Manchester hosts an important meeting Monday 10th March on the subjects of climate change, food sovereignty and workers rights. A talk will be given by Badrul Alam, president of the Bangladesh Krishok Federation (the largest peasant federation in Bangladesh). It will be held at the Friends Meeting House, 6 Mount St, from 7pm.
Bangladesh is one of the areas of the world most vulnerable to climate change, sea levels rising faster than the global rate. Badrul Alam, president of the largest peasant federation in Bangladesh, has served on the international leadership of La Via Campesina. He is also a leader of a political organisation in Bangladesh which is a permanent observer to the Fourth International. The BKF are heavily involved in campaigning against climate change. They have organised a series of climate caravans across Bangladesh itself and other parts of Asia. A central part of that work is the promotion of food sovereignty as a sustainable alternative to agribusiness. The BKF were also involved in work around the Rana Plaza disaster in 2013 when an eight-story commercial building collapsed in Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh, leaving 1,129 dead (one of many events drawing attention to the appalling labour conditions which enable Western clothing companies to make large profits). This meeting is part of a tour that Badrul will be doing across Britain in the first two weeks of March. Organised by www.socialistresistance.org .
Another excellent article by Rahnuma Ahmed connecting BP oil corruption with the CIA-MI6 intrusion into Iran in 1953 where they overthrew the democratic regime led by then Prime Minister Dr Mosaddeq and replaced it with their puppet dictator. One of the points made by Ahmed relates to the current challenges to BP by artists and activists about:
“…the “social legitimacy” which high-profile cultural organisations such as Tate Gallery bestow on big oil companies by entering into partnerships. They distract attention from their “impacts on human rights, the environment and the global climate.” True, but no mention of Mosaddeq and BP’s role in the 1953 coup. An oversight? Or, a callous indifference about the nation’s imperial history, one which continues in the present?”
This seems like one very clear example of UK climate activists focusing on issues that can more easily win support from their ‘obvious’ sympathetic contingents, yet ignore the hard political edges of imperialism. Is this something Virtual Migrants might pursue with the forthcoming book release of “The Oil Road” by Platform?