D, Ippy

Ippy D
8 February 2013Comment

In December, our good friend Ian Thomas died, unexpectedly, aged 49. He had a heart attack while asleep at home in Southampton.

We got to know Ian in the early 1990s when starting Women’s Aid to Former Yugoslavia. Ian had co-founded Tantric Technologies in 1989 – a worker’s co-op providing IT services. He – and Clive Debenham, who died last year – helped us become early adopters of the then-new email technology to communicate with women’s and peace groups in the region via the ZaMir network. He also did time in our warehouses, packing and loading aid onto the trucks.

Over the following 20 years, we had…

13 August 2011Feature

Ippy: Your music is politicised by design, but what did you get into first, music or politics, and when?

Adam: We all know that music (noise) and politics (anything that governs our lives) are every day, act to act, moment to moment continuums that inform and shape our lives. I can say that in 1971 a nine-year-old (who would later become the brilliant but derided political theorist and Kant scholar-professor Arthur Strum) exposed me to Nixon's secret bombing of Cambodia, as well as…

13 August 2011Comment

In November, two events re-ignited the debate on the numbers and conditions of those imprisoned in British jails and detention centres. Both - in their different ways - revealed the level of desperation and despair at impractical and immoral criminal justice and immigration policies.

Unrest at Harmondsworth detention centre on 28 November - reportedly sparked after detainees were denied access to a TV news item on a damning new report on the centre - saw desperate detainees…

1 March 2011Comment

May's cabinet reshuffle and, reportedly, tearful sacking, can't hide the fact that the Labour government is in freefall, with an increasingly desperate and messianic-looking Blair at the helm.

Out went Clarke - for all the wrong reasons, and out went Straw - the loyal functionary who stayed the course as foreign secretary during the most unpopular conflict Britain has ever perpetrated. “Two-jags” Prescott kept his perks, but lost some of his official power - this parody of authentic…

3 May 2006Comment

On the night of 25-26 April 1986, unknown to most of the world, scientists were busy testing Chernobyl's reactor No 4 to determine whether its coolant pumps would keep running in the event of a loss of power. Within minutes of beginning the test, a power surge caused a chain reaction which lead to a massive explosion and meltdown of the reactor's core. Two days later Tass, the then-Soviet state news agency, acknowledged there had been an “incident”.

Given the political climate at…

1 May 2006Review

NorthernSky Press 2005; ISBN 0 9548067 4 3; 30pp

Subtitled “A big event in a small town in the big country”, this chirpy little pamphlet is the work of a Stirling local, outlining his experience of the “spectacle” that was last July's G8 protests.

In the introduction Declan says “Its about a time when the world was very briefly focused on ... where I happen to live and work. It was a strange but exciting time for me and that's why I have been drive to write about it.” It's divided into two distinct sections - the first dealing with…

1 April 2006Review

Verso Books, 2006; ISBN 1 84467 116 8; Pb 57pp; £5

Timing and space dictate that this second offering from Verso - a slim volume of anti-Iraq war essays - gets a rather slim space in this issue of PN.

This collection of six short articles, written over the past three years by contributors Brian Eno, John Le Carre, Harold Pinter, Richard Dawkins, Michel Faber and Haifa Zangana, was published in March to mark the third anniversary of the invasion of Iraq.

To a large degree this book is essentially “recycled material”: I…

3 March 2006Comment

"We do not expect justice, not from this court, nor any other. We don't believe in your laws, your sentences, your jails. So why claim a right that means nothing to us? This contradiction bothers us, of course." Aubonne Support Group

The recent case of the Aubonne Bridge Two - the trial of Swiss police officers who cut two activists' climbing ropes during a blockade of the Evian G8 and caused incredible injuries - ended, perhaps unsurprisingly, in the acquittal of the police officers involved.

In the run-up to the trial, in a statement published by their support group, they acknowledged the contradictions in initiating a case against the police, calling it “reformist”, but went on to explain why, in this instance…

3 February 2006Comment

As the government opened the public phase of its energy review at the end of January, ministers were busy warning that “doing nothing is not an option”. They are right (for once!), although there are fears that the doom-mongering may also be an attempt to soften us up for a new generation of nuclear power stations, posed as a solution for meeting Britain's future energy needs.

However, in a comprehensive research study published earlier in the month, the Tyndall Centre for Climate…

3 December 2005Comment

In October, the US marked the return of the remains of the 2,000th soldier killed in Iraq (a further 16,000 are reported wounded). Later in the month, and during November, campaigners marked the deaths of the Lancet-estimated 100,000 Iraqis; and at the end of November the British forces bodycount reached 98.

Almost three years after the invasion of Iraq began, homes and infrastructure continue to be damaged and vital services such as basic healthcare remain woefully…

1 December 2005News

Anti-nuclear campaigners celebrated another small victory on 23 November, as the West Berkshire Eastern Area Planning Committee voted to defer a decision on whether to support AWE Aldermaston's full planning notice for the controversial Orion laser facility (see PN2458).

The catalyst for the proposal to defer was the lack of adherence to agreed procedure, with not all councillors having received vital environmental information relating to the development in advance of the…

3 November 2005Comment

The issue of repressive legislation is becoming a regular feature in PN's editorial and comment section. However, we make no apology for banging on about it, when current and proposed measures have such a profound impact, not just on how protest is viewed and policed, but also on how the wider public - and we ourselves - perceive our identity, power and actions in opposition to the inherent violence of government and corporations.

Real concerns

October saw the government…

3 October 2005Comment

Obscured by the sheer number of stories of personal and community tragedy and the recriminations against the Bush administration and federal agencies, there is an important story of grassroots organising, human solidarity and direct action in response to the hurricanes which battered the US Gulf states in recent weeks.

While law enforcement agencies and the military concentrated on wielding their hardware against their own citizens, small groups of ordinary people were gathering and…

1 October 2005News

On 24 September tens of thousands took to the streets in London and Washington DC to protest at the ongoing occupation of Iraq.

In the US the turnout was unexpectedly high, as many used the opportunity to vent their anger and frustration at a catalogue of disasters foisted upon the people by the Bush administration.

Speaking after the event, US War Resister David McReynolds commented: "24 September will go down in history as a genuine victory. It was a moment when people all…

1 October 2005Review

Polity Press 1990; ISBN 0 74560 834 5; 256pp

I stumbled across this book in the early nineties after listening to the track of the same name, on Consolidated's album Friendly Fascism, in which Adams reads passages from her book.

Having lived in a women-only non-meat-eating community, the ideas expressed in this book - linking the objectification of women and non-human animals - were not exactly news, however the uncompromising delivery, the musical collaboration, and the use of historical literature through which to explore the…