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Showing posts from February, 2008

Prominent British Figures Call on ExxonMobil to Respect Venezuelan Sovereignty

Over 50 prominent figures representing a wide section of British society have signed a statement raising concern over legal action taken by oil giant ExxonMobil to prevent the Venezuelan government from exercising its right to control its natural resources. They have urged ExxonMobil to work for “the amicable settlement” of its dispute with the Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA through international arbitration.

The statement is published as Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA goes to the High Court to appeal an English court’s decision to freeze its assets in England and Wales.



The statement points out that “The action by ExxonMobil was in response to the policy of the Venezuelan government to take back majority control of their own oil resources. Unlike other international oil companies, where some 30 out of 32 contracts have been successfully renegotiated and amicable agreements and compensation terms reached with the Venezuelan government, ExxonMobil refused the terms offered.”



Th…

Westgate watch meeting in Oxford

westgatewatch has left a new comment on your post

There's now a campaign website called westgate watch at http://westgatewatch.wordpress.com made by people from Oxford who are opposing the westgate revdevelopment.

Also there will be a public meeting at 7pm, Thursday 28 Feb. Details:
http://westgatewatch.wordpress.com/2008/02/26/public-meeting/

Thanks for this Westgatewatch! Please sending me details and I will time and energy permitting flag them up.

Green politics is about supporting this kind of action and spreading the word....incidentally pleased that some of the Irish Green Party are taking a more critical view of Bertie Ahern...here

Protest on roof of Parliament

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Well while I am out of action for a week or two other than a bit of blogging, etc, it is great to see other people are going for it in a big way....not that even in the picture of health I would be on the roof of the House of Commons.

Plane Stupid as I write are on the roof of the House of Commons protesting against Heathrow expansion...more noise, more climate change, more destruction but with 100% government support. More here

A bit of direct action is to be applauded.

A Plane Stupid spokesman said of the third runway plans: "Two million Londoners face increased levels of noise, while CO2 emissions from the airport would shoot up despite claims by Brown that he's committed to fighting climate change."

I can't praise these people too much....please support PLANE STUPID atwww.planestupid.com
Liberal democracy is too often about the god given democratic right of corporations to make cash. Democratic democracy would be an innovation welcome by me, until it occurs NVDA…

Shelter workers strike needs your support

I think we should all support this, I think our support could help a lot...the alternative is using shelter to push down pay and conditions for public sector workers, all the usual nasty stuff.

This is from the Socialist Unity site:



Homelessness charity Shelter union shop’s ballot for industrial action ended last Thursday. Their dispute arises directly from the government’s policy of commissioning out public services to the “Third” or voluntary sector - Shelter management say they have to cut staff wages and conditions in order to win government contracts for projects previously provided by public sector workers.

The union got a 65.8 per cent turn out for the ballot, and a 76 per cent vote for industrial action — so they will be taking a series of strike days over the next few weeks.

Their first strike day will be Wednesday 5 March, and they will be picketing Shelter’s offices ( at 88 Old Street London EC1V 9HU)

They will be picketing from 7.45 am .

The stewards are appealing for people to …

No to Heathrow

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Stop Heathrow Expansion

End-of-Consultation Rally

Central Hall, Westminster

corner of Tothill St and Storey’s Gate (Westminster and St James’s Park tube stations)
25th February 2008, 7pm

The rally to come to! It is a great chance to show the breadth of opposition there is to the expansion proposals. Bring yourself! No charge! Bring your friends!

Be part of the thousands of voices saying ‘No’!

A wide range of speakers! Live Music! Campaign videos!

We have now arranged for a Lobby of Parliament for the same day – see below

Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg will be speaking at the Rally

Speakers already confirmed include:

Mark Lynas, climate change specialist and author of three books on the subject

Peter Ainsworth MP, Shadow Secretary of State for the Environment

Caroline Lucas MEP, Principal Speaker for the Green Party

John McDonnell MP, Labour MP for Hayes and Harlington

Brian Paddick, Liberal Democrat candidate for London Mayor

Councillor Barbara Reid, Hounslow Council cabinet member, representing …

Ralph Nader will run for President

You heard it first here and the official announcement will come in an hour or two, if I am wrong..hey I am wrong but this is the way I read the geese entrails. I am still backing Cynthia McKinney but which ever of them gets it, a strong Green Party challenge is needed.

Obama is still part of the pro growth, pro capitalist, pro war, pro nuclear establishment...A challenge from outside is near impossible but remains necessary.

Obama praises Reagan and takes cash from the nuclear industry and still provides support for an imperial foreign policy.

Morning Star

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The Morning Star provides an increasingly satisfactory antidote to the Guardian, its morphing into a non sectarian left daily newspaper which is essential reading. It used to be the in house journal of the Communist Party of Britain but it is fair to say that it gives the Green Party excellent coverage, for example, it was the only national newspaper to send a full time reporter to our conference last week.

I often get phoned for a comment by the Morning Star and they run lots of the stories the Green Party press office sends out. Caroline Lucas used to have a column with them and I now write for them once a month.

Well so far so biased but even if they ran none of my stuff I would say this is a long way from the tractor factories of the past, they run stuff from pretty much every section of the British left George Galloway, John McDonnell, Jeremy Corbyn, even the excellent Keith Flett (who is member of the SWP) and John Lister (who I think is involved with Socialist Resistance).

The…

Fear of the other

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had this from Mumia, Thanks Mumia


The Costs of Crime War Myths
[col. writ. 2/14/08] (c) '08 Mumia Abu-Jamal


I caught a brief snippet of the news a few days ago, of Delaware Senator
Joseph Biden's apology for writing, introducing and sponsoring passage of a
1986 Crime Bill which heightened federal penalties for crack usage and
possession.

Sen. Biden said he recognized now that the bill was based on myth. Much
of it hyped by the daily press, which in turn fed the National phobia about
drugs, and pushed politicians to support more and more draconian methods of
repression.

While Biden should be applauded for his rare political honesty, one
can't help but wonder about the tens of thousands (if not more), who are still
stuck in what are essentially life bits, based on fear and myth.

For crack cocaine, despite its fearsome reputation, differs little from
powder cocaine, except in how the users and possessors of both are treated by
the law.

But fear and m…

Subject: Siân censored!

Subject: Siân censored!

From Gary Dunion, Chief Press Officer, in the Green campaign office
http://www.sianformayor.org.uk

--------------------
See the uncensored version of Siân's broadcast: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sSSjGnj6g7k
--------------------

Hi all,

Channel 4 have just screened our Political Slot film - sort of.

In the original film, Siân explained how Greens on the London Assembly won a big pay rise for cleaners in the Fire Brigade by using their power of the Mayor's budget to create the London Living Wage Unit.

But Channel 4 didn't want you to see that. So they cut it out.

They were happy to let us tell you about how we've introduced a scheme to provide advice on greening your home, and how we've won funding to increase the amount and quality of green space in East London. And those are great achievements - but why is it that we're not allowed to tell you that there's more to Green politics than the environment?

We don't know. But it has left us as…

My health news

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Well been to see nice Dr Dass at Green Meadows who has told me to take a week off and I have got an appointment with the fracture clinc at Heatherwood Hospital, I guess if I had anything really severe I would have been strapped to a board but having a cracked piece of Thoracic spine is not encouraging. Got hit by a car two years ago, so it may relate to this.

So I am taking a week away from work and politics. Vince who is my eldest came round with Peter Nicholas who is my ex father in law to cheer me up and I had a nice phone call from Clive who I work for who is always a great support.

So if I teach any of you reading this, normal service will be ressumed next week, apologies but taking care for a couple of days seems the best idea...likewise politics.

Goodness blacking out side Waitrose..eclair in hand, how surreal...still can nearly laugh about it.

Blogwise...when I have energy it will be cut and paste for a while.

Cuba Regrets ‘Past Error’ of Homophobia

Cuba Regrets ‘Past Error’ of Homophobia
by Gerardo Arreola

December 15, 2007

Cuba considers the official homophobia of the past decades “an error” but this period still needs discussing: ”what happened has to be analysed,” says sexologist Mariela Castro Espín. The director of the National Centre of Sex Education (Cenesex) announced at the start of last year a legal initiative to recognise the rights of the transsexuals to identity and to clinical attention, a proposal that has been reformulated through discussion. The project, which still awaits legislative passage, has incorporated among other points the rights of free sexual orientation… and of adoption for same sex pairs, comparable to heterosexual unions. Mariela (is) daughter of the stand-in President, Raúl Castro, and Vilma Espín, the late defender of gender rights.



A controversy broke out last January about the ‘quinquenio gris’ (refers to a gray period, variously interpreted as being of five to fifteen years), as the censorship an…

Castro resignation letter

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Message from the Commander in Chief

Dear compatriots:

Last Friday, February 15, I promised you that in my next reflection I would deal with an issue of interest to many compatriots. Thus, this now is rather a message.

The moment has come to nominate and elect the State Council, its President, its Vice-Presidents and Secretary.

For many years I have occupied the honorable position of President. On February 15, 1976 the Socialist Constitution was approved with the free, direct and secret vote of over 95% of the people with the right to cast a vote. The first National Assembly was established on December 2nd that same year; this elected the State Council and its presidency. Before that, I had been a Prime Minister for almost 18 years. I always had the necessary prerogatives to carry forward the revolutionary work with the support of the overwhelming majority of the people.

There were those overseas who, aware of my critical health condition, thought that my provisional resignation, on July 31…

More Gay SEx

Collapsed and got carted off to hospital yesterday, now out but I need a day or two to mend, so cancelling my engagements, generally taking some rest for a change and when blogging just using stuff from others.

I have heard Peter come out with the idea that sexuality is more fluid than straight/gay for decades....I think he is correct and this is something that needs recognising and celebrating....see what you think.



Sexing the future.
The evolution of human sexuality is likely to involve more people having gay sex but fewer people defining themselves as gay By Peter Tatchel.

The Guardian – Comment Is Free – 14 February 2008


February is LGBT History Month, with hundreds of events taking place across the country to promote awareness of the contribution to society of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people. In a culture that has, until recently, persecuted queers and suppressed us from public life, this reclamation of hidden LGB T history is a welcome and much needed historic…

Greens welcome homophobe Paisley Junior resignation

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NEWS FROM THE GREEN PARTY of England and Wales LGBT GROUP

http://www.lgbtgreens.org.uk/

Greens welcome homophobe Paisley Junior resignation: Northern Ireland assembly- now sack this homophobe!
Review of Northern Ireland’s hate crime standards and policy needed now

18.2.8

In the aftermath of the Resignation of Ian Paisley Jnr from the Stormont Government, Greens want all Members of Northern Ireland’s Assembly to be put under pressure to comply to fair and equal treatment for LGBT people.

Paisley Jnr is the son of the infamous DUP Leader, Ian Paisley, who as the leader of the Free Presbyterian Church attempted to stop the decriminalisation of homosexuality in Northern Ireland and coined the bigotry, ‘Save Ulster from Sodomy’.

In welcoming the announcement earlier today, Phelim Mac Cafferty, media spokesperson for LGBT Greens stated: “I welcome Mr Paisley Jnr's resignation from the Government and I want to call for his sacking from the Assembly. After an outrageous outburst last summer wh…

Green Party passes Justice for the Palestinians motion

Here is the motion:


Justice for the Palestinians

Conference believes that the plight of the Palestinians is an issue that is central to the ongoing instability and violence in the Middle East. A just and durable peace in the Middle East is impossible without a just resolution to the dispossession of the Palestinian people.

For forty years Israel has colonised Palestine while steadily ethnically cleansing the land of its indigenous population and for forty years has illegally occupied the West Bank, Gaza and the Golan Heights.

Israel is in violation of dozens of UN Resolutions, including Security Council Resolution 242 of 1967, calling for Israeli withdrawal from the lands occupied in the Six Day War.

There are more than 200 settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, all of them illegal under international law. Approximately 400,000 settlers live in the West Bank, including over 220,000 in Occupied East Jerusalem.

Settlement areas, bypass roads and military areas account for more t…

Loan shark finance for the post-modern age

Derek Wall addresses conference, Reading 08

16th Feb 2008

By: Dr. Derek Wall

Dr. Derek Wall addresses conference on economy and democracy

Dr. Derek Wall addresses conference on a Green alternative to the faltering capitalist economy

Lets talk about economics. Bill Clinton said, "Its the economy stupid," but I prefer to quote a more radical voice

"A society in which consumption has to be artificially stimulated in order to keep production going is a society founded on trash and waste, and such a society is a house built upon sand".

That's from Dorothy Sayers, the detective novelist who wrote the Lord Peter Wimsey books in the 1940s.

The present economy drives ecological destruction and unless we find an alternative to it, it will sub-prime mortgage the near future.

We have to win the economic arguments and put forward alternatives that work.

On the environment we know that business as usual is suicide. From incinerators - I fought the monster in Slough, that spews deadly …

Obama first Green President?

Having now outstripped Clinton in delegates the Obama band wagon could deliver America's first black President. After Bush Obama seems like a radical change, he is widely seen as a progressive. However to win in the American system big dollars are needed and the corporations are piling into the Obama campaign now that he looks like the front runner. One of his biggest backers has been Exelon one of the US's biggest nuclear power companies (http://www.counterpunch.org/stclair07042007.html). He has also supported a Liquid Coal bill opposed by environmentalists http://www.huffingtonpost.com/glenn-hurowitz/burning-tires-and-liquid-_b_52857.html. The highly toxic bill sought to turn coal into automobile fuel. It doesn't end there, despite recent environmental friendly sounding rhetoric, Obama voted for George Bush's 2005 energy act that paid $27 billion to energy corporations.

Obama is also pro war, he wants to keep the troops in Iraq and believes in beefing up the mi…

Green Bans are the way to stop motorways, etc!

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Jack Mundey being removed by Police 1973


There are some nice photos on the Green Party Trade Union blog here

These are some thoughts from me, see some of you in Reading in a hour or two for Green Party Conference.


Over the weekend the first world's first trade union climate change conference was held in London with input from trade union leaders like Matt Wrack from the FBU and Frances O’ Grady who has been TUC Deputy General Secretary since January 2003. The usual suspects like Caroline Lucas MEP, John McDonnell and myself spoke as well. A healthy 300 delegates came and a trade union climate campaign has been launched

This red green alliance might seem unlike, after all isn't it a choice between jobs and the environment? Certainly the Green Party have held frank discussions with trade unionists who want to expand Sellafield and build a new runway at Heathrow, we have to be frank about disagreement http://gptublog.blogspot.com/2008/02/meeting-with-mick-rix-gmb.html.

Yet there is …

Motorway link to go ahead.

Just got mailed this, thought I would share it...climate change do they give a flying fuck...one suspects not, lets go on driving, building roads, cutting down forests, draining marshes, and carbon trade are way to avoidance...


From today's Guardian - M6 Link Road gets go ahead.

Emissions? What emissions?

Just in case anyone doubted the government's commitment to sorting out climate change, we need look no further than the Heysham M6 link road, or Lancaster northern bypass, which was approved by transport secretary Ruth Kelly last week. Kelly thinks that the 24,000 tonnes of extra CO2 each year that this road will produce is a "significant adverse impact", but that the road should go ahead anyway. Just think: if we had no scientists, or targets or climate change law to encourage us to reduce emissions, we would never have to decide to ignore them.

Also a transport debate on today's You and Yours, featuring John Whitelegg:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/youandyours/listen…

Emergency appeal against destruction in Hebron

Just had this from Gwen Backwell...please pass it on.


Dear Friends

I'm forwarding an urgent action appeal to you from Jerusalem to ask you to take the action requested. It's from the CPT (Christian Peacemakers Team) in Hebron whom I visited just 4 days ago. They are an extremely committed group of mainly American Christians who have a long term but very small presence in the centre of Hebron. They live communally in a house surrounded by barbed wire and military installations in the heart of Hebron old city which has been cut in two because 400 of the most violent, armed settlers have taken over Arab houses and shops around the old souq and have forced out the native population. Hebron is the city most affected by the daily violence of settlers and army (2000 soldiers "protecting" 400 armed settlers against an unarmed population, whose presence even the Israeli government does not encourage (though allows). Several international organisations, including an officia…

some notes on Earth First!

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Wrote a whole book on these people...a big thing and a radical one in the UK.

here are some notes...critical suggestions as oppose to troll abuse (unless witty and sharp) welcome

Earth First! UK and the British anti-roads movement

During the 1990s British environmental activists used direct action in an attempt to halt road construction. A loose network of radical environmentalists Earth First! were central to the anti-roads campaign, Earth First! were originally founded in the USA and projected a philosophy of deep ecology combined with direct action using the slogan 'No compromise in defence of Mother Earth'. Particularly in the 1980s when it was first established in the US, Earth First! often advocated ecologically motivated sabotage including the highly controversial tactic of tree spiking (Lee 1995). In Britain it was far less interested in projecting a philosophy and focussed instead simply on the need to use direct action, based usually on mass mobilisation, to t…

Tara challenge

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http://www.breakingnews.ie/archives/2008/0205/ireland/mheyqlojgboj/
and
http://www.indymedia.ie/article/86111

ENVIRONMENT Minister John Gormley faces a potentially embarrassing High Court challenge over a decision made by his predecessor to allow the M3 motorway to be built over an historic site near the Hill of Tara.

I am very sad that a Green Party is in a government that builds motorways through prehistoric monuments, I mean the SPD only supported the first world war! This is not what I have put the last 27 years of my life into achieving.

Disobedience is the first commandment according to Erich Fromm, count me on this...I will not commit sin.

Tara challenge

http://www.breakingnews.ie/archives/2008/0205/ireland/mheyqlojgboj/
and
http://www.indymedia.ie/article/86111

ENVIRONMENT Minister John Gormley faces a potentially embarrassing High Court challenge over a decision made by his predecessor to allow the M3 motorway to be built over an historic site near the Hill of Tara.

I very sad that a Green Party is in a government that builds motorways through prehistoric monuments, I mean the SPD only supported the first world war!

GREENS URGED TO JOIN CLIMATE CHANGE BILL CAMPAIGN

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INTERNAL NEWS: Green Party of England & Wales
For immediate release 12 February 2008


GREENS URGED TO JOIN CLIMATE CHANGE BILL CAMPAIGN

Green Party Principal Speaker Dr. Derek Wall has added his support to
the cross Parliamentary campaign that is trying to persuade the
Government to set a binding target of an 80% cut in Britain's CO2
emissions by 2050, rather than the 60% that is currently contained in
the Climate Change Bill.

Dr. Wall said

"The Government's targets are too low to seriously address climate
change. We need much stronger and firmer action so I am urging all
Green Party members, friends and supporters to join this campaign.
Protest gets results."

Later in the year MPs will be able to vote on whether to replace the
60% target with a tougher 80% target, which is supported by
environmental groups and leading scientists.

This group has two aims:

(1) to show the Government the strength of support for an 80% CO2
target;

(2) to encourage people across Br…