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SOAS Cyber Demo on Tory Libdem Facebook

04-12-2010 11:32

Yesterday after 11 days in occupation the students decided to have a bit of fun at the expense of the ConDem coalition social media mouthpieces.

Co-ordinated posts with profile pic letters made a nice banner down the pages :)

This is the result.

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Notts students cave in

04-12-2010 11:27

After university security playing some pretty obvious tricks on them ("you're in contravention of health and safety", "there's a wedding scheduled to take place in the room"), Nottingham students seem to have caved in and ended their occupation of the Great Hall. Leaving the building wasn't necessarily a bad thing. But agreeing to a cosy chat with the Vice Chancellor is a total cop out.

According to their blog, "Nottingham Students Evacuate Great Hall after Successful Negotiations with University". This is a total lie. The only negotiations they've had have been with the university's security and have been successful for the security, not them. The "success" they are touting is that they have "secured a meeting with the Vice Chancellor and senior staff" on Monday at 3.30pm. This is fundamentally flawed. By agreeing to this meeting they are basically agreeing to play on the opposition's territory, in meetings where they will be forced to be spoken for by a handful of "representatives", with the self-proclaimed important people of the university who will almost certainly completely ignore all of their demands. Without an ongoing occupation they have nothing to bargain with and the university will have total power of proceedings. They will keep a careful note of all individual representatives as the ringleaders and act accordingly via the Stasi ex-Special Branch copper Gary Steven's Security department.

According to another post, "Student occupation begins unprecedented dialogue with University" which is also untrue. The students occupying a lecture theatre over the Gaza invasion were also offered dialogue with university offiicals. This was a way to defuse their anger over the eviction of the occupation by security and to make it look like the university was doing something, even though it didn't agree to anything significant. It's sad that the students seem to have fallen for this trick again.

I hope that I'm wrong and that the students have some good tricks up their sleeve, but it really looks like some leaders have sold out their fellows for the offer of a role in representational politics.

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“Morocco: sun, sea, sand and torture”

04-12-2010 11:16

Report on the successful launch of a campaign aimed at raising awareness among holiday-makers of the suffering of the Saharawi people of Western Sahara

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Legal Aid to be slashed for the UK’s poorest

04-12-2010 10:40

The British Conservative/Liberal Democrat government has unveiled a green paper which heralds the end of the 60-year-old system of Legal Aid in England and Wales.

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Brunel students protest at Vince Cable's Surgery

04-12-2010 10:22

This evening around 20 students from Brunel University visited Vince Cable's surgery in Twickenham to protest against his proposal to increase tuition fees.

This evening around 20 students from Brunel University visited Vince Cable's surgery in Twickenham to protest against his proposal to increase tuition fees.

Students set up camp outside the Business Secretary's surgery in sub-zero temperatures demanding answers for his decision to vote in favour of increasing fees. The group was joined by students from a local school, and support was offered by passers-by as well as members of the public attending surgery. The group was prevented from entering the 'public' office and so a few representatives attended to directly question the MP.

This proved fruitless, however, as the Member of Parliament's arguments were lacking in much basis or substance. When asked: "Have you thought about how to protect international students from unlimited fees?" Vince Cable replied, "Not yet." A similar tone followed throughout.

The group were then obstructed from entering the surgery in an attempt to peacefully occupy the space and threatened by a member of staff. Police arrived shortly after with two cars and a van. Threatening the group with arrest, they were told to move to the opposite side of the road invoking "Section 14." This implied that "the purpose of the persons organising it is the intimidation of others with a view to compelling them not to do an act they have a right to do, or to do an act they have a right not to do." This had no bearing on the reality of the situation.

Vince Cable was then given a Police escort away from his surgery, but not before the group blocked the road and again demanded answers. Police forcefully removed the students and Mr. Cable was able to flee without truly facing up to the group.

A video of the events is currently being compiled.

Full article | 6 comments

Another company to BOYCOTT: Paypal

04-12-2010 10:14

This adds to Amazon who also cut ties earlier this week.


The online payments processor, PayPal, says it has cut access for donations to the whistle-blowing website Wikileaks.

PayPal said its payment service cannot be used for activities "that encourage, promote, facilitate or instruct others to engage in illegal activity".

Wikileaks' latest releases - of US diplomatic cables - has caused considerable embarrassment to the US and its allies, correspondents say.

Full article | 8 comments

Racially Motivated Arson at Stoke on Trent Mosque -- EDL Related???

04-12-2010 09:59

Police detain three men and a woman and describe arson attack as racially-motivated crime...and with one of the EDL's recently chanting "Burn a Mosque" in Preston, could their be a link?

EDL scum chanting Burn a mosque:

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Ratcliffe Trial Day 8 – Defence Calls MP'st

04-12-2010 00:24

Mr Edward Rees QC for the defence, calls the first witness of the day.  He is Alan Simpson, former MP for Nottingham South between 1992 to this last election 2010.

During this time, he campaigned for a more serious response to climate change issues, by the UK government. He didn’t contest the last election in May 2010 wanting to devote his time on climate change and renewable energy policies.  He remains pessimistic in bringing about required changes through his previous post.  He is now the renewable energy policy advisor, to the Friends of the Earth. He does however, continue to have parliamentary contact, advising the coalition government on the consequences of runaway climate change, and the required shift to renewable sources.

At a total of 39% of all carbon emissions produced by the UK, coal is by far the biggest single contributor. This must not remain so and measures need to be taken.

Mr Rees asks him “is there a democratic deficit?” Mr Simpson insists yes there is, absolutely!! 

During the Labour government, what was their attitude to the projected tipping points?  Ed Miliband, the then Energy Secretary, pioneered the Climate Change Act 2008. This was world leading legislation. Together with the current coalition government, there is a virtual cross party agreement on the need to reduce global CO2 emissions. This act and a number of other important steps have been taken by government. But none however match the scale of the problems that we face. The future threats to life and our wellbeing are posed to future generations.

There is again agreement in the need to at least remain under a 2degC increase in temperatures. He refers to Dr Hansen of NASA research on these issues and the possible climate tipping points that can be predicted to occur between 2013 – 2015 if nothing is done. At this threshold, there could be the start of massive changes, for example once the Arctic tundra ice gives up methane on its melting, beyond that point it is clear we will not be able to do anything about it. Many climate protestors legitimately question whether there is anything in current government action plans that would see UK annual carbon emissions declining by this point in time.

Mr Rees takes Alan Simpson back to the Climate Change Act.  He says the object was to change the relationship of individuals and communities to attempt to contribute to solutions. Thus, since the Act came into force in April this year, people and communities who are able to generate electric power by wind turbine, or solar panels etc can contribute to the grid. It should no longer be a one-way system.  However the energy companies opposed and campaigned against such moves. E-on lobbied against such similar changes in Germany. They object claiming ‘intrusion into trade’. The European Union eventually found against the company on enquiry.

Simpson says there are six big energy companies and they do have a disproportionate influence in opposing any measures they disapprove of.  The ideas behind the passing of the act had cross-party support.  But, at the administration bit of the process were the legislation gets poured over by committees and civil servants, the levels of the caps proposed were obstructed at a variety of stages. The energy companies were able to lobby decision makers at various levels.  It’s an unequal process. Their money means they can open offices near to government, they can employ research and lobbying companies to put a shine in their case. They can find ‘experts’ to argue to keep operations as they are for maximum profits and dividends for shareholders.  Further to frighten politicians with job losses.

They are wrong. In Germany for example, they have created more that 300,000 jobs in renewable industries, more than those lost in older industries.  The UK efforts are lamentable. Mr Rees asks him about Vestas a company that used to operate on the Isle of Wight and left the UK because the market wasn’t sufficient for their turbine blade products. Mr Simpson sites another example of ineffectual policy. There are large wind farm of the Scottish coast, that cannot have their outputs connected to the grid for another 10 years!!  This is because of energy companies negotiating with government to give traditional generation priority for connection to the grid, over these renewable sources. Because they operate exclusively on their profit motive.

Energy companies are not even required to record and report power station emissions themselves. They are not doing this, because they are aware of possible public concerns. Mr Simpson says that governments aren’t insisting on such recording, even though there is an existing legal frameworks requiring them to do so. The Secretary of State for Energy now says he is intending to insist on reporting emission levels on new power stations.  But … this is no good since nearly 40% of carbon emissions are produced from the existing old coal-burning stations

On another issue, he says there were four carbon capture projects being considered in the UK.  Now that’s down to one and that has a question mark over it. E-on had pulled out as it being uneconomic to operate.

Mr Simpson says he was trying to get parliament to understand that it is government that should set standards and expect industry to follow them. Currently, things are the other way round. Further we must move to a statutory duty for companied to comply with regulations and for the public to have a right to know.

Mr Rees in finishing his examination asks, is there a shortfall on what is needed and what is done?  Yes, it’s why I stepped down from parliament. Government are not taking the measures required to protect us, our children or our grandchildren.

Miss Garry cross-examines. Referring to the Climate Change Act and Energy Acts 2008 & 2009, they set targets. Thus the various science committees and parliament ‘got it right’ in that session?  Yes, it was trailblazing legislation and these and other measures were looked at by other governments, as examples of good practice. But, the starting point of the UK was from the bottom, not much better than our position in the Eurovision Song Contest.

Can you say in terms of what individuals can do?  I have built an eco-house and produce more energy than I consume. Of course, this is beyond the capacity of many of us.  Mr Simpson then goes onto site the example of the Meadows estate in Nottingham. Saying that as a community, we helped to organise collectively to fit solar panels on roofs of houses and then selling power back to the grid.

Miss Gerry again seeks to point out that Mr Simpson took the community ‘with him’ through public consultation and engagement through organising many meetings. Her effort seems to be to seek to draw a distinction between these democratic methods and the direct action engaged in by the defendants. The Meadows community had to organise to overcome opposition and obstacles to achieve progress by engaging people in the locality, within their abilities.

Mr Simpson says that we have lots of information available to us, however, if we were on the Titanic, the main info we need is how to get off the boat. What people could do individually, just doesn’t match the 40% of emissions that power companies are creating.

She gets Simpson to agree that most of these efforts were achieved by knocking on lots of peoples’ doors. A team to canvas to communicate any message and to hold constituency meeting, surgeries etc…  He insists however, that people are so limited in what they can do individually, without parliament and government creating a framework that they can be effective within.  It is so unequal.  Energy companies are so much bigger and more able in lobbying than any individual or community group could handle. It is clear that to successfully lobby on an issue, people need to organise travel to London [sometime Europe], obtain science facts from experts, much time on research and parliamentary meetings.  It is beyond the capacity of the ordinary individual.  He sites the Suffragette movement and their campaign to get parliament to take measures on the wrong that needed to be put right.

Not responding to this point, Miss Gerry tries a few more examples to get Mr Simpson to agree that public engagement is best. He replies yes, it is best.  But since politics sometimes ignores them and their concerns, people need to protest as well !!!

Mr Rees re-examines:  What CO2 emission reduction have power companies actually made? None, to very little.  There was some reduction because of the loss of manufacturing, the older industries.  More recently, the recession means a reduction in the manufacturing output and this can expect to lead to a reduction also. But not, due to any intervention by the energy companies. Because of European Union directives, some of the older power stations may be forcibly closed, but this may result in a ‘dash for gas’.

Mr Rees asks Alan Simpson: Nothing personal … but in your experience do politicians do what they say they’ll do? Do they sometimes lie?  Grins all round  Its obvious that so many times, targets and policy remain politically aspirational, not what they’ll actually do. 

Concluding with this witness, Mr Rees asks: will knocking on doors, really change any opinions of the power companies.  No, of course not.

He made a statement in finishing:
“There is, in my opinion, an indisputable democratic deficit in [government] having power, but refusing to use it, even to require power stations to audit their annual carbon emissions and the energy efficiency of each power station.  It is simply not coherent to argue that any of the governments commitments amount to a coherent plan for carbon emission reductions.  This is particularly true within the timescale in which emissions reductions have to be made.  Climate change protestors are in my view, absolutely right to argue that we cannot continue with a ‘business as usual’ approach to UK carbon emissions, without threatening the very prospects of existence for future generations”.

Alan Simpson [former MP, Nottingham South]

Friends of the Earth


After lunch, a live video link is established from the Crown Court to the House of Commons. Mr Rees for the defence then introduces Caroline Lucas MP for Brighton and Leader of the Green Party of England and Wales.

She is a member of the all party Environmental Audit Committee, responsible for evaluating governments operations in meeting its objectives.

Prior to the UK elections in May 2010, between 1999 - 2010 was a Member of the European Parliament, Green MEP for The South East Region. She is also the Green Coordinator on the Climate Change Committee to reduce the impact of the aviation industry on the environment

Mr Rees get her to confirm that there is no serious challenge by elected members in either the UK or European Community that climate change is happening and that it is human driven. But, there is a huge difference between what politicians say and what actually happens. He asks are the targets that are set, commensurate with the perceived threat by emissions and the need for reductions. She says no. We know of the need to keep well within the 2 degC rise beyond which a tipping point will be reached. However, with businesses desire to maintain their activities, there is now no prospect of this if ‘business as usual’ continues.

Rees asks Ms Lucas, in Europe through its political structures, is it easy or difficult to get policy changes? Very difficult she says, it is a very unequal battle. Large companies lobby successfully and have such privileged access to committees and the European Parliament, than individuals or groups, and even the UK parliament gets.

Renewables and cleaner alternatives are currently more expensive and money is sometimes even found coming from a countries aid budgets. Further, sometimes doesn’t even arrive after being pledged.

Moving on to the emission trading schemes. These operate by making allocations to different industrial sectors. In practice these are open to much abuse since a rich company can buy their way out of their agreed obligations. Credits bought from poorer countries.  When the European Union require a reduction in emission by X%, much of that will be bought from developing countries, all resulting as ‘business as usual’.

Ms Lucas is asked: Are there penalties for exceeding agreed targets? No, such plans have never had a sufficient majority in the European Parliament and such ideas have always been defeated.

She moves onto describing the situation about Vestas, a company making wind turbine blades, that was based on the Isle of Wight and closed. The company couldn’t make a viable return on selling their product. There was simply a lack of a market for turbine blade in the UK. This of course is symbolic of government efforts in encouraging alternatives. A comparison in the use of renewables in other countries demonstrate out inadequate response. Further, the National Grid is centralised and makes it so difficult for renewable alternatives to adequately contribute.

Kyoto agreements are about to expire and there is no architecture in place to replace it.  Without the United States on-board, any proposals will be ineffective. Copenhagen was very disappointing, there was a complete absence of any binding agreement and will not deal with emission reductions within the required timescale. With regard to Cancún, Mexico happening now, expectations are rock-bottom. Agreements to reduce emissions are not even on the agenda, simply not on the table.

Mr Rees asks about current political interest. Lucas says that at a recent UK parliamentary debate, 12 MP’s attended. She is disparaging about this. No politics seems to be taking notice of these immediate tipping points and demonstrates a national complacency on such issues.

Miss Gerry cross-examines [well I think that’s what it was, she seemed to me to reinforce this last point]. She opens in pointing out that the Prime Minister David Cameron, David Beckham and Princes William are all in Zurich, Switzerland, presenting the British bid for a football match, instead of being in Cancún, Mexico. Newspapers and television are full of Zurich and not Cancún. She says that more of the public interest appears to be on football, rather than on climate change. Lucas explains that people feel a remoteness, in that individuals ability to influence European policy processes

Caroline Lucas MP, Leader of the Green Party

Green Party

UK Parliament Environmental Audit Committee

Snowing much outside, court rises a little early. [14:45]

2010 Nottingham Ratcliffe Conspiracy Trial Begins [Feature]
2010 Nottingham Ratcliffe conspiracy to trespass trial opens today
2010 Nottingham Ratcliffe Trial Day 2 - Prosecution’s Opening
2010 Nottingham Ratcliffe Trial Day 3 - Prosecution case continues
2010 Nottingham Ratcliffe Trial: Prosecution Opens [Feature 2]
2010 Nottingham Ratcliffe Trial Day 4 - Prosecution case concludes
2010 Nottingham Ratcliffe Trial Day 5 – Defence case opens
2010 Nottingham Ratcliffe Trial Day 6 – The Defence Continues

Ratcliffe on Trial Blog

Onwards ... >

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!!"

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A challenge to the occupiers

03-12-2010 22:48

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First off, it would be churlish not to show admiration for the emergence of a new student movement in Nottingham. After a quiet time at the end of the last academic year, with established groups like the Nottingham Student Peace Movement struggling to keep going, it is great to see new faces and new energy being injected into student politics. Taking the step of symbolically occupying the Great Hall was a brilliant way of starting a movement amongst students in Nottingham.

p { margin-bottom: 0.21cm; }

However, I have to ask, what's next? The occupation is doubtless an embarassment for and an irritation to the university managers, but it isn't going to force them to change. Sooner or later numbers at the occupation will dwindle and the university can always call on their goon squad to bundle the protesters out into the snow. The last occupation fizzled out after eviction as some protesters tried, unsuccessfully, to engage with the managers. Without any leverage their overtures were ignored and dissent was neutralised.

The occupiers need to have a long-term strategy. Do they put their efforts into maintaining an occupation that seems, in the absence of a militant attitude, destined to be transient? Do they try to extend the occupation, by taking over more vital parts of the university to force the managers to respond? Do they follow the example of occupiers at UEA who decided to end their occupation on their own terms and save their energies for further action? Most importantly, the occupiers need to think about how they can further the broader anti-cuts movement. We need to think bigger than just making demands of the university's governors. We need to think about how we can defeat the tuition fees legislation, bring down the coalition government and take back control of our lives.

There is no doubt that by opening up a space through occupation is liberatory for those involved. But a small liberated space is not enough. We need to keep opening up free spaces. Networks of free spaces need to grow and spread until the spaces of capital and authority are isolated and weakened enough to be destroyed.

The cuts are provoking a crisis and creating an opportunity for radical change. So far the students have exploited this opportunity well and taken the authorities on the back foot. However, the movement is starting to look anxious about these new found freedoms. I would urge the students and everyone else who is fighting the corrupt political system not to hesitate but to push onwards. The mood in the country hasn't been this favourable to the realisation of our desires for a long time and we need to take the struggle as far as we possibly can.

Keep moving comrades, the future is just around the corner!

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WikiLeaks Cablegate (first batch)

03-12-2010 22:48

Attached is a ZIP file containing the first batch of cables released by wikileaks from the 255,000 similar diplomatic cables leaked to wikileaks. To open, rename the .PDF extension to .ZIP then open the archive to reveal the text files.

You can help to keep these documents in circulation and protect wikileaks by downloading and sharing two torrent files. The first is the small archive we've made available here. The second is a massive 1.4GB 'insurance' file which is encrypted and believed to contain all 255,000 secret files. Wikileaks are saying that the password will be released if attempts are made on the lives of those behind the site. Already the site has been attacked by massive DDOS attacks, had it's web services pulled by Amazon (who are now subject to a worldwide boycott as a result), and even had their domain name taken away forcing them to switch domains.

A raging battle over the freedom of the internet is just begining - download some insurance today!



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Mirror the Cablegate documents!

03-12-2010 22:47

Here is the file that wikileaks were providing before they got shut down, containing the leaked US Embasy cables. It can be downloaded from (7Zip format)

or by clicking the link below for the file in ZIP format.

(If you don't have the CACERT certificate installed on your computer, you will get a security warning saying the certificate is invalid as it is not from a recognised authority. Don't panic, this is normal)

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New Inquiry into UKCMRI Propoed Lab Announced

03-12-2010 22:46

The Science and Technology Committee has announced a new inquiry into the controversial UKCMRI massive bioresearch laboratory project proposed for central London. This is separate from the planning application made to Camden Council. The likely date for Camden Council Development Control Committee to consider the application is 16th December, 2010. More information below.......

It has been announced there will be a new inquiry into the UKCMRI huge bioresearch project proposed for alongside St Pancras International Station. Andrew Miller MP, Chair of the Science and Technology Committee, according to a report on website, said, "With the announcement confirming funding for the project in October's Spending Review it is now very timely to scrutinise the UK Centre for Medical Research and Innovation."  Written submissions are accepted until 12th January, 2011 - there is a guide to writing submissions and more information via this link here to report on UK Parliament website-

The Camden Council planning application process is now underway but there is still time to make objections/comments to councillors and MPs before the Development Control Committee consider the application at Camden Town Hall, likely to be on 16th December, 2010. 

BACKGROUND: A planning application has been submitted for the massive UKCMRI bioresearch laboratory project planned to handle "Biosafety Level 3" extremely dangerous pathogens in 79,000 square metres of building on 3.6 acres of land behind the British Library, alongside St Pancras International Station, 6 underground lines, near King's Cross and Euston stations and thousands of people's homes in busy central London. It would be estimated to cost £600 million and a further £100 million per year to operate, and the government have offered £220 million towards this at a time of brutal cutbacks. Link here to more information on Indymedia London website.

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London Met University North Campus Occupation

03-12-2010 22:46

Last night some students from the London Metropolitan University occupied part of the university's North Campus in protest against the government cuts to Higher Education. They believe the suggested massive hike in fees and cuts to teaching budgets will irreparably damage student education in general and their university in particular.

A rally in support of the occupation was called for today at 12.30 pm, and this evening there's a free lecture in the university's Tower Building in Holloway road.

The occupation facebook page is at:!/profile.php?id=100001888688573&v=wall

Occupation Hotline: 07775531897

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Card to Bradley Manning

03-12-2010 22:45

Bristol Against Arms Trade meet to write to prisoners
BAAT meeting at Kebele Social Centre
BAAT meeting at Kebele Social Centre 6 pm Wednesday 8th December.
Agenda - What Next ?
Eat Bob's cake
Write letters to prisoners, especially Bradley Manning, facing 52 years for allegedly
providing info for Wikileaks.
see you there
John Lennon

Full article

Student Protest 3rd December

03-12-2010 22:45

Another anti cuts demonstration on the streets of Bristol...
While the numbers were significantly smaller than the turnout for the more widely announced demonstrations on the 24th and 30th of November, a group of 200-300 demonstrators, mainly higher education students attended a demonstration that went from the University of Bristol to the council house on College Green, where Lib Dem MP Stephen Williams was holding a (fully booked) surgery.

The Lib Dems, who six months ago at the general election made vociferous public proclamations that they would oppose and rise in higher education tuition fees have now decided that tripling them to £9000 per year is the order of the day. In the face of sustained public pressure through the series of protests and occupations which have occurred over the last month, along with polls suggesting that the Lib Dems have seen a dramatic collapse in support, with 104 defeated Lib Dem parliamentary candidates writing to MP's calling for them to not to break their public pledge by allowing the proposed fee increase to pass. Consequently Vince Cable, the minister responsible for the legislation has suggested that he would be willing to abstain at the vote. But this still wouldn't be enough, for the legislation to fall the Lib Dems need to honour their pledge and vote against the bill.

The demonstration sought then, to maintain the pressure on Lib Dem MP's to do what they said they would when they won people's votes in May and oppose the rise in university fees, along with the decision to scrap the EMA, a benefit which makes a huge difference to keeping teenagers from under-privileged backgrounds in education. By maintaining a hostile public presence beyond the big days of action Lib Dem MP's are reminded at every step that they can choose to honour their pre-election pledges and defeat the current ConDem plans to marketise higher education.

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Winter Tree Party @ Snuff Mills 2-5pm

03-12-2010 22:45

Brighten up Snuff Mills with your own lantern!
Snuff Mills Action Group are organising a winter tree party to celebrate the festive season and bring the Frome Valley alive with light and sound in Snuff Mills, off River View in Stapleton. The event will include lots of activities for children including lantern making and mask making.
The party takes place on Sunday 5th December from 2-5pm in Snuff Mills off River View in Stapleton.

The event will include lots of activities for children including lantern making and mask making. Everyone can make a willow winter wreath to hang on their door and there will be a special torchlight procession to visit some specially decorated trees in the valley.

The event will mark the publication of a new booklet and CD about Snuff Mills put together with help from children at local Begbrook Primary School.

The event is FREE and everyone is welcome.

For more information call Steve Micklewright 07521 498633

Snuff Mills
Snuff Mills Park is located about 3 miles north east of Brisol, between Eastville Park and Oldbury Estate helping to form a continuous green corridor along the river. The parks’ name originates from the mill on the site, part of which still remains having been restored in the 1980’s. The mill was used to grind corn rather than snuff and it is thought that ‘Snuff Mills’ originates from the nickname of the miller ‘Snuffy Jack’ whose smock was always covered in snuff. There are a number of Pennant Sandstone quarries in this part of the valley including the one behind the Mill.

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EDF “Jumping The Gun” with Hinkley Point destruction

03-12-2010 22:45

EDF puts in application for prelimenary works to west Somerset Council
The government's Public CONsultation by the Department of Environment and Climate Change is still in progress, the deadline for public opinion is the 24th of Jan 2011,
Yet Electricite' De France seems terribly confident to apply for preliminary works to West Somerset council.....
French energy company EDF is “jumping the gun” by applying to destroy over 400 acres of Somerset countryside – even before it has permission to build on the site – according to the local campaign group Stop Hinkley.

EDF has just submitted an application to West Somerset Council for what it describes as “preliminary works” in advance of constructing Britain’s largest nuclear power station. In fact this involves completely razing the site near Hinkley Point, filling in a beautiful valley and even starting excavation of the power station foundations.

All this would be done before a formal proposal to build the plant itself has been delivered to the Infrastructure Planning Commission, which could then reject it.

The company has already evicted all badgers from the site by blocking off their setts, an action approved prematurely by Natural England, the wildlife conservation body.

“EDF have already shown that they have precious little regard for the countryside,” says Stop Hinkley spokesman Crispin Aubrey. “Now they are about to treat it with contempt by trashing over 400 acres of woodland, cornfields and coastline. This is jumping the gun on a massive scale.”

The “preliminary works” proposed by the multinational power company - on 430 acres of land stretching from the Severn Estuary to the village of Shurton – involve:

· Removal of the majority of trees and hedges

· Filling in a valley with excavated earth

· Closure of existing footpaths and bridlepaths, including the coast path

· Security fencing round the whole area

· Stripping topsoil and vegetation to make a terraced area for the proposed nuclear reactors

· New roads built across the site

· Underground streams re-routed

· The excavation of more than 3.2 million cubic metres of soil, sub-soil and rocks. This is more than was dug out to prepare the site for the 2012 London Olympic Games

· Noise from up to 12,000 vehicle movements per month

· Construction of new sea wall along the coast

· Construction of a jetty out into the sea

The company says it will restore the site to its original state if it fails to gain permission for the Hinkley C power station. “This would be impossible,” says Crispin Aubrey. “You can’t recreate a landscape that has taken generations to mature.”

Stop Hinkley is urging all those opposed to EDF’s actions to register their objection with West Somerset Council, which is planning to conduct a consultation process.

Full article | 1 comment

Prime Minister Urges Airline to Fly Primates for Experiments - Take Action

03-12-2010 22:39

Activists Outside Amerijet HQ - USA
Gateway to Hell has recently seen El Al ending their involvement in the transportation of primates for research, leaving no other company willing to fly monkeys in or out of Israel. The BioCulture Mazor farm now faces an uncertain future, with no exports as a result.

Full article

Anti-nuclear campaigners brand Government energy view a 'fantasy'

03-12-2010 22:05

(Credit: D. Viesnik)
Activists interrupt public meeting to read out ‘cautionary tale’

West country members of the Stop Nuclear Power Network, have slammed a government consultation on the future of the UK’s energy supply - held on Monday (29 November) in Bristol - as ‘trying to sell a fantasy’. And activists attending the public meeting, held by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), interrupted this afternoon’s event to read out their own ‘cautionary tale’ - which outlines the nightmare future that could be created if a new generation of nuclear power stations is given the go-ahead.
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