UK Feature Archive
Following the Wave events and demonstration the London Climate Camp invited people to the COP Out Camp Out action - which took over Trafalgar Square, setting up a camp for an intended 48hrs to highlight the issues around the Cop15 mobilisation, summed up in the phrase "System Change not Climate Change. See Climate Camp Feature reports.
Help report what's happening by sending your reports from the streets.
Southcoast Indymedia is three and a half years old. Since Southcoast Indy began it has been a place where local activists can report their news. Southcoast has hosted reports on the growth of the Smash EDO campaign [1|2|3|4|5|6|7|8|9|10|11|12|13|14|15|16|17|18], the battle for Titnore Woods [1|2|3|4|5|6|8], battles over freedom to protest in Brighton and Worthing [1|2|3|4], The Gatwick and Calais No Borders camps [1|2|3], Sussex students' struggles, the South East mobilisation for the G8 in Gleneagles, the campaign to free Omar Degahyes and Binyam Mohammed, Guantanamo Bay detainees.
Southcoast Indymedia was set up with the aim of "of providing a readily accessible source of news and information on the Kent, Sussex and Hampshire area of the south of England...We will be extending an invitation to all kinds of community groups and campaigns (well, almost all - racists and fascists are not welcome here!) to use South Coast IMC as their own site, a place where they both post news of their own and catch up with others".
Almost four years on, we would like to renew the creative process that drives Indymedia and relaunch the Southcoast collective; making South Coast Indymedia an ongoing, relevant resource for all activists in the area. With more people involved, we can make South Coast Indymedia a valuable tool for wide variety of campaigns and individuals, with South Coast-relevant features, campaign diary and newswire for announcements and reports of events in the area.
On Sunday 6th December, from 2-3.30pm, at the Cowley Club in Brighton, there will be a workshop to discuss a revamp of Southcoast Indymedia. The session is for anyone who wants to contribute content, tech support, graphic/web design or has any skills or experience to share, etc.
New ideas and general curiosity are very welcome on the day, get involved!
If you are interested contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Ten years have passed since the first Indymedia site came to life in November 30th 1999. Media activists came together for the first time during the amazing anti-WTO summit protests that took place in Seattle (US), kick starting the emergence of a global 'movement of movements' that has spent this decade struggling against neoliberalism, war and environmental destruction.
On Saturday 28th November protests took place in Brighton, Wrexham, Falmouth, Hastings, Tunbridge Wells and Cambridge [Pics] as part of a day of action marking the launch of Smash EDO's'Target Barclays' campaign.On November 30th an action took place in Plymouth.
Smash EDO have been calling for autonomous actions against Barclays Bank to force them to stop providing 'market maker' services for ITT Corporation on the NYSE. Smash EDO's site states 'Bankers and institutional investors are the glue that finances the state terror wreaked by the arms trade. Companies like EDO do not operate in a vacuum but are propped up by the networks of corporations and investors which constitute the global capitalist system which puts profit before peace, greed before people.'
As ITT’s market maker, Barclay’s acts as a ‘middle man’, purchasing shares from a seller and holding them until such a time as a buyer becomes available. This ensures the stability of ITT’s share price by allowing shareholders to sell off their assets at any time, even when a buyer is not immediately available, and vice versa. Barclay’s also profits from this enterprise, by selling ITT’s shares at a small markup, which nevertheless generates a considerable income when spread across large sales. Barclays is also the largest UK investor in the global arms trade.More.
Smash EDO's next big mobilisation is the REMEMBER GAZA SMASH EDO MASS DEMO JANUARY 18TH. Assemble at 1pm, Brighton, wear black.
As the world watches Copenhagen, thousands of people will participate in protest marches, direct action and alternative forums. In Denmark new repressive laws have been proposed [update: now passed] to discourage protests including extending preventitative detention from 6hrs to 12hrs, significantly increasing fines for public order offences under Danish law, and increasing the penalty for not dispersing when ordered to do so by police [see 1 | 2]. Meanwhile in a clear display of political policing, four uk activists on their way to an organising meeting in Copenhagen were detained and questioned under Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act 2000 [2 | 3].
Despite this hundreds of people from the uk will head to Copenhagen to participate in the protests, actions and the Klimaforum. The uk Climate Camp is organising coach transport and has joined the Climate Justice Action network which is co-ordinating some of the protests, in particular the Reclaim Power! action on 16th December, which aims to push into the conference area and hold a "People’s Summit for Climate Justice". They are supported by a wide range of groups, including members of Climate Justice Now, a network formed in Bali during Cop13 and including many groups and networks from the global south, such as Via Campesina. Other planned actions focus on food sovereignty, migration, corporations and 'business as usual'.
In the countdown toward Cop15, there has been an upswing in direct action around climate change. On September 12th hundreds of people protested and took direct action at Hazelwood coal power station in Victoria, Australia [utube video]. On 26th September, hundreds of protestors in Denmark took direct action, breaching the fences at Amagerværket coal-fired power station (owned by Vattenfall) in an action called "Shut It Down" [reports 1 | 2 | video]. In the uk on 17th October around one thousand people protested at Eon's Ratcliffe-on-Soar coal power station, repeatedly breaching fences [pics]. On 26th October, activists in the uk occupied parts of Npower’s Didcot power station, blockaded an access road at Mainshill Wood where Scottish Coal plans a new coal mine, and climbed onto machinery at Shipley opencast coal mine stopping work [collected reports]. On October 28th activists from the action group Climate Alarm! blockaded the entrance to the Business Europe Copenhagen conference in Brussels [video 1 | 2 | 3 | pics]. At the start of November in Barcelona at the last preparatory session before Copenhagen, protestors marched, blocked roads and blockaded entrances to the meeting, whilst inside delegates from the African bloc staged a walk-out of the discussions [reports 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 ]. Whilst on 23rd November in Australia around two hundred protestors blockaded Parliament House in Canberra.
Ahead of Cop15, demonstrations are scheduled in Geneva alongside the WTO, and on November 30th the Mobilization for Climate Justice has called for a global day of action coinciding with the 10 year anniversary of the famous Seattle WTO protests. Linking the WTO to the Cop15 mobilisation is the Social & Climate Justice Caravan, with 60 representatives from global movements from the South travelling two routes from Geneva to Copenhagen, arriving 9th December. In London, a large pre-Cop15 protest march called "The Wave" is planned by a coalition of NGOs on December 5th, meeting at the US Embassy before marching off at 1pm to encircle Parliament. Earlier there is a Climate Bike Ride meeting at 10am at Lincoln's Inn Fields, and a Climate Emergency Rally at Speakers Corner, Hyde Park at midday. Update: An action has also been announced by Climate Camp in London: COP OUT Camp Out, to take place after the Wave demonstration.
Listings of Events + Protests: 1|2|3
Latest Logistics (accomodation etc) | Legal Advice / pdf | Medics and Trauma Support | Google Map
Climate Camp UK Coaches (11th-19th Dec) - (Booking deadline 25th Nov) | Other Coaches from European Countries
See coverage at: Indymedia DK | Climate IMC | Imcuk Cop15 Section
Recent: Bolivian COP-15 Delegate's Call Video | 300-350 Show: Civil disobedience for climate justice + legal issues
See also:Why Climate Change is Not an Environmental Issue (pdf) | Deal or No Deal Newspaper (pdf) | 350 Reasons Why Carbon Trading Won't Work (pdf) | Carbon Supermarket Comic by Kate Evans | More Background
Protests against the NATO parliamentary assembly in Edinburgh culminated in its the disruption on Tuesday morning [ Summary report ]. Six Trident Ploughshares activists were arrested when blocking the entrance to the Edinburgh Conference Centre. On Saturday, hundreds of protesters, including some NATO delegates, marched to the Edinburgh conference centre under the banner of the Stop the War coalition [ report ], whilst antifascists resisted a SDL rally in Glasgow.
The NATO Welcoming Committee called for action at the opening of the NATO meeting on Friday, but first the group was kettled by police before the protesters individually and spontaneously rallied in front of the assembly's meeting place.
About a week beforehand the access to the G20 finance meeting in St Andrew's was blockaded by five students and later in the day more than a hundred protesters marched to the Fairmont Hotel against the G20's policies.
Meanwhile the direct actions against the opencast coal mining at Mainshill Solidarity Camp continue. [ Report | Weekend of Actions and Workshops | round-up ]
The City of Edinburgh Council has also seen a lot of different grassroots groups campaigning against their policies, such as the privatisation of health and support services [ latest update], a bin workers "work-to-rule strike and overtime ban" [ 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 ], manual workers dispute, parents group resisting the closure of schools, fight against funding cuts for community projects and opposition to the regeneration of the lower part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site [ Save our Old Town ] and the initiative to Save Meadowbank .
Barry Horne was an animal liberationist who died in a UK prison hospital on November 5th 2001. He had been sentenced to 18 years in prison for a campaign of economic sabotage, carrying out criminal damage and arson attacks against companies involved in the vivisection, leather and fur industries. His actions were allegedly claimed in the name of the Animal Liberation Front (ALF) and sometimes the Animal Rights Militia (ARM), taking place in Bristol and the Isle of Wight
In prison he went on hunger strike several times in protest against government support for the vivisection industry, and their broken pre-election promises about animal experiments. The third of these hunger strikes lasted 68 days, and Barry never fully recovered. From this protest he generated worldwide publicity, and initiated a huge uprising of animal liberation activity, the effects of which are still being felt even today - eight years since his death.
His memory has been remembered every November, for being an inspiration to the movement and giving his life to animal liberation. This year actions have been dedicated to Barry from as far afield as Latin America, with dozens of deer returned to freedom by the ALF in Spain, 17 rabbits freed from a university in Uruguay (Video), four sheep rescued from a farm by the Igualdad Animal's Open Rescue Team in Spain (Pictures) and a Max & Co fur shop and leather shop painted red by the ALF in Italy and Chile. The Mexican ALF also rescued four ducks and two hens from a breeding farm (Pictures) and caused dirsruption to Novartis with a bomb hoax in the capital for Barry. There was also a protest outside HLS in rememberance of Barry in Occold, Suffolk by SHAC campaigners.
Related Articles: Fitwatch Press Release on AR raids | New Animal Liberation Prisoner (Europe) | Corporate Watch on Sean Kirtley's Release | Fight Speciesism! #7 - In memory of Barry Horne | Mexico: Alleged ELF Anarchist Arrested | Butane is in the eye of the bomb-holder | Wave of Anarchist Bombings | Emergence of an Unexpected Threat
Symbolised by the wearing of a red poppy, every year at this time there is a brief period of remembrance for those who have given life and limb in conflict on the behest of the British state apparatus. Every year that period is itself marred by a war of words between those who see it as a chance to glorify those conflicts under the umbrella of patriotism and those who hope that remembrance might be an opportunity to learn and advance. In previous years the conflict has mostly centered on arguments over whether or not TV personalities and politicians are wearing red poppies predominantly enough, or occasionally over the rights and wrongs of wearing white poppies. The poppy appeal has become effectively sacrosanct with no dissenting views allowed. This year the predictable arguments have broadened as the Legion has 'modernised' it's appeal, adopted an 'Afghanistan Generation' campaign which focuses on the current conflict there.
A week ago reports emerged of poppy appeal billboards being subvertised to call for Tony Blair to be prosecuted for war crimes and for British troops to be bought home. Mainstream media reported outrage and the act was condemned by the Legion. The subvertising spread with reports of sightings in Norwich, Basingstoke, Bristol and London. Not long after, an open letter of apology was issued and reproduced in full or in part in the media. The Legion replied through the media saying it accepted the apology. The Afghanistan occupation has now cost 229 British soldiers lives, and thousands more injured (not to mention the tens of thousands of Afghan civilians killed since the invasion began 8 years ago). In an apparently intolerable act of remembrance, three people held a 229 minute vigil at the Cenotaph in Downing Street but with less than a week now till remembrance day the repression against dissenting voices stepped up a notch and all three were arrested under the controversial SOCPA laws.
Links: 229 Minute Afghanistan Vigil, Cenotaph, London | 3 arrests at 229 Minute Afghanistan Vigil, Cenotaph, London | New rash of subverted poppy appeal billboards across London. | Poppy appeal poster 'vandal' apologises | Support for poppy poster defacement | DIY guide | Subertising hits the big time | Bring 'em Home - first report and photo of poppy poster subvertising | Poppies poem Background: Afghanistan: Dying For OIL…..Unicol Corporation Feeding On Blood!
As part of the SHAC campaign 70 people turned out for a demonstration and march against Novartis' headquarters (an animal research centre and top HLS target) in Horsham on Saturday 31st October.
Up until 2pm the day before Sussex Action For Animals (SAFA) were not even sure that the demonstration would be able to take place. Earlier in the month Novartis had attempted to get an interim injunction using the notoriously repressive solicitor Timothy Lawson-Cruttenden, known for numerous HLS injunctions and failing to seize a protestor's assets amongst other civil liberties issues.
Novartis were seeking to prevent banners on the demonstration from bearing the words "Novartis", or carry posters showing images of animal suffering. They didn't want protesters to be able to wear masks or costumes; in particular blood stained lab coats. They did also mention something about fireworks! However, despite the best efforts to dredge up any dirt they could to support their application, the judge found in favour of the campaigners.
Recent features: March against Novartis on Saturday | Newcastle March & Demo Against Sanofi-Aventis | Direct Action Withdraws HLS Loan Facilities | Largest HLS Investor Dumps All Shares As Buyout Approaches | Operation Liberation Demo at Highgate Rabbit Farm | Novartis CEO's hunting lodge destroyed | Highgate Farm Protest Camp | Largest Shareholder Barclays and Top Investors Dump HLS | More features
The decommisioners are six activists on trial for direct action taken against the massacre in Gaza. On January 17th, as the bombs rained on Gaza, they destroyed hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of machinery owned by EDO MBM, preventing the factory from manufacturing bomb racks and arming units for Israeli F16s.
Eight people are currently on bail and one is on remand, currently in Lewes Prison. All are charged with conspiracy to cause criminal damage.
Between the 16th and the 23rd of October, actions were held across the UK and in Palestine in support of the decommissioners. On the 16th, in Manchester, a demonstration was held outside Brimar, a factory making display units for the Israeli Apache helicopter, launching a new campaign. Several of the decommissioning defendants were arrested at the demonstration for breach of bail but later released. On Monday a demonstration was held at Brighton Town Hall calling on Brighton and Hove Council to debate the presence of EDO MBM in Brighton, a petition will be handed in to the council meeting in December. On Wednesday some of the names of those killed during the Gaza massacre were read outside the EDO MBM factory in Brighton. On Thursday two pickets of the Foreign office were held and a petition calling for an end to arms exports to Israel and in support of the decommissioners was handed in. On Friday the Palestinian village of Bil In dedicated its weekly demonstration against the apartheid wall to the decommissioners.
Reports of Target Brimar Demonstration 1 | 2 | Target Brimar Campaign Statement about Arrests of Decommissioners | 3 | SCHnews - It's Brim Up North
Click here to download 'If I had a Hammer', a 32 page booklet explaining why the decommissioning was necessary.
Billboards around the country have been subtly subvertised to display anti-war messages calling for the troops to be brought home and for Tony Blair to be prosecuted. As the imperialist occupation enters its ninth year, a YouGov survey found 62% of the public want British troops pulled out this year and 48% think that victory is impossible. Countless thousands of Afghans have perished and many Western soldiers have gone to Afghanistan, only to come home in body bags.
On Saturday 24th October, thousands of people gathered in central London to protest against the continuing conflict. Organisers, 'Stop The War Coalition', claimed there is growing resentment among the lower ranks who feel locked into a military occupation with no clear justification or exit strategy. Soldiers and their families joined the estimated 5,000 marchers who gathered in Hyde Park.
London March:1 | 2 | 3 | 4
Analysis: The Risks of Regional Conflagration
From the Archives: First Oil and Gas Licensing Round | Die-in for NATO's Victims | Wedding 'Die-In' Protest | Reading the names of the dead |
Update: At 4:30 am after 48 hours of protest, the remaining 10 came down from the roof of Didcot Power station and were arrested.
Early on Monday morning, activists entered a NPower coal fired plant in Didcot. A group chained themselves to the coal conveyor, and prevented coal from entering the power station, although a report indicates that those chained to the conveyor were cut loose and arrested. Others erected tents on the roof and have climbed chimneys, and have spent two nights up there.
In associated actions, work was stopped at two open cast mines on Monday. Twenty activists entered the site at Shipley which provides coal to Ratcliffe-on-Soar, and climbed onto vehicles, which they occupies, stopping work on the site for 4.5 hours. Mainshill, site of an ongoing protest camp was blockaded for seven hours. After action to stop night time felling on Monday, another blockade was mounted on Tuesday.
On 20th October 2009 a list containing personal details of BNP members was leaked for the second time by the whistleblowing website Wikileaks. According to Wikileaks the latest data reflects the state of the party membership as of April 2009. An analysis of the data alludes to the successes and failures of the antifascist movement within the UK.
The claims of a 'surge' in BNP membership since the European elections appear to be false. The figures show a unique paid annual membership of 11,811 which is significantly less than the 14,000 recently claimed by the BNP. The list leaked in November 2008 showed a membership of 12,802 names although this list was widely regarded to include non-members who had shown an interest in the party.
Wikileaks state that a total of 35,000 memberships appear on the list, but after this number reached 33,000, 100,000 has been added to all subsequent membership ID numbers. "It has the effect of making the BNP look larger to new recruits and those they talk to, since the numbers on their membership cards are all over 133,000" say Wikileaks. This was a tactic originally adopted by the German nazi party after 1919 who added 500 to every member's number to exaggerate the party's strength, and was regarded as a key propaganda tactic to increase support.
The number of lapsed memberships also appear to be significantly high which indicates the party is poor at retaining committed support. A member of the state-funded antifascist group 'Searchlight' stated "people join the party because they're angry, agitated or curious, but they leave in equal numbers out of the bottom". However most BNP supporters are unlikely to join a political party so the figures exhibit a skewed representation of the current landscape of fascism in the UK.
Around one thousand climate activists have been attempting to shut down Ratcliffe-on-Soar coal power station in Nottinghamshire, taking direct action with repeated breaches of the security fencing. [Pics 1 | 2 ][ Video ]. The action comes only weeks before the UN COP15 Climate Conference in Copenhagen, and follows the arrest of 114 activists allegedly planning to infiltrate the power station in April.
Previous coverage: Mass Arrest of 114 Climate Activists in Raid | No case to answer after Notts E.On protest | Fossil Fools Take On E.On In Nottingham | Convictions For Activists - Climate Criminals Walk Free | 'Clean' Coal On Trial | Climate Activists Bring Powerstation Operations To A Halt | Spring Into Action Now!
Around fifty people protested on 14th October against the deportation of more than forty people to Baghdad. The demonstration was called to stop the first mass deportation flight to Baghdad, and demanded that "the first mass deportation flight to southern Iraq, expected to leave on Wednesday, is suspended and the detainees threatened with forcible removal are released immediately." Activists from International Federation of Iraqi refugees and Stop Deportation Network spoke and called for an end to all deportations to Iraq and to free the detainees. Also on 14th October an early day motion was tabled by 4 MPs in the House of Commons which "calls for the deportation of Iraqi refugees to Iraq to be halted and for the Iraqi detainees threatened with forcible removal to be released immediately". Despite this the first deportation to Baghdad took place, 39 people were flown out early on Thursday the 15th October on a specially chartered plane provided by Air Italy. Sadly UKBA were able to deport the first ten people to Baghdad. The other detainees were not accepted by the Iraqi government and were flown back to detention in the UK. Update: the returned Iraqi detainees have announced a hunger strike from 19th October 2009 and have said that they and will strike until they are released. In addition a French / UK deportation flight to Afghanistan was due to leave Lille-Lesquin on the 20th October but was cancelled at the last moment.
A model letter has been produced by NCADC for people to use as part of their campaign against Air Italy over this issue. A further demonstration, was held on Saturday October 17th in Parliament Square and it was addressed by two deportees, who had been returned to Brook House detention centre, they spoke on the phone and told protesters, via a megaphone, of the violence and mistreatment they had experienced during the deportation at the hands of immigration officers and private security guards.
A protest has called, No Deportations to Iraq - Release the hunger strikers now! for Monday, 26th Oct, 4:30-6:30pm at the Home Office: 2 Marsham Street, London, SW1P 4DF
With fur back in season so is the resistance to it. From raids at farms to sabotage of shops, this autumn has so far been another round of biting back. In the last two months farms imprisoning mink have been closed down in Germany by the Animal Liberation Front (ALF) and found abandoned in Italy by the Animal Liberation Investigation Unit (ALIU), while various shops selling fur have given up the cruel trade.
Since the launch of the West Yorkshire Animal Rights Group (WYARG) in August Best Vintage, Room 7, Accent Clothing and TK Maxx have stopped selling fur and with Daniel Footwear promising to follow suit, focus is now on Next One Leather (the last fur shop in West Yorkshire), by targeting their store and associates (1 | 2 | 3). In the West Midlands, the Western Animal Rights Network (WARN) launched a campaign against Madeleine Ann, ensuing three shops going fur free, with demos lasting under a month (1 | 2 | 3 | Video) after products were eventually sent back to the suppliers, ending their sale of fur products (Video). On the same day Le Scarpe issued a fur-free statement leading to harassment from police and new targets established in Cheltenham, while in the capital protests have escalated as anti-fur activists locked onto the London Fur Company's stall at the London Fashion Weekend, causing the organisers to ask the company to pack up and leave (Videos: 1 | 2).
Links: West Yorkshire Animal Rights Group (WYARG) | It's A Knock Out | Next One Leather Campaign | Western Animal Rights Network (WARN) | Bite Back Magazine | Animal Liberation Front (ALF) | Max Mara Campaign | Coalition to Abolish the Fur Trade (CAFT)
Hot on the heels of Eon announcing delays on Kingsnorth, climate activists gained another major victory this week as BAA bowed to anti-aviation opposition of a third runway at Heathrow Airport. Following a seven year campaign, with a series of direct actions including mass action at Climate Camp 2007, the airport authority has said it will not yet be submitting a planning application to expand Heathrow.
In an unusal twist, BAA stated thay would not apply for the third runway before the general election, due to the possibility of the Conservative Party forming the next government (who claim to oppose the expansion). In which case they said they would give up the fight.
A spokesperson from NoTRAG said: "For over seven years, residents have pulled together, come together and campaigned together to stop a third runway. This may be our moment and a victory for future generations... If BAA can swiftly drop their plans following the party conference season then this clearly shows there has never been a compelling case for a third runway."
Emma Jackson, a spokesperson for the Climate Camp, stated: "E.ON and BAA know that the days of committing new climate crimes are over. Now we have to start shutting down existing coal-fired power stations, and that's why we're going to Ratcliffe-on-Soar next week." Climate Camp is calling for renewable energy to replace coal fired stations.
With just a week to go until climate activists converge on EOn's Ratliffe on Soar coal power station, the company has announced that it is delaying plans to build a new coal fired power station at Kingsnorth until at least 2012. Climate Camp promised to return to Kent to stop a new power station being built at Kingsnorth, and this summer launched 'Tipping Point' a social centre in Gillingham to bolster the local campaign. The project has been busy making connections and doing direct action training expecting a long drawn out battle, but on Wednesday 7th of October Eon announced it was dropping any immediate plans to replace the existing power station with another coal-fired power plant.Reports: Actions Escalate Against Eon | Adopt a contractor | Eon PR company hit | Construction firm hit | Climate Camp at Kingsnorth 2008 | E-on F-off begins | Various
Responses in the Newswire: WDM | KCAM | Climate Camp: 1|2|3 | Analysis: 1|2
No Borders activists staged a protest on 6th October at a Arora hotel near Heathrow in protest at the company's plan to convert one of its Gatwick hotels into an immigration prison. Management of the Arora International Hotels have applied for a change of use, which would see the hotel rooms converted into 245 cells, which would supplement the existing 551 places at nearby Brook House and Tinsley House.
On the same day, a number of migrants in the UK and France were in fear of deportation to Afghanistan on a joint charter flight. The anticipated flight was, however, cancelled, although there may be flights planned for the future.
The co-operation between the British and French states is carried over from the destruction of the 'Jungle' in Calais on 22nd September, which initially appeared to have been a media stunt, as many of the migrants removed from the camp have found their way back to Calais, with no possessions and nowhere to go, whilst some of the other camps in the area remained untouched by the brutal police operation that was publicly launched by the French State, and applauded by British politicians such as Home Secretary Alan Johnson. On Wednesday 10th October, the operation resumed with an attack on the Dock Camps. The highly visible harbourside squat inhabited by Palestinians, Egytians, Eritreans and Somalians was destroyed by 20 odd vanloads of CRS. Around 30 arrests were made.Many of those arrested have been released and are sleeping rough, facing continued police harassment. Activists on the ground are appealing for support so that the attacks can be resisted.
The long planned, public occupation of a derelict, University of Sheffield owned, listed building as a progressive social centre lasted less than a week after the Sheffield establishment moved swiftly to evict the squat. Despite the short stay a lot of political activity took place in Pisgah House and the collective have now moved on to 10 Northumberland Road [photos] and the events that were planned for Pisgah House will now take place there. However a trespass hearing which took place on Wednesday 14th October was followed by another eviction, one week after the Northumberland Road building was squatted.
The case that the University made against the Pisgah House occupation was overtly political, they were unable to cite complaints about noise or disruption to the residential area or damage to the building to justify the eviction, rather they claimed that the occupation would give a bad impression to political dignitaries; "there are plans for a number of University Open Days and a visit from the Leader of Sheffield Council and senior Liberal Democrat Party politicians including Lord Ashdown and Nick Clegg during October. The University has concerns that these could be disrupted by the occupation and events stemming from it and a very bad impression given to visitors of the University. This could affect student numbers and University revenue in the future." In The Star coverage The University said that "We regret the fact that at a time of cost savings, valuable university funds were required to take legal action", which is very ironic since the article ends with "£5m Revamp of students union building: Page 13"...