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UK Indymedia Features
Published as of Friday, 24 February 2006 03:32:52 PM

Council Ignores Public Opinion in Demolition Skam
22 Feb 2006

"I can assure local councillors and residents that the views of local people are paramount and will be taken into full account before any decision is made." Councillor Newman, Manchester City Council's Executive Member for Housing.

On Feb 15th Manchester City Council proceeded with proposals to demolish the Kingsley Avenue Neighbourhood of Moston, despite public opposition from residents and stakeholders. MCC has decided to proceed with declaring the Kingsley Avenue Neighbourhood a clearance area for demolition. This is despite strong local stakeholder opposition from home owners and residents.

During a public consultation period in October formal representations showed that only 20% of respondees supported the demolition proposals. However, according to Save Kingsley Avenue Neighbourhood this did not give the result the Housing Department wanted who added in what they called ‘informal’ representations.

Full Story | Save Kingsley Avenue Neighbourhood

Free SpacesLondonSocial Struggles
Another Occupation in Hackney Against Gentrification
21 Feb 2006

On Monday 20th of February, local activists from Hackney, London, occupied three Victorian and Georgian buildings in order to stop the threat of demolition. The intention is to turn them into a community and social centre, instead of seeing the buildings sold off to private developers. The site consists of the Victorian Dalston Theatre and a pair of Georgian townhouses. Although some officials argue they are in a derelict state, members of the community are convinced that the theatre has a big potential as a cultural, social and community resource [Photos and Report]

At about 8am, council officers turned up and told the occupiers that they had to vacate the building by 9 or they would send in the police to evict them. Later in the morning, workmen from Byline (the contractors hired by Hackney Council) and police forced entry to the occupied theatre. Activists then climbed to the buidling's rooftops to defend the occupation, and are calling for help to stop the eviction.

Updates: Tuesday 21st [more and pics]

More info against gentrification in Hackney: Open Dalston | 34 Broadway Market Occupation

NottinghamshireSocial StrugglesWorkers' Movements
Lobby against council cuts 23 Feb
20 Feb 2006

Notts County Council is planning £21m of budget cuts, resulting in hundreds of redundancies and cuts in services to some of the most vulnerable people in the County. Workers and community groups will lobby the Council meeting on Thurs 23 Feb at 1pm outside County Hall, West Bridgford, Nottingham.

The lobby is part of a series of actions designed to make the Council re-think its plans to make sweeping cuts to jobs and services.Up for the axe are around 500 jobs and a dramatic reduction to meals at homes for older people, home care and economic regeneration initiatives. Notinghamshire County Council is claiming that the cuts are necessary to meet budgetary pressures, but it masks a wider political agenda to privatise services.

See: for more info

EcologyGlobalisationSocial StrugglesUK
International protests against Shell
19 Feb 2006

Stop the Shell Pipeline! Protests have taken place in Ireland, England, Scotland and Sweden to publicise the campaign ahead of the re-opening of Rossport Solidarity Camp, a protest camp supporting a community based struggle against Shell in the West of Ireland. On Friday 17th there was a Rossport Solidarity Demo in Liverpool, a critical mass style bike ride and occupation of Shell garages happened on Saturday in Nottingham [picture reports 1 | 2] and in north London London Rising Tide organised a blockade of a Shell garage which was closed for four hours [reports 1, 2] [Video]. Listen to an audio report recorded at the Rising Tide Solidarity action 2]. All this coincided with a Rossport Solidarity Camp speaking tour of Scotland and England. Meanwhile in Ireland, the doors to Shell's main offices in Dublin were D locked shut, there was also a blockade of a Statoil garage in Cork and two solidarity meetings.

In Rossport Irish residents & supporters continue to obstruct the building of a dangerous gas pipeline. Last year five men from Rossport were jailed for contempt of court for refusing to obey the High Court order not to interfere with the construction of the Corrib gas pipeline. They were expected to be back at the High Court also on Friday 17th, potentially facing more time in jail. In November '05 the Rossport Five were released after 94 days in jail.

Click the 'Full Article' link for more
South Coast
Wiring up for a police state?
19 Feb 2006

A TIMELY warning of the current rush towards what looks like becoming a police state has been sounded by a Sussex newsletter. The Porkbolter, produced by volunteers in Worthing since 1997, brings together a frightening array of recent developments in its latest issue, which hit the streets just as ID cards and yet more "anti-terrorist" laws were passed by MPs.

Meanwhile, civil rights campaigners down the road in Brighton are holding a public meeting on civil rights.

Evian G8OxfordRepressionSocial StrugglesUK
Swiss Police Acquitted in Aubonne Bridge Trial
18 Feb 2006

On the 13th, 14th, 15th of February 2006 a court case against two Swiss police officers took place in Nyon, Switzerland. Michael Deiss and Claude Poget were charged with causing bodily harm through negligence. They were in court after nearly killing climbers Martin Shaw and Gesine Wenzel during the protests against the G8 in Evian. On Friday 17 February the verdict of this private prosecution came through with an acquittal of the two policemen [Read verdict press release by Martin and Gesine]. Following this verdict, the activists announced that they will appeal against this whitewash of police violence.

In June 2003, an affinity group blockaded the Aubonne Bridge with a climbing action in order to stop a G8 delegation from reaching the summit in Evian. The police cut the climbing rope. As a result both activists were seriously injured, specially Martin Shaw who spent one month in hospital and sustained irreversible injuries. See video and a Photo strory of the event.

Other recent newswire reports: Report of day 3 of the trial | Statement by the Aubonne Support Group on the court proceedings | Activists walk out of court after verdict | Activists appeal against whitewash of police violence.

More information: Aubonne Bridge Campaign | IMC-UK Evian G8 page | PigBrother Live Show

CultureLondonUKWorkers' Movements
Valentine's Day Protests
18 Feb 2006
Just before Valentine's Day on Sat 11th Feb, around 600 people took part in Reclaim Love III, providing a counter-point to the greeting card and gift frenzy of Feb 14th - partying at Eros statue in Piccadilly, London - saying 'Love not oil is the most important resource in the world' [report | Photos 1, 2, 3 | Video 1, 2, 3].

On Feb 14th itself campaigners held a mock funeral demonstration outside the Icelandic Embassy in London. They were demonstrating against the Karahnjukar Icelandic dam and the multinational aluminium invasion of the last great pristine wilderness of Europe by companies Alcoa and Alcan [report | Saving Iceland website]. Other recent actions included a protest at the offices of Impregilo, part of the company which is building the Dam [report].

The Hazards Campaign also held a Valentine's Day 'Death by Deregulation' protest in London outside the Health and Safety Commission, drawing attention to the abolition of basic safeguards for workers [report + pic]. See also '10 reasons the Health and Safety Executive top brass makes us sick' - New Hazards Report | Safety at Work: a retreat from law? | LabourStart Health + Safety News Stories.

Meanwhile over in Belfast, where an unofficial two week plus postal strike has crippled the postal service, well over a thousand workers marched through the streets including both the Catholic Falls road and Protestant Shankhill. The wildcat strike action was in response to management bullying. The strike ended on Sat 18th, when the Royal Mail agreed to an independent review of industrial employee relations and not to penalise workers for the strike action [report and pics | Libcom Strike Coverage].

Prior to Valentine's, on 12th February campaigners from Trident Ploughshares held a mock wedding at Devonport dockyard in plymouth. Dressed in red and pink and black they enacted the 'marriage' of the people and City of Plymouth to Britain's own Weapons of Mass Destruction, the Trident missile system. A marriage made seemingly without the consent of many residents in the City [report + pics].

low impact building technique
16 Feb 2006
Pictures showing the construction of a stud and mud building in Nottingham. Volunteers working on a stud and mud construction technique at Osmanthorpe Nature Reserve. This technique is a Lincolnshire variation of the wattle and daub technique that is more widely known. *****

Also, work has been done on another "eco-building" at ECOWORKS, a community garden project on the Hungerhill allotments in St. Ann's. Volunteers have been working on this exciting project since last October, and the walls up now! Straw bales are a low-impact, highly insulating and user-friendly building material. The construction process is highly inclusive, satisfying and fun.

Links: Previous reports: (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) | St. Anns Allotments Network | More info on strawbale building | A strawbale article | Article about Ecoworks

Bike Riders of the Apocalypse vs 4X4
15 Feb 2006

Once again it is ordinary people who are taking the initiative tackling the threat of climate change. The first Saturday of the month, a group of cyclists pissed off with the ever increasing amount of dirty, dangerous and downright ridiculous 4x4s which are accelerating climate Armageddon took to their bikes and donned skeleton outfits to shame 4x4 drivers.

On a similar theme Manchester's Critical Mass - a street demonstration of the cycling alternative to car traffic - continues the last Friday of every month. Looking ahead Dosummat are starting to plan for a Manchester neighbourhood at the camp for climate action happening later this year, with the idea of building links in Manchester between people wanting to take action on climate change.

Riders' of the Apocalypse: Pictures and Story | Dosummat Manchester neighbourhood | Camp for Climate Action | January Critical Mass

Free SpacesLondonSocial StrugglesUKWorld
Squatters united against global gentrification
15 Feb 2006
In november last year, Franscesca’s Cafe in East London, was occupied to keep it out of the hands of developers who acquired the council-owned property in what appears to be a dodgy deal with the notorious council. [background feature | campaign website ] Right next to London Fields park and the Regents canal, the area has long been considered desirable by developers. However, it's not just communities in trendy parts of London that are being torn apart by gentrification.

In São Paulo, Brazil, major José Serra has made it his mission to 'gentrify' the city centre and expel thousands of the low-earning families and street dwellers. He wants to evict 'Prestes Maia', a 22 storey tower block, probably the biggest single squat in the whole of South America which is home to 468 families, a library, workshops, and a venue for numerous autonomous educational, social and cultural activities. Now the 'apparent owner' wants it emptied. The 'owner' has accumulated a debt in municipal taxes of around 1.5 million pounds during the last 15 years of 'ownership' (more than he paid for the building). This, together with long years of abandonment, should justify a claim for the building to become public property, but despite this, the major intended to spend public money mounting a massive police operation to make over 1,600 people homeless for his gentrification plans.

However, the residents of Prestes Maia have enjoyed a last minute reprieve and the eviction has been postponed for at least two months. Nether-the-less, on Thursday 16th, people in London held a solidarity demo outside the Brazillian Embassy [ Call out | report and photos ]. In the evening, a film about Prestes Maia was screened at the rampART social centre along with a UK premiere of documentary about police violence in the favelas of Rio.

More links: Online Petition | Ongoing coverage from CMI Brazil (Portuguese)

Bypass Hard to Swallow
12 Feb 2006

On Sunday 5th February, over 40 people gathered on Lumb Lane, Hollingworth, to decorate the trees and hedges overlooking the line of the proposed A628 Mottram-Tintwistle bypass. Longdendale was, until recently, an historic farming community, where ancient customs survived and were respected.

The scheme proposed in 2004 comprises the construction of a 6km by-pass for the villages of Mottram, Hollingworth and Tintwistle, and modifications to the A628 and A616 corridor between Tintwistle and junctions 35a and 36 of the M1. The road building plans, as they stand at the moment, threaten the unique landscape around this area, more specifically the beautiful Longdendale valley, the nature reserve of Swallow's Woods, open moorland, and as some have argued, ultimately the whole of the northern Peak District by laying the groundwork a future major M1/M67 link road.

Protesters meet for Tree Dressing event | Road Alert: New Road Building Proposed for the Peak District

Fury grows over suspicious death during police raid
12 Feb 2006

On January 10th West Yorkshire Police raided a house in Plumstead, South East London, looking for a suspect in connection with the shooting of Pc Sharon Beshenivsky. Allegedly the robbers who shot the Pc have links to the Somali community in the Woolwich/Plumstead area. When the police raided the house, alone inside was Nuur Saeed who was unconnected to the accused but later found outside seriously injured. It seems he fell head first from a second story balcony. He died on January 22nd from a massive brain injury.

Back in August another young black man died In Bradford in unclear circumstances. Paul Coker died on the floor of a cell in Plumstead nick. His mother and sister attended a large demonstration at the police station where several hundred people gathered to express their anger over Nuur Saeed's death. "They are experiencing the same unaccountable wall of silence that the de Menezes family are so angry about. The family of Nuur Saeed have all this to come." Right now they are still coming to terms with the death of a loved one. His friends and the local community are furious.

Article with photos and report of the demonstration

Links: Police network tracks vehicles [in Beshenivsky case] | Justice for Nuur Saeed | Family wants truth about how Nuur Saeed died | Justice for Nuur Saeed Campaign launched

Other Media: Somalis protest over death during police raid | Somali community demands justice for Nuur Saeed | Scores protest at police station | Protesters demand truth after fatal fall

Related events: Pig Brother Live Show UK Tour - a survey of police violence, weapons, their effects and why they usually get away with it. Live multimedia show pus speakers Ken Fero and Brenda Weinberg, Chris Alexander of the Azelle Rodney Campaign and people from the Jean Charles Campaign. 1st date: 17th Feb 7.30pm 15 rampart street E1 2LA

World Social Forum Bamako
10 Feb 2006

The first Social Forum on African soil took place in January in Bamako, Mali [Photos | Video]. Around 10,000 activists from Africa and Europe mainly discussed issues of global trade justice, migration and neo-colonialism during the four-day get-together. A large-scale demonstration marked the opening the WSF. The Youth Camp and some media activists participated with a soundsystem bus. Slight troubles were caused by clashes between Moroccan and Western Saharian nationalists at the end of the ceremony [Video].

Before this the stadium witnessed the opening talks of Malian associations, remembering the quest of WSF to tackle the poverty in the world and create solidarity among the people.

"We have to talk about why our young people dreams are all about leaving Africa, why do they want to go to Europe and prefer the risk to die?"

Migration related workshops played a major role in the WSF and several statements were published about the pressing issue.

World Social Forum 2006 opens in Bamako, Mali | World Social Forum 2006: Bamako (Mali) | Caracas (Venezuela) | Karachi (Pakistan)

Community Radio on FM in Cambridge
09 Feb 2006

209 Radio is broadcasting on 103.5 FM for one week in Cambridge - the 10th - 19th of February. 209 Radio has been broadcasting over the internet since March 2003, building up its output - a range of specialist music programs with community and arts programmes being added all the time. And 209 Radio is hoping to hear soon about the results of its application for a long term FM community radio license.

As the Community Media Association say "Community Media is community owned and controlled, giving access to voices in the community and encouraging diversity, creativity and participation. Community media provide a vital counterbalance to the increasing globalisation and commercialisation of the media."

The shows being broadcast include local news and views on Newzone, local and global issues on So Far and Yet So Near, socially responsible technology on Brain Candy and traveller issues on Romani Radio.

[ 209 radio | Schedule | So Far and Yet So Near | Newzone | Brain Candy | Romani Radio ]

G8 2005GlobalisationRepressionUKWorld
Witnesses Give Evidence in Genoa Diaz Trial
05 Feb 2006

On 25th January the last out of eight British witnesses (and one from New Zealand) gave their testimonies about the bloody night time raid of the Genoa Social Forum and Diaz schools in Genoa during the 2001 G8 Protests. The trial of 29 police officers (including many senior ones) for various crimes of brutality and fabricating evidence has been running now since April 2005. The first witnesses gave evidence just over three months ago and it's expected that this phase of the trial will last until the early summer. In the raid on the Diaz school over 90 people were arrested. Over 60 people suffered injuries after police savagely beat people, some still in their sleeping bags - 31 people were taken to hospital, three of them in a critical state. Some are still receiving medical treatment. Running in parallel is also the trial of yet more police and others accused of beating protestors who were held at the Bolzanetto detention centre after the protests and the raid.

Reports of British Diaz Testimonies: [ one | two | three | four ]
Indymedia Global feature | BBC witness article | More4 News Video
Witness Video Interviews [ Sam Buchanan | Mark Covell | Hamish Campbell ]
Original Testimonies from Norman Blair, Sam Buchanan and Dan McQuillan
Supporto Legale (eng) | Indymedia Italy Genoa Pages

Meanwhile in Switzerland the trial of policemen accused of cutting the climbing rope of Martin Shaw during the Evian 2004 G8 protests will take place in Nyon on 13th-15th February, with several events focusing on G8 and repression taking place alongside (for more see February 4th saw an Activist Trauma Network Gathering in London. The network was formed as a positive response to repression, to provide support and advice.

100th British Soldier dies - Vigils around the country
05 Feb 2006

As 100th British soldier was killed in Iraq groups around the country held Vigils and 'Naming the Dead' Ceremonies. Some of the Announcements on the newswire sparked discussion about the tactic in the comments, as it has on the IMC UK features list. Over 100,000 Iraqis have died.

Reports: Cambridge | Swindon | Birmingham | Nottingham | Sheffield | Swansea | Aberdeen | East London | Liverpool | Bristol

One World Week
05 Feb 2006

This week is the annual One World Week in Cambridge University - a week of events around the themes of environment, development and social justice. It includes talks, Tibetan folk music, films, social events and a fair trade wine tasting.

One of the unique events is the Works Careers Fair - an alternative careers fair, which features organisations and businesses that have an emphasis on ethical, social and ecological criteria. This will be in the Examinations Hall of the New Museums Site from 1pm - 5:30pm.

ArgentinaSocial StrugglesSouth CoastWorkers' Movements
Workers' power in Argentina
05 Feb 2006

A WORKER from the famous occupied Zanon factory in Argentina is speaking at a meeting in Brighton on Monday February 13. Jose Julian Penunuri is currently touring the UK and will be at The Brighthelm Centre in North Road from 7.30pm to 9.15pm.

In December 2001, in the midst of economic collapse, Argentia exploded as unemployed activists, impoverished savers and workers occupied the streets, attacked the banks and took over their workplaces. The Zanon tile factory in Neuquen is one of many 'recovered' factories in Argentina - factories taken over and run by the workers.

City celebrates Chinese new year
04 Feb 2006

Once again the popular and successful Chinese New Year celebration events took place at Beeston and at the Lakeside Arts Centre on the 28th and 29th January consecutively. The events had been organised by Broxtowe Borough Council in conjunction with Broxtowe College, Lakeside Arts Centre (Nottingham University) and Nottingham City Council. Acts included, over the two days, were contributions from local schools and Broxtowe College, acrobats, Master Lee Kam Wing's Troupe did Kung Fu demonstrations and performed the Lion Dance. Students from the Chinese Society at Nottingham University performed their now famous Dragon Dance. A really colourful and exhiberant performance.

Photos: 1 | 2 | Last year

Links: More about the Chinese New Year | The Nottingham Chinese Student Society

Guilty of opposing the arms trade
03 Feb 2006

Stuart Jordan, of Cambridge Campaign Against the Arms Trade, and Irene Willis, from South Essex CAAT, were in court on 23rd Jan. charged with "unlawful demonstration" for their role opposing the Dsei arms fair in September last year.

The police were at pains to state throughout the trial the significant size of the demonstration and how intimidating they found the "banners, dancing and bicycles" (!) The police were frustrated because they had set up a "pen" where they had decided protest was allowed to take place and some protesters had chosen to go elsewhere...

[Read More... | Donate to cover the fines at Wild Thyme, Feb 18th!]

Park Authority halts quarrying at Backdale in the Peak District
30 Jan 2006

Peak Park have served a stop notice, effective today 30 Jan, on Merriman who are quarrying at Backdale. National Park minister Jim Knight has visited the site today and pledged his support. Merriman have threatened to open two more sites if stopped at Backdale.

A significant milestone in the Backdale Quarry saga occurred today when the Stop Notice came into force and the national park minister came to see for himself what all the fuss is about. Jim Knight, Minister for Landscape and Rural Affairs, deplored the harm to an iconic landscape here in a national park, and said that he has authorised financial backing for the Park to serve the stop notice. The Backdale site lies at the eastern end of Longstone Edge in the Peak District National Park, some four miles north of Bakewell.

Links: Save Longstone Edge | Friends of the Peak District | Peak District National Park Authority | Previous articles on Nine Ladies: a direct action camp against quarrying | Wikipedia on the Peak District | Wikipedia on Quarrying

Social StrugglesSouth CoastUK
Seven blockaders acquitted
28 Jan 2006

On Thursday 26th January, seven defendants were acquitted on charges of aggravated tresspass and failing to leave land when requested to do so by a police officer. The charges resulted from a blockade of the Agrexco premises in Hayes Middlesex on November 11th, 2004. Agrexco is the Israeli National exporter of fresh produce and flowers from Israel and the occupied Palestinian Territories. The acquittal after submissions at the end of the prosecution case, meant that the defendants were unable to present their defence that trade with Israeli Settlements is not lawful activity.

Harmondsworth Detainees Protest after Death in Detention
27 Jan 2006

On 19 January, 2006, Bereket Yohannes, a 26-year-old from Eritrea, was found hanged in the showers of Harmondsworth detention center near Heathrow [see NCADC's original report].

The following day, distressed detainees refused to take food, held a meeting and demanded to meet with the United Kingdom Detention Services (UKDS) who run detention centres. 61 detainees signed a joint statement concerning the conditions at Harmondsworth and the treatment of detainees and presented it to UKDS. A member of the detainee support network said:

"I wish to underline the detainees' protest was thoroughly peaceful. The committee members had a key role in defusing tension and stopping other detainees from taking more drastic and desperate forms of action."

Nevertheless, UKDS and the Home Office responded by moving those involved to “secure cells” (solitary confimement) or transferring them to other detention centres as a punishment [report].

This was not the first time that miserable conditions at detention centres have lead to protests and people taking their lives [Harmondsworth protest 2004 | IRR report | Interview with detainee].

A vigil in memory of Bereket will be held on Sunday, 29 January, outside Harmondsworth detention center. Participants are ecouraged to visit detainees.

Clowns take to Parliament Square in latest protest against SOCPA.
26 Jan 2006

The rebel clowns - and many others - had spent the day at Bow Street Magistrates court expressing solidarity with five defendants who had been charged under the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 132 (SOCPA 2005). The bill outlaws all "demonstration without authorisation" within 1Km of parliament [Full report]

These five defendants had had the audacity to hold signs reading 'We have the Right To Protest'. The magistrate must have thought they were very clearly Serious Organised Criminals indeed - because she found them all GUILTY.

CultureFree SpacesG8 2005Social StrugglesUK
Social Centres, Where Next?
26 Jan 2006
Five years ago, you could count the number of places in the UK which associated themselves with radical politics (anarchist, libertarian) on one hand. However, the mobilisations around the G8 saw a surge in activity (and cash) for setting up new social centres. Now there are around 20 such places from Brighton's Cowley Club, RampART, 56a Infoshop and LARC in London, to the Sumac Centre in Nottingham and the Saorsa Centre and George X in Glasgow. Perhaps of most note has been the increase of rented or purchased premises such as the Common Place in Leeds and the Basement in Manchester. That doesn't mean that aren't still new squatted spaces appearing. In Nottingham there is the ASBO Community Centre, and a new space (ex-SSEES) in London is opening this week.

Interest in the idea of social centres is still very high amongst the radical/anarchist milieu. Meanwhile a small group from the popular education collective Trapese have been travelling the country interviewing people involved in current social centres for a new book provisionally titled 'a handbook for autonomy and creation' due out in June 2006. But why haven't we got many places that can live up to the name "social centres"? What were the problems politically with previous attempts of social centres? What can we learn? What is next? Last month thirty people attended a wombles meeting in London to discuss just these issues and now a similar discussion planned to take place in Leeds at the end of January has started to turn into a national gathering of social centres.


Your views sought...

G8 2005ScotlandUK
Scotland after the G8
23 Jan 2006

Activism in Scotland experienced a boost in the months following the G8.
Two social centres – Saorsa (gaelic for “freedom”) and Chalkboard opened in Glasgow, and the Indymedia Scotland Infoseed Hacklab in Edinburgh.
The legal support group observe the court cases relating to the G8 [1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 ] and provides support for the defendants.
The Campaign to Save the Cameo was successful and the privatisation of council housing could be prevented [1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 ].
The Glasgow based initiative Make Borders History continued after the G8 in Glasgow as Open Borders Glasgow with direct actions to prevent deportations and morning raids [ 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 ].
The Zapatista Solidarity groups raise publicity and prepare enthusiastically for their big solidarity party on the 16th of february for their twinned community in Chiapas [ Edinburgh Chiapas Solidarity Group | 1 | 2 | 3 ].

In an effort to Stop Climate Change and prevent further roadbuilding for individual transport, JAM74 and Friends of the Earth Scotland stopped the building of the M74 Extension, south of Glasgow, which would also be leading through the Cre8 Community Garden, with a legal challenge.
The main action momentarily is the resistance against building the Dalkeith Bypass through a big park acting as a wildlife resort, recreational facility, part of Edinburgh's Green Belt and fields for animals. The campaign includes an unlikely liason of a citizen campaign “Save Dalkeith Park”, ecowarriers occupying the trees, and resistance in the Scottish Parliament and beyond. Last Monday, however, a specialist team started evicting the four protest camps. Despite three protesters slowing down the eviction by nearly a week with refusing to give up their hiding place in a tunnel, the eviction of the last and main protest site is anticipated to start today. [ 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 ]

The Zapatistas' Other Campaign Has Begun
21 Jan 2006

On January 1 2006, twelve years after the Zapatista uprising in Chiapas (Mexico), a delegation of the EZLN departed from the Garrucha Caracol to San Cristobal de las Casas [Report and Pics]. This marked the first step in the new Zapatista political initiative known as The Other Campaign (or 'La Otra') - a proposal that aims to forge an anti-capitalist alliance "form below and to the left" in Mexico and beyond. The Other Campaign, timed to coincide with this year's Mexican presidential race, will take the delegation of the EZLN - which includes Subcomandante Marcos (or SubDelegate Zero as he is known in relation to this campaign) - throughout Mexico's 32 states, "so to meet, talk and decide together how fo build another way of doing politics. A programme of struggle that will construct democracy from below, with all these national and international organizations that resist neoliberalism and fight for humanity."

Photos: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | Photo blog

Videos: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | Video archive on YouTube

Audio: Speeches at the beginning of The Other Campaign (audio Sp) | Sub Marcos' speech (audio Sp) | Radio Insurgente | Radio Zapote | Radio Pacheco

Words: To the Alternative Media | To the National & Int’l Press | SubDelegado Zero on security issues | EZLN denounces harassment and threats | On the Intercontinental proposed in the Sixth Declaration | Revista Rebeldia (Sp)
Translations of EZLN's communiques 1 | 2.

Continuous updates of The Other Campaign: EZLN's blog | Chiapas Indymedia | Mexico Indymedia | NarcoNews Bulletin

BNP activists threaten community arts group in Coalville
20 Jan 2006

The annual community lantern festival in Coalville, Leicestershire was moved from just before christmas to coincide with the Chinese New Year celebrations this year. Members from the far-right British National Party (BNP) think that because of the 'removal of Christian symbolism and tradition from Christmas' it needs them to 'once again save another British tradition'.

Ever since the rescheduling of the event was announced, local members of the BNP have threatened the organisers of the community run event. Verbal abuse from people ringing up the group has become a daily occurance since the BNP posted the contact details on their website. The BNP, who claim to be the 'law and order party' recently published another article on their website inciting criminal damage, calling on people to protest the usage of the words 'white trash' in a recent episode of the TV soap serie Coronation Street. A prominent member of the party in Lincoln recently appeared in court for multiple counts of arson and criminal damage. Read article.

Links: Photos from last years lantern festival | Watch video of last years lanternfestival: [1] [2] | Stop the BNP (website full of facts and research) | Wikipedia on the BNP | Previous articles on Indymedia on the BNP

From the Notts Indymedia newswire: Lincoln BNP member in court ! | Meeting called at uni after BNP article published in student paper

EducationG8 2005IndymediaLondonTechnologyUKWorld
A boost for video activism
20 Jan 2006
While ever cheaper consumer electronics and increased internet bandwidth have made it easier than ever to make and distribute independent video, the number being made still appears to be disproportionately low compared to the number of people filming at events. Various projects have been initiated to empower more people to get involved with radical video production and screening. They include online distribution, archives, screening databases and training sessions (see IVDN, IndyPeer, IndyTorrents and Clearer Channel.

In London during January there was a video activism gathering consisting of skill sharing workshops, presentations, discussions such as the role of cameras on demos (how video can be used to get protesters both nicked and set free), along with feedback from the G8 video indymedia experience. Modeled on similar national gatherings in previous years, this one was organised by and took place at the rampART social centre.

The event ended with a public screening with films from Real2Reel, Revolt Video, Camcorder Gorillas and many others. There was also a premiere of Cine Rebeldes 'Latitude 36' and two films made during the gathering 'Justice For Dad' & 'The Demo Demo'.

Related links:
  • Lights, Camera, Direct Action - a PDF DIY guide
  • Call for regular activist shorts
  • IMC-UK Video Projects Page (out of date)
UPDATE - The gathering generated a number of proposals to indymedia and have already resulted in support for uploads of 3GP and M4V formats for mobile phones and ipods etc. Further follow-up workshops will be taking place, join the list if interested. In Manchester next month there's a gathering to look at how groups currently work with each other, what resources are available for screenings and campaign work and how best to make them accessible.

Eviction of Dalkeith Park Bypass Protesters has started
20 Jan 2006

The first tree-sitters have been cut loose from their oaks on Monday at Dalkeith Country Park, south of Edinburgh, Scotland.
The top site of the four sites strong anti-road building resistance has been cleared by the specialised climbers of the National Eviction Team from Swansea with a 70 people strong team under the lead of the Sheriff Officers, supported by additional 30 policemen to protect the fenced off site from protesters, bystanders and the media.
The other three protest sites inside the Dalkeith Country Park are scheduled to be cleared in the next days, if not weeks - the Scottish Executive plans to spend two to five weeks on the eviction of the protesters estimated to cost £1.4m in total.
[ Imc Scotland | Save Dalkeith Park | pictures of eviction | reports: 1,2,3, | Directions to protest sites | Call for Public Inquiry into A68 Dalkeith Bypass | Interview with Mark Ballard, Green MSP | Interview with Friends of the Earth | Interview with Scottish Natural Heritage | Short film]

other anti-road building campaigns in Scotland:
[Friends of the Earth Legal challenge of M74 | JAM74 - Joint Action Against Motorway 74 | Bilston Woods Protest Camp | No Alignment Action Group NAAG | Road Alert - Scotland ]

Animal LiberationEcologyUKWorld
Whalers use Public Relations to twist the truth
18 Jan 2006

Japanese whalers have hired a New Zealand Public Relations firm to smear anti-whaling protestors. Greenpeace and Sea Shepherd are both campaigning seperately against the Japanese whaling fleet in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary. Images used in a media release by the Institute of Cetacean Research (ICR) "is deliberate, manipulative, misinformation designed to feed the idea that the two groups work together" said Jon Sumby. [Full Story]

Off the Mawson coast in the Australian Antarctic Territory, 2000 nautical miles south-west of Perth, Canadian Greenpeace anti-whaling activist, Texas Joe Constantine, was dragged overboard into the freezing Antarctic waters after the whaling harpoon was fired over his inflatable and the harpoon rope became entangled in the craft.

Paul Watson for the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society has said the Japanese whaling fleet is a criminal operation and Intends to Ram and Disable Pirate Whalers but has offered to withdraw from the current campaign against the Japanese whaling fleet if either the Australian or New Zealand Government agrees to take Japan to court over the whaling issue. In New Zealand Maritime workers have blackbaned the whaling fleet.

More Information:

Eviction started at Dalkeith tree sits
16 Jan 2006

Monday 16th January at around 4.30 am, eviction of the protest sites in Dalkeith Country Park began. Protestors are still in the trees and continuing to resist. The protest sites are opposing the building of the A68 bypass through the Park, just south of Edinburgh.

Early this morning Police bailiffs raided one of the sites ('top site') and have established a security cordon around it. Protestors remain in the trees determined to resist eviction and the cutting of the trees in this part of the River Esk wildlife corridor in Midlothian.

[call for more people | High Alert | Press Release: Eviction started | pictures ]

RepressionSouth Coast
Brighton campaigners to march on US Embassy
15 Jan 2006
A BRIGHTON campaign is taking part in a national march on the American Embassy to call for justice for British residents held in Guantanamo Bay, the US concentration camp in Cuba.

Day of action as Tony Blair sets out new nuclear power policy in Nottingham
14 Jan 2006

Tony Blair set out new plans today for a nuclear power policy, as him and other cabinet ministers attended a Labour Party forum, at the East Midlands Conference Centre in Nottingham. The conference centre is based at Nottingham University, where students jumped into action after it was leaked to Nottinghamshire Indymedia that Tony Blair was to visit the Uni. A call out for a demonstration, meeting at 10am at the Portland Building (on Notts Uni campus) was supported by a number of local campaign groups including the Students Union, Nottingham Stop the War, Nottingham Student Peace Movement, Lenton Anarchist Forum and the arts activism collective the Mischief Makers.

Photos: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | photogallery

Read: report and timeline

From the newswire: Union pushes for urgent energy reform | Prime Minister visits Nottingham University :: Surveillance Operations | Prime Minister visits Nottingham University :: piccys 1 | Prime Minister visits Nottingham University :: piccys 2 | Pic's of Tony Blair visit in Nottingham | Blair hypocrisy over nukiller power | PM rallies for nuclear power in Nottingham | Blair to visit Nottingham Uni THIS Saturday

Background links: Greenpeace target climate changer Blair at Downing Street | Blair nuclear announcement scuppered | Meacher condemns pro-nuclear 'spin' | Blair Reignites Nuclear Debate - American lobbying adds to pressure | Blair must not back new nuclear power plants

Stop the UN's Plans for a New Massacre in Haiti
13 Jan 2006

Reports from Aaron Lakoff and Leslie Bragg on the situation in Haiti in the run up to the Elections .

Urgent Action Alert from the Haiti Action Committee As UN's Brazilian commander is found shot dead on his hotel balcony…New UN massacres in Cite Soleil could come any day now. Be on the alert. The situation in Haiti is dangerous and moving fast. There is the realistic fear that a repeat of the massacre which left 23 dead in July 2005 is imminent.

For background on the UN Massacre in July 2005.

Read a report from political prisoner So Anne Auguste, a Haitian folk singer imprisoned since the UN Massacres July 05.

Read about the UN oppression of the people of Cite Soley.

Listen to an audio report from Cite Soley of relatives of people murdered this week by the Ministuh.

Mohammed Arrian wins the right to stay in the UK
13 Jan 2006

On 12th January 2006, after two well attended protests in Sheffield on the 7th [ photos: 1 | 2 ] and 11th January Mohammed Arrian was granted indefinite leave to remain in the UK with his family. It is expected that he will be released from Dover Immigration Removal Centre today (13th January) and return to his friends and family in Sheffield, he was scheduled to be deported to Afghanistan on 17th January.

Mohammed Arrian has been living in Sheffield for the last three years, he fled Afghanistan 12 years ago, he feared for his life in Afghanistan — his father was murdered there and the rest of his family who live in Sheffield had already been granted indefinite leave to remain.

Earlier coverage: Sheffield People Campaign Against the Deportation of Mohammad Arrian.

Invitation to Peace Conference
12 Jan 2006
Nottingham Student Peace Movement would like to invite all campaigners and activists to this year's Peace Conference on Sun 26th Feb, at the University of Nottingham, for a day of discussion and networking aimed at discussing local campaigns and actions. Whilst we are inviting speakers to share their experiences with attendants, the focus of the day will be on group discussion and formulating practical ideas.

Anti-racismLeeds Bradford
Leeds Fascist Mailbox Picketed
12 Jan 2006

Providers of postal addresses to Fascist organisations in Leeds Mail Boxes Etc (UK) Ltd (MBE), were picketed on Tuesday.

The picket encouraged many people to challenge the management of Leeds City MBE. Several people who were collecting mail also said they would be cancelling their contract with MBE, rather than share an address with Nazis. There was one short disruption when two thugs tried to disrupt the picket. Through the time more than 300 leaflets were distributed.

Recently MBE branches in both Belfast and Brighton have taken a welcome decision not to play host to fascists, but so far the Leeds branch have refused to reconsider their position, despite being shown documentation on the British Peoples Party and their fascist activities. The 635 Group, who organised the picket, will be organising further protests.

[Full report and text of leaflet disributed]
Update 16 Jan 2006 BPP Loose Leeds Mailbox

Site update: Promoted Newswire
09 Jan 2006

The front page of now features a promoted newswire in addition to the open newswire. You can choose between the two. The addition of a promoted newswire is an attempt to keep the balance between our commitment to open publishing and to our aims as stated in the UK Indymedia Mission Statement. We hope that this change will keep everyone happy:

  • Promoted wire for those who want to read UK Indymedia as "the journal of the movement"
  • All regions for those who want a collection of local news
  • open newswire for those who want a running commentary by everyone who cares to post (as long as the posts are within the Editorial Guidelines)
Read on if you want to know more.

Animal LiberationEcologyRepressionUKWorld
Japanese Whaling Ship rams Greenpeace vessel
09 Jan 2006

After three days of obstructing the whale hunt by placing inflatable zodiacs between whales and the harpoon, the Nisshin Maru rammed the Greenpeace ship, Arctic Sunrise. The whalers are counter claiming their ship was rammed by Greenpeace. The collision ocurred in the Australian Antarctic Territory in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary. The Nisshin Maru has continued north at full speed, with three conservationists ships in pursuit, including the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society vessel, the Farley Mowat.

Article with more photos: Japanese Whaling Ship rams Greenpeace vessel in Southern Whale Sanctuary

Links: Previous feature article on Global Indymedia | Melbourne Indymedia | Sea Shepherd website | Greenpeace website | Video of Greenpeace statement | Sea Shepherd News Release

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