Showing posts from August, 2008

Obama - Biden? Change? Not So Much

I am looking forward to Mumia's take on Sarah Palin the Alaskan right wing goes on Biden, more power to neo-liberal globalisation I guess.

[col. writ. 8/23/08] (c) '08 Mumia Abu-Jamal

The choice of Delaware Sen. Joseph Biden as the Vice Presidential pick of Sen. Barack Obama (D.IL) and his presidential campaign challenges the central theme of the run, and suggests that the constant critique of inexperience is finding its target.

For, no other analysis makes sense.

Biden is a likable guy, but his past presidential runs have had all the oomph of a ham sandwich. He has been a Washington insider for several generations!

He hails from the tiny state of Delaware -- with perhaps 3 electoral votes. As a state that has been safely in the Democratic column since 1992, it brings Obama no more that he needs to corral the electoral votes required to prevail.

Also, Biden, for all of his vaunted foreign policy experience, voted for the Iraq War, despite all the …

‘People are pissed off with us.’

More from New Labour here.

I once did a Red Pepper Labour Party conference fringe meeting in Brighton, I am not quite sure why I was asked I have never been a Labour Party member or had much connection with the Party.

The audience confessed how they had been variously demoted from positions as councillors and carved up in various ways by the Blairites but admitted that mostly because New Labour had put the party in power, they would stick with the project. Given Labour's long years of defeat in the 1980s they had a point perhaps.

Neo-liberalism has never been about power for 'labour' and now it has run out of steam for the 'third way' supporters and no longer even provides electoral success for career politicians.

What happens next?

My feeling is that Crudas and Compass will make the party just about acceptable to some on the left and to the unions to keep the show on the road, after election defeat, thus blocking the creation of any real left alternative.

Perhaps I am …

Peak Oil may be a myth.

Yes, Hubbert was right about US oil, yes supply of a finite resource will eventually disappear in useable forms.

However oil reached around $150 a barrel this summer because of economic reasons not simply exhaustion of reserves.

From OPEC to speculation to lack of refinary capacity to conflict in the Middle East a host of factors has been driving the price up, I guess it could fall below $100.

I suspect it will never be cheap and yes oil addiction is unsustainable as I constantly argue, however like Schnews I think the effects of burning oil on the global biosphere are more of a threat than 'peak oil'. If we really were running out of oil the world would be a safer place.

Venezuela's large reserves explain why Chavez is always being attacked....the US want a tame government who will supply cheap oil to keep their SUVs on the road.

On to Schnews

God isn't Schnews good, I which could expand to a 100 page weekly glossy then I could use it to replace the Economist, diy anarchis…

Green Party Conference and other events.

Party conference is next week

In SOAS in London.

Green Left have a fringe on 4th Thursday at Bolivar Hall, 54 Grafton Way on the 'Greening of Latin America', Roberto Perez will be speaking, he is of course the famous permaculturalist from Cuba in the 'power of community' DVD.

Hugo Blanco's son Oscar has also kindly agreed to talk briefly about the situation in Peru, where the indigenous have won a major victory to protect their land and the rainforests.

Our second fringe is on Palestine/anti-Zionism with the Jewish Socialist Group and Palestine Solidarity on the friday night at SOAS.

See you next week for these.

Or if you are Brixton on sunday head down for the Urban Green Fair, lots of good stuff to do...I am talking about John Pilger's film 'The War on Democracy' standing in for my friend Pablo Navarette who helped make the film, in one shocking scene his father talks about being tortured after the coup against Allende.

The US continues to war against democr…

Pakistani Democracy -- and Ours

[col. writ. 8/18/08] (c) '08 Mumia Abu-Jamal

With news of the abrupt resignation of Pakistani general-cum-president, Pervez Musharraf, comes the stark realization that, in Islamabad, democracy means the power of the people over that of a dictator.

It also means that Pakistanis so believe in their Constitution that they were willing to confront a military dictator who violated it.

Musharraf, buffeted by the bellows of opposition, chose to switch, rather than fight. He knew that parliamentary opposition parties were intent on impeaching him for violation of the national constitution.

They protested in the streets from the elites to the poor, and Musharraf threw them into jails. Former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto was assassinated under suspicious circumstances.

Some 7,000 miles away, another president violates the constitution at will, and breaks both statutory and international laws on torture, secret prisons, renditions, illegal detentions, wiretaps -- and on an…

Solidarity with Harry's place


Notes on Peru struggle from Ian Angus

this is an intro to the Hugo Blanco piece below from Ian Angus in Canada via Socialist Voice, joys of globalisation this is all cooperation from those of us in London, Weston-Super-Mare, Canada and Cusco!

Don't forget the joint Green Left/Bolivarian Embassy of Venezuela rally on the latin american green process next thursday 4th September at Bolivar Hall, Grafton Street.

Hugo Blanco on the
Indigenous Struggle in Amazonia

Introduction, by Ian Angus

On August 22, Indigenous people in the Amazon rain forest areas of Peru celebrated a victory in their struggle against laws that promote privatization of communally owned land.

Last October, the country's right-wing president, Alan García, outraged Indigenous communities by saying their refusal to permit exploitation of timber, oil and minerals on their lands was a result of "taboo, laziness, indolence or the law of the gardener's dog that says: `If I don't do it, no one can.'" Garcia continued:

"In addition …

No compromise in defence of Mother Earth, indigenous kick corporate arse in Peru

Oscar who lives in the UK kindly translated this from his father Hugo Blanco, I must admit so much so called environmentalism and green politics is very very indirected. Some one says I have a plan or a scheme or an ideology to save the world. 'Vote for me and I will make history, buy my organic washing up liquid'.

lets face it all is good or most is quite good but for no bull shit action to save the planet, the indigenous in Peru win the price.

To fight climate change we must fight the enclosure and destruction of the planet, the indigenous are also educating the Latin American left about ecology.

If there is a vanguard for sanity on our planet it is amongst the indigenous. We need to be showing solidarity, learning and yes we need to elect real greens and yes we need to organise protest and yes green trade unionism is vitally important.

However something is stirring in the forests....any way enough of me, on to Hugo!

Clash of cultures
Clash of philosophies


Lucha Indigena defeat Alan Garcia's plans to destroy the Amazon

As part of the 'free trade' agreement with the USA, Peruvian President Alan Garcia had argued for new laws to make it easier for corporations to take communal land belonging to the indigenous for mining and oil extraction.

Over the last week the indigenous people of the Peruvian Amazon with the support of workers in major cities took direct action in protest at this move. Garcia is still threatening to mobilise the army against the indigenous.

But the Peruvian congress has repealed the law that would have made it easier to take the land because of the protest.

Lets be clear, climate change can only be defeated by stopping the extraction of fossil fuels and preserving carbon sinks. The most important task serious greens have is to defend the indigenous in their global fight for ecology! Their fight for the forests.

Particularly in Latin America the indigenous are arguing for their right to develop ecologically to gain prosperity via sustainable and socially just principles.

They a…

Cynthia McKinney my kind of Green candidate

Hey Derek. I hope you're doing well. I just wanted to send this your way. A California Hip Hop group called Some of All Parts has just released a pro-Cynthia McKinney/Rosa Clemente, pro-Green Party song. Here is the video:

Take care,

pioneer of gay law refom Leo Abse dies

Very sad to hear about the death of Leo Abse, 'My partner's father, Leo Abse, died last night. He passed peacefully away
in his sleep at the age of 91, so it could have been a lot worse', according to Jane Ennis, who emailed us just now. He was a Labour MP who created some big and positive changes. The one positive bit of the Blair regime was constitutional change that produced PR for some elections, the Welsh Assembly, the Scottish Parliament, London Mayor, etc. The big achievement of the Attlee government was the welfare state and particularly the NHS.

Wilson's government in the 1960s produced a sexual revolution but it was driven by Leo who created the bill that legalised homosexuality and back bench MPs.

I run into to Toby Abse his son, his partner Jane is one of my comrades in the Green Party and Green left.

Toby teaches at Goldsmiths, where I am a visiting lecturer and he is a stalwart of the Ecosocialist International, Jane and Toby, myself and my partner Sarah e…

Greens support RMT

‘full support’ for RMT strike action in Tubelines: Green Party Trade Union Group
Green solidarity with public transport workers
Greens question Tory transport policy for London. BT way this release was put together by Phelim Mac Cafferty from GPTU

The Green Party Trade Union Group fully supports the 1,000 Tubelines’ workers who intend to start the first of two 72-hour strikes, after the company tabled a poor offer on pay and conditions.

In line with trade union legislation, the RMT gave notice of their industrial action last Wednesday but have neither heard from Tubelines’ management, not Chief Executive Terry Morgan.

RMT members voted by a margin of three to one to take strike action over pay, pensions and travel facilities. The RMT’s general secretary. Bob Crow, has made the comparison with Metronet where workers doing exactly the same job as those who maintain track and trains for Tubelines on the Jubilee, Northern and Piccadilly lines, have been offered higher pay rates, a superior …

The Battle of Chile

Hi everyone,

This Wednesday (20th), instead of our weekly meeting, we will be screening
the first part of the excellent documentary "The Battle of Chile" at
Bolivar Hall. In this film, director Patricio Guzmán captures and
analyses with a surgeon's precision the dynamics of the revolutionary
process that brought Allende to the presidency, his relationship with the
Chilean masses of workers and poor peasants, and the destabilising actions
of the Chilean counter-revolutionary forces aided by the helping hand of
the US administration in the events that led the failed attempted coup of
June 29th. The parallels with Venezuela could not be clearer.

6:45 PM, Bolivar Hall, Grafton Way W1 (nearest tube, Warren Street), free
entry, hope you can make it! More info:

Best Bolivarian wishes!
HOV London

Cold War 2: A new game with added blood

I have just overheard on Sky News -- transmitted over Five TV -- that the Russian incursion into Georgia is reminiscent of the Cuba Crisis of the early 1960s.

I wonder how many Sky News viewers know or remember that the siting of Soviet missiles on Cuban soil was a consequence of American missiles being placed in Turkey beforehand?

I also note that Poland has just signed up to siting Nato missiles on its soil. Perhaps the Polish parliament had that matter on their agenda before the Russians came down so heavily on Georgia?

Alan Wheatley

A good point Alan, Putin's Russia has abused human rights and fought a very nasty war in Chechnya, when do we hear the West complain, ironically when Georgia launches an attack and the Russians respond.

Looks like Bush has restarted the Cold War

Greening Latin America event

‘Greening Latin America’ 7pm to 9pm, Thursday 4th September,

Bolivar Hall: Embassy Of Venezuela
54 Grafton Way
W1 5AJ
Chair: Joseph Healy, Green Party of England and Wales International Secretary


Roberto Perez, Cuban permaculturalist who launches his British tour .
Dr Diana Raby, Lecturer at the Institute of Latin American Studies (University of Liverpool)
Nestor Lopez, from the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.
Dr Derek Wall, Green Party Principal Speaker

‘This meeting will show case the progress being made in Latin America with an emphasis on Cuba and Venezuela in dealing with climate change, biodiversity and range of
environmental issues. It will examine the lessons in terms of politics and environmental policy that both the Green Movement and the wider left in Britain can learn from the Latin American experience.’

Organised by Green Left


26th to 28th September, Manchester
All Welcome!

Climate Camp 2008 was an amazing achievement, but we still have a long way
to go if we're going to halt devastating climate change.

All are invited to the first Post-Climate Camp National Gathering, to be
held in Manchester from the 26th to 28th of September. The gathering will
offer a chance to reflect on where we are at, and decide where we go from

Crash Space will be available. More details to follow very soon.

Any queries, email

Stop the neo-nazi march in Berlin

I am forwarding this message from Priya Shah, one of our Euro candidates in
London, and a young Green activist on immigration and anti-racism issues. I
will write to the Mayor of Berlin and German embassy on behalf of the
national party but it would be good if members could also address their
protests to these authorities.

Joseph Healy
International Coordinator

Dear All,

The Neo-Nazis have announced that they will march on 23rd August to protest
at the proposed building of a Hindu Temple in Berlin. They have decided to
march through the largest immigrant district of Berlin (Neukoelln) ending at
the proposed site as they believe that "symbols" of this nature attack
'German' culture.

Curiously this ignores the fact that the swastika is an ancient hindu symbol
which was hijacked by the Nazi Party as its' official emblem. It's ironic
that the neo-nazis themselves don't see this 'foreign symbol' as an attack
on their fragile identity and may even use it during the mar…

Climate camp 2? August in Norfolk with EF!


Carry on camping

Climate Camp: everywhere, all year round

Climate Camp worked by flagging up the locura of building a new generation of coal fired power stations. I marched to the power station on saturday.

The police told us if we didn't move on at 1.30 we would be charged by horses, have dogs set on us and batoned...fuck we must have been doing something right.

Some people even got over the fence. The policing as we all know was hugely excessive...found a great bit of analysis here.

The truth of social movement using direct action is a simple one. Powerful vested interests construct a managed democracy. Conventional politics as some one told me Chomsky said is usually the 'periodic ratification of elite decision'.

More accumulation of wealth and power for the few.

Direct action is a way of exerting counter power, from the suffragettes, revolts against land enclosure and all the rest, counter power is necessary.

Climate camp did this.

It also provided an inspiring example of real green idea…



Date: Fri 15th Aug
Time: 6.45pm - 8.30pm
Venue: Abrar House, 45 Crawford Place, London W1H 4LP (nearest tube: Edgware Road or Marble Arch)

Speaker: Larry Lohmann (The Corner House)

The struggle of Muslim villagers in southern Thailand to resist the construction of the Trans Thai-Malaysia gas pipeline and various spin-off industries illustrates some of the ways in which ethnic, religious and environmental conflict are closely connected. While Thai elites and international investors (including most, prominently, the UK's Barclays Bank) portray the project as 'socially responsible', the protesting villagers have increasingly turned to Islamic principles of waqf - land designated as given over to God and therefore available fo…

'possibly involving monkeys'

I went to the horse hospital in Bloomsbury for Mark Steel’s book launch yesterday. On the face of it the premise of the book is a bit sad in both senses of the world, all about his mid life crisis, he is now 48.

But don’t let this put you off, it is very funny and honest and good to read, I would challenge anyone to put it down. it’s a best seller already but seems squarely aimed at readers of Socialist Unity blog. The premise is that 99% of us have had a bad relationship break up and that political parties are a bit like relationships.

Mark was in the Socialist Workers Party from the age of 18 and divorced them last year. Bad break up but who hasn’t been there. I certainly can’t say it has been orgasmic bliss every day from the last nearly 30 years of my life with La Verde. In fact in 1990 I walked out the door for an extended liason with Earth First!

Obviously I need my next book to be a humour filled account of the internal politics of the Green Party, SOC and the vegan freem…

Conviction for obstruction over turned

Dan Viesnik a green activist (who left GP after the leadership referendum) won his appeal today against his conviction for obstructing the police at an anti--arms fair demo in Downing St last September. Dan will be issuing a press release giving further information soon.

More details when I get it but hope for I guess a lot of people going to Kingsnorth tomorrow.

Shame he left the party over the Leadership vote, we lost a few good people and I hope they come back....

Climate camp at lego land

I guess that to be fully realistic they would have needed to put in on the lego police and nobody would have that many bricks.

Well it wasn't me officer....but I live about 1/2 mile away from Legoland, eco revolutionary action is a bit sporadic around here...Whigs and Hunters by E.P.Thompson is a classic which looks at the fight against enclosure in the Windsor Forest and there was a bit of 19th century hunt sabbing in Berkshire as well.

There was before I lived locally tree sitting to stop the Royals cutting down some of the oaks....

So went to Mark Steel's book launch yesterday, comedy, free beer and I am in his book being harangued by Cllr Rania Khan, 'hoo, hoo'...more on this later.

And see you tomorrow and sunday at the climate camp, unless there is a road blog at lego land to stop me getting to the train station, of course.

Has Gordon promised £3 million to repress climate camp

Mahbubul sent me this, thanks....a whole lot of cool Islam out there that people don't know about!

How Islamic inventors changed the world

From coffee to cheques and the three-course meal, the Muslim world has given us many innovations that we take for granted in daily life. As a new exhibition opens, Paul Vallely nominates 20 of the most influential- and identifies the men of genius behind them.

Saturday, 11 March 2006

The Independent

1 The story goes that an Arab named Khalid was tending his goats in the Kaffa region of southern Ethiopia, when he noticed his animals became livelier after eating a certain berry. He boiled the berries to make the first coffee. Certainly the first record of the drink is of beans exported from Ethiopia to Yemen where Sufis drank it to stay awake all night to pray on special occasions. By the late 15th century it had arrived in Mecca and Turkey from where it made …

LGBT asylum petition

LGBT Greens launch petition to push Urgent review of Home Office approaches to LGBT asylum

Calls for instruction, training and guidance for all asylum staff


Phelim Mac Cafferty, media spokesperson for LGBT Greens stated:

“After much campaigning on the issue since the cases of Iranian LGBT asylum seekers Pegah Emembakhsh and Mehdi Kazemi came to light, we have got clearance from the web team on the Prime Minister’s website for our petition.

“We now challenge the government to start treating LGBT asylum seekers with the fairness that they deserve. These are people who’ve often fled persecution, rape and torture who flee to our country and our response is to lock them up like criminals. We say enough is enough of this inhumane policy- we need to stick our necks out now and stand up for LGBT asylum seekers.”

The full text of the petition is at and below-

In the light of the cases of Pegah Emembakhsh and Mehdi Kazemi, Iranian LGBT asylum seekers, who …