30 Apr 2010

Get down to Brighton and elect first Green MP

Paul Steedman, campaign manager for the Greens in Brighton Pavilion, said: "The last few months have seen a continued rise in attention and support for the Green Party especially in Brighton. Going into the last weekend of the campaign sees us with a surge of momentum and we expect to have around 150 people knocking doors and meeting voters all across the constituency."
"What we have found on the doorstep is no evidence of the Clegg bounce, instead the Lib Dem vote has collapsed, repeating their poor performance in every election for the past five years. In Brighton the Greens are the party of change. It's clearly a two-horse race between us and the Conservatives."

More here

27 Apr 2010

Geoff Martin says vote Green

Geoff Martin, Labour's parliamentary candidate in Sutton and Cheam in 1992 and a leading campaigner in the fight to save services at St Helier Hospital today called on local voters to back Sutton's Green Candidate Peter Hickson.
Geoff Martin, who lives in Sutton and who was expelled by the Labour Party last year, said: "Voters sick and tired of the spin and sleaze of the main Parties have a real choice in Sutton and Cheam and I would urge them to vote for the Green candidate Peter Hickson and give the political elite a real kick up the backside.

The Greens oppose privatisation of services like the NHS and support workers rights and decent pay and pensions. I would call on all trade unionists and socialists in Sutton to make a positive decision and give Peter Hickson and the Green Party your vote.

The Labour Party in this area is dead in the water and traditional Labour voters who feel badly let down by 13 years of Blair and Brown have a real alternative in Peter Hickson and the Greens. My advice is don't stay at home getting angry on May 6th - get down the polling station and vote for Peter."

Notes for editors:

Geoff Martin was Labour's parliamentary candidate in Sutton and Cheam in 1992. A high profile trade unionist who was UNISON convenor for a decade, he was expelled by Labour last year after 30 years as a member. He was prominent in the long fight to save services at St.Helier hospital, Carshalton; and is currently a national officer of the RMT.

From

Caroline Lucas 'I respect my Labour opponent Nancy Platts'

All the other parties have trained their fire on the Greens in Brighton.

There can only be one reason for all this attention: they see the Greens as front-runners in the race and regard us as the party to beat - just like the bookies.

The Tory tactics are clear - to split the progressive vote and bustle unsatisfactorily through the middle.

They seem to be hoping that, if the Labour share rises at the expense of the Greens who are the favourites, the maths might just work for them.

Of course, this would be a disaster for the majority of people in Brighton who do not want to be represented by a Tory.

Yet it's interesting that Labour's campaign locally has largely escaped close scrutiny.

I respect my Labour opponent Nancy Platts.

As far as her personal campaigning goes (no comment on her wider team's tactics), she has been straightforward and kept to the issues.

However, despite this, one thing doesn't add up.

In Nancy's election leaflet, she starts by writing, ‘I am proud to be Labour'.

If that were the case, one might expect her to be proudly promoting the Labour Party's manifesto.

Yet Nancy has spent the vast majority of her campaign promoting issues that are not Labour Party policy at all.

So she says that she's against tuition fees (Green Party policy, not Labour Party policy).

Wants an end to school city academies (Green policy, not Labour).

Opposes cuts to university budgets (Green policy, not Labour).

Supports renationalisation of the railways (Green policy, not Labour).

Opposes replacement of Trident (Green policy, not Labour).

Wants to scrap ID cards (Green policy, not Labour).

Wants stronger trade union rights (Green policy, not Labour).

Opposes post office closures (Green policy, not Labour).

The list goes on.

Of course, not everyone agrees with everything in their Party's manifesto.

But there comes a time when the gap between the candidate's personal views and their Party's policies widens to the point where they must lose credibility.

Don't be fooled: if you vote Labour, you'll be voting to prop up the Labour Party as it is - NOT for Labour as Nancy would like it to be.

Look at those admirable Labour and ex-Labour MPs - Clare Short and Alan Simpson - who have struggled and failed to change Labour from within, ending up leaving the Party or leaving Parliament.

It's hard enough for MPs to fight against large party 'machines' at the best of times, let alone in the context of what looks likely to be a hung parliament.

The policies outlined above are all in the Green Party manifesto, and, if you trust me with your vote, I will fight for them wholeheartedly without any pressure to do otherwise.

Every indication shows that the Greens are best placed to beat the Tories in Brighton Pavilion.

Labour and LibDem voters should back us on this occasion.

And that's why I would urge those voters who want to support genuinely progressive views, and are desperate not to be represented by a Tory, to vote Green.


More here

25 Apr 2010

Greens should vote Lib dem?

well Lord Avebury has been superb but here in Berkshire we remember the Lib Dems supporting the Newbury by-pass...a giant road like a motorway that cut through fields and forests of our beautiful county.


A Green Party spokesperson today branded the Lib Dems “the biggest eco-charlatans on this part of the planet”:

“Objectively speaking, the Lib Dems are the least trustworthy party on the environment. They have proven themselves the party most likely to say one thing and do another. Their track record is spotty to say the least.

“They say they want a low-carbon economy with new green jobs. But last week they revealed a plan to put the pathetic sum of £3bn into this, promising only a few thousand new jobs. The Green Party, on the other hand, has started with science-based CO2 targets, done the arithmetic and shown how to pay for a £44bn green investment package, which would create over a million new jobs.javascript:void(0)

“The Lib Dems talk about stopping roadbuilding but they’ve supported practically every new road from the Newbury bypass to the M74, and they’re still supporting the Lancaster Northern Bypass. They opposed Heathrow’s third runway but they’ve supported Manchester’s second runway and airport expansions just about everywhere else. They talk about green waste management but they currently support incinerator projects in Exeter, Plymouth and Barnstaple. In Essex they’ve proclaimed support for a zero waste strategy, which means no incineration, but they’re still supporting incinerators in Essex.

“They say they want a zero carbon economy by 2050, but they’ve opposed windfarm proposals in Cornwall, Cumbria, Devon and Worcestershire. In Lewisham they recently voted against a Green Party budget package that would have insulated 25,000 homes for free.

“In their proposed ‘green tax switch’ the Lib Dems promised to ‘cut income tax and switch to green taxes on pollution instead’ – which means either we’d have less money for schools and hospitals as we reduce pollution, or else we have to keep polluting in order to keep the tax revenue coming in. Frankly, the Lib Dems are the biggest eco-charlatans on this part of the planet.”

Climate vigil

PRESS RELEASE
from Christian Ecology Link

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT DETAILS

Ruth Jarman

e-mail : ruthj@phonecoop.coop

Jo Abbess
Local Call Rate : 0845 45 98 46 0

e-mail : info@christian-ecology.org.uk

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


CLIMATE VIGIL PRAYERS


1. Christian Ecology Link, the Campaign against Climate Change, and
other members of the Stop Climate Chaos coalition are holding an
overnight vigil between Saturday 15th May 2010 and Sunday 16 May 2010,
celebrating the Earth in the Arts, and reminding the newly-formed
British Government to act decisively and urgently on Climate Change.


2. As part of the Climate Vigil, Christian Ecology Link, with the
support of Operation Noah, is offering an ecumenical service at St
Martin-in-the-Fields Church, Trafalgar Square, London WC2N 4JJ, on
Saturday 15th May 2010 at 11pm (23:00), to which all are welcome :-

http://www.christian-ecology.org.uk/vigil.htm
http://www.christian-ecology.org.uk/vigil-low-res.doc


3. Mark Dowd of Operation Noah, Channel 4 "God is Green" documentary
presenter, will address those meeting at St-Martins-in-the-Fields
Church, on the subject of the crisis in Climate Change, the damages
the World is already experiencing, the failures in the international
negotiations, and hopes for what the new British Government can bring.


4. While the church service is taking place, vigil supporters will
be gathering with lit candles and torches in Trafalgar Square.


5. At midnight, there will be a candlelit procession to Old Palace
Yard, outside the Houses of Parliament, opposite the Palace of
Westminster, where the vigil will be welcomed by music, ancient,
modern and global, and artistic displays and presentations, and where
speeches will be made, by Climate Change scientists and activists.


6. Throughout the night, Christian Ecology Link will be hosting a
space for prayers, quiet music, meditation and reflection at the
Lambeth Methodist Mission, 3 – 5 Lambeth Road, London, SE1 7DQ, where
tea and coffee will be served.


7. There will be a full programme of arts and music activities
during the night, at Old Palace Yard and St Jude's Community Centre,
St Georges Road, London SE1 6EZ, where the Brixton Tea Party will
provide refreshments, and breakfast.


8. Classical musicians and singers wishing to take part in the
church service, or perform at either of the overnight venues, should
contact Ruth Jarman of Christian Ecology Link on 07970 907784 or at
ruthj@phonecoop.coop.


9. Ruth Jarman of Christian Ecology Link said, "The Climate Vigil
aims simply to keep the truth alive. Governments lost the plot at last
year's Copenhagen summit, and sceptics have been getting all the
airtime recently with some feeble assertions. From the General
Election campaign you'd think that the problem of dangerous Climate
Change had gone away. But it hasn't. It's vital to remember the
truth, that we're still in trouble. We need prayer and prophecy,
creativity and campaigning. On 15th May we will be coming together,
Christian or not, because we need each other, and Government needs us
too."


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

NOTES from Christian Ecology Link

The Climate Vigil will be promoted with this call :-

"Light a candle for science, reason and truth; for action to deal with
the climate emergency; for creation, climate justice and the world's
poorest; for the young and future generations; for positive solutions;
climate jobs, green energy and a Zero Carbon Britain. Let the new
Government know that you care."

Happy Birthday Mumia Abu-Jamal



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

Lets keep working for the liberty of Mumia Abu-Jamal, the US authorities are very keen to kill him.

Arthur Scargill targets Caroline Lucas


The Socialist Labour Party formed by Arthur Scargill are contesting Brighton Pavilion....pretty dumb if you ask me.

Its the number one constituency for the Green Party, perhaps they might have chosen some where else.

I suspect their vote will not be large.

SLP candidates list here....seem more like spoliers than a serious party.

Independent on Sunday say Vote Green and elect Caroline Lucas

"They have been able to do what the left hasn't been able to do, which has been to put forward an alternative to the free market and sound credible."

Mark Steel, Comedian

"Vote for what you believe in. There are no real differences between the main three parties. If you really want change, vote Green."

Alistair McGowan, Comedian

"The Green Party is the only political party to have a consistent message on the environment."

Nick Reeves, Executive director, Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management

More Here

24 Apr 2010

Condensed Green Party manifesto

Green Party policies

Fair is worth fighting for

The banking system
The Green Party would fight for a fair financial deal, with community banks, credit unions and mutuals, providing realistic loans. We will fight to introduce a High Pay Commission to reduce financial inequality.

Health and the NHS
Greens oppose cuts, closures and privatisation and demand a full programme of locally accessible services. We want free social care to the elderly and to abolish prescription charges, re-introduce free eye tests and ensure widely available NHS chiropody. We will also fight to restore free dental care and provide everyone with an NHS dentist.

Pensions
All pensioners should receive a non-means tested pension of £170 per week. We should also provide free care and support for those living independently. The Green Party manifesto shows how we could introduce free home insulation for all, with priority for pensioners and those living in fuel poverty.

Housing
The Green Party would build new council homes, support the development of housing co-ops, restore 300,000 long-term empty private sector homes to use, renovate 37,000 empty council homes, improve the quality of housing stock and helping people at risk of repossession via a Right to Rent scheme.

Jobs and a living wage
The Green Party will fight for a Minimum Wage of £8.10 per hour, and provide a £44bn package to create an extra million jobs and training places, including workforce training, investment in renewables, public transport, insulation, social housing and waste management.

Transport
The Green Party would re-nationalise trains to improve service and reduce fares. We would divert £30bn from road projects into public transport and spend £1.5bn subsidising public transport to reduce fares by up to 10%. This would strengthen communities, reduce crime, improve health, reduce traffic fatalities and create 160,000 jobs.

23 Apr 2010

GUERILLA GARDENERS SET UP AN ECO-VILLAGE IN BRISTO

Spotted this in Schnews, good news....I lived in St Werburghs in 1993/1994....its a great place to live, rather miss it

GIVING THE GREEN FINGER

AS GUERILLA GARDENERS SET UP AN ECO-VILLAGE IN BRISTOL...

Bristol eco-village set up camp this week with huge support from
local people and activists from all around the country. The off-grid,
urban community kicked off last Saturday (17th) on a patch of waste
land in St Werburghs - previously notorious for fly tipping, arson
attacks and hard drug users.

The 'swoop' to take the land started with activists
forming a walking block and cycle block, trailed by an obligatory
police presence. After a wild goose chase to lose the cops (who
eventually got bored and wandered off), both teams took the site at
about midday.
The first day was spent clearing the site of rubbish, yielding a
plethora of waste building materials which have been put to good use
with tyre walls for an earthship being constructed, two composting
loos on the go and recycling facilities sorted.

St. Werburghs is known for being a 'green' part of
Bristol with a city farm and a number of self-build eco-houses nearby,
so the neighbours to the site have responded with gusto. Residents
have donated tools, a grey water system and polytunnel, as well as
plants and seedlings, which were planted with help from the kids from
the primary school opposite.

Police have reacted positively to the squat and offered their support
to help prevent a planned illegal eviction on Wednesday (21st).
Bailiffs had turned up the day before and served occupants with an
eviction notice (after which a fire was mysteriously started in the
corner of the site), and a call out went out for people to help
protect the village. After a good turnout of supporters, the bailiffs
didn't show, having been served notice that the eviction would
be illegal under common and criminal law. Another attempt to evict is
expected soon, so campers are urging people to continue to respond to
call-outs.

One camper told SchNEWS that the collective plans to set up the site
with buildings and a flourishing garden, then leave it for the local
community to enjoy before moving on to another piece of derelict land
which needs regeneration. The camp invites all visitors to come for
the day or to stay for longer - so grab your tools and gardening
gloves and get down to help green-up an urban wasteland.

Statement from climate conference Bolivia 'Today, our Mother Earth is wounded and the future of humanity is in danger'

Today, our Mother Earth is wounded and the future of humanity is in danger.

If global warming increased more than 2 º C, which would lead to the so-called "Copenhagen Understanding" there is a 50% chance that the damage caused to our Mother Earth are totally irreversible. Between 20% and 30% of the species would be in danger of disappearing. Large tracts of forests would be affected, droughts and floods affect different regions of the planet, deserts extend and exacerbate the melting icecaps and glaciers in the Andes and the Himalayas. Many island states disappear and Africa suffer a temperature increase of more than 3 º C. Likewise, reduced food production in the world would create catastrophic effects for the survival of the inhabitants of vast regions of the planet, and dramatically increase the number of hungry in the world, which already exceeds the figure of 1,020 million people.

Corporations and governments of countries called "more developed" in complicity with a segment of the scientific community, discuss climate change as a problem limited to the rise of temperature without questioning the cause [which] is the capitalist system .

We confront the terminal crisis of the patriarchal model of civilization based on the subjugation and destruction of human beings and nature that accelerated with the industrial revolution.

The capitalist system has imposed a logic of competition, progress and unlimited growth. This mode of production and consumption gain unlimited search, separating man from nature, establishing a logic of domination over it, turning everything into a commodity: water, earth, the human genome, the ancestral cultures, biodiversity, justice, ethics, rights of peoples, death and life itself.

Under capitalism, the Earth Mother becomes the only source of raw materials and human beings into means of production and consumers, people who are worth what they have and not what they are.

Capitalism requires a strong military industry to the process of accumulation and control of territories and natural resources, suppressing people's resistance. It is an imperialist system of colonization of the planet.

Humanity is facing a great dilemma: continue on the path of capitalism, predation and death, or the path of harmony with nature and respect for life.

Require building a new system to restore harmony with nature and among humans. There can be only balance with nature if there is equity among human beings.

Put to the peoples of the world recovery, empowerment and strengthening of knowledge, wisdom and traditional practices of Indigenous Peoples, affirmed in the experience and proposal of "Living Well", recognizing the Mother Earth as a living being, with which we have a relationship indivisible, interdependent, complementary and spiritual.

To address climate change must recognize the Mother Earth as the source of life and forge a new system based on the principles of:

• harmony and balance between everyone and everything
• complementarity, solidarity, and equity
• collective well-being and satisfaction of basic needs of all in harmony with Mother Earth
• respect for Mother Earth Rights and Human Rights
• recognition of the human being for what it is and not what has
• Elimination of all forms of colonialism, imperialism and interventionism
• peace among peoples and Mother Earth.


The model we advocate is not destructive or unlimited development. Countries need to produce goods and services to meet the basic needs of its population, but by no means can continue on this path of development in which richer countries have a carbon footprint five times larger than the planet can bear. They already had exceeded 30% over the planet's capacity to regenerate. At this rate of exploitation of our Mother Earth will need two planets by 2030.

In an interdependent system of which humans are one of its components is not possible to recognize rights only to the human side without causing an imbalance in the whole system. To ensure human rights and restore harmony with nature is necessary to recognize and enforce the rights of Mother Earth.

We propose the attached draft Universal Declaration of Mother Earth in which are recorded:

• Right to life and to exist;
• Right to be respected;
• Rights to continue its vital processes and cycles free of human disturbance;
• Right to maintain its identity and integrity as distinct beings, self-regulated and interrelated;
• Right to water as a source of life;
• The right to clean air;
• The right to comprehensive health care;
• Right to be free from contamination and pollution, toxic and radioactive waste;
• Right not to be genetically altered and modified in structure or function threatening its integrity and healthy life.
• Right to a full and speedy restoration for violations of the rights recognized in the Declaration caused by human activities.

The shared vision is to stabilize concentrations of greenhouse gases to give effect to Article 2 of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change which determines the "stabilization of concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere at a level that prevents dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system. " Our vision is based on the historical principle of common but differentiated responsibilities, to demand that developed countries commit to quantified targets for reducing emissions that allow return concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere at 300 ppm and thus limiting the increase in global mean temperature to a maximum level of 1 C.

Stressing the need for urgent action to achieve this vision, and with the support of the people, movements and countries, developed countries should commit to ambitious targets for reducing emissions that achieve short-term objectives, while maintaining our vision for balance the Earth's climate system, according to the ultimate objective of the Convention.

The "shared vision" for the "Long-term Cooperative Action" should not be reduced to the climate change negotiations to define the limit on increasing the temperature and the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, but must understand a comprehensive and balanced set of financial measures, technology, adaptation, capacity building, patterns of production, consumption and other essentials such as the recognition of the rights of Mother Earth to restore harmony with nature.

The developed countries the main cause of climate change, assuming your historical responsibility and current, must recognize and honor their climate debt in all its dimensions, as the basis for a just, effective and scientific climate change. In this context we urge developed countries to:

• Reset developing countries air space which is occupied by their emissions of greenhouse gases. This implies the decolonization of the atmosphere and absorption by reducing their emissions.
• Assume the costs and technology transfer needs of developing countries for the loss of development opportunities to live in a restricted air space.
• be accountable for the hundreds of millions that will have to migrate by climate change which have caused and to remove its restrictive policies on migration and migrants provide a decent life and all rights in their countries.
• Assume adaptation debt related to the impacts of climate change on developing countries by providing the means to prevent, minimize and deal with damages arising from its excessive emissions.
• Honor those debts as part of a major debt to Mother Earth to take and implement the Universal Declaration on the Rights of Mother Earth at the United Nations.

The focus should be not only financial compensation but principally of restorative justice - that is restoring integrity to the people and the members who form a community of life on Earth.

We deplore the attempt by a group of countries to cancel the Kyoto Protocol the only specific binding instrument for reducing emissions of greenhouse gases in developed countries.

We warn the world that despite being legally bound emissions of developed countries rather than reduce, grew by 11.2% between 1990 and 2007.

United States because of the unlimited consumption GHG emissions increased by 16.8% over the period 1990 to 2007, issuing on average between 20 and 23 tonnes of CO2 per capita, which represents more than 9 times the emissions for a average inhabitant of the Third World, and more than 20 times the emissions of an inhabitant of sub-Saharan Africa.

Absolutely reject the illegitimate "Understanding Copenhagen", which allows developed countries offer insufficient reductions of greenhouse gases, based on voluntary commitments and individuals that violate the environmental integrity of the Mother land leads to an increase of about 4 º C.

The forthcoming Climate Change Conference to be held later this year in Mexico should adopt the amendment to the Kyoto Protocol, for the second commitment period to begin in 2013-2017 in which developed countries must commit significant domestic reductions of at least 50% compared to 1990 base excluding carbon markets or other diversion systems that mask the failure of actual reductions in emissions of greenhouse gases.

We require first establish a goal for all developed countries and then make individual allocations for each country developed in the context of a comparison of effort between each of them, thus maintaining the system of the Kyoto Protocol for emission reductions .

The United States of America, as the sole country on Earth in Annex 1 which did not ratify the Kyoto Protocol is a significant responsibility to all peoples of the world as it should ratify the Kyoto Protocol and commit to respect and comply to emissions reduction targets-wide economy.

The people have the same rights of protection to the impacts of climate change and reject the notion of adaptation to climate change understood as the resignation to the impacts caused by historic emissions of developed countries, who must adapt their lifestyles and consumption to this planetary emergency. We are forced to deal with the impacts of climate change, considering adaptation as a process and not as an imposition, and also as a tool that serves to counteract this, showing that it is possible to live in harmony under a different model of life.

You need to build an Adaptation Fund, as an exclusive fund to address climate change as part of a financial mechanism operated and managed in a sovereign manner, transparent and equitable for our states. Under this fund should be evaluated: the impacts and costs in developing countries and that these impacts needs arise, and record and monitor the support from developed countries. It also must handle a mechanism for compensation for damage occurring impacts and future opportunities for loss and replacement by extreme weather events and gradual and incremental costs that could arise if our planet exceeds the thresholds and ecological impacts which are curbing the right to live well.

The "Understanding the Copenhagen imposed on developing countries by some States, beyond offering insufficient resources, intends to divide itself and face the people and seeks to extort money from developing countries conditional access to resources to adapt to change mitigation measures. Addition is set as unacceptable in international negotiation processes attempt to categorize developing countries by their vulnerability to climate change, creating disputes, inequality and segregation between them.

The immense challenge we face as humanity to stop global warming and cooling the planet will only be achieved carrying out a profound transformation of agriculture into a sustainable model of agricultural production and indigenous peasant / origin, and other ecological models and traditional practices that contribute to solve the problem of climate change and ensure food sovereignty, understood as the right of peoples to control their own seeds, land, water and food production, ensuring, through production in harmony with Mother Earth, local and culturally appropriate, the peoples' access to sufficient, varied and nutritious supplementation with Mother Earth and deepening the independent production (participatory, community and shared) in every nation and people.

Climate change is already having profound impacts on agriculture and livelihoods of indigenous / native and peasant in the world and these impacts will be worse in the future.

The agro business through its social, economic and cultural development of globalized capitalist production and the logic of food production for the market and not to fulfill the right to food is a major cause of climate change. Its technological tools, commercial and political do nothing but deepen the climate crisis and increasing hunger in the world. For this reason we reject the Free Trade and Association Agreements and all forms of implementation of Intellectual Property Rights on life, current technological packages (agrochemicals, GM) and those who offer themselves as false solutions (agrofuels, geoengineering, Nanotechnology, Terminator technology and the like) only exacerbate the current crisis.

At the same time denounce as this capitalist model imposes mega infrastructure projects, extractive projects invade territories, water privatization and commodification militarized territories and expelling the indigenous peoples and farmers from their lands by preventing the Food Sovereignty and deepening socio-environmental crisis.

We demand to recognize the right of all peoples, living beings and Mother Earth to access and enjoy the water and support the proposal of the Government of Bolivia to recognize water as a Fundamental Human Right.

The definition of forest used in the negotiations of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, which includes plantations, is unacceptable. Monoculture plantations are not forests. Therefore, we require a definition for trading purposes that recognizes the native forests and the forest and diverse ecosystems on earth.

The UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples must be fully recognized, implemented and integrated in the climate change negotiations. The best strategy and action to avoid deforestation and degradation and protect native forests and the forest is to recognize and guarantee the collective rights of the lands and territories, especially considering that most of the forests are in the territories of indigenous peoples and nations , and traditional farming communities.

We condemn the market mechanisms and the mechanism of REDD (Reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation) and their versions + and + +, which is violating the sovereignty of peoples and their right to free, prior and informed and the sovereignty of nation states, and violates the rights and customs of Peoples and the Rights of Nature.

The polluting countries are obliged to transfer directly the economic and technological resources to pay for the restoration and maintenance of the forests in favor of the peoples and indigenous ancestral organizational structures, originating farm. This should be a direct compensation and additional sources of funding committed by developed countries outside the carbon market and never serve as carbon offsets (offsets). We demand that countries stop local initiatives on forests and forest based on market mechanisms and propose results and conditional non-existent. We call on governments a global program to restore native forests and jungles, managed and administered by the people, implementing forest seeds, fruit trees and native flora. Governments should eliminate forest concessions and support the conservation of oil in the ground and urgently stop the exploitation of hydrocarbons in the jungles.

We call upon States to recognize, respect and ensure the effective implementation of international human rights standards and the rights of Indigenous Peoples, including the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, ILO Convention 169 , among other relevant instruments in the negotiations, policies and measures to meet the challenges posed by climate change. In particular, we call upon States to legally recognize the prior existence of the right over our territories, lands and natural resources to enable and strengthen our traditional ways of life and contribute effectively to solving the climate change.

We demand the full and effective implementation of the right to consultation, participation and prior, free and informed consent of Indigenous Peoples in all negotiation processes and in the design and implementation of measures relating to climate change.

At present, environmental degradation and climate change will reach critical levels, one of the main consequences of internal migration and international. According to some projections in 1995 there were about 25 million climate migrants, this is estimated at 50 million and projections for 2050 are from 200 to 1000 million people will be displaced by circumstances arising from the developed countries must change climático.Los take responsibility for climate migrants, welcoming them into their territories and recognizing their fundamental rights through the signing of international conventions providing for the definition of migrant climate that all States abide by its determinations.

Establish an International Tribunal of Conscience to denounce, make visible, document, try and punish violations of the rights of the (s) migrants, refugees (as) and displaced persons in countries of origin, transit and destination, clearly identifying the responsibilities of States, companies and other actors.

Current funding for developing countries to climate change and the proposal of Understanding Copenhagen is insignificant. Developed countries must commit to a new annual funding, additional to official development assistance and public source of at least 6% of its GDP to tackle climate change in developing countries. This is feasible considering that a similar amount spent on national defense and spent five times more to rescue failing banks and speculators, which raises serious questions about its global priorities and political will. This funding should be direct, unconditional and not to violate national sovereignty or self-determination of communities and groups most affected.

Given the inefficiency of the current arrangement, in the Mexico Conference should establish a new funding mechanism that operates under the authority of the Conference of the Parties to the Framework Convention on Climate Change United Nations accountable to it, significant representation of developing countries to ensure compliance with funding commitments of Annex 1 countries.

It was found that the developed countries increased their emissions over the period 1990 - 2007, despite having stated that the reduction would be substantially contributed to market mechanisms.

The carbon market has become a lucrative business by commercializing our Mother Earth, this is not an alternative to tackling climate change, as looting, ravaging the land, water and even life itself.

The recent financial crisis has shown that the market is unable to regulate the financial system that is fragile and uncertain amid speculation and the emergence of brokers, therefore, would be totally irresponsible to leave in your hands the care and protection human existence and our Mother Earth.

We consider it unacceptable that the current negotiations seeking to create new mechanisms to expand and promote the carbon market given that existing mechanisms never solved the problem of climate change or became real and direct action in reducing greenhouse gases .

It is essential to require compliance with the commitments made by developed countries at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change regarding the development and transfer of technology and reject the "technological showcase" proposed by developed countries that only market the technology. It is essential to establish guidelines for creating a multilateral, multidisciplinary and participatory control, management and ongoing evaluation of the exchange of technologies. These technologies must be useful, clean, and socially appropriate. It is equally essential to establish a fund for financing and inventory of appropriate technologies and free of intellectual property rights, including patent monopolies should move from private to public domain, freely accessible and low cost.

Knowledge is universal, and for any reason may be the subject of private ownership and private use, nor its applications in the form of technology. It is the duty of developed countries to share their technology with developing countries, to create research centers to create their own technologies and innovations as well as defending and promoting its development and application for living well. The world needs to recover, learn, relearn the principles and approaches of the ancient legacy of indigenous peoples to stop the destruction of the planet, as well as traditional knowledge and practices of spirituality and recovery in rehabilitation of living well together with Mother Earth.

Considering the lack of political will by developed countries to meet effectively its obligations and commitments under the Convention United Nations Framework on Climate Change and the Kyoto Protocol, and against the lack of an international legal body to prevent and punish all those crimes and climatic and environmental crimes that violate the rights of Mother Earth and humanity, we demand the creation of an International Court of Justice Climate and Environmental have binding legal capacity to prevent, prosecute and punish States , companies and people who by act or omission causing contamination and climate change.

Supporting States to submit claims in the International Court of Justice against developed countries that fail to meet their commitments under the Convention United Nations Framework on Climate Change and the Kyoto Protocol including their commitments to reduce greenhouse gases .

We urge the people to propose and promote a thorough reform of the United Nations Organization (UNO), so that all Member States comply with the decisions of the International Court of Justice Climate and Environmental.

The future of humanity is in danger and can not accept that a group of leaders of countries want to define for all countries as they tried to do unsuccessfully at the Conference of the Parties in Copenhagen. This decision rests with us all peoples. It is therefore necessary to undertake a world referendum, plebiscite or referendum on climate change in what we are all consulted on: the level of emission reductions to be made by developed countries and transnational corporations, the financing to be offered developed countries, the creation of an International Court of Justice Climate: the need for a Universal Declaration of Mother Earth, the need to change the current capitalist system.

World Referendum process, plebiscite or referendum will depend on a process of preparation to ensure the successful development of it.

In order to coordinate our international activities and implement the results of this "Agreement of the People" called to build a Global People's Movement for Mother Earth, which is based on the principles of complementarity and respect for diversity of origin and visions of its members, constituting a broad and democratic space for coordination and joint action worldwide.

To this end, we adopted the global action plan attached to that in Mexico the developed countries of Annex 1 to respect the existing legal framework and reduce their emissions of greenhouse gases by 50% and take the various proposals contained in this Agreement.

Finally, agree to hold the 2nd World Conference of Peoples on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth in 2011 as part of this process of building the Global Movement of People by Mother Earth and to react to the results of Climate Change Conference to be held later this year in Cancun, Mexico.

UBS cleaners demonstration

Hi everyone

Just a reminder of the UBS cleaners' demo, 5pm on Friday 23rd April at 100 Liverpool Street.

We will be demonstrating not only in defence of the cleaners' conditions and for the reinstatement of sacked shop steward Alberto Durango, but also in protest at cleaning company Lancaster's role in the detention (and planned deportation) of a recent ex-UBS cleaner*.

Bring friends, bring something that can make a noise, bring banners... and come yourself too...

Regards
David Broder
*see http://www.facebook.com/l/c435a;thecommune.wordpress.com/2010/04/20/ubs-worker-detained-by-uk-borders-agency/

22 Apr 2010

Derek Wall rejects Heathrow expansion

Derek Wall, Green Party candidate for Windsor, said a third runway would "devastate" the area."People feel the area is already blighted by Heathrow."We're not 'nimbys', this is not about just one area, we want to see no expansion of aircraft, we need better rail services."

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/election_2010/england/8625435.stm

NICK CLEGG IS GREEN?




And what of Mr Clegg personally? Well, he has fiercely condemned the influence of lobbyists as part of the "old politics" and called for "reform on lobbying". But he has been distinctly coy about his own two past spells as a lobbyist, leaving them off his official biography on the Lib Dem website. Most interesting and recent is Mr Clegg's high-level stint, in the middle of his political career, with GPlus, the influential and controversial Brussels company.
Peter Guilford, GPlus's founder, explicitly pitches his firm as the place for organisations with "a real problem affecting their reputation". Its clients have included the Malaysian Palm Oil Council, whose plantations are accused of contributing to tropical deforestation (GPlus argued for a relaxation of EU regulations to allow more palm oil imports)


More here



Green Nick Clegg? Well one of my real non Green Party green political heros is of course lib dem Lord Avebury who did a splendid job supporting my friends Aidesep in the Amazon....however I am not convinced that the party as a whole is ethically sourced and green to go...

They certainly produce some tasty leaflets, classics being all green leaflets that look like they are from the Green Party telling people not to vote Green. Here are 7 things you may not know about the Lib dems claims to be the Green Party.


1) This ongoing myth about being against the Iraq War - the Lib Dems weren't against the war, they wanted to see a UN resolution authorising the war. If Bush/Blair had secured that, through outright bribery and arm twisting at the UN Security Council, what would have happened then?

2) They posture on Trident (delivery of nuclear weapons), but their policy is to retain half of the UK's nuclear weapons.

3) Lib Dems are only investing £3 billion as part of a green jobs package, not the £44 billion that Greens want as part of a 1 million jobs programme.

4) They talk about public transport, but Lib Dems are in favour of privatised trains.

5) They talk about local control, but they are in favour of PFI (taking public services and locking them away from public control for 25 year contracts).

6) Lib Dems speak in favour of congestion charging nationally, but are against it in Edinburgh, Manchester and York.

7) It's the same on wind farms, airport expansion, and incineration.

19 Apr 2010

Live report from Birminghall Hall Green, Salma looks like a winner





Just has this report from Ben Bradley of the Green Party and Green Left, he has been working very hard to get the Greens ahead in Solihull but has been campaigning for Salma Yaqoob....Greens are backing her and she is backing some of us, Labour seem to be fighting dirty against her and have produced a leaflet about the Lib dems which has proved offensive!


That is not the half of it. Labour also put out a leaflet telling people that Salma is only standing as a councillor and that she has kept this a secret (http://www.thestirrer.co.uk/April_10/godsiff-accused-of-dirty-tricks-150410.html) - They can not even spell her name correctly.

When Salma told people this is clearly not true then Labour got desperate and dragged our name in to it. http://www.thestirrer.co.uk/April_10/hall-green-dirty-tricks-160410.html - Hence I then got involved.

It is not just Salma they are using dirty tricks against. Have a look at this outrageous leaflet about the Lib Dems -I have never seen something so disgraceful before. (http://www.thestirrer.co.uk/Documents/godsiff.pdf



The labour campaign will only get more dirty as it goes on.

As Birmingham Greens are concentrating on Solihull for the moment I am out campaigning a fair bit for Salma aswell. Over the weekend I was out in Kings Heath which is an area with 3 Lib Dem councillors ( where I also call home) and I expected Respect to get wiped out, however their vote is holding up, they are not getting enough to win the area but certainly enough to be competitive which is all they will need. I was then out in Sparkbrook yesterday and they look like they are going to win that area by a landslide, you can not move for posters. If any of you fancy a flutter I recommend you put a tenner on Salma, her odds are fast decreasing.

I will keep you updated

Ben

18 Apr 2010

Caroline Lucas makes opposing digital bill a priority for when she is MP

Sizewell anti-nuclear power camp

Please circulate widely.

Stop Nuclear Power Network
http://stopnuclearpoweruk.net


Camp Against Nuclear New Build
Friday 23rd – Monday 26th April



The UK government is now talking about

massive expansion of nuclear power in the UK.

Sizewell is planned to be one of the first built....

Campaigning against new-build is stepping up. If we want to stop the next

generation of nuclear power – NOW is the time to act.



- Friday at 2pm Sizewell beach car park- to set up the camp.

Demonstration

Saturday 24th, 12noon – 2pm at the entrance to Sizewell A and B

A protest outside the gates of Sizewell opposing nuclear power and supporting the

alternatives.

Public Meeting

Saturday 24th, 7:30pm at Leiston Community Centre

Some people from the camp will be explaining the reasons for the camp and recent direct

actions at the NPS - including, why they are against nuclear power, the alternatives and the

problems with the decision-making over the UK energy structure.

Workshops and Walks

Sunday 25th, At the Camp

Basic nuclear physics, What is Energy? Alternative Energy? , What’s Wrong With

Centralised Energy?, What is so great about decentralised energy?, Wildlife spotting on the

site where Sizewell C is proposed, and workshops on a variety of Campaigning Skills run

by Seeds for Change.

A day of remembrance and activities.

Monday 26th, Meet 12noon at Sizewell Beach Car Park

Remembering the hundreds of thousands who were affected and those who continue to be

affected by the Chernobyl disaster 24 years later.



The Camp

Friday 23rd, 6pm onwards until Monday afternoon

Getting There

Sizewell is on the Suffolk Coast about 8 miles from the A12 about 100 miles from

Central London. The nearest train station is Saxmundham which is 7 miles from

Sizewell. There will be people cycling from Saxmundham with a nuclear white

elephant on Friday so please get in contact if you would like to join them.

The postcode for the power station is IP16 4UE if you want to look it up on the

Internet.

What You Will Need

Food will be available at the camp (suggested donation £5 per day for 3 meals a

day) so just bring the other stuff that you need – tent, waterproof clothing, ideas etc.

It may be windy and the soil under tents maybe sandy. Disabled access is possible;

contact us if you would like to know more on accessibility.

About The Camp

We want as many people as possible to feel comfortable at the camp, so please, if

you have to bring alcohol, be responsible, keep it to a real minimum and no loud

music please – successful campaigns need support from the people who live

locally! The camp will not be run for you but by you so please be prepared to help

out with washing-up etc.

It would be great to have some idea on numbers so that we can plan food etc, so if

you can, please let us know if you are coming. (Contact details below)

Contact Information

Telephone: before camp 0845 337 0282; at the camp 07976705127

Email: sizewell [at] stopnuclearpoweruk.net

The event is organised by the Stop Nuclear Power Network

http://stopnuclearpoweruk.net

New book asks 'Why Vote Green'?


'Radical politics, Climate Change mitigation and a Just Society are what makes the Green Party a force for good and deserving of the voter's serious consideration. We saw, in chapter one, why Greens understood that gaining office was not an end in itself but a vital means towards delivering radical political, social and ecological solutions fit for the scale and urgency of the challenges faced by humanity today. The Green Party thus heralds its optimism in a democratic politics worthy of the name. We recognise a human responsibility to both non-human animals and future generation, in pursuit of long-term, selfless values. By choosing to appeal to voters, and to respect them, as rational agents, we seek to engender trust in politics. Greens are responding to a calling, not making a career move.' (Ali 2010: 114)


Biteback have just published a series of six books asking why vote?, why vote Conservative, Labour, Lib dem, etc.

They are concise and can be read in a few hours, full of up to the minute information.

Shahrar Ali, who I have had the pleasure of working with on many occasions, has written the 'Why Vote Green' title. He is Green Party candidate for Brent Central and works as a philosophy lecturer at the University of London.

I recommend his book to everyone who wants to find out more about the Green Party and to Green Party activists trying to put our case in the General Election campaign.

I have learnt quite a bit from the book, despite being a party member since the 1980s, for example, I was intrigued to find that Patrick Geddes had been putting the case for green economics in the 1880s when he observed that profit was 'the interest paid by nature on the matter and energy expended upon her during the process of production'.

Its a fascinating and clear read and even name checks recent green political cinema with references to The Age of Stupid and Avatar.

17 Apr 2010

Open letter to participants of the climate change conference in Bolivia

Open letter to participants in the World People’s Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth



Following the complete failure of the COP15 and the climate negotiations that came before it, it is clear that the world’s governments, their intergovernmental organizations, and the corporations who sit at their tables, are not capable of taking the steps needed to prevent further climate change and the devastation it brings. Copenhagen was their ‘last chance’ – and they failed. Instead, they treated all of our futures as another round of trade negotiations. It is now up to people of the world to take back decision-making power and start making the changes that we urgently need. As climate justice activists based in Europe we welcome the People’s Conference as one important step on the long journey towards a post-capitalist society and are happy to have this opportunity to discuss, learn and plan with other climate justice activists around the world.

Our daily lives are increasingly colonised by capitalism, from the land we use and the shelter we need to the water we drink and the food we eat – in some parts of the world even our laughter has become commodified. We are forced into making decisions based on the logic of profit. From famine, war and oppression to dull and demeaning work, the climate crisis is only the latest symptom of this senseless system of endless economic growth on a finite planet. As usual, the impacts of this crisis will be felt most strongly by those least responsible for causing it.

Meanwhile, so-called ‘solutions’ to climate change only extend further the arms of business, financiers, and polluters, commodifying the atmosphere itself. It is clear that carbon trading, the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), and the Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) scheme do not solve the problem but dispossess people of their land and livelihoods while allowing corporations to profit and avoid any real change to their dirty practices. We reject those NGOs that support this insanity whilst claiming to speak ‘on behalf of civil society’. These organisations do not represent us and they are not part of the solution. They exist to advise upon the development of a ‘green’ capitalism; We don’t buy the lie!

We believe that only those committed to living and learning true, bottom up solutions can face the challenges of climate change and make the changes that we now urgently need. Together we must ask the questions and learn from our answers. No business can invest in a future we want to be a part of, no governments can make these changes for us. It is time for us to provide for ourselves, to find new ways to relate to each other and the world around us, and to be able to live without fear of persecution. In order to stop further climate chaos, movements and peoples need to take back control over our own lives.
Those with wealth and power, predominantly based in the geographic Global North, have a legacy of centuries of exploitation of labour and natural resources, and a vicious system of racism and exclusion. We see that national armies and the police exist primarily to preserve this current order. In contrast to this, we aim to work on principles of solidarity, autonomy, cooperation and direct action. We are working to radically change our relationship to the food and energy we produce and consume, and to leave fossil fuels in the ground. We believe in freedom of movement for people and ideas – not capital.

We have come here to listen, discuss and learn, so that together we can see how these principles can be extended into all spheres of life. As people living in Europe involved in small but growing social movements, we want to deepen conversations and dialogue with the rich variety of different experiences here in Cochabamba. Later, we wish to take these ideas back to where we live, to share, to continue the processes of learning in our communities and ultimately build bonds between movements across the world. We have been inspired by what has been achieved in various global struggles. At the same time, we know we constantly need to question where we are going.

For these reasons we would like to discuss with you the following questions:
- Do you think that the UNFCC and the COP process can be effectively used to bring about climate justice? If so, how?
- Is climate justice possible without moving beyond capitalist relations?
- What are the possibilities and dangers of social movements cooperating with governments and the state?
- What does solidarity mean, and how can we work together more effectively to build the transnational struggle for climate justice? What are your views on the ‘global south’ and ‘global north’ and their relationships to struggle?
In solidarity,


The February gathering of Climate Justice Action (CJA), Amsterdam.
A group of climate justice activists based in Europe have organised a workshop in Cochabamba called, “Building Bridges Across Continents with Grassroots Climate Justice Movements,” (see programme for time and place.) We invite you to come and discuss these questions with us there.

From

Best UK politician: Caroline Lucas



Chosen by Johann Hari
Saturday, 17 April

Since 1997, Britain's emissions of warming gases have actually risen – and if you factor in the emissions from goods now manufactured for us in China, they have risen dramatically. Very few politicians have been honest about the crisis we face, or demanded the swift transition to an economy powered by the power of the sun, the wind and the waves. Working on the inside, the Environment Secretary Ed Miliband has a strong claim to this award, often trying to drag other government departments towards radical low- carbon approaches. But he is, in the end, too tainted by ineffective compromises, and by his sometime promotion of false solutions like the myth of "clean coal", to clinch it.

The politician who has most inspiringly proposed solutions to the climate crisis is in another party and another parliament altogether. Caroline Lucas joined the Green Party 20 years ago when it had a shabby office and almost no full-time staff. She has played a key role in leading it now to the brink of a historic breakthrough – her probable election in Brighton Pavilion next month as the first Green to the British Parliament.

More here

Ben Bradley refutes lies about Salma Yaqoob

15 Apr 2010

'Equality, ecology, peace'Green Party manifesto for download

our vision
Some will tell you that ‘green’ issues are a luxury in times of
economic hardship. Wrong. Green policies are essential if we are
to get out of this mess and create a sustainable and fair economy.
Our vision is of a fairer society that meets everyone’s needs,
and an economy working with nature rather than against it.
Of a more equal society. Of higher incomes for pensioners rather
than bonuses for bankers. Of quieter, cleaner, safer streets.
Of stronger local communities and the space for children to play
and learn. Of healthier, safer, better food and the quality time
to appreciate it. Of a natural world left more to itself.
This dream is achievable. All it requires is political courage – and
popular democratic backing for that courage. Only the Greens
want to see the back of rampant inequality, deregulation and
laissez-faire. Only the Greens have understood the lessons of
the financial crisis, and know what to do about it. Only the Green
Party has a vision for Britain that will see a better quality of life
for everyone.



http://www.greenparty.org.uk/assets/files/resources/Manifesto_web_file.pdfDOWNLOAD MANIFESTO HERE




This manifesto was primarily written by Andrew Dobson, assisted by Brian Heatley
and members of the Green Party’s policy community, with additional research
by James Burgess. Proofreading by Nicola Watson and Martin Hemingway.
Typesetting by Hamish Ironside.
Promoted by Judy Maciejowska at 57 Haliburton Road, Twickenham TW1 1PD,
on behalf of The Green Party, 1a Waterlow Road, London N19 5NJ.

Novelist backs Derek Wall for Windsor

Very pleased to have an endorsement from the novelist China Mieville backing me as Green Party candidate for Windsor:

'With the shamefully similar agendas of the main parties in this election, radical voices are more essential than ever, for democracy and decency's sake. Derek Wall is one such voice, and a vote for him is a vote against the drab, right-wing status quo.'

He also told me, 'Having stood in 2001, you have all my sympathy for the work involved. It was absolutely exhausting.' He was a Socialist Alliance candidate back then.

13 Apr 2010

Chinese Green activists fight the authorities to save East Lake

Lib com are a great source of news, must link more often, now I know there are some huge ecological and land struggles in China but I don't have the direct contacts as i have in some parts of the world.

The Battle for East Lake in Wuhan, China

Submitted by husunzi on Apr 13 2010 18:37
tags: China community activity demonstrations environment

Hundreds of Wuhan citizens are fighting to save the city’s East Lake Ecological Tourist Scenic Area from plans to fill in part of the lake and develop the area commercially.

Villagers and fishery workers evicted by the development have been negotiating with the local government for compensation since December, in the face of physical assault by hired thugs. And last week hundreds of urban residents and students planned a protest march, but this was canceled after police visited the homes of organizers, students were warned against participating by school authorities, and at least one organizer had his internet cut off.

Representatives of the development company and the local government held a press conference denying that any part of the lake would be filled and claiming that the development would not hurt the area’s ecosystem, and information to the contrary has been removed from websites. But critics of the plan want to continue the fight and are presently preparing protest activities including a petition and postcards to be sent to the central government, a campaign to pitch tents and camp out at the development site, and a newsletter and internet forum to enable public discussion of the issue.

http://libcom.org/news/battle-east-lake-wuhan-13042010More here

Vatican blames gays for child sex abuse

Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone says gays caused the church paedophilia scandal

London - 13 April 2010

The number two in the Vatican hierarchy, the Pope's Secretary of State, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, claims there is a link between homosexuality and child sex abuse.

"He has, in effect, blamed gay priests for the paedophile scandal that has engulfed the Church," said human rights campaigner, Peter Tatchell, who is a spokesperson for the UK 'Protest the Pope' campaign.

See the story about the Cardinal's comments here:
http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/ap/latinamerica/6955641.html

"Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone is a blatant distorter of the truth and an outrageous homophobe. His vile smears against gay people bring shame and dishonour to the church," added Mr Tatchell.

"The Vatican is trying to deflect attention from the sex crimes of Catholic clergy by blaming gay people. This is really sick.

"The truth is that priests and bishops abused girls and boys alike. There is absolutely no connection whatsoever between paedophilia and loving, consenting adult gay relationships. It shows the depths of dishonesty and homophobia that infects the Vatican at the highest level.

"The Vatican leadership is morally bankrupt and is rightly scorned by all decent Catholics.

"The Vatican and its clergy are responsible for child sex abuse, the cover-up and the protection of paedophile priests. Yet it is trying to blame everyone else.

"First, the Vatican attempted to dismiss and hide child sex abuse. Then it tried to silence the victims with pay-offs and threats of excommunication. In 2001, the Pope ordered Bishops to observe 'papal secrecy' and he ignored paedophile abuse cases that were bought to his attention.

"More recently, the Vatican accused the media of waging an anti-Catholic campaign. It compared criticism of the Pope to the Nazi persecution of the Jews. These are insulting lies and nonsense," said Mr Tatchell.

Peter Tatchell's petition to Prime Minister Gordon Brown, against the Pope's State Visit to Britain in September, is on the Downing Street website.

It already has over 12,000 signatures:

http://petitions.number10.gov.uk/ProtestthePope/

Further information: Peter Tatchell 0207 403 1790
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12 Apr 2010

Caroline Lucas 'personalised election broadcast'

Ecosocialist rally at global climate conference in Bolivia, on 22nd April

Estimados companeros, dear comrades,

el evento del Red Ecosocialista Internacional esta fijado como anunciado
abajo por los organizadores de la conferencia. Es un poco infeliz, yo
pidi por el miercoles en la tarde, pero espero que nos vemos alli.

the event of the International Ecosocialist Network will take place like
announced below by the organizers of the conference. It is a bit
unfortunate; originally I asked for Wednesday afternoon, but anyway: we
will meet there, I hope.


*Código del evento: 50*
Lugar: Universidad del Valle (UNIVALLE)
Sala: Audi. Soc. 2 Sur
Capacidad: 165 personas
Fecha: Jueves 22 de abril
Hora: 8:30 a 10:30



Saludos fraternos/Fraternally

Klaus

11 Apr 2010

A MASSACRE FORETOLD IN THE MINING MUNICIPALITY OF SUÁREZ, CAUCA, COLOMBIA

Santiago de Cali, 8th April 2010

Eight miners were murdered by armed men travelling in two vehicles and a motor bike. The killings occurred in a place known as “Alto de Ovejas”, a rural zone in the municipality of Suárez, department of Cauca, southern Colombia. The place where the massacre occurred is the upper part of the Ovejas river. It can be reached by a one and a half hour journey on foot.

We, the undersigned organizations, have warned of the serious situation caused by the social and armed conflict which the municipalities in the Northwest of Cauca are experiencing, especially in the Municipalities of Suarez, Morales and Buenos Aires. We urgently demand an explanation from the National Government as to why, despite numerous demands for protection for communities in the zone and despite the large numbers of military and police contingents deployed in the areas, the perpetrators of this massacre were completely free to enter the territory, commit the crime and leave again with impunity.

A fact finding mission, composed of the Process of Black Communities, the Association of Indigenous Cabildos from the North of Cauca and the Association for Research and Social Action, NOMADESC, is in the zone in order to make more information available. Unfortunately, no international organization was able to accompany this commission. Because of this, we call upon you to briefly write to the Colombian state, demanding that it takes immediate preventative action and pays attention to the entire population in northwest Cauca. At the same time, we call on the United Nations system to carry out a fact finding visit to the zone as fast as possible. For our part, we will make the information widely available as soon as the work of the fact finding mission has completed its work in the territory.

Background
All of you remember the numerous denunciations which the afrodescendant, peasant farmer and indigenous communities, together with human rights organizations, have made to the national and international community concerning the barbarity which is being imposed on the zone and the dispossession which the ancestral communities living in the territory have been subjected to. Legal proceedings are currently underway against those responsible, in deed and through neglect, for the crimes committed. There is also an investigation underway concerning the responsibility of the multinationals Unión Fenosa, Anglo Gold Ashanti, Smurfit Kappa Cartón de Colombia and Cosigo Resources. However, despite the enormous efforts which communities have made to ensure preventative and protective measures are implemented, the inhabitants of the zone are still in imminent danger, and the level of impunity is 100%.

ACTIONS TO PROTECT THE TERRITORY
1.- 5th November 2009 Hearing about the Situation of the Afrocolombian, Indigenous and Peasant Communities in the North of Cauca before the Interamerican Commission on Human Rights, Organization of American States in Washington: During the hearing evidence of the serious situation, vulnerability and threats against the communities, miners, peasants and indigenous people was presented. As such, the ongoing violation of the free and informed Consulta Previa (Prior Consultation) was denounced, as was the violation of the application of environmental management plans; Law 70, indigenous legislation and the non-fulfilment of the Constitutional Court’s directives 004 and 005. During the hearing, demands were made that representatives of the Colombian government must undertake immediate preventative and protective actions for the communities in the zone. Result: the government has still not granted the protective mechanisms announced in front of the Commissioners of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights in the Organization of American States.[1]

2.- 10th December 2009, Public Hearing in Defence of Territory, Culture and Dignity of the Indigenous, Afrodescendant, and Peasant Communities of the Northwest of Cauca: In the Hearing Convened by the Human Rights Commission of the Senate of the Republic, at the petition of the communities and the Association NOMADESC, a mapping of the conflict was carried out. Specific cases of human rights violations were detailed, and the findings of the investigations into who may be responsible for the crimes committed were presented. The communities and human rights organizations warned of the presence of armed actors in the zone, namely the self named Águilas Negras [Black Eagles] who seem to be responsible for a wave of threats which was unleashed in the month of October 2009. Additionally, demands were made to revise the legislation which benefits multinationals present in the zone at the expense of the rights of the communities. Result: proceedings are currently underway to request information about the multinationals which have concessions in the zone [and] armed actors, information about the results of the investigations for crimes which have occurred in the zone, and about high level meetings with the state institutions[2].

3.- 17th January 2010 Fact Finding Mission of Acción Permanente por la Paz[ Permanent Action for Peace][3]: A mission with 10 delegates from the United States travelled to the zone and visited the communities of Suarez, including the afrodescendant communities which are dedicated to artisanal mining in the area of La Toma as well as the Indigenous communities of Cerro Tijeras. This mission heard from the affected population. Result: An intervention in front of the national government demanding protection for the communities and territories affected by serious crimes against humanity.

4.- 27th January 2010 Delegation from the Spanish State, Fact Finding Mission of the human rights situation in Colombia: This mission did not travel to the territory but held meetings with relevant social sectors in the City of Santiago de Cali. In these meetings participants in the mission had the opportunity to hear the testimonies of the social and armed conflict which people in the territory are experiencing, and the vulnerability which the indigenous, afrodescendant and peasant communities who live in the zone are suffering. Result: The delegation from the Spanish State made a public declaration in which they presented their conclusions and proposals concerning the situation. [4]

5.- [1st – 12th February 2010] Visit of an independent expert from the United Nations on the Question of Minorities, Commissioned by the United Nations Minorities section, GAY McDOUGALL: visited the district of la Toma in the Municipality of Suarez, covering the whole of the territory, and visited the mines where she heard first hand the denunciations of the afrodescendant communities which live in the zone, through the testimonies of leaders of the community, the representatives of the Communitarian Councils and the Process of Black Communities (PCN). Ms McDOUGALL committed to undertake follow up actions about the serious human rights violations and to demand that the Colombian government complies with national and international human rights law. The independent expert carried out this visit in the company of Mr. DANIEL ATCHEBRO, Coordinator in Cali of the Colombian Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, together with other delegates the organization. Result: At the end of her visit, the independent expert issued a declaration and warned that the authorities needed to put a lot of work into regaining the confidence of these people and ordered the Ministry of Defence to protect these communities.[5]

These latest killings confirm, yet again, that the national government and the protective bodies completely lack the POLITICAL WILL to comply with national and international human rights law. It is extremely worrying that despite these pronouncements from the international community, the judicial processes, the denunciations, Hearings, demands and requests, etc, that the Colombian state still does not guarantee the lives of the inhabitants of the communities.

Because of this, we demand once again that the National Government gives an immediate response to the communities in the vicinity of where human rights are repeatedly violated, especially in relation to the sad deeds which resulted in the murder of 8 miners.


ASOCIACION PARA LA INVESTIGACION Y ACCION SOCIAL NOMADESC [Association for Investigation and Social Action NOMADESC)

PROCESO DE COMUNIDADES NEGRAS PCN [Process of Black Communities, PCN]

ASOCIACION DE CABILDOS INDIGENAS DEL NORTE DEL CAUCA ACIN [Association of Indigenous Cabildos from North Cauca, ACIN]

CONCEJO COMUNITARIO LA TOMA [Comunitarian Council of La Toma]

COORPORACION SERVICIOS PROFESIONALES COMUNITARIOS SEMBRAR [Corporation of Professional Comunitarian Services SEMBRAR]

ASOCIACION DE MUJERES MUNICIPALES DE LA BALSA [Association of Women from the Municipality of La Balsa]

ASOCIACIÓN ECATE [Assocation ECATE]

RED DE HERMANDAD Y SOLIDARIDAD CON COLOMBIA REDHER [Fraternal and Solidarity Network with Colombia, REHER ]

CAMPAÑA PROHIBIDO OLVIDAR [Campaign Never to Forget]



RECOMMENDED ACTION/ ACCIÓN SOLICITADA

Favor dirigir comunicaciones a / Please send letters to:
Send messages demanding that the Colombian state authorities:

a) ensure the well-being of the investigation commission currently visiting the scene of the murders at “Alto de Ovejas” in the municipality of Suárez and

b) take immediate preventative action to protect the entire population in northwest Cauca.
ALVARO URIBE VELEZ
Presidente de la República
Carrera 8 No. 7 -26 Palacio de Nariño Bogotá
Fax. 5662071

FRANCISCO SANTOS
Vicepresidente de la República
Carrera 8 No.7-57 Bogotá D.C.
fsantos@presidencia.gov.co

General FREDY PADILLA
Ministro de la Defensa (E)
Avenida El dorado con carrera 52 CAN Bogotá D.C.
siden@mindefensa.gov.co
infprotocol@mindefensa.gov.co
mdn@cable.net.co

FABIO VALENCIA COSSIO
Ministro del Interior y de Justicia
Avenida El dorado con carrera 52 CAN Bogotá D.C.
Fax. 2221874
ministro@minjusticia.gov.co

GUILLERMO MENDOZA DIAGO
Fiscal General de la Nación
Diagonal 22B No. 52-01 Bogotá D.C.
Fax. 570 20 00
contacto@fiscalia.gov.co
denuncie@fiscalia.gov.co

WOLMAR ANTONIO PEREZ ORTIZ
Defensor del Pueblo
Calle 55 No. 10 – 32 Bogotá D.C.
Fax. 640 04 91
defensoria@defensoria.org.co
secretaria_privada@hotmail.com

ALEJANDRO ORDÓÑEZ
Procurador General de la Nación
Cra. 5 No.15 – 80F Bogotá D.C.
anticorrupción@presidencia.gov.co
reygon@procuraduría.gov.co

Please send copies of your letters to:
ASOCIACION NOMADESC
Accionjuridica.nomadesc@gmail.com
CAMPAÑA PROHIBIDO OLVIDAR
dhprohibidolvidar@yahoo.com
PROCESO DE COMUNIDADES NEGRAS
pcnkol.bogota@renacientes.net


Colombia Solidarity Campaign adds:

1. Send messages to your local Colombian Embassy, in the UK email: elondres@cancilleria.gov.co and mail@colombianembassy.co.uk


2. More information:

A short video report showing community opposition to open pit gold extraction at Suarez Las Multinacionales todo lo quieren llevar
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mC5_htDPJPM&feature=related

And a workers protest in Bogotá Caravana contra las multinacionales y grupos economicos nacionales http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G0o-LjkjRik&feature=related

BBC 'Green Party have 'real chance' of MP after election'

Green Party have 'real chance' of MP after election


The Leader of the Green Party told Andrew Marr that people 'liked their policies'. Lucas also said the argument that cutting public services was a good idea was 'fantasy'.

Green Party leader Caroline Lucas sees a "real possibility" they will get their first MPs elected to Parliament.
Ms Lucas told the BBC that the Greens offered something different to the "identical" main parties, challenging the need for public spending cuts.
She said her party would reform the tax system to make society fairer, asking high earners to pay more as well as restoring the lower 10 pence tax rate.
Ms Lucas is one of 300 Green Party candidates standing at the election.
Ms Lucas told the Andrew Marr programme that she wanted to challenge the "fantasy" that public services had to be cut to deal with the deficit.
'Fairer society'
She said money could be saved in a way that did not damage frontline services, by cutting programmes such as Trident and ID cards as well as spending less on the road network.
She said it was a "scandal" that the UK was a less equal society than when Labour came to power in 1997.
The party's "fully costed" manifesto would include pledges for a 50p tax rate on those earning more than £100,000 and to remove the upper limit on National Insurance contributions, she added.
"I believe if you reform the tax system there are ways of paying for making this country a fairer society," she said.
Ms Lucas, who is standing herself, said if one or more Green MPs were elected, more would "swiftly follow" at future elections.

Salma can win!


This is a good report from Ger Francis of Salma Yaqoob's campaign, Salma (leader of the RESPECT Party) backed the Green Party in the Euro-elections and has been urging voters to support Caroline Lucas, she has done great work for peace, green new deal and anti-cuts.

The Green Party in Birmingham stood down their candidate to give Salma a boost....any where here is the report.




The word on the street is that she is going to win. She has got momentum and for good reason. In the last week 1,000 people have attended her election rally, built largely by word of mouth, and the retiring Labour MP has attacked the Labour candidate while endorsing Salma! That is about as good a week as you can hope to get in this game. The only thing that would have topped it would have been Labour’s postal vote scam being exposed. But maybe that’s to come…

When Salma did her walkabout on the Stratford Rd yesterday she got a fantastic response and her posters are going up in loads of shops. The response of her rivals is to attack her for being articulate and a good communicator! (As in, all she is good for is talking on the telly. It’s pathetic and infantile but that’s what they are reduced to). In the Urdu press the Labour team are blatantly lying and trying to cause confusion by saying that Salma is only standing for councilor and not MP. (She is standing for both. Her term is up in May). I expect the opposition attacks to get worse. If past experience is anything to go by anonymous Islamaphobic leaflets will appear and there will be an attempt to touch homophobic buttons in the Muslim community by highlighting Respect’s commitment to upholding LGBT rights.

Regardless, Salma is going through the constituency like a force of nature, and speaking to large numbers of voters literally every few days. At Friday prayers she addressed about 500 people at mosques in the constituency on the theme of social justice. It is literally unheard of for a woman to do this. And her campaign are only warming up. When it hits full steam it will be even more formidable. And lots of fun. Already this morning we have had teams out leafleting since 8am, such is the enthusiasm.

A victory for Salma will put a marker down for those opposed to the cuts agenda and neo-liberal model, it will put a marker down for the anti-war movement, and it will put a marker down against Islamaphobia and racism. And that goal should put into perspective and override any differences or criticisms people have with Salma or Respect. She can win. And that’s all more likely with all the more support. That is why we are putting out a national call for all supporters and sympathizers to come to Birmingham. Meet 12.30pm next Saturday 17th April and Sunday 18th April, at 95 Walford Road, Sparkbrook, B11 1NP. For more info ring 078 121 72885.

It is about time the left had some victories. Help us get one.

Venezuela deserves a fair hearing. Pablo Navarrete

A media focus on Hugo Chávez means the voices of the Venezuelan government's grassroots supporters are rarely heard



Pablo Navarrete
guardian.co.uk, Sunday 11 April 2010 10.00 BST

It is a little over 11 years since Hugo Chávez first assumed the presidency in Venezuela, following a landslide election victory that swept the country's discredited traditional parties out of power. Since then, Chávez has presided over a radical and controversial process of reforms that has been increasingly vilified by the mainstream media – and the English-language media has been no exception.

Rightwing outlets, such as Rupert Murdoch's Fox News channel, regularly refer to Chávez as a dictator, even though there have been 12 national elections during his time as president – most of which received unprecedented levels of scrutiny by international observers and were systematically deemed as free and fair.

More surprising for many has been the position taken towards the Chávez government by media outlets generally viewed as "liberal". For example,
the BBC has had its coverage of Venezuela questioned recently. In December 2009, researchers at the University of the West of England published the preliminary findings of a 10-year study.

Of 304 BBC reports concerning Venezuela published between 1998 and 2008, the researchers found that only three mentioned any of the Chavez government's positive reforms – such as poverty reduction programmes that have more than halved the poverty rate from 46.5% in 1998 to 23% in 2009. Instead the BBC's reporting has been characterised by insinuations that Chávez lacks electoral support, and even compared Chávez to Hitler in one instance. The research also suggested the BBC has fallen short of its commitment to impartiality, truth and accuracy.

More here

Obama punishes Bolivia for fighting climate change




Well I am not surprised. If you do something real about climate change you get punished. Chris Bryant MP as a Foreign Office MInister visited Peru and failed to make any public protest about the massacre of indigenous people defending the Amazon on June 5th last year at Bagua (make my day if lost on May 6th).

Sadly good deeds are punished.

Countries that reduce the barriers to oil exploration, biofuels that cut down forests, mining in national parks get rewarded by countries like the UK and US.

Typically Britain's best friends in Latin America are Peru and Colombia, i.e the countries with the worst human rights.

The news today is that because Bolivia is calling for real cuts in CO2 Obama has cut aid to the country to deal with climate change.


Read more here

10 Apr 2010

Brighton blogger 'Brighton Pavilion has been awash with Greens today'



Brighton Pavilion has been awash with Greens today. Between 80 and 100 activists (not all party members but people who want to see Caroline Lucas in parliament)flooded the constituency. Even in the heyday of Labour activism in the 1980s, there was rarely a day when there was a mass turnout like this.
Channel 4 News covered the Greens campaign, filming over two days, and interviewing Ms Lucas, Charlotte Vere for the Tories, Nancy Platts for Labour, and some bloke for the Lib Dems since their candidate is so invisible that it has become embarassing. Nancy and Charlotte must have been frustrated by the editing of their interviews since what came across was a single “Stop Lucas” message. Knowing both of them, they stand for much more than this, but it is a reflection of the campaign locally. It has long since been a straight fight between three impressive women.

More from Brighton blogger here

Vote for Palestine!

I have signed the Palestine Solidarity Pledge

Call on Israel to end its violations of international law, including ending its illegal occupation of the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza
Oppose any attacks on universal jurisdiction and support bringing those responsible for Israeli war crimes to justice
Work to end the siege on Gaza
Call on the government to ban the import of settlement goods
Call on the government to suspend the EU-Israel Association Agreement
Call for an end to Britain’s arms trade with Israel


See which other General Election candidates support the PCS pledge here

Greens run full slate in Berkshire

I am getting too busy with the election to blog, stall today in Windsor went good.

Great team of supporters, Climate Camp activists from Windsor helped, my middle son's godfather Larry came as well and my eldest son Vince...and Dan from Royal Holloway.

Canvassing South Ascot tomorrow....Windsor monday night....Wraysbury tuesday night....probably a bit pushed with work on wed and thursday.

Another stall next satuday in Peascod Street, Windsor...so come along and say hi.

Really getting some intelligent voters asking me difficult questions and taking the whole thing very seriously.

Cheapside was great yesterday.

If you live in Windsor email me on wallddd (at) hotmail.com and I will send you a poster, come around and kiss your pets, etc!

East Berkshire Green Party now has all four constituencies covered with Miriam Kennett running in Slough, well known for her green economics work she will be a great candidate.

I am running in Windsor, Peter Forbes in Maidenhead and David Young in Bracknell.

There are also Green Party candidates in the rest of Berkshire.

So for the first time in over thirty years of the party we are running a full slate.

8 Apr 2010

Labour MP endorses RESPECT PARTY candidate

Lynne Jones MP has just endorsed Salma Yaqoob.

Well she says as MP for part of what is now Hall Green constituency that Salma is closer to her values than Godsiff the Labour candidated.

Incidentally I was very pleased that Salma has called on Windsor voters to vote for me in the General Election.


More here

Roll of honour tiny number of MPs who voted against digital bill

April 8, 2010
The DEBill Roll of Honour - the stars who voted No

Who voted NO?
Vote #2 – Question put forthwith (Order, this day): That the Bill be now read the third time

Ian Paisley, Kate Hooey I am not so keen on.

Some lib dems, even a scattering of Tories, a few Labour.

And of course Dai Davies, independent green socialist welsh MP, getting him back into parliament should be priority for all readers, good luck to him in Blaneau Gwnt

Full list here...if you local MP didn't vote no, give them gentle hell!