30 Mar 2011

Open Letter from Dr Derek Wall 'A warning to Anonymous'

Dear Anonymous,

I don't want to sound like your dad but I am warning you.

You will face huge pressure to change your tactics and your strategy.

I am writing in response to a recent open letter entitled 'Right Fight, Wrong Action' appealing to you to stand down and reject illegal tactics such as hacking (see below)

However it is necessary in an unjust world to break unjust laws.

Morality can be debated. However we don't have morality we have a mafia society.

In modern capitalism you might even argue, as I do, that the elites are merely bearers of structural capitalist relations.

The basics are clear, elites have more and more wealth and income, the economy under capitalism is based on wrecking our planet and stealing resources.

This must be fought and yes the inspiration of peer-to-peer, wiki, FOSS, commons shows we can have a different system (I would call it ecosocialism but labels are less important than focussed action). Elinor Ostrom, while she may not have developed an analysis of capitalism, has done splendid work to show that commons is possible.

So I was dismayed but not surprised to find the call below asking you to rein in....unjust laws can and indeed must be broken, despite what the writer below implies figures like Gandhi (I am not going to get into his many strengths and weaknesses here) broke the law to advocate justice.

Martin Luther King Jr broke the law to achieve justice.

Do what is right, do what is just, do what is effective.....don't listen to those telling you to tolerate the wrong and unjust and the ineffective.

There is much else I could say from avoiding conspiracy theory analysis especially those who would use it to demonise or the importance of learning more about the economy or examining how previous resistance movements have won or lost, the importance of linking up with working class and indigenous movements, etc.

Sorry if I sound like your dad, you can take my advice or not, its whats in my head and whats in my heart.

However remember also.....we are many, they are few!

love and rockets!

Dr Derek Wall.
London, UK.

When you engage in illegal activities, you lose a lot of your most powerful defenders and supporters. The rule of law creates a baseline civility necessary for progress. Cross that line one too many times and you risk being marginalized simply as a common criminal. More important, you can't do any good if you're sitting in a prison cell caged like an animal -- and this is likely to happen to at least a few members of your group. When the headlines are gone, some of you will probably be sitting behind bars with only a very few people to ever visit. You've caught the public attention you wanted. That attention, and the embarrassment it has caused to powerful entities, will likely also undo Anonymous.

There is more power in lawful and peaceful disagreement. Think of the figures that will go down in history as strongest and most influential resistance movement leaders we know: Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr., and more.

Many of the members of your group appear to be bright and well meaning, but the ends do not justify the means. Illegality is illegality no matter why it is committed. Instead I hope that you'll take your knowledge and talents and focus them on positive and legal avenues. I can imagine all the energy and passion put toward helping others, without risk of imprisonment.


Central London church to host event promoting repentance of homophobia

A central London church will mark the final destination of a Christian writer's pilgrimage of repentance for homophobia.

Symon Hill announced in December that he will walk from Birmingham to London this summer in repentance for his former homophobic attitudes. He has now said that he will finish with a talk at Bloomsbury Central Baptist Church on the evening of Friday 1 July, before joining in the Pride march the next day.

Hill, who is associate director of the Ekklesia thinktank and author of The No-Nonsense Guide to Religion, will leave Birmingham on or around 16 June. Venues for talks on the way will include St Columba's United Reformed Church in Oxford on Sunday 26 June.

The walk has been welcomed by the human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell and endorsed by the Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement, Ekklesia, Courage UK and Inclusive Church.

Symon Hill said:

"I have been deeply moved by the many messages of support and encouragement I have received since announcing my plan. They have made me more determined than ever to demonstrate repentance of the harm I have caused and to challenge the Church's whole attitude. This is a matter of love and justice, integral to our calling to live by the spirit and teachings of Christ."

Jeremy Marks, director of Courage UK (www.courage.org.uk), said:

"Symon Hill’s pilgrimage of repentance is one of those projects that truly warms and encourages the heart of any gay person, because it recognises deeply held views yet illustrates the process of repentance in a very real and inspiring way. Let us pray that Symon’s example will inspire many others to reconsider their views and similarly repent of their homophobia."



More information on the pilgrimage of repentance is available at http://www.repenting.wordpress.com.
The pilgrimage will begin in Birmingham on or around Thursday 16 June and finish in London on Friday 1 July. Venues and timings are still being arranged, but locations will include Birmingham, Solihull, Coventry, Daventry and Oxford.
The final talk in the pilgrimage will be at 7.00pm on Friday 1 July in Bloomsbury Central Baptist Church (see www.bloomsbury.org.uk). People of all religions and of none will be welcome, whatever their views on sexuality.
Symon Hill is associate director of Ekklesia and author of The No-Nonsense Guide to Religion (published by New Internationalist, 2010). He has written for publications including the Guardian, Morning Star, The Friend, Third Way and Baptist Times. He is a signatory to the Common Wealth statement of Christians committed to economic justice and opposed to the government’s cuts.
In 1998, Hill organised a “Church Crawl”, walking with others for a week to raise Christian awareness of depression. He later oversaw media relations for the Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) and was part of the team that took the government to court over BAE Systems' Saudi arms deals. As a result, he was nominated as a Hero of 2007 by the activist comedian Mark Thomas in the Independent on Sunday.
Photographs of Symon Hill walking are available to the media on request.

'There is something terribly wrong....'

I suspect the arms trade and an extractive capitalist economy are wider issues however lets just say 'nice'.

29 Mar 2011

BBC site hacked after 26th March broadcasts by anonymous

Anonymous have claimed to have taken down the BBC website, according at least to UkUNcuts activist Aaron Peters.

A response to the failure of the BBC to report accurately on the anti-cuts protest on 26 March.

Anonymous do view Britain as a hive of secret police activity and repression as you can see from the statement below and they do have the capacity...

However I am guessing that the argument against anonymous being involved is well argued here.

Citizens of Great Britain

You and your fellow citizens have no advocates for your well-being and no one genuinely committed to defending your interests. Each government that hides behind the facade of your fake democracy has in reality been the puppet of international big business and media propagandists. Agents of the establishment use fear, misdirection, intimidation and even violence to perpetuate their hold over the population and, worst of all, the tax revenue of your fellow citizens regularly goes towards bankrolling the government sanctioned class war against you. On the other end of the spectrum, at the grassroots of your society, those who claim to be looking out for your interests are interested only in creating their own narcissistic personality cults or reaping the profits that come with presenting themselves as a "leader of the working class" while masking themselves in the dogma of political idealism.

The wealth of the United Kingdom has now turned into the personification of many of its problems. The top earners now buy their way into the governments favour and bankers who helped precipitate the previous crisis received £850 Billion of your own taxes while the poor are left to starve and suffer. While the financial sector is poised to distribute record profits and bonuses to its cronies and accomplices, the government has decided that the average hard working citizen must suffer record levels of austerity and hardship to pay for this disaster.

Internationally, the governments of the UK have also supported some of the world’s most bloodthirsty tyrants. From Margaret Thatcher's support of the Chilean fascist Augusto Pinochet, to Tony Blairs recent pledge of solidarity to Egypt's Hosni Mubarak during the uprising. The sales of tear gas, machine guns and arms components to these regimens over the last two years show that the foreign policy of the United Kingdom has been one of continuing empire which has been implemented at the expense of some of the world’s most vulnerable people and financed by the hard-earned money of desperate British citizens. The history of the United Kingdom is one of continuing empire, provocation and war.

This situation is no longer acceptable.

We in Anonymous sense your displeasure and we also note the ever increasing tide of propaganda and the iron fist of the state being used more and more often to put down dissent before it begins. The law is no longer the protector of the citizens, but the protector of the wealthy few from the many who have very little. It is almost impossible to fight the government when working inside the laws that the government makes because, more often than not, such laws are designed to prevent those with legitimate grievances from doing this. Justice is now merely a commodity which only the wealthy can afford.

Anonymous is aware of the anger that seethes under the facade of your country's diplomatic image. We hereby incite your people to rebellion against the establishment which has suppressed you generation upon generation. It is time to take a stand and realise that solutions will not be found in the corruption of mainstream politics. You must seize the opportunity to rally for freedom. Anonymous stands with you in this struggle and will fight alongside you in the battle for permanent change. Let your enemies stand forewarned.

We are Anonymous.
We are Legion.
We do not Forgive.
We do not Forget.

Expect us.


“I do not want art for a few, any more than I want education for a few, or freedom for a few.”

Sam West's amazing speech on 26th March, headlined with a William Morris quote.

Originally blogged here, thanks Sam!

Speech to the TUC’s March for the Alternative,
London, 26th March 2011

“I do not want art for a few, any more than I want education for a few, or freedom for a few.”

William Morris said that.

Early trade unionists were quite clear about how a 24-hour day should be divided: eight hours of work, eight hours of rest, and eight hours for our own improvement. We are not just here to work our arses off for fifty years and then die.

We believe, don’t we, that art is for everyone? That just as you shouldn’t be denied good healthcare because you’ve got less money, you shouldn’t be able to experience better art because you’re rich. Ballet is not just for the middle classes, it’s for miners’ children too. In fact, isn’t there a film about that? And a show running in London and on Broadway? And in eight other countries across the world, making millions for the treasury?

Let no-one tell us we can’t afford it. The entire Arts Council budget of this country BEFORE CUTS is £450m, or 17p per person per week. That’s half what we spend subsidising the arms trade. It’s 5% of the money lost to corporate tax evasion every year.

A Robin Hood Tax on the banks would raise that money in eight days.

And theatres are not wasteful places. My union is fighting for an actor's minimum wage of £400 per week. It wasn't people on those sort of wages who produced this deficit.

These cuts are ideological. Conservatives don’t like art being cheap because it educates and enlightens working people. The history of the Trade Union movement is stuffed with stories of people who educated themselves - who, like William Morris, refused to believe that learning was something for the few – through night school, local libraries or universities that didn’t cost them nine grand a year. Only with systems like that in place can a society truly call itself big.

The coalition’s right hand doesn’t know what its left hand is doing. On Monday, Michael Gove said that children should be reading 50 books a year. Good idea. So why not stop local authorities closing 520 libraries? Has Michael Gove worked out how much 50 books a year cost? Is he only governing the country for the people who can buy them, not borrow them? That’s not just a failure of government, it’s a failure of imagination. Perhaps he should go to more plays.

This hands-off approach to local authority funding means councils are given budgets that are impossible to balance and the Government says “it’s none of our business”. In Somerset, an arts budget of £159,000 - 0.0004 of their total grant – has been cut by 100%. Not only does that affect the provision of exhibitions, classes, theatre trips and touring on a scale down to the tiniest village in a largely rural county, it also sends a message to anyone who lives in Somerset: the arts are not for you, don’t think you have anything to say, or if you want to say it, go somewhere else.

But the arts are a flourishing pyramid. Cut funding to the smaller regional organizations, and sooner or later you starve the larger ones to death. Britain becomes a cultural desert.

This government has proved again and again that it knows the price of everything and the value of nothing. Sometimes the bottom line isn't the bottom line. Some things in life are worth it anyway. When we've been sacked, or chucked, even if we're just going into a gallery to escape the rain, art reminds us that our own unfortunate circumstances are not all we have — that we really are all in this together.

Art is essential for dealing with the tricky condition we call human. Access to it is not a luxury, it’s a right worth fighting for.

Thank you.

Nuclear power means nuclear disaster!


Nuclear power means nuclear disaster!
The ecosocialist alternative

Wednesday 6th April, 7.30pm, ULU, Malet Street

Kate Hudson, CND
Romayne Phoenix, Green Left
Liam McQuade, Socialist Resistance

Once again the evidence shows that nuclear technology can never be 100% safe. The risks are so frightening that the conclusion is obvious: it is imperative to abandon nuclear energy, and as quickly as possible. This is the first lesson of Fukushima, one which raises the need for an alternative to the capitalist model of infinite growth.

We have to abandon nuclear energy as quickly as possible. This is perfectly possible but it is a political decision. We must also abandon fossil fuels, the main cause of climate change. In just two generations, renewables must become our sole energy source.

All the responses to the climate challenge presented by capitalists rely on technology, of which nuclear is the flagship. The International Energy Agency proposes to triple the number of nuclear power stations by 2050. This is madness, pure and simple.

An alternative to this vicious system is more urgent than ever. It ultimately requires the realisation of the ecosocialist project, of a society producing for the satisfaction of real human needs, democratically determined, in accordance with the rhythms and the functioning of the ecosystem.

Without such an alternative, capitalist growth will always cause more disasters without providing for social needs. That is, ultimately, the terrible lesson of Fukushima.

Meeting organised by Socialist Resistance and Green Left

27 Mar 2011


had this yesterday, make my day and send me a relevent photo, had some nice Sikh, Muslim green politics stuff posted recently and have a nice Jewish link to post soon, so any other sound religious stuff is very welcome....religion often promotes justice and ecology so good!

Barclay's Bank is facing accusations of running scared from peaceful protest after closing a central London branch in an apparent attempt to avoid an act of worship planned by Christians opposed to the government's cuts.

A group of Christians planned to peacefully enter the branch and offer biscuits to staff and customers while praying, reading the Bible and singing hymns as a witness against the injustices of the banking system. They were inspired by Jesus' protest in the Jerusalem Temple.

They arrived at the bank on Tottenham Court Road at 2.00pm on Saturday 26th March, as protests against the government's cuts were underway. But the bank was already closed, despite its usual Saturday closing time being 4.00pm.

The Christians planning to join in the worship included Chris Howson, a Church of England priest and author from Bradford, and Symon Hill, associate director of the Christian thinktank Ekklesia.

Chris Wood, one of the participants said:

"Jesus was compelled to challenge the injustice of the temple system which exploited pilgrims with excessive interest and prices. Jesus exposed the sin for all to see and showed that another way is possible.

"Today, the reckless speculation and lending by powerful banks has resulted in a devastating impact on our society, causing an economic crisis for which the poorest and most vulnerable are being made to pay through savage cuts. If Barclay's decision to close early was due to news of our plans, they are running scared of peaceful Christian worshippers".

Barclay's have faced criticism for using legal means to pay less than two percent corporation tax on their profits. The action was planned partly in solidarity with UK Uncut, a nonviolent campaigning network who point out that that cracking down on tax avoidance by wealthy corporations is one of several alternatives to cutting jobs, benefits and public services.


The act of worship was planned by an informal grassroots group of Christians inspired by Jesus, opposed to the government's cuts agenda and committed to entirely nonviolent action to expose economic injustice and promote change.
Barclay's recently announced the payment of £3.5bn in bonuses, with average pay per employee in their investment banking division rising to £236,000.

Greening the Hajj

'but waste not by excess:for ALLAH loves not the wasters.

Quraan Chapter 6 v.141

Islam expresses great concern for the environment. A number of verses in the Quran and the sayings of Prophet Muhammad have addressed this issue. Islam’s solution to environmental problems lies in man’s adaptation of its guidance. Allaah has stated that He made all the material objects on earth for man’s use, not for his abuse.

Eco Islam is dear to my heart, wrote about it here.

I have really excellent Muslim comrades, well and Christians, etc....religion in non fundamentalist forms is a force for good including social justice and ecology.

According to the Quran, humans are entrusted to be the maintainers of the earth and the only species able to burden this responsibility. If there is any place on the planet to which Muslims should offer this protection, surely it should be their holiest sites of Mecca and Medina?

However, during the Islamic pilgrimage, Hajj, most Muslims have to sidestep plastic bottles, used diapers and food packaging in order to complete their pilgrimage.

Kristiane Backer, a television presenter, author and eco-Muslim, explains that "most Muslims are not aware of the innate nature of environmentalism within Islam, just as, generally, most people aren't aware of the importance of protecting the environment".

According to Backer, shedding cultural attitudes and ecological indifference is vital in developing a sustainable Hajj.

In order for pilgrims to fulfil their religious obligation, without jeopardising their responsibility to the environment, local Saudi authorities might consider offering recycling points for food containers and installing drinking fountains in key areas.

But litter is not the only obstacle to a more sustainable Hajj. Nearly three million Muslims perform Hajj each year, a pilgrimage which is required once of all able-bodied Muslims who can afford it. Many Muslims complete Hajj several times, travelling thousands of miles by airplane in order to duplicate an experience that is required only once.

Excessive pilgrimages

Rianne ten Veen, a Muslim environmentalist, is concerned about the number of times that people complete Hajj.

"Several of the people I met there asked, 'How many times have you been? Only once?… This is my fifteenth time'." She adds, "But this is supposed to be a journey of a lifetime."

A century ago, when more eco-friendly transport was still widely used and the number of pilgrims was far lower, repeat trips might have been understandable, if less practical.

But today, pilgrims – particularly those who live far from Saudi Arabia – should consider the ecological damage caused every time they fly several thousand miles to Mecca. The Muslim Prophet only completed Hajj once and if a single trip was adequate for him, it should be sufficient to those who wish to mirror him.

Multiple pilgrimages are excessive and unnecessary, particularly if pilgrims stay in five-star lodgings. This is often considered the ultimate Hajj experience, coupling spirituality with luxury.

But money wasted on penthouse suites and yearly pilgrimages could be better spent on helping people who have yet to complete the pilgrimage to fulfil the fifth pillar of Islam


'It was a grand, exhilarating, and hopeful day'

just got this, incidently I am speaking at a Worthing Forest Rally, 14 May, pic is not Sussex but gets the spirit of the thing.

Sussex Keep Our Forests Public

Forest lovers celebrate first victory in a long campaign against public forest privatisation

Exactly 100 people enjoyed a 'grand day out' of celebration, discussion and forest rambling to mark the government's climb-down from its proposal for the total privatisation of the English Forestry Commission's estates, and to steel ourselves for a long year of campaigning against job and funding cuts and backtracking on the no-sales pledge by the government.

People came from Seaford, Eastbourne, Lewes and Hastings, as well as from Brighton, and a contingent from Red Rope, the socialist walking and climbing network, came down from London. Supporters from 38 Degrees and from Save Our Woods, the new on-line campaigning organisations, joined the event and filmed it !!

Kate Ashbrook, General Secretary of the Open Spaces Society, and Tony Whitbread, Director of the Sussex Wildlife Trust, spoke at the rally, with Dave Bangs, KOFP's co-founder.

Tony stressed the way that the Forestry Commission managed their woodland 'multi-functionally' to provide a range of 'ecosystem services' - from supporting and enhancing wildlife in as naturalistic settings as possible, to access and recreation, and local climate amelioration, flood risk reduction and water resource management. He argued that the substantial size (one in fifty acres, nationally) and diversity of the public forest estate was necessary to deliver these services. The Forestry Commisson, he said, was very different nowadays from the past, when they had been forced to confine themselves to the simple planting of serried ranks of conifers.

Kate said that although the government now has no immediate plans to sell the estate, it may starve it of cash by severely reducing the Forestry Commission’s budget, which could put the management and protection of these wonderful woodlands at risk. She saw a great opportunity in the government's appointment of the new 'Independent Panel on Forestry Policy' (which reports in the autumn) for us to press for a statutory right of public access to ALL woodland, whether private or public, such as already exists for mountains, moors, heaths, downs, and commons under the CROW Act (Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000). The new Panel's terms of reference oblige them to give consideration to just such public benefits.

Dave argued that the members of the government's new Independent Panel had a majority of representatives of organisations that had a conflict of interest with the Panel's independance because they represented landowning conservation NGO's or private landowning interests that stood to gain by 'cherry-picking' the Forestry Commission's estates. Not a single representative of the array of forest defence organisations or of the Forestry Commission's trade unions was on the Panel. The government's climb-down on privatisation was because of the huge grassroots campaign of opposition, he said, and the conservation NGO's had "not so much as lifted a finger to support our campaign", quoting Jonathan Porritt, the environmental campaigner.

After the rally we walked up through the Forest to its northern part, where a partnership of the Sussex Wildlife Trust and the Forestry Commission is overseeing the creation of a large area of 'wood pasture' grazed by the Trust's white park cattle, to enhance the wildlife interest of the Forest.

Tony then led us to a high viewpoint on Fore Down, looking over Lullington Heath National Nature Reserve, where he explained the management and enhancement opportunities for Friston Forest and its neighbouring downland.

It was a grand, exhilarating, and hopeful day.

Adam Ramsay freed this evening.

Over 20 hours in police cells for non violent direct action against tax dogers says it all.

Good for Adam.

UK uncuts people had shoes and clothes taken away and were spread across London police station.

Repression if you ask me, shows they are being effective.

Lets support them against the tax dodgers

Adam writes for Bright Green here, take a look.

Green Party's Adam Ramsay still in police cells for Fortnum and Mason protest

I believe Adam Ramsay is still in police cells after taking part in a totally non violent UK Uncuts protest yesterday at Fortnum and Mason.

The judicial system protects the corporations and the mass media largely acts to support the elite.

Hope he is free soon.

Buy the man a drink.

A great example of what really political greens should be doing.

Bright Green Scotland that he contributes to goes from strength to strength.


You May Ask

You may as well ask why they would assault Jody Macintyre, put Alfie Meadows in hospital, punch a fifteen year old boy, and rough up teenage girls. It is because it is their job to contain threats to 'public order', and they see violence and intimidation against selected groups of identified 'troublemakers' and 'ringleaders' as the most effective means of doing so. History would suggest that they are not wrong. That's one reason why the people who suffer from police violence and harrassment need to our solidarity. It's also why it is vitally important not to fall into the knee-jerk, at best disproportionate, denunciations of 'violence' against property. Because in doing so, you corroborate the police's narrative and alibi. You displace the proper focus on far more serious and potentially lethal violence inflicted by people who are armed and trained in its application - I don't know how bad things got tonight, but they are going to kill someone one day if things continue in this direction. And you thus assist the weakening and intimidation of your movement. Earlier today, I was listening to a policeman complain to a member of the public that people confuse the police with the government, and forget they're public sector workers. I thought, but did not say, that it's easy to forget when the police spend all their time attacking the government's opponents with big sticks. On which note, this is doing the rounds on Twitter: "Unconfirmed reports that forces loyal to Cameron are attacking rebels in Trafalgar square."


26 Mar 2011

Massive police violence in Trafalgar Square

Getting nasty, will no doubt be mis reported by the media.

PennyRed Laurie Penny
Just saw a police officer use a baton on a crying unarmed 19 year old girl. #march26

History repeats:

A demonstration was called for 13 November 1887 by the Metropolitan Radical Federation and the Irish National League to protest against repression in Ireland, the imprisonment of Irish MPs and to assert the right to free speech. Public meetings had been banned from Trafalgar Square a few days earlier and when the 20,000 demonstrators, organised in marches from all over London, converged on the Square, they fought with the mounted and foot police. The Riot Act was read and mounted armed troopers called in. There were a large number of injuries on both sides, but two demonstrators died of their injuries and 160 served prison sentences. A wide spectrum of radicals had been in the demonstration including George Bernard Shaw, John Burns, Eleanor Marx and William Morris. The following week a bystander, Alfred Linnell, was trampled and killed by mounted police in the Square.


Telegraph journalist endorses killing of TUC cuts protesters

Surprised to see Telegraph journalist advocating the killing of protesters here, but hey its happening in places like Bahrain and Saudi, often with British weapons.

Is this a genuine tweet from James Delingpole?

James Delingpole
Surely the RAF could afford to divert one Typhoon from Libya for a humanitarian strike on Hyde Park?

Trafalgar Square occupied!

Mark Bergfeld's campaign has worked and as I blog Trafalgar Square is occupied by protesters and is now Tahrir.

Well done Mark.

Party atmosphere, come on down!

Today we were 500,000

Great march today.

Joined an unofficial feeder march at Kennington Park with the Latin Americans against the cuts group.

Met up with Green Left and friends who squatted Gaddaffi's house.

Really lovely to see some many friends including Martin Empson (whose new anti-nuclear booklet I will review soon!)

Took almost an hour to march down Whitehall because there were so many of us.

The policing seemed ok, too many of us to kettle or more intelligent policing?

Glad to hear UK uncuts occupied Fortnum and Mason.

Favourite slogan 'We are many, you are few' heard outside parliament.

Microsoft switches off privacy for Hotmail users in war-torn and repressive states

For reasons unknown, Microsoft has changed the settings on Hotmail to disable HTTPS for users in several countries including Bahrain, Morocco, Algeria, Syria, Sudan, Iran, Lebanon, Jordan, Congo, Myanmar, Nigeria, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, and Kyrgyzstan. Hotmail users in those countries can now be readily spied upon by ISPs and their governments. The Electronic Frontier Foundation has some good perspective



Just had this from Schnews, so you later people

Wednesday's budget was another banker-friendly cop-out, with a
cut in corporation tax (like they don't make enough from tax
avoidance...), designed to encourage the multi-nationals to set up in
the UK, while ordinary people feel the brunt of the spending cuts. The
freezes in fuel and aviation tax may be a PR-friendly concession for
the Ford Focus, Florida holidaying classes, but the massive anti-cuts
sentiment has been once again ignored by the Con-dems.

Don't despair though, on Saturday 26th March the TUC will be
leading the masses into the revolution. The so-called 'March for
The Alternative' will gather on Victoria Embankment from 11am
aiming to arrive in Hyde Park shortly around 1:30pm for a speech by
Milliband the Younger. You can then get a coach home and vote Labour
at the next available opportunity, after all it's about time
they had a turn.

If that's not quite enough for you there are a number of other
activities that are planned, however 'There are no official
feeder marches!' so don't get carried away by ideas of
autonomy or empowerment. Despite this here's a run-down of just
some of the fun things to do in London:

The Radical Workers' bloc will assemble 11am Kensington Park,
11.30am march over Westminster Bridge, 12pm march to Hyde Park.
Nearest tube Oval. See www.afed.org.uk

The Education bloc (including militant workers' and anarchist
blocs) will assemble 10am Universtiy of London Union, Malet St.
Apparently anarcho types should follow the banners and sound-systems
which will end up at Oxford St. at 2pm. Nearest tube Goodge St. (more
info see www.studentassembly.org.uk)

'Occupy For the Alternative' called by UK Uncut, will form
up at 11.30am at the National Theatre on the South Bank, heading to
Oxford St. for 2pm for a variety of occupations and actions, then
gathering at Oxford Circus for a mass occupation of a top secret
target. Nearest tube Oxford Circus. (more info see www.ukuncut.org.uk)

Pink and Black Bloc called by Queer Resistance. Soho Square, London
W1D, 10am moving off 10.30am to Cambridge Circus then on to the main
march. Nearest tube Tottenham Court Rd.

Dissident feeder march Cable Street, E1, 11am. Nearest tube Shadwell
or Aldgate East.

Women's bloc. Meet 10am Royal Courts of Justice, The Strand.
Wear purple and green bring noise making equipment. Nearest tube
Temple. For more details Twitter @WACLon or call 07582288913 on the

North London feeder march Lincoln Inn Fields at 11am. Nearest tube
There'll be an IWW rally by Park Lane fountain, Hyde Park

Missed out on getting busted at Earl St? Get down to the Big Society
HQ - a squatted convergence space at 61 Curzon Street and you too
could win a stale pasty and £3,500 courtesy of the Met. Nearest
tube Green Park. (more info see http://reallyfreeschool.org)

Resist 26! (Chris Knight - see SchNEWS nutter-alert 942) are calling
for 'peoples occupation' of Hyde Park. They want people to
bring sound-systems, car batteries, lighting, food etc. (see

All in all expect heavy policing, intrusive surveillance, stewards
collaborating with police, confusion, chaos, kettling and just
possibly something to make the day worth while. See you on the

* See Indymedia.org.uk for a full listing of the day's action.

25 Mar 2011

Secret sex police spy Simon Wellings outed by mobile phone miscall

Newsnight have undercovered yet another sex policeman....he was noting down the preferences of Globalize Resistance activists.

The conversation involving Mr Wellings took place in 2005, and was recorded when the officer accidentally telephoned another of the group's members without knowing he had done so.

The other member failed to pick up, so the call was diverted to their answer phone, which then recorded the conversation.

In what sounds like a police station we hear the officer apparently going through photographs of Globalise Resistance demonstrators with a colleague.

Mr Wellings identifies those he can and gives personal information about them, including their sexual orientation.

At one point, for instance, he tells the other officer: "She's Hannah's girlfriend - very overt lesbian - last time I saw her, hair about that long, it was blonde, week before it was black."

Guy Taylor, from Globalise Resistance, complains that the information is "very personal and nothing to do with the political outlook of our group".

The Wellings tape also suggests that such information is fed to CO11, the Met Police unit which deploys Forward Intelligence Teams (FITs) to photograph demonstrators.


‘There is an alternative it’s called TUC get off your knees.’

The TUC demonstration in London on March 26th has the banner title of ‘There is an alternative’.

And there is. This should be the day we say "Defy the cuts, confront the anti union laws and follow the lead given by the students by supporting walkouts and occupations."

Jerry Hicks, who came second on a strong and uncompromising platform in the election for General Secretary the country’s biggest Trade Union ‘Unite’ said: " We deserve better from our side. Barber [Brendan] just doesn’t cut it. Last week he [Barber] said, The phoney war is over. What phoney war? What we know is that unemployment is at its highest for 17 years!"

Jerry Hicks went on to say " Ed Milliband has been propelled to Labour leader on the votes of trade unionists, which makes him the leader of the opposition, yet he goes along with cuts [just not so deep]. He supports war no matter what the cost, but would not support what he calls ‘irresponsible strikes’, insulting all those who are prepared to fight. He needs to look up the word opposition to see what it means. Maybe as trade unions we should only cough up our cash when he does right by us."

"I know who the enemy is. It was the bosses of the banks and financial institutions that caused this crisis and we, the taxpayers bailed them out. That’s why we should not pay the price in cuts to jobs, pay, and services. Nor should we be being forced to pay more, to work longer for poorer pensions."

The Con Dem government are ‘hell bent’ on a cuts agenda, but there should be no cuts at all. The very rich and big business owes us the debt and they should be paying the price. They have failed to pay £120 billion in non-collected tax. Well collect it! Tax the banking bosses’ bonuses along with the profits of big business. End the foreign adventures; bring the troops and warplanes home.

But words alone will achieve nothing so what comes after the march is the big question. Will the TUC be like the ‘Grand Old Duke of York’ marching us to the top of the hill, simply to march back down again. If our side doesn’t get off its knees then we will be the first generation ever to hand down a worse society to the next.

The TUC and unions like my own Unite, needs to be member controlled instead of being stuffed full of appointed careerists. That’s one of the reasons I am supporting ‘Grass Roots Left’ candidates in the current unite NEC elections.

People power can, has and does change things just as when over a million people broke the law and refused to pay the Poll Tax, smashing both it and Margaret Thatcher. Throughout the Middle East and North Africa, people are risking everything to challenge old orders.

The employed and unemployed, pensioners and students, we are at a watershed moment. If we were to inspire a fraction of these millions to organise and fight, we would be unbeatable.

How are we to be judged by the children of tomorrow?

Meet me in Kennington Park, 11am amigoes!

Christians Bail-In Against the Cuts

Christians concerned about the cuts will be holding an ecumenical service in Barclays on 16-17 Tottenham Court Road, W1T 1BH at 2pm. Be in the store at 2pm and join in when you here “O Come All Ye Faithful” start.

The British taxpayer bailed-out the banks with £1 trillion of public money and they haven’t paid us back. So now we are bailing-in and transforming this Barclays into a church. Churches play a vital role in supporting thousands of communities across the country, and we want to show the millionaires in cabinet that we know what their cuts are doing to our communities and they should be making the banks pay, not our communities and congregations.

Barclays was founded by Christians – Quakers to be precise. It's early success was at least in part due to the reputation the Quakers had as fair and honest people. But just last month Barclays paid £3.5bn in bonuses, with average pay per employee in the investment banking division rising to £236,000 – that's ten times the UK's average salary. It was this greed, and the recklessness of the banks, that caused the economic crisis. Yet the government are making ordinary people pay the price. David Cameron himself has said that the cuts will change Britain's "whole way of life". We call on the bankers and the government to act fairly and honestly to ensure that the banks that caused this crisis pay.

This will be an ecumenical service, and we will be praying in solidarity with those affected by the cuts and for the banks and government to listen to Jesus's message of justice. The liturgy for the service will include a sermon, Bible readings, silent reflection and a closing litany. If you want to contribute something for the service, please email christiansagainstcuts@gmail.com .


24 Mar 2011

Keep safe, bust card and legal advice for March 26th

Legal Defence & Monitoring Group [LDMG]
Please forward urgently to your members, and to all anti-cuts networks throughout London and the UK

March 26 Demonstration
Some important legal information for all contingents

Please see attached a copy of the Bust Card for March 26. Please print it out (2 sided / 8 per A4 sheet) and distribute to all members of your contingent.

Legal Observers in orange bibs with 'Legal Observer' written on them will distribute 50,000 extra Bust Cards on March 26th. These Legal Observers are volunteers and are totally independent from the police and march organisers. They will be there solely in support of those attending the demonstration. Please note that there will also be Legal Observers from 'Liberty' wearing green bibs who will be 'monitoring' the events generally, but NOT doing legal support work.

Due to the scale of the event the Legal Observers handing out Bust Cards will not be able to reach all those participating, so they are sending out this important information in advance - please forward to your members and networks throughout the UK.

We advise every group and contingent to chose a Legal Support person from one of their members attending. Such a person could distribute Bust Cards to colleagues and others nearby (please print out plenty of copies of the attachment to distribute). They should carry a note book and ensure, in the event of any arrest or police harassment of marchers, that:

- information is collated (eg. name/description of person, time, place, ID nos of police involved and any aggressive behaviour by them)
- witnesses identified and contact details taken
- good legal representation is arranged (see the recommended solicitors' phone numbers on the Bust Card)
- follow-up support offered by your group if needed in the days/weeks after the demonstration.

Such information should be held in confidence, used solely for the purpose of supporting a participant, and should be shared only with them and their legal representative for that purpose.

* * * * * * * * * * * *

March 26th
[Extended version]

If you are arrested
- You have the right to free legal advice at the police station
- You have the right to have someone notified you’re in custody
- You have the right to read the PACE code of practice C which lists all your rights
- You have a right to silence. Say “No Comment” to all questions in a police interview
- An appropriate adult must be called to the police station if you appear to be under 17.

Recommended solicitors (please note the phone numbers)
Bindmans 0207 833 4433
Hodge Jones and Allen 07659 111 192

Legal Advice - Stop and Search
- Before searching you a Constable must give you their name and police station, the power they are searching you under and the reason they are searching you.
- You do not have to give your name and address or answer police questions under any stop and search power.
- If you witness an arrest, write down what happened as soon as possible afterwards. Court cases may take place months or even years later so it’s vital you record what happened while it’s fresh in your memory.

Other support
On the day if you witness an arrest or want support contact our Legal Support office: 07946 541 511.
The office will be active as long as needed.

For more info on the law and the groups producing this Bust Card
- Legal Defence and Monitoring Group: http://www.ldmg.org.uk/- Green And Black Cross: http://greenandblackcross.org/legal

23 Mar 2011

University staff in 'orgy of self-congratulation and cowardice'

Just saw this, little out of date but in Con Dem Britain, its screw the majority so a minority can enjoy the spoils

Jonathan Silvertown says:
December 5, 2010 at 10:43 pm
Dear UCL Occupiers,
I am a Professor at the Open University. A week ago last Thursday (Nov 25th) I sat down to dinner in the Grosvenor House Hotel in Park Lane with 1,200 other university staff to celebrate the achievements of higher education during the last year. My university and yours both went home with awards, but I am ashamed of what happened that night. David Willets, Minister for Higher Education gave an address in which he made the wholesale destruction of higher education sound like a minor inconvenience that, with his help, we would all get over. Earlier the same day he had announced the cancellation of Aim Higher, a scheme that widens access to universities. Did Willets’ speech have Vice Chancellors, Professors and senior administrators choking on their canapes, jumping on the tables and howling him down? On the contrary, he was met with polite applause and left the podium smiling. Most of us in that room paid no university fees at all to obtain our degrees and many enjoyed maintenance grants (not loans) too. Everyone was enjoying a dinner that cost £200 a head. No one said a word out loud about the theft of affordable higher education from your generation and those to come. Not even me. So, I have made a donation to your cause equivalent to the price of a seat at that disgraceful orgy of self-congratulation and cowardice. Anyone else who was there and supports you (and I am sure that there were many others) should do the same.


Death to knowledge

Death to Knowledge is the striking title of a piece of work from Marina de Stacpoole, an innovative artist who combines strong images with political critique in her new exhibition opening in April. It is inspired by the UK government’s assault on arts and culture. A banking crisis caused by lack of regulation after decades of neo-liberal economics is being used to justify an even more market based system in the UK. £bns of spending cuts are being made, justified by government debt as a way of rolling back the state and introducing corporate control. The debt excuse is hollow, taxes are being cut for businesses and money can be found to bomb Libya and fund the banks. This weeks budget is to announce that Britain’s much loved National Health Service is to be dismantled with profit making corporations brought into run hospitals.


TUC ban Caroline Lucas MP from speaking

The only politician to have been given a platform at the 26 March anti-cuts rally in London is Ed Miliband. Miliband wrote Labour's 2010 election manifesto, which promised the same cuts as the coalition, but over 6 years, not 4 1/2. People are marching on 26 March for a different kind of politics, not for Ed. Why isn't Caroline Lucas allowed to speak?

Because the TUC don't want to give a platfom to anyone but the neo Labour.

TUC fail!

Sample letter here


Dear Mr Barber,

As a member of a local branch of UNISON, a member of political party and an anti-cuts campaigner, I was shocked and appalled to hear that Ed Milliband MP is the only speaker from a political party on the 26th March. I am utterly ashamed and disgusted by this sectarian move to allow a platform for political speech only to the leader of a political party that has been advocating cuts, lead the way to the privatization of our beloved public services for over a decade & publicly spoke out against the march.

Caroline Lucas MP is the one sane voice in parliament, calling for the end of tax evasion, abolishing trident, bringing the troops home from Afghanistan and increases in taxation on the rich. These are the policies the TUC should be supporting.

It seems that this isn't going to be a march for an alternative after all, but a march for more failed policies and favors a particular political party. I am writing to urge you to reconsider your decision because trade unions using the anti-cuts movement to promote a single party is a failure to pluralistic politics, slavery to the conservative ideological of a lot of Labour policies and simply and truly un-trade unionist.

It is an utter shame and disgrace on the TUC to have acted in such a manner.

Stuart Jeffery

22 Mar 2011

Zizek on the picket line supports UCU strike

Well good to see him supporting all those of us taking industrial action at the University of London today.

Some splendid sentiments in A typical essay from the hombre

The system react with characteristic venom. The same is true of the UCU strike itself – the press will be at pains to describe its actants as bedraggled, ugly, Trotskyite perverts, ivory tower intellectuals and so on to stress the traditional association of political opposition with ugliness – the same will be true, we predict without checking, of the right-wing reaction to Saturday. We have already seen Labour and Conservative politicians dip into their stores of insult, ‘retards’ among the most well know, to describe anti-cuts protesters disrupting council meetings.

Gaga perhaps anticipates this in the closing section of the essay on the monstrous. Considering Montaigne essay on ‘deformity’ she notes that like public nudity, what is ‘deformed’ is only an effect of social constructions of the body, just as nudity is only sexual, and therefore mass nudity only problematic for the New York police due to this social formation. Emphatically Gaga notes ‘we call contrary to nature what we call contrary to custom’, ‘we only accept the regular and it is this which blinds us from seeing the prodigy of what we have never seen before’. The greatest lie of capitalism is perhaps its naturalisation – the idea that it is simply the law of nature that it is this way. The cuts cannot be helped, just as capitalism cannot be helped. Deborah Orr, at the high of the student protests displays this logic with stunning clarity. “Fiscal discipline really is necessary”, Orr opines “The truth is that they [so-called "adults" failing to protest] are too wise to waste their energy on something so silly. Protesting against the cuts is like protesting against water’s stubborn habit of flowing downwards”. My God! The bleak hand of capitalist realism! Protesting cuts is equivalent to being against the direction of the fundamental laws of the cosmos!


The Plan : Take London!

1. Occupy Hyde Park!

In the Dual Power / Resist 26 meeting of the 26th Feb, it was agreed that Hyde Park although not a political target is the best place to unify people and gain the maximum amount of support from the TUC marchers. Many people will be skipping the march to set up things at Hyde Park (Marble Arch Corner) and make things comfortable.

2. At 2:11pm take over, strike, occupy, release all hell.

It was agreed that a synchronised signal would stretch police more making harder to kettle different groups at the same time also the maximum amount of people will be around Whitehall at around 2pm. With plenty more to still pass Parliament. Therefore 2:11pm (easy to remember because of 2011) is the moment to strike!

Everyone will set up areas of autonomous resistance, where each individual or group can engage in whatever sort of protest they want, or just have a good dance.

Equipment required: smoke flares, foghorns, football rattles, paintbombs, air raid sirens, megaphones, kettles, camping stoves, quick cuppa tea, blitz spirit!

3. Take the Pentacle of five points!

Occupy the following zones and make them into outposts of resistance in a wider area of London.

The points are as follows:

A.Parliament Square
B.Trafalgar Square
C.Buckingham Palace
D.Piccadilly Circus
E.Hilton Hyde Park
More information coming soon.


artsauthors | March 22, 2011 at 11:http://wp.me/p1cz3y-rJ

Facebook have kindly cancelled the facebook events (Stay 4 One Day, Seed Drop etc) not to mention accounts that were linked to the events. Apparently we aren’t allowed our own facebook revolution (too many paid advertisers in the west) :D

Please help us get the word out by posting on your blogs, tweeting and changing your facebook status to the following in solidarity!

“PLS SPREAD! Hyde Park Occupation is still on, cops closed FB event and accounts. More information http://www.resist26.org

21 Mar 2011

I am marching with my Latin America comrades!

I am marching with my Latin America comrades!

Just had this statement for 26th March meet up!

We oppose the cuts being imposed to the working class and want to raise our voice together with other migrant communities and with the native working class.

The meeting point is Kennington Park at 11:00 am (near Oval tube station). We will have COLACOR guides throughout the park. We will be wearing an item with the SCISSORS AND THE FIST IMAGE.

Once you see a member of our network, please come to us and register so that we can:

1) Hand out necessary material for the march: Sheet with slogans, Bust card (key emergency info), route map, whistles and fliers to be used
2) Gather a large contingent of people behind the massive COLACOR banner
3) We will do sing and dance alongs. If you want to join this, with us you can practice
4) If your children want to put on costumes, when you come to the group you will be able to get that.

This will be a joyful event, for the whole family, come along with your friends, workmates, neighbours, parents, grandparents. EVERYONE is welcome, because TOGETHER WE ARE MORE.

In this march, we, as Latin American, want to raise our voices, to be listened. For us NO ONE IS ILLEGAL and WE are WORKERS, NOT criminals. This is why we want to become visible and to show our solidarity with all workers and people no matter where they come from.


This is only the beginning of the fight. Our fighting spirit as Latin Americans wants to be a flame ready to ignite at the 26th March and beyond. We need to build a wide and inclusive movement that not only opposes the cuts, but STOPS them.


March 26th, its Oxford Street 2PM

I am joining UK UNCUT at 2pm on saturday as part of the day of action against the cuts.

Marching is not enough.

And I am supporting the efforts to Tahrir Trafalgar Square.

20 Mar 2011

Saudi Women Revolution Statement

The repressive and ridiculous regime in Saudi Arabia needs over throwing.

Wahhabism is fundamentalism that distorts Islam, women in Saudi Arabia have fewer rights than at the time of Mohammed.

Imagine calling a country after a family.

Politicians in the UK love the Saudi regime arming it, paying huge bribes and changing UK law to make this happen.

The women are mobilising and will keep mobilising until they have victory.

Do like on facebook and spread the word.

Just had this, let everyone know and challenge UK government support for the corrupt and decaying House of Saud.

After the recent importance of Social Media in creating change in our societies, a lot of Saudi women have been active on Twitter through the hash tag #SaudiWomenRevoltion to write their demands of applying social equality in Saudi society, giving examples and telling stories on the injustice they are facing in their society.

Media has talked about this hash tag but did not care to push this cause forward. Saudi Women, however, have created a page for their revolution on Facebook and talked to several media means to support their legal and legitimate human rights to fight sexism in their society. Thus, this following statement comes as a document that gathers different demands from the Saudi Women Revolution online writings to be sent to different human rights organizations and media means.

First – Women cannot have their rights until the system of Male Guardianship is completely taken off the laws and rules of the Saudi state. The Male Guardian or "Mahram" is the father, brother, husband, or even son who has all the legal rights to control a Saudi woman's life in different ways. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has promised the Human Rights Council of the United Nations in June 2009 to cancel Male Guardianship and to end Sexism in the country, but these promises remain unaccomplished. Saudi women mostly suffer from the Male Guardianship because of the following reasons:

- The Saudi Woman cannot work or apply to a job without the permission of her legal male guardian.

- The Saudi Woman does not have the right to travel without her "Mahram" or without his written permission. The Ministry of interior affairs has decided to permit women who are over 45 years in age to travel without a male guardian or his permission; however, airport officials did not apply the decision, as the Human Rights watch stated in its report in April 2008.

- The Saudi Woman cannot receive education without the permission of her male guardian and cannot travel to receive education abroad without his permission even if she was awarded a scholarship from the state. The Saudi woman also suffers from the limited academic majors although she has proved a better educational performance than the Saudi man as the official statistics show.

- The Saudi woman does not have the rights of marriage and divorce without the permission from her male guardian. Saudi Arabia has had different examples of how women suffered from this system in particular. Human Rights Watch 2010 report stated two incidents of men marrying off their sisters five times to get money, in Braida and Riyadh.

- The Saudi Woman does not have the right to follow and finish her official documents and papers without the permission of her male guardian including her cases in court. Human Rights Watch 2010 report mentioned a woman named Sawsan Salim in Qasim who was punished with 300 lashes and one year and a half in jail for showing up to court without a "Mahram". Justice ministry itself has promised in February 2010 to permit women to work as lawyers, but the promise is still not fulfilled.

- The Saudi woman cannot have medical surgery without the permission of her male guardian. Women have talked a lot about the damages done because of this system. Human Rights Watch report stated in July 2009 that Saudi women need a "Mahram" to enter and leave the hospital. If no "Mahram" showed up to get her out of the hospital, she will stay in until someone does so.

- The Saudi Woman cannot make a bank account for her kids, enroll them in schools, ask for their school files, or travel with them without the permission of her male guardian.


Jody McIntyre 'war is peace'

The war-mongerers are at it again, or the peace-mongerers should I say? That is why we should bomb Libya; to tear down the tyrant Gaddafi, to establish peace and to ‘liberate’ the Libyan people.

The Bahraini government destroyed the Pearl Roundabout this week, hoping to erase the stain of the uprising from it’s memory, but thousands continue to march in the villages of Sitra and Daih, mourning their dead from a bloody crackdown. The Saudi occupying army set up check-points and road-blocks whenever they like; Al Jazeera aren’t so keen anymore, because Qatari forces are also there. In Yemen, President Saleh was responsible for a massacre of his people in Sanaa, the capital. The following day, protesters were shot at and killed in Aden. None of these actions will result in foreign intervention – except, of course, for intervention aimed to keep the rulers in power, as is the case in Bahrain.

I cannot celebrate the establishment of a no-fly zone over Libya, because we have seen, and are seeing, what it will lead to. Make no mistake, this is the launch of a war on Libya. And we all know why; Libya has one thing that the people of Bahrain and Yemen don’t, oil.

Of course, I fully support the Libyan people, who have risen up to throw off the chains of the Gaddafi dictatorship. They were inspired by the revolutionaries in neighbouring Tunisia and Egypt, not by the states currently offering to help, the same states who sold Gaddafi the weapons they now fear are so dangerous. They have resisted so bravely, and inspired us all in the process. But bombing the country will not ‘liberate’ them.

Imagine if we’d seen a solution based on an army of revolutionaries crossing across the borders from Tunisia and Egypt, fresh from their own revolutions, to support their Libyan brothers and sisters. Instead we have British, American and French military armies, imposing their will by brute force.


Art Threat Afghan War Rugs

The tapestries include images of tanks, helicopters, kalashnikovs, rocket launchers and other weaponry, as well as maps of Afghanistan and flags of various countries involved in the Afghan conflict.

These photos come without any description, so we are left speculating as to who created them and why. My hypothesis is that these rugs are produced by Afghans with the intention of selling them to foreign military personel.

What do you think? Are these rugs folk art war souvenirs? Or something else altogether?

Found this on Art Threat which is a consistent source of wonders.

More rugs here

Guess Libyan carpets will be next.

Clare Solomon interview

Quite good for the Guardian, once they sack Rory Carroll, I might even start buying it again.

The comments as usual are very abusive, trolls like to trawl the net.

Major events often throw up unexpected figureheads, and the student protests in November were no exception: from among the masses of students flowing past Downing Street, manning the barricades in Parliament Square and shouting at the TV cameras, one face stood out. It wasn't that of Aaron Porter, president of the NUS, who played things safe, condemning outbreaks of violence, but that of a 37–year-old mature student who had walked into an undefended Millbank Tower and, along with many others, took up residence there, dancing and singing. "Before we knew it," Clare Solomon writes in Springtime: The New Student Rebellions, published by Verso at the end of this month, "windows were being broken and fires lit to keep warm while we celebrated the rebirth of the student movement."


Climate week sponsored by RBS is like an animal welfare project being supported by a butcher

#Climateweek sponsored by RBS, is like an animal welfare project being supported by a butcher, insane but that's the world we live in.

If people work for our climate like the indigenous in a serious way they get killed, beaten and destroyed, in contrast climate week is pr support for corporations.

Nasty, sad that the Transition Town people seem so naive to cooption.

So why have I decided to stay in? Partially because I don’t see what we gain by labeling others as being solely responsible for what we all face, when engaging in modern life means that we end up participating in the systems which of course include banks and supermarkets. Also I’d like to get the chance to continue the discussion about climate change and the tar sands, and in particular to raise with RBS how their actions are viewed by people active on climate change in communities around the world. Similarly, I’d like to raise with Tesco not only how sustainable and resilient their business model is in the long term for Tesco, but also what its wider impact is.

There’s another, linked, discussion that’s important to me about what leadership could mean. Over and over again, when people discuss how to respond to the challenges we’re facing, a lack of leadership comes up. My thinking about this was helped by a distinction made by Margaret Wheatley and Deborah Frieze in a recent article between “leader-as-hero” and “leader-as-host”. They argue that we shouldn’t be looking for leaders who are visionary, inspiring, brilliant and trustworthy to follow and that the idea of such heroic leadership rests on the illusion that someone, somewhere, can be in control. In contrast, they suggest that hosting leaders create change by relying on everyone’s creativity, commitment and generosity – and if I win this award, I’ll talk about that, as for me it is core to what underpins Transition.


19 Mar 2011

Lorraine on the bus

It is impossible to overstate how important it is that you take Lorraine’s example, and get people along to the march on the 26th. You don’t know about it? Then watch this video of Lorraine.

March for the Alternative takes place on Saturday 26th March. You must not miss this. It is your chance to register your disapproval, but, more importantly, to make the point, loud and clear, that we all know that these cuts are unnecessary. There is an alternative. We know it. They know it. Let’s show them who has the numbers.

So, be like Lorraine. Get people to march. Print out these flyers. Print out ten of them, and give them to colleagues at work, or people on the bus. Make sure everyone knows where they need to be on 26th March. if you’re working that day, make sure someone else is there instead of you.

March for the alternative, comrades.


Aaron Porter, disgraced NUS President, loses bid to become Leicester South MP

UPDATE: Porter didn't make it on to short list, see here

Jon Ashworth is the Labour Party candidate for Leicester South.

I am not sure how much intervention there is from the NEC, I am guessing if you
won as a socialist you would be cut out by them?

Can the left take part in internal Labour Party contests?

How do the short lists work?

I was shocked that John McDonnell MP failed twice to get
on the ballot paper for Labour leader.

I am not just having a go, all on the left, would benefit from a more left wing Labour Party.

In other news Jenny Jones is the Green Party candidate for London Mayor.

Comments welcome on this!

Zizek and Lady Gaga play joint gig (5pm, 22nd March) in support of strike

I mean I looovveee Lady Gaga, especially her gaytastic pop tunes but is she really coming out on strike with yours truly and the other UCU members....we shall see, just had this (below) which claims she is and will be jamming with Zizek.

I do think sexuality is cultural as well as 'natural' and I don't go for the meat dress, nonetheless....Zizek is great as well.

On Tuesday 22nd and Thursday 24th March the lecturers' union UCU will be on strike.

We ask that students and staff do not cross picket lines on those days, and in general not to take part in any academic activities on campus on these days.

There will also be a rally at 12:30 in Torrington Square (just outside Birkbeck) and most excitingly at 5pm there will be a teach-out on cuts and the university with speakers including special guests LADY GAGA and SLAVOJ ZIZEK, who are both great supporters of the strike.

The strikes have been called because university employers are attempting to reduce the pension benefits provided to university and college lecturers. But though this is an unacceptable attack on pay and conditions, for most UCU members this is about more than pensions. Like students, UCU members think that cuts to the education grant and the new fees are unacceptable. These strikes allow them to demonstrate their discontent in the run up to the huge march to defend public services called for March 26th..


arms company pimps are us!

Viridis Lumen has left a new comment on your post "Saudi weapons used to attack Bahrain protesters ma...":

They revoked arms sales licenses in February 2011 - nothing like too little, too late! And at the very same time, UK Ministers were at the biggest ever IDEX international arms fayre just across the Gulf in Abu Dhabi pushing Ocelots, which are new style armoured personnel vehicles...

18 Mar 2011

Saudi weapons used to attack Bahrain protesters made in Britain

Saudi Arabia has sent scores of UK-made armoured personnel carriers into Bahrain to aid the government's bloody suppression of pro-democracy protesters. The Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) has criticised the UK government for allowing the sale of the armoured vehicles, made by BAE Systems.

The vehicles, marketed as Tacticas, were manufactured by BAE Systems Land Systems Division in Newcastle-upon-Tyne with final assembly taking place in Belgium.

The Saudi Arabia National Guard (SANG) ordered 261 of the vehicles in 2006 for delivery in 2008. Saudi forces entered Bahrain in a convoy of the Tacticas on 13 March, at the invitation of Bahrain's ruling al-Khalifa family.

It seems that the Saudi forces are being held in reserve, leaving the front-line repression of protesters to Bahrain's military.

CAAT’s Kaye Stearman said today (16 March), “It is shameful that a British manufactured armoured vehicle is being used by Saudi Arabia to support repression of peaceful protest in a neighbouring country”.

CAAT called for “an immediate arms embargo on the Middle East and an end to arms exports to all repressive regimes”.

Saudi Arabia has been a major market for UK arms since the 1960s. The majority of contracts have been through the controversial Al-Yamamah arms deals of the mid-1980s, and their successor, the Salam Project, which involved arms giant BAE (formerly British Aerospace).

However, the Tacticas purchase was not part of either package but a separate contract with SANG.

"BAE's contract to supply the Tacticas has been hidden in the shadow of their massive Al Yamamah arms deals,” said Stearman, “But it still runs into millions of pounds worth of lethal weaponry”.

BAE has long faced criticism from NGOs, faith groups and human rights campaigners for arming oppressive regimes around the world. The company is facing allegations of corruption in five continents.

In December, a High Court judge stated in court that BAE appeared to have benefitted from corrupt payments in Tanzania.

Bahrain is also a market for UK arms. In the first nine months of 2010, the UK approved export licenses for over £5 million worth of arms including tear gas and crowd control ammunition, equipment for the use of aircraft cannons, assault rifles, shotguns, sniper rifles and sub-machine guns.

In response to an earlier crackdown on 18 February 2011 the UK government revoked 24 individual licences and 20 open licences to Bahrain.


Killing spree in Yeman, Clegg and Cameron say nothing

Libya has oil.

Yeman is a US ally, so they can kill no problem.

Blood thirsty hypocrites rule!

Aljazeera: #Yemen Dr. from Change Sq. Indicated at least 28 ppl killed and 100's wounded, live bullets on heads & chests! #Sanaa @JamjoomCNN @BBCArabicNews @BBCBreaking @cnnbrk @CBCNews @andersoncooper @WSJ

'I like America and America likes me'

And I like Joseph Beuys, he died in the 1980s, a Green Party radical, he believed in art as political performance.

Highly controversial but always fun in my humble.

Went to see the Tate exhibition of his stuff way back from which this description comes.

I have changed the video, also some of the indigenous references are a bit cheesy, I just think this looks and sounds beautiful, enjoy.....the other video was basically Beuys getting into an ambulence (less fun) but you can click here if you like.

Beuys’s most famous Action took place in May 1974, when he spent three days in a room with a coyote. After flying into New York, he was swathed in felt and loaded into an ambulance, then driven to the gallery where the Action took place, without having once touched American soil. As Beuys later explained: ‘I wanted to isolate myself, insulate myself, see nothing of America other than the coyote.’ The title of the work is filled with irony. Beuys opposed American military actions in Vietnam, and his work as an artist was a challenge to the hegemony of American art.



Windsor Against The Cuts: Public meeting, Tues 22nd March, 7pm, Firestation Arts Centre,

Spread the word my green left ecosocialist friends Marc Green and Dan Cooper are always worth listening to!

Windsor Against The Cuts: Public meeting, Tues 22nd March, 7pm, Firestation Arts Centre, St Leonards Rd, Windsor.

Launch meeting of the newly-formed Windsor Anti-Cuts Alliance. The meeting will bring together local people, activists and trade unionists to discuss alternatives to the cuts and build support for the TUC rally in London on March 26th. Meeting to be addressed by Megan Dobney, Southern and Eastern TUC secretary, Paul Mackney of Coalition of Resistance, Marc Green of East Berks Green Party and Daniel Cooper of Royal Holloway Anti-Cuts Alliance. Please come along and spread the word!

17 Mar 2011

Clare Solomon loses ULU Presidency

By just a 100 votes.

I am gutted, she has been such a briliant campaigner.

A big defeat for students.

Anyway I am sure she will do other important things.

So sad. I am sure those who believe students unions are all about water polo rather than political resistance will be happy.

However left candidates have won other posts as Alex notes:

Clare Solomon has, sadly, not been re-elected president of University of London Union (ULU). During her year in the post, Clare has played a leading and dynamic role in the student protest movement which emerged in opposition to higher tuition fees and drastic cuts to higher education funding.

More optimistically, left-wing candidates Sean Rillo Raczka and Hesham Kazai were elected Vice President and London Student editor respectively. These are the other two full-time roles in overseeing the London-wide union



New arts/politics/culture magazine, could be good, could be fun

Stay Alert, Stay Aware, Stay Awake
Junkfood is here to be your podium. All things art and all things political. So if you would like to join the team or contact us at editor@junkfoodfight.co.uk. Junkfood Magazine will be luanched in May 2010 in print and as a PDF download! Keep checking the site for more information

If you are thinking about contributing, here are some of the subjects and concepts we would like your art or articles to comment on
Human right
Gay Rights
Climate Change
Mental Health
Sexual Health
Womens Rights
Mass Media
Governmental Politics

Early day motion 1619 JEAN-BERTRAND ARISTIDE

Early day motion 1619


· Session: 2010-11

· Date tabled: 16.03.2011

· Primary sponsor: McDonnell, John

· Sponsors:

McDonnell, John

That this House supports the call for the immediate return of Jean-Bertrand Aristide and Mildred Trouillot, his wife and colleague, issued on International Women's Day by Haitian women in tent cities and in sweatshops by market women and by small vendors; and condemns any outside interference with the sovereign rights of the Haitian people, including their right to welcome home their chosen leader.

16 Mar 2011

union city gig Thursday 17th March, 7pm - late

Pre-demo gig to raise money for union members

A gig to be held a week before the TUC’s anti-cuts demonstration in London will raise money for members of the Public and Commercial Services union who lose pay through taking industrial action.

The event – organised by Union City, whose slogan is ‘fighting the cuts, one beat at a time’ – will be from 7pm until late on Thursday 17 March at The Lexington, 96–98 Pentonville Road, London N1 9JB.

Music will be from Actionism – who are former PCS reps – A Terrible Splendour, My Elastic Eye, with music by DJ Stix of Electric Dreams. There will also be speakers from the trade union movement.

Entry is free but with donations going to the PCS hardship fund and the activist video collective Reel News.

The gig will also be used to promote the TUC demonstration on Saturday 26 March, which unions believe could see hundreds of thousands of people taking to the streets in opposition to the government’s plans to slash public spending and privatise more of our public services.

Organiser Lizzie Woods, who set up Union City and also works for PCS, said: “This is our response to the government’s ideological cuts that will punish the most vulnerable people in our society for economic problems caused by greed in the banking system.

“We are showing that not only is there an alternative worth fighting for, but also that music is still a powerful form of protest.”

London Libyan Embassy roof occupied

Phoned up by the Today programme ten minutes ago to ask if I knew them.

Alas not.

Not good to be woken at 7.19 rather than 7.30 but good to be woken with good news.

The news from Libya has on the whole been grim but Libyans are fighting Gadaffi and we must support them.

However Cameron can fuck off, no no fly zone for Gaza when Israel killed with impunity and still arming Saudi as they invade Bahrain, he is an oil addict not an ethical politician.

15 Mar 2011


Picking up this but no real confirmation

23:16 Update: A trusted source has confirmed to us this story: The pilot who flew his plane into Baab Al Aziziyah took off as part of a 2 plane team with the mission of bombing strategic points in Al Guradibya base in Sirte. Their orders were to return immedietly after completing the mission. One pilot followed orders while the other flew to Tripoli where he emptied what he had left of ammunition on Baab Al Aziziyah and then crashed his plane into it


Also seeing this, reported on news.Hope the rebels can fight and win but the news is mainly mad from Libya

Anti-government activists said that rebels commanding fighter jets have destroyed two of Gaddafi's warships off the northeast coast of Ajdabiya.

The opposition also claimed to have hit a third naval ship in the air attack, according to opposition website Libya al-Youm.

A number of army generals and soldiers, particularly in the Libyan Air Force, have defected to join the rebels and have an arsenal of weapons and fighter jets at their disposal.

The alleged attack comes as Gaddafi's forces continue to battle for control of Ajdabiya and the nearby city of Brega in order to advance on to the opposition stronghold of Benghazi.



Political parties don't always do what they say on the tin, social justice can sadly sometimes mean injustice!

I do however love this! Hello Deptford!

16 March · 12:00 - 22:30
Occupied Deptford Job Centre
Deptford High Street
London, United Kingdom
Created by:

More info
We will be opening our doors to say “HELLO DEPTFORD” on Wednesday afternoon and evening to coincide with market day. We will be offering you food, films and discussion all day.

The programme is as follows:

12-2pm Lunchtime café: bring your own food or share some of ours

6-7pm Open doors: come in for a cuppa and a chat, before…

7pm Short films:

Lewisham Bridge Occupation (4 mins)
Deptford Tribute (25 mins)

Two short films about the recent history of Deptford and its surrounding area There will also be an evening café with more food.

8pm Hollywood blockbuster:

School of Rock

the cinema night will end with Jack Black's hilarious, family friendly comedy!

Any questions, come and knock on the door or email us at socialcentreplus@gmail.com.

Donations and press welcome.

See you all then!


The Occupiers



We have occupied the disused Deptford Job Centre as a response to the brutal cuts to public services being carried out at both a local and national level. We aim to clean the place up and convert it into Social Centre Plus: a new public space for members of the local community here in Deptford and the surrounding area, that we can share, contribute to, and create a truly social building and a hub of local opposition to the cuts programme.

This is a self-organised space, run by people from a variety of backgrounds and we are not in any political parties.

We have taken the space in order to also demonstrate our resistance to the cuts Mayor Steve Bullock and his Labour cronies, under the orders of the Tories in Westminster, are promising us. The Council aims to slash £88 million off of its budget within the next four years. Libraries, day care centres and early years centres will all be closed while we have to suffer from pay cuts and price rises.

However, we believe that we can and must fight back. We have seen the results of mass, popular revolt in Egypt, Tunisia, Libya and its surrounding region, as well as militant action by students against the coalition government here in the UK. We want Social Centre Plus to be a catalyst for social and political change based on the principles of direct action, solidarity and self-organisation.

That said, we want this to be a free space for the community to use and we invite everyone inside with their ideas for the building and the wider world, or even just to chat over a cuppa. We plan cafés, film nights, workshops, and a million other things on which we’d love to hear your ideas!


EMAIL: socialcentreplus@gmail.com
TWITTER: @deptfordplus

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