Greenman's Occasional Organ

Ecosocialist. Syndicalist. Critical Techno-Progressive.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Green Election Videos

Here are some of the very good Green Party election videos for the forthcoming European and local elections.

This is the main one first broadcast last week for the Euro elections on June 4th -

And here is the i-player link for the June 4th local elections broadcast from this week.

Here is one, (courtesy of Jim's blog) from the campaign in the North West where lead Green Candidate Peter Cranie could well be slugging it out with far right leader Nick Griffin for the last seat under the electoral process used for these elections.

A You Gov poll reported earlier this week that 34% of respondents had said they would either vote Green or consider voting Green. More here.

For a more old fashioned campaigning method here is a printable Green Party poster.

It is perhaps a sign of the times that fellow Green blogger Matt Sellwood was given a guest post on the Labour supporting Daves' Part Blog to put forward the case for left-wingers to give their votes to the Greens in these elections, particularly in London and the South East where Jean Lambert and Caroline Lucas are defending their seats and in the North West battle mentioned above.

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Friday, May 15, 2009

Free May Day Detainees In Iran

There were some marvellous marches, demonstrations and rallies around the world earlier this month in celebration of International Workers' Day, May 1st. In some parts of the world however, these were met by repression and violence. Below are details on solidarity actions and events for the Iranian workers who bravely stood up for the right of working people to organise and who have been detained by the state.

1 Iran's May Day Organizing Committee: A Call for the International Campaign to Free May Day Detainees
2 Sample Protest Letter (IASWI)
3 Protest Rally in London, UK

Iran: A Call for an International Campaign to Free May Day Detainees

Workers and labour organizations in Iran and all over the world!

On May First, the International Workers’ Day, many workers and their families assembled in Laleh Park of Tehran in response to the May Day Organizing Committee (consisting of independent labour organizations in Iran ). People gathered to present their demands and to commemorate the May Day; however, they as well as other visitors of the park were violently attacked by the security-intelligence forces and plain-clothes agents. These forces used all kinds of tools and equipments to assault people, as the result of which many got severely injured and more than 150 people while being beaten were taken to custody. At this time, about 100 of the above are still incarcerated.

The people who were so brutally beaten and arrested had not committed any crime. They were repressed because they wanted to commemorate their international day, along with billions of other workers around the world, and put forward the demands of million of working people of Iran . They are being oppressed because of their efforts to form independent organizations. Many of them just like thousand other workers in Iran have not been paid for months. They are now in such unbearable situation only because they raised their protest voice together.

Everyday, the families of the May Day detainees have been gathering outside courts and judicial offices but they have been badly treated and never received a clear answer from the judicial authorities. We, millions of workers and toilers and egalitarians, are responsible towards our imprisoned colleagues and their families and must not leave them on their own. We have to engage in united and immense efforts for the freedom of all prisoners.

We therefore launch a campaign for the freedom of May Day detainees and call on all workers’ and human rights’ organizations in Iran and internationally to denounce these arrests, demand unconditional freedom of all detainees and support the legitimate demands of workers in Iran, which was stipulated in their 2009 (1388) May Day resolution. All concerned organizations and individuals are urgently requested to take any necessary and possible measures, depending on their capacity, in support of the May Day detainees.


Please send the report of your actions, statements and solidarity messages to

May 9th, 2009 (Ordibehest 19, 1388)
The May Day Organizing Committee:
• The Syndicate of Workers of Tehran and Suburbs Vahed Bus Company
• The Syndicate of Workers of Haft Tapeh Sugar Cane Company
• The Free Union of Workers in Iran
• The Founding Committee of the Syndicate of Building 's Painters and Decoration's Workers
• The Collaborative Council of Labour Organizations and Activists
- The Coordinating Committee to Help Form Workers’ Organizations
- The Committee to Pursue the Establishment of Free Workers’ Organizations
- A Group of Worker Activists
- The Women’s Council
• The Center for Workers’ Rights in Iran

Supported by:
The Electrical & Metal Workers' Trade Association in Kermanshah, The Association in Support of the Sacked Workers of Saqhez, The Committee in Defence of Haft Tapeh Workers, Workers of The Parris textile Factory in Sanandaj, Workers of the Shin Baft Spinning and Textile Factory in Sanandaj, Workers of Shahoo, Sanandaj Textile, Gharb Baft, Ajor Shil, Shir Paak Araa, Gunnny Baafi (Gunny Making) Sama, Fajr Flour and Nirou Rakhsh factories, Service workers of Sanandaj’s Tohid Hospital, A group of Retired Workers of Sanandaj, Workers of Farsh Gharb Company in Kermanshah, Dena Laastic (Rubber), A group of workers of Ghaa-en Cement, A group of Workers of Aslavieh …

(more names to be added)
Translated by the May Day Organizing Committee

Thanks to all protest letters sent thus far

Sample protest letter: Protest against repression of May Day Events in Iran
Send your protest letters to (Prepared by the IASWI):

To: ; ; ; ; ; ;;;;

The May Day rally and celebration in Tehran , which was organized by independent Iranian labour organizations on May 1st, 2009, was violently attacked by security and intelligence forces and many were beaten and over 150 people arrested.
About 100 women and men are still incarcerated. They are detained in unacceptable conditions in section 204 of Tehran ’s Evin Prison.

We condemn these attacks on workers’ rights and independent labour organizations and activists. Workers must have every right to organize and celebrate May Day events. We are asking for the immediate and unconditional freedom of all May Day detainees. We also demand that the government to respect workers’ rights to organize, assemble and strike, put an end to persecution of labour activists, free all jailed workers and not to interfere in the affairs of independent workers’ organizations.

Please mail your protest letter to (optional), and send a copy also to

Mr. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad,
President of the Islamic Republic of Iran
The Presidency,
Palestine Avenue, Azerbaijan Intersection,
Tehran , Islamic Republic of Iran
Fax: + 98 21 649 58 80

Leader of the Islamic Republic:
Ayatollah Sayed *Ali Khamenei
The Office of the Supreme Leader
Shoahada Street
Qom, Islamic Republic of Iran
Fax: 011 98 251 7774 2228

Head of the Judiciary:
Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi
Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Justice Building
Panzdah-Khordad Square
Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran
Fax: 011 98 21 3390 4986 (may be difficult to reach)

Ambassador, Permanent Mission of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations Institutions in Geneva, Chemin du Petit-Saconnex 28, 1209 Geneva, Switzerland, Fax: +41 22 733 02 03, E-mail:
CC: International Alliance in Support of Workers in Iran (

You can also send your protest letters to the Iranian Embassy in your country: click:

Demonstration in London

Protest against the arrests of workers at May Day rallies in Iran !

The 2009 May Day rallies in Tehran and Sanandaj were violently attacked by the Iranian security forces and over 150 people arrested.

In Tehran a large crowed responded to a call made by 10 workers’ organisations and institutions and gathered in Laleh Park to celebrate the May Day. The security forces in a brutal and violent attack broke up the rally and arrested over 150 workers. A number of workers were also arrested during a rally in the city of Sanandaj in western Iran .

The only crimes of these workers are attending the May Day rally and protesting against the lack of the most basic workers’ right and demanding the right to organise and to strike.

We, the participants of this protest action, while strongly condemn the arrest of labour activists, do our utmost to have these workers released and call on all progressive and humanitarian organisations to join us and do whatever possible to
free the jailed workers in Iran.

We call on all trade unions and labour and progressive organisations and pro human rights institutions to condemn the Islamic Republic of Iran for the continued imprisonment of workers in Iran and the violation of the most basic human rights and call for the immediate and unconditional release of all the detainees.

Date: Saturday May 16
Time: 2pm
Place: BBC Television Centre, Portland Street , London W1A 1AA

Called by:
- International Alliance in Support of workers in Iran - Britain Section
- March 8 Women Organisation (Iran-Afghanistan)
- Council for the Defence of people’s struggle in Iran
- Worker-communist Party of Iran-Hekmatist
- Worker-communism Unity Party
- Fedaian Organisation (Minority)
- International Iranian Refugee Organisation – Britain
- Association of Iranian Political Prisoners in Exile

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Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Oxford Working Class Bookfair

Someone posted this in comments, (thanks) but it sounds an interesting enough event to publicise on the front page - so here you go -

Saturday 20 June, 11 am - 6 pm
Ruskin College, Walton Street, Oxford

We cordially invite YOU to visit the 1st ever OXFORD WORKING CLASS BOOKFAIR! There will be books, talks, workshops, short films and more books and magazines . . .

We plan to recover/reclaim some of the hidden history of Oxford, with its gallery of rogues, rebels and revolutionaries, to touch upon some topics of contemporary relevance to the man & woman on the street today, provide quality entertainment, discuss the big issues past and present & hopefully have a real good time to boot! - All in a relaxed and warm atmosphere!

The range of local groups invited includes; political groups, Trade Unions, community groups, campaign groups, booksellers and history societies. If you would like to have a stall email us at the address above!

The event will include a commemoration of the hundredth anniversary of the 1909 RUSKIN COLLEGE STUDENT STRIKE, a pioneering student uprising for independent working class education, that saw students breakaway to form a radical education and self-help networks based on an alternative progressive view of what education could be. They argued that it wasn't enough for the working class to have limited extended access to higer education, but rather that they needed a fundamentally different kind of education, curriculum & pedagogy to meet their needs and the needs of the class. They were involved in the PLEBS LEAGUE (a grassroots education iniative) and set up an anti-capitalist education network of CENTRAL LABOUR COLLEGES, many of the leaders of the student uprising were miners and trade unionists who went on to be authors of THE MINERS NEXT STEP, a classic text of rank & file trade unionism and syndicalism.

Along the way, we will learn the story of the RED SHIRTS, a group set up at Ruskin College to sabotage the attempts of Oswald Mosely's fascist BLACK SHIRTS to get a base in 1930s Oxford & consider how we fight against fascism & racism today. There will also be sessions on culture, trade union & labour history, feminism/women's liberation, ecology & climate, war & empire etc. More information about speakers, events and other happenings planned will appear on our page shortly - watch this space! Sponsors include the local I.W.W and trade unionists.

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Thursday, May 07, 2009

Peter Cranie Article

Peter Cranie had an article on reasons for voting Green in the North West region on Guardian Comment Is Free that gathered a lot of comments:

Vote Greens in to keep the BNP out

It's votes for the Green party, not Labour, that will stop Nick Griffin gaining a seat in the European elections

* Peter Cranie

As 4 June approaches, a serious threat hangs over British politics. BNP leader Nick Griffin is a candidate in the North West England Euro election. If he is elected, this will be the biggest step forward for the far right in British history.

Anti-racist votes in the North West region for Labour, the Liberal Democrats or the Conservatives will certainly count. No one can dispute this, as those parties will claim seven out of the eight regional seats. But it's the eighth seat that Griffin is aiming for. Calling on everyone to once again get out and vote for red/yellow/blue simply won't work on voters already disillusioned with the Westminster parties. But those few extra thousand votes could keep the Greens ahead of the BNP – and that is the scenario with the best chance of keeping Griffin out.

The Green party is taking this responsibility seriously. In fact the Greens have one clear tactical aim in the North West Euro election: to finish fourth ahead of the BNP and keep Griffin out of the European parliament. We put the Green anti-BNP case in detail at In contrast, Labour is claiming on its leaflets that "only Labour can stop the BNP". This isn't just factually wrong, it is actually counterproductive, given that many former Labour supporters simply can't stomach another forced vote for the government.

The North West Greens have already built a broad coalition of anti-racist support to enable us to play this key role in keeping the BNP out. Former Lib Dem and Labour councillors around the region are backing us. The Respect party in the North West has stood down from the election and is urging its members and supporters to vote tactically for the Greens to keep out the BNP. In 2004 our combined electoral support here was 6.8%, ahead of the 6.4% gained by the BNP.

Jon Cruddas has warned that the BNP may need just a 7.5% share of the vote for Griffin to win the last of the eight Euro seats in the North West region. Cruddas is right – but his nightmare scenario can only happen if the BNP finish as the fourth largest party.

Green party membership is up by more than a third since the last European elections. Our councillor numbers have doubled. There is heightened media and public interest in issues such as climate change and the Green New Deal – issues where the big three parties are way behind the Greens – and the party has benefited from the decline of Labour and the Lib Dems in the polls since 2004.

Voting to ensure the Greens finish fourth will be the best way to prevent Griffin sneaking in through the back door. It will also mean one more Green party MEP to fight in the European parliament for social and economic justice, for greater openness and accountability, for stronger action on climate change and for a massive push for jobs in the new Green industries.

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