UK Newswire Archive
29-09-2010 19:22Featuring a screening of "Us Now"
FreeBus is a community owned non-profit organisation and charity. We aim to provide a comprehensive, environmentally friendly - and free - bus service for Bristol. We're well on our way to our 2010 target of 500 members so visit our website and get on board!
The first FreeBus public meeting is on Wednesday October 27th at Hamilton House, and will feature speakers from other sustainable transport groups and a showing of the film "Us Now" which discusses co-ops and community owned organisations.
Please visit the website for further details or drop us an email if you'd like to get involved.
Thanks hope to see you there
Charitable. Non-Profit. Free.
29-09-2010 18:52In news about cuts all activist can support – NETCU staff have all been laid off by Cambridge Police!
Police sources confirm that all NETCU staff have been served their notice and the unit will close completely in the new year.
29-09-2010 16:22An open discussion with Fernando Funes Monzote, Cuban agricultural researcher, sustainable farmer and writer, at The Council House, College Green, Bristol BS1 5TR, 7pm. Speaker tour organised by the Cuba Organic Support Group.
Cuba has been described as the only country with sustainable development (World Wildlife Fund report 2006) and in recent years Bristol has been able to learn more from visiting Cuban scientists such as Roberto Perez who many heard speak in 2008 alongside the film 'Power of Community: how Cuba survived Peak Oil'. Cuban sustainable development was, and is, encouraged by the need to manage without materials such as fertilisers and tractor fuel taken for granted elsewhere. This is due to the USA's trade blockade against Cuba which has been in place for nearly 50 years.
The context for Cuba has been changing, not because of Obama, who has not made any advance on the USA's pernicious trade and economic blockade of Cuba despite continued international condemnation and rumblings from United States farmers and business who would like easier relations. Rather it is because of other trade relations such as oil from Venezuela. How is Cuban sustainable agriculture coping with what may be seen as desirable change for the Cuban nation in other ways? Our speaker, Fernando Funes, is no stranger to debate within his country on this thorny issue and this promises to be an interesting and lively discussion. All welcome.
Unison is protesting outside the YMCA on Stockwell Road that currently hosts the Annual General Meeting of Lambeth Living (who also are responsible for the recent Mayall Road eviction) against proposed cuts in public services. In spite of the rain 20 people have gathered, with banners, signs handing out leaflets and brandishing some sort of blow up batons.
Public services across the UK are at risk. Services that hold communities together and protect the most vulnerable in our society are being cut and sold off after the government’s June budget. And now Chancellor George Osborne is preparing to announce even more cuts in the Comprehensive Spending Review on 20 October.
UNISON is campaigning against public service cuts and to ensure that the message is heard loud and clear ALL members need to be mobilised to defend our public services. UNISON members drive our ambulances, teach our children, clean our streets, care for our elderly and tackle crime in our neighbourhoods. We need to protect their jobs and the services they provide.
To show your solidarity for this campaign please make every effort to come along to the rally on 29 September and join members from other trade unions to listen to speakers from the TUC, SERTUC, GMB, UNISON, Unite, Anti-Academies Alliance – plus others still to confirm.
29-09-2010 14:18On Monday 1st November, join Trident Ploughshares for the Big Blockade of the Devonport nuclear submarine base in Plymouth, Devon.
Devonport Dockyard in Plymouth refits, maintains and upgrades the nuclear submarines that carry Trident nuclear missiles, but it is also increasingly becoming the dumping ground for old and out-of-service submarines. Plymouth is being paid for its role in the servicing of Britain’s weapons of mass destruction by becoming the ‘Sellafield of the South West’.
A decade of Trident Ploughshares blockades and disarmament actions have helped build a strong and broad movement against nuclear weapons in Scotland. The Scottish government was elected with a policy of nuclear disarmament. Now it's England’s turn.
Crash space and food available.
CND briefing about Devonport:
29-09-2010 14:18The Fairford Air Tattoo's accounts show only 0.3% of their sales go to helping injured service personnel. Meanwhile it touts advertises the obscene logic of the military industrial complex and swarms of bombers and fighters are flow across the world for a weekends outing with no regard to their CO2 emissions at a time when every other thinking person is being asked to do everything in their power to cut emissions.
There is something wrong when bombing is made more family friendly than climate change. If you think this is outrageous, then complain to the charities commission.
Proposed text of complaint to the Charities commission, (see their online complaints form, http://www.charity-commission.gov.uk/Forms/Complaints.aspx)
I would like to register a formal complaint about the RAF Charitable Trust and its associated trading arm, the Fair ford Air Tattoo. This event is extremely controversial in the Gloucestershire area and deeply resented by many local people, it is therefore incumbent on the Charity Commission to fully review the charitable status of this event.
This trust states the following as its charitable objectives:-
1. To promote the recruitment to, and efficiency of, the Royal Air Force. To this end, the Royal Air Force Charitable Trust will support the Royal Air Force and encourage air-mindedness through the opportunities presented by the Royal International Air Tattoo, by established links with youth groups including the Air Training Corps and by developing other opportunities with the RAF.
2. To raise funds in support of the work of Royal Air Force charities.
As regards the first charitable objective, I question why this objective is worthy of charitable status when it is clear that the show’s primary objective is to legitimise further defence spending, to act as an arms fair, and to act as an advertisement for the show’s sponsor BAE Systems.
As regards the second charitable objective, according to charities published accounts, the funds raised are trivial compared to the ticket sales, and thus visitors to the air show are misled about the use of their money is put to. All publications and web pages carry the RAF Charitable Trust logo with the purpose of presenting the image that the show’s sales will benefit a worthy cause.
In the face of climate change and the dangerous build-up of greenhouse gases, this event is a producer of unnecessary greenhouse emissions. This and the message it presents undermines the efforts of many people all over the world to combat climate change, it completely flouts all scientific evidence on climate change and it seriously damages educational campaigns going on elsewhere.
The detailed justification for these claims follows below:
Point 1 – Validity of encouraging youngsters into aviation
The Charitable Trust’s web site states that “At the heart of the Trust is its commitment to young people, to initiate and develop within them an enthusiasm for aviation in all its guises.” This statement confirms that the Air Tattoo is concerned with supporting the aviation industry in general, and not about recruitment and efficiency of the RAF. No other industry has a comparable trade show enjoying charitable status with the objective of recruiting our youth.
The aviation industry does not need charitable support; it is already highly subsidized far more than many other industries – massive government backed loans have been given to Airbus, most recently for the A380 and A350 programmes, there is no tax on fuel and no VAT on ticket sales and there is huge government funding for military research and continued support for mismanaged programmes that massively exceed budget. To confer tax exempt charitable status on one of the industry’s biggest advertisements simply adds to the government support for the industry and the burden on tax payers.
The Air Tattoo is sponsored by BAE Systems’ which is the UK’s biggest arms supplier. BAE Systems has admitted bribes and corruption in securing arms deals around the world. It sold a military air traffic control system to Tanzania, even though Tanzania did not have a military air force. BAE Systems is not a company that acts for altruistic reasons. It sponsors this event because it is in its interests do so, and it is in its interests because this event increases sales opportunities within this country and with clients from abroad. To underscore the importance of this event to the international arms trade and aviation market, the Air Tattoo this year boasted about the VIP guests from Jordan, Iraq and China and has planes on display from Russia and elsewhere all around the world which are all seeking new markets.
Our young people face a bleak future as a consequence of runaway climate change. They will have to learn how to live in a low carbon future and understand the impacts that this will have on their future choices. Many people are investing much of their time and effort in explaining this, and events such as the Air Tattoo completely undo this work. The Air Tattoo glorifies mass consumption, ignores climate change obligations and perpetuates the myth that climate change can be solved by others cutting back on their emissions – in doing so it undermines the efforts of many others. Put simply, a massive attempt to recruit youngsters into the aviation industry, which is the most carbon intensive industry on the planet, is immoral.
Point 2 – Financial Contribution
Last year’s accounts show a charitable contribution of £196k out of sales of £8.1m, this is equates to only 2.4% of sales and this was for the Air Cadet force.
The accounts show that only £25,000 was actually donated to the worthy cause of service men who have suffered in the line of duty; this amounting to only 0.3% of ticket sales. This is nothing more than a token gesture to allow the Charitable Trust to publicly claim it is benefiting injured service men and the “Family of RAF charities.”
It is notable that in contrast, the Charities annual report shows that almost £224k is spent on promotional costs for the event; this almost 10 times the amount going to injured service personnel. These figuers must rate the event as one of the most inefficient fund raising organisations in the entire country
Point 3 – Climate change impact.
In itself, this event creates huge amounts of greenhouse gases, at a time when many people in the surrounding area and elsewhere are making sacrifices due to their concerns about climate change. The hosting of an event such as this, and the accolade that charitable status gives to it, insults those people who are concerned about the scientific conclusions of runway climate change. This year, two B52 bombers were flown over from the USA. This equates to about 3000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions, when all radiative forcing is included. This single act negates the efforts of thousands of people who are struggling to minimize their emissions.
What is more important is what this show stands for and the message it sends out, to the people of this country and to other counties abroad.
We have just seen the collapse of the Copenhagen Climate talks and the negotiations for the next round of talks in Mexico are not showing any signs of breakthrough. Copenhagen was characterized by the Danish text which proposed that the developed nations stay with their existing emissions and the developing nations would be paid to make appropriate cuts. This was an illegal attempt by the developed nations to hold on to their power base, and they realise that the power base can only be maintained by a large military presence around the world. This takes fuel to operate and a military industrial complex to build and maintain. Holding on to huge amounts of military power is incompatible with the need to make massive cuts in CO2 emissions and events such as the Air Tattoo and the glorification of the power that they project prevent the essential debates on how we curtail CO2 emissions from happening.
I will not die quietly
29-09-2010 12:52One of the Zapatistas' most notable achievements has been the creation of an autonomous education system, designed to meet the needs of the people in the communities. Now 170 people from two indigenous communities have been evicted and are homeless on the mountain, because they would not destroy their autonomous school.
As day 15 of the Happendon Wood Action Camp dawned, two members of the National Eviction Team and three Scottish Coal employees came for a snoop around.
29-09-2010 11:53The Autonomist is a locally produced radical newsletter and directory for the Bristol area. We aim to provide short news updates on local campaigns, and an extensive, up-to-date listing of local groups, spaces, and upcoming events.
The third issue - October 2010 - is now available via our blog (below), and will be in all good infoshops as soon as our new toner cartridge arrives.
If you have anything you would like to see in the next issue, get in touch - BristolAutonomist [at] Gmail [dot] com
29-09-2010 11:37Solidarity action for the 14 accused anarchists in Chile and the 35 Mapuche prisoners on hunger strike.
29-09-2010 11:19A general strike is taking place throughout Spain today aginst the so-called "austerity measures" imposed by the government and capital. Since midnight piquets, blockades, actions and demonstrations are taking place all over the Spanish State. The strike is planned to last for 24h until midnight tonight..
For continuous coverage, latest reports and updates from the streets check out: http://29-s.net (cat/sp)
Video galleries: http://29-s.net/-videos-
Photo galleries: http://29-s.net/-galeries-de-fotos-
Live radio stream (in catalan and spanish): http://29-s.net/-radio-en-directe-
29-09-2010 11:18"Disarm Now Plowshares" Indicted by Grand Jury, Arraignment in Tacoma, Washington State, USA - Oct. 8th. 2010
29-09-2010 10:01There are now several local contacts from across the country for Smash EDO's 'ITT's Hammertime!' on the 13th of October, making it all the easier to join in with friends!
If your town is not on the list but you would want to help with sorting out meeting points or transport from where you live get in touch!
29-09-2010 09:59Call out for demo (Amsterdam) against ban on squatting