Showing posts from June, 2009

Debal Deb, Nick Stern, Tahmima Anam and Ramachandra Guha debate ecology this monday

It's time we reconsidered the existing paradigm of development. The world has been talking about sustainable development. But as one of India's leading ecologists, Debal Deb, says: "It is common understanding among natural scientists that if development means unlimited growth in production and consumption of materials, sustainable development is an oxymoron. That's because unending growth of anything in the universe is impossible - except perhaps the universe itself."

British Museum Debate:
Whose landscape is it anyway?

6 July 2009, 6.30pm
British Museum, Great Russell St, London WC1B 3DG

BBC environment correspondent Sarah Mukherjee chairs a debate about the economic, scientific and cultural tensions that arise when humans assert their ability to dominate the landscape, with a particular focus on India. Panel includes Nicholas Stern, author of the Stern Review, Tahmima Anam, writer and journalist, Ramachandra Guha, writer and historian, and Debal Deb, environmental…


30 June 2009


Green Party leader and MEP for the South East Caroline Lucas today responded angrily to the news that Israeli soldiers have boarded a Free Gaza boat 24 miles off the shore of Gaza and cut all of its official communication.

In an email to the Israeli embassy, Dr Lucas MEP called on the Israeli authorities to guarantee the safety of the human rights campaigners onboard and to prevent violence being used against the Free Gaza boat or any individuals sailing upon it.

The boat was on its way to deliver urgently needed supplies to the people of Gaza when the Israeli Navy boarded and told the Free Gaza activists to return to international waters, warning that they “will not be allowed to proceed to Gaza”. The boat’s navigational equipment was electronically jammed overnight by the navy.

Dr Lucas MEP, who is a member of the European Parliament’s permanent delegation to Palestine, said:

“I am deeply con…

Zionists kidnap Cynthia Mckinney

30 June 2009

For more information contact:
Greta Berlin (English)
tel: +357 99 081 767 / This e-mail address is
being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Caoimhe Butterly (Arabic/English/Spanish):
tel: +357 99 077 820 / This e-mail address is
being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

[23 miles off the coast of Gaza, 15:30pm] - Today Israeli Occupation
Forces attacked and boarded the Free Gaza Movement boat, the SPIRIT OF
HUMANITY, abducting 21 human rights workers from 11 countries,
including Noble laureate Mairead Maguire and former U.S. Congresswoman
Cynthia McKinney (see below for a complete list of passengers). The
passengers and crew are being forcibly dragged toward Israel.

“This is an outrageous violation of international law against us. Our
boat was not in Israeli waters, and we were on a human rights mission
to the Gaza Strip,” said Cynthia McKinney, a form…

Defend the Drax 29 says Gayle

Last summer 40 concerned citizens from all walks of life came together to stop a train containing 1,000 tonnes of coal on its way to Drax power station in Yorkshire. Drax is the biggest source of carbon dioxide emissions in the UK and people felt that it was no longer sensible to rely on our government to sort this problem out(as their track record of burying their head in the sand has shown).

The train was stopped by several protestors waving red flags and wearing Hi Viz jackets. This happened on the line destined for Drax. 29 people boarded its roof, and shoveled the coal onto the line. They then dropped a banner saying 'Leave It in the Ground'. All the correct safety procedures were planned in advance and adhered to minimize the risk of causing harm and disruption to anything other than Drax Power station.

The 29 people who boarded the train were arrested and are now standing trial in Leeds Crown Court. They are charged with 'Obstructing the railway' and could face up…

"The soldiers beat us like dogs," said Yamie Viera, 30.

"The soldiers beat us like dogs," said Yamie Viera, 30.

Shocked to find that the Independent is backing the coup.

I can imagine with IMF control, sweeping spending cuts and austerity, nice liberal newspapers calling for a strong hand to defend the British constituency in the future.

Independent? Perhaps not.

The Honduran President has some huge faults but a) the elite wanted him out because he was doing something for the poor and indigenous b) he was removed at gunpoint.

Don't get me started on the environment, the old Latin American elites have slashed and burned the forests, sold off resources and wrecked ecosystems, tragic that British newspapers are unconcerned with this.

Betraying the Planet

Interesting article by Paul Krugman....from the New York Times

Published: June 28, 2009
So the House passed the Waxman-Markey climate-change bill. In political terms, it was a remarkable achievement.

Fred R. Conrad/The New York Times
Paul Krugman

But 212 representatives voted no. A handful of these no votes came from representatives who considered the bill too weak, but most rejected the bill because they rejected the whole notion that we have to do something about greenhouse gases.

And as I watched the deniers make their arguments, I couldn’t help thinking that I was watching a form of treason — treason against the planet.

To fully appreciate the irresponsibility and immorality of climate-change denial, you need to know about the grim turn taken by the latest climate research.

The fact is that the planet is changing faster than even pessimists expected: ice caps are shrinking, arid zones spreading, at a terrifying rate. And according to a number of recent studies, catastrophe …

Soldiers shut democracy protesters.

The BBC seem to be ignoring this.....

TEGUCIGALPA, June 29 (Xinhua) -- Sixty people were injured and one person died in clashes between Honduran troops and demonstrators backing President Manuel Zelaya, local television channel Canal 51 reported on Monday.

One person died of bullet wounds in a taxi, the broadcaster reported, only to be shut down seconds later.

A few minute earlier, Juan Barahona, who leads the United Workers Federation, told Xinhua by telephone that soldiers had fired into the crowd demonstrating outside the Palace of Government.

"When we were dispersed I saw several people with bullet wounds during to the soldiers' shooting," Barahona said. "Two ambulances arrived but so far I don't know if there are deaths."

Local media had reported shooting and tear gas used at the scene, as two helicopters flew over the area.

Shots were heard in the early hours of Monday morning outside the Palace of Government. The president of the Co…




Tuesday 30 June, 5pm

at the Honduras Embassy, 115 Gloucester Place, London, W1U 6JT.

An emergency picket has been called outside the Honduran Embassy in response to yesterday's coup against Honduras' progressive elected president (see VSC statement and further information below.) Please come and show your support for social progress and democracy in Latin America.

· For more information contact Called by Venezuela Solidarity Campaign (formerly VIC), and supported by Unite London and Eastern Region.




Tuesday 30 June, 5pm

at the Honduras Embassy, 115 Gloucester Place, London, W1U 6JT.

An emergency picket has been called outside the Honduran Embassy in response to yesterday's coup against Honduras' progressive elected president (see VSC statement and further information below.) Please come and show your support for social progress and democracy in Latin America.

· For more information contact Called by Venezuela Solidarity Campaign (formerly VIC), and supported by Unite London and Eastern Region.

Castro's daughter speaks for gay rights, in London

Panel debate after Strawberry and Chocolate - Cuban gay movie

Saturday 4 July 2009, 8.45pm, Barbican Centre
Silk Street, London EC2Y 8DS

Coinciding with Pride London, a special screening of the ground-breaking Cuban gay movie, Strawberry and Chocolate, will be followed by a panel Q and A with Mariela Castro, the pro-gay rights daughter of Cuba's president Raùl Castro, niece of Fidel Castro and director of the Cuban National Centre for Sex Education in Havana.

Mariela Castro will be joined on stage after the screening by the film's screenwriter/director Juan Carlos Tabio and by Alberto Roque, a leading gay rights activist in Cuba.

The event is part of the Barbican season, Cine Cuba: 50 Years of Revolution in Film, which runs from Friday 3 July to Thursday 9 July 2009.

Ticket bookings online: or phone 0845 120 7527

Tickets £9.50 on the phone or at the box office, and £7.50 for bookings online.

More about the event

The Barbican welcomes some very exciting gues…

VSC Statement on military coup in Honduras


VSC Statement on military coup in Honduras

Today (Sunday June 29, 2009) there was to be non-binding national consultation as to whether the people of Honduras agreed to hold referenda at the end of the year for a new Constitional Assembly and for a new constitution. Just on Saturday June 28, President Zelaya was meeting international observers regarding details of today's (29 June) referendum.

Early this morning -June 29- (about 5:45 am Honduran time) heavily armed units of the military (according to eye witnesses, about 200 soldiers) occupied the presidential palace, arrested democratically-elected President Manuel Zelaya in his personal residence, kidnapped him, taking him to an unknow destination. Eye witnesses inform that President Zelaya's personal residence is surrounded by soldiers. Telesur report that President Zelaya confirmed by phone that he is in Costa Rica.

The military then proceeded to close down Channel 8, the state TV channel to prevent it from inform…

John Gormley must resign over conservation failure

perhaps I could marry up the commentators who say the Irish Green Party is Green with those who insist that there hasn't been a coup in Honduras....many impossible things before midnight?

Group calls for Gormley resignation

Irish Times - - 24 June 2009

Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Governement John Gormley must resign due to his failure to protect Irish heritage sites, representatives of the Save Tara campaign have said.

Members of TaraWatch, the organisation which runs the campaign, held a protest outside Custom House in Dublin today to voice their dissatisfaction with the minister, who they say has reneged on promises to nominate Irish cultural areas such at the Hill of Tara, the Burren and Clonmacnoise to the UNESCO World Heritage Committee, which meets in Seville today.

"He has totally reneged on his statutory duties to protect Irish heritage and the Irish environment," said spokesman for the campaign Vincent Salafia.

The group was also critical of the …

Obama condemns the coup

I take most of it back, we do have a new President in the Casa Blanca.

"We recognize Zelaya as the duly elected and constitutional president of Honduras. We see no other."

Venezuela sends aircraft to pick up Honduran president Zelaya

Condemn the coup in Honduras

A group of at least 100 soldiers surrounded the residence of Honduran President Manuel Zelaya early Sunday morning, hauled him out of bed, took him to an air force base and put him on a plane for Costa Rica.

I was shocked to learn of the coup in Honduras, the army have deposed the President. The people of Honduras should be free to elect a president not to have to endure rule by a military junta....however disguised.

I am calling on all members of the Green Party to protest. Environmental destruction flows from the ability of a minority to enclose resources and devastate nature for short term gain. A return to the rule by an elite who want the freedom to steal the resources from the indigenous is likely in Honduras, the network of indigenous put out statement showing their concern that the president would be ousted

Brazil, Costa Rica and Venezuela are leading the protest and the people have taken to the streets to mobilise against military rule.

Greens need to be at the forefront of pr…

Mps home seized in West London

Nice to see the Sunday Express working with civic minded people on an investigation:

Photographs taken by the squatters yesterday suggest a very different story inside. Litter and rubble are strewn across the surfaces of the fitted kitchen. By contrast, the Keens’ “second home” is in a riverside complex with its own swimming pool. In the past four years the couple have billed taxpayers £137,679 for the flat’s upkeep. Under Commons rules they can claim the money only by declaring that they spend most nights at their home in Brentford.

yes the home of Alan and Anne Keen, the MPs who have taken huge expenses for a posh flat, has been occupied by local people.

Good, how sickening, I think its the worst MP scandal, empty home, while so many are homeless in London.

more from Indy media

A group of housing activists have entered and occupied the house of Anne and Alan Keene. Both Labour MPs they were known as “Mr and Mrs Expenses” two years before the MP spending scandal broke; Mrs Keen, a health …

SR & Green Left plan ‘Climate & Capitalism’ seminar

Planned for Saturday September 12, Climate and Capitalism is the first seminar organised jointly by Green Left and Socialist Resistance, the ecosocialist currents in two of Britain’s left parties, the Greens and Respect. This energetic and open day of discussion will bring experts, campaigners, radical activists and others together. The event will be in the Friends’ Meeting House, London, NW1 (at Euston).

The plan for the day

After registration at 10, the opening plenary will addressed by Romayne Phoenix, from Green Left, and Ian Angus, editor of “The global fight for climate justice”, a new book being launched next month. Romayne is a Green councillor: Ian is one of the Socialist Resistance advisory board.

Before lunch, at least three workshops will be held, all with plenty of time for questions and discussions, to give the context for the combined economic and ecological crises. Amongst those planned are:
1. Crisis and the response: with Sean Thompson, author of new pamphlet on the Gree…

message from Ramona Africa


ONA MOVE, Everybody. August 8th will be here in a heartbeat and MOVE people will not allow it to pass without everybody being reminded of the vicious system attack on MOVE on August 8,1978, particularly since our family has been unjustly imprisoned for 31 years now. We are asking people to flood local radio programs with calls on August 7th and/or 8th reminding people about The MOVE 9 and their unjust imprisonment. The 8th is a Saturday so sometimes it's better to call in a radio program on a weekday. If it's planned early enough, we can arrange for one or more of The MOVE 9 to call into a radio program. You can also write letters to the editor in local newspapers to remind people of this ongoing atrocity. There are some Black August programs planned for this August, be sure to include The MOVE 9 in these programs. The main thing is to keep the issue out there. Be sure to let me know what's happening in your area this Augu…

Irish Green Party damage Green politics internationally

This is a photo from the Save Tara campaign.

Tara Group Smoke Out Greens

The Irish Sun - Tuesday, September 9, 2008

DEMONSTRATORS Siobhan Rice, Vincent Salafia and Colm MacNiallais, of the Save Tara Campaign don fat cat suits and smoke cigars to protest at Green Party headquarters in Dublin yesterday. They say the land for road construction at Tara highlights the Greens ’sell-out’ since entering government with Fianna Fail. The fuming trio also slammed the party’s failure to deliver on their pre-election promises. A recent carbon tax call by the Greens as well as their support for budget cuts in spending on public transport, such as the Metro and the Western rail link were raised by protestors.

Here are my most recent thoughts on the Irish Green Party:

A calamitous coalition

The Irish Green Party has provided a textbook example of how not to do green politics. Who would have thought a Green Party would cut bus services and support motorway-building through a heritage site? Who would have be…

House of Commons told of massacre in the Amazon

I attended Cafod's meeting in the House of Commons with speakers from Peru Support and Survival International on the attacks on indigenous people in Peru.

President Alan Garcia condemned the indigenous as 'primitives', repealed laws protecting their land and sent solidiers into kill them when they protested.

Marijke Deleu, an eyewitness to the killings at Bagua, showed us graphic photos of bullet wounds and burned victims of the Peruvian regime.

The indigenous are highly organised and their protests have forced the Peruvian congress to restore protection of their land.

After being shown these photos, the Peruvian Ambassador was asked to respond...he started by condemning the fact that no MPs had come along to hear him and asked that this compliant would be 'off the record'. He was quite angry about the lack of MPs, while I don't generally defend British members of parliament, they were a bit busy yesterday during the meeting voting for a new speaker of the house o…

Marta Harnecker on strategy and change

Can we learn from the British left...well with all respect to some of the good people I know in the British left, the answer is no. By 2087 they will have got some where, perhaps? at this rate.

Are the Greens more sophisticated though?

That has to be no as well...where we should be looking is Latin America, from a weak position radicals have taken power and introduced change...imperfectly yes but less imperfectly than greens and the left in Europe.

This is from Links....part of a series of articles by Marta Harnecker....looks interesting

Marta Harnecker: Ideas for the struggle #8 -- The left must attempt to set the agenda for struggle

[This is the eighth in a series of regular articles. Click HERE for other articles in the series. Please return to Links regularly read the next articles in the series.]

By Marta Harnecker, translated by Federico Fuentes for Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal

1. In the previous article, we stated that a large section of the party left has found i…

Indigenous womens' manifesto

The indigenous are a vanguard for serious ecological politics on the planet we live, each victory they win is a victory for the rest of humanity and the rest of nature.

Here is the indigenous womens manifesto

Latin America: Manifesto of the First Continental Summit of Indigenous Women
Puno, Peru -- May 27-28, 2009 -- We, indigenous women gathered in the sacred lands of Lake Titicaca, after two days of discussions and deliberation raise our voices in these times when Abya Yala’s[1] womb is once more with childbirth pains, to give birth to the new Pachakutik [2] for a better life on our planet. We, indigenous women, have had a direct input into the historical process of transformation of our peoples through our proposals and actions in the various struggles taking place and engendered from the indigenous movements.

We are the carriers, conduits of our cultural and genetic make-up; we gestate and brood life; together with men, we are the axis of the family unit and society. We join our wombs…

NSSN’s 3rd Annual Conference, London, Saturday 27th June:

NSSN’s 3rd Annual Conference, London, Saturday 27th June:
if you are an elected union rep or activist, see you there!

The third annual conference of the NSSN/National Shop Stewards Network will be held in King’s Cross, London, on Saturday June 27th. Once again 200 plus trade union reps from all over will meet to discuss current trade union movement problems, plan how to strengthen our movement at all levels, and, last but not least, be inspired by some of the best speakers thrown up by current campaigns, struggles and strikes.

Founded at a Conference called by the RMT in October 2006, the NSSN is proving its worth as a solidarity network. Workers in construction, car manufacture, local government, the Civil Service, Royal Mail, universities, schools, and most other sectors, use the NSSN to promote their union’s best policies, establish new contacts within their own union, advertise marches, rallies, and of course picket lines. The NSSN is working for workers!

The NSSN is NOT an exclusi…

Get over to Rossport to stop shell

There is a strong direct action campaign against Shell's activities in Rossport...all hands on deck though because the pipe laying ship is on its way.

By the way watched the excellent 'Those who dance' film about the protest last sunday at the London socialist film coop

The Solitaire (the biggest pipe laying ship in the world) has been sighted off the Donegal coast, and is heading our way…If you’ve been waiting for the most important time to come to Mayo: this is it. The camp really needs people here to continue last year’s brilliant resistance. The Solitaire will be here any day, so we need you here now! This is a crucial stage in the campaign: the time frame for work is very limited by good weather and action now against the Solitaire can really help put a stop to Shell’s project.

The beginning of the summer has already seen sustained action against Shell here in Mayo, with regular action and protest-check out or There is a w…

Help Needed in Norwich North By-Election

From now until the general election, our focus switches from the European Parliament elections (where we received over 1.2 million votes, from people like you) to the general election.

Our three “target constituencies” are Brighton Pavilion (Caroline Lucas), Norwich South (Adrian Ramsay) and Lewisham Deptford (Darren Johnson).

Before then, the Norwich North by-election will be the first by-election where the national media take the prospects of a Green win seriously. We have a great deal of work to do, and we are asking you to swing behind this effort in a big way, as other parties (most notably the Liberal Democrats) do in similar circumstances.

We could gain general election credibility nationwide from a good result in the seat.

Here is just one of the large number of bullish press stories that have appeared about the byelection –…

More news from Peru

more great coverage from the Morning Star on Peru, thanks amigos, excellent stuff.

The indigenous are very well organised and politically astute, good for them...not that I am advocating violence.

RESISTANCE PAYS: Amazonian Indians make their message heard in Lima

Peru’s government has promised indigenous communities that it will ask Congress to revoke decrees that would make it easier for multinationals to exploit their lands.

The Amazonian peoples' anger over the decrees sparked two months of road and river blockades that turned violent on June 5 when police opened fire on activists.

According to the government, at least 24 police officers and nine civilians were killed.

But indigenous leaders said that at least 30 members of their community had been killed and accused police of hiding bodies.

Cabinet chief Yehude Simon signed a conciliatory pact after a four-hour meeting with leaders of 390 indigenous communities on Monday in the central jungle town of San Ramon.

The 12-point agreement…

SOAS occupation news from green left and spiked on line

I don't usually reference spiked on line positively, when I want a bit of right side thinking I always reach for my Economist...nonetheless I am glad Joseph let me know about this.

An account of the protest and occupation. Like Pete, I was very moved by
the speeches yesterday and the woman in her cell in Yarls Wood being
encouraged by the cheering crowd. "It is only your support that is keeping
me going" she said via the mobile. I suppose I am just an old fashioned
idealist. After all, Rosa Luxembourg was moved to tears by the beating of
a horse and the grinding down of poor migrants who have the temerity to
challenge their exploiters is a cause for tears.


The students have today been served with a court injunction giving them
two hours to vacate the director’s offices. Yet Richard Reynolds, a
student from the University of East Anglia who rushed down from Norwich to
lend his support to the occupation, reports that – de…

Sean Thompson reports back from Compass conference

I went to the Compass event yesterday – I would have reported back before except that not having access to email for two days meant I had hundreds of the bloody things to wade through this morning.

It was an interesting event for a number of reasons. First it was big – getting on for 1000 attendees (incidentally, it was reported that Compass has 4,000 members and 25,000 on its mailing list).

Secondly, the atmosphere was remarkably open and non sectarian. When Neill Lawson read out a ludicrous blog by Luke Akenhurst, a Hackney Blairite councillor, attacking Compass for inviting Caroline and Jean (“In my borough and in Oxford, Norwich and Brighton, the Labour Party is engaged in a strategic electoral battle with the Greens. We don't need a dialogue with these single-issue clowns and their anti-working class policies, we need to attack and destroy them.”) the audience responded with a great roar of laughter. Caroline, Jean and Salma were all very warmly received.

Jean spoke at a worksh…

New Book: The Global Fight for Climate Justice

New Book: The Global Fight for Climate Justice
June 11, 2009

Resistance Books announces a new book from the editor of Climate and Capitalism. Please post and distribute this announcement widely.

New Book Announcement


Editor: Ian Angus
Publisher: Resistance Books (London)
ISBN: 978-0-902869-87-5
Publication Date: July 2009
Trade paperback: 6” x 9” (15cm x 23cm)
284 pages

“Essential reading for everyone who is serious about confronting the climate emergency.”-Emma Murphy, co-editor, Green Left Weekly

As capitalism continues with business as usual, climate change is fast expanding the gap between rich and poor between and within nations, and imposing unparalleled suffering on those least able to protect themselves.

In THE GLOBAL FIGHT FOR CLIMATE JUSTICE, anticapitalist activists from five continents offer radical answers to the most important questions of our time:

* Why is capitalism destroying the conditions that make life on Earth possible?
* How can we s…