UK Newswire Archive
16-11-2010 16:50After the Stop The War Coalition march and rally next Saturday, instead of marching from A to B and then going home, do something historic and create a new Peace Strike camp in TrafalgarSquare. Come prepared for a challenging and long stay.
16-11-2010 16:22After 10 years of success across London, Birmingham and Leeds, Envision, the award winning youth empowerment
charity, will be kicking off its work in Bristol with an exciting debut launch event.
On 17 November, over 100 students from schools and colleges across Bristol and the surrounding area, will come together for a unique day of workshops, talks and entertainment, with the aim of inspiring them to develop their own local community projects and campaigns.
The event, at the Trinity Centre, Old Market, will provide an opportunity for young people to learn more about social, environmental and community issues and discuss the causes that matter to them. They will also be able to take part in a range of taster skills sessions and workshops, covering areas such as presentation skills and film-making.
Youth climate campaigner Kirsty Schneeberger MBE, will be the key note speaker at the event, which will also be attended by local education professionals, leaders of the business and charity sectors, and local councillors.
The students will go on to work with Envision throughout the academic year on their own projects, tackling issues from racism and homelessness to road safety and sustainability. By taking part in the projects, students will have the opportunity to make a real difference in their communities, develop new skills and grow in confidence.
“Envision Bristol is aiming to inspire a new generation of young people to take action on the issues that matter to them and challenge the stereotype that they are disengaged and apathetic about society. Our schools programme has been shown to have a transformative effect on the skills, aspirations and confidence of the young people who take part, so we’re excited about extending this work to Bristol and the surrounding area.” - Andrew Dick, Envision Chief Executive.
“Envision was an extremely enriching experience for me. Envision made me more aware of issues facing young people today and inspired me to tackle them; it gave me the confidence to express myself and become more vocal”. – Beanish, a former Envision student.
Launch event details:
Where: The Trinity Centre, Old Market, Bristol
When: 1pm – 5.30pm, Wednesday 17 November 2010
Interview / photo opportunities:
• Young people attending the event
• Envision spokespeople
• Business and community leaders
For further information please contact:
Gemma Timons; Regional Coordinator, Envision Bristol - 01173 155 113, email: email@example.com
Fen Bagias; Media & PR support, Envision Bristol – 07976 252002, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes to Editor:
• Envision was founded by four young people in June 2000 as a response to the environmental and social issues facing British society in the 21st Century.
• Envision won the Guardian Charity Awards 2008 and recently reached the finals of the National Lottery Awards.
• Envision trains adult volunteers to deliver its Schools Programme to young people.
• Envision has received a GoldStar Award – a cabinet office initiative – for its ability to engage underrepresented young people and adults in volunteering with a difference.
• Envision relies on voluntary donations to fund its schools and colleges programme. To donate please visit www.envision.org.uk/donate
• Today Envision supports teams of 16-19 year olds from 130 schools and colleges in Birmingham, Leeds and London, helping over 2000 young people every year to design their own local community projects tackling issues ranging from street crime to climate change. The experience builds confidence, aspirations and skills inspiring the next generation of young community leaders.
• Last year 93% of Envision students indicated an improvement in their confidence and 95% in communication skills. 97% of participating young people said that taking part in Envision had improved their understanding of social issues and 93% indicated an improved understanding of environmental issues.
In light of the appeal court of December 6, 2010, we call for acts of solidarity everywhere.
16-11-2010 15:05In light of the appeal court of December 6, 2010, we call for acts of solidarity everywhere.
16-11-2010 14:43The takedown of fitwatch.org.uk in response to a request from a police officer violates freedom of expression and the website should be immediately restored. The UK should reform its laws as part of its proposed Freedom Bill to require that any requests to remove websites by public bodies or private parties is approved by a judge.
16-11-2010 14:22Seize The Day + Clayton Blizzard
18th November, 7pm, The Old Fire Station, Bridewell Island, Bristol
Benefit for coal train blockaders and Nottingham 114 defendants
£3/£4 Tickets available from Bristol Ticket Shop and Kebele Infoshop
16-11-2010 13:51We compiled an archive of everything we could find of the fitwatch.org.uk site.
16-11-2010 13:48Freedom of expression, once enshrined as the core of democracy, seems no longer acceptable if it embarrasses official policy or stands in the way of lucrative deals between nations.
Why else would India’s government, who vaunts itself as the world’s largest democracy, allow a mob of Hindu fundamentalists to trash the home of writer and social activist Arundhati Roy after she accused India of brutal military occupation in Kashmir and added the incendiary remark ‘Kashmir was never an integral part of India?’
A Thousand Rages, One Heart: ¡The Zapatista Communities Live!
BoCa en BoCa 9 : English Version – November 2010
*The Abejas of Chenalho support the Triquis under siege in Copala*
Oventik’s Zapatista Good Goverment Junta (JBG) denounces the displacement of 170 Zapatistas.
Morelia good government board (JBG) denounce impunity for new aggressions
16-11-2010 13:07Text of the email from the Metropolitan Police that shut down the fitwatch blog.
Fitwatch press release concerning the shut down of fitwatch.org.uk by the Metropolitan Police
For immediate release
15th November 2010
*Police shut down activist website after support of demo students*
Police have shut down an activist website for openly supporting the student
demonstrations at Millbank. FITwatch - a direct response to police Forward
Intelligence Teams (FIT) – has a history of challenging excessive police
surveillance and breaches of civil rights.
The website was shut down at the request of the Metropolitan police after
FITwatch issued advice to students fearful of arrest after the Millbank
demonstration. A number of national newspapers made reference to an
activist ‘anti-police site’ that urged demonstrators not to panic into
giving themselves up.
“Our advice was simply good sense based on the understanding we have of
police operations”, said Val Swain, a FITwatch activist. “We don’t want to
see students arrested, convicted and criminalised for what was an entirely
The Metropolitan police applied to the websites host to suspend the site on
the grounds that it was involved in ‘criminal activities'- specifically,
‘attempting to pervert the course of justice’.
“This is an attack on freedom of speech,” said Emily Apple, another FITwatch
activist. “The police don’t like what we do. They have seized a flimsy
excuse to shut us down, and are trying to silence criticism of the police,
and support for political dissent”
*For more information, contact:*
Notes for the Editor:
i. The use of the domain name www.fitwatch.org.uk has been suspended
following a request to the web hosting company, Just Host, from the
Metropolitan police. The Met claimed the site was being used for ‘criminal
activities’ following comments made on the blog following the student demo
at Millbank. The police stated that the blog was being used in an ‘attempt
to pervert the cause of justice’.
ii. Fitwatch published an article on Friday 12th November that contained
advice to protesters who were fearful of being identified by press
photography, cctv or FIT. That advice has been copied widely around the
internet, indicating the support that FITwatch has received on this
issue. A copy of the post can be found at
iii. FITwatch contributed to a major story on the police use of ‘protester
databases’ in the Financial Times on 17th October 2009.
iv. FITwatch was also in the news in July when the Evening Standard reported
on a court victory by three Fitwatch supporters who had successfully
challenged the right of police to place attendees at an open public meeting
v. A number of Fitwatch activists are currently taking legal action against
the police for assault and unlawful arrest
vi. A number of newspapers including the Mail and Independent carried the
story of ‘anti-police’ website giving advice. The Independent stated:
“Activist websites have published step-by-step instructions to those who
fear they may be identified and arrested in the aftermath of the
violence. One anti-police site told participants to destroy potential
evidence, including clothing and any distinctive jewellery worn. A
contributor urged demonstrators not to panic or give themselves up as a
result of the flood of media coverage.”
vii. The last post to the site before suspension was highly critical of the
way the police have been capitalising on the aftermath of the protests to
defend their own budgets and justify repression of protesters.
16-11-2010 12:29Bristol City Council is due to vote this afternoon on whether Bristol should become the third City of Sanctuary in the UK. If the bid is successful, Bristol will become a city that officially welcomes refugees and asylum seekers and aims to make them an integral part of the community.
Bristol has long had a reputation as one of Britain’s friendliest, most welcoming cities. Many people fleeing war, human rights abuses and persecution have found refuge in the city and now call it home.
Bristol City of Sanctuary is the local group of a national movement of people and organisations working to make their city a place of welcome and safety for those seeking sanctuary from war and persecution. Bristol City of Sanctuary has put a motion before the full council on Tuesday 16th November asking them to acknowledge the contribution of people seeking sanctuary to the city of Bristol. Council will be asked to adopt the following statement:
“This Council recognises the contribution of asylum seekers and refugees to the City of Bristol and is committed to welcoming and including them in our activities.
The council also recognises that a comprehensive, co-ordinated and forward-looking approach is needed if City of Sanctuary, the welfare of people moving in to the city, and community cohesion between new and existing communities are to be supported
effectively. The Council endorses Bristol’s status as a City of Sanctuary and will work to implement the City of Sanctuary pledges through its Community Cohesion Strategy 2010-13.”
City of Sanctuary is a national movement aiming to build a culture of hospitality for people seeking sanctuary in the UK. Its goal is to create a network of towns and cities which are proud to be places of safety and which include people seeking sanctuary fully in the life of their communities. The Bristol City of Sanctuary group now has the support of over 100 community organisations, charities, faith groups and local businesses including Rolls-Royce, GWE Business West, The Society of Merchant Venturers, Oxfam, The Clifton Diocese, Barnardo’s, the Methodists in the West of England, South West Trade Union Council and Amnesty among many other organizations.
Dr John Savage CBE, Executive President, GWE Business West, in his letter pledging support to Bristol City of Sanctuary said: “I have pleasure in enclosing the “pledge of support” on behalf of GWE Business West in the first step in the process of Bristol becoming recognized as a ‘City of Sanctuary’ for refugees and asylum seekers.”
He added: “I wish you every success in your partnership with the community, voluntary and public sector organisations with this venture.”
In a statement, although the Trust has not yet submitted its signed pledge, Christina Gray, Associate Director of Public Health - Equality & Inclusion, Bristol Primary Care Trust said: “We continue in our commitment to working in partnership to ensure that those seeking asylum and refuge in Bristol are treated with care, dignity and respect. We continue to fund the Haven a dedicated health service for asylum seekers which also provides specialist advice to GP practices delivering services for refugees.”
Elinor Harris, Bristol Area Manager of Refugee Action, a national charity which works directly with asylum seekers and refugees, says “The good news for us is the levels of attack, & fear of attack, expressed by our service users in Bristol have been consistently lower than in any other major city in which we work. So although we have far to go, we have a strong basis on which to do it, & a level of welcome & acceptance of which we can be proud.”
Harris added: “City of Sanctuary is not about numbers. It will not bring any more people to the city. Indeed both Swansea & Sheffield, our predecessors as Cities of Sanctuary, have greater numbers of asylum seekers & refugees in their communities than Bristol.”
Forward Maisokwadzo, Development Worker at Bristol City of Sanctuary adds: “The City of Sanctuary initiative is a great opportunity to dispel many of the myths about asylum seekers and refugees who have arrived here seeking safety.
“Becoming a City of Sanctuary will show that Bristol is still a welcoming, tolerant city, where people from a wide range of backgrounds can live together happily. After all, Bristol is said to be Britain’s friendliest city – this is one important way of proving that.”
Last night the Met police shut down the Fitwatch blog, citing it was "being used to undertake criminal activities". It is widely believed that the post titled "Beating police repression after the student occupation" was the reason for the shut down, it was advising protestors who were worried about being targeted by repression following the Millbank protests. The article has in the meantime gone viral, rendering the censorship attempt futile. Fitwatch has been keeping twitter followers updated, and thanks the Met police for the publicity. Also see [Guardian | ElReg | JonnyVoid | Fitwatch on Fitwatch]
While the attempt at silencing the blog has failed, and resulted in much publicity for Fitwatch and the article in question, it is unclear what will follow and if they will try to prosecute anyone for "perverting the course of justice".
Have you ever had a facebook, twitter or gmail account suspended? Was your blog closed down? Who was making it happen and why? What did you do about it? Did you lose any emails, articles, pictures because of it? Post your stories here.
16-11-2010 10:36About 200 students went into occupation an hour ago at Sussex
Tuesday 16th November 2010
University Place - Theatre A
University of Manchester
All welcome - including non-students. FREE ENTRY
The police took this down so it must be good