Tory-run Facebook groups contain ‘appalling racism’ investigation finds

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Anti-Ulez groups managed by Conservative-linked individuals found to be ‘a cesspit of vile racism and hate speech’

Facebook groups run by Conservative Party operatives that oppose London’s ultra-low emission zone (Ulez) are ‘a cesspit of vile racism and hate speech’, an investigation by Unearthed has found. 

A network of 36 private Facebook groups set up to oppose the expansion of Ulez and almost all run by people with close professional ties to the Conservative party including councillors, campaign managers and a borough mayor, have hosted nasty and violent content, the investigation has uncovered. 

Reporters found widespread racism and Islamophobia as well as conspiracy theories and celebrations of criminal damage on the pages, including sharing the white supremacist slogan and antisemitic videos. 

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan was targeted with much of the racist content, the investigation found, including a commenter describing the capital as “Londonistan” and claiming England is “overrun and being run by a load of foreigners” and subject to “third world people”. 

Ami McCarthy, political campaigner for Greenpeace UK described the groups as “an absolute cesspit of vile racism and hate speech” and “a breeding ground for dangerous conspiracy theories”.

“That they’re being managed by Conservative operatives speaks volumes about the direction in which the party has gone, and just how toxic these anti-ULEZ campaigns have become,” said McCarthy.

Continue ReadingTory-run Facebook groups contain ‘appalling racism’ investigation finds

Activists stage metal concert to sound of deep sea machinery outside London summit

Spread the love Many articles from the Morning Star featured today.

Ocean Rebellion activists stage a heavy metal concert outside the Deep Sea Mining Summit in London, April 18, 2024 Photo: Guy Reece

CLIMATE activist group Ocean Rebellion staged a heavy metal concert outside the Deep Sea Mining Summit in London’s Canary Wharf on Wednesday.

Recently, the UN International Seabed Authority awarded licences to mine up to 9,000 sq km of deep seabed at a time.

Miners search for mineral chunks in the deep sea known as manganese nodules, which can be used for “green” battery technology among other things.

Activists say the practice strips the seabed of all life, including deep-sea sponges and corals that have taken thousands of years to grow. Many articles from the Morning Star featured today.

Greenpeace confronts deep sea mining industry with giant octopus

Continue ReadingActivists stage metal concert to sound of deep sea machinery outside London summit

Greepeace future under threat following legal action by oil giants

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A Shell logo at a petrol station

ENVIRONMENTAL campaign group Greenpeace has warned that its future is under financial threat because of legal action by oil giant Shell.

It says its work in Britain and internationally will be in jeopardy if it loses a court case in which the company is demanding $1 million (£803,000) in damages after activists occupied a drilling platform being towed in the Atlantic last year.

The occupation attracted international attention.

The case is due to go to trial in July.

Greenpeace says it is facing similar legal action by “Big Oil” companies in the United States and Italy and has launched an appeal for donations to help it fight in court.

Ian Duff, who heads Greenpeace’s “Stop Drilling, Start Paying” campaign, said: “Greenpeace is under attack globally like never before.

“Right now, our colleagues in Italy, the USA, and here in the UK are all targets of intimidation lawsuits from oil giants, strategically deployed with one aim: silence anyone brave enough to stand up to their planet-wrecking business.”

“Let’s be clear — it’s not about the money,” he said. “Shell makes the $1 million it is suing us for every half an hour.

Continue ReadingGreepeace future under threat following legal action by oil giants

Starmer supports nuclear weapons, Greenpeace says nuclear power an obstacle to net zero, climate change moves into uncharted territory

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‘Starmer’s only spending commitment is to weapons of war’

Peace campaigners blast Sir Keir for pledging to boost arms spending while backing austerity for public services

LABOUR leader Sir Keir Starmer faced backlash as he vowed to put billions into the pockets of war-hungry arms companies after claiming there are no funds for cash-starved public services.

Today, Sir Keir announced plans to boost Britain’s defence budget to 2.5 per cent of GDP.

Matching the Tories’ current pledge, costs could amount to £9 billion.

He made the announcement ahead of a visit to a BAE Systems shipyard in Barrow-in-Furness, where the next generation of Trident nuclear submarines are being built.

According to the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, costs for the programme could spiral as high as £205bn.

During the visit he pledged to “triple lock” Labour’s commitment to Britain’s nuclear submarine programme, backing the building of the four new submarines.

He reiterated his support for Aukus, a security pact with Australia and the United States, which involves the development of nuclear submarines as part of Washington’s bid to encircle China with military alliances.

Morning Star: The case for nuclear weapons is morally and logically bankrupt

Phase 3 of the Atom Bomb explosion in the Lapoon of Bikini Island

Starmer claims that we need nuclear weapons “in the face of rising global threats and growing Russian aggression.” Well, Britain is already deeply embroiled in a conflict involving Russia. Nuclear weapons have done nothing to avoid that conflict and indeed, the expansion of nuclear-armed Nato to the borders of Russia is a huge contributing factor.

If Starmer truly believed in advancing international security, he would be calling for a ceasefire in Ukraine now, alongside a ceasefire in Gaza, where Israel (a nuclear-armed state) is committing genocide against the Palestinian people.

However, the biggest lie in today’s announcement is the idea that investment in weapons of mass destruction will “build a secure future” for families in Barrow or elsewhere.

If Labour really cares about the creation of secure well-paid jobs, it would take the money to be wasted on Trident and invest in rebuilding Britain’s manufacturing base, creating high-skilled, well-paid jobs for communities which has suffered the ravages of 40 years of deindustrialisation.

As former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said today, “Security is being able to put food on the table. It’s having a roof over your head.”

Nuclear energy ‘now an obstacle to delivering net zero’ – Greenpeace

Construction of one of the two nuclear reactors at Hinkley Point C in Somerset, UK. Credit: Anna Barclay/Getty.

Nuclear energy provides around 10% of electricity globally and around 25% of the world’s low-carbon electricity. With 439 operable reactors already in existence and a further 61 under construction, governments are investing in nuclear as a bridge in the energy transition.

However, according to Greenpeace director of policy Doug Parr: “Nuclear power can’t bridge the gap between anything and anything. It is too slow. It is too expensive. It is a massive distraction.”

Speaking about the role of nuclear energy in the UK’s transition, Parr tells Energy Monitor: “It doesn’t help with the kind of grid system that we need, which is going to be renewables heavy. I think the UK focus on nuclear power is now an obstacle to delivering net zero because it is sucking up time, energy and political bandwidth, which can be spent on more useful things.”

Parr disagrees, arguing that governments should be investing in more immediate solutions. He points to investment in Sizewell C – the 3.2GW power station set to be built in the English county of Suffolk – where construction is set to commence this year. It is likely to take between nine and 12 years to complete, but delays at Hinkley C (of which Sizewell C will be a close copy) have stirred doubt.

“We will be putting a lot of money into something like Sizewell C, when actually we will find that it is a white elephant by the time it has opened,” he contends. “We will have spent all that time, energy and effort, which could have been put into improving our housing stock, improving our grid or improving the ability of electric vehicles to meet the needs of people through a proper charging network – things that would actually would deliver this decade, not in 15 years time. So, we would cut a lot more carbon, we would get something done that is useful and we wouldn’t have piles of messy radioactive waste that we still don’t know what to do with.”

Climate change: ‘Uncharted territory’ fears after record hot March

“By the end of the summer, if we’re still looking at record breaking temperatures in the North Atlantic or elsewhere, then we really have kind of moved into uncharted territory,” Gavin Schmidt, the director of Nasa’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, told BBC News.

March 2024 was 1.68C warmer than “pre-industrial” times – before humans started burning large amounts of fossil fuels – according to the EU’s Copernicus Climate Change Service.

Continue ReadingStarmer supports nuclear weapons, Greenpeace says nuclear power an obstacle to net zero, climate change moves into uncharted territory