25 Jul 2010

Low impact holiday

I am off to Eastbourne with my ninos manana.

I do try not to fly, you can take all the lifestyle stuff too far and start moralising but I do think Greens need to stop flying as much as possible....so its train to the south coast

Hopefully the sunshine will continue for the next couple of days and we can get on the beach.

Lots of exciting things happening including two new books projects I am going to be working on over the next 18 months.

I am also enjoying writing for the Morning Star, my next column will be about Hugo Blanco the Peruvian indigenous leader touring Britain in September and October....so lots to tell you about when I am blogging again post holiday.

22 Jul 2010

Nick Griffin 'he just ran off. What a coward'

“I asked Griffin: ‘Isn’t it about time you apologised to the British
people for your party’s long history of anti-Semitism, homophobia and
attacks on the Muslim community?’”

“Griffin looked sheepish. He seemed stumped for an answer. I asked him
again. Then he just ran off. What a coward.

It was so cool to see my good friend Peter Tatchell ambush Nick Griffen in Millbank, after that sad far rightest had tried to milk his exclusion from the Queens Garden party.

Peter is such an inspiring person.

Nick Griffin ambushed by Peter Tatchell

BNP leader runs away when challenged

Refuses to apologise for BNP’s anti-Semitism, homophobia & attacks on Muslims

London – 22 July 2010

The far right BNP leader Nick Griffin was ambushed at his press
conference and photo call at Millbank Studios in London this afternoon
by human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell.

See BBC footage of the ambush and a full transcript here:

Mr Tatchell sneaked between the photographers pack and strode right up
to Mr Griffin as he was showing off his Buckingham Palace Garden Party
invitation, which was withdrawn by the Queen earlier today.

“As soon as he saw me he had a look of horror on his face,” said Mr Tatchell.

“I asked Griffin: ‘Isn’t it about time you apologised to the British
people for your party’s long history of anti-Semitism, homophobia and
attacks on the Muslim community?’”

“Griffin looked sheepish. He seemed stumped for an answer. I asked him
again. Then he just ran off. What a coward.

“Griffin’s minders shoved me down the stairs. It’s proof that the BNP
doesn’t believe in free speech or in the public asking their leader
awkward questions. It shows the kind of autocratic society the BNP
would impose if they ever won power.

“For many years, the BNP has preached a totalitarian ideology of
anti-Jewish, anti-black, anti-gay and anti-Muslim hatred. The party
has a long and strident hatred of non-white immigrants and asylum
seekers. It’s racist views are an affront to democratic values.

“Behind Nick Griffin’s silky words and smiles lurk his party’s
neo-fascist roots. The BNP is a threat to human rights and social
solidarity,” said Mr Tatchell.

21 Jul 2010

Indigenous philosophers' statement on the crisis on our planet

“Today, we are at a tipping point at which humanity is in danger of being removed from the cycles of Mother Earth. We bring this urgent message in response to indigenous women, youth and children from around the world who have consistently asked us to leave them a more balanced planet,” the statement reads. “We come as individuals from cultures whose authority originates from our unique relationships with nature and the environment. Our ways of living, and very existence, are threatened by the resistance of nation states to include our institutions as part of the solutions that can save our planet. Consequently, we issue this call to the world.”

That call included eight “mechanisms” that the participants drafted for the purpose of restoring balance.

“1) Recognition of the interdependence of all things; 2) Indigenous self-determination; 3) Indigenous land, air, water, territory and natural resource management; 4) Protection and preservation of indigenous traditional knowledge, lifeways and languages, cultures, sacred sites, and folklores/oral traditions; 5) Indigenous authority over all actions impacting indigenous communities; 6) Respect for, and protection of, traditional agricultures and genetic resources; 7) Seed sovereignty and food security; 8) Rights of movement, rights of access, rights of participation and communication in the exchange of environmental knowledge and culture.”

More Here

20 Jul 2010

Biance Jagger challenges Oliver Stone over 'South of the Border'

Went to the premiere yesterday. The high spot was the Q and A afterwards when Bianca Jagger challenged Oliver Stone to take on the corporations by making a film looking at the struggles of indigenous people against big oil, gas and mining.

She made particular mention of the Bagua massacre and the struggles in Peru. Hugo Blanco the movie, I think.

South of the Border is an informative and entertaining film, which I highly recommend. The best bit is Oliver Stone chewing coca leaves with Evo Morales. In just seven days Stone tracked down seven Latin American Presidents, representing the red tide sweeping the continent in the spirit of 'El Liberator' Simon Boliver.

Despite their differences they stressed the importance of independence from the USA.

A corrective to the bias US media that demonises or ignores different opinions.

Would have liked to have heard more from Fernando Lugo, the President of Paraguay, he did make the point that liberation theology was an important influence of political change and progress in Latin America.

I ought to take a serious look at liberation theology.

Lots happening in Latin America, with the Greens coming second in Colombia in recent elections and Brazillian Green Party candidate Marina Silva polling strongly, it is still the continent to watch.

Of course the big story has been the rise of the indigenous....do look out for indigenous leader Hugo Blanco who will be in the UK in September.

19 Jul 2010

Gay groups in Peru seek election alliance in wake of Argentina law

Just had this. Peru has an oil oligarchy, they open the rainforests and sell them off, those who get in the way are put under pressure. The UK government loves Latin Americans regimes that open up their resources to exploitation.

Human rights is not a priority for people like President Alan Garcia. Nonetheless good to see LGBT people mobilising in the country.

Gay groups in Peru seek election alliance in wake of Argentina law

After the approval of gay marriage in Argentina, two homosexual organizations in Lima announced they are seeking for political allies among the candidates running in Peru's 2011 presidential elections, in order to promote gay marriage in Peru.

Jorge Apolaya, spokesperson for the Peruvian Network of Travestites, Lesbians, Gays and Bisexuals, told EFE news agency that “it is necessary to pass a law for all those persons that want to access as a couple to legal benefits such as social security, a mortgage, a life insurance or heritage.”

Peru will have presidential and congress elections in April 2011, since Alan Garcia will leave office in July 2011.

"Those who have avoided a public debate about this topic now will have to enter the debate,” Apolaya said.

The only presidential candidate who has openly approved gay marriage in his government plan is TV host and writer Jaime Bayly, but private polls reveal that 73% of Peruvians are against these unions.

Apolaya says that marriage “cannot be a heterosexual privilege” in a country where “there is allegedly an equality of rights for all citizens.”

Argentina became the first country in Latin American to approve gay marriage following a 14-hour debate in the senate (gay marriage has been legal in Mexico City since 2010).


18 Jul 2010

Caroline Lucas protests against killing of Green Party activist

Caroline Lucas, with other Green Party leaders in the Commonwealth, is urging action after the killing of the deputy leader of the Rwandan Green Party, Andre Kagwa Rwisereka.

In the lead-up to Rwanda's presidential vote on the 9th August, the Democratic Green Party of Rwanda has been subject to harassment, intimidation, and death threats. Police have broken up party meetings, and the party has been barred from registering or putting up candidates for the election. (1)

A letter was sent yesterday to the Commonwealth's Secretary-General, Kamalesh Sharma, co-signed by Green Party leader Caroline Lucas, Sen. Bob Brown (leader of the Australian Greens) and Russel Norman (leader, New Zealand Greens).

It calls on Sharma to take urgent steps to enforce the Commonwealth's standards of human rights and democracy in Rwanda. (2)

In part, the joint-letter from Lucas, Brown and Norman reads:

"The death of Green Party Vice President, Mr. Andre Kagwa Rwisereka, who was found dead on 14th July 2010, is a tragic event and we are extremely concerned for the other members of the Rwandan Green Party.


17 Jul 2010


England has failed to qualify for the World Cup, a football nation is in crisis. Don Revie the ruthless architect of a new kind of football has been called from Leeds to manage the England team.

His arch enemy, quick talking Brian Clough, has been asked into replace him at Leeds.

Will this result in a car crash of epic but entertaining proportions? Could be.

An excellent piece of drama and a reminder of the down to heal reality of the land that time forgot, Britain in the 1970s.

Good, good, good, you have to watch this. I vaguely (mis?) remembered Brian Clough as an alcoholic loud mouth, got this wrong the hombre was a poet.

Michael Sheen is good as Cloughie, also enjoyed him as Kenneth Williams, another tortured 70s genius.

Nice reminder of football before mega bucks destroyed the game. A drama set today would all be about bankrupt teams sliding under.

Clough was committed socialist, who supported strikers and did his bit to fight the far right National Front.

'The Damned United is the best movie ever made about football, wonderfully evoking the sport of the 1970s, which feels a world away from the hype and commercialisation of the modern game.' is the judgement of Diary of a Ledger.

K-Punk suggests ''The Premiership terminated this, finally destroyed what was left of Clough’s crumbling world - a world in which working class managers could outwit and overcome puffed-up patrician patriarchs, a world in which unfancied provincial clubs could outdo the established colossuses - and his final decline was all-too punctual. With Clough an ailing Lear at the helm, Forest were relegated in 1993, at the end of the Premier League's first season.'

Good but.... suggests Makootz. This kind of stuff is probably as exotic as Godard for American viewers so we will let him off.


' I first heard the term ‘sub-prime’ in the summer of 2006 from a taxi driver. We spent some time talking about CDOs, how they were risk managed and the diffusion of complexity across the financial system that would inevitably lead to cascading failure. Neither of us put our money where our mouths were. But it goes to show that many people were lying later on when they said the failures were all a huge surprise. If a taxi driver and IT bod can see what’s happening then anybody can. I met a hedge fund manager the other day who said that he was swapping out traders for industry experts (e.g. people who understood the fundamentals of a business rather than just the numbers) – I suggested that he might hire some taxi drivers.' From Chris Swann's review of Capitalism: A love story.

In Capitalism: A Love Story Michael Moore explains that the current economic system is making most Americans poorer and is enriching a tiny elite of the super rich. Its a good examination of how the USA has become a much less equal society and Moore does a good job of explaining the basics of the banking crisis. It is entertaining to watch and explains a number of issues that would other wise be quite abstract. The message that there is a democratic alternative to capitalism needs to be made. There are also some good examples of workers organising to protect their rights. From an interview with Bernie Sanders the one US socialist Senator from Vermont to film of a workers cooperative Moore shows that the alternative to capitalism need not be a life long trip to North Korea.

However its pretty over the top in places. It is not structural but very much a conspiracy theory view. Without doubt the super rich in the US and elsewhere have been conspiring to make their lives better and ours worse. Yet capitalism is not simply a matter of bad people doing bad things, its a system where however 'good' or 'bad' an individual capitalist is, they are driven to maximise profit so as to survive.

This is well explained by John Bellamy Foster who argues that we are all part of a treadmil of production:

First, built into this global system, and constituting its central rationale, is the increasing accumulation of wealth by a relatively small section of the population at the top of the social pyramid. Second, there is a long-term movement of workers away from self-employment and into wage jobs that are contingent on the continual expansion of production. Third, the competitive struggle between businesses necessitates on pain of extinction of the allocation of accumulated wealth to new, revolutionary technologies that serve to expand production. Fourth, wants are manufactured in a manner that creates an insatiable hunger for more. Fifth, government becomes increasingly responsible for promoting national economic development, while ensuring some degree of "social security" for a least a portion of its citizens. Sixth, the dominant means of communication and education are part of the treadmill, serving to reinforce its priorities and values.3

4. A defining trait of the system is that it is a kind of giant squirrel cage. Everyone, or nearly everyone, is part of this treadmill and is unable or unwilling to get off. Investors and managers are driven by the need to accumulate wealth and to expand the scale of their operations in order to prosper within a globally competitive milieu. For the vast majority the commitment to the treadmill is more limited and indirect: they simply need to obtain jobs at livable wages. But to retain those jobs and to maintain a given standard of living in these circumstances it is necessary, like the Red Queen in Through the Looking Glass, to run faster and faster in order to stay in the same place

The indigenous don't get a look in in the film, American wealth was fuelled by stealing other peoples land and lives. Equally the ecological consequences of capitalism are ignored by Moore.

It's very big on the Catholic Church, some people say he should be Catholic of the year. Now while I am hostile to the Pope and his homphobic works, many of my family are Catholics, liberation theology has been a massive force for good and the social teachings of the Church have been critical of capitalism. However I am not sure how convincing having priests popping up all the time, will be to much of Moore's audience.

There are also some over the top straw man examples, the stuff on prisons which is horrifying, with children being imprisoned by a judge secretly paid by a private jail company to put them away, seems to be more about a few corrupt individuals than the normal suffering built into our economic system.

It would have been nice to have seen Elinor Ostrom on to explain how with the right kind of structures based on commonal property rights, a fair and ecological system based on human freedom could potentially be created.

(Quick plug, Elinor, bless her, is taking part in this amazing conference where she will be meeting with indigenous comrades to plan a global roll out of their stuff....like to see you make a film about this Mr Moore!)

So its a good film, worth watching but you have to put the work in on this stuff, convinced ideologist that I am I feel that a careful study of Marx and Ostrom is necessary to really get to grips with this problem.

I think I would agree with this over all assessement from Variety, the "target is less capitalism qua capitalism than the banking industry, which Moore skewers ruthlessly, explaining last year's economic meltdown in terms a sixth-grader could understand. That said, there's still plenty here to annoy right-wingers, as well as those who, however much they agree with Moore's politics, just can't stomach his oversimplification, on-the-nose sentimentality and goofball japery."


Long but thoughtful review here from Movie Magg.

Right wing reviewer claims Moore's priests were fake.

The Economist article, which alas is behind their subscribers wall notes, 'He likes small, co-operatively run firms, but how that model could be made to work for multinationals is far from clear. In the end, Mr Moore fails to produce a convincing riposte to the argument that capitalism, though prone to the occasional spectacular bust, is the economic system best able to correct its own excesses.'

16 Jul 2010

He shot them in the head.

The evidence is plain. Yes, David Cameron hugged the huskies in opposition. But as soon as he got into government, he walked them into the Downing Street garden, and shot them in the head.

15 Jul 2010

Pink smoke over the Vatican

Just been writing about religion and liberation with a nod to Salma Yaqoob, Marina Silva, the Hutterite Anabaptists, etc.

Interesting little video above about the campaign for women priests in the Catholic Church....go for it girls!

Came across it on this excellent radical Catholic website. I don't do god, although I have been known to do zazen, I am pretty sympathetic to attempts to link religion to justice and liberation, in the same way I am sympathetic to attempts to link politics to ecology and socialism.

Let Iroquois Lacrosse Team play in the UK!

Despite inventing the sport the Iroquois Lacrosse Team have been banned from traveling to Britain to play lacrosse. The Iroquois confederation have their own passports because they are nation, recognised by the US and Canada. The UK government don't recognise the Iroquois as a nation with a right to passports and of course to compete
in the world contest you have to be a nation!

Jonathan Kent, a Green Party member from here in the South East of England has set up a facebook to support them, please join it here.


The frontline of the fight against climate change is the Peruvian Amazon and the people there are putting up a huge fight to stop the destruction of the rainforests.

They have some varied and interesting supporters including the priest Paul MacAuley, my good friend and ex-Fourth International leader Hugo Blanco and a Hollywood actress Qorianka Kilcher. Over the border in Ecuador the 'leftist' President Correa has been attacking indigenous protests against oil exploration, yes I know things in Peru are ten times worse and Correa is part of a wider progressive movement but his actions make me angry. They also make Qorianka Kilcher angry, I have just seen this mispelt but heartfelt statement from her.

I personally have met this Mr. President Correa , when he was first voted in as the president of Equador.....

there were lots of festivities and Lots and Lots of young and old Indigenous Leaders and supporters...

It SEEMED that there was a genuin air of hope and it was clear that Correa had alot of Indigenous Support... why... well it must have been because of his "smoothe Words"....

Leave the Oil in the ground and etc sweet talk....

Hell, I will confess, I even adopted one of his lines he used in one of his elaborate wonderful speaches..." Some things dont have a price, They have Value" !

Yes, its not my line... I adopted it from Correa, because it is a true and wonderful fact.

In every speach I have ever given I use this line....and I try to always think, live and act according to the meaning of this sentence....

Sadly Correa has made a mockery out of all the many indigenous supporters and their hopes for justice... I feel bad, because I to , rather liked the man for a couple seconds...... and now I feel embarrassed that I did cheer for him.....

HOWEVER, it is up to the people who voted for this man to hold him accountable for his sweet words and hold him accountable to be the man they voted for.

So... taking it on the streets and having citizen voices heard is absolutely nescessary and in line with what should be expected from a president who seet talked indigenous Peoples to support his climb to power....

So WHAT THE HELL ! CORREA IS CRIMINALIZING PROTESTERS, calling people terrorists and .... well read on.... and do your research....

and for Correa, .... grrrrrrrr !!!!

I will keep using your line , while speaking out against YOU !

xoxo, Q'orianka Kilcher

Now read this article Written by Jennifer Moore
A New Wave of Criminalization Against Social Movements in Ecuador
Wednesday, 14 July 2010 17:51
Ecuador's anti-mining and indigenous movements are denouncing renewed attempts by the Correa Administration to criminalize dissent. Over thirty people, including top leaders of the national indigenous movement, are being investigated for allegations including terrorism and sabotage as a result of their participation in protests related to controversies over gold and copper mining, as well as water and indigenous rights.


Oil industry sycophants, with their dollar store logic, are quick to tell us that oil spills are one of those 'unfortunate facts of life', like taxes in a market economy or Geraldo Rivera becoming a journalist.

They're tragedies that we're just supposed to live with, they tell us. After all, 'We're only human. We all mistakes'.

Maybe it's enough to explain a couple oil spills---like the one by that guy who 'accidentally' dropped his bucket into an open sewer---But, of course, we're talking about far more than one or two.

In the United States alone, roughly 20,000 oil spills were recorded between 2000-2008, totalling some 4 million gallons.

If we widen the scope a bit, we also find Texaco's oil adventures in the Ecuadorian Amazon.

Over the course of 30 years, until 1990, the company permitted more than 19 billion gallons of toxic oil wastewater and 17 million gallons of crude oil to leach into the environment. It's by far the largest oil disaster in the world.

Indigenous Peoples in the region have been literally devastated by the oil. According to the campaign group ChevronToxico , they now suffer from an "exploding public health crisis" that includes skin rashes, breathing problems, spontaneous abortions, birth defects and several different types of cancer. All of this was unheard of before the company arrived in 1964.

Since then, notes the Amazon Defense coalition, "more than 1,400 people have died of cancer."

14 Jul 2010

Peruvian court annuls expulsion order against rainforest Priest McAuley

My only slight pang about this, is that given the lack of success the British left has shown over the last couple of decades, we could probably do with Fr Paul McAuley over here to resist the destruction of the NHS, welfare state and all the chaos/poverty about to be unleashed by having the Economist editorial team in government.

Nonetheless a victory. The Peruvian government work hard to destroy the rainforests, pollute the land and benefit the compredor elite and every time the people beat them back, while I may have said many unpleasant things about the Pope, at least some of his men in Peru are doing a great job....although don't forget the main force for good is a very well organised indigenous network Aidesep.

Vive Lucha Indigena! Viva Hugo Blanco! Viva La Selva! Viva Paul McAuley.

The Superior Court of Justice ruled today Loreto accept the habeas corpus of British Priest Paul McAuley against the deportation order issued by the Ministry of Interior.

McAuley was accused by immigration authorities of violating the rules imposed on foreign residents to promote protest and intervene in domestic politics.

"It was a pleasant surprise this morning when I received the notification that recognizes my right to free transit and will no longer be expelled ," said McAuley.

His lawyers immediately filed a habeas corpus alleging that the environmental group had not been properly notified nor had the right to defense and due process.

Hugo Blanco sent me this, original here

'a Klansman at heart'

Robert C.Byrd a famed US Democrat Party Senator, died a couple of weeks ago. He was also a Klansman, Bill Clinton with his 'I didn't have oral sex with my intern' voice, which we all know and love, defends Byrd's KKK membership 'He was just a poor white boy, he didha know any betta'....Mumia has a slightly different take on this.

Incidentally Mumia isn't allowed access to email, so he writes this stuff and it arrives with me a week or so after he has composed it. Just writing about Mumia for Green Left Weekly

The Man Called Robert C. Byrd
[col. writ. 7/4/10] (c) '10 Mumia Abu-Jamal

The Longest-serving member of the U.S. Senate would've been a title cherished by Robert Carlisle Byrd, who became, among many other things, a respected historian.

Byrd's beginnings were from the white southern poor, and he hailed from a family of coal miners. Despite this poverty, Byrd had a prodigious memory, and he excelled in high school.

But Byrd, being politically ambitious, was much more than a bright schoolboy. By his young adulthood he was a ranking member of the Ku Klux Klan, the white terrorist arm of the southern Democratic Party. In West Virginia, this was a ticket to high political office, and Byrd punched his ticket well.

He began, as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives in 1953. Six years later he entered the Senate and except by death, never left. From 1959 to 2010 he became the embodiment of West Virginia, and the state became a reflection of him. There are so many roads, schools, airports and government buildings named after him that the state might best be known as Byrdsylvania, or, perhaps better, Byrdistan.

His biographers cite his KKK membership as a youthful indiscretion, a passing fancy almost. But Byrd, historian that he was, made history of sorts when he opposed the elevation of Thurgood Marshall to the Supreme Court in 1967. Marshall was, at that time, one of the most successful lawyers in America, winning 29 of 32 cases before the U.S. Supreme Court (including Brown v. Bd. of Education) He was a Federal Appeals court judge for the 2nd Circuit (up in New York) for 5 years, and he was U.S. Solicitor General for 2 years.

Why did Byrd oppose Marshall, perhaps the most distinguished lawyer of his generation? Because he didn't want to see a Black man on the court. Period.

Youthful indiscretion? Byrd was 50 when he voted against Marshall's confirmation.

Two years before, when riots erupted across America, Sen. Byrd would opine on the Senate floor that perhaps planned parenthood should be introduced to Blacks so that they wouldn't have so many children who would grow up and be unemployed.

Sen. Robert C. Byrd, born Cornelius Calvin Sale, Jr., in North Carolina, was a man of his time and place.

Perhaps he distinguished himself from the pack best when he rose to the floor, a copy of the Constitution in his shaking hand, and denounce the Bush regime's mad march to war in Iraq, as a violation of the constitution. He voted against authorization for war, saying it was the duty of the Congress to declare war - not the president.

He rose from humble beginnings, with pluck, smarts and dogged determination. He held his office like a pit bull on a bone. He played the fiddle with considerable skill.

But he was a Klansman at heart.

-(c) '10 maj

[Source: Berry, Mary Frances, Black Resistance; White Law (N.Y.: Penguin, 1996 (orig. 1971), p.169.]

The Power of Truth is Final -- Free Mumia!

Audio of most of Mumia's essays are at:

Mumia's got a podcast! Mumia Abu-Jamal's Radio Essays - Subscribe at the website or on iTunes and get Mumia's radio commentaries online.

Mumia Abu-Jamal's new book -- JAILHOUSE LAWYERS: PRISONERS DEFENDING PRISONERS V. THE USA, featuring an introduction by Angela Y. Davis -- has been released! It is available from City Lights Books: http://www.citylights.com/book/?GCOI=87286100448090

Please make a contribution to help free Mumia. Donations to the grassroots work will go to both INTERNATIONAL CONCERNED FAMILY AND FRIENDS OF MUMIA ABU-JAMAL and the FREE MUMIA ABU-JAMAL COALITION (NYC).


Please mail donations/ checks to:
NY 10030

215 476-8812

Send our brotha some LOVE and LIGHT at:

Mumia Abu-Jamal
AM 8335
175 Progress Drive
Waynesburg, PA 15370


Subscribe: mumiacolumns-subscribe@topica.com
Read: http://topica.com/lists/mumiacolumns/read
Subscribe ICFFMAJ email updates list by e-mailing

Green MEP welcomes protection of seasonal workers

The video is from a while back but its a good introduction to Jean's strong stance on workers rights, I am really proud she is one on my parties MEPs.
Jean Lambert, the Green MEP for London, has welcomed the European
Commission’s proposal for a Directive on seasonal employment.

Employers in sectors such as agriculture, horticulture and tourism are
increasingly dependent on people from countries outside of Europe to do
season work. There have been many reports of crops being left to rot in the
fields when too few permits for such workers have been given: this
represents a lower income for producers and a waste of food.

The proposed Directive, which was presented yesterday, will define the
standard contractual rights for third-country seasonal workers to protect
them from exploitation and establish a common procedure for their entry and
residence in the EU to allow for a more effective management of the process.

Jean, who is coordinator for the Greens on the Employment and Social
Affairs Committee, said: "We hear many horror stories of the abuse of
seasonal workers, whichever country they come from. This proposed Directive
clearly sets out basic payment, employment, and social rights to which all
such workers are entitled. However these rights are only as strong as the
inspection measures which should enforce them.

"I particularly welcome that the proposal includes provisions on adequate
and affordable accommodation for those from third countries, which will
hopefully bring an end to the squalid and overpriced living conditions
in which so many people currently doing seasonal work in the EU,
particularly in the agricultural sector, are forced to live.

"When we look at the proposal we must also ensure that it deals not only
with unscrupulous employers but also unscrupulous agencies which prey on
people's hopes and recruit them with promises of decent work and good wages:
the reality can be very different.”


The proposal is part of a comprehensive package of measures, proposed in the
Policy Plan on Legal Migration of 2005 and further endorsed by the Stockholm
Programme, adopted by the European Council in December 2009. The European
Union faces a structural need for seasonal work due to the fact that EU
labour within this field is expected to become less and less available. The
development of a well-organised legal immigration policy will therefore
continue to play an important role in filling labour shortages and
responding to the future demographic challenges of the Union.

In particular, the proposal:
• establishes a simpler entry procedure for the admission of non-EU seasonal
workers based on common definitions and criteria, such as the existence of a
work contract or a binding job offer that specifies a salary;
• sets a standard seasonal work time limit throughout the EU (6 months per
calendar year);
• provides for a multi-seasonal permit for three years or a facilitated
re-entry procedure in subsequent seasons;
• defines legal provisions applicable to working conditions of seasonal
• entitles seasonal workers to equal treatment with nationals of the Member
States in determined fields (freedom of association and affiliation, social
security schemes, income-related acquired statutory pensions, access to
goods and services, etc);

• leaves EU Member States free to apply a labour market test and to decide
how many seasonal workers they admit; the proposal does not create a right
to admission.

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...