Tag Archives: Glasgow Anarchists

Post-election thoughts pt1: The SNP

Some thoughts by one of our members on the SNP in light of the recent election results. You can also read another member’s response here.

yellow tories

The leadership of the SNP must be the happiest people with the recent election results outside of the Tory front bench. Everything has lined up perfectly for them. But why would I say this when the polls were strongly hinting that the SNP could have been part of a coalition government and forced more devolved powers to Scotland? Surely they have missed out on making things better for the working classes here in Scotland?

The SNP as a political party doesn’t have the goal of making things “fairer” or to look out for us. That is the rhetoric of any opposition party the world over, and it is used to build membership and support. Once in power the SNP would get on with the same job that every government has, running the state to protect the capitalist interests of a specific segment of the ruling class while also keeping capitalism in check so it doesn’t all fall apart. At the moment that means implementing austerity and progressing the privatisation of public services; the working class will always be hard done-by.

The puzzle for the SNP  is that the segment of capitalist interest they fight would benefit most from independence. If they were seen to be helping run Britain then they would have a harder time looking out for their own interests. By missing out on coalition they also miss out on the LibDem problem of being a supporting part of whatever cuts the government were making. However, would the same fate awaited them as hit the LibDems, that of rapidly destroying their base of support? Not quite, but kinda.

The twist here in Scotland is that the SNP can always play the Westminster card, and they do, time-and-time-again. If something goes wrong, no matter what, it is down to London (or Tories or some other boogieman) and the solution is independence. It doesn’t matter that the horrendous attack on working class services by Edinburgh council are SNP led, or that they have clearly shown that they have no intention of scrapping Trident as they intend to remain in NATO, or even that a whole host of their white paper promises are for things already devolved to Holyrood. These are not the failings of the SNP, liberal democracy, or a capitalist system. Nope. It is all Westminster.

The problem for the SNP is that to keep voters on-side for now they need to be seen to be centre-left. This means giving us in the working class just enough concessions to make things look like they are trying their best until they can secure independence and then get on with looking out for their  interests in the way they want to. The less the SNP have obvious control over the better they look. If powers are devolved slowly, bit-by-bit, then they would either have to concede more and harm their interests or it would become clearer that they are just the same as any other party.

So for the SNP having a Conservative majority is perfect: they can fight and lose to them and look great while awaiting another referendum, and at the same time any flack can be avoided by saying the Tory’s are the cause and that the failure to provide opposition was the failure of the Labour Party in England.

My other thought on the SNP landslide is that it stands as another landmark point in the furthering of nationalist views in Scotland. The role of nationalism is to hide the struggle between ruling class and working class, having us in the working class to support actions that prop up a part of the ruling class rather than work on understanding our own interests and fighting to have our lot improved. Now the main narrative is that things will be made better if we get behind independence, something which has no guarantees and diverts us from taking part in grassroots struggles where we can make a marked improvement in our lives.

At the same time we can look at the voting figures in England and get a rough feeling over why people voted a certain way. On the other hand it is far more difficult to judge up here in Scotland, where the SNP present themselves as whatever will be popular in the area (so centre-left in Glasgow and centre-right almost everywhere else). Add to this the feeling of disappointment over the lack of change post-referendum and it becomes impossible to get a measure for the views of the SNP voter base. My feeling is that this time around most of their voters want a better society and some real change, but that they have been set-up for future disappointment as the SNP  fulfils it’s role as a part of the machinery of a neo-liberal social democracy.

So, if it is just a case that the yellow tories are in, what should we be doing? I’ll be putting up a post in the next few days with some more hopeful and proactive thoughts on that topic.

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Mayday Stalls, Elections Seminar, and the Sunday Swap Shop

Hi all,

Just putting together a really quick post to update folks on the events I was able to get to over this Mayday weekend. First  up where the stall on Mayday itself, where a good number of the cities anarchist and libertarian groups came out and set up a stall, linking the history of working class struggles with the struggles in the here and now. For our part we made some red & black biscuits and put out some publications, stickers and badges to help raise forms for the Baltimore Bail/Legal fund.

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Working folks in Glasgow were keen to show their solidarity with those fighting white supremacy in the streets of Baltimore and the generous donations raised $161.62 (a bit over £100). Thanks to everyone who said hi during the 3 hours we were were in the street!

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Later that night the good folks from Critisticuffs (writers of the libertarian communist journal Kittens) had come up from London to give a seminar to examine the function of elections in  capitalist state society. We’ll try to get a full review of the event up shortly.

Finally, on Sunday evening I was able to drop in to the end of the second Glasgow Social Centre pop-up event, a free shop with food and music. While things were winding down as I arrived just close to 6pm it looked as if the day had been a success, with everyone who attended getting well fed, the swap shop still having lots to rummage through, and the event having made a bit of money to towards getting a permanent social centre up and running.

This is what democracy looks like?

What follows is the very rough notes that where used for the introduction to the the first of our Angry Not Apathetic discussion groups. This evening we looked at what elections are, and the role of parliamentary/representative  democracy. It would be great to carry on what was a really engaged discussion, so if you were at the talk (or even if not) it would be awesome if you could put a summation of any points you either raised or took away in the comments bellow.

scum


This is what democracy looks like?

The general election is a contest to see who will win the job of running the state, so to understand elections, you need to understand the role of the state:

  • An organisation of all the lawmaking and law enforcing institutions within a specific territory.
  • Controlled and run by a small minority of people.
  • Claims that only violence that takes place with it’s sanction is legitimate.
  • Acts to protect the capitalist interests of a specific segment of the ruling class, while also keeping capitalism in check so it doesn’t all fall apart, as the success or failure of a state rests on the success or failure of capitalism within it.
  • To maintain social order and class society.

There are a whole lot of reasons thrown up for why elections make sense, none of which stand up to even a light level of scrutiny. Here are some of the most common:

Standing in elections gives a platform to talk politics
This was the reasoning behind the German socialist parties in the early 20th century, it has been the call of many small minority parties since, and today it is used by the anarchist group Class War. The thing is it wasn’t taking part in electoral politics that contributed any success these groups had, it was direct action at the points where we had struggles in our lives. If anything for CW formal involvement in elections has weakened their argument and made their position seem contradictory and muddled, while socialist parties just get trapped in a mire of elections and don’t go beyond that. Politics and power isn’t external in the state, it is everywhere and available to us, and pretending that elections are special hides that power from us.

Voting for the lesser of two evils
No matter who you vote for, the government that forms is going to undertake the same tasks. It may present them differently; in fact New Labour were able to be far harsher than he Tories due to the lack of criticism and scrutiny given to them by the unions. Parties outside of power will always be able to look better than those in. When we look at the policies and actions of government they have never been taken in direct reply to an election so much as the militancy and power of working class movements at any given time. Rather than pretend that elections have any real meaning we should look at ways or organising ourselves so that no mater who is in power, they will need to provide concessions to us as a working class.

A radical minority can pull the state leftwards
Nah, the ruling party will spin things to justify the plans it was going to undertake whatever. A radical minority will be ignored as it can’t be used to further the agenda of those in power (unless painted as a scapegoat and villain – red scare). On the other hand a minor far-right party (such as Golden Dawn or UKIP) can be used as the excuse to drive through harsh laws and reactionary positions because that is what the government wanted to do all along. BNP got used this way without even having an MP.

We need to change the way we vote!
The voting system being the used isn’t the barrier or the key to change. No matter how they are chosen, elected officials are largely unaccountable except to their own party and the tasks of government. Regardless of how they are selected, the main way to see real changes is through organising with those around us, while the electoral process itself is still a massive distraction from building this kind of working class power.

We need to counter voter apathy
This one is half-right. Apathy is a problem, but voting or not voting is beside the point. Apathy comes from a feeling that change is not possible, a feeling that the focus on voting creates. We need to work to build a culture where people feel they can resist the state and capitalism, but that won’t happen by posing a new candidate to vote for; that will only breed more apathy.

We can change the system from the inside
The closer a group gets to executive decision making the more it’s interests start to side with the status quo. We can see this recently with the SNP, where they dropped their pledge to leave NATO, thus indicating to others in power that their commitment to scrap trident is nothing more than hollow rhetoric and that once in power they would (with a regretful face on) keep things as they are.

In Conclusion: I’d argue that anarchism should be a tool for understanding how power and hierarchy works, and as such we should use it to be truthful about elections and work to demystify them. Pretending they are somehow important just holds us back.


 

Next month (on the 15th of April) we will be looking at the question of what anarchists actively put their time into, so keep your eyes peeled on this blog  for details of our second talk in this short series: Direct action gets the goods!

Events from the 18th August onwards

Hiya folks,

Highlights for me this week include: the meeting on Tuesday evening to see if there are people interested in forming a new social centre here in Glasgow; then on Wednesday the talk/discussion event in the Glasgow AF we are hosting about the very real ways capitalism effects our health for the worse and looking at ways to transform the world to be better suited for our well-being; and Fail Better raising funds for refugee Palestinians.

Anyway, without further ado…

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Create Your Own Cult, The Scientology Way – Dr Martin Poulter | Best of Glasgow Skeptics
Monday, August 18 at 7:00pm – 9:30pm
The Admiral Bar, 72a Waterloo Street, G2 7DA

Scientology has been described in the States as “ruthless, litigious and lucrative” and in this country as “corrupt, sinister and dangerous”, yet it boasts global success and has made hundreds of millions of dollars. Thanks to the Internet, it now faces an unprecedented global opposition. The scary secrets of Scientology and its recruitment methods will be exposed in this talk. It will be useful for anyone wanting to set up their own lucrative cult

Dr Martin Poulter first encountered skepticism while a teenager. He has a Philosophy and Psychology degree from Oxford University and a PhD in Philosophy of Science from the University of Bristol. He has been a Scientology-watcher since 1995, when he was threatened with legal action over material he posted online. He is an ordained minister in the Church of the SubGenius, which offers eternal spiritual salvation or triple your money back.

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Martin spoke at one of Glasgow Skeptics’ first events, back in January 2010. As we approach our fifth birthday in November, we hope to bring back some of the best speakers we’ve heard from in that time.

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Reforming the Glasgow Social Centre Collective
Tuesday, August 19 at 7:00pm
Electron Club Room, CCA, 350 Sauchiehall St, G2 3JD

Glasgow Social Centre collective was a group that aimed to create a safe and healthy space, open to all members of the community, that was to operate as a hub for a variety of community and social groups in Glasgow. They worked on principles of mutual aid, solidarity and co-operation, and aimed to provide a space which promoted education and involvement in issues of environmental and social justice.

Due to changes in life circumstances the original collective had disbanded over a year ago, however some of it’s members are still at hand and the idea of opening a sustainable social centre lives on. Individuals and groups are invited to this open meeting to discuss the formation of a new GSC collective.

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A BIRD IS NOT A STONE: PALESTINIAN POETRY LIVE IN GLASGOW
Wednesday, August 20 at 8.00pm
Tron Theatre, 63 Trongate, G1 5HB

Admission £5/£3

All Welcome!

Please join us for this rare opportunity to hear Palestinian poets reading their work in arabic with new versions performed by leading Scottish Poets.

Palestinian poets MAYA ABU AL-HAYYAT and ZUHEIR ABU SHAYEB will be joined by Liz Lochhead, Liz Niven, Christine De Luca, Abla Oudeh and Sarah Irving.

‘The tragic story of Palestine continues to stain this new century with its tales of apartheid and injustice. It is no surprise that great art is born out of its suffering and also no surprise that most people in the outer world do not get to hear of it. Therefore this exquisite book of poems must be all the more welcomed – by all those who love art, who would denounce oppression, and who want to read the songs of those living behind the wall.’ Emma Thompson, Oscar-winning actor

‘A Bird is Not a Stone is a fabulous, landmark collection, an example of poetry’s ability to transcend borders, cultures and languages in order to celebrate our shared humanity. These poems resound with both the ephemera of the everyday, and also the tragedies lived beneath an ever-present threat of violence. Not just beautiful, they are important for the voices they give sound to, and their translations by some of these Islands’ best poets are vital reminders of what we know, what we forget, and what we have to learn from Palestine.’ Carol Ann Duffy, British Poet Laureate

‘Angry, celebratory, bawdy and moving, these are poems by fine poets, translated by fine poets. They feel like the first offerings of the Cafavys, Nerudas and Lorcas of today, brought fresh to the modern reader.’ Andrew Marr, journalist and political commentator

‘This is a beautiful and timely expression of cultural solidarity and internationalism.’ Bella Caledonia

A rare opportunity to discover the range and variety of extraordinary voices in contemporary Palestinian poetry translated by Scotland’s most acclaimed poets.

A major collection of contemporary Palestinian poetry translated by 25 of Scotland’s very best writers including Alasdair Gray, Liz Lochhead, James Robertson, Jackie Kay, William Letford, Aonghas MacNeacail, DM Black, Tom Pow, Ron Butlin, Christine De Luca and John Glenday.

A Bird is Not a Stone is a unique cultural exchange, giving both English and Arabic readers a unique insight into the political, social and emotional landscape of today’s Palestine. Includes both established and emerging Palestinian poets.

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Penington Cohousing Public Meetings
Wednesday, August 20 at 05.15pm Cafe & 17.45 Blytheswood Room (Mitchell Library)
Sat 23 Aug 14.30 Cafe & 15.00 Blytheswood Room (Mitchell Library)

Seeking new members!

Cohousing is a way of living in community. Starting with an interested group of 20 to 25 households, we will design our homes for our site, including a common house where we will have regular shared meals and space for community activities, and visitor accommodation. The landscaping will enable more day to day interactions to develop the sense of belonging. Sharing the design process will be part of community formation. Once built we will each buy our homes, and pay a regular charge for the shared facilities, and do a few hours of work to maintain the facilities each week.

We plan to use high building standards, reducing the need for energy input, and generating electricity eg from solar cells. Design will take into account the anticipated needs of an ageing community, like step free access. Plans are to have a cross age community that is mutually supportive, with opportunities to engage in activities, and reducing the isolation currently prevalent among older people. We are looking for a site with good access to public transport as the Cohousing Community will be part of the wider community that it is located in, not a gated estate.

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Capitalism is a Health Hazard!
Wednesday, August 20 at 6:45pm – 9:00pm
Fred Paton Centre, 19 Carrington Street, G4 9AJ

Hierarchy harms our health. Inequality in income and lack of control over living and working conditions leads to deadly chronic stress. Climate and environmental destruction is a major threat to public health. And that’s before we get to consumerism and the isolation of the individual; the emptiness of modern existence.

While heathcare and modern sanitation are vital to achieve a base level of health, it will require a fundamental transformation of our society to tackle the big killers today and bring about well-being for all.

What would this healthy society look like?

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Glasgow AF discussion group is open and free to all, however any donations towards costs will be appreciated. Tea/coffee/juice/biscuits will be provided free of charge. Our venue is accessible to wheelchairs/powerchairs. We will also have a book stall from the RiB project with books and other related material for sale. We ask that all those attending this event read the brief introduction to our safer spaces policy here: https://glasgowanarchists.wordpress.com/safer-spaces/

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Fail Better: BOYCOTT ISRAEL
Thursday, August 21 at 8:00pm
McChuills, 40 High Street, G1 1NL

This Fail Better is dedicated to the martyrs of Palestine (Gaza, West Bank & Historic Palestine). By answering the call from the Palestinian civillian population for the total Boycott Divestment and Sanction of Israel, we can work to dismantle the Apartheid State.

There will be poetry, music & film including:

Short films made by the LAJEE youth centre in Aida Camp, Betlehem

If anyone has words or music to share, please get in touch.

This Fail Better is a social space for discussing where we are. There will be no formal discussion, but treat the night as place to meet up with friends and folk to discuss what’s going on – whatever your knowledge/involvement with the Palestinian struggle.

There will be as much information on BDS as we can get our hands on.

All pennies spent will go directly to help the refugees of Palestine

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NOT PROTEST, BUT ACTIVE RESISTANCE // LAVINIA RACCANELLO
Friday, August 22 – Sunday, September 7
New Glasgow Society, 1307 Argyle Street, G3 8TL.

“People have as much liberty as they have the intelligence to want and the courage to take.” – Emma Goldman

Lavinia Raccanello (1985) is an italian artist and activist, now based in Glasgow, where she was selected to be part of the Many Graduate programme 2013 – 2014. Her work always focusses on the relationship between human beings and society, with a particular emphasis on the power of dialectic and participatory practice. At the beginning of March, she moved to Faslane Peace Camp, the longest-running permanent peace camp in the world, and for her first solo exhibition at New Glasgow Society she stands up with Faslane Peace Campers for a nuclear-free Scotland.

On the closing day of the exhibition, September 7th, an open talk will be hosted in the gallery space, inviting artists, politicians, activists, and concerned citizens to come together to share their views on nuclear weapons along with their hopes for the future.

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The Decline of Violence – Helen Dale | Glasgow Skeptics
Monday, August 25 at 7:00pm – 9:30pm
The Admiral Bar, 72a Waterloo Street, G2 7DA

In the late 1980s and early 1990s, criminologists warned a despairing and frightened public throughout the developed world that already terrifying rates of violent crime would continue to rise. They described, among other things, the emergence of the ‘Superpredator’, an adolescent male who knew neither conscience nor remorse.

However, their predictions were wrong.

Crime rates began to drop like a stone. In the US, the drop had already commenced when criminologists were sounding their direst warnings. Other developed countries – including both England and Scotland – followed the US lead, and crime is now at historic lows.

Those who have read Steven Pinker’s ‘The Better Angels of Our Nature’ would be aware that Western societies have become less violent over the long term – as in, since the Middle Ages. The period from 1965 to 1990 – when crime rose – represented a short-lived and partial reversal of this trend. Because criminologists got it so wrong, many have reoriented their scholarship in an attempt to work out just what it was that made crime escalate in the 1960s, and then, as though by magic, drop away in the 1990s.
Helen will discuss the various theories put forward in an attempt to explain the latest decline of violence, and offer suggestions as to which have the greatest explanatory power.

Helen Dale studied her English law at Oxford (where she was at Brasenose) and her Scots law at Edinburgh, and although she now works in corporate law, she started out – for the most part – practising criminal law. One of her advanced papers at Oxford was in criminology, and she (like lots of other lawyers) wanted to work out how an entire discipline could get it so wrong, and what may explain the (recent) decline of violence.

Helen blogs at: http://skepticlawyer.com.au/

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Education as the Practice of Freedom
Wednesday, September 17 at 6:45pm – 9:00pm
Fred Paton Centre, 19 Carrington Street, G4 9AJ

“There is no such thing as a neutral educational process. Education either functions as an instrument that is used to facilitate the integration of the younger generation into the logic of the present system and bring about conformity to it, or it becomes “the practice of freedom,” the means by which men and women deal critically and creatively with reality and discover how to participate in the transformation of their world.” – Paulo Freire

Anarchists have a long and illustrious history of involvement within education, with interventions in libertarian education as notable as Ferrer’s Escuela Moderna, and the Free Skools, right through into the contemporary spaces of Social Centres. As a movement, Anarchism has historically emphasised the importance of the role of education – whether as a domesticating tool of oppression or as a prefiguring and liberating force – with a concern rarely echoed in other political perspectives.

While naturally touching on some of that history, this talk will mainly be concerned with the understanding that radicalism presents us with a fundamentally educational space, and will consider this in light of the work of Paulo Freire, among others. Though identifying outside of the specific Anarchist tradition, Freire’s work within Popular Education can be easily understood as broadly libertarian, and with implications and prospects for Anarchism.

Though the talk will highlight the role of informal education, contributions and reflections on all modes are welcome and expected in the discussion following.

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Glasgow AF discussion group is open and free to all, however any donations towards costs will be appreciated. Tea/coffee/juice/biscuits will be provided free of charge. Our venue is accessible to wheelchairs/powerchairs. We will also have a book stall from the RiB project with books and other related material for sale. We ask that all those attending this event read the brief introduction to our safer spaces policy here: https://glasgowanarchists.wordpress.com/safer-spaces/

Capitalism is a Health Hazard! (talk/discussion)

Wednesday 20th August
18:45 – 21:00
Fred Paton Centre, 19 Carrington Street, Glasgow, G4 9AJ.
Facebook | Map

Hierarchy harms our health. Inequality in income and lack of control over living and working conditions leads to deadly chronic stress. Climate and environmental destruction is a major threat to public health. And that’s before we get to consumerism and the isolation of the individual; the emptiness of modern existence.

While heathcare and modern sanitation are vital to achieve a base level of health, it will require a fundamental transformation of our society to tackle the big killers today and bring about well-being for all.

What would this healthy society look like?

Glasgow AF discussion group is open and free to all, however any donations towards costs will be appreciated. Tea/coffee/juice/biscuits will be provided free of charge. Our venue is accessible to wheelchairs/powerchairs. We will also have a book stall from the RiB project with books and other related material for sale. We ask that all those attending this event read the brief introduction to our safer spaces policy here.

Events from the 16th July onwards

Hi folks,

Of note this week coming is that us folks at the Glasgow Anarchist Federation are putting on a discussion on bicycles, transport, and the city environment and the call-out by claimants in Clydebank to show support to their campaign against benefit sanctions. The free personal safety courses for women hare also still ongoing this month:

16th July 10am – 12pm, Castlemilk

22nd July 7pm – 9pm, Toryglen

30th July 7pm – 9pm, Langside

For full information or to book a space on the course, see the Wise Women-Glasgow website: http://www.wisewomen.org.uk/currentcourses.html

Now without further ado…

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The Revolution must be Localised: The bicycle as a tool for liberation in the struggle for radical neighbourhoods
July 16 at 6:45pm – 9:00pm
Fred Paton Centre, 19 Carrington Street, G4 9AJ

The city excites & enthuses us, but it troubles us in equal measure. There are fewer and fewer free spaces in the city, every square foot of this place where we live has been divided up walled in and fenced off a dozen times before we were even born. The only thing that we have left that belongs to all of us is the streets

This months presentation looks at the bicycle as a tool for liberation in the struggle for radical neighbourhoods, followed by a discussion upon the issues raised.

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Glasgow AF discussion group is open and free to all, however any donations towards costs will be appreciated. Tea/coffee/juice/biscuits will be provided free of charge. Our venue is accessible to wheelchairs/powerchairs. We will also have a book stall from the RiB project with books and other related material for sale. We ask that all those attending this event read the brief introduction to our safer spaces policy here: https://glasgowanarchists.wordpress.com/safer-spaces/

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Glasgow Anarchist Collective Support Clydebank Against Benefit Sanctions
Thursday, July 17 at 10:00am – 4:00pm
Clydebank Jobcentre, Radnor House, 245 Kilbowie Rd, Clydebank, G81 2JN

GAC will be in attendance to support Clydebank Against Benefit Sanctions on their day of protest against JSA sanctions.

“we are campaigning locally to end the blight of thousands of people in West Dumbartonshire being reduced to desperate poverty by benefit sanctions.” – Clydebank Against Benefit Sanctions

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Ibrox Flower Field Family Day
Friday, July 18 at 12:009m – 4:00pm
Ibrox Flower Field Community Garden, Hinshelwood Drive

Come and join us for an afternoon of family fun at the lovely Ibrox Flower Field Community Garden in Ibrox.

There will be:

Arts & Crafts
Garden Games
Planting Sessions
Herbal Teas
Strawberries and Cream
BBQ

All are welcome to come along and enjoy the afternoon.

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‘The Ghosts in Our Machine’ – Free Film Screening, Discussion & Live Music
Saturday 19th July at 6:00pm – 10.30pm
Stereo Cafe Bar, 22-28 Renfield Lane, Glasgow, G2 6PH

FREE ENTR

Earthmovies is proud to present the Scottish premiere of ‘The Ghosts in Our Machine’, an award-winning film with film director Liz Marshall present for a Q&A after the screening (she is coming all the way from the US for a UK tour!). Moreover there will be free vegan food and the fabulous Blochestra playing live music. And the best is it’s all free!

About the film:
Acclaimed photographer Jo-Anne Mc Arthur gives an empathetic insight into the lives of animals which are usually out of our sight. Each story is a window into different global animal industries such as food, fashion, entertainment and research.

Her captivating images raise important questions about how we treat animals in our society. Can it be justified to use animals as products instead of recognizing their value and dignity as fellow living beings?

The screening will be followed by a discussion about animal rights and the role of the media with film director Liz Marshall as well as Tatiana Heise representing Animal Aid.

About the event:
The event will start at 6pm when free vegan food snacks will be served, there will be some info stalls and most likely a raffle as well.

At 7pm the film will start, followed by a discussion.

After that will be some awesome live music entertainment by Blochestra. It’s not your average band but a full sized neighbourhood orchestra featuring all sorts of instruments from trombones to guitars, violin and double bass merging into a unique soundscape.

Hope to see you there! Please spread the word and invite your friends.

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Grow Your Own
Thursday, July 24 – September 11
Polmadie Plots, Toryglen

This is a free course though booking is essential. To book a place please contact Colin at either colin@urbanroots.org.uk or 0141 613 2766

Whether you have a spare window ledge for a window box, or an allotment plot, this course will help you to get started growing your own food. The course will cover the basics of seed sowing, planting, composting, and harvesting, and there will also be help to design your own space for growing fruit and veg. There will be lots of practical activities, help and advice, and visits to gardens in the area.

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Frack Watch
Sunday, July 27 at 2:00pm – 4:00pm
GMAC, 103 Trongate, Glasgow, G1 5HD

IT’S HAPPENING UNLESS WE PREVENT IT.

The Scottish Government is going to give the go-ahead for fracking in the central belt of Scotland, the gas to be used as a feedstock for the INEOS plant at Grangemouth. How can we prevent this reckless plan?

Come along to Frack Watch and say what you think could be done.

The date has been chosen because by then the “expert panel” will have reported to Scottish government and the new licences handed out – so we will be clearer exactly what we’re up against.

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Grow Local, Shop Local, Love Local
Sunday, July 27 at 12:00pm – 5:00pm
The Briggait, 141 Bridgegate, G1 5HZ

*****A Glasgow Local Food Network Market at the Empire Cafe*****

Join us for Food Sovereignty Day at The Briggait: An afternoon of workshops, cookery demonstrations and tasters.

Browse and buy at stalls from local Glasgow growers selling fresh vegetables, herbs, fruit and other delights, all made from locally sourced ingredients!

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Playful Movement in nature: discovering self and place
Sunday, August 3 at 2:00pm – 6:00pm
Malls Mire, Toryglen

Playful Movement in nature: discovering self and place.
Facilitated by Satya Dunning, Wellbeing Practitioner and Dance Artist as part of The Living Well series for Urban Roots.
Half a day on Sunday 3 August 2014 at Malls Mire.
2pm – 6pm.
Cost: £5

To book a place email: projects@urbanroots.org.uk or tel: 0141 613 2766

http://www.satyadunning.co.uk

Aim:
Playful Movement in nature aims to increase wellbeing by being creative in a natural environment.

It’s a chance for you to get energised, and absorbed in a natural environment and leave busy thoughts and concerns behind.
It’s a space to reconnect with your body, others and your surroundings through play, movement, mindful based activity, using your imagination and paying attention to what’s around you.

You will:
Discover a new sense of self and relate to your surrounding creatively.
Increase your capacity to be in the present moment and have fun.
Improve your listening skills use a multisensory approach.
Deepen your experience of how creativity and nature contribute to your wellbeing.

The session is usually a mixture of talking, playful movement, sometimes drawing, reflecting and seeing how we can bring these experiences into our daily life.
No experience is needed. Open to 16 years old and plus.
What to bring:
Water, a snack and something to write on (notebook, journal).
Comfortable layers of clothing.
Waterproofs.

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Geoengineering – Human Innovation, or Hubris? – Prof. Colin McInnes | Glasgow Skeptics
Monday, August 11 at 7:00pm – 9:30pm
The Admiral Bar, 72a Waterloo Street, G2 7DA

Geoengineering research is at present a speculative venture at the intersection of Engineering Science, Climate Science and public policy. Current research programmes aim to devise and develop processes through which the climate could be actively tuned to partly offset the potentially regressive impacts of future human-driven climate change. For some, geoengineering is a clear example of human hubris, and, for others, a hedge against high climate sensitivity and/or the continued growth of carbon emissions.

In this talk, Colin will explore the technological means of delivering geoengineering interventions, both feasible and speculative, and will put contemporary thinking on the topic into its historical context. He will then speculate on how large-scale engineering ventures could impact human development into the deep future – whether greening deserts or greening Mars, or indeed protecting the Earth from the natural calamities of the past.

Colin McInnes is Professor of Engineering Science at the University of Strathclyde where leads the Advanced Space Concepts Laboratory, an awarding-winning space technology research centre. He is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering and the Royal Society of Edinburgh, and was awarded the Society’s Kelvin Prize in 2013. He is author and co-author of a number of publications on the technological challenges associated with Geoengineering, most recently contributing to an edited volume Geoengineering the Climate System published by the Royal Society of Chemistry.

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Create Your Own Cult, The Scientology Way – Dr Martin Poulter | Best of Glasgow Skeptics
Monday, August 18 at 7:00pm – 9:30pm
The Admiral Bar, 72a Waterloo Street, G2 7DA

Scientology has been described in the States as “ruthless, litigious and lucrative” and in this country as “corrupt, sinister and dangerous”, yet it boasts global success and has made hundreds of millions of dollars. Thanks to the Internet, it now faces an unprecedented global opposition. The scary secrets of Scientology and its recruitment methods will be exposed in this talk. It will be useful for anyone wanting to set up their own lucrative cult

Dr Martin Poulter first encountered skepticism while a teenager. He has a Philosophy and Psychology degree from Oxford University and a PhD in Philosophy of Science from the University of Bristol. He has been a Scientology-watcher since 1995, when he was threatened with legal action over material he posted online. He is an ordained minister in the Church of the SubGenius, which offers eternal spiritual salvation or triple your money back.

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Martin spoke at one of Glasgow Skeptics’ first events, back in January 2010. As we approach our fifth birthday in November, we hope to bring back some of the best speakers we’ve heard from in that time.

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Health & Hierarchy
Wednesday, August 20 at 6:45pm – 9:00pm
Fred Paton Centre, 19 Carrington Street, G4 9AJ

This month’s talk looks at the negative impact capitalist society has on our health. Full blurb to follow.

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Glasgow AF discussion group is open and free to all, however any donations towards costs will be appreciated. Tea/coffee/juice/biscuits will be provided free of charge. Our venue is accessible to wheelchairs/powerchairs. We will also have a book stall from the RiB project with books and other related material for sale. We ask that all those attending this event read the brief introduction to our safer spaces policy here: https://glasgowanarchists.wordpress.com/safer-spaces/

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The Decline of Violence – Helen Dale | Glasgow Skeptics
Monday, August 25 at 7:00pm – 9:30pm
The Admiral Bar, 72a Waterloo Street, G2 7DA

In the late 1980s and early 1990s, criminologists warned a despairing and frightened public throughout the developed world that already terrifying rates of violent crime would continue to rise. They described, among other things, the emergence of the ‘Superpredator’, an adolescent male who knew neither conscience nor remorse.

However, their predictions were wrong.

Crime rates began to drop like a stone. In the US, the drop had already commenced when criminologists were sounding their direst warnings. Other developed countries – including both England and Scotland – followed the US lead, and crime is now at historic lows.

Those who have read Steven Pinker’s ‘The Better Angels of Our Nature’ would be aware that Western societies have become less violent over the long term – as in, since the Middle Ages. The period from 1965 to 1990 – when crime rose – represented a short-lived and partial reversal of this trend. Because criminologists got it so wrong, many have reoriented their scholarship in an attempt to work out just what it was that made crime escalate in the 1960s, and then, as though by magic, drop away in the 1990s.
Helen will discuss the various theories put forward in an attempt to explain the latest decline of violence, and offer suggestions as to which have the greatest explanatory power.

Helen Dale studied her English law at Oxford (where she was at Brasenose) and her Scots law at Edinburgh, and although she now works in corporate law, she started out – for the most part – practising criminal law. One of her advanced papers at Oxford was in criminology, and she (like lots of other lawyers) wanted to work out how an entire discipline could get it so wrong, and what may explain the (recent) decline of violence.

Helen blogs at: http://skepticlawyer.com.au/

The Revolution must be Localised: The bicycle as a tool for liberation in the struggle for radical neighbourhoods

Wed 16th July
18:45 – 21:00
Fred Paton Centre, 19 Carrington Street, Glasgow, G4 9AJ.
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The city excites & enthuses us, but it troubles us in equal measure. There are fewer and fewer free spaces in the city, every square foot of this place where we live has been divided up walled in and fenced off a dozen times before we were even born. The only thing that we have left that belongs to all of us is the streets.

This months presentation looks at the bicycle as a tool for liberation in the struggle for radical neighbourhoods, followed by a discussion upon the issues raised.

Glasgow AF discussion group is open and free to all, however any donations towards costs will be appreciated. Tea/coffee/juice/biscuits will be provided free of charge. Our venue is accessible to wheelchairs/powerchairs. We ask that all those attending this event read the brief introduction to our safer spaces policy here. We will also be joined by a stall from the Radical Independent Bookfair project who will be bringing books, pamphlets, stickers and other items related to the talk for sale.