To resist is democratic

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Just Stop Oil protesting in London 6 December 2022.
Just Stop Oil protesting in London 6 December 2022.

Original article republished from Just Stop Oil under Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International Licence

Blogs / October 6, 2022

Democracy is a precious, and essential part of our society. Our leadership must always be accountable to the people, and if they are not, we risk oppression. We are, without a doubt, lucky to live in a liberal representational democracy, and when the time comes to vote, we should. So why then, are people acting politically, with civil resistance, outside of this mechanism?

Over the last twelve months, thousands of people in the UK have engaged in peaceful resistance, and over a hundred (and counting) have been imprisoned. It’s not just in this country, in Canada ‘Save Old Growth’ are blocking motorways demanding no more felling of ancient trees. In France, Germany, Italy, Austria, Norway, the USA and Australia, ordinary people are resisting, disrupting transport and cultural activities – demanding that their states act to protect, not destroy, life. 

They are ordinary people – coming together and acting out of love as much as fear and grief. Engaging in civil resistance, and defying a state, that while democratically elected, has proved deeply harmful. There’s no denying this harm – while the International Energy Agency has made it clear we can have no more new oil and gas development, the UK Government is ready to approve new oil fields and issue new exploration licenses, a death sentence for millions.

Our politicians say they are ‘committed to reaching net zero’. What they are actually committed to is kicking the can down the road and round the corner. Gambling on unproven or non-existent technology to reverse our dumping of CO2 into the atmosphere.

Instead of taking action, they’re making the problem worse for another 30 years, literally pouring fuel on the fire. The UK is the home of BP and Shell who are making eye-watering profits, and enjoying tax breaks to destroy life – because “pensions”, because “jobs”, because “economic growth”.

A stable climate is not a competing policy demand to be set against pensions, transport, or public sector funding. One provides the basis for everything else, there simply isn’t a contest. Our predicament is almost comically simple – either we stop the destruction of the global systems that enable ordered civil society to work or we lose everything we value, our traditions, our cherished landscapes and, crucially, democracy. There are no free and fair elections on a burning earth. 

In 2019 the MoD published a report outlining what is coming if we don’t immediately reduce carbon emissions – “increased conflict over diminishing natural resources”. That’s code for war. War over food and water – and we know what war looks like, flattened cities, dictator warlords, child traffickers waiting on borders, tortured grandfathers – it’s being documented once again in Europe.

So what has happened in the UK to protect against this future? Traffic on the M25 has been disrupted, London bridges closed, oil terminals have been blockaded and occupied, football matches interrupted. Inept radio hosts have sparked viral memes about growing concrete and inspired themed stag nights. Just Stop Oil, Insulate Britain, XR and Stop HS2 have been painted on both the Left and Right as an eco-mob, eco-fascists, as selfish, naive and childish. But perhaps the most damaging criticism is that they are anti-democratic. 

It’s as if every right and freedom we enjoy has been handed to us by a benign government. As if the Suffragettes never smashed windows, as if the race riots never happened, as if Stonewall simply wrote letters, as if those demanding disability rights didn’t chain themselves to railings and buses, as if the poll tax was scrapped due to reasonable debate and discussion or waiting politely for a chance to vote. Change requires citizens to stand up and resist harmful governments, it is part of democracy.

Resistance has nothing to do with “protest”. Protest is when you express your disapproval. You do not express disapproval when murderous governments engage in an act condemning the world to go over 1.5C in the 2030s – a death sentence for small island states and millions in the global south.  Pakistan today demonstrates what we face – 33 million people impacted by floods and agriculture decimated.

We know what to do. It’s what the Suffragettes did, it’s what the Civil Rights movements did, it’s what everyone does when the inalienable right to life and a livelihood are violated. We engage in non-violent civil resistance.

What we must do now is block and disable the cogs of the machine. This is not a “tactic” – it is an act of self respect, an act of solidarity, an act of love and necessity. 

We must resist now or we will look back with longing at all we have lost. The last 250 years of sacrifice and tears expended by generations to create decent societies is about to be snuffed out in the blink of an eye. The word betrayal does not cover the reality of what is going on. All our traditions, all our values, all that we claim to stand for is about to be lost.

It’s not about winning. It’s about doing what has to be done. Those who fought fascism in the 20th century, those who are fighting the oil companies across the global south, those fighting the Russians in Ukraine, they act because they know someone has to stand up. 

The next generations are watching us. Can you feel the weight of billions of children yet to take their first breath? They are saying “Are you mad? Get out there, and stop this – or you condemn us forever”.

Original article republished from Just Stop Oil under Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International Licence

dizzy: 1. I submit that we exist in a plutocracy rather than a democracy. 2. I couldn’t find the MoD article containing the quotation “increased conflict over diminishing natural resources”. I suspect that it existed but is no longer published openly. There are plenty of official reports making similar points and it is a reasonable statement. For example the WORLD DEVELOPMENT REPORT 2011, ‘Resource Scarcity, Climate Change and the Risk of Violent Conflict’ Alex Evans, Center on International Cooperation, New York University, September 9, 2010 makes similar claims. Edit: Despite that article being a very wooly academic paper, I think that it does make that claim

Although the conflict risk posed by climate change and resource scarcity will almost always be better
understood as a ‘threat multiplier’ than as a sole cause of violent conflict, a range of potential
linkages between climate, scarcity and conflict risk can nonetheless be identified, whether through
intensifying existing problems, or through creating new environmental problems that lead to

USAID (2009). Climate Change, Adaptation and Conflict: A preliminary review of the issues. CMD
Discussion Paper no. 1, October 2009

Later edit: Found the article: but I’ve not found the phrase “increased conflict over diminishing natural resources”. I would also attribute it to The Global Strategic Partnership (which supports the Ministry of Defence).

Continue ReadingTo resist is democratic

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Call me dizzy, call me deep

Call me fekking bleep, bleep

Can’t have Fascism or Genocide

Vote for someone on our side

Vote For Genocide Vote Labour.
Vote For Genocide Vote Labour.


Call me dizzy, call me deep

Call me fekkin bleep bleep bleep

Can’t have Fascism or Genocide

Vote for someone on our side

Think that’s better ;)

Years ago, probably 20 years or more I saw this couple probably in their early twenties in a pub. The guy was pretending to be me to mount the woman. That quite amused me. ;)

Continue ReadingCall me dizzy

Interview: It’s the Masses against the Machine in Islington North

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ALL TO PLAY FOR: Jeremy Corbyn poses outside Islington Town Hall, north London, after handing in his nomination papers for the general election

WILL Jeremy Corbyn win? It is the anxious question asked thousands of times a day by men and women on the left across Britain.

Across the world, come to that. The Islington North MP is recognised globally as one of the foremost champions for peace and social justice.

Five years ago he was leading Labour’s charge for office. His period as party leader did one thing the Establishment can never forgive — it gave them a fright. Keir Starmer is the instrument of their vengeance.

Interviewed by the Star in a cafe in the shadow of Finsbury Park station, near his campaign headquarters, he is invited to reflect on what has become of his party of nearly 60 years.

“It’s very sad. When I stepped down as leader it had 600,000 members, it was developing community organising, delayed for two years by officialdom.

“That was the direction we were going in — a broad, community-based grassroots campaigning party. Now it is a very centralised party. Local parties like Islington North have been treated with absolute disdain by the national party.”

His campaign has focused heavily on the local and has not really attacked his former party.

Prompted, Corbyn acknowledges that “if Labour loses that social milieu of people fighting for social justice and peace it just becomes a vehicle with no soul.”

That is the price of the consensus which Corbynism briefly shattered and is now in advanced restoration. Nationally, it is an arid campaign.

“The duopoly of the economic offer, both parties promise the same spending plans, same taxation regime, means the inequalities of the past 15 years are hard-wired into economic plans for the future.”

As ever, Jeremy Corbyn is most fluent, most at ease when discussing either the social problems on the ground, in his own constituency above all, or the dangers facing the world as a whole. I put to him George Galloway’s recent warning that Britain could be at war within six months.

“George is not wrong about that. We are moving towards a very very dangerous situation. Defence spending is by consensus to rise to 2.5 per cent and there are pretty loud voices saying it should go even more, to 3 per cent.”

He slates the bipartisan obsession “with Britain’s global military role — for what? We are building up to a cold war with China,” incurring vast spending on the Aukus nuclear submarine pact ”and not doing anything to bring about peace, not in the Ukraine war, not in Palestine.”

Re-elected, “I will be that voice for peace,” he pledges, a rare politician’s commitment that you can be absolutely sure will be honoured.

“The Gaza crisis has sorted a lot of people out. I think that the opportunity for politics coming back offered by the peace movement is going to be the future. People who come together for social justice.

“If you want to know what the future looks like, look at the demonstrations, people from all walks of life, communities, religions, races; all of this is a way forward.

“It includes a lot of people in the Labour Party who have radical political demands” but also the wave of independent candidates challenging Labour in this election.

“People are working in the same direction like Andrew [Feinstein] and Leanne [Mohamad],” he says.

“I would expect after the election to see a political grassroots movement, a community of activity from the grassroots.” In Islington, he pledges to establish a people’s assembly to render account to.

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Zionist Keir Starmes is quoted "I support Zionism without qualification." He's asked whether that means that he supports Zionism under all circumstances, whatever Zionists do.
Zionist Keir Starmes is quoted “I support Zionism without qualification.” He’s asked whether that means that he supports Zionism under all circumstances, whatever Zionists do.

Vote For Genocide Vote Labour.
Vote For Genocide Vote Labour.
Continue ReadingInterview: It’s the Masses against the Machine in Islington North

Tory government met with oil and gas lobbyists daily last year

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Image of InBedWithBigOil by Not Here To Be Liked + Hex Prints from Just Stop Oil's You May Find Yourself... art auction. Featuring Rishi Sunak, Fossil Fuels and Rupert Murdoch.
Image of InBedWithBigOil by Not Here To Be Liked + Hex Prints from Just Stop Oil’s You May Find Yourself… art auction. Featuring Rishi Sunak, Fossil Fuels and Rupert Murdoch.

THE Tory government met representatives from the oil and gas sector an average of 1.4 times per working day in 2023, an investigation by Global Witness revealed today.

At least 65 fossil fuel organisations and industry bodies were identified as meeting with ministers over the year, according to the group.

Global Witness analysed data by Transparency International UK, looking at any organisation that “could be reasonably assumed to have the goal of influencing policy or legislation in the interests of a fossil fuel company and its shareholders.”

According to its findings, ministers met representatives from the oil and gas sector at least 343 times last year, up from 330 meetings held in 2022.

More widely, the group found that meetings between oil and gas lobbyists and the government have been steadily increasing over the past 11 years.

November 2023 saw record-high levels of meetings when the government met oil and gas lobbyists at least 63 times, equivalent to almost three meetings every working day, the campaigners said.

The Offshore Petroleum Licensing Bill, which would mandate annual licensing of new oil and gas fields in the North Sea, was introduced the same month, they noted.

The end of November also marked the start of the UN climate change conference Cop28 in Dubai.

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Continue ReadingTory government met with oil and gas lobbyists daily last year