UK Newswire Archive
10-10-2010 14:07Over a three day period last week the UN Decolonisation Committee heard over 80 petitions on the Question of Western Sahara. Here is a transcript of the petition from the Western Sahara Campaign which includes a message from Jeremy Corbyn MP, of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Western Sahara.
The EDL are already crowing about what a good time they had in Leicester yesterday. It certainly turned out better than Bradford for them, but Bradford was so pitiful that that isn't saying much. They never got to Highfields or St Matthews which were well defended by the local community. They were rounded up onto their coaches by 4.30 and sent home. Most of the local community were disgusted by their presence, as reflected by the diversity of the people who came out to protest.
The first thing that was noticeable on the day was how dead Leicester city centre was. There was an almost total absence of black and Asian people on the streets. It wasn't just the threat of a mob of racists coming to town that had made some people stay at home in fear but also the disgraceful scaremongering that had been waged by the police and the local council. It seems messages had been sent round all the schools, community centres, places of worship and even hospital staff, that people should stay at home. It's just as well not everyone did or the EDL would have been rampaging through their streets. As usual Searchlight/Hope Not Hate contributed to the state's strategy by organising events on the days before and after the EDL's riot.
It was clear from fairly early in the day that most of the EDL were kettled in a few pubs near St Martin's Square. We skirted round the Humberstone Gate area and headed to Highfields to see what was going on there. Hundreds, probably thousands of local people were gathered along all the entry points to the area from town. People we spoke to said that the local community had spent days preparing to defend themselves and working out a strategy to protect their neighbourhoods. Fortunately it wasn't necessary.
Meanwhile the EDL were kicking off with the police in town and smashed the windows of the International Arts Centre. Cheers lads, that's really one in the eye for Islamic extremism. Some of them broke out of their pen sometime between 3 and 4pm and fought with riot cops on Charles Street before heading out towards the ring road and (surprise, surprise) Highfields and one of the city centre's biggest mosques. A group of mostly Asian and black local youths who had been waiting outside police lines tried to get down to the ring road to confront the EDL. I don't know how many actually broke out of the kettle but by this point there were less than 100 of them. That was more than there were in the anti-EDL group who retreated up Humberstone Road where they had plenty of back up. The EDL chased after them but were soon beaten back and ended up trying to go through the retail park where they got beaten up by riot cops. As far as I know that was as far as the EDL got. There were still groups of stragglers drifting around, giving it the big one to local Muslims whilst protected by cops with batons.
There was a tense stand off whilst police kept back the angry crowds of locals on Humberstone Road and locked down all access roads into Highfields. We tried to help isolated groups of local people caught in the wrong place at the wrong time: an Asian mother and her daughter trying to get home to Highfields from town and a couple whose car was on the other side of the police cordon and needed to get home to Loughborough. Once again it was clear that the biggest effect that the EDL coming to town had had was to make people who weren't white afraid to walk around in their own city. This is the real reason they are a threat, and the reason that the tactics of the authorities and community leaders help the EDL.
As we waited for an opportunity to get through the cordons and head back to where the EDL were chased, more and more small groups of locals youths were coming back to the ring road. The police had begun bussing the EDL out of town and the coaches were attacked by missiles and abuse. One of the coaches stopped at some lights and EDL began pouring out to attack the locals but quickly turned tail and jumped back on for their own safety.
That was pretty much the end of the day's events. We wandered back to Highfields to make sure that no EDL members had got through which they hadn't. The police were trying to get people to go home but the locals were, unsurprisingly, suspicious of police claims that the EDL had all gone home.
So the street fighting faction of the EDL will, no doubt, be pleased that they managed to get a good ruck with the OB and march around town. They even got to chase a few local people (sorry, "MDL") for a few seconds before getting chased back again. That might be enough to stop them attacking their own stewards next time. The keyboard warriors are already mythologising what happened as honest Englishmen defending their country from hordes of Islamic extremists rather than a bunch of racist thugs from out of town turning up to attack a local community.
But what are their leaders really playing at? They are trying to have it both ways, making a lot of fighting talk about how they are refusing to work with the police before leading their members into a big steel cage again. They said they would march one way or another and they did get to break out but that was in spite of deals made between the leadership and police. The EDL is full of internal contradictions: "peaceful protesters" who always fight the police, "anti-racists" who try to chase and attack non-whites, "the voice of the working class" who attack working class communities and call everyone who criticises them "commies". They are just managing to hold it together for now but we can exploit those contradictions.
A few things are worth noting for future info. We spotted a few coach company names on the day. A lot of them were from Confidence's Coaches, a Leicester company, which could have been hired by the police to take them, but we also saw a Ribble Valley Coaches (Preston, Lancs) one. It is probably worth making some polite objections. There were also a lot of very obvious EDL spotters wandering around town and even in small groups on bikes with mobiles. Might be worth thinking about a strategy to deal with them in future.
10-10-2010 12:35Ashton Vale Fields were considered for Village Green status earlier this year by an Independent Inspector. To the developer’s and City Council’s great surprise, she recommended it receive the status.
For Ashton Vale residents, it is about retaining an area of green belt and a Site of Nature Conservation Interest for the local community and visitors to the area. This area has been used for over 60 years by residents of all ages, proven by oral, written and photographic evidence provided under cross-examination and accepted as the truth by the Independent Inspector.
The area may not look like much at first glance (owing to damage caused by boreholes and hedge-grubbing by the new landowner, overly-keen to start development), but ramble over the entire area and you will see there is quite of lot of wildlife there - snipe, swans and other wading birds that choose to use the wetlands when flooded, migrating songbirds stopping for rest and food, otters hunting in the brooks, butterflies, dragonflies, bats, owls, reptiles - the list of flora and fauna recorded on the site could go on and on.
We decided it was necessary to provide a rallying point for those in Bristol’s community that were actually in favour of the Independent Inspector’s decision, after seeing the free and widespread (and often inaccurate) publicity supplied by The Bristol Evening Post to the petition in favour of a football stadium on the site. It was a combined concern for the community in which we live, the local environment and freedom of speech. It is there for anyone to sign who wants to support the Village Green at Ashton Vale Fields and the continued protection of green belt land in the UK.
Our petition may not get as many votes as the pro-stadium petition for exactly the reasons of intimidation and bias stated above but, in the short space of time it has been available and with very limited advertisement, those who wanted to voice their concerns by signing it have done so and are continuing to do so.
Thank you for your support.
Petition link: http://epetitions.bristol.gov.uk/epetition_core/communi.../1206
Please also see: http://www.ashtonvalewildlife.com/ http://www.ashtonvaleheritage.co.uk/
10-10-2010 12:14"One young female monkey caught in a small trap desperately tried to escape capture and to return to her family. A large male ran to her aid but was unable to protect her and could only watch helplessly from the forest." - Undercover Investigator - Noveprim, 2010
10-10-2010 12:02On 21st and 22nd October 2010 there will be demonstrations at both laboratories.
10-10-2010 09:43Elizabeth Windsor from London is to visit Brighton later this week. Mrs Windsor, an OAP who lives in a large property in London at public expense, is to make a personal visit. Is it a coincidence that the "renovations" of a property in Home Farm Road are also to take place?
10-10-2010 09:02In just ten short months, Animal Rights Zone has grown from an initial membership of two, to 1000 committed members, all working together to create a vegan world.
10-10-2010 08:28Not only has Gamu shown herself to be deserving from an artistic and human point of view, if she were to be deported back to Zimbabwe with her mother she would find herself in a society where women are discriminated against and humiliated – even more so, seeing that Gamu is young, pretty and by now famous.
'Stuff of life' Festival in Headley Villas Park, Sherwood Rise, Notingham.
Saturday 9th October
'Stuff of life' Festival in Headley Villas Park, Sherwood Rise, Notingham.
Saturday 9th October
The fourth annual Stuff of Life festival took place at Hedley Villas Park, Sherwood Rise on Saturday 9th October.
The event celebrates the diversity and history of the local area by bringing several hundred residents together in the tiny park that was renovated five years ago by the Residents’ Association. Participants listened to live music from local bands and performers, view original artwork displayed on the railings around the park by Nottingham artists, a variety of individual craft stalls and sampled food provided by neighbours and Veggies.
Three bakeries used to operate around Hedley Park at different times and this is commemorated through a Bread Baking Competition, where anyone can enter by bringing a loaf along on the day and possibly winning a prize. It was this connection that gave the event its name – bread is part of the history of the area, but it’s also part of the present – it’s common (in many different forms) to all the many cultures and nationalities that make their home in Sherwood Rise.
Residents’ Association chair, Mike Peverill adds that ‘the event is a bit different to Goose Fair happening nearby and certainly a lot cheaper!!'
Sherwood Rise Residents' Association
Stuff of Life MySpace
email stuffoflife [at] hotmail.com
Photographer - Media: One Eye on the Road. Nottingham. UK
Member of the National Union of Journalists [NUJ]
"It is not enough to curse the darkness.
It is also necessary to light a lamp!!"
09-10-2010 23:26The Bristol to Gaza convoy gets ready to go
“In the hope that we can do everything in our power to alleviate the suffering of the ordinary people of Gaza, Bristol Gaza Link will join The Road to Hope convoy to Gaza.”
The Bristol part of the Roads to Hope convoy prepares to set off on Saturday 09/10/10.
Non-political, humanitarian effort to support and help those in need in Gaza.
Here are the pics. Hope they give you a flavour of the commitment and goodwill shown by everyone there.
PS Can’t remember the names of those participating so if YOU know, let us know…… cheers.
after this afternoon's 'democracy rally' (indy article to come), a group of about forty people decided to reoccupy parliament square. fences were dismantled and the security guards' tent was occupied and officially squatted. there were two arrests for alleged criminal damage, but the space was helf for nearly six hours before guards man-handled protestors out after the police had left.
at around 6pm this evening, activists raised the fences at parliament square and around 40 people peacefully entered the cordoned off square. boris's eight or so paid 24-hour security guards were unable to stop the re-occupation, and filmed the protestors while calling for police back-up.
at about half past six, spotting that the security guards' own large marquee tent (aptly bearing the logo 'freedomtrail'), was currently empty, a large group of activists ran to it and occupied the 'unoccupied existing dwelling', putting up a sign that they had seized and lawfully occupied it under section 6 of the criminal law act.
after some negotiation with inspector julien morriss, the occupiers allowed the security guards to enter and remove their belongings to a nearby park bench. the police clearly didn't want to get involved other than to prevent a breach of the peace, and after some legal discussion, suggested to the security guards that while activists sat on the ballast bags acting as tent pegs, any attempt to dismantle the tent (the guards' next plan) might lead to such a breach and was ill-advised.
so, it looked like a court order would be necessary to evict the new residents in the parliament square tent.
meanwhile, some pixies armed with appropriate spanners, started work on the fencing, and soon the south-east corner of the square was open to passers-by and the public once more.
guards pointed out two of the pixies to police, claiming that there was criminal damage, so officers stepped forward to attempt arrest. at that point a group huddle started, and although one pixie was handcuffed, both remained inside this new illegal cuddle.
there were not enough police to thwart the loving bundle, and so there was a good-humoured but resolute impasse, as both sides failed to give ground over more than an hour. police clearly didn't have the man-power to complete the arrests, and the protestors weren't prepared to give up their comrades over such a flimsy arrest. while security guards showed slightly bent clamps to the police as evidence of the 'criminal damage', it was clear that even the police were questioning the strange stand-off they'd got themselves into.
however, eventually a dozen burly cops turned up, one of them reading out a warning (not terribly eloquently - he seemed a little over-excited), and then they waded in and snatched the two arrestees, who finally stopped holding hands with their arresting officers. some people in the cuddle were briefly arrested for obstruction and then dearrested.
most of the police then disappeared off into the night again, possibly having something just slightly more useful to do.
activists got in more equipment, food, and provisions to settle for the night.
but then the police made a complete tactical withdrawal, no longer sticking around to 'prevent a breach of the peace', and the security guards began dismantling their own tent.
with activists sitting in the corners of the tent, and on the ballast bags outside, the only solution for the guards was to break some of the tent poles and damage the tent.
as the tent is probably not the property of the guards themselves, there is a strong case for criminal damage charges against them rather than any activists who might have slightly bent a clamp, but somehow i don't suppose this will come to court!
security guards then man-handled people out one by one, and the square was finally reclaimed by boris's army after five and a half hours at 11.30.
activists have of course vowed to be back - watch this space.
09-10-2010 18:49Around 30 activists are pitching tents on the green at Parliament square, London it is reported.
09-10-2010 17:28As it stands the minibus is provisionally booked up there are spaces in a couple of cars. We are asking drivers with vehicles to contact us so we can do our best to co-ordinate a lift share, for anyone going to hammertime. Transport is leaving the bristolian cafe on the 13th October at 5.45am.
Anyone who is worried they cannot make it should contact us immediately so we can be sure to fill all seats.
Last but not least, lets have it!