Showing posts from March, 2009

UEL G20 must go on!


Tuesday, April 31st 2009. 3 p.m.


* The G20 Alternative Summit must go on! Classes and lectures must go on!

* In only a few hours a petition to Keep UEL Open receives over 1400 signatories from across the world, including well-know academics and writers, e.g. Naomi Klein.

* University is a crucial centre of democracy. Democracy is now the only safe path for the world out of the current multifaceted crisis.

London – Following the decision of the University of East London’s Corporate Management Team to close down the entire university on Wednesday, April 1st and Thursday, April 2nd, staff and students have launched a petition to keep the university open, arguing that they “would feel ashamed of UEL if this institution […] were to become known as the university that had closed its doors to democratic debate and education in times of crisis such as these.”

The Unive…

Cynthia McKinney in London today

Just spotted this from Cynthia who is speaking in London today...she ran as the Green Party Presidential candidate...and during the war tried to get into Gaza with aid...she has been attacked venomously by the friends of the IDF for her good works.

Hello! I’m currently in London, invited by the Kuala Lumpur Foundation to Criminalise War, to participate in a Forum for Palestine sponsored by the Malaysian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The event is taking place at the Marriott Grosvenor Hotel on March 31, 2009. This one-day Forum will feature the Malaysian Foreign Minister Dato Serri Rais Yatim giving the opening address and former Malaysian Prime Minister Tun Mahathir presenting the keynote address. I will speak for about 20 minutes on the Genocide in Palestine and, of course, what happened to me in international waters while on a boat carrying medical supplies, attempting to reach the besieged people of Gaza.

Of course, it is right here in London that George Galloway’s triumph must be…

UEL closes down G20 discussion

A session discussing alternatives to the current global economic catastrophe has been banned by bureaucrats at the University of East London.

The cops and mainstream media have been attacking protesters for weeks, the usual moral panic is recycled, to make protest against greed bankers and bought governments forbidden.

UEL's Professor Chris Knight has been suspended as you may also have heard.

Please sign the petition....corporate management indeed.

Text here:

To: University of East London

To the Corporate Management Team (CMT) of the University of East London

We are writing to you to express our anger following your decision to cancel permission to hold the planned UCU (University and College Union) sponsored alternative summit and close down the university on Wednesday 1st and Thursday 2nd of April 2009. We are urging you to reconsider both of these decisions.

In the last 15 years, anti-g8/g20/WTO/debt etc. protests have b…

Caroline Lucas acts over the detention of 'Mr U'

Caroline Lucas MEP challenges UK Government over continued detention of Algerian without charge under ‘draconian’ anti-terror laws

Euro-MP and Green Party Leader Caroline Lucas has today called on the Home Secretary to end the state persecution of the man known as ‘Mr U’. The Algerian national has been subjected to detention and home arrest for 8 years under ‘anti-terrorism’ legislation – despite no charges having ever being brought against him.

Dr Lucas has written to Home Secretary Jacqui Smith to question the most recent arrest of Mr U, who is currently in limbo in Belmarsh Prison awaiting the results of a review of his case from the Special Immigration and Appeals Commission (SIAC).

The MEP has also challenged the powers held by SIAC, a Government body which rules on appeals against decisions made by the Home Office to deport, or exclude, someone from the UK on national security grounds.

Mr U, who fled war-torn Algeria in 1992 and claimed asylum in the UK, lived and worked in Britain…

Prosperity without Growth

Prosperity Without Growth? says that the current global recession should be the occasion to forge a new economic system equipped to avoid the shocks and negative impacts associated with our reliance on growth. Ahead of the G20 Summit in London, the report calls on leaders to adopt a 12-step plan to make the transition to a fair, sustainable, low-carbon economy.

The report argues that growth is unsustainable ecologically, by moving to more investment for the whole of society prosperity can be created without waste. Essentially capitalism has failed and we need to replace it with something better.

My contribution to the report is here...'Prosperity without Growth, Economics after Capitalism'.

Nice they used part of title....and its even in the Metro

Our 'debt-driven consumption' has created an unstable economy which has created the current financial crisis, a government watchdog said.

The 'fundamentally flawed' system has put jobs and livelihoods at risk, as well as …

SDC reports on 'Prosperity without Growth'

GROWTH has broken our economic system and attempts by Gordon Brown to mend it by kick starting MORE GROWTH are ‘delusional’ and ‘pathological.’ So says a damning report by the government’s own advisors, including the Green Party candidates for the European Elections, Derek Wall and Dr. Miriam Kennet.

The two contributed to the scathing report Prosperity without Growth, out today (Monday 30th March 2009) by the Sustainable Development Commission of leading environmental advisors. It found capitalism has failed and was always destined to fail.

“The narrow pursuit of growth represents a horrible distortion of the common good and of underlying human values,” the report concludes. “The market was not undone by rogue individuals or the turning of a blind eye by incompetent regulators. It was undone by growth itself.”

We are living in an “age of irresponsibility”, it says.

“Questioning growth is deemed to be the act of lunatics, idealists and revolutionaries, but question it we must,”

It points …

Green Party defends disability role model

"Understanding and caring for people who are different needs to be taught to parents as well as children," the Green Party's disability spokesperson Alan Wheatley said today.

He was responding to news that the BBC had received dozens of complaints from parents about the employment of BBC children's television presenter Cerrie Burnell, who was born with one arm.

Cerrie Burrell co-presents the Do and Discover slot and Bedtime Hour on the CBeebies channel of the BBC. It has been reported that dozens of parents have complained that the presenter scares children. One parent reportedly said, "What is scary is the BBC's determination to show 'minorities' on CBeebies at every available opportunity." (1)

The Greens' Alan Wheatley commented today, "What would these parents who believe that 'minorities' should be neither seen or heard on children's television have them do? Is it not time for the parents to grow up to a global world and…

The Indian Nation

class struggle and the indigenous in Canada from an article posted by the excellent Socialist Voice

By Ray Bobb

The purpose of this mini-essay is to present Canadian Indians as an internal colony and to indicate some aspects of a strategy for sovereignty.

An internal colony is a people subject to colonial rule within an imperialist settler-state. Possibly, six internal colonies exist: American Indians, Canadian Indians, Aborigines, Maoris and, by way of slavery and annexation, African-Americans and Mexican-Americans. These peoples are colonized within four imperialist settler-states: the U.S., Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.

Geographically, each internal colony is composed of many communities or territories that are distributed throughout an imperialist settler-state. Demographically, with the exception of the African-Americans and Mexican-Americans, internal colonies have small populations. Due to expropriation, the members of an internal colony are also members of the working class …

LGBT delay in Caracas

Andrés Duque has left a new comment on your post "LGBT advances in Venezuela":

That actually was originally from my blog:

Unfortunately, it has been refuted:

Thanks for this Andrés, I know that the LGBT agenda has moved forward in Venezuela but it is a disappoint to read is hoping it will make into 'organic' legislation soon.

LGBT advances in Venezuela

Rowland's blog which is becoming crucial reading for ecosocialists had this, which I think he had from somewhere else and so on...good news.

Latin America's sexual conservatism is crumbling....

Venezuela and the Bolivaran Revolution are on the verge of taking a major step forward on the issue of LGBTI-Q rights, and becoming yet the latest country to leave the United States in the dust with regards to the LGBTI-Q rights struggle. According to National Assembly member Romelia Matute, who is Deputy of the Assembly’s Family Commission, the legislature in Venezuela is well on its way to approving a bill that would grant same-sex couples legal recognition, including shared patrimony and inheritance rights.

In the story first reported this past Friday by Spain’s ABC, Matute said that the “report on the ‘Organic Bill for Gender Equality’ is almost ready for a second - and final - [legislative] debate.” She stated that the bill would include language allowing “the union between two people…

Brecht bricks banker?,

“We are angry that rich people, like him, are paying themselves a huge amount of money, and living in luxury, while ordinary people are made unemployed, destitute and homeless.

“This is a crime. Bank bosses should be jailed.

“This is just the beginning.”

Bertol Brecht has been up to Edinburgh and has the bricked the windows of 'Greedy Banker' Sir Fred Goodwin.

Bankers they take your hard earned dinero and then lose it! They pay themselves huge amounts of money for all the hardwork involved in losing it.

The people in the barrios down the hil are rising up, insisting on their rights and smearing excrement on the carpets of the bankers.

Who will they go for next?

Sir Fred certainly likes his carpets according to the Dundee Press.

'And it has also been claimed two huge RBS boardrooms were re-carpeted twice, at a cost of £100 per square yard, because Sir Fred did not like the colour.'

He also liked to have, it is alleged, his fruit flown in from Par…

Daniel Tanuro comments on the ecosocialist manifesto

Daniel is definately one of the people on the left who takes ecology seriously, pleasure to spend some time with him in Brussels last November for the Belgium LCR ecosocialism conference...he is one of the people pushing the USFI to take ecosocialism forward...parallel to those of us in Green Parties trying to push forward ecosocialism.

Ironically the tough bit is the 'eco'....a lot of people pay lip service to the environment but the commitment needs to go deeper.

Some comments on the draft ecosocialist “Belem Declaration”
Daniel Tanuro

Because the globalisation of economic and climate crisis makes ecosocialism so urgent and necessary, the declaration should give much more importance to the social demands of workers.

Dear friends and comrades,

The “Belem Declaration” is an important document issued at a very important moment.

As an ecosocialist focused on climate change, I totally agree with the general orientation of this document: denunciation of capitalist growth, productivism…

Solidarity with the Roma people!

Belarusian Roma Lawyers Group was opening monument dedicated to Roma victims of Holocaust in Uzda, not far from Minsk . On that picture you can see me and 2 other our activists. One is a veteran of Second World war. wrote Nicolas Kalinin to Green Left convenor Sarah Farrow.

'the Belarusian government must pay attention to the Roma minority and start to work. So far, Roma activists knocking on closed doors. People need to be honest, and start to respect Romani rights.' Nicolas Kalinin

In Green Left we get information from Nicolas Kalinin who works for Roma rights in Belarus.

In Belarus Roma people are persecuted, often harassed by the police, are discriminated against in education.

Belarus is part of the former Soviet Union...but racism against Roma people is found right across Europe.

I turned the Politics Show on sunday, here in the UK, to hear a Conservative politician coming out with racist statements about Roma. I am not damning all Conservatives...they are not all racists.


Green Party dissidents fell government

Green MPs to topple Czech govenment

The Czech Green Party got taken over by a business man and find themselves in a coalition headed by a climate change denier!

Looks like a revolt from Green Members of Parliament could break the present government and prevent the missile defence programme.

So good for the dissident MPs...dissident in that they support Green politics, just shows there is hope.

Can the Irish Greens throw off the yoke of the is hoping?

For more on Czech situation take a look here.

Very good conference over here for the Green Party of England and Wales with some excellent motions passed including the Green New Deal from Sean Thompson.

Green Left stalwart Tim Summers was elected on to International Committee amongst other if you want your Green Party to go green, it can be got to educate, agitate and organise.

Harriet Nahanee died fighting climate change, why is she forgotten?

I went for a pint or three with Ian Angus the Canadian ecosocialist back in October 2007 at the George Inn, London Bridge, just a couple of days after the ecosocialist international meeting in Paris.

He was critical of the Canadian Green Party and on the whole did not feel that the left in Canada were active enough on the environment. There are groups like Socialist Voice who are excellent and individuals in the GP or left groups. He was though very enthusiastic about the leadership shown by indigenous people in resisting ecological threats.

I have since been linking up more with indigenous people and it was an important part of my work when I was Green Party Principal Speaker.

Just seen this excellent essay on Rowland's site looking at the struggles of the indigenous for ecology and socialism in Canada.

'A notorious example of this was the punishment of Indian Warrior Harriet Nahanee, a Pedachat elder that found herself sentenced to provincial jail for contempt of court for pla…

Police use violence during anti-Gypsy raid in Belarus

Just had this, must blog on Italy where the tide of racism is rising, with a far right government including ex-Fascists and discrimination from the state against Roma.

Last news from Belarus:
Police use violence during anti-Gypsy raid

On 5 Jan officers of Partyzanski district police department of Minsk detained more than 80 representatives of Gypsy minority in the Suburb of Stsiapianka and took fingerprints from them.

All of the detainees were videoed for the police archive. The detainees accuse the police of self-will and lawlessness. One of them said that at 8.30 a.m. the police burst at the house where his family lived. ‘They did not knock on the door. They ran, knocked everybody down and shouted: ‘Lie down, bitches!’ We had to lie on the floor for almost 40 minutes almost nude, as most of us were sleeping when it all started.

Then they started a search without showing any warrant. They did not even tell they were from the police. They asked an elderly…

Political activism at Fast for the Planet

Muzammal Hussain, initiator of Fast for the Planet, and Chair of LINE said:

"There is no doubt that we need a radical approach like this, because although intellectually most of us know what needs to be done, old patterns of living continue to dominate, and green-house gas emissions continue to rise. Now, here's a way to really get our bodies and hearts directly involved in a process that will help break us out of outdated destructive patterns and lead to a better world".

Helen Gilbert, co-organiser of Fast for the Planet, and Events coordinator at St Ethelburgas said:

"We are pleased to be hosting this event at St Ethelburga's because it challenges us at a deep level to consider what reconciliation means in the context of humanity's troubled relationship with the earth. As a practice that has deep roots in many spiritual and faith traditions, fasting is a powerful and unifying resource we can draw on in challenging, both the personal and societal, status quo.&…

From my correspondent in Guantanamo North

Against the War -- Against Empire!
[speech writ. 3/15/09] (c) '09 Mumia Abu-Jamal

Ona Move! LLJA!

Dear brothas and sistas against empire!

I greet you all from America's Death Row (or, what some have called, Guantanamo North.)

As you gather today against the carnage and hell brought to both Afghanistan and Iraq, know that the rumblings and warnings of dissent, of the voices of millions back in Spring, 2003, have come true.

Many people said the war would wreak destruction not just abroad, but here at home, as the economy would crumble.

It's now 2009 -- look around you, and you can almost see things falling. This is but the latest crisis of capitalism. The stock market is a jack 'n' the box, and I needn't even mention the foreclosure crisis. It's but the latest bubble to burst.

And joblessness!

But as bad as things are here, they pale in comparison to the hell lived by millions under U.S. occupation in Iraq and Afghanistan. Why sh…

The Age of Stupid out this weekend

My review from the Star in tomorrow.

THE Age Of Stupid is a film that every one of you should watch - it's powerful stuff.

It is set in 2055 with Peter Postlethwaite playing the last human on the planet, living in a gigantic metallic base 60 miles north of the Norwegian coast.

It is an archive for the whole of a now-extinct human civilisation. Postlethwaite sits among servers that contain the entire digital remains of human culture from episodes of Big Brother to Einstein's speech on relativity. The remains of the world's greatest art collections are scattered around in crates.

This is docudrama at its very best - a powerful warning of the stupidity of ignoring climate change and pretending that it is not happening. Postlethwaite reviews video archives of refugees in Jordan forced out of Iraq by a war for oil, Nigerian women who have to wash their fish with detergent to get rid of the oil spilt by the petroleum industry and a New Orleans oil company worker made homeless by Hur…

Stupid links

I call the age of lemmings, as they leap towards the cliff of climate change chaos...lots of stupid links here and buy tomorrow's soaraway Morning Star for my review and detailed discussion of stupid environmentalism...

Morning all,

A massive cheer from Team Stupid to everyone who helped spread the word about the premiere. The Film Council (who lent us a few quid for the event) carried out an official survey at three of the cinemas and were totally bowled over by the results, which are way, way better than for a normal film: 98% of viewers liked the film (56%: excellent, 31%: very good, 11%: good, 2%: fair, 0%: poor), 98% said they would recommend it to their friends and.... wait for it.... 75% of them had heard about the film from word of mouth (as opposed to our non-existent advertising, reviews etc). Hats off to all you word-of-mouthers. What a team effort.

Yes, the cinema release starts today. No, we still haven't got our act together compiling all the details. 15 extra cin…

Green Party Conference Blackpool

Conference is about to open in Blackpool.

I am hoping conference will endorse the excellent migration motion, reassert our opposition to nuclear power and learn from the debacle over the Irish Sea.

Amongst many excellent motions is the Green New Deal motion from Sean Thompson.

A Green Party is a delicious sweetmeat for corporations, a corporate Green Party will be tempted into government but the temptation is that it acts as a mud guard for a dirty neo-liberal vehicle.

We need to remain 'Green'....if I wanted a corporate Green Party my next move would be to centralise candidate selection so that radicals i.e Greens, could be removed. Letting members decide candidates is not the way of the corporate political party!

If I wanted a corporate Green Party I would also abolish the Green Party Regional over sight lovely for the corporate Greens!

Then the Party would be in a position to be bought up with offers of government coalition....(power would be absent, position and ti…

No to the Euro homphobes


LGBT Greens: Conservative Party- No to alliances with the Polish homophobic Law and Justice Party!

Green Party Fringe Meeting on Challenging Homophobia in Eastern Europe

For Immediate Release


The news that the Conservatives in Britain may politically ally themselves in the European Parliament with the Polish homophobic Law and Justice Party is the cause of great concern to the Green Party’s LGBT Group.

"We are concerned, if not surprised, that the Conservatives might be planning political alliances with reactionary forces in society," Stated Phelim Mac Cafferty, Media Officer for LGBT Greens.

"Poland under the Law and Justice Party has been one of the most hostile places in Europe to be L, G, B or T. Jarosław Kaczyński, the Chair of the Law and Justice Party in 2005, said that "The affirmation of homosexuality will lead to the downfall of civilization. We can't agree to it&…

Tescos take over pubs

This is from The Morning Advertiser this week


Tesco is planning to cash in on pub closures by converting them to small town centre stores. The supermarket giant is reported to have lodged hundreds of planning applications to take full advantage of the pub crisis. Currently around 6 pubs close for good a day.

Pubs are attractive to TESCO as they are licensed to sell food and alcohol and so do not require a change of use application. A spokesman said: "It's not specifically pubs. if we put in an application, it is because that's what would benefit the community and it has got to be in the right place."

Federation of Licensed Victuallers Ass Chef Ex Tony Payne said: "Tesco has driven pubs into the ground with deals - now it will take full advantage."

Left triumphant in El Salvador election

The FMLN fought a brave war against appalling deathsquad right wingers, Arena, funded by Ronald Reagan and more than happy to kill priests and nuns who might be on the side of the poor.

The campesinos were under severe pressure from Washington backed right wing regimes, the FMLN are far less radical than much of the Latin American left but this is a superb victory for the poor, the indigenous and for the hombre in the street.

Not expecting ecosocialism and still worried about forests and people in El Salvador but hey I am still celebrating. Great report from the Morning Star, a newspaper I am proud to work for (ok they don't pay me!)

SALVADOREAN leftwinger Mauricio Funes vowed to crack down on tax-evading corporate chiefs on Monday after he won presidential elections.

The country's election commission released figures on Sunday which showed that Mr Funes of the Farabundo Marti Front for National Liberation (FMLN) garnered 51.27 per cent of the vote against 48.73 per cent for Ro…

Chair of Stop the War to speak at Green Party Conference

'It has been confirmed that Andrew Murray, Chair of the Stop the War Coalition, will be attending the Green Left fringe meeting on ‘NATO Expansion. A new Cold War in Europe?’ at conference on Saturday at 13.00.'

We have had Mark Steel and Roberto Perez at previous Green Left conference fringes, is it fair to say we have better speakers than the main event?

Age of Stupid

The age of stupid film asks are we stupid.

If we ignore the perils of carbon trading, we are doesn't work.

If we ignore the use of biofuels based on cutting down rainforests, a solution to climate change that makes it worse we are stupid.

If ignore Cuba's success at using permaculture, renewables and public transport to slash fossil fuel use, we are stupid.

And if we ignore the indigenous who are the cutting edge of the resistance to climate change and winning some big battles we are really stupid.

When will some one make a film about my friend Hugo Blanco, to ignore him would be really dumb.

So please Franny Armstrong make a picture about Hugo Blanco, Pete Postlewaite could play him...just think would any one make a film about 'El Che', well for me while Che was great, Hugo Blanco is better even than Che and still working for revolution today in 2009 just like he was in 1962.

For the time being here is an article about Hugo...please film makers, read it and then …

Tara meeting at the Jonathan Swift Theartre

Lectures and panel discussion, hosted by The Centre for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, Trinity College Dublin and TaraWatch


Jonathan Swift Theatre - Trinity College Dublin

Tues, 24 March 2009 - 7.30 pm - 9.00 pm.

Admission free - All welcome

This is the first meeting of the The Hill of Tara Round Table, a problem-solving initiative, aimed at finding a mutually beneficial solution to the Hill of Tara / M3 motorway problem.

There will be a focus on the UNESCO World Heritage Site nomination of the Hill of Tara, as well as the public consultation currently being conducted by the Department of the Environment, Heritage, and Local Government, on Ireland's List of Tentative UNESCO Sites.

There will also be lectures on the law of the human right to culture and the protection of cultural heritage sites in Ireland, in order to stimulate debate on the value of Tara, and cultural sites.


Sean Goggins (NUI Galway, Irish Centre for Human Rights) on human right to culture;

Meghan Aibigail (NU…

Threat to Tara shows more evidence for 'The Age of Stupid'

Emma who is a member of the Green Party of Ireland sent me this on Tara. Thanks Emma...sadly other members of her party still seem to be living in the age of stupid on this issue...I will try not to digress into a long rant about DeValera and Joschka Fischer at this point!

Mythology and history: Tara Hill and Valley are part of an ancient temple complex of earthworks, henges, raths (forts), and souterrains (underground tomb chambers). Many of the works pre-date the Egyptian pyramids. Tara was used as the crowning place of the old High Kings of Ireland. It is still in use for ceremonies today, and is particularly associated with Samhain (Halloween).

The Irish government have sanctioned a route through the Tara Valley for the building of the M3 motorway, which is now in progress. Many ancient monuments have already been destroyed. Many more new and unusual findings dug up during the excavation of the land for the motorway are stored in black plastic bags in warehouses. Such ancient artefa…