25 Apr 2011

Nailsworth Green faces 10 years in jail

Kevin Lister who stood as a Parliamentary candidate for the Green Party last year in the Cotswolds faces 10 years in jail for producing a spoof website - see my original blog here. He has been arrested but I understand not officially charged yet.  Indeed he was meant to be in court earlier this month but it was again cancelled - is that the fifth time? It seems astonishing that he faces 10 years for a spoof website that most would see as a bit of fun with a serious message?

You can see his statement to the police here about why he resorted to this non-violent direct action: http://kevsclimatecolumn.blogspot.com/2011/04/police-statement.html

Photo taken from Bristol Indymedia site: Defaced notice which Kevin in his statement denies was him

In the link on his blog he highlights his frustration with trying legal routes to try and get the aviation industry to cut their CO2 emissions. It is quite extraordinary the inaction by Governments and authorities when they know the threat. Kevin writes of his charges of fraud and criminal damage: "...contrary to the assertion that my action is intended to cause loss, in reality my action is intended to prevent the biggest loss to us all which is the loss of the environment and for which there is no legal protection against the perils of climate change."

Other spoof websites that made the headlines recently have included an attempt to save the Tree Octopus (see here), to sell dehydrated water (see here) and Traitor Joe's site for ocean destruction (see here). I understand Kevin's site never made that number of 'hits' or into the news big time, but the issue he raises is crucial - possibly the most crucial - and all the more so when new research says only 25% of Britons are concerned about climate change - that is half the number of folk in South Korea and India - read here. More news on this as it develops - meanwhile I understand from Kevin that the Police are still holding his lap top after their raid in the night when they arrested him.

Meanwhile you can join me in taking a CAAT action by emailing your MP from here re arms sales to the Middle East. The latest, highly critical, comment from the House of Commons' Committee on Arms Export Controls says that successive governments had "misjudged the risk" that arms sold to authoritarian regimes, such as Libya and Bahrain, would be used for internal repression. Furthermore, the Committee wants the government to review all arms sales to authoritarian regimes. In other words: arming repressive regimes is NOT OK. For the first time, that Committee questioned whether it was possible to reconcile promoting arms exports with staunchly upholding human rights.

Click on read more to see what Green Party Elinor Croxall, at that time Coordinator of Stroud District Green party, said in 2008 re the Tattoo:
 "The world's largest military Air Show, the Royal International Air Tattoo at Fairford (RIAT) is sponsored by Britain's biggest arms company, BAE Systems. Apart from showcasing weapons in all their 'glory' it is ultimately about selling and making them more acceptable. There is indeed a thrill to see aircraft fly at such high speeds, but we should think hard when we see these killing machines while so many still suffer their effects. Some of the planes, have been used to help drop thousands of tons of cluster bombs and depleted uranium shells killing many Iraqis. Is this really family entertainment while people continue to suffer and die from the illegal, unnecessary and immoral war in Iraq?

"On top of that the Fairford Air Tattoo will also result in many thousands of tonnes of CO2 emissions from the planes, plus a significant contribution from all the unnecessary road traffic that an event of this size generates. This single event will cancel out the valiant attempts that many tens of thousands of people have made across the county to reduce their emissions. We must start to tackle the root causes of conflict. We fund one dictator after the other to keep our 'defence' industries solvent and it is our CO2 emissions that are and will increasingly hit millions of the worlds poorest leading to increased tensions and conflict. Already some have dubbed Sudan as the first climate change conflict. There are many events promoting our rooted relationship with the earth and each other, not to something inherently destructive. These are a truly positive entertainment and productive way forward. Let this Fairford be the last.

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