25 Jan 2016

Plane Stupid Heathrow demonstrators found guilty and told to expect custodial sentences


Monday, 25 January 2016
Plane Stupid Heathrow demonstrators found guilty and told to expect custodial sentences
From Get West London LINK
A group of 13 Plane Stupid campaigners who caused 25 flight cancellations after breaking in to Heathrow Airport 's north runway have been found guilty today of aggravated trespass and entering a security restricted area.

The seven men and six women cut a hole in a fence and chained themselves to railings on the north runway, beginning at around 3.30am on July 13 2015.

As the verdict was read out, one defendant shouted: "This is a farce!", as other gasped in disbelief.
District Judge Wright has told defendants they can expect jail sentences for their actions.

During their three-day trial at Willesden Magistrates' Court, defendants told of how they carried out the pre-planned action in order to 'save lives', using the defence of necessity.

The protesters claimed their actions were necessary and reasonable in order to reduce carbon emissions and halt climate change.

The court previously heard how Graham Edward James Thompson, 42, of Durlston Road, Hackney and a press officer for Greenpeace, explained that he was “compelled by his conscience” to take action that day.

Mr McGhee, prosecuting, said: “Why do you feel that your conscience entitles you to break the law?”
To which Mr Thompson replied: “In the context of this situation, breaking the law was not the most serious issue at hand.”

The 13 defendants all pleaded not guilty at Uxbridge Magistrates Court on August 19 2015. 

acknowledgements to http://wembleymatters.blogspot.co.uk/2016/01/plane-stupid-heathrow-demonstrators.html


19 Jan 2016

Make an allowance to seniors for free access to the internet.

Greens constantly seem to ignore  the fact that there are more 50+ voters than 50- voters in the UK.
Some Green issues vaguely cover some of the  problems that effect seniors but there are many that are specific.
eg Housing. Does not cover sheltered housing, care Homes, bed blocking, the need for single bedroom units.

With austerity cuts the Government are renegading on their duty to inform seniors of their rights. They no longer send information to seniors with leaflets. Everything is on line. Seniors cannot afford internet access and there is no appropriate training  to their needs. Many Libraries and Community centres have been closed where seniors might have got some advice and help.  In fact those of us who have paid out for devices and internet service are subsidising the Government duties.
Unless Greens start addressing  the specific problems seniors face they are seen to be  neglecting a vast section of the UK population of voters.
Maureen Childs Co-chair Green Seniors
Please sign and forward our petition below
Make an allowance to seniors for free access to the internet.
Considering the Government ONLY inform seniors of their rights by the internet many seniors are excluded from essential information by the very cost of internet access.
More details
An allowance of £200 per year, similar to winter fuel allowance should be granted to state pensioners to enable them internet access from their homes.
Many seniors are house bound and cannot make use of provision of internet access in libraries or other free facilities. The government have recently announced the possibility of medical advice from GP's via the internet. They would be able to communicate with local services, buy their weekly provisions and make use of the infinite services available to contribute to their well being.

15 Jan 2016

Greens' solidarity with Plane Stupid activists on trial at Willesden Magistartes' Court on Monday

The 13 members of activist group Plane Stupid accused of "aggravated trespass" during a protest at Heathrow Airport in July last year have the full support of the Green Party of England and Wales.

The trial of the activists, who occupied the northern runway of Heathrow, begins at Willesden Magistrates’ Court on Monday January 18th. Natalie Bennett, Leader of the Green Party, Dr Shahrar Ali, Deputy Leader of the Green Party, and Sian Berry, Green Party candidate for Mayor of London, will all attend a demonstration outside the court to underline the Party’s solidarity with the non-violent climate activists.

Speaking ahead of the trial, Natalie Bennett said:

Our party applauds the determination of the Heathrow 13. We stand up for the activists just as they are standing up for our planet.

Bigger airports make no climate sense. The UK cannot make its contribution to cutting carbon emissions whilst expanding its airports and increasing emissions from aviation.

If this government is in any way serious about delivering climate-sensitive policies then airport expansion plans must be immediately shelved and other measures - including encouraging short-haul flight passengers on to existing rail services and introducing a frequent flyer tax - must be explored.
Shahrar Ali, a long-time supporter of the activists and a Green Party candidiate on the GLA List said:

We stand in solidarity with the activists who, like the Green Party, recognise that urgent action is needed to protect us all from the threat of climate change. Endless growth of our aviation capacity is incompatible with the UK meeting its climate change commitments. 
If airport expansion gets the go-ahead at Heathrow, local residents will suffer enormously from increasing noise and air pollution, the ‘silent killer’ of thousands of Londoners each year.”
London has already breached annual pollution limits for 2016 LINK. A report commissioned by Mayor Boris Johnson last year found that nearly 9,500 people die prematurely each year because of the capital’s dirty air LINK.

The demonstration starts at 9am.

4 Jan 2016

Greens launch London Fair Fares policy with postcard drop at stations across London


Abolish the zones and close the gaps with a one-hour ticke across all modes to give London fairer fares, says Green candidate Sian Berry


“We’ll level the playing field to make everyone’s journey to work  cost the same, removing the hidden penalties if you live in outer London, work part time, need to take two buses, or change between tube, bus and train on your way.”
On the day transport fares go up throughout the country, the Green Party today announces radical plans to flatten fares across the capital and make transport fairer for all Londoners.
The party’s three key measures are: the phased introduction of a flat fare structure, making zones a thing of the past; a daily cap for part-time workers that matches the rates paid by monthly season ticket holders; and a one-hour ‘ONE Ticket’ across all modes which will close the gaps for people who currently pay twice when changing from bus or train to the Tube as well as ensuring that people changing buses pay only once for their journey.
Sian Berry, Green Mayoral candidiate said: 
It’s not fair that people in outer London pay so much more to get to work in the centre of the city - especially as it’s also easier for people in the centre of town to use even cheaper or free alternatives such as hire bikes, cycling or walking.

Brent and Harrow Assembly candidate for the Green Party was up with the lark (actually the larks were still asleep!) this morning to leaflet Wembley Park commuters
Sian, along with fellow City Hall candidates Caroline Russell and Shahrar Ali and veteran transport planner Dave Wetzel, the architect of Ken Livingstone’s Fares Fair policy at the GLC, will join local Green parties handing out #FairFares postcards at 50 rail and Tube stations all over London.
She said:
The focus of my fares policy is on closing the gaps where the current system is unfair. Flattening the zone structure is the most revolutionary idea for London’s fares since the introduction of the Travelcard in 1983, and I’m delighted that Dave Wetzel, who was in charge of transport in London then, is helping me launch it today.
A Green Mayor and Assembly Members will help level the playing field and make transport fairer and more equal for Londoners. It’s not fair that you have to pay more to change onto the tube from the national rail services that people in south London rely upon, or that if you need to take two buses to work you have to pay twice for your journey.
And it’s not fair that people who work part time pay more per day to get to work than people with full-time jobs – because the daily cap is much higher than what you will pay if you or your employer can afford an annual season ticket. People who work part time are often women, and more than half are paid less than the London Living Wage.

21 Dec 2015

Spanish Green and anti-austerity election success hailed by Natalie Bennett

The Green Party has welcomed the huge electoral progress made by anti-austerity parties in  yesterday's he Spanish General Election.

In the weekend elections, the new party Podemos, with which the Spanish Green Party (Equo) has a partnership, won 20.7% of the vote, while another new party, Ciudadanos, won 13.9%.
Green Party leader Natalie Bennett, who recorded a Green/Podemos message of support before the vote, said:
I congratulate the three Green MPs Rosa Martinez and Juantxo Uralde in the Basque Country and Jorge Luis in Aragon on their election and also Podemos for the historic level of support it won.

This is a powerful boost to the anti-austerity battle across Europe, and a further sign that politics is changing fast.

Podemos and Greens are offering a new open, democratic politics, one that offers the prospect of self-determination for Catalonia, support for grassroots campaigns and organisations, and a vision of a ‘social’ Europe that works for common good, not for the 1%.
Bennett also noted, 
Women now make up nearly 40% of the Spanish parliament – helped by half of the elected Podemos candidates being female. That puts a further spotlight on the scant progress made in Britain, where only 29% of Westminster MPs are female.

16 Dec 2015

Brent Public meeting "Prevent: Protecting Our Liberty?" 10/12/2015

Brent Public meeting "Prevent: Protecting Our Liberty?" 10/12/2015:See also http://wembleymatters.blogspot.co.uk/2015/12/councillor-pledges-to-arrange-talks-on.html

 
Introductions by Humera Khan, Al Nisa society.

 
Khalida Khan, Al Nisa society.

 

Rizwan Hussain, speaking for Brent Anti Racism Campaign and the community organisation Jawaab,

 Bill Bolloten, from Education Not Surveillance

 Kiri Tunks speaking for the Palestine Solidarity Campaign

 Shahrar Ali, Deputy Leader of the Green Party

Brent Councillor Harbi Farah

8 Dec 2015

Is the Prevent Strategy counter-productive? Public Meeting Thursday December 10th

Prevent is the government strategy aimed at preventing young people becoming 'extremists'. It requires workers in education, health and social services to report them if they show signs of extremism. It hs been criticised for targeting the whole Muslim community and having the effect of closing down free expression in schools and colleges. Children as young as three years old have been reported for 'extremist' views.

There are fears that the strategy will be counter-productive, create suspicion and division and undermine the trusting relationship between teachers, parents and students.


The meeting will include speakers from education, the local community and anti-racist campaigns, Shahrar Ali will be speaking from the Green Party.

It is at London Interfaith Centre, 125 Salusbury Road, Queens Park, NW6 6RG. Queens Park or Brondesbury Park station or bus 206. 7pm-9pm December 10th

5 Dec 2015

Jafar Hassan: fresh ideas, independence & integrity - that's what Kensal Green residents deserve

Jafar Hassan is standing for the Green Party in the Kensal Green by-election which will be held in December 17th.

This is his message
The Green Party came second to Labour in Kensal Green at the last council election so it's vital that everyone in the area goes out to the polls on 17 December to make their vote count. Brent Council needs change and I believe I'm the right person to do that. Whether in Parliament, the GLA or on London councils such as Islington, the Green Party has proved that though few in number we can make a huge difference.

Brent Council is dominated by weak Labour councillors, a divided Conservative opposition, and a single ineffectual Liberal Democrat. The Green Party can win in Kensal Green so I hope that the people here will vote for me  on 17 December.  I will hold the Council to account and put forward positive ideas to fix Brent’s lack of affordable housing, shortage of school places, poor handling of regeneration projects and the cluelessness when it comes to tackling fuel poverty and making homes energy efficient.
The Green Party beat both Liberal Democrats and Tories to come second behind Labour in the  May 2014 local elections.

To help with Jafar's campaign contact him at jafar.hassan@greenparty.org.uk

27 Nov 2015

Join the Green Party on People's March for Climate, Justice and Jobs on Sunday


The Green Bloc will assemble for the march on the corner of Park Lane and Deanery Street (near the Dorchester Hotel, W1K 1QA). 11.30am Map here: http://bit.ly/1HcO5b7

26 Nov 2015

GREEN PARTY POLICY ON HOUSING – 10am to 1pm Saturday 5 December, in Camden Town Hall, Euston Road.

GREEN PARTY POLICY ON HOUSING – 10am to 1pm Saturday 5 December, in Camden Town Hall, Euston Road.
Please RSVP for this to Anne Gray amgggg2@yahoo.co.uk so we can ascertain numbers and plan workshops. If you RSVP we will send briefing notes and update on speakers next week. There is no charge though a donation on the day for future venue hire and sandwiches would be much appreciated.

10am registration and intro

10.15 to 11.15 3 main speakers and question/comments:-
Tom Chance – overview of London housing situation and Green Party policy responses

Richard Lee from Just Space – on their challenge to London Plan; problems of targets, densification and forced gentrification, loss of social rent housing

Andrea Carey-Fuller – rent control in private sector

11.15 to 12.15; workshops; participants choose between:-
1) The London Plan and how to fight extension of ‘right to buy’ as well as estate demolitions
2) Rent control in the private sector
3) Housing policies and solutions for singles and non-family groups, including GBLTQ, co-housing, youth in shared housing, supported housing for older people and those with disabilities

12.15-1; report back and wind-up; then lunch

Briefing notes will be sent out to those who RSVP.  We are also hoping to set up a Facebook page shortly - watch this space

25 Nov 2015

Vote for a positive Green voice on Brent Council in Kensal Green by-election


Brent Green Party has selected 28 year old Jafar Hassan, a strategic consultant, as its candidate for the December 17th Kensal Green by-election. Jafar has lived in Brent for 25 years.

Jafar said:
The Green Party came second to Labour in Kensal Green at the last council election so it's vital that everyone in the area goes out to the polls on 17 December to make their vote count. Brent Council needs change and I believe I'm the right person to do that. Whether in Parliament, the GLA or on London councils such as Islington, the Green Party has proved that though few in number we can make a huge difference.

Brent Council is dominated by weak Labour councillors, a divided Conservative opposition, and a single ineffectual Liberal Democrat. The Green Party can win in Kensal Green so I hope that the people here will vote for me  on 17 December.  I will hold the Council to account and put forward positive ideas to fix Brent’s lack of affordable housing, shortage of school places, poor handling of regeneration projects and the cluelessness when it comes to tackling fuel poverty and making homes energy efficient.
The Green Party beat both Liberal Democrats and Tories to come second behind Labour in the  May 2014 local elections.

17 Nov 2015

Greens warn against Paris attacks dictating policy on refugees

As Paris mourns its dead and cares for its wounded after the hideous weekend attack, the Green Party says it is important to ensure that we do not act in ways that fuel ISIS and terrorism.

Green Party leader, Natalie Bennett said:
There is a real risk that amongst the outcomes of the heinous attacks in Paris will be increased fear and division, the stirring up of Islamophobia and an impulse to retreat from the compassion and support with which Europe has so far met those fleeing ISIS in Syria and Iraq.

ISIS does not want to see that compassion, inclusion and displays of fraternity.

While sensible screening measures and checks need to be maintained; to cut off escape routes for desperate people fleeing war and persecution would only play into ISIS's hands.
We cannot let the actions of a handful of extremists dictate our response to the ongoing refugee crisis. The Green Party will resist calls to reduce Britain and Europe's access to refugees and are redoubling our calls for Britain to welcome its fair share of the refugees reaching Europe.

We also want to acknowledge and highlight the way in which so many communities around the world live with regular similar atrocities, including attacks in Beirut, Ankara, Baghdad and Kabul. And we need to note that the actions of Turkey in attacking Kurdish communities fighting ISIS within Syria have been disastrous, damaging, and deserve the strongest condemnation.
Green Party foreign affairs spokesperson, Tony Clarke said:
The killing has to stop and world leaders must find a way forward that defeats ISIS using the weapon that these terrorists fear most of all, peace talks.

There were signs over the weekend that those talks may now have some new foundation and I would encourage presidents and prime ministers to recognise that the drones cannot provide a solution and pick up the phones and find a way of halting this never ending circle of death.

16 Nov 2015

Deja vu ‘Brent Artists Resource exhibition 7/11-16/12/2016

Deja vu ‘Brent Artists Resource exhibition 7/11-16/12/2016




















INVITE: Déjà Vu Exhibition Private View

A BAR Members Exhibition 2015 7/11-16/12/2016

brentartistsresource.org.uk

‘Brent Artists Resource: Supporting artists since 1984’

Please Join us for the Private View of Déjà Vu. A multi-media exhibition celebrating BAR’s diverse artistic community and its exceptional 30 year history in Brent.

Brent Artists Resource (BAR) is an independent arts organisation that has been supporting local artists, by delivering high quality projects and exhibitions since 1984. BAR has a long history with Brent Council, most significantly by collaboratively running The Gallery in the old Willesden Green Library Centre for over 12 years. The Gallery was nominated one of the top community galleries in London by the BBC in 2011. Déjà Vu exhibition sees the return of BAR and its artistic community to the new library gallery for one very special show.
The exhibition features 32 BAR artists and shows a variety of art media including photography, painting, print and sculptural work.
Taking place at the Private View will be a live session of our Community First funded project We are Willesden. Working with a local photographer, visitors will have the opportunity to have their portrait professionally taken and share their thoughts and stories about Willesden.

13 Nov 2015

Muhammed Butt should stand against Modi's politics of communalism

Muhammed Butt should stand against Modi's politics of communalism

Wembley awaits Modi       Photo: Francis Henry
Guest blog by Sujata Aurora. This is also published as a letter in the current edition of the Brent and Kilburn TimesLINK

 Today Wembley Stadium will play host to Narendra Modi, the current PM of India, in an extravaganza that has been welcomed by Muhammed Butt, the leader of Brent Council.

Narendra Modi is a former worker for the RSS, a violent, fascist, Hindu supremacist group who openly admire Hitler. His party, the BJP, retains strong links with the RSS and the two are umbilically connected. Both are responsible for what has been termed a "growing mood of intolerance" towards minorities in India but as Arundhati Roy has observed, "'Intolerance' is the wrong word to use for the lynching, shooting, burning and mass murder of fellow human beings."

Modi himself is accused of personally orchestrating the Gujarat violence in 2002 during which around 2000 people, mainly Muslims, died in what has been termed a modern genocide - some of the worst communal violence India has seen. As chief minister it is thought that Modi allowed the charred bodies of 54 Hindu victims of the Godhra train fire to be paraded in the streets of Ahmedabad, directed senior police officers not to interfere if Hindus sought revenge and placed cabinet colleagues in the police control rooms to ensure compliance with his directives.

Contrary to what Modi's supporters say, Modi has not been given a "clean chit" by India's Supreme Court for his role in the violence - in fact the case has never been heard in the Supreme Court and legal action by the families of some of the victims (including three victims from Britain) is still ongoing.

That Muhammed Butt and some of his councillor colleagues think it appropriate to welcome such a person to Brent is a shameful stain on the name of what was once regarded as a tolerant borough. There is still time for them to change their minds and join the many Muslim, Hindu, Sikh and Dalit groups who stand against the politics of religious hatred and communalism, and say Narendra Modi is not welcome here.