UK Feature Archive
The World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) is a full United Nations Summit to be held 10-12 December 2003 in Geneva with a second meeting in Tunis in 2005. [Official Website]
Community media and other civil society organisations are organising a number of events to run alongside and contra to the WSIS which, they believe, fails to promote media diversity or engage with the question of fair access to the Information Society.
The Summit's stated objective is to address the inequalities that will arise as the world changes from an industrial to information-based society. Information is a powerful tool for economic and social development and the WSIS was announced as a platform for the UN, governments, the private sector along with civil society groups to contribute to bridging digital and knowledge divisions.
However the Civil Society grouping including many progressive electronic networks have severly criticised the process for failing to agree on a comittment to basic human right standards (most prominent in this case being the freedom of expression), as well as failing to properly include a development agenda and address issues such as media concentration, support for community media, internet governance, free software, and security. The stage is now set for a confrontation as the movement for media democracy and communication rights continues to gain pace.
Bushwhacked Aerospace worker fights for life / Flash movie of the effects of DU in Iraq ( 9oo K - strong content)/ The Pandora Project - DU research project
The north's opposition to Bush's state visit was apparent before he even left the capital. Late on Thursday protestors let Bush know he's not welcome.
Bush travelled to Sedgefield, Co Durham to Blair's home consituency. About 500 protestors assembled on the village green to greet Bush (accompanied by 1,200 police officers). The authorities kept Bush and his welcoming party well apart. The ChasingBush website posts a compilation of protestors' reports.
Massive demonstrations have taken place in and around Trafalgar Square in London. A 17 feet-high statue of George Bush was toppled to huge cheers from the crowd at 17:22 GMT [ Video]. Estimates of today's attendance range from AP syndicating around the world the number of 50,000 (later amended), over the Metropolitan Police's official estimate of 70,000 (later updated to 110,000) to the Stop the War Coalition ever increasing estimate of up to 300,000 (a number to which Indymedia reporters on the scene agree). Whatever the numbers, today's event looks to be the biggest weekday demonstration of recent years.
Update: Indymedia UK received over a million hits on Thursday (1,119,801 to be exact) - not bad for a website run by DIY collectives all over the UK. We would like to emphasize that Indymedia exists by non-hierarchical organization and has no other resources than the commitment of people donating their time and talent.
To kick the day off activists unfurled a banner reading "Bush Free Zone" from Admiralty Arch, see report and press release and pictures. To read up on the events as they unfolded check the Full Timeline of the events in London.Photos: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | gallery
Reports: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 |
Audio: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7
Video: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4
Across The UK
Aberdeen: Demonstration against Bush.
Barnsley: another Bush statue toppling.
Sedgefield: Several bonfires were lit up as a preparation for today's demos in Sedgefield.
Sheffield: anti-Bush demo outside the Town Hall, followed by a sitdown protest at Furnival Gate roundabout.
Swindon: Bush statue toppling in Swindon.
List of messages of support
1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17
See also corporate media reports
The Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) summit has started in Miami, Florida, US. Huge protests will try to interrupt the negotiations, which involve the leaders of all 34 countries of the American continents.
The FTAA, if signed, will allow corporations to sue local or national governments in special courts for enacting any regulation that can be seen as a "barrier to trade" - labour, environmental, or health regulations, for example.
FTAA talks end early-
The Free Trade Area of the Americas summit came to a premature close this evening, after ministers from 34 countries apparently accepted a watered-down proposal for creating a hemispheric economic community. For more background information, read the article "FTAA Negotiations Close to Failing in Miami" on Venezuelanalysis, and rabbles article Victory in Miami- Strategies Going Forward in the Anti-FTAA Campaign. More feedback in the article "FTAA crippled,but not a clean kill".
Huge amounts of protesters came to Miami to protest against the FTAA. They were met with extended police brutality- mainly on the streets but also in jail. Already in the run up to the summit, dissent was criminalized with support of the mainstream media. For more information, read the whole article.
The legal team estimates more than 250 arrests in total, with more than 50 arrested at a jail solidarity protest on Friday. Reports of arrestées being brutalized in jail. Independent journalists, including a producer of Democracy Now! arrested, and a nyc indymedia volunteer was held in solidary confinement and a $10000 bail is set for him.
Apart from the huge amount of repression, activists took the opportunity to feed the homeless and to show school kids the independant media centre.
Photos: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30
Videos: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | Imc compilation
Audio: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16
Summary: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4
Solidarity Protests around the world: 1 | 2
Breaking News for latest updates and timeline please visit: FTAA Imc | FRAA Resistance Radio | Global IMC: [ 1 | 2 ] | StopFTAA | Infoshop FTAA background information | Infoshop coverage
Wednesday was billed as a day of civil disobedience and direct action throughout the country. In London, amidst the massive security operation, people took to the streets with events and actions. The protests started early in the morning with the delivery of a Tarte au Citron to the Queen, courtesy of the Biotic Baking Brigade. Then actions kicked off throughout the day with a Critical Mass, an Alternative State Procession, Street Parties, a Women's Peace Picnic and other actions Across The UK - culminating in 2000 protesters dancing in front of Buckingham Palace on a Resist Bush Tea Party. Police proved to be still overreacting when policing during a head of state visit: When Jiang Zemin was around they turned placards of protesters away - with Bush they confiscated a small sound system singing anti-Bush songs.Multimedia
London: reports including the full London timeline with it's sections on the resist Bush teaparty, Critical Mass, alternative state procession, school students, street parties and the O.I.L women's peace picnic.
Aberdeen: About 80-100 people demonstrated against the Bush visit to the UK in St Nicholas Square at lunch time.
Bradford: Bradford saw a notable amount of Anti-Bush protest including a rally and the handing of a petition calling for the arrest of Tony Blair on war crimes charges to the police.
Cardiff: The whole city centre brought to a standstill.
Cambridge: 100 people demonstrated toppling the statues of Bush and Blair in the Market Square. No arrests were reported. Indymedia reports from people in the US were read out to the crowd.
Canterbury: About 100-200 people gathered outside the library at 6pm, after several chants lead by Mac someone produced a guitar and an African drum and started a song "We're going to war. Pay your taxes".
Edinburgh: A very peaceful, determined demo took place in the day followed by an evening protest that broke through police lines near the US Consulate. Pictures
Glasgow: In Glasgow reports estimate over 1,000 demonstrators gathered in George Square then took to the surrounding streets. Shawlands Academy pupils were among the striking school students involved.
Kent: A small but enthusiastic group from Ashford peace group,East Kent Greens and supporters from Folkestone etc gathered near Ashford Intl Rail station to demo against Bush with several colourful banners (some made by 10 year olds!) and whistles.
Nottingham: 'No-Bush' demo in Nottingham in Market Square.
Oxford: Around 1500 people turned out, protestors left Brookes University at 5.00pm to march to the city centre on reaching The Plain they found a large, enthusiastic and noisy group of friends, some dancing to the sounds of Oxford's new Radical Samba Band. People then marched enthusiastically up to Carfax where another group was waiting to topple the papier-mache effigy of George 'I-stole-the-presidency' Bush. A die-in and a staged wedding between Bush and Blair also took place during the afternoon. Oxford IMC Feature
Liverpool: 200 stand up scousers stopped the traffic outside Liverpool Town Hall for an hour.
Molesworth: A short vigil was held at the Joint Analysis Centre Molesworth to protest at George Bush’ UK visit.
Swindon: Shoppers and workers in Swindon town centre this lunchtime were slightly bemused to find George W Bush explaining his plans for global domination via a megaphone.
York: 300 people marched through York in the rain to protest about the visit of killer Bush. A statue of Bush, cash in hand, with Blair aside, was toppled.
See [report] [report + pics] - Pictures [ 1]  
Meanwhile in Brixton yet another statue of George Bush was being toppled by campaigners, this time complete with mock trial where he was found guilty of a number of charges - see report and pics [ 1] .
Earlier in the day another naked protest against Bush took place at the Tate spelling out the words 'Bush Go Home', while students at University College London have occupied part of the university. The London School of Economics Student Union also voted to support the next three days of protests.
After discussions late this afternoon The Metropolitan Police and the Stop the War Coalition have agreed the march route for Thursday that allows the march over Westminster Bridge, past Parliament and along Whitehall to Trafalgar Square, as expected after speculation in the press over the weekend (see also corporate media coverage).
Meanwhile last minute preparations are underway for the multitude of demonstrations and actions planned against Bush. Not just restricted to anti-war issues, the protests also deal with issues from GM to Climate Change to Globalisation (see reasons to protest). Wednesday 19th has been called as a day for civil disobedience and direct action. In London, amidst the massive security operation, wednesday will see people taking to the streets with events and actions running throughout the day including an alternative state procession, a critical mass, a street party, school walkouts, the Resist Bush Tea Party mass direct action and many more smaller actions (see London Listing + ResistBush.org). On Tuesday, the day Bush arrives, the Burning Planet climate protest will march via the ExxonMobil ("Esso") offices in Aldwych, through central London to the US Embassy.
14th Nov: "Chasing Bush" SMS Text Tracking Website for the State Visit Launches
14th Nov: Sedgefield Welcoming Committee Protest Announced
14th Nov: Vietnam Vet Ron Kovic will now lead a delegation of STOP BU$H protestors to Downing Street at 11am on Monday 17th where they will hand in a 100,000 signature petition demanding that Bush's visit be called off.
13th Nov: National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice briefs journos + State Visit Timetable Announced
13th Nov: Stop the War Coalition Considers Legal Action
11th Nov: With less than one week to go before the State Visit of US President Bush to the uk, discussions and arguments around high security versus the rights to demonstrate have hit fever pitch, with widespread coverage on TV and in the newspapers. Stories have centred on US demands to close down large areas of central London with figures like London Mayor Ken Livingstone saying that this must not happen.
While the Stop the War Coalition and Muslim Association of Britain - the main organisers of the largest march - have said police will not allow the route of their march to pass parliament or along Whitehall, the police have however said those areas will remain open, althought they have also said that daily road closures at short notice are to be expected.
While the main focus of protests will be in London, other demonstrations are also happening in Sheffield, Manchester, Cambridge, Bristol, Oxford, and many other towns and cities. In London, several days of protests will see a range of actions from mass civil disobedience to street parties.
Listings of planned protests:
see London Listing | ResistBush.org | Stop The War Coalition Muslim Association of Britain (national day of fasting) | Bristol and Swindon | Cambridge | Chester | Sheffield | Oxford | Sedgefield | York | Aylesbury | Exeter | Leeds | Bradford | Manchester | Glasgow | Edinburgh [1,2] | Menwith Hill | more to follow... |
Bare your Bum at Bush 1 | Bare your Bum at Bush 2 | Scrap-Bush Women's Collective | NOT WELCOME Pretzel Campaign | Main Online Petition Against Bush Visit (7000+) | Petition 2 | Street Party Against Bush | Stencils and Stickers | SMS Text Tracking System for Bush visit | Virtual March on US Embassy (20th Nov)
Bush Statue Toppled by West Yorkshire Peace Campaigners
Cambridge: Activist on Bridge urges Commuters to STOP BUSH
ResistBush info (includes 'Sessional Orders')
| Section 44 Terrorism Act info (authorised for use) | Liberty Section 44 Search Monitoring Form (pdf - includes police powers info) | Section 60 Powers | Info from Irish Gluaiseacht | Activist Legal Resource
After tea with Tony and the Queen, George will pack his suitcase and head to Miami, where he will be taking part in the fifth Summit of the Americas on the 20-21st of November - for more on the FTAA see here
According to first-hand reporter "Glasnost", the principles of the first World Social Forum in Porto Alegre (2001) regarding openness and non-hierarchic decision-making are hardly a reality. Demos and occupations however took place nevertheless.
Overviews: IMC Belgium | IMC Netherlands | IMC Paris | IMC Germany
Nov 10: ESF 2004 (Oct or Nov) to be in London, on condition that an open European Assembly Meeting takes place in London on 13-14 December (Glasnost 1).
Nov 11: Debate on European day of action - probably March 20th (Iraq Invasion)(Glasnost 2).
Nov 12: "(...) the local Arab population feel that the ESF has very little to do with them; there is no information, they don't think it will change anything" (Glasnost 3). "Many people of Indymedia did not receive press accreditation at the ESF, because the ESF is authoritarian, bureaucratic, not transparent, closed and arrogant" (vlo).
Nov 13: Session on independent radios in Italy
Nov 14: Occupation for Social Centre (ekes)
Nov 15: Social Forum demonstration through Paris. Reports and Photos 1 | 2 | 3
Nov 16: Opensource Session and Negri/Callinicos debate.
Nov 17 Police filmed returning ESF visitors at London Waterloo Station [Report].
In Liverpool, campaigners slept out in the streets in solidarity with destitute asylum seekers [pics | call].
In Scotland, over 1000 protesters expressed their opposition to the imprisonment of refugee children at the remote and isolated Dungavel Detention Centre. On November 10th, people protested in Glasgow against the eviction of 200 refugees from their accommodation.
Destitute women asylum seekers joined up with the Global Women Strike Campaign in an antiwar protest in London, simultaneously highlighting the ongoing breeches of human rights by Section 55 [ report | Amnesty InternationalAfghanistan report].
In Cambridge campaigners join up with refugees from Oakington Detention Centre and support groups to cope with the current repressive measures and proposed new cuts of human rights.
In Manchester a refugee died in September after setting fire to himself in desperation of having his benefits cut.
National Coalition for Anti- Deportation Campaigns | Asylum Rights | Asylum Support | Asylum Policy | Joint Council for the Welfare of immigrants
Experienced observers say the large numbers are reminiscent of those that preceded the bombing of Iraq in 1998 and military strikes on Libya in the 1980s as well as the first Gulf War.
North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, or NATO,held a summit in Edinburgh, Scotland, the 6-7th of November. Spontaneous protests took place in small numbers. Increased security is in the area.
Read more here.
To get more impression of events in Scotland, please view the scotland events calendar and participate.
On Oct 30/31st, residents at St.Agnes were on alert, building baricades and erecting a scaffolding tower. Police was seen several times during these days, but the bailiffs didn't turn up - St. Agnes Place is still going!
Pickets, vigils, leaflets, banners, die-ins, debating, heckling, poetry, binbag barricades, sit-downs and cacerolazo (pots + pans) all combined beautifully, causing her to meet huge opposition, especially inside Borders (the bookshop) and be delayed 40-60 min for her talk at the Oxford Union (elitist debating society).
[report] | reports with pics: [ 1] |  | [Video]
A caravan of artists, media activists, scientists and technicians from all over the world is presently gathering in Andalucia in the South of Spain. The Euro-African project will cross the Straits of Gibraltar in December, and move south along the west-coast of Africa [map], reclaiming the Straits as a bridge, not a boundary. The Caravan describes itself as "a sound system, a circus, a mobile cinema and a stage for theatre and performance". It is constantly open for everyone who wants to participate.
news about the tour | german version
In the largest procedure of its kind in the world, the UK government wanted to make sure that the introduction of GM crops in the UK would be based on scientific facts and public approval. For a change it seems to have been good that they have done so. It is now obvious that the public are against GM food and GM crops, and the trials showed that herbicide tolerant GM crops can be worse for the environment than conventional agriculture.
Public meetings were held all over the country, a website gave the opportunity to state one's opinion, a scientific commission wrote a report, and farm-scale field trials where conducted over several years. All of these results are now going into a final report (overview). Besides this official programme numerous actions took place. Meanwhile some GM companies have decided to reduce their activites in the UK.
[ Corporate Watch UK | Genewatch | GMwatch |Green Gloves Pledge | Stop Bayer's GM crops! | Greenpeace UK | Friends of the Earth | | Guardian GM debate | GM nation? Official Website | Full text of reports on GM field scale evaluations | BioTech IMC ]
"You should all be worried because, what happened to my brother Leon could happen to anyone". These were the words of Stephanie, Leon Patterson’s surviving twin sister. Leon died in custody on 27 November 1992 in a Stockport police cell. So far, after twelve years of legal battles and a verdict of unlawful killing, no police officer has been convicted in relation to this incident.
Stephanie was one among many family members who attended the fifth national demonstration organised by the United Families and Friends Campaign (UFF) on October 25th in Trafalgar Square, London.
The UFFC was set up in 1997 as a coalition of family and friends of black and white people who have died in police custody or in psychiatric hospitals. The campaigners seek judicial justice for the family of the victims, demand the end of "institutionalised killings" and want the basic human rights of their communities to be upheld.
On October 5th six trade unionists from the FBU, TSSA, RMT and NUJ travelled to Baghdad for a series of meetings with the newly formed democratic Iraqi trade unions. The trip organised by the Stop the War Coalition and hosted by the Iraqi Federation of Trade Unions was the first of its kind since the war and occupation. The tour stopped at various workplaces including a Metalworks, a Fire Station, a Transport Depot, an Oil Refinery, and Baghdad University.
All agreed that the delegation had been a success and hopefully the first of many to forge links with Iraqi workers who will soon be fighting attempted privatisation by western companies.
A week of uprisings, street blockades, general strikes and conflict erupted on the height of the Bolivia's "gas war", finally forcing the president Sanchez de Losada to resign and to flee to Miami, Florida, US. Despite the army shooting protesters, leaving about a hundred dead and several hundred wounded, a wide coalition of miners, coca-farmers, highland peasants, indigenous, transport workers, teachers, pensioners, union members and many other sections of civil society, took to the streets to show their disagreement with the IMF enforced cheap sell-out of Bolivia's natural gas resources to the US. [Read a letter from Bolivia's capital La Paz]
This was the second major insurrection this year that took place in Bolivia. On February anothr revolt occured following tax rises, cuts in pensions and other neoliberal measures carried through on orders of the International Monetary Fond (IMF) Bolivia is not the only country in Latin America where clashes between social movements and governments have taken place; as cuts in the educational system (Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Uruguay, Chile, Mexico), privatisation of state owned companies (Colombia), oppression of the indigenous population (Argentina, Chile, Colombia) and attacks on social projects and self-managed factories (Argentina) are repeatedly followed with protests, student riots and strikes, to which governments have reacted by enforcing repression and military style curfews.
To read the full feature containing background information, first hand reports, photos, timelines of events and daily updates of the week 13th - 19th of October, click on the "Read more" link below.