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"You've got to be social to be Socialist" Interview with Dr Lucy Burke

Manchester Green New Deal Podcast - Mon, 04/06/2020 - 04:00

We are all still in lock-down but the pod goes on! The results of the Labour leadership election are in, how will this affect the the Green New Deal? We are also joined by Dr Lucy Burke to discuss how critical care in the UK has been impacted by Covid-19, how people with disabilities have been affected by this crisis and the subsequent Government response.

We also discuss the short comings of the environmental movement and how it can be more inclusive of the disabled.

If you like the show tell your comrades!
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***LINKS***
Guidance from NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence)

Critical care in Adults
https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/ng159

Managing symptoms (Including at the end of life) in the community https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/ng163/chapter/1-Communicating-with-patients-and-minimising-risk

Corona Virus Act legislation
http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2020/7/contents/enacted/data.htm

*Shout Outs*
Preswitch Village Green Co-op
https://www.village-greens-coop.co.uk/

Trees Not Cars
https://www.treesnotcars.com/

Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/gndmediauk)
Categories: A2. Green Unionism

"Fair judgement on potential a***holes" Covid-19 Crisis

Manchester Green New Deal Podcast - Thu, 03/26/2020 - 04:00

Covid-19 has taken the world by storm, with 20,000 deaths worldwide due to the virus. We sat down (at least 2 meters apart) to talk through this crisis. Discussing the governments response, the citizens response and how this is all going to play out down the line.

The UK is a wash with amazing acts of solidarity in this incredibly stressful time, here are some links for how you can help out others during the pandemic.

Acorn tenants Union- defending renters
https://acorntheunion.org.uk/corona/

Community support around Rochdale, Oldham and Tamside
https://www.actiontogether.org.uk/mutual-aid

Find some local help with this national table of volunteer groups
https://bit.ly/39lynJr

Here's how you can volunteer for the NHS
https://www.goodsamapp.org/

If you want to support the show leave us a review on Itunes or share the the podcast with your friends.

Support the show
Categories: A2. Green Unionism

"#Proper Trees" Getting the Green New Deal through labour conference.

Manchester Green New Deal Podcast - Sat, 03/07/2020 - 13:00

Our inaugural episode!

The dust has settled after the 2019 General Election and we face five more years of a climate denialist Conservative government. Yet, while locked out of power nationally, there are ways to take direction action locally and regionally to prevent climate catastrophe. But first, where did this all start?


 We sat down with Angie Brown to discuss how the Green New Deal made it through Labour Party conference.




Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/gndmediauk)
Categories: A2. Green Unionism

Avery Books: Report Back from MST Intensive in Sao Paolo

Grassroots Global Justice Alliance - Tue, 08/25/2015 - 21:58

This past spring I was part of a two person delegation of GGJ members to the first ever International English Language Course on Political Training for Political Educators outside of Sao Paolo, Brazil. The 6-week course was coordinated by the Landless Workers Movement (Movimento dos Trabalhadores Rurais Sem Terra [the MST]) at their national school for political education, Escola Nacional Florestan Fernandes (ENFF). I came as a representative of the Vermont Workers’ Center, and was among 60 participants from 47 organizations and 17 countries. Most organizations were members of La Via Campesina, an international organization primarily dedicated to the issues of peasant movements around the world and food sovereignty (GGJ is a member).  Organizations ranges from small farmer movements in Zimbabwe to organizations that work with adavasi (indigenous) movements in India to South African trade unionists to members of the Kurdish liberation struggle to a leftwing Mexican youth organization.

ENFF is the flagship school of the MST. Since their founding 31 years ago, the MST has been committed to political education (or formação in Portuguese). They have schools dedicated to political education in all 23 Brazilian states where they have a presence. ENFF was built 11 years with the volunteer labor of over 1,000 MST members and many other supporters of the movement. It is a gorgeous campus, populated with vibrant flowers, inspiring revolutionary murals made by each class that had passed through there, beautiful architecture, small plots of food productions, and a design that emphasized communal space (a small plaza in the middle of a cluster of dormitories, with benches and a gazebo; the courtyard where we held our daily misticas; the open verandas where we had cultural nights, celebrations, etc., on both stories of the building that held the kitchen, cafeteria, and a small store with MST products). There was also an incredible library that held thousands of books on various subjects, from the history of revolutionary struggles around the world to social theory to agroecology (mostly in Portuguese and Spanish). The MST leaders at the school described ENFF as the “patrimony of the international working class.”

The school was coordinated and “staffed” by a brigade of 40 MST members who took 4 month shifts to help run the logistics and programming of the school. Like all groupings in the MST, they had a name and slogan: “Apolônio de Carvalho,” named after an important Brazilian socialist. To facilitate the functioning of the school, all students were expected to do “militant work,” volunteer labor to support the day-to-day needs of the school community. I was on the coffee team that set up and cleaned up for the multiple coffee breaks through the “school day.” Other militant work ranged from the production team that helped produce and harvest the food grown on campus; a childcare team; a cultural team that helped plan the “cultural nights,” helped with the programming for the campus radio station; collective laundry; cleaning up after meals. Militant work is a central part of the pedagogy of the MST, partly around wanting to put intellectual labor alongside other forms of labor and also as part of creating new social relations, where labor is about meeting collective needs and is not performed because of coercion.

We had classes 6 days per week. Every day began with a 10-20 minute long “mistica,” planned by each of us in our small groups (“nucleos do base” [NB’s]) and by other NB. Mistica both describes a particular activity and a broader concept. The activity is usually a short “performance” that tells a particular story about a particular struggle, while projecting a vision of the future. I put “performance” in quotes because the MST is emphatic that it is not “theater,” but rather an expression of reality as we experience it. Mistica incorporates symbols, music, art, movement, “acting,” participation by “spectators.” One of the misticas my NB planned conveyed the intersection of patriarchy, dispossession, and capitalism. One of the ones that Daryl (the other GGJ representative) and his group prepared conveyed the patterns of state violence around the world and their link to imperialism.

Many MST movement elders attribute mistica as the primary reason they’re still in the movement. It’s spiritual and intellectual sustenance, and stretches minds and hearts in preparation for the activity of the day, Mistica also described the overall “spirit” or “expression” of a group of people, the outward expression of collective revolutionary spirit.

An MST member riding with me and another classmate to the airport at the end of the program commented that our class seemed to have a very beautiful mistica. There were songs that were our songs (some people brought from their movements, others that were brand new and composed spontaneously); chants that were ours; countless manifestations of a profound camaraderie formed through intense, emotional learning together, sharing and hearing each other’s stories, working together, traveling together during the intensive “field week,” celebrating together during various cultural nights and late night festivities.

The coursework itself was incredible. The MST sees left theory as a living body of theory, and draws heavily from the Marxist Leninist tradition. Some of the more interesting courses were on the history and development of imperialism, the reproduction of capital in agriculture, a great session on gender, political organization, and popular education. There was quite a lot of healthy debate on organizational form, the role of the state, the legacy of colonialism and the persistence of racism, the dynamics between the old hegemonic imperial nations and the newly industrializing “BRICS” countries that increasingly play out imperial relations on a more regional level.

I learned an incredible amount about social movements in Brazil and around the world. From the MST, we learned about their incredible dynamic relationship between organizational form, strategy, and tactics. Their process of land takeovers entailed setting up an incredibly cooperative mini-society of several hundred families, a “movement baptism” that created the conditions for embodying radical new forms of human relations. The MST doesn’t actually legally exist in Brazil, and many of the movements represented there were very suspicious of the growth of World Bank and foundation-funded Non-Governmental Organizations and Non Profit Organization (seeing with incredibly clarity the ways in which they coopt movements and movement leaders).

One of the profound lessons for me was on the meaning of true internationalism and solidarity. The MST is in a very challenging moment in Brazil’s political and economic history: the ruling Workers Party has betrayed many of its original principles to the whims of international finance capital; the right wing is mobilizing larger crowds than have been seen in decades. Yet, instead of turning inwards, they continue to launch programs like this training, have helped started countless other movements around the Brazil, and remain committed to the development of an international revolutionary social force. In fact, I believe that’s exactly what see as necessary in this context, rather than turning inwards.

It’s hard to some up any one main takeaway from that 6 weeks. I’m incredibly inspired to be personally connected 60 people fighting in inspiration liberation struggles around the world. I’m inspired by the deep and broad commitment to political education and leadership development. I’m deeply moved by the way in which the MST both fights for total social transformation while building the new social right now. And I’m so impressed with the many examples of the ways in which strategy flows from a profound and sharp assessment of the objective and subjective conditions during this phase of advanced capitalism.

Great Companies Needed

Freakonomics - Wed, 02/11/2015 - 10:06

My good friend and colleague John List has very ambitious summer plans.

We’ve both believed for a long time that the combination of creative economic thinking and randomized experiments has the potential to revolutionize business and the non-profit sector. John and I have worked to foment that revolution through both  academic partnerships with firms as well as a project of John’s called the Science of Philanthropy Initiative (SPI), whose mission is “evidence-based research on charitable giving.”

This summer, John is committed to taking that mission to a whole new level with the first annual University of Chicago Summer Institute on Field Experiments.  The idea is to bring together for one week top economists, business leaders, and NGOs with the goal of developing powerful, creative solutions to the toughest problems faced by firms, whether for-profit or not-for-profit.

In addition to lots of brainstorming and work focused on firms’ problems, there will be presentations by John, me, and other leading scholars. Knowing John, I’m sure there will also be plenty of after-hours activities.

Here’s how the website describes the sort of people we are looking for:

The Summer Institute is looking for practitioner partners who are open to new and bold ideas that will revolutionize the way they develop policy, do business, or provide charitable programming. Practitioner partners should be willing to work closely with researchers to field-test solutions, and must be willing to allow research publications to come from the partnership. We expect the Institute to serve as a catalyst for field-experiment research and strong researcher-practitioner partnerships.

So if you or someone you know might be a good candidate, please apply!  You can find the details on the Institute website.

We can’t wait to meet you and get started!

The post Great Companies Needed appeared first on Freakonomics.

Lend Your Voice to Freakonomics Radio

Freakonomics - Wed, 02/11/2015 - 07:13

We’re working on an episode about behavior change — essentially, how to get yourself to do the things you should be doing but often don’t. It revolves around the fascinating research of Katy Milkman at Penn. For example, she and her colleagues have noted a “Fresh Start Effect”:

The popularity of New Year’s resolutions suggests that people are more likely to tackle their goals immediately following salient temporal landmarks. … We propose that these landmarks demarcate the passage of time, creating many new mental accounting periods each year, which relegate past imperfections to a previous period, induce people to take a big-picture view of their lives, and thus motivate aspirational behaviors.

What we’re looking for are your examples of fresh starts — whether it’s a new timeframe, job, relationship, living situation, etc. — and how it may have motivated some aspirational behaviors of your own.

Use your iPhone, Android, or other recording device to make a short audio recording of your answer and e-mail the file to radio@freakonomics.com. Tell us your name, where you live,  what you do — and, most important, your Fresh Start story. We’ll pick through the best, weirdest examples and make them a part of our show. If you’re too shy to record your voice, give us a shout on Twitter, on our Facebook page, or in the comments below. But audio is what we’re really after.

Many thanks!

The post Lend Your Voice to Freakonomics Radio appeared first on Freakonomics.

Some Other Explanations for Why Public Bathrooms Are the Way They Are

Freakonomics - Tue, 12/30/2014 - 09:57

From a podcast listener named Katie McGreer, some really interesting comment on our recent episode “Time to Take Back the Toilet“:

I am an avid listener of the Freakonomics podcast and I just wanted to respond to the recent episode on noise in public washrooms (or the lack of buffers).  I was having a discussion about the history of cottaging in the UK (and of cruising in America).  I learned that the UK had really harsh penalties against homosexuality for most of the 20th century and so for gay people, toilets were chosen as a meeting place. Still today, sex in public restrooms is not uncommon between strangers (or friends or whatever).  I also learned about the way police forces have cracked down on homosexuality by targeting activity in public washrooms. My brother suggested that modern bathroom design has evolved, in part, to allow police to enter washrooms quietly and sneak up on people who are using public toilet spaces for different (sometimes elicit) purposes. I started to think of other ways public toilets are used.  People commonly go into stalls to do drugs. And the use of toilets is not just for illegal activity but also for activities that are frowned upon in public. In Korea, for instance, there are ashtrays in the bathroom stalls and women frequently sneak off for a smoke — away from public view — since it is taboo for “ladies” to be seen smoking. In this way, public toilets are a bit of a refuge, a private place in a public space. But, clearly, they can also be dangerous.  It is interesting to think that the design of bathroom stalls and of doorways could be part and parcel of a larger safety or crackdown agenda. In Edmonton, my hometown, some public washrooms on busy streets are made of glass walls (the stalls are still made of metal but you can see people’s feet). This kind of transparency, they say, is a measure taken to prevent rape.  In a way, I can see the strategic value of keeping public washrooms quiet as well: you can hear more, and even if you do not deter certain behaviours, you can more easily “catch them.”

The post Some Other Explanations for Why Public Bathrooms Are the Way They Are appeared first on Freakonomics.

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