Radical political analysis, commentary and discussion in Wales
Dadansoddiad a thrafodaeth radicalaidd o wleidyddiaeth yng Nghymru
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They’re Still Hunting, We’re Still Sabbing

As the official foxhunting season is now in full stride, having started on 1st November, South Wales Hunt Saboteurs have been out in the field saving wildlife from cruel and horrific deaths. Hunting with hounds was made illegal in 2005 with the arrival of the Hunting Act, but the act has various loopholes (it is still legal to flush out a fox to a gun using two hounds and to ‘trail hunt’ – follow an artificial scent). These loopholes coupled with the fact that the police aren’t really bothered what the hunts are up to, mean that the majority of hunts continue to hunt just as they did in pre-ban days, often under the guise of ‘trail hunting’.

Although the most obvious victims of hunting are the hunted animals themselves (famously foxes, but there are hunts that chase and kill hares, stags, mink and more), they are not the only ones. When a hound becomes too old or slow to hunt or if they were never any good at hunting in the first place they are simply shot. The horses often don’t have a very pleasant existence either as they are often ridden to exhaustion and hunters and members of the field (the riders following the hunt) hitting their horse if they don’t ‘behave’ sadly isn’t a rare occurrence.

NATO in Newport 2014

On 4th and 5th September 2014 the Celtic Manor Resort in Newport will be hosting this year's North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) summit.

A military alliance that consists of 28 member states across North America and Europe, NATO was originally established in 1949 as a Western counter power to the Soviet Union, ostensibly due to anxieties about the spread of communism. Since the collapse of the USSR it has found meaning in its existence through ‘humanitarian intervention’. Humanitarian intervention by NATO doesn’t mean, food, water and safer spaces for vulnerable people around the world. Instead, humanitarian intervention means military acts of war. Supposedly bombing, displacement and violence is to quash conflicts, and result in peace. Despite history repeatedly showing us that such actions only exacerbates conflict, creating more victims and escalating suffering.

After the Snowden leaks: opposing internet surveillance

Since early June 2013, the revelations by whistleblower Edward Snowden have changed our understanding of online communication. The leaks, published in the Guardian and a few other newspapers, have provided evidence of mass surveillance of our social media uses; interception and monitoring of most online and phone communication; state-sponsored hacking into telecommunications services; and the compromising of internet infrastructure. Moreover, the leaks have documented how security agencies - including those in the UK - have operated with hardly any oversight and often in breach of the law. Organisations like the Open Rights Group (ORG) have been campaigning against Internet surveillance. On Thursday 12th December, members of the Group spoke in Cardiff about surveillance practices and how to stop them.

Currently ORG and two other privacy groups are taking the UK government to the European Court of Human Rights. The group alleges the government acted illegally by breaching the privacy of millions of British and EU citizens, and that it broke Article 8 of the European Human Rights Act. Daniel Carey, solicitor at Deighton Pierce Glynn, reported on the legal challenge and its potential outcomes. Jim Killock, ORG Executive Director, discussed the broader context of digital surveillance and explained what each of us can do to challenge mass surveillance in the UK.