENT AND
HELP CALL ATTENTION TO HIS CASE.

The campaign to kill Mumia is in full swing and we need you to
**please** contact as many publications and information outlets as
you possibly can to run Mumia's commentaries (on-line and
**especially off-line**)!! The only requirements are that you run
them *unedited*, with every word including copyright information
intact, and send a copy of the publication to Mumia and/or ICFFMAJ.
THANK YOU!!!

Keep updated by reading ACTION ALERTS!!
at http://www.mumia.org, http://www.onamove.com/ and their links.
========================================

To download Mp3's of Mumia's commentaries visit
http://www.prisonradio.org or http://www.fsrn.org
==============================================>

The Power of Truth is Final -- Free Mumia!

PLEASE CONTACT:
International Concerned Family & Friends of MAJ
P.O. Box 19709
Philadelphia, PA 19143
Phone - 215-476-8812/ Fax - 215-476-6180
E-mail - icffmaj@aol.com
AND OFFER YOUR SERVICES!

Send our brotha some LOVE and LIGHT at:
Mumia Abu-Jamal
AM 8335
SCI-Greene
175 Progress Drive
Waynesburg, PA 15370

WE WHO BELIEVE IN FREEDOM CAN *NOT* REST!!

Submitted by: Sis. Marpessa

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Read: http://topica.com/lists/mumiacolumns/read
Subscribe ICFFMAJ email updates list by e-mailing
icffmaj@aol.com!

21 May 2006

MOVE: Their religion is life

The worst thing was seeing the photo of three children, two black girls and a white boy, playing and then realising that all three had been burnt to death when the FBI dropped an incidendary device on the MOVE household. MOVE have a reputation as crazy people but nobody deserved to die and the MOVE people I have met Ramona, Sue and Carlos when they toured Britain were solid and sane. Opponents, particularly serious opponents, suffer from disinformation and huge ideological attack, hey I have met Chavez and he seemed to have a sense of humour and so opennesss to ideas, rare in politicians. This is an essay about my work with MOVE in the 1990s followed by a history of MOVE I found on the net plus some suggestions for action.

I have also put MOVE in context in my green history book



MOVE, Mumia Abu-Jamal and Green Politics
By Derek Wall


IF OUR PROFANITY OFFENDS YOU, LOOK AROUND YOU AND SEE HOW DESTRUCTIVELY SOCIETY IS PROFANING ITSELF. IT IS THE RAPE OF THE LAND, THE POLLUTION OF THE ENVIRONMENT, THE BETRAYAL AND SUFFERING OF THE MASSESS BY CORRUPT GOVERNMENT THAT IS THE REAL OBSCENITY

MOVE#

1. Introduction
During the 1980s I gradually became aware of the MOVE organisation as radical and militant Greens. In the third millenium I am dismayed that MOVE remain largely unknown and that ecosocialists, Earth First!ers and other radical Greens seem to be unaware of their story. In US socialist and anarchist magazines that sometimes found their way to British radical bookshops I slowly learnt that a group of ‘utopian socialists’, ‘black nationalists’, ‘religious cultists’ had come into violent conflict with the authorities in Philadelphia. This conflict had culminated in 1985 in the bombing of a MOVE communal household which killed six adults and five children belonging to the group. Around 1989 I happened to read Alice Walker’s account of the MOVE massacre ‘Nobody Was Supposed to Survive’. Alice’s essay is based on her experience of reading about the bombing in an a New York Times article, when she was in Paris. She read about an apocalyptic violent religious cult who were to blame for their own destruction, reading between the lines she learnt with shock that MOVE were like her they wore dreads, were vegetarian, combined their spirituality with political and personal commitment.
Reading these accounts in Britain I realised that MOVE were very much like a lot of people I knew, they were certainly no more crazy or dangerous than other greens or animal liberationists I counted as friends. It was astonishing to me that they faced such deadly repression for beliefs that seemed standard to many people I knew. My awareness of MOVE intersected with two sets of problematics that dominated my political and academic work in the late 1980s and the early 1990s. First, was the question of green politics and racism. Second, the search for new forms of radical green politics. In MOVE both of these concerns became real, demanding not just theoretical work but practical solidarity.
Producing a small ecosocialist newsletter Green Revolution I put together a special issue on MOVE. In 1993 I published anthology of green thought, inspired by the need to show that green politics had historic roots and was far more diverse than normally supposed, I was given permission by Alice Walker to include her essay. During the early 1990s I became aware of the case of Mumia Abu-Jamal, a Philadelphia based journalist, a former Black Panther, on death row for allegedly killing a police officer. The very fact that Mumia was both a MOVE supporter and an eloquent journalist made me suspicious that he was a victim of a miscarriage of justice. Further reading showed that their were numerous weaknesses in the case against him. In 1994 I helped launch a British campaign to free Mumia. I found very little evidence that anybody in the UK had even heard of Mumia let alone were prepared to campaign for him and other wrongly imprisoned MOVE prisoners.
There had a been a solidarity group for MOVE set up I am told by a British citizen who happened to be in Philadelphia at the time of the massacre, by 1994 it had long disappeared. The only group campaigning on MOVE were the Sparticist League. The Spartacist League are a small group which split from the USA Socialist Workers Party, notorious for their dogmatism and with little to say to Greens. Despite an ideological gulf, I worked with them with surprising harmony. I represented the Green Party at a meeting they organised in solidarity with Mumia, where I was introduced to Brian Wilson. Brian, a poet with his own reggae group the Sounds of the Earth band. Brian had seen a poster of Mumia at I think his housing cooperative or at work. Like Alice Walker he identified with a dreadlocked figure and came to the meeting.
Brian, a Jamaican, who moved to Britain in the 1970s, was a Rastafarian, Rastafarianism at its best contains a green stand, valuing the Earth and calling for a new relationship with nature. We hit it off, recognising that unlikely many other campaigners for Mumia we identified strongly with much of his politics and that of MOVE. Together with other black activists, Green Party members and Green Anarchists, most notably Paul Rogers, with set up Friends of MOVE. In March 1995 we heard that Governor Tom Ridge had signed Mumia’s death warrant and Mumia had just weeks to live. There was a massive international campaign against the death sentence of which we were a small part. When we heard that Tom Ridge had given Mumia a stay of execution it seemed like a minor miracle.
In 1995 we managed to get the Green Party to support an emergency motion in support of Mumia and mailed out information on Mumia to every Green Party in the world. We held numerous concerts and meetings. We wrote about Mumia for a huge array or publications. We networked with black organisations like the Panthers, animal rights groups, anarchists, Maoists, every single Left organisation we could think of. Our supporters mounted a day and night picket of the US Embassy in Grosvernor Square. In 1996 we organised a speaking tour for Ramona Africa the only adult survivor of the 1983 massacre.
Since 1996 Mumia still in jail, although world wide protest meant that he escaped John Ridge, remains to be freed. He is an icon to millions and his books now sell thousands. There is still a feeling on my part that MOVE represent a tradition of radical green politics that is largely written out of the history books.


A Brief History of MOVE

MOVE: Not an acronym, the name MOVE simply expresses its members' belief that life is movement; that all things exist 'on the move'. -- Mumia Abu-Jamal

MOVE is a family of revolutionaries, of naturalist revolutionaries, founded in Philadelphia in the late sixties/early seventies, who oppose all that this system represents. -- Mumia Abu-Jamal

If our profanity offends you, look around you and see how destructively society is profaning itself. It is the rape of the land, the pollution of the environment, the betrayal and suffering of the masses by corrupt government that is the real obscenity. -- MOVE

What I found were idealistic, committed, strong, unshakeable men and women who had a deep spirit-level aversion to everything this system represents. To them, this system was a death system involved in a deathly war. To them, everything this system radiated was poison - from its technological waste to its destruction of the earth, to its destruction of the air and water, to its destruction of the very genetic pool of human life and animal life and all life. MOVE opposed all this bitterly and unrelentingly, without compromise. -- Mumia Abu-Jamal

We told the cops there wasn't gonna be anymore undercover deaths. This time they better be prepared to murder us in full public view, cause if they came at us with fists, we were gonna come back with fists. If they came with clubs, we'd come back with clubs, and if they came with guns, we'd use guns, too. We don't believe in death-dealing guns, we believe in life. But we knew the cops wouldn't be so quick to attack us if they had to face the same stuff they dished out so casually on unarmed defenceless folk. -- MOVE

As long as we are alive, we will never abandon our innocent brothers and sisters in jail, and they know we will never abandon them, and this city gonna always have a problem until every last one of our brothers and sisters is home. -- MOVE

MOVE is a group of Black radicals that coalesced around the spiritual leader and teacher John Africa. All took the surname Africa.

Mumia Abu-Jamal:

Untrained, untaught, and untamed, John Africa attracted a wide range of people to a small room in West Philadelphia, men and women who had one thing in common: need .... In a sense, all of them sought that most illusive of quarries - Truth.

Mumia Abu-Jamal:

John Africa was a man blessed with shimmering wisdom, enormous patience, and powerful passions. He did what healers do: he healed. He did what teachers do: he taught. He did what carpenters do: he built. Using neither nails nor lumber, he constructed from the fabric of the heart a tightly knit, cohesive body of brothers and sisters called MOVE.

MOVE:

MOVE's work is to stop industry from poisoning the air, the water, the soil, and to put an end to the enslavement of life - people, animals, any form of life. The purpose of John Africa's revolution is to show people through John Africa's teaching, the truth, that this system is the cause of all their problems (alcoholism, drug addiction, unemployment, wife abuse, child pornography, every problem in the world) and to set the example of revolution for people to follow when they realize how they've been oppressed, repressed, duped, tricked by this system, this government and see the need to rid themselves of this cancerous system as MOVE does.

Their philosophy is a mix of Christianity and Deep Ecology, their activism a mix of Black Radicalism and Earth First!

Mumia Abu-Jamal:

Faith simply means belief ... MOVE members talked about it uncompromisingly, and not just talked about it, but lived it every day ... If you're Christian, you talk about Sunday. That's your religion: Sunday you go to church, Monday you do your thing. And the next Sunday you go back to church, and the next Monday you do your own thing again ... To MOVE, all days are holy days, because all life is holy. When you're out fighting for your brothers and sisters, you're practising your religion. Faith means what you truly, absolutely believe. If you ask a MOVE person, 'What is you're religion?', he'll say 'life.'

Mumia Abu-Jamal:

Today you have groups like Earth First and so forth, across the world, who embrace many of those same positions that were once called bizarre. MOVE did it twenty years ago.

Unlike Earth First!, MOVE are prepared to arm themselves and use those arms, but only in self-defence, and only following years of harassment and brutality from the corrupt city authorities in Philadelphia, and only after several of their members, including women and children, had been killed by the Police.

During the early 1970s MOVE was based in the Powelton Village area of West Philadelphia (309 N. 33rd St.). Members enjoyed hard physical work and were often seen chopping firewood, running dogs, shovelling snow or sweeping the street. MOVE ran a popular car wash at this location, helped homeless people find places to live, assisted the elderly with home repairs, intervened in violence between local gangs and college fraternities, and helped incarcerated offenders meet parole requirements through a rehabilitation program. After adopting MOVE's way of natural living, many individuals overcame past problems of drug addiction, physical disabilities, infertility and alcoholism. MOVE welcomed dissenting views as an opportunity to showcase their belief and sharpen their oratory skills which they knew would be tested in their revolutionary struggle.

It was during this period that MOVE widened their activities across the City. Other groups and neighbourhoods sought their help, and MOVE put their expertise to work in helping to organise demos, initiate law suits etc. MOVE's activities came to the attention of and brought themselves into conflict with the City's three main centres of power - the media, the city authorities and the police. The media distorted and misreported what they were doing, the policed launched brutal attacks aided and abetted by the corrupt city authorities.

Centre stage was Frank Rizzo, Police Commissioner from 1967-71, later Mayor. Frank Rizzo built his reputation on being tough with Blacks. His police force had a national reputation for corruption and brutality.

By the mid-70s MOVE became increasingly more militant. The trigger point was the killing of baby Life Africa by the police.

Janine Africa's baby, Life Africa, was born 8 March 1976 but murdered by the police less than a month later, when his mother was grabbed by a cop, thrown to the ground with 3 week old Life Africa in her arms and stomped on until she was nearly unconscious. The baby's skull was crushed. Police denied that the baby existed because there was no birth certificate.

20 May 1977, MOVE staged a major demonstration demanding the release of their political prisoners and an end to the violent harassment by the City. To keep an increasingly brutal police force at bay, MOVE appeared outside their own house with firearms - semi-automatic weapons, shotguns. Blacks arming themselves, Niggas with guns! The City went ballistic. It was as though New Age Travellers in Cornwall were arming themselves with Uzis, or Newbury Road Protesters with Kalashnikovs.

MOVE:

We are tired of being beaten, bones broken, and murdered babies. No longer will this system attack us with impunity. From now on, we will defend ourselves.

Mayor Rizzo responded with the order 'starve em out'. The area surrounding the MOVE house was sealed off. Sniper posts were established. The stand-off lasted for months. At one point MOVE agreed to allow their house to be swept with a metal detector. It came back with the result clean. The only weapons found were inoperative ones. This gave Rizzo the courage he needed to launch a full scale attack on the house.

8 August 1978, a full scale assault took place on the house. MOVE members took refuge in the basement. When this was realised, the basement was flooded. Young children and animals had to be held aloft to stop them drowning. A single shot hit Officer James Ramp in the back and killed him. According to reporter Paul Bennet, the shot came from across the street. All hell then broke lose as the Police fired into the house. Live TV showed Delbert Africa being beaten into near unconsciousness. No weapons were found in the hands of MOVE members. 10 MOVE members were charged with murder.

At an angry press conference later in the afternoon reporter Bill Baldini, who asked about the beatings, was killed a liar. In response to a question from a reporter, Rizzo lashed out: 'They believe what you write, and what you say, and it's got to stop. And one day, and I hope it's in my career, that you're going to have to be held responsible and accountable for what you do.' The reporter who questioned the police actions was Mumia Abu-Jamal, now on death row on trumped up charges of killing a police officer. Police Commissioner Joseph O'Neill said Officer Ramp was killed by a shot in the back. Moments later a typed police press release was distributed stating that Ramp was shot in the chest. Rizzo displayed a table of firearms and claimed they were taken from the MOVE house. Some reporters noted the seemingly new condition of the weapons; others wondered what these guns were doing in the mayor's office rather than impounded in the police crime lab as evidence. No MOVE fingerprints were found on any of these weapons.

The MOVE house was destroyed, even though destroying evidence from the scene of a crime is in itself a criminal offence.

Defendants who renounced MOVE were released without charge. The MOVE 9 were found guilty of the murder of James Ramp, even though James Ramp was out in the street facing the house, was killed by a bullet shot from the back, and all 9 defendants were holed up in the cellar when the fatal shot was fired. After Judge Malmed pronounced the nine defendants guilty of the murder and sentenced each one to 30-100 years he appeared on a radio chat show a few days later. A caller, Mumia Abu-Jamal, asked Judge Malmed, 'Who shot James Ramp?', he replied, 'I haven't the faintest idea.' Judge Malmed went on to say 'they were tried as a family, so I convicted them as a family', or in other words, MOVE were found guilty for being MOVE.

MOVE concentrated their efforts on freeing the MOVE 9, who were being brutalised in prison.

1984, anticipating how far the City would go to silence them, MOVE began fortifying their rowhouse at 6221 Osage Avenue (Cobbs Creek area of West Philadelphia). At the same time, the Police made preparations for a murderous assault by illegally obtaining C-4 plastic explosive and assault weapons. Between June and October, Alfonso Africa was arrested and beaten bloody several times by police. 8 August 1984, hundreds of police and firemen surrounded the Osage block in a dress rehearsal for the final assault.

12 May 1985, police evacuated the 6200 Block of Osage Avenue and towed away parked cars.

Monday 13 May 1985, police and firemen launched a full scale military assault on the MOVE rowhouse using tear gas, water cannons, shotguns, Uzis, M-16s, silenced weapons, Browning Automatic Rifles, M-60 machine guns, a 20 mm anti-tank gun, and a .50-caliber machine gun. Many of these weapons had been illegally obtained. Between 6:00 and 7:30 am police fired over 10,000 rounds of ammunition into the house knowing there were women and children inside. They also tried to blast through the walls with C-4 explosives. When none of these measures succeeded in driving MOVE from the house, a state police helicopter was used to drop a fire-bomb on the roof. This started a fire that officials deliberately allowed to burn for 10-12 hours, burning down the entire block, some 62 homes were destroyed. MOVE members repeatedly tried to leave the house but were met with police gunfire which killed some of the adults and children in the alley behind the house. Eleven members of MOVE were killed (six adults and five children).

MOVE petitioned the court to indict the Mayor, the Chief of Police, and others for murder in the fourth degree. Their petition was denied. The petition was denied by Judge Sabo. Judge Sabo the 'hanging judge', who has put more people on death row than any other sitting judge in the United States, who as DA obtained the murder conviction of an innocent man (Commonwealth v Connor), an innocent man who served twelve years for a crime he didn't commit, who presided over the murder trial of Mumia Abu-Jamal and sent him to death row, who heard the appeal of Mumia Abu-Jamal and decided there had been no miscarriage of justice in the original trial.

The MOVE 9 remain imprisoned by the State. Delbert, Carlos and Chuck Africa were kept in solitary confinement for over five years for refusing to violate MOVE belief by cutting their hair. At Muncy prison, MOVE women upheld their religious principles by refusing to give blood samples and were repeatedly put in solitary confinement, sometimes for as long as 3 years. Sadistic prison guards took great pleasure in informing Delbert, Janet, Sue, Phil, Janine and Consuewella Africa that some of their children were killed in the police assault on Osage Avenue (13 May 1985).

MOVE has never dropped a bomb, burned down a neighbourhood or killed anyone, they have only demanded the release of innocent members. The City of Philadelphia has killed 17 MOVE members, including adults, children, 1 baby and 4 miscarriages.

Mumia Abu-Jamal:

I have seen every substantive so-called Constitutional right twisted, shredded and torn when it comes to MOVE. Since the early 1970's I've seen male and female MOVE members beaten 'till bloody and bones broken, locked beneath the jails, caged while pregnant, beaten into miscarriage, starved by municipal decree, sentenced to a century in prisons, homes demolished by bomb, by crane, by cannon, by fire. But I've never seen them broken.

The Romans and their collaborators the Jews persecuted the early Christians, in Europe in the Middle Ages Christians persecuted Jews, during the Inquisition the Catholic Church persecuted heretics, in the US the State persecutes MOVE.

References

Mumia Abu-Jamal, Live From Death Row, Avon Paperbacks, 1996

Mumia Abu-Jamal, Death Blossoms: Reflections of a Prisoner of Conscience, Plough Publishing House, 1997

Mumia Abu-Jamal, All Things Censored {16 censored radio commentaries, 74 min CD}

Nick Cohen, Corporate hostility, The Observer, 23 April 2000

Karl Evanzz, The Judas Factor, Thunder's Mouth Press, 1992 [Nia, 1998]

Mark Lane & Dick Gregory, Murder in Memphis: The FBI and the Assassination of Martin Luther King, Thunder's Mouth Press, 1993

MOVE, 20 Years on the MOVE, MOVE, 1996

Kenneth O'Reilly, Black Americans: The FBI, Carroll & Graf, 1994

Keith Parkins, Intelligence Services Unaccountable and Out of Control?, January 1999

Keith Parkins, Mumia Abu-Jamal, August 1999

For this brief history I have drawn heavily on an essay 'John Africa's Organization' by Sis Marpessa Kupendua (which is itself a summary of 20 Years on the MOVE) and on the writings and radio commentaries of Mumia Abu-Jamal. Gaia index ~ Mumia Abu-Jamal


How Can I Help?
Actions to support Mumia:

**Letter Writing Campaign To Pennsylvania Governor Rendell! See below for sample letter.

**Join the planning and outreach TO RELEASE MUMIA! See "Events" for details.

** Join the Mobe e-mail list for updates on Mumia's case and upcoming events. Send an e-mail to:

alerts@freemumia.org

with the word "subscribe" in the subject line.

** Organize rallies, meetings, teach-ins in your community

** Inform everyone you know about Mumia's case (there are many web sites and books, and videos)

** Write to Mumia!

Mumia Abu-Jamal
AM 8335
SCI Greene
175 Progress Dr.
Waynesburg, PA 15370

** Read Mumia's books and encourage others to do so.

** Write newspaper editorials and radio carts in support of Mumia's release.

** Encourage people to contribute financially to the MOBE's efforts to free Mumia:

The Mobilization to Free Mumia Abu-Jamal
298 Valencia St.
San Francisco, CA 94103

ACTION ALERT: Urgent Letter-writing Campaign!

Please write to Governor Edward Rendell of Pennsylvania.

Here is a sample letter you may want to use.
Be sure to *sign it* and mail it to the address below.

********** Start of Sample Letter **********


Governor Edward Rendell
225 Main Capitol Bldg.
Harrisburg, PA 17120

Dear Governor Rendell,

Substantial evidence of Mumia Abu-Jamal's innocence has arisen since his trial in 1982 and has been unfairly disallowed in state and federal courts, including a confession from Arnold Beverly who agreed to testify! Beverly stated that he himself was hired to shoot Officer Faulkner and that Mumia Abu-Jamal is innocent of the 1981 shooting. There are also grave concerns about the fairness of Mumia Abu-Jamal's trial and State appeal. These include:

- Witnesses who have testified in PCRA hearings that they were coerced by police to change their testimony.

- His trial lawyer failed to aggressively defend the case, did not investigate or obtain crucial experts in pathology or ballistics.

- Police planted evidence and intimidated witnesses in his case.

- Common Pleas Judge Albert Sabo displayed bias and hostility toward Abu-Jamal and should have recused himself.

We urge your intervention to guarantee that justice is done; that Mumia Abu-Jamal receive a new hearing and that he be released immediately, given the fact that definitive evidence has been produced proving his innocence!


Sincerely,


********** End Of Sample Letter **********

PLEASE ACT NOW! PASS IT ON!
Additional information:
415-255-1085