Byline

Radical political analysis, commentary and discussion in Wales
Dadansoddiad a thrafodaeth radicalaidd o wleidyddiaeth yng Nghymru
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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.

A talk on Black Power by former Black Panther activists.

On the 13th of October, for Black History Month, two former Black Panther activists; Lorenzo and JoNina, will be speaking in Butetown Community Centre, Cardiff. The Black Power movement, from which the Black Panther party grew, was one of the most influential and important movements in social history. They took a bold, militant and confrontational stand against racism, exploitation and police brutality. The Panthers fought the notoriously violent Klu Klux Klan, but also established feeding programmes for children, giving out up to ten thousand free breakfasts every day. J Edgar Hoover, head of the FBI called them ‘the greatest threat to the internal security of the country’.

Lorenzo and JoNina were part of that movement, and members of the Black Panthers party. They will be in Cardiff to speak of their experience of the Black Power movement, and the on-going struggle against racism and the Klu Klux Klan. This is a unique chance to hear about an extraordinary period in American history;

"As inheritors of the discipline, pride, and calm self-assurance preached by Malcolm X, the Panthers became national heroes in black communities by infusing abstract nationalism with street toughness—by joining the rhythms of black working-class youth culture to the interracial élan and effervescence of Bay Area New Left politics ... In 1966, the Panthers defined Oakland's ghetto as a territory, the police as interlopers, and the Panther mission as the defence of community. The Panthers' famous "policing the police" drew attention to the spatial remove that White Americans enjoyed from the police brutality that had come to characterise life in black urban communities." - Jama Lazerow