30 Nov 2010

Chris Williams reports on Cancun Climate Inaction Conference

Internationally, inter-imperial rivalry over diminishing resources in the context of a global economic recession has sharpened, as countries fight to maintain or extend the power of their own national set of corporations in hostile competition with all the others.

The Copenhagen conference could more aptly be described as a confrontation rather than a conference, as countries faced off across the diplomatic table. In the end, any possibility of an agreement was torpedoed by an unholy alliance of five heavy fossil-fuel users and carbon emitters led by the U.S. and including China, India, Brazil and South Africa.

This time around, in Cancún, the big governments reason that there's no need to turn up because a deal on climate is so unlikely due to the depressed global economic situation and an incipient trade war. Showing up to a failing conference would just be bad PR. Forced austerity, not clean energy, is what's on the table.



Hi there...

The SLADE SCHOOL OF ART has just been occupied by students, which means two buildings in the stunning UCL campus are now under occupation. They are planning 3 days of alternative education, art, activism and disobedience this weekend, from Friday night 3rd to Sunday 5th December. The Laboratory of Insurrectionary Imagination will be supporting this and we are calling on all art activists friends to take part in this act of creative rebellion against the cuts in the UK... Its going to be a great space for planning, discussing, plotting the next steps of what looks like a rising movement in this country, but one that needs our collective radical imaginations .... pass on and proliferate xx

you could either:

1) Propose a workshop/event/ talk/ performance/action/installation/ that you could contribute to the weekend ( a short description of it, what you need space and time wise etc )
2) Write a statement of support to the occupation - esp from international artists etc .. would be great
3) Just turn up with your body and rebel soul

The blog for this is -- http://artsagainstcuts.wordpress.com/

pleas email your ideas to me at John@labofii.net and sladeoccupation@gmail.com

There is a meeting TONIGHT 30th at 7pm at the SLADE, round table at top of stairs ! for those interested...


yours JJ

29 Nov 2010

Mario Vargas Llosa 'unleashes a torrent of slander' against indigenous people!

This is an open letter criticising Mario Vargas Llosa, the Peruvian novelist who recently won the Noble Prize, from Hugo Blanco the indigeneous and ecosocialist leader, who recently toured Britain and several other European countries.

Llosa, once a leftist, who wrote a novel based on the stories about a Trotskyist leader, (like Hugo Blanco in the 1960s), has recently attacked the indigenous people in Peru and ran as a centre-right presidential candidate.

I have enjoyed Llosa's novel's in the past but he defends those who attack the indigenous and labels indigenous as backward.

November 2010

Dear Señor Mario Vargas Llosa:

The Nobel Prize awarded to you represents a neo-liberal blow to indigenous people, yet it is not the greates blow they have faced.

There are daily blows within a global system governed by large multinational companies against these populations, namely the depletion of natural resources in their areas of life, which means death for them.

The attack is manifold, it will suffice to mention just a few examples: The introduction of open-cast mines, stealing water from agriculture and the poison, killing plants, fish, soil and human beings. The extraction of hydrocarbons with similar effects. The installation of hydropower for mining, stealing water from agriculture and causing flooding. The felling of the forest for logging, ranching or biofuel plantations, which due to heavy rains in the area causes desertification. Agribusiness that due to monoculture and intensive use of agrochemicals, kills the land. Global warming caused by the emission of greenhouse gases raging floods and landslides, mountains, the killing of streams, reduces the volume of rivers, dilutes glaciers, islands submerged, causing very hot summers and very cold winters.

These attacks are not only against indigenous peoples, but against all humanity, because we all live on what nature gives us, what happens is that indigenous people are directly affected by it and so are the first to react, giving their lives to the brutal onslaught of the system, making them the heroes of humanity.

You, on more than one occasion have defended predatory companies against the indigenous.

Just look at two examples:


On June 5, 2009, World Day of environmental protection was chosen by the government of Alan García to massacre over 200 indigenous (not 10 which is the official figure repeated by you) defending the Amazon rainforest which are the lungs of the world.

This slaughter, imprisonment and prosecution of numerous victims of the attack, were met with massive protests in the Peruvian capital and other cities, voices of protest arose in different parts of the world (of course you were not among those who protested), the brothers of the Amazons, had a powerful influence on people from the central rainforests to Lima.

Against that, the government was forced to retreat and repealed two of the most ferocious of the predatory Decrees (which were also illegal because they go against the right to consultation of indigenous peoples for anything that has to do with their land recognized by the ILO Convention 169, which is Peruvian constitutional law passed by Congress).

What was your attitude? Unlike most of the Peruvian people, you regretted the repeal, you wrote "Pyrrhic victory", saying that Peruvians future governments will not dare "go back to putting your hand in the Amazon to encourage private investment and economic development in this region," " The decrees were demonized in the background pretty well oriented. Pursuing an urgent need: to attract private investment and technology into a region that has large reserves of gas, oil and many minerals .... "" This just given up on a suicidal Amazonian communities that followed the reactionary slogans Alberto Pizango " . On the contrary, Pizango obeyed the orders given by the Amazonian population, a style of democracy that you will never understand, "Democrat" Vargas Llosa.

You use the same language as the mainstream media in the hands of predatory multinational corporations.

You launched against "the stupid lies under which those decrees were part of the Free Trade Agreement between Peru and the United States." Those "stupid lies" are in the preambles of decrees and were touted by Minister Mercedes Araoz.

It does not stop there, you consider Amazon people mentally backwards, it is inconceivable that the resistance may have been intended by them, you said it must have been instigated by Hugo Chavez and Evo Morales.

You do not waste the opportunity to praise the two governments most backward and who murderer the most indigenous in South America: Peru and Colombia.

Democratic collective organization

Seminar on Threats to Democracy in Latin America: Terrorism, Weakness of the State of Rights and populism, an event held in Bogota (Colombia had to be) for 19 and 22 November 2009

Your words:

"Development and civilization are incompatible with certain social phenomena and the main one is collectivism. No collectivist society or impregnated with that culture is an institution that develops, modernizes and reaches civilization ... Socialism, Nazism and collectivist fascism are the phenomena of the past. Today it is expressed through nationalism and religious fundamentalism. The phenomenon is springing up in Latin America in a very sinuous and magazines with some clothes that do not seem offensive but prestigious ... In Peru is bursting with two or three brothers in the name of that collective identity, indigenous identity, indigenous, genuine, true of Peru, has launched a campaign when one examines it rationally seems to be silly, almost comic, but it touches a nerve center called the spirit of the tribe that never disappears even in societies that are more advanced in the way of civilization... The Indian of the 20's that seemed to have left behind is now what is behind phenomena like Mr. Evo Morales in Bolivia. In Ecuador they have been operating and also creating a true political and social disorder. The indigenous people in Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia are causing a real political and social disorder, and therefore must be fought ... I know very little of Ecuador what is happening now ... If we want to choose development and civilization and morality, we must resolutely fight these outbreaks of collectivism ... I think within the indigenous movement there is a deeply disturbing element that appeals to base instincts, to the worst instincts of the individual and distrust of the other, which is different. Then they withdraw into themselves. "

You understand clearly and correctly that the indigenous community is an essential tool for the defense of Mother Earth. So the system run by predatory multinational companies understands that the attack on nature must be accompanied by the attack on the indigenous community. Where there are indigenous people in every continent, there are indigenous, truly democratic bodies which represents the community, not the individual, as in "democratic" society today, where they represent the interests of big business.

Real democracy that is manifested in the agreement of collective protest actions in plebiscites as Tambogrande, Ayabaca, Huancabamba and Islay in Peru, Andalgalá in Argentina, where over 90% voted for democratically life itself, not mine. " It is that democracy that is terrified of the system, so Fujimori in Peru and Salinas in Mexico almost simultaneously used laws against the indigenous community, so of Decree Law Alan García some go against nature and others and the community Indian. So you speak with horror of the "tribal spirit" of "the hive", "the nest", realizing that the strength of the indigenous movement to protect nature against the depredations of big business is the indigenous community.

That "political and social disorder is the breakdown of" order "companies need to ravage predatory nature with its actions to the" progress "which is on the one hand the progress of their income millionaires and the other the path to extinction of the human species ..

You attack the collectivism in the name of defending the individual. Collectivism does not deny the individuality, which must be respected. Individuality is crushed by the market fundamentalism which implements "fashion" forcing everyone to abide by (McDonald's, Coca Cola), the least subject to this crushing are indigenous peoples, among which each town is dresses differently.

The Society that you defend crushes individuality and proclaims that selfishness is supreme. Collectivist culture is human solidarity, unlike that which you defend, which is extremely selfish. The best example of this is that large multinational companies are run by people who know that with the runaway greenhouse gas emissions are leading to the extinction of the human species, but they do not care about their grandchildren and their children, but meet the sacred neoliberal commandment, to make as much money as possible in the shortest time possible.

The sentence that you make to the Indian democracy has been sufficiently well replicated by Saramago

"Somebody has been said that the indigenous movement is a danger to democracy seems to me incredible. How smart can a head out a statement as monstrous as that. "

To answer "those who say that the indigenous movement in America is the greatest enemy of democracy" "I what I propose to you that American Indians, is that you may become harbingers of democracy. If you you lift the banner of democracy, others may learn. "

The indigenous community, without giving the name, has long been raising the flag of true democracy, is taking further the higher levels, with the community of communities in the Cauca, Colombia, in the Kuna of Panama Islands and more degree in Zapatista territory in Chiapas, where 16 years indigenous govern by the "Good Government" which are rotated, whose members may be revoked at any time and not earning a dime (as in indigenous communities) by perform this function so it's no coincidence that you wrote "The Other Side of Paradise" unleashing a torrent of slander against these Indians, understands very well the danger that large companies means their example to other peoples.

The words from you in the seminar were also refuted by indigenous leaders.

Leonidas Iza, president of the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (CONAIE), "Vargas Losa is thinking of the previous century and believes that we must continue to marginalized indigenous. If there is hunger, poverty, inequality, we can not be quiet. " "If democracy means equality and equity, we just pursue a true democracy."

Luis Macas, founder of the CONAIE, "Vargas Llosa supports an exclusionary power, similar to that proposed by U.S. President George Bush, in a unipolar world. The Indians instead propose another kind of power, which is the "Ushay" in Quechua, which is to improve living conditions, the ability to develop ourselves collectively, since the contribution of the different spaces. "

Deputy Ricardo Ulcuango: "Civilization is to let three or four profit from the gas business in Bolivia, with privatization in Peru or Ecuador's oil, is polluting nature until it dries or sell water from the rivers pay better? "

Humberto Cholango ECUARUNARI, the largest organization of CONAIE comprising the Indians of the sierra: Are positions like that, "they leave no progress in the consolidation of Latin America more democratic, more tolerant, more participatory and more integrated recognizing the diversity of each country with all the actors who built this continent. "

As seen, they have a different concept of freedom and democracy that you, who says: "The fight for freedom compels us to take sides boldly, without subterfuge, for the open and democratic societies of the free world whose leadership exercised United States. "


You enjoy an intense racism.

You can tell when encouraged to overcome indigenous to abandon their culture.

Just read his novel "Death in the Andes", a book against the "mountain" (in coastal Peru is a racism against indigenous regionalism regionally identified as living in the mountains).

When the Cape coastal mountain tells the guard that "deserves to be coastal," it thank you. The culmination of the novel is the finding that the mountain is a ritual cannibalism. I am a ham and

all my life I have not seen anything like it. What I see is what I said above, that the culture that you advocate is leading to the extermination of humanity, does not eat it, is simply killing.

In my book "We the Indians" I devoted a chapter ("The Indian culture and neoliberalism" - José María Arguedas and Mario Vargas Llosa) to defend my "Papa" José María Arguedas his attacks in his book "Utopia Archaic. " I will not repeat here what is said there, I only mention the presentation made to the second edition: "This article was written in March 1999. From then to now it has developed a wave of indigenous movements in the continent and a disastrous crisis of neoliberalism. This shows that "the archaic utopia" is not that of "José María Arguedas indigenismo" but beloved neoliberalism Vargas Llosa, who remains one of their gurus. "

Uchuraqay In January 83 journalists were killed in August in the community of Uchuraqay, Ayacucho.

The repressive government that gave power to the genocidal policy of the Department General Clemente Noel (I was suspended for 120 days from the Chamber of Deputies for saying this and have refused to withdraw that description), appointed a committee chaired by you to cover up the responsibility of army in the crime. You fulfilled that role perfectly, blaming the villagers collectively for the deaths, dismissing reports of anthropologists, lawyers, linguists and psychoanalysts.

The Commission for Truth and Reconciliation and other organizations defending human rights report that you are limited to collecting the testimony and evidence given by the soldiers involved in the crime, which exonerated the military of course, eliminating the rest. Applying the racism shown in "Death in the Andes" said to have been the villagers who killed the journalists and piously said that "we were all guilty" for not "civilized."

They say that after some time a court found evidence of the military implications, and that you stated that its conclusion had done for the "sake of democracy."

I mention this because some people present you as "defender of human rights."

Relatives of the dead journalists feel disgust for you because of your work.

Fortunately, the world's indigenous peoples inspire increased respect from other sectors of the global population to be at the forefront of the defense of nature for all humanity and to practice true democracy for development in their organizations, showing the only way possible to ensure the survival of the species: that is the whole of society who govern themselves and determine which is the industrial facilities may continue to exist without jeopardizing the survival of the species.

I could see this from my recent European speaking tour, talking about precisely thissubject.

The top down undemocratic and selfish nature of large multinational companies so you do not know why you call "democracy" has fewer admirers.

No wonder you have received the Nobel Prize, Obama also received the Nobel Peace Prize for promoting the war in Afghanistan.

I think Alfred Nobel, who felt guilty for his role as an entrepreneur who became rich through the production of dynamite used in mining and war, would not be satisfied with two winners.

Hugo Blanco

27 Nov 2010

Cameron admits student protest could lead to government U-turn

Coalition of Resistance conference report back

The government has been accused of taking a "wrecking ball" to the country by its cuts in public spending.
Len McCluskey, newly elected leader of the Unite union accused the government of going "far beyond" what was needed to rebalance the economy.
He told a conference in London organised by the Coalition of Resistance: "The anger that is unfurling across our country is not mindless.
"It is the legitimate expression of a people who feel that this government is taking a wrecking ball to our nation, going far beyond what is needed rebalance our books.
"They are using a global financial crisis to terrify the citizens of this country into meek acceptance of a raid on our schools, hospitals, services, jobs - the very fundamentals of our communities built up over 60 years of our tax and toil."


The Coalition of Resistance conference today was amazing. 1,300 delegates paid their £5. The British left set aside their usual bickering and agreed to launch a campaign of direct action to challenge the massive cuts coming from the Con-Dem neo-liberal regime.

From the SWP to the Climate Camp, groups sceptical of the Coalition have come on board.

There were some excellent speechs from the likes of Jeremy Corbyn, John McDonnell, Tony Benn and many others.

Many people worked hard to get the event off the ground, I am increasingly impressed by Green Party campaigns co-ordinator Romayne Phoenix, but hey I should mention another couple of hundred.

Good to see newly elected Unite General Secretary Len McCluskey quoting Engels and insisting that Britain's largest trade union is going to get stuck in. I am a Jerry Hicks loyalist to my marrow but Len did good.

I would urge everyone to get involved in the Coalition of Resistance and I will post videos as soon as I get them.

120 national committee were elected to take forward the resistance and the school students who took to the streets were loudly cheered on many occassions.

26 Nov 2010

Green councillors celebrate direct action by students

Making a stand through direct action and occupation is not easy and we respect and support those students and campaigners who have done so in Oxford.

Over the past 13 years students have been been let down by Labour on education and tuition fees. Now, at the hands of the Con Dem Government, they face further, deep cuts and a sharp rise to tuition fees.

We, the Green Party in Oxfordshire and nationally, oppose the cuts to higher education and to public services. We firmly and strongly believe that the education system should be publicly funded and tuition fees scrapped.

The way out of recession is not with cuts, deregulation and privatisation but with investment, job creation and the more efficient use of natural resources.

We are proud to stand alongside those Oxford students and pupils who marched peacefully two weeks ago on the NUS/UCU demo in London, and who this week marched for their rights, and then undertook the occupation in Oxford.

Good luck in your endeavours and in solidarity for a truly fair economy and just society.


Oxfordshire County Green Party Councillors
Larry Sanders
Chip Sherwood

Oxford City Green Party Councillors
David Williams
Elise Benjamin
Nuala Young
Matt Morton
Dick Wolff

Oxford Green Party Chair
Sushila Dhall

Britain can learn from Venezuelan activist touring country


A grassroots Venezuelan activist inspired by liberation theology will begin a speaking tour of Britain this weekend. Joel Linares will draw links between Venezuelan and British experiences of politics and society.

Linares is a Protestant from a barrio in the West of Caracas. He is involved in a number of initiatives to promote community development and participation across Venezuela.

Beginning in London on Saturday (27 November), Linares will also speak in Cardiff, Nottingham, Sheffield and Norwich, finishing his tour on 3 December.

“He’s coming to the UK so that people can hear an honest and first-hand account about grassroots attempts to create a fairer economy and society in Venezuela,” said Pablo Navarr, a filmmaker who is involved in organising the tour.

Derek Wall, author of The Rise of the Green Left: Inside the Worldwide Ecosocialist Movement, told Ekklesia that he believes people in Britain “can learn” from Linares.

“In Latin America, social movements often inspired by liberation theology have resisted austerity cuts and created grassroots economic alternatives,” he said.

“Britain is facing economic disaster, the austerity programme will lead to inequality and a possible return to recession," insisted Wall, a leading member of the Green Party of England and Wales. He added, “People are looking for economic alternatives to free-market capitalism that provide prosperity for all”.

Linares featured in Navarr’s documentary Inside the Revolution, which sought to document the political situation in Venezuela.

Navarr told Ekklesia that a mainstream media focus on the Venezuelan President, Hugo Chavez means that “the voices of the Venezuelan government’s grassroots supporters are rarely heard”. Chavez has been both praised and attacked for his socialist economic policies.

Liberation theology arose in Latin America in the 1960s and 1970s and has inspired related movements around the world. Liberation theologians interpret the Christian Gospel in the light of concrete material events. They emphasise that all theology is carried out in particular social and economic contexts and speak of God's solidarity with people who are poor or oppressed.

Details of Joel Linares’ speaking tour can be found at http://www.alborada.net/joeluk2010.

Fight the cuts conference tomorrow! Full Programme here

Coalition of Resistance Conference
Saturday November 27
Camden Centre
Bidborough St, London WC1H 9AU
•Unemployed/Student Rate £3
•Standard Rate £5
•Representative £10

10:00 – 10:30, REGISTRATION

10:30 – 11:45, OPENING PLENARY – Camden Centre main hall

Clare Solomon NUS, Andrew Murray, Jean Lambert MEP, Bob Crow RMT, Christian Mahieux (Solidaires unions, France), Heather Wakefield UNISON, Rachel Newton (People’s Charter), John McDonnell MP, Lindsey German CoR, Ken Loach, Mark Serwotka PCS, Paul Mackney.

12:00 – 13:15, WORKSHOPS

1. YOUTH, STUDENTS AND EDUCATION – Camden Centre main hall
Speakers from school and student protests, Alex Kenny NUT, Jean-Baptiste Tondu (NPA France)

2. ANALYSING THE CRISIS – Camden Centre canteen
James Meadway, Stathis Kouvelakis, Derek Wall, Hilary Wainwright

Range of speakers from anti-cuts and other organisations from around the country

Liz Davies, Samir Jeeraj (Green Party), Billy Bragg, Laurie Penny

5. MOBILISING THE UNIONS - School canteen
Alan Whittaker President UCU, Rebecca Allen PCS, George Binette UNISON

6. WOMEN AND THE CUTS – School classroom
Katherine Connelly, Feminist Network and others

13:15 – 14:00, LUNCH

14:00 – 15:15, WORKSHOPS

1. DEFENDING THE WELFARE STATE Camden Centre main hall
Colin Leys KONP, Chris Nineham CoR, Dr Jacky Davis, Eileen Short DCH

2. ALTERNATIVES TO THE CRISIS – Camden Centre canteen
Ozlem Onaran, Richard Brenner, John Hilary (War on Want)

Zita Holbourne, Terry Conway, Phyll Opoku-Gyimah, Mary Davis (Charter for Women)

4. COR: HOW AND WHY – School Hall 2
Andrew Burgin, Lindsey German, Joseph Healy

George Thompson PCS, Colin Hampton Chesterfield UWC, Pip Tindall Brighton Benefits Centre

Chris Baugh PCS, Jonathan Neale CACC, Peter Robinson

15:30 – 17:00, VOTING, ELECTIONS AND CLOSING PLENARY - Camden Centre main hall
Dot Gibson (Pensioner campaigner), Lee Jasper (BARAC), Jeremy Dear NUJ, Jeremy Corbyn MP, Salma Yaqoob (Respect), John Rees CoR, Kate Hudson CND, Chris Bambery (Right to Work), Lowkey, Tony Benn

25 Nov 2010

Simon Hughes office occupied by angry students.

Massive cuts in benefits, 100% cuts for arts and humanities university funding, troops teaching in school, transparency rules for bank bonuses in the bin, hugh rise in rail fares.......Britain has the most viciously right wing government since the 1930s.

This is only because a small bunch of free market fundamentalists the Yellow Book group took over the Liberal Democrats mounting an internal coup in their Party and then after lying to the voters, most notabably over tuition fees, putting the Conservatives in power.

I am elated that Liberal Democrat MPs offices are being occupied.

I am party political, yes but when greens support disaster capitalism, as in Ireland, I am never afraid to challenge them.

The Irish economic disaster is coming to Britain, students are in the front line of resistance.

Great to see them occupying Hughes office, great to see Young Greens in the video, great to see University of London Union President Clare Solomon showing such militant and visionary leadership.

See you at the Convention of Resistance Conference on Saturday!

People get ready!

Caroline Lucas says build the resistance!

1,000 people registered, a campaign which can be won, if we use imaginative direct action see you on saturday at the Conference of Resistance!

I am going to be bringing Joel Linares with me, liberation theology inspired activist from Caracas.

24 Nov 2010

MPs back student protest!

John McDonnell is a real hombre! a real good human being!


McDonnell, John
That this House notes that students around the country are organising peaceful protests and occupations against the Coalition Government's plans for increases in tuition fees, cuts to the education maintenance allowance and cuts in funding to universities and colleges; considers that these protests are in line with the long history of protests in this country provoked by the failure of governments to implement the wishes and interests of the people and to abide by their promises to the people; and therefore expresses its support for all those taking part in these peaceful protests and occupations.

John Gormley 'finishing line in sight'

I am not a fan of John Gormley from biofuels to Irish economic policy he has consistently got it wrong. Its a wicked world and its difficult to get things right, and of course if you never participate the argument is you can stay pure but are made filthy by your failure to intervene. Nonetheless the situation was clear and it was clear that the coalition would have been a disaster. And it has been a disaster.

John should apologise, history in the form of the General Election will buy his party, I hope others can advance green politics in Ireland. Any way this is from John Gormley.

By now you very probably know about the statement I made this morning about our remaining time in Government. We will monitor the reaction of other parties and politicians, but we have set a clear marker regarding the national interest and I hope that the other parties in particular will take an equally responsible position. I hope that they will allow the country to complete negotiations with the IMF, adopt the four-year economic plan and agree a budget before we have an election in the New Year.

I believe that these three critical elements of our national recovery are going to require extremely tough negotiations to ensure that the interests of the Irish people are protected. The Green Party will remain at the centre of the process to ensure that it happens.

We have put a time limit on the life of this Government. But the challenges are significant: the Dáil majority remains very thin and difficult decisions remain to be taken.

I know that the last few years have been very tough on members and many have had serious concerns about our continued involvement in Government. I would appeal to all members, now that the finishing line is in sight, to join with us in ensuring that we achieve our remaining goals and enter the election as a unified party, proud of our policy achievements, satisfied that we did the right things for the country in the most difficult of circumstances, and eager to ensure that there is a strong, green presence in the next Dáil.

The election is not far off now. I ask you to support Green Party candidates in every way that you can as they seek to bring our important messages to the voters. We cannot rely on the media to do this job for us - we will have to bring the message to people's doors directly ourselves and we need your help to do this.

Once again, I thank you sincerely for your support.

John Gormley, Party Leader

22 Nov 2010

Caroline Lucas and John McDonnell fight to save People's History

The government has announced that funding will be cut to eight “non-national” museums. The North West will be particularly badly hit, with funding chopped from the People’s History Museum, the Museum of Science & Industry, and the National Football Museum.

We are particularly concerned that at a time when the government is already introducing a swathe of attacks on education, museums are also in the firing line. Museums traditionally have been a place where the poorest people in society could educate and inform themselves. This is particularly true of the People’s History Museum, which has a unique collection emphasising the role that ordinary people have played in the struggle for their rights.

We are constantly told that there is NO money. Yet there seems to be huge amounts available for bankers’ bonuses, nuclear weapons, and in uncollected corporation tax. Why is it that institutions used by ordinary people are the first for the chop?

We the undersigned call on the government to reverse this decision. We further hope that the people will rally behind the institutions under threat and campaign against this latest attack on our welfare state.

Yours faithfully,

John McDonnell MP;

Caroline Lucas MP;

Professor Ralph Darlington, Professor of Employment Relations, Salford University

Professor John Newsinger, author People's History of the British Empire

Professor Luke Martell, Professor of Political Sociology, Sussex University and Vice President of Sussex UCU;

Dr Ben Harker, Lecturer in English and Cultural Studies, Salford University

Dr Paul Keleme, Manchester University

Dr Jonathan Neale, Author and Historian

Mark O’Brien, Labour Historian & Author, Liverpool

Tony Barnsley, author Breaking the Chains

John Charlton, Labour Historian & Author

Colin Barker, Social Historian, Manchester

Maxine Peake, actor

Councillor Julie Reid, Manchester

Councillor Mike Cordingley, Trafford

Councillor Michael Lavellete, Preston

Councillor Alison Gwynne, Tameside

Martin Empson, Manchester Right to Work Campaign

Sue Bond, PCS National Vice President

Karen Reissman, Unison NEC (pc)

Kath Grant, Secretary, Manchester NUJ (pc)

Chris Sheehy, President, Salford Branch, UCU (pc)

Geoff Brown, Secretary, Sara Livesey, Vice-President, and Kate Richardson, Exec Member, Manchester Trades Council (pc)

Linda Holden, Branch Secretary & Andy Cunningham, Communications Officer, Rick Lighten, Young Members Officer, MMU Unison (all in pc)

Judith Orr, editor Socialist Review

Hilda Palmer, Co-ordinator, Greater Manchester Hazards Centre

Ian Allinson, UNITE EC member (pc)

Steve Kingston, editor Salford Star

Keith Flett, Convenor, London Socialist Historians Group;

Philip Lewis, Vice Chair, Camden Unison (pc)

Stephen Gibson, Lynne Hodge, Ben Ashdown, Mark Norman, UNITE Fujitsu Manchester (all in pc)

Celia Hutchinson, BECTU Rep, Manchester (pc)

Manchester Mule Editorial Collective

(pc – personal capacity)

Irish Green Party are to blame

They didn't have to go into the coalition.

But they did, 'power' corrupts.

I hope all Green Party office holders are stripped of their well paid posts.

A lesson for the Liberal Democrats here, get elected on progressive policies, betray your voters and turn a blind eye to economic chaos and face extinction.

The Irish Greens are calling for a General Election, they will no doubt lose all or all but one of their seats....however even now they are not actually resigning from the government.

They have done huge damage to green politics globally.


Greens, I would controversially argue need to be, Green.

21 Nov 2010


The Campaign Against Tube Privatisation calls on Boris Johnson to halt plans for the loss of nearly 2,000 jobs on the London Underground. The campaign, which has represented tube passengers for over 10 years since the underground was part- privatised in one of the most disastrous decisions ever made on London's transport network, is shocked that passenger safety is once more to be put at risk.
The vandals at City Hall and London Transport HQ have failed to learn the lessons of history: public transport in London has suffered decades of neglect with the loss of thousands of jobs. One glaring new example is the plan to double the length of time between safety- critical inspections from 14 to 28 days (already partially implemented), leaving the safety of passengers severely compromised. Also, in recent months, we have witnessed a succession of near- misses, shutdowns and fires, not to mention increasing delays and the continued closure of many lines at weekends.
The RMT/ TSSA strikes have demonstrated that tube workers are prepared to defend a public service vital to Londoners. We, as passengers, agree that safety should not be comprmoised by cost- cutting. London Underground is in meltdown: we need postive policies that will start to make a difference to London's transport, not a confrontational attack on tube workers.

CATP will be leafletiing passengers on the following days prior to the 4th tube strike on 29th November:
Monday 22nd November, Stratford station, 8.30- 9.30am
Tuesday 23rd November: Ladbroke Grove station, 10- 11am
Wednesday 24th November: King's X station , 8.30- 9.30am
Thursday 25th November: Archway station, 8.30- 9.30am

Jerry Hicks thank you to all 52,000 of you!

Len McCluskey wins Unite General Secretary with 100,000 votes

101,000 for McCluskey, to 52,000 for Jerry, Les Bayliss (boo hiss!) 46,000, Gail Cartmail 39,000

just had this text from Jerry McCluskey 1st: Hicks 2nd: Bayliss: 3rd Cartmell 4th. The network built during our campaign will be vital in fight against the cuts. Keep on keeping on Jerry Hicks

The really impressive candidate was Jerry Hicks but the union hack has the money and the establishment support.

The lesson is that greens and socialists need to put much more energy into supporting left candidates.

Still there are worse people than Len McCluskey.

Hope to do a lot more work with Jerry though in the future but the lesson is if you are left and imaginative and going to reject the fat cat salary, they other guy or girl will win.

Got got got to organise, a Hicks win would have really changed things in Britain for the better.

Climate change an excuse to pay bankers a bonus?

While we assert that capitalism is the cause of global warming and the destruction of forests, rainforests and Mother Earth, they seek to expand capitalism to the commoditization of nature with the word “green economy”

Indigenous brothers of the world:

I am deeply concerned because some pretend to use leaders and indigenous groups to promote the commoditization of nature and in particular of forest through the establishment of the REDD mechanism (Reduction Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation) and its versions REDD+ and REED++.

Every day an extension of forests and rainforest equivalent to 36,000 football fields disappears in the world. Each year 13 million hectares of forest and rain forest are lost. At this rate, the forests will disappear by the end of the century.

The forests and rainforest are the largest source of biodiversity. If deforestation continues, thousands of species, animals and plants will be lost forever. More than three quarters of accessible fresh water zones come from uptake zones in forests, hence the worsening of water quality when the forest condition deteriorates. Forests provide protection from flooding, erosion and natural disasters. They provide non-timber goods as well as timber goods. Forests are a source of natural medicines and healing elements not yet discovered. Forests and the rainforest are the lungs of the atmosphere. 18% of all emissions of greenhouse gases occurring in the world are caused by deforestation.

It is essential to stop the destruction of our Mother Earth.

Currently, during climate change negotiations everyone recognizes that it is essential to avoid the deforestation and degradation of the forest. However, to achieve this, some propose to commoditize forests on the false argument that only what has a price and owner is worth taking care of.

Their proposal is to consider only one of the functions of forests, which is its ability to absorb carbon dioxide, and issue “certificates”, “credits” or “Carbon rights” to be commercialized in a carbon market.This way, companies of the North have the choice of reducing their emissions or buy “REDD certificates” in the South according to their economic convenience. For example, if a company has to invest USD40 or USD50 to reduce the emission of one ton of C02 in a “developed country,” they would prefer to buy a “REDD certificate” for USD10 or USD20 in a “developing country”, so they can they say they have fulfilled to reduce the emissions of the mentioned ton of CO2.

Through this mechanism, developed countries will have handed their obligation to reduce their emissions to developing countries, and the South will once again fund the North and that same northern company will have saved a lot of money by buying “certified” carbon from the Southern forests. However, they will not only have cheated their commitments to reduce emissions, but they will have also begun the commoditization of nature, with the forests.

The forests will start to be priced by the CO2 tonnage they are able to absorb. The “credit” or “carbon right” which certifies that absorptive capacity will be bought and sold like any commodity worldwide. To ensure that no one affects the ownership of “REDD certificates” buyers, a series of restrictions will be put into place, which will eventually affect the sovereign right of countries and indigenous peoples over their forests and rainforests. So begins a new stage of privatization of nature never seen before which will extend to water, biodiversity and what they call “environmental services”.

While we assert that capitalism is the cause of global warming and the destruction of forests, rainforests and Mother Earth, they seek to expand capitalism to the commoditization of nature with the word “green economy”.

To get support for this proposal of commoditization of nature, some financial institutions, governments, NGOs, foundations, “experts” and trading companies are offering a percentage of the “benefits” of this commoditization of nature to indigenous peoples and communities living in native forests and the rainforest.

Nature, forests and indigenous peoples are not for sale.

For centuries, Indigenous peoples have lived conserving and preserving natural forests and rainforest. For us the forest and rainforest are not objects, are not things you can price and privatize. We do not accept that native forests and rainforest be reduced to a simple measurable quantity of carbon. Nor do we accept that native forests be confused with simple plantations of a single or two tree species. The forest is our home, a big house where plants, animals, water, soil, pure air and human beings coexist.

It is essential that all countries of the world work together to prevent forest and rainforest deforestation and degradation. It is an obligation of developed countries, and it is part of its climate and environmental debt climate, tocontribute financially to the preservation of forests, but not through its commoditization. There are many ways of supporting and financing developing countries, indigenous peoples and local communities that contribute to the preservation of forests.

Developed countries spend tens of times more public resources on defense, security and war than in climate change. Even during the financial crisis many have maintained and increased their military spending. It is inadmissible that by using the needs communities have and the ambitions of some leaders and indigenous “experts”, indigenous peoples are expected to be involved with the commoditization of nature.

All forests and rainforests protection mechanisms should guarantee indigenous rights and participation, but not because indigenous participation is achieved in REDD, we can accept that a price for forests and rainforests is set and negotiated in a global carbon market.

Indigenous brothers, let us not be confused. Some tell us that the carbon market mechanism in REDD will be voluntary. That is to say that whoever wants to sell and buy, will be able, and whoever does not want to, will be able to stand aside. We cannot accept that, with our consent, a mechanism is created where one voluntarily sells Mother Earth while others look crossed handed.

Faced with the reductionist views of forests and rainforest commoditization, indigenous peoples with peasants and social movements of the world must fight for the proposals that emerged of the World People’s Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth:

1) Integrated management of native forests and rainforest not only considering its mitigation function as CO2 sink but all its functions and potentiality, whilst avoiding confusing them with simple plantations.

2) Respect the sovereignty of developing countries in their integral management of forests.

3) Full compliance with the Rights of Indigenous Peoples established by the United Nations Declaration on Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Convention No. 169 of the ILO and other international instruments; recognition and respect to their territories; revalorization and implementation of indigenous knowledge for the preservation of forests; indigenous peoples participation and indigenous management of forest and rainforest.

4) Funding of developed countries to developing countries and indigenous peoples for integral management of forest as part of their climate and environmental debt. No establishment of any mechanism of carbon markets or “incentives” that may lead to the commoditization of forests and rainforest.

5) Recognition of the rights of Mother Earth, which includes forests, rainforest and all its components. In order to restore harmony with Mother Earth, putting a price on nature is not the way but to recognize that not only human beings have the right to life and to reproduce, but nature also has a right to life and to regenerate, and that without Mother Earth Humans cannot live.

Indigenous brothers, together with our peasant brothers and social movements of the world, we must mobilize so that the conclusions of Cochabamba are assumed in Cancun and to impulse a mechanism of related actions to the forests based on these five principles, while always maintaining high the unity of indigenous peoples and the principles of respect for Mother Earth, which for centuries we have preserved and inherited from our ancestors.

Evo Morales Ayma
President of the Plurinational State of Bolivia

Talk by Venezuelan Grassroots Community Activist Joel Linares (Wednesday 1st December/Sheffield)

Time: 01 December · 19:00 - 20:30

Location: Hicks Building - Lecture Theatre 2 (University of Sheffield), Hounsfield Road, Sheffield,

Event organised by Sheffield Venezuela Solidarity Campaign

More info Following last year's excellent documentary, Inside the Revolution: A Journey into the Heart of Venezuela, we are now very fortunate to be hosting one of the Venezuelans featured in the film as part of his upcoming speaker tour.

Joel Linares is a Venezuelan Christian community activist from a barrio in the west of Caracas. He is a graduate of the Venezuelan government's 'Mision Cultura' programme and is involved in a number of initiatives to promote community participation and development in Caracas and across Venezuela. He is currently doing work for Venezuela's Social Development Bank (BANDES). (See him speak here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uDZNNPvBsRM)

The talk will also be preceded by excerpts from the film itself (see a trailer here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6alYwkZ4z9k) so make sure you get down on time!

As well as Joel's first-hand account of life in Caracas, both before and after Chávez's first election victory, there will be plenty of opportunity for questions and discussion.

20 Nov 2010


On Monday night we received notification that our site had been suspended due to “attempting to pervert the course of justice” due to our posting offering advice to the Millbank students. Whilst the email requesting the site be closed on the basis it was being used for “criminal activity” came from DI Paul Hoare, from the Police Central e-crime Unit, the authorisation to close was given much closer to home, by acting Detective Inspector Will Hodgeson. Hodgeson, who was involved in the first Fitwatch case, and has sat through many of our trials and appeals, evidently finally had enough and decided to shut us down.

However, through totally underestimating the power of social media, this pathetic attempt has failed miserably. Within minutes of networking what had happened, people were re-publishing the post anywhere and everywhere. There are now over 100 sites carrying the original post – we haven’t managed to count them all. We have been overwhelmed by the support and solidarity and send massive thanks to everyone who’s offered to help and reposted the information. If we haven’t replied personally, it’s only because we’ve been inundated, and haven’t had time.


The Cow Shit Climate Revolution

Rare good news story.

Big Oil will be putting big money into stopping this.

Technology ain't enough but this is a good example of prosperity linked to ecology.

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...