”World Oceans Day also offered us an opportunity to showcase new and emerging opportunities e.g. wave and tidal energy potential, international telecommunication (through submarine cables) and for making the sustainable use of coastal and marine resources an integral part of our development agenda and in so doing ensuring that measures are put in place to safeguard this resource for future generations.
Why do we celebrate World Oceans Day? To remind everyone of the major part the Ocean has in everyday life. They are the lungs of our planet, providing most of the oxygen we breathe. To inform the public on the impact of the human actions on the Ocean. .. To develop a worldwide movement of citizens, towards the Ocean. …To celebrate together the beauty, the wealth and the promise of the Ocean” …..
Politics as we Know it should Die and loving Anarchy should Prosper
via metro.co.uk one of 7.600 sharesThe present manner of doing politics on this Earth is coming to an finish. Carne Ross explores the possibilities in the UK. The climate emergency will require dramatic changes to the wasteful way we consume resources. The grotesque of the 0.1% cruising in private jets while the rest struggle with rent and debt cannot last.A peaceful, harmonious society requires that people are fairly treated.For now, there is no justice, no peace. The breakdown of consensus is painfully visible in the poisonous cloud of abuse and polarization on mis-named ‘social’ media.This is not working. So what comes next?The Far Right, because it trades in bogus certainties and machismo, has the clearest plan.It is rising in America, Europe and in the UK with its takeover of the Tory party.It appeals because it pretends to return control to those who feel shut out of the existing political system, though in fact its only strategy is more authoritarianism, justified by whipped-up racism and fear of The Other.The Left and Greens offer a more sympathetic proposition but no political party can honestly claim to represent ‘the people’ or even ‘the many’.No single party can claim support from more than about a third of the adult population. One-party government is therefore a recipe for endless political confrontation, with its own polarizing dialectic.
Forests are the primeval home of unique human animals, and without them we wouldn’t have enough oxygen to breath or little enough CO2 to avoid a hothouse Venus.
But our home is being destroyed at an ever increasing rate by an evil system which only works by infinite ”growth” on our strictly finite planet. Already 97% of land mammals are humans and our pets and livestock. Climate change is out of any control, spending on lethal fossil fuels increased last year, and voluntary investment in renewable stagnated.
One of the easiest and most effective of many measures needed to save our home is a massive reforestation campaign, forced by a radical worldwide citizens movement. But such a thing takes time…it’s now or never.
Extinction Rebellion has managed to organise an impressive number of people into a civil disobedience movement. They have managed to shut down and occupy significant parts of London including numerous major road junctions over the past week.
They have many admirable principles such as “breaking down hierarchies of power for more equitable participation” and “creating a world that is fit for generations to come”. However is civil disobedience really the best method for getting action to be taken on climate change?The aim of Extinction Rebellion’s civil disobedience campaign is to attempt to cause enough disruption so that the State meets their demands to bring back order – as appearing to have order and control is important for the State. It is quite possible that the State will partially concede to a couple of the demands of extinction rebellion – however what isn’t going to happen is a significant system change.
This is an issue because the root cause of climate change is capitalism with its requirement for constant growth. The people in the corridors of power are simply too vested in capitalism to allow something better to replace it.
Because climate change is a product of capitalism, our aim must not be to get concessions from the system but to replace it. The police have still arrested over 1000 people at the XR protests. Despite such vast numbers of arrests, which was actually the intention of XR, the State rarely capitulates in the face of civil disobedience on the part of tiny mobilised minorities, even highly committed ones like XR.
Generalised mass mobilisations, however, based upon civil disobedience, such as the anti- Poll Tax campaign with widespread non-payment, community mobilisation and anti-Poll tax riot in London in 1990, were relatively successful. .. continues below
The Green Anti-Capitalist Front is a new movement supported by radical groups and individuals across London and the UK which aims to supportthe surge of actions being carried out by Extinction Rebellion while also offering a radical alternative for those who see the abolition of capitalism as the only real means of avoiding complete ecological catastrophe. We also recognise that many of us would like to be involved in actions which do not include asking to be arrested or collaborating with the police. We are calling for an open assembly where we can decide how we wish to interact with Extinction Rebellion and what alternative actions we can pursue.
The idea that the police are potentially our friends, which is spread around by XR, is just wrong. Many people were abused by the police (especially people who are part of a minority) with people being dragged into cells and stripped searched by force or threatened with broken bones.The nice police officers you might come across when you’re protesting “nicely” pretend to be friendly to get information and to get into peoples’ heads, but they will turn into brutes the moment they are ordered to. This idea that the police are possible allies is harmful to everyone who has been abused or has suffered systematic abuse from the police as it marginalises their experiences.
And despite the best efforts of thousands of people for over a week, how many police officers have thrown their badges on the floor and refused to serve a regime which throws people in cells for protesting what is going to kill billions of people?
It is obvious that the police are not going to change sides and help shut down all the different things which are poisoning the planet. Rather, as was shown as the week drew on, they will continue to protect them. Furthermore, it is only a matter of time before the police start using more heavy-handed methods (the bully cannot let people stand up to him and get away with it!). continues below…
The integrity of XR as an organisation was dealt a blow on Easter Monday, when its Twitter account started plugging links to a new website called XR Business, which had been announced in a letter to The Times signed by a host of leading lights in the green business community, including former CEO of Unilever Paul Polman, founder of Ecotricity Dale Vince, The Eden Project’s Sir Tim Smit, founder of Solarcentury Jeremy Leggett, Chris Davis, CSO at The Body Shop International, Safia Minney, founder and former CEO at People Tree Fair Trade group, and Diana Verde Nieto, CEO and co-founder, Positive Luxury Ltd, as well as senior executives at a host of sustainable investment firms, including WHEB, Zouk Capital, Next Energy Capital, and Triodos Bank UK. .After a flood of internal protest the site has been ”temporarily suspended”. The site included a list of “business leaders” some in XR, who have identified environmental catastrophe as yet another get-rich opportunity and are prepared to hijack and exploit people’s real love for life and nature in order to push their profiteering agenda. It remains to be seen if XR supporters can use direct democracy to expel or subdue the clique of rightwing capitalist leaders who seem to be in control and who announced the next phase should be themselves negotiating with the rich and powerful. (However the much maligned Greta Thunberg came out in favour of a climate ‘general strike’.) Meanwhile we are better off distancing ourselves and supporting by using direct action pressure. see also ..XRBusiness: Greenbusinessleadersinsupport
Therefore, our attempts cannot be restricted to just civil disobedience as it is not capable of dismantling the capitalist system. Instead of imploring the State to stop doing evil things, we must stop these evils ourselves using a wide range of tactics which allow us to attack what is destroying the planet.
But we must remember, because any meaningful response to climate change requires system change, the manner in which we change the system is incredibly important too. If we just have a few thousand people leading the charge we risk making a society which doesn’t represent the needs of everyone – and risks replacing our current form of oppression with a new one. We need to have a mass, global movement from the entire populace to ensure the new system is a good system.
So what’s the alternative? Imagine if the thousands of protestors in London, instead of peacefully occupying public spaces started organising with the public to achieve mass action against things like fossil fuel plants (as in industries?) and the like.
Instead of us asking those powerful people who are benefiting from the destruction of the environment to stop destroying the planet – we could fight to just stop them whether or not they agree to do this! Ultimately though, this will mean a revolution to get rid of capitalism and replace it with a society based on need not profit and exists in harmony with nature.
ALERT – New Research: Save the Last Tiny Scraps of Native Vegetation … #ClimateStrike #ExtinctionRebellion #StopAdani
Scientific thinking changes as new evidence comes to light. One vital new insight is the importance of saving even tiny, isolated remnants of native vegetation.
Decades of research on fragmented habitats has shown that small, isolated patches of habitat are often ecologically depauperate — lacking top predators and large species, and suffering from a wide variety of ecological woes.This research correctly shows the vital importance of protecting Earth’s vanishing wilderness areas.
But such studies have also convinced some people that very small, isolated patches of native vegetation are nearly worthless. In many places, these tiny remnants are being bulldozed and razed to the ground.
I do have a pretty good excuse for being a little late in writing this month’s column, namely being arrested and remanded for a squatting-related offence (of which I am not guilty for the record, as I will be testifying at trial later in the year).
At least I’m not all talk and no walk huh.
Fraguas Lives Again.. Fraguas Revive
A couple of nights in the cells isn’t so bad though – let’s start this round-up with some hard-hitting news from abroad. The Fraguas case in Spain. For those not aware of the situation, since 2013 a group of squatters calling themselves the Association of Rural Repopulation of Sierra Norte, more commonly Fraguas Revive, occupied an abandoned village in Guadalajara near Madrid.
The intention was to breathe life back into the village that was left empty since the expropriation by the Franco regime, and to provide space for people to imagine and act out utopias of the future through self-organisation and sustainability.
They immediately took this to the appeal courts, but unfortunately last month the court upheld the decision, and they will now have to serve their sentences.
In addition they refuse to pay the costs of demolishing the buildings they have repaired, although this may also result in an extra nine months incarceration for non-payment. An impressive stance to take, and my non-existent hat goes off to them.
An interesting note is that the government utilised these laws on the basis that the village was now part of the Natural Park, so therefore couldn’t be considered a dwelling, and they were able to screw them with the serious charges rather than the more administrative process that tends to take place for squatting in Spain.
Similarly there are regulations here in the UK about “royal” parks, and police are able to simply remove with force anyone they wish. I have seen this abused by the Met Police to break in, beat up, and evict people squatting an abandoned caretaker’s in north London.
There isn’t too much more to this analysis than just to say it’s funny that where parks and natures are supposed to be there for people to participate in and enjoy, and where the regulations are supposedly there to protect those notions, they are abused at the first opportunity to uphold social order.
Grow Heathrow cut back
Further bad news, which is a running theme in this column as well as the squatting world in general, is that the eviction process of Grow Heathrow has finally begun.
Started almost nine years ago in Sipson village on the outskirts of London, it is land that was supposed to be the site of the proposed new runway for Heathrow airport. Political protest, land reclamation, and communal living have been part of the project as it has evolved over the years.
The plan to evict has been long fought in the courts, and has been muddied by the squatting of a second adjacent plot of land that is owned by a different owner, making the enforcing of any Possession Orders logistically very difficult. However the time has come that the owner of the original site, Imran Malik, wants it back.
About 7.30am Tuesday (the evening standard reports 8:30am, but our local squat networks of course were on the blower much earlier about the situation – remember to sign up to the “NELSN” London phone network on 07575013111) the first High Court Enforcement bailiffs from the National Eviction Team arrived on the scene, and not long after they had gained access to the front half of the site.
Our hippy friends took to the tunnels and the tree-houses, with one person locking themselves to the turbine tower, and another going underground into the tunnels with food and water to last several days. Dig little mole, dig!
While the squatter up the tower has since been cut away, squatters from across London are making their way to support the Grow Heathrow crew as they remain in the second-half of the site, planning resistance, and of course the ninth birthday party in just few weekends’ time. See you there.
The call is still out for people to join the resistance, the bailiffs are booked for up to two weeks to carry out the eviction, so anyone from London (or further) who has the time and energy feel free to go and get involved: Grow Heathrow, Vineries Close, West Drayton, UB7 0JH.
Curent situation: February 28th
Freedom spoke to a Grow Heathrow member today who said: “We want people to know we are still on the back lands! We have lost our kitchen, front garden, bike racks, art space and front guest cabin – and we will be rebuilding those on the back part of site over the coming weeks.
“Most houses are on back lands, as is our music space, toilet, shower, fruit trees, bees and forest area, so the resistance is still strong and bailiffs are letting people through to visit the site.”
Sticking with evictions, Asilo (the Asylum), longest-standing squat in Torino, Italy, said farewell on February 7th. For almost 25 years it was a hub of radical and local organising. The premise for the break-in was the arrest of six people purported to be involved in explosive attacks against institutions involved in the detention and deportation of migrants.
Disappointing to say the least that the fire brigade helped the police into the building, and then issued a condemnation notice. It’s always nice to think of the fire brigade as an essential and welcome public service, and there’s no need for them to be complicit in such an action. Boo.
One bit of good news does exist however, in Eccles, Greater Manchester. In November a group of homeless people took over an abandoned NHS building and have turned it into a homeless centre, helping people to keep a roof over their head while seeking the support they need.
They have since been taken to court by the NHS (see above for institutions that needn’t be complicit in upholding state repression), but were almost immediately after granted a stay on the execution of the Possession Order while they appeal. Your author doesn’t know the current state of the appeal, but as at the time of writing they were still occupying the building.
Beyond the urban
A bit disjointed, this month’s letter is perhaps lacking in a cohesive theme, or particular analysis of things squatirical, but it is interesting to look at some of the squats that exist outside of the cities.
Resistance, and organisation, is often different to that which I and others experience in the cities of abundant ephemeral squats. I certainly have found this to be the case, and found it to be eye-opening and valuable when visiting and participating in more rural resistances.
Then there are many cases of indigenous occupations, that somewhat transcend the conventional understanding of the word squat, even if it indeed describes their legal status.
I won’t offer any attempts at humorous commentary on these situations, they exist in the reality of others’ experiences, but I am seeking to learn more about resistance across the globe, and implore others to do so too.
The world is fucked up, and as capitalism drives people further from feasible housing solutions, squatting, amongst other forms of resistance, becomes more important, if harder to actually live out.
The opportunity to organise ourselves and take charge of our housing, our lives, exists in these spaces. We can’t give them up.
On that note, I’ll be looking to not give up my own squat as we face imminent eviction early next month. Keep your fingers crossed for us all and we’ll see you next time.
Responding to a call for solidarity on January 26th and 27th with the ongoing struggle for freedom, women’s liberation, and autonomy in Rojava, people across the world took part in solidarity actions under the banner, #RiseUp4Rojava. Large solidarity actions took place in Greece, in London, and in many other cities and towns. Below is a roundup of actions that took place in the US and some international highlights.
January 27th also represents the four year anniversary of the revolutionary defeat of ISIS in Kobane. As Abolitionist Media Worldwidepointed out, anarchists and other autonomous antifascists have been active in these ongoing military engagements, both fighting within the YPG and the YPJ, but also in autonomous anarchist and international antifascist formations as well.
MidCat/STEP gas pipeline between France and Spain was just cancelled!
People power has won another victory against fossil fuels: the MidCat/STEP gas pipeline between France and Spain was just cancelled!
Yesterday the French and Spanish energy agencies announced that the pipeline, which was meant to link the two countries, was scrapped. The controversial fossil fuel project would have damaged communities and the environment, and was terrible news for the climate.
A Highway Megaproject Tears at the Heart of New Guinea’s Rainforest
main text by William Laurance at e360.yale.edu/featu…. illustrations and #FreeWestPapua info added…. The Indonesian government is building a 2,700-mile road network on the island of New Guinea, opening up some of the world’s last great tropical rainforests to development and threatening unique indigenous cultures. Can international pressure force Indonesia to scale back this megaproject?
The Pacific island of New Guinea, which harbors one of the world’s largest and most intact tropical rainforests, is the epicenter of Australasia’s tropical biodiversity. The island’s unique denizens, including tree-kangaroos and birds of paradise, are representative of a regional flora and fauna so fantastically diverse that Charles Darwin once mused such creatures must have been made by a “separate Creator.” Today, researchers are still merely sampling its primeval intricacies.
New Guinea is also among the most culturally and linguistically diverse places on earth, with human populations that are genetically distinct from all others alive today. Not until the 1930s did the Western world discover many hundreds of unique indigenous societies in New Guinea’s vast mountains and highlands. And only in the 1950s did European colonists, miners, and loggers begin to exploit the region.
Today, these unique rainforests are being carved up by a massive, ill-advised, and exceptionally risky road-building scheme. The Trans-Papua Highway will sprawl like a massive spiderweb over much of the Indonesian-ruled, western half of New Guinea, known as Papua or West Papua.