Greenman's Occasional Organ

Ecosocialist. Syndicalist. Critical Techno-Progressive.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Links and Events

Many upcoming events in the UK and elsewhere that might interest those of a green/left persuasion, so a section on these as well as some other links this week.

Coming Events
Keep The Post Public National March and Rally
CWU Midlands region proudly hosts a national march and rally on Saturday 14th March 2009.
To be held in the constituency of the minister for postal services Pat Mc
Fadden MP.

Assemble 11.30am at the SIKH TEMPLE, corner of Greencroft & Arthur Street, Bilston, Wolverhampton

Speakers include

Billy Hayes GS CWU

Dave Ward DGS(P) CWU

Geraldine Smith and John Grogan CWU supported MP'S

Roger McKenzie TUC

Gerard Coyne UNITE

Chaired by Jane Loftus CWU Vice President.

The CWU also have a National Rally and Lobby planned for 24th February in London.

Anti-Heathrow Expansion Demo 19th Feb - Beat the counter-demo !

A message from the Campaign Against Climate Change -

Urgent - now is the time to fight on Heathrow !
Demonstrate against Heathrow Expansion, Downing Street,
London from 5.30 pm this Thursday 19th February
This is a demonstration against the crass decision to expand Heathrow – 5.30 pm to 7.00 pm opposite Downing Street.
Speakers to include John McDonnell MP, Susan Kramer MP, Jean Lambert MEP.
Pre-demo photo-op 1.00 pm, see below.
However, a counter-demonstration in favour of expanding Heathrow is happening at the same time in Parliament Square. See here –
We need maximum number of people to make sure their effort is dwarfed. Please make it if you can – its only an hour or so after work. No doubt there’s aviation money behind the counter-demo (it also looks to have links with the whole sceptic backlash network..) …we have to beat them with people-power !
If you can make it lunchtime – 1.00 pm – for our photo op outside the Dept of Transport, Horseferry Road (St James Park or Westminster tube) that would be really helpful. This is for media for whom the demo is too late in the day, and is our chance to get our message across in advance.
The theme is Green Future versus the BROWN past – please come dressed/equipped appropriately for either of these – on one side, the colour Green - windmills – solar panels – placards saying ‘low carbon economy’ ‘Green jobs’ ‘renewable revolution’ etc…and on the other side the colour Brown, aeroplanes, smoking chimneys, coal, placards saying ‘business as usual’, ‘carbon-intensive growth as usual’ ‘climate suicide’ etc..etc…(note we have Gordon Brown masks – we need appropriate placards for Brown to be holding – and props to go with them)
You can also bring the themes, as described above, to the demo itself. Or your own brilliant ideas and creativity. (We will be there from 4.30 pm if you want to help us get set up)
Finally - they will never build the 3rd runway but this decision shows that Brown is happy to continue in ‘carbon-intensive-growth-as-usual’ mode just when we should be sending out a strong signal that we are making climate change priority number one, in advance of the critical Copenhagen Climate Talks coming up in December …….. Another reason this decision has to be challenged ….to the maximum degree possible !

March for Jobs, Justice And Climate - 28th March
I have mentioned this before, and it looks to be shaping up to be a biggie. Now is the time to pull together our local networks of activists to mobilise and organise transport for this and the other events around the G20. Despite the usual, predictable, soggy centrist pleading to the ruling class of the union and NGO leaders these events will offer an opportunity to raise more radical demands and strategies and connect with broad swathes of the population coming into socio-political activity and conflict with the status quo. This is the press release that went out last week -

A huge new platform of unions, development agencies, faith and environmental groups plans to tell world leaders attending the G20 summit in April that only just, fair and sustainable policies can lead the world out of recession.

The alliance, which includes the TUC, Oxfam, ActionAid, Friends of the Earth and CAFOD, is calling on people to join a major demonstration for jobs, justice and climate in London on Saturday 28 March, five days before the summit.

Under the banner Put People First - March for Jobs, Justice and Climate, the groups will demand decent jobs and public services for all, an end to global poverty and inequality, and a green economy.

The march will assemble on the Embankment en route to Hyde Park for a rally to be addressed by speakers and celebrities from the UK and around the world.
The organisations backing Put People First say: “Recession must not be an excuse for putting off action for global justice or to stop climate chaos. The only sustainable way to rebuild the global economy is to create a fair distribution of wealth that provides decent jobs and public services for all, ends global inequality and builds a low carbon future.”

TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber said: “People are angry at the job losses caused by this recession made in the world’s banks and at the slow response of world leaders to the challenges of poverty and climate change.

“But while these are going to be desperately tough times, the collapse of free market fundamentalism and the big changes already brought about by President Obama provide the hope that world leaders can change course and start to build a fair and sustainable world.”

Director of the Stop Climate Chaos Coalition Ashok Sinha said: “We can and must tackle climate change and the economic downturn together. Only by investing in green jobs and thriving low carbon economies will a sustainable way of life be secured for generations to come.

“The lives and livelihoods of millions of poor and vulnerable people across all countries are at stake. The leaders of the G20 owe it to those most at risk yet least responsible for both the economic crisis and the threat of climate chaos to help create a global Green New Deal to tackle both.”

ActionAid Head of Policy Dr Claire Melamed said: “The crisis is more than a banking failure - it is a crisis of the whole system, but also a huge chance to put the economic system on a new and fairer path.

“With rising inequality and poverty made more desperate by the impact of the financial crisis, world leaders have to step up to the challenge - and the world is watching. The time is now: to make finance transparent and accountable, to share wealth more fairly, and to make markets work for everyone.”

People can keep in touch with the campaign via the website

Text of the statement endorsed by organisations backing the march: On Thursday 2 April the leaders of 20 of the world’s biggest economies meet in London to tackle the recession and global financial crisis. Even before the banking collapse caused recession, the world suffered vast poverty and inequality and faced the looming threat of climate chaos. Governments, business and international institutions have followed a model of financial deregulation that has encouraged short-term profits, instability and an economy fuelled by ever-increasing debt, both financial and environmental. There can be no going back to business as usual. The only sustainable way to rebuild the global economy is to create a fair distribution of wealth that provides decent jobs and public services for all, ends global inequality and builds a low carbon future. Recession must not be an excuse for putting off action for global justice or to stop climate chaos. Creating a just, fair and sustainable world is the only lasting way out of recession.On Saturday 28 March thousands of people will march through London as part of a global campaign to challenge the G20 leaders.
Our message is clear.
We must put people first.
Put People First: Decent jobs and public services for all.
Put People First: End global poverty and inequality.
Put People First: Build a green economy

Initial list of organisations backing the march: ActionAid, Action for Global Climate Community, ACTSA (Action for Southern Africa), Advocacy International, Akina Mama Wa Africa , BECTU, BOND (British Overseas NGOs for Development), Bretton Woods Project, CAFOD, Centre for Democracy and Development, Chartered Society of Physiotherapy, CHIC (Change is Coming), Christian Aid, Equity, Everychild, Fairtrade Foundation, Fatima Women’s Network, Friends of the Earth, Global Call to Action Against Poverty, GMB, Jubilee Debt Campaign, MRDF (Methodist Relief and Development Fund), Musicians Union, Muslim Council of Britain, National Union of Journalists, National Union of Teachers, New Internationalist, One World Action, Oxfam, Pants to Poverty, PCS, People and Planet, Progressio, Salvation Army, Save the Children, Stamp Out Poverty, Stop AIDS Campaign, Stop Climate Chaos Coalition, Tax Justice Network, Teach a Man to Fish, Tearfund, Trade Justice Movement, Trades Union Congress, Trading Visions, Traidcraft, UCU (Universities and Colleges Union), UK Aid Network, UNISON, UNITE, War on Want, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, World Development Movement, World Vision, WWF.

Jim, at Daily Maybe has info and links on a whole lot of other events coming up, including the Campaign Against Climate Change Trade Union conference and a Hands Off the People Of Iran benefit and Pete Postlethwaite talking about his climate change themed film - Age of Stupid.

Tyne and Wear Working Class Bookfair
Tyne and Wear GMB of the IWW are organising a Working Class Bookfair in March -
Saturday 14th March between 11 and 4.00 at the Linskill Community Centre, North Shields, Tyne and Wear.

During the bookfair we also have 3 meetings on site:-

Dave Hopper, Gen Sec, Durham Miners Association
(NE Area NUM) and Davie Guy, President North East Area of NUM (and DMA) are speaking at 12.30 on the Miner's Strike 25 Years on, and the NUM today.

Tyne and Wear IWW on organising at work.

Trevor Bark (WEA) on the Credit Crunch.

Printed publicity available.

Web site:- (comments welcome!)

Unions and Work

A message from the (UK) Labour Research Department
The TUC and its affiliated unions have asked the Labour Research Department (LRD) to carry out a survey on climate change and the workplace. We hope to find examples of union workplace action on global warming and to identify the problems faced by union reps and activists in this area. The survey will contribute to union campaigning and publications on the environment.

The survey is on LRD's website:

Please spend a few minutes completing the questionnaire as soon as

The campaign of Jerry Hicks in the Unite union election continues to be supported by various left bloggers including Green Left's own Derek Wall.

Meanwhile, Dave Osler blogged this week on the dispute at the Morning Star newspaper.

British Politics
Surprise, Surprise! the architect of New Labour's Draconian Welfare "Reforms" has defected to the Tories. I'm surprised he bothered really, but I suppose he is trying to get in with the likely new regime - looking after number one, no change of personal politics and prejudices required! Says it all really.

The crisis rumbles on. The question is now being seriously asked as to which country in the EU will be the first to default on its debts. One contender for this dubious honour is currently Ireland. We are on the verge of completely new political and economic territory internationally - the ancient Chinese curse of "living in interesting times"!
Derek has blogged this week on death threats and harassment of journalists, peasants and environmentalists in Peru.

Finally this week, a good post on the Socialist Unity Blog from Phil BC, where he links a selection of lefty blogs, some new, some old friends. Plenty of good reading!

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At 1:57 pm, Blogger Jim Jay said...

The put people first thing on march 28th looks really important - I've only just woken up to it really... am going round postering for it now to make up for my slack attitude!

At 3:07 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

28 March looks really important. Do blog about it, leaflet, tell your friends, family aquaintainces - this one has to be big!


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