UK Feature Archive
There has been growing anger at the University of Nottingham's attempts to silence Dr Rod Thornton, author of a critical article which exposes the complicity of university management in the wrongful arrests of the 'Nottingham Two'. A student and a member of staff – Rizwaan Sabir and Hicham Yezza – were arrested as suspected terrorists in May 2008.
Dr Thornton, who was one of Sabir's tutors in the School of Politics, used information released under Freedom of Information Act and Data Protection Act requests to piece together a damning picture of the University management's attempts to cover up their wrong doing. The University used legal threats to get the article removed from the British International Studies Association website and, later the same day, suspended Dr Thornton with immediate effect.
On Tuesday 10th May, a letter calling for Thornton's immediate reinstatement, signed by 70 leading academics and scholars from across the world, including Professors Noam Chomsky, Neera Chandhoke, Paul Gilroy and Charles Tripp, was published in the Guardian. On Thursday 12th May, a protest of was held on campus.
On the newswire: Nttm 3! Dr.Thornton, Rizwaan Sabir & Hicham Yezza | Call to reinstate Rod Thornton | The paper Nottingham Uni doesn't want you to read | University whistleblower suspended | 'Al-Qaeda Arrest' Whistleblower Silenced | Islamophobia and the Nottingham Two | Interview with Hicham Yezza & Rizwaan Sabir
Previous features: Censorship at University of Nottingham | New light shed on the Nottingham Two | Campaign Victories As Hich And Amdani Are Released On Bail | Hundreds Join Demo for Academic Freedom and Against Deportation | Nottingham Uni Detainee Innocent But Still Facing Deportation | Anger Over 'Terror Arrests' at Nottingham University
Latest: Faslane Peace Camp Renaissance Weekend: 13-15 May. Tel: 07511 793227 for more info.
On the morning of 10 May 2011, activists from Faslane Peace Camp and Trident Ploughshares successfully blockaded both North and South gates of the Faslane naval base on the Clyde, home of the four Vanguard nuclear submarines which carry Britain's Trident Nuclear Weapon. The lock-ons lasted well over two hours.
Articles: I'm glad Indymedia UK is still here! | Autonomy for the UK | What's happening with Indymedia UK? | What's up with UK Indymedia? | Ode to IMC UK: keep it going.... | Britain's Left Defeats Itself Again | IMC UK Shut Down #IMCUKshutdown| The Attempt to Shutdown UK Indymedia
With future May Days under threat, policing in the build up to this May Day has been particularly pernicious. Operations were mounted against social centres, projects and activists as the MET and other forces engaged in a series of pre-emptive arrests. In London raids took place at the Rat Star Social Centre, Offmarket Social Centre, nearby Petrosiege and The Community Project in Sipson (Grow Heathrow). The Met were also involved in raids on squats in Brighton, and Telepathic Heights in Bristol - where a police raid caused last week’s Battle of Stokes Croft - was evicted, causing further disturbances. Indymedia reported that an arrest was made in Cambridge and one in Edinburgh after groups and individuals were raided in Scotland in relation to March 26.
On the newswires:
Police Raids on social centres and projects: London 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | Brighton 1 | 2 | Bristol 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | Fitwatch analysis |
May Day: Event Announcements Glasgow | Brighton 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | Bristol | London 1 | 2 | 3 |
May Day Reports and Repression: Birmingham | Birmingham photos | Birmingham action against banks | Newcastle | Brighton | Leeds | London | Nottingham 1 | 2 | Cambridge | Oxford | Roundup of northern Mayday events | Reports from around the world: Spain photos | Ukraine | Russia photos | Berlin photos |
Royal Wedding: Repression 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | Identify these thugs | Announcements London | Newcastle | Bristol and Bath | Reports London | Oxford | Manchester | Sheffield | Newcastle | Analysis 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 |
This feature summarises Welsh, Irish, Scottish and English (WISE) solidarity efforts for Bradley Manning to date and is a call-out for anti-war activists and all those who believe in civil liberties and freedom of expression to take up Manning's cause and build a solidarity movement that can't be ignored.
Accused WikiLeaks whistleblower and US army intelligence analyst Bradley Manning has been held for almost a year since being arrested in Iraq after allegedly releasing confidential documents and video footage to WikiLeaks, including the Collateral Murder video, which shows unarmed civilians including two Reuters journalists being killed in an unprovoked US Apache helicopter attack in Iraq. The charges against him now include aiding the enemy which carries a possible death sentence. He was held at Quantico Marine Brig for months under conditions of torture, apparently in a so far failed effort by the US authorities to get him to deliver Julian Assange who could then be extradited to the US. Under such sustained ill treatment, there have been serious concerns for Manning's mental and physical health. Mid-April, after months of public outcry over his torture, he was moved to Fort Leavenworth in Kansas with the authorities claiming improved conditions of detention, since when Barack Obama has seen fit to declare him guilty 1 | 2. Why bother waiting for the show trial?
Read full article for background, analysis and all previous newswire links.
An eye-witness of last nights event, which is now being referred to as 'The Battle of Stokes Croft': The police tactics were unfathomable. They seemed to consist of running from one end of Stokes Croft to the other (and up several side streets), randomly charging about the place, getting more and more people involved and moving the violence into new areas that had previously been quiet. Needless to say, the ‘active’ (ie. rioting) members of the crowd simply avoided the charges and filtered around to attack the police all over again from a different angle. The police helicopter flew low overhead constantly from 9pm to 4.30am, beaming its searchlight on anyone and everyone. This was not a tactic to win any ‘battle for hearts and minds’ either. Full article
Battle of Stokes Croft: eye witness/local resident report | The Lesser of Two Evils? | The Battle of Stokes Croft | it's kicking off in stokes croft | A 1/4 Century Of Community Policy Destroyed | STOKES CROFT TAKEOVER - COMMON UNITY GOOD FRIDAY - I PREDICT A RIOT???
Every Little hurts? Tesco green-wash exposed | Anti-GM Protestors Target Oxford Tesco | GM stick up at Tesco in Bristol | Tesco Settlement Produce Protest | SchNEWS 739: Tesco Check-Out | Tesco Introduce Slave Labour
Important! Read this legal information if you're planning to come to Rossport.
All are welcome, open to complete beginners - no experience necessary! Accommodation & food provided, donations welcome. Call or text 08511 41170 for more details.
Shell started construction work on its highly controversial Corrib on-shore gas pipeline on 29 March, with a judicial review of the pipeline still outstanding and choosing the day that local Rossport activist Maura Harrington was due in court. The work was immediately resisted by people standing in front of and sitting on top of trucks, a lock-on by the compound gates and another blockade, all of which were dealt with violently by the gardai, causing some injuries. A security vehicle belonging to security firm IRM-S became another blockade when someone locked on underneath it all night, preventing work starting the following morning. (The murky world of IRM-S is exposed in the film The Pipe).
The following week's actions included removal of whole sections of Shell's 'bogmat' roadway and an 11 hour lock-on at the compound gate, preventing any vehicles from entering or leaving. As the lock-on was removed, more people moved in, extending the blockade. A further blockade the following day saw a Shell to Sea campaigner punched in the stomach by a garda (MY259). Meanwhile, the gardai have helpfully provided incriminating evidence about their activities and attitudes on an activist's video camera which they seized and left running before returning to its owner. The recording included gardai joking about threatening to rape activists, as well as arguing about whether or not they should bother to follow safety procedures when removing activists sitting on top of vehicles.
Read full article for background, current situation and links to reports on the newswire.
Yesterday’s March 26th ‘March for the Alternatives’ saw over 500,000 protest against Con-Dem governments’ neo-liberal austerity measures. The direct action on the streets of central London was also unprecedented in terms of scale and rage. The police were outrun on the streets, with their media spokesperson forced to concede that it is impossible to protect every business in the capital. Those businesses that were affected by actions were either linked to tax-evasion, or were symbols of affluence and privilege.
The compromised TUC leadership speaks in the same tone as the police and corporate media when it denounces direct action. In reality there was a palpable show of class solidarity between rank and file trade unionists, anti-cuts activists and black bloc-ers.
Over 200 arrests were reported and this number can be expected to grow as police review footage from the day and mount raids.
From the Newswire: Roundup of events | Timeline | Serious Violence by police at protest party | Putting In The Ritz | What Now After The TUC's London Demo? | Letter to UK Uncutters from the 'violent minority' | New Police Tactics
Photos:1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 |
Videos: Global corporations | Symbols of decadence | | Banks | Black Bloc walking down Regent Street | Cop Vans Retreating |
March 26 looks set to be the biggest street mobilisation in Britain since the anti-war march of 2003, with hundreds of thousands likely to join the TUC's "March for the Alternative". As the Con-Dem government escalates the class war with its cuts package, and following the rebellious creativity of the recent student protests, not to mention the uprisings sweeping the Arab world, will the crowd be content just to obey the TUC leaders and march from A to B? Following several calls to turn it into a day of real action against the government and the economy [NetworkX | Rallying Call | UK Ungoverned], various groups have announced plans including feeder marches, blockades and more. In particular, occupations should be a key theme as UKuncut plan to take over Oxford Street and another secret target, and others call to "Occupy Everything". Will this be the turning point where the energy and rage seen on the streets this winter spreads beyond the youth to workers and all who will stand and fight? Read more...
Arrest BUST card: GREEN AND BLACK CROSS BUST CARD (pdf)| Don't let the cops trample on you or your rights! | LDMG Bustcard (pdf) | No Comment The Defendants Guide to Arrest | prepare for Saturday - Guide to Public Order Situations
Security Concerns over Social Media and Protest: Will Sukey Keep Us Safe? … Leaked Minutes Reveal Cosy Chats With Met | Met Police to use Bluetooth for #M26 Public Order
TUC Info | Events listing + links | Freedom March 26th Action Map | How to break out of a kettle on March 26th | Resist26 | Indymedia calendar | Legal: GBC Arrestee Support 07946 541511 see also LDMG | Indymedia reporting, Alt media + Live info
The terrifying situation in Japan has rekindled the debate over nuclear power around the world. While in the US, Obama has reaffirmed his support for nuclear power to protect the massive investment his administration has made in the industry, over in Germany and Switzerland the governments have jammed the brakes on plans to build and replace nuclear plants. In the UK, David Cameron has already declared his intention to push on with plans to expand the UKs nuclear capacity, with up to eleven new power stations.
Government and the nuclear industry have been close since the Blair government announced plans to build a new generation of nuclear power plants in 2006. In 2007, those plans were ruled “unlawful” by the High Court, who labelled the public consultation “misleading, seriously flawed, manifestly inadequate and procedurally unfair”. And yet despite the change in government we’re still firmly set on the nuclear path.[Continued]
Following the protests on the first day of the Liberal Democrat Spring Conference in Sheffield the second day saw 5,000 protesters gathering on Devonshire Green and marching to Barkers Pool outside the City Hall. Direct action against tax dodging corporations involved protest parties in Top Shop, Boots on Fargate and Nat West Bank on High Street [video].
A convergence space that was used on Friday night, a vacant shop next door to Debenhams on The Moor has now been opened as the 0742 Club and is appealing for people to get involved as residents [photos]. There are plans for art exhibitions, music nights, film screenings, workshops, talks and much more, there is a meeting to discuss future of the building on Tuesday at 5pm and and a workshop / talk on land reclaim, common law, and setting up eco communities on Friday, March 18th.
The first day of the Liberal Conference in Sheffield was met by protests [ 1 | 2 | 3 ] outside the Town Hall starting at around 4pm. At around 4:45pm the protest moved up to Barkers Pool and proceeded to chant at the conference delegates outside the City Hall. The protest then moved to the top of Barkers Pool, at the bottom of Division Street and got noisier. A critical mass later in the evening brought Ecclesall Road to a complete standstill. The Star reported that there were 800 protestors and has posted a video and a timeline of the protest.
A far bigger protest is expected tomorrow, assembling at 11am on Devonshire Green, however a warning that it might be kettled there has led to a call to meet outside the Town Hall instead. See the Massive Protests Expected at the Liberal Democrats Spring Conference in Sheffield feature article for more details
Conference tweets are using #ldconf, so use this hashtag in titles of newswire reports to get the delegates attention, you can also follow the Sheffield Indymedia newswire via Twitter or indy.im and also ConDem Sheffield on indy.im
Newswire: Convergence Centre Open in Sheffield | so this is what 2 million quid of policing looks like - day 1 | Photos from the protest, 11th March, Sheffield city centre | Protests at the First Day of the Liberal Democrat Conference | Liberal Democrat Conference: Police State Sheffield
After 5 years of Climate Camps, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010, a statement has been issued by the The Camp for Climate Action to say that "we will not organise a national Climate Camp in 2011" and that "we will not organise national gatherings as ‘Climate Camp’ or the Camp for Climate Action in 2011". This decision, and the process by which it was made, has been criticised by SchNews, "the act of a minority to shut-down an organisation which is meant to be run autonomously is entirely contradictory... Where Climate Camp goes after this, and whether local groups can effectively use the collective identity which has done so much for environmental activism over the last 5 years remains to be seen."
Coverage Elsewhere: Guardian: Climate Camp disbanded | New Internationalist: Where now for direct action on climate change? | Bristling Badger: Climate camp is dead, long live climate action | Political Dynamite: The end for Climate Camp?
Sheffield City Centre has been turned into a virtual police state from 11th till the 13th March, as the Liberal Democrats converge on the City for their annual spring conference. The Sheffield Telegraph reported that there will be a six foot security fence, but now it's erected it's clearly higher (2.5m). The Sheffield Star has reported that there will be 1,000 police officers defending the conference with plans to use riot gear and kettling if necessary, at a cost of £2 million. Activists have reported Police surveillance in the run-up to the conference and there are section 14 and section 12 restrictions on freedom of movement in place from the Police. The official conference webpage links to the agenda and papers and delegates information, party members are registering at the Millennium Gallery, fringe meetings are taking place in the City Hall, Mercure St Paul’s Hotel, Jurys Inn and Leopold Hotel, see the listings for Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
The police initially told the media that they were expecting between 2,500 and 3,000 protestors but have now said they are expecting up to 10,000 demonstrators. Sheffield ConDem Resistance have produced a flyer for the weekend. On Friday 11th March at 4.30pm there will be a demo assembling at the Town Hall and on Saturday 12th March a protest has been organised by the SWP's Right to Work campaign with the support of the Sheffield Anti Cuts Alliance with agreement with the Police — assemble 11am on Devonshire Green for a rally and a then a march to another rally. There are also other campaigns organising protests.
Newswire: Protests at the First Day of the Liberal Democrat Conference | Liberal Democrat Conference: Police State Sheffield | Liberal Democrats meet behind metal barrier | Information on planned protests in Sheffield 11-13th of March | Protest against Lib Dem Conference Organisers - Police surveillance actions
Actions took place across Britain in opposition to government spending cuts on Saturday 19th February.
In Bristol an estimated 3000 people joined a march through the city which had been called by the Bristol and District Anti Cuts Alliance before gathering on College Green for speeches. The march took place in the week after the Government had abandoned plans to sell off Britain's forests in the face of mounting public anger, and days before Bristol City Council is due to announce its slashed budget. Arrests were reported during the march and at solidarity demos afterwards.
In Nottingham over 1000 joined a 'Keep the Post Public' demonstration called by the Communication Workers Union (CWU)
About 1000 people marched from the Shirehall in Shrewsbury to a rally in the Square. Earlier this week, Shropshire Council approved plans to cut almost £40m from the capital spending budget over the next four years.
Several actions took place across London including; Lewisham's Carnival Against the Cuts attracted about 1000 people, as they marched from the town hall, whilst Hackney's March Against the Cuts saw 500 take to the streets. In Wood Green the local bank was also occupied, in Brixton the local branch was closed down by 40 people.
Many branches of Barclays Bank were targeted in response to a call-out from UK uncut after it was revealed that the Bank had paid only 1% tax on its £1.3Bn profits in 2009, and that Chief Executive Bob Diamond is likely to get a £9m bonus this month. [see Full Article for more.]
UK UnCut callout for RBS actions on Saturday 26/02/11.
Egyptian dissidents (along with the masses) celebrated on Friday as Hosni Mubarak finally threw in the towel after the mass protests in Cairo's Tahrir Square, and across the country, refused to abate (and presumably the Americans finally ordered him to load up the plane with gold and go in an attempt to ensure the power structures – and thus their influence – didn't collapse completely). But the Egyptian revolution is not yet won as the military have stepped in, repressed protest and threatened to declare martial law.
The Mark Kennedy case has thrown the world of police and private spying on activists into the spotlight. One of the many revelations about Kennedy is that he can be linked to private spying company Global Open. Kennedy worked as a consultant for them and set up his own company, Tokra, using the address of Global Open director Heather Millgate.
Nottingham Indymedia can reveal that a second spy linked to Global Open, Paul Mercer, was actively involved with environmental and animal rights campaigns in Nottingham, including Nottingham Against Incineration and Landfill (NAIL). Mercer was involved in groups in Nottingham in the period 2002-2007.
Mercer was publicly exposed for his role in spying on anti-arms trade campaigners, Campaign Against the Arms Trade (CAAT) in 2007. His contract for the operation was finalised through Global Open.
Links: Spies on video - Martin Hogbin and Paul Mercer | Corporate spy was active in Nottingham | The 'censored' Mark Kennedy article | Mark Kennedy, Global Open Ltd and E.ON | BAE admits paying agents to investigate CAAT | NAIL Public Debate 12/4/06
Previous Features: Undercover police officer back in the spotlight | Mark Kennedy/Stone exposed as undercover | Three undercover political Police unmasked as infiltrators into UK Anarchist, Anti-Fascist and Climate Justice movements | Cop Infiltrators: PC Mark Kennedy AKA "Mark (Flash) Stone", "Lyn Watson", "Mark (Marco) Jacobs" and PC Jim Boyling, "Jim Sutton"
Sheffield anarchist, activist, photographer, blogger, urban explorer, tree hugger, flyposter, Indymedia contributor and general trouble maker Mozaz has died following a bout of H1N1 swine flu. In the early hours of Sunday 23rd January, Mark Wallis, AKA Mozaz, passed away following a short illness. Mozaz's funeral took place on Thursday 3rd February 2011 at Grenoside Crematorium, there is a recording of the funeral and annecdotes from the wake, which was held at the Philadelphian Working Mens Club on Martin Street. A website to remember Mozaz and raise money to cover the cost of his send off has been set up.
Mozaz took to the internet and digital photography in a big way in the last decade, his main web site was underclassrising.net, he had several blogs, [ 1 | 2 ], and was ur32daurt on twitter. There are thousands of his photos on flickr and a thread about him passing on there as well. incurable hippie has blogged about his death and listed links to other sites. Anarchist bloggers Paul Stott and Ian Bone from London have written about his death. Mozaz was a urban explorer and there are three threads about his death [ 1 | 2 | 3 ] on the Urbex Urban Exploration Forum. There is also a Mark 'Mozaz' Wallis - 1/08/65 - 23/01/11 thread on the Sheffield Forum, a set of photos of him on flickr, an Mark Wallis aka Mozaz obituary on the Sheffield Green Party website and The Star has picked up on the story.
Links: Mozaz Memorial website
They are the most politically marginalized people in this country and across Europe; marginalized in the UK in every other way too, having no legal place to live, unable to send children to school because of police move-ons, and even refused service in pubs and restuarants.
But Travellers today are standing up for themselves and nowhere more so than at Dale Farm, in Essex. Here a hundred families have been under siege for ten years, refused planning consent to live on their own land; though it's only an old scrap-yard converted into a mobile-home park.
Dale Farm Travellers are making a final stand against what they see as an act of ethnic-cleansing equal in its brutality to the clearances of Roma camps in Italy and France. They are asking for your help.
In the wake of the outing of 4 undercover police infiltrators into the UK activist scene, SchNews, have broken a story about police posts to Indymedia. For over two years suspected police articles and comments have been tracked by filters that are triggered by matching IP addresses, the first comment tracked in this manner dates from August 2008 and the last from January 2011. The full lists of gateway 202 and 303 posts has now been published so activists can do their own analysis on the police posts. A feature article about the abuse has also been published by Birmingham Indymedia, this feature article, first started in in December 2009, has been the subject of a huge amount of internal discussion within UK Indymedia and has been one of the reasons behind the decision to fork the project. Sheffield Indymedia supports the use of anti-abuse features to track and remove disinformation from the site and long argued for the feature article exposing the state abuse to be published.
Articles: Full list of Gateway 303 and 202 posts to IMC UK | Advocating Domestic Extremism - Cops on Indymedia - An Exposé | INTER-NETCU: Government Agency Caught Infiltrating Activist Media Outlet | State infiltration and attempted disruption of activist websites | UK Police Agent Provocateurs Exposed | Nottingham Indymedia statement on recent events | IMC London Statement on the recent Schnews Article | Bristol Indymedia's position on IP logging