Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Hulme Greens Campaign Action Day Sunday November 23rd


Its just under 6 months to the Local and General Election.

Although the Greens are increasing in profile and going up in the polls, it’s the campaign on the ground, in the streets that will make the difference come the Elections.

The work to get an elected councillor continues in Hulme.

This Sunday November 23rd is the Hulme Campaign Action Day.

We will be meeting at Kim-by-the-Sea, 12pm midday and be out until 4pm latest.

We are pleased to have with us Green Party Regional Development Officer Pat Cleary.

There will be some training, doing surveys, and elections strategy.

Come down, meet other Greens, take the campaign to the streets.



Join the Hulme Greens Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/116302497332/

Like the Manchester Greens Page: Manchester Green Party


Contact

hulme@manchestergreenparty.org.uk

07955064319
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Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Green Party urges Manchester MPs to Vote for Palestine in Parliamentary Debate

2014 has been notable for turmoil in the Middle East.

The Syrian War continued to kill thousands of people [1], the Iraqi government continued to appear unstable [2] and the new common factor in both is the emergence of the Islam State (IS) group [3].


The IS murder of Western captives and large scale killings of peoples in Syria and Iraq have drawn Western nations back into a war likely to last years. [4]

The other great source of conflict in the year was in Gaza between Israel and Palestine [5]. Over the summer there were over 2000 casualties before a ceasefire was negotiated [6]. This ongoing battle between Israel and Palestine has been the longest, most intractable problem in the region.

But in Britain an initiative by MPs Grahame Morris and Manchester’s Gerald Kaufman may change how this country engages with that conflict [7]. They have sponsored a debate, taking place on Monday 13th October, ‘The Future of the Two State Solution in Israel and Palestine’, which could lead to the Britain recognising Palestine as a state.

Doing so would make Britain the second Western European country to do so after Sweden [8] and give momentum to peace talks resuming.

Manchester Green Party commends the MPs for initiating the debate and urges MPs John Leech and Lucy Powell to attend the debate and vote for Palestinian recognition. A link to the Vote for Palestine website can be found here.

Manchester Green Party Chair Deyika Nzeribe says “The West’s poor position is  arguably  the result of having foreign policies based on ‘interests’. After the lesson of the second Iraq War, 100 years after ‘The Great War’, Britain finds itself again at the brink. But in the recognition of Palestine, there is the potential for something new to happen.”

Kieran Turner-Dave, Green Party Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Manchester Central, said
“We all want to see prolonged and sustainable peace in the Middle East. In order for international diplomacy to work, people of every community must give equal recognition to the two nations of Israel and Palestine. I would support an immediate arms embargo on both nations; and work with any organisation promoting peaceful democratic engagement to ensure a future in which children of Israel and Palestine are safe, and every citizen’s human rights are protected”.

Ends

Notes
3.    Vice News – The Islamic State http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AUjHb4C7b94

Manchester Green Party Statement on Palestine http://www.manchestergreenparty.org.uk/news/2014/09/08/2014-09-08-israel-palestine/
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Monday, 25 August 2014

Manchester City Council - The Apartheid Moment 2014


In 1994, the elections held in South Africa ended apartheid and elected Nelson Mandela as President.

In England, Manchester City Council and its councillors played a prominent role in the anti-apartheid movement. They enacted sports and cultural boycotts, they actively divested any South Africa related assets and investments.
When it came, Manchester, along with the rest of the world, celebrated the end of apartheid.

20 years later, in England 100s of thousands of people have been moved to march and protest. Shocking scenes of death and injury on television over the past few months have showed the world the effect of the Israeli army’s bombing of Palestine. In this latest spike in violence, the mainly Palestinian victims have numbered over 2000 dead and 10,000 injured. The vast majority of these have been civilian.

After a short ceasefire, the bombing of Palestine seems to have resumed.

When not being bombed, Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza live, in essence, under military occupation. Those Palestinians living in Israel itself live under an apartheid-like regime.

Amnesty International has long recorded the human rights violations being committed as part of their call for the peace and adherence to international law.

Earlier this year, legendary anti-apartheid campaigner and Nobel Prize winner Archbishop Desmond Tutu spoke to this.
"I have witnessed the systemic humiliation of Palestinian men, women and children by members of the Israeli security forces," he said in a statement. "Their humiliation is familiar to all black South Africans who were corralled and harassed and insulted and assaulted by the security forces of the apartheid government."

A long-time supporter of the BDS (Boycott Divestment Sanctions) campaign in support of Palestine, he also said
“In South Africa, we could not have achieved our freedom and just peace without the help of people around the world, who through the use of non-violent means, such as boycotts and divestment, encouraged their governments and other corporate actors to reverse decades-long support for the Apartheid regime” and
“To those who wrongly allege unfairness or harm done to them by this call for divestment, I suggest, with humility, that the harm suffered from being confronted with opinions that challenge one's own pales in comparison to the harm done by living a life under occupation and daily denial of basic rights and dignity”.

For Manchester City Council, though it has supported calls for peace – organising humanitarian aid for Gaza, it has also set itself against the pro-Palestine campaigners – working with police to suppress demonstrations.

In Manchester, the campaign for Palestine has been powerful and without rancour against the oppression and violence in Israel.

This is a moment of decision for the City Council and its individual Councillors.

This is its ‘Apartheid moment'.

Again, Desmond Tutu speaking to Haaretz, ''Those who turn a blind eye to injustice actually perpetuate injustice. If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor".

Manchester City Council should
  • Divest itself of any assets, investments and relations that directly or indirectly supports the Israeli government
  • Support peaceful action in the city in the campaign for Palestine
Councillors should take a lead and say if they are in support of the campaign for Palestine.


Its easy to look back misty-eyed at the anti-apartheid campaign in South Africa. 

With so many dead and injured in Palestine, now is the time to act.
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Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Manchester Green Party Public Meeting Thursday August 14th - Israel and Palestine: What is to be done?

In the 6 weeks since the beginning of July, very nearly 2000 Palestinians have died in the Israeli assault on Gaza.
Though the deaths of three innocent Israeli teenagers, initially blamed on Hamas, was reported as the tipping point for the latest spike in violence, this cycle has been going on for years.
In late 2008/ early 2009, approximately 1500 Palestinians were killed in an Israeli action and in November 2010, 170 died.


The latest bombardment has led to pressure on Israel for a permanent ceasefire and although short cessations in the fighting has occurred, the death toll still rises, the images of the dead and injured both heart-breaking and sickening.

Whats to be done?

There have been widespread calls for an arms embargo, sanctions, a boycott of goods, investigations into war crimes.
There have been protests, marches and vigils all over the world, including Israel.

What should happen next?

What should be the response of politicians in England?
What is the Green Parties response?

We will be discussing these areas on Thursday.

Speaking will be

Annie Neligan – who has been to the West Bank several times speaking on her experience there, Green Party policy and putting that policy into practice.
Dr Anat Greenstein is an Israeli woman living in Manchester. She has been involved in feminist and anti-militarist activism in Israel for more than 20 years and will be speaking on the anti-war war movement and campaign against Zionism within Israel.
Mohammed Ghalayini from Gaza and part of the Manchester Palestine Action (MPA) which is working towards building a sustainable boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement in Manchester.

When: Thursday August 14th, 7pm

Where: Friends Meeting House, 6 Mount Street, M2 5NS

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Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Manchester #BringBackOurGirls Event Thursday July 17th 7pm

It is nearly 100 days since the 267 Nigerian school girls were kidnapped from their school dormitories.

They now live with the threat of being sold into slavery.

Except for the recent visit to Nigeria by Malala Yousafzai in support of the girls, recent press coverage of the situation has decreased.

Local groups however, have continued to raise awareness.

Manchester #BringBackOurGirls are holding a public event on Thursday July 17th from 7pm to 9pm. This will be #Day94.

Colette Williams one of the organisers of Bring Back Our Girls Manchester said “It seems as the whole world has forgotten that these girls are still at the hands of their abductors, in fact most people believe that they have been rescued and have been returned home. It is important that the plight of these girls is kept on the agenda and we need to keep up the call for their safe return.”

Deyika Nzeribe, also involved said “It’s important that an incident like the kidnap of nearly 300 girls does not get lost in the news cycle. Local support in Manchester and Liverpool has been great so far and the #Day 94 event will continue in that vein”

Amongst the contributors will be

Ade Arogundade – Chair of Manchester’s Nigerian Union
Olusegun Ayodele – Perspective on Nigeria past & present
Ms Bola Lydia Akinyemiju - President Nigerian Students Society, The University of Manchester
Liz Cameron – UNISON, speaking on Child Trafficking
Performers incl. Rejoice, Empress Asher, Venice & Lishon-Sam-Shanice

The evening will be hosted by acclaimed local poet and performer Chanje Kunda.

This is a free event but places are limited so please book places through Z-arts:

Box Office: 0161 232 6089
Email: info@z-arts.org

#BringBackOurGirls Manchester are grateful for the support of Sustained Theatre Up North and Z-arts in the development of this event.
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Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Comment: Manchester, Cottonopolis and Slavery – Lets have a Parade…

'Going Global' for Manchester?
(This is a personal comment and not representative of the views of Hulme or Manchester Green Parties.)

Sunday June 22nd 2014 is the annual Manchester Day Parade. The theme this year is ‘Going Global’, looking at Manchester  ‘from Roman fort to Cottonopolis to world class 21C digital city… the original modern city Going Global!’

Cottonopolis’ was the period of time when Manchester became a wealthy and powerful city on the back of the cotton industry. The same cotton industry that was built on the backs of slaves and the Transatlantic Slave Trade.

While Manchester is proud of many things that can be celebrated as part of a parade, ‘Cottonopolis’ is NOT one of them. It’s an inappropriate subject for such an event. On social media there has been several calls for Manchester City Council to reconsider this part of its festivities but these calls have fallen on stony ground. The lack of response is notable as, despite the Labour Council having 100%of the seats and the mix of ethnicities in Manchester, it  has NO councillors of African Caribbean descent.

The Manchester Evening News in its article “10 reasons for Mancunians to be proud ahead of Manchester Day” says that ‘despite the livelihood of the city and its people depending on cotton, it was Mancunians who campaigned to abolish the trading of slaves from Africa.

Well that’s nice but that discounts the nearly 250 years of English involvement in the slave trade and Manchester was a major beneficiary. And to be clear, we’re talking about actually real life slavery on an ‘industrial’ scale, not the slightly unsavoury tv version. Millions of people were shipped across the oceans and its estimated nearly 2 million died during transportation alone, some of whom were thrown overboard on purpose so slave ship captains could claim on their insurance for ‘lost property'.

Cottonopolis is one of the first ways Manchester  went ‘global’, its not the type of thing you celebrate by throwing on a costume (unless its supplied by Sainsburys) or decorating a ‘float’.

I, for one, will not be going.


Deyika Nzeribe


(Manchester activists are putting on an alternate event 'Understanding Reparations' Sunday June 22nd 4pm, WIOCC, Manchester).
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Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Comment: You only think you are a Labour Party supporter (but you’re not)


Its easy to have a go at a rival party just before an election but  an interesting thing happened at a ‘Europe and Immigration’ hustings event yesterday.

On Twitter, the prospective Labour MEP candidate was criticised by a Labour Party supporter in the audience. I was a little embarrassed for him given the twitter feed was on the big screen.


After speaking very receptive members of the audience, there were several  things I should have said, like


  • The government’s latest Immigration Bill (which asks landlords to check the status of immigrants, cuts back on the right to migrate to join family and drastically cuts down the ways you can appeal) only got through Parliament with Labour assistance. The Greens opposed it.
  • Tuition fees lead to an average student debt of approx £35,000 on a 3 year course.  Labour is planning a commitment to reduce fees from £9000 to £6000. Established Green Party policy is to scrap tuition fees completely. Every young person, every student should be voting Green.
  • Labour Party is currently thinking over  renationalising the railways. Green Party MP Caroline Lucas presented a  bill to  Parliament do just that in 2013.
  • Labour invented the bedroom tax, the government just extended it
  • Labour introduced significant privatisation to the NHS, the government just extended it

Green Party positions on a whole range of issues are more in line with those of Labour party supporters than the Labour Party itself.

What I did do is point the audience to the Vote for Policies website and to make their own mind up.

Everyone should do it and vote accordingly.

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Tuesday, 6 May 2014

#BringBackOurGirls Vigil Tuesday May 6th Manchester


A ‘Bring Back Our Girls’ Vigil being held tonight 
Tuesday May 6th, Piccadilly Gardens, Manchester from 5pm – 7pm. The Manchester Green Party fully supports this campaign.


For more information visit the Facebook page 


A Liverpool vigil is organised for Saturday May 10th  1pm, St Lukes Bombed Out Church

For more details visit 
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Thursday, 1 May 2014

REGISTER TO VOTE by Tuesday May 6th 2014


The deadline for voting in the European and Local Elections 2014 is registration is Tuesday May 6th.


If you are planning to vote in Manchester, download the form from here.

If you live outside of Manchester, you can get more information here.

If you want to do a comparison of the various parties policies visit Vote for Policies.

ITS YOUR VOTE.
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Thursday, 24 April 2014

MGP Public Event: Civil Liberties vs Terrorism - Thursday May 8th 7pm

Green Party policy says ‘In a complex, modern society, it will be a long time before we can eradicate the root causes of ‘terrorism’. Any measures to protect society should not undermine the fundamental values that shape a green society: inclusion, justice, equality.

Police and intelligence activity need to be well-resourced, and given sufficient freedom to ensure their safety and efficacy. They must, though be carried out in a transparent and accountable way, and remain within the law’ PD – Peace and Defense Policy Document (2008)

But over time the law has evolved to include pre-charge detention, ‘control orders’, ‘Section 7’ as well as changes to Immigration and Communication Law. The inception of private communications outside of the law has been well documented.

These changes are only part of the government’s counter-terrorism strategy, CONTEST (the main threads of which are Prevent, Pursue, Protect, Prepare) which aims "to reduce the risk to the UK and its interests overseas from terrorism, so that people can go about their lives freely and with confidence."

But strategy has been criticised for many reasons including 
  • The underlying analysis and theory has been described as flawed.
  • Legal and other bodies have pointed to the erosion of Civil Liberties of British citizens
  • The focus on the mainstream Muslim community.

What is the justification for the anti-terrorism strategy as its current written? How effective is it? Should we expect to lose some of our rights in exchange for safety? Whats the balance between fighting Terrorism and Civil Liberties?


What is it like to be caught in the middle of this?

We are pleased to announce our speakers for the event:

Alex Davidson, Secretary of Manchester and Trafford Socialist Party

and

Harris and Zulaikha Ahmed from the 
SAVE THE FAMILY HOME campaign

Thursday May 8th 2014 at 7pm – 9pm
Venue: Friends Meeting House. 6 Mount Street, M2 5NS Manchester

For more information contact chair@manchestergreenparty.org.uk or go to
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Sunday, 20 April 2014

Comment: Corporate Social Responsibility and Climate Change


With the recent release of the IPCC report on top of the many, many warnings on Climate Change and the effects it will have on the planet, its hard to fathom the lack of response from the business and corporate communities. The lack of an adequate response from government.






Sometimes an honest response is better than none.


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Monday, 14 April 2014

A Sense of History and Responsibility: Manchester and Climate Change

Its not uncommon for Manchester’s Leaders to evoke the city’s industrial heritage and spirit of innovation.

Manchester is the home of The (Manchester) Guardian, the first computer with memory, the first ‘nuclear-free’ city. It has a history of ‘firsts’.

Manchester is also arguably known as the first industrial city, with the advent of the cotton industry, mechanical innovation, the building of factories and a huge increase in population transforming the conurbation and the country.

Of the many things written about Manchester at the time it was described as a ‘great city rising before us as the very symbol of civilization, foremost in the march of improvement, a grand incarnation of progress.’ [Chambers' Edinburgh Journal, 1858; quoted by Briggs, Victorian Cities, 88]

But at the same time it was described ‘Earth and air seem impregnated with fog and soot. The factories extend their flanks of fouler brick one after another, bare, with shutterless windows, like economical and colossal prisons’ [Girouard, Cities and People, 257-258]

In describing Manchester as that first industrial city which influenced the world, so it can be argued that the origins of man-made Climate Change also began in this city.

This city, as much as any, needs to take ‘Climate Change’ and its effects as seriously as the global threat it is. In the same way that Manchester has historically been a technological and cultural leader, today it needs to be an environmental one.

The recently released Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report's focus was to look at ways of reducing the effects of climate change. Its message is that catastrophic climate change can be averted without sacrificing living standards. It suggests that the transformation required to a world of clean energy is eminently affordable. The implication of this statement is that action is ‘doable’, it’s possible, if action is taken quickly.

As a central and influential organisation in the region, Manchester City Council has been notable for

Manchester Green Party has been critical of the Council for this particularly as its actions or inaction are ultimately political decisions.

We call upon Manchester City Council to

 Manchester was also home of Emmeline Pankhurst the leading Suffragette. Their motto was ‘Deeds not Words’.

That is the spirit the City’s Leaders need to evoke.
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Friday, 11 April 2014

Comment: A Long Way from Shore

It was disappointing to discover that former Green party colleague Joe O’Neill has joined the UK Independence Party (UKIP) and will stand for them at the forthcoming local elections.

In an interview with the Manchester Evening News it is clear that his decision was based on politics not principle, wanting ‘to have a final crack at Labour’ and that ‘by joining UKIP I might be electable’.

On policy, Joe is going try and be an anti-fracking councillor for a pro-fracking UKIP. Joe is going to try talk about immigration ‘openly’ for UKIP but starts by saying ‘I’m not a racist…’.

The Green Party strongly believe Europe is a good thing for Britain and we have an excellent chance of electing our first NorthWest MEP in Peter Cranie.

Personally, I think Joe is a good man, I wish him all the best for the future.

Politically, he is a long way from shore.
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