Saturday, 29 November 2008

The frontline of globalisation

"A worker died and at least three people were injured after being trampled by a crowd of shoppers at a Wal-Mart in the New York suburbs."

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Nurses: In their own words!

The BBC reports that the government is giving nurses guidelines on what language they are to use when addressing patients. This suggests many things about government attitudes to both nurses and patients and the conservatives have given their usual cross-patch response.

But New Labour may be addressing a real problem at the heart of the NHS. In hospital I have always been cared for but never by friends and family. In fact friends and family are strictly managed in their care for patients. Only professionals are allowed to care for the sick.

My friends no whether I like being called "dearie" or "shit head" nurses can only guess... or follow government guidelines.

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Think Tank Challenges government on Asylum

Immigration Minister Phil Woolas should be publicly investigating his own government's bias against asylum seekers rather than attacking charities, human rights groups and lawyers for giving vulnerable people support, says the religion and society think tank Ekklesia.

"Mr W
oolas' claims that there is an 'industry out there' with a vested interest in taking asylum claims and appeals forward, with the implication that people should be denied access to justice because they are from another country and seeking refuge, is false and shameful," says Ekklesia co-director Simon Barrow.

Vaughan Jones, director of the agency Praxis, which works wit
h displaced people across London, who is also a United Reformed Church minister and an Ekklesia associate described the statement from the new Immigration Minister as "a disturbing development."

"Asylum seekers and migrants are human beings with rights and it is quite proper and legitimate for the law to defend those rights and for people of good will to advocate for and support people in need, vulnerable to exploitation and potential victims of miscarriages of justice," said Mr Jones.

He continued: "Attacking the defenders of human rights is not the most edify
ing of stands, although it is regrettably not without precedent.

"There are many highly respected voluntary organisations and faith based organisations operating with integrity and within the framework of the law. Their work is well acknowledged and scrutinised by funders and regulators. Their activities should not be repudiated simply because they take a different stance on migration. A mature debate does not begin with mud-slinging."

Ekklesia's Simon Barrow added: "Governments attack human rights workers when they have something to hide. The UK authorities have been rightly criticised for dawn raids, removal of children and other abuses of justice in relation to people seeking asylum - even refusing to accept the legitimacy of their own numerous legal defeats. It is this that needs public investigation."

Image: Phil Woolas, Member of Puppetry

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Visitation to Shepherds in the Holy Land

On 15 November 2008, around 9:00 a.m., approximately fifteen masked Israeli settlers from the illegal outpost of Havat Ma'on attacked three Palestinian shepherds who were grazing their flocks in a valley south of the outpost. The settlers came running down from a ridge above the shepherds, hurling rocks. The shepherds were able to get their flocks away before the rocks injured them.

During the incident, the settlers were able to steal two of the shepherds' donkeys. The settlers killed one donkey with a knife wound in the chest area. They slashed another across the throat, but the donkey survived.

You can read more and see a video of the attack here:

Sunday, 16 November 2008

From Right to Left and beyond the state

From Right to Left and beyond the state: Rethinking Indian Church and Mission is now available as a pdf online at the ASIRA page of the ASN website.

This e-book traces the relationship between the theology of the privileged and the growing formation of the colonial enterprise in India.

Saturday, 15 November 2008

Rules for Radicals

Sorry about the typo in the Saul Alinsky bit: should read "threats" not "treats". Reads very differently!!!

Tuesday, 11 November 2008


Mark Engler makes the important point that Obama's adivsors give us some indication as to his intention to bring about "Change" - real or imagined. If this is a return to the Clinton approach to global and domestic economics than we're still screwed just with less "shock and awe". The election of a new emperor does not mean the end of imperialism. Indeed, how could it.

Friday, 7 November 2008

Stories of Peace

Four members of Fellowship of Reconciliation, England are travelling to Israel and Palestine for a two week delegation from Monday 10th to Saturday 22nd November as part of a joint delegation with Interfaith Peace Builders and American Friends Service Committee. With 20+ other British and American delegates, we will be visiting Palestinian and Israeli grassroots peacemakers. We will be experiencing and engaging in nonviolent peacemaking in a region where violence has prevailed as the solution to conflict. It is our hope to be empowered as peacemakers, to gain a first hand understanding of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, to learn new peacemaking skills, and to make lifelong friends.

We really hope you will want to hear about our experiences and the people and places we will be visiting. If so, please visit our blog, ‘Stories of Peace’ at and feel free to leave comments for us. We hope to be able to read any comments and update the blog every few days while we are away.

Martha Beale

on behalf of all of the delegates (Martha Beale, Joff Williams, David Masters and Rachel Smith)

Thursday, 6 November 2008

AWE recruitment at Birmingham University continued...

AWE Recruitment presentation at Birmingham University 5 November

Sophie and Keith Hebden attended the AWE event as recruiters for AWE; dressed in smart suits with fake AWE identity badges we looked the part. Our badges read “Human Resources Dept” with our names, “Amanda Hugenkis” and “Dan Teshell”. We arrived half an hour before the event began to properly check out where the presentation was to be held.

Our intention was to intercept students going to the AWE recruitment drive by pretending to work for AWE. There is a long glass-walled lobby with sofas downstairs at Staff House; the presentation was to take place two floors above. We settled ourselves on the sofas with clipboards and fliers ready to intercept any students coming to the AWE recruitment presentation. We then asked people to sit with us to chat about ‘recruitment’, which gave us the chance to tell them the bare facts of what goes on — bomb-making — in an up-beat and ironic way. We wanted unguarded conversations with people who were considering working at AWE but were wrestling with the morality of doing so.

The first jobseeker was a bit of a red herring: he wanted to meet the AWE staff to talk about his marketing company to help them recruit. We took some information from him, thanked him and sent him home. Later we discovered that he was a ‘fake’ as well!

The next to arrive, a physicist, sat and chatted with us for a while. We saw him becoming more confused and concerned as we spoke enthusiastically about the destructive potential of nuclear bombs. It was when Keith told him about the “cultural exchanges” possible if working at AWE – “Hirsohima survivors often hang around the gate and you can wave at them as you drive into work,” – that he grinned and said, “OK, I get it.” We chatted with him for another five minutes as he admitted that he had been unsure as to whether to attend this event but had justified it to himself and wanted to hear them out. He decided not to go to the presentation and to go home. We shook hands and he thanked us.

The next man told us he was studying medical nuclear physics but was wondering about going into defence instead, “because there’s more money than in the NHS”. He spoke about the moral dilemma he faced in choosing between medical and defence. We said after AWE had dropped a bomb we would certainly need medical experts.

We chatted; he looked concerned but took our flier and went upstairs to the presentation.

A couple of girls said they were interested in working in human resources. At first they were hesitant about sitting down, partly because there were late for the presentation, but when they did they looked at us suspiciously from the start. A few minutes later one girl interrupted to ask if we were “Socialists” we said not and carried on for a minute before she interrupted again: “Excuse me, but we’re from ‘People and Planet’”. We all burst out laughing and sent them on their way to the presentation.

Finally a girl set on studying the radiation hazards of the site spoke with us for five minutes. She was very serious and intent on working at AWE; nothing we said could deter her. We listed about how AWE contravenes international treaties, how the UK is considering working on ‘useable nuclear weapons’, and how nuclear weapons target civilians because of their enormous destructive power, to name a few. She hurried off the presentation clutching our leaflet.

All in all, we felt there were some wonderful moments where we really connected with people, but perhaps the most encouraging thing was that hardly anyone came, and more protesters attended than jobseekers. Among the protesters were Gary Hall and John Hull, staff at Queen’s Foundation.

SPCA Gathering

G'day and kia ora to all peoples from the land of the white cloud to the deserts of the Australian wilderness and the rest of the earth,

The SPCA Christian Anarchist Gathering for 2009 will be held on the dates of

Thursday: August 6th 2009 Start around 7ish but all welcome sooner.
Sunday: August 9th 2009
finish lunchtime ish

At the CAVE (78 St Leonards Rd, Ascot Vale Melbourne)

Please feel free to invite anyone as all are welcome!
So start preparing for a great journey together as we seek to discover the christian anarchist spirit within us and what this means....

For now if you have any questions buzz me at or call my mobile +61 414321451 (international) or 0414 321 451 (local)