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UK Feature Archive

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International Union 'Boycotts' Global Day of Action Against Killer Coke

21-07-2003 15:45

This Tuesday, July 22, sees the launch of a global campaign to boycott Coca Cola products in solidarity with Colombian trade unionists. Last year, 184 Colombia unionists were assassinated by paramilitaries just for being trade unionists. Over 4000 have been murdered since 1986. The boycott has been called by SINALTRAINAL, a Colombian foodworkers union currently suing two Colombian-based Coca-Cola bottlers - Bebidas y Alimentos and Panamerican Beverages - in US courts over their alleged role in the murder of trade unionists by right-wing paramilitaries. Coca Cola itself is not facing the lawsuit after a March 31 ruling dismissed them from the action, although this could still be reversed.

However, the global boycott has already been undermined by the stunning news that the International Union of Foodworkers (IUF), which claims to represent the majority of Coca Cola workers worldwide, does NOT support the boycott and is calling on the international labour rights movement to reject it.

Background / Take Action / Colombian updates

London protest: 6pm, tonight, Piccadilly Circus

On July 22, six protesters brought the Coca-Cola processing plant to a standstill. 11 people were arrested, but were later released without charge, after they have cost Coca-Cola at least £30,000 in lost revenue. The protestors say that they will continue their occupation of the Coke plant until "Coke issue a statement guaranteeing the physical safety of their workforce, and to respect their workers’ right to belong to a trade union." Read on...

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Free Software Matters

21-07-2003 01:00

Revolution OS

Sheffield Indymedia is screening Revolution OS at The Showroom Cinema on Saturday 26 July at 4.00pm. It's a film about the anti-microsoft rebellion, the Free software movement and GNU/Linux, the Free alternative to Windows.

Read on for some more information about the Free software movement and why it matters and for some news from the Sheffield Linux community.

Full article | 19 comments

Solidarity action with anti-war protester in Edinburgh

20-07-2003 08:43

An anti-war protester called Simon is charged with incitement of racial hatred for carrying an upside-down modified American flag with 'Fuck Bush' written on it, and a swastika painted on, at an anti-war demonstration in Edinburgh at the 22nd of march this year.
More background info: [prisoner report, pics, audio , spontaneous demo at police station, ], all 22nd of march.

On Thursday July,17th 2003, a more or less spontaneous solidarity action called by the comedian Mark Thomas and supported by Members of Scottish Parliament Mark Ballard and Colin Fox, took place in front of the St.Leonards police station, Edinburgh, with about 60 protesters ready to hand themselves in for displaying postcards with a similar design in public. pics [1, 2 ]

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GM Debate? The People Speak

19-07-2003 21:39

During the last six weeks, unknown to most people, there have been a series of public debates up and down the country about whether the government should allow the commericalisation of GM crops in the UK. The deadline for public input is now over - did you have your say?

In an exclusive film made for Indymedia, people from all over the country reveal that the public consultation was a poorly advertised, ill concieved and miss-managed farce that failed to engage ordinary people. The film also demonstrates that much of the public believe that the decision has already been made to push ahead with GM (regardless of the will of the people) and that the government is an undemocratic tool of U.S. interests and big business.

Watch the video,

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World Economic Forum In Ireland - CANCELLED!!

17-07-2003 16:08

Breaking News 18/07/03: The WEF Summit in Dublin has been cancelled!

The WEF propose to merge it with the next Davos (switzerland) Summit in January 2004, which will be during Ireland's presidency of the EU. The official reason given is that the WEFs Global Competitiveness Report will be published after the Dublin summit, in November, and since the Summit was set to focus on European Competitiveness, it would be better to wait until after the report has been published. It remains to be seen where the WEFs 2004 European Economic Summit will be held.

For more info see post on Irish Indymedia (see also corporate media articles)

However, the first "Irish Social Forum" is still scheduled to take place as planned.

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LIBERTY Slams Use of Anti Terrorism Act to Suppress Peace Protests - Did the Home Secretary Lie to Parliament?

17-07-2003 15:41

LIBERTY, the human rights group, has released a 13 page report focusing on the policing of anti-war demonstrators around USAF Fairford, Gloucestershire, during the concentrated bombing of Iraq earlier this year. The damning report details fundamental breaches of the European Convention on Human Rights in the extensive use of anti-terrorism laws to prevent citizens taking part in legitimate protest and to harrass them (by mid-april the campaign group Gloucestershire Weapons Inspectors alone had recorded 89 stop and searches under Section 44 of the Terrorism Act 2000 carried out against just 26 people!), as well as the excessive use of various other public order legislation. At its most extreme an anti-terrorist order was served on an 11-year-old girl (her father is now seeking legal redress) and 3 coach loads of demonstrators were "kidnapped" by police (see indymedia feature), also the subject of a legal action (also see Fairford Coach Action).

Download full Liberty report: (pdf)
Corporate Media Coverage of Liberty report
War on Freedom and Democracy (10 page Statewatch pdf, Sept 02)

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Carlo Vive!

14-07-2003 00:16

The 20th of July will mark the second anniversary of the murder of Carlo Guilani by the Carabinieri (Italian paramilitary police force) during the protests against the G8 summit of Genoa 2001. In those remarkable days, where Berlusconi's goverment gave orders to stop protesters by "whatever force necessary", the independent media centre was brutally attacked by police, resulting with the arrests, tortures, assaults and beatings into coma of many protesters.

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4th July - Independence Day Protests

12-07-2003 12:46

Flags at Menwith 2003 American Independence Day, 4th July, was celebrated this side of the atlantic as people gathered at US military bases to issue a 'Declaration of Independence from American Militarism' (read full text).

Hundreds of campaigners from CAAB (the Campaign for the Accountability of American Bases) and several anti-war groups held a Gatecrashers Ball at the US's Menwith Hill Spy Base, in North Yorkshire (America's leading spy base outside the US which played a crucial role in both Gulf wars. It is also central to plans for the "Star Wars" National Missile Defence programme). Dressed in colourful costumes they were entertained with music from bands, sound systems and a samba band with comedy from the likes of Mark Thomas, while at the same time putting forward a serious message. There was strong criticism of chaotic policing as horses were delpoyed and a foot path closed - there were three arrests (see witness appeal).
See CAAB Statement and Reports: 1, 2 Pics 1 2 3 4

USAF Fairford in Gloucestershire, from where US B52s launched bombing raids on Iraq, also had its own colourful Gatecrashers Ball protest. See Pics 1, 2, 3 and latest news from Fairford. Independence day was also marked in Plymouth with street theatre. See pics and video.
Also see one hour 'radio' show produced for Independence from American Militarism Day.

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11-07-2003 15:36

Between 6-12 September, one of the world's largest weapons and arms fairs, Defence Systems Equipment International (DSEi) will take place at the ExCeL Centre in London's Docklands. In parallel a coalition of over 30 groups are organising a week of events against the arms trade, including a two day counter conference, film screenings and exhibitions, vigils, protests and direct action against the arms fair itself. Further explanation of DSEi.

Two years ago up to one thousand campaigners demonstrated outside the Docklands arms fair with a carnival style 'Fiesta of Life Against Death' - see Indymedia coverage | archive (1), (2), (3) | SchNEWS (1), (2) | Squall. That day would prove to be more significant than anyone could have imagined, with the date being 11th September 2001. This year the arms fair will be open for business on the anniversary of the Sept 11th attacks, with the counter mobilisation running from 6th - 12th September, (which also coincides with the WTO Meeting in Cancun, Mexico 10th-14th). Campaigners are also calling for a boycott of the ExCeL centre where the DSEi exibition is taking place. There is also going to be a weekend of anti-DSEi events in London taking place on July 26-27, and a "counter conference" is being planned as part of the Disarm DSEi week of actions.

There are also plans for demonstrations at the RAF Fairford Air Tattoo that is taking place between 15-20 July. The event "provides western military powers with the chance to flaunt their power" and "an opportunity for arms companies to advertise their wares" (see Fairford Peace Watch).

For more information and background see:
Disarm DSEi Campaign
Campaign Against the Arms Trade
Recent SchNEWS on UK Arms Industry


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Arundel bypass halted

10-07-2003 15:52

At the last minute, and against all expectations, the Government dropped its support for the environmentally destructive Arundel bypass scheme, as well as for the equally disastrous proposed Worthing bypass across the South Downs behind Cissbury Ring. This victory has come as a surprise to many and clearly shows that direct action works.

On Wednesday, Alistair Darling, the Transport secretary, announced a £7 billion road building programme which includes the contraversial widening of the M25 & the M1. Environmental campaigners have slammed these proposals with one spokesperson for Friends of the Earth saying "It is a betrayal of Labour's pledges to improve public transport and not concrete over the countryside. This announcement is just a giant, expensive and futile sticking plaster applied to the running sore that is Britain's transport crisis."

For more details about the Arundel Bypass check outThe Worthing Porkbolter & for up to date info on UK road issues check out Roadalert.

Full article | 2 comments

International Day of Action for Thessaloniki Prisoners

09-07-2003 12:55

Update Saturday 19: Simon, thessaloniki prisoner, has just phoned and said that letters, which DO NOT have a return address on the ENVELOPE will not be delivered to prisoners.
If you want to send a card Simons 30th birthday is the 24th of july.
This new procedure applies to all prisoners.

Update Sunday 13: The greek government has seized the account at the Pireus bank which had been opened to receive fundings for prisoner solidarity (concerning the last EU summit in thessaloniki). It's important to avoid depositing any money into it, and to wait for more updates before sending more funds. Meanwhile for financial support please contact:

Update Saturday 12: On Thursday, 10th of July Solidartiy actions so far known of, were taking place in London, Brussels, Graz, Athens, Thessaloniki, Madrid, Bilbao, Torino, Rome, and Buenes Aires.

Update Friday 11: Letter received from Simon Chapman from Thessaloniki's prison.

Thursday, July 10, will mark an international day of solidarity with the eight protestors arrested and imprisoned after demonstrations against the European Union summit in Thessaloniki three weeks ago. In London, supporters will gather at 3 pm at the Greek tourism office and the Greek airline, on Conduit Street, to raise awareness about the injustice being perpetrated by the Greek government.

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London Rising Tide action at the British Museum

08-07-2003 13:28

London Rising Tide (LRT) took the struggle to bury BP's planned Baku-Ceyhan pipeline to the heart of the British cultural establishment on Saturday 5th July 2003.
Following on from last month's protest at the BP-sponsored National Portrait Awards in June, this time they could be found at the British Museum in central London, which is currently hosting the BP-sponsored 'Museum of the Mind - Art and memory in world cultures' exhibition.

Full article

No money for Uribes war against the Colombian people

06-07-2003 18:09

Latuff colombia cartoon On Thursday 10th July Álvaro Uribe (the president of Colombia) has been invited by Tony Blair to visit the UK for a meeting which aims to generate further "Aid" for Colombia.

The United States has been at war in Colombia for over 50 years. Colombia has received over $2 billion dollars in military funding over the past four years for its notorius 'Plan Colombia' and the Andean Regional Initiative. These programmes are classed as the 'war on terror' by the U.S.A. but are really a continuing war on the poor with its aim to secure those parts of the country that are rich in natural resources for Colombian landowners and foreign multinationals.. President Uribe & the Colombian army is making the country safe for the foreign multinationals investors including BP which has extensive interests in Colombia. Over the past 10 years, the American trained paramilitaries have killed some 15,000 trades unionists, peasant and indigenous leaders, human rights workers, land reform activists, leftwing politicians and their sympathisers. It is the world's third largest recipient of US military aid (after Israel and Egypt).

A vigil has been organised opposite Downing Street, London for Wednesday 9th July 4pm – 7pm, and on Thursday 10th July a picket is planned from 2pm with a rally from 6pm - 8pm also at Downing Street.

Colombia solidarity campaign / Colombia indymedia / Narconews

Full article | 3 comments

Noborder Camp in Krynki, Poland

06-07-2003 13:14

On the 30. Juni 2003 a demonstration took place against borders, deportations and the new visa-regulations in Warsaw, Poland.
This noborder demo in Warsaw on June 30 ended with 16 arrests for a short time.
A website with templates for appeals to authorities and more info was prepared.

The demo ended a noborder conference and an International Anarchist Meeting preceding the Krynki bordercamp which started on June 2nd.

Full article

Martin Shaw leaves hospital after one month

06-07-2003 12:44

Aubonne Bridge- Gesine
Martin Shaw, who has been injured during a non violent direct action at the Anti-G8 Protests in Lausanne, near Evian, has been released from hospital.
In a press conference, new video material was presented, which demonstrated the neglicence of the police at the scene.

Full article | 3 comments

Dawn raid on GM research station

29-06-2003 17:32

During the early hours of Sunday morning, 29 June, almost sixty members of the public broke into the grounds of GM giant Syngenta's reasearch station at Jealott's Hill near Bracknell, Berkshire. They pulled up a 600 sq metre research plot of experimental wheat.

Syngenta had government consent to plant upto 35 by 20 metres of genetical modified wheat. In a press release, protesters claimed that if allowed to pollenate, it would have spread GM material into the surrounding countryside...

For Photos [updated]Click Here
For Video [latest edit]Click Here

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Oyster Wars: A play based on working-class struggle

29-06-2003 17:10

rehearsal for the theatre play
Oyster Wars: A play, that links working-class struggle in the past with the present and the future in North Edinburgh.

For the last week in June, the "Oyster Wars Project" took place in North Edinburgh. This Project consisted of a theatre show, an exhibition and a community event.

Full article

Upcoming Noborder Camps

28-06-2003 13:51

Despite the desperate situation at the borders of fortress Europe, the 2003 noborder summer is in full swing. Noborder demos took place in Geneva during the evian G8 summit [Imc Uk feature] and at the EU summit in Thessaloniki.
The noborder camp in Timisoara (Romania) ended with a cheerful demo. From July 2, a conference and a bordercamp in Krynki will start in Poland, followed by Puglia (Italy) from 21-27 July, and Cologne (Germany) starting on 31 July.
Mobile media units like the noborderlab of the Publixtheatrecaravan are connecting the events. See for details.

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Indymedia European Newsreal #6 - now out

28-06-2003 00:00

The latest version of the Indymedia European Newsreal is now out. in Manchester are distributing the ENR6 for English language screeners. VHS's and CDroms are available or you can download and watch these films online.

As well as a selection of anti-war films, there are features about the Faslane big blockade, the Yesmen, the commercialisation of dutch education and critical mass - italian style.

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Women on Waves - Fighting for the Right of Abortion

27-06-2003 01:00

warsaw - women on waves
The ship from "Women on Waves" (WOW, polish: Kobiety na Falach), arrived the 22nd of june in the harbour of Wladyslawowo. Polish women organisations celebrated the arrival of the floating abortion clinic. Beforehand the landing of the ship was prevented by the authorities.
At the same time abortion enemies attacked the ship with eggs, bottles and stones. The authorities have searched the ship and sealed all drugs.
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