and so may begins…

today in Leigh Woods… the beech trees are blessed with the palest lime green or copper pink leaves, screaming out their newness against a carpet of resilient autumn orange.  Knee deep in wild garlic listening to the birds i felt the healing power of the outdoors soothing my bruised soul; not the most momentously cheerful of bank holiday weekends but i’m not going to digress into navel gazing wallow…  Saw pink and red campions, garlic mustard, dog’s mercury, the nascent blue glow of imminent bluebell groves alongside the fairy whiteness of ramsons’ star flowers dominating patches of the woodlands.  photo below of primroses from westonbirt last weekend; an entirely springful day full of primrose and cherry blossom, violets, lesser celandine, speedwell and wood anemones…

Last night i volunteered at the cube cinema for a showing of the Coca-Cola Case -a really inspiring film about the ongoing trial and negotiations of a group of Colombian trade unionists (Sinaltrainal) attempting to bring the despicable giant to book over massive human rights violations and their implication in paramilitary killings of trade unionist leaders and members.  Sadly the young workers for the local bottling plant perceive the union to be the preserve of the old and, reading between the lines, those with less to lose – depressing attitude when they then reveal that they make $1 per hour and work 15 hours each day…

Quite a battle; in the end the trade union members refuse their hard won offer of pots of dirty dollars because of the attached restrictions and clauses that would impede the integrity of their union actions.  The film was mainly an uplifting documentary of the fairly successful struggle of oppressed workers against an unscrupulous corporation but there were 2 highly demoralising moments:  one was watching a bunch of pathetic fat american students wearing sandwich boards proclaiming things like ‘we love coke’, ‘fuck human rights’ (yes, really!!), when activists on campus tried to ban the drink in light of the company’s widespread labour and human rights violations across the globe… oh dear.  The other was witnessing an American court discrediting an extremely hard working human rights lawyer by mentioning that he had a poster of Che Guevara in his office…

Live skype discussion with Ray Rogers followed the film; he has been running the Killer Coke campaign since the mid-noughties so that was interesting.  Still intrigued, as a worker for a labour rights campaign, as to how he and his comrades scrape together the funding to front such a huge and successful campaign.  Mild envy given LBL’s parlous financial state…

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