Archive for the ‘Greens’ Category
A Respectable 51 Votes Yesterday.
GUE/NGL MEP Pablo Iglesias presents his candidacy for President of the European Parliament:
“The exceptional political situation today in Europe requires not more of the same failed policies, it requires an exceptional response. Perhaps the most important lesson we can draw from the European Election results is that citizens all across Europe have rejected the status quo. People have seen that the neoliberal economic model based on greed, free market principles, and the protection of financial interests at all costs is responsible for the ravaged economies in periphery counties, particularly in the south of Europe. Hard fought for gains have been swept away: social rights, democratic principles, equality, and popular sovereignty.
“Austerity decided by the few has diminished democracy and has ruined the social fabric in southern countries and destroyed labour protection laws. You’ve seen that submission to the dictates of the Troika is economically inefficient and dramatic in terms of social and human rights and poverty.”
“All of us, as elected members, have a duty and a responsibility to defend these gains, and stop Europe being governed behind the backs of citizens. We know all too well that these methods have been proven not to work: we have a continent ruled by a self-serving group of financial elites while the majority of people from the southern countries of Europe continue to be punished by poverty, inequality, and this loss of sovereignty.”
European United Left/Nordic Green Left European Parliamentary Group
Martin Schulz (S&D, DE) 409: Mr Schulz duly elected President of the European Parliament
Sajjad Karim (ECR, UK) 101
Pablo Iglesias (GUE, ES) 51
Ulrike Lunacek (Greens/EFA, AT) 51
Pablo Iglesias is a member of PODEMOS,
“Podemos (meaning “We can” in Spanish) is a Spanish political party created on 11 March 2014 by Spanish leftist activists associated with the 15-M movement that emerged from the 2011–12 Spanish protests. Its defacto leader is Pablo Iglesias Turrión a writer, professor of Political Science at the Complutense University in Madrid and occasional Spanish television presenter for a regional political discussion program Fort Apache.
This is the axis of their programme:
1. Recuperar la economía, construir la democracia
2. Conquistar la libertad, construir la democracia
3. Conquistar la igualdad, construir la democracia
4. Recuperar la fraternidad, construir la democracia
5. Conquistar la soberanía, construir la democracia
6. Recuperar la tierra, construir la democracia
- 1. Recovering the economy places emphasis on public control, includes poverty reduction and social dignity via a basic income for everyone. It includes lobbying controls and tax-avoidance remedies for large corporations and multinational organisations, as well as promotion of smaller enterprises.
- 2. 3. 4. Promoting liberty fraternity and equality is about breaking down barriers across Europe and allowing people to cooperate fairly without either intelligence gathering or social inhibitions which are notionally ‘counter-terrorism measures.
- 5. Redefining Sovereignty implies revoking or curtailing the Treaty of Lisbon, abandoning memoranda of understanding, withdrawing from some free trade agreements and promoting referenda on any major constitutional reform.
- 6. Recover the land deals with reduction of fossil fuel consumption, promotion of public transport and renewable energy initiatives, reduction of industrial cash crop agriculture and stimulus of local food production by Small and medium enterprises
There was a significant article in Le Monde yesterday on Pablo Iglesias and PODEMOS L’«indigné» espagnol qui veut bousculer l’Europe.
We await its equivalent in the mainstream English language media.
In the meantime International Viewpoint published this highly informative analysis of Podemos The rise of Podemos by
In the European election Podemos got 8% of the vote (5 MEPs). The other left bloc Izquierda Unida, got more votes than Podemos, at 10% (6 MEPs).
As one can imagine there is plenty of scope for controversy to explore there.
These focus on how to “construir una nueva forma de organización política.“
Weekly Worker says, economic policy is ” mishmash“.
Left Unity is encouraged, rightly in the Tendance’s view by having achieved some national resonance. 1,520 signed-up members – and 200 in the immediate run up to their Manchester Conference.
But steel-hardened cadres beware!
Peter Manson reports in the Weekly Worker.
The economics policy commission, which made up the first real business of the day, remains a mishmash of lofty aspirations and minimalist reforms. It starts by describing the effects of the global financial crisis, yet does not go on to call for the party to be committed to a campaign for an alternative society. It states: “Radical measures are necessary to ensure a transformation in the economic structure and a reversal of the damage inflicted over the last 30 years of attacks …” It calls for “an expansion of public spending in pursuit of a policy of full employment”.
…incredibly, no debate was allowed on this monstrosity of a document.
We can only be dismayed.
Except that to most people it seems a pretty good approach to take, a radical programme of structural reforms, and a positive attempt to offer an alternative to the Privatising State and Austerity.
In general Left Unity has some pretty good policies. It refused to follow the Gadarene herd into the sea of Scottish nationalism and an independent capitalist Alba. It rejected calls for ‘unity’ with groups like the SWP (which some of Left Unity’s main members recently split from acrimoniously) and the No2EU supporting Socialist Party.
It would have been interesting to see some balance-sheet of the experience of other left party initiatives, particularly a self-criticism from those who were until not so long ago part of the cabal around George Galloway’s Respect Party.
None has appeared.
Even Cde. Mason admits its policy on Europe is an excellent start,
Crouch End’s motion called for support for the statement of the European Left Party and its “refoundation of Europe on a socialist basis”. This was carried unanimously. Of course, there are big differences on what exactly is meant by that, and those around Andrew Burgin, Kate Hudson and so on who support it have very different ideas in practice on what is meant by “socialist”. But this convergence around the notion of all-Europe unity – as opposed to left nationalism – was striking.
This is a major advance for the British left.
The comrade writing in the organ of the Provisional Central Committee of the CPGB accurately observes (following no doubt the judgement of Tendance Coatesy) that the motion on racism was a load of, how shall we put this politely, cack.
Cde Mason remarks,
“It was fitting that this intersectionalist motion was moved by Richard Seymour. He was urged by comrade Macnair to accept that the motion was “framed in the wrong way” and should be referred back.”
Comrade Macnair pointed out that its sectionalist/intersectionalist basis was “inconsistent with global opposition to capitalist rule”. Blacks (or women) per se cannot lead such opposition. Secondly, it saw no difference between the racism of old and today’s “nativism”. It accepted the whole multiculturalist agenda, which was driven by the bourgeoisie and sought to divide opposition from ethnic groups by upholding their separation from each other and promoting ‘community leaders’ who claimed to speak for them and helped sideline any united class response to cuts, etc.
Quite right comrade! (we are not being facetious here)
In his reply, comrade Seymour dismissed the concern about intersectionality. The various oppressed groups “intersect”. So “what’s the problem?” As for the divisive nature of multiculturalism, that seemed to pass him by. Showing just how all-pervasive are the backward ideas associated with multiculturalist intersectionality, the CP was virtually alone in calling for a referral-back: the motion was carried overwhelmingly.
The motion passed.
This alone shows something is going wrong.
Whether Left Unity will amount to a successful intervention in national politics remains very much an open question.
One larded with doubts.
We consider that initiatives like the People’s Assembly have deeper roots and can achieve more results – fighting austerity uniting trade unionists , social movements and individuals – than a new party.
But we shall leave to conclusion to Cde. Mason.
The whole day was very tiring, but it was nowhere near as frustrating as the founding conference. But, despite some success for the “extreme left”, March 29 marked another step on the road towards Left Unity becoming a broad, “moderate” party incapable of organising consistent working class opposition to capital. However, there is a lot to play for yet.
A rather different report on the Conference in Links International.
France has a new Prime Minister, Manuel Valls, from the right-wing of the Socialist Party (Parti Socialiste).
Valls, who received a mere 5% in the party’s -primary’ to select a Presidential candidate , is known as a “social liberal”, with an authoritarian streak. Although he has progressive secularist views, and is a ferocious opponent of racists like Dieudonné, he has an illiberal streak. Valls is also accused of anti-Rom views amongst many other doubtful opinions.
He is one of the very few French politicians to refer to Tony Blair as an inspiration.
Valls is sometimes known as a “Sarkozy of the Left”.
Notable in his Cabinet is the President’s former partner, Ségolène Royal, nominated as Minister of Ecology. On the left of the Socialists, Benoît Hamon, remains but is now Education Minister.
The French Greens (EELV) have broken their coalition with the Parti Socailiste and do not participate in the new government.
This is their declaration (adapted),
The ecologists take note of the will of the President of the Republic to learn from the the municipal elections. In particular, they note that the President of the Republic has announced an end to dependence of our country on oil and nuclear power .
However, we would have hoped for a real shift in direction. The existing budget guidelines remain unchallenged and it does not seem probable that likely that a large-scale transition to new forms of energy use corresponding to our wishes, is taking place.
The ecologists will support the government whenever it engages on the path of progress and ecology, but will oppose any changes which do not meet green criteria,.
Despite the proposals made by Manuel Valls, the conditions within the government do not exist for Europe Ecologie Les Verts participation. We will, nevertheless, be vigilant partners of the government, to make sure that such a (energy) transition occurs.
Emmanuelle Cosse, National Secretary of the Executive Board and EELV
This move has proved unpopular with their own supporters, 93% of EELV backers do not agree with the decision. (93%). Daniel Cohn-Bendit has denounced their change in direction.
Reports indicate that the party is in the middle of a massive row about this step.
To outsiders it would seem that making the “transition” to a Green energy policy the principal basis for a break with the government is odd.
It is certainly not a major concern of the European left.
The reference to the budget is also far from clear.
Are they against austerity or not?
We would suggest that the stormy relations between Valls and the Greens have a more obvious origin.
The Green leader Cécile Duflot has clashed with the new Prime Minister when she was Housing Minister, and cordially detests him. They clashed last year over her stand in favour of decriminalising cannabis.
The French media has not been slow to accuse Duflot of making a “personal” choice for the rest of her party, though how far her influence extends to the EELV as a whole remains in doubt.
Does this have wider implications?
Are European Greens finally breaking with the politics of austerity pursued by centre-left leaders like France’s President François Hollande?
This is far from certain.
France’s Greens are proud of winning the town of Grenoble, with the backing of the Parti de Gauche of Jean-Luc Mélenchon against the Socialists who were allied with…..the Parti Communiste Français…
More information on that from the Alternatifs Grenoble, enfin « une ville pour tous ! »
The People’s Assembly conference on Saturday was a success.
Proudhon said that while the French working class talks, the British and German movement organise.
I would like to give respect to Jacky and to Clare for their contribution to organisation.
It was highly appropriate to begin the day with tributes to comrades Bob Crow and Tony Benn.
I was waiting for the right venue to hear and appreciate their lives and we got it – the most moving and the best tributes that you could possibly hear.
As they said, don’t mourn: organise.
We are a good Suffolk People’s Assembly.
We are based on the trade unions, and real co-operation between all the different parts of the left, from anarchists to the Labour Party.
We have had a real echo in our County.
During the day the only contentious debates were attempts to introduce a US-style ‘Occupy’ ‘consensus’ model of how we work, and a SWP attack on my union UNITE.
The former was brushed aside: we do not need lessons from a marginal US movement for how we operate.
The second was, frankly, sat on.
The People’s Assembly is open to a whole range of movements, from the campaign about climate change to (above) campaigns against Workfare. The ideology is not hard to grasp: it is democratic socialism in all its varieties.
But one thing was very a marked throughout the day: we are a working class movement.
“We will today commit ourselves to fight back in unity and solidarity in the movement as a whole, with the organised working class in the trade unions at the heart and head of our movement and demanding the right of workers to organise freely in those unions, opposing all current and further attempts to undermine our right to resist.”
Police Spy Lambert in Happier Days.
More fall-out from the Lawrence Cases.
Scotland Yard in new undercover police row.
Force accused over attempts to block claims by women allegedly deceived into sexual relationships.
Scotland Yard stands accused of covering up “institutionalised sexism” within the police in trying to block civil claims launched by women allegedly deceived into sexual relationships with undercover officers.
Police lawyers are applying to strike out, on secrecy grounds, the claims of five women who say they were duped into intimate long-term relationships with four undercover police officers working within the special demonstration squad (SDS), a Metropolitan police unit set up to infiltrate protest groups.
The legal bid, funded by the taxpayer, is being fought despite widespread outrage and promises of future transparency by Scotland Yard, following official confirmation last week that an undercover officer was deployed 21 years ago to spy on the grieving family of murdered teenager Stephen Lawrence.
The Observer understands that police lawyers are asking the high court to reject claims against the Metropolitan police on the grounds that the force cannot deviate from its policy of neither confirming nor denying issues regarding undercover policing.
It is understood that Scotland Yard will say in a hearing, scheduled to be held on 18 March, that it is not in a position to respond to claims and therefore cannot defend it.
Last week an independent inquiry revealed that an officer identified only as N81 was deployed in a group “positioned close to the Lawrence family campaign”. The spy gathered “some personal details relating to” the murdered teenager’s parents. It was also disclosed that undercover officers had given false evidence in the courts and acted as if they were exempt from the normal rules of evidence disclosure.
Blacklist campaigners have called for the Public Inquiry into undercover police spying on the the Lawrence family to be given a wide enough remit to investigate police collusion with blacklisting. Despite documentary evidence proving beyond doubt that undercover police officers were linked to blacklisting there was no mention of this in the statement made by Theresa May to MPs.
On the very same day that the Home Secretary announced a public inquiry into the activity of Special Demonstration Squad officers spying on the Lawrence family, Operation Herne has published its 2nd report into the actions of undercover police officers. Blacklist victims condemned as a whitewash the non-findings of the police report into police collusion in the blacklist conspiracy, which describes police discussions with blacklisting organisations as driven by “civic duty”
Blacklist Support Group statement:
“The Operation Herne report demonstrates exactly why victims of undercover police surveillance have no faith in the police investigating themselves. There is already irrefutable evidence in the public domain that officers from undercover police units actually attended secret Consulting Association blacklist meetings, yet this is not even mentioned by Herne. Undercover Special Demonstration Squad officers are known to have posed as construction workers and infiltrated picket lines and union meetings. Information on some blacklist files could only have come from the police or the security services. In relation to police collusion in blacklisting, the Operation Herne 2nd Report is a complete whitewash.
Only a fully independent public inquiry into the full extent of police links with corporate spying will expose the undemocratic shady practices. Any public inquiry should not be narrowly focused on the Lawrence case but should encompass the sexual relationships with female activists, Hillsborough, environmental and anti-racist campaigners, blacklisting and police collusion with big business.
There are secret political police in the UK – they are called Special Branch, MI5 and GCHQ. They spy on their own citizens who are involved in perfectly lawful political campaigning. We will continue to fight until we achieve justice”.
We are also interested in the career on one Bob Lambert.
Lawyers for the two campaigners announced on Friday that they were seeking to overturn their convictions, alleging that the role of the undercover spy Bob Lambert was hidden from their original trial.
The pair, Andrew Clarke and Geoff Sheppard, were convicted of setting fire to three Debenhams stores in the 1980s to protest against the sale of fur and jailed for three and four years respectively.
They only discovered more than two decades later that the long-haired protester they knew as “Bob Robinson” was actually Lambert, an SDS spy.
After he was exposed in 2011, Lambert admitted he had worked undercover in the 1980s to “identify and prosecute members of the Animal Liberation Front who were then engaged in widespread incendiary and explosive device campaigns against vivisectors, the meat and fur trades.” He said he succeeded in getting Clarke and Sheppard arrested and imprisoned.
Detective Inspector Robert Lambert receiving award by the Islamic Human Rights Commission
“The Islamic Human Rights Commission is proud to present this award to Inspector Robert Lambert (Head of Muslim contact Unit), upon his retirement from the Metropolitan Police Service. In appreciation for his integrity and commitment to promoting a fair, just and secure society for all, which, is a rarity and will be greatly missed.”
Inspector Robert Lambert receiving an award from the Islamic Human Rights Commission in 2007.
At this event, there was a panel, “Challenging Islamophobia”.
Its first speakers was Dr Saied Ameli. He spoke on islamophobia from a sociological perspective and commended IHRCs role in combating it. Imam Al-Asi talked of the zionist factor in islamophobia, something which is often overlooked.
Imam Muhammad Al-Asi the elected Imam of Washington DC Islamic Center, “spoke about zionist influence on university campuses.
Sister Yvonne Ridley and George Galloway spoke.
Dr Abdul Wahid the leader of the National Executive Committee of Hizb ut Tahrir Britain, criticized western countries selective talk of human rights, and praised the IHRC.
More on Bob Lambert, “During the IHRC’s dealing with the Metropolitan Police, in all the lies, insincerity and deception there was one person the IHRC encountered who genuinely “fought the cause of justice within the police force to try and not demonize the Muslim community” – that was Detective Inspector Robert Lambert. Detective Inspector Robert Lambert is the head of the Muslim Contact Unit at New Scotland Yard. On his retirement from the police force the Islamic Human Rights Commission invited him to join them in the struggle for justice.”
By contrast this what happened in October 2011 when Lambert was a star speaker at the Celebrate Diversity, Defend Multiculturalism, Oppose Islamophobia and Racism conference.
Campaigners today outed the most-senior-yet police spy responsible for infiltrating environmental and social justice campaigns.
Former Detective Inspector Bob Lambert MBE had just spoken at a “One Society, Many Cultures” anti-racist conference attended by 300 delegates at the Trades Union Congress HQ in Central London. He was then challenged by 5 members of London Greenpeace who called on him to apologise for the undercover police infiltration of London Greenpeace, Reclaim The Streets and other campaign groups – an operation he took part in or supervised over two decades, whilst rising to the rank of Detective Inspector.
At present apparently this is what he is doing,
Senior Lecturer (PT) – John Grieve Policing Centre
Dr. Lambert divides his time between two part-time teaching posts: here at the John Grieve Policing Centre and at the Centre for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence (CSTPV) at the University of St. Andrews. At both centres he teaches postgraduate and undergraduate modules based on his research and published work on terrorism, counter-terrorism, far right political violence and anti-Muslim hate crimes.
Street Battles in Nantes.
Violence erupted when about 20,000 people demonstrated against an airport project near the city of Nantes on Saturday, leaving six riot police officers injured.
Environmental activists have been protesting for more than a year against the government’s plan to build a new airport for the west of the country, with some activists occupying the area by living rough in makeshift wooden cabins.
Police have tried several times in vain to evict the squatters and have had to contain many demonstrations. Reuters.
Agence France Presse also reports,
Riot police moved into the western French city of Nantes on Saturday, clashing with hundreds of anarchists who broke shop windows, destroyed bus stops and pillaged the city centre.
At least eight police officers were hospitalized after violent confrontations with up to 1,000 “radicals,” the prefecture of the Loire-Atlantique region said. Fourteen people were detained.
The rioters had joined an estimated 20,000 people protesting against plans to build a regional airport. Officials did not say whether protesters were injured.
Interior Minister Manuel Valls said the delinquents were from the “radicalized ultra-left” and were waging an “urban guerrilla” campaign.
The protests turned very violent as “autonomous” groups broke away.
The evidence remains today,
On the route taken by the demonstrations the day before, this morning we could still see marks of the events. Municipal workers were busy erasing tags and paintings on the walls, including those of the mayor. The façade of a Vinci Immobilier (Estate agents), ransacked on Saturday, has been replaced by wooden boards. Vinci is linked to the airport project. On sites a little further away, lay the blackened carcasses of a giant drill and a bulldozer. The façade of the administrative court, is still painted with large amounts of red paint, and on the ground floor several windows were broken, making it unrecognisable. A huge“Zad Everywhere” was tagged on the main entrance door. Zad means “deferred development zone” of the airport. This acronym has become a symbol of the opposition.
On Kervegan, one of the oldest districts of Nantes island, the cobblestone streets were scarred by large holes. They have been replaced by the earth where the pavement had been torn up. Barricades were erected and then set on fire. At the transport hub of the city, the Place du Commerce, all the ticket booths and the offices of the Society Nantes transport were burnt out. The paving stones for several tram lines were torn out.