Film night: Resistance and rebellion

A story of Britain’s black communities

Tuesday 13 May, 6.30pm till 9pm
Rich Mix, 35 – 47 Bethnal Green Road, London, E1 6LA

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Featuring films and speakers spanning over 30 years history of struggle by Britain’s black communities. The stories of resistance and rebellion will cover the iconic self-defence campaigns of the Newham 7 in the 1980s, the Stephen Lawrence family campaign, the brutal deaths in custody, those criminalised and imprisoned in miscarriages of justice right through to those facing today’s war on terror.

Learn about the victories achieved by militant community campaigns and the uprisings that rocked the country as the UK’s black communities fought to establish and strengthen their place within British society – in the face not only of individual prejudice but trenchant state racism, not least by institutions like the police and the courts.

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Film night: We Can Win

Free film launch
“We Can Win: Stories from 50 years of struggle”

Tuesday 14 January at 6.30pm
Rich Mix, 35-47 Bethnal Green Road, London E1 6LA

These ten moving and often funny short films document a proud 50 year history of campaigning, strikes, occupations, work ins and solidarity in the name of fair pay, decent jobs, and economic justice. The films are made up of interviews with key organisers, speaking about the tactics they used, what was successful, what wasn’t, and where they see the struggle for economic justice going today.

The film night will also feature a discussion with the film maker, and organisers from key current economic justice movements in London for a chance to talk about how social justice activists today can learn from the lessons of other movements past and present. With speakers from the 3cosas campaign, student strike solidarity and South London Anti-Fascists.

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Films featuring:

  • St Pancras Rent Strike 1960
  • Dagenham Equal Pay Strikes 1968 & 1984
  • Upper Clyde Shipworkers work in 1971 – 1972
  • Grunwick Strike 1976 – 1978
  • The Miners’ Strike 1984 – 1985
  • The Poll Tax Rebellion 1989 – 1993
  • Liverpool Dockers’ Strike 1995 – 1998
  • The Living Wage 2002 – 2007 (and ongoing)
  • Occupy (London) 2011 – now
  • Disabled People Against Cuts & UK Uncut: now

Watch the trailer

The films form part of the Economic Justice Project which aims to provide opportunities for people to learn about the basics of economics and the financial crisis, vital tools for social and economic justice activists. It also brings people together who have similar aims, but don’t usually work together. From global justice campaigners, to anti-cuts activists, there has never been a better time to recognise what we share and how we can strengthen each other’s work.

See more detailed information on the films here: http://economicjustice.jubileedebt.org.uk/2012/12/film-blurbs/

Films produced by Jubilee Debt Campaign for the Economic Justice Project.

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Films from our Egypt film night

There was a full house at our Egypt film night on Wednesday, but if you missed it or wanted to see the films again, the main ones are online.

The Factory
“A glimpse into life inside Egypt’s Mahalla textile factory – a cauldron of revolt where workers inspired an uprising.”
We showed edited extracts of this 50 minute documentary at the film night, but it’s worth watching in full.

Tweets from Tahrir
This was our main feature, telling the story of the ousting of Mubarak and the progress of the revolution in 2011 through interviews with five of the people who tweeted the whole way through. It’s a fast-paced, gripping film, which is also 50 minutes long.

Mosireen’s YouTube channel
Activist video collective Mosireen’s YouTube channel is still being updated with footage from the latest developments, though it’s only slightly older videos that have English subtitles yet.

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Televising the revolution

Film and video in Egypt’s uprising

When: Wed 30 January 6.30pm till 9pm
Where: Rich Mix, 35 – 47 Bethnal Green Road, London, E1 6LA

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The Egyptian revolution was heralded by some as a social media-instigated uprising. Yet there was far more to the revolution than tweeting people onto the streets. As we reach the second anniversary of the overthrow of Mubarak, 6 Billion Ways will be looking at the revolt behind the headlines, including the strikes in factories like Mahallah which helped bring the regime to its knees.

Every revolt uses the latest technology available to it. And while it was less lauded than Twitter, video collectives such as Mosireen and Kazeboon were able to make use of cheap video editing to show the reality of the regime’s violence to a wider audience. Kazeboon in particular actually organised screenings in communities around the country, bringing the revolution even to those unable to read.

With the dynamic of revolt far from dissipated, protests growing against the new Muslim Brotherhood government and an unprecedented wave of industrial strikes, join us to celebrate the struggle for freedom and social justice, and learn from the tactics employed by Egyptian activists. The evening will include:

  • The film Tweets from Tahrir, plus discussion with filmmakers Adib Nessim and Damian Clarke
  • Excerpts from The Factory: revolution through Arab eyes
  • Shorts from Mosireen video collective
  • More speakers to be announced

Free entry, bar and food available

Download a flyer (pdf)

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Fossil fuel industry talks the modern talk, but dig a little deeper and they’re still stuck in the Stone Age

The energy system’s broken but our governments aren’t up to the challenge

If the UK receiving a month’s rain in a day wasn’t enough – or the unbelievable speed the Arctic’s melting – a new report released this week shows that climate change is already here: it’s already costing the world $1.2 trillion a year (the combined GDP of Norway, Denmark and the United Arab Emirates), and is set to get far worse. As the recent 6 Billion Ways film night showed, it’s because vested corporate interests are keeping us hooked on dirty fossil fuels while they rake in billions. The film night also showed how the very same energy system is failing billions across the world who continue to live in energy poverty. If we’re to fix our broken energy system, tackling climate change and energy poverty, then we need fair, ambitious action from world governments. But the last big chance we had – this summer’s UN Sustainable Development Conference, aka Rio+20, didn’t deliver. Friends of the Earth’s analysis shows how bad the deal was for people and the planet, and a follow-up blog from the World Coal Association (WCA) surprisingly agreed – or is that a sheepskin coat you’re wearing, Mr Wolf?

 

If it seems unbelievable, it probably is

My gut tells me anything the WCA sees as good must be bad, but reading the blog I found them calling for global action on energy poverty – echoing Friends of the Earth. Over a billion people are without access to electricity, with another billion unable to afford it or with no reliable connection. Almost 3 billion rely on polluting fuels like coal and wood for cooking and heating, with serious health impacts particularly among women and young children. So the WCA wants to tackle this?

 

The devil is in the detail: what WCA means when it talks about energy access is ramping up coal-fired power stations. The name’s a bit of a give away. Its members include some of the biggest, most polluting fossil fuel companies in the world like Rio Tinto, Xstrata, BHP Billiton and Glencore. Coal is their bread and butter, and if energy access can justify building more coal plants, well then great. Except it doesn’t deliver energy access – quite the opposite – and we desperately need to stop burning fossil fuels if we’re going to prevent catastrophic climate change.

 

King Coal can’t deliver for people or the planet

Unlike Friends of the Earth, WCA’s Chief Executive, Milton Catelin (ex-climate change advisor to Tony Blair!) welcomes the Rio+20 Outcome for keeping fossil fuels on the table and its “recognition that renewable energy sources are not the only path to achieving global energy access objectives.” He also calls for UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s flag ship initiative, Sustainable Energy for All (SE4All), to recognise the importance of coal in delivering access. But what exactly are those claims based on?

 

It might sound logical that more power stations – coal or not – will lead to more people accessing electricity, but it doesn’t work like that in many countries in the global South. In India more than 400m people have no electricity access and the aggressive building of coal-fired power plants has not tackled this: the East of India, with the highest number of plants, also has the lowest levels of village electrification – the electricity is sent to the richer urban centres and heavy industry. And the myth that coal is cheap an abundant is now finally being allayed as volatile commodity prices show. Contrast that against the falling cost of renewables and the addiction to coal sounds criminal. Ironically, while energy access officially justified building a giant coal-fired power station in South Africa, the Medupi plant will actually reduce energy access as the loans to build it will be paid back through increases on already unaffordable electricity bills, leading to even more people being cut-off.

 

The danger of talking our talk

The WCA represents a growing trend of the fossil fuel industry to paint itself as champions of sustainable development. Coal company Peabody Energy talks of ‘energy access for all with green coal’; the shale gas industry touts itself as the low carbon solution we’re waiting for, despite the International Energy Agency showing that exploiting it will cook the planet.

 

The fossil fuel industry is tricking us with this language into accepting the same false solutions that got us into this mess in the first place. There’s a reason the world is facing multiple crises, and that’s because business as usual has been a disaster for this planet and the majority of people in it. We can’t let them do it again. We need new models that can deliver.

 

Walking the walk

For energy access, breaking from business as usual means moving away from traditional grids. While they’re important, they’ve failed to deliver for the world’s poor. We need to accept that of those without access to electricity in Sub Saharan Africa, 70% are off-grid in remote or rural areas. The grid will never reach, and renewable technologies like solar PV or micro-hydro are often the cheapest and most effective electricity sources. Local energy projects can create local employment and technical skills, while access to energy is itself a great catalyser for development, powering water pumps, small-scale irrigation or small businesses, as well as helping the realisation of basic rights like education and health care.

 

Putting communities at the heart of clean energy access has been a great success in places like Brazil, Nepal or Indonesia. In Indonesia, Ashden Award winner IBEKA (who featured in our film night) is helping communities set up and run their own micro-hydro plants, transforming the lives of local residents. Renewable energy cooperatives can put people and the planet first.

 

Walk the walk or we’ll stop your talk

So I do agree with the WCA on one thing: we need global action on energy poverty. But we have to make sure we adopt the right models and right policies, guiding investment towards real, not false solutions. Renewables over coal, decentralised over centralised, communities over large corporations. Big corporate fossil fuel interests will keep talking the language of sustainability and it’s down to all of us to call them out, to call a pig in lipstick a pig, and to demand that our politicians stop listening to dirty industry and start putting us and the planet first.

 

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Host your own Power Hungry film night

Thanks to everyone who made it down to Rich Mix for our latest film night, ‘Power Hungry: Cutting the corporate control of energy’. And a massive thank you to all of our speakers and everyone who gave a shout-out about their own energy campaigns.

We’ll be putting a write-up on the website soon, but in the meantime, here are links to all the films and campaigning resources to put on your own Power Hungry film night anywhere in the country (or world!)

 

Opening trailers:

First half:

Our corporate controlled energy system and industry attempts to keep it that way

Second half:

Resisting the system and building a new one

 

Information on speakers and shout-outs:

 

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Film night: Power Hungry – Cutting corporate control of energy

Tuesday 25 September, from 6.30pm
Rich Mix, 35-47 Bethnal Green Road, London E1 6LA

Power Hungry flyer

Join 6 Billion Ways for a free evening of short films, speakers, campaigns & discussion on our energy future:

Our current energy system is rapidly running out of steam. Corporate giants have spent decades destroying communities and ecosystems all over the world to extract fossil fuels but it is clear this has to stop.

Our planet is burning, but powerful energy companies block any real attempts to stop climate change. Instead they promote false solutions like shale gas which are just as polluting and destructive.

Fuel prices are soaring, leaving many in cold homes, while billions around the world have no access to electricity at all. We need a new system that provides clean, safe energy for everyone before it is too late.

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Host your own Olympics-themed film night

Thanks to everyone who came along to our third 6 Billion Ways film night: London 2012: Olympics winners and losers

As promised, here are all the links to the films and clips we showed at our London Olympics film night on Tuesday 8 May.

Now you can do your own local film showing! Contact the organisations listed for leaflets, materials and possible speakers.

If you need any advice or more info please contact Nadia at War on Want at nidle@waronwant.org

London 2012 trailers + adverts

London 2o12 Mascots Film 1 ‘Out of a Rainbow’

Adidas presents Take the Stage: all 2012

Adidas WE ALL RUN

Sweatshops and supply chains

Mass E Bhat trailer

The Machinists trailer

War on Want sweatshops film – not available yet – sorry!

Olympic boroughs, sport and schools

Game’s Over – please email Neil Garret neil@ossian.tv to let them know film will be screened and they will promote your event

Hackney school sports championships 2011

Corporate exploitation + right to protest

3 Greenwash Gold clips

2010 Vancouver Olympics: The Movie (first 20min shown)

Benjamin Zephaniah – put the number in your phone!

Current resources, campaigns, activism and alternatives:

War on Want’s Race to the Bottom report

Counter Olympics Network

Games Monitor

Greenwash Gold

Save Leyton Marsh

Occupy LSX

UK Uncut

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Film night: London 2012 – The Olympics’ winners and losers

Tuesday 8 May, from 6.30pm
Rich Mix, 35-47 Bethnal Green Road, London E1 6LA

Will the legacy of the London Olympics be exploited garment workers and the marginalisation of local people? Are corporate sponsors wrapping themselves in the Olympic flag and reaping profits at the expense of communities around the world? Or have the Games brought benefits and resources to London with them? Can we still stop the Olympic dream becoming a nightmare?

Join 6 Billion Ways for an evening of short films, speakers,  campaigns and discussion (film and speaker details to follow shortly).

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Taking back our economy: making it work for the 99% – film night

Tuesday night saw more than 200 people pack into the Rich Mix bar for 6 Billion Ways’ latest film night, ‘Take back our economy: making it work for the 99%’.A big thank you to everyone who came along, we hope you enjoyed it as much as we did and thank you for your patience with the technical hitches and the temporary assumption that you all spoke Greek (who needs subtitles anyway!)

It was a great evening of clips, analysis and activism, guiding us on a journey through some of the systemic problems with the global economy, to the financial crisis and its consequences and finally to some exciting campaigns and alternatives that are taking place.

The almost unbelievable stories presented in the Inside Job showed how deregulation and the capture of government by Wall Street allowed the banks to reap havoc with the economy, taking ridiculous risks and even tricking their customers to take risks they knew wouldn’t pay off – which they then bet against! Marxist historian David Harvey provided a succinct explanation for why capitalism will always lead us to such crises, accompanied by beautiful draw-as-you-speak illustrations, while Paul Mason provided an insight into the deep-rooted structural problems that led to our failed economy and how the crisis is affecting people across the UK.

On the night we were also lucky to have Sargon Nissan with us, an ex-investment banker turned economic activist. In particular, insight around sovereign debt – the latest manifestation of the crisis – showed how declaring a country bankrupt is a purely political act, and often prevented by international financial institutions and governments who would be adversely affected (e.g. Ireland being made to keep servicing its debt to a defunct bank by Germany and the European Central Bank).

The evening ended on a more positive note – looking at alternatives out there and movements that are happening across the world demanding another economy that works for them, and making it happen. Particular thanks to everyone shared their campaigns and alternative projects with the rest of the audience.  You can find a list of these with links below – get involved!

There is also a list of all of the films and clips that were screened below in case you weren’t able to make it/want to share them around/feel that three hours of economics viewing just wasn’t enough for you!

Great to see you all, and catch you again next time.

Current campaigns, activism and alternatives:
Occupy LSX

UK Uncut

Move your money

La quadrature du net

Wild Law UK

Fuel Poverty Action

Climate Justice Collective

Not Our Debt

Clips screened:
Catastroika

The Real Social Network

We’re not broke, just twisted

Inside Job

The Take

Paul Mason

To view all clips below, right click and open in a new tab

David Harvey

Press conference with the European Central Bank in Ireland

Debtocracy

False Economy

Spain’s Indignados and the globalisation of dissent

Occupy New York – housing movement

Occupy Wall Street

Have I got news for you on Occupy LSX

The sparkies strike


Organisers of the event:

Jubilee Debt Campaign
World Development Movement
War on Want
Friends of the Earth

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