Greenman's Occasional Organ

Ecosocialist. Syndicalist. Critical Techno-Progressive.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The G20 Alternative Summit must go on!

Disturbing developments in London -


Tuesday, April 31st 2009. 3 p.m.


* The G20 Alternative Summit must go on! Classes and lectures must go on!

* In only a few hours a petition to Keep UEL Open receives over 1400 signatories from across the world, including well-know academics and writers, e.g. Naomi Klein.

* University is a crucial centre of democracy. Democracy is now the only safe path for the world out of the current multifaceted crisis.

London – Following the decision of the University of East London’s Corporate Management Team to close down the entire university on Wednesday, April 1st and Thursday, April 2nd, staff and students have launched a petition to keep the university open, arguing that they “would feel ashamed of UEL if this institution […] were to become known as the university that had closed its doors to democratic debate and education in times of crisis such as these.”

The University of East London was scheduled to host the G20 Alternative Summit on Wednesday, April 1st, intended as a popular assembly for everyone engaged in current struggles for social justice. Amidst fears over ‘security’ in light of these G20 protest events, management first withdrew its support for the Alternative Summit and subsequently decided to shut down the entire campus for the duration of the G20 summit and protest events, cancelling lectures and classes and shutting the library.

In the petition, staff and students are arguing that such ‘security’ considerations are a “classic excuse for every historic attempt to curtail free speech. Instead of seizing the opportunity to become a common space thriving with creative energies, [the University of East London] plans to become an empty shell for two days.”

The petition states that,

“It is time for the university management to become accountable not only to the government funding bodies, but to the wider public to whom it owes both its livelihood and a duty to fulfill its role as a part of civil society. The past 3 decades have seen public spaces such as universities hollowed out by the state and by corporations, as more and more of our common resources are transformed into sterile commodities, valued only in cash terms. In universities this has led to a policy regime which increasingly sees ‘employability’ in the ‘creative industries’ or in ‘business and finance’ as the only benchmark of success by which a university education can be judged; which sees research separated from teaching; which sees ‘knowledge transfer’ to the commercial sector as the only legitimate destination for the fruits of inquiry."

The signatories to the petition, which include a number of well-known academics from universities across the globe, including writer and activist Naomi Klein, are urging UEL management to “reconsider [their] decisions and take this unique opportunity to open the university as a crucial centre of democracy, since democracy is now the only safe path for the world out of the current multifaceted crisis. We must keep our university open to staff and students, rejecting the claims and ‘risk assessments’ that reproduce fear instead of promoting dialogue. We urge you to take responsibility for enabling the university to act as a truly public space for debate in a time when nobody can doubt that radical new ideas are needed.

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Quick Weekly Links

A very busy week this week, so just time for a few links that might be of interest.

Matt Sellwood has put a draft of his forthcoming pamphlet on Greens and The Left in Britain on his blog and is requesting comments - read it here.
Matt also has video of Mark Thomas' contribution to the Put People First Rally that I mentioned in my last blog entry - good rabble rousing stuff, with humour. A report and pics from the march and rally on the Lenin's Tomb blog here. Joseph Healy's reflections here.

Meanwhile, some interesting links from Jim's Daily (Maybe) blog here.

In other news this week (as the Two Ronnies used to say!)a big victory for the anti-incineration movement in Cornwall.

The RMT are balloting for strike action on the London Underground in a battle against job cuts, a pay freeze and management bullying.

Information here on another story I have covered previously - latest developments in the battle to defend the William Morris gallery in Walthamstow.

Finally, the International Labour Organisation (ILO) issued a report on "The Financial and Economic Crisis: A Decent Work Response," which examines current rescue efforts in 32 countries, including all members of the G20, and notes that demographic projections suggest that nearly 90 million net new jobs would be needed over 2009-2010 to absorb new entrants in the labor market and avoid a prolonged jobs gap. The study calls for enhanced cooperation among key international organizations and a reprioritization between these goals, to, inter alia: pave the way for a green economy; and enhance the Green Jobs agenda, considering that green technologies tend to be more job-rich than their carbon-intensive counterparts. A more sceptical view on likely "green bailout plans" from India here.

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Saturday, March 28, 2009

28 March London Demo Pics

Some good pictures of the Put People First Demo in London today posted on Indymedia -
It was a bit showery, particularly at the end in the Park, and not quite as big a demo as I would have hoped, but nevertheless it was a good day out with a good positive feeling and relatively "light" policing. The Green helmets from Avaaz were great, as were the street theatre, the green placards, the muticoloured Wobbly flags, Mark Thomas' rabble rousing speech and "revolutionary Wetherspoons" which was crammed to the brim with the "cream" of Britain's agitators like a scene from a Ken MacLeod novel around teatime.

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Thursday, March 26, 2009

Mobilise For The G20 Protests!

The G20 protests over the next week offer the first real opportunity for mass protest in Britain around the deepening economic crisis and the ongoing assault on ordinary people being carried out to appease the bankers and finance capitalists.

The neo-liberal beast is wounded, it is time to forge the coalition to begin digging its' grave and fight those who seek its' resurrection.

There are so many events and types of action planned that there is something for everyone - a way for everyone who is affected and concerned to show their anger, unrest and resolve to find better ways of running our world.

There is a massive demonstration planned for Saturday 28th March under the banner Put People First! - For, Jobs Justice and Climate. The broad demands of the march are for decent jobs and public services for all, an end to global poverty and inequality and for the building of a green economy to tackle climate change. Whether the current political and economic systems and their representatives at the G20 would be willing or able to deliver these things is another question! But in that question are the seeds of a debate that needs to be had and the beginnings of a radical critique. I would urge everyone who can to get down to London for what promises to be a massive demo - assembling at Victoria Embankment from 11am.

The Wobblies, the growing section of the IWW in this part of the world promise a vibrant and militant bloc, plus there should be representatives of just about every left of centre, progressive and campaigning organisation from the UK and farther afield.

For those interested in NVDA (non-violent direct action) the Climate Camp are holding a City G20 Climate camp on 1st April in the City outside the European Climate Exchange.

The Stop The War Coalition and CND are raising the peace issue at several points.

For other forms of action a whole range of groups are planning various actions during the summit period.
See Indymedia - main G20 page here and also - here, here, here and here.

The G20 Meltdown Site is Here.

The Alternative G20 meeting website is here.

Similar demonstrations are taking place in Berlin and Frankfurt in Germany, and then on Monday 30th March there is mass action planned in Ireland.


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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Good News for Left Greens!

Some links below to reports and news from the Green Party of England and Wales Spring Conference that was held in Blackpool last weekend.

Here is the official Green Party Web Page.

Here is the speech delivered by Caroline Lucas, and here is that of her Deputy, Adrian Ramsay.

Here is a report from Joseph Healy.

The Green Left were very pleased with the success of left motions and candidates at the conference.

The latest good news is that Green dissidents in the Czech Republic have been instrumental in bringing down the Centre Right Atlanticist government and its' right-green little helpers as reported by Derek, here. Irish left greens take note!

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Friday, March 20, 2009

Strikes And Protests In France

The day of action in France on Thursday saw a magnificent display of solidarity and militancy in the face of the onslaught of the ruling elites.
Here are some links to pictures and reports -

One important struggle is that of the Continental Tyre Company workers in Compiegne - here

Here is a map showing the spread and size of the protests from Le Monde, with a contrast between Police and organiser estimates and comparison to earlier protests.

Here is the BBC report.

Here is Al Jazeera's report.

Here is the story, in the Washington Post.

Here is the right-wing British Telegraph, focusing on violence.

Left reportage on the days' events from Lib Com here, and from Monthly Review here.

For readers of French here is the statement of the French Unions from the CGT site.

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Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Free Climate Change Workshops For Trade Unionists



Climate Change for Trade Unionists Workshop Series, April onwards (FREE)

Want to find out everything you need to know about climate change? Ever felt you'd like to join others in taking real and lasting action on climate change within your trade union?

The PCS Union and COIN are hosting a series of five workshops on climate change for trade unionists:

* Climate Change Condensed: All you need to know about climate change in just 3 hours. For those who are new to climate change.

* How to win the climate change argument in a 15 minute tea break: Arms you with ways to respond to colleagues' denial and evasion of climate change.

* Climate Change Negotiation: For reps, branch officials and negotiators who want to find out how to mobilise members and how to approach management on climate change issues.

* A Green New Deal?: For any active trade union member who wants to get their head around the big issue - what does a low carbon society mean for Trade Unionists?

* Trade Union Climate Action Groups: For trade unionists who want to discuss, work and/ or campaign around a climate change issue of interest over a six-month period.

These workshops are FREE and open to any trade unionist. For further information including the workshop leaflet and booking form, please see the front page of the website -

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Monday, March 16, 2009

Weekly Links 16/03/2009

Just to vary things a bit I think we will have an ABC of links this week!

A is for
Airport Expansion, which will actually destroy jobs, says a new report.
B is for
Blackpool, location of the Green Party of England and Wales conference this coming weekend.
C is for
The CNT Spanish anarcho-syndicalist union now in dispute with Ryanair.
D is for
The New Depression, a word now being heard more frequently.
E is for
Evolution - elaborated by Charles Darwin, whose bi-centenary we are celebrating this year
F is for
The Israeli Far Right, who have just joined the Government coalition there.
G is for
Greece, where "Scotland Yard" have been called in to support the tottering regime.
H is for
Maura Harrington, an environmentalist protester languishing in Ireland's notorious Mountjoy Jail.
I is for
Ireland, and its' diaspora, preparing for St Patrick's Day.
J is for
Jury Team - the latest "independent" effort to shake up British Politics.
K is for
Korea, where violations of Labour Rights are increasing.
L is for
Low Carbon Lifestyle, a blog which reported on the "Age Of Stupid" film premiere.
M is for
Montreal which saw small scale rioting at the weekend, following a march against Police brutality.
N is for
Next Left Notes, always an interesting read.
O is for
Oceans, which are apparently becoming more acidic.
P is for
Paris, which will be the place where the action is on Thursday 19th March, with a General Strike in France.
Q is for
The Queen, whose website efforts have spurred Republicans to revamp their own site.
R is for
The Russians, who as ever "are coming" and in the case of the Evening Standard have arrived! Strange Days indeed!
S is for
"Squadism" which is how Andy Newman of Socialist Unity Blog describes recent events in Leigh
T is for
Terror, which brought peace protesters onto the streets of Belfast and elsewhere.
U is for
UKWIN - the UK without Incineration Network, who are holding their annual gathering in Nottingham this weekend.
V is for
The Very Public Sociologist who this week listed some "blogs you may have missed"
W is for
Wales where a story about bullying in the Army is unfolding.
X is for
X? X marks the spot, dark matter wise.... (That was a difficult one!)
Y is for
Youth unemployment - continued rises likely to be reported this Wednesday.
Z is for
Z Net, which I have not visited for a while, but looks very comprehensive these days.

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Thursday, March 12, 2009

People's Charter For Change

A People's Charter For Change was launched in Britain this week supported by a range of individuals and organisations. The aim is to achieve a million signatures. I may add my comments on the substance of the Charter later in the week, but first, here is the Charter itself:

A fair economy for a fairer Britain
Take the leading banking, insurance and mortgage industries fully into democratic public ownership run for the benefit of all. Regain control of the Bank of England and keep interest rates low. Tightly regulate the City markets to facilitate lending and to stop speculation and takeovers against the public interest. Ban hedge funds, raids on pension funds, asset-stripping and corporate tax loopholes. Restructure the tax system so big business and the wealthy pay more and ordinary people pay less.

More and better jobs
Existing jobs must be protected. Public and private investment must create new jobs paying decent money. In particular in manufacturing, construction and green technology. More jobs mean more spending power to stimulate the economy, increased tax revenue and fewer people on benefit. Build full employment. Reduce hours, not pay, to create more jobs. Raise the minimum wage to half national median earnings and end the lower rate for young workers.

Decent homes for all
Stop the repossessions and keep people in their homes. Offer 'no interest' loans. Control rents. We need 3 million new homes. Give local government the power and money to build and renovate affordable quality homes and buy empty ones, ending the housing shortage, and creating jobs.

Protect and improve our public services
- no cuts Save public money: bring energy, transport, water, post and telecommunications back and keep post in public ownership. End corporate profiteering in health, education, social and other public services. Stop the EU privatisation Directives.

Fairness and Justice
Free heating and transport for every pensioner. Link state pensions and benefits to average earnings. Protect pension schemes and restore the lost value of private pensions. End child poverty by increasing child benefits and tax credits and providing free nurseries and crèches. Enforce equal pay for women. End racism and discrimination in all its forms. No scape-goating of migrant workers. Invest in young people and give them a real stake in the future. Provide youth, community, arts and cultural centres, sports facilities, and clubs for all. Guarantee training, apprenticeships and education with grants for everyone and no fees. Restore union rights to allow them the freedom to fight the crisis and to protect workers.

Build a secure and sustainable future for all End the cost of war in blood and money. Bring our troops home. Don't waste £billions on a new generation of nuclear weapons. And beyond the current economic disaster, climate change threatens us all. Our future must be based on massive investment for a greener, safer world now. Debt is crushing millions of people forcing them to move and producing war, famine and misery. Get rid of the debt economy in Britain and cancel the debts of the poor of the planet. A better future for all the people of the world.

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Tuesday, March 10, 2009

US Anti-Incineration Academic To Speak In Shrewsbury

Incineration: an unacceptable practice in the 21st Century
A public talk by Paul Connett

Paul Connett is a Professor of Environmental Chemistry at St Lawrence
University, New York State, USA

The talk will take place:
Friday 27 March, 7.30 pm
Alington Hall, Shrewsbury School,

Planning applications have been received for burner-incinerators at Battlefield, Shrewsbury and Granville, Telford.

Find out from a renowned international expert why incineration as a form of waste management is the worst possible option for our communities.
Discover the sustainable, cheaper and safer alternatives.

For more information contact: or

Telford PAIN

Visit and

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Sunday, March 08, 2009

Weekly Links 08/03/2009

British Politics
Mandelson "slimed"!
Interesting background information to the reasons this action was taken against Britain's least popular unelected Minister from Airportwatch site here.
Guardian report and more video here.

Meanwhile the Bank of England and the government went for "Quantative Easing" in response to the crisis, Larry Elliott's take on it here.

It was announced this week that prescription charges are to rise, prompting a welcome intervention from the BMA -
Our submission seeks to highlight the many problems within the current system, which consequently are inherent in the proposal to extend the exemption list to include those with LTCs. The BMA's position and the conclusion of this evidence is that the Department of Health should abolish prescription charges in England altogether, as has already happened in Wales and will happen shortly in Northern Ireland and Scotland.

Green Party Leader Caroline Lucas this week had an article on the Gaza situation on the Guardian website.

A snapshot of the anger now prevalent in British politics can be gained from the comments underneath a Guardian article by normally cynical/apolitical cultural commentator Charlie Brooker where he expresses his frustration at the uselessness of the British political system.

Joseph Healy reported this week on the lobby held against the Government's Welfare Reform Bill.

Derek commented on the "Quantative Easing" strategy.

Dave Osler reflected on the anniversary of the start of the Miners' Strike of 1984-5.

Jim has been to see the film of the "classic graphic novel", Watchmen, and reviewed it on his blog.

Unions and Work
The Iraqi government has this week tried to sieze control of the Iraqi teachers' union. TUC statement here.

Former Miners' leader Arthur Scargill gave an article to the Guardian summarising his current views on the momentous strike of 25 years ago.

This week saw the first airing of the first part of the dramatisation of man of the moment David Peace's Red Riding novels on Channel 4. Not only is the dramatisation on TV, but Peace's book on the short spell of management of Leeds United FC by Derby and Nottingham local hero Brian Clough in the 1970s is coming out as a film, (The Damned United) and his book on the Miners' Strike GB84 is surely topical with the current anniversary in the news.
Red Riding, centred on Police corruption in West Yorkshire, was brutal and stylish, and the TV adaptation did well to capture Peace's disconcerting style.

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Friday, March 06, 2009

General Strike Wins Advances In Guadeloupe

Inspiring news from Guadeloupe - the general strike there led by the LKP coalition of unions, political and community groups has forced major concessions from the authorities, a fine example of what can be achieved by resolute collective action and solidarity. As we remember the historic struggle of the British Miners that began 25 years ago this week it is good to see an example of a strike that succeeded in achieving many of its objectives. The workers of Guadeloupe should be on their guard though, capitalists and colonialists are not known for quitting their side of the struggle, as ever, the struggle continues....
The following came from the ILC group and was posted on the RevLeft forum -

Update: First Victory!: Agreement Signed, General Strike Ends after 44 Days!

Dear Sisters and Brothers:

We received this morning a communiqué from the Guadeloupe-based Caribbean Workers and Peoples Alliance (ATPC) informing us that an agreement was signed Wednesday, March 4 at 8 p.m. between the LKP Strike Collective of 49 trade unions and organizations, the local governments, the employers' groups, and the French State. The agreement grants the strikers their top 20 immediate demands and allows for continued negotiations, with a tentative agreement reached on many points, on the remaining 126 mid-term and long-term demands.

The general strike was formally ended by vote of the LKP Strike Collective, with the unions and community organizations declaring this a "First Victory." The communiqué of the ATPC ends with the following words: "This was a FIRST VICTORY -- a victory obtained the workers and an entire mobilized people, and by the international solidarity with this courageous struggle."

The Jacques Bino Agreement -- named after the trade union leader who was killed on the barricades the night of February 16 -- that was signed on March 4 covers the following categories: wages/purchasing power, housing, transportation, education, employment, public services, trade union rights, environmental protections and culture.

Twenty of the articles, the List of Immediate Demands of the LKP Strike Collective, were fully met by the French authorities and employers' associations and were signed and codified into the agreement. Here are some of the provisions of the March 4 agreement:

On Wages: The agreement grants a 200 euro monthly increase to workers making the minimum wage, or SMIC, and up to 1.4 times the minimum wage (that is, between 1321 euros and 1849 euros). All workers making between 1.5 and 1.6 times the minimum wage (between 1849 euros and 2113 euros) get a 6% pay increase. Workers making 1.7 times the minimum wage or more (more than 2113 euros) get a 3% wage increase.

On Price Cuts: Lowering by 5% to 10% of costs for 100 basic staples and commodities, and for utilities (water, oil, gas, electricity, etc.) The cost of meals in the student cafeterias is cut by 20%, with a commitment to increase by 50% the produce of local farmers in all the meals provided by the student cafeterias. Family canteens will receive subsidies for their meal plans. Lowering of public transportation costs by 20%. Agreement by the State to fund 40,000 round-trip Paris-Point-a-Pitre airline tickets at 340 euros for low-income families, for the purpose of family reunification. Cuts in banking fees. Compensation of 40,000 euros for all small transportation owners in the aftermath of the reorganization of the urban and inter-city transportation plan.

On Housing: Moratorium on all foreclosures, evictions of renters and utility cutoffs. A Special Fund of 3 million euros is created to provide subsidized housing for 17,000 senior citizens and 7,000 handicapped persons. Freeze on all rents, accompanied by a tax cut of 9% for all renters. End of speculation in land for hotels and resorts, particularly non Guadeloupan chains and banking interests, with financial assistance to local businesses involved in tourist industry.

On Employment: Emergency Recovery Plan to provide jobs for 8,000 youth between the ages of 16 and 26, with the creation of a "Bill of Rights for Employment for all Working People in Guadeloupe." Creation of an agency to provide employment for job seekers, with the creation of jobs to meet the employment needs. All students on waiting lists for education at all levels will be admitted into a school.

On Agriculture and Fishing: Protections and subsidies for the agricultural producers, and protection of 64,000 hectares of agricultural lands. Stabilization of prices for fishing industry. State aid for fishing hatcheries and for modernization of fishing fleet and processing.

On Trade Union Rights: Improvement in State recognition of union prerogatives and rights, with fuller respect for, and enforcement of, collective-bargaining agreements and labor legislation. Designation of mediators to resolve specific conflicts that have arisen at RFO, Air France, International Airport, etc.

On the Environment: Creation of 50,000 hectare nature preserve.

On Culture: Commitment by the State to establish Creolle as a language for all public buildings and services, on the par with French.

The workers and people of Guadeloupe were ecstatic over this victory. People took to the streets spontaneously to celebrate.

Reactions in the mainstream French press, understandably, were less than sympathetic to the strikers. Writing in Les Echos on March 5, journalist Jean-Francis Pécresse laments that the French government gave in to the "mob pressure of the LKP Strike Collective, signing an agreement whose preamble proposes nothing less than the creation of a 'New Order in opposition to the Model of the Plantation Economy.' What value should we place on agreement signed under pressure from the LKP militia, an agreement imposed by intimidation?"

The scorn and racism of the colonialist power and of the white ruling class elite on the island, the Beké, comes through loud and clear in this article. How dare Pécresse use the term "mob" to describe a valiant, organized, peaceful (despite all the provocations by a 5,000 contingent of French Riot Police, the CRS) and disciplined people -- the overwhelming majority of whom are Black -- who were able to withstand the hardships of 44 days of a general strike, with the creation of soup kitchens, agricultural procurement committees, self-defense committees, picket lines, cultural committees, and barricades.

The impact of this victory will be felt around the world. There can be no doubt about this. We will continue to inform our readers and supporters of the repercussions of this powerful movement.

As the declaration of the ATPC notes, one of the keys to victory was the international solidarity expressed day after day with the general strike in Guadeloupe. All who signed our Open Letters, organized delegations to the French Embassy and Consulates, organized forums, broadcast news on their shows, publicized this movement in their press and postings, and/or sent statements to the strikers in Guadeloupe contributed to this victory.

Thanks to all for your support.

In solidarity,

Eduardo Rosario and Alan Benjamin
For the ILC

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Thursday, March 05, 2009

Factory Occupied In Dundee

An occupation is taking place at Prisme Packaging in Dundee. It started at 5pm on Wednesday 4th March after the twelve employees were told their contracts were being immediately terminated without redundancy pay.

“On Monday we came into work as normal and the Managing Director came in and gave his letter of resignation. So we phoned the company secretary who was actually on holiday. We were told to speak to a guy called Alan Dand. On Tuesday he called us and an administrator came to look at the accounts. Then the company told us that they didn’t have enough assets to pay for the administrator and said “Looks like we’re just going to shut the door”.

We were told that the director and a legal representative were coming to tell us our rights but in fact the legal representative was for the director and wouldn’t tell us anything. They won’t even tell us who owns the company! We demanded that we be given a letter how much we were entitled to in redundancy payments, our P45’s and statutory redundancy forms. When we received the letter it stated how much our statutory redundancy payments were and that we were entitled to wages, pay in lieu of notice and accrued holiday pay. Then the next sentence of the letter said “Unfortunately, we do not have any money to make these payments to you.”. They said there were other routes we could take to get our redundancy payments but all they have suggested is speaking to the Citizens Advice Bureau.

After receiving these letters we were told to leave and come back at half nine in the morning but we decided we’re not leaving until we receive what we’re entitled to. We’re not giving them the opportunity to lock the doors while we’re out so we end up with nothing.”

Please text/phone urgent messages of support to 07970875455 or email

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Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Green Work And The Recession - Meeting in London

Green Work and the Recession

Public Meeting

Called by Haringey Green Party

Thursday March 19th, 7pm

Kurdish Cultural Centre, Portland Gardens, N.8 (rear of Haringey Green Lanes overground station, approached via Green Lanes and Stanhope Gardens

* The Green New Deal, a plan to help us find a way out of the triple crisis of financial crunch, rising oil prices and climate change.

* Limit working hours to share work and make time for living!

* Oppose workfare and benefit cuts!

London's Green Member of the European Parliament


Critical writer on political economy and Green Party activist

* The Green New Deal would:

create thousands of green-collar jobs
provide free insulation to every home
build safer ways of investing
raise finance for green energy
renew small and local businesses
increase food production in cities
invest in public transport
Greens who have been elected to local councils, the London Assembly and the European Parliament are already pushing through these ideas.

* Green work should be secure work. Jean Lambert has consistently pushed for employment rights for temporary agency staff.

* Green work must be well paid. Greens in the Greater London Assembly have pushed for a minimum ‘living wage’ of £7.45 per hour, in place of the pathetic national minimum wage of £5.73.

* Shorter working time can reduce layoffs; Jean has consistently challenged the UK Government's opt-out of the Working Time Directive and worked against it in the European Parlaiment. She recently backed the TUC’s Work Your Proper Hours Day on 27 February, the annual event which aims to ensure employees remember - and claim - their rights in the workplace. Over five million people in the UK regularly work unpaid overtime, handing their employers £26.9 billion in free work.

* Greens oppose the government’s Welfare Reform Bill, and supported the lobby of Parliament against it on March 3. Greens say no to benefit cuts, to forcing the disabled and parents of young children back to work, to workfare for the long-term unemployed, to privatisation of job centres and of back-to-work schemes .

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Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Nottingham Protest Against Council Redundancies

Nottingham City Council is pursuing a strategy of making mass redundancies, whilst claiming that this has nothing to do with their recent loss of large amounts of money in the Icelandic banking collapse, or other current and recent mistakes and mishaps.

Below is a communication from the Unison branch about the anti-redundancy campaign. I heard the other day about one worker who is close to retirement and being made compulsorily redundant, with all that entails, despite him being one of the most experienced and useful members of staff and without there being anyone equivalent to replace him at the moment. The Council workers are fighting to defend not only their jobs, but the level of service to the public.

Please ask your friends, family, colleagues etc to join our campaign to defend jobs and local services by;

1. Signing the attached petition or the epetition and encouraging others to do so. The link to the epetition is:

2. Write to Nottingham City Councillors and Nottingham MP's protesting about the cuts in jobs and services. Templates for letters will be forwarded to you shortly, together with bullet points to raise at MP's surgeries.

3. Join the protest on the 9th March between 1pm-2pm at the Market Square in Nottingham.

Many thanks

Nottingham City UNISON
4-6 Perth Street

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Monday, March 02, 2009

Weekly Links 2/3/2009

Very busy this week, so just time for a few interesting links.

Last week an in depth report by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation delivered a damning report on New Labour's record as regards their promise of delivering a more equal society. The report is mixed to say the least. There is a marked contrast between the few modest but welcome reforms associated with New Labour's first term and the gradually deteriotating situation since -

Commissioned by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, the study, by a team led by LSE’s Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion, shows sharp contrasts between different policy areas.
Notable success stories include reductions in child and pensioner poverty, improved education outcomes for the poorest children and schools, and narrowing economic and other divides between deprived and other areas.

But health inequalities continued to widen, gaps in incomes between the very top and very bottom grew, and poverty increased for working-age people without children. In several policy areas there was a marked contrast between the first half of the New Labour period and the second half, when progress has slowed or even stalled.

More here. The Child Poverty Action Group respond here.

The Green Party Trade Union Group have posted video clips on their blog of the recent meeting on work-life balance addressed by Green MEP Jean Lambert and representatives of several unions.

Two new articles by co-author of the first ecosocialist manifesto Michael Lowy have been posted on the Ecosocialist International Network website, these are Ecosocialism and Democratic Planning (reprinted from the Socialist Register) and What is Ecosocialism? (Reprinted from Capitalism, Nature, Socialism.)

The climate change film, The Age Of Stupid is about to premiere on 15th March and has a new website. It is being launched at a "People's Premiere" at 64 cinemas across Britain.

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