Worth Reading

Multi-multi tasking is something which happens with me all of the time.

Of late I’ve been putting some time in to working upon Pedestrian issues around Liverpool. 

Here’s why:  –    

Wide geographical variation in serious pedestrian injury rates

While I also continue to work to stop the nukiller power industry, and correct some of the misinformation which the industry keeps pushing out.  One good example of this being about new build.  That’s why I think the following statement by the Nuclear Free Local Authorities is well worth sharing.

Of course there is a much more which I could recommend you too read, but as ever I’ve a lot else to do right now.

Remodelling The Campaigning Model

I shall continue to be an impossible person so long as those who are now possible remain possible.”Mikhail Bakunin

The Current Situation

One of the things I keep repeating is something which seems very obvious to may activists.

We have reached the tipping end of Climate Change, and there is very little we can do except to try to mitigate the most extreme aspects of that change.

The Pacific is dying.

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We have a major long term problems with nukiller power & nukiller waste.

Yet the number of activists who are campaigning to stop these problems is extremely small.


Countering the campaigning myth.

One of the continual myths that abounds is that we can change things by organising big national demonstrations, lots of nonviolent direct action, and building a mass movement.

I’ve heard the same thing said many a time, and then watched people fall away with burnout, while stating that they need to ‘take a rest for a while’.

Thus campaigning goes in waves of activities, while the latest political crisis diverts a lot of individuals attention from these issues.

Yet the dangers posed by global warning, nukiller power, and radioactive waste grow by the hour.

Having regular rests might be good for the individual activists, but it’s not good for the those activists who keep going hour by day by month by year by decade on end. [ That comes with a financial and emotional cost which I’ll not go in to right now.]

For the long term activists it’s not just a question of keeping up with the issue, as the nukiller industry is multifaceted, but constantly working to share that knowledge.

Thus the best campaigners need have to a wide ranging knowledge of different subjects, be multi-skilled, and possess the ability to keep summing up that knowledge in different ways.

Just doing that while organising very small actions is the very most which most long term activists can hope to achieve.

This is particularly so as there are just not the numbers to sustain anything else.

Thus the line about ‘direct action is the only way’ becomes more of a chant than the reality.

Just keep in mind that:-

– Long term campaigning means we have to transcend both class and culture.

– Long term campaigning means constant self-education.

– Long term campaigning means just that.

– Long term campaigning means constantly campaigning for years on end without a break.

Constantly campaigning is the name of the game.


Just How do we do it?

The reality for most campaigning groups is that everything comes down to a few activists.

So:-

– How do we get away from only ever being able to organise regular pickets or leafleting sessions which just consist of 2,3, or 4 people ?

– How do we get away from meetings or public meetings at which we are only a small group of committed individuals ?

– How do we keep campaigning for years on end with little or no support?

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Most importantly of all.

– How do we motivate people in to action ?

There are no easy answers to these questions.


A few workable options.

My thinking is that there is just not the money, people, or the resources around to think about any major national events.

Yet we can do the following:-

– Make sure to get to any pickets of demonstrations by other groups which are going on within the area or region one is living in.

– Hold more co-ordinated demonstrations or pickets on set dates.

e.g. During the next DRS open day will be held at their Carlisle depot on July 18th.

– Have more nukiller waste train leafleting sessions which are held at those times when regular commuters go through the effected stations.

That in turn could be used as a pre-requisite to setting up more local anti-nukiller groups.

– Encourage activists from other local groups to come visit & find out more about our own nukiller plants.

This is something which will both widen our knowledge base, and help to build support for each other.

For example: –

It would be very useful for more activists to go see all of those plants which will be effected by rising sea levels, such as Sizewell, Dungeness, & Heysham.

Or

Capenhurst & all those places through which Uranium Hex is transported.

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– Getting away from thinking about supporting those these groups which have paid fund-raisers.

The real need is to pay for the leaflets which are handed out by activists, and getting people to these protests on a regular basis.

That means making a few small regular donations to cover paper, ink, and train fares.

All of this might not seem like such,

but it is a very basis need if we are ever going to sustain any long term anti-nukiller campaigning.


Re-penning the campaigning manuals.

As a last observation.

Many of these issues are just not covered in most campaigning manuals.

The presumption being that each campaign has an easily defined time scale.

Yet this does not apply to nukiller power, as we need to look at the many year which they will be around, and the long term impact they will make.

Even if we stop new build and close down all the nukiller plants in one go, then there will still be the decommissioning and radioactive waste issue which will need to be addressed.

There is real need for campaigning manuals to examine just how we might support long term campaigning, and thus how best to work in mixed aged groups.

The Political Kipper Season

The Political Kipper Season has now arrived for the British Press.

Yes it’s Election time.

So don’t expect to read much more than what various politicians are trading as insults, one to the other, for the next four weeks.

Yet what’s the point in voting when
We Have No Say in Many of the Decisions Which Effect Our Lives?

So here are six reasons why I don’t vote, have never voted, and will never vote in any government or local government election: –

The unelected House of Lords.

– The City of London Corperation, or last rotten borough.

This is where any company which operates in the city can get to vote, and vote again.

– The unelected and overpriced monarchy.

– The Greater London Council which was aboblished in 1986.

To misquote the old saying:-
When voting changed the system, then the System was Aboblished.

– The various unaccountable multinations,
such as the banks, and mining companies.

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– How we now have no say as to just where nukiller waste will be dumped.

To quote Pierre-Joseph Proudhon: –

‘To be governed is to be watched over, inspected, spied on, directed, legislated at, regulated, docketed, indoctrinated, preached at, controlled, assessed, weighed, censored, ordered about, by men who have neither the right, nor the knowledge, nor the virtue.

… To be governed is to be at every operation, at every transaction, noted, registered, enrolled, taxed, stamped, measured, numbered, assessed, licensed, authorized, admonished, forbidden, reformed, corrected, punished. It is, under the pretext of public utility, and in the name of the general interest, to be placed under contribution, trained, ransomed, exploited, monopolized, extorted, squeezed, mystified, robbed; then, at the slightest resistance, the first word of complaint, to be repressed, fined, despised, harassed, tracked, abused, clubbed, disarmed, choked, imprisoned, judged, condemned, shot, deported, sacrificed, sold, betrayed; and, to crown all, mocked, ridiculed, outraged, dishonoured.

That is government; that is its justice; that is its morality.’

Take No Prisoners

Remember the expression: ‘Take no prisoners’ ?

Well that was the order which came from King Henry V during the Battle of Agincourt.

So several thousand French prisoners were slaughtered. While only those that were ransomable got saved.

During the last British budget One Millions pounds was put to one side for a public celebration of the battle.

Perhaps a few people might like to turn up in chains at these ‘celebrations’, and play dead.

That really would make the point as to just what happened on October 25th 1415.

In Between

In between my normal round of activities, I’ve been working upon a number of projects which illustrate just what can be done in terms of Joined-Up-Campaigning.

Co-ordinated Leafleting

The first of these has been a series of co-ordinated leafleting sessions outside of the railway stations through which DRS nukiller waste trains pass through.

There have been three such co-ordinated sessions this year.

These stations have included Bridgwater, Bristol, Brixton, Carnforth, Carlisle, Chester, Gloucester, Lancaster, Warrington, & Wigan.

The great advantage of these co-ordinated leafleting sessions is that they only need a few people to cover each of these stations, but their impact is much greater in total.

In order to reach the greatest number of people who use these stations, it’s a good idea to leaflet them during the evening rush hour.

I’m hoping that there will be more of these co-ordinated leafleting sessions at many more stations within the coming year.

Joined Up Campaigning – Joined Up Thinking

One thing I’ve been working upon of late has been a response to the current set of MOD proposals as to where radioactive waste from decommissioned nukiller submarine might be stored.

The difficult part about drafting this statement was to avoid any aspect of NIMBYism, but still have something which any community group in the effected areas could put their name to.

If more such statements could be produced, then it will help to build a more campaigning networks.

For a long time now we have suffered from having too few activists, but by developing such co-ordinated campaigning, we should be able to turn this weakness in to our greatest strength

A 3D Printed Arms Trade

I’ve been reading and thinking about 3D printers of late, and just how they are going to change the world.

The most scary aspect of this is just how it will impact upon the military and the arms trade.

Military Aircraft & War Ships.

Here is a summary of just what has been going on of late, and some of the thinking behind it.

Siemens plans to produce spare parts for its gas turbines.

BAE Systems are now starting to produce 3D printed Tornado Aircraft which are being tested by the RAF.

While the  ‘ U.S. Navy could soon use these popular tech tools to shake up traditional supply chains and revolutionise maritime strategy.’

The following article gives some more idea of just what the future might hold: –

“Print Me a Cruiser” : The Future of the US Fleet

Design, Print, and Kill local.

The  way 3D printers work means that anyone can scan existing weapons component parts, convert the info in to a software programme, and start their own local weapons industry.

Last year a working gun was made with a 3D printer, but that’s just the start of it all.

The use of 3D printers will make it very difficult to impose any international arms controls, and produce a lot of legal problems for those who wish to impose any prohibition on the export of weapons or weapon systems.

This is something which very few legislators will have ever thought about. Neither has there been any thoughts given upon just how to stop the military proliferation which this technology might cause.

It is possible to prohibit the sale of arms, and even the blueprints of specific weapons.

Yet 3 key questions do need to be examined: –

–  How can this be extended to weapons production software?

– Will that be enough to stop the proliferation of new small arm manufacturing?

&

– Just how do you stop anyone from scanning weapons, and reproducing them via a 3D printer ?

Here is one idea which has been proposed:

Sen. Leland Yee (D-San Francisco) is looking at how to regulate working guns made by 3-D printers.’

The Jobs Issue.

3D printing can be done at the point of need, and thus saves a lot of transport costs.

This in turn means less jobs for transport workers, and far fewer people involved in the manufacturing process.

Thus there will be less large arms factories, and a decrease in the export of weapons.

This in turn will result in a lot of job loses,  which is very difficult to quantify at present,
but it is something we should all be thinking about.

It will also weaken the case put by the arms trade that they promote manufacturing & thus job.

Though it might also mean that many more new weapons are in use around the world.

It’s the kind of issue which those involved in the Trade Unions and Anti-Arms Trade Campaigners  should start to study.

On the Plus Side.

– 3D food printers can create sweets and chocolates.

– 3D printers can produce artificial limbs.

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– They can be used to make amazing works of art.

Japanese Worries.

The news from Japan is increasingly worrying.

This is aside from the ongoing diaster at Fukushima, and high level of radiation which are spreading out from the plant.

These worries are: –

– The increasingly dangerous military stand off between China and Japan about the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea.

– The continual dispute between South Korea and Japan about the islands known as Dokdo in South Korea and as Takeshima in Japan.

– The proposed to abolish Article 9 of the Japanese constitution, which would mean that Japanese troops could fight anywhere in the world.

– The threat to reintroduce conscription to Japan.

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– The newly enacted Japanese secrecy law.

This is why we should all support the Article9 Campaign.

Next Destination – Antwerp

The Atlantic Cartier is now in European waters and sailing towards Antwerp.

Last week the ship stopped off in Liverpool,
and the following press release was issued by Merseyside CND.

Explosives and Uranium hexafluoride fire ship arrives back in Liverpool.

Steaming towards the Port of Liverpool at this very moment is the Swedish owned Ro-ro/container carrier, the Atlantic Cartier.  Questions hang over this ship as to  just how safe it is bearing in mind that on May 1st while in the Port of Hamburg it was seriously damaged when it went up in flames.

The ship’s cargo included 9 tons uranium hexafluoride ( UF6 ), destined for the Areva owned uranium-enriching plant at Lingen, Lower Saxony. Also included in the cargo were four tonnes of explosives, and 180 tons of flammable ethanol. When UF6 is exposed to moist air, it reacts with the water in the air to produce UO2F2 (uranyl fluoride) and HF (hydrogen fluoride) both of which are highly corrosive and toxic.

If the ship had exploded, then a cloud  of the uranium hexafluoride might have been released into the atmosphere with all sorts of damaging consequencies for the Port workers and surrounding neighbourhood.

Following on from the fire the ship was repaired, and went to the Port of Liverpool and then onto
Halifax,Nova Scotia, New York, Baltimore, and Norfolk, Virginia.

It is due back in Liverpool at approximately 3am tomorrow morning.

We wonder if the Port of Liverpool authorities are aware of the Atlantic Cartier’s potentially dangerous cargo and what measures have they put in place to inform and protect the workforce and nearby population.’

The last few days.

On the weekend the ship stopped over in Hamburg were it was welcomed with a demonstration.

When the ship left port it was under  ‘police protection’.

Unanswered Questions.

There are still a lot of unanswered questions about just what has happened with the ship.

They include: –

– Just what kind of repairs took place on the ship?

– What kind of safety inspection & safety certification has it now been given?

– Have any modifications been made to just what the ship is allowed to carry on board?

– Just what kind of cargo does the ship now have on board?

– Will there be any need for the ship to be isolated from the main harbour when it arrives in port?

–  What kind of fire inspection has there been since May ?

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– What kind of extra security is given to the ship if it carries such an deadly cargo on a regular basis?

What needs to be done.

Of course we only know about such dangerously mixed cargoes sailing around the globe because of the fire on the Atlantic Cartier.  We just don’t know how any others there may be.

What we really need is a ban on Uranium and explosive materials being carried on the same ships.

It’s time to tighten up the shipping regulations.

Following On From The Fire.

Following on from the fire upon the Atlantic Cartier in May.

The ship has been repaired.

Since then she has sailed to Antwerp, Halifax, Nova Scotia, and New York.

It recently put in to the port of Liverpool, but no one was aware about this until after the ship had moved on.

The ship is currently sailing back towards Halifax,  Nova Scotia, and will then continue to New York,  Baltimore,  and Norfolk, Virginia.

The Atlantic Cartier is owned by the Atlantic Container Line, and is classed as being a: ‘ Roll On Roll Off With Container Capacity.’

There are still many open questions about just what kind of goods the ship has carried in the past, or will be carrying in the future?