Archive for March, 2007
I found a video on YouTube of some events that I actually witnessed just over 6 months ago, at the Stop the War demonstration in Manchester, the day before the Labour Party Conference opened. Actually, in fairness, I didn’t see what’s on the video, I saw what happened later on, but the sensation is just the same. Its entitled “Reza Moradi disrupts Tony Benn; gets thrown out“.
It shows what happens when someone turns up to a Stop the War protest who neither wants to be associated with Islamists nor wants to stay quiet about the issue of Islamisation. Someone once described the Stop the War movement as the third-way alternative to “Bush or Bin Laden”. How wrong they were… (more…)
I’ve just take the Falklands mini-quiz on the BBC news website. While I rarely get more than 7 questions in these quizzes correct, scoring exactly 1 out of 10 makes me wonder how everyone else is doing. The answer, I suspect, is ‘not very well’. Once again I’m left with just one question on my mind: “why does anyone think these Islands are ours?”. Given how little we know about them, perhaps its time we gave them back to the nation who’s school children do actually learn about them, rather than trying to make some immature statement by holding on to them.
I’ve been meaning to address this for a while. I’ve been finding lately that, with the exception of activist groups which are bringing Consensus into urban contexts, often with large difficulties, that Urban/Industrial-Worker groups will go for majority vote based decision making and Rural/Indigenous groups will go for consensus based decision making. While many claim consensus to be morally superior, is there a different factor in when it is and isn’t used? (more…)
Is that (for Palestine, at least), there is no news today. I couldn’t help thinking of the David Rovics song from which that line comes as I read about the journalist strikes in the Gaza strip in recent days. They’re protesting at the capturing of the BBC’s Alan Johnston, one of very few western journalists to be based inside the strip.
Journalists fascinate me quite a lot. They’re supposed to be competing to get exclusive stories and best-angle photographs, but at the end of the day, they seem to see past that to the real issues of protecting one another and stopping the erosion of journalistic rights. In other professions, they’d be cuddling up to the governments, knifing each other in the metaphorical back and jumping in front of each others lenses.
Anyhow, I’ll leave you with a link to Rovics’ Spanish Journalist Strike, a powerful song which talks of an incident in Afghanistan when 4 journalists were killed.
See also the Monday Action page.
Its the time of the month when Critical Mass is upon us, and as the clocks changed yesterday, nows the best time to start taking part. What’s Critical Mass?
Critical Mass happens monthly in many cities around the world, when a group of people on bikes ride together through city streets highlighting the joys and worries of cycling, both as a leisure activity, a method of getting around and a way of combating Climate Change. Most rides lack a set route (though Leeds does) so whoever is at the front decides the direction at each traffic lights. (more…)
Well, nearly. I guess I’d always assumed that fighting (though mostly all I manage is complaining) for indigenous rights was something I did to support people in far off lands. Turns out that the Crofters, the inhabitants of the highlands and islands of Scotland, want to recognised by the UN as Indigenous, so they can have a people’s assembly. I totally support Scottish independence, but it seems that alone isn’t enough. So I guess if I want to claim to support indigenous struggles everywhere, I better start supporting the indigenous folks of Scotland. While I’m glad to say I support them in their attempts to get this important recognition, this reminds me of the potential danger of making grand generalised statements about who I will and won’t support.
Yet again free speech in Russia is under attack. Another pro-democracy protest has been broken up, this time in the city of Nizhny Novgorod (Russia’s 4th largest). It followed a protest a few weeks back in St Petersberg when ten times as many Russians came out to send a clear message to Putin: stop trying to fix the next presidential election.
Its all part of a tour by former a Prime Minister and a Chess Master. The former Prime Minister is Mikhail Kasyanov, who’s attempt to register a party to stand against Putin’s hand picked successor got off to a bad start and isn’t getting any better. (more…)
I’m guessing a fair proportion of those reading this blog are students. I’m also guessing that many of you are at Bradford, and that many of the remainder are at York. Anyhow, I thought I’d let you all in on a little secret (OK, its not technically a secret, just a secret-of-convenience). There’s an internet discussion board known as EdNet where Union officers and other generally Union obsessed students go to argue and plot and so forth. I’d recommend it, though some debates are truly boring. Anyhow, some things we’ve learnt lately on EdNet: (more…)