Amazon.com boss exploits, oppresses workers


This video from Britain says about itself:

BBC Panorama – Amazon The Truth Behind the Click. BBC documentary behind Amazon shopping 2013

It’s the online retailer that has transformed the way we shop, but how does Amazon treat the workers who retrieve our orders? Working conditions in the company’s giant warehouses have been condemned by unions as among the worst in Britain. Panorama goes undercover to find out what happens after we fill our online shopping basket.

From the Daily Mirror in Britain:

Voice of the Mirror: It’s time world’s richest man saw how other half live in his Amazon sweat shops

An undercover reporter witnessed first hand how workers are forced to take timed toilet breaks and meet impossible targets during a five-week investigation at Amazon‘s biggest plant in Europe

22:35, 25 NOV 2017

Jeff Bezos is the world’s richest man, worth $99billion

When you click to buy a goody from Amazon, has it ever occurred to you what happens next?

It is not a side the company wants you to see.

Today, Sunday Mirror reporter Alan Selby reveals all after spending five weeks undercover as a packer at Amazon’s biggest European plant, in Tilbury, Essex.

His story is not a happy one. Workers are paid as little as 7p for each parcel, which must be ready to go in 30 seconds.

The sack hangs over anyone not up to speed. But some are so exhausted they fall asleep on their feet. Ambulances were called as others collapsed.

Selby is a superfit marathon runner. But he says the targets were impossible to meet – even for him. And the two half-hour food breaks in a punishing 10-and-a-half-hour shift were not nearly long enough.

[Amazon] … should now acknowledge that the way it treats its workers is not acceptable.

The company has made its founder Jeff Bezos the world’s richest man. Black Friday alone added another £1.8billion to his treasure chest.

It is now time for Bezos to see for himself how the other half live in his sweatshops.

And it is time for us, his customers, to consider the price others must pay for the convenience of online shopping.

Together we can do something about it.

Bezos can start by improving working ­conditions with more staff, better wages and proper breaks. He earns enough money to be more generous than just obeying government employment law to the letter.

And we must swallow paying a little more for what we want to buy and the presents we like to give.

While Amazon is about it, it could satisfy the Treasury by paying its fair share of tax to this country. That way everyone will enjoy a happy Christmas with a clear conscience.

USA: Amazon builds low-wage Maryland plant on ashes of largest steel mill in US: here.

Amazon conducts total surveillance of workers in new German plant: here.

It’s the most exhausting time of the year: Amazon, UPS workers denounce grueling holiday conditions: here.

‘Crying at work is becoming normal’: Whole Foods employees revolt after Amazon imposes ‘scorecard’ system: here.

Amazon’s global profit reached $1.9 billion for the final quarter of 2017, an increase of more than 150 percent from just a year earlier, according to the company’s financial earnings report released Thursday. Amazon CEO and founder Jeff Bezos’ personal wealth has increased more than $17 billion in the past month. This compares to the average monthly wage of an Amazon warehouse worker as the weight of an elephant compares to an ant: here.

This toilet makes it uncomfortable for workers to take long breaks.

Polish worker, murdered by British racists, commemorated


This 31 August 2016 video from Britain is called Polish ambassador pays his respects in Harlow [after the racist murder of Polish worker Arkadiusz Jozwik] .

By Nina Massey and Sam Russell in Harlow, England:

Vigil held in show of solidarity for Polish murder victim

Friday 2nd September 2016

HUNDREDS of anti-racists have held a candlelit vigil for a Polish man murdered in a suspected hate crime.

The Harlow community turned out in force on Wednesday night in a show of solidarity for Arkadiusz Jozwik, known as Arek, who was attacked in the Essex town on Saturday night.

He died on Monday from head injuries.

The 40-year-old and another Polish man were set upon outside a row of takeaway shops in what Essex Police believe was an unprovoked attack at around 11.35pm.

Campaign group Stand up to Racism organised the vigil at the scene of the attack to show solidarity with the Polish community in the town.

Faith leaders, campaigners, the Polish community and locals were among more than 200 people attending the event.

Sylwia Karwacka, 31, of Harlow, held a candle and stood with friends carrying a Polish flag.

“Arek was lying there,” she said, standing in The Stow shopping precinct. “He was my friend.

“We do nothing wrong and I don’t understand why young people would attack Polish people.

“We live the same as everyone. We work, we pay tax.

“It’s hard at the moment. I think ‘why him? Why Polish people? Why?’.”

She added that the death of Mr Jozwik had hit some sections of the Polish community hard.

“We’re scared to go somewhere, we’re scared to go out in case someone waits somewhere for you,” she said. “We don’t want to be scared. We want to live the same as everyone else. It’s hard.”

A supporter of Stand up to Racism Lauren O’Donnell said: “I wanted to show solidarity with the Polish and immigrant community in Harlow as they have suffered some harassment since Brexit,” she said.

“It’s a very vocal minority and the majority of us wanted to say ‘We appreciate you being here,’ and welcome people into the community.”

Adam Cochrane, joint chairman of Stand up to Racism’s Harlow branch, said the turnout was “amazing.”

He added: “The crowd couldn’t be more diverse. I think Harlow showed its real face today.”

A further community event is planned on Saturday in tribute to Mr Jozwik.

In a statement, Mr Jozwik’s family said they were “extremely devastated” by their loss.

Five 15-year-old boys and a 16-year-old who were arrested on suspicion of murder have been released on police bail until October 7.

A number of xenophobic attacks on the large Polish immigrant community in the UK following the Brexit referendum are being exploited by both the Polish and British ruling class to strengthen their alliance, amid deepening divisions within the European Union (EU) and growing tensions with Germany: here.

Anxious Poles in the UK ‘won’t report hate crimes’. Fears over right to remain deter EU nationals from contacting police: here.

Racists murder Polish worker in England


This video says about itself:

Vigil held for Polish man stabbed in UK

31 August 2016

People in the English town of Harlow have paid their respects to a Polish man who died in an attack at a shopping centre.

[Factory worker] Arkadiusz Jozwik and his friend were stabbed on Saturday.

Al Jazeera’s Nadim Baba reports from Harlow.

From daily The Morning Star in England:

MP slams ‘sewer racists‘ after Pole is brutally killed

Thursday 1st September 2016

THOSE using Brexit to pursue personal racist agendas “come from the sewers,” the MP for the Essex town where a Polish man was killed in a suspected hate crime said yesterday.

Arkadiusz Jozwik was attacked in Harlow on Saturday night and died on Monday from head injuries.

The 40-year-old and another Polish man were set upon outside a row of takeaway shops at around 11.35pm, in what Essex Police believes was an unprovoked attack.

A Stand Up To Racism vigil was held in Harlow last night to show solidarity with the Polish community.

Jo Marie O’Reilly, who attended the vigil, said: “We wanted to do something to show our support for the Polish community within the town, who are all understandably quite shaken up by the event of Saturday.

“There has been a lot of talk from people in the community on social media. They are feeling uncomfortable and scared and worried about their future and about how they are going to be treated.”

Anti-Polish prejudices in the USA about 1900: here.

Rare moth, first time ever in Essex, England


Bohemannia auriciliella §1 male, © Chris Lewis

From British Lepidoptera:

NEPTICULIDAE | Nepticulinae: Trifurculini

07.073 Bohemannia auriciliella

ws: 6mm; Jun-Jul; birch? (Betula sp); according to the information available to me this could be the 10th specimen worldwide
Synonym: Ectoedemia bradfordi (MBGBI1)

ID: Well — I won’t deny that I spent a long time struggling with this identification – which has been confirmed by Erik J van Nieukerken.

According to MBGBI1, the main feature distinguishing Stigmella species is a ‘U’ shaped vinculum (in the usual view with the posterior at the top that is an inverted ‘U’); this specimen clearly shows a more rounded vinculum and the antennae are longer than shown by any Stigmella species – so we can rule out all Stigmella species.

Based on a combination of information from the excellent but incomplete Nepticuloidea.info and MBGBI1 I have made a provisional key to the Tribe: Trifurculini. We can dismiss species in group A (unmarked forewing), B (dorsal pale spot only) and E (broad antemedian fascia with postmedian costal and dorsal spots). It was more problematic to decide whether this specimen has a complete median fascia and whether the paler area at the forewing base constitutes a pale spot.

Assuming the fascia is complete and there is no basal pale spot (group D) we have: frontal tuft yellow/ferruginous; collar dark; no hair-pencil on hindwing – which just gives Ectoedemia agrimoniae which has a pointed pseuduncus and so can be excluded.

Assuming the pale markings are dorsal and costal spots and not a complete fascia (group C) we have: spots postmedian; ~44 antennal segments, ws 6mm > B.auriciliella. This specimen has 43 antennal segments and a fw length of 2.8mm.

The following description of B.auriciliella is taken from Nepticuloidea.info – (I have removed references to the female and to the venation):

Male. Wingspan: 6 mm.  Head: frontal tuft orange;  collar  fuscous with coppery reflections, small, comprising lamellar scales;  scape shining silvery white, posterior quarter grey;  antenna with c. 44  segments.  Thorax fuscous, with coppery green reflections.  Forewing  shining brown to dark brown, basal quarter brassy; shining silvery costal  and dorsal spots beyond middle, almost forming a fascia, expanded inwards  along dorsal margin;  terminal cilia fuscous with shining silvery grey  tips, which are separated by a distinct cilia-line.  Hindwing brown with  greenish reflections, without hair-pencil or costal bristles.  Anal tufts  present (colour not noticed).

Male genitalia. Vinculum almost circular, not excavate  anteriorly.  Tegumen not forming pseuduncus, rounded.  Uncus band-like,  without medial process, with two lateral setose pads.  Gnathos with long,  narrow central element.  Valva with curved inner margin, tip curved  inwards, rounded, dorsal projection absent.  Aedeagus with paired medial  ventral carinae and lateral lobed carinae;  vesica with two large curved  cornuti and many smaller. See more here.

The external morphology seems spot-on. Web Images of this species also show the apical ~7 segments of the antenna to be whitish – this is not mentioned in the above description but is also shown by this specimen.

An image of the genitalia is shown at Dissection Group (the individual shown is not one of 4 specimens mentions by Nepticuloidea.info or the additional 2 mentioned by Hants Moths). I think the vinculum and tegumen/uncus are a good fit; the aedeagus is probably acceptable given the limits of resolution of my photographic equipment – but I wasn’t sure about the valva. It has an extremely long transtilla, much longer than is apparent in the image at Dissection Group (this is not the ‘dorsal projection’ that should be absent). Also the apex of the valva may be a little more pointed than is suggested by the description ’rounded’. A long transtilla and a more pointed apex is shown by Trifurcula species – but none of the British representatives of this genus provides a good fit on any other character.

I am grateful to Erik van Nieukerken for confirming this identification. He also informs me that specimens have now been obtained in Czech Republic, Switzerland and Bulgaria.

§1 Belfairs Wood, Essex; 30/06/2015; male; fw 2.8mm; to light; FIRST FOR ESSEX, ~8th for Britain

published 13/08/2015

South American giant rodent on English golf course


This video from England says about itself:

World’s biggest rodent caught on UK golf course

5 May 2014

A bunch of golfers have recorded footage of the world’s biggest rodent, a Capybara, running loose on a UK golf course, a long way away from its usual home in South America.

World’s biggest rodent seen on loose on Essex golf course

Golf players film a 4ft long rodent usually found in South America sniffing around their course in Essex

First there was the runaway rhea seen roaming a Hertfordshire golf course. Now, it seems that putting greens and fairways have proved tempting refuge for another animal fugitive: a capybara.

The creature — the world’s largest rodent species — was filmed ambling around near the 8th tee at the North Weald Golf Club in Essex after apparently escaping from a fenced enclosure at nearby Ashlyns Farm Shop.

Like the rhea, the capybara is a native of South America — but unlike the 6ft bird, which is reputedly capable of disembowelling a man with a flick of its claws, the runaway rodent is not believed to be dangerous.

Described by bemused golfers as looking “like a cross between a beaver and a bear”, capybaras are in fact most closely related to the guinea pig, but dwarf them, growing to as long as four feet.

The creature was spotted at the Essex course on March 16 when, according to the club, “golfers approaching the 8th tee stumbled across something that looked quite out of place on the course”.

“Kevin & Barbara Walters and John & Pat Miles were about to play their tee shots when Kevin saw what he thought was a wild boar meandering around the pond. After a quick phone call to the clubhouse, Angus and Hamish arrived at the scene with cameras at the ready to capture the rare sight,” the club said in a statement on its website.

Another club member, Stefan Freeman was “next up on the tee” and identified it as a capybara.

Rob Dixon, manager at Ashlyns Farm Shop, confirmed it was “missing a capybara”.

He said the solitary male animal had been sighted since but attempts to catch it had so far proved unsuccessful. “We keep on trying to catch it, but as soon as we try and catch it, it’s moved on or it jumps in the river and shoots off. Next time we’ve got to get a vet out and try and tranquillise it,” he said.

“They run away from humans — they’re quite shy,” he added. “They’re not like a rat, they’re almost like a big hamster.”

Capybara owners in the UK include Lady McAlpine, who wrote last year that a capybara had gone missing from her Fawley Hill estate in Henley-on-Thames and “gone to swim in the Thames”.

Lady McAlpine, whose capybara has since returned, said that they were “tremendous escapologists”.

See also here.

A South American [rhea] giant bird that has been patrolling the fairways and greens of a golf club in Hertfordshire for the last month has been shot dead and will now be made into gourmet sausages: here.

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Anti-Muslim violence in Burma


This video is about Burma’s Bin Laden, the Buddhist monk who fuels hatred.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Buildings torched in anti-Muslim riot

Sunday 25 August 2013

Fresh sectarian violence broke out in north-western Myanmar late on Saturday when Buddhist mobs burned down dozens of buildings following claims that a young woman had been sexually assaulted by a Muslim.

Hundreds of people took part in the riot on the outskirts of Kantbalu.

A crowd surrounded the police station demanding that the suspect be handed over, said a police officer from the area.

When police refused to hand over the prisoner the mob started setting buildings on fire, he said, and about 35 houses and 12 shops were destroyed.

Elsewhere hundreds of Muslims, who have been trapped in nearby ghettos after Buddhist mobs torched their homes last year, were moved to a camp for internally displaced people.

More than 5,700 people have been living in Aung Mingalar, a small Muslim quarter of Sittwe town, with police bearing assault rifles blocking entry and exit.

England: Muslims in an Essex town were left “very saddened” after the suspected anti-Islam arson of their centre on Sunday night: here.

London murder, and wars


A horrible crime was committed yesterday in London, England. Police still don’t know the identities and backgrounds of the two perpetrators.

Evidently, there should be no premature conclusions. Such reasonable caution, however, seems to be wasted on the British extreme Right. Based on still unclear reports that the crime might have anything to do with Muslims, the neo-nazi “English Defence League” violently attacked police near the crime scene. While fellow Islamophobes attacked mosques which had nothing to do with the London murder.

This video from Britain is called EDL Nazi Salute Compilation.

From BreakingNews in Ireland:

23/05/2013 – 07:04:10

Two men have been arrested after separate attacks on mosques following the terrorist incident in Woolwich.

A 43-year-old man is in custody on suspicion of attempted arson after reportedly walking into a mosque with a knife in Braintree, Essex.

Local MP Brooks Newmark tweeted last night: “Local mosque in Braintree attacked by man with knives and incendiary device. Man arrested. No one injured.”

Mr Newmark added: “Just met with leaders of local mosque in Braintree which was attacked this evening. Thanked local police for their swift response.”

Essex Police said a 43-year-old from Braintree was arrested on suspicion of possession of an offensive weapon and attempted arson after the incident in Silks Way at 7.15pm.

The spokesman added that police were investigating the “full circumstances” and said “it would not be appropriate to speculate at this time”.

Meanwhile police in Kent were called to reports of criminal damage at a mosque in Canterbury Street, Gillingham, at 8.40pm.

A spokesman said a man is in custody on suspicion of racially-aggravated criminal damage. The force has stepped up the police presence after a man was butchered in broad daylight on the streets of London.

Supporters of the English Defence League (EDL) gathered at Woolwich Arsenal train station near the scene and threw bottles at police.

By Lindsey German, of the Stop the War Coalition in Britain:

The lessons to learn from the Woolwich killing are obvious: but not to David Cameron

23 May 2013

Any rational balance sheet of the last decade would show that the ‘war on terror’ has been a failure in its own terms: it has not prevented terrorism but caused it to spread.

The attack in Woolwich yesterday was horrific. There can be no justification for a murderous attack on an individual soldier in the streets of London. It must have been awful too for the local people who witnessed it.

Unlike with most terrorist attacks or indeed other crimes, we have been able to see film footage of the perpetrators, hear testimony from the witnesses who saw or talked to them. So we know what these men say motivated them. They claimed that the killing of the soldier was in response to the killing of Muslims by British soldiers in other countries. One said that the government did not care for people and should get the troops out.

The Boston bombers last month were supposedly similarly motivated. The Woolwich attack, carried out by two men now shot and wounded and under arrest in hospital, appears to represent a phenomenon that was pointed out nearly a decade ago by the security services in Britain: that the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq would lead to a growing threat of terrorism in Britain. Those of us in Stop the War have long predicted that these sorts of attacks would happen because of the war on terror.

Unfortunately there is little sign that the government, media and military will draw any of the conclusions that they should from the attack. The instant response was to brand it as a serious terrorist attack, although already many commentators are saying they believe it more likely that this was a one off and isolated incident, and unlikely to be part of a wider conspiracy. David Cameron cut short a visit to Paris in order to fly home.

This reaction is one which manifestly fails to deal with the political causes underlying such attacks. The simple truth is that there were no such cases in Britain before the start of the ‘war on terror’ in 2001, which led to the invasions and occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq. The consequences of those wars have been devastating for the people of those countries and further afield. Up to a million died in Iraq and 4 million were made refugees. Tens of thousands have died in Afghanistan. Fighting still continues and in Iraq looks like descending into civil war in some parts of the country.

The US and its allies have been involved in bombing attacks on these countries which have been responsible for many thousands of deaths.

A media comment that this was the day Baghdad came to the streets of Britain shows a grotesque ignorance of the country the invasion was meant to rescue for democracy, where daily sectarian bombings and killings are escalating on a scale not dreamt of in this country.

The interventions have spread in the name of ‘fighting terrorism’: drone attacks are taking place in a number of countries including Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia. The bombing of Libya by the west in 2011 led to at least 30,000 dead. British troops are aiding the French in Mali. The British are intervening in the war in Syria for their own ends, and want to lift the EU arms embargo there in order to escalate the war and achieve regime change. The US and EU continues to back Israel despite its treatment of the Palestinians, even sending the architect of the Iraq war, Tony Blair, as envoy for peace in the Middle East.

Any rational balance sheet of the last decade and more would demonstrate that the war on terror has been a failure in its own terms. It has not prevented terrorism but caused it to spread.

The failure of politicians and military to face up to this has further damaging consequences: if the government refuses to change its own policy it has one simple solution — ‘blame the Muslims’. Muslims are expected to condemn any such attack whereas no such demand is put upon people of other faiths when a killing is carried out by Christians. Muslim is also equated with black or Asian, as when one television reporter described the men as of ‘Muslim appearance’.

Again, atrocities by white gun men, in Norway and the US for example, which are often highly politically motivated, are not regarded as needing to be defined by race. They are also rarely described as terrorism, but as the acts of fanatics or madmen.

It is an integral part of the war on terror that the invasion and occupation of mainly Muslim countries abroad has to lead to the dehumanising of the victims of the wars: so Muslim comes to equal extremist and terrorist. Racists like the EDL turned up in Woolwich to try to further foster Islamophobia. But this treatment of Muslims goes to the top of government and is spewed out daily in the press.

Similar views of the Irish were much more common in the 1970s and 80s when the IRA had a major bombing campaign in Britain. In the end there had to be a political solution which recognised genuine grievance.

In the end there has to be a political solution to terrorism. But it can only start with recognition of the disastrous effect of western foreign policy in the Middle East and South Asia for decades now, exacerbated by the consequences of 12 years of wars. That means acknowledging that those of us who said these wars were not the answer and would make things worse were absolutely right.

UK soldier killed in London in reprisal for Afghanistan and Iraq wars: here.

See also here.

Update: here.

David Attenborough opens wildlife park on rubbish dump


This video from Britain is called Sir David Attenborough opens the new Thurrock Thameside Nature Park.

From the BBC:

Tuesday 14th May 2013

David Attenborough opens wildlife park on rubbish tip

We’re used to seeing wildlife expert David Attenborough doing really exciting things like reporting from the Arctic or the middle of the jungle.

So what if we told you his latest project was a load of old rubbish… literally!

He’s helping to transform former rubbish dumps into beautiful wildlife parks.

Nel went to take a look at one in South East England…

The Thurrock Thameside Nature Park

The Thurrock Thameside Nature Park in Essex lies on top of 50 years of waste from six London boroughs, which has been restored to grasslands, woodland, ponds and reedbeds.

It’s one of the largest restoration projects ever made by the Essex Wildlife Trust, turning what was a rubbish tip into a haven for bees, birds and reptiles.

Sir David, president emeritus of the Wildlife Trusts, said: “This is the beginning of a new chapter in the history of this part of the Thames Estuary.

“The area has had its ups and downs. This wonderful nature area and the extraordinary new centre stand where there were once 230 Saxon dwellings – but in between times the waste of six London boroughs has been brought here.”