Saturday, 30 January 2010

Fascists evicted from Gloucester Arms pub in Camden

From the fb group...

Well done to each and every single person who helped to get them out. 

The racist landlord John Coyne has been evicted from the Kentish Town pub, Gloucester Arms Camden NW5. 

We have emails from Camden Councillors to confirm this. 

There are still illegal tenants who have nothing to with Coyne who are still living in the pub waiting for emergency accomodation from Camden Council and who are refusing to leave which explains why lights are still on and people coming and going etc. 

Some people are still going up and trashing the pub...John Coyne has gone so this is no longer necessary [it was great while he was in there but it should stop as he has gone and the tenants stuck in the pub are innocent]...

Thanks for eveything that was done to're all great. 

Sent from my iPhone

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Priority tickets to first time Mutineers & contributers

We are nearly ready to set sail for our second voyage and tickets are already selling like hot cakes. If you went to the first one we are offering you the chance to get priority tickets as a way to say thank you. Please email us at telling us what you liked best about the 1st and what could be changed and we will send you the link to the ticket site.

You also get an advance ticket if you contribute to the evening so send us some suggestions and we'll work out how to use them, and we'll give you a ticket.

Here's a glimpse of some of the artwork. We still have a few spaces for artists so email us if u want to submit something.

It's LGBT history month so we are pleased to be able to offer you some of the finest additions to the night. 5 people (including myself!) from the NUS LGBT campaign will be either speaking or exhibiting. Thanks to Belle from Soas for arranging the art exhibition.

See some of the other speakers confirmed so far at

In terms of other help, the simplest thing you can do is perhaps add the event link to your facebook status or invite some friends directly.

You could also print off this image and put up as a poster or make into flyers to hand out at work or college, send us short videos of you asking some of the key questions on the blog, or submit questions for our speed debating session.

Happy Valentines...

Sunday, 24 January 2010

Another communism is possible

Following my recent experiences I have had the pleasure of being forced to rethink political organisation and strategy. In short we desperately need to take into consideration the changing class composition, the rapidly and incessantly developing technologies--and the impact these have on organisational communication strategies--and the shape and strength of local & world wide social movements. 

My paper presented at Historical Materialism took last years student occupations as a case study of new, hybrid forms of organisation and leant heavily on a 21st century reading of What Is To Be Done?, Gramsci's discussions on 'sponteneity' and Cliff's Building the Party. Conveniently my main points are also echoed in David Harvey's article below who proposes 'a "co-revolutionary theory" derived from an understanding of Marx's account of how capitalism arose out of feudalism' (see about 2/3rds down this post)

I will post a much shorter version once I have got my essays out of the way.    

Luna 17 also wrote a piece on his blog here:

So, copyleft of I found this short intro to David Harvey's recently posted paper 'Organizing for the Anti-Capitalist Transition' on his website. It is one of the most interesting of recent attempts by a left wing academic today to think through the implications of the financial and ecological crises, and the potential (and need) for transforming neoliberal capitalism into something less environmentally catastrophic and more socially progressive. Harvey's work has been consistently insightful in emphasising that the necessity of compound growth for a working capitalism is incompatible not only with a healthy relation to the rest of the planet, but is simply impossible to maintain due to the shape of exponential compound interest curves. He goes on to argue the need to confront the historical disaster of much left wing politics, and proposes a new 'co-revolutionary' theory that asks is it possible for us today to re-imagine what communism might be in the 21st century… I have selected some passages below, but the paper as a whole is important reading for anyone interested in our economic and ecological crises.

'Organizing for the Anti-Capitalist Transition' - selections from a forthcoming book by Harvey, 'The Enigma of Capital'.

"Three percent compound growth (generally considered the minimum satisfactory growth rate for a healthy capitalist economy) is becoming less and less feasible to sustain without resort to all manner of fictions (such as those that have characterized asset markets and financial affairs over the last two decades). There are good reasons to believe that there is no alternative to a new global order of governance that will eventually have to manage the transition to a zero growth economy. If that is to be done in an equitable way, then there is no alternative to socialism or communism. Since the late 1990s, the World Social Forum became the center for articulating the theme "another world is possible." It must now take up the task of defining how another socialism or communism is possible and how the transition to these alternatives are to be accomplished. The current crisis offers a window of opportunity to reflect on what might be involved…

If we are to get back to three percent growth, then this means finding new and profitable global investment opportunities for $1.6 trillion in 2010 rising to closer to $3 trillion by 2030. This contrasts with the $0.15 trillion new investment needed in 1950 and the $0.42 trillion needed in 1973 (the dollar figures are inflation adjusted). Real problems of finding adequate outlets for surplus capital began to emerge after 1980, even with the opening up of China and the collapse of the Soviet Bloc. The difficulties were in part resolved by creation of fictitious markets where speculation in asset values could take off unhindered. Where will all this investment go now?

Leaving aside the undisputable constraints in the relation to nature (with global warming of paramount importance), the other potential barriers of effective demand in the market place, of technologies and of geographical/ geopolitical distributions are likely to be profound, even supposing, which is unlikely, that no serious active oppositions to continuous capital accumulation and further consolidation of class power materialize. What spaces are left in the global economy for new spatial fixes for capital surplus absorption? China and the ex-Soviet bloc have already been integrated. South and SouthEast Asia is filling up fast. Africa is not yet fully integrated but there is nowhere else with the capacity to absorb all this surplus capital. What new lines of production can be opened up to absorb growth? There may be no effective long-run capitalist solutions (apart from reversion to fictitious capital manipulations) to this crisis of capitalism. At some point quantitative changes lead to qualitative shifts and we need to take seriously the idea that we may be at exactly such an inflexion point in the history of capitalism. Questioning the future of capitalism itself as an adequate social system ought, therefore, to be in the forefront of current debate.

Yet there appears to be little appetite for such discussion, even among the left…

A revolutionary politics that can grasp the nettle of endless compound capital accumulation and eventually shut it down as the prime motor of human history, requires a sophisticated understanding of how social change occurs. The failings of past endeavors to build a lasting socialism and communism have to be avoided and lessons from that immensely complicated history must be learned. Yet the absolute necessity for a coherent anti-capitalist revolutionary movement must also be recognized. The fundamental aim of that movement is to assume social command over both the production and distribution of surpluses.

We urgently need an explicit revolutionary theory suited to our times. I propose a "co-revolutionary theory" derived from an understanding of Marx's account of how capitalism arose out of feudalism. Social change arises through the dialectical unfolding of relations between seven moments within the body politic of capitalism viewed as an ensemble or assemblage of activities and practices:

a) technological and organizational forms of production, exchange and consumption

b) relations to nature

c) social relations between people

d) mental conceptions of the world, embracing knowledges and cultural understandings and beliefs

e) labor processes and production of specific goods, geographies, services or affects

f ) institutional, legal and governmental arrangements

g) the conduct of daily life that underpins social reproduction.

Each one of these moments is internally dynamic and internally marked by tensions and contradictions (just think of mental conceptions of the world) but all of them are co-dependent and co-evolve in relation to each other. The transition to capitalism entailed a mutually supporting movement across all seven moments. New technologies could not be identified and practices without new mental conceptions of the world (including that of the relation to nature and social relations). Social theorists have the habit of taking just one of the these moments and viewing it as the "silver bullet" that causes all change. We have technological determinists (Tom Friedman), environmental determinists (Jarad Diamond), daily life determinists (Paul Hawkin), labor process determinists (the autonomistas), institutionalists, and so on and so forth. They are all wrong. It is the dialectical motion across all of these moments that really counts even as there is uneven development in that motion.

When capitalism itself undergoes one of its phases of renewal, it does so precisely by co-evolving all moments, obviously not without tensions, struggles, fights and contradictions. But consider how these seven moments were configured around 1970 before the neoliberal surge and consider how they look now and you will see they have all changed in ways that re-define the operative characteristics of capitalism viewed as a non-Hegelian totality.

An anti-capitalist political movement can start anywhere (in labor processes, around mental conceptions, in the relation to nature, in social relations, in the design of revolutionary technologies and organizational forms, out of daily life or through attempts to reform institutional and administrative structures including the reconfiguration of state powers). The trick is to keep the political movement moving from one moment to another in mutually reinforcing ways. This was how capitalism arose out of feudalism and this is how something radically different called communism, socialism or whatever must arise out of capitalism. Previous attempts to create a communist or socialist alternative fatally failed to keep the dialectic between the different moments in motion and failed to embrace the unpredictabilities and uncertainties in the dialectical movement between them. Capitalism has survived precisely by keeping the dialectical movement between the moments going and constructively embracing the inevitable tensions, including crises, that result…

In this instance the relation to nature is the beginning point, but everyone realizes that something has to give on all the other moments and while there is a wishful politics that wants to see the solution as purely technological, it becomes clearer by the day that daily life, mental conceptions, institutional arrangements, production processes and social relations have to be involved. And all of that means a movement to restructure capitalist society as a whole and to confront the growth logic that underlies the problem in the first place.

There have, however, to be, some loosely agreed upon common objectives in any transitional movement. Some general guiding norms can be set down. These might include (and I just float these norms here for discussion) respect for nature, radical egalitarianism in social relations, institutional arrangements based in some sense of common interests and common property, democratic administrative procedures (as opposed to the monetized shams that now exist), labor processes organized by the direct producers, daily life as the free exploration of new kinds of social relations and living arrangements, mental conceptions that focus on self-realization in service to others and technological and organizational innovations oriented to the pursuit of the common good rather than to supporting militarized power, surveillance and corporate greed. These could be the co-revolutionary points around which social action could converge and rotate. Of course this is utopian! But so what! We cannot afford not to be…

The current populations of academicians, intellectuals and experts in the social sciences and humanities are by and large ill-equipped to undertake the collective task of revolutionizing our knowledge structures. They have, in fact, been deeply implicated in the construction of the new systems of neoliberal governmentality that evade questions of legitimacy and democracy and foster a technocratic authoritarian politics. Few seem predisposed to engage in self-critical reflection. Universities continue to promote the same useless courses on neo classical economic or rational choice political theory as if nothing has happened and the vaunted business schools simply add a course or two on business ethics or how to make money out of other people's bankruptcies. After all, the crisis arose out of human greed and there is nothing that can be done about that!..

If, as the alternative globalization movement of the late 1990s declared, 'another world is possible' then why not also say 'another communism is possible'? The current circumstances of capitalist development demand something of this sort, if fundamental change is to be achieved."

Extracts from 'Organizing for the Anti-Capitalist Transition'
David Harvey
CUNY Graduate Center, New York

Sent from my iPhone

War crimes, Blair and the Iraq inquiry

Copy left from Thanks to Alex for this lively reminder of why, where and when to demonstrate against Bliar Blair this Friday.
It's all happening at the Iraq Inquiry, isn't it? Jonathan Powell, Geoff Hoon and Jack Straw appeared this week, with Straw admitting that if he had resigned in early 2003 the Blair government wouldn't have been able to pursue invasion of Iraq (so, er, why didn't you then?). The former Foreign Secretary's approach was essentially to pose as quite humble and subtly distance himself from the decision to invade. My impression is that subtle, and sometimes not-so-subtle, distancing is becoming a popular tactic for those dragged before the inquiry committee.

We've also had the news that Gordon Brown will, after all, appear before Sir John Chilcot's inquiry prior to the next general election. The current PM was the man who, as Chancellor, bankrolled the extraordinarily wasteful (not to mention illegal and immoral) war and occupation of Iraq - he will appear at some point during February and March. Brown is also responsible for continuing, and extending, UK participation in the NATO occupation of Afghanistan. There is no evidence that he or anyone else in high office, either here or in Obama-era USA, has learnt anything from Iraq.

Brown is hosting a conference for NATO countries this Thursday, at which further escalation of war in Afghanistan will be on the agenda. This is despite the firm public majorities opposing such a course, in both this country and the US. Pursuing a war against the wishes of the people? Now, who might that remind me of?

Tony Blair will go before the inquiry committee, and world's media, on Friday. Some of the information currently emerging means he will be very much on the defensive. Most important is today's news thatthe former Foreign office senior lawyer regarded the invasion as illegal. As with Straw, it might be argued his timing could have been better - this information would have been helpful in 2003, instead of the deceit we were fed by the Attorney General at the time.

Anti-war campaigners are protesting at the NATO conference on Thursday and again at the Iraq inquiry on Friday. The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are part of the same larger 'war on terror' pursued for the sake of US economic and political interests, with the loyal acquiescence of British leaders, whether Blair, Brown or - as we're likely to have after 6 May - Cameron. There will be local events in some areas outside London too: in Tyneside we have a local protest demanding Blair is held to account and there is no whitewash at the Iraq inquiry, followed in February by a Stop the War public meeting.

Timetable for all-day protest on Tony Blair's Judgement Day

A delegation including Iraqi citizens and grieving military families take the People's Dossier of questions for Tony Blair to Sir John Chilcot.

When Blair's testimony begins, names of Iraqis killed in the war will be read by novelist A.L Kennedy, Musician Brian Eno, actor and director Sam West, actor and director Simon McBurney, playwright David Edgar, Lancet editor Richard Horton, former UK ambassador Craig Murray, Iraqi author Haifa Zangana, comedian and author Alexei Sayle, actor Miriam Margoyles, and more.

Including by many of those participating in the Naming the Dead ceremony.

12.00-13.00: PERFORMANCES
Lowkey, King Blues and other Musicians.

Members of military families who lost loved ones in the Iraq war will read the names of all 179 British soldiers who died.


Sent from my iPhone

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Do you love Love? Could you love a Tory?! Mutiny's 2nd event: Love on Trial, a Revolutionary Valentines.

If music be the food of love.. Love on Trial. 10th February 6pm
Money on Trial in September was a fantastic success with around 100 people coming along and almost all of them emailing or letting us know personally they had a fantastic time. The Sauce blogged about it here: Money on Trial
Join us on on Twitter here:

Our next event is especially for all you romantics. If music be the food of love...

We already have a brilliant line up so far, with Nina Power, the author of One Dimensional Woman speaking in the first session,

The fab poet Musa from PoeJazzi who has also performed for Stop the War.

The Speed Debating session will kick off the night to get you all mingling and thinking: we want your thoughts on what questions to add to this. Please comment at the Join the Mutiny blog

We are also looking for further artwork, musicians, poets, visual artists, films, speakers and, of course, participants for the evening.

And, finally, like last time we are doing political goody bags. Last time we had LMHR cd's, Stop the War badges, War on Want stickers & matches, flyers for demo's, signup sheets for UAF, an appeal for Gaza and much, much more. If you want your event to submit something to the bag, please email We will need to arrange delivery for these items so let us know as soon as possible

Join the team or send us any ideas & suggestions by emailing us at

More info on how to get more involved coming soon.

Planning meetings are every Tuesday at 6pm in the Birkbeck Bar. Feel free to come along with your ideas and bring people with you.

Please click the above image, print off and put up in any place or make into flyers to hand out at meetings, in class, at work or on the streets…

Read more about the evening at the Join the Mutiny website

Join us on on Twitter here:

Please feel free to link this publicity to your blogs.

Boycott fascist pub in Camden week of action 25th-29th Jan 2009 update

The Gloucester Arms on Leighton Road in Kentish Town has been subjected to protests by anti racists following the landlord, John Coyne's decision to let organised racists hold meetings in the pub. There will be a week of email and telephone action on the week of 25th - 29th Jan asking that Camden council remove the pub's licence especially as they play hardore porn in front of kids.
The far right group Jobbik Party, part of a racist group "The Alliance of Nationalist Movements" drafted by the BNPs Nick Griffin, have been holding meetings in the pub. The pub's walls were recently daubed with Close BNP Pub and local people are sick of the loud music being played at full volume all night and hardcore porn dvds being played in front of children in the bar.
During protests held by Camden Anarchists and covered by the Camden New Journal the lanflord John Coyne came out and told them to "go whistle" before allowing the meeting to go ahead. The landlord is believed to have links to racist right wing groups formed in Ulster.

Contact Camden Council and ask that they remove the pub's license.

Write to or phone Camden Council on 0207 974 4444

Camden Town Hall
Judd Street

The Gloucester Arms is at 59 -61 Leighton Road, Kentish Town, Camden NW5 2QH

You can upload a letter from here to post of to the council.

Boycott Fascist pub in Camden week of action 25th-29th Jan 2009 update
- e-mail:

Saturday, 16 January 2010

Very timely: Symposium on Georg Lukács's 'Reification and the Consciousness of the Proletariat'

2–6pm, Saturday February 6, 2010, at the London Knowledge Lab, 23-29 Emerald Street, London, WC1

Gordon Finlayson
Tim Hall
Michalis Skomvoulis

Gordon Finlayson is Senior Lecturer in Philosophy at the University of Sussex and is the author of many books and articles on the Frankfurt School.

Tim Hall is Senior Lecturer in Politics at the University of East London. His article 'Reification, Materialism & Praxis: Adorno's critique of Lukács' is forthcoming in Telos (2010) and he is the co-editor of The Fundamental Dissonance of Existence: New Essays on the Social, Political and Aesthetic Theory of Georg Lukács (New York, Continuum: 2010)

Michalis Skomvoulis is a PhD student at the University of Paris 1: Pantheon-Sorbonne and has written extensively on Lukacs.

The English translation of Lukács's essay is available at <

Attendance is free and open to all. To register e-mail Meade McCloughan:

Directions and map: <> Tube stations: Holborn and Russell Square.

Marx and Philosophy Society:

Friday, 15 January 2010

Sunday, 10 January 2010

My expulsion from the SWP has been ratified by conference.

I'm taking a few days to let it sink in, to collect my thoughts etc and will write something here soon.

Thx for all your support. I'm out but not down.

From Clare (the autonomist, renegade, guevarist, dilletante, spawn of the devil)
But I forgot thes best one:SCAB! Alex has added a few more below...

Saturday, 9 January 2010

Soas Palestine presents: Gaza: Our Guernica

All welcome. 

A series of events to commemorate Gaza one year after Israel's attack


Gaza: Our Guernica


organized by the Palestine Societies at



University College London

Imperial College

Kings College


University of Westminster


Thurs 14th January – 6.30pm

***Remembering the War on Gaza (followed by Candle Lit Vigil)***

Tariq Ali (Writer)

Ghada Karmi (Exeter University)

UCL – Christopher Ingold Building/Main Quad

Mon 18th January – 7PM

***Besieged in Self Righteousness: Israeli public discourse after the last invasion of Gaza***

Daphna Baram (Journalist)



Mon 25th January – 6.30pm

***The Wounds of Gaza***

Dr Ghassan Abu-Sittah (Surgeon, Chelsea and Westminster Hospital. Worked in Gaza after the last war)

Andrea Becker (MAP, Medical Aid for Palestinians)

Imperial – G16, Sir Alexander Fleming Building


Thurs 28th January – 6pm

***The Media and the War on Gaza***

Ehab Bessaiso (Media Analyst and Writer): The Arab Media and the War on Gaza

Sharief Nashashibi: The British Media and the War on Gaza

Chair: Dr Dina Matar (SOAS)

Westminister Uni – 2.05a LT, Titchfield Street


Mon 1st Feb – 6.30pm

***The End of Israeli Impunity? Gaza and the Goldstone Report***

Bob Marshall Andrews (Labour MP),

Paul Troop (Lawyers for Palestinian Human Rights),

Prof. Robert Wintemute (Kings College)

KCL – s-3.20 Strand Campus

Wed 3rd Feb – 4pm

***Gaza: Past and Present***

Prof. Avi Shlaim (Oxford University)

Goldsmith Uni – Richard Hoggart Building Rm 256


Wed 17th February – 7pm

***Supporting the Boycott on Israel: A View from Within***

Dr. Anat Matar (Tel Aviv University)

SOAS – Room tbc 

Friday, 8 January 2010 response to student occupations, Schwarzenegger announces more HE funding...

From an article in yesterday's New York Times;SACRAMENTO — With his state strapped and his legacy looming, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger proposed on Wednesday to greatly reduce the amount of money California spends on its prisons and to funnel that sum to the state's higher education system instead[...]

Those protests on the U.C. campuses were the tipping point; the governor's chief of staff, Susan Kennedy, said in an interview after the speech. Our university system is going to get the support it deserves.

Full article:

Palestinian children are stoned while walking to school

See related press release here:
See full report on the situation:

At-Tuwani On Wednesday morning, 30 December 2009, an Israeli settler from the Israeli outpost of Havat Ma'on (Hill 833) chased and attacked Palestinian schoolchildren from the villages of Tuba and Maghayir Al-Abeed. The Israeli army exposed the children to this attack by arriving more than 90 minutes late to escort the schoolchildren to their school in the village of At-Tuwani.

The schoolchildren had been waiting for the army escort to arrive for nearly 30 minutes when an Israeli settler came out from a house within Havat Ma'on. The fourteen children, ages 6-15, immediately began to move away from the settler, towards their village. When the settler saw the children moving away he charged them, hurling stones at the children with a slingshot. Tareq Ibrahim Abu Jundiyye, a 15 year old boy from Tuba, spoke about the experience, the younger kids started crying as we were running away because they were afraid the settler would catch them. I mean, we had to run away, if I would have stayed I would have been struck on the head by a rock.

International peace activists made several calls to the local army office urging them to send soldiers in order to escort the schoolchildren. The army dispatcher claimed that the soldiers thought there was no school because of the rain. The army only arrived after the mayor of At-Tuwani called the Palestinian District Coordinating, a Palestinian body responsible for liasing with the Israeli military regarding civilian affairs in Area C, who in turn spoke with the Israeli army. The army's late arrival caused the children to miss their first two classes of the day.

The children require a military escort to and from school, because of repeated attacks by Israeli settlers from Maon and Havat Maon. When the Israeli military does not arrive on time to accompany the children to Tuwani, they must wait in an area controlled by the Israeli settlers, a location where settlers have attacked the young Palestinian children on a number of occasions in the past.

For a complete report on the school escort in 2007-2008, including maps, photographs and interviews with the children, please see A Dangerous Journey at ary-2008.pdf

A report for the school year 2008-2009 is forthcoming.

Palestine Video - A Palestine Vlog

Sent from my iPhone

Thursday, 7 January 2010

Sod Sodexho. Please support these striking workers.

SOAS has had a campaign against Sodexho based not only on their notorious track record of allegations of racism and for their oppresive treatment of staff but also because they provide the catering for the American military in Abu Ghraib and Afghanistan. This message is a reminder to both us and them that we are watching them and will not tolerate their view on life. We must support these striking workers in any way possible. If not financial, please send them even a short message of solidarity. 

Dear Comrades and Colleagues 


These low paid workers really need funds to keep this dispute going. It has come after Christmas, which is a difficult time for many families anyway. 

Their efforts to win the pay due to them from 2006 has made a big impact in North Devon. It is an inspiration to other workers. 

Please give generously. 
Cheques to: 

North Devon Health Branch Hardship Fund 
UNISON North Devon Health Branch
Union Office, Suite 2, Munro House
North Devon District Hospital
Raleigh Park, 
North Devon
EX31 4JB  

Send messages of support to

Please raise at branch meetings and in school staffrooms if you can.

Please pass on to your email list, Facebook etc.


A luta continua!

Dave Clinch

North Devon NHS strike - please send message of support

Over 200 low paid hospital workers started two days of strike action on Tuesday, following the refusal of their employer Sodexo and the local NHS trust to implement a pay agreement dating back to 2006. During the day, with heavy snow falling, nearly all of those on strike attended the picket.

Local Unison Branch Chair (Health), Mark Harper says, "Unless there is a significant shift from the employer and the Healthcare Trust then more strike action will take place. The funds were allocated to pay our members. North Devon Healthcare Trust is one of only a few NHS Trusts not to implement the agreement."

He added "Unfortunately the employer is bringing in scab labour from Hillingdon Hospital to try to undermine the strike."

The support locally has been excellent. A rally is also being planned. 

Send messages of support to

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Coin Street neighbourhood film club - Friday 15 January - Maria Full of Grace (15)

This is from my local film club. Feel free to pop in. 

Happy New Year!  Please find attached information about the films for January to March.  The details of the first film, next Friday 15 January are below.  Hopefully see you there!   

Friday 15 January

Maria Full of Grace (15) Spanish with English subtitles

Sundance and Berlin Film Festival award winner, ''Maria Full of Grace'' tells the story of 17 year old

Maria Alvarez who lives with her family in rural Columbia. When she is offered the chance of a

lucrative job involving travel, which is in fact becoming a ''drug mule'' Maria finds herself

transported into the ruthless world of international drug trafficking. Her mission becomes one of

determination and survival as she plunges into her a chaotic and dangerous new world.


The Coin Street neighbourhood centre will be open from 7pm for snacks, wine and soft drinks and the film will start at 7.30pm. 

Please contact Laura Cowell for more information on 020 7021 1600 or email 

MI5 'still using threats to recruit Muslim spies'

By Robert Verkaik, Home Affairs Editor
MI5 faces accusations that its officers have blackmailed and harassed vulnerable immigrants living in Britain as part of a campaign to recruit spies to report on Muslim communities. In one case, a man who escaped persecution in Africa where members of his family were murdered claims that for the past...

Click here to view this content.

Sign Up for Clip&Copy® to find other content like this. It's a free personalized news alert and press clippings service.

© 2010 Independent News and Media
Powered by

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Tansy Hoskins on sexism, war, & awfullness in *that* Rhianna video

New left-wing blog in town, it's Tanzle Town! HERE.

And what a great first article talking about the strange, if not down right perverted, video by Rhianna depicting war, sexism & violence as if it is empowering and something to be proud of.

Well done Tansy, I look forward to many more of your musings.

So, her premier, premiere article goes as follows:

"If you haven't already seen the music video for Rihanna's new single 'Hard' you can view it here:

My problems with this video are threefold. Firstly, this video is pure old fashioned misogyny masquerading as empowerment. The second is that the position of female soldiers has been completely distorted – US State Department figures report that one in three women in the US military will be raped or sexually assaulted by her male counterparts. And the third is that riding around on a colonialist expedition with America’s army does not make you ‘hard’ and that war is not something to be glamorised.

It saddens me to see the route that Rihanna has taken with this video, particularly since she has herself recently been the victim of domestic violence by her former partner. It appears that this video is in part a reaction to that period of her life or at least a reaction to the media circus that sprung up around her since. The fact remains that we live in a world where one in six women are raped and even greater numbers suffer abuse – stopping this should be a priority in the world today but it isn’t. It is no wonder therefore that there is still a market for the false empowerment in this video, that the music industry can tell women that sex is the real way to be respected by men. Unless things change more young women will remain both lost, exploited and unempowered.

“Its not for her specific feminine virtue that gives women a place of honour in human society, but the worth of her useful work accomplished for society, the worth of her personality as a human being, as a creative worker, as citizen, thinker or fighter.” So wrote Alexandra Kollantai almost a hundred years ago. Sadly not much has changed in this respect. Women are still valued primarily for how they look. This is not to say that women can not be fighters. They are. Across the world they play their part in conflicts, fighting and dying along side men. And at the other end of the spectrum they take their place on the sporting field, becoming known for their strength, courage and endurance."

Read more HERE.


Monday, 4 January 2010

NUS president Wes Streeting stoops to a new low

Check back here soon for video of his remarks on Gaza & student occupations incl on occupations over education cuts. I can't work my YouTube uploader atm.

Please comment below or ask questions. I will try to get them answered.

NUS NEC member James Haywood writes on Wes Streetings latest comments

Wes Streeting stoops to a new low

People should hold their stomachs and read this Ha'aretz article about NUS President Wes Streeting's recent visit to Israel:

I was in two minds of whether to write something about this, it truly is so disgusting that most points don't need much coming back on, but actually some serious issues do come out of this.

Of course Streeting attacking the UCU is nothing new, first the planned strike last year was needed for students "like a hole in the head", and now this attack on the UCU's bravery in standing for the academic boycott (which has now been followed by the TUC). But then, hey, since when has New Labour ever been about supporting unions?

His quoted remarks on Palestine really are disgusting however. Livni, the politician responsible for the massacre in Gaza which will be mourned on campuses across the UK over the next month, was apparently "a really strange choice" for lawyers in the UK to seek arrest for war crimes. With no sense of irony he says this attempt to uphold international law must, "seem so really ignorant". mmm....quite,
so while we're on the subject of ignorance lets carry on with the article:

"my first impression of the West Bank was that it was just like the place on the other side.... The surroundings were the same, the people were doing the same things - there wasn't much difference between the two places." The Palestinian economy in the West Bank seems "to be a lot more stable and active" than he had assumed, he added."
The charities, religious groups, NGOs (including Israeli NGOs), Amnesty, they are all liars.....he didn't add.

What a pity he didn’t go 5 minutes from the Church of Nativity to Dhieshesh refugee camp where thousands of Palestinian refugees live in terrible conditions and survive on UN hand outs: not a stable and active economy. Or perhaps Streeting could have gone to Hebron, and seen the settler violence against Palestinians there and the destruction of the economy by the siege on the old city by the Israeli army. Or gone to Nablus to visit the huge graveyards, or Ramallah to Bir Zeit University to hear from students of the military lockdowns the campus has suffered consistently over the years.

But most normal people know this, so why bother raising it? Because actually this highlights a dangerous issue with this trip. This wasn't a holiday, which can be seen not just from his press comments but Ha'aretz reported that these comments took place, "after a meeting in the Prime Minister's office".
This trip was organised. By who?

Students in the UK have a right to know who organised this trip, and if it was paid for who funded it. Because whatever organisation did organise it are clearly not even interested in promoting a two state solution let alone a just solution. If the issues are so "complex" why did Streeting not visit officials in the West Bank? Why did he not meet the Palestinian student council? Or visit refugee camps? Or look at the illegal settlements and the violence perpetrated by settlers in the West Bank? Or villages being destroyed by the apartheid wall? Why no attempt to enter Gaza? Yet again we have the racist vision of Palestinians as invisible "problems" that need to be "solved", not human beings who have a right to live, let alone to education, health, housing and other basic things they are denied by the occupation.

We have a right to know who organised and funded this trip, and we should question whether such biased and frankly corrupt practises are acceptable in our National Union.
And if Streeting is genuine, then I have an offer for him: Goldsmiths are organising a trip to the West Bank in early April, he is now formally invited to come on the trip to see "the other side". I look forward to his response.

Haarerrz article