30 Sep 2007

Saving Iceland Demo tuesday 2nd, 1pm Sloane Square


1PM Tuesday 2nd October, Icelandic Embassy meet at Sloane Square
Come and show Solidarity with Miriam Rose, a Saving Iceland activist from the UK facing deportation from Iceland where she lives for being: "a threat to public order and security and fundamental societal values" also to show solidarity with Olafur Pall Siggurdson an Icelandic activist being framed for "Obstructing a Police Vehicle" following an attempt to run him over by a senior policeman. from Indy Media


Hello,
I gather you have once again voiced support to Miriam regarding her
threatened deportation from Iceland. Thank you, this makes a big
difference.

We are holding an emergency demo in soldiarity with her in London on
Tuesday, meeting at Sloane Square by the monument at 1pm. It is open to
all and will probably be quite quick. If you could publicise this
through your network of supporters I would be most grateful.

thanks, Rebecca (Saving Iceland)


Saving Iceland are here

Here is the knowledge from Indy Media


On Friday 21st September, Saving Iceland activist Miriam Rose was presented with a letter from the Icelandic Directorate of Immigration threatening her with possible expulsion from Iceland. The letter claims that due to her participation in two actions at smelter sites she may be considered a threat to 'public order and security' and 'fundamental societal values'. The letter also claims that Saving Iceland pays activists for being arrested, a claim repeatedly denied and proven to be false.

Saving Iceland is an international grass roots network that uses direct action to confront the Icelandic government's Heavy Industry Policy. The government are intent on building aluminium smelters to exploit the country's geothermal and hydro-electric potential, an ecological and environmental catastrophe sold as 'green energy'. Saving Iceland also promotes and practices solidarity with struggles against the aluminium industry worldwide, such as in Trinidad, South Africa and India.

Miriam has already served 8 days in prison for protesting against the destruction of Icelandic wilderness, for which the UK Green Party Principal Speaker Dr Derek Wall accused the Icelandic government of political harassment and demanded her immediate release. In Radio 1 Icelandic news program Spegillinn yesterday, the police admitted that this was to be the first of many attempted deportations of activists.

Miriam is now waiting for a decision by the Directorate of Immigration, having submitted her objection to deportation. 'I am very shocked that the Icelandic government continue to punish me, after already paying so heavily for my actions and ideals. This seems to be an attempt to scare people from protesting here, and I find such treatment surprising in a supposedly developed democracy like Iceland. I am a peaceful and educated person and have never posed a threat to the police or any other person during my time here. I was intending to settle in Iceland, and have been making moves to learn Icelandic and contribute to this society.'

In 2005 the Icelandic Directorate of Immigration attempted to deport 21 Saving Iceland activists. Activists were snatched off the streets of Reykjavik by plain clothes police, held overnight with no food, water or even pretense of a legal process. An elderly academic with no connection to Saving Iceland was hospitalised with serious head injuries after he witnessed activists being bundled into an unmarked car. Plain clothes police also broke into buildings in an attempt to get to activists on the 'blacklist'. The Directorate of Immigration, denied that there was such a list in an interview with tabloid paper DV, fortunately Saving Iceland was able to supply them with a copy complete with the Directorate's seal and Hildur Dungal's (the Director's) signature. Eventually the Directorate of Immigration admitted it had no legal right to deport anyone on the list.

In 2006 14 activists were tried and convicted for 'Disobeying Police Orders' and received prison sentences of up to 18 days a small group was also convicted of 'Repression of Liberty' and sentenced to 2 months suspended for 3 years on the false witness of a manager at engineering firm Honnen where they had attempted to occupy offices, the same manager punched and kicked protesters and slammed a door on someone's head.

Earlier this year after Reykjavik's first Reclaim the Streets the Icelandic police began to confiscate passport of foreign activists, something they have no legal authority to do. The Icelandic State have also had a long history of harassing Icelandic activists, in one case they have allegedly made false reports to Interpol accusing a Saving Iceland activist of traveling on a forged passport and attempted to strip the activists Icelandic Citizenship.

If the Icelandic Police and Immigration Directorate can get away with deporting Miriam, then they will use deportations more frequently to silence dissent and undermine solidarity with Icelandic environmentalists. They must be stopped!

The website of the Directorate of Immigration is http://www.utl.is/english

The director's name is Hildur Dungal: hildur@utl.is

See also:
Report on Miriam's deportation and statement from Saving Iceland:
http://www.savingiceland.org/node/983

Report on Miriam's Incarceration in Solitary Confinement in a Men's Prison:
http://www.savingiceland.org/node/892

Statement of Support from UK Green Party:
http://www.savingiceland.org/node/985 and @ http://www.greenparty.org.uk/news/3171

Report on Saving Iceland's funding:
http://www.savingiceland.org/node/846

Report of Previous attempts to Deport Saving Iceland activists:
http://www.savingiceland.org/node/144

Report on how the Icelandic Immigration Directorate can behave quite differently if you are pals with a Government Minister:
http://www.savingiceland.org/node/759

FirenIce
- e-mail: savingiceland@riseup.net
- Homepage: http://www.savingiceland.org

* Download this article in pdf format

Feminist Fightback II


I never promote films with 2 or higher numbers in the title but will make an exception, feminist conference orientated to action and open to men. Please support

More here

Feminist Fightback II - Saturday 20 October ‘07

Back for a second year, the Feminist Fightback activist conference is organised by a group of socialist feminists, including the Education Not for Sale student network. It aims to bring together feminists from a wide range of perspectives to debate ideas and develop practical strategies for fighting women’s oppression and exploitation.

Fightback 07 will build on the success of last year’s conference, attended by over 220 people, which gave rise to several activist initiatives, including the March 3 2007 Torch-Lit March for Abortion Rights.

This year we will continue our campaign to defend and extend abortion rights and our discussions will include…

- IS SEXY ALWAYS SEXIST? FEMINISM, LADS MAGS AND PORNOGRAPHY
- ECOFEMINISM
- FEMINISTS AGAINST BORDERS
- ISLAMIC FEMINISM
- RACE, SEX, CLASS
- THE GENDER PAY GAP, LOW PAY AND THE CLASS STRUGGLE
- WOMEN AGAINST SWEATSHOPS
- INTRODUCTION TO SOCIALIST FEMINISM

Plus film showings…
- LOVE, HONOUR AND DISOBEY: A FILM BY SOUTHALL BLACK SISTERS
- A PLACE OF RAGE: WOMEN IN THE BLACK CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT

Happy birthday Mawlānā Jalāl-ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī: A big date today for cool Islam


It't the 800 birthday of the sufi poet and thinker Rumi, have blogged on him before, he wrote beautiful and amusing stories and poems.

More from the BBC here

More from Rumi org here

I like the story about the Mullah and the Donkey....one of the best Mullah Nasruddin nonsense stories....teachings from Rumi and other Sufi masters which are very zen.

Sufism is a mainstay of eco Islam, although of course eco Islam is not practised by just one type of Muslim.

Wiki on Rumi

Mawlānā Jalāl-ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī[2] (Persian: مولانا جلال الدین محمد رومی, Turkish: Mevlânâ Celâleddin Mehmed Rumi, Arabic: جلال الدين الرومي), also known as Mawlānā Jalāl-ad-Dīn Muhammad Balkhī (Persian: محمد بلخى), but known to the English-speaking world simply as Rumi, (September 30, 1207–December 17, 1273), was a 13th century Persian (Tājīk)[3][4] Muslim poet, jurist, and theologian. His name literally means "Majesty of Religion", Jalal means "majesty" and Din means "religion".[5] Rumi is a descriptive name meaning "the Roman" since he died and lived in later parts of his life in Anatolia which was part of the Byzantine Empire two centuries before. [6]

Rumi was born in Balkh (in present-day Afghanistan), then a city of Greater Khorasan and died in Konya (in present-day Turkey). His birthplace and native language/local dialect indicates a Persian (Tājīk) heritage.[7] His poetry is in Persian and his works are widely read in Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and in translation especially in Turkey, Azerbaijan, the US, and South Asia. He lived most of his life in, and produced his works under, the Seljuk Empire.[8] Rumi's importance is considered to transcend national and ethnic borders. Throughout the centuries he has had a significant influence on Persian as well as Urdu and Turkish literatures. His poems have been widely translated into many of the world's languages in various formats.

After Rumi's death, his followers founded the Mevlevi Order, better known as the "Whirling Dervishes," who believe in performing their worship in the form of dance and music ceremony called the sema.


There is a lot more I could post, Rumi shows that Islam is plural, tolerant, rises from culture such as music, dance and poetry.

Rumi's philosophical ideas are a root into green ideas of holism....Rumi's work is above all to be enjoyed....so party for Rumi today.

29 Sep 2007

Green thinker dies in suicide pact


Talking of green thinkers like Erich Fromm who Neil Clark blogged on so eloquently, I was shocked to wake up today to the news that Andre Gorz and his wife have committed suicide. Both in their mid 80s his wife was dying apparently of a degenerative disease.

I remember looking forward in the early 1980's to the publication of his 'Ecology and Politics' book, he was one of those who made the link between the ecological crisis, growth and capitalism. He had some interesting economic ideas especially the concept of 'prosumers' people who merged consumption with production, for example, one could have a community centre full of computers and machines, so you could quickly design and machine knit a jumper....ought to go back and look at some of this stuff.

He argued that owning a car was a useful luxury but mass car ownership eroded the benefits by creating congestion.

He also proclaimed a kind of post-socialist politics, in his book title 'Farewell to the Working Class', which helped pave the way unfortunately for Blair...

Here is what Paul Frost of Green Left has to say about him:

Andre Gorz, a writer who (for good and ill) had some influence on the growth of the modern Green movement (but whose "post industrial" and "post working class" ideas also may have informed some Eurocommunist and Blairite/Giddensite "third way" politics) has committed suicide along with his British-born wife Dorine last weekend. Gorz, originally Gerhard Hirsch, (and sometimes writing under the pen name Michel Bosquet) was author of the 1980 book "Farewell To The Working Class". He played a role in popularising the work of Ivan Illich and the Club of Rome and based much of his important work around a humanist, eco-socialist perspective opposed to both productivist/authoritarian versions of Marxism and what he saw as anti-humanist Deep Ecology.He was an important New Left thinker, but gradually moved to some more controversial and right-wing positions on issues like US missile deployments.



I must admit I didn't know about Gorz's support for US missile deployment and it is a long time since I read him but his stuff in the 1980s on ecology is important and yes he stands with Fromm, Illich, Bahro, Porritt, etc....incidentally I am hoping to write something about the Porritt capitalism book which I have some big disagreements, but despite some weaknesses his Seeing Green remains a must read.

Gorz is described in an article in German in Die Welt, that looks interesting but my German is scant, in seems to compare his wife and him to the ancient lovers in 'Love in the Time of Cholera' Fermina Daza und Florentino Ariza in "Die Liebe in den Zeiten der Cholera"

This is from the wiki oracle, he worked with Marcuse, Satre, Illich and Italian Tony, I mean Tony Negri...

Gorz was becoming a leading figure of political ecology, his ideas being diffused in particular by the ecologist monthly Le Sauvage, founded by Alain Hervé, the creator of the French section of the Friends of the Earth. In 1975, he published Ecologie et politique (Galilée, 1975), which included the essay Ecologie et liberté, "one of the foundational texts of the ecologic problematic" (Françoise Gollain [6]). Gorz's ecology was further strengthened by his reading of the Club of Rome's 1972 report, Limits to Growth.

He was then influenced by Louis Dumont in considering Marxism and Liberalism as two versions of an economist thought. Gorz then opposed himself both to hedonist individualism and utilitarianism and to materialist and productivist collectivism, defending a humanist version of ecology opposed to deep ecology. Gorz's ecologism, however, remained linked to a critic of Capitalism, as he called for an "ecological, social and cultural revolution which would abolish the constraints of Capitalism" [7].


More here...what did we do before the wiki oracle....wiki is prosuming like Gorz advocated.

28 Sep 2007

Burma demonstration on sunday in London

Derek...I am shocked you have nto blogged about the situation on Burma at the mo...it seems to be of a higher importance than the Tory conference... I mean is it nto a time to speak up as a politician to express you wishes and to try and mobilise peopel in your party to try and attend the protests and marches being organised to put pressure on the government to do something??

I assumed that everyone knows that I am saffron but if not here goes.....Caroline and Jean have been working hard to mobilise protest against the oppression in Burma.




Burma: A March for Freedom

Host:

Burma: Saffron Revolution


Type:

Causes - Protest




Time and Place

Date:

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Time:

11:30am - 4:00pm

Location:

From Trafalgar Square to the Burmese Embassy

City/Town:

London, United Kingdom

Green Party statement on Burma

UK Oil funds 'green' Tory conference event

NEWS: Green Party in England & Wales GREENS REVEAL OIL LOBBY INVOLVEMENT IN TORY CONFERENCE Green Party Principal Speaker Dr. Derek Wall today questioned how 'green' the Tory Party can be given their links to big business, especially the oil lobby, after it was revealed that the UK Petroleum Industry are sponsoring a 'Tory Green Initiative' event at the upcoming Tory conference. (1) Dr Wall said: "Crucial to any real action on climate change are polices that will reduce our reliance on fossil based fuels, and so curb our emissions. "But this is at odds with the needs of the oil lobby, who rely on our addiction to oil to keep their profits booming. "If the government got serious about tackling climate change, companies like Shell would see a stark drop in their profits. "How can the Tory party be expected to understand, or even agree with that premise when they are hob-nobbing with organisations like the UK Petroleum Industry at their conference? "UK PIA are sponsoring the Tory Green Initiative dinner at their forthcoming conference. Chris Hunt, the CEO of PIA will speak alongside John Gummer, Chairman of the recent Tory Quality of Life report. (1) "This comes as no surprise, the Tories have long been the party of big business,with a soft spot for fossil fuels. Alan Duncan, Shadow Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform, worked as a trader of oil and refined products with Shell. "But it isn't just the Tories whose ability to make policies that focus on tackling climate change is compromised, the Lib Dems are also finding it hard going. "Deputy Leader Vince Cable used to be Chief Economist for the oil company Shell!" ENDS (1) Please see https://conservativepartyconference.com/uploaded/ CCHbook%20FL%20Monday.pdf Green Party Press Office020 7561 0282http://www.greenparty.org.uk Published and promoted by Jim Killock for the Green Party, both at1a Waterlow Road, London N19 5NJ.

Do not deport Green activist

Its an island, begins with 'I' claims to be run on environmental grounds, but I afraid I have some doubts about policy formulation

Green Party Principal Speaker Dr. Derek Wall today urged the Icelandic authorities to reconsider their actions with regard to Miriam Rose and other environmental activists.

"The Icelandic authorities, not satisfied with arresting and holding Miriam Rose as political prisoner, now seem intent on expelling her from Iceland.

"It's vital that we protect the right to peaceful protest .

"Non-violent direct action is one of the few weapons we have to affect change, and government's around the world must be called to account when they try to repress it.


More here

27 Sep 2007

No lectures from Tesco



Tesco is pouring millions into 'green' research, but it doesn't take a university to work out that supermarkets are a huge part of the problem.
Derek Wall


Tesco is going to fund 77 academic posts in "green" research with a £25m donation to Manchester University. What next - BAE Systems funding a university department on conflict resolution, or Phillip Morris pouring a few cool millions into investigating the most effective way of kicking nicotine addiction? I think we should be told.


More from me here

26 Sep 2007

"A healthy economy is only possible at the expense of unhealthy human beings".


Well still very inspired by New Internationalist issue 'Big Babies - the Dumbing down of politics', hoping some of it will go on the web and I can blog select bits, really good at explaining why most political parties have ceased to be politic, other than as tools for personal career.

Might catch some of you next week at SOAS or Twickenham Green Party meetings...Paris October 7th (I am not flying before you ask), Reading Green Party Oct 14th, Bristol 20th October, Monmouth 23rd, Bath 24th, Brimingham 25th, London 27th....looking a bit busy with work and blogging and writing.

and if you are Green Party members in England and Wales ballot for Principal Speakers, chair and local party support should be slamming on to your door mat over the next day or two...so go on vote for me, although I am sure Darren or Ashley would be fine, its a fairly friendly contest....deadline for getting them back to party office is 8th October, could be close.

Just spotted this great Comment is Free article by Neil Clark on Erich Fromm.

"A healthy economy is only possible at the expense of unhealthy human beings".

I wonder what the social philosopher and psychoanalyst Dr Erich Fromm, the man who wrote those words over 30 years ago, would make of Britain today.

Over the past decade we have witnessed an unprecedented period of uninterrupted economic growth. Yet our collective mental health has declined sharply. More than two million Britons are on antidepressants, a million on Class A drugs. Binge drinking, and what Fromm called "acts of destruction" - violence, self-abuse and vandalism - have reached record levels. The Samaritans report that five million people are "extremely stressed". Oliver James' new book, Affluenza, and last week's Unicef report, which listed Britain's children as the unhappiest in Europe, are powerful indictments of the society we have become.

For solutions to our predicament, don't look to neo-liberal politicians such as Ed Vaizey, and other members of the political parties bankrolled by big business. And don't look either to short-term fixes like the cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) advocated by Richard Layard.

Instead, turn to the work of Erich Fromm, one of the 20th century's most prescient - yet sadly neglected - thinkers.


More here

NHS demo: November 3rd

Had this from Phelim at the Green Party Trade Union group.....


Colleagues
finally we have a date for the demo. Put the date in your diary and let's make sure we get a good turn out- the last thing that some of the TU leaders want, because it might jeopardise their 'special relationship' with Brown.
Phelim


National demonstration, central London Saturday 3 November.11am: Assemble at Temple Place, Victoria Embankment,LondonNoon: March through Westminster (will takeapprox one hour)1pm: Rally in Trafalgar Square1.30-4.30pm: Speakers and entertainment in the SquareBuilding on the successes of the Keep the NHS Workingand NHS Together campaigns, the demonstration will bethe focus of a public display of celebration andsolidarity for an NHS that after almost 60 years, isstill largely owned and run by the public sector.Widespread support for the event will send a strongmessage to the government that we want to keep it thatway. The NHS Together alliance of unions, supportersfrom a broad coalition of user, patient and communitygroups and members of the public, are being urged tojoin together to make the demonstration a massive success.

25 Sep 2007

EU biofuel problems

Sustainability criteria’ called into question ahead of EU Parliament biofuel vote Amsterdam, 25 September. For immediate release.



EU criteria for ‘sustainable’ agrofuels (also known as ‘biofuels’) are set on a collision course with the EU’s proposed 10 per cent mandatory target for agrofuel use, according to a new report published to coincide with today’s European Parliament vote on the Thomsen Report on renewable energy. Paving the way for Agrofuels – EU policy, Sustainability criteria, and climate calculations finds that the rush to develop agrofuels is contributing to the growth of monoculture plantations and promoting land use changes (including deforestation) that could damage the climate. ‘It is unlikely that any set of criteria can mitigate against the large-scale impact of agrofuels, such as the expansion of plantations for energy crops,’ says Tamra Gilbertson of the Transnational Institute, a co-author of the report. ‘Although agrofuels are promoted because of their apparent climate benefits, deforestation and other forms of land use change can generate more emissions than are supposedly saved.’ ‘The European Commission is setting “standards” as low as possible. The Commission’s proposals exclude any social criteria. EU member states like the UK and the Netherlands just require reporting instead of mandatory standards for the coming few years’ says Nina Holland of Corporate Europe Observatory, co-author of the report. Paving the way for Agrofuels also raises critical questions about the failure of the EU and member governments to consult Southern actors as they develop sustainability criteria. ‘There are huge conflicts of interest between large scale plantations and other sectors in society. Groups in the global South have so far been excluded from consultations on sustainability criteria, whereas they are the most likely to be affected’ says Holland. Paving the way for Agrofuels – EU policy, Sustainability criteria, and climate calculations is co-published by the Transnational Institute (TNI), Corporate Europe Observatory (CEO) and Grupo de Reflexion Rural (GRR). It is available for download at www.tni.org/detail_pub.phtml?know_id=202 and www.corporateeurope.org A summary of the report conclusions can be found here: www.tni.org/detail_page.phtml?&act_id=17369 Further detailsNina Holland, +31 20 612 7023 nina@corporateeurope.orgTamra Gilbertson, +31 20 662 6608 tamra@tni.org -- GMX FreeMail: 1 GB Postfach, 5 E-Mail-Adressen, 10 Free SMS.Alle Infos und kostenlose Anmeldung: http://www.gmx.net/de/go/freemail

Save the Sharks


well along with the occasional series, things I agree with the Economist, I am also contributing to major eco fuck ups by political allies...yes I am pleased with the new Government in Ecuador, viva the Latin American left but killing sharks for a few votes in key marginal constituencies is inappropriate.

What do I hear? 'no we didn't agree to build the motorway that was the previous minister's decision' or 'we aren't killing them, its just in case they die in an accident'.

well amigos this isn't good enough..

"It is a big mistake. More than 400 sharks are being caught every day - that damages the whole [food] chain," said Esperanza Martínez, of the advocacy group Ecological Action. Others say up to 1,000 are being caught.
Shark fishing remains illegal but President Rafael Correa legalised the sale of fins of sharks caught accidentally, saying the revenue would help impoverished fishermen to feed their families. However, with no clear way to determine whether a shark was caught accidentally or intentionally, the fishermen appear to regard the move as a green light to kill as many as they want in Ecuador's Pacific waters.


More here

To take action click here

24 Sep 2007

GREENS HAIL ACCELERATED 'FREEZE AND PHASE OUT' OF OZONE KILLING CHEMICALS

NEWS: Green Party in England & Wales

GREENS HAIL ACCELERATED 'FREEZE AND PHASE OUT' OF OZONE KILLING CHEMICALS
Amid growing concern over the impact of hydrochlorflurocarbons (HCFCs) on the earth's ozone layer, an important agreement has been reached by governments attending the Montreal Protocol's 20th Anniversary Celebrations. (1) Nations signed up to an accelerated freeze and phase out of HCFCs under the 20 year-old Montreal Protocol - the treaty established in 1987 to protect the Earth’s ozone layer from chemical attack. HCFCs emerged as replacement chemicals in the 1990s for air conditioning, some forms of refrigeration equipment and foams following an earlier decision to phase-out older and more ozone-damaging chemicals known as CFCs or chloroflurocarbons. The decision, including an agreement that sufficient funding will be made available to achieve the strategy, follows mounting evidence that HCFCs contribute to global warming. Governments meeting in the Canadian city agreed at the close to freeze production of HCFCs in 2013, whilst the deadline for phasing out production and use of HCFCs for developed countries will be moved up to 2020 from 2030 and to 2030 from 2040 for developing nations. Green Party Principal Speaker Dr. Derek Wall welcomed the decision: "The success of this agreement contrasts with the lack of international progress on climate change generally. "The Kyoto protocol needs to be toughened up if we are to have a realistic chance of avoiding catastrophe. "Montreal restricted ozone damaging gases, if we were trading them like Kyoto's approach to carbon dioxide, just think of the danger we would still be in. "We have to move beyond buying and selling the right to pollute with greenhouses and start cutting them back by investing in alternatives, this is exactly what happened with Montreal and its extension. "In the run up to the UN climate convention negotiations in December, decisions like these send a clear signal to world leaders that working together can be an effective way of achieving solid reductions in dangerous greenhouse emissions." ENDS Notes for Editors: (1) More details can be found on the the United Nations Environment Programme's website at: http://www.unep.org/Documents.Multilingual/Default.asp? DocumentID=517&ArticleID=5671&l=en Green Party Press Office020 7561 0282http://www.greenparty.org.uk

21 Sep 2007

The Space Merchants: el ecologismo frente


One come to think of the sadly forgotten, yet classic dystopian novel The Space Merchants, debatedly the most brutal capitalistic parody every written.
More here

Read Douglas Coupland's Jpod which was very funny, take a look....on to rereading The Space Merchants.


Published in 1953 its a science fiction classic and a good bit of political critique, it pioneered 'ecotage' long before The Monkey Wrench Gang, the novel by Ed Abbey which provided a template for Earth First! It includes a pioneering critique of American capitalism, good science fiction not only entertains, takes us to the possible future but is a satire of existing society.

I read it in the 1990s, Mark Brown (no not that one) who had been coming around drinking my whisky at 111 Ashley Road on the front line Bristol when I stayed in Mark Simpsons house (great anarchic dinner parties....god another age), told me to take a look. Mark well both of them were a great support when I put together the Green History book for Routledge.

Why not an anthology of green science fiction I thought but never got around to it. Mark's advice as usual was solid gold, I certainly enjoyed The Space Merchants


The Wiki oracle states:

In a vastly overpopulated world, the economy has replaced all political systems, and states exist merely to ensure the survival of huge trans-national corporations, which in fact hold all political power. Advertising has become hugely aggressive and by far the best-paid profession. Through advertising, the public is constantly deluded into thinking that the quality of life is improved by all the products placed on the market. However, the most basic elements are incredibly scarce, including water and fuel. The planet Venus has just been visited and judged fit for human settlement, despite the fact that it wouldn't be the most hospitable environment, and the colonists would have to endure a harsh climate for many generations until it's terraformed.

Mitch Courtenay is a star-class copywriter in the Fowler Schocken advertising agency who has been tasked with turning Venus into an attractive proposition for potential colonists. But a lot more is happening than he knows about. It soon becomes a tale of mystery and intrigue, in which quite a lot of the characters are not what they seem, and Mitch Courtenay changes drastically since the beginning of the story.


here are some bits from a 1979 Penguin edition...I am reading from, power, capital, what was it that jarvis cocker said about the people who are still running the world.

'There's an old saying, men. "The world is our oyster." We've made it come true. But we've eaten that oyster." He crushed his cigarette carefully. 'We've eaten it,' he repeated. 'We've actually and literally conquered the world. Like Alexander, we weep for new worlds to conquer'. p12

He covered the tedious lobbying and friend-making in Congress, which had given us the exclusive right to levy tribute and collect from the planet - [...] He explained how the Government - it's odd how we still think and talk of that clearing-house for pressures as though it were an entity with a will of its own - how the government wanted Venus to be an American planet and how they had selected the peculiarly American talent of advertising to make it possible.

He spoke of the trouble with the Senator from Du Pont Chemicals with his forty-five votes, and of an easy triumph over the Senator from Nash-Kelvinator with his six' p.13-14

'Mitch, you're a youngster, only star class a short time. But you've got power. Five words from you, and in a matter of weeks or months half a million consumers will find their lives compleatly changed. That's power, Mitch, absolute power. And you know the old saying. Power enobles. Absolute power enobles absolutely. p.39

'But why don't they like hydraulic mining?' She persisted. 'We've got to have coal and iron, don't we?"
'Now,' he said with pretend, humorours weariness, 'you're asking me to probe the mind of a Consie. I've had them in the wrecking room for up to six hours at a stretch and never yet have they talked sense. If I caught the Topeka Consie, say, he'd talk willingly - but it would be gibberish. He'd tell me the hydraulic miner was destroying topsoil. I'd say yes, and what about it? He'd say, well can't you see? I'd say, see what? He'd say, the topsoil can never be replaced. I'd say, yes it can if it had to be and anyway tank farming is better. He'd say something like tank farming doesn't provide animal cover and so on. It always winds up with him telling me the world's going to hell in a handbasket and people have got to be made to realise it - and me telling him we've always got along somehow and we'll keep going somehow.'

Kathy laughed incredulously [...]
p.51


If you read Spanish try this description:
"MERCADERES DEL ESPACIO" (The Space Merchants) de Frederik Pohl y C. M. Kornbluth, Editorial Minotauro, 248 páginas.

Sinopsis: en una sociedad futura dominada por la publicidad y en la que prácticamente la mayoría de la gente son meros consumidores, Mitchell Courtenay es un publicista que se ve envuelto en la lucha por colonizar el planeta Venus, un infierno que se pretende presentar como un paraíso para beneficiarse de su explotación. Pero hay una parte de la sociedad, los llamados "consistas" (conservacionistas), que abogan por el consumo sostenible y el ecologismo frente a las tácticas publicitarias y el consumo irracional de los recursos.


Great review here

To readers today, it may seem nothing short of amazing that a book like The Space Merchants was published where and when it was—in an America enthralled by the hysterical moral panic that was McCarthyism and driven by a post-war economic boom that had the United States plotted on a steep upward trajectory. The Space Merchants was a radical book back then, and it's a radical book today. It's also still terribly—that is greatly and horribly—timely.

Pohl's and Kornbluth's deeply satirical dystopia is really no less potent an indictment of advertising "culture" (empowered as it is by manipulation and exploitation) and rampant capitalist consumerism (riddled as it is with contradictions and abuses) in the early years of the 21st century than it was in the 1950s. A reader need not be wildly cynical or a paranoid conspiracy theorist to (at least) crack a wry smile of the it's-funny-because-it's-true variety at notions like: Congressmen representing businesses instead of states (as in "the senator from Du Pont Chemicals"), an adman speaking with joy and moral resignation about the incredibly addictive properties of a popular consumable (like the novel's "Coffiest"-brand drink or "Kiddiebutt" cigarettes), people having to wear anti-soot noseplugs because of environmental degradation, or a multinational corporation proudly billing itself as the agency that succeeded in "merging a whole subcontinent into a single manufacturing complex" (thereafter known as "Indiastries").

But The Space Merchants isn't just good polemical satire, it's also often quite a page-turner of a novel. At times reading like a corporate espionage thriller, at others like an account of revolutionary struggle and at others still like a modern-day romance, Pohl and Kornbluth's storytelling succeeds on many fronts. The most often cited weak point of the novel is this relationship between Mitch and Kathy, however, which can make the story fairly pulpy, even melodramatic at times. Many have also found the ending fairly disappointing, too. But the characters do work, on the whole—both when this novel is operating like a spirited satire and when it's doing some rather thoughtful and complex analysis of the role of and stresses on the individual in what we might today called the globalized world.

20 Sep 2007

Climate Campaign: what next.

I am told that every time I mentioned the inspiration and professionalism of the climate camp during my Conference Speech one prominent member of the Green Party tutted loudly.

Well the Climate Camp is the real deal, time is urgent and we have to be serious about making the chance...green politics is about planetary survival not personal career.


People get ready!


The Climate Camp on its own didn't stop climate change - but it's part of a growing social movement that can! Come and take the next stepsforward at the upcoming UK-wide meeting on Nov 3-4 in Oxford. Everyoneis welcome, whether you came to the camp, or were simply inspired by it. The Climate Camp had 4 key aims: education, direct action, sustainableliving, and building a social movement to collectively tackle climatechange and build a better world. Regional meetings have been happeningup and down the country, and in Oxford we will meet to collectivelyshare all our ideas for taking our aims further. The agenda for this meeting has not yet been set - if you have any ideasabout topics you think it is important for us to discuss, or if you areup for helping with planning and facilitating this meeting, please emailmeetings@climatecamp.org.uk. Local groups: please send any write-ups of discussions from your debriefmeetings to website@climatecamp.org.uk, so they can be put on thewebsite, and meetings@climatecamp.org.uk, so they can be fed into thenational meeting agenda. Practical info:The meeting will run 11-6 on Saturday Nov 3 and 10-5 on Sunday Nov 4.The venue is the East Oxford Community Centre, Princes Street, Oxford(see http://www.eocsc.co.uk/find_us.htm for directions and a map). Veganfood will be provided at a cost of approximately £10 a day. Flooraccomodation is available (bring a sleeping bag!) and do please emailoxford@climatecamp.org.uk in advance so we know how many people arecoming! If you have any dietary, access, creche, or other needs, pleaseget in touch by emailing oxford@climatecamp.org.uk. Further information will be added to the website, www.climatecamp.org.uk,soon.

19 Sep 2007

We stand for love, tolerance and the great infinity


This is one in the series of things I agree with the Economist magazine. They usually involve cool Islam. As it is Ramadan I thought I might flag this information with respect to those of my friends who are Muslims.

Last week in Sehwan, a town in central Sindh, half a million Sufi pilgrims gave a demonstration of this fact. They are followers, like most Pakistanis, of the heterodox Barelvi school of Sunni Islam. And so they whirled, chanted prayers, blew kisses and smoked massive quantities of dope to celebrate the 755th anniversary of Lal Shahbaz Qalandar, a Sufi saint. “We are the anti-Taliban,” claimed Ahmed Bhutto (no relation), in a room thick with the scent of incense and rose petals. “We stand for love, tolerance and the great infinity.”

this is from the 15th September issue page 35

Now who do these people remind me of? I could be giving you more criticism of the Liberal Democrat Conference but this seemed a bit more important.

Here is what the wiki oracle says about Lal Shahbaz Qalandar, he sounds really cool, promoting peace and poetry....and of course the Prophet.

The real name of ‘Lal Shahbaz Qalandar’ was Syed Usman Marandi who was born in 1177 AD in Marwand,in then Iran. His father, Syed Ibrahim Kabiruddin, was a virtuous and pious dervish, and his mother was a high-ranking princess. His ancestors migrated from Iraq and settled down in Meshed, from where they again migrated to Marwand. During the Medieval period, Meshed and other cities of that region were renowned centers of learning and civilization.

He preached peace between Hindus and Muslims. "Lal Shahbaz" of Sehwan, as he is also popularly known as, became the Sufi saint of Sindh. His shrine stands today where the king Vikramaditya is believed to have worshipped Shiva in 50 B.C. Lal Shahbaz is also believed to have preached love and tolerance in Sindh.

The famous Qawwali by Abida Parveen and many other singers of Muslim religious songs, 'Lal Meri Pat Rakhiyo ...' is in honour of Shahbaz Qalandar. Another even more famous qawwali was sung by Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan named "Shahbaz Qalandar".

This famous mystic often quoted the teachings of Maulana Jalal ad-Din Rumi. A book detailing his life is called "Solomon's Ring" by Gul Hasan.

Shahbaz Qalandar's shrine is located in Sehwan, Sindh, where thousands of pilgrims travel every year to honor the great Sufi philosopher, poet and Qalandar. He knew many languages including Persian, Turkish, Arabic, Sindhi and Sanskrit.

Shahbaz Qalandar's famous Persian verses showing his love and honour for Hazrat Ali are engraved on his shrine:

“ Haiderium Qalandram Mastam
Banda e Murtaza Ali Hastam

Peshwa e tamam Rindanam

Ke Sag e Koo e Sher e Yazdanam!


Translation:

I am Haideri (relating to Haider, a second name for Ali ibn e Abu Talib), Qalandar and Mast (intoxicated with inspiration)

I am a slave of Ali Murtaza

I am leader of all saints

Because I am a dog of the lane of "Allah's Lion" (referring to Ali)


I believe that Barelvi is the largest Muslim group in Britain. Qalandar has a website here....take a look!

One Goose, fat in the sky, fat with power?

this was fun, I don't do much flying and I am not into sociobiology people are not geese, fun and good though.

Perhaps they need one ring, I mean, goose to rule them all

http://www.thepracticeofleadership.net/2006/07/18/leadership-lessons-from-ge
ese/

Fact 1: As each goose flaps its wings it creates an "uplift" for the birds
that follow. By flying in a "V" formation, the whole flock adds 71% greater
flying range than if each bird flew alone.
Lesson: People who share a common direction and sense of community can get
where they are going quicker and easier because they are traveling on the
thrust of one another.

Fact 2: When a goose falls out of formation, it suddenly feels the drag and
resistance of flying alone. It quickly moves back into formation to take
advantage of the lifting power of the bird immediately in front of it.
Lesson: If we have as much sense as a goose we stay in formation with those
headed where we want to go. We are willing to accept their help and give our
help to others.

Fact 3: When the lead goose tires, it rotates back into the formation and
another goose flies to the point position.
Lesson: It pays to take turns doing the hard tasks and sharing leadership.
As with geese, people are interdependent on each other's skills,
capabilities and unique arrangements of gifts, talents or resources.

Fact 4: The geese flying in formation honk to encourage those up front to
keep up their speed.
Lesson: We need to make sure honking is encouraging. In groups where there
is encouragement the production is much greater. The power of encouragement
(to stand by one's heart or core values and encourage the heart and core of
others) is the quality of honking we seek.

Fact 5: When a goose gets sick, wounded, or shot down, two geese drop out of
formation and follow it down to help and protect it. They stay with it until
it dies or is able to fly again. Then, they launch out with another
formation or catch up with the flock.
Lesson: If we have as much sense as geese, we will stand by each other in
difficult times as well as when we are strong.

18 Sep 2007

Derek Wall Keynote Speech, Liverpool 07

Derek Wall Keynote Speech, Liverpool 07
18th Sep 2007


By: Dr. Derek Wall


The Green Party is a party that wants to change the world so we have a world, a party that must make the difference and have an effect if our children are to have a future, and if we are to slow, halt and reverse the forces of destruction, climate change, species loss, constant war.

There is a battle of ideas.

The political battle extends to the very meaning of a word. We have to win this battle and it comes down to individual words.

I am going to talk about two words today 'ecology' and 'power'.

We have to get to a society that works ecologically, where we are not hacking through the life support systems of our species and the rest of nature. The buck stops with ecology - without ecological thinking, the future is bleak.

We need a new ecological civilisation in this country and globally.

Ecology tells us that we are all linked, that when we violate nature we violate ourselves. This means we have to listen to the scientists. The Climate Camp protesters proclaimed "we are armed only with peer reviewed science"

James Hansen from NASA stated, "Recent greenhouse gas emissions place the Earth perilously close to dramatic climate change", creating the risk of a situation "out of humanity's control, such that devastating sea-level rise will inevitably occur".

Yet Oil demand will rise to 88.2 million barrels of oil a day in 2008. 80% of journeys in Britain are made by car. By 2021, we are told that car ownership will rise from 27.8 million to 33.5 million, enough to fill a 52 lane motorway from London to Edinburgh.

Ecological sanity demands that we move to a post-oil economy.

Carbon offset? I don't think so, let's keep the black stuff in the ground

But it isn't just the threat of climate change: all of the key biochemical cycles are now controlled by human action and all of them, not just the carbon cycle, risk being pushed in an unsustainable direction.

Ecology is about good housekeeping, but the words 'ecology', 'environmental' and 'green' risk being debased.

Look at food.

According to food researcher Rose Bridger, and despite all the greenwash, airfreight of food is expanding at a phenomenal rate.

British Airways owned Heathrow Perishables Handling Centre, which consolidates cargo trucked in from other airports, including Stansted and Gatwick, transports over 80,000 tonnes of fresh food a year, covering 160 cities in 86 countries.

At Humberside Airport, flights of Icelandic fish have grown from once a week to almost daily over the past six years.

Can you believe this? We actually fly fish to our supermarkets!

We need to support ethical, organic, local food to tackle our climate debt with real policy change.

The alternative to ecological politics is catastrophe.

We waste enough to fill the Albert Hall in hours, increasingly to be burnt in incinerators, creating miniscule mb10 particles - a major threat to health, creating dustbins in the skies.

We need zero waste. An increase in recycling, an end to over-packaging, designing products for disassembly and reuse: we need ecological policies for the whole product life cycle.

Food, transport, energy production - in fact, all areas of society need to be governed by ecological conditions, yet everything is going the wrong way in policy terms for planet Earth.

The current political spectrum heaps violence on nature.

Liberal Democrats have produced some fine words but lots of negative action. Leader Charles Kennedy contributed hundreds of tonnes of CO2 flying around Britain during the last election. Liberal Democrat MPs insisted on Newbury By-Pass and opposed congestion charging in Edinburgh - moderate centre ground motorway builders.

David Cameron's Tories may have a tree logo, but they are funded by corporations and buttressed by climate deniers like John Redwood. Think of the bus and rail privatisation that Thatcher and Major used to get millions more journeys taken by car. Nuclear weapons - hardly green - but a Tory policy through and through!

New Prime Minister Gordon Brown is spending £30bn on more roads a year and supports a new runway at Heathrow. He uses Thatcherite supply side economics as a justification for killing planning controls.

Oh, brave new world, with so many incinerators, nuclear power stations and motorways in it, courtesy of Gordon Brown.

A new ecological civilization must live with nature, not against it.

But we need power to make change so we can have our civilisation, the only civilisation possible, a new ecological civilisation.

To dream and imagine is part of the process, - but we need power to make it a reality!

William Morris dreamt and wrote beautiful accounts of ecotopia in his books, but he also got politically organised to make the vision true.

Politics is often called 'the art of the possible'. All parties seek power and, by some definitions, power equals politics. But if power politics is the game, then we Greens have known for decades that the stakes are immense.

Think of all the ecological science.

We cannot fail.

We have an obligation, a responsibility, to ruthlessly orientate to questions of power.

Everyday all of us need to think about strategy, change, and, above all, power. Every Green Party meeting should be a master class on power: if we don't make the changes we need, what of the small, beautiful but increasingly abused planet we live on?

But what is power? You can't touch it or taste it. Sometimes I think you can smell it, like wealth or sewage, and if it is piled up in one place it stinks like rotten cod. For it to smell sweet, we need to spread it around. For power to be creative, we need to spread it around.

Collecting power in one place is like collecting money in a mega billion bank account, the work of a miser, a misery, a self obsessed fanatic.

Green politics is about giving everyone power.

Today our political system seems closed to influence. Some people say you need a charismatic figure to shovel it up and redistribute. We will see how Chavez does in Caracas with this. I really hope he can achieve communal power but he will see. He knows the world is watching, hoping.

Economics is power. We live in a system where banks have more power than parliaments. Capitalism shapes and conditions every aspect of our lives.

Everywhere the subliminal messages beg us to spend more, work more and then waste more. See the $6 trillion annual spend on advertising as evidence.

The term rat race is an insult to rodents.

This power on earth is opposed to everything in our manifesto.

John Bellemy Foster says it all in the title of his book - 'Ecology against Capitalism'.

We have to be serious about economic power and economic change. We have a huge and scary economic system, so we must promote alternatives and show that a gentler world is possible.

From workers controlled factories in Latin America, to food localisation, to the free software on your computer, alternatives exist and we have to help them grow.

This is why the Green Party works to support trade unions like the RMT, PCS and CWU when they take action for a living wage and against the Private Finance Initiative.

Our inspirational MEPS, Caroline Lucas and Jean Lambert, are internationally respected voices calling for social justice.

Caroline, voted ahead of Brown and Cameron as Politician of the Year in the Observer Ethical Awards, put proposals to the European Parliament calling on pharmaceutical giant Novartis to drop a court challenge to the Indian government that blocked the production of cheap, lifesaving medicines for the world's poorest.

Jean has successfully defended asylum and immigration rights in the EU, addressing the Strangers into Citizens rally in London and making it clear that refugees and asylum seekers contribute massively to this society and should be valued as human beings born equal in dignity and rights.

They both worked to defend free software in the European Parliament that could make technology accessible to millions of disenfranchised people.

Our local councillors are also changing the economic agenda up and down the country, like our 12-strong team on Brighton and Hove Council that opposes further privatisation of council housing, cuts and school closures.

And look at all the work done by Jenny Jones and Darren Johnson in the London Assembly to oppose and reverse tube privatisation, to support low paid cleaners, to support firemen and women, rail workers and others.

Economic democracy and economic justice is what Greens work for.

The principles are all in our splendid Manifesto for a Sustainable Society.

Power is about ideas. Greens will only succeed if people trust green ideas.

Canadian public relations expert James Hoggan has argued that, "Few PR offences have been so obvious, so successful and so despicable as the attack on the scientific certainty of climate change".

Millions has been poured into climate denial and the results are catastrophic. The post-modern modern world is one where spin is more important than science.

We must win the battle between truth and lies on climate change.

Think tanks for neo-liberal ideas of privatisation, greed and public sector cuts, like the Institute for Economic Ideas (funded incidentally from Anthony Fisher's Buxted chicken factory farming empire) and the Adam Smith Institute (who I'd like to say was funded by the Bernard Matthews' Turkey Twizzler empire, but I'm afraid I'd be lying), laid the ground for Thatcher and her legacy of destitution. They held conferences, primed prominent journalists, worked hard to place their ideas in newspapers and magazines and published academic work that went into universities.

Saying 'green is good' is not enough: we need to think deeply about our ideas and communicate them with clarity.

Infinite growth on a finite planet? We should say that growth for growth's sake is the philosophy of a cancer cell; we should say let's stop using this planet as our toilet.

We should say waste less.

Power is about movements demanding change now. We are the only political party to explicitly advocate non-violent direct action as a tactic to defend disenfranchised people and neglected issues.

The climate camp showed the way, generating huge publicity for the campaign against the new Heathrow Runway.

We were involved - Jenny Jones patient work in terms of police liaison was vital.

"What we do now decides what the future holds. Those who came before us didn't know the problems, those who come after us will have severely limited options. We have both the power and the responsibility to make a radically better world." So stated the Climate Camp.

The Climate Camp challenged the rest of the green movement to be effective, professional and empowering to make the links and get things done.

I have a message from them if you'd like to hear it? At this year's Camp, the Rising Tide UK network called a Day of Local Action.

October 15th day of action against Royal Bank of Scotland against RBS, a major funder of the Liquid Natural Gas pipeline currently tearing up the Welsh countryside, a major backer of the aviation industry, and the world's self-described 'Oil and Gas Bank'. RBS is the second-largest bank in Europe and has global assets of over $1120bn including high street brands NatWest, Direct Line and Churchill Insurance.

Despite creating a public image as a "good neighbour" through sponsorship of sports and the arts, RBS business activities have major destructive impacts on the environment and society.

For example, the thirty oil and gas project finance deals RBS signed between 2001 and 2006 locked us all in to future emissions of 655 million tonnes over the next 15 years, more than equivalent to the UK's entire annual emissions.

RBS provides oil corporations with the cash to build and operate drilling rigs, pipelines and oil tankers. From West Africa to the Ecuadorian rainforest, from the North Sea to the Middle East, RBS loans play a key role in forcing open the new carbon frontier, which contributes to environmental destruction, disruption of indigenous peoples and increased conflict across the planet.'

So please support this day of direct action!

Power can be power over others - we should never tell people what to do, to point fingers or give orders.

Power has to be creative.

Green electoral victories are above all about this creative power: we elect people to change the structures, to open up space so people can live sustainable, fulfilled lives.

Power is about space and structures, providing alternatives so people can be free and green. Renewable energy, organic farming, affordable efficient public transport we need to change the structures so our new ecological civilization is possible.

Power is not the man or women in the high castle. Power is everywhere and makes us what we are. Power is based on networks - which takes us back to ecology.

Power should be based on dialogue. If you talk to people and move towards consensus, then things happen.

Power can silence. Power, according to theorist Steven Lukes, has three faces:

Face one - you win the debate.

Face two - you set the agenda and make sure what you don't want to discuss does not even get on the agenda.

Face three - the most fundamental - you shape the agenda so people cannot even think of alternative.

Our power involves putting new vital ideas on the agenda, of making the impossible a policy choice - a new ecological civilization.

Now I can hear the voices: typical Derek Wall, he has named Bahktin, Marx, Stephen Lukes, Foucault and Italian Tony - I mean Tony Gramsci its all theoretical. I would have to agree. But, 'Philosophers hitherto have only described the world. The point is to change it.'

17 Sep 2007

Donnachadh McCarthy on the Liberal Democrat conference


Many people feel that no matter who they vote for, the political lobbyists and big-business remain in government. The Liberal Democrats this week could start persuading us that this could change. Goodness knows the planet, and not just Britain, now desperately needs this to be so.




A real high point of my conference was meeting Donnachad McCarthy, he came and did a fringe meeting for Green Party radicals to tell us about his experience in the Liberal Democrats where he was Party deputy chair.

His story is fascinating, I am still really tired after conference and I wish he had written his political story up because its great and instructive and sobering but he is too busy at present. So here goes a very very rough sketch

He had been a ballet dancer but was injured when his partners (whatever the term is for other ballet dancers) failed to catch and he dropped 12feet. He had lots of treatment I guess conventional and alternative and was being treated by an acupuncturist, the acupuncturist had a spare place for a trip to the Amazon, Donnachad went saw the destruction of native people for himself and became a green activist.

He I guess at some point joined the Liberal Democrats, had an urgent action appeal from Survival International about a threatend group of people in Indonesia whose land was going to be destroyed by RTZ.....found that Lord Richard Holme was both a Liberal Democrat high up (president? chair?) and an executive director of Rio Tinto Zinc....so Donnachad fought against the lib dem bureaucracy to oust lobbyists and corporate figures like Lord Holme.

Despite winning many internal battles and rising as far as you can in the organisation, Donnachad eventually admitted defeat.

He told us how all parties tend to gain a leader, a single leader is easier for the corporations who are the big donors to manipulate, in turn 70% of members in the lib dems or labour, 80% in the Tories...will do what the leader wants...the leader then controls the party and stifles the grass roots.

Donnachad is compleatly disillusioned with party politics and works by writing, speaking and green auditing.....he is a good friend of Jenny Jones our great Green Party Greater London Assembly Member,

He warned us from electing a single leader and going down the conventional party path...it was interesting for me, I keep abreast about my own party, environmental groups, the left (which I am a part) and the diy movement which I work with when possible so internal Lib dem politics is a bit of mystery to me.

Donnachad had a message for all party political radicals working for the planet and justice, here is his take on the lib dems, obviously I am an explicit anti-capitalist and feel we should go further than he suggests but it is a good read!





Donnachad McCarthy: The shameful truth behind the Lib Dems' demise
Why are they wasting energy tackling a pointless referendum on Europe?
Published: 17 September 2007
As the Lib Dem conference opens this week, it marks nearly a year since the publication in October 2006 of the Stern Report into the climate crisis. With the Lib Dems having long led the field on environmental policies, one has to ask why they are languishing in the polls with the issue dominating the media agenda as it has done over the past year?

With Labour continuing business as usual with proposals to massively increase airport expansion and road building and the Tories issuing two completely contradictory policy papers, with the likelihood being a fudged compromise, surely now is the time for the Liberal Democrats to make political hay? They have produced a good policy paper on how to reduce carbon emissions by 2050, but instead of launching a campaign to promote them, they want to waste enormous political energy over the next few years tackling a pointless referendum on Europe.

The key question to be asked is therefore why they, like the other parties, are not responding with the urgency Stern required. There are two main reasons. The first is their failure to address the corrupting influence that political lobbying has on the internal dynamics of the party. While I was a member I found that no matter how successful ordinary party members were in getting environmental policies adopted democratically, unless these policies fitted in with the agenda of the leadership then they were never acted upon. Under Charles Kennedy, the background of many key decision-makers in the leadership was from the corporate mining, oil, political lobbying and tax haven industries. Likewise when it came to deciding on what to campaign for in the general election the priorities were set by focus group polling rather than what the party believed in. Thus tragically the environment fell by the wayside every time and valuable political opportunities were missed.

More here

Iraqi LGBT

FYI.



I can vouch for the character of Ali Hili, who is a campaigner based in London and assists Peter Tatchell regularly with his campaigns on LGBT issues in the Middle East.



Joseph Healy

GPRC International Friend/LGBT Group International Officer



Dear Friend of Iraqi LGBT



We are writing to you in an urgent appeal for help because we currently face a critical situation in our efforts to assist lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered people in Iraq.



Since the US invasion of Iraq, Gay people in Iraq have suffered particularly intense persecution. Violence against all the gay community has intensified sharply since late 2005, when Iraq's leading Shiite Muslim cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani, issued a fatwa (religious decree) which declared that gays and lesbians should be "killed in the worst, most severe way." Since then, LGBT people have been specifically targeted by the Madhi Army (the militia of fundamentalist Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr) as well as by other militant death squads. There are even credible reports of gay men being arrested and executed by the Iraqi police. The United Nations and the US State Department have issued reports documenting some of the more recent killings. It is impossible to document precisely how many gay, trans gender and lesbian have been killed in Iraq as a result of their sexuality, but we have specific knowledge of hundreds of cases, and every LGBT individual in Iraq is currently in severe danger.



Since 2006, Friends of Iraqi LGBT has been trying to help by funding safe houses in Iraq for individuals, who have come to the attention of the death squads and who have consequently had to flee their homes. We have also been providing financial assistance to assist LGBT individuals in particularly dangerous areas of Iraq to move to relatively safer parts of the country, or even to seek refuge abroad.



Now, however, we are facing a critical situation regarding funding. The need is rising, and unless more financing can be raised immediately, a number of safe houses will have to close by the end of this month, putting dozens of vulnerable people at risk of execution.



We are therefore appealing to you for a donation. Any amount, no matter how small, could save a life. For example, the cost of funding the rent on a safe house is approximately £900 a month - £400 for rent (typically paid three months in advance), £200 for the salaries of two armed guards (an essential part of the security arrangements) and £300 per month for gas, fuel for electricity generators, food, clean drinking water, hygienic supplies and the like. Additionally, most of the safe houses are terribly short of essentials like bedding and cooking utensils. Each safe house typically looks after 10-12 individuals at a time, so you can see that the cost of protecting a life in Iraq is really very small.



We currently fund five safe houses with guards, but several of these will have to shut imminently unless we can step up our funding. Moreover, we have recently been receiving daily requests for new assistance from various cities in Iraq, and most of the time we are unable to help because of lack of funds. Ideally, we would also like to pay for HIV medicines for a number of positive Iraqis, but at the moment we are not able to afford this.

You can help make a difference in this tragic situation by making a donation via the Friends of Iraqi LGBT website:



http://iraqilgbtuk.blogspot.com/



Alternatively, you can send a cheque or money order to (K. Sahi), 13 Campden Hill Mansions, Edge Street, London, W8 7PL, United Kingdom.



All monies received are channelled directly to safe houses in Iraq.



Many of us are lucky enough to live in countries which celebrate basic human rights and guarantee the security of their LGBT citizens. But what if this were not the case? Please take a moment to think what it would be like if you personally were at risk of execution simply because of your sexuality, simply because of who you are. We ask for your support for those less fortunate than yourself.



Friends of Iraqi LGBT and our brothers and sisters in Iraq thank you in advance for your help.



PLEASE FORWARD THIS MESSAGE TO ALL YOUR FRIENDS .







Ali Hili

IRAQI LGBT

13 Campden Hill Mansions

Edge Street

London, United Kingdom

W8 7PL



website: http://iraqilgbtuk.blogspot.com

16 Sep 2007

conference fun

I had a good conference, but goodness I am quite tired after a train journey from Liverpool to here in Headcorn Kent that started at 2pm and finished at 9.45pm.

Good crowd of conference goers, stimulating debates and I was really proud to not only thank Green Party councillors who deserve some thanks for all their hard work getting elected (no mean task without PR)and action in post but push the climate camp.

The high spots included getting radical policies on government essentially we would abolish the PM, putting in a first minister with less power and going for a more consensual approach. The motions against the wrong kind of biofuels ....ie. agricultural especially palm oil which cuts into rainforests were also very important.

The leadership debates were friendly (in contrast to some earlier media events!), but I want to keep the debate on power going.

You know my view on power here is a slightly different approach from Caroline Lucas, see what you think, this is from one of her conference speeches as principal speaker:

8. The Green Party and Power
But while we castigate this Labour government for not using the power it has, it's a timely moment to consider the complex attitude of many Green Parties towards power.
Politics is, of course, all about power. And those of us in the Green Party are in politics precisely because we want to get green ideas into power .
But in spite of that, we have an almost crippling suspicion about its use, and about the leadership which goes with its exercise .
But power doesn't go away if you ignore it. Someone, somewhere has always got it – what changes is the amount of transparency and accountability that goes with it.
I think the Green Party should treat the issue of leadership and power with greater confidence – we should trust each other, more.
Caroline Lucas,
Hove 23 September 2006


the rest of the speech is here

15 Sep 2007

Key note speech

"Power has to be creative. Green electoral victories are above all about this creative power: we elect people to change the structures, to open up space so people can live sustainable, fulfilled lives. Providing alternatives so people can be free and green. "Our power involves putting new vital ideas on the agenda, of making the impossible a policy choice – a new ecological civilization. "Philosophers hitherto have only described the world, the point is to change it.'

Had lots of fun with this, stressing ecology and trying to get a debate going in the Greens about 'power', its not just something we can take hold of, its based on networks, dialogue, commons....pulling down the fences....didn't quite get all of this, so apologies to the great Nicholas Hildyard who helped with the final stages for not getting the subtely of power being something that cannot be captured.

Any way you can read more of my speech here.....really bigged up the climate camp along with the Greens, the camp really gave me hope.

14 Sep 2007

How to Save the World at 9AM

This mornings excitement for me was the Green Left 'How to Save the World' fringe, yes at 9AM, in a dungeon like black painted room here at Liverpool Hope university.

It was ably chaired by Tim Summers. I spoke I trying to get the Greens debating power, strategy, change....which will be a big part of my key note speech tomorrow, still worried about this, if you know me you will know that I am always happy to speak at great length without notes...the problem with the key note speech is you need a written copy for the press and this blog and of course this stumps me....I spent hours learning my key note on 'catastrophe' and 'resistance' at the spring conference but when I got up on the podium had to ad lib the whole thing!

Stress...any way enough about me....at the fringe we had 30 people great for 9AM, Jonathon Essex spoke with passion about building economic alternatives, transition towns, link electoral politics to culture change.

I name checked Harry Perkins here of the book 'A very British Coup' written by MP Chris Mullin it is about a left wing Labour Prime Minister destablised and removed by the corporations and the US (today the US and the Corporations support our PMs! from the Labour Party)....talked about the big challenge of going for government as radicals.

As usual the contributions from the fringe goers was impressive and varied, a good serious discussion, covering everying from finance capitalism, to winning local elections, to the Latin American left and Chavez

Two more fringes for me, Green Empowerment the no single leader campaign is bringing in a mystery guest (no its not Tony Juniper from Friends of the Earth!)...I am chairing with Jenny Jones.

also today introducing Nick Hildyard from the Corner House, he is my real political economy hero, he has done so much to fight enclosure and defend, extend, deepen the commons. He is talking about his work with Campaign Against the Arms Trade challenging BAE over the alleged corruption around the Saudi Arms deal!

Sian has just made her key note a big ra ra for the General Election...some great stuff on the Liverpool Lib dem councils support for flying to regenerate the local economy.

right back to the fray!

13 Sep 2007

climate camp vid for you!

well just got to party conference here in Liverpool...excitement of the SOC report in a minute and working on the old conference speech for saturday morning.

had this from the climate camp listen, look and enjoy

hi there,

A 30 minute film of the climate camp has been edited from material shot on
camp by indymedia type media activists working with the climate camp.

It's well worth watching and is good for doing a film night, discussion,
next step type meeting.

Watch it online here:

http://www.archive.org/details/climatecampfilm2007

Please do spread the word about it and why not download it, make it into a
dvd and copy and distribute....

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General questions / comments / suggestions can be sent to
info@climatecamp.org.uk, or for more info check out www.climatecamp.org.uk.

Please don't try to send an email to climatecamp@lists.riseup.net as only Camp
for Climate Action groups can post to this list.

Green Empowerment Campaign fringes

CONFERENCE FRINGES

Green Empowerment Campaign fringes

Thursday 13 Sept, 19:00 to 19:50
'What do you think of the Leaders Debate so far?'
Facilitated by Sarah Farrow, Chair of Green Left and Ceri Galloway
An opportunity for delegates to share their feelings about the leader debate
and the implications for the Party. This will take the form of a "listening
circle" in which all participants will be given the opportunity to speak in
turn.

Friday 14 Sept, 13:20 to 14:10
'We need more leaders, not fewer'
Speakers: Jenny Jones, Member of the London Assembly and former Deputy Mayor
of London, Derek Wall, Green Party Principal Speaker
Plus Guest Speaker
A discussion of the dangers of top-down leadership and personality politics,
and the need for wider empowerment within the Green Party and society at
large.

Saturday 15 Sept, 18:00 to 18:50
'A different way of doing politics'
Speakers: Jonathan Dixon, Green Party Councillor in Scarborough and Romayne
Phoenix, Green Party Councillor in Lewisham
Disillusionment with conventional politics is at an all-time high. The Green
Party needs to find new ways to appeal to those people who most wish to see
fundamental change in our society, yet who are also usually the ones with
least confidence in a conventional political approach.

Plenary Debate

Sunday 16 Sept, 10:00 to 11:40
Debate and discussion on the proposal for a Green Party Leader
To include nominated speakers for/against, speeches from the floor and
'table talk'

CONFERENCE STALL

If you can offer an hour or two to help with the stall, please see Joseph
Healy, Ceri Galloway at Conference, or anyone on the stall

CONCERNS ABOUT ESCALATION OF THE 'ARMS RACE' BETWEEN THE TWO CAMPAIGNS

There is growing concern amongst members that the campaigns for and against
a leader are using increasing amounts of time, effort and resources that
could be put to better use. Particular concerns are over the money spent and
the fact that this debate is increasingly spilling out into the public
domain.

I can only make a few brief comments for now as I rush to get to Conference,
and obviously I can't speak for Green Yes, the campaign FOR the leader
motion.

Money: So far we have run the campaign on a shoestring - and our expected
expenditure will be a fraction of the £8000 spending cap set by SOC for the
two campaigns. We were completely opposed to a high spending cap and
unnecessary waste of members' money. However, we have spent money on things
we can't provide ourselves. So far this is mainly leaflets, conference
materials and video production.

Media: As said in the a previous email, we have always been in favour of
keeping the debate mainly internal - however, we have felt in necessary in
recent weeks to do 'reactive' and 'defensive' media work as Green Yes has
clearly been doing this proactively.

Conduct of the debate: However, the two campaigns have now agreed a
'protocol' on conduct of the debate and this gives some hope that we can
avoid a greater rift and damage to the Party (see below).


Note on LEADER REFERENDUM DEBATE public opportunities

External Comms and the two campaigns would like to advise
speakers taking public opportunities to

(i) emphasise that we are as a party wanting to look
forward to greater progress and development of the party

(ii) show that we are having a MATURE debate about the
nature of leadership in our movement

(iii) ON JOINT PLATFORMS, SPEAKERS ARE ENCOURAGED TO CONFER (AND FOR MEDIA,
REHEARSE) BEFOREHAND TO IDENTIFY POINTS OF CONSTRUCTIVE AGREEMENT THAT THEY
CAN RALLY AROUND.

The two campaigns agree that public debate be conducted in
a mutually respectful manner and will do their best to
ensure their speakers do justice to our Party's good
reputation.

Additionally:

This approach should extend to public forums such as Facebook

We want to see the internal debate similarly positive, constructive and
good natured.

We will as campaigns avoid aggressive/threatening/abusive behaviour at
conference


From the Green Leadership email list
Campaigning against the referendum Leader motion
Post to:
greenleadership@yahoogroups.com
Unsubscribe:
greenleadership-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
Yahoo! Groups Links

12 Sep 2007

With conference coming up and the end of another term of office for GPEx members, I would like to take this opportunity of thanking Cllr Richard Mallender, GPEx Chair and Trade Union Group rep on GPEx, for his support of the Trade Union Group and its efforts to build links with the trade unions over the last year. As Trade Union Group Rep on GPRC, it has been good to have continued support from a committed trade unionist on the Executive. I also speak for my Trade Union Group colleague on GPRC, Marc Scheimann.



Joseph Healy

Trade Union Group Rep on GPRC

One ring?

In the ballot of party members, I will be voting yes, in the hope that we can offer the public a different kind of leadership - one that inspires, empowers, and enables others to act, rather than one that dictates. This is our opportunity to demonstrate that Green political leadership will enhance, rather than stifle, participatory politics, and to take radical Green politics into the mainstream.

Is from Caroline Lucas,


Jenny Jones and myself debate with her in the Guardian today, read more here....conference starts tomorrow.

11 Sep 2007

Conference season starts!

well I think the big conference event is Nick Hildyard for the corner house talking on friday night at 5pm about how he took on BAE over corruption in Saudi Arabia, Nick is one of the most politically sophisticated can do, green political activists on the planet....I would give him my conference speech slot on saturday morning but for the fact he has to go to another event...

here is Natalie Bennett's conference message...

Perhaps you've been thinking about going, perhaps it had slipped your mind? Well
this is your final reminder that the Green Party Autumn conference starts THIS
Thursday (September 13)in Liverpool and runs through to Sunday. If you haven't
pre-booked that's not a problem - you can just turn up and register on the door,
for one day or more.

It is easy to get to: the venue is The Cornerstone building of Liverpool Hope
University, at Haigh Street, Liverpool L3 8QB. It is about 10 minutes' walk from
the main railway station at Liverpool Lime Street, and about the same from the
National Express bus station. (And trains to Liverpool take about two hours from
London.)

If you can make all four days that’s great, but whenever you can make it
there'll be lots to hear, to debate and to enjoy. And of course the chance to
meet old Green Party friends and make new ones.

On Thursday the theme is urban regeneration, highly relevant to Liverpool, next
year's European city of culture. How can cities hit by industrial decline and
globalisation get back on their feet?

On Friday there'll be the launch of our climate challenge to the "grey parties",
and a major panel session and accompanying fringe sessions on women who face
"double disadvantages" - addressing issues of black and ethnic minority women,
female asylum-seekers, and sex workers. That evening the Young Greens are
running a quiz night: could you be "The Brain of the Green Party"?

The partying continues on Saturday night with the always unmissable conference
review and ceilidh - bring your dancing shoes, but before that are a huge range
of sessions and workshops: from the return of the airship to Mongolian mining
issues, to trade union work.

After earlier fringe sessions each day of conference, on Sunday will be the
plenary discussion of November's leader/co-leader referendum, where you can hear
speakers from both sides and ask your questions.

That's just a few of the highlights – there are also many sessions to provide
skills and assistance in local party work, chances for you to have input into
election strategy, and opportunities to learn more about many aspects of the
Green Party.

It is the event of the year: if you've never been to a conference you've missed
out on an essential Green Party experience. (If you can make Friday morning
there's a special session for conference newcomers to ease you in - but even if
you can't come along anyway and ask at the front desk – members there will
answer any questions and point you in the right direction.)

For more information check out the conference timetable:
http://www.greenparty.org.uk/files/conference/2007/Liverpool_timetable_full.pdf
the agenda:
http://www.greenparty.org.uk/files/conference/2007/Final_Agenda_Autumn07.pdf
and for accommodation you might want to check this website:
www.visitliverpool.com/site/accommodation

Should you need crash (cheap and basic) accommodation, please contact Rob Smith,
robsmith1985@hotmail.com or 07949 461722. For other queries please contact: John
Norris 01904 640344, conferences@jnorris.org.uk. After conference has started
call Natalie Bennett, internal communications, 07967-417859.

10 Sep 2007

all that blood flowing from the television


How can I sit and eat my tea with all that blood flowing from the television." "Guerrilla war struggle is the new entertainment." [15]

More here from the original situationalist funksters....from Nantes no Leeds.

More here.

9 Sep 2007

My meeting with Cynthia: America's first black president?


President George W. Bush has failed to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States; he has failed to ensure that senior members of his administration do the same; and he has betrayed the trust of the American people.



"Americans are gathering the courage to just say no. We are saying no to addictive consumer lifestyles. We are saying no to wars and corporate takeover and the IMF loans that gobble up people and their resources.

"And all over the world, people are saying, if you are committing these acts in my name, then don't. If you are committing these acts--waging war on the innocent, destroying the environment, buying bombs when babies need bottles...then don't do it for me. Not in My Name, Not in the Name of My Child.

"Americans want peace, and justice and to live up to the conscience of its forbears. So we are joining people of good will around the world who say, Not in My Name, Not in the Name of My Child."

Cynthia McKinney, June 2002


The Urban Green Fair was fun. I talked to lots of stall people including Jim Scott who does lots of spirituality stuff, Animal Aid (had a lengthy conversation with the three of them about growing veg, I recently re-joined AA), Peace News (while I don't fight in the street after the pubs close and I believe in non-violence, I am not really a total pacifist...but the mag is great) and lots of others.

Cynthia arrived and gave a great speech and I meet one US voter who was thinking about voting for her. May be there were more in the crowd of 40 or so, I was impressed by Cynthia and she seemed a nice women (I am a bit paranoid about all politicos turning into swivvel eyed egotists at present).

She seems quite in to 9/11 inquiry stuff and the 9/11 campaigners had apparently brought her over, her assistant in the UK told Joseph Healy and I about the importance of hemp, I think hemp is quite important as a crop for growing alsorts of stuff and as an alternative (in moderate amounts/not skunk/not with tobacco) to a stiff pimms.

I must admit though I don't see either 9/11 conspiracy or hemp as central political issues, 9/11 I suspect was not a conspiracy and we know about alsorts of proven nasty things from the US state....this said I am very much 'Go Cynthia, Go!' Cynthia didn't mention hemp and didn't saying anything I can find to disagree with when it came to 9/11.....

I hope she runs and she is certainly a Green, I think she would make a very powerful and attractive Presidential candidate.

It is great as Green Party Principal Speaker to have had the opportunity to support her today.

You can catch her speaking at Friends House, Euston Road, tomorrow Monday at 7pm. see here.

Draft here here.....I guess you need to be from the US of A to do this.

found this great speech when she tried to impeach Bush in her former role as a CongressWomen...she has had so much flack for putting forward opposition to Empire.


Rep. McKinney's floor statement on the impeachment of George W. Bush

By Cynthia McKinney, December 8, 2006
Mr. Speaker:
I come before this body today as a proud American and as a servant of the American people, sworn to uphold the Constitution of the United States.

Throughout my tenure, I’ve always tried to speak the truth. It’s that commitment that brings me here today.

We have a President who has misgoverned and a Congress that has refused to hold him accountable. It is a grave situation and I believe the stakes for our country are high.

No American is above the law, and if we allow a President to violate, at the most basic and fundamental level, the trust of the people and then continue to govern, without a process for holding him accountable—what does that say about our commitment to the truth? To the Constitution? To our democracy?

The trust of the American people has been broken. And a process must be undertaken to repair this trust. This process must begin with honesty and accountability.

Leading up to our invasion of Iraq, the American people supported this Administration’s actions because they believed in our President. They believed he was acting in good faith. They believed that American laws and American values would be respected. That in the weightiness of everything being considered, two values were rock solid—trust and truth.

From mushroom clouds to African yellow cake to aluminum tubes, the American people and this Congress were not presented the facts, but rather were presented a string of untruths, to justify the invasion of Iraq.
President Bush, along with Vice President Cheney and then-National Security Advisor Rice, portrayed to the Congress and to the American people that Iraq represented an imminent threat, culminating with President Bush’s claim that Iraq was six months away from developing a nuclear weapon. Having used false fear to buy consent—the President then took our country to war.

This has grave consequences for the health of our democracy, for our standing with our allies, and most of all, for the lives of our men and women in the military and their families—who have been asked to make sacrifices—including the ultimate sacrifice—to keep us safe.

Just as we expect our leaders to be truthful, we expect them to abide by the law and respect our courts and judges. Here again, the President failed the American people.

When President Bush signed an executive order authorizing unlawful spying on American citizens, he circumvented the courts, the law, and he violated the separation of powers provided by the Constitution. Once the program was revealed, he then tried to hide the scope of his offense from the American people by making contradictory, untrue statements.

President George W. Bush has failed to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States; he has failed to ensure that senior members of his administration do the same; and he has betrayed the trust of the American people.

With a heavy heart and in the deepest spirit of patriotism, I exercise my duty and responsibility to speak truthfully about what is before us. To shy away from this responsibility would be easier. But I have not been one to travel the easy road. I believe in this country, and in the power of our democracy. I feel the steely conviction of one who will not let the country I love descend into shame; for the fabric of our democracy is at stake.

Some will call this a partisan vendetta, others will say this is an unimportant distraction to the plans of the incoming Congress. But this is not about political gamesmanship.

I am not willing to put any political party before my principles.

This, instead, is about beginning the long road back to regaining the high standards of truth and democracy upon which our great country was founded.

Mr. Speaker:

Under the standards set by the United States Constitution, President Bush—along with Vice President Cheney, and Secretary of State Rice—should be subject to the process of impeachment, and I have filed H. Res. _ in the House of Representatives.

To my fellow Americans, as I leave this Congress, it is in your hands—to hold your representatives accountable, and to show those with the courage to stand for what is right, that they do not stand alone.

Thank you.

8 Sep 2007

Jihad against waste/ non violence and Islam

Definitely let’s be more house proud of our beautiful Brum. We have a responsibility for stewardship of the Earth which is beautiful. Join us for the jihad on waste, 23rd September


I must admit I love getting all this eco Islam stuff, ok I am a non Muslim sympathetic to the last prophet but even if I wasn't this is always political in the best sense, cultural, shows an awareness of ecology, etc....i.e worth a look

In Arabic I hear that the Koran is sacred, obviously so because of the poetic quality of its words...I think this from LINE if not sacred is certainly attractive, some environmentalism makes me yawn but news from the climate camp, non violence and Islam and the Jihad against waste are all topics worth reading about.

Remember as both the prophet and the scientists say 'Do Not Waste to Excess!'




Salam, May peace be with you,

In this current edition of Ecobites, there is a review of the Camp for Climate Action and also details of upcoming events, and not all arer in London!: Firstly is, Non-Violence in Islam and how this can inform activists (Ok, this talk is in London) ; the National Climate Demonstration Planning Meeting, in Oxford; and last but not least, the Clean Medina Jihad in Brum.

The details follow....


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1) CAMP FOR CLIMATE ACTION 2007: THE ACTION REVIEWED
From the Climate Camp Website: http://www.climatecamp.org.uk

The 24 hours of direct action against climate change which began on Sunday 19th August at noon culminated in a flurry of direct actions throughout England. As previously stated, none of the actions were intended to disrupt passengers, but instead, targeted the corporations who profit from climate chaos.

Sunday the 19th and Monday the 20th August

Carbon offset companies were occupied by protesters dressed as red herrings. Carbon offsetting is a scheme allowing companies and consumers to pay in order to supposedly neutralize their carbon emissions. 'Carbon offsets are ineffective, based on dubious science and lead people to believe they are helping when they are not - the concept and the practice are a con,' said Sophie Nathan, who is taking part in the Carbon Neutral Company action.

Five protesters are in a concrete lock-on outside Sizewell A and B nuclear power stations. Their banner declares, 'Nuclear power is not the answer to climate chaos.' Twelve protesters have superglued themselves to the entrance at BP headquarters. They are highlighting BPs essential role in the aviation industry. Protester Stanley Owen said 'We cannot sustain infinite growth on a planet with finite resources.' Eighteen protesters occupied the office of the owners of Leeds airport, Bridgepoint Capital, on Warwick Street in London.

In Harmondsworth village a group of 500, consisting of locals as well as climate camp participants, gathered to listen John McDonnell Labour MP for Hayes and Harlington. He told the government that the third runway will not be built:

'Even with the latest, more efficient aircraft, the climate change imperative demands that air travel growth be severely curtailed. The government can no longer have its cake and eat it. If it's genuinely serious about climate change it must show meaningful leadership to rein in aviation expansion.'

Protesters wore copies of the Tyndall Report on their hands during the mass action, carrying a banner reading, 'We are armed....only with peer-reviewed science'.
Late on Sunday evening, BA World Cargo depot was blockaded for about four and a half hours by eight protestors locked to each-other.

For more action news including earlier in the week, please go to: http://www.climatecamp.org.uk/success.php

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2) The London Islamic Network for the Environment (LINE) Monthly Forums:

NON-VIOLENCE IN ISLAM

Date: Sunday 9th Sept 2007
Time: 2.15 pm to 4.45pm
Venue: 4th Floor, Muslim World League, 46 Goodge Street, London, W1T 4LU (entrance on the corner of Charlotte Street); Nearest Tubes: Goodge Street (Northern Line) & Warren Street (Victoria Line)

Guest Speaker: Abu Muntasir, JIMAS

At this months forum, we will be looking at non-violence in Islamic teachings and history, and how it can inform campaigners and activists today. There will be an opportunity to ask questions, offer insights, and also to hear about environmental campaigning LINE is actively involved with. As usual no charge and open to all.

About the Speaker:

Abu Muntasir is the Chief Executive of JIMAS. He has established numerous study circles across the country and has delivered countless lectures over the years, reaching thousands of people. He is currently doing a MA in Islamic Studies at the University of London. Experienced at delivering talks and engaging in discussion at state schools, church groups and interfaith events he now concentrates in engaging with the community at large, as well as participation in civil society, while ensuring the continuing process of the education of Muslims.

More info: LINE Website: http://www.lineonweb.org.uk ; or call LINE on tel: 0845 456 3960 (local rate)

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3) The Campaign against Climate Change (CCC):

NATIONAL DEMONSTRATION ON CLIMATE CHANGE: PLANNING MEETING

Date: Saturday, October 6th
Venue: St Mary's Church, High Street, Oxford,
Time: 1 - 6 pm.
Speakers include: Mark Lynas (Campaigner and Writer), George Marshall.
Come to this meeting to build for the London and international demos on Sat Dec 8th, and plan for the campaign ahead.
Website: www.campaigncc.org

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4) CLEAN MEDINA CAMPAIGN PRESS RELEASE
for immediate release.

Photo shoot: Street event
Date: Sunday September 23rd 2007,
Time: 2pm – 7:45pm.
Location: Somerville Road, Off Charles Road) Small Heath. Birmingham B10. Near the Mosque ‘Noor ul Uloom’
Interviews: radio, etc.
Inner City Muslims show the true Jihad: Jihad against litter in inner city Brum… clean up in style


Inner city Muslims and friends will be taking to the streets of inner city Birmingham on 23rd September to launch a jihad (struggle) against waste. Rappers, drummers, flag wavers with litter pickers to hand will converge on Small Heath’s Somerville Road to clean up the district.

Tired of rubbish-strewn streets, Muslims have decided to clean up and recycle, going from mosque to mosque, starting with Noor ul Uloom mosque, Birmingham’s oldest. The Clean Medina Campaign will be launched with a big push, a shout (Allahu Akbar!) and a (movie) shoot (cast of thousands, mujahidin all). We’re also making a film: Smallywood Heath in Brum!

It will already be Ramadhan and with everyone fasting, we might want to take things easy. But it’s a war we’re on, part of the greater war on waste: no small thing and no let up until we’ve made street-trash history. Ordnance will be provided by Birmingham City Council for this feisty, festive Jihad. Clean up! Green up! Clean Medina! Making Brum Beautiful!

Fazlun Khalid of IFEES (Islamic Foundation for Ecology and Environmental Sciences) sponsors of Clean Medina campaign, whose international headquarters are in Balsall Heath says “Definitely let’s be more house proud of our beautiful Brum. We have a responsibility for stewardship of the Earth which is beautiful. Join us for the jihad on waste, 23rd September”

NOTES
As it will already be the fasting month, we won’t be eating until sunset. So have breakfast (Iftar) with us then. All Welcome! Even if you’re not Muslim, of course. These things concern us all. We’ll get the street so clean you can eat off it! Clean Medina! Halal, of course!

For further info and interviews call: 0121 773 0602 or call Assed on 07969 897 607
__._,_.___

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