How does a Friday night of wine, nibbles and vintage clothes swapping sound to you? Why not avoid the hustle and bustle of a weekend shopping trip and come along to Aberdeen Forward’s famous swish where your unused clothes can be swapped with like-minded swishers in a relaxing and informal setting.
If you want to grab a unique item or 2 whilst helping divert landfill, this Friday’s Swish is for you!
Starting at 6pm and finishing at 8pm this Friday, the event will provide you with a chance to clear out items you’ve never worn whilst getting a hold of some new pieces for your wardrobe.
When deciding which of your items to bring in please remember the following:
- All items should be high quality-please don’t bring damaged or dirty items.
- Donated items should be clean and either unworn or just worn once or twice. You want to bring something others will want to take away, not throw away!
- No Casual T-shirts, Vests, Earrings, Underwear or Swimwear will be accepted.
The Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) have called on Justice minister Kenny McAskill to reject the recommendations of the Scottish Court Service (SCS) to close courts across Scotland as part of a cost cutting exercise.
The union, which represents staff in the courts service, has been actively campaigning for the retention of access to justice in the communities affected across Scotland, including a substantial response to the SCS consultation and evidence submitted to the Scottish Parliament.
Lynn Henderson, PCS Scottish Secretary said:
“The Scottish Courts Service and the minister claim that no one will lose their job because of these closures but some staff stand to lose substantial sums of money if their court closes.
“The Justice Secretary must ensure that the guarantee of no compulsory redundancy is met and that staff are not forced to give up their job if their court closes and their job is relocated.”
Brian Carroll, Secretary of the PCS Scottish Courts Branch said:
“The closure of 10 Sheriff Courts, the proposal to consolidate sheriff and jury trials and high court business will mean vast areas of the country will be left with no courts to deal with anything but minor criminal cases.
“This will affect not only the accused, but also witnesses, jurors and victims of crime. These proposals will also affect all those who wish to use the civil courts and who wish to apply for adoptions and commissary applications.
“We are extremely disappointed that Ministers appear to have accepted the recommendations made by the Scottish Courts Service without examining the full impact of the permanent removal of sheriff courts from communities across Scotland.
“It will mean staff and users of the courts will have to travel substantial distances to attend and will reduce the access to justice for all users.”
As more vital services continue to be closed or cut back, the Courts too are under pressure. Brian Carroll of the PCS Scottish Courts Branch explains.
Brian Carroll, Branch Secretary of the PCS Scottish Courts Branch, expressed extreme disappointment that the Scottish Courts Service is pressing ahead with its proposal to close courts across Scotland:-
“Despite the substantial opposition and number of negative responses to the consultation, proposals have survived almost totally intact. We are sure that this decision will be greeted with dismay, not just by our members who will be affected, but also within the communities they serve.
“It is our opinion that these proposals are about fitting the delivery of justice into a reduced budget and nothing to do with modernisation or with the proposed justice reforms that are under consultation presently. The introduction of any reforms is not reliant on the closure of courts.”
Lynn Henderson PCS Scottish secretary said:-
“This is a bitter blow to our members in those courts threatened with closure as well as to the public, as yet another in a long line of public services suffers from the ravages of the cuts agenda.
“PCS will continue to work unstintingly to ensure that the interests of those members affected are protected. We will also campaign vigorously against these proposals on behalf of our members and to ensure proper access to justice for all the people of Scotland.”
The Public and Commercial Services Union Scotland (PCS) has expressed opposition to plans for closing local courts across Scotland.
The union which represents staff of the Scottish Courts Service outlined their opposition in its response to the SCS consultation on plans to close 11 sheriff courts across Scotland.
PCS welcomes the £10 million increase in spending on maintenance of courts announced in the Autumn Statement by the Scottish Cabinet Secretary for Finance.
Brian Carroll, PCS Scottish Courts Service Branch Secretary said
“We have today submitted our response to the consultation on future court structures. PCS along with solicitors and other interest groups oppose the closure of 11 sheriff courts which seriously threatens the public access to justice, particularly in rural areas.”
Lynn Henderson, PCS Scottish Secretary said
“Following years of underspending many court buildings are in a sorry state. But this cannot be used as an excuse for closing courts. An extra £10 million investment can make a difference to the courts estate, but it does not address the £57 million backlog.
“PCS seeks proper investment in vital public services and access to justice across Scotland.”
More about PCS.
The Public & Commercial Services Union represents over 280,000 members in the civil and public services and in the privatised commercial sector, over 30,000 of which are in Scotland. It is the 5th largest trade union affiliated to the TUC and STUC. The general secretary is Mark Serwotka and the president is Janice Godrich – on Twitter @janicegodrich. The Scottish Secretary is Lynn Henderson.
If you require any further information please contact Joy Dunn, Parliamentary, Campaigns, Media and Research Officer contact mobile 07707 311 589 email joy@pcs..org.uk
As part of Aberdeen City Arts Board’s Autumn Series, in conjunction with the Shared Planet Society, Mike Valance from Edinburgh Chiapas Solidarity Campaign talks about the Mexican Zapatista Movement at Belmont Cinema Café.
Mike Valance has spent time in the Chiapas region with the Zapatistas and has a detailed knowledge of the workings and history of the movement.
He will be selling a selection of goods produced by the Zapatistas after the event, the proceeds of which will help fund various projects in the autonomous Zapatista zones in Chiapas.
Background: On the day the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) was due to be implemented in 1994, a guerrilla force calling itself the Ejército Zapatista de Liberación Nacional (the EZLN, or ‘Zapatistas’), stormed five towns in Mexico’s Chiapas, taking the Mexican government by surprise. The Mexican army promptly deployed 15,000 troops in Chiapas to crush the uprising, resulting in the deaths of hundreds of civilians and the execution of dozens of Zapatista prisoners.
The influx of Mexican troops was matched, however, by an influx of journalists, political activists and human rights workers from all over Mexico. News of the rebellion, and of the living conditions of many of the indigenous people, swiftly filtered out via the media and solidarity demonstrations subsequently took place all over Mexico, North America and the world.
Mexico’s business and political elite was terrified of the effect of the uprising on their NAFTA trading partners, and within 12 days a ceasefire was called with negotiations due to start in early February 1994. Mike will explore those beginnings and discuss the progress the movement has made over the last 18 years.
Bunkers noo are in the shit Some fair div tak the mick Is yer bunker a couthie chiel Or jist anither greedy prick . Parliament nae langer kens fit’s fit Tap bunkers noo rule the roost Weel o coorse we aa div ken Their bunk balances aa git a boost . Lots o siller as a bonus is gien Ti cyards faa appruved the cheatin Time ti kick them faar it hurts Nivver myn their bliddy greetin
Time we hid mair local bunks Faar ye tauk ti a human face Nae aye hingin on the phone Ti be telt yer in seventh place . Shut doon the stock exchange Gie investors back their cash Crooked traders in “the City” Wid see their empires crash . Stop the swickin aa ower the lan It’s time tae git aff oor hunkers An tell the bobbies far ti pit Thae bunch o bad, mad bunkers
Earlier in the year the fascist Scottish National Front applied to march through Aberdeen on Hitler’s birthday (20th of April) but did not get permission from the Local authority.
They may still hold a static demonstration somewhere in the city centre to preach their politics of intolerance and hatred.
Their racist views must not go unchallenged. In response Aberdeen Trade Union Council together with Aberdeen Against Austerity and the Black Sheep Collective have organised ‘Hope Not Hate’ – Equality and Diversity Night.
The night will feature live acoustic music, stalls, poetry and a World Music club night afterwards til late.
Please come and join in the celebrations. We’ll make their chants of hatred inaudible above the music.
Friday 20th April
Aberdeen Trades Council Social Club, 13 Adelphi, Aberdeen
Admission free (donations will be accepted)
Music by Mark Ayling, Maze McPunklet and Los Rebeldes Acusticos and poetry by Tommy Campbell and Rapunzel Wizard.
Aberdeen TUC successfully mounted a co-ordinated campaign against the plans of the National Front (the NF) to march in Aberdeen on Hitler’s birthday, Friday 20th April.
The NF of course claimed it had nothing to do with the birthday of the Fascist Dictator and everything to do with the founding date of the SNP.
Surprisingly then, some would say, both the reports from Grampian Police and the Human Rights Impact Assessment carried out by the City Council argued that there might possibly be a link between the date and Hitler’s birthday: though both, in the interests of democracy, recognised the need to consider other options .
The Trade Union movement played a vital and crucial role in co-ordinating opposition via written representations, and also expressed its opposition via two media and press events. Not surprisingly, the NF did not help themselves when they accused the media of being “Zionist” because of the way they reported the proposed event .
On the day of the Aberdeen City Council Licensing Committee, 27th March 2012, a small but determined and committed group of activists from ATUC waited outside the Council Chambers. Much was made of this by the NF, but what they failed to realise and mention is that the activists which were present, though small in number, represented the interests of thousands of Trade Unionists from across the North East.
At the end of the day, Aberdeen City Council Licensing Committee refused (“Prohibited” in Council parlance) the application to march, on public order and public safety grounds. What had however been noticeable in the debate was the unwillingness of the NF to move on crucial issues including the planned time of the march, the starting point of the march and the route. Clearly the committee made the right decision on behalf of the City of Aberdeen.
Whatever the decision, it still remains an important role to expose the National Front for the way many of their supporters promote racism, Islamophobia and Holocaust denial.
“No Pasaran” is the call that comes to mind !
ATUC Delegate for Unite Local Government, Aberdeenshire Branch.
At the next meeting of Aberdeen CND on Monday 10th April, Jonathan Russell, Chair of Aberdeen CND and also a member of Campaign Against the Arms Trade, will be leading a discussion on the Arms Trade. The meeting will take place at 7.30pm on the Top Floor of the Belmont Cinema, Belmont Street, Aberdeen.
The arms trade is a deadly, corrupt business. It supports conflicts and human rights abusing regimes while squandering valuable resources which could be used to deal with the many social and environmental challenges we face here on Planet Earth. It does this with the full support of governments around the world, in particular the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council: the United States, Russia, France, China and the United Kingdom.
These are the very countries which are meant to be our global custodians, but are in fact the very countries which are feeding global insecurity and conflict.
While very few countries sell large volumes of weaponry, the buyers are spread across the world. Other than to the five permanent UN Security Council members, the largest buyers are in the Middle East and South East Asia. The arms themselves range from fighter aircraft, helicopters and warships with guided missiles, radar and electronic warfare systems, tanks, armoured vehicles, machine guns and rifles.
The common misconception is that it is the illegal trade that is damaging, while the legal trade is tightly controlled and acceptable. However, the vast majority of arms sold around the world including those to human rights abusing governments or into areas of conflict are legal and are supported by governments. In 2007 the value of legal arms around the world amounted to 60 billion dollars. The illegal market is estimated at 5 billion dollars: many illegal weapons end up as legal weapons.
The arms trade exists to provide weapons to those who can pay for them. What the buyers do with the arms, what political approval the sales signify, and how money could be better spent appears irrelevant to the arms companies and our governments. The UK Government’s 2010 Human Rights Annual Report identified 26 countries of concern. In that year the UK approved arms licences to 16 of these.
There’s a sense that in the past we were embarrassed about supporting defence exports. There’s no such embarrassment in this Government.
David Cameron was in the Middle East on a high-profile mission to sell arms when the democracy movement started in the Middle East. Selling arms to a country in conflict whether internal or external makes the conflict more deadly and longer lasting.
If there is tension between countries or within a country, then arms purchases are likely to increase this tension and make actual conflict more likely.
Even when conflict has ended, arms, particularly small arms, may remain in large numbers (as in Libya at present), fuelling further conflicts and/or criminal activity.
Every year the UK Government authorises the sale of arms to well over 100 countries. This is hardly surprising given that it is Government policy to vigorously support arms exports. Peter Luff, Minister of Defence Exports in the present UK Government, has stated that:
“There’s a sense that in the past we were embarrassed about supporting defence exports. There’s no such embarrassment in this Government.”
Arms companies and Government are inseparable when it comes to selling arms. The Government’s UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) department is a vital element of UK’s arms dealing. In 2008 the Government opened the Defence and Security Organisation which promotes weaponry on behalf of arms companies. There are 158 civil servants in the Defence and Security Organisation while other non-arms sectors have137 staff. This is despite arms accounting for less than 1.5 Percent of UK exports.
• Arms export jobs as a percentage of total employment: 0.2%
• Arms as a percentage of exports: 1.5 %
• UK Government Research Expenditure Spent on Arms: 27%
• UK trade and investment staff committed to selling arms: 54%
Research carried out for Campaign Against the Arms Trade (CAAT) by the Stockholm International Peace Institute assesses the level of subsidy by Government to the arms trade in the UK to be around £700 million a year. In 2010 the UK Government issued 10,850 arms export licences, refused 230, and revoked 14.
Half of the refusals related to proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction, with a maximum of 76 being revoked on the grounds that they contributed to internal repression, internal conflict or regional instability. Foreign office embassies also promote the arms sales, as do the Ministry of Defence armed services. Arms fairs are common in the UK and around the world. The governments of host countries provides support for their arms firms.
Arms sales from the UK seem to vary from year to year:
• 2007 9651 million (particularly high because of sales of Typhoon aircraft to Saudi Arabia)
• 2008 4367 million
• 2009 7261 million also high as included Typhoon support services to Saudi Arabia)
• 2010 5819 million
Of the 16 countries identified by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute as locations of major conflict in 2009, the UK sold arms to 12.
Columnist Will Self - “War, the arms trade and the abuse of language”
BAE arms are the UK’s main arms company and has military customers in over 100 countries. BAE’s focus over the past few years has been on increasing sales to the US, specifically targeting equipment for conflicts in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya, and supplying Euro fighters and other arms to Saudi Arabia. BAE routinely supplies countries which the UK Foreign Office considers as having ‘the most serious wide-ranging human rights concerns’.
The casualties of conflict are now overwhelmingly civilian, increasing from 50% of war related deaths in the first half of the twentieth century to 90% near the end of the century.
The arms trade affects development both through the money wasted on arms purchased and through the conflicts fuelled by arms.
A study in 2007 by Oxfam of the economic cost of armed conflict to Africa estimated that Africa loses around 18 billion dollars a year due to wars and that armed conflict shrinks an African nations economy by 15%.
As well as the direct effects of military spending, medical costs and the destruction of infrastructure, there are indirect costs on the economy and employment suffers ( this does not take into account the countless human misery caused by loss of life and sustained injuries effecting families and friends as well as the individuals concerned).
The study estimated that the cost of conflicts in Africa since 1990 was equivalent to the aid provided to them by major donors.
Even when conflict is not taking place money diverted to arms is a drain on government resources and takes away from vital spending on health education and infrastructure. The massive 1998 South African arms deals for aircraft, helicopters, warships and submarines cost the country over £8billion. Yet most of the population live in shanty towns and other poor housing and South Africans with HIV/AIDS were told that the country could not afford ant-retroviral medication.
Despite desperate poverty and its recent appalling history of armed struggle, the UK government is actively promoting arms struggle to Angola. The UK government not only approved arms exports to Angola it actively organised an “industry day’’ when HMS Liverpool docked in Angola waters and hosted Angolan political and military officials.
The arms trade causes countless misery in our world; it is a poor use of limited resources which should be used to make this world a better place. We need to question the thinking in the world that believes you only get what you want by force. The five members of the Security Council should start taking on their responsibilities and use conflict resolution rather than warfare to sort the many conflicts that take place both between and within countries.
Canny fashionistas will be in their element on 15 March at Aberdeen Forward with a chance to trade unwanted and unworn garments for something fresh and new.
This free event is open to anyone with clothes to swap and fashion professionals will offer advice on nails, jewellery and makeup to help complete your new outfit.
The Swishing event will run from 6-8pm on Thursday 15 March at 2 Poynernook Road. All guests will receive a free glass of bubbly on arrival.
Aberdeen Forward is an environmental charity and social enterprise supporting local waste minimization and sustainability projects.
Its Volunteer Manager, Gillian Marr, said,
“This is a great fun way to refresh your wardrobe and get some top tips on how to accessorise your new look. We’re running the event as part of our Zero Waste Club and it’s a really great example of how we can encourage people to reduce waste whilst having fun and saving money.”
The event is supported by The Body Shop and Saffron Settings who will have a presence at the event. Zero Waste Scotland, which works with businesses, communities, individuals and local authorities to reduce waste and use resources sustainably, is funding the evening. www.zerowastescotland.org.uk
Anyone interested in coming along can call Aberdeen Forward on 01224 560360 or e-mail email@example.com and should bring along at least one item of clothing no longer wanted but in good condition.
Swishing events are gaining popularity across the country and are best described as clothes-swapping parties for women. More information about swishing and other events around the country can be found at http://www.swishingparties.com/