31 Jul 2009


I have been off on a low impact holiday i.e. train not flying, I don't drive anyway.. for the last few days,

Went with my three children, Larry, Vincent and Peter.

Back to find about 500 emails and all sorts of things I need to sort out.

Unfortunately cos of climate change we need to stop flying, which is a bit of sacrifice, I haven't flown any where since Jan 2006, I think its important for green campaigners to stop flying more important that someone does go across the world to visit their grandmother or to take kids on holiday than for greens to fly around the world telling people not to fly....

What was great, was despite the wash out in most parts of the country, this week it, it only rained once while we were in Eastbourne.

This was on wednesday night...we went to see Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince (verdict from my kids was it looked good but the plot was a bit rubbish).

The Curzon cinema, by the way, is totally great, the very friendly manager told us it was the biggest cinema screen in South East England and it was cheap...so go and have a look if you are in Eastbourne and it is raining!

Curzon Cinema Eastbourne here (nice!)...its one of those really old fashioned fabulous cinemas with big red curtains.

We were on the beach every day, which was great....

Went to Beachy Head, you can walk quite easily from Eastbourne, takes about 45 minutes and had a look at Belle Tout, its a lighthouse that was moved in land because of sea erosion.

We like eating out, and there are lots of nice places to go with veggie food....Pizza was good, and Chinese and Thai.

Lots of history near by, we like history, Pevensey Castle is a big historical site, its surrounded by Roman Walls and was in four sieges including one at the time of Richard II versus Henry Bollingbroke.

Last four years we have been on holiday in the South East and it has been sunny every time, amazing...monday morning here in Berkshire it was pouring with rain so I was a bit worried about how the few days we had would be....but they were sunny.

So with a bit of luck you can have a nice holiday on the beach in the sunshine....may be we have just been lucky, although I suspect the South East coast is drier than other parts of the UK.

So if you are Jonathon Porritt, give the flying a rest, if you are taking you kids some where abroad for a holiday you have been saving for ages your motives are pure but it is possible to take a holiday with less flying...

27 Jul 2009

Cops ban Big Green Gathering so punters will go to Vestas on Isle of Wight

Why not go to the Isle of Wight instead?

For those of you not already heard, This weekend's Big Green Gathering
is cancelled due to 'Police intervention"

See excerpt from "SchNEWS" below:

The Big Green Gathering, a fi xture in the alternative calendar, was
due to return after two years this week. 15–20,000 people were
expected to turn up on Wednesday (29th) to the site near Cheddar,
Somerset, for Europe’s largest green event - a fi ve-day festival
promoting sustainability and renewable energy, with everything from
allotments to alternative media. Hundreds of staff and volunteers are
already on site, and its cancellation comes just days before gates
were due to open. Organisers, most of whom work for nothing, are
gutted. One told SchNEWS “We are so disappointed not to be having
this year’s gathering – it means so much to so many people”.A
last-minute injunction by Mendip Dis-trict Council, supported by Avon
and Somer-set Police, put the ki-bosh on the entire event - citing the
potential for ‘crime and disorder’ and safety concerns. This was
despite the fact that the festival had actually been granted a licence
on the 30th of June. According to Avon and Somerset police’s website
“[We] went above and beyond the call of duty to ensure this event
took place.” This is of course utter bollocks.The injunction was due
to be heard in the High Court in London on Monday (27th). However,
before that could happen the BGG organisers surrendered the festival
licence on Sunday morning. As soon as this was done a police commander
at the meeting was overheard saying into his radio “Operation
Fortress is go”. Police have already set up roadblocks and promised
to turn festival-goers back. Chief Inspector Paul Richards, festival
liaison, later confi rmed to one of the festival organisers that
“This is political”, adding that the decision had been made over
his head at county level. One of SchNEWS’ sources on site said that
the police were frank about the fact that the closure had been planned
for two weeks. “This was a blatant act of political sabotage – the
Big Green Gathering is now completely bankrupt, they knew that we were
going to be closed down and yet they carried on allowing us to spend
money hand over fi st on infrastructure”.The BGG collapsed fi
nancially in 2007 under the weight of increased security costs. The
new licensing act added an extra £120k to their costs, leaving them
with a loss of £80k. Security accounted for a third of their overall
overheads and the road marshalling bill rose from £5k to over £23k.
In spite of these setbacks, they managed to scrape them-selves back
off the fl oor with shareholder cash and some potentially dubious
corporate involvement. Every effort had been made by the gathering’s
organisers to accommodate the increasingly niggling demands of police
and licensing authorities. The procedure lasted over six months –
just check out www.mendip.gov.uk/CommitteeMeeting.asp?id=SX9452-
A782D404 for the minutes of meetings held between organisers and the
authorities. Demands included a steel fence, watchtowers and perimeter
patrols, having the horsedrawn fi eld inside a ‘secure com-pound’
and wristbands for twelve undercover police. At a multi-agency meeting
on Thursday, police took those wristbands in order to maintain the
pretence that the festival stood a chance of going ahead. A catalogue
of other obstacles were also continually placed in the organiser’s
path.All of the businesses associated with the BGG came under
scrutiny, licensing authori-ties contacted South West ambulances, the
Fire Brigade and the fencing contractors and asked them to get payment
up front from the BGG. Needless to say this caused huge problems.
Under the terms of the Licensing Act 2005, police can insist on
certain security fi rms being used by organisers. This of course leads
to a totally unhealthy hand-in-glove re-lationship, open to abuse.
Stuart Security were forced on the BGG by police, and on Wednes-day
last week, they suddenly announced that they wanted 60% of their fee
up front. Even though the BGG scraped the cash together, the company
still wanted out. So the BGG hired another fi rm – against police
wishes. The fact that Stuart Security rely on police approval for
lucrative contracts at Glastonbury Festival, the Royal Bath & West
Show, WOMAD, Reading Festival, and Glade Festival has, of course, no
bearing on the matter.

The last issue at stake was road closures. Mendip District Council had
insisted on road closures as part of the licensing requirements. A
festival organiser contacted the highways agency to process this
fairly routine request. The decision was passed to junior manage-ment
who reportedly came under intense pressure not to grant the closure.
As the road closures were not secured, the council were able to claim
that the BGG was in breach of licence. A nice little legal stitch-up
that according to one QC meant the BGG stood fuck-all chance of fi
ghting the injunction. Of course, now that “Operation Fortress” is
in full swing, there are road-blocks throughout the area. The BGG is
itself a limited company and could have fought the injunction -
risking no more than bankruptcy - but in a nasty twist two individuals
were also named, meaning that should proceedings have gone ahead
against the festival then Mendip Council would have had a claim on
their assets to settle court costs. Police also threatened to place
the farmer on the injunction, risking his entire livelihood.Anyone who
has ever been to the Big Green will know that the atmosphere is more
like a village fete than any of the mainstream events. There is
virtually no aggro. It’s more about chai and gong-massages than
Stella and fi sticuffs. All power is 12V solar and the amplifi cation
is correspondingly quiet. Music stops at midnight. Compare that to the
24 hr Technomuntfucks that go on with state blessing across the
country. Of course it would be cynical to suggest that the BGG
represents an alternative that the authorities fear. It’s a gathering
place for eco-activists, where the likes of Plane Stupid and No-
Borders hang out and exchange ideas while trying to avoid being button-
holed by 9-11 truthers. It’s clear now that the state views events
like the Big Green in the same light as Climate Camp and the anti-G20
protests. The BGG saga is showing that there may no longer be any
‘safe’ legal spaces for us to gather. The third way of quasi-legal
free-ish festivals is looking like a dead-end.

It’s clear that the Big Green has been singled out – and any
gathering promoting those values or trying to organise in a grass-
roots way will probably suffer the same fate once they get to a
certain size. As corpo-rate-branded Glasto has become a fi xture on
the mainstream calendar, like Ascot or Wimbledon, many have turned
towards smaller more ‘grass-roots’ festivals. Niche festivals have
bloomed across the British landscape. No matter what your bent, be it
faerie wings or S&M, there’s probably a muddy weekend in a fi eld
for you. Of course this isn’t the fi rst time that Britain’s had a
thriving festival scene. See previous SchNEWS’ for how the free
festival scene came under ruthless attack from the forces of Babylon
(or just skin up for an old hippy and listen to them bang on about the
glories of the White Goddess Fayre or Torpedo Town). Some have tried
to go down the quasi-THE HIPPY, HIPPY SHAKEDOWN continued...BIG GREEN
GATHERING SHUT DOWNlegal route, such as Strawberry Fair and even
Glastonbury, until the aptly named Mean Fiddler intervened in 2002.
Unfortunately the corporate dollar is never far behind. Witness how
Glastonbury went from a fence-jump-ing free-for-all where the festival
organisers built the infrastructure, but the fl y-pitchers, buskers
and random naked lunatics made it a real festie rather than a fenced
in, heavily policed corporate theme park.The Big Green was an
exceptional fes-tival, which managed to leap through the legal process
while being crew-heavy and retaining a lot of the free-festival
atmosphere (Not all of course - we still had to put up with plod
wandering around site). It was a unique gathering place for fringe
movements, from eco-activists to crop-circle nutters. We’re not just
banging on about festivals being free because we miss the good ‘ol
days – there’s a huge difference between being a punter who has a
whole experience laid on for them (e.g. Glasto’s themed areas with
helpful stewards pointing you in the direction of the consumer
delights), and being part of a fes-tival/free party where everyone’s
responsible for the entertainment, and even infrastructure like
welfare. A crowd that feels it owns an event behaves differently to
one that feels it has paid to have an experience. The fact that
undercover police now feel free to operate and arrest people, without
any back-up, for cannabis use or nudity (See SchNEWS 684 and 603) at
festivals has a lot do with the sheep-like behaviour of punters - a
mentality that our masters are keen to see enforced.In the SchNEWS
offi ce we’re hearing rumours that people aren’t going to be put
off – alternative sites are being looked at and people are heading to
the West Country anyway. In the words of one participant “Things are
just getting interesting”. Time for the Big Black Barney?

26 Jul 2009

Death of former Sellafield worker will make it easier to make Britain more radioactive


Dear Mr Barry Gardiner MP (Labour, Brent North)

I wanted to share with you immediately news I have just learnt regarding the passing of my friend Duncan Ball from Northumberland. Duncan was a former long-term Sellafield employee and whistleblower on British Nuclear Fuels Ltd (BNFL) and the nuclear industry's general disregard for human life, health and the environment. He walked with me and my friends from around the world hundreds of miles from Cumbria to London during the 2007 Footprints for Peace Dublin to London International Walk for a Nuclear-Free Future. Duncan was in his forties and died of a form of myeloma, a type of cancer said to be unusual for someone of his age, strongly suspected to be due to radiation exposure during his 17-year career at the Sellafield nuclear reprocessing plant in Cumbria.. I suspect that BNFL, Gordon Brown and his brother Andrew (media chief at EDF Energy, owners of British energy), unelected minister Peter Mandelson, Ed Miliband et al will be relieved to hear of Duncan's passing just as the "nuclear renaissance" propaganda machine continues to gather momentum, so you might wish to pass the news onto them.

You can read more here:

Daniel Viesnik

Green Left conference fringe on Afghanistan

just had this from Joseph, didn't know Farid was candidate for Bethnal Green and Bow, he does some excellent work and blogs here


True costs of the Afghan War – really staggering.

It has now been confirmed that our fringe on the War in Afghanistan will be on the Thursday evening of conference – the debate on the motion will be the following day. Stop the War Coalition will have a stall at conference and will be attending our fringe. We are fortunate to have Jeremy Corbyn MP as one of our speakers at the fringe – a Labour MP who has consistently spoken out against the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Our other speaker will be our own Farid Bakht, who gave a short presentation on this issue to the AGM and is the Parliamentary Candidate for Bethnal Green & Bow.

Socialist Green Coalition

Very pleased to have been sent this, there is a huge election deposit and registration problems, that meant the coalition could not stand in the presidential election....I think it is fair to say the main inspiration for the coalition has been the anti-privatisation struggles in Soweto....a number of green and socialist groups have come together...I will try and run more news about ecosocialism in South Africa when I can. It is excellent that ecology and socialism are brought so clearly together, sadly the ANC has tended to go in a pro IMF, WTO, corporate direction, often leaving out the wishes of majority of South Africans. Incidentally there is a strong green movement in South African and in a number of Africa countries Green Parties have elected members of parliament. The great African ecosocialist was Thomas Sankara, sadly killed when he was leader of Burkina Faso.

Our struggle for justice and equality is global. The international crisis of capitalism has seen massive bail-outs of banks and corporations using money from the working class and the poor. Millions of people are breaking with the ideas of the free market and capitalism. We stand in solidarity with all the people across the globe fighting for a world where all forms of exploitation and oppression are eradicated; a world that treats human beings with respect and takes care of nature and the environment – a socialist world.

Power does not come from parliament but from the struggle of the masses fighting for their needs. In uniting as different organizations to contest in the 2009 South African elections we are bound together by the following 6 principles:

1. Government and society must be in the hands of the working class and the masses. End the influence and privileges of the rich and famous. Members of parliament (MPs) must come from, live with and be controlled by those who elected them. MPs must receive a salary equal to the average wage of a skilled worker and be subject to the right of recall.
2. Stop capitalist control of the economy. Nationalise (without compensation) the banks, the mines, the factories, the corporations and big farms under workers control. Land to the landless. Food for the hungry. Use the country’s wealth to address the root causes of poverty and inequality.
3. Free basic services for all. Everyone must get enough water and electricity, decent housing, quality health care, good education, electronic communications, safe reliable transport and an adequate living expenses allowance for the unemployed. The provision of basic services must be done by government and not through privatization.
4. Permanent jobs and a living wage for all. Government must develop public works to meet the needs, improve the lives and living conditions of all people and ensure that decent jobs are created.
5. Everyone must be treated equally with respect and with dignity no matter their race, class, gender, age, belief, culture, sexual orientation or country of origin. The right to strike, protest and mobilize must be guaranteed to all without any limitations and conditions.
6. Take care of the environment and the people who live in it. Stop pollution, deforestation, fossil carbon emissions, global warming and climate change. Develop and use renewable energy sources. No to nuclear power. Eradicate all the dangers to nature and human life because of capitalist business development.


Issued by:
Socialist Green Coalition

For more information please contact Nonhlanhla: 083 760 6850/Luyanda: 071 592 5520.


The failure of the Left in this country

Deep in my research into the Zapatistas....I noticed this from John Nicholson, do think we in the UK need to look to Latin America, the left have obviously done somthing right there and of course ecosocialism is strongest in Latin America, are there lessons that can be drawn?

The DPS in Australia and LINKS do this explicitly...any way on to John's thoughts.

Excellent that Caroline Lucas is supporting the convention of the left...

Time for The Left

The left in this country has never been so weak.

Sounds like an academic essay title. 2 pages of A4. Discuss.

And its a symptom of this weakness that the first response, to whatever blog
or left publication which chooses to publish this, will be to focus on some
chance remark I am about to make (whether for or against the SWP, for
example, or whether because of some crime against the movement that I am
personally accused of quarter of a century ago - that probably isnt true but
equally no-one can remember). Rather than to engage with the point.

Perhaps its because we have always been too impatient. Perhaps weve had the
luxury that it hasnt mattered enough. John McDonnell hasnt been incarcerated
by an apartheid regime for 25 years in top security like Nelson Mandela.
Caroline Lucas hasnt been confined to house arrest by a military junta like
Aung San Suu Kyi. Indeed the people who have been victims of that type of
treatment - the Irish Guildford 4 and Birmingham 6 of the 1970s and the
Pakistan Student 10 this year - havent, at the time, had the general active
and unconditional support of the left as a whole. (Though it seems the same
individual legal representative has managed to carry on the same patient
defence of such "unpopular" causes throughout all those years.)

In the last three or four decades theres always seemed the possibility - or
even probability - that huge advances were about to take place in the
movement. So within the left one new venture after another has been set up,
too quickly, without proper process, without the trust or involvement of the
whole of the left, and then dropped again a few years, or even months,
later. And each time a few new people are attracted, by the immediacy of the
moment, but a lot more people whove tried it before and been burnt by the
experience dont come back.

The truth is that those advances havent come. What weve had is defeats.

The miners lost. Local government lost. The war didnt stop. The economy has
even fallen apart from within but we are in no position to take it over.

Labour was elected - as New Labour. It didnt even have to change the name -
as Blair said to their Conference when he won his new Clause 4. That was
perhaps the biggest defeat. Having what should have been our own side
elected - only to inflict on us neo-liberal economics, PFI, escalating
inequalities.... and war. The dockers maintained their strike for 2 years of
the Tories, and collapsed in months after Labour got in and sold them out.

With the help of the unions. The union leadership which in most cases is as
divorced from the base of workers organising for themselves in their
workplaces as Labour's expense-soaked MPs are from their constituents.

And now weve got fascists elected.

No question but that this is Labour's fault . Blair and Brown and a
succession of Home Secretaries have gone out of their way to legitimise the
BNP, in seeking the approval of the Daily Mail for increasingly racist
measures before the far right had even thought of them. Playing up the
so-called fears of ordinary people about immigration (thus spake Labour
immediately upon the election of the fascist in Yorkshire) is not just
repeating Thatcher's "swamping" imagery but is virtually writing the BNP's
website for them. No matter that any logical explanation of migration shows
that its good for the economy, that the Muslim population is more loyal to
this country than any other community, that jobs and houses are just as
unavailable for white as for non-white people. That isnt the point.
Prejudice is never removed by information alone. To change individual
attitude and behaviour requires tackling the questions of power and
prejudice together. What Labour has done is to encourage the prejudice and
give power to those who wheel it out.

This alone is a reason for everyone to desert Labour.

Of course its not just about electoral politics. Strategically there are
three different strands to fighting the fascist threat. First is to fight
the fascists wherever they appear, on the streets, when they try to hold
events or meet in public premises. It was disgraceful to see Labour
Ministers minimising the nuisance of the BNP as no more than "thoughtless"
in "clashing" with football matches and describing this as merely a question
of police resources. Second we must tackle the distortions and lies that the
fascists peddle, in the local communities, and work on the ground with local
campaigners, to explain that we are also angry with the lack of housing and
jobs, but that there is an alternative, which is not to scapegoat other
communities. Racism is not the answer to the recession. And third is to
consider electoral unity - which can include uniting behind one electoral
flag, for particular elections, in particular places. While it may be
important to get everyone to vote and reduce the proportion of the fascist
numbers, it is more convincing to offer people something positive to vote
for. Asking everyone to "vote for anyone else" rings hollow if that means
voting Labour. Certainly that remains true in a region such as the North
West, which sadly still displays Straw, Blears, Purnell..... and Woolas.
These are the people who have most of all legitimised so much of the BNP
agenda, especially regarding immigration.

We have to be tough on the causes of the far right as well as on the far
right themselves.

And to carry out these activities, in and out of election times, we need to
develop an understanding across the left, industrially and electorally, in
the interests of the environment and equality, about how we could work
together, in and out of elections, against consumer capitalism, inhumane
imperialism, and all the appeasement of racism and fascism and warmongering
that has taken place under Labour.

So we may need to define for ourselves a new way of working (reclaim the
word "new"), so as to demonstrate unity in action, so as to develop our
arguments through debate, and so as to create a framework of policy and
action that is environmentally and socially just, inclusive, peaceful,
pluralist, tolerant and one that does not rely either on "leaders" or small
sectarian advantage when there is a far bigger common objective that could
be shared between us all.

It may matter less what organisation we are in that what we are willing to
do - together.

That is what the Convention of The Left sought to do, in 5 days of
discussion and debate last year, as an overt and immediate alternative to
the bankrupt new-labour-fest that was going on next door. And that is why
there will be another Convention event in Brighton, this September 26th, at
the start of Labour's non-event this year, to put forward that another way
of working is possible and another world is possible. We will not blame the
recession on its victims. Racism and fascism cannot be the result of the
lack of alternatives from the mainstream.

With contributions (not top down platform speeches) from Caroline Lucas
(Green), John McDonnell (LRC), Robert Griffiths (CPB), Kay Phillips
(Respect), Matt Wrack (FBU) and so on, there will be a clear demonstration
of unity in discussion and practical action to put forward as an alternative
to the strange death of new labour that the official delegates will witness

This is just one example of working together. And there is a spirit of unity
in the air. Calls for unity are emerging from every quarter of the left.

Our response needs to be committed and long term. It isnt unity to put a
flag in the sand and say "this is our party, you must come and join it - and
if you dont, youre the splitter". It isnt unity to set up an organisation
and then get bored and leave when it isnt all going your way. It isnt unity
to create a constitution and use the voting mechanisms to stop plural and
inclusive discussion and decision making.

Consensus is key. Working together in practical action creates the trust
that helps organisational development. Sticking at it is crucial. And it is
worth taking some chances. Creating trust includes the risk of losing
something. But a practical demonstration of unity is worth more than simply
repeating the word as a mantra.

For example, following the Convention of The Left last year, links between
the Green Left and socialists in other organisations in the North West were
developed. An agreement was discussed, within and between. At the Convention
Recall event in January Peter Cranie, leading candidate on the Green Euro
list, spoke about fighting the fascists. Later, the loudest applause of the
day came for Kay Phillips, Chair of Respect and prospective candidate for
North Manchester, who said that Respect was backing Peter in the North West,
specifically at this time and in this one election, to stop the BNP. This
was both logical and political. Unprompted and immediate was the response
from Greens in Tower Hamlets , who said they would endeavour to reciprocate
there in the Westminster election.

Many socialists doubted that this would be possible. Previous "deals" with
the Greens, locally, have been frustrated by "national" decision making.
Candidates havent stood aside for each other. And the Greens are middle
class, vote the wrong way in local councils, and support the EU.

[Oh, so it would be ok to vote for Labour then - the party of big business,
war, privatisation, racism .... ?]

The reality is that the doubters were wrong. The fascists could have been
stopped, in the two particular regions where local left activists had
identified that the arithmetic and the politics added up to uniting in a
vote for the Greens. If all left activists had used their energies not just
to put out "hope not hate" literature or to go on anti-fascist bashes but to
encourage, personally, individually and collectively, a vote for the Greens,
then we would not have the BNP in power.

Rank and file activists and even just armchair leftwingers can see this. The
letters pages of the Morning Star have carried long debates on the subject.
People with no explicit political affiliation have seen the sense of the
left working together and simply expressed their common sense accordingly.

And the reality is that the links between the left in the Greens and in the
socialist organisations involved have strengthened - in both directions -
and can continue.
These arent exclusive or the only possibilities. But the sort of electoral
alliances that have already been made are a good omen for the future. Of
course, they dont and cant add up to a new party [- yet?]. They dont require
more than a broad understanding [- though maybe we can all find a broad
organisational umbrella?] There can be no preconceptions. No illusions. No
impatience. No possessiveness. No blueprint.

We have to take some responsibility, as the left. We dont have the luxury of
any instant fix. It is, now, too serious.

John Nicholson


14 years ago Blair announced the abolition of Clause 4 part 4 of Labour's

Arthur Scargill formed the Socialist Labour Party - but wouldn't let Dave
Nellist join (Socialist Party / expelled Labour MP), and snubbed Tommy
Sheridan and others out right from the start (Scottish Socialist Alliance /
Scottish Militant Labour).

Dave Nellist went on to chair the Socialist Alliance in England - joined by
almost all the left, including the Socialist Workers Party, and standing
over 100 candidates in the 2001 General Election under the banner People Not

Tommy Sheridan went on to lead the Scottish Socialist Party, whose unity
across the Scottish left, including some trade union affiliation, gained
them 6 seats in Holyrood and accompanying campaigns against Trident and the
council tax and for free school meals and public transport.

But in England the Socialist Party moved out of the Socialist Alliance, in
self-fulfilling fear of an SWP take-over, and the SWP duly took it over,
closed it down and formed the electoral party, Respect, which gained George
Galloway as an MP and a number of councillors notably in East London.

The SP started their own Campaign for a New Workers Party.

And Tommy Sheridan left the SSP, forming his new party, together with the
SWP and CWI in Scotland, called Solidarity - and the three way split between
the SLP, SSP and Solidarity ensured that almost all the left seats were lost
in Scotland in May 2007.

Of course, none of this is reminiscent of the life of Brian.

Meanwhile the Greens were themselves reduced to two MSPs in Scotland,
though a larger number of councillors in England and Wales; and the left
wing presence within the party (including at leadership level) has not
prevented the party standing against other left candidates locally.

Sound like the Life of Brian? But that was comedy. This year the vote for
the Greens in the European Elections was narrowly not quite sufficient to
prevent the fascists gaining the last places on the European proportional
representation list in the North West and Yorkshire and Humberside. Its no
longer a joke.

25 Jul 2009

Popular resistance in Peru blog

'Mass popular resistance to the exploitative US free-trade agreement is developing in Peru. As multinational capital scrambles to control the oil- and gas-rich Amazon, indigenous communities are rising up to defend the environment and their way of life. Their struggles are linking up with broader struggles of workers, students, campesinos and the urban poor. Peru en movimiento aims to bring news and analysis of these struggles to English speakers.'

New blog here...

24 Jul 2009

urgent vestas action, cops and employers putting pressure on


you sent in an email in support of the Vestas occupation. Nearly two thousand of you nation-wide felt strongly enough that closing our only wind turbine factory and cutting 600 jobs on the Isle of Wight was a disgrace, lobbied Ed Miliband, or sent in solidarity 'Save Vestas' photos.

Currently, Vestas management, together with the police, are restricting the occupiers' food supply, bringing them a limited amount of food while refusing to allow onto the site supporters with enough food to keep the occupation going.

On the second day of the occupation, a mass walk-in got food to the occupied area of the factory. On saturday the 25th, at 2pm, we intend to stage a second mass walk in with food, this time with every activist and supporter who can make it to the island.

The primary aim is to ensure the occupiers have enough food to hold out for as long as they need to, and aren't at the mercy of the management for their next meal.

The secondary is to show the government that supporters of the Vestas occupation are willing to ACT in support of the occupation and green energy.

Transport details for the Isle of Wight can be found on the savevestas blog at http://savevestas.wordpress.com/2009/07/22/vestas-occupiers-face-sack/.

If you can't make it to the island yourself, you can still help by spreading the word - forward this email, ring your friends or contact networks involved in this sort of campaigning. The SaveVestas group is still quite new and there will be many contacts others have that we don't.

ACT now in support of the Vestas workers' brave action - come to the isle of wight for 12 noon to show the government that the people of Britain will hold them to their promises of green energy. In solidarity,

Sophie Lewis and Anyetta White
SaveVestas campaign.

Norwich North result

Chloe Smith (Conservative) 13,591 (39.54%, +6.29%)
Chris Ostrowski (Labour) 6,243 (18.16%, -26.70%)
April Pond (Lib Dem) 4,803 (13.97%, -2.22%)
Glenn Tingle (UKIP) 4,068 (11.83%, +9.45%)
Rupert Read (Green) 3,350 (9.74%, +7.08%)
Craig Murray (Put An Honest Man into Parliament) 953 (2.77%)
Robert West (BNP) 941 (2.74%)
Bill Holden (Independent) 166 (0.48%, -0.17%)
Howling Laud (The Official Monster Raving Loony Party) 144 (0.42%)
Anne Fryatt (None of The Above Party) 59 (0.17%)
Thomas Burridge (Libertarian) 36 (0.10%)
Peter Baggs (Ind) 23 (0.07%)

No discredit to Norwich....I don't think the party nationally has got to grips with the massive resources other parties put into by-elections.

As principal speaker I put quite a bit of work into parliamentary by-elections and we are improving our vote, they are very tough though.

A great shame because we were first in Norwich in the Euro elections....but nearly 10% is I think our best ever result and the BNP did poorly

Jerry and Jo report back from Vestas.

We have just come back from the Isle of Wight and the magnificent occupation of the Vestas workers of their plant that makes wind turbine engines and is threatened with closure next week and the loss of 600 jobs.
We took donations and messages of support from Rolls Royce UNITE Test Areas and the CWU South West Engineering branch and were made very welcome by the workers there.
The workplace is non union and has suffered years of management bullying and intimidation.
The RMT is doing a fantastic job in providing financial and human resources (people who have years of experience of workplace organisation and struggle) to help the Vestas workers with practical help and advice, e.g. setting up a stewards group with responsibilities eg finance, communication, publicity .. all the things we know are crucial in a dispute. Very impressive.
After the NHS and the Council, this is the largest employer on the island and the loss of jobs will have a devastating effect on the community.Vestas received a £3.5 million subsidy 9 years ago to build the plant and has made nearly a £1 billion profit in the last quarter so the workers have an "air tight" case!! and are receiving messages of solidarity from across the world. Their demand is for the government to nationalise the plant and match their fine words on climate change and the creation of environmental jobs with action.
There is a constant presence outside the factory, a rally in Newport tonight and all support is much appreciated. Details below.
(Mark Steele is organising a fund raiser on the island next week with Mark Thomas and Jo Brand. Will forward details when we have them)
Delegation work would be of enormous assistance to the struggle and will also strengthen the movement in Bristol. We are arranging for Vestas workers to visit Bristol next week to talk to as many people as possible. They don't want to be away for too long from the action there of course so we were thinking of visits to shop stewards, union offices and branch meetings and to pack in as much as we can over one or two days.
Please will you get back to let us know of any meetings next week so we can work out the best days for them to come and can plan a schedule.
Send messages of support from yourself or your organisation to savevestas@googlemail.com.
Send a donation from your trade-union or other organisation, or make a personal donation: cheques payable to Ryde and East Wight Trades Union Council, 22 Church Lane, Ryde, Isle of Wight, PO33 2NB
Petition energy minister Ed Miliband. His e-address is ps.ed.miliband@decc.gsi.gov.uk. His phone number in his Doncaster constituency is 01302 875 462, and at Westminster, 020 7219 4778. Flood him with calls for the Government to take over the Vestas factory and keep it producing, under new management.
Organise a visible demonstration of solidarity. Take a photo with a placard that reads “Save Vestas” and email the photo to savevestas@gmail.com

Best wishes Jerry Hicks and Jo Benefield

PS. The name and address of the new treasurer is
Dianne Walker, 15 Kingsfisher Close, Cansbrooke, PO 30 5XS, 0782 864 7258, dianne.walker@iwcollege.ac.uk

Greens win by-election in shock defeat for Tories

GRN 1,456 - 38.5% (+17.6%) GRN GAIN FROM CON

CON 1,104 - 29.2% (-0.9%)

LAB 816 - 21.5% (-6.8%)

LD 280 - 7.4% (-7.32%)

UKIP 129 - 3.4% N/A (others 6% last time)

*Hove election win opens way to Westminster victory*
24 July 2009

Greens in Brighton and Hove are jubilant at winning the strategically
important Goldsmid by-election in Hove, taking the seat from the Tories.

The result sees the election of the first Green councillor, Alex
Phillips, from Hove to Brighton and Hove City Council
and deprives the Tories of their majority on the council.

Caroline Lucas, national Green Party leader, said, "This is a
spectacular win.

"It signals an unstoppable surge to elect the first Green MP at
Westminster, whenever Gordon decides to go to the country.

"With this result, we're on the threshold of taking Green politics to the
heart of Westminster."

Alex Phillips said, "Thank you to all the voters who put their faith in
me. It's a ringing endorsement of Green policies and the work of Green
councillors locally.

"I will be hardworking and unswerving in my task of representing local
people and delivering positive Green change."

"Hopefully this means we can put pressure on the Tories and concentrate
on our policies of a 20mph speed limit and introducing a living wage,
which is more than the current minimum wage."

Councillor Bill Randall, convenor of the Green councillors on the city
council, said, "With my council colleagues, we'll be reviewing the
options and consulting our membership to ensure that we get the best,
greenest deal for local residents. Between us we will do what is right
in these very difficult times."

Alex won 38.5% of the votes -an increase of 17% over the last time the
seat was contested with a swing of more than 12% from Labour to Green.

Full result

GRN 1,456 - 38.5% (+17.6%) GRN GAIN FROM CON

CON 1,104 - 29.2% (-0.9%)

LAB 816 - 21.5% (-6.8%)

LD 280 - 7.4% (-7.32%)

UKIP 129 - 3.4% N/A (others 6% last time)

23 Jul 2009

List of indigenous people missing after the massacre at Bagua

I am just reading 'Los Companeors' or 'Comrades

'Los Companeros' is about the war in Guatamala in the 1960s, ten of thousands of indigenous people 'disappeared'

Well its 2009 and indigenous people are still disappearing in Latin America, in fact in many parts of the world they are being killed.

Just had this. Let people know, Alan Garcia's government will kill, if killing gets oil companies contracts.

The people who protect the world's rainforest are killed....we must stop the killing

Here are the names of us missing and we believe killed after the massacre at Bagua.....the fear is that the media will collude with the powerful and refuse to investiage these disappearances....the indigenous in the Amazonas region of Peru have asked that the names are spread through the web

Eber Quispe Vásquez,Lorenzo Castillo Abad,Arcadio Peña López,Jovino
Urbi Carrillo, Benito Soro Orrega, Saúl Wachapa, Cenepo Auarpa,
Tiberio Nansh, Elmer, Kuja, Luis Manuel Usha, Rubén Wauhapa, Marga
Reátegui, Savaría Timias, Eloy Ismiño, Eeraldo Mashianda, Suamut
Fterpekit, Armanado Fterpekit, Pablo Yagkup, César Chumpi, Evelin,
Leonardo y Rolando Kaje Kuja, Luis Jintach Esamat, Fidel Vilchez
Tsejem, Grimaldo Najantai Kuja, Enrique Asangkay, Dasec, Nena Yagkug
Nugkum, Wiles Nugtum Wilchez, Abercio Yagkum Vilchez, Amalia Sejekam
Nugkum, David Yagkum, Artemio Yagkum Tsejem, Sicto Orechuela, Teófilo
Baitag, Lazardo Asagkay, Delia Atamain, Liceth Yagkum, Nugkum, Saúl
Pape Niumpataim, Pablo Sejekam Asangkay, Marcmino Agkuach, Julián
Uwarai, Isaac Sabio, Silvanio Carlos, Emilio Dawau, Segundo Sabio,
Gilberto Sabio, Narciso Sabio, Virgilio Anag, Agustín Nankabai,
Escequias Carlos, Santiago Yuub, Wasum Vuracusa, Ernesto Sejekam,
Vícto Sejekam Kukush, Eugenio Segekam y Ernesto Esash.

Where are they?
They are not in the lists of injured or arrested
, the accounts of the burning corpses and helicopters
throwing corpses into the jungle are now more credible.

We must not let the genocidal murder Alan Garcia continue, with the madness of bribery.

Some links
Copia y pega en tu navegador el enlace fotos de la masacre >

Andy Hewitt on Vestas demo and action to take

Links to reports and pictures of the demo at Indymedia:

Channel 4 news report on the occupation! http://www.channel4.com/news/articles/uk/turbine+factory+closes+after+sitin/3279857

100s of activists gathered at DECC last night to voice their anger at the closure of the Vestas wind turbine factory on the Isle Of Wight, to demand a transition to a green energy economy and to show solidarity and support for the workers occupying the plant.

Environmental campaigners, trade unionists and political activists assembled united in supporting a campign which has captured the imagination of many and potentially represents a hugely significant milestone in forming a movement to work towards a green and socially just economy.

Darren Johnson gave an excellent speech at the start of the demo outside DECC last night. I chipped in a bit later with and read out a message of support from Hugo Blanco, who is a leading figure in the indigenous struggles against exploitation and destruction of their environment in Peru. Simon Hughes from the LIbDems was roundly heckled when he spoke a bit later....ironically lots of hot air coming from him but of course very little substance to what he was saying. The crowd wanted nationalisation and support for the occupation, he was not willing to provide either. I called on his party to "stop supporting building runways" (for all their noise about Heathrow, they will support airport expansion elsewhere), and generally his "green" credentials were given a sound beating by the lively and boisterous crowd.

Thanks to Pete Murry, Sean Thompson, Joseph Healy, Teresa Delaney, Jonathan Buckner, Kate Tansley and Derek Wall for attending and supporting last night.

There was a demo at the Vestas plant last night also, http://www.socialistworker.co.uk/art.php?id=18569
Further information can be found at http://savevestas.wordpress.com/

Sign a petition HERE: http://petitions.number10.gov.uk/SaveVestas/

Please come to the meeting on Friday:
"SAVE VESTAS, SAVE THE PLANET: Support the Factory Occupation
Speakers: Vestas Worker, Chris Baugh (PCS Ass. Gen. Sec, pc), Seamus Milne, Jonathan Neale
Friday 24th July, 6pm, ULU Malet Street, London WC1E 7HY
Called by the Campaign Against Climate Change Trade Union Group"

There will be a rally at the plant on the IOW at the same time.

If anyone would like to go down to the IOW at some stage over the next week , get in touch and we will try and coordinate something.

Nada for Gaza: The McKinney Israel Trip

[col. writ. 7/15/09] (c) '09 Mumia Abu-Jamal

Cynthia McKinney, the outspoken former congresswoman and Green Party presidential candidate, recently got out of jail.

Yeah. That's right. Jail.

It's possible that you had no idea she was in jail.

That's because she was in detention for almost a week in Israel.

Her offense? She accompanied a group from the Free Gaza Movement bringing medical supplies, olive trees, cement and children's toys to the beleaguered and occupied Palestinians in Gaza.

McKinney and 21 other people were blocked from landing on the Gazan coastline, and seized by the Israeli Navy, in what she called "an outrageous violation of international law."

McKinney was part of an international humanitarian mission to support an oppressed population -- not with weapons-- but with toys and medicines -- and was thrown into jail!

In a recent call, when I was told about this, I was quite surprised, for I hadn't heard or read a thing about it.

A major U.S. ally, which receives more U.S. military aid than any other nation on earth, blithely tosses a former U.S. congressperson, a past presidential candidate, and a Back civil rights activist into a jail cell, and few major media sources deem it worthy of reportage!

Was the wall-to-wall Michael Jackson coverage too impenetrable?

According to a later published account (aired first on her MySpace page) McKinney wrote the following, shortly after her release:

We were in international waters on a boat delivering humanitarian aid to people in Gaza when the Israeli Navy ships surrounded us and illegally threatened us, dismantled our navigation equipment boarded and confiscated the ship.... . All of us on board were then taken off the ship and into custody, and brought into Israel and imprisoned {Source: Phila. Tribune, 7/7/09

Umph! Cynthia McKinney in jail -- in Israel -- for bringing medicine to the sick; for bringing toys to children; for bringing succor to the oppressed and occupied!

(Oh! By the way, the name of that ship? It was the "Spirit of Humanity.")

And it ain't news?

---(c) '09 maj

General Strike begins today against the coup

The General Strike has begun today in Honduras. The indigenous and trade unionists want to over throw the coup and they want democratic change, a constituent assembly to rewrite the consitution and give more power to people rather than an elite.

Very good article from Socialist Voice.....there has been a media black out on a lot of this, its important spread the word.

Honduras: The Hour of the Grassroots
By Felipe Stuart Cournoyer. Three weeks after the June 28 military coup that expelled Honduran President Mel Zelaya and claimed to overthrow his government, the country remains shaken by a profound and dynamic popular upsurge demanding Zelaya’s return and the restoration of democracy.

The collapse on July 18 of the much-touted “negotiation dialogue” between Zelaya’s government delegation and representatives of the military coup was all but inevitable.

The talks foundered on the one issue that neither side could agree to discuss or give ground on — who is the constitutional president of Honduras?

Mass resistance and even opinion polls show that a strong majority of Hondurans back Zelaya as their elected president and demand his immediate return. The coup has been denounced by all the relevant international organizations: the ALBA Alliance, the Central American Integration System (SICA), the Rio Group, the Organization of American States (OAS), the European Union, and the United Nations.

Failure of negotiations

However, the coup junta’s delegation at the San José, Costa Rica negotiations broke off the talks, proclaiming that they could not even discuss the possibility of Zelaya continuing as president. The Zelaya delegation then withdrew from the talks and announced that the president would quickly “return to Honduras to help organize an insurrection against repression.”

For Washington and the coup high command, Zelaya’s return to Honduras may represent the only way to avoid an armed popular uprising. But the Honduran masses would see his return, even under onerous conditions, as an admission by the coup leaders of the illegality and disastrous impact of the military takeover. Zelaya’s return could thus fuel mass resistance and further undermine the pro-coup faction. The coup leaders and their U.S. supporters are in a bind. This explains why they tried to stall for time with the manoeuvre of the San Jose “mediation dialog.”

Lamenting the failure of his mediation, Costa Rican president Oscar Arias warned of the imminence of “civil war and bloodshed that the Honduran people do not deserve.”

Meanwhile, OAS Secretary General José Miguel Insulza exclaimed that “it is almost impossible to avoid conflict between Hondurans and call for calm when a dictatorship seeks to stay in power in full view of everyone.”

Washington’s complicity in the coup

The dictatorship has imposed brutal repression against unarmed civilian protesters, including assassinations and disappearances. Washington, for its part, has pursued a two-faced and deceitful course.

The coup was planned in the Honduran capital, Tegucigalpa, with the participation of the U.S. embassy and U.S. military officials at the Palmerola air force base. The U.S. then voted in favour of the unanimous OAS resolution in support of Zelaya. But the sincerity of this vote was undermined by statements by both U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and President Barack Obama. Although they sometimes used the word “coup” to describe the army takeover, they waffled when it came to action. More important than their talk was their walk: they did nothing to help force the army out of power, such as by ending military aid or imposing economic sanctions.

The Obama administration has since shown its hand. On July 20, Phillip Crowley, spokesman for the Department of State, responded to a reporter’s direct question, about whether or not the coup was illegal. He admitted that the U.S. does not consider the military power grab to be a coup in the “legal” sense. The coup, evidently, was “not legal” — but by the same token it was not “illegal.” The distinction means that it is not illegal to continue U.S. military and economic aid to the coup administration and the armed forces. (See Eva Golinger’s report at Postcards from the Revolution).

Obama’s duplicity should come as no surprise, despite the unusually intense hopes millions of people have for his promise of real change in an imagined “post-Bush” world. U.S. Honduran policy is in complete continuity with its long history of domination and intervention in Latin America and the Caribbean. As Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega pointed out to a rally of hundreds of thousands in Managua on July 19, the coup in Honduras came just ahead of the announcement of the opening of five new U.S. military bases in Colombia — a response to the forced closing of the U.S. Manta airbase in Ecuador and the feared loss of U.S. bases in Honduras.

ALBA’s role

The U.S. administration’s tacit support for the coup leaders reflects their hatred of Zelaya’s measures to support the poor and in bringing Honduras into the ALBA anti-imperialist alliance. ALBA — the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America — unites Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Bolivia, Ecuador, Honduras, and three English-speaking Caribbean countries as a spearhead and bulwark of anti-imperialist struggle to build social and economic solidarity among the partner nations. (See “Honduras and the Big Stick,” www.counterpunch.org/kozloff07202009.html)

ALBA led the process of Latin American unity against the coup, holding a series of emergency meetings in Managua to lay the basis for the unanimous OAS and UN resolutions. When Latin American and Caribbean unity and determination to smash the coup became loud and clear, Washington opted to try to try to camouflage its role. But there is no hiding the fact that the coup is directed against ALBA itself — against all its members and potential members. As Latin American leaders have pointed out, if the coup is consolidated other countries will become coup victims again, even without Washington’s prompting. U.S. tacit support of the Honduran coup is a clear signal to military plotters.

ALBA leaders understand in blood and flesh that the coup is intended as blow against them. Bolivia’s Evo Morales stressed this yesterday, explaining to a radio audience that “this coup is a threat against the continued growth of ALBA.”

Resistance on the streets

Despite repression, mass resistance continues to grow in Honduras. International solidarity up and down Indo-Black-Latin America and across the Caribbean has not waned.

Insurrection is in the air. Stay in the streets, Zelaya appeals. “It’s the only place that they have not been able to take away from us.… I have not surrendered and I am not going to. I am going to return to the country as soon as possible.… The right to insurrection is a constitutional right.”

The coup regime has tried desperately to silence all critical media and has imposed a night-time curfew. Security forces have violently attacked peaceful protesters and arrested a large number of activists. Two protesters were killed on July 5 and two activists and members of the left-wing Democratic Unification Party (UD) have been assassinated by unknown gunmen.

Returning to Honduras that day, visibly exhausted UD Congressman Marvin Ponce stated, “The people owe Honduras a revolution, and if the legitimate president, Manuel Zelaya, is not reinstated, there will be a confrontation between social classes. What I can say is that the days of peaceful resistance, like as we have had until now, are numbered.”

On July 14, tens of thousands of workers, students, farmers, and indigenous people massed in front of the U.S. Embassy in the capital, Tegucigalpa. They came from all over the country in response to a call from the National Front to Resist the Coup d’État (FNRG). About 1,000 delegates joined the rally from a rank-and-file convention of the Liberal Party, to which both Zelaya and the illegitimate president installed by the coup, Roberto Micheletti, belong. Zelaya’s wife, Xiomara Castro played a prominent role in the mobilization.

Since the coup, over three weeks of mass resistance has all but paralyzed the country and shattered its already feeble economy. At least two huge demonstrations of hundreds of thousands of workers and oppressed sectors have rocked the country. On July 16, Central American labour unions staged solidarity protests, closing Honduras’s borders with Nicaragua, Guatemala and El Salvador. Export earnings and investments are in free fall.

Despite total press and media censorship within the country, and a near-blackout internationally, coup leaders have not been able to muffle ongoing reports and rumours of fissures in their “united front” and even among lower echelons of the armed forces and police.

The demonstrations and strikes are not spontaneous. They are led by the mass organizations of campesinos (peasants), indigenous people, students, Afro-Hondurans, trade unions, teachers, journalists, professional associations, religious groups, and human rights groups.

The FNRG is made up of dozens of organizations. They are well connected internationally through active networks. They have been influenced by previous struggles in the region, especially the Sandinista revolution in Nicaragua during the 1980s. Ongoing advances for the oppressed in Bolivia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Venezuela, Nicaragua, and El Salvador have inspired and assisted the Honduran mass movements, giving inspiration and lessons for the struggle.

The reforms implemented by Zelaya since he was elected in 2005 responded to growing pressure from the grassroots, as his government faced dozens of major protests and industrial disputes. This gave impulse to a new dynamic interplay between Zelaya and exploited and oppressed grassroots sectors.

A ‘council’ dynamic

The FNRG has managed to unite people across gender, ethnic, age and class lines. Its ability to resist savage repression, and maintain street and workplace protests, has proven its political maturity. That’s why the “Zelaya delegation” to the San Jose dialog included a rainbow of union, campesino, indigenous, and Afro-Honduran representatives.

On July 20, a large council gathering of grassroots leaders resolved to step up the resistance. Unions announced a call for a general strike. They reaffirmed their support for Zelaya and their call for a Constituent Assembly to remake the country’s constitution. This assembly, in my estimation, revealed that the mass protests have taken on what historians of revolution and insurrection call a “council dynamic” — that is, organizing the participation and representation of workers, campesinos, national minorities, students, and oppressed sectors through local and networked councils.

The FNRG has enabled a new, dynamic interplay between government-level leadership and the will and initiative of the grassroots. It is still only a beginning, but a vigorous one. Whether it can be consolidated depends on the course of the struggle and on international solidarity.

How long can the mass resistance endure the ongoing repression? People have to make a living, and cannot remain in the streets forever. Campesinos will soon have to begin planting their fields. Time is now more than ever critical to victory.

If resistance deepens, the hour of José Francisco Morazán, the 19th century Honduran national hero who implemented important pro-people reforms, may well have sounded.

22 Jul 2009

Vestas demo in Warrington?

The UK headquarters of Vestas are actually located in a business park in Warrington.
Here they have 80 office based staff working at the site along with a further 120 field personnel who regularly report in. If they succeed in their destructive plan and close the factory site on the IoW - then it is from Warrington that they will maintain their UK operation which will revolve around sales and service. A good location for a northern solidarity protest…

Vestas Celtic and Vestas Offshore
UK Sales and service unit.

302 Bridgewater Place
Birchwood Park
United Kingdom

comment from Barry Kade on socialist unity

Vestas demo

Just back from the Vestas demo in London.

I got there quite late but was met with the happy sight of a crowd of a couple of hundred people heckling Simon Hughes MP. He just told that crowd, apparently, that the Lib Dems would not nationalise the Vestas plant.Well thanks but hey no thanks…..people weren’t keen on thatI get the impression, I was late having spoken at the demonstration against the coup in Honduras, at the US Embassy, that the Campaign Against Climate Change Trade Union Group, Socialist Party, SWP, Climate Camp and others had all mobilised strongly.

Plenty of ecosocialists from Socialist Resistance and Green Left. Andy Hewett from Green Left read out a solidarity statement from Hugo Blanco the Peruvian revolutionary who led an uprising of campesinos in the 1960s and now edits Lucha Indigena…the indigenous of Peru were very keen to convey their solidarity as they have known repression from defending their environment.

I know there have been solidarity messages from West Bengal, Egypt, Canada, Belguim.Getting bodies down to the Isle of Wight is important, it will be interesting to get a report back from Bob Crow who has been down to Vestas this evening.

All in all the demo was a very impressive example of socialist unity with a wide variety of groups taking action.Workers Climate Action and the Climate Camp seem to be getting plenty of people down to the I of W, I think. This is key.

So if you have any free time why not get down and have a little bit of a class struggle eco holiday on the Isle of Wight…seriously this could be lost or won on practical solidarity.If any readers have any contacts with green or socialist activists in Denmark where Vestas is based, they need to be mobilised to give Vestas a hard time.

Bob Crow is on his way to the Vesta occupation today

Hope he takes a whole truck load of sandwiches, good man!

TRANSPORT UNION RMT today pledged full support to the workers occupying the Vestas wind turbine factory on the Isle of Wight and confirmed that RMT general secretary Bob Crow will be making a solidarity visit to the occupation at 6pm tomorrow evening (Thursday 23rd July).

The Vestas factory is the only unit in England manufacturing wind turbines. The Dutch company which owns it are trying to close the factory down with the loss of 625 jobs blaming the British government’s lack of commitment to renewable energy. The company is reported to have made profits of $56 million in the first quarter of this year alone – a rise of 70% on last year.

The factory has been under workers occupation since Tuesday. Communication lines into the factory have been cut and deliveries of food and water have been blockaded by private security guards. This morning, those involved in the occupation have been threatened with summary dismissal.

Bob Crow, RMT general secretary, said today:

“Nothing underlines the attack on job and communities that has been unleashed in the UK by greedy bosses and incompetent politicians better than the occupation at Vestas.

“Here you have over 600 skilled workers in the only wind turbine factory in England, delivering sustainable and green energy for the future, threatened with the dole because of a row between the company and the government.

“We know from workplace reports that this company is aggressively anti-union and RMT salutes the courage of those who have taken the brave decision to occupy the factory. They deserve the full support of the whole trade union movement.

“There’s a simple solution to this dispute. The government should nationalise the factory, protect the jobs and show that they are walking the talk when it come to green and renewable energy.”


Cops try to break Vestas occupation

'Just to keep people updated at 5.30 am (approx) this morning a climate
camp comrade was illegally detained by the police under Breach of the
peace for attempting to deliver food to workers in occupation. The
situation is make or break. Without food the occupation is in jeopardy.
The police are illegally starving out the workers. Please notify as many
contacts you may have with the media asap.'

Just had this, please get down to the Isle of Wight and support the occupation.

Usual story those fighting climate change get attacked.

Sellout politicians pretend to fight climate change and get big fat salaries.

Carbon trading makes the bankers rich but does nothing to reduce emissions.

Those doing the real work like the indigenous at Bagua or the Vestas employees are attacked,

21 Jul 2009


This coincides with the Vestas demo, so I am going to be peddling fast tomorrow!

No more Pinochets in Latin America - Defend democracy and human rights in Honduras!
End all US economic, political and military support to the dictatorship in Honduras!

Wednesday July 22, 5.30-7.00pm

US Embassy, 24 Grosvenor Square, London, W1A 1A.

"In the name of democracy let's act, and thus we ask that the US government carries out economic sanctions against the [Micheletti] regime and suspend all monies to it so that it is isolated."
Patricia Rodas, Foreign Minister of the Honduras government led by exiled President Manuel Zelaya

Speakers to include:
Jeremy Corbyn MP
Adam Price MP
Keith Sonnet, Deputy General Secretary, UNISON
Bellavia Ribeiro-Addy, Black Students' Officer, National Union of Students
Derek Wall, Green Party
Francisco Dominguez, VSC
Unite the Union speaker
Called by: VSC

For more information contact info@venezuelasolidarity.co.uk
0207 420 8963

Riot cops strike out against Vestas workers

Just had this, worrying but sadly not surprising...if you can get down to the Isle of Wight, please do so immediately!

Workers staging a sit-in at the soon-to-close Vestas wind turbine plant on the Isle of Wight are being starved out by police.

The police, many inside the factory and dressed in riot gear, have denied food to the workers who took over the factory offices last night, to protest the closure of their factory. The police, operating with highly questionable legal authority, have surrounded the offices, preventing supporters from joining the sit-in, and preventing food from being brought to the protestors.

Around 20 workers at the Vestas Plant in Newport, on the Isle of Wight, occupied the top floor of offices in their factory to protest against its closure which will result in over 500 job losses.

Acting without an injunction, on private property, the police have repeatedly tried to break into the office where the protesting workers have barricaded themselves, and have threatened the workers with arrest for aggravated trespass, despite the fact that no damage has been done to the property where the protest is taking place. Police have also forcibly removed people from private property, another action that is of very questionable legality in the absence of a formal injunction.

The office involved in the latter action was number 3606. The officer who appears to be in charge is 3115.

This heavy handed response is the latest in a long line of over-reactions to protest by various UK police forces.



- Caroline Lucas MEP calls for immediate government intervention to save 600 jobs – and the future of British renewable energy

The Isle of Wight’s Green Euro-MP has sent a message of support to workers taking part in the occupation of the Vestas wind turbine manufacturing plant currently threatened with closure – and called on the Government to step in with financial aid to keep it open.

She said: “I give my full support to the campaign to stop the closure of the Vestas wind turbine manufacturing plant. The decision to close the facility represents a spectacular failure by Government ministers to adequately promote green industries - and protect the future of manufacturing in this country.

“This isn’t just a huge blow for the 600 skilled British workers who are set to lose their jobs – it destroys any hope the UK may have had for establishing itself in the eyes of the world as being at the forefront of technological efforts to create a greener and more sustainable future.

“At a time when the number of people out of work is increasing, it is unforgivable that the Government has singularly failed to offer coherent policy on the future of the renewable energy industry.

“This is an industry which could provide hundreds of thousands of good quality, green collar jobs for skilled workers, taking full advantage of the UK’s proud manufacturing heritage, while simultaneously addressing the ever-present threat of climate change.

“We should be seizing the opportunity to create a renewable energy revolution through a favourable policy environment and massive investment in the new technologies that can see us through a transition towards a more environmentally and economically stable economy.

Dr Lucas MEP concluded: “The Government can make a genuine start along this road by pledging financial aid to help keep the Isle of Wight’s Vestas plant open for business – and prove that its rhetoric on renewable energy is more than just hot air.”


Jerry Hicks statement in support of Vestas

Vestas Occupation, all power to their elbow.

On Monday 20th July workers began occupying part of the Vestas wind turbine plant at Newport on the Isle of Wight in protest against threatened closure at the end of the month. 600 jobs would be lost.

Vestas is the world's biggest wind energy group and recently reported a quarterly sales rise of 59%, up to €1.1bn (£0.95bn). They’re coining it in. They obviously think they can play around with jobs all over the world and don’t have to be held to account for ruining workers’ livelihoods.

The workers want Gordon Brown to step in as if it was a troubled bank and save the jobs and the production of wind turbine blades. He gave the bankers trillions.

Jerry Hicks said " Politicians generate enough hot air to power a thousand wind farms. Now it’s time to put words into action. The government say they care about climate change and talk about creating 40,000 ‘green jobs’. The first step should be protecting these 600 by taking the factory into public ownership."

There is a large picket of support starting outside the factory. This will be crucial in giving confidence to the people inside. The Vestas workers will no doubt have been inspired by the victory of the Lindsey oil refinery strikes which set a fine example in protecting conditions and creating jobs and by the occupations at the Visteon plants in Basildon, Belfast and Enfield which all succeeded in winning better severance payments.

The entire labour and trade union movement should offer the Vestas workers total solidarity. Groups such as the Campaign Against Climate Change are also on the case. They are calling a demonstration on Wednesday 22nd July at 6pm outside the Department of Energy and Climate Change offices in central London. There is a support meeting in the Methodist Hall, Newport on the Isle of Wight 6.30 to 8.30 on the same evening.

"Save jobs and save the planet!" is the Vestas workers’ rallying cry. And quite right too. The government is forever going on about encouraging wind and wave power and curbing our carbon emissions. Well, that’s what these people do for a living and now they’re facing unemployment.

Support the occupation!

Jerry Hicks can be contacted on 078 178 279 12

First hand report on the massacre at Bagua in DC today!

Apologies to readers from Wokingham, etc....for those on the east side get along to this important meeting and raise the demand for freedom and good health for Santiago Manuin.

A first hand report on the Peru massacre of Bagua and the ongoing Indigenous movements in Peru, Bolivia and Ecuador
North American Indigenous leaders will give a first hand report on the Peru massacre of Bagua and the Indigenous movements in Peru, Bolivia and Ecuador in their struggle against U.S. trade policies.
Please join us for this informative public event with Indigenous leaders and activists reporting on the current Indigenous movements in Peru, and with comments on the ongoing Indigenous movements in Ecuador and Bolivia, and their struggle against the United States trade policies. A first hand report from leaders who visited Peru recently will be shared.

Tuesday July 21, 2009
6:00 PM to 8:00 PM

Amazon Watch
1350 Connecticut Avenue, NW Suite 1100
Washington, DC 20036
Tel: 202-785-3962
Dupont Circle Metro station - red line


Tupac Enrique Acosta Yaotachcauh Tlahtokan Nahuacalli, General Coordinator and Director of the Nahuacalli, Embassy of Indigenous Peoples in Phoenix, Arizona. Tupac has represented the Izkalotlan Pueblo of Indigenous Peoples at the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, and he was a spokesman within the Continental Confederation of the Eagle and the Condor of Abya Yala, last May 2009 in Puno, Peru. Acosta has traveled over the past year to Colombia, Peru, and recently to Ecuador, in solidarity and response to the situation facing the Nations and Pueblos of Indigenous Peoples of the Amazon in those countries. The Nahuacalli is a project of the indigenous peoples community development organization TONATIERRA in Phoenix, Arizona.

Ben Powless is a Mohawk activist and independent photojournalist from Six Nations in Ontario. Powless’ work focuses on national and international issues involving indigenous rights, human rights and their environmental protection. He is currently studying at Carleton University in Ottawa, after spending a year in an international exchange program, between Alberta and Mexico. He was recently in Peru when the Bagua attacks occurred, and he traveled to the affected area interviewing witnesses, taking photographs and writing articles that have been published worldwide. Bowless is heavily involved with the Indigenous Environmental Network, having represented them at various international events, most recently at the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization's High-Level Conference on World Food Security, Climate Change and Bioenergy. He also sits on the board of the National Council for the Canadian Environmental Network, is on the Youth Advisory Group to the Canadian Commission for UNESCO.

Carlos A. Quiroz is an activist, video blogger, writer and artist from Peru, of Indigenous Muchik and Quechua heritage, he is being blogging about Peru’s Indigenous movements and trade policies since 2007 and he was part of an international movement of solidarity with the Native peoples of Peru before, during and after the Bagua massacre. His blog Peruanista focuses on identity, racism, discrimination and human rights in Peru and the Abya Yala (Americas) continent. Quiroz has participated at the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, and his articles and collaborations have been published by The Huffington Post, Ground Report, The Washington Post, The Gazette, La Republica, among others. His work also involves immigrants’ rights and educational programs, as well as equality rights in the U.S.

Fritz Gutwein, The Quixote Center, fritzg@quixote.org
Carlos A. Quiroz, qc.carlos@gmail.com

This is from Carlos's blog at

GPTU solidarity statement

Workers at the Vestas wind turbine blade plant on the Isle of Wight have occupied their factory in Newport in an attempt to prevent its closure, which was scheduled for the end of this month. The Green Party Trade Union Group sends its full support to them.

Job losses in a recession are tragic and counterproductive, serving only to worsen it by throwing people out of work.

This particular closure would be doubly damaging because it would remove one of the few capacities Britain has to build the new, environmentally friendly technologies urgently needed to construct the infrastructure that could help to counteract the effects of climate change.

Importing turbine blades is a false solution because their transport would increase the environmental cost of wind turbines. Furthermore the skills and knowledge of the Vestas workers could be dispersed and lost just when we need them most.

If the government allows this closure, its commitment to dealing with climate change will seem a total sham.

How can it let Vestas close when it can afford;

¤ The Afghan war effort
¤ The bail out of banks including continuing taxpayers’ support for excessive fatcat salaries.
¤ The renewal of the trident missile system
¤ New nuclear power stations
¤ And a ridiculous scheme of paying MP’s expenses ?

The Green Party Trade Union Group urges everyone who can to support the Vestas occupation and put pressure on government to actually enact a strategy of creating an environmentally friendly infrastructure for Britain and new jobs for its peoples.

P.Murry GPTU secretary

20 Jul 2009

Report back from Vestas meeting tonight in Portsmouth

I have tonight returned from a meeting in Portsmouth at which I learnt
of your courageous action in attempting to prevent the removal of vital
machinery from your plant by occupying the Vesta factory.

Further to the message of support you have already received from our
Leader, Caroline Lucas, On behalf of the Green Party, I offer our full
support for your action. The closure of this facility is not an option,
and a way must be found to keep it open. Your direct action is
proportional and appropriate to the circumstances.

We call upon all workers on the Island and in Portsmouth and Southampton
transport industries not to co-operate with any moves to relocate
equipment and materials from the Vesta factory.

Please let us know what further action we may take to support you.

Tim Dawes
Co-chair The Green Party Regional Council of England and Wales
Convenor of SE Hampshire Green Party
Prospective Parliamentary Candidate, Portsmouth South

Well climate camp, AWL, SWP. Green Party and the Fourth International are all doing good support for Vestas! Nice to read this from Tim

Derek's statement of solidarity with Vestas workers

Climate change is the biggest environmental threat to human life and nature. The solution is simple, stop using fossil fuels, generate energy from clean renewables.

At present climate change policy is based on carbon trading, its made money for bankers but it hasn't reduce C02 emissions at all. Its a complete con!

It is shameful that Ed Miliband and Gordon Brown have done nothing to defend Vestas.

Trade union action is one of the most important ways of protecting the environment, in the 1970s Jack Mundey's Building Workers Union conserved much of Australia by using the green bans.

In the 1980s the NUS (now part of the RMT) stopped nuclear waste dumping at sea.

I am appealing to all Green Party members and everyone in fact who cares about the future and wants to take serious action to support your fight.

I salute you, occupy, resist, produce....you are giving hope to people right across Britain,

right better get back to mailing everyone I know about your fight for jobs and the environment

Derek Wall, Green Party Parliamentary Candidate for Windsor, Committee Member the Ecosocialist International Network

Date: Mon, 20 Jul 2009 20:47:38 +0100
Subject: Vestas Workers occupy to save jobs and the environment!
From: savevestas2@googlemail.com
To: savevestas@googlemail.com

Vestas Workers occupy to save jobs and the environment!
(This is not an official press release - one will follow soon.)
Workers at the Vestas wind turbine blade plant on the Isle of Wight have occupied their factory in Newport in an attempt to prevent its closure, which was scheduled for the end of this month. Their brave fight in is an example of what workers can do when they get together and take militant action to save jobs and sustainable industries.
We call upon everyone around the country to send whatever support they can to the workers at Vestas. We all have an interest in a sustainable future, and we all have a responsibility to show solidarity to workers in struggle.
Send a message of solidarity, send money to the Vestas workers’ fighting fund, and bombard the energy minister Ed Miliband with emails and phone calls (details below), calling for the government to save the factory and run it under new management. Go to a demonstration (details below), plan a solidarity action, or come to the Isle of Wight to aid the struggle.
What can you do?
Send messages of support to:

The Vestas Fighting Fund:
Cheques Payable to ‘Ryde and East Wight Trades Union’
Send Cheques to:
22 Church Lane
Isle of Wight
PO33 2NB

Bombard Ed Miliband:
Doncaster constituency office tel. 01302 875 462
Westminster office tel. 020 7219 4778.
Email: ps.ed.miliband@decc.gsi.gov.uk




DEMONSTRATION to save Vestas called by Campaign Against Climate Change

Wednesday 22nd July , 6.00 pm

Outside the Department of Energy and Climate Change, No 3 Whitehall Place
(off Whitehall, Charing Cross tube)

MEETING Wednesday 22nd July, 6.30-8.30pm at the Methodist Church Hall, Quay Street, Newport

We are setting up a campaign for Vestas workers’ families and Isle of Wight residents to show their support for keeping jobs at Vestas. The families and communities campaign will be very important in keeping spirits up through this stressful time. For more details call 07775 763750.


Come to St Thomas Square in Newport at 5:30pm on Friday 24th July where we will be making a very public display of how we feel about the Vestas closures!

Come to the Isle of Wight to support the struggle!

Ring 07775763750 for more information.

A press release will follow as soon as possible.


Wind turbine workers occupy factory on Isle of Wight

Just had this from comrade Empson! Spread the word.

Save Vestas - Defend Jobs, Save the Planet - Support the Occupation

Workers at the Vestas Wind Turbine factory on the Isle of Wight have JUST NOW occupied their factory. They are fighting for 600 jobs and the future of the planet. They need help now.


There is a large picket of support starting outside the factory. This will be crucial in giving people confidence inside. We want hundreds of people by morning.
If you are not working, come now, by car, bus or train.
If you are on the South Coast and working, come for the night and go to work exhausted and proud.

If you can’t come, call up friends and offer to pay the fare or petrol money for someone else to come down. Or part of the fare.
Don’t just call the environmental and union activists you know. Call your friends and ask them who they know. Call your brother’s friends or your children’s friends. Text everyone. Get your friends calling and texting.


The workers want Gordon Brown to step in as if it was a troubled bank and save the jobs and keep making wind turbine blades. They gave the bankers trillions. They say they care about climate change. He has talked about creating 40,000 "Green Jobs", the first step should be protecting these 600.

The workers will need solidarity - donations of money, food and other assistance. In the first instance please send messages of solidarity to savevestas@gmail.com

We will suggest other forms of solidarity soon. Do this now. Reach for your phone

Save Vestas events this week

passing this on, hope all you supporting Vestas support Santiago Manuin as well, public meeting for Peru solidarity planned for 27th August, I will keep you all posted

There are three events happening this week as part of the campaign to save the Vestas wind turbine plant on the Isle of Wight. One is in London, two are on the Isle of Wight. Come to one (or all!) of them to support the campaign to save jobs and the climate.

1) Demonstration to save Vestas Wind Turbine factory called by The Campaign Against Climate Change

Wednesday 22nd July , 6.00 pm

Outside the Department of Energy and Climate Change, No 3 Whitehall Place
(off Whitehall, Charing Cross tube)

Just when we need a huge expansion in renewable energy they are closing down
the only wind turbine factory in the UK. The government has spent billions
bailing out the banks, and £2.3 billion in loan guarantees to support the UK
car industry – they can and should step in to save the infrastructure we are
really going to need to save us from climate catastrophe.

Gordon Brown has promised to create 40,000 Green Jobs in the next 5 years.
The first step towards this would be saving the 600 jobs at Vestas that are
under threat.


Martin Empson

Treasurer, Campaign Against Climate Change Trade Union group
079 585 35231

2) PUBLIC DEMONSTRATION on the Isle of Wight

Come to St Thomas Square in Newport at 5:30pm on Friday 24th July where we will be making a very public display of how we feel about the Vestas closures!

3) MEETING Wednesday 22nd July, 6.30-8.30pm at the Methodist Church Hall, Quay Street, Newport

We are setting up a campaign for Vestas workers’ families and Isle of Wight residents to show their support for keeping jobs at Vestas. The families and communities campaign will be very important in keeping spirits up through this stressful time.
For more details call 07775 763750.

Fight Vedanta's assault on the Niyamgiri hills

Please sign the Petition against Vedanta's clearance to mine in
the Niyamgiri hills of Orissa.
The petition link is:-


Send the Petition link and this Leaflet to others. 27 July is the
Global Day of Action against Vedanta.

Are you participating in the demonstrations against Vedanta and
Sterlite in Mumbai and Kolkata on 27th July? Let me know how you're
getting along in organising these?

Just had this from Debal....spread the word.

Good background briefing from Survival International here.

Survival International lodged two urgent appeals today to stop a controversial bauxite mine in India. Survival has called on both the UN and India’s National Human Rights Committee to stop Vedanta Resources’ mine in the Niyamgiri Hills, Orissa.

The mine will destroy the sacred mountain of the Dongria Kondh tribe, and threatens the abundant forests in which they live. But the tribe have never been consulted about the project, jointly run by the Orissa state government and Vedanta.

The Orissa government appears to have decided to violate the rights of the Dongria Kondh in the name of ‘development’. Survival has asked the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination to investigate the case urgently and to invoke interim measures to stop the mine before the Dongria Kondh are irreparably harmed.

The appeals join a raft of complaints, investigations, and condemnations surrounding the project. Activists in India have been protesting against the mine for years and Survival, Amnesty International, ActionAid, and War on Want have all condemned it.

The British government is investigating a complaint that Vedanta Resources’ treatment of the Dongria Kondh breaches guidelines set by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development. Last year Martin Currie Investments sold their shares in the company over concerns about the project, and last month an environmental award for Vedanta was withheld at the last minute after demonstrators highlighted the company’s appalling track record in Orissa.

The Dongria Kondh are also actively opposing the mine, holding regular protests and blocking the roads being built into their forests.

Survival’s director Stephen Corry said today, ‘The Orissa government and Vedanta Resources have been shirking their basic responsibilities toward the Dongria Kondh for too long. It’s time the international community took a stand – government has a duty to protect its citizens, not to strip them of their land and religion.’
For more information please contact Miriam Ross at Survival International on (+44) (0)20 7687 8734 or (+44) (0)7504 543 367 or email mr@survival-international.org

Counterinsurgency and Human Rights Violations in Colombia:

The next Colombia Solidarity Campaign branch meeting will be on:

Tuesday 21 July at 7pm at The Apple Tree pub, 45 Mount Pleasant, WC1 (Russell Square, Farringdon, Kings X or Angel tube).

Counterinsurgency and Human Rights Violations in Colombia:

The presentation will introduce the main points of my ongoing research on the relationship between human rights violations by state agents and counterinsurgency strategies during the 1990s and the 2000s. These strategies not only include military operations in combat, but also the targeting of presumed informants or sympathizers of the insurgents; as well as other well known counterinsurgency practices like the creation of ‘death squads’ or paramilitary groups. The analysis of these strategies would clarify the link between them and the violations of Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law by state agents in Colombia.

Which have been the main strategies used by the state? Have these strategies changed after the declaration of the ‘war on terror’? Have the explicit use of US military aid for counterinsurgency strategies (previously bound to counternarcotics operations) from 2002 changed the situation? These and other questions will be addressed in the presentation.

Contrainsurgencia y derechos humanos en Colombia:

La presentación es sobre la relación entre las violaciones de los derechos humanos por parte de agentes del estado Colombiano y la política contrainsurgente adoptada por el mismo durante los últimos 20 años. Las estrategias contrainsurgentes no solo incluyen operaciones militares en combate, sino también la persecución de presuntos informantes o simpatizantes de los grupos insurgentes, así como la creación de ”escuadrones de la muerte” o grupos paramilitares. El análisis de estas estrategias puede esclarecer las relaciones de estas con las violaciones de derechos humanos y Derecho Internacional Humanitario por parte de agentes del estado.

Cuales han sido las principales estrategias contrainsurgentes usadas por las fuerzas militares durante los últimos 20 años? Cómo han cambiado desde la declaración de la “guerra contra el terrorismo”? Que influencia ha tenido la aprobación explícita del uso de ayuda militar de Estados Unidos para operaciones antiguerrilla, antes reservada para operaciones antinarcóticos? Estas y otras preguntas serán debatidas en la presentación.

4 days to go in Brighton council by-election!

It's the Greens vs the Tories & we need your help in these crucial final few days

We've been campaigning hard in Goldsmid ward over the last couple of months, and it looks like we may well win here. We even have the backing of an ex-Labour councillor in the ward!

If the Greens won, it would not only make us the joint official opposition - giving us the same number of councillors as Labour, but it could also change the power of the finely-balanced city council, removing the overall control from the Tories.

It would obviously also be a massive boost to Caroline Lucas' Westminster Campaign!

Making History

This would be our first seat in Hove, and the first time we've changed a Tory seat to a Green seat in Brighton and Hove.

What can you do?

Due to the political climate at the moment, turnout will be very low, and there are still lots of people who are undecided.

If you can help with canvassing in Brighton, or tele-canvassing wherever you are, over the next 3 days, or if you'd like to help on polling day itself, please let me know.

You can email me on: alex.phillips@brightonandhovegreenparty.org.uk

We are running a full telling operation on Thursday 23rd July and will therefore need as many people as possible to knock up to get the Green vote out in Brighton!

Thanks and all the best,

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...