UK Feature Archive
On Saturday 6th of December at around 10pm, two Greek policemen were in patrol in a central street by Exarchia square, in the centre of Athens. They had a verbal argument with some young people who were there. During the argument, one of the cops pulled his gun and shot a 16-year-old guy twice [Video]. The victim was moved to Evangelismos Hospital to be pronounced dead. According to eye-witnesses, the cop had been swearing against the young man, showing his genitals, before shooting him.
This immediately sparkled some of the heaviest protests in Greece for over 20 years. Many Greek cities have seen daily clashes with police for over a week, and are still continuing, together with University occupations in Athens and in Thessaloniki [more], schools being closed down and further demonstrations spreading throughout the country [Infoshop's media gallery]. Some argue that Greece is at the "verge of a serious crisis" [more].
Regular updates and eye-witness accounts from Greece (Eng): Occupied London blog | Center for Strategic Anarchy blog | Libcom.org archive.
Solidarity protesters have taken to the streets all over Europe. In London around 70 activists blocked the entrance of the Greek Embassy for several hours on Monday 8th, and it was effectively closed down for most of the day. The blockade ended with at least two arrests. See full report and photos in IMC-London [BBC Video] Another protest took place on Wednesday 10th, and on Thursday 11th a picket outside the Greek embassy was heavily repressed by the Met police. On Sunday 14th yet another solidarity demonstration took place in the Dalston area of London, with over 100 people facing a heavy handed police presence [Report and Photos 1 | 2 | Video]. Protests also took place in Newcastle [Pics 1 | 2] Edinburgh [Video | more] and Leeds, and there are also reports of actions taking place in Bristol [more], Cardiff and Birmingham.
In Germany there have been protests in several cities, including a solidarity demo in Berlin where the Greek embassy was also occupied (de) for the whole day. Demonstrations also took place in Hamburg (de), Dresden (de), Bremen (de) and Cologne (de), whilst the consulate in Cologne (de) was attacked with red paint. The same as in Bologna (It) where the Greek consulate was blockaded and attacked with red paint. In Venice (It) activists occupied the Greek Institute and Consulate. Other solidarity protests include Bern (Swz), Copenhagen (Dk) [more], New York (Us) [Pics], Toledo (Sp), Madrid [Pics | Video], Barcelona [Pics 1 + 2 | Video], Melbourne, Ljubljana, St. Petersburg, Amsterdam, Oaxaca and several Russian cities. Further calls for solidarity demos have been made in Glasgow, and Dublin.
Plane Stupid claim that aviation is Britain's fastest growing source of emissions, amounting to at least 13% of the UK's climate impact. With plans for new runways across the UK, including at Heathrow and Stansted, experts from the Tyndall Centre for climate research say Labour's aviation policy alone will scupper any chance the UK has of hitting its climate targets.
The protest began at 3.15am Monday morning whilst the runway was temporarily closed for maintenance work. Reopening of the runway, scheduled for 5am, was delayed while police removed the locked on protesters, causing 52 flights to be cancelled which the groups says directly prevented the release of thousands of tonnes of greenhouse gases.
Links: Why we did it, Video, Plane Stupid Website
Previous Plain Stupid coverage: House of Commons | Downing Street glue action | Scotlish Parliament | infiltration attempt foiled | March of the penguins | An interview | travel agents | Heathrow consultation report | Manchester Airport Blockade | Heathrow Residents | Easyjet HQ | Day of Action
With the 48 hours over E-on no doubt thought the heat was off, however Monday morning saw their corporate headquarters in Coventry struck for the third time in as many weeks with over twenty protesters dressed in santa suits invading their officers and blockading the entrance for four hours. [photos, spoof account, report, song 1, song 2, interview, BBC TV News, BBC World At One ]
Further summaries of the actions can be found on the climate camp website and on EarthFirst! Action Reports. Don't forget the new E-on F-off website.
Previous success against E-on : protests force recruitment efforts to be dropped
Indymedia is yet again facing legal threats to prevent the free flow of communication, this time from a political movement known for its hostility to free speech. On the 21st November 08 Indymedia UK received an email from someone claiming to be a legal representative for the British National Party, threatening to take legal action on a number of counts for publishing information on BNP members.
After the hilarity of the “little Fuhrer”, Nick Griffin, running to the safety of the Human Rights Act to try to prevent the publication of members’ details, Britain’s fascist party has resorted to threats.
The letter sent to Indymedia by Lee John Barnes LLB (hons), from the “BNP Legal Affairs Unit”, threatens to take legal action, on the basis of theft, data protection and contempt of court, unless the list of members is removed.
The “lawyer” also attempts to shoehorn his charges into the form of anti-terrorism legislation, “The use of this information we feel is being hosted on your site for use only to incite acts of harassment, incite violence and direct targeted attacks against our members in the Leeds area”. He then goes on to explain the sections of the Terrorism Act under which Indymedia would be charged.
On Tuesday 25th November, the British state began its rollout of biometric ID cards by imposing them first on migrants. From this date foreign spouses and nationals from outside Fortress Europe who apply for, or renew, study visas will be required to attend a UK Border Agency Centre for interrogation and fingerprinting. They will then be issued with cards which will hold their name, photograph, nationality and immigration status, along with a biometric chip that will hold their finderprints and digital image. The details will be held indefintely on the UK Identity Service database. Over the next three years, other groups of non-EU nationals will be forced to undergo the process.
On Monday evening, NO2ID activists in Leeds expressed their resistance to the scheme with a public burning of a mock ID card. A Liverpool action followed on Tuesday, with a picket, leafletting and a samba band. A No Borders banner drop on one of Newcastle's busiest inner motorways on Tuesday morning alerted commuters to the rollout, whilst Lunar house in Croydon was picketed by No Borders London. Meanwhile in Birmingham a picket of the UK Border Agency in Solihull was met by a disproportionate police presence and in Cardiff there was a picket of over 60 people. Noborders Manchester joined forces with Merseyside activists to protest outside Reliance House in Liverpool.
Local action groups, dispirited after central government overruled the local planning refusal of permission, have started getting active again. This follows Earth First!'s Leave it in the Ground campaign earlier in the summer - a mass trespass followed by two noise demos outside UK Coal's Yorkshire HQ, plus the squatting of the farm house. Bodge House was finally evicted - during the Camp for Climate Action - though it took the forces of darkness 9 days.
More recently there was another Picnic in the Park trespass, a handful of EF!ers stopped work one afternoon, and locals held a demo at the entrance to the site.
UK protests against open-cast background | Picnic in the Park | June UK Coal noise demo | July UK Coal noise demo | Bodge House occupied & evicted | Picnic in the Park the sequel | EF! digger-diving protest | Local demo
E.ON has withdrawn from University Careers Fairs run by AIESEC following a string of protests around the country. E.ON did not show up at Birmingham today (12th Nov). The protesters object to E.ON wanting to develop new coal fired power stations, such as at Kingsnorth - the target of this summers Climate Camp. However E.ON cannot avoid the protests by avoiding careers fairs - expect more fun during 48 hours of action against E.ON and new coal on the 28/29 November.
Students have visited careers fairs to protest about the presence of parts of the arms and fossil fuel industries. Climate chaos related companies targeted include RBS (the oil and gas bank), BP and Shell. The arms industry representatives include the Army, B.Ae, Qinetiq and Rolls Royce. Careers fairs have been targeted in Aston, Birmingham ( 2 ), Bristol, Cambridge ( 2 | 3 ), Durham, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Imperial College London, Kings College London, Leeds, Liverpool, Loughborough, Manchester ( 2 | 3 ), Nottingham ( 2 | 3 ), Oxford ( 2 ), Sheffield, Southampton, Warwick and York. More reports are available from People and Planet.
On 29th October 2008, the 60th anniversary of massacres in the Palestinian villages of Safsaf, al-Dawayima and Kafr Qasim, British activists were aboard the Dignity which sailed into Gaza. The boat which set sail from Cyprus the day before, was the second succesful attempt by the Free Gaza Movement to break the siege of Gaza, which has been imposed since last year. Carrying a contingent of doctors and medicines ,including cough mixtures which are no longer available in Gaza, the activists are set to meet up with fellow activists who have been in Gaza since the first sailing in August 2008.
In the West Bank, a delegation from the Brighton Tubas Region Friendship and Solidarity Group had arrived in the Tubas Region of the Occupied West Bank a week earlier. Reports sent home from the delegation record incidents such as attacks by Settlers, continued land theft, and enforced water shortages. The group which aims to highlight Israeli war crimes against Palestinians in the region, raise awareness about life under occupation and create practical solidarity links between grassroots organisations in Brighton and Tubas region, is currently assisting with the olive harvest at the village of Al Masra.links:Free Gaza Movement |News from the Brighton-Tubas Friendship and Solidarity Group in the West Bank| Jordan Valley Solidarity| Palestine Solidarity Campaign | International Solidarity Movement in Palestine | Boycott Israeli Goods Campaign | Stop the Wall in Palestine
On Saturday 25th October 2008,several hundred people attended the 10th Annual United Families & Friends Remembrance procession which was led by many family members of those who have died in suspicious circumstances in police custody, prison and 'secure' mental health facilities.
In customary tradition the procession made its way in dignified silence from Trafalgar Square down Whitehall to Downing Street in dutiful respect to those who mourn the loss of loved ones and to invoke their memory and the collective injustices that their deaths represent. In the past year 182 such deaths have been recorded recorded, and a banner carried in the march listed over 2500 who have died.
More than 30 people were arrested. Several people mounted a tripod which blocked the A340 for two hours; several others, who were locked together with arm tubes, blockaded the construction gate for five hours. People came from far and wide for the blockade - there were representatives from Norway, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, France, Scotland, Wales, Bradford and Plymouth, as well as a Buddhist monk and nun who walked to Aldermaston from London.
The blockade of Aldermaston comes in the wake of several other campaigns against arms manufacturers in the UK. In Brighton, on 15th October, a mass protest took place against EDO MBM/ITT. Meanwhile, last week in Bristol, a number of protesters mounted a roof-top protest against Raytheon. Two of the protesters stayed on the roof for some 38 hours.
Report and photos from Aldermaston: 1 | 2
Background on Aldermaston: UN disarmament week | Recent safety problems | CND PR on Trident replacement | Chronology of Trident replacement
Reports from Bristol: 1 (with pics) | 2 | 3 (Video from youtube)
Background on Raytheon: 1 | 2 | 3
It is now almost five years since Indymedia London came to life as part of the United Kollectives network of IMC's throughout the UK. Now, in 2008, things have moved on; the reality in the streets is very different from that of 2003, and so there has also been a change in the way people experience the internet. The kollective in London has been working hard for the last few months to adapt Indymedia London to these new realities, and now we are very happy to announce that the New Indymedia London website is ready for action!
The new Site, that was launched with a presentation at the Anarchist Bookfair 2008, aims to include more political events and media alongside the direct action reporting from the streets, and a better method of video uploading. Note: If you went to check out the new site and you were put off by a security warning in your browser, please try again. More information about Security Certificates here. Click at the 'Full article' link to know more ....
A mass protest against Brighton-based arms manufacturers EDO MBM/ITT took place on 15 October, 2008. Organised by the Smash EDO campaign, the event was called Shut ITT! and was the third such demonstration this year. Last June, Brighton saw the Carnival Against the Arms Trade, organised by Smash EDO too.
As the 400-strong march was prevented by police from reaching the EDO factory, 40 bottles of red paint were thrown over the back fence by a group of protesters who split off. The 'bomb factory' was reportedly shut down for the day. At least 10 people were arrested and some injured from police violence, including a photographer.
As financial markets continue to slump around the world, several hundred people gathered in the City of London on Friday 10th to voice their anger over the British governments plan to commit over 50 billion GBP of public funds to shore up 'confidence' in British markets.
Following a series of calls [1 | 2] that had been circulated in different websites and forums, angry students and activists meet in the late afternoon outside Bank tube station at the heart of the City of London. The demonstrators soon moved on to the prestige shopping centre (The Royal Exchange) which they attempted to storm, and then moved towards the Bank of England but were quickly repulsed by police. They then went on a tour of nearby streets, often pushing through police lines that seemed to be quite unprepared for the unfolding protest. Eventually there was a sit-down as the protesters reached Bishopsgate, and finally a short rally with speeches on the corner of London Wall and Bishopsgate, after which the demonstrators slowly dispersed. At the same time, a group of clowns also toured The City with placards such as "There's no business like no business".
A similar demonstration has now been called in Edinburgh on the 24th of October.
11th of October saw the first worldwide protests against surveillance measures such as the collection of all telecommunications data, the surveillance of air travellers and the biometric registration of citizens. In at least 15 countries citizens demanded a cutback on surveillance, a moratorium on new surveillance powers and an independent evaluation of existing surveillance powers.
In Liverpool, political campaigns came together to hold stalls in the city centre and distribute leaflets. Police riot vans surrounded and intimidated them, but surrounding crowds helped intervene to block the police and defend the stalls.Reports: | 1 | 2 |
Callouts with background: 0 | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 |
Every bomb that is dropped and every bullet that is fired in the name of this war of terror has to be made somewhere and wherever that is it can be resisted...
Since 2001 over a million people have been killed worldwide by the US-UK War of Terror. EDO MBM/ITT supply weapons components for the US-UK war machine. Smash EDO has been campaigning for four and a half years to close down EDO.
The movement against EDO MBM/ITT is growing, in June this year over 600 people came from around the country to the ‘Carnival Against the Arms Trade’. The Carnival managed to reach the Brighton bomb factory despite police attempts to corral the march
On October 15th Smash EDO are planning another mass demonstration against the Brighton bomb builders [Press Release]
Resources: Webpage for the Shut ITT Demonstration - Info on accomodation and transport | Open Letter to Sussex Police| Campaigners say Shut ITT | More Info about the Smash EDO Campaign (pdf) | Info about the Merger with ITT (pdf)
Previous features: Smash EDO Carnival Against the Arm Trade - Timeline | Carnival Against the Arms Trade | Marie Vesco RIP |On the Verge - The Film They Tried to Ban |Singers Arrested Outside Arms Factory | Smash EDO Action Camp: Shut down the Brighton bomb builders | Lebanon War protesters - Not Guilty! | EDO CORP: 2006 Alternative Report | 2007 Is The Year To Shut EDO Down | EDO MBM Injunction crumbles | EDO MBM desperate to stop protests as resistance increases | Smash EDO Take On The Law | Harassment Law Used Against Anti-War Campaigners | Campaign to Smash Edo | Arms company shut down
The day before, at about 3:30am, activists with tipper trucks had dumped builders rubble across both gates of the depot. Protests against the sale of Israeli produce from occupied Palestinian land also took place outside supermarkets around the country, which account for 60% of Carmel-Agrexco's total exports.
Previous Actions: Carmel Agrexco's Depot Shut Down in Commemoration of the Nakba | Fortress Carmel Agrexco breached by Peace Activists | Video - Carmel Agrexco protest during Camp for Climate Action | Weekend of Action Against Carmel Agrexco | Activists Blockade Carmel-Agrexco's UK Headquarters for the Third Time | International Actions against Israeli Apartheid
On Saturday 6th September two hundred activists made it to Ledbury, Herefordshire, for the Carnival Against Vivisection in solidarity with political prisoner Sean Kirtley. The day of action was called by various groups in resistance to the imprisoning of peaceful campaigners under SOCPA legislation, and as a stand for the animals suffering inside vivisection laboratories.
Protesters met on the grass verge, where the police held them allowing a maximum of 15 at a time to demonstrate outside Sequani labs. Shortly after campaigners made a spontaneous break for the labs, with police responding by blocking the bridge to push back the crowd, creating minor scuffles. Multiple attempts were also made to access the labs using various pre-planned routes, meeting police each time, some of which had dogs. Protesters then regrouped at the grass verge to march the original route around town.
Related links: Free Sean Kirtley | Stop Sequani Animal Testing | Antispeciesist Action | Animal Liberation Front | Bite Back | NETCU Watch | FIT watch | Western Animal Rights Network | Indymedia UK Stop Sequani topic page
On Friday the 20th September, the pipe laying ship, the Solitaire, finally left Irish waters. During the ship's time in Ireland, Shell failed to lay any part of the offshore pipe line. The departure of the Solitaire is a massive victory for the Shell to Sea campaign. Resistance in the past six weeks has taken many different forms: fishermen preventing the ship's access to the bay by refusing to move from her path, site invasions by local people and the Rossport Solidarity Camp, numerous waterborne actions to prevent work by supporters from other parts of Ireland and further afield, national and international solidarity actions and finally, an 11 day hunger strike by local campaigner Maura Harrington, that continued until the ship left Irish waters. The events of the last 6 weeks have inspired not only those involved, but also many who witnessed them from afar, new links and friendships have been forged and many lessons learned. In the aftermath, the Shell to Sea campaign can clearly be seen to have been revitalized, both locally and nationally. It is unclear when the ship will attempt to return to Broadhaven Bay. It is possible it could still be this year if repairs are quick and a suitable weather window appears, or it may not be until next spring. However, while it may be uncertain exactly when the ship will return, what is certain, is that it will meet even greater opposition upon its next arrival. Come and be part of it! The Rossport community is calling on people everywhere to put pressure on Shell, Allseas (the company that owns the Solitaire) and Irish embassies to demand that the Solitaire leaves Irish waters immediately.
Newswire: rossport solidarity action at irish consulate | The Solitaire leaves the Bayr | Rooftop occupation of Shells offices in Belmullet | Update from 11th of September | Daughter of Shell to Sea hunger striker paddles out to Solitaire | Rossport Solidarity Action in London | Rossport Solidarity Demo in London on Monday!! | Son of Shell to Sea hunger striker assaulted and arrested |Support Maura Harrington on hunger strike | Irish Embassy targetted for Rossport in Berlin | Rossport: Solidarity Action in Brighton | Rossport: The Time is Now | Rossport update | Urgent Call Out: Mayo Needs You! Now Is The Time
In solidarity with Sean Kirtley, who was imprisoned by the state for supposedly organising legal demonstrations against Sequani's vivisection laboratories, activists will be making a stand for the animals with a march and rally against Sequani labs on September 6th in Ledbury, Herefordshire.
Since campaigning against vivisection labs has been criminalised under Section 145 of the SOCPA legislation, such as operating a website critical of a company like Sean did, the event has been organised without organisers and is not an authorised event.
Hereford Police have already shown concern for the day of action by contacting NETCU Watch and are appealing for organisers to identify themselves, in the hope of finding somebody responsible. Despite this, the call for mass action has been promoted by various groups including Antispe Britain, West Midlands ALF, Stop Sequani Animal Testing, SHAC, and the Western Animal Rights Network.
Details: About | March, Maps + Important Police Information | Routes | Programme/Newsletter | Antispeciesist Action Press Release | Poster Translations | Hereford Police | Police want the organisers | Transport | Other Targets in Herefordshire! | SEQUANI Site plan with building information | Promo video | Webpage for the Carnival
Sequani newswire: Sean Kirtley Moved Prison | The tormented and the witness: Inside Sequani Limited EXCLUSIVE REPORT! | ALF Support The Carnival | why come to the carnival | GSK and Mars vending machines sabotaged | Sean Kirtley's Appeal Launched | Independent: Judge who sentenced animal rights activist was fan of blood sports | AR Protesters Illegal Arrest at Arromight Hereford [Videos: 1 | 2] | Activist arrested for writing in the ground | ALF Chickin' Nickin' For Sean | Sequani Trial Talk | Law-lord ruling to free Sean Kirtley? NETCU on the run | Felix Says "Free Sean Kirtley" | Solidarity actions for Sean Kirtley | Serious Implications for Freedom of Speech as Activist Jailed for 4.5 years | NETCU and Judge Ross crucify civil liberties | Response to state crackdown on peaceful protest | Support Freedom of Speech - Support Sean!
The week ending 31st August saw Rossport Solidarity camp reborn and the week of action against offshore pipeline work extended.
The week of action was called in anticipation of the arrival of the world’s largest pipeline ship, the Solitaire. However, due to bad weather conditions the ship’s arrival was delayed. Nonetheless, actions took place throughout the week against preparatory pipeline work, including disruption of dredging work designed to create the trench for the pipe, site invasions into Shell’s compound, and a visit by Shell to Sea kayakers to the Solitaire.
Friday the 29th of August saw better weather conditions and the arrival of the winching rig and cable and the return of the dredging machine into the bay.
The Navy also arrived (the first time the Navy has ever been used in an operation against a civil demonstration).
If the good weather holds, Shell will attempt to complete the near shore part of the pipeline in the next few days.
Believed to be booked up for the next 2 years, the Solitaire has a very short time frame to complete its part in the pipeline construction. Resistance now is crucial and the Rossport community have made a call out for people to come to the area to support the campaign. Check out feature additions and comments for regular updates.
The rest of the article outlines some of the recent history of the campaign...