Monday, 14 December 2009

QUB GREENS TRIP TO STORMONT ASSEMBLY


On the 9th of December QUB Greens went to Stormont! We were given a tour and then had a talk from Steven Agnew and Brian Wilson MLA. Brian spoke about how Green issues are worldwide and cannot be tackled alone. The same policies must be in place everywhere to deal with the challenge posed by climate change. He also mentioned issues faced within the Northern Ireland Assembly, for example designation. By refusing to class himself ‘Nationalist’ or ‘Unionist’ he is ‘Other’, but due to the need for cross-community support as stipulated by the Good Friday Agreement this gives you lesser powers. Furthermore, this reinforces the politics of the past, whereas the Green Party looks forward.

Gaining a seat in the Assembly was a crucial breakthrough but he is alone there and we want to change that! We put forward some questions to Brian about his vision for the next five to ten years, his views on Copenhagen and his opinion on the current Assembly position. Brian emphasised the need for more Green MLAs but what is most crucial is implementing the Green policies themselves.

Many thanks from QUB Greens to both Steven Agnew and Brian Wilson : )


Tuesday, 8 December 2009

WORLD AIDS DAY 2009


QUB Greens Fionnuala (left), Bob (centre) and Mark (right)at the Green Stall, World Aids Day 2009, QUB Students Union.


Monday 1st December was World Aids Day and the QUB Greens took part in the global campaign to tackle the epidemic that is HIV/AIDS, raising awareness, and also the local campaign to increase awareness about sexual health as well as safe and sensible sex amongst students.

The QUB Greens along with Amnesty, Rag and the Students Union held an awareness day in the Union, distributing information on the situation here as well as around the world.

At the Green stall we handed out contact information for any students who have concerns about their sexual health, hundreds of condoms and booklets on sexual health.

The QUB Greens will also be writing to student officers asking for free, easy to access contraception to be made available on campus for students. In almost any other university around the UK this is available and the QUB Greens will work to get the same sexual health and welfare at QUB.

SEXUAL HEALTH GUIDELINES & SUPPORT FOR STUDENTS

Free and confidential sexual health helpline:
0800 567 123

Royal Victoria Hospital GUM Department
028 9063 4050 / 4054

Opening times:
Monday: 8.30am - 11.30am AND 1.30pm - 4pm
Tuesday: 8.30am - 11.30am AND 1.30pm - 4pm
Wednesday: 8.30am - 11.30am AND 1.30pm - 4pm
Thursday: 8.30am - 11am AND 1.30pm - 4pm
Friday: 8.30am - 11.30am AND 1.30pm - 4pm

Family Planning Association (free Contraception and Chlamydia testing)
The Bradbury Centre, Lower Lisburn Road
028 90 912 100

Thursday, 3 December 2009

STOP HARE COURSING

QUB Green Co-Chair Mark McCormick transformed into Harriet the Hare this week at QUB to campaign against Hare Coursing in Northern Ireland and full protection for the Irish Hare.

Mark, as part of the League Against Cruel Sports Society at QUB, took part in a demonstration outside the student union which coincided with the reintroduction of a temporary ban on coursing the Irish hare which came into place on 1 December 2009. The Special Protection Order prevents the killing, taking, sale or purchase of the Irish hare, but only at certain times of the year!

Harriet the Hare said: “I live my life in constant fear that one day I will meet my fate in a coursing event – it is terrifying. If only the department would permanently protect me then I could live my life without fear.”

For more information on the League Against Cruel Sports email - maryfriel@league.org.uk

Email the Environment Minister and ask him to implement full protection for the Irish Hare! -
doe.iemonitoring@doeni.gov.uk

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

QUB GREENS FEATURE IN EUROPEAN BLOGGING WEBSITE ON COPHENHAGEN


Members of the QUB Greens at our fortnightly meeting in the Students Union

The QUB Greens have featured on the TH!NK2 Climate Change website for European Blogging!

Conor Slowey, a final year Law with Politics student who blogs about European politics and on Irish dimension of European politics, is blogging on 'TH!NK2 Climate Change' and recently was a guest at the QUB Greens fortnightly meeting last week.

To read Conors contribution to TH!NK2 Climate Change based on the content of the QUB Greens meeting follow the link below!

http://climatechange.thinkaboutit.eu/think2/post/ni/

TH!NK2 Climate Change is a 3 month blogging competition with a focus on UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen (COP15) in December 2009. Some 90 bloggers from 40 countries, including all 27 EU Member states, India, China, Brazil and the USA, the world's biggest players in climate policy, will come together on the European Journalism Centre's thinkaboutit.eu platform, to exchange ideas and debate the issues of climate change.

Conors interest in the area of Climate Change is the politics behind it, especially in an European and an international context, and in energy politics. You can visit Conors main blog here - http://www.theeuropeancitizen.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

DEAR SAMMY... WHY ARE YOU MAKING OUR STUDENTS PAY RATES?



The QUB Greens have called for clarification over alternative support for students if proposals by the Finance Minister to scrap the student rate relief scheme goes ahead.


The QUB Greens believe that although the rates relief system is far from perfect, Sammy Wilson should clarify what form of alternative student support he intends to replace the relief system. Is the Minister intending to go down the road that will increase financial pressure on students by increasing rents?

As students in England, Scotland and Wales are not required to pay council tax, it seems Minister Wilson would like Northern Ireland students to be saddled with more financial pressure in a time of increasing tuition fees and recession, when young people are finding it increasing difficult to find part time work.

We would also questions how this comment fits in with the comments of other DUP representatives recently, who lament the ‘brain drain’ – Northern Irish students going abroad to study – while the Finance Minister takes actions that will place extra costs on students studying here.

Saturday, 7 November 2009

STEVEN AGNEW INTERVIEW!


Steven Agnew with QUB Greens (left to right) Bob, Lois and Mark.

A few weeks ago we emailed our mailing list giving members and supporters an opportunity to ask Steven Agnew, the Green Party EU Candidate in the recent EU election, their questions! We selected 10 of these questions and Steven has kindly answered them below!

We hope to conduct similar interviews with other notable Greens in the future! :-)

STEVEN AGNEW ANSWERS YOUR QUESTIONS

1. What was the highlight of your European Elections campaign and what was your worst experience?

I’ll give you my worst experience first because it led to my best experience.

There was a hustings hosted by the Northern Ireland Independent Retailers Trade Association in the Europa hotel that included guests from the Institute of Directors, CBI, and Federation of Small Businesses etc. Basically a cross section of NI’s business community.

I was nervous about this event for a number of reasons. Unlike other hustings hosted by the likes of NICVA, Amnesty etc when I knew I would have a sympathetic audience, I felt I was walking into a room full of people who wouldn’t take the Green Party seriously.

Also our message was around the Green Economy and creating jobs. If we were to get anywhere with this message we needed these guys on board.
Essentially I’d beaten myself before I went in. I was convinced I would fail and so I did. I stepped up to the platform to make my speech and one of the mics fell off. It went down hill from there. I blanked mid speech, which I never do – I couldn’t remember the term ‘environmental goods and services’ and probably said something like ‘the global market for environmental . . . . eh . . . . stuff . . . . is estimated at over £3000bn’. But by that point the message was lost, I’d choked and that was what people would remember.

What I needed to remember was that CBI are part of the Green New Deal Coalition. These people are already on board. I had the strongest message on that platform and all I had to do was deliver it.

Anyway, the next day was the manifesto launch. To that point I’d been reworking the same speech for each event. Two hours before the launch I tore it up. Stupid thing to do. Wrote a new speech. Was stressed, angry (with myself), but determined to go in and nail this. And did.

There were journalists from BBC, UTV and all the main NI newspapers.

I was on a platform with Doctor John Barry legendary politics lecturer, former GPNI leader, and the man who inspired me to get active in the Green Party. Doctor Mark Bailey, economics lecturer, new Chair of GPNI, and the font of all knowledge. And Alderman Brian Wilson MLA, a former economics lecturer, 30 years experience in politics, and my boss.

They couldn’t get a word in.

I delivered my speech as it was in my head. Each question that came, I batted it back. Job done.

Hearts and Minds was another high point because I love watching that show and it was a great feeling to be on there and to get my Ian Knox caricature. I didn’t know the questions in advance but was well prepared for them when they came. I was pleased with my answers as I delivered them as they were in my head. I found out about a week later that 70,000 people had watched the show that night.

2. How do you feel about your result in the EU election?

Delighted.

More people voted Green in NI than had ever done so before. We beat our own target for number of votes even though the number of people voted was way down (42% turnout compared to around 60% in the Assembly elections). I had even said privately that even though it was unlikely I’d love to get over 15,000.

When the vote came in at 15,674 I was well pleased.

3. What sort of advantages do you think the EU can bring to N.I directly?

Direction.

I hope this changes but the current Northern Ireland Executive are leading us nowhere. It’s great that the Assembly is up and running and we have local democracy but now our local politicians have to step up to the plate and govern.

Without the EU we’d have virtually no environmental protection. We’d still think the answer to our waste problem is to bury it. Renewable energy would still be seen as some hippy fantasy. And human rights would still be caught up in some Unionist/Nationalist stalemate.

In fact to some extent these things haven’t changed, but because of European directives they have to.

4. Alliance Party... Yay or Nay??

Good question. When I work out what they stand for I’ll let you know.

Obviously we work together with Alliance in the Assembly and we share a certain amount of common ground in terms of working for all the people of Northern Ireland. But we’re also a global party, one branch of a worldwide movement whereas Alliance are very much a party of ‘the Troubles’. I also see Alliance as being a fundamentally more conservative party than ourselves.

However I think it is important that we work together where we do share common ground to bring voters away from the old politics of division and increase the pool of votes that, come election time, we will be competing for.

I think we have more to offer than Alliance. Whereas their core is in not being sectarian, this is assumed within the Green Party, as is our support for other equality issues. We never needed to have a debate within the Party as to whether or not we would support gay marriage as equality is a core Green principle that is there for all to see.

We are also unique as a party in Northern Ireland in that you can be a unionist Green or a nationalist Green without there being any contradiction. As a party in support of cultural-diversity as well as bio-diversity we must realise that these cultural traditions have value and we are not here to simply whitewash over these traditions. However our members recognise that this does not necessarily have to result in division as we are united around our social, environmental and economic policies. The constitution of Northern Ireland is in the hands of the people and no party can or should look to change that.

5. How do you respond to people who think the Green Party is simply a single issue party?

People think that Green means environment but I don’t think they really think about what is meant by the term ‘environment’. Most people think of trees and green fields, but the environment is simply where we live and being Green is about how we live in every aspect of our lives.

Take energy as an example. Firstly we have to reduce the amount we use through energy efficient measures such as insulation, energy saving light bulbs etc. Then we have to lessen the impacts of energy production so we need to shift away from fossil fuels and use more renewable forms of energy production.

Of course these measures will help cut our carbon emissions which will help in the fight against climate change. But this type of shift will do so much more.

As well as reducing CO2 emissions we also reduce toxins that are released when we burn fossil fuels which will improve our air quality and have a positive impact on health. Energy efficiency measures will help householders reduce their fuel bills and help tackle fuel poverty. Producing energy locally will help create jobs providing a boost to the local economy. 98% of our energy is currently imported. So essentially every time you pay your electricity bill for gas bill you are sending money out of our economy. If the Assembly is so focussed on growing the local economy how can they not see that more towards renewables is an integral part of this?

So one Green Party policy will have an impact on the economy, social development, health, and climate change.

In fact when I joined the Green Party I was much more interested in issues of social justice than I was environmental issues, so if it was all about simply saving trees I don’t think I would have joined.

6. As a former student of QUB what are your recollections of political activism here?

I have very few recollections of student politics and that wasn’t simply because I was drunk all the time.

To be honest I wasn’t interested in politics back then. To me politics meant unionism versus nationalism and that never particularly interested me.

I do remember Simon Doyle who was then the editor of The Gown (now writes for the Irish News I think). He stood for Student Union President under the banner “Vote for me. I’m the only one taking the piss”. I think he came third.

I also remember there was this idea of a unionist chill factor in the Student’s Union, which I never understood. As someone from a unionist background I can’t say I ever felt ‘the chill’ but maybe that was due to the alcohol.

Instead I got involved with RAG which ties in with the whole social justice side of things. We raised quite a bit for local charities, but it was also a good way of meeting people some of whom I’m still friends with today.

7. In light of scientific consensus that energy consumption will continue to increase do you feel that the Green Party should adopt policies to promote more modern safer installations of nuclear power rather than renewables?

No. We neither need nor want nuclear power in Northern Ireland.

It would take 25 years to construct a nuclear power plant so it will not help towards the fight against climate change.

No nuclear power plant to date has been financially self sustaining; all nuclear power requires massive subsidies from the government, so there is no economic argument for nuclear power.

There is still no solution to the problem of nuclear waste though Sammy Wilson would have you bury it in your back garden if Gordon Brown offered enough money. But if we went full scale down the nuclear route there wouldn’t be enough back gardens in which to bury the waste.

The All Island Grid Study shows that Ireland as a whole can produce 42% of its electricity from renewables by 2020 and this is what we should be aiming for.

George Monbiot has not, as some have suggested, joined the nuclear lobby but has suggested that if the waste issue was addressed and all emissions from ‘mine to dump’ are taken into account then nuclear power could be considered. I think if we were to look at total cost and total emissions of nuclear power the case for nuclear just doesn’t stand.

www.monbiot.com/archives/2009/02/20/nuked-by-friend-and-foe

8. Hypothetically if the Greens gained more influence in the Assembly and were able to get one piece of legislation passed what would you personally wish it to be?

Only one!?!

I think it would have to be that Northern Ireland must meet specific CO2 reduction targets and renewable energy targets not just by 2050 but within each term of the Assembly.

Currently we are signed up to the UK Climate Change Act which commits the UK as a whole to cut CO2 emissions by 80% by 2050. However we need year on year monitoring of our progress and interim targets. Targets for 2050 are grand but if you’ve an essay for June your unlikely to look at it until May. Similarly I’m concerned we won’t start to take action on climate change until it is too late. That’s why I think that each Programme for Government should commit the Assembly to CO2 reduction targets within the Assembly term. Then we would have something by which to assess our politicians’ performance and add some much needed urgency.

9. How do you feel about the renewed programme for government in the Republic of Ireland and the Fianna Fail coalition?

I remain positive about the Greens being in government and believe that the renewed programme for government represents a victory for the Greens. Obviously as the minority partner in government we cannot get everything our own way, but if you look at the measures on climate change, the guarantee their will be no third level education fees, 2:1 ratio spend on public vs private transport (in NI its 1:5 public:private), as examples, we are punching well above our weight.

Remember we have 6 TDs compared to Fianna Fail’s 77, yet we’ve managed to play quite a big role in influencing policy.

People will point out that we have suffered electorally but I believe that while the party vote has been damaged by the Greens being in government, Ireland is better off. I think you should get elected to change policy, not change policy to get elected.

10. With Copenhagen drawing near how do you feel Northern Ireland can play its part in tackling climate change?

We need to set our own targets, as I outlined above. Then we need to meet them.

But I think that the First and Deputy First Minister should show leadership by attending the talks in Copenhagen. However I don’t think they can or will lead on Green issues and that is why when people ask me why if we still need the Greens when everyone knows about climate change and what needs to be done, that I am more convinced than ever of the need for a strong Green voice. Even when the problem is blatantly obvious our political leaders delay on making the necessary changes. I’m just glad John Gormley will be in Copenhagen showing Sammy Wilson how a real Environment Minister can lead the way.

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

"The Green Party needs its younger members to drive it forward in Northern Ireland from its modest beginnings to a Green future." - STEVEN AGNEW SPEAKS AT QUB


Steven Agnew speaks to students at QUB

Thanks to everyone who came along to the talk today by Steven Agnew. A QUB graduate himself, Steven recently stood as the Green Party candidate in the European Election. He polled 15,764 first preference votes, representing a 31.5% increase in the Green vote since the Assembly elections and a 228% increase on the last EU election.

Steven began by highlighting the progress of the Green Party in Northern Ireland, and comparison with other countries where the Greens have managed to achieve real influence. He also detailed some of the key issues that he works on at Stormont with the Green MLA Brian Wilson. For example renewably energy, issues around waste solutions, investment in public transport, concern for CO2 emissions and finally Copenhagen. The last of these is vital, but global issues should not overshadow local concerns and engagement with people in between elections. The Green Party needs its younger members to drive it forward in Northern Ireland from its modest beginnings to a Green future, a Green economy is what can create jobs and tackle environmental challenges! : )

Steven’s talk was followed by questions, regarding cynicism in politics, helping people understand the importance of climate change, engagement with all parts of society, the new Environment Minister (who at least recognises our role in creating climate change!), the role of livestock in emissions and the importance of engaging young people in politics generally.

Thanks to Steven for both an informative and inspirational talk : )



Steven with QUB Greens from left to right Bob, Steven, Lois & Mark.

Monday, 26 October 2009

GREENING IT UP AT THE BLESSINGTON LAKES!


From l-r: Chris, Antonia, Justyn, Una, Bob, Mark and Lois

Seven members of QUB Greens went down to Blessington Lakes, Wicklow for the Young Green Convention, one of the most successful turnouts from a Young Green branch and a great turn out all round!

After a joyful six hours of travel by bus we arrived on the Saturday in time for some of the afternoon talks. There was a discussion between all branches on how to get involved in campaigns and what can work well when choosing to take on new projects. There is great potential for us to learn from each other, for example by what has worked well on another university campus.

Later in the day John Gormley, Environment Minister in the South, came and spoke to us all, noting the importance of looking forward and questioning where we will be in, for example, 2050. He emphasised that no one can dispute the fact that it is impossible to have ‘infinite growth on a finite planet’. For sustainability there is a need for ‘resource-ism’. Discussion was then opened to the floor and we had the valuable opportunity to ask the Minister questions, on areas from the new Programme for Government, the Lisbon Treaty, Copenhagen, Common Agricultural Policy, internal flights in Ireland and even a mention of Sammy Wilson!

This was followed by the election of the new National Executive Committee (NEC) for the following year – for the first time a Young Green from Northern Ireland was elected! Congratulations to QUB Co Chair Mark on winning the position of Campaigns Officer!

Discussions continued long into the night, it was a great experience making contact with our fellow Young Greens, thank you to everyone from QUB who went down and to our fabulous hosts : )

Mark, newly elected to the NEC and ready to fight to improve Green Campaigns!

QUB GREENS SUPPORT GREEN WEEK AT QUB!



The 26th - 30th October is Green Week at Queens!

The SU Sabbatical Officers loved our Energy Saving Poster from Energy Saving Week so much that we were able to edit it to fit in with Green Week!

Take a look around the SU this week to see our poster in Action as part of the QUB Greens support for GREEN WEEK 2009!

Also look out for the SU Green Week poster to see whats on this week!

Click on the Poster Image to see the origional size!

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

QUB GREENS ENERGY SAVING WEEK





19 - 25 October is Energy Saving week and to play a part in this the QUB Greens committee has created a poster & leaflet which will be distributed to students and put up on notice boards around the campus. After our meeting on Wednesday 21st we will be distributing these and need volunteers to help leaflet around the Students Union.

CLICK ON THE POSTER TO SEE LARGER SIZE!

Monday, 19 October 2009

QUB GREEN MEMBERS ATTEND PIPS COMMUNITY LIFEGUARD TRAINING PROGRAMME


QUB Greens Adam McGibbon and Karly Greene at the Pips Meeting!

From the Young  Greens hard work and important input in the cross party Political Youthwings organisation for the Youth Mental Health Strategy, Karly Greene and Adam McGibbon broadened their knowledge and skills by attending a training programme organised by Barry McColgan (Ogra SF) and ran by two highly trained Pips trainors!

The Pips project is a Northern Ireland organisation (formed in North Belfast) to prevent suicide and help beareaved families through the tragedy of loosing a loved one through suicide.

The programme was a 6 hour training event including group work and the LOOK-LISTEN-LINK idea on how simple it can be to save someones life and notice signs at early stages of suicidal thoughts.

A highly successful and interesting day!
For more info on Pips see http://www.pipsproject.com/

CAN CAPITALISM STOP CLIMATE CHANGE? QUB GREENS DEBATE SOCIALIST SOCIETY!

Adam McGibbon of the QUB Greens will be debating with a member of the Socialist Society at Queens this Wednesday!

Both speakers will have about 10 minutes or so to outline their position, then it will be opened up to the floor for discussion, before both speakers sum up at the end.

The debate will take place in Room 206 in the PFC at 1pm.

The debate will look at our environment in crisis and what solutions we believe are available! The Socialist Society have called the debate "Can Capitalism Stop Climate Change!" The QUB Greens certainly dont think so! We wonder do the Socialists!?!    : P 

Friday, 16 October 2009

QUB GREENS VOTE EARTH!

QUB Greens sign the WWF petition in the QUB Students Union!

The QUB Greens have signed the World Wide Fund for Natures call for a Global Climate Deal and urge you to do the same!

Climate Change Affects us all - and we can all make a difference.

www.wwf.org.uk/voteearth

We need world leaders to sign a strong, fair global climate deal in Copenhagen this December.

In December, world leaders will meet in Copenhagen to agree how the world will tackle the growing climate crisis. We need your help to urge Gordon Brown to push for a deal which will secure a safe future for all. Add your voice by signing the WWF's petition below.

Add your voice to the call for Gordon Brown to urge rich countries to take on stronger carbon targets and provide finance to support developing countries.

CLICK HERE TO SIGN!

Thursday, 15 October 2009

LEAGUE AGAINST CRUEL SPORTS QUB - First Meeting of new society on 21/10/09


















THE LEAGUE AGAINST CRUEL SPORTS HAVE ESTABLISED A SOCIETY AT QUB AND WE ARE ENCOURAGING YOU TO GET INVOLVED WITH THEIR CAMPAIGNS!

We are delighted to inform you that the first League Against Cruel Sports QUB Society meeting will be held on Wednesday 21 October at 4pm in Club Room 2 on the 3rd floor of the Students Union. This is an excellent opportunity for you to meet people with similar interests, have a good time and to introduce yourself to the work and campaigns of the League.

“The League Against Cruel Sports Society will be the first active animal welfare students group at Queens. I urge anyone who is passionate about animal welfare to attend our first meeting on Wednesday 21 October 4pm in club room 2 on the 3rd floor of the students union. Through the society you will have the opportunity to get involved with the League’s campaign on hare coursing, banning snares as well as others such as bullfighting.”

QUB Greens will no doubt do their best to support the LACS Society in their campaigns!

For more information on the League Against Cruel Sports - http://www.league.org.uk/

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

ASK STEVEN AGNEW YOUR QUESTIONS!


The QUB Greens are giving you the opportunity to put your questions to the recent EU Candidate of the Green Party, Steven Agnew!

Steven Agnew, the Green Party MEP Candidate in the recent EU elections, has agreed to do an interview with the QUB Greens! And we are letting YOU ask the questions!

So if you have any questions, whether it be about Stevens experience of the election, his future in politics, views about certain issues or what inspires him to be Green please send them on to us at qubgreens@hotmail.co.uk ! We will then select the best ones and try to cater for everyone, so this is your chance to find out a little bit more about Steven and the Green Party.

Steven Agnew polled 15,764 first preference votes. This is a 31.5% increase in the Green vote since the Assembly elections and a 228% increase on the last European election.

The European election results have proven to be of huge significance to the Green Party in Northern Ireland. It now looks likely that the Green Party could seriously increase its Assembly representation in any future election. One thing is for sure, the Green candidate Steven Agnew is most certainly one to keep an eye on in the future!

We will be compiling the best questions for the interview at the end of the week so you have until the weekend to send us yours! :-)

We will post Stevens answers to the questions onto this blog!

For more information on Steven Agnew - www.stevenagnew.eu

Monday, 12 October 2009

YOUNG GREENS CONVENTION THIS WEEKEND



Join the QUB Greens at the Young Green National Convention this weekend at the beautiful Blessington Lakes!

The annual Young Greens convention is here! Or rather nearly upon us. Only one week to go and we want you to come along and meet other Young Greens, discuss the issues that matter to you, and in general have de craic. This year the convention is taking place in the lovely surrounds of the Blessington lakes in Co. Wicklow!

We're providing accommodation, nourishment and a full timetable (to be announced this week) so really there's no excuse for you not to come!!

www.younggreens.ie/convention

Timetable will be posted at this space!

If you wish to travel down with QUB Greens please send an email asap to qubgreens@hotmail.co.uk

Sunday, 11 October 2009

QUB GREENS VOTE FOR GREEN CHANGE

The Young Greens celebrate the news that the party membership overwhelmingly endorsed the renewed programme for government at the special convention!

QUB Green delegates attended the Green Party special convention in Dublin's RDS to vote on the new programme for government negotiations!

Our delegates voted in favour of the new programme as it contained some of the most radical changes we have yet seen since the Green Party entered government in 2007.

Here are some examples of what has been gained and will be implemented by the government:

  • 127,000 new jobs to be created in the green and smart economies over the next decade!
  • 12,000 new jobs in locally-based rural enterprises between now and 2013!
  • No 3rd Level Fees in the Republic of Ireland!
  • 500 new teaching posts at primary and secondary level over the next 3 years!
  • Protection for the Hill of Tara by designating such areas as Landscape Conservation Areas!
  • A Cap on Incineration capacity!
  • An end to corporate donations to political parties!
  • Transport will be 2:1 in favour of public transport over roads!
  • Ireland will become a GM Free Zone!
  • Fur-farming will be phased out over 3 years!
  • Stag hunting will be banned!
  • There will be no more culling of badgers!

You can read a summary of all that has been gained at this link.

A NEW TERM BEGINS!

Our first meeting of the term began with talk from outgoing co-chair Adam McGibbon, talking about the Green Party in general and his involvement with them since 2007, a key year for the Greens in Northern Ireland.

We had an overview of our activities last year, mentioning World Aids Day, the Gaza and other peace protests, the campaign against then Environment Minister Sammy Wilson including the petition given in at Stormont, Fairtrade fortnight, Steven Agnew and the European election, student elections in March and the Green Party Annual Conference.

We then set out some plans for this year, welcoming the input of all members in deciding what we focus on in the coming months. We mentioned for October the Young Greens Convention; November a possible talk from Steven Agnew and John Barry, and a stall for Vegan Day. December would see a visit to Stormont, and some link with events at Copenhagen; in January Steven Agnew has some gigs planned that the Speakeasy could provide a good venue for; February Fairtrade Father Ted; March would see the student sabbatical elections and International Women’s Day and April would see the Westminster election. May is likely to be overshadowed by exams but nearer the time other events could also be included, and throughout the year other events like the peace protests will arise.

In addition to events each month, we would be interested in running some campaigns around areas that concern and motivate Green members! Some examples provided at the meeting were trident, Translink bus prices increasing and others spoke about and recycling facilities around Queens and Belfast in general. It was also decided to have an ink cartridge recycling drive which would also raise money for chairty. Members could also have the chance to become involved, if interested, in the South Belfast Greens.

Elections for the committee were held and the new committee for 2009/2010 is:

Co-Chairs - Mark McCormick & Lois Taylor
Secretary - Petrina Doyle
Treasurer - Rónán Kernan
Campaigns Support - Fionnuala Gray


It was emphasised though that everyone is usually involved in all parts of running the society!

The meeting concluded and off to the Speakeasy we went, with Mark selling the Young Greens Convention on the basis of past experience ‘you could end up in a church tower…!’

"A NEW TYPE OF POLITICS IS EMERGING "

At the QUB Greens first meeting of the term outgoing Co-Chair Adam McGibbon gave a talk to the QUB Greens and new members in attendence about what his thoughts on green politics and the role of the Green Party in Northern Ireland! Here is an excerpt from Adams talk -

"I joined the Green Party in 2007 after the Assembly elections, when the Green Party got its first MLA in Stormont, Brian Wilson from North Down. I remember being completely inspired by the idea that a new type of politics was clearly emerging - something which had nothing to do with they legacy of conflict that we have here. Since then, we've been growing even more.

The Green society here has been going since 2007 and earlier this year, Steven Agnew, our European candidate, tripled the Green vote. I think we're on the verge of a major breakthrough come the next assembly elections, and certainly the party in Northern Ireland, as well as the Green Parties in many many other countries worldwide, are growing fast.

If you ask people what the Green Party is about, you might hear people say "the environment" - but that's not quite correct. If you ask me, what the Green Party is about more than that is holistic thinking - looking at an issue from every angle. I'll give an example of something that I'm familiar with - childhood asthma. I'm from East Belfast, which statistically is the worst parliamentary constituency in the UK for childhood asthma. You might ask,what kind of issue is this? Is it a human rights issue? Shouldn't it be a human right to be able to breathe clean air? Is it a health issue? Is it a transport and planning issue, because a major cause of air pollution is the huge amounts of cars we have on our roads? It's ALL these things, and that's what Green thinking is all about - all issues are interconnected and the best solutions come when you address all these things together.

Of course, it could be seen also, therefore, as an 'environmental' issue. The problem with that word - environmental - is, though, that people tend to view the environment as trees, grass, fields - when in fact all the environment is is the place where you live.

Another thing that I think the Green Party is about, is reforming politics, and this of course is very important post-expenses scandal.People who know me will know that I'm quite fond of quoting the famous German Green, the late Petra Kelly, who used to say that the Green Party was an "anti-party party" - that is, it is a political party that is capable of choosing between morality and power. We remain the most democratic party in the country - our members make all the key decisions - such as the one that the party in the South will make this weekend - whether to stay in coalition government.

We are the only party that doesn't take donations from business. A Green member of the European Parliament was voted the most ethical politician in the UK two years running. One of our party principles is "All social and economic decisions should be taken at the lowest effective level" - and this is keyto our message of bringing politics back to the people.

We're also a party that listens to its youth wing - I sit on the party's executive and the views of the young party members havealways shaped policy and debate... we aren't like some youth wings that I could mention which are effectively just grooming people our age into becoming old men in their 20s."

Saturday, 3 October 2009

A GOOD GREEN DAY! FRESHERS BAZAAR 09!

What a great way to start the new term! 108 new QUB students have registered their support and enthusiasm in getting involved with the QUB Greens!

Thank you to everyone who came along to say hello, members old and new! and a huge thank you to all Young Greens and Green Party members who came along and helped out at the stall.

We were delighted to have our EU Election candidate Steven Agnew along for the day, our favourite big young green! We hope to get Steven along soon to one of our meetings to speak to members about his election experience and the future of the Green Party in Northern Ireland! Aggie Aggie Aggie!

Unfortunately our green mascot the tree has been abducted however there have been reported sightings of our beloved tree in Galway and we will soon organise a rescue operation! Hold strong tree, we are coming for you!

We will have our first meeting next week and will email everyone details over this weekend so keep an eye on your inbox for details!

With Best Green Wishes!

Thursday, 24 September 2009

YOUNG GREENS JOURNEY TO COLERAINE!

This week the Young Greens had their first stall at the University of Ulster Coleraine freshers fair!

This was to support the setting up of a new Young Green Society in Coleraine and a means to support the North Coast Green Party! Much fun was had and many enthusiastic UU Students signed up and registered their interest in the Young Greens and Green Party!

The Young Greens are growing amongst the youth wings in Northern Ireland and our visit to Coleraine is a great step in getting people in all corners of Northern Ireland active and enthusiastic to campaign for people and planet!

The Coleraine Campus landmark feature is a wind turbine standing 56 metres tall - with a power output equivalent to that consumed by 425 homes its installation and operation now provides a 1074 tonne reduction in annual carbon dioxide emissions emitted at local power stations. Woohoo!!


The Young Greens also ventured and explored Coleraine meeting some locals! Members new and old enjoyed brunch in the Ground Cafe on Kingsgate Street! The Ground Cafe is totally Fairtrade and serves one mean Mushroom soup! Try it! :-D

For anyone interested in getting involved in the new Young Greens group at Coleraine give us an email at QUBGREENS@HOTMAIL.CO.UK and we'll pass on details!

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

YOUNG GREENS SUPPORT TWENTY'S PLENTY CAMPAIGN


The QUB Greens are supporting the South Belfast Green Party in their calls for the introduction of a 20 miles per hour speed limits on all residential streets in the area.


Green Party South Belfast spokesperson Adam McGibbon said: “I share concerns with the Ulidia Resident’s Association that more accidents are inevitable along busy side streets off the Ormeau Road if traffic speed is not reduced to twenty miles per hour. The ‘Twenty is Plenty’ campaign will not only help reduce road traffic accidents but will also reduce risk of serious injury.”

The Transport Research Laboratory has found that 20 miles per hour speed limits can decrease child pedestrian accidents by up to 70 percent. A pedestrian hit at 20 miles per hour has a 95 percent chance of survival compared to 50 percent at 30 miles per hour.

Mr. McGibbon said: "As 20 miles per hour speed limits are already in operation across towns and cities in other parts of the UK such as Portsmouth, Norwich and Newcastle, there's no reason why Belfast City Council can't explore a 20 miles per hour speed limit here too."

The QUB Greens will be working to support this campaign at the start of the new university semester this September!

Sunday, 2 August 2009

YOUNG GREENS MARCH FOR GAY PRIDE!

Photograph shows Young Green and Green Party activists marching at Belfast Pride 2009

LGBT Community member and Green Party Activist Rob Evans said, "Pride is a time to celebrate diversity and be mindful of the journey that led us to the freedoms we enjoy today. Homosexuality was only decriminalized in Northern Ireland in 1982, and there are still those who would rather we went back to the days of invisibility and repression. Unfortunately, some of these bigots are elected members of the Assembly at Stormont."

Rob continued, "Marching at Pride with the Greens was a wonderful experience for me. It's essential to demonstrate the continuing strength of progressive, inclusive politics. By standing together against prejudice, we take a huge step forward in our quest for a diverse and sustainable future."

QUB Greens Co-Chair Adam McGibbon said, "I was proud to take part in todays parade and was even more proud to see so many Young Green / Green Party activists there with me. As the only political party with a stall inside the festival itself, we got a great reception from participants and signed up many new members interested in joining a party unashamedly based on human rights principles."

Sunday, 3 May 2009

Save Student Journalism - Save The Gown!


The Gown, the independent newspaper at QUB since 1955, is in financial trouble (damn credit crunch) and is in need of much-needed funds.

If you value an independent voice for journalism within the SU (The Gown recieves no Union funding), and want to save an historic publication that has seen many now-prominent journalists go through its ranks, then you should help SAVE THE GOWN by coming along to the GOWN QUIZ NIGHT this Wednesday 6th May, 8PM in the Bunatee Bar. There will be a quiz, raffle, an auction and a DJ.

Tickets are £3 for students and £5 for non-students, with a free drink with every ticket! A cheap night out and for a good cause too - what more could you ask for??

Tickets available on the night at the door, in The Gown office (top floor of the SU) and from members of The Gown team.

You can email THEGOWN@HOTMAIL.COM for more information.


Please spread the word!

Sunday, 26 April 2009

QUB GREENS AWARD STUPID CERTIFICATE TO CHIEF EXECUTIVE OF BELFAST CITY AIRPORT


Photo shows from left to right: QUB Greens Karly, Adam, Neil, Mark and Lois with the Stupid Certificate awarded to Brian Ambrose of Belfast City Airport!


This year the Young Greens decided to leave the Green Wash Award with Sammy Wilson for the second year running as he has outdone himself this year with his Environment Minister role. At the Green Party Northern Ireland AGM 2009 the Young Greens decided instead to award a stupid certificate to whoever has been acting the stupidest towards the environment in Northern Ireland.


Brian Ambrose, Chief Executive of Belfast City Airport, was the winner for proposing a runway extension that is unsustainable, inconsiderate of long-suffering residents and economically unbeneficial to Northern Ireland.


Runners up included:

Rose Energy, for their plans to build a waste incinerator plant near Northern Ireland’s beauty spot Lough Neagh, locking us in to a future of unsustainable waste disposal.


David Ford, the Alliance Party Leader, For abstaining on the Stormont Environment Committee’s Vote of No Confidence in Environment Minister Sammy Wilson.

Monday, 6 April 2009

QUB GREENS CAMPAIGN FOR MENTAL HEALTH

Photograph shows representatives from the Youth Wings of all main political parties in Northern Ireland at the official launch of the Youth Mental Health Strategy. QUB Green Co-Chairs Adam McGibbon and Karly Greene are both on the far left.

The QUB Greens have been campaigning for Mental Health in Northern Ireland through the Youth Mental Health Strategy.

The main political youth wings in Northern/North of Ireland have united to campaign and lobby for an effective youth mental health strategy (YMHS).

Young political activists have been working together in the past months, alongside St Columbs Park Derry, to bring the broad issue of mental health to the fore, particularly targeting suicide prevention and drug and alcohol awareness.

The group comprising youth from Sinn Féin, SDLP, Green Party, Alliance, UUP and DUP launched their campaign for a youth mental health strategy at Belfast City Hall today (Monday 6 April).

Spokesperson for the youth wings and QUB Green Co-Chair Karly Greene said,“The young wings have been working closely together over the past number of months identifying the key issues of mental health, and drawing up a plan on how we can best tackle these issues from a youth perspective, ensuring it is relevant and effective.”

“We have written to every Assembly member, and are arranging a meeting with the Health Committee, we have engaged with a number of voluntary and community groups who are at the coalface in dealing with mental health. We are also arranging for our members to undertake the ASIST (Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training) programme, and are producing a short film, that will be launched at a youth forum on mental health. The youth forum aims to bring young people from all communities together, spark debate and formulate ideas on how to deal with this common issue.”

“Mental Health affects everyone regardless of age, race, sex and religion, and it is a progressive step forward that the young political activists are demonstrating unity and leadership to other young people on such an important issue.”

Thursday, 2 April 2009

GREEN MEP CANDIDATE SPEAKS TO QUB


Prospective Green Party MEP for Northern Ireland Steven Agnew made a visit to QUB last week to speak to the QUB Greens and Students interested in his campaign and his thoughts on the European Parliament and current issues.

Steven spoke about the Green Deal, the idea which was born in the UK with the help of the Green Leader of England & Wales Caroline Lucas, which even Barack Obama is now fighting for!

"A Green Industrial Revolution can create a new Northern Ireland where our indigenous industries will thrive once more, harnessing our unique natural resources and the manufacturing skill and industrial entrepreneurialism of our people."

"We can already see it happening here at Harland and Wolff. We see the skills, developed during the Industrial Revolution being adapted to meet the challenges of this new era. The Yard, once regarded for its ship building is now assembling turbines for new wind farms and last year assembled the first prototype wave turbine the SeaGen to generate tidal energy."

Steven spoke about the European Green Party and 43 Green MEPs in the European Parliament from 14 different countries.

"We have played a major role in the creation of legislation that has helped to protect our environment, set ambitious targets for renewable energy,increase social protection and protect biodiversity. I want to join that team and continue the great work that the Greens are doing in Europe."

Steven took several questions from the floor and also spoke about the Lisbon Treaty, Sammy Wilson, Incineration in Northern Ireland, Mechanical Biological Treatment and his thoughts on the fact that Paddy Power has the Greens and the Alliance Party on the same odds to win the European Election!

It was a great talk from Steven and we hope to have him back in the not so distant future! Hopefully as the First ever Green MEP for Northern Ireland!!

Dont forget to join Stevens Campaign page on Facebook! Click Here!

Tuesday, 31 March 2009

LEZZ EMMISIONS MISSION TO GREEN YOUR HOUSE



Lezz Emmisions mission is to Green Your House - today he meets Robert... You're next!

More clips can be found on the YouTube channel:
GreenPartyIreland

Monday, 30 March 2009

SAMMY MUST GO!


The Green Party and Young Greens have presented the ‘FIRE SAMMY PETITION’ to the Office of the First and Deputy First Minister

The Minister’s ranting about climate change has also inspired 2,551 people to join a Facebook group call REMOVE SAMMY WILSON AS ENVIRONMENT MINISTER

Speaking from the steps of Stormont Neil Halliday, a Young Green who set up the group said: “Minister Wilson's censuring of advertisements and his attitudes to climate change are incompatible with his role as Environment Minister. Not only are his opinions on the issue contrary to the overwhelming scientific consensus on climate change, but his decision to ban the adverts is tantamount to censorship and is an affront to democracy in Northern Ireland. His arrogant dismissal of a no-confidence motion by the Environment Committee undermines democracy and makes a mockery of ministerial accountability.”

Some of the comments left on the FIRE SAMMY WILSON PETITION included:

James McLarnon
While Sammy Wilson is Environmental Minister, I agree Northern Ireland will never be taken seriously, however I also believe that Northern Ireland will never have the much needed public debate on future energy production it desperately needs. We have great potential resources for tidal and wind which could be utilized at a local and national level. Projects to take advantage of these resources could create employment and pave the way for a renewable future. Unfortunately men like Sammy Wilson have their head firmly stuck in the sand.

Mags Adams
NI politics has a reputation for ignoring real political issues and blatant climate change denial does nothing to encourage me that much has changed. This man should not be in public office in the new NI.
Morgwn Trolinger
Disputing scientific evidence with one's own opinions is not appropriate if in a public office representing a country

Jonny McCormick
I don't understand why this appointment was made in the first place when he clearly either really doesn't know anything about the environment, or just doesn't care.

Shauna McCollum
silly man!

S Crook
Censorship at it's most ignorant.

Barbara Groves
He is a national embarrassment.

Paul Conlon
A minister is supposed to represent the electorate, the people who put him in office. He/She is not supposed to go on continuous rants derived from his own personal opinions.

Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Dear Dissidents, Hear Our Plea - Please end the Killing Spree

Marcus MacCormaic of the Young Greens (r) with Steven Agnew Green Party MEP Candidate (c) and Karly Greene QUB Greens Co-Chair (l)

QUB Greens spokesperson Marcus McCormick sent a message to dissidents responsible for the murder of a policeman and two young soldiers at a massive peace rally held in Belfast city centre today.“Dear Dissidents, hear our plea – please end the killing spree.”

Green Party MEP Candidate Steven Agnew joined the Young Greens with thousands of others on the streets of Belfast today in a huge Peace Rally called by the trade union movement in protest at the three recent murders.

Mr. Agnew said: “I am heartened that so many people have come here today, to show solidarity with the families of the policeman and soldiers murdered and to send a clear message to the gunmen that they are not wanted, are not supported and are not needed in new Northern Ireland. This rally today should give people hope and send some comfort to those grieving that they are not alone. The gunmen do not represent me nor anyone one else."

Marcus wrote a short account of the days protests at another blog which can be read by clicking here.

Monday, 9 March 2009

QUB Young Green elected to Green Party NEC


At the Green Party's convention in Wexford, Karly Greene, Co-Chair of the QUB Greens, was elected to the Green Party's governing body, the National Executive Committee.

Incredibly, Karly (pictured in an entirely unrelated photo) was elected on the 3rd count out of 12, surprassing many other well-known figures, elected representatives and long-time party stalwarts.

Karly, with her squeaky-clean record, will enchance the exemplary reputation of the Young Greens on the NEC... ;)

The Young Greens takeover of the Green Party continues...

Congratulations Karly - we love you!

Thursday, 26 February 2009

CUP OF TEA FATHER?


Fairtrade Fortnight is well underway and the QUB Greens played their part by organising Fairtrade Father Ted!

What better craic than a good cup of Fairtrade Tea with a couple of Father Ted Episodes! There was plenty of laughs and plenty of Fairtrade Tea, Coffee and Biscuits!

A special word of thanks to Fergus McAleavey Vice President Welfare of the Students Union for helping us to organise the event and for providing the Fairtrade Tea, Coffee and Biscuits!

Fairtrade is about better prices, decent working conditions, local sustainability, and fair terms of trade for farmers and workers in the developing world. By requiring companies to pay sustainable prices (which must never fall lower than the market price), Fairtrade addresses the injustices of conventional trade, which traditionally discriminates against the poorest, weakest producers. It enables them to improve their position and have more control over their lives.

http://www.fairtrade.org.uk/ for more information on the Fairtrade Vision!

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

SECOND SEMESTER OF ACTIVISM BEGINS

The Growing QUB Greens Group!

Qub Green Events – Semester 2

WEDNESDAY 25TH FEB - FAIRTRADE FATHER TED – clubrooms

TUES 3rd and WED 4th – SABBATICAL ELECTIONS

WEDNESDAY 11TH MARCH – Trip to Stormont – Meet Green Party MLA (TO BE CONFIRMED)

WEDNESDAY 25TH MARCH – Talk from the Green Party Northern Ireland Euro Candidate Steven Agnew – Clubrooms SU (TO BE CONFIRMED)

WEDNESDAY 1st APRIL – APRIL FOOLS DAY – SAMMY WILSON DAY

WEDNESDAY 29th APRIL – VOTER REGISTRATION DAY – students union


For more information on the upcoming events stay tuned to this blog or email us on qubgreens@hotmail.co.uk