UK Feature Archive
16-05-2003 10:44After 3 years of green red & yellow on black, the IMC UK website will change very soon.
We need an upgrade, because the number of daily postings has gone up from five per day in September 2000 to 167 per day in May 2003, because lots of people had to be VERY patient trying to upload big media files, and because a number of regional imc groups is ready to maintain their own imc pages.
Thanks to a different codebase and a different server, the new site will provide all these functions. It will change and improve over the next few weeks, while the various UK IMC groups and users get used to it. IMC UK (= the United Kollektives) are practicing on a test-site and invite you to have a look, too. Please let us know what you think by posting to the test page or sending an email to the imc-uk list - thanks!
We'll keep you posted
IMC United Kollektives
Civilian weapons inspectors from Scottish CND, Trident Ploughshares and Faslane Peace Camp will be monitoring the convoy as part of the UK Nukewatch network. The civilian weapons inspectors will attempt to stop the convoy for a close-up inspection.
[ Full report ]
Read entire feature in the IMC-UK World Page.
New photographic evidence of the events.
Eyewitness account of the murder.
GSF call for videos, photos and testimonies
08-05-2003 03:47Earth Liberation Front managed to disable one of the last midlands GM farm scale trials of Genetically Modified crops.
After several farmers have pulled out of the GM trials, this is one of the last things needed by Aventis, the biotech company dependent on Bayer that benefits from life manipulation.
The group had made various incursions since December 2002. They maintain that GM food farmers are "locked into impossibly tight contracts" and that companies promoting GM crops are simply attempting "to control the entire food production process from seed to plate". In January 2002, Canadian farmers sued Monsanto and Aventis over loss of income caused by GM contaminating their crops.
Although people overwhelmingly oppose the genetic modification of crops, production and use continue to expand for the benefit of corporations. Read a report by Corporate Watch.
03-05-2003 01:00MAYDAY: WEAPONS OF MASS CONSTRUCTION May 1st 2003
Mayday 03: "Serious Disruption To The Business Community"
LEGAL UPDATE: Were you arrested or injured on Mayday? Did you see anyone being hit or arrested? If so please read here and here for more details.
Around the world people were out on the streets celebrating Mayday. In London the stage was set for a series of protests making the links between Arms and Oil as well as other issues. For full coverage of Mayday in London complete with pictures, audio and video see the Timeline of Events. Overall thousands joined several protests throughout the day with smaller demonstrations during the morning. In the afternoon protestors gathered at the offices of Lockheed Martin (arms manufacturers), which had already been closed for the day by the protests. One march managed to break away and danced its way through the streets of london along with critical mass bicycle protestors, complete with mobile sound system and samba band, resisting several attempts by police to surround the crowd.
Others were not so lucky and were violently pushed back by police and surrounded (one person was knocked unconscious). This group was held for several hours and slowly moved to Trafalger Square with a police escort of around 40 police riot vans!
The breakaway group ran around the streets visiting covent garden, parliament square, leicester square and many other locations in a loud carnival like procession, police all the while trying to keep up. At the scheduled 4pm Shell Oil protest meet up point on the Strand police again tried to surround the crowd, but once again the people broke free and continued occupying different streets.
Later different crowds met at the Strand end of Trafalgar Square where people danced for several hours to a sound system while becoming increasingly surrounded by police. Police invoked Section 14 of the Public Order Act, giving people until 7.05pm to disperse or face arrest for causing 'serious disruption to the business community'. As the dancing people refused to disperse / were fully surrounded, riot police were deployed on top of the hundreds of officers on the ground. Trafalger Square itself (where people had been told they could legally gather) was cleared forcibly by police, with riot police chasing a split crowd away down different streets attacking several and making arrests. The surrounded group were held for several hours until late and slowly released one at a time, many being seareched and photographed.
Many observers commented on the completely over the top police reaction. Much of the media seem seemed to be disappointed that their much predicted 'bloodbath riot' did not materialise and while some said that this was due to the policing, it was clear that if a riot had been the plan then there had been plenty of opportunity for this during the afternoon when the streets really did belong to the Mayday crowd. Millions of pounds worth of lost revenue was reported, and many of the firms seen as part of the oil / arms death machine had warned employees to take the day off work, as had other companies who are part of the global capitalist exploitation of the planet and workers.
London's Metropolitan police had earlier issued "advice" to companies and City police were running their own timeline until 7:20pm when "no demonstrators within the City boundary" were left.
In the days building up to Mayday there had also been a series of supporting actions and protests by Campaign Against The Arms Trade. This Mayday was also the 3rd birthday of Indymedia UK.
The annual Trade Union march to Trafalgar Square continued to gather support this year, with Globalise Resistance, Stop the War Coalition, War on Want, World Development Movement, and the TUC coming together to oppose war, racism and privatisation. Both protests were joined by the Socialist Stockbrokers, and in the City of London people vacuumed up after capitalism!
Further protests were planned for Glasgow, Edinburgh, Manchester, Liverpool, Leicester, Bradford and beyond.
Press hysteria surrounding the protests has been at a lower level than in previous years, although there have still been a flurry of articles and some terrible journalism / propaganda (1 | 2 | 3)
Bristol:Dozens of protesters outside the army careers office at around 15:40.
Also in Bristol, the Labour Party headquarter was occupied early this morning. 5 protesters were arrested.
Glasgow:Mayday celebrators occupy a petrol station in the Southside of Glasgow.
Sheffield:Sheffield STWC staged a visual display of photos of people protesting all over the world outside the Town Hall at 5pm. Pictures. On Saturday 3rd Sheffield Against War also held a Mayday demonstration against War, Racism and Privatisation (pics)
Wrexham:Mayday protestors in Wrexham urged passing motorists to boycott McDonalds with a banner hang.
LiverpoolBelated account of the Liverpool MayDay stroll here.
NottinghamNottingham had it's Mayday with a Stop the War demo on Saturday 3rd. Pics and Report.
ChesterfieldThe Chesterfield Trades Council Mayday demonstration was joined by the Sheffield Samba Band for the march through the town on Monday 5th May (pics and video)
Other London Reports
- Pre-emptive Mayday Action at Bechtel's HQ in Hammersmith.Full report
- Mayday protest at Victoria exposes Crown Agents' role in war profiteering.Full report
- Brutal Repression by the Metropolitan Police - eyewitness account
- Assorted photos released by Associated Press and Reuters from Mayday london.
- Zapatista MayDay action outside Mexican embassy in London. Report and photos.
- May Day - a taste of freedom, a personal account
- B&W Photos of demos,cycle ride, and the police riot that followed.
- Mayday Football Tournament 2003 (report)
Up to 20,000 people protested in Buenos Aires (Argentina) at Brukman and on the Plaza de Mayo (pics: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5).
In Bolivia about 100,000 took part in a march in La Paz, and another 50,000 in El Alto. 200,000 took to the streets in Bogota, Colombia.
In Sweeden, demonstrations with red and black banners were held in about 25 locations. About 1500 people marched and danced to heavy music in Stockholm, 600 gathered in Malmö, 200 in Uppsala, 1500 in Gothenburg. Clashes with police, and smashing of windows happened in Stockholm, reportedly started off by police. Read the report in Italian or in English .
Spain: around 10,000 people marched in Zaragoza in two different marches, around a thousand in Teruel, 1,500 in Andorra, where anti-Franco guerrilleros buried in common ground were paid homage, around 300 people in Huesca. Read report in Spanish.
In Madrid,the leader of the communist union suffered an aggression and had to be evacuated from the demonstration.
Read report in Catalan from Barcelona.
Italy (all reports in Italian): In Rome, 50,000-60,000 people marched and another 500 - 1,000 participated in a critical mass. Report and time line, pictures: |1|2|3|4|5|6|7|8|9|10|11|12|13|. In Milan, around 50,000 demonstratros took to the streets according to organisers, in a climate of festivity. Read report and picture. Reports also from Torino,Sicilia and Naples.
France (all reports in French: demonstrations were held in Paris, (reports, pictures) in St. Etiene, (pics and reports in French) and Liège, where a school was occupied and turned into a Temporary Autonomous Zone for four days.
Switzerland: Zürich (in German): 4000 people in Basle and 7000 in Zürich, 1500-2000 people in 'revolutionary bloc' in Zürich (after the official march had dispersed). Luzern (in German): Robocops in Luzern. Solothurn (in German): 300 demonstrators shouting "Nazis out!', 'several 1000 swiss franks damage'
Lausanne (French). Bellinzona (Italian). Lugano (Italian).
Berlin: in total 60 actions, demos and streetparties; biggest 'revolutionary May 1st demo' in Kreuzberg with 5000-10000 strong crowd; 6pm 'spectrum' demo of 2000 in Mitte (former East). According to police sources, around 1,300 people demonstrated, with 139 arrests, and 175 police officers injured. Read reports in Italian or in German: |1|2|3|, video, and pics kreuzberg.
Frankfurt: Antifa demo, (traditionally there are Nazi marches on May 1st; Nazi organizers didn't show up, few skinheads isolated, no clashes) report |1|2|
Nürnberg: 1000 demonstrators; 44 arrested (all released at 10pm). report and pics.
Hamburg: 1000 demonstrators; fluffy; report with pictures
Oldenburg: 400 strong demo; march briefly blocked by riot police who retreated after verbal exchanges; street party into the night:
Austria: Bregenz: 100 demonstrators, mostly kurds and turks;
Other Global Reports:
| Thessaloniki | Prague | Paris | Australia 1,2 | Dublin Pictures,report | Portugal 1,2 |
Mayday 2002 | Mayday 2001 | Mayday 2000
LDMG Mayday Legal Update from 14/05 here.
Mayday 2003 saw a vast amount of people taking to the streets all over the world. In the UK, several cities and towns participated with various actions taking place, including the occupations of the Labour Party HQ in Bristol, and a Shell petrol station in Glasgow. Other demonstrations took place in Sheffield, Nottingham and many other parts of the UK. In London the Trade Unions marched to Trafalger Square accompanied by Globalise Resistance, Stop the War Coalition and other groups. Autonomous actions also took place at Bechtel's HQ in Hammersmith, Crown Agents' in Victoria, and a Zapatista solidarity action outside the Mexican embassy.
During the whole day and under the banner of "Weapons of Mass Construction", protesters targetted Oil, Arms and Foreign policy, highlighting the connection between these groups in Capitalism and War. Once again, Police overreaction prevented free movement for protest by continuously penning people in and violently arresting protesters. See full Timeline of Events in London. The protests were largely ignored by the mainstream media aside from some scare stories and propaganda prior to the event.
01-05-2003 03:09On Thursday 25th April, British anti-GM activists disrupted Bayer's AGM in Köln, Germany. Simultaneously, Bayer Crop Science's UK HQ was blockaded to cause economic damage to their business as a protest against their moves in to GM crops last year with the purchase of Aventis Cropscience. The blockade held for five hours and there were eight arrests.
The event was also crucial in revealing the complicity of oil companies in the attack on Iraq and other oil wars as they strive to fund, open and control new foreign oil markets.
Inside several protestors shouted objections and let off stink bombs before being ejected. Outside while police protected the entrances banners adorned many walls (pics) and an alternative, humorous but serious, alternative AGM was held with music and poetry. The event was webstreamed live by Piratetv.net
See report and pics 1, 2, 3
More info at Burning Planet + Rising Tide uk
Starting before 7am the annual big blockade saw over 600 people taking part in the acion, many locking themselves together using chains and plastic tubing as they blocked the access gates of the base. There were over 170 arrests, including seven people arrested during breaches of the base.
Banners were hung on the fences and giant puppets danced in the street to the sounds of a samba band as three different waves of activists arrived at the base. One campaigner said: "This has been a great action with so many people with such a diversity of age, nationality and background willing to put themselves on the line to disrupt these horrifying weapons of mass destruction."
See Full Timeline of events
Faslane Film from day
Collection of 69 pics
Six different sets of pics
More pictures in big file size.
Report / Irish report and pics 2 and 3
Report in german
IMC public access point at Peace Camp (pics)
In Totnes, Devon, the Editor of the Totnes Times, Gina Coles, wrote a front page article (20th march) in which she refered to Tindles demands as a 'brave move' and said she was proud to back him.
Residents of Totnes were not amused and as well as boycotting the censored papers, they produced a one-off independent paper to provide a forum for the issues being censored by the editors of newspapers owned by Tindle. On Wed 23rd, a group visited the offices of the Totnes Times.
[Press Release | Full Report | PDF of Paper | Video ]
pictures | more reports | calls to action 1 | 2 | 3
Tom is the third ISM activist killed or injured by the Israeli military in the space of a month - Rachel Corrie was killed last month by an Israeli bulldozer in Rafah and last week Brian Avery was shot in the face in Jenin. Many are now asking if international peace activists are being deliberatly targeted by the Israeli military. Tom had only recently begun working with ISM after leaving Jordan where he was involved with refugee work and Baghdad where he had volunteered as a peace activist.
ISM | Electronic Intifada
Thousands of people marched through central London on Saturday April 12th for the Stop The War coalition's national demonstration. As two marches joined at Parliament Square (pics), a minutes silence was observed in memory of the dead in Iraq as flowers were laid in rememberance (pics). Hundreds more flowers were also laid opposite Downing Street to shouts of "Blair Out!" (pics).
Organisers estimated up to 200,000 people attended, while the police maintained only 20,000 people took part in the rally in Hyde Park (many observers said it was closer to 100,000). There were three arrests in the park, one for alleged assault on a police officer as police harrassed people at an information stall, eye witness reports tell a different story however (read report and pics here). There were speeches from dozens of speakers (streamed and archived here) throughout the afternoon.
London timeline + tactics discussion
General pictures, Samba pics, Stop the War Coalition pics.
2000 people marched through the city centre of Glasgow in protest of the war in Iraq and for justice. Police presence was small and the atmosphere was sombre and quite restrained. Speeches were made by the various political parties.
Read entire feature with first hand reports, images and background info in IMC-UK World Page
11-04-2003 11:50Whilst the repression of the anti-war movement continues (see jailed activists), longterm political prisoners ask for solidarity. John Bowden describes Brutality at Full Sutton, whereas Charles Hanson, supported by Miscarriages of Justice writes about Coping with Awkward Prison Staff and restrictions on literature, like the Fight Rascism - Fight Imperialism magazine.
[ Anarchist Black Cross | Brighton ABC | Earth Liberation Prisoners | Bristol ABC]
11-04-2003 07:49The National demonstration against the war called for this Saturday 12th April is set to go ahead in London as the debates about reconstruction and profits from Iraq continue. The demonstration will assemble at 12 Noon near Waterloo and Victoria. Organisers are asking people to bring flowers to lay outside 10 Downing Street and will be holding 2 minutes silence outside Parliament (where the two marches converge)in memory of all those who have died so far in Iraq. Speeches from Hyde Park will also be webstreamed from 1.00pm
A big demonstration is also planned in /a> as part of what is an International day of action in dozens of countries across the world. In Washington campaigners plan to surround the Whitehouse - read "Why We Are Still Protesting".
Meanwhile planning continues for the annual blockade of Faslane nuclear submarine base on 22nd April. Other events focusing on the profits of war include a Carnival Against Oil Wars and Climate Chaos at BP's AGM in London on April 24th, as well as this years Mayday protests, which place opposition to war at the heart of the demonstrations with protests at Lockheed Martin, the Home Office and Shell, plus a large trade union march and rally. Prior to mayday a week of actions against the arms industry will be held by Campaign Against The Arms Trade (CAAT). Press propaganda against the mayday protests has already begun with several articles appearing.
The Oakland Police Department moved in to disperse the demonstrators, using concussion grenades, wooden bullets, beanbags full of pellets and other munitions. Dozens of people, including six onlooking longshoreman dock workers, suffered injuries and over 35 other protesters and port workers were arrested. Police defended their actions saying some people threw rocks at police. Many dockworkers later closed parts of the port in protest.
See full story. For more see IMC San Francisco.
Reports... as of 20.00 - Monday 7th April
approx 3000 on the road from Sprucefield, meets line of riot police at 19.20 *** Some arrests being made (at least 7) *** Under 100 in the town itself staged a die-in and were removed by riot cops *** Bush arrives in town by helicopter, rumours of a motorcade to the castle itself *** Bikes not Bombs arrive and locals call for the troops to return home *** People getting in to Hillsborough by the back roads from the main demonstration *** Town centre sealed off *** Bomb alerts close roads .
[Report] [photos 1 | 2 | 3 | 4] [videos] [audio]
Reports - Tuesday 8th April
• 12.30 - Schools walk out against the war.
• 13.00 50+ people gathered in a vigil for peace in Boyle town square.
• 13.30 - A crowd of up to 300 gathered outside the Belfast City Hall at 1pm. Several peacefull protestors arrested by riot police.
Text report by Indymedia Belfast. Photos 1 | 2
Under the banner "Reclaim the Bases", protests around military bases took place throughout the weekend.
Bases (sunday 6th april)
Anti war actions took place at 9 military bases:
USAF Fairford: As cluster bombs were being loaded onto B52 bombers over a hundred anti war activists at Fairford continued their sponsored stop and search with great success. The embarassed police refrained from their regular practice of repeatedly stopping and searching people. Dave Cockcroft of Gloucestershire Weapons Inspectors said, "creative action...can bring about quick turnarounds in policy.
RAF Mawgan: (Cornwall) 120 people protested against the war with 20 weapons inspectors, clad in white suits, requesting entry to the base. The protestors, including some nuns, laid dozens reed crosses at the entrance. Betty Levene of Cornwall Stop the War Coalition said "Many people now feel it is imperative to do all they can to end the war as soon as possible, by resisting it to the best of their ability and to make it quite clear to the UK and US Governments that we are not prepared to be complicit in what is, by all standards of international jurisprudence, a crime punishable under international law."
RAF Wellford: 15 activists took part in a sponsored stop and search like the one at Fairford. Unsually, the police were reluctant to stop and search activists more than once.
A Die In was held at the gates of RAF St Athan's, a cycle protest was held at RAF Brawdy, protestors planted 'seeds for peace' at RAF Molesworth and there were protests at both RAF Cottesmore and British land forces HQ at Wilton. Meanwhile 160 people travelled to Northwood Military HQ - see feature below.
Read full Sunday Report.
Despite the mass policing operation 20 protestors staged a sit down in the road near the main gates, 6 were arrested (pics). Police applied pressure points to protestors and left some bleeding after dragging them accross the street (pics). Other small road blockades were also held on the other side of the base and 6 women stripped naked in protest against the war and the police actions.
At one point the police kidnapped 3 people walking around the streets near the base, drove them to the pen and forced them to join the people inside the pen, where protestors were detained. Many others where physically forced into the detention pen even when they said they did not wish to join the protest. Up to 90 people will now file a formal complaint with the police for illegal detention. (Similarly many protestors are also planning legal action following the illegal detention of 3 coach loads of people from London who tried to attend a demonstration at USAF Fairford on 24th March - see previous features)
Based on legal advice received by people at Northwood, there is no legal basis for the police action. Sian Jones of anti-war group d10 said "All over Britain, police are increasingly abusing their powers to prevent people protesting against this war. This in an extension of the war, to stamp out protest. While our Government is breaking international law in Iraq by attacking civilians with missiles, cluster bombs, tanks and machine guns, they are also breaking human rights law at home."
Actions and protests at 5 bases: read press release
Naval HQ Portsmouth: 120 anti war activists gathered for nonviolent direct action at the Naval HQ and shut it down by proxy as the MOD closed all the gates for the entire day. A banner was dropped from the harbour and one arrest made.
USAF FAirford: Severe restrictions in place: Around 100 peace campaigners took part in the sponsored terrorism act stop and search competition. Police blocked off many of the access roads and, despite peoples insistence that they had no intention of marching, the police organised a march themselves! At one point police threatened to arrest people under Section 12 of the Public Order Act for not getting in a police coach to take to them to the police organised demo! Activists and media were prevented from visiting the peace camp at Gate 10, which has been the target of increased harrasment. The competion continues on Sunday.
RAF Stafford: Following a vigil in Stafford Market 120 anti war protestors, including a 20 strong samba band marched to RAF Stafford, host to the Tactical Support Wing.The protestors gathered in front of the gates, released doves for peace, and attached anti war messages to the fence.
Devonport, Plymouth: 70 anti war activists, 15 in white weapons inspectors suits, staged a weapons inspection. They banged on the gates and hung notices recording that weapons inspectors were denied access to a base hosting illegal weapons of mass destruction, including at least 12 nuclear powered submarines.
Fylingdales US Space Command: 60 anti war activists, flying foil kites and wearing foil clothes joined an anti war demonstration at Fylingdales, part of the Star Wars system. Three people managed to find their way inside the base. Two of them were ejected, the other one was arrested for breach of bail conditions (pics).
Palace Barracks, Co Down, N. Ireland: Campaigners blocked the base (report + pics).