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UK Feature Archive

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Protests Against EU Summit In Copenhagen

13-12-2002 11:37

Copenhagen anti-EU Summit
The weekend of the 13 - 14 December an EU summit took place in Copenhagen, Denmark. A coalition of grassroots movements, trade unions and left wing political parties called for a week of mobilization against the EU summit and the neo-liberal politics of the EU. High in the agenda in the summit of Heads of State was the enlargement of the EU towards the east and the regulation of civil rights.

The counter-summit and protests envisioned a Europe without privatisation, social exclusion, unemployment, environmental destruction and racism.

For full coverage, eyewitness reports, photos and videos see IMC-UK Major Reports page.

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Three Years Of Media Resistance

12-12-2002 13:12

Resistance remains global. Three years into our shared experiments in open publishing, a growing number of Indymedia centers around the world continue to seek out and mobilise media forms which can dramatically alter the balance of power between multinational corporations and grassroots community organising. With a bit of coding, some cheap equipment, and the commitment of many dedicated volunteers, we have set up participatory websites providing news and commentary in eighteen languages, across six continents. Our work extends beyond the bounds of the Internet, through local media production centers, radio networks, community newspapers, film and video. Here there are also now IMC websites in Ireland and Bristol, with many other local groups developing.

On November 24, 1999, a trans-Pacific collaboration brought Indymedia into existence for the massive anti-WTO Seattle mobilisation which followed the International J18 protests in June 1999. In the three years since, Indymedia's global network has grown massively, crossing national borders without difficulty. Despite repression and political targeting of indymedia across europe and the world, IMC activists continue to challenge information monopolies based on wealth and power. Now with new mobilisations like Media Democracy Day concentrating on media issues, this certainly is only the beginning.

We'd also like to extend a welcome to the new indymedia centers who have joined the network in the last couple months:
Ambazonia, West Africa; Andorra; Chile; Croatia; Idaho, USA; Istanbul; Nice, France; Peru; Pittsburgh, USA; Poland; Prague; North Texas (Dallas), USA; Sonora, Mexico; Tallahassee, USA; and Winnipeg (nb: IMC's without links are still setting up their websites).

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Indymedia Cinema Launch

12-12-2002 09:50

>> The Other Cinema (Rupert st, London) will be showing the 2nd European NewsReal on Thursday 19th December.
Followed by a (cinema) day for Argentina 1-6pm on Sunday 22nd.
>> The Forest Cafe in Edinburgh, Scotland, will be showing Rogues, Rascals and Runaways on 19th December, presented by the filmmaker and a film about the financial collapse in Argentina on the 20th.

Indymedia presented the first of a series of monthly film screenings of The European NewsReal on Thursday November 21st at the Other Cinema, London W1. The NewsReal brings together short films made by video activists across Europe in a half hour compilation. It will be published monthly and people are encouraged to hold their own screenings. The NewsReal project is network for the regional production and screenings of videos covering issues ignored or distorted by the corporate media.

Screening of other activist films happened at the Undercurrents BEyONd TV 3rd Annual Video Activist Festival in November.

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Die-In Blocks 'WarZone Whitehall'

04-12-2002 02:18

On Monday 2nd December, around 250 people, including comedians Mark Thomas and Rob Newman and Euro MP Caroline Lucas blocked off part of whitehall in London from 11 am until 4pm in a nonviolent die-in against the war and sanctions on Iraq. Entitled 'Warzone Whitehall', the action saw people dressed as war victims 'die' in the road in several places with banners, sound effects and supporters. Towards the end the police moved more forcefully to arrest around 35 protestors for obstructing the highway. Read full report; also see pre-event press release.

The action involved groups like Voices (In the Wilderness UK). Richard Byrne, Voices spokesperson said, "This is just the start. 2000 people in the UK have signed a pledge to engage in civil disobedience if this war starts". The action also came as anti-war and peace groups step up their campaign against militarism, with more events planned including 'Embrace the Base', a women's protest at spy base Menwith Hill on 12 December with a 'Blockade the Base' action the following day supported by CND (Menwith Hill will be central to the new planned US missile defence shield scheme); a Mass Weaptons Inspection of USAF Fairford on 14th December, and a Mass Nonviolent Blockade of Northwood Military Base in London on the Gulf war anniversary in January.

[Pictures 1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5] [video]
[More reports ARROW , BBC via MWAW , CamSAW Press Release ]

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Eco-protesters target eco-consultants

04-12-2002 02:15

On monday morning a dramatic protest took place at an unlikely target: environmental consultants. Protesters from London Rising Tide occupied the Cavendish Square office of Environmental Resource Management (ERM). ERM has been carrying out research work for oil giant BP on the proposed pipelines system planned to be built from Baku in Azerbaijan, through Georgia to the port of Ceyhan in Turkey...

On the spot report, Rising Tide press release and pictures of the action.

Meanwhile in Tbilisi, the Georgian capital, on November 27 a group of citizens together with representatives from NGOs and political parties went to the office of the Georgian International Oil Company (GIOC), one of BP's partners in the pipeline project. Read more information.

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Consumerism challenged - for just one day

02-12-2002 04:29

On Friday 29th Nov, otherwise known as International Buy Nothing Day, shoppers in Plymouth were exposed to a barage of street theatre and alternative 'commerical radio'. Giant credit cards ran around the shops encouraging consumers to "buy more sparkly things" while their 'owners' complained that their spending was getting out of control...
Also fed up with all of this homogeneous global monoculture, serving up the same bland "frapachapachocawhatevers" the fine chaps at NOT CRICKET decided to host another of their tea & cucumber sandwiches soirees.

Various Indymedias featured BND 2002, including this audio and video from Ireland IMC. Germany, Houston, Italy, Los Angeles, New York City, Portland, Seattle, Twin Cities, Victoria, and Washington D.C..

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Support and Cooperation for Firefighters

28-11-2002 04:41

Fire Picket
NEXT STRIKE OFF: The FBU Executive Council has today agreed to take part in exploratory talks with ACAS to look at means and mechanisms for a positive way forward, so next weeks strike will be suppended.

LATEST NEWS: The TUC have supported a national demonstration called for by the Firefighters Union for Saturday 7th December. Click for details. Here is a short list of coaches going down to London, please add comments if you know of more.

Despite continued threats from government, employers and big business, firefighters are persisting in their second round of strikes for better pay and protection from job-cutting modernisation.

With pickets outside every fire station in the country, spirits are high among professional firefighters, many of whom are paid only £6 an hour. Locals are bringing food and warm drinks, while passersby are donating to strike funds and making their support heard with blaring horns and cheers as they drive by [Pictures 1|2|3][Audio 1]

Meanwhile, firefighters assisted anti-war actions at a protest outside the CBI conference in Manchester last weekend. And firefighters themselves have been receiving support from other public service employees, including striking teachers and council workers, earlier this week.

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Repression on Spaces of freedom and expression

27-11-2002 16:56

spire on the move
In the early hours of Sun 24th Nov, over 100 police raided a party at the squatted A-spire Building in Leeds. The raid was undertaken without warning or warrant. To gain entry, police used a battering ram and employed pepper spray and CS gas. Fortunately no one was injured in the ensuing panic, thanks mainly to the safety procedures put in place by the organisers.

20 people were arrested for public order offences. 16 were released without charge and 4 charged with affray. A-spire was used as a social centre whilst providing a home for a dozen or so homeless. Open for 2 weeks A-spire offered women’s self defence, horticulture, theatre skills, puppet making workshops a children’s area, talks and film shows on environmental issues and human rights. The Aspire Collective had planed to leave the building on the 26th Nov, as agreed by the building owners. Read the full report.

Another day another raid: More than 30 riot cops raided a Worthing cafe yesterday, as part of an ongoing bullying of campaigners in the coastal town. See Porkbolter magazine for local info.

The fight against eviction, however in the past weeks, have been most dramatic over the 'Wagenplatz' Bambule in Hamburg. See full report on IMC-UK world page.

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Protests hit CBI meeting

27-11-2002 05:15

Britain's fat-cat business men were shaken up after days of protest at the CBI Conference in Manchester. On Sunday 24th November around a 100 people at an anti- war demonstration succeeded in pushing past police lines and into the conference centre.

Striking firefighters were out in force on Monday to make their anger heard at the conference, linking their call for £8.50 an hour for an emergency service to the fat wages earned by business 'leaders'.
And on Tuesday activists found their way past 'strengthened security' and covered the BP stand and its executives in fake blood. Report and picture.

See the video of the action: Video feed [high] [low]

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NATO Summit Prague

21-11-2002 23:00

Protests against NATO summit in Prague.

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Up To 4000 Protestors Vs 12,000 Police

20-11-2002 10:32

The NATO summit, which took place on November 20 and 21, was the largest convention ever held in Prague: 46 heads of state 2,500 delegates 3,000 journalists. The Prague Summit was widely referred to as a meeting designed to take forward the further transformation of the Alliance, to discuss NATO's role in the "War on terrorism" and prepare for the enlargement process. Despite very large numbers of riot police effectively occupying the streets of the city and the tightening of border controls, up to 4000 anti-war protesters descended to Prague for a week of actions and demonstrations to show their opposition to NATO's war machine.

On Thursday 21st a defiant demonstration marched around the NATO conference centre in Prague. See imc praha report, pic. Earlier in the day a tiny peace protest summed up just what the anti Nato protesters had been facing in Prague. See peace walk report

On Wednesday 20th Up to 1000 protestors gathered on the streets of the Czech capital Prague where George Bush, among others, were attending the NATO conference protected by 12,000 police, soldiers and even US Air Force jets!. Read Report 1 , Report 2 plus pics. The protests had begun on sunday with a demonstration involving around 200 people.

For full coverage, eyewitness reports, photos and discussions see IMC-UK Major Reports page.

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Nukiller Sub Inspectors Released On Bail

20-11-2002 07:14

Indymedia has an exclusive interview with the two peace protesters who entered HMS Vanguard undetected last week. They were released on bail having been held over the weekend and appearing in court Monday morning. The sub is one of the UKs four Trident nuclear submarines and is currently undergoing a refit at Devonport docks in Plymouth. The two broke into the base and wandered around for sub for almost half a hour before setting of a fire alarm in order to draw attention to their presence.
"I can't see the logic of a situation where Tony Blair is threatening Iraq with war if they don't grant access to weapons inspectors, when at the same time we were arrested for a peaceful inspection of Britain's illegal weapons of mass destruction."
The action took place at the start of an International Disarmament Camp based at a squatted MOD complex near the docks. Other actions included street leafleting, a multi-faith service and blockades at Albert gate and Cammels Head Gate (video). Locals have pledged to keep up the pressure. [ Further info | Personal Account | Photos | Corporate Press | Trident Ploughshares ]

See IMC-UK World page for international reports on Civilian Weapons Inspections.

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Embassies Become Focus of Solidarity Protests

18-11-2002 12:32

Outside the Spanish embassy
In a clear signal of the level of repression suffered by civil movements worldwide, London recently saw a string of embassy picketts in solidarity with diverse groups. The unholy alliance between oil business and the US government also sent people to the streets again.
Italy: is it Fascism, or should we find a new name?
On Friday evening dozens of people gathered outside the Italian embassy to protest at recent arrests of political activists from No Global Network in the south of that country. The event was called at very short notice by Globalise Resistance and is part of an increasing international outcry at the totalitarian tendencies of the Berlusconi government. For more reports and information in English language see IMC-UK World page or in Italian IMC-Italy
Anti-Basque Repression in Spain
Citizens demonstrated on Saturday morning at the Spanish embassy against the wave of repression suffered by Basque nationalists and Left groups in general in Spain. The small but diverse crowd was composed of people of diverse origins: British, Irish, Basque, Catalonian, Castillian, etc. They were accompanied by a small police intelligence unit which concentrated on photographing everyone present.
Report    Pics
America's Ivy League of Terror
While twelve thousand people gathered outside the gates of the School of the Americas in Fort Benning, Georgia, around forty people gathered outside the U.S. Embassy on saturday, in the first ever solidarity demonstration in London. Others also gathered outside the U.S. Embassy in Dublin. The infamous School for decades has been training elite torturers for Latin American armies.
Bush/Raymond "Wedding" March for Climate Change
A wedding march and ceremony took place on the 16th Nov, between George W Bush and Lee Raymond, CEO of Exxon Mobil ('Esso') at the US embassy. Organised by the Campaign against Climate Change, the march featured a samba band, plus a 'Mr. Corporate Greed' and 'Mr Loony Republican Hard Right', as well as the happy couple. The musical, balloon-streaming procession led a path from Holborn via Trafalgar Sq. to the US embassy in Grosvenor Sq. A fun event with a serious message to the US that collaboration between oil/fossil-fuel lobbies behind Bush's dumping of the Kyoto climate treaty and those that continue to control his world-threatening climate and energy policies will not go unnoticed. Pics
For more information see:

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Firefighters on strike and army in the streets

14-11-2002 18:31

UK firefighters have returned to work having completed a 48 hour strike, only the second time in UK history the fire service has removed its labour. Their demands for an increase of 40% in salary, would leave them taking home a mere £8.50 an hour and has so far been dismissed by the Labour party, who themselves voted for an increase in their own salary of 40% in June last year. Throughout the country widespread support has been shown by the public, most notably through the beeping of car horns as cars pass picket lines.

Negotiations of the
Fire Brigade Union with the National Fire Service Employers broke off on Tuesday after the Labour government twice intervened in the talks. During the days of negotiations the government repeatedly released warnings about imminent terrorist threats, and on Thursday Deputy Prime Minister Prescott threatened to order troops to take control of red fire engines if an eight-day strike goes ahead next Friday.

Even though contingency plans were not finalized as late as 4 hours before the strike began, soldiers were ordered to provide cover. Many of these troops were supposed to be in combat training to go to Iraq and are not trained firefighters. Seven people died in blazes and accidents even though firefighters on strike rushed out to help in emergencies in Wales, the South West, the North East, Manchester, Cumbria, Scotland and London [report].

Report from day 1 | Cambridge University student support | 30kfirepay campaign | Online support petition | Interview of firefighters | Firefighter's forum | London fire brigade latest news

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Spliffing Heck!!

14-11-2002 17:54

"Who is going to take care of the patients?" Colin Davies, on being sentenced at Minshull Street court. Cannabis campaigner Colin Davies has been found guilty of illegally supplyingcannabis, and sentenced to an outrageous and severe three years in prison.

On the day that sentence was passed, and in a move clearly calculated to intimidate, over 50 GM Police raided Stockport's Cannabis Cafe, the Dutch Experience, which was opened by Colin and others last year. No warrant was shown, and Cafe punters were slammed up against walls, searched and names taken. Four arrests were made. Apparently the police claimed they were taking the action to protect Colin's property - a blatant lie. The cafe is now closed and cafe volunteers are considering their next move. Click here for more.

loombreaker | dutchexperience

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European movement converges on Social forum

07-11-2002 07:50

Firenze demo
A European Social Forum took place in Florence, Italy the week of 6/10th November billed as “an open meeting space for in-depth reflection, democratic debate, free exchange of experiences and planning of effective action among entities and movements of civil society engaged in building a planetary society centred on the human being.” It is an offshoot of the World Social Forum that took place in Porto Alegre, Brasil a where ‘civil society’, Unions, NGO’s and activists converged to give a positive counter to the World Economic Forum of business leaders in Davos and later New York.

The official event ran concurrently with a number of other initiatives including: The Euro@ction Hub project [pics | report] and the Disobedienti No Work No Shop space. Additionally the Cobas union and MAT held separate events showing the breadth and limits of such a European social justice movement. On Saturday 9th Nov up to 1 million people took the streets of Florence to demonstrate their opposition to the War.

Full ESF coverage, reports and photos in IMC-UK World page.

[ESF site | Euro@ction Hub | IMC-Italy]

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Don't Attack Iraq Actions Across Country

31-10-2002 03:07

On Halloween thousands of anti-war demonstrators took to the streets all over the country to protests against the government's plans to join an American led military attack against Iraq, Around 150 different events from mass demonstrations, road blockades, university occupations and rallies took place both in major cities like London and Glasgow, as well as many other smaller towns. Direct Action featured heavily both in London and across the country after the Stop The War Coalition and other groups called for a more radical approach to protests, asking people to engage in non-violent resistance and acts of civil disobedience.

Road blockades and sit down protests were reported in central London, Finsbury park, Manchester, Sheffield, Oxford, Brighton, and Swansea, while students occupied university buildings across the country. In London Westminster bridge was blockaded by an all women action, while a critical mass cycle protest occupied the streets touring central London, stopping off at oil companies and government or military depts. In the evening thousands attended a rally and protest march, and after being penned in by police using riot horses opposite Downing Street they staged sit down protests in the centre of London. Arrests were made and the police were seen to be very heavy handed against an obviously peaceful crowd. The police also acted violently in Brighton using pepper spray and batons on sit down protestors when up to one thousand took to the streets.

For full coverage, eyewitness reports, audiovisual media, discussions and timeline of events see IMC-UK Major Reports page.

Following the protests the Stop the War Coalition announced plans for a large scale national demonstration in London on February 15th next year as well as a mass lobby of Parliament on January 21 2003. While ARROW and other groups are calling for mass civil disobedience for a peaceful sit down protest and die-in to block Whitehall on December 2 2002. Planning also continues for immediate mass non violent direct action across the country on the day that attacks in Iraq start.

See also: Iraq : Active Resistance to the Roots of War : Direct Action Against the War Now : Voices in the Wilderness : Media Workers Against War

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Don't Attack Iraq Actions Across Country

31-10-2002 00:00

Don't Attack Iraq Actions Across Country

Thousands of anti-war protestors across the UK took to the streets on Halloween in protest at the government's plans to join a US led attack against Iraq. Around 150 different events included critical mass bike rides, occupations, and mass demonstrations in Brighton, Manchester, Glasgow and London and many other places including Broadstairs, Walthamstow, North Finchley, Muswell Hill, Gamlingay, Kingston, Milton Keynes, Southend and Dorking. There was some local press coverage and very little national media coverage, which only mentioned the main London protest. Everybody had been asked to join in the non-violent resistance against war and oppression by engaging in acts of civil disobedience, however large or small.

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Menwith Hill Spy Base Blockaded

26-10-2002 11:50

On 24 October, the US Spy Base at Menwith Hill in Yorkshire was blockaded. Protestors locked on to two entrances access gates for 4 1/2 hours from 5am. The blockade lasted 4 and a half hours, targetting three scheduled shift changes. 750-1000 staff arriving for work at the base were turned away. No arrests were made.
Menwith Hill is a US spy base which monitors communications in Europe and the Middle East. It is a hub of intelligence procurement for the so-called War against Terror and the planned bombing of Irag and is one of the key bases for the global spy system Echelon. The base is actually US territory, US intelligence officers and military work there as well as support personel from the UK - in all 3,000 people.

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Protests highlight motor industry's failings

25-10-2002 14:44

Europe's largest car show being held now in Birmingham, was last week trageted by protests coinciding with the UN climate Change talks being held in New Delhi, India. While world leaders are trying to stitch-up an agreement about controls on greenhouse gases, it is business as usual for the global car industry which is marketing ever more and ever larger cars. Activists from Rising Tide (national network of grassroots groups against climate change) linked up with local Friends of the Earth'ers to demonstrate at the entrance of the NEC displaying banners and umbrellas to highlight climate chaos by motor cars at the largest motor show in UK.
[ Further info | FOE Press Release | video | Radio Show | banner drop ]
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