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Showing posts from September, 2008

Derek Wall speaks at Liberation AGM

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Liberation have a proud history of solidarity with anti-colonial national liberation movements....so very pleased to be invited, I am certainly aiming to talk about the indigenous resistance to rainforest destruction in West Papua and in Peru, as well as the work of people like Roberto Perez in Cuba in promoting an ecosocialist economic alternative...both perspectives are vital to tackling climate change.



Liberation has for 50 years campaigned against neo-colonialism, and today resists the “new world order” of neoliberal globalisation led by the United States and EU governments.

'an new era of love and utopia' say East Berkshire radicals

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Liz from Windsor sent me this, thanks Liz.


Dear Comrades,

Just a reminder that as the equinox passes and the days lengthen we still have what must be the zillionth Anarchist Bookfair to look forward to (see below). If it turns out that the credit crunch kicks in and world capitalism has already imploded by then, ushering in an new era of love and utopia, we can get together and celebrate with a veggie curry at the 'eat-all-you-can' in the time-honoured fashion.

Love S

http://www.anarchistbookfair.org/

Introduction
As capitalism collapses around us in the market of ideas the anarchist pound is buoyant and the 27th Anarchist Bookfair is back at Queen Mary College in London’s East End. A big thank you to everyone who helped make last year’s bookfair run smoothly and to you all for respecting the space. This year we have 38 meetings, 90 stalls, an all day cabaret starring assorted ranters, poets, singers and comics; all day film showings and, two kids spaces.
This year the lay out…

London Islamic Network for the Environment news

well happy Eid...good to get this from LINE who do some great work, very pleased to link them up with Corner House.


Peace everyone,

LINE had no monthly forum in September because of Ramadan, but as the month comes to an end, we would like to invite you to mark your calendars for some exciting activities in October. Below are three notices: the Oct monthly forum; info about Fast for the Planet, inc main event; a link to an update on the Thai village struggle.

Wishing you a blessed and joyous Eid!


1) The London Islamic Network for the Environment (LINE) Monthly Forums invites you to:

SKILLS-SHARING WORKSHOP & 'WHAT MAKES COMMUNITY?'

This will take place on Sun 12th of Oct 2008, from 2.15pm to 4.45pm, at the London Mennonite Centre: Address:14 Shepherds Hill, London, N6 5AQ. Nearest Tube: Highgate (Northern line): 5 mins walk: (Take the Archway Road exit). Full details will be emailed via LINEnotices soon. In the meantime, you can see them posted at: http://www.lineonweb.org.uk/…

Capitalism = waste, proclaims journalist

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Nevertheless, waste is integral to what Robert Reich, in his most recent book, calls "supercapitalism". Unchecked supercapitalism produces waste as inevitably as it produces inequality, job insecurity, loss of community and so on. We are rapidly reaching the point, long promised by futurologists, where we throw away clothes after wearing them once, and we already dispose of many electrical goods as soon as they go wrong.

The average British household currently spends a mere 60p a week on repairs. The economic logic is impeccable: the goods are made in countries where labour costs are low, while repairs have to be carried out here, where costs are high. But even when goods don't need repairing, we still throw them away. Supercapitalism's brilliant answer to increasing durability is to elaborate and refine so that goods feel obsolete almost as soon as you buy them. Even environmentalism has been turned to supercapitalism's advantage: always buy a new machine, you ar…

Rejecting the abomination of garbage

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Just back from seeing 'Wall-E' with my kids at Bracknell Odeon...the fat corporation owns the cosmos and they have trashed our home planet.



Would recycling prevent this? Some radical green voices argue that recycling is not enough, a reformist solution...dug this out from US Green mag Synthesis/Regeneration.

I think greens need to be thinking hard and while I think socialism is necessary to ecosocialism, the left often just paint themselves green rather than engaging in fundamental debate.

Recycling leaves the garbage problem untouched in the same way that energy efficiency leaves our energy policies and practices unaddressed. When I screw in an efficient light bulb, I am glad to be using less electricity to illuminate my writing desk, but I don't fool myself that I'm saving the planet. I know that my act frees up more kilowatt-hours to be sold at rock-bottom rates to corporations that manufacture throw-away frou-frou or fashion statement cars. Similarly, when we dutiful…

Green Tories branded with mark of Sita.

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The press pass that gets me into the Conservatives' Birmingham conference shows that the Tories are supported by a load of old rubbish. All the Conservative conference passes come on lanyards, the fancy name for the ribbons used to hang ID cards around delegates' necks, paid for by French waste firm SITA.

is what Solomon Hughes article in the Morning Star (they are not quite open source yet so no link) tells us, yes SITA who are keen to expand 'energy from waste', incineration to you and I, has branded the Conservative conference.

So Tory green plans are officially out of the window and yes Zac Goldsmith is part of a party which labels all conference passes with the mark of a company dedicated to taking more of rubbish and burning it.

I think ironically that the thing that really flagged up my worries about incinerators was reading about the dangers from the tiny particles they release in Lomborg's 'The Skeptical Environmentalist'.

A Green tory future will be …

'the very existence of the human species at risk'

ADDRESS BY THE HEAD OF
THE CUBAN DELEGATION
TO THE GENERAL DEBATE OF THE 63RD SESSION OF THE
UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY, NEW YORK, SEPTEMBER 2008



Mr. President:

We are living a decisive moment in the history of humankind. The threats looming over the world put the very existence of the human species at risk.

The promotion of peace, solidarity, social justice and sustainable development is the only WAY to ensure the future. The prevailing world order, unjust and unsustainable, must be replaced by a new system that is truly democratic and equitable, based on respect for International Law and on the principles of solidarity and justice, putting an end to the inequalities and exclusion to which the great majorities of the population of our planet have been condemned.

There are no alternatives. Those responsible for this state of affairs, the industrialized nations and, in particular, the sole superpower, have to accept their responsibilities. Fabulous fortunes cannot continue to be wa…

Friends of the Earth Rejects Forest Stewardship Council

Thanks to Dr Glenn Barry for this

- Major victory for Ecological Internet's campaign to end
ancient forest logging as key response to climate and
biodiversity crises

September 23, 2008
By Earth's Newsdesk, a project of Ecological Internet
http://www.ecoearth.info/newsdesk/


glenbarry@ecologicalinternet.org

(Earth) -- Friends of the Earth (FoE) is the first major
international NGO to confirm they no longer support Forest
Stewardship Council (FSC) certification, which falsely
suggests primary and old-growth forest logging is desirable
and even sustainable. This is a major victory for those
including Ecological Internet (EI) and FSC-Watch[1] who have
courageously taken on large environmental interests using FSC
to greenwash ancient forest destruction.

FoE pioneered timber certification during the 1980s and was
one of FSC's founders, but FoE International in Amsterdam has
confirmed that it is now "reviewing" its membership of the
organization. FoE UK announced on their websi…

'I still think getting born right is important.'

Prescription Charges - almost but not quite

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This is a media release from Swindon TUC (its also Green Party Policy)



Prescription Charges - almost but not quite



In his speech to New Labour's conference today Gordon Brown announced that:

* From next year cancer patients will not have to pay for prescription charges;
*

Over "the next few years" savings from the NHS drugs budget will be ploughed back into free prescriptions for people with "long term conditions".

The first is a welcome step in relation to what has long been a national scandal, though it should not be forgotten that it has taken Brown 11 years to do it, and not without the pressure of a political crisis in which he is fighting for his survival.

The second of these promises appears conditional on the level of savings.

It should be borne in mind that the government is estimated to receives only £430 million this year from prescription charges. Recently it stumped up £50 billion for Northern Rock and even more recently £100 billion for a bu…

Threat to Democracy in Latin America

On 10 September, the president of Bolivia declared the US ambassador to
Bolivia persona non grata. On 11 September (the 35th anniversary of the
military overthrow of Salvador Allende in Chile) the president of
Venezuela asked the US ambassador to Venezuela to leave the country.

President Hugo Chavez believed he was facing the possibility of an
imminent coup d'etat in which he accused the United States administration
of being involved. President Evo Morales believed that his government was
facing serious destabilisation which was also being fomented by the United
States. A third country, Paraguay, announced ten days previously that they
had detected a conspiracy involving military officers and opposition
politicians

Latin America now faces its most serious crisis since the re-introduction
of democracy at the end of the 20th century.

The plot against democracy in Venezuela centred on a conspiracy, revealed
in telephone conversations between senior military officers broadcast on
national telev…

Oil up to $120 today

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/7630513.stm

I am surprised by how volatile the oil price is and you can't just say peak oil 'there you go'

I am assuming that producing companies will invest in oil pushing up supply (yes I know at some point this may not work...but there is a lot of very dirty in the world still ready to come out and compleatly fuck up the atmosphere).....and economic recession will depress demand for the black stuff.

however the US bailout (I don't think this will work to stop financial markets sliding) is being seen as leading to higher demand in the global economy and therefore more demand for the black stuff.

OPEC is cutting back supply (Ben you were right about this!) and the hurricanes do seem to have hit production in Texas and in gulf of Mexico.

What away to run a planet...lets go oil free....what will oil prices do tomorrow?

Canada's Election and the Climate Crisis: Five Parties, No Solutions

SEPTEMBER 21, 2008
Web Edition: www.socialistvoice.ca


Canada's Election and the Climate Crisis: Five Parties, No Solutions

By Ian Angus

For the environment, there's good news and bad news in Canada's current federal election campaign. Good news: for the first time ever, climate change is a central issue in the political debates. Bad news: despite much sound and fury, none of the major political parties is proposing effective measures for dealing with the climate change crisis. The differences between them amount to "Don't do anything" versus "Don't do much."

When Stephen Harper and the Conservative Party took office in January 2006, they promptly cancelled existing environmental programs and planned to ignore the environment from then on. Only a massive public opinion shift led them to awkwardly don green garb in 2007 and announce a new "Turning the Corner Plan" on greenhouse gases.

There wasn't much to the plan — a detailed review by th…

Greens benefit from imploding Labour (in Australia)

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Natalie Bennett argues that 'hard work is needed in Brighton Pavilion' on the basis of today's poll.

For details of how to get involved in electing Caroline Lucas, click here.

Some good news from Green Left Weekly:

AUSTRALIA
Greens gain from ‘imploding’ ALP

20 September 2008


Max Phillips, a newly elected Greens councillor in Marrickville and the Greens’ campaign coordinator for the September 13 NSW local government elections, puts the swing to the Greens down to the state Labor government’s implosion.

Developer donations to Labor, and the ALP’s pro-developer laws, were crucial to the Greens winning broad support, Phillips told Green Left Weekly. The widespread opposition to the state government’s moves to privatise electricity also helped the Greens, he said.

In Marrickville and Leichhardt, traditionally ALP strongholds, the Greens out-polled Labor. In Marrickville, the Greens received 40% of the vote compared to Labor’s 29%. In Leichhardt, the Greens received 46% compared to Labo…

Convention of the Left

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I enjoyed visiting yesterday, although weary from going to Manchester and back in a day.

There is clearly huge electoral space on the left, with the Lib Dems moving right ward, there is no clearly articulated alternative to the madness of the market. Creating an electoral alternative is vital but difficult, clearly the Green Party when compared to the rest of the left in England is doing something right, we have elected councillors, MEPS and GLA members...the Ken-green coalition nearly beat Boris, everywhere else Labour unsurprisingly saw a huge drop in support.

Nonetheless the Green Party is not quite poised for Westminister government, although with some hard work we could pick up three MPs at the next General Election.

The trade unions continue to support New Labour, the bad experiences of the Socialist Alliance, Respect, the Socialist Labour Party mean that creating a left of Labour party does not look easy.

However I think on the 90% we do agree, we can at least be working locally..…

Uganda human rights LGBT appeal

had this from Peter....he works very very hard on these campaigns.

anti-asylum sentiment kills....anti-LGBT kills...please take action.

Dear Friends,

URGENT ACTION - Uganda

Please support this appeal on behalf of our arrested and harassed LGBT
brothers and sisters in Uganda.

This appeal is being coordinated by the International Gay and Lesbian
Human Rights Commission.

Below is the latest information on the homophobic witch-hunt in
Uganda, and a sample letter you can send to the Ugandan President and
others (their email addresses are below).

International solidarity works, as we know from the global campaign
against apartheid in South Africa.

Thanks for your support for our Ugandan LGBT friends.

Peter Tatchell, OutRage!, London


Uganda: Action Alert-Demand An End To Official Harassment of LGBT Activists

September 19, 2008

INTERNATIONAL GAY AND LESBIAN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION

Uganda: Action Alert-Demand An End To Official Harassment of LGBT Activists

SUMMARY

In what appears to be an all-out effort to silenc…

Capitalism in crisis: more banks on the way out

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This was all obvious in February, may be before....finance capitalism is about ever more esoteric forms of gambling...the UK under Gordon Brown has been about the primacy of banking....now the debts are being called in.

These were my thoughts in the spring still current today...


The global economy is on the edge of a cliff. Recession is on its way, which could mean a return to millions of unemployed, widespread house repossessions and growing poverty. The reasons for this crisis are complex in some ways, simple in others but the jargon of the economists mystifies.

I will try and cut through misleading appearances and get to the essence of the matter.

1% of American families were involved in some stage of home repossession in 2007. That's 2,203,295 individual cases.

9.5 million Britons currently have debt problems.

As we know, a French trader lost $3.6 bn a couple of weeks ago, enough to have paid off the credit card bills over here.

Northern Rock collapsed, in the first run on a bank in …