Showing posts from September, 2014

1000 people march in London against ISIS assault

Brief report from Sarah Parker, thanks Sarah for permission to use
I thought people might like a short report of today's demonstration for Kobane and against ISIS.

Don’t let Kobane fall!

On Sunday 28 September 1000 or so people marched from Angel Edmonton through Haringey to the Kurdish community centre off Green Lanes to protest against the siege of Kobane, and the silence of the international community over the blatant  military support of the Turkish state for the ISIS fighters who are besieging the Kurdish town of Kobane in Northern Syria. Most of the people on the march were Kurdish from Turkey; there were also contingents from the Turkish left. Stephanie and Sarah took the Haringey Left Unity banner. The march went down Fore Street and Tottenham High Road and Philip Lane, West Green Road to Green Lanes. Slogans in Kurdish, Turkish and English included:

Unite against ISIS! Long live the Kobane resistance! Long live YPG[1] <#_ftn1> ! Who beheaded American journ…

Unite Against ISIS attacks in Kobane March in London



Kurds will march from Angel Corner, Edmonton to Haringey on Sunday 28th Sept. 2014 from 1pm to condemn ISIS attacks on the city of Kobane, Northern Syria (Western Kurdistan) and ask for the support of the UK public and government

ISIS gangs have been attacking the city of Kobane since 15th September 2014. They have been beheading and kidnapping civilians in the villages they have laid siege to. Over 160,000 people have been displaced, most of them fleeing across the border to Turkey, where they are being attacked by Turkish soldiers, with one Kurdish civilian being killed by soldiers on the 26th and two being wounded.

Today is the 12th day of attacks on Kobane. ISIS is using heavy artillery, tanks, missiles and US military technology to bomb the city. Despite the brave resistance of Kurdish fighters, unfortunately they are being overpowered by the superior military capability of ISIS. To add to this the AKP government of Turkey are still turning a blind ey…

Kurdish Demonstration stop the genocide from #ISIS and #Turkey Wednesday 24th 1pm Parliament Square , London

Kurdish Demonstration Wednesday 24th 1pm Parliament Square

From Kurdish Unity Facebook <>

To all, we will be gathering on - Wednesday 24th September at 1pm - for a Gigantic Protest in Parliament Square.

 According to new information, the situation in Rojava, Kobani, is even more serious than previously thought. It is the difference between Kurds holding onto their freedom currently in Syria to Kurds losing control completely and facing a genocide on a scale possibly not seen in the History of the Kurds. This will inevitably impact the Kurds in all parts of Kurdistan.

 We are calling upon Kurds from all parts of Kurdistan. Bakur, Başur, Rojhilat and Rojava to gather in Unity to protest against ISIS terrorists and to call for the UK government to send both humanitarian and arms to Kurds in Rojava.

 Please …

Thank you for Lucha Indigena appeal

Editorial MANY THANKS FOR THE MINGA [Agricultural societies commonly have a custom of shared labor for a common goal.  Among the peoples of the Andes, this is known as minga.  Opposite the editorial in the present issue of LuchaIndígena is a letter from Manuel Rozental and RaúlZibechi, announcing the initiation of a financial campaign in support of the magazine.  The goal in the present period is to assure a regular supplement of US$1600 per month, mostly through "solidarity subscriptions" from comrades in sympathy with our purposes.  There follows a consideration of possible ways of organizing the minga for the long term.  This latter question is still under discussion.  The editorial is a comment on this very welcome development.  Translator's note] The comrades working at LuchaIndígena

Green Party determined to stop extracting ever more coal, oil and gas

Caroline Lucas MP and other Greens supporting a Frack Free Zone The Green Party of England and Wales are active in the campaign against fossil fuels. Here, Derek Wall - their International Coordinator - explains the role the Green Party has taken in the fight against fracking. The message at the heart of Green Party of England and Wales work on climate change is to stop extracting ever more coal, oil and gas. It is vital to expand renewables but to prevent runaway climate change we need to contract carbon based fuel. This is why our party views fracking as so dangers. Fracking has a range of ill effects and associated problems but, above all, it is a source of CO2 emissions. The current British government is embarking on a fracking frenzy, tax cuts are being given to frackers and there are plans to make it possible to frack in national parks. While an English person's home may in theory be their castle, frackers will be allowed to frack under other peoples property w…

Stop the ISIS attacks on Kobanê Stop the continuing arms supplies to ISIS from Turkey

Kurdistan National Congress (KNK) statement, 17 September, 2014

Stop the ISIS attacks on Kobanê
Stop the continuing arms supplies to ISIS from Turkey

Solidarity with Western Kurdistan (Rojava) 

The Middle East continues to resemble a tinderbox. The barbaric organization ISIS increasingly terrorizes the entire region. Apart from attacks on Kurdish regions in Northern Iraq, where ISIS repeatedly massacres Kurds (especially Êzîdîs), Christians, and Turkmen -Mosul and Tikrit have already been captured-, ISIS has resumed attacking the Kobanê region in Northern Syria since mid-September in the most brutal ways. The region had already been targeted by the terror organization in the summer of this year. By 18 September 2014, already 21 villages had to be evacuated due to ISIS attacks, forcing thousands of people to flee. If the Kobanê region falls under ISIS control, more massacres with thousands of deaths and hundred thousands of refugees will be inevitable.

Rojava as a democratic…

Emergency protest against ISIS, Turkish Embassy 12-3pm today

Urgent appeal to the world – Stop the brutal attacks by ISIS in KobanePress Statement
Since 15 September the Islamic State has been carrying out the heaviest attacks yet on the Kurdish population of the Canton of Kobanê in Rojava (Western Kurdistan). Weapons delivered by Turkey are being used as well as weapons looted during the recent violent sweep through North Iraq. Representatives of Kobanê report that the weapons are being delivered from Turkey to the Islamic State by train. The AKP government is openly supporting these attacks by ISIS before the eyes of the  world. Furthermore, an increased presence by the Turkish army is visible on the border with Kobanê.

Up to the time of writing (15.00 hours, 18.09.2014), 21 villages have had to be evacuated because of the attacks, and thousands of people have been forced to flee to the town centre of Kobanê.

If the attacks go on for too long, there is a danger that Kobanê will fall under the control of ISIS. The consequence would be the massa…


This was agreed in May but seems a good day to repost!

On 18 September 2014, the Scottish people have an opportunity to determine their own future as an independent country in a free vote. The choice that they make in this independence referendum will influence the lives of future generations. Furthermore, the result will have a profound impact on the fortunes of peoples throughout the world – the Kurds included - who hold similar aspirations to take greater control of their own lives and who are seeking to determine their own futures.

At stake are not borders, national flags or emblems, but whether free people have the right to decide their own futures in a democratic state. It is for this reason that the Kurds will be watching closely the vitally important developments unfolding in Scotland over the next few months.

The Kurds, involved in their own historic national struggle for respect and recognition as a people, see democratic autonomy as form…

Review: Capitalism and its Alternatives by Chris Rogers. Zed Press

Capitalism and its Alternatives by Chris Rogers. Zed Press

Chris Rogers attempts to describe contemporary capitalism, to suggest that it is inevitably crisis ridden and that an alternative is needed. He also describes various alternatives to capitalism. This is a relatively short and admirably clear book.  It provides a good introduction to political economy and Chris to his credit summarises much interesting material, much of which will be new to readers, with considerable economy.  I have two general criticism, though.  First, the book is ambitious but at 170 pages too concise.  This means that many important topics are ignored, for example, the ecological ill effects of capitalism are ignored and discussions of topics such as Marx's conception of crisis are far from exhaustive. My second criticism is political, while he clear wishes to end capitalism, his perspective via the autonomist Marxism of John Holloway, seems inadequate to do so. Chris Rogers provides a ve…

The Act of Killing

I am watching The Act of Killing, imagine a country where over 600,000 people were killed by para military death squads and imagine 40 years later interviewing those who killed.

Not monsters or cartoon villians but real human beings undertook killing on an industrial scale.

Death squads are on their way back, from Honduras to the Philippines, Colombia to the Middle East, groups of right wing para military groups kill for a mixture of ideology and greed.

What makes them tick?

A scary film and unpleasant film but a necessary one.

Green Party conference motion supports Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign

Emergency Motion to Green Party conference September 2014

Very pleased this was passed by over 2/3rds at Green Party conference on saturday we also had packed meeting on Gaza
"Conference condemns Israel's ground invasion, aerial and marine bombing of Gaza, and calls on Green Party and Green Party elected representatives to take what steps they can to put existing Green Party policy into action and to ensure that the underlying causes are addressed, acknowledging there can be no lasting peace without justice.  Such steps include: ·Reiterating our calls on the UN, the EU and the US government to ensure that Israel complies with international law; ·Supporting these calls by active participation in the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign. This campaign aims to put pressure on the government of Israel to end the Occupation and to give equal rights to Palestinians. The campaign asks individuals, organisations, councils and governments to refuse to deal withcompanies and…

Rojava at Green Party conference

I had a very conference, as well as running a session on Ostrom and the commons and chairing Gaza/Palestine, I also chaired a session with speaker about the plight of Christians in Iraq/Syria and two Kurdish speakers.

Green Party members listened intently to Dr Alan Semo, representative of the main political party in Rojava, the Democratic Union Party.

I learnt that via Jenny Jones and London MEP Jean Lambert, the Green Party has had a long standing relationship with Kurdish political organisations.

Ocalan, the imprisoned leader of the PKK, whose sister Party Dr Semo represents in the UK, has read the works of social ecologist Murray Bookchin.

The PKK and PYD (Democratic Union Party) promote grassroots democracy, ecological politics, feminism, pluralism and secularism.

I am hoping to continue to build solidarity with Rojava and to spread the word about all the communities attacked by the jihadists in Iraq/Syria.

Good background article here…

Book Review: Richard Seymour 'Against Austerity' Pluto. 2014.

Book Review:  Richard Seymour 'Against Austerity'  Pluto. 2014.

(Published in Green World the Green Party magazine)

In May this year, 20 year old Martin Hadfield, committed suicide after being rejected for over 40 jobs.  He had refused to accepted benefits and felt a failure.

 £1.5 million is being slashed from Kew's budget with a loss of 120 jobs.  Austerity has led to a host of other environmentally damaging cuts from reduction in funding for bus routes to reduction in various forms of environmental protection. 

For Richard Seymour austerity is about restructuring our society rather than cutting deficits.  With higher debt in the past, record low interest on government bonds that makes it relatively painless to finance debt, there are plenty of arguments to suggest that we don't need to destroy the welfare state and close old peoples’ homes.  To the extent that government debt demands reduction, at all, from cutting Trident to dumping subsidies for nuclear power a…

Green Party conference: A beginners guide

Conference runs from tomorrow, 5th September to Monday.  Green Party membership has risen by 30% this year and there will be more members coming to conference, I think, than ever before.  At least 750 at the latest count.

It may be a confusing experience for new members, so here are some thoughts. 

All attending members can vote on policy, the controversial area is energy where a long paper has been submitted, amendments to reverse our long standing anti-nuclear policy, will generate controversy.

The energy paper is likely to be discussed and voted on Saturday morning.

As well as policy and organisational motions there are conference speeches from our leader Natalie Bennett and from Caroline Lucas our MP and other leading members.

Plenaries are another aspect, glad to have the Bolivian ambassador talking about climate change along with Jean Lambert MEP.

There are numerous fringe events, I am chairing one on Rojava and the crisis in the Middle East, with Kurdish and Christian represe…

Democracy against the State

Miguel Abensour's 'Democracy Against the State: Marx and the Machiavellian Moment' covers a fascinating topic.

Machiavelli rather than just providing a political guidebook to evil 'The Prince' has been understood also as a republican radical.  In his 'Discourses on Livy' he discusses Levy's history of ancient republican Rome, while the discourses cover some of the same ground as 'The Prince' the text from Machiavelli is about how to defend a republic.  Machiavelli was a promoter of democracy, in the form of his own beloved Florence, which for a time was a democratic city state.  Well Ok for Mac and the ancient Romans and ancient Greeks, plenty of people were excluded from the democratic system!

A source on all this The Machiavellian Moment by Pocock.

Spinoza owned a complete works of Machiavelli and studied him with great interest.  Marx made notes on Spinoza's Tractatus Theologico-Politicus but not I think on Machiavelli.  Marx studied anc…

New book on the Ostroms

Paul Dragos Aligica's new book 'Institutional Diversity and Political Economy: The Ostroms and Beyond' (Oxford University Press), fascinates me.  It is full of ideas.  Stimulating unusual ideas.  So often I look at books and kind of think 'I know about this already', not this one.

However I would not recommend it as a first book on the Ostroms.  Vincent and Elinor were unusual thinkers and its a good idea to get a feel for where they were coming from before tackling this.

Paul looks at their themes such as diversity and shows how a new generation of scholars are extending them.

Nearly every paragraph contains interesting and very important themes.

Forget the 'state versus markets' debate, the starting point here is that there are a diversity of institutional forms, even states and markets and networks would be a gross simplification.

Thinking beyond the market and the state, is radical.

The normative, theoretical and empirical embrace of diversity instead …

Appeal from Rojava on the World Day of Peace, 1 September 2014

Appeal by Co-chairman of the PYD, Mohamed Saleh Muslim, on behalf of the people in the cantons of Rojava,  Qamişlo, 01.09.2014

To the international community,
To the members of the United Nations,
To all international aid organisations,

On the occasion of the World Day of Peace, I want, as someone who has not lost his hope for peace, to address this letter to you. The purpose of this letter is not to describe to you the tragic events that have occurred in Syria over the past three years. However, I hereby appeal to you to take responsibility to make an end to this tragedy: I also want to tell you how we are trying to live up to our responsibilities.

In March 2011, the population of Syria for the first time went to the streets to express their legitimate demands concerning the Assad regime, and we have attempted to revolt against a system that has for decades suppressed and tormented our population. We have driven the regime forces from the Kurdish majority settlement areas …

Amelia Womack wins, Green Party leadership ballot results

The results of the Gpex elections 2014 were as follows:
Party Leader: Natalie Bennett was elected 2618 Re-Open Nominations (RON): 183
Party Deputy Leaders:
In the first round – Amelia Womack was elected with 1598, Will Duckworth's 1108
In the Second round – Shahrar Ali was elected 1314 to Will Duckworth's 1277
Gpex Chair: Richard Mallender was elected 2640 to RON 101
Campaigns Co-Ordinator: Howard Thorpe was elected 2546 to RON 181
Elections Co-Ordinator: Judy Maciejowska was elected 2631 to RON 161
External Communication Co-Ordinator: Penny Kemp/ Clare Phipps/ Matt Hawkins were elected 2586 to RON 147
Management Co-Ordinator Mark Cridge was elected 2636 to RON 82
International Co-Ordinator: Derek Wall was elected 1416 to Anna Clarke’s 891
Trade Union Liaison Officer: Romayne Phoenix was elected 2639 to RON 94
Policy Co-Ordinator: Sam Riches and Caroline Bowes were elected 1786 to Rachel Featherstone and Anna Heyman's 839
Publications Co-Ordinator: Martin Collins was elected 2468 to RO…