Wednesday, 28 April 2010

*Asian Green candidate to explain appeal of Green Party in BBC interview

BBC Asian Network News
Thursday April 29th, 12pm for 12.30pm broadcast
Altab Ali Park on the corner of Whitechapel Road and White Church Lane, E1

The Green Party’s parliamentary candidate for Ilford South, Wilson Chowdry (see photo attached), is to discuss a range of issues affecting Asians in the UK and explain why the Green Party’s policies have particular appeal, when he appears in a live BBC Asian Network News interview tomorrow April 29th at 12.00pm.

The BBC took the decision to interview candidates from smaller parties after its recent Asian Network ICM poll found that one in three (36%) would consider voting for a smaller party - and even higher amongst Muslims.

Wilson Chowdry said:

“Muslims in this country are definitely disenfranchised with the mainstream parties. Much of this is due to the disillusionment created by the Afghanistan and Iraq wars – the Afghanistan war being an unwinnable war and the Iraq war an illegal and immoral war that we should never have taken part in.

“These wars have been counter-productive, culminating in schism and polarisation within British communities. We’ve seen an increase in Islamophobia and it is about time that this country put that right.

“The Green Party has a more enlightened approach to international affairs. One of the first things that we would instigate would be the immediate withdrawal of troops in Afghanistan. We would campaign for more involvement of the weaker nations within the international decision-making process. Moreover, we would pursue peace in the Middle East by engaging with all parties.

“As a party we are a secular organisation and believe everyone has the right to freedom to practise one’s faith – or no faith, if that is the case.

“We are concerned that Islamophobia is becoming an issue in workplaces and other social centres. We are very worried about the way police forces in the UK are targeting Asians in stop and searches. Asians are twice as likely to be stopped as white people."

Sunday, 25 April 2010

*Green surge as main parties try to attract eco-vote

By Brian Brady and Jonathan Owen
Sunday, 25 April 2010

Environmental issues will be pushed up the agenda in the last 10 days of the election campaign, as Britain's major parties scuffle to attract the eco-vote, and the Greens remain on course to return their first MP to Parliament.

A poll for The IoS today reveals that almost six out of 10 voters believe green issues have been ignored by the main parties during the campaign. Amid frustration at the sidelining of environmental issues, a growing list of well-known figures from the world of showbusiness, literature and academia last night added their weight to the growing clamour for Britain to elect its first Green MP, hotly tipped to be the party leader, Caroline Lucas, in Brighton.

The call, from green supporters ranging from Greta Scacchi to Billy Bragg, comes in the midst of the most intense election campaign since environmentalists became a political force almost four decades ago. A record 335 Green candidates will stand in seats across the country – including a full slate in Greater London.

The Green Party launches a new billboard campaign this week, underlining its attempts to promote a comprehensive platform, rather than just policies on the environment. It will be challenged by the three main parties attempting to take the initiative on the environment.

Gordon Brown will launch Labour's Green Manifesto today at a "young people's mobilisation event" in central London. The Prime Minister will claim the blueprint would "create a greener Britain"; initiatives include cleaning up our energy supply, driving down transport emissions and "creating new jobs in a green economy".
But the paper, to be followed by similar pronouncements from the other parties, may not be enough to halt the Green surge in key seats including Brighton Pavilion, Norwich South and Lewisham.

Nick Howat, of the research company TNS-BMRB, said the prospect of a hung parliament could see even one Green MP wielding real influence. He added: "This would give a voice to the nearly 300,000 people in the UK who support the Green Party and are currently not represented in Parliament."

The party's top target is Brighton Pavilion, where MEP Ms Lucas is in pole position to take the seat from Labour. Ms Scacchi said: "I think Caroline Lucas will be very exciting if she gets in; let's hope it happens."

The comedian Mark Steel said the Greens had taken over from the traditional left. He said: "They've been able to do what the left hasn't – put forward an alternative to the free market and sound credible."

The Tories dedicated a chapter of their manifesto to green issues, with David Cameron pledging: "We will make it easier for people to go green, with incentives for people to do the right thing."

But the ComRes poll for The IoS found only 47 per cent of respondents believed Mr Cameron's commitment to the environment came "across as genuine".

Friends of the Earth condemned the Tories after only two candidates backed its package of proposals to slash UK emissions

Saturday, 17 April 2010


Dan Wadham, long term AR prisoner was punished this week for daring to raise money for Sea Shepherd. Dan is serving five years for activities relating to SHAC (see SchNEWS 663) and is currently at HMP Camp Hill on the Isle of Wight.

Having access to a small prison running track, he hit on the idea of doing a sponsored marathon. He completed the well publicised run on 15th April - without any interference from the prison authorities.

However this week he found his prisoner status had been dropped from 'enhanced', meaning a significant loss of privileges.

The prison's security advisor had apparently retrospectively decided that this charitable act counted as a 'political action'.

*To write to Dan Wadham (A5705AA)
HMP Camp Hill, Newport, Isle of Wight PO30 5PB

Thanks to SchNEWS for this report.

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

*Green Party policies come tops in independent survey

The Green Party has received a significant boost to its election campaign with the news that when voters take part in a blind survey of party policies – including Labour, Tory, Lib Dem, Green, UKIP and BNP – they are most likely to choose Green Party policies.

Over 84,305 people have so far taken the in the ‘Vote for Policies’ online survey and the Green Party is way ahead of its rivals with 28% of participants choosing Green policies. The party appears to be taking the lead in all policy categories and not just environmental ones.

A Green Party spokesperson commented:

“This survey result proves what we have been saying for a long time, that when people get to hear about our policies they often like what they see. It reinforces what we are hearing on the street and on doorsteps – that the public are ready to elect their first Greens to Parliament and want to see more of our policies put into practice at every level of government.”

Notes to editors

[1] Vote for Policies, allows you to compare policies from six UK political parties on a range of key issues. Once you have selected the policies you agree with you will be shown which parties they belong to.

The survey results are currently showing:

Green Party 28.37%
Lib Dems 18.01%
Labour 16.99%
Conservatives 16.22%
UKIP 10.91%
BNP 9.51%

*Green Party Election Broadcast

The Green Party's PEB went live yesterday. It's different to any other because you can personalise it and email it to your friends.

You can look at our key policies and take a Policy Matchmaker test to see how close to the Green Party you are. Here's the link

The site also offers the ability for supporters to create and send a Personalised Election Broadcast to a friend - a world-first for a politicalparty.

The Green Party is urging supporters to email the site to their friends and colleagues to build the momentum of its viral campaign. The PEB uses simple graphics, no people - not even Caroline Lucas! While it is positive, it is quite 'in your face' pointing out the deficiencies the other parties.

*Kurds for Greens

From the Telgraf - London's largest circulation newspaper.

Photo has Hatice Gunes (centre) Target ward candidate in Crofton Park, Lewisham and Jules Lyle London Green Party Social Officer.

The full article is here:

Sunday, 11 April 2010

*Barnet Launch

Photo is from our Barnet Green Party Local Election Launch with Jean Lambert MEP.

From The Hendon Times:

MEP Jean Lambert backs Barnet Green Party's campaign launch at Tally Ho today
8:40am Saturday 10th April 2010

THE Barnet Green Party will be launching its council election campaign in North Finchley today with the help of a prominent European politician.

Green candidates for the May 6 elections in the borough will gather at the pollution monitor, in Tally Ho Corner, from 11am.

They will be joined by Jean Lambert, Green MEP for the London region, who said the news the Barnet Green Party is running a record slate of 51 people in 19 wards is “enormously encouraging”.

She said: “The Green Party needs a strong presence at local council level.

“I expect great things from this dynamic Barnet team and fully support their pledges on jobs, housing and insulation as a means of serving the community’s needs and addressing sustainability.”

Seasoned campaigners Noel Lynch, Andrew Newby and Steve Norman are contesting the party's target ward of East Finchley, where Mr Lynch achieved the party's highest Barnet vote in 2006.

Their candidate group in Mill Hill Ward features twin sisters Dilan and Dilem Kurt along with former borough councillor David Williams.

In Totteridge Ward, the Greens said Katie Margolis and Julie Rosenfield are aiming to build on the high vote achieved by Mr Newby in 2006, when he posted the second highest Green vote in the borough, beating Labour and Liberal Democrat candidates.

Mr Newby said he believes Barnet Council needs a strong Green group “to hold the administration to account not just on environmental policy but on jobs, housing, social issues and certainly planning”.

He added: “We are the fastest growing party in Barnet as in many parts of London and the country as a whole.

“In Barnet, the biggest ever slate reinforces our position as one of the four serious parties in the borough.”

Earlier this week, the Greens announced their election manifesto which included pledges to fight the Brent Cross Cricklewood redevelopment and to focus on specific issues relevant to each ward, including taking action on the Tally Ho pollution levels and campaigning for a regular bus service to Hampstead and the Royal Free Hospital.

Saturday, 10 April 2010


I have finally managed to tot up the figures of Green Party candidates in the London Local Elections - 844!!! That's a record and we are also standing in every single borough for the first time.

Also, we have a wider ethnic variety. In my own Barnet Green Party we have 16 different ethnicities standing. We also have ages between 19 and 72 and 40% women.

844 candidates meant getting 8,440 signatures in a little over a week. That took a fair amount of work and organisation, but does demonstrate the logistical ability and confidence of the Green Party and that we are a power to reckoned with!

The word coming from the doorsteps is extremely positive (actually that's an understatement, but I don't want to tempt providence)plus our membership is increasing in leaps and bounds.

All-in-all, a hectic but inspiring time to be Coordinator of the London Federation of Green Parties
3am bed most mornings, but well worth it.

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

*Greens launch record full slate in London

"We go into this General Election with a real chance of getting Green MPs elected for the first time ever" - Darren Johnson

The Green Party has today (April 6th) announced that it is launching a record full slate of candidates in London for this year's General Election. Seventy three candidates have been selected - compared to 54 in 2005 - offering Londoners the chance to vote Green in every London constituency for the first time.

London Federation of Green Parties Co-ordinator, Noel Lynch said:

"The fact that we have been able field a full slate for the first time, shows the growing strength and confidence in the Greens. It's a reflection of our rising membership - which nearly doubled after last year's Euros - and greater public awareness and demand for Green policies. Britain is now at a crossroads, embroiled in financial chaos and environmental breakdown. It's hardly surprising that more and more people are looking for a viable alternative to the three main parties. People know they can trust the Green Party on the environment, and now they are beginning to realise that we have strong economic and social policies."

This year's candidates are more diverse than ever with 37% being women [1] and more candidates from black and Asian groups than previously. The party's main target constituency is Lewisham Deptford, headed by well known London figure, Darren Johnson [2], a Lewisham councillor of 8 years and a London Assembly Member for a decade.

Darren Johnson said:

"We go into this General Election with a real chance of getting Green MPs elected for the first time ever. Here in Lewisham Deptford we have transformed what was once a safe Labour seat into a key Green battleground. We have overturned large Labour majorities in the council elections and now it's time to do it in the General Election."

We will also field over 800 candidates in the London Local Elections.

Saturday, 3 April 2010

*Big business, piracy, skullduggery, dodgy convictions in Ireland

From SchNews 716


The Irish state's determined persecution of protesters against Shell's experimental pipeline started to unravel last week as 25 of the 27 standing trial had their cases withdrawn or dismissed.

They did however manage to stitch up campaigner Niall Harnett, who received three five-month sentences after being roughed up by Gardai in a court building. In a farcical turn of events, after failing in the prosecution of a Gardai for assault, they then prosecuted Niall.
The prosecution managed to convince the judge that Niall assaulted three Gardai at once, including an inspector and a sergeant and that no less than seven Gardai managed to cram into the space between the doors with Niall to witness this extraordinary event. Niall stated in court, 'I am not prepared to apologise for standing up to them, because they are bullies.' Niall has lodged an appeal, but if unsuccessful he will serve five months as the sentences run concurrently.

This legal farce follows a year of sinister Rossport related incidents with elements worthy of the most gratuitously paranoid potboiler (see SchNEWS 673). First news arrived that one of the security guards who worked for Shell had been shot dead in Bolivia and that he was part of a terrorist group that aimed to start a civil war there. Within weeks it became clear that he was not alone, that in fact several security guards from the Shell compound had travelled to Bolivia with him where some were arrested and others are wanted for questioning.

The environmental prize winner Willie Corduff was beaten by masked men while conducing a peaceful overnight sit in at the Shell compound.
Then Pat O'Donnel's boat was boarded and sunk by more masked men, an event the Gardai failed to investigate for weeks.
Finally, as Shell's pipe lying ship the Solitaire arrived off the coast two Irish Navy gun boats were deployed alongside a Air Force spotter plane, 300 Gardai and 200 Shell private security. All to watch, surround and repress no more than one hundred Shell to Sea campaigners. Rumours abounded of unmarked military jeeps and the place was crawling with secret police men. A huge media smear campaign swung into action seeking to paint the Shell to Sea campaigners as crazed terrorists despite the facts showing such types were on the other side.

Following the court victories over 100 supporters showed up outside the gates of Castlerea Prison to protest the continuing imprisonment of Shell to Sea colleague Pat O'Donnell, serving seven months in prison on trumped-up chances following months of state-sponsored harassment (see SchNEWS 710). Pat's ordeal has continued in prison. He has been refused a transfer to Loughan House, where a more open regime applies and visiting Pat at Castlerea Prison has been difficult for his family.

Despite the scale of official repression of the campaign, it has achieved major victories with the experimental pipeline delayed by 10 years from 2003 to 2013. In what has become known as the Great Oil & Gas Giveaway, the terms of energy exploration licenses have been changed so that energy companies now pay no royalties and very little tax.

Millions have been spent on a huge PR offensive to win hearts and minds of key opinion makers. Paid hacks have poured out slanders about those who continue to resist Shell, while the few journalists who have dared question such stories have been targeted for abuse.

* See and