UK Feature Archive
Action coverage Film: 'Caterkiller Shutdown' | Photos | Audio Interview | articles 1 | 2
Background and history Caterpillar | Rachel Corrie
External links Caterkiller | Stop Caterpillar
Other related posts 'The dialogue of bombs & the underreported nonviolent resistance'
ISM Action Alert: Activist Arrested By Army
Why Seeking Justice for the Palestinians Is the Jewish Cause
Palestinian Olive Oil Project in the UK
Physicians for Human Rights: Another day in the Occupied Territories
Price of an orange
"My picture was taken with President Aristide... The men came with guns and took the picture. They said they will kill me." Haitian domestic servant
"During the night of the 28th of February 2004, there was a coup d'etat. One could say that it was a geo-political kidnapping. I can clearly say that it was terrorism disguised as diplomacy." Ousted Haitian President Aristide
As the dust settles in the aftermath of the ousting of Haitian president Aristide, it appears that far from being the product of a popular uprising the change of government is another instance of US sponsored 'regime change'. Speaking in exile from the Central African Republic Aristide has claims he was kidnapped in the course of a coup d'etat, a claim supported by eyewitness reports that Aristide was forced out of Haiti at gunpoint by American soldiers. In a telephone conversation with Congressmember Maxine Waters Aristide also claims he was threatened by US diplomats.
One disturbing report has echoes of previous brutal episodes in Haiti's recent history. One of Haiti's 400,000 restaveks (unpaid domestic servants) is reported in hiding in Northern Haiti after death squads targeted her . They looted her school where they found a photograph of her giving flowers to President Arstide. The girl is 12 years old.
A protest has been announced by a Glasgow based Refugee Solidarity Campaign for Thursday 18 March 11.30 a.m. in Edinburgh.
Three Iranian Kurdish refugees, who have been refused asylum in Glasgow, Britain, are on hunger strike. The Three men, Faroq Haidari, Farnborz Gravindi and Mokhtar Haydary, have now been on hunger strike for about 3 weeks. They have apparently now stopped taking fluids, and are in a really bad way. Friday, the 5th of March, two of the men blacked out and were admitted to hospital.
The men are faced with a harsh choice, as once refused asylum they have no right to work, housing or benefits of any kind. They must choose whether to return to Iran and face arrest, imprisonment, torture - perhaps death, or stay and starve on the streets of Scotland.
Around 200 people attended a hastily organised solidarity demonstration the evening of Tuesday, March the 2nd, outside the city chambers (council offices). In a statement read out to protestors, the men say they would rather die than return. Supporters say they are close to death. Faroq Haidari, Farnboz Gravindi and Mokhtar Haidari are getting weaker by the hour. More information: [1,2]
Coinciding with this women around the world in sixty countries including America, Argentina, Uganda, Peru, Philadelphia, San Francisco, in Guyana, in southern India, in Trinidad and Tobago, in Spain, staged the 5th Global Women's Strike - a movement co-ordinated from london - with the slogan 'Invest in Caring not Killing' (see strike demands).
In london several events took place, from street theatre highlighting the anti-immigration policies of fortress europe to the serving of a Supboena on Prime Minister Tony Blair and his master George W Bush, charging them with Crimes At Home & Abroad. A trial was held in trafalger square supported by the Iraqi Women’s League and the All African Women’s Group. Due to their failure to attend both blair and bush were found guilty in the absence - resulting in an immediate loss of office, imprisonment and having to pay compensation for all those everywhere who have been hurt by their actions! (see pictures).
In solidarity with imprisoned women every where, protestors also gathered outside of Holloway Women’s prison with pots and pans making a noise protest and bearing a banner which read "The rich get Richer the poor get imprisoned" [audio]. Some protestors also tried to block the advance of Securicor Prison vans carrying the women to captivity.
The Transport and General Workers' Union also launched a petition for the UK Government to declare International Women's Day a paid National Bank Holiday for all UK workers, as it is in a number of other countries. The petition will be distributed to trade unionists up and down the country and presented to Downing Street on 8th March 2005. British workers have just eight days a year in bank holidays, the lowest number of any country in the EU - a representitive said:
"Women now make up more than half the UK workforce, yet continue to be discriminated against by pay, sexual harassment, working time and lack of senior representation. We need to assert women's political and social rights and what better way to do this than have an annual day to celebrate women's contributions?"
Germany | Auckland | Melbourne, 2, 3 | Tokyo, Japan | Santa Cruz Feature | Argentina Feature, (2) | Los Angeles Feature | Russia, (2) | Rome, 2 | Philippines
See Indymedia Coverage from previous International Women's Days: 2002, 2003
Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan Statement
Vancouver interview with Claire Robillard
CodePink Action in Washington USA | CodePink UK Call for March 20th Anti-War Protest
On March 1st, 1984, Margaret Thatcher’s Conservative Party announced the closure of Cortonwood colliery in Yorkshire - signaling her government’s determination to ram through a massive programme of pit closures and destroy the power of the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM). Miners had no choice but to fight, or see their lives and communities devastated. The longest major industrial battle in British history had begun - a battle that still defines the political landscape of today.
20,000 People injured or hospitalised
200 People served time in prison or custody
2 People killed on the picket line
3 Died digging for coal during the winter
966 People were sacked for striking
The full force of the state was used against the striking miners. 20,000 police were coordinated by Scotland Yard and they used massive computer-backed data gathering for intelligence. Tactics such as road-blocks, political questioning, curfews, beatings, illegal fingerprinting and photographing, snatch squads, phone taps, infiltration and agent provocateurs were widespread. Alongside this was the mobilisation of the media and the law. In the press, Thatcher compared the pickets to IRA bombers.
The strike involved enormous hardship, with many receiving no strike pay or benefits. Yet despite all the state could throw at them, for a year the miners and their communities stood firm in a magnificent display of solidarity. But it wasn’t just the miners themselves - the women played a central role. They transformed the strike, and it transformed them. At a meeting at the Easington Miners Welfare, Mick McGahey, Vice President of the NUM, referred to the "housewives in the County who understand the problems." One woman replied, "We no longer regard ourselves as 'housewives'. We are soldiers in the struggle."
The feared illegal eviction did not take place on Monday 8th, however increased numbers of bailiffs, police, and contractors have been cutting down the larger trees. Work was recently stopped on Saturday 7th, while on Friday afternoon Costain sub contractors (Walters) drove a tractor through a human chain of activists who were preventing logs from leaving a field (read report).
A High Court reprieve from eviction was granted on 4th March - the case will go back to court the week of March 22nd, however Costain and sub-contractors continue to illegally destroy protected species habitat. The word is that a team of 36 chainsaws will be deployed soon, while rumors say the team of bailiffs at Blackwood are earmarked to later move on to evict Nine Ladies protest camp. Also see Destruction Pictures | Bristol Indymedia Feature reports | Sub-contractor details | CorporateWatch on Blackwood.
Sherwood Campaign: 10th March: Council requests that Bellway reconsider development plans!. They have asked them to come back in one weeks time to propose a timescale for new proposals.
8th March: There are strong indications that an eviction is probably imminent, with the authorities scheduling the necessary preparatory meetings in the next days. On 25th February, Rob, a young lad in his early twenties, lost his footing on a walkway almost 50ft up when he slipped on an icy platform , he suffered multiple injuries, but has recovered well.
At Ossary Road in London, the last area of land being squatted against Asda/Walmart, has been served court papers, with an eviction expected on 11th March. This comes after one and a half years of campaigning and resistance against 6 evictions.
The Bilston Glen Protest Site has recently held an open day, while activists at Nine Ladies anti-quarry protest site are continuing their campaign and expect results of an appeal at the end of the month (see latest pics and report).
Also see Protest Site FAQ | Protest Camp List | Road Alert | How to counter common motoring myths
Meanwhile, at Essex University in Colchester, students occupied the boardroom of university boss Ivor Crewe, a high-profile advocate of fees, and called for a protest movement that can "force a shift in society's priorities, away from warfare and greed and towards satisfying human welfare and need." Occupations have also occurred at Oxford University and in Sheffield, where the Town Hall was taken over by students. Direct actions against threatened closures of the chemistry, philosophy, development studies, sociology and anthropology departments at Swansea University are planned for the 10th of March.
[Video: Cambridge AUT & CUSU pickets] [Cambridge AUT Ballot on Industrial Action] [How to Occupy Your University]
Top-up fees and the university system in the UK are usually discussed as if Britain was a lone island of turmoil in a wider ocean of calm worldwide. Within the mainstream press, there has been little recognition that a systematic, consistent set of structural reforms is being implemented around the globe by proponents of what might be called a "neoliberal", "marketized" approach to education. Here is a sampling of what is going on in:
[Argentina] [Australia] [Canada] [Germany] [Pakistan] [Russia]
The "European Social Forum London bid" has been rolling ahead over the last two months: venues have been provisionally booked, bank accounts opened, the group's legal status investigated, website providers looked into, and decisions as to program group process been advanced and discussed.
Yet not without criticism. So far the process has been accused of including progressively smaller and harder to attend committees being formulated, who then attempted to declare defunct the existing programme workgroup and start a new one (minutes - 5th and 8th Feb); "rights of exclusion" being enacted (minutes - 12th & 13th Feb) - after people were excluded from a meeting - that are directed specifically towards journalists; suggestions by the Greater London Authority (GLA) that the entire event may have to be postponed for a year (report), ironic considering that grassroots groups originally suggested exactly that last year; and a Brazilian-based WSF organiser pointing out that the driving of the UK ESF process by the Labour-affiliated GLA is against World Social Forum principles (see Item 8).
The UK ESF Organising Committee will meet on Sunday 29 February at the GLA, 12-4 pm. [Tube: London Bridge]. The purpose of the meeting will be to agree to the proposal that is to be presented to the European preparatory meeting. The European Assembly will take place on March 6, 10am-5pm and March 7 10am-1pm at the GLA, Queen's Walk, London SE1 2AA [Tube: London Bridge].
Reports: Bulldozer to the ESF | WSF2ESF: report back from India | ESF2004.net - un'official'/independent site | Balanced and Objective ESF 2004 Report | ESF Wiki | Machievelli and the ESF ... and more appearing on the ESF topic newswire all the time.
Update Fri 5th March: A new Social Centre has been squatted in 156 Fortess Rd in Kentish Town! Read report and list of events.
Update Thurs 26: People in and around the building are still determined to resist the eviction. [Report | Short video of picket]. Meanwhile, events at the Occupied Social Centre will continue as normal in resistance to the threat of eviction.
Update Wed 25th: The Occupied Social Centre still needs people urgently, as it is thought the police will be round sometime between now and the weekend. Supporters of the Centre state: "we intend to continue our resistance to the eviction".
On the 6th of January this year, after 6 months of neglect, 93 Fortess Road was occupied. The aim of the people involved was to set up a social centre, a free space for people in the local community to use as a resource and to create a place where people can come together and get creative. A place which is free, fun and accessible to everyone.
On Wednesday January 21st, the Social Centre was taken to court by the building’s owners - Mark Oliver Homes - property developers, who plan to demolish the building and turn it into commercial space and luxury flats. Following the court hearing, an eviction date was set for Tuesday 24th February. Early in the morning police and bailiffs arrived to Fortess Rd, but around 70 supporters of the Social Centre gathered o defend the space. With people occupying the rooftop, new defences having been constructed overnight (both inside and outside), supporters out on the streets and people inside ready to lock-on, it seems the eviction has been stalled, at least temporarily. It is not certain what will happen in the next few days, but what it seems clear now is that any eviction would require specialist bailiffs to remove people from the roof, cut others out of lock-ons and deal with the extensive barricade defences inside.
[Photos 24/02 | Fortess Rd Background | UK Social Centres | WOMBLES]
At the International Court of Justice (ICJ), The Hague - Netherlands, from the 23rd to the 25th of February, there is a hearing as to the legality of the Apartheid wall being erected across Palestine [court schedule].The wall's construction - which has been criticised by the International Committee of the Red Cross - is widely seen as further land grabbing by the Israeli government, who couch its existence as a necessity for security in protection of the Israeli state.
State sponsored protests
On Monday the 23rd, Zionist groups are having a high profile demonstration in front of the ICJ. The local Israeli embassy has sponsored students and members of Zionist groups in support of the wall to protest outside the Court and has provided full colour pictures of bomb victims to 'Christians for Israel' who are carrying them on street protests. ZAKA, an Israeli 'rescue organisation', has brought to the Hague the two halves of a Jerusalem bus destroyed in a suicide bombing.
Anti-Apartheid Wall protests
25 anti-Wall protestors will be there to represent the concerns of the Palestinians along with the Palestinian Environmental NGO’s Network (PENGON) and other Palestinian solidarity groups, who have organised symposia, exhibits and protests around the time of the hearing. These groups will be bringing to The Hague Palestinians whose lives are affected by the Wall, including Sharif Omar (farmer from Jayyus), Fayez Tanib (farmer from Tulkarm) and Terri Balata (school administrator from Abu Dis separated from her school).
The Mayor of The Hague, Deetman, banned anti-Wall protesters from demonstrating in the morning, which will limit press awareness of the anti-Wall presence. The anti-Wall protestors will now march in the afternoon and hold a vigil outside the ICJ, remembering Palestinian victims of the Israeli occupation. Meanwhile, in Palestine, people are organising strikes, direct action and marches in support of the hearings in The Hague.
Today the court gave a landmark ruling that the police had unlawfully breached the Human Rights of anti-war protesters who were detained and prevented from attending a protest at RAF Fairford last March. The court firmly ruled the detention and forced return to London could not be justified and The right not to be arbitrarily detained (article 5 of Human rights convention) had been breached.
Giving judgment, Lord Justice May commented "For practical purposes none of the articles seized were to be regarded as offensive. Two pairs of scissors would not make much of an impression on the fences of the Air base.
However the court went on to rule that the police were acting lawfully in turning the protesters away from the demonstration, a conclusion Mr Halford (solicitor from Bindmans and Partners) described as inconsistent and unsatisfactory. He said:
"It can not be right for police to stifle protest by preventing attendance at a demonstration, simply on the grounds that some who might attend might cause trouble. That would allow the police to prevent any - and in fact every - demonstration taking place."
Leave for appeal has been granted to both sides.
Read Full Judicial Review Case Judgement Text:
Laporte, R v Gloucestershire Constabulary & Ors  EWHC 253
Press Release text from Bindman and Partners
Pictures Outside Court | Video (14Mb .wmv) | Corporate Media Coverage
Previous Reports from Judicial Review Hearing:
Court Report (15/1) | Video of Protest Outside Royal Courts (15/1) | Comments | Corporate Media Reports (15/1)
See Press Release (15/1)
Fairford Coach Campaign Website | Archive Indymedia Coverage | Archive Video Report
Read more on this event and pictures
Download [video] of Wanstead Eviction (MPEG 2.8M 1 Min 11 Secs)
See also Road Alert post (flyers, links to M11 gallery and video)
On Friday, February 13th, almost 8 months since their initial imprisonment, 13 people arrested during protests at the EU summit in Thessaloniki last June have had all charges dropped. 8 of the remaining cases are still under investagative review by the Greek Judiciary whilst the remaining 6 have had their charges dropped to misdemeanours. A final decision on whether to pursue allegations could come as early as next week. This is an enormous victory in the campaign against state repression waged by the Greek state against anti-capitalist protestors - although it must be remembered that the battle is not over yet.
Comprehensive coverage of the Thessaloniki Support Campaign can be found on the UK Indymedia site; Athens and Thessaloniki Indymedia sites both carry breaking news regarding the Thessaloniki 7 and the other accused.
The protesters were arrested after their demonstration when up to 40 Police officers entered a pub they were drinking in and surrounded them. Police commandeered a number 11 double decker bus after flagging it down, then turned it into a prison on wheels, dropping off the protesters throughout the day at five different police stations. No charges were ever brought against those arrested, and the individuals were released several hours later as the jubilee celebrations were drawing to a close. The arrests were apparently "intelligence led" - an arrest report from one constable reads that he was briefed that "all answers" (the protesters might give to questions) "are to be disbelieved".
A statement issued by the group of protesters reads: "This award, apology and acceptance of liability demonstrate that the police now accept no offences were committed, nor were likely to be. We remain convinced that these tactics were employed, planned and coordinated in advance and at a very senior level, in order to remove any dissent against the monarchy or the jubilee day celebrations themselves."
Press Release / Report | Original Indymedia Reports from Jubilee 2002 | Movement Against the Monarchy
12-02-2004 13:37Running from Thursday through til Sunday, the Peace Not War Music Festival is four nights of live music, speakers, film, and art - to celebrate the anniversary of the anti-war actions of 15th Feb 2003. An audiostream was planned but didn't happen see here
Today (Wednesday 11th), in the High Court in London, Bayer AG (the German pharmacuetical and chemicals giant) sought to make permanent an interim court order against six named individuals and five 'organisations' which effectively turns previously lawful protest activities into a criminal offence.
The judge gave his ruling on Friday 13th, upholding all of the conditions previously requested. Defendants have 28 days to make a case against the ruling,until then, the interim court order obtained in December will remain effective.
Using the Protection from Harassment Act, the injunction places severe restrictions on the freedom of expression and ability to protest, for anyone that could be shown to be working in concert with the named organisations (which include two websites!).
Obviously this has far reaching implications for everyone. The simply act of reporting on events relating to the campaign against Bayer, or walking or parking in some streets in Oxford and Cambridge, could become a criminal offence for anyone that might be shown to have knowledge of the injuntion and be connected in some way to one of the named injunctees (perhaps having visited the StopBayerGM website).
Previous report | Court order on bayer's site | Schnews on Injunction | www.stopbayergm.org
More on this from the Indymedia topics Bio-technology page.
Global news on the bio-tech threat from the Bio-Tech IMC www.biotechimc.org
Bellway Homes are attempting to destroy a group of ancient trees and a natural meadowland to build what campaigners say is an unnecessary road junction. The area is supposedly guarded by a Tree Protection Order as it possesses a 300 year old beech tree, yet the council are refusing to take any action against the developers.
Local campaigners and residents at Mansfield Woodhouse's tree houses' and tunnels were visited by the Sherriff on Tuesday 10th February and informed that an eviction of the protest camp would be taking place imminently.
Welsh Bailiffs came on site with a warrant conducting a health and safety review of the site. They said they would be returning imminently with a professional tunnel team and climbers.
Campaigners hope they can delay the destruction long enough for action to be taken in the courts. On Saturday the small numbers present were boosted by a call for support which mobilised enough people to foil what they say was an illegal eviction attempt (report). The campaigers say they desparately need more people in site to help build defences, and to stay over night so numbers are at a maximum when the bailiffs move in. It seems likely it will happen very soon.
Five acres of ancient semi-natural woodland are about to be trashed by Caerphilly council in South Wales to make way for a 2 mile long bypass which will provide a new access road to industrial developments at Blackwood in Gwent. A decade-long protest came to a head recently when Caerphilly County Borough Council signed a contract with Sirhowy Enterprise Way to begin work on a £54m bypass despite receiving some 4500 written objections from locals. Compulsory Purchase Orders to acquire the land have now been served and the contractors Costain & Tarmac have begun felling.
On January 29th 100 tress were chopped down but the work was halted by two lone protestors locking on to the bulldozers. A base camp has now been set up amongst the trees, with about 15 people and Section 6 squatting notices in place. More help on site is urgently needed.
REPORTS : 1 (+pics + update) |2 |3 |4 |5 |6 | MAP| FILM (4mb) |
RoadAlert | St Davids Wood Campaign website (old) | UK Protest Camps (Schnews)|
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