Wednesday, 30 April 2008

May Day SLLU presentation on Union Island

An article accompanying Forelle Broek's presentation on May Day's launch of Union Island is below.

Please support Union Island and try to get along to this event.

From the SL Union site:

"We’re happy to announce we’re going to be joined for Union Island’ May 1 celebrations by members of the Second Life™ activist group Second Life Left Unity, who will be leading an exploration of the history and continuing relevance of May Day - International Workers’ Day. Come to a short presentation by SLLU’s Forelle Broek on the struggle for decent work and the eight-hour day and the infamous Chicago Haymarket incident, and how they still have echoes around the world to this day."

May Days Past and Present, by Forelle Broek

Each year, working people around the world gather on May 1st to celebrate what Rosa Luxemburg (on the 24th anniversary of these celebrations) called "the living truth and the power of the idea of May Day." "The brilliant basic idea of May Day," Luxemburg observed, "is the autonomous, immediate stepping forward of the proletarian masses" in "a direct, international mass manifestation: the strike as a demonstration and means of struggle for the eight-hour day, world peace, and socialism." What are the origins of this celebration? The holiday has its roots in the worldwide movement to establish the eight-hour workday. According to Luxemburg, "The happy idea of using a proletarian holiday celebration as a means to attain the eight-hour day was first born in Australia," where, beginning in 1856, workers staged annual work stoppages and public demonstrations each year on April 21st. Then, on May 1, 1886, workers in cities throughout the U.S. held mass strikes and demonstrations demanding an eight-hour day. Among the largest of these actions took place in Chicago, where demonstrating workers were assailed by municipal police officers and private Pinkerton operatives hired by employers hoping to stop the workers' movement by force. Two days later, the police and Pinkertons again attacked striking workers outside the McCormick Harvester Company's Chicago factory, leaving six workers dead and many injured. Outraged by these assaults, labor activists called for a protest at Haymarket Square. The choice of location -- a large open square adjacent to a police station -- "was hardly the place to engage in clandestine activity," social historian Richard Sennett notes, "but, for a peaceful meeting, the Square was an ideal forum, since it could accommodate roughly 20,000 people." In the event, only about 3000 attended. Among those who addressed the crowd were two leading radical labor activists, August Spies and Albert Parsons. Contemporary newspaper accounts acknowledged that their speeches were not notably "inflammatory", and Chicago Mayor Mayor Carter Harrison, who was present to observe, later described the event as "peaceable". Nonetheless, what hd begun peacefully would end in violence. As Sennett describes the scene,
just as the Haymarket meeting was falling apart, the police moved in to disperse it by force, and thus brought back to life the temporary spirit of unity and of outrage against the violence at the McCormick Works that had drawn the crowd and orators together.The knots of men moved back from the lines of police advancing toward the speaker's stand, so that the police gained the area in front of the rostrum without incident. Then, suddenly, someone n the crowd threw a powerful bomb into the midst of the policemen, and pandemonium broke loose. The wounded police and people in the crowd dragged themselves or were carried into the hallways of buildings in the eastern end of Union Park; drugstores like Ebert's at Madison and Halstead and Barker's on West Madison, suddenly became hospitals with bleeding men stretched out on the floors, while police combed the residences and grounds of Union Park looking for wounded under stoops or in sheds from the police guns booming in the Square.A total of seven police officers, and four demonstrators, died as a result of the bomb and ensuing police shooting. In the aftermath, numerous labor activists were rounded up and jailed. Sennett notes that "a coronor's jury returned a verdict that all prisoners in the hands of the police were guilty of murder, because Socialism as such led to murderous anarchy, and anyone who attended the meeting must have been a Socialist. Yet this same jury observed that it was 'troublesome' that none of those detained could be determined to have thrown the bomb." Eventually, eight men -- including Spies and Parsons who had spoken at the Haymarket demonstration -- were charged with murder in connection with the deaths of the seven police officers. Their trial was a farce, with the judge (Elbert Gary, who would later go on to co-found the U.S. Steel Corporation with J.P. Morgan, Andrew Carnegie, and Charles Schwab) and prosecutor ensuring that the jury excluded anyone who might be sympathetic to the cause of labor. Despite the lack of any evidence tying any of the defendants to the bombing, all eight were convicted, based solely on their prior socialist and anarchist advocacy. Seven were sentenced to death. Of those, one (Louis Lingg) died in prison of an apparent suicide, and two others had their sentences commuted to life imprisonment. The remaining four -- including Parsons and Spies, along with Adolph Fisher and George Engel -- were hanged on November 11, 1886. As he stood on the gallows, Spies declared, "There will be a time when our silence will be more powerful than the voices you strangle today." Over the next several years, activists, led by Parsons' widow, Lucy Parsons (herself a noted radical activist who would go on to help found the Industrial Workers of the World), continued to protest on behalf of the Haymarket martyrs. Finally, in 1893, the three remaining prisoners -- Michael Schwab, Samuel Fieldon, and Oscar Neebe (the only defendant not originally sentenced to death) -- were pardoned by Illinois Governor John Peter Altgeld, who declared his belief that all eight of the Haymarket defendants had been innocent of any crime. In the aftermath of Haymarket, workers in the U.S. and around the world continued to struggle for improved conditions including the eight-hour day. In 1890, at the urging of American delegates, the International Workers' Congress declared May 1st to be a worldwide day of demonstrations in support of the eight-hour workday. Since that time, May Day has been established as International Workers' Day, its significance growing beyond the simple demand for an eight-hour day to encompass the broader struggle for workers' rights, social justice, and world peace. As Rosa Luxemburg declared more than a century ago,
As long as the struggle of the workers against the bourgeoisie and the ruling class continues, as long as all demands are not met, May Day will be the yearly expression of these demands. And, when better days dawn, when the working class of the world has won its deliverance then too humanity will probably celebrate May Day in honor of the bitter struggles and the many sufferings of the past.

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Copyright vs freeware

Marx's concept of a 'general intellect', offers a promising backdrop to understand the accomplishments of the free software community. Johan Soderberg tells us how. Click on the image to go to the article:

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Tuesday, 29 April 2008


Please support Union Island and try to get along to this event.

From the SL Union site:

"We’re happy to announce we’re going to be joined for Union Island’ May 1 celebrations by members of the Second Life™ activist group Second Life Left Unity, who will be leading an exploration of the history and continuing relevance of May Day - International Workers’ Day. Come to a short presentation by SLLU’s Forelle Broek on the struggle for decent work and the eight-hour day and the infamous Chicago Haymarket incident, and how they still have echoes around the world to this day."

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Monday, 28 April 2008


Shocking films from Amnesty international.

From the film site:

Stuff of Life

"What you have just witnessed [Stuff of Life film] is called waterboarding. The US authorities call it an 'enhanced interrogation technique'. They say it is a necessary and acceptable 'tool' in the war on terror. They say it is 'safe and lawful'. They say that by using it, they are not doing anything inhumane.

Well you've just seen it for yourself. What do you think?

At Amnesty International we're in no doubt that waterboarding is torture. As such it is illegal. And it must stop. "

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Sunday, 27 April 2008

Minutes of Meeting 26 4 08

Please - if you are a member of the Second Life TRADE MARK (because we can be hit with lawyers etc - not because we think TM's are a good thing - in fact scroll down for more details...) community, and are interested in helping with any of the tasks outlined by the minutes, please contact the coordinator named. Thanks.



Hub Library – future meeting coordinator: Ms Qunhua

Volunteers: Kerri Macchi; Franz Carver; Eremia Woodbury; Forelle Broek; Ms Qunhua; Higgledpiggle Snoats


Freebie Shop – future meeting coordinator: Eremia and Higs?

Volunteers: Eremia Woodbury, Higgledpiggle Snoats; Velvetvamp Fredriksson;

Eremia to send out notices over the next period to ask for contributions.

Higs to organise a teeshirt making workshop as part of a future workshop programme?

Teeshirt with political quote of the week – Forelle going to get some good quotes.


Freirien Hub Installation – future meeting coordinator: Plot Tracer

Volunteers: Plot Tracer; Higgledpiggle Snoats; Franz Carver; Ms Qunhua; Kerri Macchi;

Additional volunteers: Goldfinch Weatherwax; Wanessa Gazov; RGuilherme Zapedzki

Plot to put out a notice to the Group asking for volunteers.

MAY DAY – coordinator: forelle Broeks;

Volunteers: Forelle Broeks; Plot Tracer (tho after talking to Johninnit Ni will leave it to the other comrades who volunteered….quote: [10:19] You: i will put all we have discussed to him and see what he thinks. is that ok? i will then tell forelle the outcome, and i think we should then leave it to forelle, velvet and ms q to do as they see fit.); Velvetvamp Fredriksson; Ms Qunhua;

Suggestion from Velvetvamp Fredriksson: SLLU Teeshirt for May Day (could someone design and put out to group?)

All members supportive of Union Island. All members welcome Union Islands offer of a notecard giver in their installation

Ideas: 2 minute silence for victims of capitalism. A short short talk on the Haymarket massacre (first May Day in 1886 in Chicago)

Next meeting: Wed 30 April; 12.30 pdt/ 8.30 gmt.

Minutes to be endorsed at next meeting.

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Wednesday, 23 April 2008

Scottish WDM plea

Are you interested in volunteering with others to publicise campaigns
that aim to bring justice to some of the world's poorest people?

This summer, the World Development Movement Scotland is building up a
Volunteer Events Team. The team will co-ordinate campaigning at a
variety of different festivals, fairs and conferences. As a team
member you will have the opportunity to share your ideas and skills
in order to effectively encourage others to campaign for climate and
trade justice. It's a great chance to learn about new issues as well
as to gain experience of some fun, front-line campaigning.

Volunteers will be expected to commit between 5 and 8 days between
May and September.

For anyone interested in taking part WDM will be holding a free
training and brainstorming workshop on Thursday 8 May, at 20 Graham
Street, Edinburgh, from 11am to 3pm. Lunch will be provided. Please
rsvp or call 0131 454 3802.

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Support Education in SL! Please attend Kerri Macchi's Inworld Presentation Today

SLLU member and Uni of Ulster Student Kerri Macchi is hosting an inworld presentation today about Virtual Learning Environments. She will be assessed on this presentation as part of her dissertation - please come along and show your support!
here's the SLURL for the event:

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Tuesday, 22 April 2008

The Future of Internet Neutrality - Video Resource

The Death of the Internet?

Please watch this video from
and then sign the Amnesty Petition below:

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Web freedom - sign the AMNESTY PLEDGE

Sign the pledge and access resources by clicking on the picture:

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Sunday, 20 April 2008

The Privatisation Of Space

Taking Glasgow as an example of Neoliberal City development:

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Saturday, 19 April 2008

Guantanamo Virtual Exhibit in SL

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Thursday, 17 April 2008

STOP VIRGIN - more censorship on the web -free speech for those who can afford it

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Herald publish article by Plot Tracer

The article and comments are found here -

The article was an abridged version of this:


Let’s get some of the deflecting tactics out of the way first. I know that when some see my name and that I am writing from my perspective within the SL Left Unity, I will be accused of many things and not reference what I am actually saying.

I am not a Stalinist. A abhor Stalinism. I don’t believe people should be locked in jails for their political beliefs – I believe in political freedom – in fact I believe in total freedom. I believe in freedom of choice – informed freedom of choice – not the choice between 30 multi-million dollar promotional campaigns for sugary carbonated drinks that are shown to induce happiness, but actually cause obesity - the sugar and caffeine from which are like a bullet passing through the systems of our small children.

I am from Scotland in rl, and am not an anti-American – in fact America has a lot to teach the world; in my opinion US local democracy and a (flawed) Republican system has a lot going for it. It is a step forward from the Monarchy my country has. But it is flawed – and the flaws have shown recently with the corporate take over of the Presidency. The American people will overcome – I am confident of that. They saw through the lies in 1968 – they are seeing through the lies forty years later.

I am a socialist. I am an anti-capitalist – capitalism does not give us choices – it gives those with money/power choices, and keeps the rest in ghettos both physical and of the mind. Capitalism is the most controlled economy the world has ever seen – money and the moneyed are able to go where ever they want, when they want. Those outside this tiny clique must toe the line and stay behind borders. In “Projects”; in trailer parks; in council estates; made to feel guilty for their being “left behind.” Capital reigns supreme. The corporation is the new government, and those with a slice, control the army of working class people who graft or fight for the freedom of the corporation to exploit. For the freedom of the Cheney’s and Bush’s of this world to live behind their fences and to use the rest of us/ the worlds resources as their playthings. While we the working classes graft and fight and die.

Now to the point.

What sort of world would we live in if place names were trademarked? What sort of world would we live in where we could be banned for saying the wrong thing… for speaking against the government, or be banned for whatever takes the whim of those who wield power? A world where George Orwell predicted in 1984 where even the language of oppression has been changed to the language of freedom. Freedom is Slavery. Your world, your imagination – when it isn’t – really. A world were what we do is for the self aggrandisement of those who sit on committees and reap all the benefits of those who are artistic/productive/trusting. Apartheid South Africa? Nope. The US? Hopefully not. Think of a world were we readily give our personal details and preferences and sexual mores to those in authority without question. Think of a world where we have an unelected clique controlling it. Think of a world in which the “owners” are always right and correct and can delete the existence of people identified as unpersons. A world where its principles state it is “based on a belief that innovative success stems from self-directed creation, collaboration, and openness. Like the Second Life® world, Linden Lab is built on a non-hierarchical system which fosters and rewards creativity, individual initiative, and interactive participation.” Though, “Never act to advance your own interests or someone else's interests at the expense of the interests of the company. This is the one principle, outside of violations of law, for which violation will likely result in immediate termination.” The company/corporation is all. The individual is nothing. Profit is all – because that is what company law aims towards. It is the basis for the corporation. "The corporation is an externalizing machine (moving its operating costs to external organizations and people), in the same way that a shark is a killing machine." - Robert Monks, a former GOP [Republican] candidate for Senate from Maine.

I think if you have got this far you get my point.

My first foray onto the internet was back in 1992. It was a basic place – a place anyone with a tad of know how could navigate or set up a space – free of charge. A place uncontrolled and at the time thought almost uncontrollable. Well, they got to work. And we must fight back to claim this bastion of freedom from them – the Facelessbooks, the Theirspaces, the Seconded Life. They should not be allowed to win. They should not be allowed to decide who has freedom of speech or freedom to organise/ create community based on their corporate image and ultimately on profit.

Paulo Freire, the South American Educationalist said that the powerless in society can be frightened of freedom. He wrote, "Freedom is acquired by conquest, not by gift. It must be pursued constantly and responsibly. Freedom is not an ideal located outside of man; nor is it an idea which becomes myth. It is rather the indispensable condition for the quest for human completion." Only an educated, informed working class – those who graft and die for these people, will change the world. The middle class fear change, because they do-not want to fall off the cart into the lower classes (hence the bile and snidey remarks from those who have made a wee bit of cash from Seconded Life that may follow this article) and the upper classes – those who hold power and therefore control the system will not let it go.

To quote a great working class poet, “[They’ll] never live like common people, you'll never do whatever common people do, you'll never fail like common people, you'll never watch your life slide out of view, and dance and drink and screw, because there's nothing else to do. Sing along with the common people, sing along and it might just get you through. Laugh along with the common people, laugh along even though they're laughing at you and the stupid things that you do, because you think that poor is cool. Like a dog lying in a corner they will bite you and never warn you. Look out they'll tear your insides out. 'Cos everybody hates a tourist, especially one who thinks it's all such a laugh and the chip stains and grease will come out in the bath. You will never understand how it feels to live your life with no meaning or control and with nowhere left to go. You are amazed that they exist and they burn so bright whilst you can only wonder why.”

References: Orwell; 1984
“Common People” Pulp

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Monday, 7 April 2008

Changing the common into private- first time round.

YES FOLKS! The rich did it before. This was one poets reaction from the 18th Century...

The law locks up the man or woman
Who steals the goose from off the common
But leaves the greater villain loose
Who steals the common from off the goose.
The law demands that we atone
When we take things we do not own
But leaves the lords and ladies fine
Who take things that are yours and mine.
The poor and wretched don't escape
If they conspire the law to break;
This must be so but they endure
Those who conspire to make the law.
The law locks up the man or woman
Who steals the goose from off the common
And geese will still a common lack
Till they go and steal it back.


This poem is one of the pithiest condemnations of the English enclosure movement, the process of fencing off common land and turning it into private property.In a few lines, the poem manages to criticize double standards, expose the artificial and controversial nature of property rights, and take a slap at the legitimacy of state power. And it does this all with humor, without jargon, and in rhyming couplets. Academics (including this one) should take note. Like most of the criticisms of the enclosure movement, the poem depicts a world of rapacious, state-aided "privatization," a conversion into private property of something that had formerly been common property or, perhaps, had been outside of the property system altogether.


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ISP's to "Police" the web

Sample of Pipex letter to a friend of the SLLU:

Pipex Account ***********
Notice of Possible Termination of Service

Pipex has received a letter from BPI (British Recorded Music Industry)
Limited ("BPI"), which is the recorded music industry's trade
association in the UK and also represents performers and record
companies that are members of Phonographic Performance Limited ("PPL").
The BPI has provided us with evidence which appears to show that your
Pipex internet connection has been used to infringe copyrights owned or
controlled by the members of BPI and/or PPL.
The BPI claims that the evidence shows that a peer-to-peer application
has been used to copy and store sound recordings in the "shared files
directory" of a computer connected to the internet via your Pipex
internet connection. In addition, it shows that the "shared files
directory" was accessible to other users of the peer-to-peer
application. The BPI claims it was able to download sound recordings
from that directory. The BPI has recorded the exact time and date when
the sound recordings were available in the directory and were downloaded
and has identified the Tiscali IP address (i.e. the unique internet
address assigned to an internet connection each time it connects to the
internet) of the internet connection used to make sound recordings
available to other internet users. Our records show that this IP
address was assigned to your Pipex internet connection at the relevant
date and time.
Copyright law provides that sound recordings cannot be communicated to
the public without permission. The BPI has informed us that the
copyright in these sounds recordings is owned or controlled by the
members of the BPI and/or PPL and has confirmed to us that no member of
the BPI or PPL has given permission to an individual to make available
or communicate sound recordings to the public via a peer-to-peer
network. If the allegations made against you by the BPI were true, they
would amount to a breach of copyright law. In addition, such a use of
your Pipex internet connection would breach our terms and conditions and
our acceptable use policy.
Pipex does not determine complaints between third parties, such as the
BPI and Pipex customers. We have not provided details of your identity
and address to the BPI, but we have agreed with the BPI to send this
letter to you.
However, you should be aware that the BPI is entitled to apply to court
for disclosure of those details, and if the court were satisfied that
the BPI had sufficient evidence that copyright infringement via your
internet connection had taken place, the court could order Pipex to
disclose your details to the BPI, who may then bring legal proceedings
against you for infringement of copyright in BPI member sound
recordings. Those proceedings may be brought against you or against the
person who has used your internet connection to infringe copyright.
In this instance, we would ask that if such any infringing activity has
taken place over your Pipex internet connection that you desist from
these activities or we may consider termination of your account. Pipex
views any breach of its terms and conditions and acceptable use policy
very seriously. We draw your attention to clauses 10 and 11 of your
agreement with Pipex, which provides that we can suspend or end your
Services immediately and without notice if you breach our terms and
conditions or our acceptable use policy.
What else can you do?
It is your responsibility to ensure that your internet connection is not
used to infringe copyright or otherwise to breach the terms and
conditions of your agreement for your Pipex internet connection and
there are other measures that we can suggest you take to ensure that
such activity is not undertaken without your knowledge:
* Ensure that members of your household (and any other persons
having access to your Pipex internet service) are aware of this letter
and that you take appropriate steps to ensure that your internet
connection is not used to infringe copyright; and
* Ensure that any wireless router connected to your internet
connection is securely protected using encryption and password access.
The BPI will monitor for further infringements of copyright and may try
to access the "shared files directory" again via your Pipex internet
connection. If no further evidence of such copyright infringement is
found, it is highly unlikely further action will be taken by the BPI.
Yours sincerely

Pipex Abuse Response Team
Pipex Internet Limited

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Friday, 4 April 2008

SLLU member in the SL Herald.

Click on the image below to go to Forelle Broek's article:

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News from our comrades striking in IBM-

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Thursday, 3 April 2008

Seconded life...

Copy and use this adbuster - parody is allowed by Californian law.


IBM to host private Second Life regions

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Tuesday, 1 April 2008


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