31 Jan 2009

Borat looked like Stalin?

Blogging can cause offence...I have been speculating to my self whether Obama is really the hidden Iman but thought to share my thoughts online my upset people.

My son Vincent asked me if I thought Trotsky looked like Borat, apparently not but here is a picture of another Russian who does look a little like him.

On a more serious matter I will be blogging about the Pope tomorrow...who seems to have moved from Hitler's Youth to the SS grand dads....you may disagree but wait until tomorrow's post.

Caroline Lucas and Jean Lambert ask for refund from Israel

More details here

I think Caroline and Jean's excellent work as Euro MP's is very inspiring, their work in defence of Gaza on its own means they deserve all our support. but think trade unions, climate change, asylum rights, animal liberation, indigenous people, anti-incinerators, zero waste, etc, etc...

I have put together a new blog to support the South East Green Party Euro campaign, click here to have a look and get involved....elections don't win themselves, we need votes, activists, members and money...put your energy where your idealism is.

and if you don't do electoral politics...you can have a look at this as an alternative.

Apathy though is not an option

30 Jan 2009

Earth First! Winter Moot in Brighton

Lets face, it environmental crisis...a lot of talk, little action.

Earth First! UK have been very inspiring, so if you are in Brighton next weekend get involved.

February 6-7-8th 2009

The Earth First! Winter moot is an opportunity for people who feel affiliation with the ideas behind Earth First! to network, discuss and reflect on the ecological direct action movement and to plan for the future. In contrast with the yearly EF! Summer Gathering, which is held outside for around five days, the winter moot is a shorter weekend meeting, inside, less aimed at skill sharing and more at looking where we are at as movement and where we want to be going. A session is also reserved for discussing a UK mobilisation for the UN climate conference in Copenhagen late 2009.

Carlisle Green Party in by-election bid

Nice to hear from John, who was partly inspired to join, by reading this blog!

Green Party chooses candidates for city council poll

Party aiming for first councillors and Euro MP in 2009

The Green Party today announces the names of its candidates for two forthcoming Carlisle City Council by-elections in Belah and Castle wards.

The Belah poll follows the death of former Conservative Mayor Sandra Fisher, whilst the contest in Castle ward arises from the resignation of Liberal Democrat councillor Kimberley Hunter. Both elections will be held on Thursday 5th March.

In Belah, the Greens have selected Hazel Bowmaker who works as a Housing Co-ordinator for national charity Action for Blind People. Miss Bowmaker serves on the board of Impact Housing Association and chairs their community investment committee. The Greens believe that she would bring essential experience of housing issues to the authority. If elected Miss Bowmaker would, at 27, be the youngest city councillor.

Former Upperby councillor John Reardon will stand for the Greens in Castle ward. Mr Reardon, 33, is a teacher at Newman School and co-ordinator of the local party. He has a strong record of campaigning for sustainability and persuaded the city council to adopt the Nottingham Declaration on Climate Change in 2007. Mr Reardon gave up his free city council car parking pass when elected as a councillor in order to promote walking and cycling in the city, believing that public representatives should lead by example.

Nationally the Greens have 117 councillors, two Members of the European Parliament (including party leader Caroline Lucas) two Members of the Scottish Parliament, two London Assembly Members and one Northern Ireland Assembly Member. In June’s European elections the party needs to secure 8% of the vote across the north west of England to get its lead candidate Peter Cranie elected to the European Parliament. The battle for the final North West Euro seat will be between Mr Cranie and BNP leader Nick Griffin.

Miss Bowmaker said:

“The election of yet another Tory, Labour or Liberal Democrat councillor will mean business as usual and will make no difference to the way our city is run. However the election of Carlisle’s first Green councillors will be a vote for change, honest politics and sustainability.”

Mr Reardon added:

“Nationally over five years we have doubled our councillor numbers with little money, no corporate support and doing what Greens do very well, working at the grassroots level. The Greens are growing in size and political maturity. Hazel and I are standing on a platform of ethical politics, which means that we will put the interests of Carlisle people ahead of big businesses and unaccountable boards who have no loyalty to our area.”

Privately the Greens believe they have a good chance of winning Castle ward, where potentially in a five party contest Mr Reardon could be elected on 30% of the vote.

Peace in Isreal/Palestine

Well I must say the Green Movement are a lot better than the Israeli Green Party, I am impressed they are running both Jewish and Palestinian candidates....although I have not I regret seen a clear peace statement from them.

Chadesh are running on a refuse racism campaign of Arab-Israeli friendship, we have to hope they succeed then we could see real peace and justice.

The Jewish-Arab front's new campaign slogan is "Jews and Arabs refuse to be enemies. Hadash – the opposite of Lieberman." Yvette Lieberman is the leader of the racist Yisrael Beiteinu party.The campaign will also feature several videos showing Jewish and Arab youths and a website.

However it is pretty depressing that the Electoral Commission in Israel have banned two Arab Parties...I am assuming that this will be over turned.

Any way three cheers for the Israeli peace movement!

Joseph Healy: a new green left blogger

Dear all,

I have joined the blogosphere. Thanks to James for his assistance. Anyone wanting to read my rambling diatribes and political gossip can access it here.




29 Jan 2009

No to Underground job cuts

The Green Party trade Union group opposes all redundancies as currently they punish workers for the criminal folly of capitalist speculators. We are particularly opposed to redundancies in those sectors, such as public transport, where there should actually be more investment and more jobs being created in order to bring about the just transition toa low carbon economy that is needed to combat the ecological, social and economic crises which we face. GPTU is therefore saddened to hear that 1000redundancies on London Underground were announced today (29/1/2009). All redundancies are evil but these are markedly in the wrong sector and at precisely the wrong time. We support all Unions in resisting this retrograde step and trust all elected Green Party representatives in London (Councillors, Greater London Assembly members and our London MEP) will join us intaking this stance. ENDS

Contact P.Murry GPTU Secretary

Another Gaza?

Which ever side you support or not support please join us in solidarity with 250,000 civilians who have fled to the forests and are being caught up in the indiscriminate attacks of the Srilankan army
more than 1000 civilians have been killed by the Srilankan army shelling in the last week..
independent reporters have been banned by the government from entering northern Srilanka.
250,000 civilians in northern Srilanka are trying to escape from the heavy fighting.they have no access to food, clean water or medicine.
if you want to get more info on what is happening check out http://www.tamilsforum.com/
it is a family and child friendly peaceful demo- so people of all ages are welcome.
http://protest.net/imcuk/calendrome.cgi?span=event&ID=1272837&state_values=and please circulate as widely as possible.

28 Jan 2009

Indigenous are the last best hope of planet Earth

I am not in Sao Paulo this week, I am trying to minimise my flying...lookout for the ecosocialist international though....viva lucha indigena....real green politics=indigenous solidarity.

WSF 2009: Indigenous Activists Send SOS for the Amazon
January 27, 2009

“We are raising our voices as a wake-up call to the world, especially the rich countries that are hastening its destruction.” —Edmundo Omoré, Xavante indigenous community

By Mario Osava

(Inter Press Service, January 27, 2009)

A human banner made up of more than 1,000 people, seen and photographed from the air, sent the message “SOS Amazon” to the world, in the first action taken by indigenous people hours before the opening in northern Brazil on Tuesday of the 2009 World Social Forum (WSF).

The mass message reflects “our concern about global warming, whose impact we will be the first to feel, although we, the peoples of the Amazon, have protected and cared for the forests,” Francisco Avelino Batista, an Apurinán Indian from the Purus river valley in the Brazilian Amazon, told IPS.

“We are raising our voices as a wake-up call to the world, especially the rich countries that are hastening its destruction,” said Edmundo Omoré, a member of the Xavante indigenous community from the west-central state of Mato Grosso on the border between the Amazon region and the Cerrado, a vast savannah region in the centre of the country.

Both men belong to the Coordinating Committee of Indigenous Organisations of the Brazilian Amazon (COIAB), which joined the Quito-based Coordinating Body of Indigenous Organisations of the Amazon Basin (COICA) to create their “message from the heart of the Amazon.”

Nearly 1,300 indigenous people from about 50 countries, although mainly from Brazil, plan to raise the issues of their rights as original peoples and environmental preservation at this year’s edition of the WSF, which runs through Sunday in Belém, a city of 1.4 million people and the northeastern gateway to the Amazon.

Indigenous people have participated in the WSF in previous years, but this time a much larger presence was sought. The aim was for 2,000 to take part, but transport costs and financial difficulties prevented many participants from coming from other countries and from remote areas within Brazil itself.

In addition to indigenous groups, original peoples at the WSF include Quilombolas (members of communities of Afro-Brazilian descendants of escaped slaves) and other native peoples.

The key location chosen for the WSF, and the various global crises that are occurring, have created “a special moment” for original peoples to take a leading role, according to Roberto Espinoza, an adviser to the Andean Coordination of Indigenous Organisations (CAOI).

“A crisis of civilisation” is under way, said Espinoza, who described the serious economic, energy and food problems, as well as climate change, as part of the same phenomenon.

In this situation, indigenous people should have political participation as of right, not “as folklore or as a merely cultural contribution,” Espinoza, one of the coordinators of the indigenous peoples’ presence at the WSF, told IPS.

The Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, approved by the United Nations General Assembly, is of paramount importance here, he said. It should not be seen as a “utopian” document; rather, its provisions should be binding, like those of the International Labour Organisation’s Convention 169 on indigenous and tribal peoples.

Espinoza said he hoped this WSF would produce an agreement for global demonstrations similar to those held in 2003 against the United States’ invasion of Iraq.

This time around, the goal would be to mobilise “in defence of Mother Earth and against the commercialisation of life,” added to specific causes championed by each nation, such as the fight against hydroelectric power stations in Brazil that flood vast areas of Amazon rainforest and displace riverbank dwellers, he said.

The voices of indigenous people are bound to have a greater impact on environmental matters when “the risk of catastrophic climate change in the near future and disputes over natural resources are threatening the survival not only of indigenous peoples, but of humanity itself,” Espinoza said.

Indigenous and environmental issues will be even more visible on Wednesday, which is to be dedicated entirely to the Amazon region in an attempt to revitalise the PanAmazon Social Forum, inactive since 2005.

Launching a campaign led by the peoples of the Amazon, who “want a society that values them and understands the value that the land has for them,” is a proposal for discussion at the WSF, according to Miquelina Machado, a COIAB leader belonging to the Tukano ethnic group.

This is necessary for “a greater balance with nature,” at a time when Brazil’s plans for economic growth and the physical integration of South America are fuelling projects which have “strong negative impacts on the Amazon and Andean regions,” she told IPS.

“The hydroelectric dams flood the land and destroy biodiversity,” she said, while lamenting the fact that attempts to block the building of highways, that cause immense deforestation, have been frustrated in the courts, “which have more power.”

The presence at the WSF of presidents of Amazon region countries like Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva of Brazil, Evo Morales of Bolivia, and Hugo Chávez of Venezuela, as well as Paraguayan President Fernando Lugo, should increase the impact of the event, hopefully benefiting the peoples of the Amazon, Machado concluded.

Indigenous peoples’ voices should be heard, because “we are the ones who were born and raised in the middle of the forest, and who lead a lifestyle that contrasts with the ambition of capitalism, which does not bring benefits to all,” said Omoré.

Furthermore, “we are the first to suffer the effects” of climate change. Rich people can cool themselves down with air conditioners and buy food in supermarkets, but “we depend on the fish in the river and the animals in the forest, so we are concerned about the future that belongs to everyone,” added Batista.

27 Jan 2009

Fear of a Green Left Planet!


unos, dos, tres......Capitalism in crisis, a grassroots revolt against the Washington Consensus brings yet another green left government to power?

Jerry Hicks campaign gears up

Just had this from Jerry!

From Jerry Hicks: The election leaflet/s (A5 flyer and an A4 version) for workplaces and branches is at the printers as I write.
Can you please let me know how many you will need, and a contact mailing address. The leaflet/s will also be available for down loading so they can be forwarded and also copied.

I would be delighted to personally help with the handing out of leaflets and have already accepted several invitations.If you want to bag a date in the diary by all means do so.

The campaign is going extremely well not least by way of receiving so many nominations form every region and sector.

Following the withdrawal of Laurence Faircloth I have been overwhelmed with offers of support and as importantly help.

The costs of the campaign have been strictly managed and have diligently kept to our budget. To the extent that, on a visit to Liverpool the 'Fun fare' national express coach ticket costing £8 went from Bristol via London! But it was very cheap.

All that said this is the most expensive period for the campaign and we are obviously at a big disadvantage in comparison to the other candidates. So would you please consider making a donation, however small or large. Each one will have an impact and make a difference.

Please can you make cheques payable to Jerry Hicks 4 GS. And send to 10 York Road, Montpelier, Bristol; BS6 5QE all donations will be receipted and a full record of all transactions are available for inspection (and a cup of tea thrown in!).

Kind regards, Jerry. 'Keep on keeping on'.

Green Party Councillor gives Gaza solidarity

Well the university where I work p-time seems to have more security than usual, a wave occupations in British universities...had this about Cllr Margaret Wright...it's a good argument for joining the Green Party of England and Wales
Latest on Gaza protest in Law faculty Cambridge University

At 2.10.p.m. today (Tuesday 27th Jan) Cllr. Margaret Wright ,who had expressed the Green Party's support for those students occupying the Law Faculty building in the University of Cambridge in solidarity with the suffering of the palestinians in Gaza and with all those seeking peace in the area, was escorted from the Law Faculty Building.

She was responding to an invitation from Cambridge Gaza Solidarity.

When she made a request to speak with these students she was taken to a reception desk by security guards. Here she showed her councillor's ID and University Library card. She was told by the academic secretary to the faculty she could not speak to the students and that she was being
'escorted from the building'.

Once outside she was able to speak to a student representative who was dismayed at her treatment.

Cllr. Wright said,

'The University should be proud of students who are opposing injustices committed on a global scale. Cambridge students have a long tradition of such commitment. While I am certain the the University is able to police a peaceful protest on its premises in this manner, I am nevertheless disappointed that it is choosing to do so.'

See the Cambridge Gaza Solidarity website at http://cambridgegazasolidarity.blogspot.com

Best Wishes

26 Jan 2009

Jerry Hicks: Britain's first green trade union leader?

Environmental problems are about production, about the production of practical green industrial alternatives.

Renewable energy, proper public transport, greener technology is part of the process of getting to a society that works enviromentally.

In Australia the visionary building workers leader Jack Mundey organised green industrial action to prevent damage to conservation sites.

In the 1980s Lucas Aerospace Shop Steward Mike Cooly developed workers plans for green production. Also in the 1980s the Nation Union of Seamen (now part of the RMT) ended the sea dumping of nuclear waste.

Rising from the shop floor of Rolls Royce in Bristol Jerry Hicks has battled against the hierarchy to force a democratic election for General Secretary of Britain's second largest trade union.

Jerry is opposed to the expansion of Heathrow and wants to shift production in a green direction to create jobs via renewables, etc.

Here is his statement on the environment...please spread the word, feel free to get in touch with him directly...its a tough battle but he could win.

Jerry Hicks: Thanks so much for taking the time to talk Derek.

Here is the text of the email/s that I send out to those that have contacted me during the campaign regarding issues of the environment. Please forward to whom ever you feel would be interested. I would be delighted (honoured) to think that I might get the endorsement of the Green Party Trade Union group. I understand the responsibilty that I have to members and would answer any questions or queries that anyone might have. Thanks again, Jerry. 'Keep on keeping on'.

"I am opposed to the 3rd runway at Heathrow. I beleive in an enhanced rail network which should also be publicly owned for the benefit of passengers not profit.

As far as the effect on jobs, the building of hospitals, schools, and public housing will provide 100,000 jobs meeting the needs of people without ruining the planet and disrupting lives.

Couple that with real investment in green energies: Wind, sea and solar which would create up to one million jobs and end our reliance on nuclear power and oil.

Thanks again for caring enough to contact me."

If you want to contact Jerry Hicks, you can mail him here via his blog

I would stress that Jerry is not a GPEW member, I think he is still in RESPECT but its fair to say he has some very solid green views and is the grassroots favourite of socialist, greens and others who want to defend workers interests and to construct an ecological future.

Viva Jerry!

Donate to Gaza

Please donate, I have just sent them some cash https://www.donate.bt.com/bt_form_gaza.html

Perhaps a good time to complain to your MP about the BBC getting the license fee.

They get the Rory Carroll award as far as I am concerned, did their 'impartial' boss bend to Zionist pressure?

Orla Guerin was sacked after reporting on Palestine.

I have no doubt that the decision by the BBC to pull their Middle East correspondent Orla Guerin out of the region and send her to South Africa was part of the normal rotation of BBC news correspondents around the world. However it was pretty bad timing to announce it within days of Director General Mark Thompson's visit to Israel where he had a meeting with the Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. Sharon has never hidden his intense dislike of Guerin or the BBC's reporting of the Middle East and Guerin was recently accused of being "anti-semitic" and of "identifying with the goals and methods of the Palestinian terror groups" by a former Israeli minister.

Zionist lies kill!

*Green Party Councillor Proposes Living Wage For Lambeth*

At a full Lambeth Council Meeting on Wed 28 Jan at 7 pm, Cllr Becca
Thackeray, Lambeth's Green Party Councillor, is proposing a motion to make
Lambeth Council a "Living Wage" employer. Currently through national pay
bargaining rules, every direct employee is paid a Living Wage, but the
hundreds of staff who work for the Council via contractors are often not and
forced to endure poverty pay.

The motion commits the Council to paying all staff, including sub-contracted
staff, the London Living Wage and to use local strategic partnerships and
other private sector engagements to promote the living wage more widely.

In November, Green Councillor Jenny Jones successfully passed a motion to
make Southwark Council a Living Wage employer. Southwark was only the second
Borough to adopt official policy backing a Living Wage, with Lewisham being
the other where there are 6 Green Party Councillors.

The Living Wage is the real minimum rate of pay that enables a worker to
provide a decent standard of living for themselves and their family. In
London, the Living Wage currently stands at £7.45 per hour. The background
to this figure can be found in the document, A Fairer London: The Living
Wage in London (GLA 2008). Many service sector workers - including cleaners,
security guards and catering staff - experience low pay and difficult,
sometimes exploitative working conditions. It is estimated that in London
alone 400,000 people fall into this working poverty trap.

It remains to be seen if the New Labour Council will support the resolution
in Lambeth. The Living Wage is supported by trade unions across London.
Whilst New Labour Councillors in Lambeth cross picket lines and force more
job cuts, the Green Party continues to campaign in the interest of Lambeth's

25 Jan 2009

NICK MATTHEWS on a co-operative keeping Palestinian farming alive.

Will be looking at the industrial action along with Tony Juniper's love of McDonalds in other posting...for the time being some good stuff from the Star! Are we going to have Greenpeace embracing nukes and the Convention of the Left backing capital punishment this week...I hope not..but a strike ballot at Britain's daily socialist newspaper and the ex-Foe supremo backing fast food ecocide, I would not believe it.

The oil of life
(Sunday 25 January 2009)

NICK MATTHEWS on a co-operative keeping Palestinian farming alive.

"THEY planted for us to eat - we will plant for them to eat."

This old Palestinian saying sums up the philosophy of Al Zaytouna, the Palestinian Olive Tree Association founded in 2004 as a non-profit association working in all the Palestine agricultural areas that produce olives.

The olive branch, traditionally a symbol of peace, has now become a symbol of the Palestinians' struggle for survival.

Palestine is often said to be the home of the olive tree. It has some of the oldest olive groves in the world, dating back 2,000 years.

More than 12 million olive trees covering nearly 200,000 acres produce fruit that supports over half the population. The trees dominate the agricultural landscape.

But the process of growing and selling the produce is an incredibly difficult challenge. The last five years have seen the industry decimated. Huge swathes of olives groves have been razed by Israeli bulldozers or burned to the ground by Israeli settlers.

Large amounts of oil now go to waste because it is too dangerous for farmers to harvest the crops or because of movement restrictions. Over half of the oil produced is literally poured down the drain as it cannot reach international markets. Over the last four years, the Israeli occupying forces have uprooted almost 400,000 olive trees with a value of over £43 million.

All this makes the hard lives of the Palestinians that much harder.

In response, the Palestinian Farmers Union and a group of olive oil producers came together to form Al Zaytouna. As an umbrella organisation, Al Zaytouna helps to organise farmers and focus their efforts in defence of their interests.

The olive growers and olive pressers are organised into co-operatives. Al Zaytouna represents 14 encompassing 1,700 individual olive oil producers.

Al Zaytouna is managed by an elected board of directors and run by a professional management team supported by specialised volunteer staff including several from overseas.

Just to show that the US is not a monolithic bloc of evil-doers, another partner is ACDI/VOCA. The Washington-based NGO dates back to the 1997 merger of Agricultural Co-operative Development International and Volunteers in Overseas Co-operative Assistance, two US non-profit development organisations working largely in agriculture.

The iniative has been remarkably successful. Al Zaytouna-supported co-operatives have eradicated the olive fly, a major threat to production, increased oil production some 40 per cent between 2005 and 2008, created local committees that train farmers in harvest, storage and production techniques and provided improved storage equipment such as stainless steel tanks to maintain the oil's quality.

Six of the co-ops are officially organic, although pretty much all Palestinian olive oil is organic because of the use of traditional farming methods.

Even with improved products, the growers need access to customers. This is where Zaytoun comes in. Zaytoun, a member of Co-operatives UK, is a co-operative community interest company.

The British government designated community interest companies as a new type of company designed for social enterprises that wish to use their profits and assets for the benefit of the community. The first CICs were registered at Companies House in 2005.

Since 2004, Zaytoun has imported more than 150 tons of olive oil to Britain, as well as Nablusi olive oil soap, za'atar (thyme-based herb mix), dates, couscous and almonds.

Heather Masoud of Zaytoun says that trade is difficult in the current political climate but is the best way to make a difference.

"The Palestinian people have long been associated with terrorism or victimhood in the popular media and their rich culture and society has often been overshadowed by this emphasis on violence or extreme poverty.

"Aid donations, while necessary, rarely foster foundations for long-term prosperity and social revitalisation. Our trade with the Palestinian people has brought in excess of £1 million to their economy and support for rural society."

The current situation is indeed grave but Masoud says that the "assault in Gaza largely does not affect Zaytoun's supply chains. In the main, the Palestinian producers we work with are in the West Bank."

However, she adds, "the West Bank supply chain is also a vulnerable one - the Palestinians do not have any control of their sea or land borders or their air space. Relying on the occupying force to allow trade is a weak position and, as we saw in Gaza, the economy will be destroyed if Israel also decides to deny passage of goods there."

In fact, Zaytoun did once source couscous from a women's co-op in Gaza, but the business became unviable - Israel has not allowed any of its products to cross the border for the last three years.

We have all been shocked by recent events in Gaza, but buying Zaytoun olive oil and its other products is one way to give practical help. It is time, I think, that we mounted a campaign to get its oil into our major supermarkets.

Visit www.zaytoun.org to find out where to get hold of Zaytoun Palestinian olive oil.

Green Left advance in Iceland

I am going to be meeting up with someone from the Iceland Green Left movement soon to learn a lot more but these are my thoughts for the moment. After free market policies have led to economic collapse, the governing Icelandic Independence Party have lost all credibility.

A bit of gentle and non violent rioting
on thursday continues a tradition of oppressed people revolting against neo-liberal government and IMF rule. After the protests outside of parliament this week, the government is standing down and elections will be held in May.

The left green movement is a party committed to ecosocialism, it is made up of members of previous parties who did not wish to unify in the more centre ground Social Democrat Party.

This is the process. The process is now in Europe and while times are likely to be extremely bleak, we have the process which is may be a glimmer.

The process has of course occurred right across Latin America. Free market policies failed, popular grassroots protest (led from the barrios and by the indigenous) propelled new political parties into power, they sometimes fail or fail to go far enough but broadly socialist and ecological policies based on grassroots participation gain strength.

In Cuba of course the failure of a model closer to traditional central planning led with the end of the Soviet Union to a more ecosocialist direction.

Ecology is not a luxury, ecological policies by reducing dependency on fossil fuels and promoting grassroots power create more resilient societies.

Iceland generates electricity 100% via renewables, I guess though creating a diverse economy out of the mess that the merchant bankers have made of it is going to be tough.

Anti-NATO, anti-war, ecosocialist Iceland, will if successful provide a beacon of hope for the rest of us in Europe. Can the process spread from Iceland to Ireland, England and Wales and Scotland? We shall see, the Icelandic Left Green Movement are going to be under heavy political pressure internationally, the normal US response to dissidents who reject the America dream is invasion, economic blockade and propaganda offensive.

Will Obama talk to the Greens or seek to wipe them out? Any how, the Left Greens will need international solidarity.

Great to unify the left and greens into one movement, which at the last election gained 15% and 9 MPs and looks to do better in May.

Some tasty ecosocialist Green Left Movement policies here:

The cornerstones of it´s policy are the following:

1.Conservation of the environment
All natural resources shall be public property and utilized without reducing them and in a careful manner. So-called green economics must be used to estimate the value of untouched nature and green taxes shall be applied to encourage protection of the environment. From our point of view, it is of great importance that Icelanders can produce all the energy they need in the future. We reject further building of power plants for the use of polluting large scale industry and demand conservation of the highland. We emphasize powerful, international co-operation and conventions concerning environmental matters.
2.Equality and social justice
All individuals shall have equal rights and no discrimination can be tolerated. We demand full equality concerning education, all social service, public information and freedom of speech. It is the duty of the Icelandic state to guarantee the welfare of every citizen, especially the elderly and the disabled.
The Left-Green Movement supports the strenghtening of the rural areas of Iceland by means of good social service, education, prosperous culture and various economy. Privatization in public areas is of great danger in these matters, since it usually leads to a more expensive service in rural areas.
It is a project of high priority to guarantee that wages paid for 40 hours' work a week will be sufficient for a normal cost of living.
3. Fair and prosperous economy
The Left-Green Movement is willing to strengthen the position of wage earners to influence the development of our society. The party is willing to support the development of Icelandic economy to a state of more diversity and encourage the use of environment-friendly technology. It is necessary to prevent monopoly and centralization of capital, enable the conventional industries of Iceland to develop themselves and make use of Iceland's special status to create jobs of all kinds for all the inhabitants.
4.Independent foreign policy
The Left-Green Movement fights for an independent, Icelandic foreign policy that maintains the sovereignty of Iceland and supports all means of establishing global peace. The party opposes participation in military organizations such as NATO and WEU. It also rejects participation in the European Union and emphasizes simple, bilateral treaties concerning trade and co-operation.

The English language bit of their website is here.

William Morris was deeply into things Icelandic but that's a posting for another day.

For the time being I suppose we can all chant 'Viva Steingrímur J. Sigfússon'.

Gerald Kaufman MP is a bit of a hero on the quiet

Sir Gerald Kaufman said the Israeli government was 'ruthlessly and cynically' exploiting the guilt over the Holocaust as justification for the assault on Gaza.

'My grandmother was ill in bed when the Nazis came to her home town... a German soldier shot her dead in her bed,' he told MPs.

'My grandmother did not die to provide cover for Israeli soldiers murdering Palestinian grandmothers in Gaza.'

Always thought of Gerald Kaufman as a right wing MP in a right wing party but he has made some loud calls for peace and justice, this meeting put together by the Jewish Socialist Group looks excellent, Gerry is looking good for some one over the age of 77

After the War on Gaza: What next for the Palestinians? And how can Jews in Britain and in Israel help bring about a just peace?

Public meeting – all welcome

Wednesday 11th February, 7.30pm

Tudor Room, Imperial Hotel, Russell Square, London WC1B 5BB


Karma Nabulsi, Gerald Kaufman MP, plus other speakers to be announced

Karma Nabulsi is an Oxford-based academic who formerly worked as a PLO diplomat at the UN and in Beirut, Tunis and Britain.

Gerald Kaufman has been a Labour MP since 1970 and has been an outspoken supporter of a just peace in Israel/Palestine.

Organised by the Jewish Socialists’ Group: www.jewishsocialist.org.uk

Nine Miles

Thursday January 29 Talk and reading by former Newbury protester and Worthing resident Jim Hindle, author of 'Nine Miles; Two winters of Anti-Road Protest' about his experiences in the 1990s and the lessons for today. www.ninemiles.co.uk Plus Worthing Alliance announcements. Upstairs at The Rest, Bath Place, Worthing. 8pm.

I had another nice surprise on friday, the first was being phoned up by Jerry Hicks (hopefully soon to be General Secretary of Britain's second largest union amicus/unite)...the other was finding that I had been sent a copy of Jim Hindle's beautiful book 'Nine Miles'.

The roads protests of the 1990s were a big thing, I saw them grow from literally three or four people kicking off Earth First! UK to Newbury where thousands of people including Jim, set up full time protest camps to halt the biggest roads programme in Britain since the Romans.

Nine Miles is about green action to halt and reverse the destruction of the environment. The direct action anti-roads movement of the 1990s is as inspiring to me as the struggles today of indigenous people, grassroots action is the key to tackling climate change and other threats to the biosphere. Jim's book will make you cry, laugh and be inspired. With so much painted on green, this is an account of the real thing.

Green isn't about Nicholas Stern and the bankers or the absurd claim that fast food is Green, it is about militant grassroots action for the environment and justice.

The direct action anti-roads movement help change cultural norms, as all effective social movements do, in some ways the fundamental and difficult task that political parties are normally too timid to try.

The theorist Melucci while a bit post-structural and even functionalist at times for me, summed it up in his title 'Challenging Codes'. My Phd looked at all this as well.

Well that's enough social theory Dr Wall for a sunday morning. Jim's book which I have been dipping into is a great read, very inspiring with some good photos...I am sure the struggle here in Britain in the 1990s would inspire radical greens right across the globe.

You can find out more about Nine Miles and buy a copy here.

24 Jan 2009

Show them your shoes!

A bit asthmatic and looking after my kids today, so I have been blogging and letter writing for Jerry Hicks rather than getting on the streets to challenge the BBC, glad others have been doing so.

Some great photos and a report here.

Former car worker asks 'End of the road for the car industry?'

Met Alan Thornett last year on the way to climate camp, an ex-car worker he is a committed ecosocialist, here are his thoughts on the car industry.

While governments across the world are pumping money into the banks, other sectors face a bleak future. Car production is particularly hit. Car sales are in meltdown all over the world. Almost all the major car companies have responded with reduced production, layoffs or sackings.

Redundancies already amount to hundreds of thousands of workers. It is an industry in long-term crisis and had over-capacity before the current crisis hit home. The industry is hit in four ways: · First the credit crunch itself. Credit, which is essential for a large proportion of sales has become far more difficult to get.· Rising unemployment, including in the high-paid white-collar sector, reduced earnings and job insecurity impact on car individual sales. Fleet sales to companies have also plummeted. · Third is the rising price of oil, and therefore of petrol and diesel. Although it has been dropping recently, peak oil means that the cheap fuel of the past is not going to return.· Fourth is the ecological crisis. There is a growing recognition of the impact of the car on global warming, and the urgent need for an alternative.

Additionally some manufacturers have found themselves making large expensive gas-guzzlers — including SUVs (sports utility vehicles) — with a complete inability to see the writing on the wall. Chrysler, General Motors, Porsche, Volvo (part of Ford), Jaguar Land Rover (now part of Tata) and BMW are all in this category.

The centre of the crisis is in the USA. Remarkably, it became clear last year that the icons of US car manufacture in the 20th century, General Motors and Chrysler, were struggling for survival. In December they announced that they would run out of cash by the end of the year. Fraught negotiations in Congress over a massive bail-out failed. They would go to the wall within weeks, with the potential loss of 3 million jobs in their own plants and backup industries. Bush was faced with a position where these two historic companies were likely to collapse before the end of his Presidency. He responded with a $14.4 billion loan package to keep them afloat until March, which would shunt the problem into the Obama era. In Europe a total of 2.1 million workers are directly involved in the car industry. This figure rises to 12 million when all car-related industries are included. Opel, the European subsidiary of General Motors, is slashing production, with many of its plants already shut down for extended periods. Cutbacks will affect its factories in Germany, Poland and Spain. Opel spokesman Andreas Krömer said “demand has hit rock bottom. We must react with an adjustment. We cannot build cars on a waste dump.”

In Britain most manufacturers face reduced sales. Workers in the Vauxhall (GM) plants are being urged to take a lengthy ‘sabbatical’. BMW in Cowley has its plant on extended shut-down and has laid off agency workers. Both Toyota and Honda are facing cuts. Industry minister Peter Mandelson is currently considering the government’s response. Like the banks, the car companies are now also demanding money from the state.

For socialists the first consideration in all this is the protection of jobs. The first people hit in nearly all the companies concerned are the agency or temporary workers, which they all now employ in large numbers. These can be sacked at a moment’s notice, and they don’t even count as redundancies or feature in the figures. The only feasible way to tackle this is nationalisation – not in the way British Leyland was ‘nationalised’ in 1968 through a majority government share-holding (though that would be better than nothing) but full nationalisation with public control. Jobs could then be saved while the industry was restructured.

It is not enough, however, simply to change over to smaller cars in firms where SUVs and other gas-guzzlers are being produced. The nettle of alternative production has to be grasped: a changeover to the production of more useful vehicles such as public transport and public services vehicles, and beyond that to other commodities such as equipment for a renewable energy supply.

An important debate around this has been taking place in Sweden where Volvo has already announced thousands of redundancies in its cars division. Socialists who are trade union activists in the plants have initiated discussions and meetings about the future of the industry based on alternative production . We have to see this as the way forward for a sustainable industry.

I am blogging for Jerry Hicks!

The reasons I mounted the challenge to Derek Simpson are simple and straightforward:It is quite simply wrong that General Secretary Derek Simpson should go for 8 years without facing an election. I believe it is also illegal.It was my overriding belief that it was necessary to correct this wrongdoing. He (Derek Simpson) knew that it was unlawful because he himself challenged Sir Ken Jackson’s right to remain in position without holding an election in 2002 using the Certification Officer.I have received widespread support for my actions.

More here

Nice to have a good chat with a genuine working class hero in the form of Jerry Hicks, last night...usually the cool people just mail me rather than mobile me!

Jerry is currently running for the post of General Secretary of the Unite/Amicus union, Britain's second biggest trade union. He has a proud record as a union activist. In a David versus Goliath battle against the odds he waged a campaign to make the current General Secretary Derek Simpson stand for election.

Jerry is a grassroots activists who would work as General Secretary on a workers wage not the approximately £100,000 plus perks enjoyed by Simpson. He is gaining support pretty rapidly, the Socialist Party have thrown their weight behind him, along with the SWP, Socialist Appeal, Workers Liberty and Green Party Trade Union activist and Unite member Matt Sellwood.

He believes in creating jobs through green energy and has the kind of grit and experience necessary to defend members of Unite during the severe recession we are entering.

Jerry is used to fighting and winning tough battles, the biased broadcasting corporation noted:

Nearly 100 test engineers from the Bristol plant began continuous strike action on Tuesday in protest at his dismissal in July. Amicus said it cannot rule out a spread of industrial action.

Mr Hicks was dismissed after allegations of misconduct but an employment tribunal provisionally found he had "probably been dismissed on trade union grounds".

I am also keen on Jerry as an ex-Bristolian myself, certainly the Bristol bloggers and press are talking about him. He lives in York Rd, Montpelier....I used to live down the hill on Ashley Rd.

Mark Serwota ran a similar grassroot campaign to win in the PCS union, Jerry can win too.

The Murdoch press and various union bureaucrats are keen to kill his campaign, so we must rise up and give him some solidarity.

Vote for Jerry!

1. You can donate to his campaign
2. You can link to his campaign blog
3. You can blog about his campaign
4. If you are a member of Unite, Vote for Jerry!

Interesting interview with Jerry here.

Hamas 'Israel lost'

Well no brief for Hamas, they certainly have a pretty vicious side, with Ch 4 investigations suggesting they assaulted civilians during the war but if you want a serious killing spree with the latest high tech weapons Israel produced real horror.

Any way interesting to note the Hamas analysis, which mirrored my prediction that the IDF land invasion would kill lots of innocent people without stopping Hamas.

Accordingly, we declare that Israel lost, and lost decisively. What did it achieve? The killing of large numbers of civilians, children and women, and the destruction of homes, ministry buildings and other infrastructure with the most advanced US weapons and other internationally banned chemical and phosphorous elements. Almost 2,000 children were killed and injured in desperate pursuit of political goals. Many international organisations called these attacks war crimes, yet barely a word of denunciation was uttered by any western leader. What message does the EU mean to send Palestinians by its shameful silence on these crimes, when it speaks incessantly on human rights?

If anything, the last three weeks, and previous 18 months, have proved that the Palestinians can never be broken by either starvation, economic strangulation or brutal attack. European leaders have only one option: to recognise the outcome of a democratic process they had called for and supported.

The aggression failed to undermine or weaken the Hamas-led government, or turn Palestinians against Hamas. If anything, public support is stronger than ever in Palestine and worldwide. Hamas's military capabilities have not been hurt, either. This explains Israel scurrying to sign such a strange agreement with the US to stop arms reaching Hamas. It is doomed to fail. As the former Israeli chief of staff Moshe Ya'alon and Binyamin Netanyahu agreed, Israeli forces failed to achieve their objectives.

23 Jan 2009


If you want to give to Gaza have a look here for the TUC appeal

Greens condemn BBC over Gaza appeal

23 January 2009

Green Party condemns BBC over Gaza appeal

The Green Party has criticised the BBC for refusing to transmit a charity appeal which would have brought much-needed humanitarian aid to thousands of people in Gaza.

The Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC), an umbrella-organisation representing 13 of the world's most respected charities, wanted to broadcast the appeal under an agreement with the BBC dating back to 1963. Traditionally the BBC, and other broadcasters, allow free air-time immediately after national news bulletins for such appeals.The BBC's refusal to show the programme, claiming it could not be certain the aid would reach its target, has allowed other broadcasters such as ITV and Sky to also deny transmission.

Green Party leader Caroline Lucas MEP said the BBC's decision was disgraceful and called for an inquiry. "It is not for the BBC to tell these professional aid agencies how to do their jobs," she said. "Everyone knows the situation in Gaza is dangerous and that the cease-fire is extremely fragile. But aid lorries are getting through.

"The people of Gaza are desperate for medical supplies, and food, and the DEC works with United Nations' organisations to ensure that this sort of aid reaches the right place. These DEC appeals are worth millions of pounds to the charities and it is absolutely disgraceful that the BBC should refuse to broadcast the appeal."

Some journalists have questioned the BBC's coverage of the Israeli bombardment in Gaza, suggesting many news images of civilian casualties had been censored as unsuitable for transmission. Dr Lucas suggested the BBC had laid itself open to allegations of bias. The Green Party is planning to join a protest outside the BBC tomorrow.

"If you want to know what's been going on in Gaza you watch Al Jazeera rather than the BBC," said Dr Lucas. "There is clear prima facie evidence suggesting that in some cases war crimes have been committed, but you wouldn't know that from watching the BBC. I will be writing to the BBC Trust, and to Ofcom, asking for an inquiry into the BBC's coverage of this conflict."

22 Jan 2009

Green Left call for support for John McDonnell

Green Left today released the following statement:

“The New Labour government have reneged on their commitment to combatting climate change by going ahead with the third runway at Heathrow. They have ridden roughshod over the opinion of many of their own MPs. John McDonnell, the local MP, may have wielded the mace for a few moments but it was a sign of desperation, and a recognition that he wields no power in the Labour Party, far removed from its original principles.

Green Left co-convenor, Joseph Healy, said: “it’s time we stretched our hand to fellow politicians with whom we agree more than disagree. We should avoid sectarianism and give people like John McDonnell
meaningful support. While we will have no truck with a callous Labour Party, we recognise there are individuals with honour and integrity.”

”If John McDonnell were to stand as an Independent at the next General Election, we would be happy to suggest to the rest of the Green Party that no candidate of ours stand against him as has indeed been agreed by the local Hillingdon Green Party”. This bold step could occur on the basis that any such independent candidate stood for meaningful action to combat climate change.”

Caroline Lucas calls for investigation of abuse of West Papuan activists

NEWS RELEASE From the office of South-East England’s Green MEP Caroline Lucas

MEP receives reports of detention and abuse of West Papuan independence activists The South East’s Green MEP has called on the UK authorities – and theEuropean Commission – to bring Indonesia to account over continuing reportsof human rights abuses in West Papua. Dr Caroline Lucas MEP has written to Foreign Secretary David Miliband and EU Commissioner for External Relations Ferrero-Waldner to call for action following reports of the arbitrary arrest, detention and physical abuse of West Papuan independence activists by Indonesian police. Dr Lucas MEP has repeatedly urged the UK to raise concerns over the serious abuses of West Papuan human rights with Indonesian President Yudhoyono, and to demand the withdrawal of Indonesia’s violent military presence in the area.

She said: “I have been informed by a South East constituent who has just returned from West Papua that two individuals, Buchtar Tabuni (Committee Chairman of the International Parliamentarians for West Papua in Papua) and Sebby Sambom, have been arrested and detained. “Both men were reportedly arrested because of their support for International Parliamentarians for West Papua (IPWP), which was launched atthe Houses of Parliament in London in October 2008 as an initiative to help free West Papua from an oppressive Indonesian occupation.” “There are an estimated 35,000 Indonesian troops – one solider for every 44 indigenous people – currently stationed in West Papua. Systematic human rights abuses including arbitrary detention, rape, torture, beatings in custody and extra-judicial killing are commonly reported, yet Western governments turn a blind eye.”

Dr Lucas also responded angrily to reports from the Central Highlands that,in recent days, Indonesian security forces have attacked villages inTingginambut, burning houses and killing two people. She continued: "We stand in solidarity with the people of West Papua, who were promised a referendum on independence when the Dutch former colonial rulers withdrew from the country four decades ago. “They are still waiting, and continue to endure terrible repression,violence and abuse at the hands of an Indonesian government more interested in securing lucrative business deals than honouring historical agreements –or obeying international law. “Today I urge Mr Miliband and Commissioner Ferrero-Waldner to demand that Indonesia ends its curbs on the freedom of journalists and human rights observers, withdraws its military presence from West Papua, and engages in dialogue with the West Papuan leaders.”


How could a wasteful and consumerist system par excellence preserve the environment?

hadn't heard from Fidel for a few weeks, always a worry when you don't hear from someone 80 plus...so very glad to have this.

Reflections by comrade Fidel


We talked for 40 minutes. It was an intense and interesting dialogue; just as I expected. She is a person of deep convictions. There was no debate.

When she spoke at the Auditorium of the University of Havana, she was quick to answer the students’ questions showing her talent and her capacity.

The meeting at the Latin American Medical School [ELAM] was moving. The songs played by the peasant students of Guarani descent, with the typical instruments and tunes of that ethnic group, added a special note. She was presented with a doctor’s white coat, which she immediately put on the orange jacket and slacks she was wearing.

She left the ELAM to come meet with me.

As we discussed the United States, I indicated the historical significance it has for Cuba that by noon yesterday we could count 10 Presidents who have led that country through 50 years in which the immense power of that country could not destroy the Cuban Revolution.

I said that I personally do not doubt the honesty of Obama, --the 11th President since January 1st, 1959— as he expresses his ideas, but that his noble intentions notwithstanding there are still many questions to be answered. By way of an example I wondered: How could a wasteful and consumerist system par excellence preserve the environment?

We also discussed many other issues related to international and national politics concerning Cuba and Argentina.

Argentina’s capacity to produce food and industrial products with advanced technology are decisive elements for that country’s development. She mentioned the informatics engineering capacity of countries like India to trade in the world market, which she finds particularly interesting, as it is especially strong in software production.

Cristina is a devoted President who likes to work on a full time basis. However, when she travels to other countries, she protects her right to have a number of hours to adapt and to exercise; and this everyone respects.

Fidel Castro Ruz
January 21, 2009
6:30 p.m.


it's like the Green Party of England and Wales signing up with McDonalds or Sky....toxic bank, Fianna Fail, Green Party Ireland nasty mix.

The Irish Greens are a mirror held up to other green parties...showing the green face of thinking too much about short term office and to little about profound political and social change.

Green Parties bought by corporations scare me....on to some wise words from Patricia.


Former Green Party MEP and member of the party’s National Executive Committee, Patricia McKenna, has strongly criticised her party’s attitude to the resignation today of its most senor elected representative in Munster.

Ms. McKenna said, “I am quite shocked at the cavalier attitude displayed by the party hierarchy towards the departure of our most important elected representative in the Munster region. Chris O’Leary is a long-time member of the party and our only representative in Cork City Council.

She said, “Statements by Deputy Leader, Mary White TD and Senator Dan Boyle that “his decision to resign was not unexpected beggar belief. Our party is in free-fall and they appear to be in complete denial. Chris O’Leary’s resignation would not have happened if the party had admitted to its failings in Government and had made a commitment to return to its true values. As party Chairperson Dan should be gravely concerned that key figures representing the core values of the party are finding it impossible to remain in the party. Chris was instrumental in getting Dan Boyle elected to the Dail”.

McKenna went on to say, “The suggestion in the party’s press statement that “personal and local reasons were behind his decision” is disingenuous in the extreme. The party leadership knows that Chris would find it impossible to represent a party he no longer has confidence in. Is this the price we must pay for the privilege of doing Fianna Fail’s dirty work? The party are now treating their most important asset, the grass roots, with the same contempt they have displayed to the voters so bitterly betrayed by our election promises.”

“When I challenged John Gormley for party leadership I warned that we the Green Party could be in danger of loosing our identity within a Fianna Fail led government and that appears to be exactly what is now happening. The Party has adopted a head in the sand approach and a mentality of stay in Government regardless of the cost.”

21 Jan 2009

The Forgotten Martin Luther King

[col. writ. 1/15/09] '09 Mumia Abu-Jamal

The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is once again being resurrected this time of year, in part because his birthday is approaching, but also, of course, because of the imminent swearing-in of President-elect Barack H. Obama -- the first Black man in U.S. history to be so honored.

As often is the case, the Rev. King who is being projected today bears little relationship to the real, live, breathing and growing man behind the name.

Like many men, he had his highs and his lows, his fears and his doubts, his inspirations and his insights. His Washington speech (known as "I Have a Dream") was neither his finest, nor his most profound, but like many Black preachers who are master orators, he brought his best to it.

King, like many busy leaders, had others write some of his speeches, and one of those men was Vincent Harding, now a theologian and historian. Harding contributed to Kings' groundbreaking N.Y. Riverside Church speech, delivered precisely a year before his assassination (where he denounced the Vietnam War), marking his break with an American president (L. B. Johnson), the corporate media, and many of his closest allies in the SCLC (Southern Christian Leadership Conference.)

President Johnson felt betrayed by King, and the media turned from praise to ridicule. In his book, Martin Luther King: The Inconvenient Hero (N. Y.:Orbis, 1996), Harding quotes from the Washington Post editorial page which slammed King, who "had diminished his usefulness to his cause, to his country, and to his people" because of his speech against the Vietnam War (which the Vietnamese called, 'the American War')

But betrayals didn't stop him, nor did nasty editorials deter him. Indeed, the violence of war radicalized him deeply, so much so that he said later, "the evils of capitalism are as real as the evils of militarism and evils of racism" (Harding, 101).

Think of that: capitalism, militarism, and racism -- as evils.

When's the last time you've heard that?

Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was being radicalized by the churning events around him -- and, a year before his death, he was both anti-war and anti-capitalist.

Ask yourself, if King were alive today, with his views, could he be elected president?

If not, why not?

What does that say about the nation's political system?

--(c) '09 maj


New President, same shit for native Americans?

Forwarded on behalf of the Leonard Peltier Defense Offense Committee

URGENT! Leonard Peltier's Safety in Jeopardy!
Call Canaan Federal Prison

Dear LP Supporters,

I am so OUTRAGED! My brother Leonard was severely beaten upon his arrival at the Canaan Federal Penitentiary. When he went into population after his transfer, some inmates assaulted him. The severity of his injuries is that he suffered numerous blows to his head and body, receiving a large bump on his head, possibly a concussion, and numerous bruises. Also, one of his fingers is swollen and discolored and he has pain in his chest and ribcage. There was blood everywhere from his injuries.

We feel that prison authorities at the prompting of the FBI orchestrated this attack and thus, we are greatly concerned about his safety. It may be that the attackers, whom Leonard did not even know, were offered reduced sentences for carrying out this heinous assault. Since Leonard is up for parole soon, this could be a conspiracy to discredit a model prisoner. He was placed in solitary confinement and only given one meal, this is generally done when you won't name your attackers; incidentally being only given one meal seriously jeopardizes his health because of his diabetes. Prison officials refuse to release any info to the family, but they need to hear from his supporters to protect his safety, as does President Obama. His attorneys are trying to get calls into him now.

This attack on LP comes on the heels of the FBI's recent letter, prompting this attack by FBI supporters as an attempt to discredit LP as a model prisoner. Anyone who has been in the prison system knows well that if you refuse to name your attackers or file charges against them, then you lose your status as a victim and/or given points against your possible parole and labeled as a perpetrator. It is not uncommon, in fact is quite common for the government to use Indian against Indian and they still operate under the old adage "it takes an Indian to catch an Indian". In 1978, they made an attempt to assassinate him through another Indian man who was also at Marion prison with LP. But Standing Deer chose to reveal the plot to him instead of taking his life in exchange FOR A CHANCE AT FREEDOM. When Standing Deer was released in 2001, he joined the former Leonard Peltier Defense Committee as a board member. He also began to speak on Leonard's behalf until his murder six years ago today. Prior to his murder, Standing Deer confided with close friends and associates that the same man who visited him in Marion to assassinate Peltier, had came to Houston, TX and told him that he had better stay away from Peltier and anything to do with him.

We are aware that currently, the FBI is actively seeking support for his continued imprisonment of Leonard Peltier and also also seeking support from Native People. So please be aware, and keep Leonard in your prayers. The FBI is apparently afraid of the impact we are having. If they will set him up to blemish his record just before a parole hearing, what will they do when it looks like his freedom will become a reality? We need to make sure that nothing happens to him again!

Please write the President, send it priority or registered mail. Email to Change.gov or email President Obama. Call your congressional representatives and write letters, not email, to them. Do what you can to get the word out to insure that LP is receiving adequate medical attention for his injuries.

I am asking you, supporters of Leonard and advocates of justice at this time to help. I don't know what else to do. Please Help!

Thank you Betty Peltier-Solano Executive Coordinator Leonard Peltier Defense Offense Committee

Also call and request Leonard be treated with dignity and respect.
Canaan Federal Prison

Leonard's prisoner number is 89637-132.

Warden Ronnie R. Holt, Warden
U.S. Penitentiary
3057 Easton Turnpike
Waymart, PA 18472
Phone: 570-488-8000
Fax: 570-488-8130

D. Scott Dodrill, Director
Northeast Regional Office
Federal Bureau of Prisons
2nd & Chesnut Streets., 7th Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19106
Phone: 215-521-7301

Harley G. Lappin, Director
Bureau of Prisons
U.S. Department of Justice
320 First Street, NW, Room 654
Washington, DC 20534
Phone: 202-307-3250
Fax: 202-514-6878

Ask President Obama to investigate this incident:

The Honorable Barack H. Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500
Comments: 202-456-1111
Switchboard: 202-456-1414
Fax: 202-456-2461
E-mail: http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact/

Hugo Blanco greets the Fourth International Congress.

Had a very useful chat last week with Oscar who is Hugo's son and we talked about may be getting a speaking tour for Hugo in the UK in 2009...I was thinking of putting up Alan Thornett's article on the car industry, although I am a member of a different political party from Alan, I have great respect for him as an ex-car worker who is a pretty committed ecosocialist...in fact I bumped into Alan at the climate camp at Kingsnorth.

any way cars and ecosocialism tomorrow...looking for Alan's article today I have found this from Hugo......I am pretty sure both the FI and Hugo have great mutual affection.

Any how this is a great piece and I as a non Trotskyist would also salute the FI for their evolution in an ecosocialist and non dogmatic direction, while critical of some aspects of Cuban I have been very impressed by their solidarity for Cuba, all good!

Non dogmatic left politics is necessary, capitalism is failing economically at present and as Hugo notes is ecologically fatal

Fourth International : 15th World Congress - February 2003

Fifteenth World Congress
Hugo Blanco greets Congress
Hugo Blanco

A leader of the peasant uprising in the Cuzco region of Peru in the early 1960s, a symbol of the unity and renewal of the Peruvian revolutionary left in 1978-1980, imprisoned, threatened with death, exiled and freed thanks to international solidarity, Hugo Blanco has in the last year faced what for him is a new enemy - illness. A campaign of solidarity ensured that he was adequately cared for and has once again escaped death. He spoke at the 15th World Congress of the Fourth International and we reproduce his intervention below.

"Comrades, I will begin with a self-criticism. At various times, when my life was threatened by repression, I was confident because I could count on the support of national and international solidarity. This confidence was justified - on several occasions this solidarity saved my life. Finally, when it was not the direct action of repression that threatened my life, but illness, I felt helpless and did not expect any kind of solidarity. And yet it came to my aid, beginning with those close to me, with friends who were geographically the least distant, it extended across my country and abroad. It reached a level and an effectiveness that I would never have imagined.

My self-criticism relates to this; if I had not expected solidarity, it was because I did not conceive solidarity as manifesting itself when it is not a question of repression that is at stake. And it is undoubtedly one of the most important lessons of life that old age has taught me.

Solidarity emerged and grew in all its aspects, beginning with the economic aspect, that allowed me to go to the capital of my country, to pay for the medication, the examinations, the surgeons I needed. The influence of various comrades meant that I could be operated on in Mexico and that, benefiting from Cuban solidarity, I was able to have exhaustive examinations in that country. And the moral force that I gained from the manifestation of sympathy from comrades from different countries was no small thing. Thanks to this solidarity, I conquered my illness and I am in good health. Naturally, as the comrades remind me, I am no longer 20 years old but nearer 70 and I cannot count on my body as I could. I can no longer run in the Andes according to my custom.

On this occasion, like others when solidarity has saved my life, the Fourth International has played a central role. And it is all the more important for me to be able to salute this congress, held in new international conditions of resistance to the attack of the multinationals against all sectors of oppressed humanity. I want to talk about one of these sectors, from which I originate and inside of which I continue to work - the indigenous movement of the Americas. It has shaken various parts of the continent: Chiapas, Ecuador, Bolivia with great force; but it is also equally significant in Peru, Guatemala, Chile, the USA, Canada and nearly all the countries of the continent. Against neoliberal individualism, it asserts its age old collectivism. Faced with racism, of which it is a victim, it does not respond with an inverse racism, but with its will for integration. The indigenous Ecuadorians have led the overthrow of two governments by appealing to all the people to join the struggle; it is also what the Bolivian cocaleros did, like the peoples of Chiapas with their cry "No more a Mexico without us!"

To end I would like to stress that my generation and the preceding generations have struggled for a world of equality. You, those of the new generations, you struggle not only for that, but for the survival of the human species, because the big multinationals have brought about an ecological disaster which endangers, among other things, our species. The destruction of nature in a world ruled by them is so rapid that I do not believe that, if it remains subject to this system, humanity could survive another hundred years. Your struggle is, then, fundamentally a struggle so that humanity can pursue its existence."

20 Jan 2009

Peter says 'Our system of monarchy is racist'

If you support the inauguration of the US's first black president, you
must call for an end to the British custom of a heredity head of state

By Peter Tatchell, human rights campaigner

The Guardian – Comment is Free - London – 19 January 2009


The United States is celebrating the inauguration of President Barack
Obama, the first black person to hold the title of American head of
state. But as the race barrier to highest office is broken in the US,
it remains firmly intact on this side of the Atlantic. For the
foreseeable future, as in centuries past, no black or Asian person
will be eligible to assume role of British head of state.

Under our constitutional system, the head of state is the monarch – at
present Queen Elizabeth II. The position of monarch and head of state
is inherited, lately through the
Windsor family line. The Windsor's are white and only their
descendants are eligible to be King or Queen; only their first-born
can be the British head of state. This feudal system strikes me as
totally out of step with the democratic, egalitarian and meritocratic
ethos of modern Britain.

Our head of state represents the nation and its people, and symbolises
our values and culture. In a diverse multicultural society, surely it
is wrong to automatically, a priori deny this honoured, revered role
to our non-white citizens?

The system of monarchy is, by default, racist. Although it was not
devised with racist intent, racism is its effect nonetheless. Drawing
on the analysis and conclusions of the
MacPherson report, you could say that the current system of appointing
our head of state is institutionally racist.

Whichever way the defenders of royalty try to spin it, there is no
escaping the fact that non-white people are excluded from holding the
title of British head of state – at least for the foreseeable future.

When the Queen dies, her role as head of state will pass to her
first-born son, Charles. When he is dead, the head of state title will
pass to his first-born son, William and so on. From white person to
white person to white person. No blacks need apply. The all-white
Windsor family has the exclusive franchise on the office of head of

One day, in generations and centuries to come, descendents of the
Windsor's might marry a non-white person and their first-born could
become head of state. Might, could. No guarantee at all. In any case,
why should we have to wait generations?

The current monarchical system of determining our head of state is
premised on the assumption that the most ignorant, stupid, immoral
white Windsor first-born is more entitled to be our head of state than
the best-informed, wisest and most moral black or Asian Briton. This
is a truly repulsive racist assumption.

Non-white people are, of course, not the only ones denied the highest
office in the land. All non-Windsors are excluded, even if they
possess far greater integrity, merit and wisdom. This is the problem
with deciding on a head of state via a hereditary monarchy: you get
whoever the dynastic blood-line throws up – good or bad. If Prince
William was killed in a helicopter crash, we'd eventually end up with
King Harry, notorious for his Nazi fancy dress and "Paki" jibe. And we
could not get rid of him, no matter how many more insults he hurled
and no matter how badly he did his job.

This week, far too many British people will hypocritically applaud the
inauguration of the first black US President while remaining content
to support an implicitly racist monarchical system that denies black
and Asian Britons the opportunity to hold the office of head of state.

If they were consistent they would join the call by Republic for a
democratically elected and accountable head of state, open to British
people of all races, classes and faiths or beliefs.

Ireland offers a practical, popular model of the kind of elected head
of state that I would like to see in the UK: low-cost and purely
ceremonial (without the executive powers of the US President).

President Mary MacAleese of Ireland, like her predecessor Mary
Robinson, is an honourable symbol of the nation and enjoys huge public
support and respect. Her presidency costs one-twentieth of the
official cost of the Royal Family, and one hundred times less than the
actual cost when you factor in security and other costs excluded from
Buckingham Palace's partial accounts.

If Ireland can have a successful democratic presidency, why can't we?

Good luck Barack Obama. May the day come soon when the British head of
state is also chosen by the people, based on the quality of their
character and not their pure white royal parentage and aristocratic

NOTE: Please do not reply via this automated email system.

If you want to respond to this email, or at any time to contact Peter,
please email him at his NEW email address - peter@petertatchell.net

Peter Tatchell is the Green Party parliamentary candidate for Oxford East
www.greenoxford.com/peter and www.petertatchell.net


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18 Jan 2009

Hamas ceasefire declared

Obviously killing all those kids and Israeli trained doctors tends to provoke more violence but Hamas have declared cease fire...can't find the statement but this is what is in the news

Hamas and allies declare ceasefire

Hamas and their allied Palestinian factions have announced an immediate one-week ceasefire in the Gaza Strip, giving Israel a week to pull out of the territory.

The move, following a meeting of the factions in Damascus on Sunday, comes a day after Israel called a unilateral truce, ending its 22-day offensive in Gaza which led to the deaths of 1,203 Palestinians.

"Hamas and the factions announce a ceasefire in Gaza starting immediately and give Israel a week to withdraw," Ayman Taha, a senior Hamas official talking from Cairo, said.

Hamas also demanded that Israel open all of the Gaza Strip's border crossings to allow in food and other goods to meet the "basic needs for our people".

Israel had already said on Sunday that it will not consider a timetable for withdrawing all of its forces from the Gaza Strip until Hamas and other militants cease their fire.

Cease rocket fire

Palestinian factions have continued to fire rockets into southern Israel since the beginning of the offensive, killing three Israelis, out of a total of 13 Israelis that have died since the begining of the war.


Analysis and features from Gaza and Israel

Al Jazeera Labs: Report on and track the war

Send us your views and eyewitness videos

Watch our coverage of the war on Gaza
They have also been fighting Israel's ground forces which enterd the Gaza Strip in the second week of the offensive.

An end to rocket fire from the Gaza Strip into Israel was the stated aim of the Israeli offensive.

Israel declared a unilateral ceasefire on Saturday, with Ehud Olmert, the prime minister, stating that they had achieved their objectives.

"We have reached all the goals of the war, and beyond," he said. "[But] if our enemies decide to strike and want to carry on, then the Israeli army will regard itself as free to respond with force."

Olmert also said the war boosted Israel's deterrence and that Hamas's actions would decide when the military would withdraw.

"This operation strengthened the deterrence of the state of Israel in the face of all those who threaten us," he said.

"If Hamas completely stops its attacks, we will judge at what moment we will leave the Gaza Strip."

'Symbolic victory'

However, Ayman Mohyeldin, Al Jazeera's correspondent in Gaza City, said some in the Gaza Strip are claiming a victory for Hamas and other Palestinian factions on an operational and symbolic level.

"On an operational level on the last day of the war and even after the war Palestinian factions are still capable of firing rockets, no doubt about that.

"In fact, more than a dozen or so have been fired today according to the factions here on the ground.

"On a symbolic level, at the end of the day the Palestinian people remain here on the ground, having paid a very heavy price though.

"Their position was one of steadfast defiance. The fact that they can stay and essentially ... claim that they have been able to stave off this aggression, in terms of the leadership and the command and control structure of Hamas and the government here, is certainly a sign for many here that they have been victorious."
Source: Al Jazeera and agencies

IDF kill Doctor's family

More from Haim.

Dear friends,

The issue below is already on my website, but I am writing to you all, as
this is one brutality which defies the imagination; this is also why I do
not wish to leave it for the later update:

This is a very rare real time evidence of how Israel really works! After
weeks of reporting from Gaza, in Hebrew, as a physician who treated
thousands of Israelis, the IOF moves, on the last day of the war, to kill
him and his family. Expect the usual lies and denials from the instigators
of this senseless mass murder. The whole of Israel saw this on television,
but I have heard of no public protest of any kind! This is just ONE such
crime, out of thousands!

There will be no forgetting, or forgiving of their brutality. There shall be
no peace with war criminals. We must work tirelessly, in all ways we can, to
get those war criminal into the international Court of Justice as mass

Please send to those denuded people who still support Israel. The link to
send is:


Green Left meeting in Manchester

Our political associates in Peru and Iceland are making great strides...anybody interested in forming a green left organisation in the Middle East?

Anyway this is our Manchester meeting to link in with the convention of the left.

Green Left General Meeting on Sunday 25th January @ 11.30am in Manchester


· The Reawakened Evils – Poverty and Unemployment. A discussion on employment and welfare in the 21st century with Sean Thompson (Green Left) and John Hilary (War on Want) followed by

· Minutes of the last general meeting

· Fare pooling scheme for the AGM

· Conference motions and fringes

· Green Left Newsletter

· Financial Report/Membership Report

· Convention of the Left Feedback

· Trade Union Climate Change Report

· Demonstrations and campaigns

· Iceland – report back

· Date of next meeting

· Any Other Business

The meeting is due to finish at 2.30pm. The venue is in Oxford Road, within walking distance of the city centre. Details here


We particularly hope that GL supporters from Manchester, the North West and Yorkshire are able to attend. A number of GL supporters from London, including myself, will be present but we are hopeful that this meeting can generate some interest in GL in Manchester. Please inform any Green Party members in the North West, North Midlands or Yorkshire regions who may be interested. The first part of the meeting is a public meeting and is open to all Green Party members or others who may wish to attend. The public meeting will end at approximately 1pm.

Joseph Healy


Haim argues 'Israel has not defeated Hamas'

Haim is a British based Israeli, effectively exiled and over here, he has been at the forefront of opposition to the IDF in the UK. Do have a look at his blog

Dear Friends,

It seems that the current iteration is coming to a bloody close as I write
those lines. The unilateral Israeli-declared cease fire was supposed to have
started few minutes ago. Israel has not defeated Hamas, but has run out of
time before the Obamah inauguration. They have planned to go out on the 18th
beforehand, but thought that they will be able to break the resistance.
This is similar to Lebanon 2006. After they left Lebanon, Hizballah has
become even stronger and more influential. We are seeing a reply of Lebanon,
but with even more bloodshed and terrorising of a civilian population under
We must not relent, now that the bombs may have stopped. Now starts our big
struggle: We, who oppose Zionism and its murderous excesses, must start the
new phase of the struggle against them, so as to make sure the next invasion
never comes: We have now to pull all the stops:

BDS: Boycott, divestment, sanction,
cutting off relations with Israel,
full arms embargo,
an end to the occupation NOW!
Israel¹s leaders who ordered this invasion, and the army officers who have
carried it out, should be tried for the war crimes they committed!
Israel should pay full reparations to all the citizens of Lebanon and
Palestine which they have harmed.

No blockade of Gaza will now be possible, I reckon. We should put ALL the
pressures on Israel and its citizens - 96% of them supported the barbarities
to the very end, and should share in the fate of the state which they

Palestine shall be free!

Today, the 23 day of this murderous Zionist mission, there were a number of
main issues which I attempted to cover, and are mainly on the page:


Israel declares ceasefire in Gaza: BBC

Peace Œa mirage¹ for Palestinians: BBC

Gaza hospital comes under fire: BBC

UN accuses Israel over phosphorus: BBC (today we can se also the video
evidence, which is on the website)

Brown in UK naval offer for Gaza: BBC - The man must be out of his mind -
offering to police the sea for Israel, while selling it the arms to kill
more Palestinians. Write to any media outlet you can about this travesty!)

The plot against Gaza: Jonathan Cook, The Electronic Intifada

Time for Israel to be put on trial: Elna Sondergaard, The Electronic

UN school attacked; civilians left to bleed to death: Press release, Al

Finkelstein Gaza Interview on Israel breaking the ceasefire with Hamas
(video clip)

Military components factory ransacked in Gaza protest: The Guardian online
Nine people held after break-in at plant near Brighton allegedly making
parts for Israeli missiles

ANALYSIS / Israel declares victory in Gaza, but at what cost?: Ha¹aretz

Sarkozy, Merkel, and Brown to attend Gaza summit in Egypt: Ha¹aretz

Mark Regev and Tzipi Livni are humiliated by Christiane Aamnpour (2 video

Who started the war?: Rare truth from the US news media: Brasscheck TV (
Video clip - excellent)


Education) CAMPAIGN

Israel¹s Message: London Review of Books (ilan Pappe's excellent new piece)

Jewish British Lawmaker Likens Israel to Nazis: YouTube see Sir Gerald
Kaufman equating the Israelis with Nazis

Two letters to the guardian: One from over 300 UK professors calling for
immediate sanctions on Israel, and one from 21 Israeli academics.

Important articles in the Lancet, describing the medical evidence against
Israel on a number of key issues.

There are too many others to include here, including new caricatures and
video clips.


Imperialism Is the Arsonist: Marxism’s Contribution to Ecological Literatures and Struggles

Derek Wall ’s article entitled  Imperialism Is the Arsonist: Marxism’s Contribution to Ecological Literatures and Struggles , argues that Ma...