community

Popular education as a doomed project? - Inga Scathach

Popular Education often appears as a panacea for the anti-authoritarian Left. Inga Scathach looks at the uses and abuses of the term and the practices. Originally published in May 2011.

There’s the rumbling of a groundswell. You can hear it murmuring if you eavesdrop at activist-type gatherings. Unless you listen really closely, you may be mistaken in thinking it to be another utopian proposal, flung haplessly into the ring of consensus decision-making.

Huge protests force Chinese government retreat over pollution

Adam Ford discusses the mass protests which forced a defeat on the Chinese state.

Locals are celebrating in the Chinese city of Shifang today, following the government’s decision to scrap its plans for a copper alloy plant which many feared would poison them. This sensational policy reversal was apparently forced out of the Communist Party dictatorship by rioting, followed by a sit-in in support of those arrested.

Major rent strike against millionaire slumlord catches fire in Brooklyn

As foreclosures continue to put historic pressure on the nation’s rental market, slumlords now have more opportunity than ever to prey on the most vulnerable of tenants.

By Laura Gottesdiener

Pisa: the "Nuova Periferia Polivalente" has opened!

After being left derelict and neglected for 6 years, during which the only intervention by the local authorities has been the building of a wall around the old changing rooms which turned them into a dangerous sewer, Pisa’s sports centre Polisportiva della Fontina has come back to life, and being put to use by hundreds of people of all ages who want a space to hang out and practice sports freely.

The centre has been revamped thanks to the work and donations of hundreds of local volunteers coming from all backgrounds: it’s been a month and a half of hard work, of weeding and clearing up, cutting down plants that had spread to the pavements, cleaning and renovating.

Belo Monte dam protest

The latest protest against the Amazonian Belo Monte Dam project took place in Washington last Monday (9th of April). This demonstration against the Brazilian government's anti-social and anti-environmental policies took place on the same day that Brazil's president and former revolutionary guerilla Dilma Roussef met Barack Obama. Despite international and indigenous outcry, construction of the world's third largest damn is already under way. With five thousand men at work, nothing seems to stop the government's determination to build this dam.

Brazil is rapidly becoming a strong emerging economy at the global level. Industrial development and and increase in the standard of living has meant that demand for energy is at an all time high, hence the government's keenness to construct a network of dams in the Amazonia.

The Missing Piece of the Jigsaw

Greenwich council's latest plans for the riverside from West Greenwich (by the Millenium dome) to Woolwich were published in February. It is no big surprise that developers have their eye on Charlton and Woolwich - squeezed between the Millenium Village and the Woolwich Arsenal Crossrail site this is one of the last remaining areas on London's Thames where manufacturing industry survives.

The development 'masterplan' for Charlton depends on bringing in the investment money fast by prettifying the Thames Barrier district, a historically industrial area. 'Low quality' - developer speak for low rent - work premises won't sit well amongst the 'Georgian style' streets of town houses envisaged.

Italy: NO TAV against fascism!

Last Friday 9th March, a small number of militants from the neofascist group Forza Nuova (“New Force”) protested outside the offices of the newspaper Il Giornale in Milan.

The protest was held in solidarity with the NO TAV movement, and Il Giornale was targeted in particular for its bitter criminalisation of the movement. The protesters distributed leaflets and hung a banner saying “Your progress has killed the sky” (Pretentious, banal and empty: way to go, guys!). According to the group, what’s at stake in the Susa Valley is “an entire social model”:

Anti-nuclear activists blockade Hinkley Point power station

Over 1,000 protestors blockade the entrance to Hinkley Point power station in response to a proposed new nuclear reactor.

Around 1,000 protesters have blockaded the entrance to Hinkley Point power station in Somerset, marking a year since the Fukushima dis

Community hubs, pubs, clubs and social centres

Pub Closing Down

I suppose this is just a reflection on the importance of communal meeting places that aren't always appreciated in the way they should be as well as the break up and isolation of individuals in communities.

Over the last few decades in the UK, it seems there has been an effort to make Thatcher's famous words true. 'There is no such thing as society: there are individual men and women, and there are families.'

Ongoing solidarity with the NO TAV arrestees in Italy

Update on the NO TAV arrestees and how to support them. Includes updated address list to write to activists still in prison.

Over the last few weeks solidarity actions and initiatives with the NO TAV arrestees have kept multiplying: dozens of pickets and demonstrations in various parts of Italy, messages of support from all over Italy and other countries (such as the Basque Country, where people have been fighting the same