Victory at Leith Hill! Divest Fracking! Resisting sites of speculation

This piece was written before the news of the draconian jail sentences passed on those opposing fracking in Preston, Lancashire … but that bitter ruling does not destroy the reality that shortly before that decision we celebrated a Victory! The News of an Amazing Victory! We wrote of it as follows … The permission to...

The Invisible Machine – a gas pipeline in the Caucasus and a handshake in No10

On the evening of Thursday 26th April 2018, it was warm and sunny in London. President Ilham Aliyev strode down Downing Street and was met by Prime Minister Theresa May with smile and a handshake. They posed for the cameras on the red carpet outside No 10 and then retired inside. A short formal chat...

Aliyev re-elected as President for another 7 years – the chain of oil autocracy that binds Azerbaijan

On 18th April Ilham Aliyev will be inaugurated for the fourth time as President of Azerbaijan. His re-election comes as no surprise. It is so predictable that it barely counted as ‘news’ and consequently got next to no coverage in the international media. Originally the election was scheduled for 17th October, but at nine weeks...

Vive La Zad ! – in the midst of the tear gas, La Zad exists in our hearts

The police arrived at 03.00 am on the morning of Monday 9th April. The exact number is, of course, unclear but it is said that 2,500 officers in riot equipment, with crash helmets and visors, Perspex shields and plastic body armour were deployed. Two and a half thousand highly trained men appeared out of the...

Home is a Hostile Lover – ending the UK Government’s racist deportations regime

‘Home is a hostile lover’  a poem by Selina Nwulu is read from the concrete steps of Chelmsford Crown Court. London’s former young poet laureate, gives a powerful indictment of the UK’s ‘hostile environment’. Hundreds listen in the chill morning outside Chelmsford Crown Court to stand in solidarity with fifteen people who begin trial this week...

La Zad puts down roots – sensing the future

We’re in the middle of the crowd. Standing some way back from the stage, watching transfixed and elated at the performance of Orchestre Tout Puissant Marcel Duchamp. Two trombones, two drummers, two marimbas, two electric guitars, two cellos and five other musicians blast out such a blissful riot of sound that our souls sail above...

Communal Memory – the power of community to resist Shell in Nigeria

I’m holding in my hands a report published by Amnesty International in November last year – ‘A Criminal Enterprise? Shell’s involvement in human rights violations in Nigeria in the 1990s’. It analyses in forensic detail exactly how much Shell staff knew about, and were involved in supporting, the actions by the Nigerian military taken against...

Breaking: The Struggle to Free the Bus: The Twists, the Turns and the Conspiracies 

BREAKING Guest Blog by Ken Henshaw, Social Action, Nigeria The extraordinary behind-the-scenes story of the Bus memorial seizure and the struggle to release it, on the day of the 3rd Hearing to release the memorial to Ken Saro-Wiwa and the Ogoni 8. Show your support – follow and tweet @GreatOgoni, @Kenn_Henshaw, @S_DouglasCamp. Support the Movement...

We forced Shell to commit to cleaning up the Niger Delta. Now let’s make it a reality.

When we launched our Action Saro-Wiwa campaign back in May we had no idea how many of you would get involved and  we could never have imagined that  a breakthrough could happen so soon. After all, communities have suffered the deadly effects of widespread pollution in the Niger Delta for over 50 years. But your...

A journey to ‘communities of the ideal’

A while back James Marriott made a journey to two communities – each of which tries to approach an ideal. This is his reflection on the experience. The first, La R.o.n.c.e in the Morbihan region of Brittany, is being established on an abandoned farm by six activists and artist-activists, two of whom, John Jordan and...

All that Glitters. Azerbaijan and the Olympics

Landing at Heydar Aliyev Airport in Baku I thought I knew what to expect. This was my second trip to Azerbaijan’s capital city, and I still had vivid memories of my first, the year before. Back then, I arrived at night and Baku seemed like one of the most opulent places on earth. The drive...

The dream of America – a family history of mining and migration

Mika Minio-Paluello, Anna Galkina and James Marriott travelled in North America as part of a tour over September and October to promote The Oil Road – Journeys from the Caspian to the City of London. The ninth of a series of blogs on the journey comes from Pennsylvania… Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania Long hours under rough blankets....