Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Feed the World without destroying the Planet

Feed the world without destroying the planet

A seminar on food sovereignty
  



November 12, 11- 5.30

University of London Union,
Malet Street, London WC1









Speakers include Maria Neri Pampilo of CONZARRD, Graciela Romero of War on Want Rehad Desai, South African climate change activist, Derek Wall of Green Left, Pierre Rousset of Nouveau Parti Anticapitaliste and Terry Conway of the Socialist Resistance editorial Board




Agenda

11- 1.30 Introductory plenary


1.30-2.30 Lunch

2.30-4.00 Workshops

  1. Women and Food Sovereignty
  2. Agribusiness and the supermarkets
  3. Land rights not Land grabs
  4. Food Sovereignty and Climate change

4.15-5.30 Closing Plenary

with Maria Neri Pampilo


Maria has worked for CONZARRD since the mid 1990’s.

CONZARRD is a grouping of popular and non-governmental organisations working on agrarian reform and rural development in Mindanao, in the Philippines. For CONZARRD organic farming is not a luxury – but essential to the survival of the famers.Organic rice for example is more resilient against both disease and flooding as well as cheaper. Organic fertiliser, produced locally enriches the soil rather than depleting it in the way chemical fertiliser does.




Other principal speakers include: Graciela Romero War on Want International Programme Director and author of their Report on Food Sovereignty
 
Rehad Desai: South African climate change activist and documentary film maker, visiting Britain to build support for the climate justice protests in Durban to coincide with the COP 17 summit in December

Derek Wall, Green Left – former principal speaker of the Green Party, author of the No Nonsense Guide to Green politics

Pierre Rousset : Noveau Parti Anticapalist (NPA), France, and Europe-Asia social forums – Editor of www.europesolidaire.com, has written extensively on Asia particularly the Philippines, Vietnam and Japan

Terry Conway: Socialist Resistance Editorial Board

Food sovereignty not `food security’ is answer to world hunger

One and a half billion people are at risk from rising food prices. This is the dramatic conclusion of the report by UN food agencies; The state of food insecurity in the World today. The report talks of a triple crisis of food, climate change and depleted natural resources, which could affect 1.5 billion people across 10 countries. It says: “having 600 million people suffering from hunger on a daily basis is never acceptable”



But the way the UN agencies focus on the concept of “food security” is fundamentally flawed. They promote private investment and increased agricultural productivity – both of which are part of the problem. They have contributed to the development of widespread hunger, rising food prices and small producers being forced off the land by increasing power of agribusiness and the supermarkets.



Socialist Resistance and Green Left say that the answer is food sovereignty; that is the right of the people who produce food to determine their own agricultural policies, free from interference from either multinationals or from international institutions such as the World Bank and the IMF. The promotion of neo-liberal deregulation by these institutions has been one of the key factors leading to today’s food crisis.



We say no to the power of the supermarkets. Food producers are at the mercy of the supermarkets who dictate what is grown and what price they will pay. Tesco makes two thirds of its sales and profits in Britain. In the second quarter of this financial year like for like sales in British stores fell by 0.7% while profits increased by 12% in the first half of the year!



These are not issues that the left in Britain often addresses – we hope you will join us to hear Maria and other speakers discuss why they are vital to us all



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I want to register for the Feed the world without destroying the planet seminar



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Send £7 or £4 unwaged to PO Box 62732, London SW2 9CQ or by paypal.com to pay resistance@sent.com


Saturday, 10 September 2011

Battle of Cable Street, 75th Anniversary




There is a whole series of events taking place to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Cable Street in the East End of London, when Jewish and local people got together to prevent Oswald Moseley's Fascists from marching through a predominantly Jewish area. Many organisations are joined together to commemorate the heroic actions of the opponents of the Fascists.
I have added a list of some of the events that are taking place during this period.

*****************************************************************

2 October, 11.30am-1pm



Cable Street 75 March and Rally www.cablestreet75.org.uk


Assemble: 11.30am Aldgate East (junction of Braham Street and Leman Street)


Rally: 1.00pm St George-in-the-East Gardens (off Cable Street)

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2 October, 12 noon – 10 pm



Cable Street Group. Produced by Alternative Arts http://www.battleofcablestreet.org.uk/

A programme of events and exhibitions to celebrate and commemorate the Battle of Cable Street.


Wilton’s Music Hall 1 Graces Alley E1 8JB, Aldgate and Aldgate East tube, Shadwell station


Admission Free


12 noon – 6pm Stalls along Graces Alley by campaigning groups, local organisations and supporters with street theatre and music by La Columna, The Lost Marbles, The Fairly Fresh Fish Co, Klezmania and The Cockney Awkestra.


12 noon – 10pm Protest & Survive Exhibition with photography documenting the Battle, posters from the Spanish Civil War, images recording the past 25 years of protest against racial discrimination by Phil Maxwell and portraits of the diverse communities of the East End today by documentary photographers Kalin Coromina, Ned Dyke-Coomes, Zane Mellupe, Lydia Polzer, Ben Speck and Neil White.


1pm Grand Union Youth Orchestra of East London


Specially commissioned concert by 30 diverse talented young under the leadership of Tony Haynes, director of the Grand Union Orchestra.


3pm Book launch and Reception
Five Leaves is publishing five books to celebrate the anniversary. There will be readings and signings followed by a panel discussion. All the books will be on sale directly from the publisher:
The Battle of Cable Street by Cable Street Group;
October Day by Frank Griffin;
Street of Tall People by Alan Gibbons;
Battle for the East End by David Rosenberg;
 Everything Happens in Cable Street by Roger Mills.


4pm rebels in the 1930s – working class writers Panel discussion with:
Andy Croft author of Red Letter Days,
Ken Worpole author of Dockers and Detectives,
Mary Joannou author of Ladies, Please Don’t Smash These Windows: Women’s Writing, Feminism and Social Change 1918-1938.
Chaired by Ross Bradshaw of Five Leaves Publishing.


5pm Song & Dance With Sandra Kerr, Leon Rosselson and Udichi Shilpi Gosthi.


7pm Sunday Night at Wilton’s Music Hall ‘They Shall Not Pass’. Star spangled evening with poets, singers, choirs, comics and bands including Billy Bragg, Shappi Khorsandi, Mike Rosen, Ninia Benjamin, Raised Voices and The Men They Couldn’t Hang (acoustic).



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Tuesday, 19 July 2011

The garden today

I have some wonderful lilies this year - the scent is amazing!! Unfortunately I can't reproduce it here! I brought some in from the garden and they are scenting the entire flat! And the yellow lilies are absolutely HUGE!!



There are also pink lilies, with an even stronger scent.




I have also been fortunate with the salad veg, especially the radishes. They are so crisp and delicious!!




I can hardly bear to tear myself away to go to Italy tomorrow, were it not for the fact that I have a garden there to look after as well. We have a beautiful rosemary hedge, that my mother-in-law planted 30 years ago.



I have started growing lavender there, and when we arrive we are greeted by the beautiful scent and sight of these wonderful herbs.

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Public Sector Workers' Strike 30 June


Public Sector Workers are striking against pension cuts on 30 June. There are many and varied ways to show solidarity!



Benefit claimants, disabled people and supporters will be joining the PCS picket line at HMRC, Euston Tower from 8.30am.






We will be standing in solidarity with all striking workers on the day, and in particular public sector workers who know only too well what the result of this government's savage welfare policies will be.


Join us at Euston Tower, where speeches will begin at 9am. At 10am we will be paying a short visit to noto...rious poverty pimps Atos Origin, the IT company responsible for carrying out the disastrous Work Capability Assessments which have driven sick and disabled claimants to suicide.






Many of us then will make our way to the Trade Union march and Striker's Assembly, both being held in central London. For full details of all events, pickets and actions taking place in London on the day please visit:

http://www.j30strike.org/location/london/




Sunday, 1 May 2011

May Day (International Workers' Day) 2011











CHANTS FOR SOCIALISTS

by William Morris

8. MAY DAY, 1892

THE WORKERS

O Earth, once again cometh Spring to deliver
Thy winter-worn heart, O thou friend of the Sun;
Fair blossom the meadows from river to river
And the birds sing their triumph o'er winter undone. 
O Earth, how a-toiling thou singest thy labour
And upholdest the flower-crowned cup of thy bliss,
As when in the feast-tide drinks neighbour to neighbour
And all words are gleeful, and nought is amiss. 
But we, we, O Mother, through long generations,
We have toiled and been fruitful, but never with thee
Might we raise up our bowed heads and cry to the nations
To look on our beauty, and hearken our glee. 
Unlovely of aspect, heart-sick and a-weary
On the season's fair pageant all dim-eyed we gaze;
Of thy fairness we fashion a prison-house dreary
And in sorrow wear over each day of our days. 

THE EARTH.

O children! O toilers, what foemen beleaguer
The House I have built you, the Home I have won?
Full great are my gifts, and my hands are all eager
To fill every heart with the deeds I have done. 

THE WORKERS.

The foemen are born of thy body, O Mother,
In our shape are they shapen, their voice is the same;
And the thought of their hearts is as ours and no other;
It is they of our own house that bring us to shame. 

THE EARTH.

Are ye few? Are they many? What words have ye spoken
To bid your own brethren remember the Earth?
What deeds have ye done that the bonds should be broken,
And men dwell together in good-will and mirth? 

THE WORKERS.

They are few, we are many: and yet, O our Mother,
Many years were we wordless and nought was our deed,
But now the word flitteth from brother to brother:
We have furrowed the acres and scattered the seed. 

THE EARTH.

Win on then unyielding, through fair and foul weather,
And pass not a day that your deed shall avail.
And in hope every spring-tide come gather together
That unto the Earth ye may tell all your tale. 
Then this shall I promise, that I am abiding
The day of your triumph, the ending of gloom,
And no wealth that ye will then my hand shall be hiding
And the tears of the spring into roses shall bloom. 

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Sunday, 10 April 2011

3rd National Day of Protest against Benefit Cuts






The 3rd National Day of Protest Against Benefit Cuts has
 been called for 

April 14th 2011.




Millions are set to be affected by savage cuts to
 housing, disability, sickness and welfare 
benefits.
 People with disabilities, illness, the unemployed, 
single parents, carers,the low waged, part time 
students, volunteers, homeless people and college 
students are all likely to see a devastating drop in 
disposable income with many slipping even further 
below the poverty line.




The poorest and most vulnerable are being asked to pay for

 the mistakes and extravagances of the richest.
Meanwhile poverty pimps like Atos Origin and A4e
 are set to rake in hundreds of millions on government 
contracts to bully and intimidate people from claiming
 the pittance handed out in benefit payments. 
Many disabled people have threatened suicide if 
these cuts are allowed to continue. 
Some have tragically already carried out that threat.

The first two days of protest against benefit cuts 

have seen demonstrations, meetings, unemployed 
discos,
 public pantomimes and occupations in cities 
across the UK. Atos Origin have been forced to close 
offices, protesters have gathered inside and outside 
workfare sharks A4e and demonstrations have 
taken place from
 Downing Street to local town centres such as
 Lydney and Crawley.

This time we have two months to organise for the 

biggest day yet. 
We call on all claimants, as groups or individuals,
 to organise and take action around the country on 
April 14th.

If you are planning an event in your town or city 

please add details on the wall below to be added 
to this page and the website at:
 http://benefitclaimantsfightback.wordpress.com/




You can also send details to

notowelfarecuts@yahoo.co.uk

If you would like to see action locally, set up a group, event

 page or ask below. We will do out best to promote and 
co-ordinate all activity.

We are fighting for our homes, our livelihoods, our very

 survival. It's time to show these public school parasites 
and their poverty pimp collaborators we mean business.



Confirmed events so far:


Brighton

Thursday April 14th 2-5pm

Churchill Square Brighton

http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=210782635605158


Bristol

Thursday April 14 · 12:00pm - 5:00pm

Benefit Cuts Hurt Protest - 3rd National Day of Protest

Government Buildings, Flowers Hill, Bristol, BS4 5LA

http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=199413500079998


Leeds

Thursday, April 14 · 10:30am - 2:00pm

Meeting @ Leeds Train Station 10am before moving to picket ATOS from 10:30 for an hour then move onto A4e/BEST for a couple of hours. The last picket was a great success and we hope to have another good day. Bring banners, flags etc.

http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=155593464493862&


London

Thursday, April 14 - 2pm
Protest Outside The Daily Mail - Stop the Defamation - Stop the Lies

Daily Mail Headquarters, Young Street (off Kensington High Street), London W8 5TT

http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=161556473898500&



Protest Outside Westminster City Hall & Mass Food Give Away!

Thursday, April 14 · 5:00pm - 9:00pm

Westminster City Hall, 64 Victoria Street, London, SW1E 6QP





http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=186039361439862


Poole

Outside the Jobcentre at noon. Everyone welcome!

http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=161332900587762


Everywhere

National Troll A Tory Day 3 and Rat On A Rat!

http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=173026406078054






Supported by:

o Anti-Benefit Cuts Glasgow
o Black Triangle Anti-Defamation Campaign
o Brighton Benefits Campaign
o Cardiff’s Unemployed Daytime Disco
o Carer Watch
o Carer Watch fb page
o Crippen – Disabled Cartoonist
o Diary of a Benefit Scrounger
o Disabled People Against Cuts
o Dundee Unemployed Workers
o Edinburgh Coalition Against Poverty
o Free London Listings
o Goldsmiths in Occupation
o Haringey Solidarity Group
o Ipswich Unemployed Action
o Islington Poverty Action
o Kilburn Unemployed Workers Group
o Lancaster and Morecambe Against the Cuts
o London Coalition Against Poverty (LCAP)
o London Foodbank
o Mad Pride
o Medway Against The Cuts
o Mental Health Resistance Network
o Norfolk Community Action Group
o Nottingham Claimants' Union
o Nuneaton Against Benefit Cuts
o Oxford Save Our Services
o Squattastic
o Tyneside Claimants Union
o Welfare Action Hackney
o Welfare Rights 4 u (UK)
o Work Programme & Flexible New Deal Scandal
o World Homeless Day


Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Big Society Bail-in, Saturday 19 Feb 2011

London #1, Sat 19th Feb 2011

The Big Society Bail-In.



Turning Banks into Libraries for the Day.






On Saturday 19th February, the Big Society Bail-In will be targeting branches of Barclays bank in Central London, turning them into libraries for the day. We’ll be having poetry readings, story time (like the story of Bob, the fat cat CEO of Barclays who is getting an £8m bonus this year on top of his £1.35m salary) and educating people on the actions of the banks and the ways in which they can and should contribute more to repairing the damage caused by their negligence and greed.
So bring a good book, signs, banners and flyers, balloons, cakes and sweeties, a loud voice and as many people as possible. Make yourself heard, engage with the public, stay safe and have fun.


The meeting place is the middle of Soho Square, just off Oxford St. It's just round the corner from Tottenham Court Road tube station on the Central and Northern lines (or ten minutes walk from Oxford Circus or Leicester Square stations) We’ll be meeting at 11am, then moving onto a nearby branch of Barclays. Once there we’ll be turning the bank into a library, showing the government what the ‘Big Society’ really means.








(The above was written by William  Morris, pioneer of Socialist thought in the UK, whose ideas many of us are trying to follow today.)

In 2007, years of irresponsible lending, rash and reckless speculation and a lack of regulation in the banking sector came to a head, causing a global financial crisis and subsequent recession that led directly to the current program of massive cuts.


Several banks were saved from collapse by the government; the National Audit Office reported that the amount of public money used to bail them out reached almost £1tn at its peak. Yet the City continues to reward itself. Last year Barclays alone paid its bankers £2.7bn in bonuses, whilst other British banks brought the total amount of bonuses to over £7.3bn. This week Barclays is to post record annual profits of more than £11bn.




Meanwhile the country is undergoing the harshest cuts to public services in generations. Local council and government department budgets have been slashed, thousands and thousands are losing their jobs, community centres and libraries are closing, VAT, university tuition fees and living costs have risen. Vital benefits such as Disability Living Allowance and the Educational Maintenance Allowance are being reduced, restricted or abolished, leaving the most vulnerable parts of society to bear the brunt of the crisis.





The government, led by a Conservative party that receives half of its funding from the City, is doing nothing to reform the problems with the banking system that created a financial crisis in the first place. By lowering corporation tax, they are not only failing to ensure that the banks pay their fair share, but are actually creating a situation where some banks will be paying less than they were before the bail outs! The Coalition say that we are all in it together and that there is no option other than to make society pay for the mistakes of a small minority determined on further enriching themselves at the expensive of the country as a whole.




But there are alternatives. A one-off 50% levy on bonuses over £25,000 last year raised over £2bn for the treasury, yet the government has no plans to repeat this. A ‘Robin Hood’ tax of approximately 0.05% on international transactions would raise billions and discourage the kind of excessive speculation and risk-taking that led to the recent crisis and subsequent recession. Without proper reform and regulation of the banking sector nothing will change, lessons will not have been learnt and this will all happen again.





What the banks are doing may be legal, but that does not make it moral. This is not right, it is not fair and we will not stand for it.










Thursday, 3 February 2011

Save Libraries Campaign, Saturday 5 February





Saving the libraries - a nationwide campaign that most of us care about passionately!! Most public libraries throughout the UK are threatened by the ConDem cuts, but we are united in our determination to preserve this lifeline; we will campaign for access to books and music for everyone. 
Libraries don't 'just lend books', this is the START of what they do....for many people, the public library has been the start of a life-long love-affair with literature, music and the arts. Our campaign is part of the campaign against cuts to the arts in general.










This is the link to the Coalition of Resistance page listing as many campaigns as possible - many towns and London Boroughs are planning read-ins.


http://www.coalitionofresistance.org.uk/2011/01/5th-feb-library-read-ins-planned-across-the-country/


La lotta continua!! We need to protect, save and - yes - PROMOTE our cultural heritage, and not allow the UK to be turned into a nation of philistines!!!



Sunday, 23 January 2011

National Day of Protest against Benefit Cuts, 24 Jan



Monday 24 Jan will see nationwide protests against cuts to benefits and services.
In London, there will be a PARTY AND PICNIC IN TRITON SQUARE, Euston. 



Come to a picnic and party in Triton Square, London on the 24th January 2011 from 2pm as part of the National Day of Protest Against Benefit Cuts.
Bring music, drums, whistles, banners, food to share and let’s brighten up the faceless corporate wasteland that is home to poverty pimps Atos Origin Ltd.
Musicians, poets, orators, ranters, shouters, all benefit claimants and supporters welcome. Please help spread the word and invite your friends.
Triton Square is on the North side of Euston Road, a minute or so from Warren Street tube and less than five minutes from Euston/Euston Square or Great Portland Street tube stations.
Part of the National Day of Protest Against Benefit Cuts on the 24th January 2011.

There will be other protests throughout the UK, here are a couple of examples.

In Livingston,not far from Edinburgh, protesters will be visiting Atos Origin’s Scotland Office.  Visit the facebook page for more info, and be there from 10am.  There will also be anti-benefit cuts leafleting outside Atos in Glasgow.


Brighton – Using the 24th to publicise a bigger event against Atos Origin on the 5th Feb:http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=181302175222578


La Lotta Continua!



Thursday, 6 January 2011

TANNHAUSER in the Venusberg.







Here is Beardsley's vision of the Venusberg - rather different from the minimalist setting of the current Covent Garden production!

......on quaint pedestals and Terminal Gods and gracious pilasters of every sort, were shell-like vases of excessive fruits and flowers that hung about and burst over the edges and could never be restrained. The orange-trees and myrtles, looped with vermilion sashes, stood in frail porcelain pots, and the rose-trees were wound and twisted with superb invention over trellis and standard.






Upon one side of the terrace, a long gilded stage for the comedians was curtained off with Pagonian tapestries, and in front of it the music stands were placed. The tables arranged between the fountain and the flight of steps to the sixth terrace were all circular, covered with white damask, and strewn with irises, roses, kingcups, columbines, daffodils, carnations and lilies;








 and the couches, high with soft cushions and spread with more stuffs than could be named, had fans thrown upon them, and little amorous surprise packages.