Friday, 30 November 2007
Thursday, 29 November 2007
To Whom It May Concern:
As you know, the Student's Day (Azar 16th, December 7th) which is held every year as a protesting action in the universities of Iran,
we the communist (in farsi: azady khah va barabary talab) students of the universities in Iran are planning a "Student's Day" demonstration at the University of Tehran.
The main policies of this demonstration include these points:
1. Protest against the war in the Middle East
2. Protesting Against political and social pressures against the student, worker unions and women's rights and … activists
We want: the freedom of speech all through the society, free unions for students, workers and etc. and …
So, we are asking you to support our demonstration through you media on Tuesday,
December 4th at the University of Tehran beginning in front of the Engineering Faculty.
For more information on the details of this demonstration, please contact us: email@example.com.
See more information at http://azady-barabary-01.blogspot.com.
Submitted by Ernest Newman. Please contact him inworld for a chat about your view!
Proposal: Call off the Boycott of U.S. Electoral Arenas
It is hereby proposed that all revolutionary actions, political education and propaganda include a clear focus on calling off the present electoral boycott in the
1) Nobody is perfect, or absolutely politically correct
2) Even a Blue Dog is relatively "better" than a Republican Pig
3) Liberal and Progressive Democrats are outnumbered and powerless mainly due to low voter turnout, which hands power over to the worst fascists by default.
4) Statistically and historically, a vast majority of the population support liberal and progressive rhetoric and programs, which is why right wing rhetoric and actions are so hysterical and draconian, and huge resources, including covert operations, are committed, seeking to prevent, discredit, demoralize and discourage participation in the electoral process.
5) Principled. limited, qualified tactical support for bourgeois liberal politicians is not necessarily a "sell out", nor a call to jump on the corrupt commercial bourgeois electoral bandwagon like some kind of naive fool...and need cost us nothing but a slight shift in propaganda lines, and fairly minimal logistical support to facilitate electoral participation.
6) The principle reason Hitler (and Bush) rose to power was because the Left, due to sectarian in-fighting and elitist struggles for hegemony, refused to unite behind the relatively "lesser evil" of the bourgeois liberals, even tactically, within a broader revolutionary strategy, to deny the fascists power.
7) No revolutionary struggle without a broad and undeniable popular democratic mandate has any material hope of moving beyond futile symbolic defensive posturing gestures of protest and defiance. And this requires a substantial super-majority at all levels of political power, in order to be in a position to effectively and materially suppress counter-revolutionary forces in all arenas, where they will fight to the death to sabotage progressive motion, at every step and every turn.
It is therefore proposed that all revolutionary actions, political education and propaganda should include a clear focus on calling off the present electoral boycott in the
With Second Life about to erupt in demostrations against the Western Governments policies of demonising and launching war on Iran (see below), Ted Lang argues that those complicit and indeed pushing this war agenda should be impeached...
Impeach Cheney, Bush and Pelosi!
By Ted Lang
It is Pelosi who now represents Cheney-Bush's most powerful and effective enabler and supporter. Pelosi is now a vital part of the Cheney-Bush crime machine. She is an accessory before, during and after the fact. And she assuredly supports the AIPAC/Cheney-Bush crime machine's intended and unwarranted, unconstitutional invasion of Iran. http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article18786.htm
Opinion from SLLU member, Ms Qunhua
Please add your comment!
Perhaps I shouldn't speak having only seen CSI:Miami's "My Nanny"
episode and solved CSI:NY's "Furry Love" mystery on SL, but I'm so
creped out that speak I must.
For those with an aversion to spoilers, you may want to stop reading now.
On CSI:Miami's "My Nanny" episode, a beautiful woman is killed by a
handsome man. The murder is even enacted with a view from inside the
victim's rib cage as the knife is plunged in. The killer shows no
remorse for his actions in the episode's final minutes.
In CSI:NY's in-world "Furry Love" mystery, the promiscuous "Miss
Kitty" is stabbed and her killer expresses pride in his actions. The
in-world video clips also have a racial overtone.
I've enjoyed reading and watching murder mysteries but this possible
trend of the male killer/hero proudly committing violence against
women is disturbing. How will this influence the domestic
relationships of CSI audience members?
Wednesday, 28 November 2007
Tuesday, 27 November 2007
There is a major demonstration planned for second life this Saturday. The demonstration is for people in secondlife to show their abhorrence of the present build up to war/annihilation of
Whatever your political view, no-one can say what has been done on the people of
There are different political positions represented in this demo, from conservative through to liberal to ultra-left. The SLLU is a unity group made up of left individuals and groups. We fully support this action by people across the world, and members will be part of this demonstration. Members will also facilitate this demo by contributing demo material. Placards and teeshirts made by people across sl can be found in our freebie shop- made available absolutely free to all who wish to have them.
Please contact any1 Gynoid for details on the demo, and Higgledpiggle Snoats, Plot Tracer, Eremia Woodbury, Hanni Bekkers, Trevor Caldwell, Laura Gagliano or Krisp Alexandre for details on SLLU.
PRESS CONFERENCE: 10AM SLT FRIDAY 30 NOV 2007 Commonwealth 3
DAY OF ACTION: 8AM to 6PM SLT SATURDAY 1 DEC 2007 Commonwealth 3,
Capitol Hill, CNN, Reuters, LIVE-4-U TV, and other protest venues
MAJOR PROTEST ACTION IN SECOND LIFE - STOP THE NEXT WAR: US vs.
EVENT: LAG 4 PEACE's DON'T
Protests, Poetry, and Live Music
SLLU original demonstration - http://slleftunity.blogspot.com/2007/02/sllu-demonstrate-against-us-plans-to.html
PRESSE KONFERENZ: 10 AM SLT/19.00 UHR (deutsche Zeit) Fr. 30. Nov. 07 Commonwealth 3
DAY OF ACTION: 8AM bis 6PM SLT/17.00 - 3.00 Uhr SA. 1 Dez. 07 Commonwealth3,
Capitol Hill, CNN, Reuters, LIVE-4-U TV, and other protest venues
PROTEST AKTION IN SECOND LIFE - STOPPT DEN NÄCHSTEN KRIEG: US vs. IRAN
EVENT: LAGs FÜR DEN FRIEDEN -KEIN IRAK IRAN! Day of Action, Teach-Ins,
Proteste, Poesie, und Live Musik
Kontakt: Any1 Gynoid (Second Life) oder email an .... firstname.lastname@example.org
Nach BBC (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/5346524.stm),
die Republikaner haben einen großteils erfundenen Bericht veröffentlicht und durch den
US Kongress verbreitet, der Bericht enthielt Kriegs- inspirierte Lügen über den aktuellen
Stand des Atom- Programms des Iran und über Aktivitäten im Irak. Die United Nation's In-
ternational Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) verurteilten den Bericht energisch und bezeich-
nete ihn als ein Lügenpaket und widerlegten Punkt für Punkt. Letzte Woche berichtete die
IAEA, dass der Iran völlig mit den UN Inspektoren kooperiere. Ein aktueller Artikel im New
Yorker zeigte die wahren Absichten der US- Behörden, insbesondere: "Es ist eine verzwei-
felte Anstrengung von Cheney zu erkennen u.a. schnellstmöglich militärische Aktionen in den
Iran zu bringen
Als Reaktion auf diese alarmierenden Neuigkeiten, organisieren links/progressive SL-Bewohner
eine große Protest-Aktion im Second Life, für den 1. Dezember 2007 zusammen mit anderen
progressiven Gruppen und eigenständigen Personen im SL.
Über Lag4Peace (Lags für den Frieden)
Diese SL-basierende Koalition lädt die Medien dazu ein Teilnahme an unserem Protest zu
haben. Wir heißen die Beteiligung aller Gruppen oder Personen im SL willkommen, die die Welt
frei von Krieg und Tyrannei sehen wollen.
(and a sad Farewell to a great hero of the Union movement).
by Klaatu Congrejo
Before my report on the Australian elections I would like to announce the sad death (early morning 27th Nov. 2007) of Bernie Bantam - a great advocate for the union movement here who was considered a national hero when, only ten days ago and in his hospital wheelchair, he was protesting outside the offices of the outgoing health minister and delivering a huge petition demanding fair compensation for victims of asbestos-related diseases. The health minister, true to form, was not there to accept the petition - despite being informed well in advance.
Bernie contracted asbestosis through his employment with James Hardie Industries, a building & construction company and, with union support, he fought almost 30years for fair compensation for himself and other stricken workers.
A couple of months ago his illness progressed to mesothilioma, the final cancerous stages of the disease, and he was given only weeks to live.
As recently as 3 days ago, and on his deathbed, he appeared (by video link) at a court hearing against James Hardie Industries.
A fighter and true comrade to the end, Bernie will be remembered as a great hero of the union movement here.
As a journalist, I met him several times during these struggles. Even though his death was imminent I was still shocked and saddened when I received the phone call at 6am this morning. I was proud to call him a friend!
On a side note, when I heard that Bernie's days were numbered, I started setting up a block of land in Second Life to be called 'Bernie Bantam Memorial Park'. I will contact his family, at an appropriate time, to inform them of this.
More details of the opening of Bernie Bantam Memorial Park, and a detailed obituary, at a later date.....
AUSTRALIAN ELECTIONS - A FINAL ANALYSIS.
This election was often called "a contest of ideas, not ideology" - and last weekend the Australian people made sure of that.
While it is satisfying to see a Labor government in charge at last - many people are already starting to ask "so whats new?"
Well, the sad answer is that it looks likely that nothing has really changed - apart from the things that any half-decent democratic government would be expected to do.
Oh sure, Kevin Rudd (Labor party leader) promised to "tear up" workplace agreements introduced by the previous government to neutralise the unions and leave workers at the mercy of unscrupulous employers.
Sure, he's promised to "immediately" sign the Kyoto Protocol and bring Australia into line with the rest of the world on global warming discussions.
Sure, he's promised to formally "apologise" to the Aboriginal people for years of neglect under white rule since the British first settled here 222 years ago.
And sure, he's promised to revamp the health and education systems after years of asset-stripping and reduced funding by the previous government.
But, in these early days of the Rudd government, it's becoming clear that he may be just another Tony Blair.
After a hard-fought campaign (supported by huge funding from the unions) and a historic landslide victory, Kevin Rudd is already turning his back on the union movement and left-wing groups by claiming that the huge popular vote gave HIM the authority to govern on HIS agenda - and that he would not be 'pandering' to any 'special interest' groups.
Bernie Bantam, of whom I spoke earlier, would be deeply ashamed and angry to hear those words!
The left-wing parties (Greens, Social Equality Party, Socialist Alliance) all recorded increased votes in their electorates. And, under our complicated voting system, it was the 'preferences' from those minor parties that ensured Labor such a resounding victory!
Kevin Rudd will do well to acknowledge that fact in these early days of his Prime Ministership - or we may find the landslide tipping down the other side of the mountain at the next election!
After years of subjugation under the right-wing Liberal government here, I fear it may be many more years of hard work before we get a government that is truly representative of the people.
Join us in celebrating a victorious win for the left in Australia (at least we are heading in the right direction) but be prepared for many more hard struggles ahead!
- Klaatu 27 nov07
Friday, 23 November 2007
by Plot Tracer
Adbusters by HiggleDpiggle Snoats
When Bush, Cheney et al are jailed or are in the dank dungeon of history- reviled by all and are the poetic monsters of myth like the child catcher or the Thatcher, will they be harmless because life has gone on, death will have meant nothing and the rich have ensured the feathered nest of their progeny? Are they capitalisms fall guys, the men sent forth to sacrifice their place in history in order for the Reaganite/Thatcherite bastard child to grow and sew its poison in a world now so fractured and turned on its head that Orwellian prediction seems a little niave? Or will the world know them for what they are?
Not long ago in the history of western capitalism, conservatives had accepted the inevitability of "socialism". In the uk PT (Pre-Thatcher), the Tories, mostly made up of the landed aristocracy, rapacious businessmen and wage slaves suffering from "Stockholm Syndrome" knew that the UK would be a socialist economy very soon. The British Labour Party knew it and was preparing for it in stages, just as the Tories were trying to slow down its inevitability. Then came the Thatcher project. It was a way of halting the peoples progress. It was a way to seize the means of production and the resources back again. It was a way to dash hope and ensure people accepted their enslavement as inevitable. A way for the rich to get richer and for them to do so by ensuring resources were not shared. Progress. All of the people who benefited from state owned heavy industries lost livable incomes. Those who did not benefit from this social economy, that is the land owners and the greedy, then found that instead of their huge incomes and bank balances being taxed in a way that meant few UK families living in poverty, their taxes were being reduced and they were able to set up factories and businesses and were re-enabled to exploit the misery that the demolition of the social economy had bestowed upon millions of people.
In the country I live in - Scotland, nearly one in three children live in poverty. This is the country of Adam Smith and many other luminaries of economic thought. Scotland resisted Thatcher and her rolling out of the neo-liberal re-capturing of the world from the majority. Scotland paid for this dearly- receiving the experimentation of the poll tax and the total decimation of its economic base- heavy industry. In the name of progress, industries were sold off for a song and broken up and sold on again for the enrichment of the few and the impoverishment of the many. But Scotland did not forget... And Scotland voted out Thatchers party. Not that this did any good- Scotland had to put up with a voting system that means that whatever political party wins in England, rules the UK. For years, Scotland put up with the brutal regime of the Thatcherites. Then in 1997, the party who had been the hope of the poor and disenfranchised came to power. There was audible relief when the Scots, at last, were to be governed by the party they had voted for. The party who would deliver them from this Thatcherite/Reaganite/neo-liberal nightmare. But there was a problem. The Labour party had become Thatcherite in secret. Scottish poverty increased. The Labour party continued to do things people did not want. Housing stock was sold off. Schools and hospitals were closed down, prescription charges increased, whole towns became ghettos of second and third generation unemployed... Villages of the damned, damned by the greed of the monied. Damned by a government that had sold them out because of its fear of the rich who were funding it. Damned by those who could see no further than their bank balance and their own gratification. But then the Scots turned. First, the left started to rise. Radicals were elected and then the opportunity to get rid of those who sold them out came along. The scots were awakening. The Scots won't forgive their newly elected government if it continues the rush to the lowest common denominator.
People across the world are awakening. There are countries across the world awakening to the reality of what they have been sold as "progress". Countries are beginning to question the neo-liberalism of America and the imperial west. Countries from Europe to South America are beginning to murmur (and in some cases, shout) their dissatisfaction. They are finding that their wrecked community is not unique - the neo-liberal project has meant misery worldwide and that the Paris Hilton lifestyle is one that they are paying for, but not living. The rich Pete Doherty heroin addiction only destroys Doherty, but the Govan heroin addiction destroys community and pits poor against poor. The glamour of the addiction and the consumerist lifestyle only works if you have power and money. If not, it destroys. The "ordinary Bush" is actually a millionaire and has been a millionaire all his life, has been bailed out of trouble all his life by money and power rather than his life destroyed by the drink and drugs and jobloss he so casually dismisses as his past. How many people in the schemes of Glasgow or the "sink estates" of London or the projects of Harlem have all of those chances or money thrown at them to help them through?
These monied people talk about the waste of money in our education system or welfare- yet taking Bush as a role model, in order to reach your potential, you need a baseball team to destroy and thousands of pound in rehab. If everyone were to have those opportunities to waste money, and resources, to quote the Mi Kmaq peoples of North America, "mother earth will cleanse herself of the offending organism that is killing her." all of those resources spent on one man's mistakes and it was not enough. He had to turn to the state to get more resources to flush down the toilet. But unfortunately his mistakes didn't just effect his health. The solidification of the neo-liberal project is crumbling. The Gipper, Maggie Thatcher the milk snatcher, the Bush family, Blair, Clinton and all of those people who took peoples hope and sold it off to those who party on it and label the poor, neds, chavs and whitetrash... they will go down in history as those who cast millions to their deaths and to misery and to the scraps. The myths of the future will have their names synonymous with evil and greed and death and mayhem. They may go to their graves believing in their victory, but they are damned to hell with the other monsters of history. Are they fall guys? Maybe- but they have been willing and they have profited by their criminalising of millions of poor. They have profited from the misery and death in their warzones and they have profited from the pittance wage enslavement of twothirds world. They have profited from the decimation of towns and communities by unemployment and drugs. They have profited by the disempowerment of the poor. They have profited by the parcelling of the land and the resources. They have profited from the ecological disasters they have created. And they have no conscience about it. The only way these people will regret anything, is when they have to pay.
Lets reclaim the world for the many and throw this failed system on the junk heap of the past and lets warn future generations with our new mythical creatures. Bush the baby killer. Blair his henchman. And the lovers Thatcher and Reagan, the bastards who stole the hopes and lives of millions. As a friend of mine has said, “this is by no means a foregone conclusion if the world remains sleepwalking towards perpetual slavery.” If we don’t collectively wake up, then that is surely what we are heading for.
Thursday, 22 November 2007
An urgent request to NGOs’, Human Rights Organizations and political leaders:
-to increase pressure on the Govt of Pakistan to lift of the emergency, restrictions on press freedom, restoration of the constitution and reinstatement of judges:
We have had five martial laws and thirty two years under emergency in our sixty years of history. This must be some kind of a world record. The Nov.3, 2007 martial law (emergency) was to demolish a judiciary, which for the first time in the history of the country.
Human rights and civil society activists, lawyers, journalists and members of opposition political parties want an early end to the state of emergency and to get back on the path of democracy. The constitutional experts expressed their views that General Musharraf has imposed martial- law in the name of emergency.
Every Pakistani desires to see restoration of Pakistan’s constitution and independent judiciary and expresses solidarity with media condemning the assault on press freedom and judiciary. We regret, what General Musharaf imposed the emergency, suspended the constitution and enforced the Provisional Constitution Order.
According to BBC, “3,000 lawyers have been arrested. The police barged into courts premises, lobbed teargas shells and beat peacefully protesting lawyers with lathis. Never before in the history of the world have been so many lawyers been arrested. Not in the Hitler’s, Germany, Franco’s Spain, Sadam’s Iraq”.
AMP has been organizing meetings to end emergency and strongly urge to call for the immediate release who are under house arrest or in jails including members of the Bar Association, judges, and Chairperson of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan Asma Jahangir who is released after many-days under arrest (HRCP), and an other prominent opposition leaders as, Imran Khan and Ms Benazir Bhutto.
The peasants of Military Farms, Okara, vigorously condemned and exposed General Musharraf’s human rights violations against millions of peasants. They urge that all fake cases must come to end and due to these cases thousands of peasants are underground.
AMP has decided to continue its struggle till the lifting of emergency, restrictions on press freedom, and restoration of the constitution and reinstatement of all judges who have been removed from their positions.
David Rehmat Secretary General AMP
Background Information on AMP
One million peasants including men, women and children have been struggling for land ownership rights in the Province of Punjab. They have been working on the same fields for nearly 100 years. Our ancestors first settled on arid lands in1908. Government documents and Board of Revenue records reveal that the land was given to the British Indian Army under a lease agreement in 1913 for a period of 20 years. It continued to pay the lease rent till 1943.
In 1947, the land was automatically transferred to the Ministry of Defence. The original tenants continued to till the land under the Punjab Tenancy Act 1887, but there is no record of the original lease having been renewed later on. In 1947, after partition, the Military authorities have neither paid the rent to the Punjab government since 1943, nor extended the lease period. Military Management has been receiving 50% crops forcefully but the Military Management itself has illegal possession of the farmland.
Origin of AMP:
Anjuman -e- Muzareen Punjab ( Movement of Landless Peasants of the Punjab) was formally organized in June 2000. AMP was launched when the Military authorities in Okara district took decision to change the “ Battai System” (Crops Sharing System) to a “ Contract System” (Cash Rent System). Army, Police and Rangers used excessive force to crush this movement. This new system was designed to evict these tenants from their land. Such a tenant has been projected under Punjab Tenancy Act,1887. He is mentioned in revenue record as muzare (tenant) and cannot be illegally ejected from the land who is cultivating.
Now, the land is owned by the Provincial government in 10 districts of the Punjab run by various government agencies and often by the army. A series of negotiations took place between the farmers (AMP) and government officials to solve this crisis, but the meetings did not yield any results.
The first clash took place between the tenants and the Farm Management on October 9, 2000, over the removal of pieces of woods lying in a Chak.(village) 10/4-L Okara Distt. Villagers were not allowing to carry farm’s wood under the control of farms management. The local police and Elite Force rushed to the village where woman, children and other villages in large number, resisted.
The main leadership arose from this village. This is called “revolutionary village” and became platform for surrounding areas. Another big clash took place on August 24, 2002 when an activist of AMP Sulman Patras (a young farmer of 22) was shot dead on the spot. This was followed by a number of clashes during more than six years.
In June 2002, the repression reached its culmination. Several villages were besieged by the Army, Police and Rangers for months to break the will of the tenants. All exits and entries were blocked to prevent the relatives of the peasants. Means of communication electricity and the telephone supply were cut off etc. Irrigation canals were stopped. Provisions and public services were prevented by the Rangers and law-enforcening agencies.
Many farmers already have lost their lives. Hundreds of peasants were seriously wounded and many of them have been paralyzed. Thousands of them are involved in fake cases to prevent from their real mission. As, in a war situation, by sealing off the area they prevent outside observers and journalists from interviewing the leaders and activists.
AMP demands land ownership rights and the implementation of government promises. In the past, various governments had been promising during their reign. President Pervaiz Musharraf coming to power has repeatedly promised to grant 70,000 acres of land to the peasants.
Women and children have played an important role in their struggle. They encouraged their husbands/brothers and sons. When the police came to get signature on the new lease deed the women and children stood at the first line of defence. Women formed “ Thapa Force” (Thapa in local language means a thick wooden stick used for washing clothes) One of the women said, “When the ranger and police picked our men and children, how could women remain silent spectators?
Many NGO’s, human rights and civil society organizations, political parties and Ambassadors of various countries visited the disputed area and expressed their solidarity. BBC, National and International media highlighted this issue several times. Human Rights Watch printed 57 pages report on this issue.
Now, in the current context, the peasants need strong international solidarity, in order to make their claims known and recognized. The peasants waving their red flags demonstrated their resolve to fight to the end and justify their revolutionary slogan of “Malki ya Maut” (Ownership or Death)
Sunday, 18 November 2007
Did you know that every product pictured here is owned by Phillip Morris, the world's largest cigarette company? Chances are that you've been helping to promote Marlboro cigarettes without even knowing it. You can withdraw that support by personally boycotting these products. It's like giving money to a health organization that is working to find a cure for cancer - but in this case you are taking money from a corporation that causes it. So next time you go buy food- try it. You'll like it.
Friday, 16 November 2007
A woman in Saudi Arabia who was gang raped 14 times, has had her sentence doubled to 200 lashes and a six month prison sentence because she had the cheek to appeal her original sentence of 90 lashes.
Read about it in the links on the attached notecard. Write to your elected representatives about this disgusting ruling and also write to the Saudi embassy – see notecard for links.
This is a “friendly” arab nation… one from which most of the 9/11 bombers came from.
Latin America’s Shock Resistance
By Naomi Klein
11/14/07 "The Nation" -- -- In less than two years, the lease on the largest and most important US military base in Latin America will run out. The base is in Manta, Ecuador, and Rafael Correa, the country’s leftist president, has pronounced that he will renew the lease “on one condition: that they let us put a base in Miami–an Ecuadorean base. If there is no problem having foreign soldiers on a country’s soil, surely they’ll let us have an Ecuadorean base in the United States.”
Since an Ecuadorean military outpost in South Beach is a long shot, it is very likely that the Manta base, which serves as a staging area for the “war on drugs,” will soon shut down. Correa’s defiant stand is not, as some have claimed, about anti-Americanism. Rather, it is part of a broad range of measures being taken by Latin American governments to make the continent less vulnerable to externally provoked crises and shocks.
This is a crucial development because for the past thirty-five years in Latin America, such shocks from outside have served to create the political conditions required to justify the imposition of “shock therapy”–the constellation of corporate-friendly “emergency” economic measures like large-scale privatizations and deep cuts to social spending that debilitate the state in the name of free markets. In one of his most influential essays, the late economist Milton Friedman articulated contemporary capitalism’s core tactical nostrum, what I call the shock doctrine. He observed that “only a crisis– actual or perceived–produces real change. When that crisis occurs, the actions that are taken depend on the ideas that are lying around.”
Latin America has always been the prime laboratory for this doctrine. Friedman first learned how to exploit a large-scale crisis in the mid-1970s, when he advised Chilean dictator Gen. Augusto Pinochet. Not only were Chileans in a state of shock following Pinochet’s violent overthrow of Socialist President Salvador Allende; the country was also reeling from severe hyperinflation. Friedman advised Pinochet to impose a rapid-fire transformation of the economy–tax cuts, free trade, privatized services, cuts to social spending and deregulation. It was the most extreme capitalist makeover ever attempted, and it became known as a Chicago School revolution, since so many of Pinochet’s top aides and ministers had studied under Friedman at the University of Chicago. A similar process was under way in Uruguay and Brazil, also with the help of University of Chicago graduates and professors, and a few years later, in Argentina. These economic shock therapy programs were facilitated by far less metaphorical shocks–performed in the region’s many torture cells, often by US-trained soldiers and police, and directed against those activists who were deemed most likely to stand in the way of the economic revolution.
In the 1980s and ’90s, as dictatorships gave way to fragile democracies, Latin America did not escape the shock doctrine. Instead, new shocks prepared the ground for another round of shock therapy–the “debt shock” of the early ’80s, followed by a wave of hyperinflation as well as sudden drops in the prices of commodities on which economies depended.
In Latin America today, however, new crises are being repelled and old shocks are wearing off–a combination of trends that is making the continent not only more resilient in the face of change but also a model for a future far more resistant to the shock doctrine.
When Milton Friedman died last year, the global quest for unfettered capitalism he helped launch in Chile three decades earlier found itself in disarray. The obituaries heaped praise on him, but many were imbued with a sense of fear that Friedman’s death marked the end of an era. In Canada’s National Post, Terence Corcoran, one of Friedman’s most devoted disciples, wondered whether the global movement the economist had inspired could carry on. “As the last great lion of free market economics, Friedman leaves a void…. There is no one alive today of equal stature. Will the principles Friedman fought for and articulated survive over the long term without a new generation of solid, charismatic and able intellectual leadership? Hard to say.”
It certainly seemed unlikely. Friedman’s intellectual heirs in the United States–the think-tank neocons who used the crisis of September 11 to launch a booming economy in privatized warfare and “homeland security”–were at the lowest point in their history. The movement’s political pinnacle had been the Republicans’ takeover of the US Congress in 1994; just nine days before Friedman’s death, they lost it again to a Democratic majority. The three key issues that contributed to the Republican defeat in the 2006 midterm elections were political corruption, the mismanagement of the Iraq War and the perception, best articulated by Jim Webb, a winning Democratic candidate for the US Senate, that the country had drifted “toward a class-based system, the likes of which we have not seen since the nineteenth century.” Nowhere, however, was the economic project in deeper crisis than where it had started: Latin America. Washington has always regarded democratic socialism as a greater challenge than totalitarian Communism, which was easy to vilify and made for a handy enemy. In the 1960s and ’70s, the favored tactic for dealing with the inconvenient popularity of economic nationalism and democratic socialism was to try to equate them with Stalinism, deliberately blurring the clear differences between the worldviews. A stark example of this strategy comes from the early days of the Chicago crusade, deep inside the declassified Chile documents. Despite the CIA-funded propaganda campaign painting Allende as a Soviet-style dictator, Washington’s real concerns about the Allende victory were relayed by Henry Kissinger in a 1970 memo to Nixon: “The example of a successful elected Marxist government in Chile would surely have an impact on–and even precedent value for–other parts of the world, especially in Italy; the imitative spread of similar phenomena elsewhere would in turn significantly affect the world balance and our own position in it.” In other words, Allende needed to be taken out before his democratic third way spread.
But the dream Allende represented was never defeated. It was temporarily silenced, pushed under the surface by fear. Which is why, as Latin America now emerges from its decades of shock, the old ideas are bubbling back up–along with the “imitative spread” Kissinger so feared.
By 2001 the shift had become impossible to ignore. In the mid-’70s, Argentina’s legendary investigative journalist Rodolfo Walsh had regarded the ascendancy of Chicago School economics under junta rule as a setback, not a lasting defeat, for the left. The terror tactics used by the military had put his country into a state of shock, but Walsh knew that shock, by its very nature, is a temporary state. Before he was gunned down by Argentine security agents on the streets of Buenos Aires in 1977, Walsh estimated that it would take twenty to thirty years until the effects of the terror receded and Argentines regained their footing, courage and confidence, ready once again to fight for economic and social equality. It was in 2001, twenty-four years later, that Argentina erupted in protest against IMF-prescribed austerity measures and then proceeded to force out five presidents in only three weeks.
“The dictatorship just ended!” people declared at the time. They meant that it had taken seventeen years of democracy for the legacy of terror to fade–just as Walsh had predicted.
In the years since, that renewed courage has spread to other former shock labs in the region. And as people shed the collective fear that was first instilled with tanks and cattle prods, with sudden flights of capital and brutal cutbacks, many are demanding more democracy and more control over markets. These demands represent the greatest threat to Friedman’s legacy because they challenge his central claim: that capitalism and freedom are part of the same indivisible project.
The staunchest opponents of neoliberal economics in Latin America have been winning election after election. Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez, running on a platform of “Twenty-First-Century Socialism,” was re-elected in 2006 for a third term with 63 percent of the vote. Despite attempts by the Bush Administration to paint Venezuela as a pseudo-democracy, a poll that year found 57 percent of Venezuelans happy with the state of their democracy, an approval rating on the continent second only to Uruguay’s, where the left-wing coalition party Frente Amplio had been elected to government and where a series of referendums had blocked major privatizations. In other words, in the two Latin American states where voting had resulted in real challenges to the Washington Consensus, citizens had renewed their faith in the power of democracy to improve their lives.
Ever since the Argentine collapse in 2001, opposition to privatization has become the defining issue of the continent, able to make governments and break them; by late 2006, it was practically creating a domino effect. Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva was re-elected as president of Brazil largely because he turned the vote into a referendum on privatization. His opponent, from the party responsible for Brazil’s major sell-offs in the ’90s, resorted to dressing up like a socialist NASCAR driver, wearing a jacket and baseball hat covered in logos from the public companies that had not yet been sold. Voters weren’t persuaded, and Lula got 61 percent of the vote. Shortly afterward in Nicaragua, Daniel Ortega, former head of the Sandinistas, made the country’s frequent blackouts the center of his winning campaign; the sale of the national electricity company to the Spanish firm Unión Fenosa after Hurricane Mitch, he asserted, was the source of the problem. “Who brought Unión Fenosa to this country?” he bellowed. “The government of the rich did, those who are in the service of barbarian capitalism.”
In November 2006, Ecuador’s presidential elections turned into a similar ideological battleground. Rafael Correa, a 43-year-old left- wing economist, won the vote against Álvaro Noboa, a banana tycoon and one of the richest men in the country. With Twisted Sister’s “We’re Not Gonna Take It” as his official campaign song, Correa called for the country “to overcome all the fallacies of neoliberalism.” When he won, the new president of Ecuador declared himself “no fan of Milton Friedman.” By then, Bolivian President Evo Morales was already approaching the end of his first year in office. After sending in the army to take back the gas fields from “plunder” by multinationals, he moved on to nationalize parts of the mining sector. That year in Chile, under the leadership of President Michelle Bachelet–who had been a prisoner under Pinochet–high school students staged a wave of militant protests against the two-tiered educational system introduced by the Chicago Boys. The country’s copper miners soon followed with strikes of their own.
In December 2006, a month after Friedman’s death, Latin America’s leaders gathered for a historic summit in Bolivia, held in the city of Cochabamba, where a popular uprising against water privatization had forced Bechtel out of the country several years earlier. Morales began the proceedings with a vow to close “the open veins of Latin America.” It was a reference to Eduardo Galeano’s book Open Veins of Latin America: Five Centuries of the Pillage of a Continent, a lyrical accounting of the violent plunder that had turned a rich continent into a poor one. The book was published in 1971, two years before Allende was overthrown for daring to try to close those open veins by nationalizing his country’s copper mines. That event ushered in a new era of furious pillage, during which the structures built by the continent’s developmentalist movements were sacked, stripped and sold off.
Today Latin Americans are picking up the project that was so brutally interrupted all those years ago. Many of the policies cropping up are familiar: nationalization of key sectors of the economy, land reform, major investments in education, literacy and healthcare. These are not revolutionary ideas, but in their unapologetic vision of a government that helps reach for equality, they are certainly a rebuke to Friedman’s 1975 assertion in a letter to Pinochet that “the major error, in my opinion, was…to believe that it is possible to do good with other people’s money.”
Though clearly drawing on a long rebellious history, Latin America’s contemporary movements are not direct replicas of their predecessors. Of all the differences, the most striking is an acute awareness of the need for protection from the shocks that worked in the past–the coups, the foreign shock therapists, the US-trained torturers, as well as the debt shocks and currency collapses. Latin America’s mass movements, which have powered the wave of election victories for left- wing candidates, are learning how to build shock absorbers into their organizing models. They are, for example, less centralized than in the ’60s, making it harder to demobilize whole movements by eliminating a few leaders. Despite the overwhelming cult of personality surrounding Chávez, and his controversial moves to centralize power at the state level, the progressive networks in Venezuela are at the same time highly decentralized, with power dispersed at the grassroots and community levels, through thousands of neighborhood councils and co-ops. In Bolivia, the indigenous people’s movements that put Morales in office function similarly and have made it clear that Morales does not have their unconditional support: the barrios will back him as long as he stays true to his democratic mandate, and not a moment longer. This kind of network approach is what allowed Chávez to survive the 2002 coup attempt: when their revolution was threatened, his supporters poured down from the shantytowns surrounding Caracas to demand his reinstatement, a kind of popular mobilization that did not happen during the coups of the ’70s. Latin America’s new leaders are also taking bold measures to block any future US-backed coups that could attempt to undermine their democratic victories. Chávez has let it be known that if an extremist right-wing element in Bolivia’s Santa Cruz province makes good on its threats against Morales’s government, Venezuelan troops will help defend Bolivia’s democracy. Meanwhile, the governments of Venezuela, Costa Rica, Argentina, Uruguay and Bolivia have all announced that they will no longer send students to the School of the Americas (now called the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation)–the infamous police and military training center in Fort Benning, Georgia, where so many of the continent’s notorious killers learned the latest in “counterterrorism” techniques, then promptly directed them against farmers in El Salvador and auto workers in Argentina. Ecuador, in addition to closing the US military base, also looks set to cut its ties with the school. It’s hard to overstate the importance of these developments. If the US military loses its bases and training programs, its power to inflict shocks on the continent will be greatly eroded.
The new leaders in Latin America are also becoming better prepared for the kinds of shocks produced by volatile markets. One of the most destabilizing forces of recent decades has been the speed with which capital can pick up and move, or how a sudden drop in commodity prices can devastate an entire agricultural sector. But in much of Latin America these shocks have already happened, leaving behind ghostly industrial suburbs and huge stretches of fallow farmland. The task of the region’s new left, therefore, has become a matter of taking the detritus of globalization and putting it back to work. In Brazil, the phenomenon is best seen in the million and a half farmers of the Landless Peoples Movement (MST), who have formed hundreds of cooperatives to reclaim unused land. In Argentina, it is clearest in the movement of “recovered companies,” 200 bankrupt businesses that have been resuscitated by their workers, who have turned them into democratically run cooperatives. For the cooperatives, there is no fear of facing an economic shock of investors leaving, because the investors have already left. Chávez has made the cooperatives in Venezuela a top political priority, giving them first refusal on government contracts and offering them economic incentives to trade with one another. By 2006 there were roughly 100,000 cooperatives in the country, employing more than 700,000 workers. Many are pieces of state infrastructure– toll booths, highway maintenance, health clinics–handed over to the communities to run. It’s a reverse of the logic of government outsourcing: rather than auctioning off pieces of the state to large corporations and losing democratic control, the people who use the resources are given the power to manage them, creating, at least in theory, both jobs and more responsive public services. Chávez’s many critics have derided these initiatives as handouts and unfair subsidies, of course. Yet in an era when Halliburton treats the US government as its personal ATM for six years, withdraws upward of $20 billion in Iraq contracts alone, refuses to hire local workers either on the Gulf Coast or in Iraq, then expresses its gratitude to US taxpayers by moving its corporate headquarters to Dubai (with all the attendant tax and legal benefits), Chávez’s direct subsidies to regular people look significantly less radical.
Latin America’s most significant protection from future shocks (and therefore from the shock doctrine) flows from the continent’s emerging independence from Washington’s financial institutions, the result of greater integration among regional governments. The Bolivian Alternative for the Americas (ALBA) is the continent’s retort to the Free Trade Area of the Americas, the now-buried corporatist dream of a free-trade zone stretching from Alaska to Tierra del Fuego. Though ALBA is still in its early stages, Emir Sader, a Brazil-based sociologist, describes its promise as “a perfect example of genuinely fair trade: each country provides what it is best placed to produce, in return for what it most needs, independent of global market prices.” So Bolivia provides gas at stable discounted prices; Venezuela offers heavily subsidized oil to poorer countries and shares expertise in developing reserves; and Cuba sends thousands of doctors to deliver free healthcare all over the continent, while training students from other countries at its medical schools.
This is a very different model from the kind of academic exchange that began at the University of Chicago in the mid-’50s, when hundreds of Latin American students learned a single rigid ideology and were sent home to impose it with uniformity across the continent. The major benefit is that ALBA is essentially a barter system in which countries decide for themselves what any given commodity or service is worth rather than letting traders in New York, Chicago or London set the prices for them. That makes trade less vulnerable to the kind of sudden price fluctuations that have hurt Latin American economies before. Surrounded by turbulent financial waters, Latin America is creating a zone of relative economic calm and predictability, a feat presumed impossible in the globalization era.
When one country does face a financial shortfall, this increased integration means that it does not necessarily need to turn to the IMF or the US Treasury for a bailout. That’s fortunate because the
2006 US National Security Strategy makes it clear that for Washington, the shock doctrine is still very much alive: “If crises occur, the IMF’s response must reinforce each country’s responsibility for its own economic choices,” the document states. “A refocused IMF will strengthen market institutions and market discipline over financial decisions.” This kind of “market discipline” can only be enforced if governments actually go to Washington for help. As former IMF deputy managing director Stanley Fischer explained during the Asian financial crisis, the lender can help only if it is asked, “but when [a country is] out of money, it hasn’t got many places to turn.” That is no longer the case. Thanks to high oil prices, Venezuela has emerged as a major lender to other developing countries, allowing them to do an end run around Washington. Even more significant, this December will mark the launch of a regional alternative to the Washington financial institutions, a “Bank of the South” that will make loans to member countries and promote economic integration among them.
Now that they can turn elsewhere for help, governments throughout the region are shunning the IMF, with dramatic consequences. Brazil, so long shackled to Washington by its enormous debt, is refusing to enter into a new agreement with the fund. Venezuela is considering withdrawing from the IMF and the World Bank, and even Argentina, Washington’s former “model pupil,” has been part of the trend. In his 2007 State of the Union address, President Néstor Kirchner (since succeeded by his wife, Christina) said that the country’s foreign creditors had told him, “‘You must have an agreement with the International Fund to be able to pay the debt.’ We say to them, ‘Sirs, we are sovereign. We want to pay the debt, but no way in hell are we going to make an agreement again with the IMF.’” As a result, the IMF, supremely powerful in the 1980s and ’90s, is no longer a force on the continent. In 2005 Latin America made up 80 percent of the IMF’s total lending portfolio; the continent now represents just 1 percent–a sea change in only two years.
The transformation reaches beyond Latin America. In just three years, the IMF’s worldwide lending portfolio had shrunk from $81 billion to $11.8 billion, with almost all of that going to Turkey. The IMF, a pariah in countries where it has treated crises as profit-making opportunities, is withering away. The World Bank faces an equally precarious future. In April Correa revealed that he had suspended all loans from the Bank and declared the institution’s representative in Ecuador persona non grata–an extraordinary step. Two years earlier, Correa explained, the World Bank had used a $100 million loan to defeat economic legislation that would have redistributed oil revenues to the country’s poor. “Ecuador is a sovereign country, and we will not stand for extortion from this international bureaucracy,” he said. Meanwhile, Evo Morales announced that Bolivia would quit the World Bank’s arbitration court, the body that allows multinational corporations to sue national governments for measures that cost them profits. “The governments of Latin America, and I think the world, never win the cases. The multinationals always win,” Morales said.
When Paul Wolfowitz was forced to resign as president of the World Bank in May, it was clear that the institution needed to take desperate measures to rescue itself from its profound crisis of credibility. In the midst of the Wolfowitz affair, the Financial Times reported that when World Bank managers dispensed advice in the developing world, “they were now laughed at.” Add the collapse of the World Trade Organization talks in 2006 (prompting declarations that “globalization is dead”), and it appears that the three main institutions responsible for imposing the Chicago School ideology under the guise of economic inevitability are at risk of extinction.
It stands to reason that the revolt against neoliberalism would be in its most advanced stage in Latin America. As inhabitants of the first shock lab, Latin Americans have had the most time to recover their bearings, to understand how shock politics work. This understanding is crucial for a new politics adapted to our shocking times. Any strategy based on exploiting the window of opportunity opened by a traumatic shock– the central tenet of the shock doctrine–relies heavily on the element of surprise. A state of shock is, by definition, a moment when there is a gap between fast-moving events and the information that exists to explain them. Yet as soon as we have a new narrative that offers a perspective on the shocking events, we become reoriented and the world begins to make sense again.
Once the mechanics of the shock doctrine are deeply and collectively understood, whole communities become harder to take by surprise, more difficult to confuse–shock-resistant.
Naomi Klein is the author of many books, including her most recent, The Shock Doctrine:
The Rise of Disaster Capitalism.
Visit Naomi’s website at www.nologo.org
Tuesday, 13 November 2007
No knowledge of Russian required.
Click here Конфликт (Conflict) - Soviet animation
Iraq 'a human tragedy', says Red Cross (source: Information Clearing House):
The hundreds of thousands of people missing in Iraq are just the tip of the country's looming humanitarian crisis, the International Red Cross warned today.http://www.eecho.ie/news/story/?trs=mhmhgbmhcwgb
"War is just a racket. A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of people. Only a small inside group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few at the expense of the masses." -- Major General Smedley Darling Butler (1931-1940) Major General USMC, "Old Gimlet Eye'' and "Hell Devil Darling", most highly decorated military men from the pre-World War II era. Source: from a speech in 1933
Sunday, 11 November 2007
It is Remembrance Sunday. A day when luminaries such as Brown and Blair in the
People across the country pay in to a fund that helps the survivors of these wars – though the name of the fund – Haig – is the name of the member of the British Aristocracy who sent thousands of young men to their deaths in World War One.
99.9% of those who die in wars are working class.
We will remember them.
…it is our business as socialists to develop 'class patriotism', refusing to murder one another for a sordid world capitalism… Let the propertied class, old and young alike, go out and defend their blessed property. When they have been disposed of, we of the working class will have something to defend, and we shall do it.
John Maclean 17 September 1914
November 9th is the birthdate of a woman who campaigned for peace during the first and second World Wars. Much more worthy as a representative of the working class. A voice from the past who struggled against the system that prevails – a system that year after year pits poor against poor in order for the rich to hold on to the world.
We will remember them.
This week Rose Gentle, mother of Gordon, was given official recognition for her campaign to reveal the truth about her son Gordon’s death in
She said: "It is more likely than not that the bomb would not have detonated had Element B [a bomb jamming kit] been fitted." After three years of ex-Prime Minister Blair refusing to meet her, the man who as Chancellor once proclaimed he would “spend what it takes” to disarm Saddam Hussein has said he will. Gordon Brown will need to answer the question of why we are still in
And why are they still dying?
We will remember them.
The work of the White Ribbon Campaign has been recognised as Cosmpolitan made Chris Green the Cosmo Man of the Year. Chris Green co-ordinates the UK section of the campaign.
The White Ribbon Campaign is the largest effort in the world of men working to end men's violence against women.
We are an educational organization to encourage reflection and discussion that leads to personal and collective action among men.
Throughout the year, we encourage men
* to do educational work in schools,
workplaces and communities,
* to support local women's groups,
* to raise money for the international
educational efforts of the WRC.
We distribute Education and Action kits to schools and we maintain a website. We speak out on issues of public policy, and now we are in Second Life!
We are looking for people to become involved with white ribbon within second life; both men and women are welcome to participate.
You could help by:
*joining the white ribbon group and showing
your support for the campaign
*become a white ribbon partner and display
posters and ribbons and materials on your
*display the white ribbon information area in
your picks so that other people will visit
(we will give you a landmark in this notice so
that you can come see it for yourself. then
you can go into your 'picks' tab in your
profile and select 'new'. you can use one
of the enclosed textures as your picture for
this if you wish)
*get involved! help us plan events, workshops
discussions and actions in second life to
promote the campaign
*donate - white ribbon is run by volunteers
and relies on donations to run it's
programmes and activities.
*tell other people about it and encourage
them to spread the word and/or get
*anything else you can think of :)
Friday, 9 November 2007
From Plot Tracer:
The letter below is a plea from the site owner of Information Clearing House. For those who already subscribe to this excellent service, you will have already received this email. For those who do not subscribe, I would recommend you do.
Please read on:
Information Clearing House (ICH) has been providing news, insight and information regarding the effects and cost of US foreign policy and has worked to identify the hypocrisy and injustice of our government in its treatment of its own citizens as well as those of other nations.
For over 5 years ICH readers have provided the financial support needed for the continuation of this non commercial news source. The last several months have seen a decline in the number of contributions from our supporters and as a result I need to ask for your help in making sure that we can continue to provide this service to the over 59,000 daily newsletter subscribers and the over one million people who visit our website each month.
Due to the tremendous support of a small group of regular financial supporters ( About 150 people ) we have never had to send out a letter asking for funds and have relied on readers to respond to our requests for support by including our appeal in our daily newsletter for two days each month. Unfortunately I have to break with that tradition as I write to ask for your help in ensuring that we have sufficient funding for the next two months, which are traditionally the slowest for financial assistance.
If at any time in the past you considered providing financial help to ICH, now would be a great time for your contribution to have maximum impact. Please act now to help us be able to inform others, because as John Adam's said "Liberty can not be preserved without general knowledge among people' and I can think of nothing more important than acting in some small way to help in the preservation and continuation of "Liberty"
Click here now to make a contribution http://rs6.net/tn.jsp?e=001hxnay8rkmAG3VzcDlF_g5vDT44eq81VSdmDLII4a2DvBMfc5QgLe9_oyRHnYRvA4XigKZVcjQa8RGDXSIfLRGoaeBo82k8eK_3bnBJyhDPOi9yNf_duuHw== You don't need a paypal account to use a credit card or check
Click here now to make a contribution using your Amazon.com account.
You may prefer to mail a donation to. ICH. Po Box 365. Imperial Beach, California. 91933 USA.
Every little helps pay for hosting, bandwidth cost and other expenses. Thank you.
Peace & Joy
News You Won't Find On CNN
Wednesday, 7 November 2007
'If we don't fight hard enough for the things we stand for, at some point we have to recognize that we don't really stand for them.' Paul Wellstone
It is the common fate of the indolent to see their rights become a prey to the active. The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance; which condition if he break, servitude is at once the consequence of his crime and the punishment of his guilt. (1790): John Philpot Curran
So long as the people do not care to exercise their freedom, those who wish to tyrannize will do so; for tyrants are active and ardent, and will devote themselves in the name of any number of gods, religious and otherwise, to put shackles upon sleeping men: Voltaire
Patriotism does not oblige us to acquiesce in the destruction of liberty. Patriotism obliges us to question it, at least: Wendy Kaminer
Human history begins with man's act of disobedience which is at the very same time the beginning of his freedom and development of his reason: Erich Fromm
Ultimately we know deeply that the other side of every fear is a freedom: Marilyn Ferguson
Songs For Change is a call to songwriters old and new to put into words and music their observations of what's going on in the world today; to write songs that reflect our times; indeed songs which have the power to change our world. This website is a forum for writers to submit their songs, listen to what others have created and to discuss music, politics etc on the forums. It's a virtual community for songwriters! So get writing, submit your song to the website (for details go to Send Your Song on the website) and listen to what others have sent in.
On this website there are over 100 topical songs from all over the world. You can download these songs and lyrics by clicking on The Songs.
Tuesday, 6 November 2007
The City of Glasgow will give its highest honour - the Freedom of the City - to Dr Aung San Suu Kyi, leader of the National League for Democracy in Burma, after Lord Provost Bob Winter proposed the distinction at the Council meeting of 1 November.
Dr Suu Kyi has been involved in the struggle for democracy in Burma for decades, and since her return to the country in 1988, she has been under house arrest for many years.
Dr Suu Kyi won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991 and the European Union’s Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought in 1990. She led the National Democracy League to a landslide election victory in 1990.
Other notable figures to have received this honour include Sir William Burrell, Andrew Carnegie, Marie Curie, Kenny Dalgleish, the Duke of Edinburgh, Sir Alex Ferguson, Lloyd George, David Livingstone, Lord Macfarlane, Nelson Mandela and Jim Watt.
Lord Provost Bob Winter said: "For any who might contend that today’s motion is a mere political gesture, I refer them to the widepread acknowledgement that the Freedom of the City of Glasgow helped Nelson Mandela on his 'Long Walk To Freedom'. And just as Dr Aung San Suu Kyi deserves the Freedom as much as he did, so I hope that in granting her the Freedom of the City, our support may assist in securing her release and the achievement of a free, peaceful and democratic Burma."
The Freedom of the City of Glasgow is something Glasgow City Council is statutorily entitled to award to "persons of distinction or persons who have rendered eminent service to the City".
Monday, 5 November 2007
From Dalinian Bing
One month after a virtual protest staged in Second Life with almost 2,000 avatars demonstrating on IBM islands, a new contract with IBM Italy has been signed which will reinstate the performance bonus that was cut unilaterally by IBM Italy bosses. And in mid-October, IBM Corp. demanded the resignation of IBM Italy CEO Andrea Pontremoli, who instigated the pay cuts. So the future for demons of international workers' solidarity ISL looks bright.
More information : http://www.uniglobalunion.org/secondlife
Sunday, 4 November 2007
What a party! Thanks to all who helped set up the fantastic Montevideo island for the SLLU do - and thanks to Mike Mission for a blinding set and Wildo Hoffman for a beautiful chillout session. And thanks to everyone who came along to help us celebrate 1 whole year of Second Life Left Unity!
This was a party to remember! It really was. If you were not there, you will, for years, be wishing you had been.
More SLLU Rave-lutions to come - and there is rumour of a SLLU sports event soon... watch this space.
Thanks to all of the Linden Dollar contributions - our fund stands at L$51,301.
There are still freebies to be had at the site of the party - and the fairground will be there for a while longer... come grab 'em while you can! and look out for the exclusive SLLU party gift bags too :-)