What’s happening: Real Media/PMC newsletter #5

Real Media logo and Phoenix Media Co-op logo side by side

Real Media and Phoenix Media Co-op have teamed up to release a regular newsletter. We collectively seek to provide bold, accurate, accessible journalism which is unashamedly internationalist and subversive. At the centre of this is covering the work of people in the UK and globally who are forging a better world, largely by organising against marginalisation, oppression and destruction.

Global calls for climate justice

Representatives from the Adivasi Indigenous community in India marched in Glasgow, on the ‘Global Day of Action’, to condemn the Indian government’s land grabs and environmental destruction.

Indigenous communities from the Americas also turned out:

The Scottish trade union movement was also in the streets.

The Ugandan branch of the Eastern and Southern Africa Small-scale Farmers’ Forum (ESAFF), which “focuses on advancing economic empowerment, agroecology and food sovereignty” said on the 6 November Global Day of Action for Climate Justice that it joined “other indigenous communities, trade unions, [and] feminist movements” to demand climate justice, insisting that “agroecology achieves climate justice with proven serious solutions to climate crisis crucial for climate mitigation and adaptation”. Ugandan climate campaigner Vanessa Nakate described to a crowd in Glasgow how the climate crisis is affecting people in her country, saying they “are dying, children are dropping out of school, farms are being destroyed”.

At the London Climate March, Real Media interviewed Sara Callaway from Women of Colour in the Global Women’s Strike, who is calling for recognition and payment for the work done by carers of all sorts across the planet.  She’s working with the Landworkers Alliance to highlight the role of soil in fighting the climate and ecological crisis. 

Also at the weekend, Reverend Billy and the Stop Shopping Choir joined BP or not BP? at the British Museum in a performance protest calling out the museum’s sponsorship deal with oil giant BP, and linking the call for climate reparations with a demand to repatriate much of the plundered loot held within the museum’s walls. A Real Media film of the event will be released tomorrow.

In Glasgow, police seemed to think arresting an inflatable Loch Ness Monster was a priority.

Resistance against gig-economy employers

In England and Wales, the percentage of people working with gig-economy platforms like Uber and Deliveroo has more than doubled since 2016.

On Wednesday 10 November, the London Deliveroo section of the Independent Workers’ Union of Great Britain (IWGB) held a motorcade and rally.

In South Yorkshire, workers at Stuart Delivery are threatening to go on strike

Gig economy workers elsewhere have also been standing up for their collective rights. In Paris, for example, undocumented workers around Paris went on strike. And these struggles extend across Europe, from France to Spain, where Uber workers in Euskadi (Basque Country) launched a strike to resist a range of injustices.

Opposing violence against women

The Via Campesina international peasants’ movement is calling for a Global Day of Action for the Elimination of Violence against Women on 25 November. It encourages “actions to raise awareness, give visibility, stand in solidarity and denounce the alarming violence experienced by women, children and LGBTQIA+ people worldwide; a violence that has only worsened with the COVID-19 pandemic”. There will be “hundreds of decentralized actions around the world” and a Virtual Festival on 23 November.

In London, there will be a Million Women Rise vigil outside New Scotland Yard (SW1 2JL) from 1pm to 3pm on 25 November, with a call for women and non-binary people to attend.

Insulate Britain

Insulate Britain blockaded Parliament Square for several hours on Thursday morning with some glueing hands or feet to the road. See more in this week’s YouTube show.

One of the activists faced arrest for a twelfth time in a month. A repeat offender would normally be taken to court and remanded in prison until trial, but despite strong rhetoric from government and the right-wing press, police sources have admitted that instructions “from the very top” are hampering their powers to curtail disruption. 

Instead, the Home Office appears to be relying on sweeping High Court injunctions, with 9 activists summoned to court on 16 November. Could it be that the government prefers to avoid the embarrassment on the global stage of imprisoning climate activists during the COP26 in Glasgow?

The government’s use of a civil injunction rather than existing laws, effectively curtailing the right to protest on ANY major roads throughout the UK, has triggered a response from Extinction Rebellion UK who are supporting the #InsulateBritain9 with a protest at the court and an act of mass civil resistance on 20 November.

Other actions 

  • On Saturday 6 November, Hertfordshire Hunt Saboteurs filmed a rider with the Cottesmore Hunt kicking and punching a horse [see here and here]. The footage quickly spread, causing public outrage. Hunting Leaks exposed the rider on Monday 8 November.
  • Campaigners protested against Malvern Arms Fair, opposing the presence of arms manufacturers at the local showground.
  • Right-wing gangs targeted women’s rights protesters in Poland, many thousands of whom participated in a massive march in response to an almost-total ban on abortion.
  • Campaigners in Mexico continued to protest against ecologically damaging ‘development’ projects.
  • Following years of increasing US hostility towards Nicaragua under the Donald Trump administration, Washington under Joe Biden’s leadership is continuing to pile on the pressure. And amid elections there, mentions of US regime-change efforts are few and far between. Nuance and context is sorely lacking in corporate-media coverage, with the narrative neatly fitting the defective ‘black and white’ picture Washington wants the world to see.
  • The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) is calling for people in the UK to press their MPs to support ‘Early Day Motion 493’ which would encourage diplomacy rather than military provocations in the Indo-Pacific region. This is of particular importance following the new AUKUS military partnership which serves as a Western escalation of tensions with China. CND says: “Spreading nuclear technology is at the heart of the deal: the US and UK are collaborating with Australia to provide them with nuclear-powered submarines. This risks nuclear proliferation and is a breach of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) which stipulates that the exchange of civil nuclear technology must be for peaceful purposes.”


That’s all for this week, but please let us know of any stories and issues you’d like to see more of, and check out our new weekly round up ‘What’s Happening’ on our YouTube channel on Wednesday evenings (UK time).