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Showing posts from September, 2007

Saving Iceland Demo tuesday 2nd, 1pm Sloane Square

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1PM Tuesday 2nd October, Icelandic Embassy meet at Sloane Square
Come and show Solidarity with Miriam Rose, a Saving Iceland activist from the UK facing deportation from Iceland where she lives for being: "a threat to public order and security and fundamental societal values" also to show solidarity with Olafur Pall Siggurdson an Icelandic activist being framed for "Obstructing a Police Vehicle" following an attempt to run him over by a senior policeman. from Indy Media


Hello,
I gather you have once again voiced support to Miriam regarding her
threatened deportation from Iceland. Thank you, this makes a big
difference.

We are holding an emergency demo in soldiarity with her in London on
Tuesday, meeting at Sloane Square by the monument at 1pm. It is open to
all and will probably be quite quick. If you could publicise this
through your network of supporters I would be most grateful.

thanks, Rebecca (Saving Iceland)

Saving Iceland are here

Here is the knowledge from Indy Media


O…

Feminist Fightback II

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I never promote films with 2 or higher numbers in the title but will make an exception, feminist conference orientated to action and open to men. Please support

More here

Feminist Fightback II - Saturday 20 October ‘07

Back for a second year, the Feminist Fightback activist conference is organised by a group of socialist feminists, including the Education Not for Sale student network. It aims to bring together feminists from a wide range of perspectives to debate ideas and develop practical strategies for fighting women’s oppression and exploitation.

Fightback 07 will build on the success of last year’s conference, attended by over 220 people, which gave rise to several activist initiatives, including the March 3 2007 Torch-Lit March for Abortion Rights.

This year we will continue our campaign to defend and extend abortion rights and our discussions will include…

- IS SEXY ALWAYS SEXIST? FEMINISM, LADS MAGS AND PORNOGRAPHY
- ECOFEMINISM
- FEMINISTS AGAINST BORDERS
- ISLAMIC FEMINISM
- RACE, SE…

Happy birthday Mawlānā Jalāl-ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī: A big date today for cool Islam

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It't the 800 birthday of the sufi poet and thinker Rumi, have blogged on him before, he wrote beautiful and amusing stories and poems.

More from the BBC here

More from Rumi org here

I like the story about the Mullah and the Donkey....one of the best Mullah Nasruddin nonsense stories....teachings from Rumi and other Sufi masters which are very zen.

Sufism is a mainstay of eco Islam, although of course eco Islam is not practised by just one type of Muslim.

Wiki on Rumi

Mawlānā Jalāl-ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī[2] (Persian: مولانا جلال الدین محمد رومی, Turkish: Mevlânâ Celâleddin Mehmed Rumi, Arabic: جلال الدين الرومي), also known as Mawlānā Jalāl-ad-Dīn Muhammad Balkhī (Persian: محمد بلخى), but known to the English-speaking world simply as Rumi, (September 30, 1207–December 17, 1273), was a 13th century Persian (Tājīk)[3][4] Muslim poet, jurist, and theologian. His name literally means "Majesty of Religion", Jalal means "majesty" and Din means "religion".[5] Rumi is…

Green thinker dies in suicide pact

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Talking of green thinkers like Erich Fromm who Neil Clark blogged on so eloquently, I was shocked to wake up today to the news that Andre Gorz and his wife have committed suicide. Both in their mid 80s his wife was dying apparently of a degenerative disease.

I remember looking forward in the early 1980's to the publication of his 'Ecology and Politics' book, he was one of those who made the link between the ecological crisis, growth and capitalism. He had some interesting economic ideas especially the concept of 'prosumers' people who merged consumption with production, for example, one could have a community centre full of computers and machines, so you could quickly design and machine knit a jumper....ought to go back and look at some of this stuff.

He argued that owning a car was a useful luxury but mass car ownership eroded the benefits by creating congestion.

He also proclaimed a kind of post-socialist politics, in his book title 'Farewell to the Working Cl…

Burma demonstration on sunday in London

Derek...I am shocked you have nto blogged about the situation on Burma at the mo...it seems to be of a higher importance than the Tory conference... I mean is it nto a time to speak up as a politician to express you wishes and to try and mobilise peopel in your party to try and attend the protests and marches being organised to put pressure on the government to do something??

I assumed that everyone knows that I am saffron but if not here goes.....Caroline and Jean have been working hard to mobilise protest against the oppression in Burma.




Burma: A March for Freedom

Host:

Burma: Saffron Revolution


Type:

Causes - Protest




Time and Place

Date:

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Time:

11:30am - 4:00pm

Location:

From Trafalgar Square to the Burmese Embassy

City/Town:

London, United Kingdom

Green Party statement on Burma

UK Oil funds 'green' Tory conference event

NEWS: Green Party in England & Wales GREENS REVEAL OIL LOBBY INVOLVEMENT IN TORY CONFERENCE Green Party Principal Speaker Dr. Derek Wall today questioned how 'green' the Tory Party can be given their links to big business, especially the oil lobby, after it was revealed that the UK Petroleum Industry are sponsoring a 'Tory Green Initiative' event at the upcoming Tory conference. (1) Dr Wall said: "Crucial to any real action on climate change are polices that will reduce our reliance on fossil based fuels, and so curb our emissions. "But this is at odds with the needs of the oil lobby, who rely on our addiction to oil to keep their profits booming. "If the government got serious about tackling climate change, companies like Shell would see a stark drop in their profits. "How can the Tory party be expected to understand, or even agree with that premise when they are hob-nobbing with organisations like the UK Petroleum Industry at their conference?…

Do not deport Green activist

Its an island, begins with 'I' claims to be run on environmental grounds, but I afraid I have some doubts about policy formulation

Green Party Principal Speaker Dr. Derek Wall today urged the Icelandic authorities to reconsider their actions with regard to Miriam Rose and other environmental activists.

"The Icelandic authorities, not satisfied with arresting and holding Miriam Rose as political prisoner, now seem intent on expelling her from Iceland.

"It's vital that we protect the right to peaceful protest .

"Non-violent direct action is one of the few weapons we have to affect change, and government's around the world must be called to account when they try to repress it.

More here

No lectures from Tesco

Tesco is pouring millions into 'green' research, but it doesn't take a university to work out that supermarkets are a huge part of the problem.
Derek Wall


Tesco is going to fund 77 academic posts in "green" research with a £25m donation to Manchester University. What next - BAE Systems funding a university department on conflict resolution, or Phillip Morris pouring a few cool millions into investigating the most effective way of kicking nicotine addiction? I think we should be told.

More from me here

"A healthy economy is only possible at the expense of unhealthy human beings".

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Well still very inspired by New Internationalist issue 'Big Babies - the Dumbing down of politics', hoping some of it will go on the web and I can blog select bits, really good at explaining why most political parties have ceased to be politic, other than as tools for personal career.

Might catch some of you next week at SOAS or Twickenham Green Party meetings...Paris October 7th (I am not flying before you ask), Reading Green Party Oct 14th, Bristol 20th October, Monmouth 23rd, Bath 24th, Brimingham 25th, London 27th....looking a bit busy with work and blogging and writing.

and if you are Green Party members in England and Wales ballot for Principal Speakers, chair and local party support should be slamming on to your door mat over the next day or two...so go on vote for me, although I am sure Darren or Ashley would be fine, its a fairly friendly contest....deadline for getting them back to party office is 8th October, could be close.

Just spotted this great Comment is Free arti…

NHS demo: November 3rd

Had this from Phelim at the Green Party Trade Union group.....


Colleagues
finally we have a date for the demo. Put the date in your diary and let's make sure we get a good turn out- the last thing that some of the TU leaders want, because it might jeopardise their 'special relationship' with Brown.
Phelim


National demonstration, central London Saturday 3 November.11am: Assemble at Temple Place, Victoria Embankment,LondonNoon: March through Westminster (will takeapprox one hour)1pm: Rally in Trafalgar Square1.30-4.30pm: Speakers and entertainment in the SquareBuilding on the successes of the Keep the NHS Workingand NHS Together campaigns, the demonstration will bethe focus of a public display of celebration andsolidarity for an NHS that after almost 60 years, isstill largely owned and run by the public sector.Widespread support for the event will send a strongmessage to the government that we want to keep it thatway. The NHS Together alliance of unions, supportersfrom a broa…

EU biofuel problems

Sustainability criteria’ called into question ahead of EU Parliament biofuel vote Amsterdam, 25 September. For immediate release.



EU criteria for ‘sustainable’ agrofuels (also known as ‘biofuels’) are set on a collision course with the EU’s proposed 10 per cent mandatory target for agrofuel use, according to a new report published to coincide with today’s European Parliament vote on the Thomsen Report on renewable energy. Paving the way for Agrofuels – EU policy, Sustainability criteria, and climate calculations finds that the rush to develop agrofuels is contributing to the growth of monoculture plantations and promoting land use changes (including deforestation) that could damage the climate. ‘It is unlikely that any set of criteria can mitigate against the large-scale impact of agrofuels, such as the expansion of plantations for energy crops,’ says Tamra Gilbertson of the Transnational Institute, a co-author of the report. ‘Although agrofuels are promoted because of their appare…

Save the Sharks

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well along with the occasional series, things I agree with the Economist, I am also contributing to major eco fuck ups by political allies...yes I am pleased with the new Government in Ecuador, viva the Latin American left but killing sharks for a few votes in key marginal constituencies is inappropriate.

What do I hear? 'no we didn't agree to build the motorway that was the previous minister's decision' or 'we aren't killing them, its just in case they die in an accident'.

well amigos this isn't good enough..

"It is a big mistake. More than 400 sharks are being caught every day - that damages the whole [food] chain," said Esperanza Martínez, of the advocacy group Ecological Action. Others say up to 1,000 are being caught.
Shark fishing remains illegal but President Rafael Correa legalised the sale of fins of sharks caught accidentally, saying the revenue would help impoverished fishermen to feed their families. However, with no clear way to deter…

GREENS HAIL ACCELERATED 'FREEZE AND PHASE OUT' OF OZONE KILLING CHEMICALS

NEWS: Green Party in England & Wales

GREENS HAIL ACCELERATED 'FREEZE AND PHASE OUT' OF OZONE KILLING CHEMICALS
Amid growing concern over the impact of hydrochlorflurocarbons (HCFCs) on the earth's ozone layer, an important agreement has been reached by governments attending the Montreal Protocol's 20th Anniversary Celebrations. (1) Nations signed up to an accelerated freeze and phase out of HCFCs under the 20 year-old Montreal Protocol - the treaty established in 1987 to protect the Earth’s ozone layer from chemical attack. HCFCs emerged as replacement chemicals in the 1990s for air conditioning, some forms of refrigeration equipment and foams following an earlier decision to phase-out older and more ozone-damaging chemicals known as CFCs or chloroflurocarbons. The decision, including an agreement that sufficient funding will be made available to achieve the strategy, follows mounting evidence that HCFCs contribute to global warming. Governments meeting in the Cana…

Derek Wall Keynote Speech

The Space Merchants: el ecologismo frente

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One come to think of the sadly forgotten, yet classic dystopian novel The Space Merchants, debatedly the most brutal capitalistic parody every written.
More here

Read Douglas Coupland's Jpod which was very funny, take a look....on to rereading The Space Merchants.


Published in 1953 its a science fiction classic and a good bit of political critique, it pioneered 'ecotage' long before The Monkey Wrench Gang, the novel by Ed Abbey which provided a template for Earth First! It includes a pioneering critique of American capitalism, good science fiction not only entertains, takes us to the possible future but is a satire of existing society.

I read it in the 1990s, Mark Brown (no not that one) who had been coming around drinking my whisky at 111 Ashley Road on the front line Bristol when I stayed in Mark Simpsons house (great anarchic dinner parties....god another age), told me to take a look. Mark well both of them were a great support when I put together the Green History book f…

Climate Campaign: what next.

I am told that every time I mentioned the inspiration and professionalism of the climate camp during my Conference Speech one prominent member of the Green Party tutted loudly.

Well the Climate Camp is the real deal, time is urgent and we have to be serious about making the chance...green politics is about planetary survival not personal career.


People get ready!


The Climate Camp on its own didn't stop climate change - but it's part of a growing social movement that can! Come and take the next stepsforward at the upcoming UK-wide meeting on Nov 3-4 in Oxford. Everyoneis welcome, whether you came to the camp, or were simply inspired by it. The Climate Camp had 4 key aims: education, direct action, sustainableliving, and building a social movement to collectively tackle climatechange and build a better world. Regional meetings have been happeningup and down the country, and in Oxford we will meet to collectivelyshare all our ideas for taking our aims further. The agenda for this me…

We stand for love, tolerance and the great infinity

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This is one in the series of things I agree with the Economist magazine. They usually involve cool Islam. As it is Ramadan I thought I might flag this information with respect to those of my friends who are Muslims.

Last week in Sehwan, a town in central Sindh, half a million Sufi pilgrims gave a demonstration of this fact. They are followers, like most Pakistanis, of the heterodox Barelvi school of Sunni Islam. And so they whirled, chanted prayers, blew kisses and smoked massive quantities of dope to celebrate the 755th anniversary of Lal Shahbaz Qalandar, a Sufi saint. “We are the anti-Taliban,” claimed Ahmed Bhutto (no relation), in a room thick with the scent of incense and rose petals. “We stand for love, tolerance and the great infinity.”

this is from the 15th September issue page 35

Now who do these people remind me of? I could be giving you more criticism of the Liberal Democrat Conference but this seemed a bit more important.

Here is what the wiki oracle says about Lal Shahba…

One Goose, fat in the sky, fat with power?

this was fun, I don't do much flying and I am not into sociobiology people are not geese, fun and good though.

Perhaps they need one ring, I mean, goose to rule them all

http://www.thepracticeofleadership.net/2006/07/18/leadership-lessons-from-ge
ese/

Fact 1: As each goose flaps its wings it creates an "uplift" for the birds
that follow. By flying in a "V" formation, the whole flock adds 71% greater
flying range than if each bird flew alone.
Lesson: People who share a common direction and sense of community can get
where they are going quicker and easier because they are traveling on the
thrust of one another.

Fact 2: When a goose falls out of formation, it suddenly feels the drag and
resistance of flying alone. It quickly moves back into formation to take
advantage of the lifting power of the bird immediately in front of it.
Lesson: If we have as much sense as a goose we stay in formation with those
headed where we want to go. We are willing to accept their help and give ou…

Derek Wall Keynote Speech, Liverpool 07

Derek Wall Keynote Speech, Liverpool 07
18th Sep 2007


By: Dr. Derek Wall


The Green Party is a party that wants to change the world so we have a world, a party that must make the difference and have an effect if our children are to have a future, and if we are to slow, halt and reverse the forces of destruction, climate change, species loss, constant war.

There is a battle of ideas.

The political battle extends to the very meaning of a word. We have to win this battle and it comes down to individual words.

I am going to talk about two words today 'ecology' and 'power'.

We have to get to a society that works ecologically, where we are not hacking through the life support systems of our species and the rest of nature. The buck stops with ecology - without ecological thinking, the future is bleak.

We need a new ecological civilisation in this country and globally.

Ecology tells us that we are all linked, that when we violate nature we violate ourselves. This means we have to liste…

Donnachadh McCarthy on the Liberal Democrat conference

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Many people feel that no matter who they vote for, the political lobbyists and big-business remain in government. The Liberal Democrats this week could start persuading us that this could change. Goodness knows the planet, and not just Britain, now desperately needs this to be so.




A real high point of my conference was meeting Donnachad McCarthy, he came and did a fringe meeting for Green Party radicals to tell us about his experience in the Liberal Democrats where he was Party deputy chair.

His story is fascinating, I am still really tired after conference and I wish he had written his political story up because its great and instructive and sobering but he is too busy at present. So here goes a very very rough sketch

He had been a ballet dancer but was injured when his partners (whatever the term is for other ballet dancers) failed to catch and he dropped 12feet. He had lots of treatment I guess conventional and alternative and was being treated by an acupuncturist, the acupuncturist…

Iraqi LGBT

FYI.



I can vouch for the character of Ali Hili, who is a campaigner based in London and assists Peter Tatchell regularly with his campaigns on LGBT issues in the Middle East.



Joseph Healy

GPRC International Friend/LGBT Group International Officer



Dear Friend of Iraqi LGBT



We are writing to you in an urgent appeal for help because we currently face a critical situation in our efforts to assist lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered people in Iraq.



Since the US invasion of Iraq, Gay people in Iraq have suffered particularly intense persecution. Violence against all the gay community has intensified sharply since late 2005, when Iraq's leading Shiite Muslim cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani, issued a fatwa (religious decree) which declared that gays and lesbians should be "killed in the worst, most severe way." Since then, LGBT people have been specifically targeted by the Madhi Army (the militia of fundamentalist Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr) as well as by other militant de…

conference fun

I had a good conference, but goodness I am quite tired after a train journey from Liverpool to here in Headcorn Kent that started at 2pm and finished at 9.45pm.

Good crowd of conference goers, stimulating debates and I was really proud to not only thank Green Party councillors who deserve some thanks for all their hard work getting elected (no mean task without PR)and action in post but push the climate camp.

The high spots included getting radical policies on government essentially we would abolish the PM, putting in a first minister with less power and going for a more consensual approach. The motions against the wrong kind of biofuels ....ie. agricultural especially palm oil which cuts into rainforests were also very important.

The leadership debates were friendly (in contrast to some earlier media events!), but I want to keep the debate on power going.

You know my view on power here is a slightly different approach from Caroline Lucas, see what you think, this is from one of her conf…

Key note speech

"Power has to be creative. Green electoral victories are above all about this creative power: we elect people to change the structures, to open up space so people can live sustainable, fulfilled lives. Providing alternatives so people can be free and green. "Our power involves putting new vital ideas on the agenda, of making the impossible a policy choice – a new ecological civilization. "Philosophers hitherto have only described the world, the point is to change it.'

Had lots of fun with this, stressing ecology and trying to get a debate going in the Greens about 'power', its not just something we can take hold of, its based on networks, dialogue, commons....pulling down the fences....didn't quite get all of this, so apologies to the great Nicholas Hildyard who helped with the final stages for not getting the subtely of power being something that cannot be captured.

Any way you can read more of my speech here.....really bigged up the climate camp along …

How to Save the World at 9AM

This mornings excitement for me was the Green Left 'How to Save the World' fringe, yes at 9AM, in a dungeon like black painted room here at Liverpool Hope university.

It was ably chaired by Tim Summers. I spoke I trying to get the Greens debating power, strategy, change....which will be a big part of my key note speech tomorrow, still worried about this, if you know me you will know that I am always happy to speak at great length without notes...the problem with the key note speech is you need a written copy for the press and this blog and of course this stumps me....I spent hours learning my key note on 'catastrophe' and 'resistance' at the spring conference but when I got up on the podium had to ad lib the whole thing!

Stress...any way enough about me....at the fringe we had 30 people great for 9AM, Jonathon Essex spoke with passion about building economic alternatives, transition towns, link electoral politics to culture change.

I name checked Harry Perkins he…

climate camp vid for you!

well just got to party conference here in Liverpool...excitement of the SOC report in a minute and working on the old conference speech for saturday morning.

had this from the climate camp listen, look and enjoy

hi there,

A 30 minute film of the climate camp has been edited from material shot on
camp by indymedia type media activists working with the climate camp.

It's well worth watching and is good for doing a film night, discussion,
next step type meeting.

Watch it online here:

http://www.archive.org/details/climatecampfilm2007

Please do spread the word about it and why not download it, make it into a
dvd and copy and distribute....

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

General questions / comments / suggestions can be sent to
info@climatecamp.org.uk, or for more info check out www.climatecamp.org.uk.

Please don't try to send an email to climatecamp@lists.riseup.net as only Camp
for Climate Action groups can post to this list.

Green Empowerment Campaign fringes

CONFERENCE FRINGES

Green Empowerment Campaign fringes

Thursday 13 Sept, 19:00 to 19:50
'What do you think of the Leaders Debate so far?'
Facilitated by Sarah Farrow, Chair of Green Left and Ceri Galloway
An opportunity for delegates to share their feelings about the leader debate
and the implications for the Party. This will take the form of a "listening
circle" in which all participants will be given the opportunity to speak in
turn.

Friday 14 Sept, 13:20 to 14:10
'We need more leaders, not fewer'
Speakers: Jenny Jones, Member of the London Assembly and former Deputy Mayor
of London, Derek Wall, Green Party Principal Speaker
Plus Guest Speaker
A discussion of the dangers of top-down leadership and personality politics,
and the need for wider empowerment within the Green Party and society at
large.

Saturday 15 Sept, 18:00 to 18:50
'A different way of doing politics'
Speakers: Jonathan Dixon, Green Party Councillor in Scarborough and Romayne
Phoenix, Green Party Council…
With conference coming up and the end of another term of office for GPEx members, I would like to take this opportunity of thanking Cllr Richard Mallender, GPEx Chair and Trade Union Group rep on GPEx, for his support of the Trade Union Group and its efforts to build links with the trade unions over the last year. As Trade Union Group Rep on GPRC, it has been good to have continued support from a committed trade unionist on the Executive. I also speak for my Trade Union Group colleague on GPRC, Marc Scheimann.



Joseph Healy

Trade Union Group Rep on GPRC

One ring?

In the ballot of party members, I will be voting yes, in the hope that we can offer the public a different kind of leadership - one that inspires, empowers, and enables others to act, rather than one that dictates. This is our opportunity to demonstrate that Green political leadership will enhance, rather than stifle, participatory politics, and to take radical Green politics into the mainstream.

Is from Caroline Lucas,


Jenny Jones and myself debate with her in the Guardian today, read more here....conference starts tomorrow.

Conference season starts!

well I think the big conference event is Nick Hildyard for the corner house talking on friday night at 5pm about how he took on BAE over corruption in Saudi Arabia, Nick is one of the most politically sophisticated can do, green political activists on the planet....I would give him my conference speech slot on saturday morning but for the fact he has to go to another event...

here is Natalie Bennett's conference message...

Perhaps you've been thinking about going, perhaps it had slipped your mind? Well
this is your final reminder that the Green Party Autumn conference starts THIS
Thursday (September 13)in Liverpool and runs through to Sunday. If you haven't
pre-booked that's not a problem - you can just turn up and register on the door,
for one day or more.

It is easy to get to: the venue is The Cornerstone building of Liverpool Hope
University, at Haigh Street, Liverpool L3 8QB. It is about 10 minutes' walk from
the main railway station at Liverpool Lime Street, and about …

all that blood flowing from the television

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How can I sit and eat my tea with all that blood flowing from the television." "Guerrilla war struggle is the new entertainment." [15]

More here from the original situationalist funksters....from Nantes no Leeds.

More here.

My meeting with Cynthia: America's first black president?

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President George W. Bush has failed to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States; he has failed to ensure that senior members of his administration do the same; and he has betrayed the trust of the American people.



"Americans are gathering the courage to just say no. We are saying no to addictive consumer lifestyles. We are saying no to wars and corporate takeover and the IMF loans that gobble up people and their resources.

"And all over the world, people are saying, if you are committing these acts in my name, then don't. If you are committing these acts--waging war on the innocent, destroying the environment, buying bombs when babies need bottles...then don't do it for me. Not in My Name, Not in the Name of My Child.

"Americans want peace, and justice and to live up to the conscience of its forbears. So we are joining people of good will around the world who say, Not in My Name, Not in the Name of My Child."

Cynthia McKinney, June 20…

Jihad against waste/ non violence and Islam

Definitely let’s be more house proud of our beautiful Brum. We have a responsibility for stewardship of the Earth which is beautiful. Join us for the jihad on waste, 23rd September


I must admit I love getting all this eco Islam stuff, ok I am a non Muslim sympathetic to the last prophet but even if I wasn't this is always political in the best sense, cultural, shows an awareness of ecology, etc....i.e worth a look

In Arabic I hear that the Koran is sacred, obviously so because of the poetic quality of its words...I think this from LINE if not sacred is certainly attractive, some environmentalism makes me yawn but news from the climate camp, non violence and Islam and the Jihad against waste are all topics worth reading about.

Remember as both the prophet and the scientists say 'Do Not Waste to Excess!'




Salam, May peace be with you,

In this current edition of Ecobites, there is a review of the Camp for Climate Action and also details of upcoming events, and not all arer in Lon…