Monthly Archives: June 2013

Film: FRACKING IN FERMANAGH – lessons for Wales and the rest of the UK

This film, put together by young people in Northern Island, presents and excellent synopsis of the main issues and in a political context that is not too dissimilar to Wales.Highly recommended viewing – and please share:

http://www.frackinginfermanagh.info/

Seminar on FRACKING in Cardiff on 19th June – join me!!

I have just booked myself in to this UK Environmental Law Association (UKELA) event:http://ukela.sym-online.com/walesfracking/default.htmI am looking forward to crossing swords with the second and third speakers in particular!!

Andy Chyba
Join me if you can – even if it is to demonstrate outside:

Fracking

Wednesday 19th June 2013

Registration from 4.30pm with speakers at 5pm

Location

Hugh James Solicitors

Hodge House
114 – 116 St. Mary Street
Cardiff
CF10 1DY

With supporters of shale gas extraction claiming that there is enough shale gas lying under South Wales to provide an energy supply for the whole of Britain for the next 16 years, the controversial fracking debate has hotted up. As it becomes more relevant for those involved in the technical, feasibility and economic considerations as well as legal practitioners, don’t miss this opportunity to hear our expert speakers update you on developments in Wales and find out the impact on your business.

Speakers

5pm: James Taylor; Simmons and Simmons

5.45pm: Rob Jeffries; Environ

6.30pm Prof Alan Riley; City University

Chair: Haydn Davies, City University

  • James Taylor, Simmons and Simmons will cover the specific legal issues thrown up by fracking and the challenges that might be presented to legal professionals
  • Rob Jefferies, Environ will cover the technical aspects and limitations of hydraulic fracturing (particularly as it pertains to Wales) as well as exploring the myths and truths about the impacts on the environment
  • Alan Riley, City University will cover the potential economic importance and implications for Wales, whilst making some comparative assessment with the impact that fracking has had in the United States

The Eco-Socialist Edition 2

ecosocialist banner

Hello All,
The final files have gone off to the printer for the next edition of the Eco-Socialist.
First and foremost thank you all for your donations of money and time, without the content, the proof reading, the photos and the cash, we couldn’t publish the paper.
If you want to see a version of the paper online – or want to spread the word through social media – please use this link:
http://tinyurl.com/EcosocEd2  which will take you straight to a PDF of the paper online.
If you want to request some copies of the paper (and a number of people already have) then you can do so using the following form:
If you do publicise the paper via social media, please include the request a paper link so that other people can ask for paper copies of it easily.
Regards,
Doug Rouxel
ecosocialist badge
NB – I have ordered copies for Bridgend members – Andy C.

FoE BASECAMP 2013

The Get-together for environmental activism
12-14 July, Hartington, Derbyshire

BASECAMP is one of three events we’re running this year in place of our Annual Conference.

This won’t be a top-down ‘Conference’. BASECAMP is being developed and run as collaboratively as possible with an activist working group, local groups and the network more widely.

This is an event primarily for the Friends of the Earth network of local groups. We also very much welcome people who aren’t Friends of the Earth members but are active on environmental issues.

Join us at Basecamp to

Skill up – share expertise, build and learn skills.
Meet up – with a broad spectrum of people with a common goal.
Have your say – in how we can campaign together to achieve our ambitions.
Rejuvenate – in the midst of some of the most beautiful scenery in Britain.

There’ll be a range of creative, festival-inspired and thought-provoking activities throughout the weekend (suggestions and offers very welcome). And you can’t fail to be inspired by our prize ceremony for local campaigning – the Earthmovers Awards.

Guest speakers confirmed so far include George Monbiot (Columnist and author) and Elías Díaz Peña (Friends of the Earth Paraguay) with more on the way.

Full details: http://foe.co.uk/events/basecamp_2013_39459.html

Reading Friday’s newspaper highlights just how much the world needs ecosocialist solutions

Here is just a selection of the stories from Friday’s Independent, in the order in which they appear:

  • Heathrow expansion plan could demolish village.
  • Benefits to rise less than inflation under Labour.
  • Fast-track teacher training to get ex-troops into classrooms.
  • Half the people living in the UK in 2020 will endure cancer at some point in their lives.
  • Cuts may cause councils to collapse.
  • Government’s own lawyers condemn legal aid changes.
  • Labour defends tax-free donation that dodged £1.5m in tax.
  • Britain admits torture of thousands of Kenyans, but offers them pathetic compensation.
  • Archbishop of Canterbury resisting Governmnt’s attempts tp legalise gay marriage.
  • Turkish people show the way to protest, planting flowers and undertaking yoga sit-ins, while we criminalise 21 climate change activists that can be bothered to take direct peaceful action in a power station.
  • Many degrees simply increase debt, not job prospects.
  • Magnetic levitation trains, first tested in the UK in the 1960s, are proving a massive success in Japan.
  • Car making is alive and well in the UK, but it is nearly all foreign owned.
  • Satirist Tom Sharpe dies. Comic genius who vented his fury at racists, thoughtless modernisers, greedy capitalsists and smug poloticians.
  • Homelessness at a five-year high.
  • UK rail firms charge highest fares in Europe.
  • Worries over spiralling violence between muslim extremists and the EDL.
  • Labour will stick to the current Government’s spending plans.
  • Just 1% of Norwegians attend a church and 72% declare themselves atheists. The Norwegian government has recently passed a constitutional amendment severing all ties with the Church of Norway. Way to go!
  • A humble garage in Crouch End, East London, was sold for £80,000 to be converted (at an additional cost of £183,000) into a 10mx5m two storey home that sold for £495,000.

The UK is becoming a truly depressing place to live. It simply does not have to be this way.

There are beacons of light all around the world for us to learn from, but apathy and misplaced, self-centred, short-term thinking seems to be the British way these Con-Dem days.

There is much work for us to do.

Andy C.

To all attendees of the People’s Assembly

The People’s Assembly looks set to be a historic event that will transform the anti-austerity movement in Britain. Already close to 3,000 people have registered to attend. Crucially we want the assembly to be focused around action.

The proposed declaration and action plan of the People’s Assembly:

The declaration represents the beginning of a democratic process leading towards a second People’s Assembly in early 2014. This declaration represents the views of all those who initially called for the People’s Assembly. We hope it will be endorsed by the People’s Assembly on 22nd June. It will then be open to the local People’s Assembly’s, union bodies and campaign groups who support the People’s Assembly to suggest amendments, additions, or deletions. These will then all be discussed and decided upon at the recall People’s Assembly in 2014.

The plans for action are simply the most obvious rallying points for a national anti-cuts movement for the remainder of 2013. They are not intended to supersede local or sectional action by existing campaigns or trade unions. They are intended to be focus national, collective action by the whole anti-austerity movement. Click here to see the draft declaration and action plan: http://thepeoplesassembly.org.uk/draft-statement/

Most of the day will be based on sub-assemblies, broken into three sessions during the course of the day. This will total around 15 individual sessions devoted to discussing various aspects of the cuts and the fightback against them. The full timetable of workshops and sessions at the People’s Assembly will be available by the end of next week.

Looking forward to seeing you on the 22 June!

People’s Assembly Against Austerity Hosted by People’s Assembly, Saturday, 22 June 2013 from 09:30 to 17:00 (BST) Central Hall Westminster, Storey’s Gate, Westminster, London SW1H 9NH

Are you listening Wales? Vote Labour, Get TORIES

Are you listening Wales? Vote Labour, Get TORIES!!!
Want social justice? Vote GREEN!!!
Get it yet?

http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/miliband-makes-his-play-do-everything-the-same-8647494.html

Mark Steel:

“At last, the Labour Party leaders are revealing their election strategy. They’ve announced they’ll stick to the current Government’s spending plans, and the current Government’s welfare cap. Next week, Ed Miliband will announce:“The British people are sick and tired of the way this Government runs the country, and that’s why we promise to do everything exactly the same. There are so many things they’ve ruined, which is why I assure you categorically we will keep ruining the same things. THAT is the exciting prospect we will be putting to the British people in 2015.”

As the election draws near, Labour will become more specific, until Miliband says: “To show how responsible we have become, we promise that if we win the election, for the first two years we’ll let the Tories carry on as the government. We’ll even go on holiday so as not to get in their way, on a cruise round the fjords so we won’t even be able to get back quickly if we get the urge. THAT is how much you can trust us with the economy.”

Many great inspiring speeches in the past have used this technique. That’s why so many people were moved by Martin Luther King, when he said: “I have a dream, to keep everything pretty much as it is. I have looked into the valley, brothers and sisters, and seen a world in which we don’t bother trying to change any of the laws as they’re all in place now, and you don’t want to get a reputation for making a fuss. Will you join me in that struggle, my people, will you join me?” “

Worrying times for Turkey – solidarity needed

Dr Derek Wall, International Co-ordinator of the Green Party of England and Wales has called for solidarity with the Turkish citizens protesting against the destruction of Gezi Park.
“We should applaud Turkish citizens who refused to see their green space turned into a shopping mall. We know that in the UK, we only have green spaces in London [and elsewhere] because of vigorous protest in the 19th century. Hampstead Heath, Plumstead common and many other public parks only exist today because of protest including both non violent direct action and legal challenges.The response of the authorities has been violently excessive and has lead to a much large wave of protest. Unrest has spread across Turkey and a general strike commences on Tuesday, 4th June. It is shocking that at least one protestor has been killed by the authorities.I am proud of the actions of our sister party in Turkey Yesiller ve Sol Gelecek Partisi (the Turkish Green and Left Party’ who have faced considerable repression in their effort to protect the environment and have worked hard to protect Gezi Park’Dr Wall echoed the calls of the European Green Party for a peace resolution to the protest http://europeangreens.eu/news/egp-advocates-right-turkish-citizens-protest-peacefully

‘We need to provide the Occupy Gezi protestors with practical solidarity, Green Party members and all those concerned with human rights and environmental protection, should support Turkey’s protest movement.’

‘It is important to listen to the voices of the protesters especially in the form of social media such as blogs and twitter’

The Turkish Green Party is active in the Gezi movement, “This is an uprising, a protest against the increasing bans,” said Michelle Demishevich, an activist and member of Turkey’s Green Party. “Perhaps just like we saw the Arab Spring, this will be the Turkish Spring”.

Dr Wall also noted the following description of the protest from a citizen in Istanbul,”A group of people most of whom did not belong to any specific organization or ideology got together in Istanbul’s Gezi Park. Among them there were many of my friends and students. Their reason was simple: To prevent and protest the upcoming demolishing of the park for the sake of building yet another shopping mall at very center of the city. There are numerous shopping malls in Istanbul, at least one in every neighborhood! The tearing down of the trees was supposed to begin early Thursday morning. People went to the park with their blankets, books and children. They put their tents down and spent the night under the trees. Early in the morning when the bulldozers started to pull the hundred-year-old trees out of the ground, they stood up against them to stop the operation. They did nothing other than standing in front of the machines. No newspaper, no television channel was there to report the protest. It was a complete media black out. But the police arrived with water cannon vehicles and pepper spray. They chased the crowds out of the park.”http://defnesumanblogs.com/2013/06/01/what-is-happenning-in-istanbul/

Dr Wall continued, ‘Sadly the death toll is mounting in Turkey and international pressure is needed to prevent more peaceful protesters from being killed.’

Footnote from Andy Chyba:
Having returned from Turkey yesterday morning, I can confirm that news was slow to emerge in the provinces and that there is growing disquiet amongst ordinary citizens about the growing repression being imposed by the right-wing ‘Justice and Development Party’ (AKP) government.
Fears, following the 2011 general election, that Premier Ergogan wants to ‘Putinise’ the country are beginning to gain strength.”Erdogan wants to implement a presidential system,” Gencer Ozcan, professor for international relations at Bilgi University told the Guardian in 2011 http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/jun/13/recep-erdogan-turkey-general-election. “This is the main goal of a new constitution. This is the first time that the prime minister handpicked all AKP candidates, assuring absolute loyalty within his own party.”
But the election result requires wider parliamentary consensus on a new constitution.This comes as good news to government critics who, concerned about Erdogan’s increasingly authoritarian stance in an effort to remain in charge beyond 2015. The current constitution would be bar Erdogan from serving as prime minister again. (An issue we have been grappling with on an insignificant scale – in comparison – within Wales Green Party.)
I have left Turkey truly impressed with their willingness of ordinary people to work hard and go the extra mile in terms of customer service. Since my first visit to the country more than 30 years ago, they have taken huge strides in terms of their standards of living and education system, and they now boast a health service that truly shames and embarrasses the NHS. They have also embraced environmental issues in a way that also shames the UK.
Erdogan and the AKP can certainly take a lot of credit for this – they have been in power since 2002 afterall – but there is no comparison any more to the Erdogan that won elections in 2002 and 2005. His plans are seen are increasingly over-ambitious and fuelled by a bulging ego. Most ordinary Turks that I have spoken to simply want to consolidate what they have got and live in peace.
The events of the last few days represent worrying times indeed.

Barış Türkiye

Support this Amnesty International action: http://takeaction.amnestyusa.org/siteapps/advocacy/ActionItem.aspx?c=6oJCLQPAJiJUG&b=6645049&aid=519905&msource=W1306EACPR1

(Currently only through AIUSA)