Luddite Anniv. Events - eg Automation and the impact of new technologies

Ned Ludd tony at
Thu Sep 27 21:19:40 BST 2012

Dear friends,

It has been a busy summer, and we’d like to 
welcome those who signed up to receive this 
supporters’ update at one of our workshops, at 
the Tolpuddle Martyrs Festival, Earth First 
Summer Gathering, London Permaculture gathering 
or Campaign Against Climate Change 
conference.  In addition to blogging and dealing 
with hackers (see below), we’ve been busy 
planning events for the autumn and next 
year.  Don’t forget to check out the list of 
forthcoming technology politics events at the end 
of this message, some of which are coming up in the next few weeks.

Forthcoming Luddites200 events

June 13-16 2013 Gathering on the politics of technology

Luddites200, together with Corporate Watch, 
Scientists for Global Responsibility and 
Eco-labs, will be organising a 3-day 
gathering/conference in Yorkshire in June 2013. 
The aim of the gathering is to launch a new 
network of individuals and campaign groups 
focusing on the politics of technology. If you're 
interested in food sovereignty, extreme/renewable 
energy, climate change, nuclear power, 
surveillance, military technology, GM food, trade 
union issues, alternative technologies, or any 
other issues related to technology, you’re invited.
Amongst the topics for discussion at the gathering will be:
    * History of the Luddite uprisings, 
industrial society and environmental crisis
    * What does a critical politics of technology 
mean in the 21st century: democratic control or ‘low technology’?
    * Presentation of experiences in different 
campaigns and struggles, skillsharing.
    * Alternative visions of social and 
technological development, and the transition to 
a sustainable and socially just society; 
challenging the concept of progress through technology.
    * Plans for new campaigns and actions.
In addition there will be demonstrations and 
workshops on craft-based production, poetry, 
music, walking etc. To register your interest, contact us.

January 19th 2013 York: Commemoration of hangings of Yorkshire Luddites

York Alternative History are planning an event 
commemorating the hangings of 17 Luddites in 
January 1813, which will include talks, a 
ceremony and an evening music event. Contact 
yorkalternativehistory at for more information.

1st December 2012 London: Automation and the 
impact of new technologies - trade union responses

In a time of austerity and environmental crisis, 
technology is being touted as the solution, with 
The Economist proclaiming a ‘new industrial 
revolution’ created by digital technology. This 
one-day event for trade unionists will focus on 
current issues raised by new technologies in the 
workplace and their social impacts:
    * Digital technologies are replacing 
ever-increasing numbers of jobs with robots, 3D 
printing machines, ‘smart software’ etc. This 
trend is partly driven by the current recession 
and austerity, which push employers to reduce 
wage bills eg, by replacing librarians with automatic check-in machines.
    * Other new technologies, such as 
nanotechnology, raise significant health and safety issues for workers.
    * The world is facing multiple resource 
shortages and the threat of climate change, which 
demands a transition to a sustainable and 
economically just society, involving major 
technological change. Trade unions in Britain and 
elsewhere have a proud history of developing 
alternative production plans such as the Lucas 
Plan of the 1970s and the Million Climate Jobs campaign.

We need input from trade unionists so that the 
event addresses the issues that affect members of 
your union. Please contact 
luddites200 at if you are interested in 
helping organise or attending the meeting, or can help publicise it.

November 18th 2012 2pm-5pm People’s History 
Museum Manchester: Talks and celebrations of the Luddites in Lancashire
Music: One Accord group
Exhibitions and artwork: Westhoughton Local History Group, Kevin Threlfall
Talks: Richard Holland (Luddites Bicentenary 
blog), Garth Ratcliffe (Westhoughton Local History Group)
Poetry: reading of poetry from the Luddites200 national poetry competition

Suitable for adults and children aged 12 and above.
Free. Donations to the museum and to Luddites200 gratefully received
Organised by Luddites200 and the People’s History Museum.

New Luddites200 blog posts

Recent posts on our blog 
have reflected on events over the summer, 
including the Stop GM rally against GM wheat at 
Rothamsted, the Queen's diamond jubilee and the 
Campaign Against Climate Change conference.

In June, General Ludd sent a message of 
solidarity to the Take the Flour Back campaigners 
pointing out the links between the Luddites' 
struggle and the issues raised by GM 
foods.  Another post on this issue, 
‘Enlightenment?  Progress?’ 
deals with the philosophy of the pro-GM backlash 
and its insistence on technology as progress.

General Ludd’s supporters were also present at 
a London street party for the Jubilee, where 
Byron's message of, ‘Down with all Kings but 
King Ludd!’ 
was well received by revellers.

No Geoengineering! 
is a letter to the organisers of the Campaign 
Against Climate Change conference.  It argues 
that climate change campaigners should not give a 
platform to insanely dangerous corporate 
techno-fixes like geoengineering, but rather 
should deal with the real causes of the problem.

Hack Attack

In August the Luddites 200 website was taken down 
by hackers, claiming to be from Sudan.  General 
Ludd commented that this confirmed her suspicions 
about the level of political understanding 
amongst hackers who are often thought of as 
modern Luddites: “If you want to attack the 
megamachine that is the Internet, you don't start 
with the Luddites!”, she remarked.

The attack, though annoying, provided an 
opportunity to refresh the Luddites200 website 
(, which has now been 
almost completed, and has an expanded list of 
links and Luddite cultural resources, plus 
details of how to buy the new merchandise and 
publications that we have added over the past few 
months, as well as an archive of these updates.

Forthcoming Technology politics events

Tuesday 25th Sept 2012 benefit gig for Kick Nuclear

DAVID ROVICS – Sonngs of Social Significance
with support from The Noo & Mr Creedy
Tuesday 25th September 2012 at:-

LARC (London Action Resource Centre), 62 Fieldgate Street, (corner 
of Parfett Street),Whitechapel, London, E1 1ES,
Nearest Stations:- Whitechapel, Aldgate East, Aldgate & Shadwell
Doors open 7pm, £5 on the door.
presented by Kick Nuclear, campaigning against the UK’s addiction to
nuclear power.
There will be a bar, any profits will go to Kick Nuclear and LARC

Weekend of Mass Action at Hinkley Point Nuclear Power Station 5-8th October

The Stop New Nuclear Alliance is organising a 
weekend protest camp and mass action from October 
5th to 8th. The Alliance says the government is 
about to commit the UK to a new generation of 
nuclear power stations while at the same time 
killing off investment in renewable energy. 
Spokesperson Nancy Birch says: “We are calling 
for International solidarity to stop the UK being 
used as a shop window for companies like EDF Energy to promote
nuclear power as a solution to climate change – 
while support for the renewables sector dwindles. 
The forthcomingg Energy Bill is set to give the 
green light to massive backdoor subsidies to nuclear – so the public will
end up paying for it twice – through taxes and 
higher energy bills.  We waant a future not a 
disaster. Please join our protest camp and Mass 
Actions to say NO to nuclear power before it’s 
too late.’. More information can be found at:

STOP PRESS:- For further information on coach travel from London: contact
David on 020-7607 2302; david.lrcnd at

6 – 13 October 2012, around the UK
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