UK Newswire Archive
Even if you can't read Scottish, you know what it means. Our complacency broken, its time to roll out the anti-nuclear power campaigns again.
21-03-2011 16:48It is a mirror of the Tory government and tries to reinforce their policies at a local level. The Tory controlled Brighton and Hove City Council attempts to make life diffilcult for older people and those with disabilities. It operates a system of social cleansing and the result is that these groups are forced to move out of this city.
21-03-2011 16:22The UK Tar Sands Network and friends gathered this morning outside the Climate Week launch event at Lancaster House, to protest against its sponsorship by RBS, the UK bank that has been most heavily involved in financing the fossil fuel industry.
While Energy and Climate Secretary Chris Huhne was inside presenting awards for action on climate change, the protesters were outside, wearing badges saying ‘Love climate action, hate greenwash’, and handing leaflets to attendees that highlighted the involvement of RBS in financing companies involved in tar sands extraction. Tar sands has been the subject of international controversy for its impact on both the climate and indigenous communities.
Some protesters sang songs about RBS’s dirty reputation, and did the “oily Gaga” dance made famous at the Edinburgh Climate Camp. Meanwhile, ‘Greenwash Guerrillas’ dressed in white biohazard suits detected dangerously high levels of toxic greenwash emanating from the building. Every attendee was given a flyer explaining why it is ridiculous that the UK’s biggest financer of fossil fuels is sponsoring a major climate event.
Climate Week has already been embarrassed by a report that was published earlier in the morning that indicated that RBS is the UK bank that has been involved in providing the most finance to the 20 biggest coal mining and coal-power generators in the last three years.
Sam Chase, one of the protesters outside the Climate Week launch, said:
“It’s great that people all over the country are taking action on climate change, but all these efforts are dramatically undermined when a huge financial institution like RBS is ploughing so much money into fossil fuel companies. Unless RBS is prepared to rein in its massive financing of tar sands in Canada and coal companies across the world, it shouldn’t be allowed to be associated with initiatives like Climate Week.”
Climate Week has also seen a number of groups either decide not to take part in the initiative, or withdraw from it as a result of the RBS sponsorship. Comedian and impressionist, Alastair McGowan, withdrew his initial endorsement from the event, saying:
“Climate Week is celebrating the successes of ordinary citizens and businesses in bringing down their carbon emissions at the same time as its main sponsor, RBS, is doing more than any other bank to undermine those self-same efforts. It’s high time RBS put its money where its mouth is, and stopped bankrolling the fossil fuel industry.”
Climate Week has also generated a lot of online controversy. A substantial proportion of tweets about the event express concern about the connection with RBS – and with some of the other sponsors, particularly EDF Energy. EDF runs two of the UK’s biggest coal power stations and is vigorously pushing dangerous and costly nuclear power as a climate ‘solution’. An online poll carried out by campaigning group People & Planet has also been satirising the Climate Week Awards by inviting people to vote for the Greenwash Coup of the Year 2011, and a number of groups have confirmed that they will be hosting events targeting RBS’s fossil fuel finance as part of Climate Week.
Some of the Climate Week award nominees have also expressed their concerns. UKYCC were nominated for three awards and won one, but also released the following statement: “In the case of RBS in particular, we feel that sponsoring this event without withdrawing their heavy investment in Alberta’s massively damaging tar sands development is grossly hypocritical. We echo many others in calling on RBS to divest from this practice.”
In solidarity with striking lecturers and support staff students from UCL have occupied the Registry – the main administrative wing of the university. As students, we do not have the power to withdraw our labour in solidarity with staff, and so we have decided to occupy in order to fight the current attack on our lecturers’ pay, pensions and conditions. Management may not value the staff at UCL, but we students do.
This is, however, a much broader fight. We are still committed to a fully publicly funded education system and to resisting the privatisation of higher education. Lecturers are suffering this attack because of ideological reforms to the higher education system, implemented under the pretext of a financial crisis that they did not cause. The students and lecturers are what make this university, not the financial managers. We refuse to be divided from our lecturers and treated as disgruntled consumers. The true divide is with management and the ideological destruction of higher education they are complicit in. We stand with our lecturers.
We urge all students to join us in occupation in solidarity with their lecturers. Their fight is our fight.
We are all in this together!
A report on London CAAT's protest about Lockheed Martin's role in the UK census
As part of Count Me Out's weekend of action against Lockheed Martin's deplorable involvement in the census, Saturday saw London CAAT members carry out a protest at Victoria station.
The protesters engaged with the public for nigh-on two hours and found a lot of sympathy for our cause (one passerby even said we were saving the world but I wouldn't go that far!). We handed out 400 leaflets as well as a number of stock letters that people could send to their MPs. The Guantanamo Bay-style costume attracted a lot of attention (Lockheed contracts out interrogation at Guantanamo Bay) and enabled us to inform the public why we were there.
£150m of taxpayers money has been given to the biggest arms company in the world (according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute's latest list of top arms-producing companies) to help run the census. Lockheed Martin is the prime contractor for Britain's Trident nuclear weapons and also produces Joint Strike Fighters and F-16 fighters.
Another issue stems from the fact that they are an American company - under the US Patriot Act any personal data held by companies with systems in the US has to be made available to government intelligence, thus meaning our details could end up in the hands of the US government. Finally, our government does not have a good record of storing data securely.
For more information, visit the Count Me Out website at http://www.countmeout.me.uk. Here you can find a number of actions you can take regarding the census, from boycotting it entirely to spoiling your census paper as well as writing protest letters to your MP and the Office of National Statistics.
Also, the Peace News log has a piece on how to fill in your census form without Lockheed Martin profiting - http://www.peacenewslog.info/2011/03/how-to-fill-in-your-census-form-without-lockheed-martin-profiting-short-version/. And finally Indymedia has a supplementary page you can enclose with your form - http://www.indymedia.org.uk/media/2011/03//475485.pdf.
On Sunday night at 1:45am the Tesco's on Hucknall Road was visited by some individuals. As a result of this visit it's front door was smashed and "every little hurts" was written on it's wall. We did this because of hatered for the physical manifestation of capitalism that is Tesco's.
We also did this as gesture of solidarity with the people of Kulon Progo in Indonesia who fight with beauty, rage and defiance against the capitalist forces which are trying to destroy their land. We know our efforts are slight, but they are sent with love for anyone who struggles against the systems of destruction and domination.
We know that capitalism is more than the bricks and mortar these building are made out of them, we know they are more than the companies which work out of these buildings. Capitalism lives in our interactions and our relationships, and we must constantly challenge it. The destruction of property will only ever be one form of this challenge, one tactic that we can use whenever we see fit. But it is one where we are able to share our affinity with one another, learn with one another, develop trust with one another, these acts enable us to temporarily penertrate our relationship with capitalism. Enabling us to prove that it is not infalliable, that it has it's weakness, and we can exploit them.
The expression of our anger against symbols of capitalism empowers us and deepens our desire to deform the control that capitalist society has over us. We will not just sit back and let companies like Tesco's go unchallenged as they attempt to rip right through the communities of which we're a part. Tesco's are the epitomy of corporate exploitation and monoplisation. Profiting from the commodification of our diets, our nurishment and our relationship with the earth. The chain of commodities of which they're apart is a chain where everything and everyone suffers. Well fuck you tesco's, fuck you coporate destroyers of the earth and everything living in it.
In glorious rage and with eternal love to all those who resist coporate exploitation.
21-03-2011 13:36This letter arose from a specific set of experiences in the activist community and we are aware of the fact that many men will find it difficult to read. However, we publish it here in the hope it will provoke some critical self-reflection among those who need it.
21-03-2011 13:02Don't forget the victims of politicised sentencing.
21-03-2011 12:45This is the text of a leaflet suggesting some reasons for opposition to the attack on Libya.
21-03-2011 12:30The inquest into the death of Ian Tomlinson, who died during the G20 protests in 2009, will commence on Monday 28 March 2011 and is expected to last for of 5-6 weeks.
To coincide with Tesco’s sponsoring of National Climate Week, Climate Rush, a suffragette-inspired environmental action group, altered approximately 30 stores in central London to highlight the company’s hypocrisy on climate change. The fascias now read TESCO2.
Tesco have always liked to present themselves as active agents in the fight against climate change. They recently launched “green clubcard points” and state on their website that “ [they] believe that climate change is the greatest strategic threat to humanity”.
Whilst keen to support any business that cuts carbon, Climate Rush feels that there are some inconvenient truths that make Tesco an inappropriate sponsor for such an awareness-raising event.
- Since they started monitoring them, Tesco’s carbon emissions have risen ever year bar one[i]
- From 2009 to 2010, during which time emissions fell in the UK and elsewhere, Tesco’s carbon emissions increased by 3.7%[ii]
- When measuring their “Direct Carbon Footprint”, which is the figure they report on,Tesco ignores international freight, production of goods , waste disposal and consumption and disposal of Goods. [iii]
- Despite impressive sounding claims like being a “zero carbon business” by 2050[iv], Tesco does not give itself interim targets to ensure it achieves this. This differs from major international competitors such as Walmart[v].
Tamsin Omond, founder of Climate Rush, says “for all their talk about ‘Doing The Right Thing’, few companies are more committed to the status quo than Tesco. Rather than set itself ambitious short-term targets, matched with holistic, honest reporting, Tesco spends its energy on token gestures like sponsoring Climate Week and Green Clubcard points. Fighting climate change isn’t the responsibility of the PR department; it’s time Tesco committed to delivering real, long-term value for its shareholders and the communities on which it depends. You can’t make money on a dead planet. “
National Climate Week runs from 21st to 27th March, and aims to showcase real-life examples of businesses and communities fighting climate change. Other supporters include RBS, who have lent £20bn to the oil and gas industry since nationalisation[vi], and EDF energy, who provide 25% of the UK’s energy from non-renewable sources[vii]. Whilst these companies are also engaged in activities that directly threaten the health of the planet, as they are not key sponsors, they have escaped the specific attention of Climate Rush
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[i] Taken by looking at Tesco PLC corporate responsibility reports, 2007 to present.
[ii] Tesco 2010 Corporate Responsibility Report, page 9
[vi] RBS Sustainability Briefing Document, October 2010
there's a 'global sustainability forum' in rio for two days starting 24th march, too early for april fools day. check out the speakers: bill clinton, arnold schwarzenigger and fucking richard branson. I don't know much about the first twos environmental credentials but what the fuck is bitchard branson doing there?