Radical political analysis, commentary and discussion in Wales
Dadansoddiad a thrafodaeth radicalaidd o wleidyddiaeth yng Nghymru
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IWW Cymru: not mourning, but organising

Last Thursday there was an event in the Nos Da Hotel in Cardiff to celebrate the life of union organiser and songwriter Joe Hill. The event (organised by IWW Cymru) marked the centenary of his execution by the state of Utah on 19 November 1915 for a murder that he almost certainly did not commit. It is likely that he was framed and executed for his union activism as a member of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) and because his songs – such as The Preacher and the Slave, Power in a Union and Rebel Girl were considered such an inspiration to the militant American working class of the day. These songs are still sung today within the international labour movement as well as the Ballad of Joe Hill which was written in his honour.

Opposing the DPRTE Arms Fair in Cardiff

Two anti-militarists are up in court this coming week, having been accused of disrupting last year’s DPRTE arms fair in Cardiff. The pair are due to stand trial on Tuesday 6th January 2015 at Cardiff Magistrates Court and could potentially face custodial sentences.

They are accused of damaging the luxury goods of DPRTE arms dealers -including a £400 suit and a £200 pair of designer shoes - with childrens play paint.

According to it's website, DPTRE (the Defense Procurement, Research, Technology and Exportability exhibition) is the "UK’s Premier Defense Procurement Event" and is now being hosted annually at Cardiff Motorpoint arena. Their first time hosting the arms fair in Cardiff was on the the 8th of October 2014, with exhibitors at DPRTE include BAE Systems, the world’s 3rd largest arms producer with a very special relationship with the UK government & Saudi dictatorship. BAE also supplies Israel with the tools to wage war on the Palestinans and after the horrors seen perpetrated by Israel over the summer, from bombing a UN school to the killing of children playing on a beach, there is no doubt that BAE systems is complicit in these crimes through it's arming of the Israeli state.

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.