UK Feature Archive
Update 14th Nov: Protests against the attack on Fallujah continue all over the UK. Over the weekend 12th - 14 Nov there were protests in Glasgow, Brixton, and outside the BBC building in London in response to the BBC's "one-sided and misleading" reporting of the attack. A proposed picket of the Glasgow Labour Party offices has been called for Monday 15th, as well as a call to lobby those responsible for cutting off water in Iraq.
Photos from Fallujah | Interview with a Fallujah refugee
Since the war was declared over ("Mission Accomplished") the anti-war movement has been fairly quiet, but that is now changing. Protests have been occuring across the country in response to the assault on Fallujah. On Monday 8th, the day the assault started, there were protests in over 30 towns and cities around the UK, including vigils and protests in Swindon, York and Brighton.
Four people were arrested in Edinburgh as the US Consulate was spattered with blood red paint and covered in anti-war slogans. A further protest took place on Tuesday the 9th.
In Cambridge, protestors staged a rush-hour demonstration, a rally in Market Square, as well as taking to the roof of the Guildhall with banners [more pics], and spraying anti-war graffiti.
In London hundreds demonstrated outside Downing Street while others blocked roads and painted anti-war graffiti.
Protests also occured in the much publicised build up to the assault with the 'Campaign for Justice for Gordon Gentle' Protest in Glasgow on 30th October, Manchester on Sat 6th Nov, and an activist breaking into the US bomb store at Welford and chalking anti-war slogans onto the bombs on Thurs 4th.
In London several protests and action took place including road blocks and the scaling of the gates to Downing Street, as well as the Foreign Office being splatterd with blood red paint [pics]. On Sunday 7th, there was a protest at Parliament Square, following which campaigners layed flowers at the Cenotaph, before locking on and blocking Whitehall.
London reports and pics [ 10 Nov 1 2, 3 ] [ 7 Nov 1 2, 3 ] [ 6 Nov ].
In Oxford campaigners petitioned their MP, demonstrated ('Naming the Dead') on the 4th and held a Vigil on Sat 6th.
In Wrexham there have been vigils and graffiti on bridges.
News from Iraq: Al-Muajaha | Electronic Iraq | Iraqi blog | Juan Cole blog | Empire Notes blog | also see Jo Wilding and her blog and John Pilger article..
UK Protest + Iraq Info Upcoming London Events | Voices in the Wilderness | Stop the War Coalition | Justice Not Vengeance | Iraq Occupation Focus | Jubilee Iraq.
Indymedia Bristol and Scotland. Indybay Iraq news page.
Protest/Meeting Announcements on the Newswire Cambridge, Manchester, Sheffield, Southampton.
Newswire Posts: Iraq :
14 Nov [ 1] 13 Nov [ 1| 2 ] 12 Nov [ 1 ] 11 Nov [ 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 ] 10 Nov [ 1 | 2 | 3 ]
9 Nov [ 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 8 Nov [ 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 ]
7 Nov [ 1 | 2 | 3 ] 6 Nov [ 1 | 2 | 3 ] 5 Nov [ 1 ] 3 Nov [ 1 | 2 | 3 ] 2 Nov [ 1 | 2 ]>br> 31 Oct [ 1 | 2 ]
A train carrying "Castors" of nuclear waste from France to Germany ran over a protestor who had chained himself to the tracks, severing one of his legs. Paramedics offered him emergency treatment and tried to get him to surgery, but he died before reaching hospital. The 23-year-old lay down and chained himself to the track as the train passed near the town of Avricourt, eastern France [Timeline of Events]. The train was carrying nuclear waste being sent back to Germany after reprocessing in northern France, and had already been delayed for two hours while police cut free two other protesters who had chained themselves to a section of track.
Thousands of demonstrators have been gathering since the train set off on Saturday from the La Hague reprocessing plant in Valognes, north-western France, on its journey to the German town of Dannenberg. From Dannenberg the trains' 12 containers - holding 175 metric tons of atomic waste - are due to be shipped to a nearby dump at Gorleben, 12km away. The French protests followed a protest by 10,000 people at the Gorleben site in Saturday.
Workers employed by construction giant Laing O'Rourke have refused to sign a new pay and condition deal which halves their pay, while making it so that the pay is subsidised by bonuses, but the company can choose to whom they can give bonuses, in which their holiday pay is cut by £20 per day, and where they will have to bring in a medical certificate after being absent for one day.
The seizure of the hard drives on Oct 7th in London shut down an Indymedia radio station and around 20 different Indymedia websites from Ambazonia to the UK. Thousands of individuals who have posted hundreds of thousands of articles on these web sites suddenly found their voices silenced by an unknown hand. See the server seizure story for an overview...
Following the FBI raid, a number of Web servers have been offered to the UK site and are already in use. Our immediate aim is, therefore, to build a database server to take the load off the existing one. The current database, or 'publishing server,' for the UK and other Indymedias is often overloaded, especially when uploading larger media files. Scores of people give up in frustration when publishing unsuccessfully time and again.
The best way to help is to set up a regular payment into the Indymedia UK Network account: several people are already contributing £10 a month, but whatever sum you can afford would be much appreciated. Read on for information about how to donate to this appeal.
October 12th is traditionally celebrated as the day Christopher Columbus "discovered" America. In reality, this is nothing to celebrate, as it unleashed a wave of terror across the continent which continues today. The colonial mentality there is still very much alive with a tiny white elite holding power over a mixed afro-indigenous majority.
Three years ago, Venezuela's self-proclaimed "revolutionary" president, Hugo Chávez, decreed that October 12th should henceforth be known as "Day of Indigenous Resistance". The icon of Columbus has become offensive to the majority of the population and Chávez himself has described him as "worse than Hitler". For the neo-colonialists, however, Columbus stands symbolically as a role-model of conquest.
On "O12" this year, actions in solidarity with Venezuela's "Bolivarian Revolution" and against neo-imperialism and corporate-colonialism happened worldwide. In London we held a picket outside the Mexican and US Embassies, and in Amsterdam a caravan of cyclists denounced multi-national corporations outside their various headquarters. Solidarity actions also happened in Athens, Puerto Rico and Zimbabwe.
The forum ended with a large demonstration(70-100,000) and a number of autonomous actions (Clowns actions and Pro-capitalist block). The demonstration had a clear anti-war character and attracted many people who did not attend the ESF.
Reports: [1 | 2 | 3], Pictures: [1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | new 9 | new 10 | new 11 | new 12] and video . A group of activists from the anti-capitalist block were detained at King's Cross train station in an attempt to prevent them from joining the march [1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | Global Project][Video Modem | ADSL]. They were eventually allowed to leave and when they finally arrived at Trafalgar Square some tried to get to the stage in what some describe as storming the stage. The police, possibly in cooperation with the organisers, made several arrests including an Indymedia volunteer and member of the ESF organizing body [pics]. The COBAS union condemned the local ESF organisers for this action. Solidarity actions were called and a number of Clowns invaded Charing Cross police station (Video). Those arrested, including a Greek activist, were due in court on Monday [Video]. Meanwhile for four days the IMC center catered for activists and public alike in providing a fully equiped media center and 600 capacity hall for the EFCR, Schnews Conference, parties and other events (IMC call). Indymedia also took to the streets to protest the seizure of the imc servers [pics 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5]. The Wombles also organised 5 Days & Nights of Anti-Authoritarian ideas and action called Beyond ESF, from which a Declaration of Europe’s Precariat came out.
The ESF organisation, and the events during the demonstration, have been the subject of a lot of controversy [In depth: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | Previous: 1 | 2 | 3].
A letter condemning [2 | 3] the takeover of the ESF stage in protest against the lack of democracy of the ESF organsing process was published in the Guardian [Pics of action 1 | 2 | Video]. It accuses protesters of interrupting and anti-racist event. A coalition of anti-racism organisations replied condeming the use of the race card to stifle dissent (also IMC Lancaster statement).21st Oct Update: Read latest Guardian Letters | (2), see also Alex Callinicos blames "black Bloc". 23rd Oct: A film of the event has appeared. 27 Oct: Italian Delegation, Some Reflections on the 2004 ESF. Some also resented the lack of coverage of actual ESF events [1 | 2] on Indymedia and the mainstream media [1 | 2]
Don't hate the media - just publish on Indymedia - Upload your reports from the ESF and Autonomous Spaces events to indymedia, or to the events memory reporting database. See: All UK ESF reports | Updated Indymedia ESF Newsblast
[More: ESF daily coverage: Thursday | Friday | Saturday | Sunday
Other languages: German | Dutch | Dutch and French | Català | Castellano 2 3| Hungarian | Portugese | Russian]
The 4th Big Blether took place from 1st- 3rd October 2004 in an embryonic permaculture community in North Perthshire, named Culdees.
About 70 activists from Scotland and far beyond joined the gathering to exchange skills, enjoy themselves and forge links with old and new friends of a diverse range of groups engaged in the struggle for social justice.
[pictures | programm | feedback]
[ Afghan Election Mess ]
As the 9th October presidential elections draw near, many people in Afghanistan are anticipating violence and electoral fraud. Already there have been reports of intimidation and vote-rigging.
With aid being manipulated for political ends, 20'000 US troops still (illegally) remaining in the country, powerful warlords and commanders abusing people with impunity in many areas and various armed groups trying to prevent the elections, Afghanistan is fast becoming an even more dangerous place to be, and lots of internationals are leaving the country ahead of this weekend.
"There is no difference between the forces of the Taliban and the Mujahidin and all the others who carry guns. Only the faces and the clothes have changed," -a man from Herati
It seems that the US is pushing hard for a victory for Hamid Karzai, with Bush in need of a media coup in time for his own elections in the US. Hence the attempts to engineer something that can be spun as a 'democratic success', whatever the human cost.
[ reports: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 ]
UPDATE 14th Oct:
Hard drives returned
The two servers recently seized by US Authorities were returned yesterday morning to Rackspace (the hosting service where the servers were first taken from). Indymedia is now weighing additional legal options after this illegal seizure of its servers. Many of the original questions still remain.
Sign the Global Support Declaration
UPDATE 13th Oct: Indymedia UK Call for Solidarity
Indymedia Press Release: 11/12th Oct
Reporters Without Borders Solidarity Statement: "Home Secretary David Blunkett challenged over Indymedia website closures"
Association for Progressive Communications Statement: "APC condemns "arbitrary" seizure of IndyMedia web servers by US and European law enforcers."
Further links to mainstream media coverage can be found at the bottom of this feature. Correspondence between an indymedia activist and Rackspace, and lists of sites that are and are not back on line, can be found on this blog.
It is ironic that that this happens now, just days before Indymedia is due to participate in the European Forum on Communications Rights being held alongside the European Social Forum and several other days of discussions about electronic civil liberties and community media. For more information on these events see www.efcr2004.net
An estimated 20,000 to 30,000 people are expected to come to London this month to attend the third European Social Forum taking place between Friday 15th and Sunday 17th (although many other ESF related events start earlier). Around 1,000 people have been registering per day and paying £20 or £30 to attend (nb the first 20,000 will recieve a free three day travelcard). The ESF will be a massive event that will see hundred of seminars, workshops, and cultural events taking place at Alexandra Palace and in the Bloosmbury area of London. However, with less than two weeks to go before the ESF begins, there is a potentially politically embarrassing severe accomodation crisis, with thousands wanting to come from europe unsure if they can afford London prices and requesting free accomodation. Recently several coordinations of the Babels volunteer interpreters threatened to quit over what they claim is a looming accommodation and reimbursement crisis [see response].
Over the last year the ESF organising process has repeatedly been accused of being untransparent and non-participatory. Accusations have centred around the actions of the Socialist Workers Party, Socialist Action and the political and financial control of Mayor Ken Livingstone's Greater London Authority (GLA). Much has been written about this, for a sample see: UK NGO Letter | esf2004.net | Radical Philosphy Critique | ESF technology, media centres, and politics | Enrager | Weekly Worker (extensive reports)
Partly in response to this there are now several Autonomous Spaces and initiatives with well over two hundred workshops and seminars and other events scheduled from Wednesday 13th - Sunday 17th (read more).
Indymedia is organising a four-day Indymedia centre to facilitate reporting and DIY media production. Themes will include Surveillance and the Security State, Biometric ID Cards, Migrants and Noborders, Gender, Intellectual Property, Copyright, Creative Commons, Corporate media and Alternative media etc. Thursday 14th sees the European Forum on Communication Rights, Friday 15th sees a full day programme including a workshop and launch presentation on the "Eyes on International Financial Institutions (IFIs)" film portal website [www.ifiwatch.tv]. Saturday also sees the 10th Birthday Conference of SchNEWS.
Other alt-media initiatives includes an ESF Breakfast Radio Show on Resonance FM and 24/7 streaming ESF coverage from rampART radio. Further sources of information will include info-points located at the Camden Centre, the rampART and LARC.
LISTEN NOW - STREAMING AUDIO FROM LONDON
it is exactly 18 years and i am free and strong as i was 18 years ago - Mordechai Vanunu
Today (30 September) is the 18th anniversary of Mordechai Vanunu's kidnap by Israeli security forces.
Vanunu was a subordinate technician at the Dimona nuclear plant when he blew the whistle on Israel's clandestine nuclear weapons programme. Following his conscience, and believing the programme threatened another holocaust, he delivered photographic evidence of historic magnitude to the Sunday Times [the original article].
He was then lured to Italy from where Israel's secret police abducted him to Israel, in grave violation of internnational law. He was sentenced as a spy to 18 years in prison. The first 11 1/2 years, he spent in solitary confinement.
previous updates: 2004-9-29 | 2004-10-6 | 2004-10-8
Cesar Zelada is a well known student activist in Peru. He is also a member of the Fuerza de Izquierda Socialista, a left wing group, and the organiser of the Hands off Venezuela campaign in Peru.
He was in Bolivia as part of a delegation of Peruvian student activists invited by the Youth wing of the Bolivian Workers' Union (COB - the Bolivian TUC) to show solidarity with the struggle of the Peruvian students, particularly those at the Oruro Technical University.
He was arrested on September 14th, in the capital La Paz. He was strip searched and handcuffed by the PTJ police and then questioned without having access to a lawyer. He is being kept in jail in the San Pedro Penal, in La Paz. When making the case against him at the hearing, the prosecutor alleged that he was in possession of explosives, had lied about his address in Bolivia and was carrying "Marxist propaganda" with the aim of "subversion".
The level of solidarity between the UK grassroots movements and the Venezuelan people, alongside their popular radical government, has reached a new high. Activists from all political stripes are transcending ideological and personal differences to defend Venezuela's embryonic "Democratic Revolution".
All eyes are focussed on the upcoming "Global Day of Action in Solidarity with the Bolivarian Revolution" on October 12th. Events are planned world and UK-wide, with at least three happening in London on this Tuesday of ESF week: a day-school in Middlesex University with the Colombia Solidarity Campaign, a rally with Rhythms of Resistance, and a debate at NUJ headquarters. The day will also be an opportunity to launch a "Bolivarian Block" to carry through the rest of the week's activities, culminating at the big demo on Sunday 17th.
28-08-2004 13:32A large alternative media mobilisation provided ongoing coverage of the massive demonstrations against the Republican National Convention protests in New York - for the full story see: NYC Indymedia
Video Coverage: Paper Tiger.org | Manhattan Neighborhood Network
Analysis: "Indymedia and the Text Message Jihad", on counterpunch.org
Recently there has been a spate of stories about social centres and evictions. At 5.30am 25th August, around 40 police and 30 bailiffs smashed down the front door of the Ex-Grand Banks in north London. This high profile centre had proven to be one of the most successful squatted community projects for some time, despite occasional police harrassment of people attending meetings there (see video). On Saturday 4th there was a street party in protest against the eviction.
Use Your Loaf, an ex-bakery on Deptford High Street which had been occupied as a centre for social solidarity since summer 2002, has also now been evicted after managing to resist eviction a week before.
Meanwhile, in Birmingham, a disused nursey has just been occupied. In Arms Reach, a squat just off Oxford Street in central London, provided a one-off week-long series of workshops, films and gigs. Back in north London, the AUTONOMOUS LAB in Chalk Farm Road, having already resisted eviction at the beginning of August, have now expanded into a second vaccant shop front!
There are plenty of other successful projects nationally and internationally as well: read on for more details...
Naseh Ghafor a resident of Burngreave, Sheffield, was on hunger strike for six weeks from the 8th July to oppose his deportation to Iraq. He had sewn up his lips and was refusing medical attention. He has now removed the stitches from his mouth and stopped his hunger strike.
He believes he will be killed if he is deported to Iraq. His father and brother were killed there and his sister and mother are missing. There is more detailed background information on the NCADC web site. Local and national politicians are offering no hope to Naseh.
Local activists had organised a 24 hour rota to watch over Naseh while he was on hunger strike. Direct action, in the form of road blockades resulted in coverage in the local media and there was a demonstration from Burngreave into the centre of Sheffield on 21st August.
Daily vigil: 5pm, every day, on Ellesmere Green (top of Spital Hill) for Naseh Ghafor's right to live, stay and work in this country.
Saturday 21st August: Don't Let Naseh Die - Demonstration, from Ellesmere Green, Burngreave to Sheffield Town Hall | Photos: .
17th August: Milton House protest
12th August: Burngreave Road protest [video] | [photos]
7th August: Burngreave Road was blocked in a spontaneous protest by friends and supporters of Naseh for nearly an hour [ photos: 1 | 2 ] after a protest at Chatsworth where Sheffield MP David Blunkett was opening a scent garden.
Links: [Traveller Support][East Anglia Social Forum]
Calls for rally at Paynes Lane, 22nd August: 
Journalist Ewa Jasciewicz now held in detention for over 14 days as Israeli court fiasco continues.19 AUGUST: Ewa is to be released from jail, but has still been forbidden by the IDF from entering Palestine.
20 AUGUST: Ewa remains locked up until at least Sunday, following an appeal by the Israeli Government [reports: 1 | 2 ]
The National Union of Journalists has condemned the Israeli Government for its treatment of journalist Ewa Jasiewicz, who was detained whilst entering Israel last week and remains in prison.
Ewa's appeal against deportation from Israel will be heard on Thursday, August 19th.
[ Telephone call from Ewa | Background on Baha | Ewa on Iraq | The "Intifada of the Empty Stomach"]
The opposition has not yet made any move against the government or the popular assemblies, tensions have largely relaxed, and it appears that the crisis has passed [full report in the article].
Venezuelan social movements have put President Chavez on notice that their support for him during the referendum does not mean that they see his presidency as an end in itself; rather, his presidency should protect the grassroots from Venezuela's ruling elites so that the reach of directly democratic neighbourhood assemblies can be extended. "While Chavez has done some to improve the lives of the poor in Venezuela, the revolution can only advance when the people themselves seize control of all the resources and means of production owed to them." Further information and timeline in the article and in the Venzuela special subsection.
On the 15th of august, the International Day of Solidarity with the Bolivarian Revolution of Venezuela, protesters took to the streets and meadows of Edinburgh to inform the public about the importance of the co-inciding referendum on the president in Venezuela in the struggle against neoliberalism, privatisation, exploitation and globalised trade competition.
In the distributed leaflet, the activists state, that they will support a Global Day of Action on October 12th, 2004. [reports and pictures: 1 | 2 | call | video]
Other international solidarity events happened in London during the week before the referendum [report] in the RampArt social centre, [video], protests took place in support of the Bolivarian Revolution in front of the embassy in The Hague, Stockholm, London [report | pics | video], Amsterdam [1|2], Mexico, Dominican Republic.