31 Mar 2010

Economist predict green win

Nice to see them quote Andrew Dobson who was my Phd examiner.

The campaign trail (1)
Fertile ground?
Why the Green breakthrough may finally have come
Mar 31st 2010 | BRIGHTON AND LONDON | From The Economist print edition
Caroline Lucas, a grown-up Green
THE buzz among Green activists in Brighton, a southern seaside town famed for its pier and political conferences, is contagious. Brighton Pavilion is their party’s best chance of winning their first parliamentary seat in the coming general election, and their candidate, Caroline Lucas, an MEP, is also their leader. With the help of nearly 50 volunteers, Matt Follett, the national policy co-ordinator, and Simon Williams, the local campaign manager, are leafleting at least half of the constituency each Saturday. “Ask Eric Pickles if he can do that,” says Mr Follett. (Mr Pickles is chairman of the Conservative Party.)
On paper, Brighton Pavilion should be a stroll for Labour. It won last time with 35% of the votes cast, while the Tories got less than 24% and the Greens under 22% (twice their previous result). But the incumbent is standing down, and polls suggest a fight between the Tories and the Greens.
Ms Lucas’s party takes comfort from two polls. In the first, for PoliticsHome, a website, more than 34,000 people in 238 marginal seats were interviewed last September. The pollsters found that seaside towns showed milder swings to the Conservatives than other marginals and the strongest shift towards minor parties (up from 8% in 2005 to 19% in 2009). The Greens would win Brighton Pavilion, they concluded. This finding was reinforced by an ICM poll in the constituency in December for the Green Party. Some 35% of those intending to vote supported the Greens, 27% the Conservatives, 25% Labour, 11% the Liberal Democrats and 1% the United Kingdom Independence Party.
The Greens infuriate the Tory candidate, Charlotte Vere, a businesswoman and self-styled “social entrepreneur”. She believes she can marshal votes in the wealthier northern wards, but says, glumly, that the fight is “unfair” because the Greens, whom she describes as hard-left “eco-fascists”, don’t face the kind of political scrutiny endured by mainstream parties. But she has taken a leaf from their book: her election literature makes great play of her “passion” for the environment.
Such rhetorical flourishes demonstrate the power of the Green vote in Brighton. There are a number of reasons why the party can win there, supporters say. Unlike the other candidates, Ms Lucas is a national figure. The party has strong roots in Brighton, a raffish, leftish town of tattoo salons and health-food shops, where undertakers offer “green funerals”. It holds more seats in the council wards in the constituency than the Tories or Labour do. The party received donations totalling a modest £352,163 last year, which it is concentrating on its three target seats (the others are Lewisham Deptford and Norwich South). And the Greens always have lots of willing hands to help. Widespread fear of climate change boosts their chances too, of course.
But the party has also grown up. Andrew Dobson, a professor of politics at Keele University, wrote the Green Party’s election manifesto. He says that there is now a clear distinction between a professionally run party and the wider, more chaotic environmental movement. The change in how policy is presented demonstrates this, he claims: the manifesto focuses on fully costed economic policies, not on inspirational environmental slogans.
Ms Lucas was elected as the Greens’ first leader two years ago, and she has made the most of her media opportunities. The party has developed, she says, “a much clearer focus on electoral politics”, taking heart from its victories in local and European elections. To improve its chances, it appointed a new advertising agency, Glue London, last year.
The Greens’ PR boss, Tracy Dighton-Brown, recalls arriving for her first meeting with the agency and being greeted by its chief executive. They both had certain stereotypical expectations, she says. “He was wearing a cardigan and offered us herbal tea. I was wearing a suit.” The agency does focus-group research for the party. It also draws inspiration from Barack Obama’s use of friendship networks to mobilise voters (and donors).
Tony Travers, of the London School of Economics, reckons the party has a chance of winning a seat or two this time, pointing out that the Greens are seen as a “gentle and harmless safe alternative for disillusioned voters”, mostly on the left. He predicts a growing presence in southern university towns—Oxford, Cambridge and Norwich in particular. But the first-past-the-post voting system for MPs is a huge obstacle for any small party. Greens may be moaning about that man-made, artificial construct for some time.

Venezuela film showing Sheffield 25th April

More details herehttp://alborada.net/insidetherevolution-venezuela-sheffield-250410

Son of Labour Minister joins Greens

'All the signs are that Ian Chamberlain will take the seat for the Green Party – I wish him good luck. As the ex Chairperson of the Labour Party Constituency of Lancastr & Fleetwood, I resigned my membership of Labour (disgusted with Iraq and the expenses scandal). I recently joined the Green Party in Lancaster and am working hard to convince floating voters to use their vote wisely on 1st April and vote GREEN. It is the only option in Lancaster, progression, transparency, accountability and above all honesty and real connection with the electorate. This IS the Green Party & Ian Chamberlain has my full support and backing and of course my VOTE on 1st April 2010. He will make a formidable city councillor. I urge anybody who is ‘unsure’ to vote GREEN on 1st April 2010.'

Luke takes up the story here

30 Mar 2010

Thought for today

Fortnight of Shame

Please join us in taking action to keep BP out of the tar sands
- the single most destructive project on earth.
The BP Fortnight of Shame is a call to action from the UK Tar Sands
Network, Rising Tide UK and the Camp for Climate Action to force BP to
reverse their crazy plans to move into Canada's tar sands.

It runs between the annual Fossil Fools day on April 1st and BP's
Annual General Meeting on April 15th.
Grassroots groups across the UK and around the world, will be taking action in solidarity with First Nations communities in Canada to stop BP's deadly plans in their tracks.

Why Tar Sands?
Attempts to avert the planet from sliding into climate crisis are being
threatened by a single massive project in the Canadian wilderness.
Already, millions of barrels of tar sands oil are being extracted every
day, producing three to five times as many greenhouse gas emissions as
conventional oil. The extraction process is immensely resource-intensive,
currently using enough natural gas every day to heat 3.2 million Canadian
homes. Add to this the mass de-forestation the projects are causing,
ridding us of desperately needed carbon sinks; and it becomes clear this
project cannot be allowed to continue if we are serious about preventing
runaway climate change.

The effects tar sands are having on local First Nations communities are
devastating. The tar sands development in Alberta covers an area the size
of England, with toxic tailing ponds so huge they are visible from space,
leaking poisons into the local water supply. Not only are indigenous
livelihoods and futures being destroyed but communities on land where tar
sands extraction has been imposed, are experiencing disturbingly high rates
of rare forms of cancer and auto-immune diseases.

Why BP?
BP are the only major oil company with no tar sands extraction projects
currently in operation. This is about to change. Since 2007, BP have
quietly ditched the 'Beyond Petroleum' sham, because investing in
renewables simply wasn't making them enough profit. They have decided to
go back to Petroleum, with a vengeance, under the leadership of new Chief
Executive Tony Hayward.

Moving into tar sands was one of the first steps Tony Hayward took,
acquiring a half share in the Sunrise Project with Husky Energy. The
Sunrise Project will be huge, producing 200,000 barrels of filthy oil a
day using Steam-Assisted Gravity Drainage (SAGD), an extraction
process even more energy and water intensive than the more visible
surface-mining operations.

The recession has given us a window of opportunity.
BP have been forced to postpone their final decision on whether to go ahead until the second half of 2010. This means it is not too late for us to stop this outrageous
project. BP are desperate for Sunrise to go ahead and will certainly not
go down without a fight; but with effective and sustained action we can
win this one.

What can I do?
From Brighton to Scotland, groups across the UK are already plotting for
the Fortnight of Shame. If your local group isn't already planning
something, there's still time to pull off a fantastic action. If you aren't part of local group, you could check out the list of local groups on www.risingtide.org.uk ,or those that form the Camp for Climate Action network http://www.climatecamp.org.uk/get-involved/local-groups ,or get together with your friends and get cracking!.
Need ideas or resources? Click here to join an online group set up to
share resources and information that will come in handy for the two weeks
of action: https://we.riseup.net/uktarsandsnetwork

The BP Fortnight of Shame is in solidarity with Canadian First Nations
communities. When taking action, we need to be aware that our Actions can
have unintended but potentially serious repercussions for front-line
communities in Canada. For advice and reflections on what it means to take
action in solidarity with communities impacted by the tar sands, see our
page on protocols. Please take some time to read this page and discuss
what it means for your action.

Action Protocols
The BP Fortnight of Shame is being held in solidarity with First Nations
indigenous people of Canada. The Indigenous Environmental Network (IEN),
who UK Tar Sands campaigners have been working closely with, warmly
welcome Direct Action and encourage UK activists to think creatively.

Solidarity Actions elsewhere can have an enormous impact in Canada and this has
played a key role in building momentum around the Tar Sands. However,
certain sorts of actions can have potentially adverse effects on the
indigenous communities at the forefront of the issue. To this end, the
Indigenous Environmental Network have requested a number 'protocols' they
ask activists around the world to follow when taking action in solidarity
with indigenous peoples.

They ask that actions are non-violent, do not set out to cause damage to
property and that there is no masking up.

We're aware that many of the words used in these protocols are not clearly
definable and are open to interpretation. However, we have been asked to make you aware of them and to respect their wishes. http://climatecamp.org.uk/actions/bp-fortnight-of-shame-2010/protocols

Here is a message from those indigenous activists:-

The Indigenous Environmental Network (IEN) is a North American based network
of Indigenous Peoples empowering Indigenous Nations and communities towards
sustainable livelihoods, demanding environmental justice and maintaining the
Sacred Fire of our traditions. Our Native Energy and Climate Campaign
strengthens and builds the capacity and political power of Indigenous
Peoples to address the impacts of fossil fuel energy development in
Indigenous communities; and motivate the creation of sustainable and clean
energy and climate policies at all levels of governance.

The Canadian Indigenous Tar Sands Campaign (CITSC), based in Ottawa, Canada
is a Native-based campaign implemented through IEN as part of its Native
Energy and Climate Program. The campaign goal is to seek a moratorium on
further tar sands expansion. The campaign is focused on building the
knowledge and capacity of First Nation and Métis leadership within the tar
sands impact area to actively engage in both a corporate finance campaign
and in decision making processes on environment, forests, energy, climate
and economic policies, related to halting the tar sand expansion.

The First Nations and Métis leadership includes grassroots, elders and youth, in
addition to elected First Nation Band Chiefs and Councilors. IEN is a
founder to the UK Tar Sands Network and is working closely with groups
internationally to call out BP through our fortnight of shame campaign
leading up the BP shareholder Annual General Meeting on April 15th.

Please let us know what you get up to!
Rising Tide
c/o 62 Fieldgate Street,
London E1 1ES

Juan Carlos Piedra solidarity protest at UCL

Universitites outsource and workers are exploited....time to protest.

In HInkley's Shadow

In Hinkley’s Shadow

Chris Ledgard looks at the impact Hinkley Point nuclear power station has had on the surrounding Somerset communities, in particular the Quantock village of Stogursey. Featuring Stop Hinkley campaigners.

Listen here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00rmr68/In_Hinkleys_Shadow/

The villages around Hinkley Point in Somerset have lived with nuclear power for nearly half a century. As plans are developed for a new power station, Chris Ledgard investigates life in a nuclear community.

In medieval times, the village of Stogursey on the edge of the Quantock Hills was a market town. Over the centuries, its importance diminished. Then work began on a nuclear power station on the Somerset coast just 2 miles away, and Stogursey found itself in demand again - families flooded in and the school sent its overspill to the village hall.

In Hinkley's Shadow is a portrait of a nuclear community. The first generation of Britain's nuclear power workers are now retired. At Hinkley, their children are now working on the site. So how is it to have grown up in the shadow of a nuclear power station? Chris Ledgard talks to people who work in and around Hinkley, including a mud horse fisherman, said to be the last in the world, who fishes with a sledge he pushes out into Bridgwater Bay. And as the debate on the new station, Hinkley Point C, develops, the anti-nuclear protestors enter another battle. But what happens to a protest movement as it nears middle age?

29 Mar 2010

Please sign Social Ecological Union open letter against Uralchem

# 121-01
Morgan Stanley Board of Directors
John J. Mack
1585 Broadway
New York, NY 10036, USA

Please email Guy Taylor who is working very hard on this to sign the protest letter...he is on office@resist.org.uk

Russian Greens have an extremely tough time, they really need solidarity in general and this campaign is about a huge scandal
about to be visited on Dieppe.

UBS Board of Directors
Bahnhofstr. 45, P.O. Box, CH-8098 Zurich, Switzerland

Renaissance Capital
Board of Directors
Moscow City
10 Presnenskaya nab., block C
123317 Moscow, Russia

Dear Sirs,

We, the International Social-Ecological Union (SEU) and undersigned, would like to address you as the leaders of the banks coordinating the Initial Public Offering of shares on the London Stock Exchange for OJSC URALCHEM.
Your professional experience and authority leave no doubt that you appreciate the social responsibility large industrial companies, including Uralchem, have for environmental conservation, sustainable resource use, protection of human health and basic human rights. However, in supporting Uralchem’s IPO, you share a responsibility for its standards of work and their present and future consequences.
We have been monitoring the social and ecological impacts of Uralchem’s production for several years now. In town of Kirovo-Chepetsk (Kirov oblast’), home to Uralchem’s B.P.Konstantinov chemical plant, we have been carrying out a monitoring programme in partnership with Waterkeeper Alliance, an international coalition led by Robert Kennedy, Jr. An “environmental surgery” has been open since 2009 in Berezniki (Perm krai), home to Azot factory. Uralchem’s fertilizer plant in Voskresensk (Moscow oblast’) has also been under our experts’ close attention. SEU works in partnership with Russia’s state environmental agencies. In all, SEU has sufficient data for an independent evaluation of the social and ecological consequences of JSC Uralchem’s practice.
The company’s operations teem with violations of Russia’s environmental protection law. Data concerning fires and incidents, including some which had lead to human death and the release of life-threatening substances into the environment, have been withheld not only from public scrutiny but even from state monitoring agencies (Appendix 2). Consequences of such incidents have been dealt with in secret, using primitive, environmentally unacceptable methods. Data on regular emissions of factories have also been withheld, while Uralchem’s plants are in several locations among the largest polluters of fresh waterways.
The plants’ equipment is depleted and very accident-prone. Technologies and machinery used in the production of new substances do not pass legally binding environmental tests. Working rights and health and safety regulations are systematically violated. Trade union activity has been firmly repressed. The company’s management demonstrates a total lack of transparency, ignoring or actively resisting initiatives for public scrutiny.
The company’s irresponsible behaviour inevitably stains its international reputation. Uralchem’s plans to build a plant in Dieppe, France, have caused a wave of protest among the local population.
In conclusion, JSC Uralchem does not meet the modern standards and requirements as a member of the international business community. The company’s long-standing irresponsible behaviour towards the Russian society, state, and its own minority shareholders, casts serious doubt over its ability to act responsibly towards its future international investors.
We insist that Uralchem’s IPO can only be carried out when the company’s plants have been thoroughly modernised and measures are in place to resolve its social and environmental problems.
We hope our information will inform your position concerning Uralchem’s IPO plans, so that the Russian Directors of the company will be held accountable for preventing future environmental damage and human rights abuse in the work of the company.

SEU Council Co-Chairman
V. A. Brinikh

Also signed:
Institute for Globalisation and Social Grazhdanin Fund (Russia)
Movements (IGSM – Russia)

BankTrack (Netherlands) PLATFORM-London (UK)

International Accountability Project, USA The Berne Declaration, Switzerland

CounterCurrent, Germany

Attached: 1. What Practice Do Russian Corporations Bring Into the EU Countries? - a report by SEU, IGSM and “Grazhdanin”
2. The Prosecutors office has all the necessary materials to start an investigation against OJSC “Voskresensk Mineral Fertilizers” – a statement by the Russian Ministry for Natural Resources

Vote Green

As I see it, the Green Party is the most progressive force in British politics, with a visionary agenda for democratic reform, social justice, human rights, global equity, environmental protection, peace and internationalism.

With an empowering new political and economic paradigm, the Greens offer the best hope for radical reform, as set out in our Manifesto for a Sustainable Society.

Unlike the far left, the Greens often win. We’ve got elected representatives in local councils all over Britain, and in the London Assembly and the Scottish and European Parliaments. Opinion polls suggest that the Greens are poised to win their first MPs. Caroline Lucas is leading in Brighton Pavilion and the Greens are also polling well in Norwich South and Lewisham Deptford.

The Greens are not just an environmental party. We are also a social justice party, with commitments to industrial democracy, workers cooperatives and trade union rights. Our aim is a democratic economy, which gives all employees a real say in how their institution is run and which utilises their accumulated skill and experience to improve private enterprises and public services.

More here

Greens in by-election battle

Just saw this from Luke, hope you don't mind me open sourcing it.

This week there is an all important by-election in the John O’Gaunt ward in Lancaster. The sitting Labour councillor stood down leaving the ward with one Labour councillor and one Green councillor. If the Greens win the seat they will be the largest party in the Lancaster and Fleetwood constituency in terms of councillor numbers. However, every other party in the city is also going for it. The seat is a new one which is notionally Labour (it is number 114 on the Tories target list) but the Greens would certainly be seen as the main opposition in the event of a convincing win this Thursday in the John O’Gaunt by-election.

Definately one to keep an eye on. It could be an important teller before the General Election.

More here

Vote Labour if you love radiation

Resist Nuclear New Build in Britain - Short film and discussion night

Wednesday, 7 April 2010, 7 - 9.30pm

Venue: London Action Resource Centre
62 Fieldgate Street, London E1 1ES
Nearest tube: Aldgate East / Whitechapel
Map: http://tinyurl.com/LondonARC

Join us for an evening of short films and presentations about nuclear power, followed by a discussion on how we can build strong resistance to nuclear new build in the UK.


The nuclear industry and British government are steaming ahead with their plans for a fleet of dangerous, expensive and unnecessary new nuclear reactors. The first application, for Hinkley Point in Somerset, is due to be submitted as early as August of this year. But only a few week ago, the French Nuclear Phase Out Network exposed secret documents showing that defects in the design of Areva's EPR, the reactor chosen by EDF for Hinkley, Sizewell in Suffolk and elsewhere, could lead to a Chernobyl-style nuclear catastrophe. [1] Scores of academics, politicians and campaigners are now calling for a public inquiry on the justification process for new reactors. [2]

Nuclear Spin

The nuclear industry has a long and colourful history of secrecy, lies and cover-ups that continue to this day. As the saying goes, a leopard doesn't change its spots. The vested interests of the multinational energy corporations will always come before concerns for the environment and the health and safety of the public. Needless to say, with nuclear energy and waste the consequences can be devastating, as seen at Chernobyl and Windscale, for example.

Green Solutions not Nuclear Greenwash

The fact is that new nuclear reactors would do too little too late to meet our carbon reduction targets, and at too high a price in terms of economic, health and environmental costs. Our vision is of a nuclear-free low carbon future for the UK and the world based on more modest consumption and an ambitious programme of energy efficiency measures and renewable and decentralised energy.

More info:
vd2012-SNPN [at] yahoo.co.uk
Mobile: 07506 234 091

Stop Nuclear Power Network


1. EDF nuclear reactor carries 'Chernobyl-size' explosion risk - Guardian, 7 March 2010, http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2010/mar/07/edf-nuclear-reactor-chernobyl-risk

2. Academics demand independent inquiry into new nuclear reactors –
Guardian, 11 March 2010, http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2010/mar/11/independent-inquiry-nuclear-power-stations

The indigenous struggle for Mother Earth and the Commons

This is from good friend Hugo Blanco, I will translate (well google will take a lot of the strain on this) and repost in English.

Indígenas luchan en defensa de la Madre Tierra y de su organización colectiva
Hugo Blanco (para desinformémonos)
La población indígena de América viene luchando desde hace más de 500 años en defensa del medio ambiente y de su organización social colectiva.
Con la embestida del neoliberalismo, tanto a la naturaleza como a su organización, esa lucha se ha agudizado.

En todos los países donde existe población indígena, ésta viene luchando fuertemente en defensa de la Madre Tierra, contra los ataques de empresas petroleras, mineras, madereras, etc. También la agroindustria es enemiga del suelo y de la población, pues mata el suelo con el monocultivo y el uso de agroquímicos, superexplota a sus trabajadores y en general produce para la exportación, entre otras cosas biocombustibles para alimentar a los carros. Otro ataque es la construcción de represas, hidroeléctricas, aeropuertos, carreteras, etc. para servir a las empresas dañando a los pobladores.
La masacre de alrededor de 200 (la cifra oficial es 10) nativos amazónicos peruanos en Bagua, cuyos cadáveres fueron incinerados por la represión, causó indignación internacional. También hay triunfos, como el de Tambogrande que impidió a la empresa canadiense Manhatan extraer el oro que se encuentra bajo la población.
En Chile el gobierno “socialista” reprimió a los mapuches que defiende la Madre Tierra con leyes de Pinochet.
En Argentina, Andalgalá y otros pueblos luchan valientemente en defensa del medio ambiente.
De Guatemala informan que cientos de miles de indígenas luchan contra la legislación sobre minería.
En EEUU los indígenas se oponen a la minería de uranio que daña a “La gran abuela” (el Cañón del Colorado).
En Columbia Británica, Canadá, los indígenas luchan contra la irrupción de construcciones en su territorio para las olimpiadas de invierno.
El ataque del gran capital no es sólo contra el medio ambiente, Sabiendo que la organización colectiva es el arma de defensa de los indígenas, también a ella van dirigidos los ataques. La legislación anti-comunidad indígena fue casi simultánea en México y Perú. Los decretos ley anti-indígenas del presidente peruano son contra el medio ambiente y contra la comunidad indígena.
Precisamente esto refuerza la construcción del poder colectivo indígena.
El ejemplo más avanzado de la lucha indígena por construir su poder autónomo es el de la zona liberada de Chiapas, México. Quien gobierna es la colectividad, eligiendo las autoridades sin que se presenten candidatos. Los miembros de los cuerpos colectivos elegidos, no ganan sueldo por esa función y pueden ser removidos en cualquier momento. El Ejército Zapatista de Liberación Nacional (EZLN) resguarda a la población de esa zona del ataque gubernamental, sus miembros están impedidos de participar de los organismos de gobierno.
Ahí funciona una verdadera democracia. Desgraciadamente esta palabra ha sido tan prostituida desde que nació para denominar la dictadura de los machos griegos contra las mujeres y los esclavos, hasta la denominación actual de los gobiernos del gran capital contra la mayoría de la población, que me cuesta usar ese término.
Chiapas es el caso más avanzado pero no el único.
En Cauca, Colombia, según palabras de Raúl Zibechi. “Se trata de 14 resguardos que ocupan unas 191 mil hectáreas …. en los que viven 110 mil personas …. En total son 25 mil familias distribuidas en 304 veredas o comunidades rurales …. En esos territorios existen 18 cabildos, autoridad política indígena que convive con los municipios del Estado colombiano. Los cabildos son administrados por gobernadores nombrados por grandes asambleas y acompañados por alguaciles elegidos en cada una de las veredas. El cabildo, es un poder territorializado que debe convivir con otros poderes que pugnan por reducir su influencia: básicamente, militares y guerrilla.”
En Ecuador, fueron los indígenas con sus manifestaciones multitudinarias quienes aplastaron las actitudes obstruccionistas de la de la derecha, entre ellas la pretensión mediante el parlamento, de impedir la realización de la Asamblea Constituyente. Los indígenas afianzaron el gobierno de Correa.
Ahora ellos se alzan frente a Correa defendiendo sus territorios del daño que produce la extracción de petróleo, además dicen que la ley de aguas les arrebata derechos, la disputa se extiende al terreno educativo pues exigen ser ellos quienes nombren a los maestros en su territorio e impiden el ingreso de agentes gubernamentales que pretenden entrar para dividirlos.
Argumentan, con toda razón, que aplican la nueva constitución ecuatoriana, que reconoce que Ecuador es un estado plurinacional.
Esto refuerza la construcción de un poder democrático autónomo.
En Bolivia, donde las elecciones todavía son al viejo estilo que no es democrático y donde a los indígenas sólo les corresponde una ínfima minoría de representantes, hace pocos días los indígenas de Beni eligieron al estilo indígena, por consenso, a dichos representantes.
En Honduras del 12 al 14 de este mes se realizó el “II Encuentro Nacional por la Refundación de Honduras” al que concurrieron más de 1000 delegados
El principal pivote organizativo fue el Consejo Cívico de Organizaciones Populares e Indígenas de Honduras (COPINH). Fueron los indígenas quienes alimentaron a los asistentes. “No traen lo que les sobra; traen lo que tienen”, dijo la dirigenta Berta Cáceres, cuando llegaban hombres y mujeres de las comunidades con bolsas de maíz, frijoles, café, frutas, para la cocina colectiva.
Berta, en nombre de la organización indígena, insistió en que, puesto que en Honduras no existe un gobierno legítimo, el pueblo debe elegir desde la base, sus autoridades.
En el Perú la masacre del 5 de junio en Bagua reforzó el poder indígena de varias poblaciones amazónicas que tienen puestos de control de quiénes entran a sus territorios y hay comisarías sin policías, quienes temen volver a ellas.
En la sierra las “rondas campesinas”, organizaciones de autodefensa contra los ladrones de ganado y de justicia interna, surgidas a raíz de la corrupción de jueces y policías, en un principio fueron perseguidas por el sistema, pero ante su multiplicación, tuvieron que reconocerlas legalmente y darles facultades para el ejercicio de justicia a nivel inferior.
Donde hay poblaciones indígenas, ellas tienen organización comunal, más o menos democrática, con mayor o menor fuerza frente a las autoridades del sistema.

La lucha contra el capitalismo por ser un sistema injusto tiene más de cien años, los revolucionarios de mi tiempo pensábamos que si nosotros no alcanzábamos a derribarlo, lo harían las generaciones futuras.
Ahora vemos que eso es falso: Si las actuales generaciones no derribamos al capitalismo, éste, con su ataque a la naturaleza, exterminará la especie humana, mejor dicho, ya comenzó a exterminarla, fundamentalmente con el calentamiento global producido por la emisión de gases de invernadero: En mi región, Cusco, ya hubo decenas de muertos por los aluviones producidos por el calentamiento. Una isla de la bahía de Bengala desapareció bajo el agua. El huracán Katrina mató mucha gente en Estados Unidos, En África tienen que caminar kilómetros para conseguir agua. El invierno pasado fue excesivamente frío en Europa, hubo muertos. Un río de lodo atravesó una ciudad italiana. En Granada, España y en Buenos Aires, la gente caminó por las calles con el agua encima de las rodillas. Como vimos más arriba, el calentamiento global no es más que uno de los ataques del capitalismo a la naturaleza, y por lo tanto a la supervivencia de la humanidad.
Hay muchos consejos de acciones contra el calentamiento, por ejemplo usar lámparas fluorescentes, pero aunque todo el mundo lo hiciera, eso no va a detener el calentamiento global, puesto que éste y todas las otras formas de deterioro del medio ambiente son inherentes al sistema capitalista cuyo mandamiento sagrado ordena a las compañías multinacionales ganar la mayor cantidad de dinero posible en el menor tiempo posible.
Hay leyes de protección del medio ambiente, pero otra de las normas del sistema es que con dinero se derrumba cualquier ley.
Si un capitalista por razones morales deja de implantar una industria contaminadora, esa no es una solución, pues la vorágine del mercado hará que otro capitalista ocupe su lugar.
El único remedio posible para frenar el calentamiento global y todo el deterioro de la naturaleza es acabar con el capitalismo. Es cierto lo que voceaban 100,000 personas en Copenhague: “Cambiemos el sistema, no el clima”.
Hago una invocación a quienes luchan por una sociedad más justa, llámense marxistas, libertarios o lo que sea, a que nos ubiquemos en la nueva realidad.
Hagamos un giro en la denuncia al capitalismo, ahora fundamentalmente debemos concentrarla en que a través del ataque a la naturaleza está exterminando nuestra especie, esto es mucho más grave que su explotación a la clase obrera o el saqueo de nuestras riquezas.
También les hago un llamado a que vean lo que está sucediendo:
Las poblaciones indígenas, calificadas como las menos civilizadas, están en la primera fila en la defensa de la naturaleza y por lo tanto de la supervivencia de la especie.
Esas poblaciones, hoy día, aún aplastados por el capitalismo, están construyendo el tipo de organización social por el que nosotros luchamos. Para decirlo en las palabras del Sub: “No se trata de tomar el poder, sino de construirlo”.
Si ven esto comprenderán que una tarea fundamental de los revolucionarios anticapitalistas, debe ser la solidaridad con las luchas indígenas en defensa de la naturaleza y en la construcción de la nueva sociedad.
Marzo del 2010

"Pope must resign" over sex abuse cover up

just had this from Peter, thanks amigo.

Prosecute the Pope as an accomplice to sex crimes

Papal visit to the UK should be cancelled, says Protest the Pope campaign

London, UK - 28 March 2010

Fifty protesters from humanist, secular, women's and gay organisations today accused the Pope of "covering up child sex abuse by Catholic clergy," calling him a "protector of paedophile priests" and "an accomplice to sex crimes."

They demanded: "The Pope must resign" and "Prosecute the Pope for collusion with sex abusers."

Their protest took place at 12 noon today, Palm Sunday (28 March 2010), outside London's Westminster Cathedral, the main Catholic church in Britain.

The protesters were greeted by a mixture of jeers and support from Catholic congregants leaving the Cathedral after Palm Sunday mass. A few applauded the protesters. Others heckled. Most expressed no opinion either way.

See photos of the Protest the Pope demonstration here:
These photos are free to use. Please credit Chris Houston of OutRage!

"In 2001, the Pope wrote to all Catholic Bishops worldwide, ordering them to maintain 'Papal secrecy' about sex abuse by clergy. He threatened to excommunicate anyone who spoke about it. This makes the Pope personally responsible for the cover-up," said human rights campaigner, Peter Tatchell, of the Protest the Pope campaign, which organised today's protest.

"Pope Benedict's recent apology is inadequate because he has not apologised for his own failure to act against paedophile priests. He has not said sorry for his own role in covering up their sex crimes.

"The Pope knew about child sex abuse by Catholic clergy. He failed to stop it and he failed to report the abusers to the police. His moral authority is irreversibly tarnished. He should resign.

"We intend to investigate whether the Pope can be prosecuted as an accomplice to child sex abuse. If anyone anyone else was involved in protecting paedophiles from prosecution, they'd probably be arrested as accomplices. Why should the Pope be treated differently? There is strong evidence of his collusion with sex abusing clergy. We believe the Pope should face a criminal investigation on charges of complicity.

"The Pope failed to ensure that priests who raped and sexually abused young people were reported to the police. This is why he is not welcome in the UK and why we object to him being honoured with a State Visit in September, especially a State Visit that is being partly funded by the taxpayer. His visit should be called off.

"The world renowned Swiss Catholic theologian, Rev Father Hans Kung, has accused the Pope of 'co-responsibility' for the cover-up of priestly sex abuse and criticised the weakness and evasions of his recent apology. Rev Father Kung urged:

"In the name of truth, Joseph Ratzinger, the man who for decades was mainly responsible for the concealment of these abuses at a world level, should have pronounced a mea culpa."
See here:

"Pope Benedict has direct personal responsibility for allowing many paedophile priests to escape justice.

"According to a 2006 BBC Panorama programme, Sex Crimes And The Vatican, in 2001, while he was Cardinal Ratzinger, Pope Benedict XVI issued a secret Vatican edict to all Catholic bishops. It recommended that instead of reporting child sex abusers to the police, bishops should report them to the Vatican and encourage the victims to take an oath to not talk about the abuse they suffered. To keep victims quiet, the Pope warned that if they broke their oath and repeated the sex abuse allegations they should be excommunicated.

"Benedict XVI put the interests and image of the church before the welfare of children and young people. He is unfit to remain as Pope.

"The Panorama programme revealed details of the Pope's leading role in the cover-up of sexual assaults by Catholic clergy. It reported that the Vatican knowingly harboured and protected paedophile clergymen. Priests accused of child sex abuse were mostly not sacked or reported to the police but simply moved to another parish, often to reoffend. The BBC gave examples of church hush funds being used to silence the victims," said Mr Tatchell.

Sunday's protest was organised by the Protest the Pope campaign: http://www.protest-the-pope.org.uk/

'Protest the Pope' is a campaign against the Pope being honoured with a State Visit to Britain. We object to the Pope's often harsh, intolerant views on a wide range of social issues and his cover-up of child sex abuse by Catholic clergy. He is unsuitable to be honoured with a State Visit. He is not welcome in the UK.

More information about Sunday's protest:

Peter Tatchell - 0207 403 1790

Evidence against the Pope:

BBC Panorama, Sex crimes and the Vatican, 1 October 2006.

Full transcript:
BBC website summary:
YouTube excerpt:

See also:

Evening Standard, Pope 'led cover-up of child abuse by priests', 30 September 2006

Washington Post, The Great Catholic Cover-Up, 16 March 2010

New York Times, Abuse Scandal in Germany Edges Closer to Pope, 12 March 2010

New York Times, Memo to Pope described transfer of pedophile priest, 26 March 2010

The National Catholic Reporter, Ratzinger's responsibility, 18 March 2010:

Rev Father Hans Kung wrote:
"In his 24 years as Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, from around the world, all cases of grave sexual offences by clerics had to be reported, under strictest secrecy ("secretum pontificum"), to his curial office, which was exclusively responsible for dealing with them. Ratzinger himself, in a letter on "grave sexual crimes" addressed to all the bishops under the date of 18 May, 2001, warned the bishops, under threat of ecclesiastical punishment, to observe "papal secrecy" in such cases. In his five years as Pope, Benedict XVI has done nothing to change this practice with all its fateful consequences.''


28 Mar 2010

The extractive model will fail

Hey its not just Peru, its locura everywhere, the idea that we can extract natural resources as quickly as possible from the Earth, shape them into commodities and throw them away at accelerating speeds, is kaput every where.

viva Marx, viva Elinor Ostrom, viva Aidesep...a possible world is possible, lets leave the impossible behind.

Servindi, March 28, 2010 .- The South American countries hold their savings in the extraction of natural resources, however the Executive Secretary of the Latin American Center Social Ecology (CLAES) Eduardo Gudynas said that this is not profitable.
The expert reported that in Ecuador were performed studies have shown that mining activities cause loss to the state, producing pollution and do not solve the poverty problem.
Gudynas Ecuador said that not only do not see improvement with resource extraction, but Peru has not made a profit, and has even had to take losses, such as this are extractive activities in Cajamarca, where the state would assume the environmental liabilities , according to a renowned economist specialized environment (Management).
In this situation, the expert said that the money allocated by the State to remedy environmental liabilities should be used in other activities.
While Gudynas said that resource extraction is no exit for development, will quit his day, which is necessary to discuss alternate routes.
For Carlos Monge, a member of Revenue Watch, you must bet on economic models that do not reinforce dependence on resource extraction, on the contrary, the country should seek other ways to get energy.
Export consulted
On the other hand, the economist said Jorge Manco Zaconetti is not against natural gas exports, but should evaluate the terms of the sale abroad and at what price will sell, if contracts are signed are lawful nature and above all projecting future domestic demand for gas in Peru not to take away.
In that regard, it recommended that the reserves of Block 88 are only for the domestic market, without limits or boundaries, and that royalties are renegotiated Lot 56, (whose reserves are for export) to make them favorable to the Peruvian state.
Aurelio Ochoa specialist remarked that despite the limited proven reserves committed to the domestic market in a few months will begin exporting natural gas without having first secured domestic demand satisfaction.
According to the audit by Gaffney, Cline & Associates, the total estimated proved reserves of 8.8 trillion cubic feet - TCF, but to meet natural gas demand for 2009 to 2029 is committed to 4.2 TCF export and at 4.6 TCF to ensure national domestic demand, where it has been estimated at 6.6 TCF.
That leaves unmet domestic demand of 2 TCF, which shows the prioritization of export without first ensuring our national industry.
The expert noted the case of Colombia, a country where gas is used by nearly half its population, of whom 87% are low income, whereas in our country only 0.07% of Peruvians use gas.
Given this, Cesar Gamboa, president of Law, Environment and Natural Resources (DAR) said that it is necessary to constitute a consistent and integrated energy policy, because at present there are only scattered rules.
These remarks came at the Symposium "Energy Policy and Amazon What awaits us?", Organized by Law, Environment and Natural Resources - Camisea DAR and Citizen

UCU left win big!

Just had this, Green Left activist in the UCU like me support UCU left, great to see them do so well...there is a big fight against cuts in British universities, this complements left gains in student unions such as Clare Solomon's victory at ULU.

In the recent (2010) UCU national elections some 16 supporters of UCU Left were elected to the NEC of UCU. They complement our existing supporters on the NEC whose current terms of office continue until June 2011. This is a significant endorsement and it increases our support to around half of all the NEC seats available. See full details at: http://www.uculeft.devisland.net/nec-elections-elected-supporters-2010.html

'new federation of left/green/social justice and ecology activists'

Pat Kavanagh has just passed on this message....its aimed at Irish activist of course.

'anybody who would like to get involved in the new federation of left/green/social justice and ecology activists can email emeraldforum@gmail.com'

She is a Ind green councillor in Wicklow and a very inspiring person.

The gombean men and women will be on in a minute telling me I should love motorways and that ethics is a subject only discussed by those in opposition.

Joseph Healy fights for the rights of Juan Carlos

On Friday I joined campaigners from the UNISON branch at London University and other political activists, including my Green Left comrade and parliamentary candidate for Greenwich, Andy Hewett, and went to protest about the sacking of Juan Carlos Piedra, at UCL. Juan Carlos is a migrant Latin American cleaner and union activist who was sacked by UCL for trying to organise a union there. Supported by students from the university, we demanded to see Professor Grant, who was too cowardly to come down from his office and address the demonstration. We were stopped from entering the university doors by security staff and then found our way in another door, much to the consternationa of the security staff who were running around the campus after us. Then we discovered that an international conference on migration of all things was taking place in the college. We attempted to enter the conference and tell the delegates what was happening in UCL with migrant workers. We gave leaflets to some of the delegates we met but were unable to enter the conference itself. However, we addressed the conference by megaphone from outside.

More here

Wisdom in Nature news

I am a great fan of Islamic environmental thought and action, I must also say I have really enjoyed working with local Church of England people here in East Berkshire.

Religion can be intolerant but it can also promote justice, the commons and ecology....here is the latest news from WIN the Islamic environmental group, although of course, they include people of other faiths and none.

Must, must get some time for Zen, could be after the General Election.


At a recent review meeting, we decided that with a couple of our representatives based in Brighton, it would make sense for us to work with local communities there as well. Hence, whilst continuing to work in London, we now also have a presence in Brighton. We will begin slowly and will post any updates on this list.

One of our representatives was recently interviewed for Dunyabizim.com, by a writer looking report on "eco-activism...inspired by Islam". For our Turkish-speaking readers, the original article can be found at the link below. For others, it is possible to translate online.



Youth Wing of Indian Muslim Federation (UK) with the Executive Director of Greenlife UK, Anwar Lohiya
Invite you to attend: Faith in the Environment

On Monday 29th March at 5.30pm

Would you like to learn more about the environment and practical measures in saving energy in your home and faith buildings? We invite you to attend and learn about the reduction of the Carbon foot print and its global and local effects.

Environmental Champion Certificates will be awarded to the participants.

Venue: Indian Muslim Federation Hall, 41 Trinity Close, London, E11 4RP

RSVP only: Basil Tungekar info@indianmuslim.org.uk mob: 07801 846 563
Web: www.indianmuslim.org.uk

Please join the Tomlinsons in laying flowers at the spot where Ian died, on Thursday 1st April 2010, at Cornhill by Threadneedle Street, London, EC3V (Bank tube)

Please arrive at 10.45am so that we can observe a minute's silence at 11.00am.

Ian died in tragic circumstances an innocent passer-by, trying to get home, who died after a police assault at the G20 protests on April 1st 2009.


Thursday 1st April - EVERYWHERE. Fossil Fools Day. Climate change is no laughing matter - but that doesn't mean we can't confront the Fossil Fuel Empire with subversive humour. Direct actions, practical jokes and throwing a spanner in the works to stop the fossil fools.

Info: http://risingtide.org.uk/fossilfoolsday/resources
email: info@risingtide.org.uk.


Campaign against Climate Change

Night of Saturday to Sunday 15th-16th May, Parliament Square

Post election event to remind the new government that dealing with the climate crisis needs to be their top priority. Light a candle for scientific realism and rationality against the dark, populist, tide of sceptic lies and ignorance. Join others in a visible demonstration of conviction that we face a climate emergency, and determination to challenge the government in the future if it does not respond appropriately.

Events through the night every hour on the hour. Bring candles, lanterns, artistic creations, music, peformances etc.

Join us right outside the home of government if you can . if not, can you organise an overnight vigil in your locality, say outside the surgery of the newly elected MP, or wherever you feel most appropriate?

Put this date in your diary - updates and more details later.

Info: www.campaigncc.org
To book a space in the schedule contact: info@campaigncc. org

Essential for Parents and Grandparents, Teachers and Outdoor Educators, Naturalists and Sustainable Communities.

Date: July 4th-10th 2010
Venue: Green and Away (near Worcester, Worcestershire, UK)

With Jon Young, Founder of the Wilderness Awareness School

We are in uncertain times that demand innovation. The roots of the Art of Mentoring are based on principles observed in nature. The course provides knowledge, tools and techniques to create a powerful culture of nature connection in the home, classroom and workplace. Participants learn a system of connecting others more fully to themselves, their society and the environment; to help find their individual strengths, sense of belonging and love of the world.

Sliding Scale fees.
For more info, please visit: www.artofmentoring.co.uk

Associated NVPN member - Maya Waldman
Weekly singing group open to all. Harmonies, rounds & songs from around the world taught by ear. Come play around with song and let the music flow.
We meet Wednesdays 7:30 – 9pm, Hornsey Vale Community Centre, Crouch End, London N8.
Location: Greater London, Crouch End
Contact: 07870 633 193
Email: singingforeveryone@gmail.com
Day of week: Wednesdays 7:30- 9pm


Wisdom In Nature is an Islamic ecological & community activist group. Our original name was LINE, a name that co-exists for the time being. We hold open forums in central London and engage in a transformative approach. Our activities include deep dialogue, educational talks and workshops, climate change campaigning, and nature outings. Find out more about us by visiting our website: http://www.wisdominnature.org.uk

Knight of Tara discusses John Gormley-ism

Just got this, worth making up front and public.

Knight of Tara said...
Marcus and Anonymous, I was a campaigner on the Campaign to Save Tara for years, from 2007. The Irish Green Party may not have authorized the M3, but they campaigned for stopping it and not only did they fail to stop it, they helped in its construction, which still isn't finished. They could have stopped it all, but instead they gave us the middle finger and became enemies of Tara. Gormless destroyed the henge at Lismullin, which was probably an amphitheatre used for Druidic practices. As a pagan, this is a grave insult. The ghosts of Tara will never forgive the Greens for this treason and desecration. As for me, my rage at this insult and betrayal is too much to forget. The Irish Green Party (alongside Fianna Fail) will always be my enemy, no matter what. Unless they can remove that motorway and make Tara as it once was, that isn't going to change.

Stop UralChem!

Dear Friend

I am writing to you regarding an international campaign that is now taking shape. There are links following to various documents and websites, but I shall outline the issues here:

UralChem, Russia's biggest fertilizer company, is currently extending its operations into the European Market. UralChem has an appalling record on human rights, workers rights, safety of workers and those who live near to it's plants and factories and financial dealing and transparency. Not exactly surprising for a Russian Corporation, but read on.

There are two main aims in the European expansion in the immediate future:

1. Establishing a huge plan at Dieppe, port-side and close to schools, a major railway station, a hospital, commercial and residential areas. In 2001 in Toulouse, the AZF fertiliser plant exploded killing 31 people. The Dieppe Uralchem proposed plant has the capacity to store twenty times the amount of unstable material as the AZF plant did in Toulouse. there is a major campaign against the plant ongoing in Dieppe at the moment.

2. Floating a large number of shares on the London Stock Exchange. UralChem has a large number of debts and is seeking refinancing through a flotation, backed by Morgan Stanley, UBS and Renaissance Capital. It hopes to achieve a valuation of around $2 billion selling 20 - 30% of its shares in this initial public offering.

Russian activists have been campaigning against the excesses of UralChem and it's oligarch owner, Dmitry Mazepin, people in Dieppe have taken to the streets against this threat to there town. Now campaigners in London are joining the fight.

For detailed background to this situation and more please click here [pdf].

there are two things we're asking you to do to help:

1. there is a public letter from the Socio Ecological union in Russia we would like you to add your name to (see attachment "Bankam Inglis1")
2. we are holding a roundtable discussion on Wednesday 31st March at 1pm - 6pm at Birkbeck College, university of London in Bloomsbury, Central London.
Attached is the programme for the afternoon, please let me know if you would like to attend.

Due to the nature of the roundtable, this event is by invite only in order to keep things manageable .

I look forward to hearing from you.

Guy Taylor
on behalf of Boris Kagarlitsky & Maxim Shingarkin

Letter for signatures "Bankam Inglis1"
Roundtable programme "roundtable"

27 Mar 2010

John Gormley speech

John Gormley speech to Irish Green Party convention, see what you think

theorists and talkers.....wonder who he means.

Just thinking about when I went canvassing in North Belfast and Bangor....now Bangor has a Green Party Assembly Member.

I must admit I would like to see a bit more green politics from the Irish Green Party!

Green is a double fight, you have to fight to be elected and fight to keep green. I think we are doing well on both here in the UK, no quite convinced this is the case in Ireland.

The Battle for Algiers

Just re-watching 'The Battle for Algiers'

An amazing and inspiring film.

Pretty smart review here

The film's resonance with the current moment is undeniable. The suffocating military occupation, the resounding imbalance of power and the clampdown through checkpoints all call to mind the Israel/Palestine conflict. Mathieu's whimsical choice of “champagne” to name his operation anticipates the Israeli's more cynical use of “rainbow” in conjunction with their recent genocidal actions in the Gaza strip town of Rafah. The planet's last colonial circumstance echoing the film's delineation of one of history's most notorious. It is a circumstance where every choice, the method of marriage for example, becomes a political act, a potential act of resistance and even war, as stated in an early wedding scene of two Algerians. Interestingly, it was then Israeli Prime-Minister Ben-Gurion who at one point lobbied for a two-state solution in Algeria much like the final status currently being sought for Israel/Palestine. As described, the film understands the very real dilemmas that engage colonized perpetrators of violence. The rooftop discussion between LaPointe and Ben M'Hidi in which the latter insists that terrorism alone will neither bring victory nor sustain the revolution is a case in point. The evenhanded look at these issues deserves a place within the current discussion of the Israel/Palestine conflict today.

Gillo Pontecorvo also made the classic ecosocialist film starring Marlon Brando, 'Burn!'....a account of which can be found here from John Bellamy Foster.

26 Mar 2010

Second advance in a week for Green Party in Suffolk

John Matthissen has just sent me this, cheers amigo.

Second advance in a week for Green Party in Suffolk

Huge by-election gain from Tories follows councillor defection earlier this week

Rachel Eburne has been elected to join Andrew Stringer and John Matthissen as the third Green Party councillor on Mid Suffolk District Council, following the defection to the Greens of Babergh DC Tory councillor Dean Walton earlier this week.

In 2007, the Greens took 16% in Haughley & Wetherden. Yesterday, Rachel Eburne won with 61% of the vote, with the Conservatives in a distant second place at 24%.

Full Result

Green Party 444 (61%)
Conservative 176 (24%)
Lib Dem 51 (7%)
Labour 32 (4%)
UKIP 25 (3%)

Eburne said that three factors were key to her win: "First, I was a local candidate and involved in my community. Second, we have a hard-working Green county councillor, Andrew Stringer, and people appreciate his efforts. Finally and crucially, I found a deep disaffection on the doorstep with politics from other parties that were not relevant to everyday concerns -- things like our position on better broadband access, and our work on reducing local traffic speeds and litter."

Caroline Lucas, leader of the Green Party said, "This is a great result, with a by-election win off the Tories. Once we elect a few Greens in an area, people like what they see, and it leads to even more Green councillors. It also shows our commitment to grassroots politics at a time of deep dissatisfaction with mainstream politicians."

The local Green Party ran a measured six week campaign, building on the local record of delivering on practical issues across the wards they represent at District and County levels. Once nominations closed, there was emphasis on Rachel as the only truly local candidate, living in the ward and brought up in nearby Woolpit. Campaigning included hugely successful community litter picks in both villages, and a poster board in almost every street in the ward.

Rachel Eburne is a former Director of Women's Environmental Network (WEN). She and husband Richard Stacy, who is the Chair of the 1st Wetherden and Haughley Scout Group, now live at Haughley Green and their two children attend the local Crawford’s CEVC School. Her interests revolve around supporting local initiatives, such as better cycling and foot paths, local food production, community orchards and greater access to domestic renewable energy.

Chris Mullin MP goes all Elinor Ostrom.

"As to the longer term, I doubt there is a future for an economy based on shopping. This is only a very temporary period in human history. The frantic consumerism of recent decades surely contains the seeds of its own destruction. One way or another we have to devise lifestyles that are sustainable and which may require changes that most people have only dimly begun to contemplate. The future is green. It has to be if the human race is to survive many more generations."

Sums up my thoughts, its Elinor Ostrom economics or we are all toast.

Surprised to hear such a sentiment from a Labour MP, albeit one who is retiring.

Incidentally his book 'A Very British Coup' was amazing.

Picked up on this from Joseph

Green by-election win points to Caroline Lucas MP

The Green Party came from nowhere to win a by-election last night.

Shows we are on the up and points to Caroline winning in Brighton.

Result: Mid Suffolk District - Haughley and Wetherden: Green 444, C 176, Lib Dem 51, Lab 32, Ukip 25. (May 2007 - C 354, Lib Dem 309, Green 122). Green gain from C. Swing 33.2% C to Green.

24 Mar 2010

Green History

Would I want you to buy this, no actually. Most of the copies are a bit pricy which embarrasses me but its in the library system so go and social share it if you are interested.

Put it together because I thought it would be good to look at the historical examples of green thought and action, to reject the view that green politics has no history approach.

Spent a lot of time in the British Library, which was then in the British Museum, my idea of fun.

Published back in 1993, when my first son Vince was born, a while ago.

There is a battle for ideas, writing is a small contribution...which is going to have to be won or we will consign human society and the rest of nature to degradation. Even the Spectator like it

Derek Wall has assembled some compelling writing to underline how environmental concerns are as old as civilisation itself ... He teases out the beginnings of strands now present in current debate. This is a timely book. - Tribune

Derek Wall illustrates the history of the environmental debate in this excellent anthology of writings ranging from Sappho and St Augustine to Sismondi and Schumacher. - The Ecologist

If youre after a wider and deeper understanding of the green movement and its history, this is for you. - The Herald, Glasgow

This book contains much that is fascinating and thought-provoking even to someone who thinks they are well-acquainted with the field, and is likely to start more trains of thought than slow them. Surely the intention of all concerned. Take a dip yourself!. - Venue

This book needed writing. It kills off the flip political assumption that environmental concern has no past. We must be grateful to Mr Wall for steering a path through what turns out to be a vast literature - for what is effectively the first time. - The Spectator

Where Green History really scores is the way in which Derek Wall binds together that would otherwise be interesting but frustratingly disconnected literary snippets. His chapter introductions are extremely helpful in linking the separate parts to what emerges as the `green whole. - Jonathon Porritt, BBC Wildlife Magazine --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Green History...traces the development of ecological writing through history and forms a broad critical review of green ideas and movements reinforcing the importance of environmental concern and action in our own time. Animal rights, ecology as science, feminism, green facism/socialism/anarchism, land reform, peaceful protest, industrialisation, ancient ecology, evolution, grassroots activism, philosophical holism, recycling, Taoism, demographics, utopias, sustainability, spiritualism...all these issues and many more are discussed. Authors include Alice Walker on massacre in the City of Brotherly Love, Aldous Huxley on progress, Lewis Mumford on the organic outlook, Engels on natural dialectics, Thoreau on the fontier life, the Shelleys on vegetarianism and playing God, Bacon on the New Atlantis, Hildegard of Bingen on green vigour, the unknown writer of the Bodhisattva and the Hungry Tigress and Plato on soil erosion. Each article is set within its historical and thematic context. A full introduction and a guide to further reading are also provided.

Fertilizer campaign!

I am so so so busy, so normal service is unlikely to be resumed for a little while.

However I am very pleased to have had an email from Guy Taylor of Globalise Resistance, who is doing brilliant work to oppose a Russian fertilizer giant expanding amidst problems with pollution and workers rights.

Politicians in France have joined environmentalists on both sides of the Channel in protests at the new fertilizer factory - saying they want to prevent a tragedy similar to the 2001 explosion at a AZF fertilizer plant in Toulouse which killing 31 people.

Kagarlitsky said: “UralChem has a dismal safety record in Russia, and we cannot allow the company’s access to EU markets to take precedence over safety concerns.”

Guy Taylor for the London based campaign Stop UralChem UK said: “Workers and residents of the towns where UralChem operates in Russia know only too well that this company puts profits before safety and the environmental.”

French senator Marie-Christine Blandin said: “Allowing UralChem to establish a plant in Dieppe is to ignore the lessons of AZF. We urge our British colleagues to demand that the French government step in to avert a catastrophe.”

UralChem is seeking an urgent share sale in London to help pay down its mammoth debts. In February it hired investment banks UBS, Morgan Stanley and Renaissance Capital to lead a $600m listing of a 20-30 percent stake in company through the London Stock Exchange.

The Stop UralChem campaign is holding an invite only roundtable discussion on Wednesday 31st March at 1pm - 6pm at Birkbeck College, university of London in Bloomsbury, Central London beginning with a press conference. For information on obtaining an invitation email news@the-sauce.org.

Environmentalists and those concerned with workers' rights and welfare have been asked to sign a public letter from the Socio Ecological Union in Russia

More here

22 Mar 2010

A bigger war than Iraq or Afghanistan continues in silence

This legacy of rebellion has left behind a furious people who have been deliberately isolated and marginalised by the Indian government. The Indian Constitution, the moral underpinning of Indian democracy, was adopted by Parliament in 1950. It was a tragic day for tribal people. The Constitution ratified colonial policy and made the State custodian of tribal homelands. Overnight, it turned the entire tribal population into squatters on their own land. It denied them their traditional rights to forest produce, it criminalised a whole way of life. In exchange for the right to vote, it snatched away their right to livelihood and dignity.

Having dispossessed them and pushed them into a downward spiral of indigence, in a cruel sleight of hand, the government began to use their own penury against them. Each time it needed to displace a large population—for dams, irrigation projects, mines—it talked of “bringing tribals into the mainstream” or of giving them “the fruits of modern development”. Of the tens of millions of internally displaced people (more than 30 million by big dams alone), refugees of India’s ‘progress’, the great majority are tribal people. When the government begins to talk of tribal welfare, it’s time to worry.

The most recent expression of concern has come from home minister P. Chidambaram who says he doesn’t want tribal people living in “museum cultures”. The well-being of tribal people didn’t seem to be such a priority during his career as a corporate lawyer, representing the interests of several major mining companies. So it might be an idea to enquire into the basis for his new anxiety.

I tend to think of the Maoists in Peru, who during the Shining Path days, would kill people I today view as close political allies by dynamiting their bodies.

Maoism seems to have left a trail of blood.

In the East of India, Maoism is inter-twinned with an indigenous battle against the Indian state which works to steal the land of the indigenous.

It is a huge forgotten war. See Arundhati Roy's account here fascinating stuff.

'Any Asian could be a Muslim'

'Any Asian could be a Muslim. Any Asian wearing a headscarf or a beard must be a Muslim. Every Muslim is a fundamentalist. Every fundamentalist is a terrorist. We are in danger of creating a culture of suspicion and distrust not only between communities but within communities, indeed within families and between individuals - which can hardly count for British values or democracy!'


21 Mar 2010

Malawi gay trial protest 22 March: Free Tiwonge and Steven

Reminder: We hope to see you and your friends on Monday

Steven and Tiwonge are appealing for Londoners to support them, as
they face a lengthy jail sentence.

Show that you support them. Love is no crime.

Malawi gay trial protest 22 March: Free Tiwonge and Steven

Drop the charges and repeal anti-gay laws

Commonwealth must condemn homophobic persecution in Malawi

London - 21 March 2010

You are urged to join the protest against the arrest, trial and imprisonment of the Malawian couple, Steven Monjeza and Tiwonge Chimbalanga, on charges of homosexuality. They face up to 14 years jail.

Please copy this email to all your friends, and ask them to attend.

Monday 22 March
12.30pm to 2pm

Commonwealth head office, Marlborough House, Pall Mall, London SW1Y 5HX.

By the corner of Pall Mall and St James's Street. See this map:

Nearest tubes: Green Park, Charing Cross and Piccadilly Circus

If you cannot attend, please this week send a message of protest to Dr. Francis Moto, High Commission of Malawi, 70 Winnington Road, London N2 0TX, Phone: 020 8455 5624, Fax: 020 3235 1066, Email: malawihighcom@btconnect.com

Monday's protest is timed to coincide with the verdict in Steven and Tiwonge's trial. The verdict is expected the same day.

The demonstration has two themes:

1) Release Tiwonge and Steven, drop the charges, repeal anti-gay laws
2) The Commonwealth must condemn homophobic persecution in Malawi

The protest is sponsored by OutRage!, Gay Activists Alliance International, Black Gay Men's Advisory Group, Red Room, Rukus! Foundation and an informal coalition of black and African LGBT activists in London.

Prominent LGBT black and African campaigners backing the protest include, Davis Mac-Iyalla, Rev Rowland Jide Macaulay, Dennis Carney, Ted Brown, Topher Campbell, Godwyns Onwuchekwa and Skye Chirape.

"We want Steven and Tiwonge released, all charges against them dropped and the repeal of Malawi's anti-homosexuality laws. These laws violate the equality and non-discrimination provisions of Article 20 of the Malawian Constitution and Articles 2, 3 and 4 and the African Charter of Human and People's Rights, which Malawi has signed and pledged to uphold," said Peter Tatchell of OutRage!, who is co-organising next Monday's protest.

"This protest has been organised in response to an appeal for help from the jailed men.
From their prison cell in Malawi, Steven and Tiwonge have sent a message to me, urging more international pressure to secure their release.

"For the last two months, OutRage! has arranged prison visits and the delivery of food and spending money to Tiwonge and Steven."

Malawi is a member of the Commonwealth, the international association of mostly former British colonies.

"The Commonwealth Secretary-General, Kamalesh Sharma, has failed to speak out loudly against the arrest and jailing of Steven and Tiwonge, even though equality and human rights are supposed to be key Commonwealth principles," added Mr Tatchell.

See here:

and here:

"His silence is collusion with homophobia. As far as we can see, Mr Sharma is failing to oppose the persecution of Steven and Tiwonge. He is doing nothing to defend LGBT human rights anywhere. He appears to reject the idea that gay rights are human rights.

"Of the 53 Commonwealth member states, over 40 still criminalise same-sex relations, mostly under anti-gay laws that were originally imposed by the British government in the nineteenth century, during the period of colonial rule.

"These homophobic colonialist laws, which were retained after independence, are wrecking the lives of LGBT people throughout the Commonwealth. They criminalise otherwise law-abiding citizens and contribute to a hostile social atmosphere which demonises LGBT people as unnatural, abnormal, inferior and criminal.

"It is outrageous that nearly all Commonwealth member states persecute same-sex partners, with penalties ranging up to life imprisonment for consenting gay sex between adults in private. Even more outrageous, the Commonwealth is saying and doing nothing of substance to defend its LGBT citizens," concluded Mr Tatchell.

Further information: Peter Tatchell - 0207 403 1790

RIP Chris Hutt and other Bristol heros.

Devastated to find out that Chris Hutt, who I used to know in my Bristol days, died yesterday.

A very sad loss.

I hope as a memorial the local authority will not wreck the Bristol-Bath cycle path, which he worked so hard to defend.

I believe he died from a heart condition, sadly so many cyclists are killed in the saddle, he died at home

Pete Taylor, another cycling campaigner, and a good friend, died last year.

Last time I was in Bristol I had a couple of pints in the Highbury Vaults, a great night but reminded me of when I was in there drinking with John Malos, back in the late 80s or early 90s, a great ecosocialist, and a former Bristol West Labour Party parliamentary candidate.

I do miss John a lot, he died back in the 1990s....an Australian-Greek physics lecturer at the University....he was an ecosocialist when there were less of us about, Bristol is happily thick with the red and the green (Jerry Hicks for a start!).

The memorial we must build is a better future.

Chris Hutt would wish that you defend the cyclist from the local councillors, click, take action and defend his memory.

Handsworth Revolution

'chevere este cancion. la verdad unos de los mejores artistas reggae!' as they say, a bit of reggae, dread town Birmingham.

I have had a bit of dread influence, thin white guy that I am, most notably working with Nandor.

Ital as they say is vital.

Do catch Nandor's blog Dread Times

Massive anti-Berlusconi protest

just got this from Fabio, grazie amico. Even the Economist are against Berlusconi, what a night mare...

The government of Silvio Berlusconi is setting up a project of privatization
of the public water in Italy. In november, the government approved the law
project and now it is under approval at the parliament. The possibility to
see italian water held by corporations alarmed a lot of people and many
committees have been organized all over the country in order to stop the
water privatization. Yesterday all thees committees, left parties, social
centers and common people went out in force through the streets of Rome to
reclaim ACQUA PUBBLICA E DIFESA DEI BENI COMUNI (transl. public water and
commonwealth defence).

This demostration have been populated by both public water committees
(official site: www.acquabenecomune.org) and many committees for the defence
of the territory and environment and for social justice. The watchwords of
this protest have been: public water and public resources, stop building
incinerators or coal plants, grassroot democracy, self- determination of the
territories and defence of the workers rights.

I think we can consider this as a "de facto" ecosocialist demostration.
Despite no one openly mentioned the Belem Declaration or the ecosocialist
manifesto, there is a huge similarity between the ecosocialist instances and
the watchwords of yesterday afternoon.
This should make us think that ecosocialism has a great outlook in the
shaping of the left of the 20th century.

One last thing. The demonstration of yesterday coincided with the rally of
PM Silvio Berlusconi, on the other side of the city. Officials reports that
the supporters of Berlusconi, called and organized from all the country,
have been less than 150.000, while the protesters for public water have been
more than 200.000. An independent demonstration largely defeated the one in
support of the PM wich have been organized by the biggest italian party.

For references:


ps. Our dear, little ecorise lab was there ;) in the next days I am going to
share pics and links soon...

Nothing in Culture Makes Sense Except in the Light of Free Sharing.


Zeitgeist exposed

One World government.

Centralization of political power.

Rule by and for bankers.

Or something more sinister.

More here

20 Mar 2010

Ten thesis on the new extractivism

The Latin American left, for all their, virtues are still linked to an extractive economy, based on getting oil, gas, minerals and metals out of the ground as quickly as possible.

While less aggressive than the Latin American right in Peru and Colombia, the basic contradiction remains.

At least in Latin America there are networks of indigenous people and ecosocialist activists oppose to this, in the rest of the world, left and right, pretty much proclaim burn baby burn.

We do need to move to a non extractive economy because this extractive model does not work ecologically.

Opening up struggles for a sane economy is hardly on the agenda but is vital.

Ten thesis on the new extractivism is a useful account of the economics of extractivism amongst the left in Latin America.

Getting to an ecological economy needs to be on the agenda, we are cutting off our own means of life.

All I can say is viva Aidesep.

More here

Ken Livingstone and the Green Party

Ken Livingstone appeared with Green Party activists in Cambridge.

He didn't as a Labour Party member endorse the Greens but he came close.

As an independent he was first elect Mayor of London with some Green Party support.

More here

19 Mar 2010

Army of Crime

Watching Army of Crime about the left resistance in France, pretty good.

do miss France, must make a trip, I am so much more in touch with Cuba, Venezuela, Peru, Australia, even Germany and Turkey.

Michael Lowy my French (also Brazilian) ecosocialist friend is such a good person and has written so much excellent stuff.

Review here

Alberto Durango demo 5pm Liverpool St

Just had this from Dave Broder, thanks Dave!
Hi everyone

Just in case you'd forgotten, the day of action against Swiss bank UBS in solidarity with under-fire cleaners and sacked shop steward Alberto Durango is today (Fri 19th).

There's going to be demos in London, Zurich, Manchester, Edinburgh, Stockholm, New York, Kyiv and Buenos Aires...

The London protest is from 5pm at 100 Liverpool Street - bring friends/banners/stuff that makes a noise!

Respect leader on course to win election as MP

The party leader, Salma Yaqoob, who finished second in Birmingham Sparkbrook in 2005, is standing in the neighbouring Hall Green seat where Labour's Roger Godsiff is defending a notional majority of 4,191. Yaqoob is popular in the area, a third of which is Muslim, and she has been helped by the local Green Party's decision to stand aside and endorse Respect.


18 Mar 2010

Violated in the name of progress

Every day, we see the blatant abuse and destruction of our Sacred Sites. Because all humans are indigenous to the Earth, it is up to all of us to protect and preserve the resting places of our Ancestors and other sites that are a rich part of our cultural, spiritual, and traditional heritage. We live in a time where our natural landscapes are fast disappearing, our Sacred Sites are violated, our water and skies poisoned by carcinogenic pollution, our wildlife forced out of their natural habitats while big-box stores, housing developments, and black pavement cover and imprison the land; all in the name of progress.

More here

Empty prosperity leads to catastrophe

In this hidden world of cause-and-effect, the environmental movement and the public stand at a crossroads. Is growth a product of “consumerism” — the most socially acceptable and socially neutral explanation that we usually encounter in discussions of environmental deterioration? Or does growth occur because of the nature of production for a market economy? To a certain extent, we can say. both. But the overall reality of a market economy is that consumer demand for a new product rarely occurs spontaneously, nor is its consumption guided purely by personal considerations.

Today, demand is created not by consumers but by producers — specifically, by enterprises called advertising agencies that use a host of techniques to manipulate public taste. American washing and drying machines, for example, are all but constructed to be used communally-and they are communally used in many apartment buildings. Their privatization in homes, where they stand idle most of the time, is a result of advertising ingenuity.

More here

One can survey the entire landscape of typical “consumer” items and find many other examples of the irrational consumption of products by individuals and small families – “consumer” items that readily lend themselves to public use.

15 Mar 2010

The conference for Tierra Madre in Cochabamba

I am keeping my feet on the ground but my good friend Hugo Blanco is going from Peru and has kindly agreed to get a document from me translated into Spanish putting the arguments that we both believe for ecosocialism. The event is ecosocialism in action, in Latin America indigneous and workers are remaking the world in the spirit of respect for ecology and justice.

Dear sisters and brothers

We’ve gathered some information and links to share with you. Some of the information is to do with the “World People's Conference on Climate Change” that will take place in Cochabamba, Bolivia, between the 20 and 22 April, and some information is related to our work with various solidarity campaigns here in the UK.

Some people have asked what are the 10 Mother Earth Commandments. So, we are including a transcription, also we found a wonderful article in the Guardian describing the process of change in Bolivia written by Matt Kennard, and as articles of this type are so rare we have translated it into Spanish.

This is a long email, so please be patient, we have tried to avoid long unnecessary information, but we have included whenever possible a Spanish version.

In defence of the Pachamama, which is life!

¡Por la defensa de la Pachamama que es vida!

Bolivia Solidarity Campaign


1. The 10 Mother Earth Commandments

2. The UK and the World People's Conference on Climate Change

3. The Real Climategate: Conservation Groups Align with World’s Worst Polluters

4. Guardian article to cheer you up

5. UBS: shame on YOU! (Bolivian and other immigrant workers victimised by Bank)

6. Colombia Solidarity Campaign: news and events

7. London Mining Network: news and events

8. Peru: Palm oil companies destroy the Peruvian Amazon rainforest

9. Other events in London

1. The 10 Mother Earth Commandments

Stopping the capitalist system

Acabar con el sistema capitalista


Renouncing wars

Renunciar a las guerras


A world without imperialism or colonialism

Un mundo sin imperialismo ni colonialismo


Right to water

Derecho al agua


Development of clean energies

Desarrollo de energías limpias


Respect for Mother Earth

Respeto a la madre tierra


Basic services as human rights

Servicios básicos como derechos humanos


Fighting inequalities

Combatir las desigualdades


Promoting diversity of cultures and economies

Promover la diversidad de culturas y economías


Living well, not living better at the expense of others

Vivir bien, no vivir mejor a costa del otro

Read full transcription


En castellano


2. The UK and the World People's Conference on Climate Change
Who can participate?

Anyone really, in Copenhagen more than 160 countries were excluded from the final negotiations, but in Cochabamba the 192 countries subscribed in the UN have been invited. Indigenous organizations from around the world have also been invited, delegations from the Grand Council of Indigenous Peoples of Canada and the United States will attend the conference.

However it seems that most of the participants expected to go are from NGOs and social movements in Bolivia (including trade unions and indigenous groups), South America, and other regions of the world.

The Bolivian press has started to speculate about the numbers of foreign visitors that will attend the conference. The numbers range from 5 thousand to 10 thousand. There is no clear information on the numbers by the organizers but they have been able to confirm that there will be 20 governmental delegations, scientists and prominent writers such as: Eduardo Galeano, author of the “Open Veins of Latin America”.

Who is going from the UK?

It is estimated that between 50 to 80 people will go from the UK, NGOs such as the WDM, Oxfam, etc. Social movements such as: Campaign Against Climate Change, Climate Justice Action, Bolivia Solidarity Campaign (of course!) and others.

If you as an individual, or an organisation of which you are a member, is considering attending the conference, Bolivia Solidarity Campaign (www.boliviasc.org.uk) may be able to help informally with logistics (such as finding inexpensive accommodation) or arrange contacts with social organisations and trade unions), or provide other advice. BSC has several contacts in Cochabamba, and two BSC members will be attending the conference.

It's a long way to travel for just 4 or 5 days, so if a group of people who wish to stay in Bolivia for a week or so longer comes together, BSC could provide an informal itinerary of visits to places of interest and meetings with social movements and other organisations, including the possibility of visiting the Cuban internationalist medical brigades.

If you are interested, please contact BSC as soon as possible, using the following e-mail address: boliviasc@gmail.com with copy to: steve.wagstaff@hotmail.com

Where will the conference be?

The conference will be in the University Univalle, in Tiquipaya, 10km from the city of Cochabamba. It seems that tents and collective dormitories will be set up as the hotels do not have capacity to house so many visitors.

How will the conference be organized?

There will be:

Self-organized events (there are around 30 proposals)

Working Groups (there are 17 working groups)

Large assemblies/Rallies (there’s one event for the 22nd to take place in a football stadium, but there might be others).

These are the two self-organized events that have applied from the UK:

Title: Unions and a global fight for green jobs
Organizers: Campaign against Climate Change Trade Union Group (UK); University and College Union (UK); Communication Workers Union (UK); Public and Commercial Services union (UK); Transport Salaried Staff Association (UK)
Country or region: UK

Title: La búsqueda del vivir bien/Defending Mother Earth (film and discussion)
Organizers: Yorvida Ltd (UK), Bolivia Solidarity Campaign (UK), Radio Alter-Nativa La Chiwana (Cochabamba), Chajra Runaj Masis (Cochabamba), Sheffield Cuba Solidarity Campaign (UK)

Country or region: UK/Bolivia

Working groups

There are 17 working groups, which people can join at any time. If you cannot go to Bolivia but want to participate please visit the website and subscribe to the working group of your choice.


One of the working groups will look at the referendum on climate change. Evo Morales while in Copenhagen, at the ALBA rally, in front of 3 thousand people, put forth the following five questions for that referendum, for a few minutes you could hear the stadium roar with yes to every question asked.


For more information: www.boliviaun.org

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

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