30 Nov 2009

The Other China Syndrome

The Other China Syndrome
[col. writ. 11/21/09] (c) '09 Mumia Abu-Jamal

We are all taught to think about things like economics, as things to be placed in boxes, like mail is sorted at the post office.

This goes in this box; that goes in that box.

But economics is such that it goes into every box -- and every box leaks into it.

It's not just a matter of dollars and cents; it's actually a matter of pesos, rupees, euros and yen.

And it's also a matter of foreign affairs, of international relations, of wealth and power.

If we ever questioned this notion, we need only look at America abroad, especially the recent visit of President Barack Obama to China. Traditionally, U.S. presidents go abroad to engage in bouts of global bullying, to bark or lecture host governments about the terms of their relationship (think of U.S. politicians in Afghanistan, for example).

Not so in China today, where Obama neither barked nor bellowed.

That's because China is different. China holds almost a trillion bucks worth of U.S. debt. If they called it in, the lights would go out from Maine to New Mexico.

Now, they won't do it because it'll cause chaos in China; but they could.

According to a recent article in Foreign Affairs, China's financial reserves makes it the world's wealthiest country!*

That doesn't mean they have the most money, but the most unencumbered money, and the freest available resources. They can therefore choose where to use those resources.

China is America's banker. And with its economy growing at about 8% annually, that relationship can only expand.

China is propping up the U.S. economy, had has been doing so for years. Their purchase of U.S. stocks and bonds has buffered the domestic effects of the recent recession, by preventing the fall from becoming even worse. In fact, they may have prevented a depression.

If you want more money, you don't bark at your banker.

You talk to her with quiet respect.

-(c) '09 maj

[Source: *Altman, Roger, : Globalization in Retreat: "Further Geopolitical Consequences of the Financial Crisis", Foreign Affairs, (Jul/Aug '09), p.3.]

Nature reserve bulldozed

All the hysteria about baby eating Muslims reminds me of the racism against indigenous people in much of the world.

In Paraguay despite a left leader, indigenous people are still under assault and the hard right came close to a coup a couple of weeks ago.

I notice that tosser Rory Carroll has a lot more about Chavez than about the real human rights abuse in Latin America, it would be great if the Guardian was a bit less like the Daily Mail when it came to Latin America, he will be linking Morales to cocaine smears next.

Journalism can kill if you think about it.

Any way shocked to see this story, spread the word and when you stopping buying the Guardian send you money to Survival International.

'The reserve, in the Chaco region in Paraguay, is home to the only uncontacted tribe in South America outside of the Amazon, the Ayoreo-Totobiegosode.

The reserve is being destroyed despite UNESCO’s objective to protect the Ayoreo-Totobiegosode, including ‘the recovery, legalization and return of the land to these native people. . . (It) helps to protect local indigenous communities’ homeland and cultural identity.’

The reserve also aims to protect ‘flagship species’ like the jaguar – an irony given that a Spanish language translation of that word, yaguarete, is the name of the company bulldozing the reserve.

Satellite photos show that thousands of hectares of the reserve have been destroyed, despite Yaguarete Pora having its license to work there withdrawn by the government.'


Greens at Hands Off My Workmate

just had this from Jonathan, thanks mate, good example of social eco crossover, if you are on the left and pissed off with dodgy sects, right wing labour and the SWP why not just get involved in necessary stuff, a lot of it about!

Hello everyone!

Along with our fellow member and traveller, the great and Green Zain Sardar, I attended the Hands Off My Workmate activist meeting last Tuesday, and given our discussions relating to this at the London Fed meeting in October, and the fact that many Greens were either at the related conference, also in October (which launched the initiative), or have been involved with the campaigns relating to migrant workers in London, I thought I'd pass on details regarding the main areas of debate:

1. The possibility of a christmas appeal to provide some means of financial assistance to those cleaners forcibly removed in the raids on SOAS earlier this year. Although I imagine this will largely be confined to activity at SOAS.

2. The possibiltiy of a big demonstration towards the end of February 2010, against Immigration checks in the workplace etc. outside of the Home Office, with the goal of getting at least one major union to support the demo. The CWU was mooted as one possibility. It was suggested that people talk to their trade union branches about supporting such a demo and lending practical support. The broad timescale was considered necessary in order to properly try and build for a big demonstration among unions, student groups, political associations and so forth.

3. There was also discussion with regards to the cleaning contracts in Metronet being shifted between ISS to LCC (I believe). It was feared that a new company would use the hand over to further intimidate workers and that the RMT fear the possibiltiy of an attack on the London Living Wage and the imposition of new terms and conditions on migrant workers.

4. It was mentioned that it is not only cleaners but all migrant staff who are especially vulnerable, and so the focus should not only be on cleaning staff as it had a tendency to be.

5. I can't recall whether this was discussed or was simply one of my own thoughts that I jotted down, but it is probably important that those activists in union branches which either have migrant workers as members or as colleagues (whether or not they are yet unionised) discuss how to respond to immigration raids and checks that may come in the future, and discuss how to defend migrant workers should that happen. This is especially important within the public sector, and also within the context of a looming General Election when it will be important to look 'tough' on immigration. The Unison branches at SOAS, Birkbeck and elsewhere seem to have some experience with regards to this and might be able to provide guidance.

6. Juan Carlos Piedra, the sacked UCL cleaner, who was dismissed for his trade union activities, was in attendance and his campaign was discussed. The point was repeatedly made that at the very least another lunchtime picket at UCL before the end of term is essential, to at least maintain the momentum of his campaign and keep pressure on UCL management (who have been appalling) to grant the London Living Wage. Ultimately this will be his call I believe, but details should hopefully be forthcoming if there is to be any action, and will probably be in early-mid December.

7. The issue of student involvement and organisation was also brought up. It is my view that given the number of left-leaning student groups and students in London, this sort of campaign can be highly successful and unite the various Green, Socialist, and humanitarian student groups that exist into broad coalitions willing to fight on (hopefully) generally shared principles. But we shall see!

8. A young lady from the BBC was also in attendance and revealed that the BBC is making a documentary investigating the poor conditions experienced by many migrant workers on the London Underground.

I think that is all, though Zain can fill people in if I have forgotten or overstated anything ... if he is subscribed to this list!

Best wishes!

Jonathan Buckner

London Fed Youth and Student Officer


Coinciding with the start of the UN Climate Talks in Copenhagen

Date: Sat Dec 5th 2009
Time: 11am for 12 noon
Meeting point: Speakers Corner, Hyde Park, London.
Googlemap: Click here

Join Muslims and other LINE supporters, along with thousands of others for what is expected to be the biggest climate demonstration to date. LINE reps are aiming to arrive at speakers corner at 11am. Please meet them any time from then on (just look out for the LINE banner or stall), remembering to dress appropriately for the weather! And with thousands expected, the sooner you can join them before the big crowds get there, the easier theywill be to find. Please feel free to bring any nibbles, food, chai etc .. to share, if you are able.

Speakers will include: Michael Meacher MP (Lab), Simon Hughes MP (Lib Dem), John McDonnell MP (Lab), Caroline Lucas MEP (Green) and Maria Sauveron (Bolivian ambassador).

The Emergency Rally will feed into the main event, the Wave, organised by the Stop Climate Chaos Coalition to surround parliament at about 3pm. You are encouraged, if possible, to wear blue for this! The Wave is expected to end by around 4.30pm.

The Climate Emergency Rally is organised by the 'Campaign against Climate Change' (CCC) and is being held to allow demonstrators to put concrete demands for emergency action on climate to the UK government. CCC believes that there is no chance of an effective agreement until the North wins the trust of the South, and it will only do that if Northern countries, like the UK, match words with action, and take radical emission-reducing measures at home.

We will Demand:

Declaration of a Climate Emergency
10% cuts by end 2010
A million green jobs by end 2010
Ban domestic flights
55 mph speed limit – scrap the roads program
End Agrofuel use

We hope to see you there!

For more info:
Campaign Against Climate Change: www.campaigncc.org
Stop Climate Chaos: www.stopclimatechaos.org
LINE: www.lineonweb.org.uk ; tel. 0845 456 3960 (local rate)

29 Nov 2009

Don't do nicotine kids


The argument that cannabis is a gateway drug to tobacco might be a good reason for cracking down on it.

Drug death stats are worth thinking about.

Boycott Switzerland! Minaret ban vote goes wrong way

'The Geneva Mosque was vandalised on Thursday when someone threw a pot of pink paint at the entrance.

Earlier this month, a vehicle with a loudspeaker drove through the area imitating a muezzin's call to prayer and vandals damaged a mosaic when they threw cobble stones at the building.

Rights' defenders have raised vocal objections to the campaign posters, which show minarets rising like missiles from the Swiss flag next to a fully veiled woman.

Minarets are typically built next to mosques for religious leaders to call the faithful to prayer, but they are not used for that in Switzerland.'

More here

Looks sadly like the xenophobes have won the vote at least according to exit polls http://english.aljazeera.net/news/europe/2009/11/2009112912250816889.html

It looks like a scary white country.

Islam has been demonised, which of course will be helpful to those who want to promote hatred.

I guess Bin Laden and the Swiss People Party will both be celebrating.

Islam is as European as it gets, think of Spain as a Muslim country, an oasis of tolerance and culture in the 14th century.

Also depressing because many Muslims in Switzerland were literally forced out of the former Yugoslavia by bigots who burnt mosques.

Saudi Arabia bans churchs which is appalling, looks like Switerland wants to ban mosques, banning places of religious worship is wrong!

Its a historical accident that much of Europe isn't Muslim, Jesus wasn't born in Berne, in a different history one can imagine Christians being attacked as non European.

Incidentally all the people of the book share the old testament and the same God, so it would be nice if they practicised tolerance.

Nandor on ETS scandal in New Zealand

There is blood in the water. The emission trading scheme now looks like nothing more than a bait ball for hungry sharks, and the feeding frenzy is on. The National / Maori Party scheme will hand around $110 billion from New Zealand taxpayers to businesses while doing nothing to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Federated Farmers, not content with the bulk of the fishy proceeds, wants to vacuum up the whole damn lot. They are calling for the Government to scrap the entire scheme without offering a proposal they would support, other than taxpayers picking up 100% of their tab. With all this, it's hard to blame corporate iwi leaders for wanting to get a feed as well. They are currently negotiating (we hear) to plant native trees on conservation land and grab the carbon credits.

The problem arises, of course, because the Government's proposed changes to the emission trading scheme are so contrary that they subsidise the polluters – farmers and industry – and punish the foresters. Maori forestry owners are doubly penalised because many of their forests were planted before the Kyoto agreement was signed and so don't get carbon credits. It doesn't seem impossible to come up with a scheme that actually reduces emissions and treats (pre and post Kyoto) forests fairly, but both National and the Maori Party seem more interested in getting special treatment for their respective powerful lobbies than doing something for the planet.

This has been described in The Guardian (UK) as the worlds “most shameless two fingers to the global community” from “a country that sells itself round the world as 'clean and green'”. New Zealand got a pretty sweet deal in the Kyoto agreement, agreeing to hold rather than reduce our rate of greenhouse gas emissions. We have continued to plead for special treatment ever since, even though we have one of the highest per capital emission rates in the world. Expectations on what will happen at next month's climate change negotiations in Copenhagen vary, but I think that New Zealand can expect to be shamed and embarassed. We certainly deserve it.

More from Nandor here

Swiss populist attack Islam

The referendum against minarets in Switzerland is pretty bizarre and islamaphobic.

I can imagine another religion from the Middle East having its 'alien' buildings banned by people who are essentially racists.

In fact I can think of two other religions.

I am critical of fundamentalist interpretations, well interps which are intolerant, homophobic and anti-women but I am not calling for evangelical churches to be bull dozed.

Populist far racists are whipping up hatred for political gain.

UKIP certainly contains people who believe that the Koran should be banned.

In Switzerland the right want to prevent places of worship exising

Its a religion get over it.

More here on the referendum.

28 Nov 2009

John Gormley to allow Poolbeg incinerator to go ahead

A load of hypocritical politicians from parties who support incineration such as Fianna Fail have been criticising John Gormley for allowing the Poolbeg incinerator to go ahead.

Like Baldrick, John Gormley had a 'cunning plan', to make it too difficult for the incinerator to make a profit.

‘I am, therefore, concerned that the proposed incinerator will prove to be seriously oversized, and indeed that a liability for the ratepayer and taxpayer may ultimately arise," said Gormley.

He said that ‘‘the most appropriate course of action’’ was to appoint an authorised person under the Local Government Acts to review the project. Gormley said it was up to the council to discuss with his department ‘‘how the project might be brought into line with the emerging reality of the waste market and waste policy’’.
more here

However John Gormley has allowed the incinerator to go ahead and the incinerator corporate sponsors know that John Gormley will not be around in the future.

Hey I guess John Gormley will be fighting climate change by arguing for biofuels

Or his party will be allowing motorway construction to scar ancient landscapes.

The Irish Green Party are to green politics what the Russian Liberal Democrats are to liberal democracy.

I guess they will be on 'anon' saying how wonderful they are and what a naive idealist I am for suggesting that when people vote Green they do so to achieve green policies.

Elect Caroline Lucas MP

Went canvassing with Caroline Lucas, excellent response, she can win if people support, climate change get serious help elect first green MP.

My worry is that local Green Party activists across the UK will do their local thing, this needs to be supplement with actual work in the three target seats.

Caroline Lucas has the best chance of being elected and this would then have a knock on effect.

If enough people go down and canvass and leaflet she is a shoe in.

If most Green Party activists do local stuff and don't give her practical support it will be more difficult.

The next action day in Brighton is January 9th but from now on there is daily activity.

If you are concerned about climate change and other ecological ills, take action, go and support the campaign to elect Caroline.

Any way I had a positive couple of hours helping and meet lots of people who said they would vote Green, several for the first time.

So email or phone to find out how you can help

caroline [at] carolineforpavilion.org

t: 01273 766670
m: 07908 260528

27 Nov 2009

A fifth international

pretty cool statement from the USFI, the fractured far left in the UK often look shallow and manipulative and don't seem to do ecology, I am not a fan of Trotsky (or of course his bete noir). This said the USFI continue to impress, a very good statement on what is right and wrong with Chavez's cool for a fifth international.

Strong emphasis on ecology, self-mangement and independent struggle.

it pleases me that the USFI can learn from the Awajun and Wampis.

Chavez calls for Fifth International
Decisive lessons from Stalinism & social democracy
François Sabado

from http://www.internationalviewpoint.org/spip.php?article1757

During an international meeting of left parties held in Caracas from 19-21 November, 2009, Hugo Chavez launched a call for a Fifth Socialist International which, according to him, should bring together left parties and social movements. According to the president of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela, the Fifth International must be “an instrument for the unification and the articulation of the struggle of the peoples to save this planet”. In a world political situation marked by a total crisis of the capitalist system, this is a fact important enough to be underlined.

Indeed, leaders or parties who pose the question of an International do not grow on trees. That is the first merit of Chavez’s call.

All the more so as this call is accompanied by a declaration which denounces the systemic character of the capitalist crisis, beyond its financial and banking dimensions, and reaffirms the perspective of a socialism of the 21st century. It calls for an urgent mobilization against the new imperialist offensive in Latin America, by the US administration and the Latin American Right.

On the basis of this call, a broad world anti-imperialist front can be established, to mark its solidarity with the struggle of the peoples for their social and political rights, to oppose the new US bases in Colombia, to support, in particular, the mobilization of the people of Honduras against the new dictatorial regime.

In the trial of strength in which the imperialists are confronted with the struggles of the peoples, such a world front would constitute an important instrument to fight the power of the ruling classes, not only in Latin America but in the whole world.

We are ready, as we have been since the beginning, in solidarity with the Cuban revolution, the Bolivarian revolution, with the experiences in Bolivia and Ecuador, to fully commit ourselves to the common fight against the imperialist attacks imperialists and to take our full place in this world anti-imperialist front.

It is also within this framework that the process of construction of a new International would be posed. Chavez calls for the establishment of a Socialist Fifth International. That puts back on the agenda the discussion about a new International. Chavez situates the building of the Fifth International in continuity with the Fourth. We have already declared on many occasions: what do labels matter, if there is convergence over the content. But the constitution of a new International implies a whole process around a programme, policies, and an organization, which must be carried out on the basis of a broad discussion with all the protagonists.

There is, indeed, a new historical period, where divergences between various revolutionary currents can be surmounted on the basis of “a common understanding of events and tasks”. From this point of view, it is not a question of discussing the historical balance sheets of different currents, but it is decisive to learn together the lessons from Stalinism and social democracy, so that the tragedies and the errors of the past are not repeated.

Each party, each organization, each current and each militant must contribute to this debate. As for the Fourth International, it has already formulated, on many occasions, its proposals:

* An anti-imperialist and anti-capitalist programme of emergency demands, which starts from the demands and the social needs of the popular classes, proposes a new distribution of wealth, public and social appropriation of the key sectors of the economy and leads on to the revolutionary transformation of society.

* Unity of action of all the organizations, currents and militants against the attacks of the governments and the capitalist classes.

* Independence of the social movements, associations and trade-union organizations with respect to parties and states.

* Solidarity with all struggles of peoples against all the imperialist powers.

* The fight against oppressions and the defence of the rights of women, homosexuals, young people and immigrants.

* The fight for governments of the workers and popular classes which satisfy the principal social and ecological demands and base themselves on the mobilization of the population and its control over the principal sectors of the economy. This perspective implies not participating in governments which manage the state and the capitalist economy along with the parties of the centre-left or social democracy.

* The central character of the self-emancipation and self-organization of peoples, in the perspective of overthrowing capitalism.

* An ecosocialist project which combines both the satisfaction of social needs and the respect and balance of our ecosystem. In this sense, we have much to learn much from the indigenous peoples of South America and their relationship to the land.

* Socialist democracy as a project of society: self-management of the economy, democracy and pluralism of parties and social movements.

These are some themes for discussion in order to advance along the road of bringing together all anti-capitalists on an international level. They are the first ideas that we will defend in the process of constitution of a new International.

Lastly, Chavez’s call for a Fifth International also constitutes a point of support when it poses the question of a new International, independently of the Second (Socialist) International of which organizations like the social democratic parties, the Mexican PRI and the Brazilian PT are members. But it is also necessary to clarify a question in the construction of a new International, that of the difference between state policies and the development of a political project. One thing is to conclude economic and commercial agreements with states which have anti-imperialist governments, to conclude such agreements with other states, including some which have reactionary regimes, or to oppose attacks of imperialism against certain countries. It is quite another thing to give political support to regimes like those of the Chinese Communist Party or the Islamic Republic of Iran… The project of the Fifth International cannot in any way at all be associated with these regimes.

Once again, this call creates the conditions for a new international discussion, indissociable from solidarity with the Bolivarian revolution. It is in this spirit that the Fourth international, its organizations and its militants, will answer “Present”!

François Sabado is a member of the Executive Bureau of the Fourth International and an activist in the New Anticapitalist Party (NPA) in France. He was a long-time member of the National Leadership of the Revolutionary Communist League (LCR).

Hugh Kerr endorses Caroline Lucas

Just saw this comment from a former well known socialist MEP in response to my appeal to support Caroline.

send me the address and I will send a donation Derek and as the first UK member of the Green Group in the European Parliament can I offer my public endorsement for Caroline.If you would like a quote here it is “As a former Labour MEP and the first UK member of the Green Group in the European Parliament I urge all voters in Brighton and Hove to vote for Caroline Lucas.I have watched Caroline in action in Brussels,Strasbourg and Britain and she is one of the most exceptional member of parliament of our time she would make a superb MP for the people of Brighton and Hove” Hugh Kerr Labour and Green MEP for Essex West and Hertfordshire East 1994-99.

Comment by Hugh Kerr

Mayans arrested,

More than 200 Indigenous Mayans were arrested this week for setting up a roadblock just south of Cancun, in the Mexican state of Quintana Roo.

On the night of November 24, Mayan ejidos (communal landowners) from the municipality of Felipe Carrillo Puerto went to block the main highway leading from Felipe Carrillo Puerto to Cancun after learning the government would only pay half of the reimbursement monies they were promised after losing many of their crops due of a lack of rain during this year’s monsoon season.

Once the state and federal police officers caught up with the Mayans, according to statements from Ejido commissioners and delegates, they started to abuse and arrest anyone they could get their hands on. The police then scoured the streets of Felipe Carrillo Puerto, where the confrontation took place, arresting anyone they considered to be an Ejido. 228 people were arrested in total.

The Latin American Herald reports that all 228 Mayans have been transported to a federal jail in Chetumal. Quintana Roo’s Deputy Public Safety Secretary, Didier Vazquez, says the Mayans will now be “handed over to federal prosecutors because blocking a highway is a federal crime.”

The Ejido commissioners are demanding the full release of all 228 unjustly detained Mayans.

Why are the Indigenous Mayans of Quintana Roo being Beaten and Detained?
Translation c/o restoringtheamericas.blogspot.com

Through this medium we want to inform of the arbitrary detentions that have been suffered by the ejidatarios (communal landowners – editor’s note) of the Mayan communities of the municipality of Felipe Carrillo Puerto. Given the events that took place on the highway from Felipe Carrillo Puerto to Cancun the past night of November 24 where various groups of ejidatarios took the aforementioned highway in protest of the insufficient pay of 50% offered by the SEDARI (The state Secretariat of Agricultural and Indigenous Development – ed.) due to failure of farmer’s crops from lack of monsoon rains.

Following these events state and federal police officers have taken illegal actions beating, abusing and encarcelating the ejidatarios; it is worth mentioning that these acts were realized in the interior of the city, in the streets, and even in the central park on the 24th and towards people who because of their simple appearance were considered to be ejidatarios, detaining in this matter 228 campesino farmers.

We mention also that these actions of the peasantry are a product of the evident inequality and the contrasts that exist in the state of Quintana Roo which receives a great deal of investment in the north, in the tourist zones and we see that there are no development projects for the mayan communities that live in the same conditions as they did five hundred years ago while these communities are owners of the natural resources of the state.

For these reasons we demand the liberation of the 228 citizens who are imprisoned.

For the prompt and immediate liberty of the 228 imprisoned indigenous mayans of Felipe Carrillo Puerto!

Ejido commissioners and Municipal delegates of Felipe Carrillo Puerto, Quintana Roo

Felipe Carrillo Puerto, on the 25 of November of 2009

Leer mas aquell

Irish Greens and Catholic Church

Just had this from Joseph Healy, dare say the Gombeen men and women will soon be on.
This follows on from a major report into abuse of children in church run reform schools in the Irish Republic. The Irish state established tribunal to investigate such cases to award compensation – some of it money from the state and the rest from the Church. Thousands of people have lodged cases and won awards. So far Ireland has been the only country to do so. In other countries, victims still have to pursue cases through the courts.

At the recent Green Left general meeting we agreed to take part in any protests about the Pope’s state visit to the UK. The points made in this interview re the global role of the Catholic Church are important. The Irish Greens at all the conferences of the European Green Party have opposed any social policy decisions which are opposed to those of the Catholic Church. They refused to support policies on abortion and sex education which they regarded as too progressive – abortion is totally illegal in the Republic and only allowed if the woman’s life is in danger.Furthermore, when we passed a motion extending abortion rights to Northern Ireland at the last London conference, the party in Northern Ireland told me that whereas they were supportive, they could not support it publicly because of the conservative society they operated in!

At an extended campaign meeting in Luxembourg, when I was still International Coordinator, there was a policy statement for the EGP on the European elections, which included references to breaking the links between Church and State in accordance with the ideas of the French Revolution. This was opposed by several Green parties from Catholic states such as Malta, and the Irish Senator (Deirdre de Burca) argued that “we cannot be seen to be supporting something which is opposed to the ethos of the Catholic Church”. Needless to say, I argued vehemently for the opposite case. This is not the case for the Spanish or Italian parties but does represent the position in Ireland, Malta and one or two others.

I would suggest that the Irish Greens, as with many other points, have completely missed the Zeitgeist in Ireland which is now deeply ambivalent and antipathetic towards the Catholic Church and its role in Irish society. As the great Irish Republican Wolfe Tone once commented:“Ireland’s two greatest enemies are the British Crown and the Catholic Church.”

The removal of one in 1921 from most of the country only resulted in the strengthening of the other. And don’t get me started on the Church’s connections with Fascism throughout Europe.

http://www.channel4.com/news/articles/uk/irish+catholic+church+8216hid+abuse+for+decades8217/3439507 Joseph Healy

Joining me tomorrow to help elect first Green MP

There is a lot of talk.

Much fear.

Little action.

Making the change is going to involve electing some better people.

I am off to Brighton to help Caroline Lucas's election campaign tomorrow between 10 and 11am.

Join me!

'The Eco Centre, 39-41 Surrey Street


East Sussex



t: 01273 766670
m: 07908 260528

The Green Party's latest campaign involves raising the profile of their prospective Green Party parliamentary candidate, Caroline Lucas, in a bid to make history and elect her as Britain's first Green MP. Each Wednesday they hold a voter survey activity. People meet at the office at 5.30pm before heading off to the northern wards. Travel is arranged and paid for in advance. Every first Saturday of the month they hold an action day where locals, as well as supporters from all over the country help out. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are all provided for free. If you think you could spare a short amount of time to help their historic campaign then please contact the constituency coordinator, Alex Phillips.'

26 Nov 2009

Ostrom on the war in India, Copenhagen and research

Climate, too, is a 'common' resource. How do you visualise 'governing the commons' operating at the international level, in the context of the debates over carbon caps and the summit next month at Copenhagen?
Climate change is a global phenomenon that requires a global response. But by focusing only on the level of global governance, we could miss out on benefits that could result from responding to the issue at individual, local, regional and national levels. Developing effective nested institutions at multiple levels is one of the key challenges of the contemporary era. For example, in Berkeley, California, there are city initiatives to help residents pay for installing solar panels; California has stringent state targets for air pollution; then there is the Regional Greenhouse Gas Consortium, made up of 10 northeastern states. Critics may argue that local and regional actions won't solve the climate change problem, but cumulatively, they're significant.

Right now in India there is a huge conflict over common pool resources, such as land and forests. While existing populations depend on these resources for survival, there are also developmental needs emerging from industrialisation, leading to clashes such as farmers versus industry, or indigenous communities versus mining companies. How do we resolve such conflicts over the commons?
This is a very tricky issue. If Mahatma Gandhi were alive, he would be with the people who have been sustaining the land and the resources and the trees. He would not consider going through big industry and lots of money as necessarily the best way. For example, in Mexico, there is a group of indigenous people that do have pretty good rights to their land, rights they obtained after considerable struggle. They have an NGO working with them, and they've set up a biological lab. They have figured out a way of growing orchids in their forests. And they don't have to cut down their trees as the orchids grow in the trees, and they sell the orchids for a good price. They've also figured out a way of growing beautiful mushrooms, and selling them. So, without destroying the forest, they are getting good income to the local community. And with that money, they have built a better school in their locality. They send kids to college, and those who hold masters degrees come back and serve the community for five years, which is a requirement. But many then stay on. So it is possible to develop with high respect for the indigenous people.

More here.

25 Nov 2009

SOAS meeting on ghetto hero this monday

Please spread the word, The Ghetto Fights! is a very inspiring story of Jewish socialist who fought the SS in Warsaw, Marek Edelman is sadly missed but he came so near, so many times to dying in 1944.

The Jewish Socialist Group continue to inspire as well. Just shows that the revolution will be SOAS - ised.

Please come along and forward to anyone else who may be interested in this meeting

SOAS Palestine Society



Marek Edelman, 1919-2009:

A Commander of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising"

a talk by

David Rosenberg,

Jewish Socialists' Group

Chair: Diana Neslen,

Jews for Justice for Palestinians

Monday, 30th November,

7pm, Room G2

Clergy are not border guards

I do a lot of work with green Muslims and there is tremendous tradition of Islamic politics which is plural, tolerant, feminist, green. Reminded of this by David Graeber yesterday

There are also some great people in other traditions, I was just about to look for this item from Rev Dick Wolff when he made a helpful comment on another blog entry.

Scary that the Church is being made to act against migrants, good Samaratians, well I guess they would get their papers checked and they would be chucked out.

Incidentally do look at Rev Wolff's blog, great to have him as a member of Green Left but depressing how walls are being built and migrants are seen as enemy number one.

If you read the Daily Mail remember prejudice kills!

Looking into the eyes of Pilate
address to Wessex Synod, 21 Nov 09 responding to the following paragraph in the Synod Executive report :

On behalf of the Ministries Committee of the General Assembly, the Synod is required to verify that all stipendiary ministers and Church Related Community Workers are legally entitled to work in the United Kingdom. It is hoped that as far as possible this process of verification can be completed at the meeting of Synod, to which all ministers have been asked to bring their passports or other documents.

I did not think it right that this paragraph of the Synod Executive report should pass without note. This is a first for the United Reformed Church - to witness the demeaning spectacle of ministers queueing to present their passports for photocopying by Synod staff. We have not been here before. I wanted to draw attention to it, because the majority of members of Synod may not even be aware that this has been happening over lunch.

What this represents is one more step in the creeping criminalisation of the inhabitants of this island.

In the strange world of immigration law, you are guilty until you can prove your innocence. Not so very long ago it was only foreign-looking people or newly-arrived people that were presumed to be aliens until they could show papers to prove they were here legally. More recently, aliens who dared to work here without a permit have been redefined as criminals. Now, it seems, we are all criminals - we are all presumed guilty of working here illegally - until we can prove otherwise.

more here

Bolivian Embassy reception for climate campaigners

Invitation to reception for Bolivian delegation, Bolivian Embassy, Thursday 3 December, 6.30-8.30pm

Please find attached an invitation to a reception at the Bolivian Embassy to welcome a delegation of social leaders from the Bolivian Civil Society Climate Change Platform.

The delegation is visiting London on their way to the Copenhagen climate change conference and they are here to let people in the UK know about the impacts of climate change in Bolivia, and to disseminate their message of climate justice for the world’s poor.

The delegation is comprised of five members of the Climate Change Platform, from Bolivia’s key union and indigenous movements as well as experts from Bolivian NGOs.

The reception will take place from 6.30-8.30pm on Thursday 3 December.

The address of the Embassy is 106 Eaton Square, London SW1W 9AD.

Please RSVP to enquiries@boliviainfoforum.org.uk if you plan to attend.

Take action, indigenous village demolished for second time

Green politicians I respect them if they stand up for the indigenous, if they don't I rapidly lose interest.

The earth is being destroyed, indigenous people stand in the way of the destruction, they are swept away if greens fail to stand up for them, they are not really green.

Green New Deal great but if we campaign for it so strongly we forget the environment and the indigenous, it will be too little, too late

Rant over, spread the word!

As many as 300 troops from Panama’s National Police have once again demolished a Naso village in Bocas del Toro.

No injuries have been reported, however, some 150 adults and 65 children have been left with no shelter and limited access to food and water.

The demolition was carried out on November 19, after the Governor of Bocas del Toro tried to convince the Naso community of San San Durui to voluntarily abandon their ancestral territory. The Naso refused to accept the Government’s terms.

Once the police arrived, according to Panama Profundo, the community did their best to resist. However, they were eventually forced to give way to the police and their indiscriminate use of tear gas.

With the Naso unable to protect their village, the police allowed the Ganadera Bocas cattle company—who claims to own the community’s land—to move in with their equipment to destroy the village. This is the second time in 8 months the same village has been leveled.

On March 30, 2009, Esther Mena de Chi, the last Governor of Bocas del Toro, ordered the Naso to be cleared off their land, which they have been trying to reclaim since the 1960s.

As a result of the order, eight children were hospitalized from exposure to tear gas and some 30 homes were destroyed, along with several other buildings. The police were also ordered to arrest several Naso leaders, which they attempted to do by preventing all men, women, and children from leaving or gaining access to food or water.

Soon after this, Panama’s Ombudsman pointed out that the police committed an “abuse of power” and failed to guarantee the Naso “due process”.

The same is true for last week’s eviction, even though, this time, the Ombudsman has refused to hear the Naso’s complaints.

According to the Naso, the police did not have a legal eviction order. Instead, they were acting solely on the word of Governor Becker and Justice Minister José Raúl Mulino, who warned the Naso on October 27 that an eviction would no longer be delayed by ongoing court proceedings.

With few other options, the Naso are currently preparing to file a complaint with the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights (IACHR), who has acted responsibly toward the Naso and the Ngobe in the past.

What You Can Do
To Support the Naso community of San San Drui and other threatened communities, please sign this petition urging the Panamanian Government to safeguard their human rights.

From http://intercontinentalcry.org/naso-village-demolished-for-the-second-time-this-year/

SWP back Jerry Hicks

Socialist Workers Party, don t ya hate them! Well I am critical of them but when they do good I am very happy to spread the word, they are doing the work of Gaia when it comes to Jerry Hicks, a solid green trade union activist, socialist and former SWP member, very good of the SWP to support some one they fell out with, excellent non sectarian spirit.


Jerry Hicks campaign for Unite leadership launched
Jerry Hicks, the victimised left wing Rolls Royce worker, has announced that he will be standing in next year’s election for general secretary of Britain’s biggest union, Unite.

Jerry won 40,000 votes for general secretary in the Amicus section of the union earlier this year, standing against the incumbent Derek Simpson. His campaign caught the mood of many in Unite who wanted to resist the attacks workers face.

He will be campaigning for the union to change its close relationship with New Labour – it has given the party £15 million in the past year while being ignored over almost everything.

If elected, Jerry has said he will take the average wage of a skilled worker.

He said, “Our union leadership, many of whom will seek to become the general secretary, have been unable to face up to Labour. Can our members be sure they can stand up to the Tories if they get in?”

Len McCluskey, Unite assistant general secretary and a supporter of current joint general secretary Tony Woodley, is the United Left group’s official candidate in the election.

Les Bayliss, also an assistant general secretary who is from the Amicus section of the union, has also declared that he will stand.

24 Nov 2009

The Ecological Revolution

The Ecological Revolution
John Bellamy Foster, Monthly Review Press, 2009

This is one of the best books I have read on climate change and the worsening environmental crisis. John Bellamy Foster is a professor of sociology, but don’t let that put you off – he writes with clarity and great flair. This book, like his others, is a product of very detailed scholarship. It puts the case that unless we have ecological revolution based on fundamental change, environmental problems will lead to catastrophe. He argues that environmental problems have social causes, that ever-increasing economic growth is unsustainable on our planet and that the ultimate cause of climate change is capitalism.

More here


ethnic cleansing it is on its way, scary how the main three political parties are camping up the migration scare, the Northern League in Italy have started expelling migrants, with climate change leading to more movement of people and elites needing some one to blame, this is going to get a lot worse. So pleased to have been sent this, the plan is of course to turn lecturers into cops. Racism it disgusts me, but we are going to be seeing more of it as a way of deflecting attention.


Open public meeting, organised in collaboration with Goldsmiths Student's

Union The Stretch (Student's Union), 5PM, Wednesday 2 December

The new 'points based' immigration rules represent a serious threat to campus democracy and freedom of speech. They require non-EU students and staff to have biometric ID cards, involve demands on the financial background of applicants and mean that staff are obliged to report students to the UK Border Agency when they have not attended regularly. Come and hear why these new immigration controls are unfair, unwarranted and undemocratic.

Organised in collaboration with Goldsmiths Student's Union.

SPEAKERS: Helena Kennedy QC, Labour Peer and Civil Rights Campaigner
Manick Govinda, Head of artists' advisory services, Arts admin, and initiator of the campaign against visa restrictions for artists
Tom Hickey, National Executive, University College Union (UCU)
James Haywood, National Executive, National Union of Students (NUS)

All welcome.

23 Nov 2009

PSUV congress report

Well I have sat and listened to Chavez for three hours, he is extremely entertaining and interesting, I have my differences (Iran) for a start.

Likewise changing Venezuela is difficult, lots of corruption, notice the mass media ignored fifty years of totally corrupt rule before Chavez.

Chavez is important, but the social change has to be from the grassroots.

Find it difficult to listen to most UK politicians for more than 50 seconds, dull.

This is a report I have just been sent.


Written by Alan Woods, from the Congress of the PSUV
Monday, 23 November 2009
At the opening session of the PSUV congress Chavez made a very radical left-wing speech, calling for the setting up of a new international, explaining that it was necessary to destroy the bourgeois state and replace it with a revolutionary state, but also referring to the bureaucracy within the Bolivarian movement itself. It was clearly a speech that reflects the enormous pressure from the masses below who are getting tired of talk about socialism, while real progress towards genuine change appears to be frustratingly slow.

On Saturday November 21, the First Extraordinary Congress of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) commenced its sessions with the attendance of 772 red-shirted delegates. The majority were workers, peasants and students, elected by around 2.5 million voters (the total membership on paper is seven million!). The atmosphere was one of enthusiasm and expectation.

After a warming up session of revolutionary songs and a couple of opening speeches from visiting dignitaries from Nicaragua and El Salvador, Hugo Chavez opened the proceedings with a five hour speech that finished shortly after midnight.

The main emphasis of the first part of his speech was the need to set up a new revolutionary international, which he referred to as the Fifth International. Chavez pointed out that Marx had set up the First International, Engels participated in the founding of the Second International, Lenin founded the Third International and Leon Trotsky the Fourth, but that for different reasons, none of these Internationals existed today.

Chavez pointed out that all these Internationals were originally based in Europe, reflecting the class battles in Europe at that time, but that today the epicentre of world revolution was in Latin America, and especially in Venezuela. He pointed to the presence at the Congress of 55 left parties from 39 countries, which had signed a document called the Caracas Agreement (El Compromiso de Caracas), based on the idea of a worldwide fight against imperialism and capitalism, for socialism.

He stressed this idea repeatedly in the course of his speech, which also contained many radical ideas, attacks against capitalism, which he said was a threat to the future of the human race. Referring to the world capitalist crisis, he condemned the attempts of western governments to save the system with lavish state bailouts. Our task, he said, was not to save capitalism but to destroy it.

Referring to the situation in Venezuela, he stated that they had not yet succeeded in eliminating capitalism but were moving in that direction. His announcement that they were going to take over seven banks was greeted with enthusiastic applause. He denounced the Venezuelan oligarchy as a Fifth Column, which had sold out to imperialism.

Chavez pointed out that the state in Venezuela remained a capitalist state and this was a central problem for the revolution. Waving a copy of Lenin's State and Revolution (which he recommended all the delegates to read), he said that he accepted Lenin's view that it was necessary to destroy the bourgeois state and replace it with a revolutionary state, and this task remained to be carried out.

Turning to the problem of bureaucracy, he warned that he was aware that some of the delegates present had been elected by irregular means and that some people were only interested in getting elected to parliament or as mayors and governors, which he described as unacceptable.

On the recent conflict with Colombia, he repeated his demand for the establishment of a people's militia, and that every worker, peasant, student, man and woman, should receive military training, and that this must not remain on paper but be put into practice.

"I attach great importance to this congress," Chavez said, "and intend to take an active part in its proceedings." He insisted that the congress should not end tomorrow (Sunday) but should continue to meet periodically for the next few months, so as to debate all these questions thoroughly. He insisted that the debates must be democratic, taking different opinions into consideration and that delegates must report back to the rank and file and discuss with them all the different proposals and documents.

The President emphasized that the next year would be difficult. The opposition would do everything possible to win the elections to the National Assembly in September 2010. "After that they will go for me," he said. At this point one delegate shouted out: "They will go for all of us!"

All this highlights the central problem. After 11 years there are signs that the masses are becoming impatient and frustrated with the slow pace of the revolution. The crisis of capitalism is having an effect, and many are disgusted with the bureaucracy and corruption they see everywhere, including within the Bolivarian Movement itself.

This frustration sometimes expresses itself in strikes. The President expressed his frustration at some strikes, although he appealed for a dialogue with the workers. But behind this is a general feeling that those in the leadership of the revolution are out of touch and do not listen to the masses or understand their problems.

During his speech, Chavez also stressed the need to recover the traditions of revolutionary trade unionism, since the working class has to play a leading role in the revolution. "The consciousness of the working class is key to the building of socialism", he said, adding that there must be a close alliance between the party and the workers.

It is clear that Chavez is attempting to use the congress to breathe new life into the revolution. Let us hope that this will be the starting point for a new advance of the Bolivarian Revolution, which can only succeed by going onto the offensive, braking radically with capitalism, striking blows against the reactionary oligarchy and establishing a genuine workers' state as the necessary condition for advancing to socialism and launching a revolutionary wave throughout the Americas and on a world scale.

Caracas, 21st November

The Revolution will be SOAS-ised!

Well if there is a revolution in Britain it will start at SOAS, thus the heat some people are taking, the meetings I have been too in SOAS.

just had this:

Next Saturday Climate Camp are organizing a day of workshops, debates and discussion about climate justice in SOAS university, London. This will include a debate on Just Transition with Harry Shutt (author of Beyond Profit Systems); Sian Moore (TUC Just Transition Project); and Bob Sutton (Workers' Climate Action), which may be of interest to the climate change trade union network.

For full details, please see below. Please circulate widely.

Climate Camp London and Zed books invite you to

Warm-up to Copenhagen at

The Great Global


a day of workshops, discussion and debate.

Climate change is one of the biggest issues of our age. Copenhagen is almost upon us. But the current political response is feeble.

When: Saturday 28 November, 11am—5.00pm

Where: SOAS, 10 Thornhaugh St, London, WC1H 0XG. Rooms: G2, FG07, FG08

Cost: Free (donations welcome)

Speakers will include Ruth Davis - Head of climate change policy at the RSPB, David Fleming - Lean Economy Connection, James Garvey The Ethics of Climate Change, Clive George The Truth about Trade, Victoria Johnson - NEF, Sian Moore - TUC Just Transition Project, Rupert Read - Green Party, Martin Reynolds The Environmental Responsibility Reader, Chris Rootes - Professor of Environmental Politics, University of Kent, Harry Shutt Beyond Profit Systems, Oliver Tickell Kyoto2, Gerry Woolf - DESERTEC; plus activists from Camp for Climate Action, Workers' Climate Action, Plane Stupid and more.

Whatever your level of knowledge, this is an exciting opportunity to learn more, meet others and be part of shaping the agenda in the run up to UN climate talks in Copenhagen.

Birds marsh to be built over

Good to hear from Steve Hunt, I have known him since I guess we were both seven or eight, I have long departed the playfields of Chippenham.

Sad to hear that the local environment continues to be built over at great speed, Chippenham I suspect in the 1950s was a place of beauty.

Not since.

Sorry no map by the way but do look at the link,

Dear all,

For those of you who don't know, Birds' Marsh is the area north of Chippenham that I have been chattering on about this year. My book on Birds' Marsh is due to be published in March.

See attached map indicating the affect of 'preferred options' on Birds' Marsh and other areas such as the Hardens Mead area. The green line indicates the proposed road which would cut across the Birds' Marsh fields and hedgerows and clip the edge of Birds' Marsh Wood.

The letter has links for the 2026 plan which aims to build more than 5, 000 houses in the Chippenham area. It also gives details of the consultation process. Responses to the consultation must be in by the end of the year. Beyond the local situation in Chippenham the formerly protected green belt is currently under threat in many areas. Success in protecting Birds' Marsh and other areas over the coming months could therefore help to protect the countryside as a whole.

See also: http://friendsofbirdsmarsh.com/ and forward to anyone else that might be interested.

Kind regards,


A Party to Win? Clare Solomon expulsion from SWP

SWP are loco in my view, control freakery, etc, etc, no wonder many people reject socialism, I know some very good SWP individuals but as an institution no thanks!

Monday, 23 November 2009
A Party to Win? Clare Solomon expulsion from SWP
Dear comrades, friends & fellow travellers,

Two months ago myself and James M were suspended from the SWP. James has had his suspension lifted and is able to participate in party debates at conference although is not able to sell the paper, attend branch meetings, central London, Soas or otherwise. It is a great shame that the party has enforced restricted membership on such a dedicated revolutionary.

On Saturday, however, I was expelled. I was expelled for 1) putting on an event called Mutiny which they claim was autonomist 2) for sending 6 friends a private email and 3) I was accused of 'lying', ie for not accepting that this was a factional email or event.

I have been a member for four turbulent years. My sister and I joined the SWP at Marxism 2005, the year of the London bombings which had me penned in my Brunswick Centre flat in Russell sq, a mere 100yds from the bus bomb.

How glad I am that I was amongst people such as you all at this difficult time and that my distress was channelled into becoming a revolutionary. Through learning from and participating in discussions about how to change the world I was won to the idea of having to do this collectively.

The seed of this was sown in my mind in 2003 when the local Stop the War branch used my restaurant (Char Bar in Cromer St) to hold planning meetings. Coming from a military family background (my dad was in the Military Police!) meeting these people and seeing their desire to fight back against the impending war on Iraq was certainly a life changing experience. My first ever demo was the 2m people one on 15 July 2003. I attended with my own homemade banner with the Gandhi quote 'an eye for an eye makes the whole world blind': my, how I have changed.

More here

22 Nov 2009

Irish mercenaries out of Bolivia

Had a useful meeting with Christian last monday, I hope the Greens in the Dail take action on this . The greens in Bolivia by which I mean the indigenous are doing serious work to protect the environment and of course if you are doing good work you face repression (if you are doing not very good work the clue is being given a well paid job by Fianna Fail!)

This is a quick cut and paste from my good amigo Liam's blog, do take a regular look

Integrated Risk Management Services is a company managed by former members of the Irish Army’s counter terrorist and special forces. One of its employees got himself killed by Bolivian police who claimed that he was involved in a plot to murder Evo Morales. This is the text of a letter handed intto the Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs on Friday by Cristian Dominguez, the Secretary of Natural Resources for the peasant organisation, CSUTCB and Cristian Dominguez and Jose Sagarnaga of the Bolivia Solidarity Campaign.

Minister for Foreign Affairs
Mr Micheál Martin
80 St. Stephens Green
Dublin 2
Dear Mr Martín,
As members of Bolivian civil society in Europe we would like to respectfully bring to your attention matters relating to the Irish-based company Integrated Risk Management Services (I-RMS).
We have information that proves that this company employs or has employed well known mercenaries as Coronel Gyla Attila. It is through these mercenaries that Michael Dwyer, an employee of I-RMS made contact with international mercenaries.
The I-RMS company provides security to Fianna Fáil for its annual conferences as well as providing security for Shell in Rossport, I-RMS had an advert on its website offering armed and un-armed security services internationally. The advert was taken off the website after the death of Michael Dwyer in an armed clashed with the Bolivian police earlier this year.
We would like you to investigate the links between this company and right wing extremist terrorist groups in Europe and the connexions they have with our country Bolivia. Bolivia is a country undergoing a deep process of social, cultural and economic change, which has the support of rank and file social organisations. Our government is the representative of the people and was elected with 53% of the votes and ratified with 68% of the votes in a recall referendum. Its legitimacy cannot be questioned.
The presence of Irish citizen Michael Dwyer in Bolivia coincided with terrorist attacks perpetrated in 2008 and the first months of 2009, aimed at destabilising the process of change we describe above.
The actions which led to the death of Mr Dwyer started back in Ireland, when he worked for Irish company I-RMS. Your government, as well as the Irish media, have asked the Bolivian government to investigate these facts, and this is now being done. However, we would like to request from your government a full investigation into the obscure aims and methods of companies which employ mercenaries or terrorists, and which openly offer their services in Ireland.
Cristian Domínguez, secretary of defence of natural resources and the environment of the Bolivian Confederation of Peasant Workers (CSUTCB), is currently visiting Europe. He is a survivor of the massacre of Pando in 2008, which was organised and carried out by those who are experts in organisation wars of secession. Mr Dwyer and the machinery he was a part of should be investigated for their responsibility in these events which left men, women and children dead, and many survivors scarred for life.
The proof that exists against these mercenary groups is conclusive, but we are worried that they are still active in our country, Bolivia. For all these reasons, and knowing your democratic and peace-loving record, we would like to request from the office you represent:
1.- A full investigation into the legal status of I-RMS in Ireland and the services it offers, as well as an investigation into any other companies offering international armed security services from Ireland.
2.- An investigation into the links between security company I-RMS and extreme right wing elements from Eastern Europe. There are clear indications that Attila, an employee of I-RMS, was the contact who recruited Michael Dwyer for his activities in Bolivia.
3.- Taking into account the danger that these mercenaries pose to our democracy and to Bolivian society as a whole, we would like your government to investigate how many people employed by I-RMS have travelled to Bolivia and whether they are still in our territory.
4.- It is possible that other Irish organisations and/or companies are still offering security training to Irish citizens in Bolivia. If this is the case, the Bolivian government should be informed so it can take action to prevent terrorist activities against the Bolivian state.
5.- We would like to know what knowledge does your government have of these facts and what actions has it taken against these groups and their terrorist activities.
6.- Finally, we would like to respectfully ask that the result of these investigations be made public, so these terrorist cells can be disbanded and cease to be a threat to Bolivia and the world.
Sincerely yours,
Cristian Domínguez
Secretario de Defensa de los Recursos Naturales y del Medio Ambiente CSUTCB
Amancay Colque, Coordinator Bolivia Solidarity Campaign
Bolivia Solidarity Campaign-Inglaterra: Amancay Colque – Jose Sagarnaga
ARLAC, Bruselas- Bélgica: Ringo Guzman
Ballet Folclórico Boliviano, Barcelona – España: Severino Viraca
Bolivia Action Solidarity Network-Canada: Marcelo Saavedra Vargas
Cambio Foro Bolivia, Estocolmo- Suecia: Judith Muñoz – Nelson Monsalvez
Centro Cultural Tupac Katari, Estocolmo-Suecia
Comisión Comunicación CPB-EU y CPB-Francia: Jose Luis Martinez
Comité de Apoyo a Bolivia.Malmö-Suecia: Tereza Moreira – Marcelo Torrez
Comitè de Solidaritat amb els Pobles Indígenes d´ Amèrica M. Antònia Arnau
Consejo Pro Bolivia – Escandinavia: Eulogio Limachi - Leonor Churquina
Consejo Pro Bolivia- CPB – Alemania: Roxana Soria – Gladis Schlanbush
Consejo Pro Bolivia Gotemburgo.- Suecia: Walter Vera Rivera - Jorge carrasco
Coordinadora Somos Mas, Barcelona-España: Rosa Rosa Krugler -
Grupo Apoyo a Bolivia, GAB-Estocolmo-Suecia: Jorge Cuenca
Grupo Apoyo a Bolivia, GAB-Växjö-Suecia: Victoria Gonsalez
Grupo de apoyo al MAS, Barcelona-España: Varinia Olivares
Grupo de Apoyo al MAS, Uppsala, Suecia Adriana Petersheim
Latinamerikagrupperna-Gbg. – Suecia: Adolfo Suarez
Por la Comisión Orgánica del Consejo Pro Bolivia en Europa, CPB-EU: Walter
Vera Rivera- Victoria Gonsalez
Presencia Latinoamericana (Frente Bolivia)-Suiza: Patricia Ogay
Coordinadora Somos Mas, Barcelona, Rosa Kugler
Grupo de Apoyo al MAS en Noruega Julio Cesar Toro

Jerry Hicks will run!

Just got the brilliant news that Jerry Hicks will run for General Secretary of Unite.

I had a meeting with Jerry a couple of weeks ago and urged him to stand, I think lots of other people have urged as well and he has taken up the call.

He is a great guy, he has really pushed the Green New Deal and green trade unionism, when he fought last year for the General Secretary post, where he beat the right to come second in a contest with Derek Simpson, he stressed his opposition to nuclear power and Heathrow expansion.

With cuts on the way and a possible tory government we need some grassroots trade union fighters and Jerry is the best.

I will be doing all I can to support his campaign, this time victory is in reach.

Dear Friends,

After careful consideration and taking into account all the excellent offers of support from every section within Unite I have decided that it would be the right decision to stand again in the election for General Secretary.
Although there is no date yet for the election it has to happen at some point next year, most likely soon after the General Election.

It is well worth reminding ourselves that our campaign last time went from strength to strength, despite being given no chance of even forcing an election.
We were then given little hope of securing enough nominations when not backed by the Gazette group (who supported Laurence Faircloth). We actually gained far more than he did and he then withdrew, which is something we had predicted but it was not given much credence at the time.

You will probably remember the detractors then went on to say that a 'vote for Jerry Hicks' would let the right wing candidate in (Kevin Coyne). Nothing of course could have been further from the truth. Not only did our campaign lead to Laurence Faircloth withdrawing we then soundly beat both Kevin Coyne and Paul Reuter at the ballot box finishing second only to the incumbent Derek Simpson.

It is my view that since that election things have got much worse, not just the economy but also the union leaderships failure to defend our members. We have also missed opportunities that have presented themselves, quick to make demands but slow to inspire or galvanise our members.

As was with the last election it is likely that all the other candidates will be senior officials of the union, indeed many have already been campaigning and not surprisingly often saying the right things. But its not what someone says its what they do that counts.

I have been a critic of Derek Simpson but truth is he has been allowed to get away with far too much with too little opposition from the same senior officials who would have us believe they should run our union. Our members deserve a better choice than simply more of the same.

Keep on keeping on, and expect the unexpected; Jerry Hicks.


Population bomb billionaires to add contraceptives to water supply?

I have never really believed in conspiracy theories but a new book on population control reveals that George Soros, Bill Gates
and other billionaires have been getting together to find ways of stopping the rest of us breeding.

I have three children so will I find Bill Gates on my door step offering me contraceptive advice.

Who knows? Review here

Fatal Misconception: The struggle to control world population
By Matthew Connelly, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, 2008. 521 pages.
Review by Simon Butler
November 16, 2009 -- A select group of billionaires met in semi-secrecy in May 2009 to find answers to a “nightmarish” concern. Their worst nightmare wasn’t the imminent danger of runaway climate change, the burgeoning levels of hunger worldwide or the spread of weapons of mass destruction.
The nightmare was other people – lots of other people.
The self-styled “Good Group” included Microsoft founder Bill Gates, media mogul Ted Turner, David Rockefeller Jr and financiers George Soros and Warren Buffet.
The London Sunday Times said they discussed a plan to tackle overpopulation, something they considered “a potentially disastrous environmental, social and industrial threat”.

21 Nov 2009

URGENT ACTION: Paramilitary Death Threat against Aida Quilcué and Social Organisations

URGENT ACTION: Paramilitary Death Threat against Aida Quilcué and Social Organisations

Paramilitaries threaten social organisations in southwest Colombia again.

Aida Quilcué amongst those declared as military objective by paramilitaries

Paramilitaries have again threatened social organisations across the southwest region of Colombia, as paramilitary violence and threats continue to intensify in the Andean country. Indigenous leader Aida Quilcué was amongst those threatened, a month after she returned from a trip to the UK at the invite of Unison Northern and the Northern TUC, in conjunction with the Colombia Solidarity Campaign.

The threat is signed by the ‘Grupo Armado Los Ratrojos – Comandos Urbanos’, a new generation paramilitary militia based in Nariño department, and dated November 2009. It names Aida and several other social organisations and individuals which operate in the South West region of Colombia.

Aida is ex-leader of the Cauca Regional Indigenous Council (CRIC), spokesperson for the Minga of Social and Communitarian Resistance, and currently a pre-candidate for next March’s Senate elections. Her husband Edwin was murdered by the Colombian army in December 2008 in an attack seemingly meant for Aida herself.

During October, on two occasions Aida was regularly followed by strange cars and individuals. On one occasion two men who were following Aida were apprehended by indigenous guards, who found that the men were armed and weren’t carrying any identification, a criminal offence in Colombia. On another occasion, four men in a car were seen monitoring Aida’s house. The car’s registration plate was recorded, but when the details were taken to the police to ask them to run a check on the vehicle, the reply was that this registration doesn’t exist.


The threat states that all have been declared as military objectives ‘after a long and extensive intelligence process’, and accuses all of the organisations and individuals of being guerrillas. It comes after a shower of threats and violence against social organisations in the region over the past month.

In Cerro Tijeras indigenous reserve, Cauca department, three community members have been murdered in the past three weeks, and another seriously injured (See Urgent Action 20 November 2009). During her trip to the UK Aida expressed concern for her safety upon returning to Colombia, but said that she had to go back “because she dreams that Colombia can one day be different, a country with social justice and peace, and without arms”.

Please help to protect the social organisations and individuals being threatened in Colombia by expressing your concerns to the Colombian government.

You can write to the Colombian embassy in the UK at elondres@cancilleria.gov.co and mail@colombianembassy.co.uk

Please copy your emails to info@colombiasolidarity.org.uk

21 November 2009

Mean and Green?

Mean and green: the eco campaign against everyday life
Wed 18 Nov, 2009
David Attenborough has joined the ranks of the bossy greens who want to save the planet – from humanity. Jason Walsh asks if the environmental movement is winning the battle but losing the war by making ever more extreme demands

Television naturalist David Attenborough recently signed-up to front a political cause. He’s not planning on replacing Declan Ganley, though. Instead, by becoming patron of the Optimum Population Trust (OPT), Attenborough has put his sights squarely on the seething mass of humanity. The OPT opposes immigration, seeking a one-in, one-out policy it calls “balanced migration” and says “there is no unlimited right to have children.”

Attenborough is a popular figure, and rightly so: he educated and entertained us as children, sparking a sense of wonder at the natural world. He is not merely a television presenter, he is more like our collective uncle. Why, then, has he thrown his weight behind such an extreme position? The idea of an ‘optimum population’ is one very much supported by the far-right British National Party and when China introduced its one-child policy in 1979 it was widely criticised for its authoritarian nature.

Read more: http://forth.ie/index.php/content/article/mean_and_green/20091118/#ixzz0XUvXPOJp

While I am not a fan of the Socialist Workers Party it has some cracking people in it, for example, Keith Flett. What would we do without him.

He has just twittered me

'found the unbeatable orange&chilli marmalade at Usk farmers market'

Which I think illustrates that a green lifestyle can be one in the pursuit of pleasure as well as sustainability.

I enjoy gardening the permaculture way and being green.

However while Jason's article name checks a few too many of the tribe of Spiked for me to be totally comfortable, what he is arguing is essentially correct,

Lifestyle can be a huge pain in the back side and we need to change structures not feel guilty about using bathwater.

Good public transport, good green agriculture, a green new deal and all the other big changes to make life ecologically sustainable are key, not weaving a shirt out of straw.

So its ecosocialism as an alternative not individualist change, and change must be enjoyable.

And blaming population easily turns into an authoritarian move, I would be more sympathetic if the likes of David Attenborough posted contraceptives to bankers rather than lecturing people in developing countries.

Also good post from that Lenin guy here....on the population bombers

20 Nov 2009

Brighton Tories admit Caroline Lucas is headed for a win

The Tories selected a new Brighton Pavilon candidate by an open primary, just noticed this comment from one of their members

“I thought the whole process was a bit long winded, they could have narrowed it down to less candidates and a shorter time each. It was extremely difficult to choose. Everyone around me said they didn’t know who to vote for. I think Charlotte Vere has got a very tough fight on her hands with the Greens now.”


Elections are won by activity, I am hard pressed finishing a book but I am going to spare some hours next saturday to get the train to Brighton and do some election work for Caroline.

Eco centre, saturday 28th 10pm to 11pm to get some leaflets.

The Eco centre is right outside Brighton Train Station. come and join me.

Colonies Still?

Colonies Still?
[col. writ. 11/13/09] (c) '09 Mumia Abu-Jamal

One of the greatest theorists, analysts and critics of colonialism was the late Martinican psychiatrist Frantz Fanon, but Dr. Fanon's work dwelled on the crises of colonialism in Africa.

We like to think that colonialism was a problem of yesteryear -- the '60's, '70's and early '80's. It's history -- right?

Well, what really matters isn't what we think, but what others in those countries think. We should also note that things change; sometimes in form but not in essence.

Earlier this year, a group of Pakistani intellectuals, activists, lawyers and political leaders produced a brief but collective report detailing the problems facing the nation. The 12-=page report, entitled Making Pakistan a Tenable State, lists 185 points of concern. Among them is the following, pt. 14 which states:

Today, Pakistan finds itself fully trapped in the whirl of liberalization,
globalization, privatization and the so-called war on terror. The
economic agreements and covenants bind Pakistan to follow policies
dictated from the outside. Similarly, the strategies and covenants bind
Pakistan to defend itself against foreign aggression are hugely dependent
upon the defense related agreements signed with the United States.
Frequent visits to Pakistan of the officials of the departments of state
and defense are indicative of the advices of the superpower we are
obliged to follow. Small wonder, Pakistan is recognized all over the
world as a client state of the United States. [22-3]

Client state. It's like the 21st century version of colony.
For if a nation can't freely make its own foreign policy, and must abide by the will of another, client is but a polite term.

The report covers Pakistan's colonial history, when it was part of India, when it was once known as East and West Pakistan divided by a vast expanse of Indian territory, and the control of the political elites by the moneyed classes.

When we speak of such states as "democracies" we are hardly being honest.

They are democracies in name only' client-states of the superpower.

--(c) '09 maj

[Sources: Independent Planning Commission of Pakistan, Making Pakistan a Tenable State. (Lahore, Pakistan: Ferozsons Ltd., 2009). ]

Green New Deal petition

The Number 10 petition for A Million Climate Jobs is now up and running.

Please sign the petition, which is at the web address shown below, and forward to all lists.



At some point gradual climate change is going to turn into runaway catastrophe. We may well hit that point in the next twenty years. To avoid doing so, we need drastic cuts in the amount of carbon dioxide, methane and other greenhouse gases we put into the air. This will mean government regulation and international agreements. It will also take a lot of work – jobs. We have to produce wind, wave, tide and solar power. We have to renovate and insulate our homes and buildings. And we have to provide a network of cheap buses and trains. There are two and a half million unemployed people in Britain. By next year there are likely to be three million or more. It is possible that the economy will have started to 'recover' during 2010. But unemployment will grow for a time even after 'recovery' begins, and may stay high for a very long time. We have people who need jobs and work that must be done. A million climate jobs in the UK will not solve all the economy's problems. But it will take a million human beings off the dole and put them to work saving the future.


Vease VERSION ESPAÑOL abajo, who do I blame, well Rory Carroll et al, if human rights are being abused in Latin America the British media will be the last to tell you about it!




The below signed organisations denounce the grave situation that now confronts indigenous communities in the East and North of Cauca department.

In only two weeks three indigenous communities members have been murdered, and another is currently in grave condition in intensive care in a hospital in Cali. It is important to note the high level of militarization of the territories mentioned, which was further increased in the past two weeks.

As we denounced on 22nd October 2009, a threat arrived to the offices of CUT Valle and Nomadesc organisations, in Cali. Five organisations are mentioned in the threat five, including Cerro Tijeras indigenous reserve, and six individuals are also named. All of the organisations and individuals participate in the Minga of Social and Communitarian Resistance. The threat is signed by the ‘AGUILAS NEGRAS NUEVA GENERACION’ paramilitary group [Black Eagles – New Generation].

We would like to highlight that on October 16th the Minga of Social and Communitarian Resistance held a ‘Peoples’ Congress’ in which serious human rights violations against indigenous, campesino, afro-Colombian, student and popular sectors were denounced at national and international level.

Since the threats, the following events have taken place:
1. On October 29th 2009, MARLY CAROLINA HUILA GUAMANGA was murdered in the Damian area of Cerro Tijeras indigenous reserve, Suarez municipality, Cauca department.
2. On November 11th 2009, REINALDO BOMBA was murdered in Bella Vista area of Cerro Tijeras indigenous reserve.
3. On November 13th 2009, NILSON CAMPO was murdered and EGIDIO OVANDO HUILA was seriously inured in the Damian area of Cerro Tijeras indigenous reserve.

At 10pm on November 13, NILSON CAMPO and EGIDIO OVANDO HUILA were attacked by an unidentified group of armed men as they travelled on a motorbike. Both were members of the Cerro Tijeras indigenous community. According to information from the community, NELSON CAMPO was shot five times, receiving three impacts in the abdomen, one in the face and one in the ear. EGIDIO OVANDO HUILA was also shot five times and attacked with a machete. CAMPO was involved in community agriculture projects, and had previously been the treasurer in Honduras indigenous reserve authority in 2006.

All of these events have taken place late at night or very early in the morning. The perpetrators are seemingly paramilitary organisations who carry out their operations in military camouflage clothes with black armbands.


We demand that immediate protection is provided to EGIDIO OVANDO HUILA, who remains in serious condition in hospital.

That the different armed groups respect the lives and rights of indigenous communities and the Colombian population in general.

That multinational companies respect the territory, autonomy and self-determination of communities.

That the Ministry of Interior and Justice takes sufficient preventative measures in order to prevent any aggression against threatened indigenous communities and social sectors.

That the state investigation organisms undertake a thorough investigation as soon as possible and as quickly as possible to clarify what is happening in the zone, and that they make the results public.

That the Colombian government and all other state institutions recognise the level of vulnerability of Colombian indigenous communities and social organisations, and complies with their constitutional duty and international legislation which requires them to protect human rights.

To the National Army that in their operations they strictly observe Human righrs legislation and International Humanitarian Law.

We all upon the United Nations, Human Rights organisations, social organisations, state institutions, NGOs, and international control organisms to speak out about what is happening to Cerro Tijeras community as soon as possible, and to accompany the threatened communities in their territories.

We request that international organisations from all over the world accompany indigenous communities and social organisations through permanently monitoring the human rights situation in Colombia and demanding compliance with national and international legislation which demands respect for communities and territory, and also support the Minga of Communitarian and Social Resistance in its demands.

Please direct your correspondence to the Colombian Embassy in your country.

If you are in Britain, you can direct your correspondence to the Colombian embassy at elondres@cancilleria.gov.co.
[also mail@colombianembassy.co.uk ]
NOTE: Please copy your emails to the following email addresses: accionjuridica.nomadesc@gmail.com, dhprohibidolvidar@yahoo.com





Las organizaciones abajo firmantes denunciamos la grave situación que afrontan las comunidades indígenas de la zona Occidente y Norte del Cauca. En tan solo dos semanas han sido asesinados tres indígenas y otro mas gravemente herido quien se encuentra en cuidados intensivos en la Clínica Valle de Lili de la ciudad Santiago de Cali. Es importante resaltar la alta y constante militarización del territorio. La cual aumento su pie de fuerza ostensiblemente en las dos ultimas semanas.

Como lo habíamos denunciado anteriormente el día 22 de octubre de 2009, llego una amenaza enviada desde el Municipio de Santander de Quilichao a las oficinas de la CUT VALLE y NOMADESC Cali. En esta amenaza se mencionan cinco organizaciones entre ellas el Resguardo Cerro Tijeras y seis personas con nombre propio de las organizaciones sociales pertenecientes a la Minga de Resistencia Social y Comunitaria que aparecen en la amenaza firmada por un grupo que se autodenomina “AGUILAS NEGRAS NUEVA GENERACION”

Resaltamos que la Minga de Resistencia social y comunitaria el pasado 16 de octubre sesiono en su precongreso itinerante y denuncio ante el país y el mundo las graves violaciones de derechos humanos de las que son objeto las comunidades indígenas, campesinas, populares, afro descendientes, estudiantiles y obreras en todo el país.

Dichas amenazas se han materializado de la siguiente manera:

El día 29 de Octubre de 2009 fue asesinada MARLY CAROLINA HUILA GUAMANGA, hechos sucedidos el la vereda Damián del Resguardo Cerro tijeras, Municipio de Suárez, Cauca.
El día 11 de noviembre de 2009 fue asesinado REINALDO BOMBA en la Vereda Bella Vista del Resguardo Cerro tijeras, Municipio de Suárez, Cauca.
El día 13 de Noviembre de 2009 fue asesinado NILSON CAMPO y herido de gravedad EGIDIO OVANDO HUILA, en el sitio denominado “El Tanque” ubicado en el Cerro Damián del Resguardo Cerro Tijeras, Municipio de Suárez, Cauca.


El día 13 de noviembre de 2009, siendo las 10:00 p.m. fue asesinado NILSON CAMPO Comunero indígena del resguardo de Honduras y herido EGIDIO OVANDO HUILA, comunero indígena del Resguardo Cerro Tijeras, los dos se trasportaban en moto Zusuki Placas XJB 10A, cuando fueron atacados por un grupo armado que hasta el momento no ha sido identificado.

Los hechos sucedieron en el sitio denominado “El Tanque” ubicado en el Cerro Damián del Resguardo Cerro Tijeras, Municipio de Suárez, Cauca. Según información de la Comunidad NILSON CAMPO, recibió cinco tiros de arma de fuego y el herido además de cinco impactos de bala fue agredido a machete.

NILSON CAMPO, recibió cinco impactos tres impactos en el abdomen, otro en el pómulo derecho y otro en la oreja. El comunero indígena actualmente guardiaba el proyecto piscícola de de las asociación de Piscicultores indígenas ASPROINCA y había sido tesorero del Cabildo Honduras en el año 2006 y capitán del mismo en el año 2007.

Es importante anotar que los hechos han sucedido a altas horas de la noche o en la madrugada, los autores al parecer grupos paramilitares desarrollan sus operaciones vestidos de camuflado y con brazaletes negros.


Exigimos se brinde protección inmediata al comunero indígena del Resguardo Cerro Tijeras que se encuentra gravemente herido.

Exigimos a los diferentes actores armados respeto a la vida y derechos de las comunidades indígenas y del pueblo colombiano en general.

A las multinacionales respeto al territorio, autonomía y autodeterminación de los pueblos.

Al Ministerio del Interior y de Justicia, brindar los mecanismos de prevención suficientes y necesarios para frenar cualquier hecho que atente contra la integridad de las comunidades indígenas y sectores sociales amenazados.

A los Organismos de Investigación del Estado efectuar de manera oportuna las investigaciones necesarias para esclarecer los hechos en el menor tiempo posible y mostrar públicamente sus resultados.

Al Gobierno Nacional al Estado y a todas las instituciones, a reconocer el nivel de vulnerabilidad de las comunidades indígenas de Colombia y organizaciones sociales y cumplir con los mandatos constitucionales y normas nacionales e internacionales de protección a los derechos humanos.

Al Ejército Nacional que en el desarrollo de sus operaciones observe el estricto cumplimiento de las normas de Derechos Humanos y de DIH.

A todas las instituciones del estado dar cumplimiento a los Autos 004 del 26 de enero de 2009 y 005 de 2009, en los cuales se ordena la protección de los derechos fundamentales de las personas, pueblos indígenas y comunidades afrodescendientes desplazadas por el conflicto armado o en riesgo de desplazamiento.

Convocamos al Sistema de Naciones Unidas, organismos de Derechos Humanos, a las organizaciones Sociales, Instituciones del Estado, ONGs Internacionales organismos de control pronunciarse a la mayor brevedad y acompañar en los territorios a las comunidades amenazadas y en peligro de ser exterminadas.

Solicitamos a las organizaciones internacionales en todo el mundo acompañar a las comunidades indígenas y organizaciones sociales mediante una veeduría permanente de la situación de derechos humanos exigiendo el cumplimiento de normas nacionales e internacionales de respeto, a las comunidades y su territorio. Así mismo acompañar a la Minga de resistencia social y comunitaria en sus exigencias.

Sus pronunciamientos los puede enviar a:

Presidente de la República
Carrera 8 No. 7 -26 Palacio de Nariño Bogotá
Fax. 5662071

Vicepresidente de la República
Carrera 8 No.7-57 Bogotá D.C.

Ministro de la Defensa (E)
Avenida El dorado con carrera 52 CAN Bogotá D.C.

Ministro del Interior y de Justicia
Avenida El dorado con carrera 52 CAN Bogotá D.C.
Fax. 2221874

Fiscal General de la Nación
Diagonal 22B No. 52-01 Bogotá D.C.
Fax. 570 20 00

Defensor del Pueblo
Calle 55 No. 10 – 32 Bogotá D.C.
Fax. 640 04 91

Procurador General de la Nación
Cra. 5 No.15 – 80F Bogotá D.C.

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...