Greenman's Occasional Organ

Ecosocialist. Syndicalist. Critical Techno-Progressive.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Weekly Links - 18/11/2007

A whole range of interesting links for you this week.

Civil Liberties

First up this week, the news that Amnesty International have spoken out on the proposed extension of detention without trial in the UK.
The proposed 56 day detention (a doubling of the current limit)is condemned as being internment by another name.
The effect of internment in the Six Counties was disastrous. The introduction of similar policies by the back door to attempt to deal with the current security situation in Britain is likely to be similarly damaging to community relations and a recruiting tool for the extremists.
More sceptical views on the "anti-terror" policies of the UK government at CAMPACC (Campaign Against Criminalising Communities).

Human Rights

Green Party/Green Left supporter Peter Tatchell on Indonesia and Uganda -

Here, Peter interviews Indonesian Human Rights Campaigners Carmel Budiardjo and Adriana Siti Adhiati.

Here, on the Times Online, Peter looks at the situation in Uganda

Uganda is drifting towards dictatorship, just like Zimbabwe a decade ago. The Ugandan President, Yoweri Museveni, is a new Robert Mugabe in the making, a budding tyrant who is subverting democracy and human rights (according to Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch) through voter intimidation, hounding opposition politicians, detention without trial, torture, extrajudicial killings, media censorship, corruption, suppression of protests, homophobic witch-hunts, and crackdowns on universities and trade unions.

And how is he rewarded for these abuses? By being given the honour of hosting the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Kampala in two weeks' time.


Greenpeace have also been active in Indonesia - against the destruction of rain forest for palm oil plantations.

The protest came less than three weeks before a UN climate change meeting on the resort island of Bali, where delegates from 189 countries will debate ways to slow down global warming, including the impact of dwindling tropical rainforests.

The group's Rainbow Warrior ship dropped anchor next to the MT Westama, which was set to leave for India from Dumai in Sumatra island, one of the Southeast Asian nation's main ports handling palm oil.

Greenpeace have also been targetting climate-unfriendly activities in Australia after a report exposed the country as the biggest per capita carbon polluter.

The Greenpeace protest came after a report by the US-based Carbon Monitoring for Action database (CARMA), found Australia was the world's biggest carbon emitter per capita, and ranked seventh in terms of overall carbon emissions.

Arms Trade

The reverberations continue from the landmark ruling where the Campaign Against the Arms Trade (CAAT) and The Corner House were granted permission to bring a full judicial review hearing against the UK Government's decision to cut short a Serious Fraud Office (SFO) investigation into alleged corruption by BAE Systems in recent arms deals with Saudi Arabia.

There are still two dates left in the speaking tour on this subject - in Edinburgh on Wednesday 28th November and Newcastle on Thursday 29th November - more details here.

The full judicial review hearing has now been scheduled for some time
after 28 January 2008, and is expected to last two days. The hearing will
not be about the allegations that BAE ran a 'slush fund' to influence
officials for its Saudi arms contracts, but will consider only whether the
UK Government acted illegally in ending the SFO investigation into these

In the meantime (but probably before the end of this year), a further
Court hearing will take place to prepare for the judicial review. At this
Directions Hearing, the Court will rule on matters such as:

- the extent to which the Government may apply for Public Interest
Immunity Certificates to prevent public disclosure of the Government's

- what, if any, safeguards may be put in place (such as the appointment of
security cleared Special Advocates to represent CAAT and The Corner House
in the event of any closed hearing);

- the full details of the Protective Costs Order awarded to CAAT and The
Corner House in principle


Amongst interesting blogs at the moment Derek Wall reports on managing to address both conferences of the opposing parts of Respect this weekend.

Meanwhile the Socialist Unity Blog report on the Labour Representation Committee conference.

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