Edinburgh snippets

IssueMay 2009
News by Declan McCormick, Sarah Young

Palestinian online shopping
Sarah Young

Edinburgh has just launched the UK’s only online store specialising in handicrafts produced by Palestinian community groups and cooperatives. www.hadeel.org.
Many of the fair-trade producers provide health, education and emergency services to their communities in the West Bank, Gaza, Galilee and Negev. Any profits go back to the producers via small development grants, through the Scottish charity Palcrafts.

Declan MacCormick

Edinburgh’s Wobblies (members of the independent union, Industrial Workers of the World) are proud sponsors of the very first Edinburgh Wobfest of music and comedy.
On 1 May, International Workers’ Day, the event will be one to remember with Labour songs, folk music, comedy and political punk.
The Forest Cafe, 3 Bristo Place, 0131 220 4538, saw popular Aberdeen-based singer Fiona Keenan perform alongside David Ferrard, Edinburgh’s own Kevin Ferguson, Fife comedian Deek Jackson and (providing the political punk) Versificator.

NPT Conference
Sarah Young

On 16 April, the Scottish Parliament hosted a one-day international conference to prime the 2010 review of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
Speakers included Sergio Duarte, the UN secretary-general’s high representative for disarmament. The Russian and Chinese Embassies were represented with contributions on “Approaches of the Russian Federation to Nuclear Non-Proliferation” and “China and Nuclear Non-Proliferation”.
Round table discussions included members of Scottish civil society who were invited to the event.

Critical Mass
Declan MacCormick

Founder of Critical Mass Chris Carlsson launched his new book Nowtopia: How Pirate Programmers, Outlaw Bicyclists and Vacant-lot Gardeners are Inventing the Future Today, published by AK Press, on 15 April. Hosted by Wordpower Books, the launch was followed by a talk on DIY culture and music from Orkestra Nowtopia.
Chris founded Processed World, a ground-breaking journal by and for office workers originally published in San Francisco but subsequently attracting an international following. Since then he has been writing about ways in which working class communities can democratise their environment and build working alternatives to the market.

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