I don’t argue with people John Brown would have shot

As I kick around plans for a near future story about an independent minded neighbourhood fighting corporate and political corruption, it’s becoming clear that the idealism will need a robust defence. This report on the John Brown Gun Clubs protecting people targeted by the far right in the USA has given me some ideas.


Weekend of Rebellion

After Pride over the Bank Holiday weekend, this last one was more focused on Anger. Are we working our way through the seven sins? Next week, maybe I’ll just stay in bed for Saturday and Sunday. A big feast the one after.

I can’t wait for Lust to turn up.

Extinction Rebellion was in town from Friday to today, closing a section of Deansgate to traffic, and making it civilised. I visited, and took photos, on Friday and Saturday. It actually upset me, in a strange way, because it reminded me of the Reclaim The Streets demos I participated in in the 90s. We didn’t see the change we called for then until fairly recently, and then only slow and flawed. We don’t have two decades to wait for things to get done about climate change.

Also on Friday was August’s Critical Mass. But I’d walked in, so I just took some photos.

Saturday saw my second visit to Extinction Rebellion, and the Stop The Coup demo, which started out in Cathedral Gardens, and made its way to Albert Square, despite starting in very heavy rain.

Then it was down to Platt Fields for something not angry- the Festival of Manchester. I got some nice photos, then there was more heavy rain, so I abandoned it early.

It’s going to be a busy Autumn, and I’ll try to get to as many of these demos as possible, getting photos and video when I do.

How to fuck with the BNP

From the Whitechapel message boards.

This may or may not last here. Even if it doesn’t, then if you read it before it goes, please yank it and distribute.

I’m possibly not the only person it’ll occur to, due to ideaspace, and I hope it goes far and wide anyway.

Right. Here goes:

1. The BNP winning European parliament seats means they have a budget to employ staff and various sub-contractors.
2. These budgets and staff positions are subject to anti-discrimination laws, as they come from public funds.
3. Watch out for when these positions are advertised. If anyone sees them advertised, chuck the ads about on as many social networks, blogs etc as possible.
4. Man the Harpoons – If you fall outside of the BNP’s discriminatory membership criteria, due to being black, Jewish, whatever, apply. If you are white British and want to help out this plan anyway, just spread the idea about.
5. When you/they don’t get the job, take it to an employment tribunal.
6. ????
7. Profit.

Even if you’re not especially bothered about taking the BNP to an employment tribunal, spreading this idea about, and forcing them to consider it and raaage over how unfair to the poor ickle racialists it is, it’s still funny.

Report Empty Homes

Does exactly what it says in the url- allows you to inform councils of empty and abandoned buildings. They have teams and powers dedicated to bringing empty homes back into use, but often just don’t know about properties they should be dealing with.

There are estimated to be over 840,000 empty homes in the UK and bringing even just a few of them back into use would save millions of pounds and cut the waste associatd with building new ones.

The Journey to Forever

Journey to Forever is a pioneering expedition by a small, mobile NGO (Non-Government Organization) involved in environment and rural development work, starting from Hong Kong and travelling 40,000 kilometres through 26 countries in Asia and Africa to Cape Town, South Africa.

Our route will take us away from the cities and populated districts to remote and inaccessible areas (usually also the least developed and poorest areas), where we’ll be studying and reporting on environmental conditions and working for local NGOs on rural development projects in local communities.

The focus will be on trees, soil and water, sustainable farming, sustainable technology, and family nutrition.

The aim is to help people fight poverty and hunger, and to help sustain the environment we all must share.

The solar still information was found in The Journey to Forever‘s online library, which I shall have to trawl through for other useful snippets.

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Manchester Space Invaders

We are everywhere…

For centuries, people have used squats and autonomous spaces, either urban or rural, to take control of their own lives.. For decades, squat movements across Europe and beyond have fought capitalist development, contributing to local struggles; providing alternatives to consumer culture; running social centres; demonstrating the possibilities for self-organising without hierarchy. These networks have changed many lives, providing free spaces where people can live outside the norm.

In April Manchester Space Invaders will continue this tradition..taking over the city, and creating autonomous spaces for all…

On Friday 11th there will be live music with bands performing in the evening, workshops, and an opportunity for people to get creative and get involved in plans for the weekend…

Saturday 12th will see autonomous groups from across the city working together to create…
-a fair in a park near the city centre during the day,
-a creative squatted space holding workshops and family friendly activities, including practical workshops.
-a demonstration and street party in the early evening in defence of autonomous spaces and freedom of movement.
-a squat party later in the evening….

We call for all groups, sound systems, individuals, artists, campaigns networks, individuals, performers, families, and anyone else besides to get involved and help us to reclaim the streets, the parks and the city…

Keep watching for full timetable and details…
Manchester Space Invaders next meeting on Thursday 20th March, 7pm at the Archways project, for directions and info, or to join the collective
for info on the international call out see:

Ladies Love Green Guys

According to Nuts magazine “Caring about the environment” is now the number one most attractive trait a man can possess, displacing old favourite “Good sense of Humour”. The Green Guy has the full press release.

It’s not the easiest thing to start a conversation about in the pub though. “Hey, do you compost?”

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