Friday, 31 January 2014

The Silencing Of The People.

        This matters, this is the squeezing out of you and I, the silencing of the little people. It has to be resisted, or our voices will disappear. This appeal from Avaaz:

      The richest 1% could now control what we all see on the Internet forever. It’s the apocalypse of the Internet as we know it, and will erase the democratic promise of an information highway for everyone the founders of the world wide web imagined.
       Together, our community has built on that vision, using the web to fight corruption, save lives, and bring people-powered aid to countries in crisis. But the US and the EU are on the verge of giving the richest corporations the right to show content fast, while paywalling or slowing down everything else. Avaaz’s ability to show the world citizen journalist footage from Syria, or run campaigns to save our planet is under threat!
        Decisions on both sides of the Atlantic are being made now. But tech innovators, free speech advocates and the best web companies are fighting back. If millions of us join them now we can create the largest call for a democratic and free Internet ever. Sign up now and tell everyone:
        Until now, any improvements in the speed and functioning of the Internet benefited all of us — if Rupert Murdoch’s ultra-conservative Fox News got a faster way to stream videos, it also benefitted independent media showing reality on the ground in Ukraine, Syria, or Palestine. Politicians called this “net neutrality” and laws protecting it used to exist in the United States until a court just struck them down. Now, the EU Parliament is threatening to pass regulation that give ISPs the right to carve up the web and control w hat we see, by slowing down or charging for sites that don't pay.
      But we can stop this. First, we will show up with massive global numbers into this week’s public meeting in the United States to decide whether to reinstate Internet protections. Then we will unleash a high powered lobby team to target the EU Parliament to ensure its committees listen to the public. This will be the big first step we need to win these important battles over the next few months.
Web providers like Verizon and Vodafone are lobbying hard for an Internet for the rich. And without a massive response from citizens, they could win, and put our whole community’s work at risk. Most of our Internet is located in the US and the EU so this affects us all. We don’t have any time to lose. Click below to join now:
       When our community was less than half of the size it is now, we rallied and helped kill the ACTA treaty and stopped massive Internet censorship laws SOPA/PIPA. Today, we are more powerful than ever. Let’s now join together and ensure that what connects us all stays open.
With hope,
Pascal, Emma, Dalia, Luis, Emilie, Luca, Sayeeda and the whole Avaaz team
    PS - Many Avaaz campaigns are started by members of our community. It's easy to get started - click to start yours now and win on any issue - local, national or global:

On dangers of non-Network Neutrality (ABC news):
Save the Internet
EU telecoms market reforms threaten net neutrality and privacy (Wire d)

Federal court strikes down FCC net neutrality rules (The Verge)

Summary of BEREC positions on net neutrality (BEREC)

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Circled A Radio, The Poison Companies.

The latest from Circled A Radio:
      This week the poison industry, recalling stories from an old pub and a look at Wednesday's news. Also includes an interview with the man recently charged with assaulting UKIP leader Nigel Farage.
Listen HERE:     Circled A Radio.

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Thursday, 30 January 2014

Democratic Detention Of Victims!!!!

      Here in the UK the government spouts about us being a free and democratic country, yet there are hundreds of victims being locked in detention centres. It is certainly very undemocratic to lock up victims, instead of offering safety and support.

This from one who has been there:
     When I was 13 years old I was locked up by British authorities. My family was persecuted in Turkey for being Kurds and left in fear. My mother and I came to the UK for safety, to seek asylum. Instead we were locked in a detention centre in Bedfordshire. I saw what women go through when they are detained.
    Right now there are hundreds of women locked up in Yarl’s Wood detention centre. They need to be protected, not punished. That’s why I’m calling for the Government to end the detention of women who seek asylum.
     These women have not committed any crime. Many of them are held in detention while their asylum request is processed. But it’s possible to create an asylum process in which their cases are heard while they are living in the community. The Home Office should treat women who have survived rape and torture with dignity and humanity.
     Detention is very traumatic for women who have already experienced persecution. Allegations of abuse have been made against staff in Yarl’s Wood. Many women who are detained become suicidal and some of the women are pregnant. This is no place for these vulnerable women.
     My mother and I were finally released and granted leave to remain in the UK. I then spoke out for the campaign to end the detention of children. In 2010 the Government announced that it would end the shameful practice that saw "innocent children imprisoned". I know we can do it again, but need you to help me.
Thank you for your support,
Meltem Avcil
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An appeal from Labour Start:

     Three leaders of the pilots union at Russian airline AEROFLOT -- Alexei Shlyapnokov, Valeriy Pimoshenko and Sergei Knyshov -- were arrested in October during a bitter fight to secure a collective bargaining agreement. 
      Their union believes that the three were framed as a retaliation for the union's recent success in a court battle. 
      The Confederation of Labour of Russia (KTR), a national trade union center affiliated with the International Trade Union Confederation, and the Sheremetevo Trade Union of Airline Pilots have called for an international campaign to demand that the company negotiate rather than try to jail union leaders.

Please take a moment to show your support - click here.

Thank you -- and please spread the word!

Eric Lee
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Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Glasgow Games Monitor.

 Glasgow City Council's plans for our city.

Info from Glasgow Games Monitor 2014:

Hi all,
      We have now booked a room in the city centre for regular monthly meetings in the run up the Games. The meetings are open to all and everyone on this list is welcome to come along and get involved. Lot's to be done! We also have two re-posts of some very sharp and funny analyses from the 'A Thousand Flowers' blog related to the Commonwealth Games - more like this please! 1. Next Meeting: 7-9pm. Monday 3rd February, Unite the Union offices, John Smith House, 145/165 West Regent Street, Glasgow G2 4RZ. Meeting Dates: 2. Whose City? Are the Commonwealth Games Ruining Glasgow? (A Thousand Flowers): 3. Whatever Happened to the East End Subway Extension? (A Thousand Flowers): Cheers,
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Glasgow's Bloody Friday.

      This Friday, January 31st. marks the 95th anniversary of Glasgow's Bloody Friday. A day when the state showed its bare-knuckles and brought the military onto the streets of Glasgow, to quell what it thought were the sparks of revolution. It showed that the British state, like all states, will go to any lengths to maintain its power. Glasgow's streets saw troops with fixed bayonets, machine guns and tanks, as the state showed it willingness to crush any attempt to change the power structure of our society. 

     That event was sparked by the desire of the workers to better their conditions and bring down unemployment by introducing the 40 hour week. The state showed what it thought of that idea. From then until now the workers have continued to struggle to better their conditions. Now however, the struggle has changed and is less about bettering our conditions, and more about defending what we have.
    Since the "crisis" the state has whittled away at what conditions we had won over generations of struggle. We have seen wages frozen/cut, energy price soar, social services decimated, working conditions savaged. We have seen the widespread introduction of zero hours contracts, a system whereby the employee has no idea how much he/she will earn in any given week. You are classed as in full time employment but can be laid off without pay for days at a time.
     There have been other attacks on our standard of living with the bedroom tax, the withdrawing of disability allowance, implemented by the brutal ATOS regime, Workfare, whereby you are compelled to work for no wages, and so it goes on.


     What the workers of 1919 wanted was an improvement in their living conditions through the 40 hour week, and this could bring 60,000 to 70,000  to mass on George Square, to show their solidarity, and take on the brutality of the police.
    Today we are trying to defend our deteriorating conditions, our standard of living is being attack on several fronts, what our forefathers fought for is being taken from us. Where is the 60,000 to 70,000 forming up to show their solidarity, voice their anger and be prepared to defend their position?
     On Friday 31 January 1919 upwards of 60,000 demonstrators gathered in George Square Glasgow in support of the 40-hours strike and to hear the Lord Provost's reply to the workers' request for a 40-hour week. Whilst the deputation was in the building the police mounted a vicious and unprovoked attack on the demonstrators, felling unarmed men and women with their batons. The demonstrators, including large numbers of ex-servicemen, retaliated with whatever was available, fists, iron railings and broken bottles, and forced the police to retreat. On hearing the noise from the square the strike leaders, who were meeting with the Lord Provost, rushed outside in an attempt to restore order. One of the leaders, David Kirkwood, was felled to the ground by a police baton, and along with William Gallacher was arrested.
     After the initial confrontation between the demonstrators and the  police in George Square, further fighting continued in and around the city centre streets for many hours afterwards. The Townhead area of the city and Glasgow Green, where many of the demonstrators had regrouped after the initial police charge, were the scenes of running battles between police and demonstrators. In the immediate aftermath of 'Bloody Friday', as it became known, other leaders of the Clyde Workers' Committee were arrested, including Emanuel Shinwell, Harry Hopkins and George Edbury.
     The strike and the events of January 31 1919 “Bloody Friday” raised the Government’s concerns about industrial militancy and revolutionary political activity in Glasgow. Considerable fears within government of a workers' revolution in Glasgow led to the deployment of troops and tanks in the city. A full battalion of Scottish soldiers stationed at Maryhill barracks in Glasgow at the time were locked down and confined to barracks, for fear they would side with the rioters, an estimated 10,000 English troops, along with Seaforth Highlanders from Aberdeen, who were first vetted to remove those with a Glasgow connection, and tanks were sent to Glasgow in the immediate aftermath of Bloody Friday. Soldiers with fixed bayonets marched with tanks through the streets of the City. There were soldiers patrolling the streets and machine guns on the roofs in George Square. No other Scottish troops were deployed, with the government fearing fellow Scots, soldiers or otherwise, would go over to the workers if a revolutionary situation developed in the area. It was the British state’s largest military mobilisation against its own people and showed they were quite prepared to shed workers’ blood in protecting the establishment.
Read the full article HERE:

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