30 Sept 2010

Rory Carroll 'puta madre'?

Well the Guardian will be running lots of 'Chavez is a dictator' stories, when they run more about people being killed in Peru and Colombia, I will stop proclaiming fuck Rory Carroll!

Sadly a lot of people are being killed in Colombia by right wing paramilitaries, I wish the British media reported more on this...but no Chavez/human rights stories are more to their taste.

In August 2010 Colombian human rights activist Alfonso Castillo was threatened by a rightwing paramilitary death squad known as the ‘Black Eagles’.

The threat, which arrived by e-mail, said that Alfonso had been 'sentenced to death' and that he had to leave Bogota, where he lives and works, or die.

Please take a moment to send a message to the Colombian Ambassador calling for Alfonso to be protected and for the Colombian authorities to take action against the 'Black Eagles'.

Please click here to send your message:

Justice for Colombia

28 Sept 2010

UCL workers win campaign for living wage

UCL Head Malcom Grant with sacked cleaner Juan Carlos

Just got this.....Latin American Workers Association comrades have fought an amazing campaign and I think the power of the press, usually in Britain they work for the super rich, helped with the article in the Evening Standard on the campaign. Evening Standard article here

As most of you will be aware, a delegation from the UCL Living Wage Campaign today met with UCL Provost Malcolm Grant and other senior managers from UCL to discuss the London Living Wage.

Before we had so much as woken up this morning, Grant posted this to all UCL staff in his weekly newsletter (at 1.08 am):

“There has been some media coverage recently of [the London Living Wage] campaign and discussion of UCL’s approach to outsourced contractors and their rates of pay. Following internal discussions, I shall be meeting shortly with representatives of the LLW Campaign to inform them that we will indeed, in common with some other higher education institutions in London, work towards implementing the LLW pay rates in these contracts as they fall due for review over the next couple of years. As I have outlined above, we face serious financial challenges, and to meet this serious commitment we will need to review also the levels of service we require and can reasonably afford in the difficult years ahead to bring down costs. In addition, we shall be inviting all those who have supported this campaign and are also employers to join us in making a similar commitment.”


Green racism?

Green Racism anyone?

Well the BNP argue that climate change does not exist but migrants cause most of Britain's environmental problems.

In the 1980s the far right National Front, which included the present BNP leader Nick Griffin, had an 'ecological' wing called Greenwave.

In Canada the environment is being used to justify attacks on migrants.

Its worrying that environmental problems are being 'framed' in terms of migration.

Not surprising sadly, here in Britain, tabloid papers are blaming an economic crisis caused by bankers on those on benefits.

When in doubt blame those in a weak position, kick them hard and ignore the real problem.

Interesting article here on racism and 'environmentalism'

27 Sept 2010

'Renowned Marxist philosopher, Slavoj Zizek, strolled past the rally with apparently little interest.'

The University is a factory.

The University is a factory where most of the workers are to be sacked.

The University is a factory where the most militant and organised are the cleaners.

The University is a factory where one product is 'theory'.

The University is a factory where the workers who produce 'theory' have the least interest in 'practice'.

Soas was occupied in support of Low Paid Cleaners, it is reported that noted Marxist academic showed no interest in the occupation.

Can this be true, I think we should be told!


26 Sept 2010

Bishop Eddie Long 'spews out more sperm'?

CNN has said "Long frequently denounces homosexual behavior."[14] Long has ministered “homosexual cure” programs to recruit gays and lesbians for what he called “Sexual Reorientation” conferences and his church offers an ongoing “Out of the Wilderness” ministry to help convert homosexuals into heterosexuals.[15] In 2004, Long led a march with Bernice King to the grave of her father, Martin Luther King, Jr. The march was a protest against same-sex marriage and in support of a national constitutional amendment to protect marriage "between one man and one woman."[16] A 2007 article in the Southern Poverty Law Center's magazine called him "one of the most virulently homophobic black leaders in the religiously based anti-gay movement."[14]
Long was a prominent supporter of George W. Bush's faith-based initiatives.[17] His ministry received a $1 million grant from the U.S. Administration of Children & Families.[17] Rev. Timothy McDonald suggested a link between Long's anti-gay activity and the grant saying "If you look at the black pastors who have come out with the faith-based money, they're the same ones who have come out with campaigns on the gay marriage issue."[17


The world of American Southern Baptism is being shocked by the news that a fourth young man has accused Bishop Eddie Long of getting down and dirty with them.

The men who filed the suit were 17- and 18-year-old members of the church when they say Long abused his spiritual authority to seduce them with cars, money, clothes, jewelry, international trips and access to celebrities.

Is this the same old story the worst religious bigots who spend their time proclaiming 'god hates gays' are often gay themselves?

If I have said it once I have said it a thousand times, the prophets/messiahs/founders of religions (whatever term you prefer) preached tolerance and did not get their underwear in a twist over sexuality.

Jesus and Mohammed were liberals, no doubt about it. Sad that some of their followers moralise endless about sex.

Hatred of gays is often a sign of insecurity.

Bishop Eddie Long's catch phrase that he was sending out sperm to grow his church is a bizarre feature of this episode of allegations of sex with young men in return for presents including cars.

You can see how he 'spews forth the sperm of God onto the womb of his congregation' here.

The allegations don't involve coercion, under age sex or illegal activity but it is morally wrong to attack LGTBT in the name of religion, depressing when it comes from those who practise same sex sex.

However the allegation of introducing young men to Winnie Mandela in return for blow jobs is frankly quite disturbing.

What next will Christine O'Donnell be revealled to be a masturbator?

As Peter Tatchell points out LGBT rights are human rights, they came for the gays but I was not a gay, etc, its all anti-sex, anti-human and anti-life and in a fundamental way rejects the teaching of religions.

Ken Livingstone tops Labour NEC poll

Ken Livingstone - 88,235
Oona King - 64,004
Ann Black - 59,200
Ellie Reeves - 45,481
Christine Shawcroft - 44,338
Luke Akehurst - 30,825

Nonetheless longstanding left NEC members like Pete Willsman are beaten.

Still not convinced much room for left in Labour but happy to see the politician most associated with the Latin American Left win first place.

Slavoj Žižek/revolution/ecology/capitalism

If you haven't seen this, excellent stuff.

25 Sept 2010

Ed Miliband blackmail was lessened slightly by the fact that he was in his pyjamas

Miliband stomped into the room where they were meeting at 4am and ranted that if they didn’t sign up they’d be denied access to a putative $30bn fund. The high drama of this bit of blackmail was lessened slightly by the fact that he was in his pyjamas at the time. It’s hard to be a moral titan in your jimjams but it’s easy to be the message boy of the rich and powerful.


Ed Miliband wins

Very close, still both Blairites!

Blair's endorsement killed David, along with torture associations.

Ralph Milband their dad was a great socialist.

My friend John McDonnell, MP would have made a great and inspiring Labour leader but they didn't let him run.

Caroline Lucas to speak at House of Commons Million Green Jobs event

The TUC have adopted the One Million Green Jobs campaign.

October 14, 2010 from 6pm to 8pm
Committee Room 10, House of Commons

Organized By: Campaign Against Climate Change Trade Union Group

Speakers include Caroline Lucas MP, John McDonnell MP, Chris Baugh (PCS)

24 Sept 2010

Tea Parties: The Politics of Fear

[col. writ. 9/19/10] (c) '10 Mumia Abu-Jamal

For many, if not most, of the people who are active in the 'tea party' movement, are reacting to the fall of the American economy.

They see vast home foreclosures, factory closings, the loss of jobs and the resultant loss of pay, across a wide spectrum of the working class, and they are afraid; very afraid.

It's been said that money is the mother's milk of politics, and while that's true, it's also true that fear is powerful currency in the hands of unscrupulous politicians.

And once you add media, it's political TNT.

It doesn't really matter who's feared; fear'll do the trick.

For many of them, Mexican immigration is a bubble into which the fear of the foreigner, lost jobs, crime and even contagion come together with explosive power. And politicians ae riding it like broncos.

Pres. Barack Obama, as a dark(er) man with an exotic name, and African origins, also attracts a good slice of that fear.

Few of them seem to see that Clinton-era globalization policies gutted key industries, as middle class jobs were flushed to the global south, and then on to the east, to insure higher returns to investors and corporate owners and manager. Jobs gone to low wage countries, forever.

It used to be a man or woman, Black, white or Latino, could get a job at a car factory like GM, with a high school diploma, that paid middle class, family raising wages.

Those days are passing into the rear-view mirror.

Now, college graduates feel lucky to get any jobs: even an internship.

The Tea Party, although funded by rich families, does not target the corporate and economic forces which created their present nightmares.

They bellow about lower corporate taxes, and the shrinkage of government - ignoring the simple fact that the U.S. pays almost 1/2 the corporate tax rate of most industrial countries; or that the U.S. population has doubled between the years 1950 and 2000 (from 150 million to over 300 million)

Their fears, to say the least, are misdirected.

J.G.Ballard maps the desert of the real

"could consumerism turn into fascism? The underlying psychologies aren't all that far removed from one another. If you go into a huge shopping mall and you're looking down the parade, it's the same theatrical aspect: these disciplined ranks of merchandise, all glittering like fascist uniforms. When you enter a mall, you are taking part in a ceremony of affirmation, which you endorse just by your presence." Consumerism "has to a large extent replaced art and culture in this country."

I have just finished reading J.G.Ballard's novel Super Cannes.

Initially it was close, I felt, to self parody. The plot is very similar to his earlier Cocaine Nights and it reads at times as if it is being narrated by some louche English cliche.

Nigel Farage on speed and acid.

My feeling is one of desperation after reading it to the very end.

Ballard once argued that far from being a science fiction writer, he was an enlightened futurist, trying to show what was just over the horizon of the present, 'sent on ahead to see if the water is drinkable'.

He is no friend of the green movement, several bitter asides suggested for him Green is a form of pathology.

The book suggests that corporations rule the Earth. Human beings are worn like a set of clothes by the prevailing relations of production.

Even those in control are puppets.

To make the puppets feel that they are alive and have agency, random acts of atavistic violence are organised by other puppets.

Grim, accurate, nasty. The water does not taste too good.

Chimes with many of the insights of Zizek, a sophisticated left reading of fascism.

The soft fascism of Berlusconi is Zizek suggests likely to become the norm in democracies where we are controlled by idiots.

Ballard is certainly worth a read.

Cabbages, Kings, Conventions.

My good friend Joseph Healy has relaunched his ecosocialist blog here.

It remains essential reading this is about his work at the Convention of the Left.

I am speaking tomorrow night at the Convention of the Left in Manchester as a member of a panel addressing the cuts in Europe and internationally. The Convention is timed to coincide with the opening of the Labour Party conference in Manchester. I last attended the Convention two years ago but was not a speaker on the platform, although I spoke from the floor and also at a worshop. Several of my colleagues in Green Left are on the organising committee of the Convention and I look forward to seeing them again. I will be representing both Green Left and the Coalition of Resistance, on whose steering committee I sit as the Green Left representative.

23 Sept 2010

Venezuelan election forecast

Venezuela: Elections to the National Assembly - another step on the road to democracy
* by Francisco Dominguez, VSC Secretary

Venezuelans once again go to the polls

Venezuelans vote on Sunday for the South American nation's 165-seat National Assembly – its national parliament. This is the 16th national election or referenda since Chávez was first elected President in 1998.

Venezuela’s last election was a referendum on the right of the President to stand again on 15 February 2009. This was endorsed by 54% of the electorate, against 46% opposing the measure. Sunday’s election is the first to take place against the backdrop of a recession in Venezuela, which has been hit hard by the world recession as have many other countries.

Media distortions, context and the truth about Venezuelan democracy

With these key elections approaching, there has already been a stepping up of media distortions about Venezuela internationally. In the run-up to previous election campaigns, the VSC has noted that the increases in false claims appear to be designed in order to de-legitimise the results and fairness of the elections internationally.
National Assembly elections take place every 5 years and the elected representatives will have power to pass legislation and also to block the president's legislative initiatives (with the support of over a 1/3 of members). It also has other specific and important powers (outlined in Article 187 of the Constitution) including approving the budget, initiating impeachment proceedings against most government officials (including ministers but not the President, who can only be removed through a recall referendum of the population) and appointing the members of the government's electoral, judicial, and prosecutorial branches.

However the last time these elections were held in 2005, the oppositions boycotted them in order to seek to delegitimize the result which was to give a majority to supporters of President Chávez. Therefore this year, the one thing that is clear is that the Venezuelan anti-Chávez right wing opposition will inevitably increase its number of seats in parliaments as it will actually contest the seats.

Some media coverage has already sought to portray the elections as representing a huge gain for anti- Chávez forces if the opposition can stop the pro-Chávez parties gaining two-thirds. However, this would be false. Whilst we can’t predict exactly what the opposition parties would have got in 2005 had they taken part in the democratic process, they did receive more than a third of the vote in elections in the 2006 Presidential elections , gaining 36.9% with 7,309,080 m votes. (See http://www.cne.gov.ve/web/estadisticas/index_resultados_elecciones.php.) Furthermore, in the previous year, in the 2004 recall referendum, the opposition to Chávez got 40% (3,989,008 votes) – again this was more than one-third (see http://www.cne.gov.ve/referendum_presidencial2004/.)
The results – and claims made in the international media by the Venezuelan opposition and others - on September 26 must be analysed against this background and context if these are to be fully understood.

Rebutting opposition myths: How Venezuelan elections are free and fair

Venezuela's National Electoral Council (CNE) officially announced the opening of the electoral campaign for the elections to renew the 165 seats for the country’s National Assembly in August. The CNE, as with every previous election since 1999, has conducted a national campaign of information to ensure that voters are aware of every detail of a key aspect of exerting their rights as citizens: voting. This year is no exception, and any Venezuelan can easily access the CNE's website to find out about any aspect of the coming elections of 26 September, including individual voting districts, the list of all candidates in every single district in the country as a whole, officials and representatives to every electoral district, how to cast the electronic ballot/vote and so forth (all of which can be found here: http://www.cne.gov.ve/web/index.php).

The effort goes, however, beyond informing the voter and ensuring their participation. Venezuela's state institutions are constantly seeking to enfranchise people who had been traditionally excluded by the previous oligarchy-run system. Since 1999 and up to the 2009 referendum, an additional 7 million Venezuelans have been added to the electoral register, thus the 11 years of the Chavez government represent the largest expansion of voters' participation in the history of the country. The CNE has furthermore, reported that for the 26 September elections, an additional 610,000 more voters have been registered in the country's electoral rolls. Thus the number of officially registered voters who can cast their vote at the parliamentary elections is 17.772.768; the highest ever. Voting is not compulsory in Venezuela, but pollsters predict a high level of participation of about 70%+ on 26 September.
Whilst in reality it is the opposition in Venezuela who have sought to undermine democracy, of all the elections since 1999 (for president, parliament, governors, municipalities, and referenda), the year when President Hugo Chávez became the President of Venezuela, the country's opposition has thus far recognised the results of only ONE of them, the 2007 constitutional referendum which the government lost by the smallest of margins (1% / about 50,000 votes). And at every election since 1999, Venezuela's opposition have nationally and internationally sowed doubts about the probity of the country's National Electoral Council and of the electoral system.

And every single such campaign to discredit Venezuela's elections as not free or fair has found a sympathetic ear in most of the international media, with many pretty much unambiguously echoing Venezuela's oligarchy's efforts to discredit the country's electoral system. It was ostensibly these grounds - the alleged unreliability of Venezuela's electoral system - that was used as an excuse by the opposition not to participate in the 2005 parliamentary elections. This remained the case even though their request for the withdrawal of the planned use of electronic counting machines was granted by the government, as the opposition withdrew anyway. Yet, elections are invariably declared free and fair by international observers, including from the Organization of American States, the European Union and the Carter Center, amongst many others.

Despite the overwhelming evidence that Venezuela's elections are probably the cleanest in the world -they are certainly the most observed- national opposition spokespeople, notably but not exclusively, Henry Ramos Allup (national leader of the Accion Democratica party) and Maria Corina Machado (candidate for the Primero Justicia party and head of Sumate, the NGO which famously organised the collection of signatures to oust president Chavez from office with the 2004 recall referendum) have made various TV and public appearances sowing doubts on the CNE's probity. Both Ramos Allup and Machado signed the infamous 'Carmona' decree on April 12, 2002, during the short-lived coup d'etat against President Chávez; a decree which abolished all of Venezuela's democratic institutions.

In contrast to the aforementioned claims of the opposition, the automated voting system is subject to 15 audits that are witnessed and verified by representatives from all the political parties. Routine checks are also carried out before, during and after the election. Seven such audits have taken place so far this year; audits which have included representatives from the opposition, from the PSUV and other parties that support the Chavez government, plus specialists and international observers. They audits have all been, as on previous occasions, to everyone's satisfaction, and the rest of the audits will take place after the poll.

Nor is it true, as it is repeated ad nausea by much of the corporate media, that the Venezuelan government has majority control over the Venezuelan media. The opposition has overwhelming quantitative superiority over the government on TV, even greater control and ownership in the realm of radio stations and even greater still in newspapers. Furthermore, according to a study conducted by the CNE the opposition has had 75.4% of the TV electoral propaganda broadcasts so far in this campaign (see http://www.vtv.gob.ve/noticias-nacionales/42932).

The real nature of the Venezuelan Opposition and its reliance on US Funding

When looking at the policies, claims and attitudes of Venezuela’s opposition it is particularly important to understand their relationship with the US and their reliance on US funding for their campaigns against the Chávez-led Government. It has, for example, been reported and evidenced that US agencies such as the US National Endowment for Democracy (NED), USAID, IRI and such like, have given Sumate massive amounts of money. Sumate is clearly part of the US destabilisation efforts against Venezuela, and the US has given it enormous importance. (1)

Today, opposition outfits, including many disguised as NGOs such as Sumate, continue to receive millions of dollars of US taxpayers’ money. In a recent article, Eva Gollinger (see full piece at http://venezuelanalysis.com/analysis/5623) outlines in depth the aims of this funding and the work of these groups, observing that “A report commissioned by the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and published in May 2010 by the Spanish Foundation for International Relations and Foreign Dialogue (FRIDE) revealed that this year alone, international agencies are investing between $40-50 million in anti-Chavez groups in Venezuela. A large part of those funds have been channeled to the opposition coalition, Democratic Unity (MUD), and its campaign for the upcoming legislative elections on September 26.” She adds that “A majority of [such] funding comes from US agencies, particularly USAID, which has maintained a presence in Venezuela since 2002 with the sole intention of aiding in President Chavez’s removal from power,” before concluding that “There remains no doubt the Venezuelan opposition – in all its manifestations – is a product of the US government. US agencies fund and design their campaigns, train and build their parties, organize their NGOs, develop their messages, select their candidates and feed them with dollars to ensure survival.

With this in mind, it is perhaps not surprising that the opposition's message for this election as with all previous ones, is intensely negative, exaggerated and strident, but has not been able to formulate a programme of government or a vision of Venezuela that might be inspirational. Worse, through the well rehearsed pronouncements of their spokespeople about 'defending democracy in Venezuela', they frequently let out some of their true views, such as that:
• they profoundly dislike Venezuela’s' social missions (on winning several municipalities and governorships at the 2008 elections, they launched a spate of physical attacks against anything that resembled Chavista social missions in those constituencies which they won);
• they intensely oppose the presence of the thousands of Cuban doctors and other Cuban specialists who are improving the lives of millions of Venezuelans in these social programmes;
• they ferociously denounce Venezuela's bilateral agreements with other Latin American countries - especially Bolivia, Cuba, Nicaragua, Ecuador, the Caribbean and so forth - which they present as a robbery to Venezuelans rather than mutually beneficial examples of regional co-operation;
• many of their national leaders have absconded (mainly in Peru and Miami) avoiding trials for gross acts of corruption; and the opposition rallies unconditionally behind any member of the oligarchy who is caught engaged in corruption activities (2.)

Furthermore, during former Colombian President Uribe's desperate effort to cause a serious confrontation, perhaps even a military confrontation, with Venezuela in the last weeks of his presidency, the opposition sided with Uribe against Venezuela. (See Chavez-Santos Summit in Colombia: UNASUR-brokered peace breaks out, http://www.zcommunications.org/chavez-santos-summit-in-colombia-by-francisco-dominguez). Chavez's agility to positively respond to Colombia's President Manuel Santos to hold a summit and take decisive steps to undo the cobweb of deceit and aggression woven by his predecessor, Alvaro Uribe, boosted Chavez's standing in his own country, in Colombia and in the whole region (it did so for Santos as well) and left Venezuela's opposition stuck in the uncomfortable position of pretending they had never supported Uribe and that were always for peace, 'friendship with Colombia' and so forth. In this sense, the whole saga was politically very damaging for them.


The key battles in the coming parliamentary elections on September 26, as in previous elections, will take place in the main cities, namely, Caracas (which elects 10 MPs), Carabobo (10 MPs), Lara (9 MPs), Miranda (12 MPs), Anzoategui, Aragua and Bolivar (8 MPs each), and Zulia (15 MPs), that is to say, the main and most populated urban centres. Polls on the whole - most pollsters in Venezuela broadly speaking share the opposition's politics -have indicated that Chavismo is likely to win a majority of seats. (See for example, The Miami Herald's Hugo Chávez looks to keep control of Venezuela's parliamentary seats, 9 Sept, 2010, http://www.miamiherald.com/2010/09/15/1827049/hugo-chavez-looks-to-keep-control.html ).
But until Venezuelans cast their vote on 26 September nobody can know in advance the actual results. What we do know for sure is that the electoral process will be as clean and as transparent as it has been up to now. What we also know is that Venezuela's opposition, despite repeated appeals by the CNE, President Chavez, and spokespeople of the PSUV, has not declared yet that it will recognise the results. Finally, we also know that, whatever the result, the Chavistas will recognise them.

Footnotes: 1) So much so that on 31 May 2005, President Bush received Maria Corina Machado at the Oval Office in the White House (http://www.life.com/image/53002610).
2) Such as the recent case of Francisco Mezerhane, head of the Banco Federal, in which the evidence (although the case is still pending) points to the robbing of Venezuelan depositors of hundreds of millions of dollars, the creation of hundreds of ghost companies, and the illegal use of thousands of ordinary Venezuelan's names -including forging their signatures- with the purpose of carrying out fraud. Mezerhane is currently in Miami and the opposition have rallied to his defence presenting his case against him by the government as political persecution - (see:http://www.noticierodigital.com/2010/08/mezerhane-se-defiende-de-gobierno-por-persecucion-en-su-contra).

21 Sept 2010

Courageous Mapuche need our support

My Chilean comrades are helping organise a meeting on 500 years of indigenous resistance in Latin America Latin America: 500 years of resistance with a focus on the Mapuche struggle, I have also pasted a letter in the Morning Star on the Mapuche struggle....my friend Hugo Blanco has been telling people here in the UK about the struggle of the indigenous in Chile, currently in the middle of a hunger strike, they defeated the Incas and the Spanish and took on Pinochet, yes the real 9/11 was a conspiracy against the indigenous and workers and peasants in Chile.

Latin America today is at the forefront of the struggle against economic and political
domination in the globalised world. The struggle has never ceased. During the past
518 years the indigenous peoples of the continent have been fighting for their land
and their cultural identity. Recently, the first ever indigenous President was
elected in Bolivia, a country that achieved independence and was named after its
liberator, Simon Bolivar, who, nearly 200 years ago, envisioned a united continent
free from foreign domination. This event will celebrate the spirit of resistance
of its indigenous people, as represented by the current struggle of the Mapuche
in Chile, and the legacy of the ideas of Bolivar for the 21st century.

Event Info

Mon 11th October 7:30pm
Bolívar Hall
54 Grafton Way
United Kingdom

Courageous Mapuche need our support
Tuesday 21 September 2010 Morning Star
Throughout Latin America the struggle to achieve respect for the civil rights of indigenous peoples has been increasing in recent years.

Bolivian President Evo Morales is the first indigenous person to head a Latin American government and throughout the continent indigenous movements are becoming increasingly forthright in defending their lands and way of life.

In Chile the valiant Mapuche people who resisted Spanish conquest for four centuries had their lands violently expropriated by the Chilean state in the late 19th century. Ever since they have struggled to regain it.

Under Pinochet over 300 Mapuche were killed for resisting further land seizures.

Today they continue to be the victims of state repression.

In the last few years three Mapuche have been killed by police, including a 14-year-old boy. Nobody has been imprisoned for these crimes.

The Chilean government, using draconian legislation dating from Pinochet's regime, effectively denies them the right to protest against the abject poverty and exclusion they have historically endured.

Today they face a legal system that tries them in both military and civilian courts - an anomaly unique in Latin America and not accepted in international law.

In a desperate act to draw the world's attention to their plight several Mapuche prisoners, jailed under Chile's notorious anti-terror laws, have been on hunger strike since July 12 and are in danger of serious damage to their health if the hunger strike continues much longer.

They are demanding that the new Chilean government repeal the anti-terrorism law under which they have been convicted, end the system of simultaneous trials before both military tribunal and civilian courts and end the militarisation of the ancestral Mapuche lands.

Please support these courageous Mapuche prisoners by writing a letter of protest to the Chilean embassy, 37-41 Old Queen Street, London SW1H 9JK.

The Mapuche Support Group UK

The Already Forgotten War

The Already Forgotten War

[col. writ. 9/11/10] (c) '10 Mumia Abu-Jamal

Did you notice that the war was over?

If you blinked, you may've missed it.

It is amazing that a war which began with such fanfare, such awful rhetoric and such martial strains could pass from the 'combat phase' with such quietude, such nonchalance, such silence.

Nearly 8 years of carnage, and what did it achieve besides the balm of forgetfulness?

For what was the war fought?

Weapons of mass destruction? Nope. Democracxy? Nope. An end to torture? Nope. Women's freedom? Nope. A model for the rest of the Middle East? Um-umph.

It was fought for U.S. face; American ego and martial exhibitionism, to place the flag over oil wells, and to dominate the region for generations. It was fought because George w. Bush aspired to be Eisenhower -- a "war president" -- resplendent in military glory as Commander-in Chief.

The nation lies exhausted, spent, and maddened with anger 8 years later. At who? Muslims. Mosques. And brown-skinned Others. Even Latinos.

Why not at those who stoked the flames of war? Newspapers; TV networks; cable channels: think tanks: war-mongering politicians; or apocalyptic preachers who saw this as the 'end times'?

Iraq is more a ruin than a nation, a shattered shell of its former self, paranoid and distrustful of its own people; an example, if anything, of what not to be.

Is America safer?

From what? Roiling Muslim rage? From the bitter harvest of tens of thousands of veterans who went to war, and lost their youth and souls for Halliburton, ExxonMobil and BP?

From its own angst? From itself?

War is a fever. It is a psychic illness where the warring nation discharges its sickness upon another nation -- like pools of phlegm spat on the floor.

And yet because the causes have not been named nor treated, the sickness remains; to infect others.

The war is over...for now.

(c) '10 maj

20 Sept 2010

'Clegg is a sellout' says Green Party MP

Lucas on Lib Dems: “on a whole range of issues they’ve sold out”

As Clegg goes on defensive over cuts at Lib Dem conference, Greens reiterate the alternative – finding the cash to avoid the cuts and invest in job-creation

As Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg prepared to defend the coalition’s cuts in his keynote speech to the Liverpool conference today, the Green Party reiterated its alternative policy (1) – investment in job-creation funded partly through higher taxes on higher incomes, partly through scrapping projects like Trident, through cracking down on tax evasion and tax avoidance (2), and though a “Robin Hood Tax” on financial transactions (3).

The Greens say they “believe this is a policy package most Lib Dem voters would be likely to prefer to a programme of savage spending cuts.”

And Green Party leader Caroline Lucas MP accused the Lib Dem leadership of “selling out on a whole range of issues” – not least the “horrendous, brutal, savage cuts” which she said evidence showed “will hurt the poor ten times harder than the richest.”

“People will be shocked” by Lib Dem leadership’s behaviour, says Lucas

The Green Party leader and Brighton Pavilion MP’s criticisms came in a new video published today by the Green Party (4).

In the film, Caroline Lucas says:

“I think people will be so shocked to see the gap between what the Lib Dems said in their election campaign and what they’re delivering now.”

She makes it clear that she doesn’t criticise Mr Clegg for entering into coalition: “I think coalition government can often be very good, and often it’s the outcome of proportional representation.”

But she asserts that “on a whole range of issues they’ve sold out.” She speaks of Mr Clegg’s compromises over Trident, nuclear power and electoral reform.

In the video, Caroline Lucas says:

“...what I do criticise Nick Clegg for absolutely is the terms of the deal that he has struck with David Cameron, because that has required him to give up so many long-held principles of the Lib Dems. And I think many people who voted Lib Dem are going to be absolutely horrified – are already horrified – to see what they’ve actually voted in.”


1. The Green Party’s 2010 general election manifesto presented a full-costed alternative budget to tackle the deficit while finding £44bn for an investment package intended to rapidly create more than a million jobs and training places. See http://www.greenparty.org.uk/assets/files/resources/Manifesto_web_file.pdf.

2. See Cuts: the callous con trick by Caroline Lucas et al: press release at http://www.carolinelucas.com/News/2010-06-19-callous-cuts-report.html, full report at http://www.financeforthefuture.com/TaxBriefing.pdf.

3. See http://robinhoodtax.org.uk/. The Green Party had long had a policy for a financial transactions tax, and formally signed up to the Robin Hood Tax campaign at its spring conference in February 2010.

4. The video “The truth about the Lib Dems” can be viewed on the Green Party’s YouTube channel at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tvIZFconPIE.

19 Sept 2010

'I am going to sing a blues for the man they did wrong'

My favourite Christian sums up why we need to fight for land and freedom

Get some permaculture practice in Brighton

Just had this, permaculture is great, if you are based in Brighton it looks good.

Scrumping + other volunteering

Have you ever thought about volunteering for Brighton
Permaculture Trust? Why not join the team of people who
make Brighton Permaculture Trust the dynamic organisation
that it is? A friendly team of dedicated enthusiasts run
the organisation, much of the work being voluntary.

This week is our busiest in the year with lots of fruity
things happening, so if you can help out that would be great.

Our scrumping project collects fruit that would otherwise
not be harvested around the city. Many tons of fruit rot
on or under trees around the city while we import fruit
from the other side of the world and the scrumping project
is putting some of it to good use. Volunteers are needed to
pick and cook fruit. One of the perks is getting fruit to
take home.

This weekend and next week fruit is being picked and cooked
ready for apple day on Sunday 26th. Picking dates include
18th 19th and 21st. Cooking will take place 24th and 25th.
Help is needed at apple day on the 26th too. Some of this
is part of the scrumping project but fruit also comes from
the orchards at Stanmer Park which have been restored by
Brighton Permaculture Trust and the Stanmer Orchard Group.

Other volunteering opportunities for involvement include
helping out at course or events and hands-on practical work
at Stanmer or in schools.

Please contact us via our website if you would like
to be added to our volunteer mailing list to hear about
these and other volunteering opportunities:


Many thanks from all at Brighton Permaculture Trust.



The best way to contact us is via our web site:

Voice messages can be left on 07746 185 927

This address is a PO box and post can take some time to reach us.
Brighton Permaculture Trust,
c/o Earthship Brighton,
Stanmer Park,

18 Sept 2010

Green socialist could win top trade union post

My good friend Jerry Hicks, could win the battle for Unite General Secretary, a working class hero and grassroots militant, Jerry would take an average workers salary, fight the cuts and campaign for green jobs.

If we want to resist the Con-Dem government and build a sustainable future, supporting him is essential, nearest we have to the Latin American left in the UK, so if you are in Unite vote for Jerry, if not spread the word!

From Jerry Hicks: Please forward to all those who you consider would have an interest
Call to fight cuts from prospective union boss
Article in Portsmouth news

Published Date: 18 September 2010

THE would-be head of Britain's biggest trade union came to Portsmouth to issue a rallying cry against looming public sector job cuts.

Jerry Hicks, one of the candidates tipped to become general secretary of Unite, addressed a meeting of around 90 trade unionists on Thursday night.

If he succeeds in his leadership bid, the diminutive 51-year-old ex-aircraft worker would be the most powerful trade unionist in Britain, representing around 1.5m members, including tens of thousands in Hampshire.

He told the meeting in King Henry 1 Street beside the Guildhall: 'It's not our crisis, we didn't create it and we're not paying the price.'
He urged mass industrial action in protest against the planned cuts, and added: 'Whether it's Vestas on the Isle of Wight, Portsmouth, Plymouth, or Bristol – wherever the struggle is that's where we'll be.'

Mr Hicks also visited the First bus depot in Hilsea to speak to shop stewards.

The election campaign for the first general secretary of Unite is now underway and is expected to conclude next month.


If you would like the latest A5 leaflet sent to you please let Jerry konw by emailing jerryhicks4gs2010@yahoo.co.uk

Keep on keeping on..........................

17 Sept 2010

Urgent appeal to prevent expulsion of rainforest preist

IMPORTANT Letter writing Campaign in support of BROTHER PAUL MCAULEY = help protect the Amazon and Indigenous Peoples !

Please sign and e-mail this Letter of Support for BROTHER PAUL MCAULEY
Paul is an amazing environmental hero, who has dedicated
himself for 2 decades to defend Perus Amazon Forrest and
educate Indigenous communities about their Rights.
Sadly Perus Government is determined to expell him
from Peru and silence his Voice, in an attempt to eliminte
everyone who is standing in the way of the corrupt and
illegal selling off of Amazon Indigenous community Lands.

Please take a minute and copy&paste and e-mail below letter of support !

Your Voice and help with this will surely be greatly appreciated!

It is so so important that they know that the world is watching !
so, pleeeese e-mail either the english version or spanish version

to following 2 key people :

Director General de Migraciones, Peru
Gral. PNP (r) Juan Antonio Alvarez Manrique.

Jefe de J.M. IQUITOS
I.M. Maria del Rosario Gutierrez Aguilar.

Or if you want to send this Letter in Spanish :

“Sr. Director de Migraciones y Sra. Jefa de Migraciones, Iquitos,

Escribo para exigir una explicación por una serie de obstáculos que se viene

poniendo en el trámite de prorroga de residencia del Hno. Paul.

La demora y las exigencias especiales que se ha puesto en su caso demuestran

claras señales de discriminación y hostigamiento. Pido que se complete el

proceso según el trato que se dé a cualquier residente en sus plenos derechos de

completar un trámite.

Name: Date:


Russian Embassy Green Defenders protest

Dear Comrades

We are organising a protest this Monday in conjunction with the Russian
collective Chto Delat and would be very
grateful if you could publicise it as widely as possible. The protest is
part of a series of international actions in defence of the Khimki hostages
idarity/> .

These are two grassroots antifascist activists (Alexei Gaskarov and Maxim
Solopov) who are currently in custody in Moscow on fabricated charges facing
the prospect of very heavy prison sentences. Their campaign put a temporary
halt to construction of a planned Moscow-Petersburg toll highway through the
Khimki Forest. In essence, they have been taken hostage by local authorities
and police officials. If they are tried and convicted they could face seven
years in prison. Meanwhile, police and other law enforcement agencies
continue their hunt against other activists, especially those with
connections to the antifascist movement.

Over the past three years, forest defenders have suffered numerous arrests
and other forms of harassment by local police, as well as physical attacks
carried out by "anonymous" hired thugs, including neo-Nazis. These actions
by the Khimki administration and its partners are explained by the
significant commercial interest they have in seeing that the highway
construction project is completed.

The next pre-trial detention hearing for the two young men is scheduled for
late September. International Days of Action are taking place to demand
their release. Our main slogans are Freedom for Alexei Gaskarov and Maxim
Solopov! and End the Persecution of Forest Defenders and Antifascists! For
more details, go to the
Khimki Battle website.

Picket the Russian Embassy, 13 Kensington Palace Gardens, from 5.45pm,
Monday 20th September. High St Ken tube. Banners and placards welcome.
Called by Green Left and Socialist Resistance.

In solidarity

Andrew Kennedy

Russian Embassy Green Defenders protest

Dear Comrades

We are organising a protest this Monday in conjunction with the Russian
collective Chto Delat and would be very
grateful if you could publicise it as widely as possible. The protest is
part of a series of international actions in defence of the Khimki hostages
idarity/> .

These are two grassroots antifascist activists (Alexei Gaskarov and Maxim
Solopov) who are currently in custody in Moscow on fabricated charges facing
the prospect of very heavy prison sentences. Their campaign put a temporary
halt to construction of a planned Moscow-Petersburg toll highway through the
Khimki Forest. In essence, they have been taken hostage by local authorities
and police officials. If they are tried and convicted they could face seven
years in prison. Meanwhile, police and other law enforcement agencies
continue their hunt against other activists, especially those with
connections to the antifascist movement.

Over the past three years, forest defenders have suffered numerous arrests
and other forms of harassment by local police, as well as physical attacks
carried out by "anonymous" hired thugs, including neo-Nazis. These actions
by the Khimki administration and its partners are explained by the
significant commercial interest they have in seeing that the highway
construction project is completed.

The next pre-trial detention hearing for the two young men is scheduled for
late September. International Days of Action are taking place to demand
their release. Our main slogans are Freedom for Alexei Gaskarov and Maxim
Solopov! and End the Persecution of Forest Defenders and Antifascists! For
more details, go to the
Khimki Battle website.

Picket the Russian Embassy, 13 Kensington Palace Gardens, from 5.45pm,
Monday 20th September. High St Ken tube. Banners and placards welcome.
Called by Green Left and Socialist Resistance.

In solidarity

Andrew Kennedy

Women demand to be priests!

Catholic women demand equality

Call on Pope for women priests

Friday 17 September
Assemble: 2pm to 2.30pm
St. George's RC Cathedral, Corner St George's Road and Lambeth Road, SE1 7HY

Catholic women's procession to Lambeth Place

3pm rally outside Lambeth Place as the Pope arrives to meet the Archbishop of Canterbury at 4pm.

Protest organiser contacts:
Lala Winkley 0787 569 8194
Pat Brown 0795 004 8628

Roman Catholic women campaigning for women to be ordained in a reformed priesthood (CWO - Catholic Womens Ordination) are gathering outside St. George's RC Cathedral in Southwark, S.E. London at 2-2.30pm on Friday 17th September.

They will stage a processional walk of witness down Lambeth Road to Lambeth Palace where, at 4pm, Pope Benedict XVI will arrive to meet Archbishop Rowan Williams. They will be joined there in solidarity by women priests from the Church of England who are campaigning for their right to be bishops.

Catholic Womens Ordination is a group campaigning for reform of the male, celibate priesthood in the Roman Catholic Church and the elimination of an attitude and structure of clericalism, patriarchy and global misogyny, with the inclusion of women to ordination in this reformed priesthood

On Friday, we will make a witness to the Anglican and Catholic leaders concerning the sexism and abuses of power in their religious institutions.


15 Sept 2010

Jobless on Labor Day

Jobless on Labor Day
[col. writ. 9/5/10] (c) '10 Mumia Abu-Jamal

As Labor Day rolls around, many are the homes in which the day is just another day, for there are no jobs to go to during the regular days of the week.

That's largely because the nation's economy remains in the doldrums, a hair's breath away from big R recession, and a stone's throw from depression. Businesses are shedding jobs, not adding them. That's because they are forcing employees to work harder and longer. As for their pay, most workers are paid wages that, adjusted for inflation, are equal to those of the 1970's.

By any measure the House of Labor is not doing well.

In part this is due to the capital's relentless war against labor, but it's also due to labor's fruitless investment in the politics of betrayal.

Like a fickle lover, politicians promise labor the moon; yet once ensconced in power, they spurn them like yesterday's newspaper ` gone and forgotten.

Perhaps the best exemplar of this political practice was Bill Clinton, who took millions from labor unions, in both votes and money, yet who rewarded them with the union-killing NAFTA Act, which encouraged U.S. manufacturers to go abroad for cheaper labor.

It is the manner of capitalist politicians to seek short term advantages, while bringing long term pains.

NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) and its brethren were the legislative equivalents to selling off the bricks to one's basement, and then wondering why its flooding.

Why should this surprise us, when most political leaders hail frommanagement backgrounds (politics is a form of social management, after all), of labor ones?

Perhaps the last President who was a labor leader was Ronald Reagan, who once headed the Screen Actors Guild (SAC). But, he soon learned on which side his bread was buttered, and he joined the managers (as a politician)

The lessons of recent history should teach workers that labor doesn't have enough money to buy politicians (and even if it did, would they stay bought?), and they should quit trying.

Why not grow their own instead?

(c) '10 maj

8 Sept 2010

Three events with Hugo Blanco

'The Rise of The Green Left: Derek Wall Book Launch'

14 September · 19:30 - 22:00
Bolivar Hall, 54 Grafton Way, London, W1T 5DL

Launch of The Rise of the Green Left: Inside the Worldwide Ecosocialist Movement by Derek Wall Speakers To include Derek Wall, Jeremy Corbyn and Hugo Blanco. For more info please email events@plutobooks.com


‘Latin America & the Rise of the Worldwide Ecosocialist Movement’

Saturday 11 September · 18:00 - 20:00
Paradise Place, [Pedestrian access from footbridge, between Paradise Forum and the Hall of Memory]
Birmingham, United Kingdom

Event: Public meeting: ‘Latin America & the Rise of the Worldwide Ecosocialist Movement’ [Green Left/ Socialist Resistance fringe meeting during the Green Party conference]

Speakers: Hugo Blanco and Derek Wall
Hugo Blanco is the historic leader of the Peruvian peasant movement, who has been actively campaigning for more than fifty years. A contemporary of Che Guevara, in the 1960s he played a central part in the ‘Land or Death’ pe...asant uprising in the southern highlands of Peru. He was captured, and sentenced to 25 years in prison. After an international campaign to free him Hugo was released from prison and expelled to Sweden in1976. After a lengthy exile living in Mexico he now resides again in Peru.

Derek Wall is a member of Green Left and an author of numerous books on ecosocialism.


'Latin America and the ecosocialist alternative'

18 September · 10:30 - 17:30
University of London Union
Malet Street, London WC1H
London, United Kingdom

A Seminar organised by Green Left and Socialist Resistance with Hugo Blanco.

Hugo Blanco is a historic leader of the Peruvian peasant movement. In the 1960s he played a central part in the ‘Land or Death’ peasant uprising in the southern highlands of Peru. He was captured, and sentenced to 25 years in prison.

Nearest tube Goodge Street
Doors open (registration) 10.00

Seminar — 11.00 until 5.30.

Speakers to include: Hugo Blanco, Caroline Lucas MP (invited), Diana Raby, Derek Wall, Stuart Piper, Grace Livingstone, Amanda Latimer.

More details and speakers to follow soon.

Entrance: In advance £12.00 (£4.00 unwaged). At the door £15.00

(£6.00 unwaged). Send a cheque made out to Lucha Indigena to

PO Box 62732, London SW2 9GQ.

The Green Left and Socialist Resistance are organising the seminar as a part of a national tour of Britain with Hugo Blanco during September and October. Keep checking this site for updates.


Sid Rawle RIP

Sid led a group of hippies called The Diggers at the back end of the 1960s and was a principle figure in the Summer of Love, 1967. In 1970 John Lennon of The Beatles invited Sid and The Diggers to make use of his island retreat of Dorinish (Beatle Island) to create a commune for his 'flower power' followers. The commune survived two years before they moved back to mainland Britain.

Sid, along with Bill Dwyer, organised the 1974 Windsor Park free festival. Attempting to organise the same festival a year later Sid Rawle was arrested with Dwyer and imprisoned.

In the mid 1970s Sid helped set up a family oriented commune called Tipi Valley in West Wales. It has been described as the oldest and largest community of its type in Britain.

Just had this from Penny Kemp,

To let you know that Sid Rawle died recently. He suffered a heart attack at the Rainbow 2000 camp. Sid was a green party member and was on Green Party Council back in the 70's and 80's and a Green Party speaker. Details of the service below. I think it would be good to mention this at conference as many going would have known Sid.

Sid Rawle will be cremated at Hereford Crematorium tomorrow (family and close friends only please).

There will be a memorial gathering and celebration of his life on Saturday 11th September at 2 pm at the Rainbow 2000 site at Rodley Road, Westbury-on-Severn, Forest of Dean for all who knew him. Follow A48 through Westbury-on-Severn towards Gloucester and turn right onto Rodley Road (signposted Rodley) and continue for 2 miles to the site.

Sad he has died, I ran into him a bit on rainbow circle camps, he was most famous for the Windsor Free Festival.

He played the Ranter, full of free love and anarchy, in Winstanley the film about the Diggers during the English Civil War.

His like will not be seen again, I am very sad to say

7 Sept 2010

José Bové and Keith Taylor take on Tescos!

Well supermarkets in general!


– MEPs vote for action on price transparency and a fairer deal for farmers

The Green Euro-MP for the South East today welcomed a move by fellow MEPs to tackle the uncompetitive and harmful practices of dominant food retailers which often mean unfair returns for producers – and poor price transparency for consumers (1).

MEPs in Strasbourg approved a report by the French Green MEP José Bové containing ideas on how to rework the food supply chain, in order to improve the position of both producers and citizens throughout the EU.

Proposals include: legislation to enforce fair competition, with penalties and a complaint mechanism; proposals to limit dominant market positions at all stages of the supply chain; "naming and shaming" companies committing unfair practices; increased price transparency; measures to improve the bargaining positions of farmers, and a new investigation into food wastage.

Keith Taylor MEP, who recently co-chaired his first meeting of the ‘Fair Play: Retailer and the Food Supply Chain’ working group in the Parliament, said:

“This is an important step towards better controls over exploitation in, and by, the retail sector. It will help prevent larger food retailers and processors using their buying-power to bully producers into selling at ‘less than cost’ prices, and will also encourage greater transparency about retailers' profit margins.

"For too long, farm gate prices have been driven down, yet those savings rarely get passed on to consumers. There is no such thing as cheap food - either someone else is paying the true cost, or the environment has been degraded to produce it.”


6 Sept 2010

Lets crash Tony Blair's book launch party on wednesday

In Richard III all the people dirty Dick had killed came back to haunt him as he slept, the ghosts must be queing up for Tony Blair, millions died, the killer clown has abandoned his book signing but he still has a book launch party.

He has been recently encouraging us to go to war with Iran.....every step he takes leaves a footprint of blood.

Message from Stop the War

BUT HE IS HAVING A LAUNCH PARTY FOR HIS SLIMY MEMOIRS AT THE TATE MODERN THAT EVENING. THE STOP THE WAR COALITION HAS CALLED A PROTEST OUTSIDE TATE MODERN AT 5.30 pm WEDNESDAY SEPTEMBER 8th. They are asking supporters to make it as artistic as possible and to bring Bliar masks or other memorabilia.

( Waterstone's Book Signing Cancelled )

- demo at Tate Modern Weds 8th Sept 5.30 pm
.. Blair due to host 'secret' Book Launch Party..


- Stop the War want the protest to be as 'artistic' as possible

Blair is hosting a "secret" book launch party at the Tate Modern gallery on
the evening of Wednesday 8 September.

This has already been termed the "war criminals' party", as Blair is sure to
be joined by Alistair Campbell, Jack Straw and others who helped concoct the
lies that took Britain into the illegal war in Iraq.

Prominent figures from the arts - including Brian Eno, David Gentleman,
Katherine Hamnett and Cat Phillips have already expressed their outrage that the Tate Modern is being used to promote
Blair's memoirs, and have called on the gallery, even at this late stage, to
cancel the event.

Stop the War has called a demonstration at Tate Modern at 5.30pm on 8
September. We want this protest to be as "artistic" as possible. We are
encouraging anyone who is coming to the protest who has a Blair mask or any
resources from past Blair protests, to bring them to the Tate Modern.

Please spread the word as widely as you can. See the Stop the War website
for updates: http://bit.ly/FeWuS

‘The merriest of all devils’

This from an article on a new blog in the name of one Jacob Bauthumley

‘The merriest of all devils’

The sexual radicalism of the Ranters certainly made an impressive contrast with the repressive society that created them. They saw Original Sin as being lifted, meaning that none of the repressive commandments laid down by the Church through the ages still applied. John Holland’s anti-Ranter pamphlet The Smoke of the Bottomless Pit claims that “they say for one man to be tied to one woman, or one woman to be tied to one man, is a fruit of the curse; but they say, we are freed from the curse; therefore, it is our liberty to make use of whom we please.” Another called them “the merriest of all devils, for… lascivious songs… downright bawdry and dancing”, and claimed that the last two were commonly accompanied by orgies. Of course, it is important not to take this too uncritically: unless accompanied by a commitment to women’s liberation, sexual liberation has frequently just been a way to extend male power. But the Ranters’ relaxed and positive attitude to sexual pleasure still seems vastly preferable to the fear of our own bodies many Christians still promote today.


5 Sept 2010

Climate activists found not guilty

The Copenhagen City Court ruled on September 2 that climate activists Natasha Verco, a 32-year-old activist from Australia, and Noah Weiss, a US student, were innocent of the charges against them.

The two climate activists had been charged for organising “illegal activities” during the United Nations climate summit in Copenhagen in December 2009. Verco and Weiss had been accused of planning violence against police, disturbance of public order and vandalism.

The charges could have lead to several years of prison and deportation. But the charges didn’t stand up in court.

The verdict discredits the violent methods adopted by police during the climate summit, when politically active people were denied their democratic right to criticise the climate negotiations.

Verco described the entire process as absurd: “There has been a very clear political purpose behind these court cases .... In the whole case the evidence has been related to fully legal activities, that the police has tried to manipulate in order to make them appear illegal.”

Verco and Weiss said they feel the case should put an end to the police’s undemocratic methods. Weiss said: “I see this as a victory, not only for us, but for legal rights in Denmark.

“And it also means that no longer can the police use manipulation of evidence and lies to repress politically active people.”

About 2000 people were arrested during the climate summit. Many were preventively arrested during the big demonstration for serious action on climate change on December 12. These incidents have been criticised by Amnesty International, among others.

In a joint statement read from the steps of the court after the verdict, Verco and Weiss said: “When deciding to demonstrate against the COP15 in December, we both wanted to shed light on the crisis of climate change, and challenge the elite’s assertion that only they could solve the climate crisis.

“We believe that only people acting together, not corporations or governments, can effectively challenge the systems which have brought about the climate crisis, and bring real solutions which will stop the madness ...

“We were met with severe repression ... We have had our phones tapped and our homes raided. we have had our friends intimidated and our every movement watched. We have been arrested, thrown in jail, interrogated, threatened with deportation, and have had to endure the insecurity of trial ...

“However, do not let the threat of repression keep you from organising demonstrations and from taking action when you see injustice in the world ... the truth is that our power is stronger then their fear. Together we can prevail.”



No Impact Man
by Derek Wall - levelground.info

The last film always biases the reception of the next. The last film I watched was that 1990s British classic 'Dirty Weekend' based on the novel by Helen Zahavi. Director Michael Winner, best known for making Charles Bronson a household name in ‘Deathwish’, collides with feminism with disastrous results (but hey I liked it). Sickened by exploitation by sexist men, the protagonist of the film Bella goes on a killing spree in Green Party MP Caroline Lucas's Brighton constituency, cleansing the streets of Brighton Pavilion to make them safe for womankind. If you have had a revenge fantasy about your dentist, you will enjoy ‘Dirty Weekend’ irrespective of gender, but you probably should not watch it. I am not sure that the strong meat of the film version of Helen Zahavi's novel quite put me into the right frame of mind to deal critically with the subtler flavours of Colin Beavan’s ‘No Impact Man’.

The thesis of ‘No Impact Man’ is simple: Colin Beavan, a New York writer who longs to write something engaged and political, decides that his family will spend a year living on zero carbon. They can buy nothing new, and lifts, trains and even buses are banned; the car is the great Satan of course. All food is to be organic and local (well within 250 kms). No TV, recycling of all trash, etc, etc.


Prime Minister steals for corporate masters

Couched in the flowery language of colonialism Premier Colin Barnett's words and actions really say "Nigger,you have the right to do as you're told". To a chorus of applause from Woodside, BHP, BP and Chevron,those international masters of indigenous and environmental exploitation.

This is how it works. Local people have their land stolen by politicians who serve corporations.

Green politics is about land, production and rights.

Changing consumer behaviour may be necessary but too much green doesn't look at the hard end of these things.

Victory to the indigenous!

4 Sept 2010

Mumia Abu-Jamal : “I am an outlaw journalist”


On August 29th, 2010, Reporters Without Borders Washington DC representative Clothilde Le Coz visited Mumia Abu-Jamal, prisoner on death row for nearly three decades. Ms. Le Coz was accompanied by Abu-Jamal’s lead attorney, Robert R. Bryan, and his legal assistant, Nicole Bryan. The meeting took place in room 17 of the State Correctional Institution (SCI) in Waynesburg, Greene County, Pennsylvania.

Reporters Without Borders: As a journalist who continues to work in prison, what are your latest reports focused on? Mumia Abu-Jamal: The prison population in the United States is the highest in the world. Over the past year, for the first time in 38 years, the prison population declined.

Some states, like California or Michigan, are taking fewer prisoners because of overcrowding. State budgets are restrained and some prisoners are released because of the economic situation.

Prisons in America are vast and the number of prisoners is immense. It’s impressive to see how much money is spent by the US government and how invisible we are. No one knows. Most people don’t care. Some journalists report when there is a drama in prison and think they know about it. But this is not real : it is sensationalist. You can find some good writings. But they are unrealistic. My reporting is what I have seen with my eyes and what people told me. It is real. My reporting has to do with my reality. They mostly have been focusing on death row and prison. I wish it were not so. There is a spate of suicides on death row in the last year and a half. But this is invisible. I broke stories about suicide because it happened on my block.

I need to write. There are millions of stories and some wonderful people here. Among these stories, the ones I choose to write are important, moving, fragile. I decide to write them, but part of the calculation is to know whether it’s helpful or not. I have to think about that. As a reporter, you have a responsibility when you publish those kind of stories. Hopefully, it will change their lives for the better.

Do you think the fact you were a reporter affected your case ?

Being the "Voice of the Voiceless" played a significant role. And this expression actually comes from the title of a Philadephia Inquirer headline after I was arrested in 1981. As a teenager, I was a radical journalist working on the staff of the Black Panther national newspaper. The FBI was actually monitoring my writings since I was 14. My first job was being a reporter. Because of my writings, I am far better known that any inmate in America. If it were not the case, I think there would have been less pressure for the Court to create a special law to affect my conviction. Most of the men and women on death row are not well known. Because I continue to write, this is an element that would have affected the thinking of the judges and made them change the ruling for not giving me a new trial. I think they were thinking “You’re a big mouth, you won’t get a new trial”. You expect a little more from a federal Court. Because of my case, a dozen of other cases can be affected.

What do you think of the media coverage of your case ?

Once, I read that I was no longer on death row. I was sitting here when I read it. I haven’t stopped sitting here for one second.

Because I was coming from the craft, a lot of reporters did not want to cover my case because they feared they would be attached. They had to face criticisms for being partial and sometimes they were told by their editors they could not cover it. Since the beginning of the case, people who could cover me best were not allowed to. Most of reporters I worked with are no longer working. They retired and nobody took the work over.

But the press should have a role to play here. Millions of people saw what was done in Abu Ghraib. Its leader, smiling in the pictures that have been published, worked here before going to Abu Ghraib. On death row, you have people without a high school degree who can decide whether someone lives or dies. For whatever reason, they have the power to make you not eat if they don’t want to. And none of that power is checked by anyone. There are informal rules. These people can make someone’s life a living hell on a wink. When I choose which stories I want to write about, I am never short on material. From a writing perspective, this field is rich.

No matter what my detractors are saying about me, I am a reporter. This country would be a whole lot worse without journalists. But to many of them, I am an outlaw reporter. Prior to prison, in my work for various radio stations, I met people from all around the world and despite my conflicts with some editors, I had the greatest job.

The support you receive in Europe compared to the support you receive here in the United States, is very different. How do you explain the difference and do you still believe international mobilization will be helpful ?

Of course it will. The European mobilization might be pressuring the US regarding the death penalty. Foreign countries, like European ones, went through a specific history of repression. There was an in-their-bones-knowledge of what it is to be in prison. They know about prison, death row and concentration camps. In the US, very few people had that experience. That speaks to how cultures look at things in the world. In Europe, the very ideal of death penalty is an anathema.

9/11 changed a lot of things in the US. People challenging or opposing the government would not be supported anymore. The press also changed. Things that were “allowable” became unacceptable after 9/11. I think 9/11 changed the way people thought and it changed the tolerance of the media. For example, even though 9/11 happened in Manhattan and Washington DC, the jail was closed for an entire day, here in Pennsylvania, and we were locked down.

To motivate more people around your cause, it might be helpful to get an up to date picture of you, today, on death row. Does the fact that we don’t have any updated picture of you affect your situation and the ability of more people to mobilize around your cause ?

Having a public image is partly helpful. The essence of an image is propaganda. Pictures are therefore not that important. The human image is the true one. There, I try to do my best. In 1986, prison authorities took recorders from reporters and you were only allowed a pen and a paper. Now that there is only the meaning of one article left, one can make monsters and models from his article.

If the Supreme Court agrees on a new trial, only your sentence will be reviewed. Not your conviction. How do you feel about staying in prison for life, if you are not executed ?

In Pennsylvania, life sentence is a slow death row. And under the state law, there are 3 degrees of murders. The first degree is punished by life sentence or death. The second and the third ones are punished by life sentence. People do not get out. The highest juvenile rate of life sentences is here in Pennsylvania. But here is my point, in Philadelphia, there were two other cases around my time were people killed a cop. The first one got acquittal. The second one, caught on a surveillance camera, did not get a death sentence.

How do you manage to “escape” death row ?

I have written on History, one of my passions. I would love to write about other things. My latest works are about war, but I also write about culture and music. I have an internal beat that I try to keep through poetry and drums. Very few things have matched the pleasure that I get from learning music. It’s like learning another language. And to write, that’s a challenge! A music teacher comes every week and teaches me. A whole new world is opening to me and I get a better grasp of it now. Music is one of the best thing mankind has done. The best of our lives.

For further information and to offer support for Mumia Abu-Jamal, contact: Law Offices of Robert R. Bryan 2088 Union Street, Suite 4, San Francisco, CA 94123-4117http://www.MumiaLegalDefense.org

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... A revolution now cannot be confined to the place or people where it may commence, but flashes with lightning speed from heart to heart, from land to land, til it has traversed the globe ...
--Frederick Douglass

Free All Political Prisoners!
nycjericho@gmail.com • www.jerichony.org

Video: Tony Blair pelted with eggs

War criminal gets what he deserves.

Should not be selling books, should be in prison.

Vote David Miliband and get more of the same?

3 Sept 2010

Mumia Abu-Jamal 'MAD NATION'

[col. writ. 8/29/10] (c) '10 Mumia Abu-Jamal

When people are outraged, angry, or at their wit's end, politicians are abuzz with excitement; for it is precisely at this time when people are at their mercy; and politicians are at their most powerful.

For a people under such a spell can be lead to do almost anything.

In New York today, and various other cities across the U.S., throngs of angry and scared people are being whipped like cream by politicians and media to take their emotions out on places of worship.

What riles them is that this is a Muslim religious and cultural complex.

Islam did not attack the U.S. on Sept. 11, 2001. 19 men from several countries did.

No country sanctioned it, not even the leaders of Afghanistan at the time.

But thanks to the media and their political whores, we are in a tizzy about something supposedly guaranteed by the U.S. constitution.

Fear sells....and anger sells, and before you know it, people are in the grips of madness.

Seven and 1/2 years ago, feelings such as these led to mindless and disastrous wars.

What will this lead to?

--(c) '10 maj

Hugo Blanco 'ecologist your mother'

In 1963 the great Che Guevara praised a guerilla leader from Peru. Nothing unusual in that you might think, after all he was himself an Argentinian who helped to liberate Cuba, fought in Africa and died attempting to free Bolivia.

However only once did Che praise a leader of Trotsky's Fourth International. Daggers were drawn between two sides of the fallout among the Soviet leaders of the 1930s and to praise a Trotskyist was heresy for followers of the Cuban revolution.

Che said: "Hugo Blanco is the head of one of the guerilla movements in Peru. He struggled stubbornly but the repression was strong.

"I don't know what his tactics of struggle were, but his fall does not signify the end of the movement. It is only a man that has fallen, but not the movement. "One time, when we were preparing to make our landing from the Granma, and when there was great risk that all of us would be killed, Fidel said: 'What is more important than all of us is the example we set.'

"It's the same thing, Hugo Blanco has set an example."

However the story did not end here. While tragically Che is no longer with us, far from having fallen Blanco survived. I know because he emails me most days.

It's the most astonishing feeling to receive an email from a contemporary of Che, a man whose story of struggle continues today.

When I wrote a book on anti-capitalist economics I had no idea who Blanco was, but I came across a wonderful quote from him.

"At first sight environmentalists or conservationists are nice, slightly crazy guys whose main purpose in life is to prevent the disappearance of blue whales or pandas.

"The common people have more important things to think about, for instance how to get their daily bread ... However there are in Peru a very large number of people who are environmentalists ... they might reply, 'ecologist your mother,' or words to that effect ...

"Are not the town of Ilo and the surrounding villages which are being polluted by the Southern Peru Copper Corporation truly environmentalist?

"Is not the village of Tambo Grande in Pirura environmentalist when it rises like a closed fist and is ready to die in order to prevent strip-mining in its valley?"

A friend noticed the passage, told me he knew Blanco and gave me an email.


1 Sept 2010

My 7th book published today!

My No Nonsense Guide to Green Politics is now on sale, you can get it from New Internationalist or good book shops or Amazon.

Here is the Foreward from Nandor, a former New Zealand MP and a good friend, see what you think.

The agenda of the international green movement will
dominate the next century, as the demands of the
labor movement (and the responses of capitalism to
them) dominated the last. What that agenda is, its
boundaries and dynamics, remains fluid although its
broad thrust is clear. In this book Derek Wall sets
out the foundations of green philosophy as it has
spontaneously developed in various places around the
world, as well as articulating the major points of debate
and disagreement. In doing so, he has made green
political ideas more accessible and understandable to
a general audience

Importantly, Derek does not shy away from the
most contentious arguments that have riven some
green organizations. The question of whether green
politics is left politics has caused considerable tension
at times and continues to resurface in Green parties
to this day. The nature of the state and how far
green solutions rely on empowering the nation-state
is also fiercely debated in a movement that has
brought together a number of divergent strands of
activists, from unionists to anarchists to first nations.
Finally, the question of whether the international
structures of global capitalism, such as the World
Trade Organization and the World Bank, can be
reformed or need to be replaced has been a crucial
point of difference in international green forums. The
same question, of course, can be applied to corporate
capitalism itself.

Derek Wall is well placed to write such a book. He
has played a number of important roles in the Green
Party of England and Wales and continues to stand
in general elections. He is involved in campaigning
on a number of green issues, and is active in the
ongoing debates that continue to shape the green
movement worldwide. He brings a well-informed and
critical analysis to the project, making this a valuable
contribution to the green library.
Nándor Tánczos,
former Green Party MP in
New Zealand/Aotearoa

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...