Wednesday, 23 April 2014

"Breaking Down the Barriers: Diversifying the Climate Movement" Conference Saturday, May 3, 2014 - 11:00 to Sunday, May 4, 2014 - 17:30

Breaking Down the Barriers: Diversifying the Climate Movement Conference

Campaign against Climate Change is teaming up with Global Power Shift UK to organise "Breaking Down the Barriers: Diversifying the Climate Movement" Conference
The aim of this Conference is to create a diverse learning space for attendees to share their ideas, experiences, and learn from each other and our guest speakers.
Breaking Down the Barriers: Diversifying the Climate Movement Conference is open to passionate Climate activists from all walks of society who want to contribute to the debate on Climate Change. We really want the Conference to be a reflection of society as a whole, and so welcome applications from all individuals. So you're a Cosmologist with a penchant for local community conservation projects? Or struggling to pay the bills and knowing that we need change? We'd love to see you there. 
In the registration process we will ask if you need financial support to attend the conference, for travel and/or accommodation. Please let us know if you need to support to be there - we don't want that to stop anyone from attending.
Speakers confirmed so far include:
  • Asad Rehman – Friends of the Earth – speaking on international climate issues
  • George Barda – Occupy London/Reclaim the Power – sharing stories about challenges around diversification
  • Siobhan Grimes – Campaigner with Operation Noah and Climate Rush – sharing experiences of divestment campaigns with the Church of England
  • Chris Church – Low Carbon Communities Network – working with communities on the ground and facing the obstacles when campaigning
  • Ian ‘KMT’ Solomon – May Project Gardens – outreach and permaculture edge
  • Afsheen Rashid – Repowering London (Community energy specialist) – community engagement and working with diverse communities
Programme includes:
Day 1: Speakers and Open Sessions
The day’s events will include a mixture of guest speakers and Open Space sessions for participants to workshop their ideas, challenges and concerns. We will learn how to better organise outreach programmes and diversify the movement in a collective environment that is inviting to all. Proposed topics so far include:
  • Taking a global view on climate justice
  • Broadening and diversifying the climate movement:
  • Economics, divestment and social justice
We welcome your input for sessions you’d like to host – please share with us your ideas on the registration form.
Additional option for Day 1 afternoon – closed group session - Re-centering Our Movement
On Saturday Suzanne Dhaliwal (UK Tar Sands Network) and Liam Barrington Bush (solidarity activist/ journalist/facilitator in social change) will be hosting a closed 4 hour group workshop for 12 participants.

In this workshop Suzanne and Liam will take participants through a process looking at their own relationship with power and how this may impact on campaigns and groups which in turn lead to exclusion of the same communities they are aiming to empower. The aim of the workshop is to work towards building an organising culture that is open to honest self-reflection with safe spaces to start having the conversations which need to be had.
If you want to participate in this workshop please register here IN ADDITION to the registration form. Please note there is limited number of only 12 places available.  
Day 2: The Great Big Strategy Day
The emphasis of the day will be towards building strategies around what we’ve learnt and explored during Day 1 and developing ideas and strengthening networks to mobilise support and engagement across the UK. Our skilled facilitators will be helping us draw up some next step plans of how we’re going to bring our learnings back to our communities and how we can link in together to support each other with our plans.  
Funds available to cover travel and accommodation costs
Our aim is to make the Breaking Down the Barriers event as accessible as possible. If you need help getting to London for the event then please indicate on the registration form and we’ll be in touch!  


Saturday, May 3, 2014 - 11:00 to Sunday, May 4, 2014 - 17:30

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Birmingham People's Assembly: Hands off our Unions

Fourth Anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon Explosion marked with Refreshed Tate Modern Audio Tour

Romayne Phoenix via 

Fourth Anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon Explosion marked with Refreshed Tate Modern Audio Tour

It was four years ago this Sunday (20th April) that the Deepwater Horizon exploded killing eleven workers. The subsequent spill and clean up operation devastated ecosystems, wrecked the health and livelihoods of communities and brought the company within days of bankruptcy.
To mark the anniversary and honour the victims Platform is releasing an updated version of the Tate Modern alternative audio guide which takes issue with BP’s controversial sponsorship of Tate galleries.
As Archbishop Desmond Tutu calls for an Apartheid-style boycott movement against fossil fuel companies and their funders in order to tackle climate change, Tate’s relationship with BP is becoming increasingly untenable.
The work, Drilling the Dirt (A Temporary Difficulty), was originally produced in 2012 by Phil England and Jim Welton and has been updated by the artists to incorporate recent changes in the gallery displays.
Phil England said, “Tate director Nicolas Serota belittled the impact of the Deepwater Horizon spill when he described it as ‘a temporary difficulty’. Our piece gives voice to some of those who have been affected, not just by this disaster but also by BP’s activities across the decades. Our aim was to show that the problem with BP is not temporary, but deep, structural and ongoing.”
Kevin Smith of Platform said, “Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s comments earlier this month give a huge moral legitimacy to our ongoing campaign to bring an end to fossil fuel sponsorship of the arts. It’s time Tate started listening to the concerns of moral leaders, campaigners, artists and its own members.”
The work is part of a triptych of pieces collectively know as Tate à Tate. The other pieces are Panaudicon by Ansuman Biswas (designed to be played in situ at the Tate) andThis is Not an Oil Tanker by Isa Suarez designed to be played in the on the Tate Boat that runs on the Thames and transports people between the two galleries. All three pieces were commissioned by Platform, Liberate Tate and Art Not Oil.
The piece is designed to be downloaded onto your mobile phone so that you can listen on headphones or earbuds as you are directed through the gallery. You can also listen to the work online in a setting of your choosing.
The tour can be downloaded from
1. Archbishop Desmond Tutu wrote in The Guardian on 10 April: “People of conscience need to break their ties with corporations financing the injustice of climate change.” (“We need an Apartheid-style boycott to save the planet”)
2. Nicholas Serota told the Jewish Chronicle in July 2010: “You don’t abandon your friends because they have what we consider to be a temporary difficulty.” (“Interview: Nicholas Serota”)
3. More information about the audio tours and artists can be found at

The Breaking the Frame gathering

Ned Ludd

to luddites200
The Breaking the Frame gathering is less than two weeks away, so this is your last chance to book a place. We need your participation and input to help us take a leap forward in radical politics.

Whether you’re interested in the politics of food, energy, work, environment, gender, peace, economics, health, etc., all these issues are shaped by choices about technology made by military, corporate and technocratic elites.   The aim of the gathering is to change the debate about technology, environment and society, and to put the politics of technology where it belongs, at the heart of radical politics.  It's about a broad social and political vision, not just a long list of issues raised by technology.  And we will do more than just talk about the issues: we aim to found a new network on the politics of technology, a new critical mass that will change the whole debate.
The gathering won't just be talking and thinking - there will be hands on workshops, music, poetry and time to explore the beautiful grounds of Unstone Grange and the surrounding Derbyshire countryside.  There will be childcare available during the daytime so parents can fully participate in the gathering.

We are still looking for speakers in some workshops, so we are open to your suggestions for speakers or organisations that we should invite.

For more on the ideas behind the gathering and to check out the growing list of organisations supporting it and taking part, visit the gathering information page.  You can book online, or print and post the registration form.  We aim to ensure that no-one is excluded for financial reasons, so we are subsiding places to make sure the gathering is as cheap as possible.

Please help us publicise the gathering by tweeting (follow@framebreaking) and forwarding this message to relevant email lists, facebook groups, etc.

We look forward to seeing you at Unstone Grange on May 2nd to 5th.

Thursday, 17 April 2014


Romayne Phoenix12:47pm Apr 17
In most countries in Europe, the 1st of May (International Workers' Day) is a public holiday, but the official "May Day" holiday takes place on the firstMonday in May in the UK. The London May Day Organising Committee organises a march on the 1st of May anyway, and campaigns for that day to be a public holiday.

As says, it "has been a unique bringing together of trade unionists, workers from the many international communities in London, pensioners, anti-globalisation organisations, students, political bodies and many others in a show of working class unity."

In the model motion, accessible from the same page, it says "We urge unions involved in industrial action to consider May 1st as an appropriate date for such action." One such union involved in a dispute is the National Union of Teachers (NUT); if it called another strike on that day, that would be particularly effective at building a big demonstration, since many parents and school students could join it as well as striking teachers.

This is an unofficial event. I live in Manchester so couldn't be involved in the London May Day Organising Committee, but having noticed that the publicity for this very important event is low key (as I noticed last year when I called for a general strike on that day - see I decided to set up this Facebook event to build the demonstration and encourage coordinated strike action.

According to the latest news page, accessible from, the London May Day march will follow the traditional route and timings:


This May Day event will be part of a mass movement across the world. The following event coordinates demonstrations (with a call to reoccupy the streets across the world):
May Day
London May Day Organising Committee (LMDOC) brings together trade unions, organisations from London'...

Wednesday, 16 April 2014