Petitions!

You may be interested to know that this petition in reaction to UEL closing its doors on the Alternative Summit has gathered over 3400 signatures! Please keep on signing.

Please also sign the petition to help the reinstatement of Chris Knight, organizer of the Summit, who was subsequently suspended after attempting to defend academic autonomy and freedom of speech and assembly.

G20: The revolution will be taught

Despite last minute efforts by the management of the University of East London to shut down the Alternative London Summit it still went ahead as planned. The alternative G20 at the University of East London offered a different vision of society from today’s summit.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/apr/01/g20-alternative-summit-east-london-university

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G20: message to the alternative summit

Bankers banking their bonuses, MPs fiddling their expenses, ex-ministers lining their pockets with consultancies, and the prime minister in denial about his role in creating this cesspit of greed and corruption. For most of us, what else is there to do but get out on the streets to protest and resist?

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/apr/01/g20-activism-john-mcdonnell

Tony Benn’s opening speech

What kind of university is this that closes its doors at a time when there is a big world crisis and we all want to know what to do about it? We live at a historic moment when the world is cursed by the war in Iraq, the war in Afghanistan, the treatment of the Palestinians by the Israelis, the threat to Iran and the whole economic system that we have been told is the answer to the problem has broken down. We are faced by mass unemployment, homelessness and this goes across the world.

Now the Prime Minister says this is a global crisis and that it needs a global solution. And I see what he means. But the question is what will the global solution be and who will run it? Do they believe that by putting money into the banks they can recreate the system that has failed us, do they really believe that? Because I don’t think anyone else does. Secondly, if there is a global system, who runs it? Is it run by the people? Or is it run by the bankers, the multi-national corporations, the mass media and all the people who run the present system?

So what I am really saying is this is a moment of choice, a moment to think, a moment to discuss alternatives and above all it is a moment to reassure people that there is an alternative.

You see, the media are now trying to control us by frightening us. It used to be the Kaiser then it was Stalin, then Hitler now it is the Muslims. Keeping us frightened. They want to keep us divided, men and women, black and white, Muslim, Christian, Jew. Because divided people are easier to control. To keep us demoralised by saying none of us is clever enough to run anything, therefore we’ve got to leave it to the guys in charge. They want to make us cynical, to believe that everyone is a crook and therefore you can’t trust anyone.

If we are not very careful, what happened in Germany in the 1930s could happen again. That is what the BNP are waiting for. They say all our problems are due to the immigrants. Build up one group to hate another group and you get power. Hitler said to the 6 million unemployed, vote for me and I’ll give you jobs and you know what he did? He put half the unemployed in the arms factories, the other half in the army and we had a bloody war. 105 million people were killed in two European wars in 34 years. We mustn’t let that happen. Therefore we have to make our voices clear and loud.

What we want is very simple. People are entitled to work, because there are homeless people and unemployed building workers. There are starving people and others who could meet their needs. But it cannot be done under the market system. People need homes for god’s sake! People need health and education and peace, justice and human rights. And if we’re going to have a global world system it’s got to be a system that meets those needs.

The one thing about democracy, which I have always thought is the most revolutionary idea in the world, is that it transfers power from the market place to the polling station, from the wallet to the ballot. This means that people who haven’t got money have some power over their lives. The message we are giving to our leaders is that we want them to listen to us. If they don’t we’re in for a bloody struggle. And who in gods name wants that?

Speakers who showed their support


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Tony Benn


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Comedian and activist Mark Thomas


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John McDonnell MP


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Tariq Ali


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Ruth Tanner, War on Want

 


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LOWKEY, Poet, Playwright and Political Activist


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Economist Jan Toporowski


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Tarek El Diwany


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Political Economist, Massimo De Angelis


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Mark Barrett, tourguide and activist


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Lindsey German, convenor of the Stop the War Coalition


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Marxist theoretician Alex Callinicos


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Samia al-Botmeh
 


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Social anthropologist David Graeber


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Indigenous rights activist, Jerome Lewis


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Author and folklorist Neil Bennun


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Radical anthropologist and sexworkers’ rights activist Catherine Stephens


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Andrew Fowler


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Sian Sullivan


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Richard Wilkinson
 


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Playmate, witch and eco-warrior, Marina Pepper


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Oliver Tickell


Can we make capitalism history? YES WE CAN!

Alternative Summit

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Links

Do the Green Thing

Official G20 Summit: ‘Rich Countries’ Voices Will Be Heard’

Our MandyPeter Mandelson, minister for business, urged G20 governments to speak out in defence of liberal market reforms imposed on poor countries, linked to restrictions on imports from those same countries. ‘How can we be expected to maintain our standard of living without protecting profitability?’, he asked. Appealing to the G20 nations to stand united in their opposition to old fashioned trade unionism in developing countries, he added: ‘If we’re soft on workers’ organizations in those parts of the world, their excessive pay demands can only have a deleterious effect on the profits of American and European corporations. This would hamper their ability to pay huge bonuses to top executives and directors, many of whom may be former government ministers’.

Put People First – March for jobs, justice, climate

Put People FirstDate Sat, 28 Mar 2009

Location Central London – Embankment to Hyde Park

Visit www.putpeoplefirst.org.uk for more information, and to show you’re coming along.

On 28th March thousands will march through London as part of a global campaign to challenge the G20, ahead of their 2nd April summit on the global financial crisis.

Even before the banking collapse, the world suffered poverty, inequality and the threat of climate chaos. The world has followed a financial model that has created an economy fuelled by ever-increasing debt, both financial and environmental.

Our future depends on creating an economy based on fair distribution of wealth, decent jobs for all and a low carbon future.
There can be no going back to business as usual.

People from all over the country will join the march on March 28. Starting from Embankment, the march will progress to Hyde Park for a rally with speakers and music.

Be one of them.

Statement of support for student occupations over Gaza from members of the University and College Lecturers’ Union NEC (7 February 2009)

As members of the University and College Union National Executive Committee, we would like to send solidarity greetings to the students in the 17 universities who have occupied their universities in protest over the Gaza crisis. This is the largest wave of occupations for over a quarter of a century. Too often, the media seek to portray this generation of students as ones who do not share the aspirations of the 1968 generation and deride you as, “Generation Apathy”. Your actions have decisively dispelled this myth.

Your demands to secure disinvestment by universities from companies involved in selling arms to Israel and free scholarships for students from Gaza show your humanity. You speak for the millions of young people throughout the world who are sick and tired of war and injustice, who simply desire a world in which the young grow up not knowing what it is like to kill and maim.

You are an inspiration to us all and we wish you every success and call upon all those who want a more peaceful world to support your action.

Signatories (all in a personal capacity)
Amanda Sackur
Maira Daley
Alan Whitaker
Maeve Landman
Brian Ingham
Maureen Henry-Johnson
Christine Vie
Malcolm Povey
David Swanson
Sasha Callaghan
Gavin Reid
Sean Vernell
James Eaden
Terry Brotherstone
Jim Guild
Tom Hickey
Jane Hardy
John Murphy
Karen Evans
Lynne Chamberlain
Mark Campbell