30 Apr 2009

Seminar: Venezuela's 'Bolivarian' Process: Achievements, Challenges and Prospects after 10 Years

Seminar: Venezuela's 'Bolivarian' Process: Achievements, Challenges and Prospects after 10 Years
LSE IDEAS Centre presents

Latin America Initiative Seminar:

Venezuela's 'Bolivarian' Process: Achievements, Challenges and Prospects after 10 Years

6th May 18.00 – 20.00

Venezuela’s ambassador to the UK, his Excellency Dr Samuel Moncada and Dr Julia Buxton (University of Bradford) explore the achievements of the Bolivarian process and the challenges it faces within a regional and broader international context. They will then examine the future prospects of the process given the current political and economic environment.

The presentations will be followed by an open discussion.

6th May 18.00 – 20.00
LSE IDEAS Columbia HouseRoom B212
(Aldwych)

29 Apr 2009

Ecology in the QUR' AN

Peace to you,

Here are details of our May monthly forum, a week Sunday. We will be back at the Muslim World League, and hope you can join us.

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

TRUTH & PROPORTION - REFLECTIONS THROUGH THE QUR' AN

Date: Sunday 10th May 2009
Time: 2.15pm 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), Euston Square (Hammersmith & City, Circle, & Metropolitan Lines) & Warren Street (Victoria Line).

Please note that we're back at the Muslim World League.

Workshop: Facilitated by LINE team

At this month's forum we will continue with our Reflections through the Qur' an series. Through a facilitated workshop we will reflect on the following verse:
He created the heavens and the earth in true (proportions) (Qur' an: 6:73).

We will consider the implications of the above verse in terms of how it frames our relationship with the natural order; and will also relate it to contemporary environmental themes, including climate change. We will also share insights on the relationship between what is presented in this verse, and the concept of fitrah.

Please bring a copy of the Qur' an (with translation, and preferably also commentary) if you have one.

Also within the forum, we will hear feedback from Fast for the Planet (2nd Main event), a Greening Faiths event in Reading to which we contributed, and our eco-weekend with the Hilfield project in Dorset. There will also be a slot for Resource Cycle and we'll look at LINE projects over the coming weeks. No charge and open to all (whether or not you have attended previous LINE forums). Simply turn up for the start time. Donations welcome.

More info:
LINE (London Islamic Network for the Environment): www.lineonweb.org.uk ; Tel. 0845 456 3960 (local rate)

27 Apr 2009

Follow the repression + why I love Tony B (no not that one)

This is from todays Morning Star...based on my speech to Faringdon Peace Group's massive conference on civil liberties, 240 people turned out for a meeting in very rural West Oxfordshire...hung out with Tony Benn who was great fun to be with, very lovely and fascinating human being and yes Britain's best known socialist.

Tony is pretty ecosocialismo as well, I asked him about vegetarianism, he has been veggie for decades partly because he doesn't really like meat and because his son convinced him that it was a wasteful way of feeding the world. I had such a good day, also ran into some ex-Cowley Motor works workers...isn't it great some of the greenest people used to make cars!

Just think Tony could have been labour party leader in the 1980s and become PM and used all the oil cash to green the UK economy but no we had that loco women who killed the economy built roads, smashed the unions and put the bankers in control.



anyway on to the Star article


I took part in a day conference on civil rights organised by Faringdon Peace Group in west Oxfordshire on Saturday.

I must admit that I was far from happy that recent events have given me plenty to talk about when it came to my chosen topic of civil rights and the environment.

The over-the-top policing of the G20 protests which left passer-by Ian Tomlinson dead after being hit and pushed over by the police is just the worst example of a day of brutality.

As has now been widely publicised, on an entirely peaceful protest to commemorate Tomlinson's death, a policeman from the Territorial Support Group slapped a women around the face and then hit her legs with a baton.

Despite protest, a law was recently introduced which made it illegal to take photographs of the police, so it's easy to see why the Territorial Support Group was so relaxed about hitting non-violent protesters if officers thought they would not be photographed and identified.

It is ironic that this month also saw the 30th anniversary of the death of Blair Peach at an anti-fascist demonstration. He was killed by members of the Special Patrol Group in 1979. Despite weapons and nazi regalia being found after a search of police lockers, his killer or killers were never brought to justice.

The Special Patrol Group was abolished after the outcry and it was replaced with the Territorial Support Group, which was involved in the G20 abuses.

Environmental concern and civil rights are closely bound because green activism often involves challenging vested economic interests.

It is no surprise that the G20's peaceful climate camp was attacked. These activists have pointed out that much of what has been done to tackle climate change is irrelevant.

The climate camp was organised to point out that carbon trading helps the City but does nothing to get to the root causes of an unfolding environmental catastrope.

It has recently been revealed that the police infiltrated the climate camp campaign in 2008 and gave information to the Eon company they were protesting against.

Corporate interests, when challenged by environmentalists, have been willing to assault the human rights of green activists time after time.

I have been reading a lot about the good work of Haringey Solidarity, a network that has been supporting the Visteon workers recently made redundant.

Dave Morris of Haringey Solidarity has written much about how the Visteon workers are keen not only to regain their jobs but to green them by producing environmentally friendly products rather than car parts.

Morris is one of Britain's most effective and long-standing environmental campaigners, so you'd be safe in assuming that he has had his human rights abused - and you'd be right.

Morris and Helen Steel took part in Britain's longest-running libel trial when McDonald's took them to court for distributing a Greenpeace London leaflet which claimed that the firm produced unhealthy food, exploited workers and damaged the environment.

Fran Armstrong, who recently released the climate change film Age of Stupid, documented the trial in her first feature McLibel.

During the trial, it was revealed that McDonald's had hired private investigators to infiltrate the tiny Greenpeace London group that Morris and Steel were members of.

It's incredible that a firm would use the full force of the law to challenge a small radical environmental group that makes critical statements.

Environmentalists often challenge corporations. And corporations spend large amounts of money spying on environmentalists.

At one time, the majority of activists in the Greenpeace London group were paid by McDonald's.

There are countless other examples. The phrase "follow the repression" comes to mind.

The more important the campaign and the more effective its strategy, the more likely that those environmentalists involved will be spied on, beaten up or otherwise harassed.

Of course, such repression is not confined to Britain. Global environmental problems created by corporations create resistance and such resistance is often repressed.

To take one current example, there is a close connection between the European Union and the activities of death squads in Colombia.

The EU has insisted that 10 per cent of vehicle fuel must come from biofuels. Biofuels have numerous negative effects and are one reason why we have a food crisis, because if farmers grow fuel, this reduces the amount of land used for food, leading to rocketing prices.

Many biofuels come from rainforest land specifically cleared for the purpose, as has happened in Indonesia.

However, the main source for EU biofuels is Colombia, where right-wing President Alvaro Uribe has allowed death squads to threaten peasants and indigenous people so that land can be made available for more biofuels.

Another example is the EU free trade agreement with Peru, another Latin American country which routinely ignores human rights abuse and where such abuse allows corporations to gain access to minerals and oil.

Clearly we need to protest and make some noise because British liberties are sliding down the drain. In turn we need to look at how the EU supports repression.

Above all, we must recognise that real environmental action upsets powerful vested economic interests.

Such interests have the ear of government, can help to shape repressive policies and can only be challenged by robust protest.

I often think of Utah Phillips, a radical US green, who believed in such robust direct action. Phillips, who died not long ago, famously stated: "The Earth is not dying. It is being killed and the people killing it have names and addresses."

These people have the cash to employ spies and lobby governments to repress those who draw attention to their crimes.

Whale Wars on discovery channal

had a bit of a review of the Discovery ch programmes on the Whale Wars. Must admit other than a bit of John Snow and the Simpsons, I don't really do TV.

Any way if you want to find more about the good ship Steve Irwin and Captain Paul Watson or even Giles who some of us remember from the anti-roads days, it is fascinating watching.

A bit big brother for me but still good stuff.

i am a great fan of Captain Paul and his full on campaign to save the whales.

On tonight here in the Uk so see what you think

24 Apr 2009

Anglican Mainstream Organisation should be stopped from preaching their so-called ‘treatment’

I am going to go and give a talk to an Anglican group, so a bit worrying this.

Fundamentalist religions of all types seem obssessed with gay sex...God has other things on her mind if she exists.

LGBT Greens: Being LGBT is not a disease!

Anglican Mainstream Organisation should be stopped from preaching their so-called ‘treatment’



For Immediate Release



24.4.9

Green Party activists today expressed their horror at the news that there is a conference in London organised by the Anglican Mainstream Organisation this weekend, aimed at informing delegates about ‘curing’ gay men and lesbians.

“Being lesbian or gay is not a disease!” said Lesley Hedges, spokesperson for the Green Party’s LGBTIQ group and an experienced mental health counsellor. “This kind of mistaken 'treatment' is not just a waste of time and resources, it can be extremely harmful. It is based on the fundamentally unsound idea that there is something wrong with variant sexualities.

Lesley continued: “The World Health Organisation removed Homosexuality from the classification of diseases in the Statistical and Diagnostic Manual in 1990. Significantly, this is used by clinicians to identify mental health problems.[1] The fact that no reputable and ethical therapist would try to change someone’s sexuality speaks volumes about what sort of ‘treatment’ is being advocated by the Anglican Mainstream Organisation. There is a real danger that people referred for such treatment will have an increase in the self-hatred they feel.”

“Young people are especially at risk, especially those whose family and friends do not understand and support them when they begin to understand their sexual identity. That identity is an important part of anyone’s psychological makeup and as stats assert: LGBT youth are at greater risk of self-harm and suicide, which develops from their experience of negative attitudes.

“This kind of so-called treatment,” concluded Lesley “should not be available as it can harm people who are in an already vulnerable state. Claims that being gay or lesbian is a disease not only hark back to a by-gone era but are also about actively blocking the advances that LGBT people have won.

“Anglican Mainstream Organisation: we will not go back into the closet! We are now more able to live openly and comfortably in our neighbourhoods and feel accepted where we work, study and relax. You will not drive us back into the closet through your so-called treatment.”

`Capitalism is putting an end to humanity and the planet'

`Capitalism is putting an end to humanity and the planet' -- ALBA on the 5th Summit of the Americas

Venezuela's resident Hugo Chavez greets Cuba's President Raul Castro.

Translated by Federico Fuentes

Cumaná, April 17, 2009

The heads of state and governments of Bolivia, Cuba, Dominica, Honduras, Nicaragua and Venezuela -- member countries of the Bolivarian Alternative for the Peoples of Our Americas (ALBA) -- consider that the proposed Declaration of the 5th Summit of the Americas is insufficient and unacceptable for the following reasons:

•It offers no answers to the issue of the global economic crisis, despite the fact that this constitutes the largest challenge faced by humanity in decades and the most serious threat in the current epoch to the wellbeing of our peoples.
•Unjustifiably excludes Cuba in a criminal manner, without mentioning the general consensus that exists in the region in favour of condemning the blockade and the isolation attempts, which its people and government have incessantly objected to.
For these reasons, the member countries of ALBA consider that consensus does not exist in favour of adopting this proposed declaration and in light of the above; we propose to have a thoroughgoing debate over the following issues:

1) Capitalism is putting an end to humanity and the planet. What we are living through is a global economic crisis of a systemic and structural character and not just one more cyclical crisis. Those who think that this crisis will be resolved with an injection of fiscal money and with some regulatory measures are very mistaken.

The financial system is in crisis because it is quoting the value of papers at six times the real value of goods and services being produced in the world. This is not a “failure of the regulation of the system” but rather a constitutive part of the capitalist system that speculates with all goods and values in the pursuit of obtaining the maximum amount of profit possible. Until now, the economic crisis has created 100 million more starving people and more than 50 million new unemployed people, and these figures are tending to increasing.

2) Capitalism has provoked an ecological crisis by subordinating the necessary conditions for life on this planet to the dominance of the market and profit. Each year, the world consumes a third more than what the planet is capable of regenerating. At this rate of wastage by the capitalist system, we are going to need two planets by the year 2030.

3) The global economic, climate change, food and energy crises are products of the decadence of capitalism that threatens to put an end to the existence of life and the planet. To avoid this outcome it is necessary to develop an alternative model to that of the capitalist system. A system based on:

Solidarity and complementarity and not competition;

•A system in harmony with our mother earth rather than the looting of our natural resources;
•A system based on cultural diversity and not the crushing of cultures and impositions of cultural values and lifestyles alien to the realities of our countries:
•A system of peace based on social justice and not on imperialist wars and policies;
•In synthesis, a system that recuperates the human condition of our societies and peoples rather than reducing them to simple consumers or commodities.
4) As a concrete expression of the new reality on the continent, Latin American and Caribbean countries have begun to construct their own institutions, whose roots lie in the common history that goes back to our independence revolution, and which constitutes a concrete instrument for deepening the processes of social, economic and cultural transformation that will consolidate our sovereignty. The ALBA-TCP [TCP = Peoples Trade Agreement], Petrocaribe and UNASUR [Union of South American Nations], to only cite the most recently created ones, are mechanisms for solidarity-based union forged in the heat of these transformations, with the manifest intention of strengthening the efforts of our peoples to reach their own liberation.

In order to confront the grave effects of the global economic crisis, the ALBA-TCP countries have taken innovative and transformational measures that seek real alternatives to the deficient international economic order rather than strengthen these failed institutions. That is why we have put in [place] a Single System of Regional Compensation, the SUCRE, that includes a Common Accounting Unit, a Chamber of Compensations of Payments and a Single System of Reserves.

At the same time, we have promoted the constitution of grand national companies in order to satisfy the fundamental necessities of our peoples, establishing mechanisms of just and complementary trade, that leave to one side the absurd logic of unrestrained competition.

5) We question the G20’s decision to triple the amount of resources going to the International Monetary Fund, when what is really necessary is the establishment of a new world economic order that includes the total transformation of the IMF, the World Bank and the WTO [World Trade Organisation] , which with their neoliberal conditions have contributed to this global economic crisis.

6) The solutions to the global economic crisis and the definition of a new international financial architecture should be adopted with the participation of the 192 countries that between June 1 and 3, 2009, will meet at a United Nations conference about the international financial crisis, in order to propose the creation of a new international economic order.

7) In regards to the climate change crisis, the developed countries have an ecological debt with the world given that they are responsible for 70% of historic emissions of carbon accumulated in the atmosphere since 1750.

The developed countries, debtors with humanity and the planet, should contribute significant resources towards a fund so that the countries on the path towards development can undertake a model of growth that does not repeat the grave impacts of capitalist industrialisation.

8) The solutions to the energy, food and climate change crises have to be integral and interdependent. We cannot resolve a problem creating others in the areas fundamental to life. For example, generalising the use of agro-fuels can only impact negatively on the price of food and in the utilisation of essential resources such as water, land and forests.

9) We condemn discrimination against migrants in all its forms. Migration is a human right, not a crime. Therefore, we demand an urgent reform to the migration policies of the United States government, with the objective of detaining deportations and mass raids, allowing the reunification of families, and we demand the elimination of the wall that divides and separates us, rather than uniting us.

In this sense, we demand the repeal of the Cuban Adjustment Act and the elimination of the policies of ``wetbacks-drybacks '', which has a discriminatory and selective character, and is the cause of loss of human lives.

Those that are truly to blame for the financial crisis are the bankers who steal money and the resources of our countries, not migrant workers. Human rights come first, particularly the human rights of the most unprotected and marginalised sectors of our society, as undocumented workers are.

For there to be integration there has to be free circulation of people, and equal human rights for all regardless of migratory status. Brain drain constitutes a form of looting of qualified human resources by the rich countries.

10) Basic services such as education, health, water, energy and telecommunications have to be declared human rights and cannot be the objects of private business nor be commodified by the World Trade Organisation. These services are and should be essential, universally accessible public services

11) We want a world where all countries, big and small, have the same rights and where empires do not exist. We advocate against intervention. Strengthen, as the only legitimate channel for discussion and analysis of bilateral and multilateral agendas of the continent, the base of mutual respect between states and governments, under the principle of non-interference of one state over another and the inviolability of the sovereignty and self-determination of the peoples.

We demand that the new government of the United States, whose inauguration has generated some expectations in the region and the world, put an end to the long and nefarious tradition of interventionism and aggression that has characterised the actions of the governments of this country throughout its history, especially brutal during the government of George W. Bush.

In the same way, eliminate interventionist practices such as covert operations, parallel diplomacy, media wars aimed at destabilising states and governments, and the financing of destabilising groups. It is fundamental that we construct a world in which a diversity of economic, political, social and cultural approaches are recognised and respected.

12) Regarding the United States' blockade against Cuba and the exclusion of this country from the Summit of the Americas, the countries of the Bolivarian Alternatives for the People of Our Americas reiterates the position that all the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean adopted last December 16, 2008, regarding the necessity of putting an end to the economic, trade and financial blockade imposed by the government of the United States of America against Cuba, including the application of the denominated Helms-Burton law, and that among its paragraphs notes:

“CONSIDERING the resolutions approved by the United Nations General Assembly on the need to put an end to the economic, commercial, and financial embargo imposed by the United States on Cuba and the decisions on the latter approved at several international meetings,

“DECLARE that in defence of free trade and the transparent practice of international trade, it is unacceptable to apply unilateral coercive measures that will affect the wellbeing of nations and obstruct the processes of integration.

“WE REJECT the implementation of laws and measures that contradict International Law such as the Helms-Burton law and urge the US Government to put an end to its implementation.

"WE ASK the US Government to comply with the 17 successive resolutions approved at the United Nations General Assembly and put an end to the economic, commercial and financial embargo it has imposed on Cuba.”

Moreover, we believe that the attempts to impose isolation on Cuba, which today is an integral part of the Latin American and Caribbean region, is a member of the Rio Group and other organisations and regional mechanisms, that carries out a policy of cooperation and solidarity with the people of the region, that promotes the full integration of the Latin American and Caribbean peoples, has failed, and that, therefore, no reason exists to justify Cuba's exclusion from the Summit of the Americas.

13) The developed countries have destined no less than US$8 trillion towards rescuing the financial structure that has collapsed. They are the same ones that do not comply with spending a small sum to reach the Millennium Goals or 0.7% of GDP for Official Development Aid. Never before have we seen so nakedly the hypocrisy of the discourse of the rich countries. Cooperation has to be established without conditions and adjusted to the agendas of the receiving countries, simplifying the procedures, making resources accessible and privileging issues of social inclusion.

14) The legitimate struggle against narco-trafficking and organised crime, and any other manifestation of the denominated “new threats,” should not be utilised as excuses for carrying out acts of interference or intervention against our countries.

15) We are firmly convinced that change, which all the world is hoping for, can only come about through the organisation, mobilisation and unity of our peoples.

As the Liberator Simón Bolívar well stated:

“The unity of our peoples is not simply the chimera of men, but an inexorable fate.”

[This translation first appeared at Bolivia Rising, edited by Federico Fuentes.]

23 Apr 2009

appeal for witnesses


G20 repression was part of a policy backed up by briefings and strategy, now having failed to lose the CCTV the powers that be are going for the 'few bad apples' approach...I hope the cops involved go Queens Evidence on this, from whacking people to not having numbers, its those higher up who establish police strategy who need to be answering the questions...

by the way just had this from my amigoes in Climate Camp.

URGENT CALLOUT - PASS IT ON - DO YOU KNOW THIS MAN?

We're trying to identify the man who was punched in the face in the final
camp clearance, by the group of officers using a strobelight and torch.
You can see it at 7 minutes 50 seconds on the camp video on youtube at
http://www.youtube.com/user/uklegalobserver

Attached to this email is a zoomed and enhanced closeup picture.

Please get in touch with legal@climatecamp.org.uk if you can help us find
this person. It is really important.

Also look at our other videos on this youtube page -
http://www.youtube.com/profile_video_blog?user=uklegalobserver

If you can see yourself or anyone you know being assaulted or wronged by
the police in any of the videos, or have more footage, and haven't got in
touch, please do so.

Tell us in your email what happened to you and at what time in which film
this can be seen.

(We'd also like to know whether or not you would be willing to release
your statement to the press via the Camp Media Team.)

What next? Bindmans solicitors are reading through hundreds of statements
from you all. They are preparing a free legal advice instructions pack
which will be available to all from the legal page of the camp website
next week. Please make sure all your friends know about it.

Please make sure all your friends know about it.
thanks very much from your
legal team

New indigenous book on forest conservation.

April 22nd - Earth Day - 2009 – The forest management practices of indigenous peoples in Indonesia provides important lessons for world governments about to make crucial decisions on how to deal with climate change.

A new book launched today - Forests for the Future - is written by indigenous communities across Indonesia and describes the skills and knowledge used for generations to manage forest ecosystems without destroying them.

CO2 emissions from runaway deforestation and peatland destruction in Indonesia are making a substantial contribution to climate change worldwide.

Forests for the Future avoids romanticising the indigenous way of life. Instead it presents lessons learned from communities striving to meet today's economic and political challenges. It is a testament to the willingness of indigenous peoples to engage with an international audience so that their ways of forest management may be better known and get the recognition and respect they deserve.

Traditional knowledge has enabled indigenous communities to benefit from the wealth of forest resources such as food crops, rubber, medicines, materials for building and household goods.

Many governments are keen to include forests in mechanisms that permit industrial polluters to buy carbon credits from forest schemes in countries like Indonesia. But there are huge risks involved. For indigenous communities, these risks include the loss of livelihoods and the violation of their right to manage their forests. Powerful business and political elites in Indonesia have pushed indigenous communities aside for decades in Indonesia: now they may rush to grab more forests so they can profit from the carbon trade.

Forests for the Future is published by Indonesia’s Indigenous Peoples’ Alliance, AMAN, and Down to Earth. It marks AMAN’s tenth anniversary and aims to assist efforts to develop community-based models which present a more achievable, viable and just way of addressing the challenges of sustainability, poverty reduction and upholding the rights of indigenous peoples.

The book can be downloaded from DTE's website at http://dte.gn.apc.org/GNSCON.htm


For further information and/or interviews please contact:

Abdon Nababan, AMAN
+62 811 111 365
abdon.nababan@aman.or.id

Yuyun Indradi, DTE
+6281 31066 3859
y.indradi@gmail.com

Emil Kleden, Pusaka
+ 628131168311
emil.kleden@cbn.net.id

Chip Fay, Samdhana Institute
+63 917 718 3780
chip@samdhana.org


For more information about AMAN visit http://www.aman.or.id
For more information about DTE visit http://dte.gn.apc.org

20 Apr 2009

Green Left listens to the climate camp!

Missed this cos I was talking at the Cuba Solidarity Day School, here is a report from my good amigo and Green Left convenor Joseph Healy. This report is from Joseph’s excellent blog here.
GL AGM on June 20th.


Green Left Meeting

I chaired the Green Left general meeting on Saturday which was well attended and addressed a number of issues. We were joined by Ben, a speaker from Climate Camp, who told us about their G20 experiences and also about some actions in the pipeline. We agreed to keep channels of communication open. We also had an observer from Socialist Resistance, the ecosocialist group attached to Respect, who told us a little bit about what they were up to. At the tail end of the meeting we were joined by a speaker from the new Anti-Capitalist Party in France, who are currently running at 15% in the polls and expected to gain anything up to 10 seats in the European Parliament, which is an astonishing achievement, if it happens, for a party only formed in 2007. He stated that they were keen to work with some of those on the Green list in France, such as Jose Bove, but not as keen about others, such as Daniel Cohn Bendit.

There was a close vote on whether to continue taking part in the Left Unity talks, but we agreed to continue doing so, although many of us think that it is not leading anywhere and many of the groups have already pulled out. We also decided to adopt ‘Workers for the World Unite’ as one of our slogans, although some of us thought that it was inappropriate and too workerist. One of my colleagues went so far as to accuse me of “mad, inverse workerism” because of my oppposition to the slogan. I think it is a great slogan and clearly draws on its famous 19th century forbear, but I think it more suitable for use by the Trade Union Group, as I believe that it could alienate those who do not see themselves as ‘workers’ or who are excluded from the labour market.

We also discussed a new pamphlet on the economic crisis which we will be launching at Housman’s radical bookshop at King’s Cross in London on May 27th, with the possible involvement of a celebrity (but I am bound to secrecy on that at present as it has not yet been confirmed). We agreed to support the People’s Charter, although many of us feel that it is designed to appeal to those who want to feel that the Labour Left are still capable of having an impact in the Labour Party and is not at all as radical as we would like. I also gave the example of Alice Mahon, the long term Labour Party member and ex-MP who resigned from the party in disgust over its policies at the weekend. My only surprise was that it had taken her so long to wake up.

Other issues included a report by me on Stop the War Coalition, the forthcoming Climate Change Trade Union planning meeting and an agreement to send a delegation, together with the Green Party Trade Union Group, to Levellers Day in Burford, Oxfordshire on May 16th. There will also be a Green Left stall there. I will not be going as my duties as a London European Parliamentary Candidate mean that I will need to be in London and will probably be taking part in the Palestinian Solidarity Campaign march on that day.

We also condemned the initative of the RMT/CPB/Socialist Party in backing ‘No to EU. Yes to Democracy’ in the European elections and regard it as a Stalinist inspired political disaster. We issued the following statement:

Green Left has been shocked and disappointed by the decision of the RMT to stand candidates in the forthcoming euro elections. We had hoped for RMT support for a coherent environmental plan, including an ecologically sustainable public and publically owned transport system.

We fear that the current RMT electoral platform does not offer this within the context of a sensible political program and may have damaging consequences such as splitting votes and allowing the election of far right racist candidates, or endangering the seats of green Euro MPs who have a very good record of promoting workers’ rights in Europe.

Inspite of this Green Left will continue to actively support the RMT’s legitimate Trade Union activities and its campaigning for an ecologically sustainable public and publically owned transport system, but we cannot currently advise a vote for RMT candidates, which would currently be a wasted and dangerous vote.

We also had news that Ian Angus will be in the UK in September and we are hoping that we can get him to speak about his new book. Ian is the editor of Climate and Capitalism and hails from Canada. More about him here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ian_Angus

All in all it was a positive meeting and I look forward to our AGM on June 20th in London.

15 Apr 2009

Green Left meeting

Green Left is part of the Ecosocialist International functioning in England and Wales and of course the left and anti-capitalist network in the Green Party.

Green Left had a very good party conference and along with other ecosocialists we are putting lots of energy into trade union work, trade union activists are getting more interested in green production via alternative production.

Well you might think we are being a bit 'workerist' but hey how are we going to solve environmental problems without greening production!

A Visteon rep will be talking at the climate change trade union meeting on 25th April, hoping we may have some one from Visteon as well this saturday.

Incidentally I am away for the Green Left meeting because I am talking at a Cuba day school on saturday...our Latin American work continues with a new focus on the indigenous.

Green Left meetings our for members although other ecosocialist groups in England and Wales often send reps...we try to be non sectarian.



Green Left General Meeting on Saturday 18th April 2009 in the Lucas Arms, 254a Gray’s Inn Road, from 2pm to 6pm.



AGENDA



· Introductions and Apologies

· Speaker from Direct Action campaign (to be announced on the day, likely to be Visteon or Climate Camp)

· General Introduction to the Political and Economic situation in the UK and abroad followed by general discussion – Andy Hewett

· Minutes of the last General Meeting in Manchester and Matters Arising.

· Treasurer’s and Membership Secretary’s Reports – Pete Murry



Break (10 minutes)

· Adoption of People’s Charter by Green Left

· Slogan and by line for Green Left - one suggestion is ‘Workers for the World Unite’.

· Election of Campaigns and Youth Officers

· Report back from Stop the War Coalition (including anti- NATO demo at Strasbourg) – Joseph Healy

· Forthcoming campaigns – Romayne Phoenix

Break (10 minutes)

· Motions for Autumn Conference (deadline is May 31st)

· Internal Democracy and organisation in the party – Joseph Healy

· Housman’s bookshop event – Sean Thompson

· Any Other Business



Please note: The venue is only 5 minutes walk from King’s Cross or St Pancras stations. Due to the number of issues on the agenda, the meeting will commence at 2pm sharp. Accommodation for those travelling from outside London can be organised by approaching Sean Thompson.

13 Apr 2009

Mumia on Summitry and Punditry.

please spread the word from Mumia...I am worried that Obama will kill him, please spread Mumia's wise words, higher profile equals more safety and certainly if he was safe his words would still speak more pointedly and more poetically than most words from most radicals.

Summitry and Punditry
[col. writ. 4/5/09] (c) '09 Mumia Abu-Jamal


Amidst pomp, circumstance and protests, twenty world leaders gathered in London recently, for what was essentially a mass photo op.

Billed as G-20, the gathering of twenty leading and developing economies, it seemed more like a gathering of the blind groping for light.

The great Nigerian playwright, Wole Soyinka, in his biting poetic critique of African military dictatorships, "The Apotheosis of Master Sgt. Doe," writes:

But crowns are crowns. When rulers meet,
their embraces are of presence. Absent cries
make empty phrases.
(Soyinka, Mandela's Earth, pp. 32-33)

That poem leapt to mind when images were transmitted of politicians, wearing cheesy smiles embracing each other amidst the pops and flashes of photographers. For hugs and smiles amongst politicians do not policy make.

Nations act through their own interests - period.

If that means hamming it up for photo ops, so be it. If that means grimacing across shiny wooden tables, so be it.

And what is national interest? It means, it seems to me, whatever a nation wants it to mean. That is to say, national interest has historically been used to justify the invasion of other countries, their occupation, killing their leaders soldiers, and citizens, as well as paying people in other nations to create havoc there.

More to the point, national interest has (more often than not) meant using the organized violence of the nation-state to buttress the interests of its business class.

Thus, because the business interests of various nations invariably conflict, the hugs and kisses of politicians is but camouflage to cover deeper differences among corporate and economic elites.

A year ago, at a similar economic summit in Davos, Switzerland, then U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice told the delegate, "The U.S. economy is resilient, its structure is sound, and its long-term economic fundamentals are healthy."

That wasn't true then, and it ain't true now.

The truth is, none of the 20 leaders gathered in London has the slightest idea how to 'solve' the economic problems facing the globe.

The truth is, the U.S., and the global economic system was built and maintained on systemic injustice (I speak here of African slavery) and profound exploitation of workers both here and abroad.

The truth is, this is a crisis endemic to capitalism, where markets swallow markets and wealth is made by con games that would make the Mafia blush, by the biggest banks on earth.

The latest economic summit was PR, amidst the flames of chaos.

--(c) '09 maj

===================

Visteon picket tomorrow at 6AM

just spotted this on Lenin's Tomb...thanks Richard.

Tomorrow (Tuesday 14th), at 6am, workers will be picketing the Wharf Road entrance to Visteon at Enfield (EN3 4TA). It is requested that as many people join the picketers as possible to maximise its chances of success. There will be talks with employers later in the day, so the more the better.

Climate protest criminalised?

Reports are coming through that up to a 100 people have been arrested in Nottingham because of a threat to a power station.

I am assuming they are climate protesters rather than militant campaigners for an independent Nottingham or 'Fathers for Justice (sic)'.

I myself have a nice pink police slip from last years climate camp, informing me that I am a potential threat to a power station.

Lets face it, the government will do nothing about climate change and repress those who protest.

Looks like that as temperatures increase, so will the repression.

And of course instead of bringing renewables, cheap and effecient public transport, protection for the rainforests....carbon trading and assaults on the poorest of the planet will step up.

Those in Africa who consume just a few percent of the resources of Americans will be forced to control their population, so a cannibalistic elite can continue to eat the world.

Climate change is so severe a problem we need to take direct action...but doing so will make us criminals.

No doubt the death of Ian Tomlinson will have succeeded in encouraging more people to send money to an ineffective ngo or write to their MP who will use their note as toilet paper rather than taking direct action, Climate camp style that has an impact.

Its even rumoured the government are going to pay us to buy cars...stupido, why not put money into converting car production into making windmills or buses.

11 Apr 2009

The real deal

Dave Morris and Helen Steel were taken to court by McDonalds, in the longest libel trial in Britain, it was revealed during the trial that members of the Greenpeace London group to which they belonged had been joined by paid infiltrators from McDonalds.

Fran of 'The Age of Stupid' film, also made McLibel all about the trial...this is from Dave on Visteon.

'Viva El Dave' says Doctor Wall...


by Dave Morris
Sustainable Haringey communications group
Who is going to deliver on Green Jobs? That’ll be us, then!
A report from the Ford Visteon occupied car parts factory - Enfield North London
Being shown round the Enfield factory during the 8 day occupation by the workers, its clear that the workers anger at their bosses, is matched by their pride in their manufacturing work. For over 15 years the factory has been making primarily plastic mouldings for Ford, Jaguar and Land Rover cars and vans ­ dashboards, gearbox casings and the like, often quite intricately assembled as well as cast. But, they could make just about anything out of plastic, given the right moulds. Changing the moulds to allow the workers to cast different products would take as little as half an hour.
Apparently the workers have been suggesting to their bosses for several years that they should diversify into making different products. They saw how the car market was going, and they have the same environmental concerns as everyone else, too. Garden furniture was one suggestion which was put forward ­ maybe not an especially ‘green’ product itself, but a lot greener to have it manufactured in the UK, than made in China and shipped halfway across the world.
Another idea originating from the workers was to make recycling bins. In the surrounding areas they live in, there is currently a shortage of recycling bins (something to do with Germany soaking up all the spare capacity!) ­ so why can’t they make them here, they suggest?
Many of the workers had 20 years or more of manufacturing experience. The factory used to employ 1500 workers ­ now there are only 200 left. It used to make electronic parts like the dials for dashboards ­ some of those workers were still working at Visteon this year and could have easily turned their skills to making parts for the growing
industry of energy monitoring, for example.
They are open to suggestions. Plastic parts for bike trailers, for bus interiors? “Definitely. We don’t work here because we love cars!” one says.
But the bosses had refused to listen to any suggestions that had been put forward by workers over the last few years. Workers said the bosses’ response had been that if they turned to making different products ‘we’d be a laughing stock at the automotive shows’. One worker said when he started he’d been told ‘you’re just a pair of hands’.
The bosses fail to see that in fact these workers had more ideas and vision than the bosses whose only concern seems to be to save their own faces and arses!
It’s reminiscent of the Lucas aerospace company in the 1970s, where management sacked trade unionists for having the temerity to come up with their own ‘alternative corporate plan’ to make ‘socially and environmentally useful products’ like wind turbines, health monitors, and electric vehicles, rather than military aircraft. Nonetheless, the plans, which were developed with the help of supportive technical academics, went into production or prototyping, but Thatcherism killed of many of these initiatives which were ahead of their time. So now, whilst the wind turbine industry supports quarter of a million jobs in Germany, it supports only about 7000 in the UK.
These ideas ­ that workers should be able to take control of what they do - are ideas whose time has come again. Meanwhile the government claims it plans to create hundreds of thousands of ‘green jobs’, but then allows its manufacturing base to crumble away, throwing countless people onto the dole, rather than step in to convert these factories to green production.
Whilst the Enfield Ford Visteon workers hope their union negotiations will bear fruit - and get them (at the very least) the redundancy and pension protection that Ford has tried to cheat them out of - they face an uncertain future without the manufacturing jobs that they depended on for their livelihoods.
It seems like if we want a ‘just transition’ to a greener, fairer society, and green jobs, we’ll have to make it happen ourselves - working together as workers, activists, trade unionists, and academics. Hopefully, the vacuum left by a total absence of effective government action, might be filled by the kind of spirited fightbacks and developing understanding and connections that we’ve seen at the Enfield factory, over the last 8 days.
We all know that over the coming months capitalism will continue to reveal its true, brutal face. As one of the organisers said today, thanking all those assembled for their support: “This is a beginning, not an end”.

7 Apr 2009

Rally at Visteon Enfield Factory Thursday 9th 11am

Urgent - Rally at Visteon Enfield Factory Thursday 9th 11am - please
publicise

A Rally at the Visteon, Enfield plant is being held on on Thursday at
11am organised by the local trades council.

The occupiers have, technically, till midday to leave and will be
meeting to decide what to do then, following feedback from the meeting
with Visteon in New York City.

They will need all the support they can get.

Bring Union banners, noise and support!

6 Apr 2009

Greens must support Visteon!

Just seen this...

As people are probably aware, workers are currently occupying Visteon Car Plant in Enfield against redundancies. But in an exciting move, workers have also raised the idea of transfering from producing cars to more environmentally useful things. This is from the text of their leaflet:

'As well as proper redundancy payments, some are suggesting that the skills of the workers who can make anything in plastic, should be used to make increasingly needed parts for green products - bike and trailer parts, solar panels, turbines, etc. Government investment in this rather than throwing money at bankers could be profitable & save jobs in the long term.'


The green new deal has been rhetorical, if Campaign against Climate Change & the environmental movement throw themselves behind the occupation of the car plant and really mobilise and take environmental banners etc. down there, then this can really build an alliance between organised labour and the climate change movement that will be really good for both. I honestly think that Campaign against Climate Change should contact the union reps to call a London demo outside the occupied plant!

Rush messages of solidarity to visteonoccupation@gmail.com!

Adam Johannes
Cardiff Campaign against Climate Change

Human rights case puts Shell on trial for Saro-Wiwa murder

On May 26th 2009, oil multinational Shell will stand trial in a Federal District Court in New York for complicity in human rights abuses in Nigeria, including the summary execution of writer and activist Ken Saro-Wiwa and eight of his Ogoni colleagues on November 10th 1995. The other charges against Shell include complicity in crimes against humanity, torture, arbitrary arrest and detainment. This landmark human rights case was filed by U.S based Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) and EarthRights International (ERI). Last Friday, Chief Judge Kimba Wood of the Southern District of New York ordered that the trial would be postponed from 27th April to 26th May.

ERI will join international artists and activists in London on 6th April, 6.30pm at Amnesty International UK to answer questions about the case, including why the Anglo-Dutch oil giant is standing trial in the U.S., as opposed to the UK. This event is hosted by PLATFORM’s remember saro-wiwa project in collaboration with AFROGROOV. Leading performance poet Zena Edwards, Nigerian rap artist Breis and percussionist Babacar Dieng will close the event.

Tonight, a global campaign will be launched by a coalition of NGOs including PLATFORM, Oil Change International, Friends of the Earth U.S. and Greenpeace UK. The campaign will coincide with the Wiwa vs Shell trial, and will hold Shell accountable for its ongoing gas flaring in Nigeria, which burns off an estimated $2.5 billion of gas annually and emits more carbon dioxide than the whole of sub-Saharan Africa combined.

The plaintiffs, including relatives of Saro-Wiwa and his colleagues, eagerly await Shell’s day in court, long after the injury and death of their loved ones. The trial could result in the first successful prosecution brought under the Alien Torts Statute, which give non-U.S. citizens the right to file suits in U.S. courts for international human rights violations. If found liable, Shell would be forced to pay damages that amount to hundreds of millions of dollars. The trial comes after a 12-year legal battle in which Shell has made repeated efforts to have the case thrown out of court in the U.S. Activists are hopeful that the trial will boost efforts by oil-affected communities to hold multinationals such as Shell accountable for environmental and human rights abuses.

Jen Nessel from the Center for Constitutional Rights said, ‘While Shell didn't tighten the noose or pull the trigger, they played a critical supporting role for which they must be held accountable. U.S. law demands that human rights violators, including multinational corporations, be held liable for the atrocities they commit. May 26th
will see Ken Saro Wiwa's prophesy fulfilled that Shell would one day be
on trial for what it did to the Ogoni people.’

‘Shell refuses to apologize for its role in the execution of Ken Saro-Wiwa,’ said Ben Amunwa, of PLATFORM. ‘Worse still, Shell continue to pollute and flare gas with impunity in the Niger Delta, poisoning land and aggravating locals. The legitimate grievances of Saro-Wiwa and the Ogoni remain unaddressed, Shell’s ongoing environmental abuses fan the flames of conflict between oil companies and host communities. We, at remember saro-wiwa and its partners will call for more accountability in the Niger Delta, and will not forget the heavy price paid by Saro-Wiwa and his colleagues in their campaign for social justice.’

Michael Mansfield QC said, “I have supported your campaign all the way through because Ken Saro-Wiwa provided a shining example of resistance to corporate greed.”


The Press Conference on April 6th from 6.30pm is free. Refreshments available. RSVP to ben@remembersarowiwa.com.

ENDS

Press enquiries: Ben Amunwa (mobile) 07891 454 714 or 0207 357 0055
(email) ben@remembersarowiwa.com

South Downs National Park missing bits near to council estates

Just had this from Dave...

Folks,

See LETTER BELOW ref: the newly declared South Downs National Park...there's an angle that the media coverage is missing, and it has something to do with class. Areas adjacent to council estates, plotlands, and other working class communities on the Brighton Downs have done much less well than the vast areas of countryside and rural township dominated by middle and owning class folk.

Question: How can you have a National Park of the chalk South Downs that misses out over five miles of SSSI chalk cliffs , including 2.5 miles in pristine form without any coastal engineering?...that misses out one of the ten best upstanding neolithic causewayed camps in Britain ?...that misses out one of the two best sites in the whole of Sussex for many classes of rare invertebrates ?...that misses out an urban fringe valley that is intervisible with vast adjacent areas of open Downland ??

Answer: You can do it if these sites are next to relatively poor residential areas, whose Downland users were without the advocates they needed to win designation for their loved sites.

Kipling and Parson Gilbert White are turning in their graves...and if they are not, then they go down in my estimation !!

Please circulate this missive,

Dave Bangs


Dear Letters Editor
See ATTACHED letter...also pasted in below
from Jane, Warren, Jan, Tony and myself, Dave Bangs
best wishes all

..............................................................................


From: Jane Erin and others

c/o 32 Wickhurst Rise

Portslade,

BN41 2WB


3rd March 2009

To: The Argus Letters Editor

Dear friend

National Park status for the South Downs

Like all conservationists we celebrate the decision to designate the South Downs National Park. As campaigners for an inclusive Park boundary around the coastal conurbation of the Brighton Downs we need, however, to sound a more sombre note.

For the people of Brighton, Peacehaven and Newhaven were the only communities which substantially lost out in the Park boundary-making process. Many vitally important areas of chalk cliff and Down, historic and prehistoric value, and national importance for wildlife and geology will be excluded from the new Park.

Toad’s Hole Valley Hove, most of the Brighton Racecourse landscape including all of Whitehawk Hill, all of Newhaven’s chalk cliffs and Downland, all of Peacehaven’s cliffs and foreshore, and important areas around north and east Peacehaven were excluded from the Park, despite fulfilling all the criteria for inclusion.

This means that Lewes Tescos, the County Hall tower block, A27 Bypass and Brooks Industrial Estate will now be within the Park, whilst the unspoilt white cliffs of Newhaven and Whitehawk’s ancient stone age camp are now without the protection and resources the Park will bring.

What all these excluded sites have in common is that they are adjacent to areas of social deprivation whose residents have more immediate survival problems to contend with, which make fighting for the National Park difficult, though their communities love their Downland just as much as better off residents do.

By contrast, what all the areas newly to be included, (like Ditchling, Lewes, Midhurst and Petworth, as well as areas far from Downland like Alice Holt and Woolmer Forest) have in common is that they have many prosperous folk with the money, cultural resources and confidence to loudly argue for the protection of their bits of countryside.

The poorer folk of Hove, Brighton and the townships to its east have been let down once again by decision makers who listen better to the loud voices of the privileged than to the muted voices of the rest,

Yours

Jane Erin, ex- secretary Toad’s Hole Valleyside Wildlife Group,

Warren Carter, Moulsecoomb Forest Garden and Wildlife Project,

Dave Bangs, ex-chair Friends of Whitehawk Hill,

Jan Goodey, New Roots Allotment coordinator, Moulsecoomb,

Tony Greenstein, secretary Brighton Unemployed Workers Centre

Green Party makes £165 pension pledge

Today, on National Pensions Action Day (Monday 6 April), the Green Party announces its key election pledge for pensioners - a £165 a week non-means-tested citizens' pension for every pensioner in the UK.

The pledge will form part of the Green New Deal for Older People, which the Green Party will launch in the build-up to this year's elections (1).



Jean Lambert MEP, the Green Party's spokesperson on social affairs, said today:

"The Green Party today celebrates Pensions Action Day with possibly the best action a political party could take for British pensioners: a policy that would lift all our pensioners out of poverty."



The National Pensioners Convention (NPC) have been calling for a pension at or above the official poverty level, which is defined as 60% of median population earnings less housing costs.

For 2007/8 this would have meant a single person's pension of £151 per week - compared to the actual full state pension of £90.70 and a pensions credits guarantee level of about £120 a week.



The NPC has recently pointed out that:

- Between 1997 and 2006, the number of British people living in severe poverty - defined as living on less than 40% of median population income - increased by 600,000.

- Last year the poorest quarter of UK pensioner households saw their incomes rise by less than 1%, well below inflation. The poorest single pensioners saw their real incomes drop by 4%.

- At least 15% of UK pensioners - over 1.5m older people - are living in persistent poverty (below 60% median population income for three out of the last four years).

- Pensioner poverty in the UK has risen in the last year by 300,000 - equivalent to 822 people a day - and now reaches 2.5m (1 in 4 older people). Two thirds of these pensioners are women.




Jean Lambert, who was elected in 1999 as London's Green MEP and now sits on the European Parliament's Inter-Group on Ageing, commented:




"If the other parties are unwilling to lift pensioners out of poverty, then it's clear pensioners will need to elect Greens to fight their corner. Voting Green is about building a better future - and that includes a secure economic future for older people."




Jean Lambert MEP will lead the Green Party delegation in support of the NPC demonstration in London. She will be joined by Darren Johnson AM, the Green Party's trade & industry spokesperson and its parliamentary candidate for Lewisham Deptford, and Cllr Romayne Phoenix of Lewisham Borough Council.




--


1. The full Green New Deal for Older People will explain how the UK can afford to lift all pensioners out of poverty.





--

>From Green Party press office, 020 7561 0282.
Published and promoted by Spencer Fitz-Gibbon for the Green Party of England & Wales, both at 1a Waterlow Road, London N19 5NJ.

URL: http://www.greenparty.org.uk/news/06-04-2009-Greens-state-pension.html



Published and promoted by Tracy Dighton-Brown for the Green Party of England & Wales, both at 1a Waterlow Road, London N19 5NJ.



--


Office of Jean Lambert MEP - London's Green Party MEP
Suite 58, The Hop Exchange
24 Southwark Street
London, SE1 1TY

Tel: 00 44 (0)20 7407 6269
Fax: 00 44 (0)20 7234 0183

Email: jeanlambert@greenmeps.org.uk
Web: http://www.jeanlambertmep.org.uk

If you would like to receive Jean's e-newsletter please send an email to jeanlambert@greenmeps.org.uk with the word 'INFO' in the subject header.

Correspondence from London constituents

4 Apr 2009

News from Hands Off Venezuela

Hi everyone

Hands Off Venezuela supporters may be interested to attend a talk on
Tuesday (7th) by author Helen Yaffe on her book: “Che Guevara - The
Economics of Revolution. Even more relevant considering that Che’s ‘new
man’ theory is subtly imbedded in parts of Venezuela’s 1999 constitution.
This event is organised by Rock Around The Blockade and takes place
Tuesday 7 April at Bolivar Hall, 54 Grafton Way from 7.30pm. Full details:
http://www.ratb.org.uk/EVENTS.HTML

Meanwhile, President Chavez has stressed that the G20 summit failed to
address the real reason behind the global meltdown – capitalism
(http://www.presstv.ir/detail.aspx?id=90388§ionid=351020704), and
Venezuela has supported the creation of a new global currency
(http://www.venezuelanalysis.com/news/4342).

In Venezuela, or rather possibly not, opposition leader Manuel Rosales has
gone into hiding to avoid facing corruption charges
(http://www.venezuelanalysis.com/news/4345).

And a reminder that starting 14th April the Simón Bolívar Youth Orchestra
of Venezuela will be in residency at London’s Southbank Centre. There are
five concerts (all open to a free audience through live relays in the
Royal Festival Hall's Clore ballroom, as well as the sold-out audiences in
the hall), open rehearsals, pre-concert talks, films and symposiums from
what some have called possibly the most important social institution in
the world today.
http://www.southbankcentre.co.uk/festivals-series/sounds-venezuela
http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2009/apr/04/simon-bolivar-youth-orchestra

Will workers occupy in response to SWP pay cuts?

No idea whether this true...interesting though, far left groups often tithe their members and employ 'full timers'...good for getting politics done...my worry is that they may act as the police for what ever central committee runs things.

It's little ironic that the recession is cutting cash for left groups as well as capitalists.


News arrives that the credit crunch and ensuing recession and depression are hitting revolutionary soicalism’s finest in the SWP. SWP employees, of whom there are far too many given the party’s reduced circumstances in terms of membership, influence, etc, have been asked to take a formidable pay cut of up to £200 per month to try and make the books balance a little better than they have been doing in recent years.

It was from the Socialist Unity Web Site

LEGAL CALLOUT: WE NEED YOUR WITNESS STATEMENTS NOW

If you were snatched out, or assaulted, or arrested at the Climate Camp in
the City OR if you witnessed, photographed or videoed these things
happening to anyone else you could describe or identify, PLEASE write up a
description of it AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. That means immediately! This very
instant! Memories of important detail can fade quickly - what's more the
courts know this so it is important that your notes are as
"contemporaneous" as possible.

When writing witness statements, try to make sure your description would
make sense to someone who hadn't been there and knew nothing of the
background. Explain the "lie of the land", and set the scene of anything
relevant which happened beforehand. And just to reiterate, PLEASE DO IT
NOW! Send to legal@climatecamp.org.uk.

Also, please write a statement if you have any evidence on the police
activity at the Southern end of Bishopsgate from 7pm onwards to the very
final dispersal.

If you have any potentially relevant video footage, please let us know
what location and time you have and let us know at
legal@climatecamp.org.uk

Finally, if you were arrested in relation to the Climate Camp and you
haven't been in touch with the Legal Team, contact
legal@climatecamp.org.uk

Thank you very much,
Legal Team

ps. We apologise that we're not responding to anything other than urgent
emails at the moment.

Latest text from Joseph at the anti-Nato demonstration

Escalation

Recieved from Joseph at 1243:
"Fires burning on bridge across Rhine. Stop the War have been tear gassed. Anarchists set fire to old building. Also have paving stones. Whole area sealed off. Police boats in river. Safe so far."

So hope Joseph keeps safe...the flic are even more repressive in France than in Britains...and the Black bloc rather more active,

3 Apr 2009

State Killings in the UK?

Evidence seems to be emerging that Ian Tomlinson may have been killed by the police.

If this is true, and we don't know yet, we can expect a cover up.

The British State only kill irregularly but they always get away with it. Think of UK state collusion with Loyalist death squads and the death of Rosemary Nelson.

Even the cock up's seem to lead to conspiracies.

Any way this is from a Salford newspaper



One female witness who wished to remain anonymous talked of “police brutality and heartlessness” and directly implicated members of the police force in the “murder” of the protester who, in tributes left outside the Royal Exchange in the city, was described as a “hero.”

She spoke of the “unwarranted” attack made by “masked policemen in riot gear.” After being struck in the head by a police baton she said the man was then bloodied and left unconscious on the street.

Ian Tomlinson collapsed in St Michael's Alley close to the junction of Birchin Lane and Cornhill at 7.30pm.

She said the police had formed an “animal pen” around the protesters to contain what was slowly becoming a heated encounter.

In a statement made on behalf of the dead man's wife, witnesses were urged to come forward and give statements to expose what was called “the failures of both the police and members of the media in the accurate reporting of yesterdays incident.”

Demonstration at the Bank tomorrow

Demonstration: Saturday April 4
Assemble 12pm (sharp) Bank of England

Over the last week across London there has been a series of demonstrations and protests against the policies and programs implemented by the G20 leaders.

We are taking to the streets to express our compassion with the family of Ian Tomlinson who tragically died during the 1 April protests at the Bank of England. We are calling for an independent public inquiry into the instances of police violence that occurred though out the week and to establish to true circumstances of his death.

We wish to communicate our disgust and anger at the violent and brutal policing of the G20 demonstrations.

The press once again created an atmosphere of fear and violence in the lead up to the protests, preemptively justifying the police violence that occurred. They also misreported and lied about the circumstances of the tragedy. We recognise that for many communities the reality of police violence is a daily occurrence. The demonisation of communities, like the demonisation of protesters makes police violence seem normal.

As the crisis deepens and continues there will be increased resistance - from factory occupations to demonstrations, strikes and people coming together on the streets. We need to speak out now the right to defend our freedom to protest, our communities and our dignity.

Demonstration:
Saturday April 4
Assemble 12pm sharp
Bank of England

Ian Angus tour

My good friend Ian Angus is on a speaking tour of Australis...if you are about in Aus, go and listen to him he has important things to say.

I am resisting flying my communication with the world outside northern Europe is this blog!

Any way Ian is an excellent ecosocialist speaker, you will learn, I did when I met him!

By the way looks like Hugo Blanco will be in the Uk for a speaking tour next year...watch this space.


Friday April 3: Perth

6.30pm. Resistance Centre, 15/5 Aberdeen St, East Perth (near McIver Station). Organised by the Socialist Alliance.

Sunday April 5: Adelaide

3pm Adelaide South West Community Centre, 171 Sturt St. Initiated Green Left Weekly and Eco-socialist Convergence. Supported by CLEAN – Climate Emergency Action Network. Ph

Monday April 6: Melbourne

7pm Climate Action Centre, lvl 5, New Building, Victorian Trades Hall Council, cnr Victoria & Lygon Sts, Carlton South. Organised by Green Left Weekly.

Tuesday April 7: Melbourne

1pm. Melbourbe University. Cussonia Court Rm 2 (Old Quad Blg). Sponsored by Resistance.

Wednesday April 8: Hobart

7pm. Dechaineaux Theatre, Arts School, Uni of Tasmania, Hunter St. Organised by Green Left Weekly.

Friday-Sunday, April 10-12: Sydney

“World at a Crossroads: Fighting for Socialism in the 1st Century.” See http://www.worldatacrossroads.org/ for details, including full agenda.

More kettling reports Andy from Green Left



















Andy reports back from yesterday's vigil for the man who died on wednesday, he was a passer by walking back from work not one of the protesters at climate camp...some people say he was chased by the police, fell and cracked his head...I am not sure if this is true. Tragic, my heart goes out to his family and friends.

The vigil was well attended with a good few hundred people paying their respects, and placing personal messages on the boarding placed around a piece of architecture(?) outside the Bank. There was also a bit of a feeding frenzy of press and photographers, obviously looking for another bloody story and maybe some more confrontation between protesters and police. Eventually it appeared that the police might be looking for the same - their response was, like the previous day and in particular in the context of why we had gathered there today, wholly inappropriate.

A minutes silence was held, well observed by all who sat down, downed flags and removed hats to remember the fallen comrade; during the 'silence' the air was punctuated by the sound of police sirens and a helicopter hovering overhead. This was a sign of things to come.

Soon we were kettled in as police encircled the gathering. Police cossacks appeared in a show of force, but left after a while. Some mourners were becoming agitated, and there were chants of 'shame on you' aimed at the police. But there was no violence. However, eventually the police dogs were brought out as an intimidatory tactic, walked around the kettle for a bit then vanned off again. I could later hear them further up the road so I can only assume that other protesters were being harassed elsewhere.

Eventually some protesters decided to leave, but were being searched by the police as they left. The police closed in the kettle as people left and a few of us were left in a small space as the majority succumbed to the search in order to leave. 20 of us remained and sat down refusing to have to be searched. We calmly and peacefully discussed what we would all want to happen, a consensus was reached that we would all refuse to leave if we were to be searched and that we would be prepared to ba arrested. By this time we were just encircled by City of London Police, whose 'superior officer' was invited into the circle to address us. He informed us that a section 60 was in force in the City until 6am. After further discussion we decided that we would all be prepared to stay there until 6am. Further negotiation was attempted to allow us water and toilet facilities, but the request was refused.

By this time a small crowd was beginning to form around us and some people lobbed in some food for us, which was gratefully passed around. It was approaching half past five by now, and more people were gathering outside us, and a few pictures were being taken - the press vultures were still circling (apologies if anyone finds that description speciesist). Bemused city workers leaving work were curiously looking in, and taking a few of their own snaps for the family album. Then, all of a sudden the head copper came and told us that the police were going to let us go without being searched. Just like that. The police dispersed. We cheered and hugged one another as we realised that we had won. We gathered for a group photo and a wall of cameras recorded our joy for posterity. My fear is that this story of peaceful demonstration will be less than a footnote to the last couple of days as the press don't seem to want anything other than bloody anarchy and violence to scream out from their headlines.

People need to support factory occupation in North London

Had this from Howard, thanks Howard....its all happening in the UK at present...

Please forward this to all your lists IMMEDIATELY

Workers at Visteon factory Enfield London have seized control of the factory following major lay-offs and need help to resist eviction expected from 10am either tomorrow or Saturday.

This is the beginning of the workers revolution and we must support it and build links betwen it and the Green revolution.

The factory has formerly manufactured car parts, but it could be used to make wind turbines.

If we hold this factory, others will follow. If not, a huge opportunity and momentum will be lost.

They need NUMBERS and they nees them NOW

Factory is on Morson Road. 5 mins from Ponders End rail station - cross footbridge, take main rd twds Central London, Morson Rd on left, factory at bottom end.

For more info call mobile phone in factory - 07799 896 466.

Bring everyone you know and please try to arrive for 10am tomorrow.

Love Howard

2 Apr 2009

"disproportionate and provocative."


Green Party leader Caroline Lucas MEP has described the tactics used by the Metropolitan Police at yesterday's G20 protests as "disproportionate and provocative."

Throughout today, reports had been coming in from Greens who had been involved in the protest.

One party member involved said she had "returned shaken and appalled at the policing tactics employed at the G20 protests."

Like many others, she described the way lines of police officers had kept groups of peaceful demonstrators "penned-in" for hours without access to water or toilets. She said:

"It is only thanks to my NUJ press pass that I managed to (eventually) escape the terrifying crush imposed by aggressive police. By that point I had spent at least two hours rammed in with other peaceful rotesters, bursting for the loo and battling against a resurgence of a phobia of being trapped in tight crowds."

Another Green Party member involved in the demonstration said: "In thirty-one years of active participation in peaceful street demonstrations I have NEVER before been close to the threat of being trapped by police."

Darren Johnson AM commented today: "A number of activists have already fed-in similar experiences and I agree that this is completely inappropriate policing tactics. While they need to act swiftly to tackle any violence it is wrong and totally counter-productive to treat the vast majority of wholly peaceful protestors in this way."

This morning Jenny Jones AM, who had acted as an official observer with the police but who was denied the opportunity to go and observe where she wanted to, was promised a full opportunity to question the Metropolitan Police about their tactics.

Meanwhile Green Party leader Caroline Lucas MEP was receiving reports from people who had been at the Climate Camp, including the following allegations against the police:

* That no warning was given to the camp that they were about to be contained - so, for example, families with babies and children were not given the opportunity to leave.
* That when the police attacked the camp to take away the sound system and move people on, no warning was given and nobody was given the opportunity to leave of their own accord.
* That when the police entered the camp a second time, people were sitting down with their hands in the air being very passive - but the police dragged, kicked, punched and hit people with shields to move them away from the area and disperse them.


At around 2 o'clock this afternoon (Thursday) an armed police unit reportedly raided a convergence centre on Earl's Street. The officers, who did not have a search warrant, claimed they were acting under the Prevention of Terrorism Act.

Caroline Lucas commented: "There seems to be a good deal of evidence that the police used tactics that were inappropriate.

"The law on preventing a breach of the peace should not be used as an excuse to deny people a right to demonstrate in a peaceful and law-abiding manner. And it definitely shouldn't be used as an excuse for mass detention of demonstrators who, in many cases, just wanted to go home."

She concluded: "I think the police should provide evidence of the basis on which they are apparently using anti-terrorism legislation to act against peaceful legitimate protesters."

URL: http://www.greenparty.org.uk/news/2009-04-02-g20.html



Published and promoted by Tracy Dighton-Brown for the Green Party of England & Wales, both at 1a Waterlow Road, London N19 5NJ.

Repression continues.



They came through the roof, smashing their way in and assaulting everybody who was inside. Several people were arrested, including two who had been injured in the raid. Taser guns were aimed at people, while the police harassed and searched everybody who was on the outside.

From Indymedia...any solutions to climate chaos and the ecological crises, that work, tend to get squashed because they get in the way of corporate cash accumulation.

West Papua, Brazil, Peru....London...civil rights are demolished, so people can be moved out of the way, so the destruction of nature can continue...madness.

Repress the radicals...reward those who sell out...keep the process going, once you have seen for the first 36 or 40 times it does tend to drag...

More people being penned in London...the guy who died yesterday may have just been walking home from work!

Vote for Jean and support the Dalits!


I must admit all this brutality is getting me down....however must get on with promoting some practical and political resistance...its all about grassroots social change, people are oppressed as part of a process where the environment is wrecked.

Social justice is linked to ecology

So it is particularly good to see the e newsletter from Jean Lambert showing all her work on justice and the environment as London's Green Party MEP.

Please vote for her on 4th June....its really important to make sure she is re-elected.

This item on newsletter on Dalit Solidarity is just one example of her vitally important work

As part of my long-standing association with the Dalit Solidarity Network, I participated in a protest at the Indian High Commission. The protest also marked International Women's Day, since the majority of the 1.3 million people of ‘untouchable' caste status in India are women, and are forced to earn their living by doing dangerous and degrading work in appalling conditions. The protest called on the Indian Government to release a substantial pot of money set-aside for providing these ‘manual scavengers' with education, healthcare and decent jobs, emphasising that no human being should be considered "untouchable"

The Dalit Solidarity Network have a website here.

'next to the man who collapsed and died'

'“My boss (yes, a senior manager at the bank I work at!) went over last night to see what was going on. He literally was next to the man who collapsed and died. He swears NO ONE was throwing a thing. And that the reason the police couldn’t get to the guy was because the cops were using dogs against the protesters and the protesters were running away from them (towards where the guy was). Now interestingly, my boss said the guy looked about 50. The man who died went to the ground and started convulsing. So he seemed to think it was natural causes. But other than that bit, every single thing the police have said is wrong. I will ask my boss to contact the solicitors, as he is a senior manager at the bank and a very unimpeachable source (in that the police can’t say he was involved in any way or had any sympathies to the protestors - they can’t just brush him off). But I won’t hold my breath. He’s a good man, but it may be too difficult for him to do (i.e. to stand up).”

This comment was on a blog here....well we shall see what happens, the non violent climate camp does not seem the place where people would throw things at the cops...I dare say all of us might become a less non violent if baton charged by the police or assaulted by their dogs.

Watch this space...not so long ago the police killed a man on the tube and a whole series of lies came out from the authorities within hours of the event.

Some intelligent comments here

As you have heard by now (well, not if you rely on the BBC, which has to my knowledge devoted a single line to the topic), a man died in the police 'kettle' yesterday, where protesters were held for seven hours without food, water, or toilet facilities. In order to forestall criticism of the tactic, which is now a legally mandated crackdown on the right to protest, the police have claimed that they were prevented from helping the man at the scene by members of the crowd throwing bottles at medics. Now, given that the cops lie on every possible occasion when they get into trouble (De Menezes, the Koyairs, to name but a couple), given their absolute contempt for the general public, there is every reason to disbelieve them. I am not saying they are trying to subvert the IPCC process in advance, but I'm certainly thinking it very loudly. I would also be wary of the press. Most reports are relying on one unnamed source to say that the man was aged about 30, and died of "natural causes". A thirty year old man could die of natural causes, but unless this witness was a doctor I am reluctant to take this as the conclusive word on the matter.

Cops allow destruction to gather pace


As I write the Ramparts social centre in East London is being evicted by the riot police.

13:04 Raid a t the Rampart centre ongoing. Legal observers were taken away and searched by FIT officers and threatened with arrest under anti-social behaviour legislation, the Riot police are focibly removing people. The riot police brough an embedded ITN news crew on the raid



Indonesian government representatives are to meet David Cameron today and have been in cordial discussion with Gordon Brown
.

He said the two governments had also agreed to continue cooperation in energy.

"I said it was good to have *energy cooperation*, especially *with* BP, to jointly develop environmentally friendly biofuels in Indonesia," he said.

Other issues on the agenda in the talks between Yudhoyono and Brown included cooperation in tourism, in counter-terrorism, and interfaith dialogues.

After meeting with the prime minister, Yudhoyono met with Conservative Party leader David Cameron.


The two events are two faces of the same dirty coin. Repress the radicals to allow accumulation to continue.

Across the web 'environmentalists' climb into bed with corporations like Tescos and McDonalds...hope they enjoy the experience and invest their cash wisely.

Real green politics is repressed, so corporations can wreck nature for a quick profit.

Indonesia is seeing literally thousands of land disputes as peasant farmers, indigenous people and the long suffering Oran Utans are kicked off their land so it can be logged for palm oil plantations, gold mines, etc.

The solutions to environmental crisis involved challenging the corporate destruction of the environment.

However from biofuels to carbon trading to corporate environmental greenwash, solutions are derailed.

Those like the climate camp who come up with calls to reject corporate control are beaten...others will no doubt be bought off.

So it goes on...but as it goes on it challenges the basic life support system of planetary ecology.

Report here on Indonesian police attacking church goers in West Papua..do Brown and Cameron care...of course not.

There is also a demo at 1pm at Bank to show solidarity with the protester who died

'There is also a demo at 1pm at Bank to show solidarity with the protester who died'

1 Apr 2009

Climate Camp are the real deal which is why they are being repressed



Just found this beautiful pix. here

Climate camp are the real deal.

Most environmentalists still seem to believe in carbon trading.

Obama is going to 'solve' climate chaos with biofuels....lets take our lead from the Climate Camp and challenge capitalism.

Rumours are occuring that the police are attacking the camp, I hope this isn't true but sadly would fit, the police ran a whole campaign in the summer saying climate camp was violent, 'weapons had been found', etc, etc...all lies to justify repression

Workers must unite to take on capitalism says Mumia

May Day '09
[Speech writ. 3/23/09] (c) '09 Mumia Abu-Jamal


While May Day has historically been a day of worker's solidarity and a celebration of labor power, this is not a day or year like any other.

That's because many nations are in the midst of economic recession and financial failure, and it is workers worldwide who are suffering from layoffs and mass firings in almost every sector of the global economy.

While labor is depressed, capital is aggregating to itself bigger and larger shares of national and global wealth, as governments rush to bail out banks and investment firms, but only if they are "too big to fail."

Under the newly amended rules of capitalism, corporations (especially in the financial sector) can scam, steal, and hustle virtually everyone, and when the economy falls, the government sails in and bails them out with public money!

Under a system such as this, capitalism can never lose. It's like a gambling casino, where the house rules change every half hour (or depending on who's winning and who's losing!)

But workers are losing.

Around the world, workers are facing lost jobs, vanished careers, foreclosed homes, and families broken and shattered against the grinding wheel of Capital.

This will be one hell of a May Day -- but it's the one that globalized capital has fashioned for us all.

Only if labor is truly globalized can it fight for and demand its fair share from the ravages of capitalism.

Let that be our mission for May Day -- and for tomorrow.

--(c) '09 maj

G20 demonstrations marred by police violence


Just listening to a good report from Ch 4 news which asks 'did the met hype up threat of violence', hoping the cops let everyone go home, currently lots of people penned in


From Payam of Green Left

Peaceful demonstrators gathered today outside the Bank of England to press for a better world. The protesters arrived at the Bank of England from 4 different directions representing 4 horsemen of the apocalypse (red horse against War, green horse against Climate Chaos, silver horse against Financial Crimes and black horse against Land Enclosures and Borders).

The financial crisis has led to a great strength of feeling by demonstrating the shortcomings of neoliberal capitalism and has also led many to conclude that this is a historic moment of opportunity to push for change. The protest was very good natured with music, banners, dancing and impromptu speakers talking about their visions for a different world. A broad cross-section of society was represented including factory workers, teachers, cleaners, academics, nurses, unemployed people and pensioners all coming together to press for a change in system which has resulted in so much human suffering.

Sadly, the protest was marred by violent and provocative tactics used by the police in their attempts to contain demonstrators. Thousands of demonstrators including pregnant women and young children were ‘kettled’ in to a small area immediately outside the Bank of England with only those who had work ID for the local area or were NUJ members allowed out of the police blockades. Protesters were denied access to food, water and toilets for over 2 hours. A small minority of protesters trying to escape from the enclosure early on were arrested by the police. Furthermore, police on horseback appeared rapidly to prevent protestors advancing down a side street. The use of police on horseback against pedestrian demonstrators is wholly inapprorpiate and stokes up violence and fear in protestors unneccesarily.

Many police medics were present and did not speak out against the tactics: shame on them. Other police officers on the ground were invited to behave in a more human manner by some protesters but all (that I saw) followed orders that were patently unjust and unfair to peaceful protesters.

It was only after the police on horseback appearing (very suddenly) and the police running into the crowd and hitting people with battons that some protestors broke windows at the Royal Bank of Scotland to cheers from the majority of the crowd in that corner: such was the strength of feeling against both the system which has let the world down, and against the police who were detaining peaceful demonstrators for no just reason. Whilst I do not approve of violence as a solution to conflicts, it did not feel unjust that some protestors broke the windows of a bank that had presided over such gross misuse of funds. It was clear that there were no bank staff in the building who might have been physically hurt by the actions of that group of protestors. The financial loss to the bank pales into insignificance when compared to bonuses and pensions paid out to the management.

It was only due to active defense against such unjust imprisonment (in the form of large numbers of demonstrators pushing against the human police barrier in a non-violent way) that the police were overwhelmed by the numbers and some of the crowd was able to leave the area.

Several prominent Greens attended the protest including Cllr Romayne Pheonix (Lewisham) and Shan Oaks (parliamentary Candidate against David Davis in the Haltemprice and Howden by-election last year) and the response from the crowd to the Green Party banners was overwhelmingly positive. I am proud to have been part of such an important protest.

I will be writing to Green Party Assembly Member and member of the Metropolitan Police Authority, Jenny Jones, to describe my personal experiences of police violence and inapprorpriate tactics and would urge any others present to do the same. The wholly inapprorpriate tactics used by the police made peaceful protesters feel that they were doing something illegal and could have resulted in significant injury to both protestors and police had protestors not managed to break free. Some protestors remained behind with the radio saying that the barriers were only finally completely lifted at around 6:30pm.

—-

At Bishopsgate, police confiscated tents from peaceful demonstrators trying to set up camp on the street earlier on although latest reports from other London Greens suggest that police have allowed the climare camp to set up and that demonstrators are chalking slogans onto the pavement and that the atmosphere is very positive.

Workers for the World Unite! We have only one world and only one chance to save it.

Spot the real vampire!

OPERATION ‘CARRY ON CAMPING’

Well I am locked away in Berkshire doing some writing to quite a sharp deadline for some nice people in Oxford.

So I am missing some fun and blogging less.

Climate Camp though looks good from here

Strategist has posted this

Reports from OPERATION ‘CARRY ON CAMPING’ http://climatecamp.org.uk/?q=node/468

16:30. The camp is beautiful and the sun is shining. If you’re not already there, come along and bring some sawdust, paper, water, a sleeping bag and an unwavering desire to address the issues of climate change

14:30. The camp for Climate Action is setup in front of the Carbon Exchange. It’s wonderful, and we’re staying for 24 hours, so get there as soon as you can….

12:30. The site is ours!!! Come down to the carbon exchange

The location is European Climate Exchange, Hasilwood House, 62 Bishopsgate, EC2N 4AW