Showing posts from February, 2009


LINE (London Islamic Network for the Environment) Monthly Forums invites you to:


Date: Sunday 8th March 2009
Time: 2.15pm to 4.45pm
Venue: London Mennonite Centre (Just off Archway Road), 14 Shepherds Hill, London, N6 5AQ. Nearest Tube: Highgate (Northern line): 5 mins walk: (Take the Archway Road exit).

Within this month's LINE forum, we will touch on 'ecologism', which centres on the necessity of "radical changes in our relationship" with the world. We will contrast this with 'environmentalism', described as a "managerial approach to environmental problems". To facilitate our understanding, together we will look at selected pieces of text from Andrew Dobson's book, 'Green Political Thought'. We will then consider what we have read in the light of relevant Islamic themes.

We will also hear feedback of experiences from 6 billion ways, will have a slot for 'Resource Cycle' and we will also pr…

Israeli war resistor Tamar Katz tours Britain

Just seen this...great, great, the Shministim are one of the great hopes in the Middle East!

You could probably put more than a rizla paper between my politics and that of the AWL who seem to be organising this event, well lets just say it looks like a very important speaking tour and I would urge all Green Party members to get to a meeting if possible!

The Shministim speak: Israeli student jailed for refusing to serve in army tours Britain, 5-14 March 2009

Following massive demonstrations and a wave of student occupations against Israel’s war in Gaza, British activists will be hosting a speaker tour with Tamar Katz, one of the Shministim, Israeli high school students jailed for refusing to fight in the occupied Palestinian territories. She is being brought over by Workers’ Liberty students, but the meetings are being hosted by a variety of organisations.

Tamar, 19, was jailed three times, for a total of 51 days at the end of 2008, for refusing to take part in military service. She explai…

Tatchell: don't discipline Green candidate over nuclear power

just spotted this from the Oxford Mail, I am speaking next week in Oxford at the Radical Forum by the way

Tatchell: don't discipline Green candidate over nuclear power

6:25pm Friday 27th February 2009

By Andrew Ffrench »

Green Party campaigner Peter Tatchell has called for fellow party member Chris Goodall to be spared disciplinary action by the party after backing nuclear power.

Mr Goodall, prospective parliamentary candidate for Oxford West and Abingdon, was one of four leading environmentalists this week to back nuclear power, as a means of getting rid of coal-fired power stations, such as Didcot.

The statement angered party leader Caroline Lucas, because the Greens have an anti-nuclear manifesto, and said she would take the matter further, through the party’s regional council.

Local members could de-select Mr Goodall.

Mark Lynas, from Wolvercote, the author of Six Degrees: Our Future on a Hotter Planet, was also among the renegades.

But Mr Tatchell, himself the Green prospective parli…

Crime, Crime, more crimes for the future from the Labour government

Why does Mandelson want to see the Post Office in private hands? So more crimes can be committed.

Saw this on

wonderful 21st manifesto blog....

Bertholt Brecht asked the question: “What is the robbing of a bank compared to the founding of a bank?”

Q. What are banks for ?
A. To make money.
Q. For the customers ?
A. For the banks.
Q. Why doesn’t bank advertising mention this ?
A. It would not be in good taste. But it is mentioned by implication in references to reserves of £249,000,000 or thereabouts. That is the money they have made.

Q. Out of the customers ?
A. I suppose so.
Q. They also mention Assets of £500,000,000 or thereabouts. Have they made that too ?
A. Not exactly. That is the money they use to make money.
Q. I see. And they keep it in a safe somewhere ?
A. Not at all. They lend it to customers.
Q. Then they haven’t got it ?
A. No.
Q. Then how is it an Asset ?
A. They maintain that it would be if they got it back.
Q. But they must have some money in a safe somewhere ?
A. Yes, …

Inheriting an Empire

[col. writ. 2/21/09] (c) '09 Mumia Abu-Jamal

Of all the myriad things to inherit, perhaps the worst is an empire, for such a transmission brings with it the duty of defense, which, in time, invariably becomes defending the indefensible.

For empires are constructed of crimes, and similarly so maintained.

They are birthed in invasion, nursed on occupation and raised on the cruel gruel of repression, torture and brutality.

That is their intrinsic nature as shown by the abundant examples of history. This was shown best by Rome, which ravaged the then-known world to enrich the 'eternal city'. Nations were invaded, their nobles either slain or enslaved, puppets were installed, and the natural resources extracted to feed the ever-hungry maw of Rome.

For millions of Blacks, the Obama election has sparked a new way of thinking and speaking of an America that has, heretofore, been a subject of considerable ambivalence. For perhaps the first time in U.S. history (ce…

Give us our daily bread

guest entry from Andy of Green Left


I was shaken out of my daily weary procession to wage-slavery this morning by a slap around the face from a demonstration of the cold, calculating and callous nature of capitalism.

In the concourse of Charing Cross Station, loaves of Warburtons bread were being handed out to commuters. These were being distributed in over-sized plastic carrier bags emblazoned with Warburton's branding (when I arrived at work I found one of these loaves in the staff kitchen with a couple of motorway services-style sachets of butter and jam so I assume that these delights were also contained within). As I witnessed these bags being dutifully taken possession of by well-fed commuters I was immediately filled with no small amount of rage and disgust.

This spectacle of sham redistribution at a time when: 1000s of workers are daily dispossessed of their employment and join the millions who face a daily struggle to make ends meet; millions of vulnerable citizens c…

Green Party member says sleeping with Fianna Fail is largely unsatisfactory

My criticism of the Irish Green Party (motorway building friends of Ireland's most corrupt political party)...has been taken up by one of their own members of parliament in Dublin.

The coalition with Fianna Fail is damaging Green politics right across Europe...please stand up for ecology, social justice and peace by getting out of the coalition.

The TD's comments are a little more radical than my thoughts though:

In an expletive-laden interview in Hot Press, the Dublin Mid West TD comments on the price of power and his own doubts about the Coalition arrangement. He describes it in terms of the Greens lying “bollix naked” and being “screwed” by Fianna Fáil.

He also says party leader John Gormley “would cut your throat if it means doing the right thing”.

Mr Gogarty (40) asserts that by going into Coalition or, as he puts it, getting into bed with another party, the Greens had prostituted itself.

In the same vein, he continues: “We are lying there bollix naked next to Fianna Fáil. We h…

Come and quiz me about nuclear power in Oxford

Very nice to have the invite, I will be speaking on the saturday evening March 7th


[Please circulate widely]



:: 6 – 8 MARCH ::

The second Oxford Radical Forum will be taking place from Friday to Saturday, 6 - 8 March, 2009, in Wadham College, Oxford. Building on the success of last year’s conference, and a conviction in the continued necessity of leftist theory and politics, the weekend will see some of the brightest and most engaged people from the radical left coming to Oxford in order to contribute towards the reconstruction of an alternative, critical politics – a politics that stands for a real transformation of society in favour of social justice and equality and against war and poverty. We invite you all to join and participate in open and challenging discussions in talks, debates and seminars on war and imperialism, women’s liberation, the economic crisis,…

My summer of carbon rage

thanks Kevin...don't forget Jerry Hicks or the Lucha Indigena.

The iniquities of emissions trading will bring thousands of protesters to the climate camp in the City of London

Kevin Smith. Weds 25th Feb 2009

In Monday's Guardian, Julian Glover drew parallels between carbon trading and the notoriously corrupt practice of the Medieval church in selling pardons. He concluded by calling for “a modern Martin Luther to nail a shaming truth to industry's door: Europe's whizz-bang carbon market is turning sub-prime.”

Good news: The Camp for Climate Action intends to bring the failure of carbon markets centre-stage this year. On the 1st of April thousands will set up camp in the City of London outside the European Climate Exchange – the biggest trading platform for the EU Emissions Trading Scheme.

It may seem like a strange place to set up camp, as there is no field nor obvious target like a dirty power station or a proposed runway. Yet, for the past two years thousands of people …

Correa ends oils exploration in Yasuni National Park

Well puta madre, I would not have thought it, Correa is not between you and me my favourite Latin American leader and he has been in conflict with the indigenous on some issues but not drilling for oil is not drilling for oil.

glad to have had this from Albert! It's another victory for the indigenous, they not nuclear power are a solution to climate change...ditto working class green activists like the excellent Jerry Hicks

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 24, 2009

Media Contacts:
Joseph Mutti: 415-487-9600 x 23

Ecuador Decree Keeps Oil Companies at Bay

President Indefinitely Extends Historic Rainforest Protection Proposal

Quito, Ecuador, Feb 24 (AW)--The President of Ecuador, Rafael Correa, recently signed a decree that breathed new life into the country’s pioneer proposal to keep its largest oil field permanently underground in one of the most pristine areas of rainforest in the world.

The Yasuni-ITT initiative, named for Yasuni National Park and the respective Ishpingo, Tampoco…

Open Source Anti-Capitalism

Open Source Anti-Capitalism
Sarah Grey

Sarah Grey is a freelance writer and activist based in Philadelphia. Her writings on food, food politics, and ecosocialism can be found at her blog,, as well as in International Socialist Review and the forthcoming Grid Magazine.

Nice review from Sarah Grey, well I think I am more generous in the book to Marx than she suggest but hey a review is a review is a review...and who should carp when a reviewer is positive...the big change for me in my thinking is going to see Chavez and Roberto Perez...both of whom have made me think.

I am not an autonomist (I don't think)! any how...

Sarah Grey blogs here by the way.

The essential Monthly Review is here.

Reviewed: Derek Wall, Babylon and Beyond: The Economics of Anti-Capitalist, Anti-Globalist and Radical Green Movements (London: Pluto Press, 2005), 236 pages, paperback, $26.95.

For decades we’ve been told that “there is no alternative” to global capitalism—that trust in the market was …

Green Left 'Nuclear energy is a red herring'

An article entitled "Nuclear Power? Yes please.." appeared in the Independent newspaper on 23 February, 2009. It states that "four of the country's leading environmentalists" advocate nuclear power as a solution to climate change.

The vast majority of the green movement remain staunchly opposed to nuclear power.

FIrstly, it will take more than a decade for these plants to come on stream, which removes one plank of their argument about nuclear power stations to be ready in time to deal with climate change. Renewables are quicker to build.

Secondly, the large companies ready to profit from this bonanza historically ask for huge government subsidies. Were the renewable energy sector to be subsidised on the same scale, the unit cost of the new technologies would plummet.

Thirdly, very few jobs are created in giant nuclear plants, a central concern today as we stare at the abyss of an economic depression.

Fourthly, nuclear power will generate around 8% of our energy n…

Jerry Hicks update 'desperate people resort to desperate measures'

We have, as all of us hoped succeeded in generating the debate and discussion about our union and what it does well, what it does badly and most importantly what it should be doing in these accute times of crisis. So from that point of view we have already won.

I think this paragraph sees it, what ever the result Jerry has raised internal union democracy, the tough fight for jobs during recession and even questions of ecology...however he might even win which would be even is his update

From Jerry Hicks: At the end of the first week, a quick update on the campaign so far to date.

I have had an amazing response from around the country with so many fantastic people helping me whilst visitng workplaces, attending and speaking at meetings, leafleting and joining various demonstrations. So far I have aslo managed to find a bed/settee for the night/s when stopping over!.

But for all the miles and work that I have done I know that many people having been doing 10 times that amount…

The banana massacre is now a biofuel killing spree

In October 2008 Ualberto Hoyos, a Colombian citizens was shot through the head and killed by para militaries. Was this part of a drug feud? Was Mr Hoyos a sympathiser of left wing guerrillas? No, he was killed as a consequence of EU policies aimed at protecting the environment.

In Colombia, there are numerous cases of right wing paramilitaries being used to remove local people from land used to produce palm oil. The European Union are strongly encouraging Colombia to produce more palm oil, despite human rights abuse and environmental damage. The EU is promoting a free trade agreement with Colombia. EU plans to produce 10% of fuel from biofuel will increase demand for Colombian palm oil and with it accelerate human rights abuse.

"The paramilitaries are not subtle when it comes to taking land," said Dominic Nutt of Christian Aid, in an interview with The Times of London. "They simply visit a community and tell landowners, 'If you don't sell to us, we will nego…

An important but risky victory for Venezuela and for socialism

Good guy Greg, I had the pleasure of meeting him when he was over in London last year, his analysis is always worth reading.

Had this from Calvin and Noah and friends excellent 21st Century Socialism site

by Gregory Wilpert / February 18th 2009

The ten percentage point victory (55-45%) that President Chávez and his movement achieved on Sunday, February 15, 2009, in favor of amending Venezuela's constitution so that Chávez may run for president again in 2012, represents a very important victory for the effort to create socialism in this oil producing Latin American nation. However, Chávez and his supporters ought to recognize that this victory comes with a certain degree of risk because it increases the Bolivarian movement's dependency on its charismatic leader.

In other words, even though Chávez is the best guarantor for socialism and progressive social change in Venezuela today, his movement's dependency on him was strengthened by the referendum victory, which is an Achilles …

Morning Strike suspended

I did a European candidates election debate yesterday, which was great fun, especially Douglas Hurd's poor chairing but rather entertaining comments...and I ran into some people I knew from one of Oxfordshire's peace groups.

They told me they found the Morning Star essential, a daily newspaper covering the peace movement.

Its a daily radical newspaper that gives coverage to all on the progressive left. I have disagreements with it but it gives a variety of voices space, much more pluaralist than most political newspapers.

So I have dismayed by the recent strike. I think that the staff deserve to be paid more but I appreciate that most political newspapers pay nothing at all!

Any way glad to learn from today's Press Gazette that the strike has been suspended and both sides are going to be talking.

More on this here

By the way I have column with the Morning Star and no I don't get paid.

Derek Simpson fights for jobs: well his own

Latest on election special (don't forget to
use your vote)

30 mentions in one magazine - almost one per page
Fighting for Jobs (his own and about 5 others)

A member has written to us:
"I wonder if any of you can spot a recurring theme in the latest issue
of 'United', the Unite Spring newsletter which arrived, entirely
coincidentally, in the middle of the balloting period for the Unite
Joint General Secretary post?

Front Cover - an heroic photograph of Joint General Secretary Derek
Simpson with a megaphone
Page 2 - a 'With You In The Dark Days' column by Joint General
Secretary Simpson, accompanied by a photograph, plus photograph of
Simpson with the Prime Minister underneath.
Page 5 - Two photographs of Joint General Secretary Simpson, one with
the Prime Minister, another looking attentive. Three articles on this
page, all of which include quotes from Simpson
Page 7 - Another photograph of Joint General Secretary Simpson with
the Prime Minister
Page 11 -…

Heathrow demo report back

A message from Jean Lambert who spoke at the Heathrow demo last night -
Derek also spoke later and included an appeal for Amicus members to vote for
Jerry Hicks. It was mainly GL people who were on the demo. The counter demo,
which consisted of about 30 people, later walked in front of our demo
carrying placards with Revolutionary Communist Party written at the base.
This, of course, encouraged some of the spokespersons from Campaign Against
Climate Change to have a go at 'strange Marxists'.

One Greenpeace speaker who went to challenge the counter demo said that he
was saddened to see that they were mainly young people. When he had
challenged them on the science of climate change, one of them had replied:
"We will not be dictated to by scientists." This gives you an idea of the
level of intellectual debate behind their group.

Congrats to Romayne et al for organising a strong presence.


Nice to see Romayne's photo in the Daily Star!…

Joel Kovel sacked from Bard College

Just saw this, totally shocking

Joel Kovel fired from Bard College for anti-Zionism


In January, 1988, I was appointed to the Alger Hiss Chair of Social Studies at Bard College. As this was a Presidential appointment outside the tenure system, I have served under a series of contracts. The last of these was half-time (one semester on, one off, with half salary and full benefits year-round), effective from July 1, 2004, to June 30, 2009. On February 7 I received a letter from Michèle Dominy, Dean of the College, informing me that my contract would not be renewed this July 1 and that I would be moved to emeritus status as of that day. She wrote that this decision was made by President Botstein, Executive Vice-President Papadimitriou and herself, in consultation with members of the Faculty Senate.

This document argues that this termination of service is prejudicial and motivated neither by intellectual nor pe…

'Ecosocialist for 500 years'

Just had this...hoping to get Hugo over to the UK in 2010....

At the recent Ecosocialist International Network meeting in Brazil, there was considerable discussion about whether the word “ecosocialism” should be used in Latin America. Concerned that translation difficulties may have contributed to some misunderstandings, the Peruvian indigenous peasant leader Hugo Blanco sent this message to clarify his views.


At the meeting, in Belem, I explained the resistance from the indigenous population to the word ‘socialism’, but neither I nor anyone there proposed to change the name. Until now, this is the best word.

We understand that ‘ecosocialism’ is a new idea for the urban population. This is not the case for indigenous people of the Americas (I don’t know about another indigenous groups, but I believe that it is similar in other continents) who have been struggling for ecosocialism for more than 500 years. Ignoring these remarks will show that your eurocentric belief system contin…

Unite Election - Dirty Tricks and Lies

When radicals look like usually gets dirty

Latest on :
Read the full text by following the link above. The plain text below omits graphs, supporting documents and links.

Unite Election - Dirty Tricks and Lies
In an incredible and quite likely illegal move the union's executive have circulated a 'correction' to the election address of candidate Jerry Hicks.
Unlike the blatant electioneering at members' expense which was Simpson's letter to all members last week (estimated cost £250,000), this document was actually included with the ballot papers. Because of this we believe it constitutes an amendment to Hick's election address and an extension to Simpson's, both of which are illegal. If so it would represent a serious cock-up by the union's legal department and may result in a re-run of the election.
To add insult to injury, the Executive statement is untrue and misleading according to the union's own Annual Returns. T…

Kentucky Fried ecopolitics disagrees with my digestion

Green politics (and socialism) should not be about Kentucky fried, Fox TV (with the exception of the Simpsons), ethical McDonalds or animal abuse.

Very pleased to have this guest post from Alison the way looking for a guest post on Friends of the Earth and their arranged marriage with Murdoch (any volunteers out there?)....I know the bride managed to escape but not being a member of Friends of the Earth I would love to know more about this episode.

Any way enough of my late night witterings...on to some comment and quotes from Alison.

Yes, it's very sad that people cannot see that justice extends to all who are weak and powerless. Mr. Newman also misunderstands nature profoundly and misses a most important fact - the carnivorous animals have no choice but to kill or die; we have no such imperative upon which our survival depends. We can reflect on our actions and their effect on other life. What use our superior brain and the evolution of our consciousness if we don…