Greenman's Occasional Organ

Ecosocialist. Syndicalist. Critical Techno-Progressive.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Weekly Links 19/10/08

Green Politics
The Campaign For Better Transport is running a campaign to get UK MPs to support a Transport Bill amendment to make it greener.
Michael Palin is a leading light of the Campaign for Better Transport and is speaking at a CFBT fundraiser at the Southbank Centre on 13th November.
Michael is like me, Sheffield born, so local CFBT campaigns around the Woodhead Tunnel and the Peak District will have a special interest for him.

Workers and Unions
I reported on Friday about the PCS strike ballot. On Tuesday of this week the Union is holding a meeting at Westminster to discuss the so-called welfare "reforms" proposed in the government's Green Paper.

There was a general strike in Italy this week - good to know that resistance to the Berlusconi regime continues.

From the USA, Daniel Gross has an article on the Counterpunch website about the case of Alexandra Svoboda, an IWW activist subject to Police brutality during a peaceful march last year -

A peaceful union march is brutally attacked by police. A union activist’s leg is horribly disfigured and nearly amputated. Maimed possibly for life, she is charged with multiple felony offenses.

The battleground is not the coalfields of Harlan County in the 1930s or 1970s; it's not an example of anti-union violence in Colombia or the Philippines. Our setting is present day Providence, Rhode Island.

An exhibition of Art for Palestine, by artists from Palestine, the Arab World, China and the UK - Occupied Space 2008 is to be on show in London for the first two weeks in November. The exhibition is organised by the Palestine Solidarity Campaign.

And Finally ...A Bit of Music
Finally this week, a bit of music. The US election campaign has unleashed further waves of distortion and propaganda from the established media. Meanwhile in Britain we have had the unedifying spectacle of a New Labour Minister (incidentally a much unloved National Union Of Students leader in my days of study) playing to the reactionary media gallery on the topic of immigration. One of the best agit-prop songs on media distortion of the last few decades was Billy Bragg's "It Says Here" - a song that he tends to adapt to changing circumstances for live appearances. Here is a youthful angry version from You Tube. Speaking of adapting songs to changing circumstances - have a listen to one of Bragg's later versions of "Waiting For The Great Leap Forwards" here.
One of Bragg's popular radical songs is The World Turned Upside Down about the Diggers of the English Revolution - explained here and sung by songwriter Leon Rosselson, a legend of rebel protest music in Britain whose songs have been recorded by a variety of artists.

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