We’re living through a particularly ugly period in world history. As Naomi Klein has lain out very clearly in Shock Doctrine and subsequently, in late stage capitalism deregulated corporations and financers don’t just seek to maximize profit at the expense of both people and the planet, they actively exploit disaster. We can see it in the way the partial collapse of the financial system has been used to force national economies to march even faster to the neoliberal drum beat – with cuts in public expenditure and public services opening the way for private investors and corporations to profit from previously off-limits services such as healthcare and policing. [continues…]
If you are in London or visiting some time soon, experience our national galleries anew with this set of three unauthorised audio tours by artists highlighting BP’s sponsorship of the Tate. The files will be ready to download from Thursday 22nd March and the launch takes place on Friday 23rd March. The works have been commissioned by Platform London, Liberate Tate and Art Not Oil. Ansuman Biswas has created a reflective work about the awakening conscience entitled “Panaudicon” for Tate Britain; Isa Suarez, Mae Martin and Mark McGowan have produced surreal and aquatic on-board entertainment for the Tate Boat; and I’ve worked with radio artist extraordinaire Jim Welton (aka Harmon E Phraisyar, L Voag and Xentos) to produce an alternative audio guide to Tate Modern. Files will be ready to download from Thursday 22 March from tateatate.org Invite your friends to the launch party via the Facebook event page. More info here.
After the mass sit-in protest in front of the Whitehouse back in September when over 1,200 people took an action which they knew would result in their arrest, the campaign to give President Obama the political space to say no to the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline continues this Sunday 6 November when more than 4,000 citizens have pledged to surround the Whitehouse. On the same day there will be a solidarity action in London in which campaigners will surround a mini model of the White House in front of the US Embassy.
The Keystone XL pipeline will escalate the exploitation of the Canadian tar sands and make climate stabilisation implausible. According to James Hansen:
… exploitation of tar sands would make it implausible to stabilize climate and avoid disastrous global climate impacts. The tar sands are estimated (e.g., see IPCC Fourth Assessment Report) to contain at least 400 GtC (equivalent to about 200 ppm CO2). Easily available reserves of conventional oil and gas are enough to take atmospheric CO2 well above 400 ppm, which is unsafe for life on earth. However, if emissions from coal are phased out over the next few decades and if unconventional fossil fuels including tar sands are left in the ground, it is conceivable to stabilize earth’s climate.
As Bill McKibben says in the video above, the Keystone XL pipeline has become the defining issue of the environmental movement. If you can be in Washington or London on November, be sure you are there.
Thanks to Emily of UK Tar Sands Network.
1 The current system is unsustainable. It is undemocratic and unjust. We need alternatives; this is where we work towards them.
2 We are of all ethnicities, backgrounds, genders, generations, sexualities dis/abilities and faiths. We stand together with occupations all over the world.
3 We refuse to pay for the banks’ crisis.
4 We do not accept the cuts as either necessary or inevitable. We demand an end to global tax injustice and our democracy representing corporations instead of the people.
5 We want regulators to be genuinely independent of the industries they regulate.
6 We support the strike on the 30th November and the student action on the 9th November, and actions to defend our health services, welfare, education and employment, and to stop wars and arms dealing.
7 We want structural change towards authentic global equality. The world’s resources must go towards caring for people and the planet, not the military, corporate profits or the rich.
8 The present economic system pollutes land, sea and air, is causing massive loss of natural species and environments, and is accelerating humanity towards irreversible climate change. We call for a positive, sustainable economic system that benefits present and future generations. 
9. We stand in solidarity with the global oppressed and we call for an end to the actions of our government and others in causing this oppression.
10. This is what democracy looks like. Come and join us!
 Article 8 was added to the statement following a proposal being passed by the Occupy London General Assembly on 19 November 2011.
Bill McKibben demonstrating the low-carbon “human public address system” during a speech as part of the amazing Occupy Wall Street demonstration in New York.
Today in the New York Times there was a story that made it completely clear why we have to be here. They uncovered the fact that the company building that tar sands pipeline was allowed to choose another company to conduct the environmental impact statement, and the company that they chose was a company was a company that did lots and lots of work for them. So, in other words, the whole thing was rigged top to bottom and that’s why the environmental impact statement said that this pipeline would cause no trouble, unlike the scientists who said if we build this pipeline it’s “game over” for the climate. We can’t let this pipeline get built. [Read on…]