UK Newswire Archive
English Defence League protested in a North Wales town today, Sat, May 21st.
Protesters from as far afield as the North of England and Scotland descended on Shotton to object to the setting up of a mosque in the town.
Demonstrators gathered at the Clwyd Hotel before marching down the High Street.
There was a heavy police presence with sections of the force carrying riot equipment and employing Forward Intelligence Teams (FIT) to monitor the demonstration.
The protest was covered despite intimidation from the EDL towards this photographer after they wrongly accused him of being a member of the UAF, probably caused by
"edl-spotters" seeing him park his car at the civic-centre in question and pass the time of day with UAF on his way to the protest.
In a separate incident, the Edl objected to a colleague photographer not having a visible Press-card, despite the fact said colleague had covered numerous, similar Edl protests in recent years, the police intervened, and she was told that, if she continued to take photographs, the protesters could become agitated and that would cause a "breach of the peace" for which SHE could be arrested ??? Police doing Edl's bidding now ?
Members of the UAF (Unite Against Fascism) held a meeting/event inside the local Civic Centre and did not physically oppose the march, apparently at the request of the town council, but their absence on the streets gave the EDL free rein, tantamount to handing them the freedom of Shotton.
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Moral rights asserted under Copyright Designs & Patents Act 1988. Credit is required. No part of this photo to be stored, reproduced, manipulated or transmitted by any means without permission.
Climate Scientists Now Connect Extreme Weather with Global Climate Change
Interview with Kevin Trenberth, senior scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research , conducted by Melinda Tuhus
Record-setting weather events -- vast floods along the Mississippi River and shockingly destructive tornadoes in the South -- have dominated the news
... people kept shouting last night outside the Spanish embassy in Belgravia. Since Wednesday 18th large crowds of mainly spaniards living in London are following a call to demonstrate and to express anger about the "political, economic, and social outlook which we see around us: corruption among politicians, businessmen, bankers, leaving us helpless, without voice."
On Friday 20th around 300 people showed up at Chesham Place for a 'pots & pans' protest, coinciding with hundreds of 'cacerolazo' protests called thorughout Spain as part of the 'Spanish Revolution' currently taking place all over the country. After the protest, a public assembly took place where, amongst other things, people debated the practicalities of setting up camp till Sunday 22nd. As a result, around 50 people spent the night outside the embassy, and there are plans for further demonstrations today Saturday and Tomorrow sunday [See Democracy London blog]
See pics of the London protest and read about the background story ...
What is all this about then?
Well, summing up the story began a few weeks ago when an anonymous call demanding 'True Democracy now!" went viral through social networking sites and twitter. The initial proposal was to take to the streets in as many Spanish towns and cities as possible on Sunday 15th of May, to express anger to the current 'democratic system' that puts the rule of the market above social needs and rights.
Currently in Spain there's 21% unemployment, which means that over 5 million people are out of work, 40% of which are young people. This, together with the massive 'austerity measures that Spanish government is imposing to the country affecting employment laws, cuts in public pensions and services, privatisation, and precarity in almost all aspects of people's lives, is fast creating a general unrest that eventually exploded in hugely successful demonstrations on over 50 Spanish cities last Sunday 15th.
The huge demonstrations in Madrid and Barcelona ended in the occupations of Puerta del Sol and Plaça de Catalunya squares respectively. In both cities a few hundred people set up public assemblies that decided to set up camps immediately. In Madrid the camp was evicted by police the very first night whilst in Barcelona it was allowed to stay. The assembly of Madrid immediately called for another occupation of the central square for Monday night, and in the event, thousands of people turned up re-taking the square and setting up infrastructure for a long lasting protest. The camp in Barcelona was not evicted and by Monday night it also grow to thousands of people setting up kitchens, sleeping areas, debating forums, communications infrastructure and so on. By Tuesday, many more Spanish cities and towns started to mobilise too setting up their own protests, assemblies and camps, turning the spontaneous citizen mobilisation into something resembling and uprising.
As a background to all this, there are the local elections taking place this Sunday all over Spain, together with, elections in some regional parliaments. It is for this reason why many of the communiques and manifestos coming out from the different camps talk about the need to go beyond parliamentary 'democracy' and into grass-roots and directly participatory ways of organising. It is for this reason that there's a general call from all the occupied squares to not vote on Sunday and to organise in local assemblies instead.
The main two camps in Madrid and barcelona are growing in numbers and strength (see live webcam from Madrid's Puerta del Sol) even though the protests are currently declared illegal since midnight Friday, due to the fact that Saturday is officially the "reflection day' during elections and as a result all public political expressions are banned by law. Madrid's local government had announced that they would not allow the camp to go into the weekend provoking fears of repression and the eviction of the camp, but the response was to gather in mass at Puerta del Sol and at midnight last night there where over 15,000 people occupying the square. The evictions has therefore not happened, and it now seems the camp will be allowed to stay, mainly due tothe fact that any violent eviction would play very badly in the hands of all parties seeking to get elected on Sunday.
The protests and occupations are due to continue till this Sunday (the election day), but the same as in the London's protest, there are now many calls to turn them indefinite. It is yet not clear how this protest will continue and what it will turn into, nor whether this new 'movement' made of a new anonimous subject will actually become such a movement. At the moment it seems that it is a clear expression of anger, disgust and defiance to the current status quo, but whether this general unrest will actually politize itself it is still to be seen. What is clear though is that it intrinsically carries a lot of potential.
Note: solidarity protests have been called throughout Europe for today, including in Italy, Germany, Portugal, France and Belgium
Communique from Real Democracy in Manchester
Fake democracies all across Europe are in great danger because the Revolution has just started. This is a time for action, for rising up together and changing the system.
Europe is suffering from political regimes that set the citizens aside and lack from a plural representation and by doing so, they become false democracies that do not represent the wishes, aspirations and needs of men and women of each country.
They only consider our vote as a mean to reach the power and, as soon as they get it, they forget that their duty is to represent the people. It is then when, as it happened in Spain and other European countries, they give way to the market and banking dictates.
Because of this, our intention is to change the current system, this miscalled democracy, into a new one where the citizenship play a significant role in political decisions via assemblies and other means of participation, with a freer communication media available to them and with a true separation of powers. A democracy to serve the people instead of the markets.
We moved from "I have a dream" to the "We have a dream". We walk together in this with other people from the UK, Italy, France, Germany, Holland and many other European countries. What happens in London, Madrid, Milan, Berlin, Amsterdam... is also happening in other cities and thus we all want to get together under this revolution.
A revolution with the only labels of participation, freedom and no violence. Without flags or political parties; just with the people. With honest men and women who have risen up to change a system that rejects them, a world that does not work at all. Because in the end, we are world citizens tired of enduring this situation.
People from Manchester: http://realdemocracymanchester.blogspot.com
Unsparing in its harshness, it calls China "an authoritarian state in which the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) constitutionally is the paramount authority,"
Indeed, China's no model human rights champion. However, America's record is far worse at home and abroad, yet self-criticism is absent. Moreover, rarely do major media reports discuss abuses. Instead they regurgitate managed news, suppressing full and accurate disclosure of Washington's most deplorable human and civil rights record at home and abroad.
On April 10, two days after the State Department's report, China's Information Office of the State Council published its own comprehensive report titled, "The Human Rights Record of the United States in 2010,"
In its report, the US State Department charges were mostly without corroboration. In contrast, China, under six major headings, used data from the US Justice Department (DOJ), FBI, other US agencies, state ones, and think tanks, as well as international and US media reports. They reveal a far different America than official Washington and managed major media reports, concealing dark side truths important to reveal.
21-05-2011 08:52@ The Free Hetherington
The Glasgow University Occupation
13 University Gardens
Just off University Avenue
Glasgow University Campus
Reports on what's been going on since we won the first battle to Save Hayward House Daycare.
NHS/PCT and patient/volunteer meeting.
On Monday May 16th, some of us attended a meeting (one of five, instigated since the NHS u-turn) between NHS/PCT and patients etc at Hayward House, and there learned the latest in the making-it-up-as-we-go-along saga.
NHS/PCT people said that no decision had ever been made to close HH daycare; there was only ever a proposal, for consultation! They could not explain why patients had received letters stating that daycare was finishing, except that it was a dreadful misunderstanding. A mistake. And they were sorry. But could not explain why this misunderstanding took about four weeks to put right, or why Dawn Smith (Director of Delivery and Performance) had responded to our campaign by telling the media that the “transferral” of daycare would be just hunky-dory (when apparently they had never decided to “transfer” daycare in the first place)! All the distress was caused by miscommunication, and they hoped they’d learned from it. It was always their plan to communicate directly. Etc etc.
NHS/PCT claimed that the proposals had never been driven by cost, but by a need to extend specialist palliative care. But they have listened to feedback (that’s us!) and taken note. HH will continue to provide specialist daycare, they say. Referral will continue on advice of GP or consultant. They said that referrals have restarted. No existing patients will be transferred unless they want it, but there may be some change on how services will be delivered.
Challenged with the fact that there had been no consultation, PCT/NHS agreed, and said there should have been consultation. It was always in their plan to talk to patients. It was not in their plan to send out letters saying daycare was closing. When asked why, if this wasn’t intended, didn’t Dawn Smith issue a rebuttal straight away; they suggested we move forward in the discussion, and pointed out they’d said sorry.
A patient pointed out that referrals had stopped on April 1st, a couple of weeks before patients were told Daycare was closing. This was a step towards closure before patients were informed, let alone consulted. PCT/NHS repeated that they’ve listened to what we’re saying.
PCT/NHS said that the PCT is taking responsibility. They were told that we have no trust in them. They replied that they were there to build trust. They acknowledged that none of the other hospices, to which transfers were proposed, had medical cover. Sarah Hewitt from NHS/PCT said “We’re not going to transfer patients. We’re not going to do this any more.” It was only ever a proposal to transfer people who don’t have the necessary level of need. (Everyone at HH has high levels of need.)
PCT/NHS were challenged on why they had never visited HH to see what goes on there before formulating these “proposals”. They claim they had visited. We are doubtful that they have, have no evidence, and have been told the contrary. A carer asked why Andrew Kenworthy hadn’t been to see what happens at HH. One of the NHS/PCT claimed she had been involved since 2007.
A doctor explained that staff are experienced in caring for cancer and motor neurone disease patients, and it would be more difficult for them to care for others. Although there are great similarities in palliative care for all patients, experience with particular conditions counted for a lot.
PCT/NHS were asked whether any clinician had submitted in writing to the PCT any report in favour of daycare continuing.
Sarah Hewitt (NHS/PCT) stated that the campaign showed how valuable daycare is, especially its medical importance. The impression was given that they hadn’t realised this before, somewhat counteracting their claims to have visited and found out about HH.
The plan for the future is to hold workshops with patients, volunteers, family, carers and campaigners (specifically mentioned) some time in the late summer, to feed all views into future proposals on redesign. (This makes “redesign” sound inevitable.) Everything will be looked at by service users. There will be letters asking for contact details of anyone interested in being involved.
Again, we were told: ” We’re not dishonest, we’ve been poor communicators.”
Tuesday May 17th and the media.
Radio Nottingham played recordings of three people, who had been interviewed the night before, soon after 8am, and then there was a live interview. This highlighted both our delight that daycare has been saved for now, but also uncertainty about the future and the preposterous notion that patients had had eviction notices as part of a "communications error".
BBC East Midlands Today featured the reprieve of daycare in the evening news, but made it look a bit like a place where people go for a chat and to do some pottery. They didn't mention the medical care given to patients. Spokespeople from NHS/PCT didn't make themselves look even slightly credible or competent.
The Evening Post featured an article and another letter. A number of letters and a few articles have appeared since the campaign started. The SHHD website has links to them. Another feature is likely to appear soon, probably either Saturday 21st or Monday 23rd May.
We're delighted that the campaign has won the first battle - and so quickly, too! Current patients will keep their service, and that's a huge relief to us and to them. But we feel it's imperative that we continue to keep a very close eye on NHS Notts and NHS City. And we still want to know why the letters announcing the closure of daycare were ever sent out if it was all a "communication error"!!!!!! There had been no consultation, and everyone who has something to say about this is urged to make a submission to the Joint Health Scrutiny Committee - please see the website. (Last date for submissions: May 24th.)
Thank you to everyone who's supported this campaign. Now there's the rest of the NHS . . .
The Japanese Water Gardens, near Nottingham, plays host to Martin Lacey's Lincolnshire-based circus, one of just three in Britain to still use wild animals. Animals used in the circus include tigers, zebra, camels, llamas, horses, ponies, dogs, goats and reindeer.
Protests continue on Sat 21st at 4pm & Sun 22nd at 2pm (for final show).
Protests continue Great British Circus on Sat 21st at 4pm & Sun 22nd at 2pm (for final show).
To be kept informed call 07709 231267 / 07508 521066.
Naturally we are all concerned about the dangerous flyposting of the Great
British Circus, however if you see any, do not be tempted to take them
down, instead, let us know of their exact location.
If you have friends or contacts down south, let them know that notorious
Great British Circus is at Fairlop, Barkingside East London from May 24th
- 5th June. For demo details see
Sunday sees the Nottingham Green Festival, a triffic opportunity to reach
thousands of socially aware local people with our message. Subject to the
help available, in addition to a major Veggies catering operation, we will
run stalls for Nottingham Animal Rights, the Hunt Sabs, Vegan Camaigns and
the Sumac Centre. Setting up at the Arboretum from 11am. Event opens
12noon til 6pm. Afterparty at Sumac from 7pm.
Saturday 21st - Veggies catering in Manchester for vegetarian week launch,
pickup: 7:30am Sumac!
Monday 23rd - Free food giveaway in Derby to start National Vegetarian
Week: 12noon st peter's street. Details from 07951 304652
Monday 23rd - 27th National vegetarian week specials at New Art Exchange
(vegan cakes :)
Friday 27th - Free food giveaway 10am @ sumac, 12noon in town
Friday 27th - greyhounds: 6:30pm - 7:30 pm @ race track
Saturday 28th - proctor and gamble action, details tbc, contact us.
20-05-2011 20:15Just like watching the Egyptian revolution in Tahrir Square, but (hopefully) without the mad buggers on camels.
Last week saw two victories for local campaigns. Firstly, Hayward House Daycare has been saved from closure. Camapigners have welcomed the announcement, but remain wary. Meanwhile, Office Angels who have been the target of protests across the country (including in Nottingham) for refusing to pay a temporary worker, have now backed down.
Hayward House provides daycare services to patients with cancer. It emerged in April that the service was to close on September 1st. In fact referrals had been stopped as of April 1st. Patients, volunteers and staff were horrified by the news and a campaign to save the daycare service sprung up very quickly.
Hayward House campaigners reported on Saturday, that they had been informed daycare is not closing “and that patients have been given letters of apology from the NHS.” However details remain hazy. Campaigners don’t yet "know if/when referrals will recommence or whether there will be any substantial changes."
There is some concern "that patients with other life-limiting illnesses will in future be referred to Hayward House too, to be treated by experts in palliative care for cancer patients". This would be consistent with a general shift to "generic" services across the public sector as cuts begin to bite, but without an increase of funding (of which there is no suggestion) this could serve to reduce the number of cancer patients receiving treatment at Hayward House.
Campaigners are described as “relieved, but still wary. And angry.” The campaign is not stopping, with a public meeting held on Monday evening at Carlton Fire Station. They urge anybody with petitions to send them in to strengthen the campaign’s hand with future negotiations.
The campaign against Office Angels began in March when Dan contacted the South London branch of the Solidarity Federation (SolFed). He had worked for Office Angels for three days in December last year. When he began work he wasn’t given a time sheet. DAn queried this, but was told not to worry. On the third day, he received a phone call from Office Angels at his workplace to check up on him. Despite all this, when Dan went to collect his wages Office Angels claimed that he had only worked one day, not three. After phone calls and polite meetings failed, Dan began a thread on online forum LibCom asking for assistance. At this point Office Angels had the nerve to harass him for his online comments, so Dan turned to SolFed.
SolFed began by sending a delegation to the Wimbledon branch where Dan had been employed. This only response to this was Dan being banned from all Office Angels premises. This was then followed up by a picket outside the busy Oxford Street branch. SolFed members went in and spoke to management demanding that Dan be paid and informing them that actions would continue until Dan received his full wages.
The morning before the first public picket, Office Angels contacted Dan, telling him, “this has gone on long enough” and insisting that he would "definitely" get paid. He was promised a manager would contact him by noon with details. When that didn’t happen and perceiving this promise for the stalling tactic it was, SolFed decided to go ahead with the picket and a “communication blockade”. When Dan called up Office Angels later that night, he was told things were being held up in the legal department.
Sensing Office Angels were faltering, SolFed issued a call-out for a national week of action from 9th-15th May. This was taken up by groups across the country. In Nottingham, the local branch of the Anarchist Federation organised a small picket outside the company’s offices on Cheapside. There were also numerous pickets in London, three in Northampton, two pickets in Reading, another two in Brighton, and pickets in Oxford, Leeds, Newcastle, Manchester, Bristol, and Liverpool.
SolFed also began plans for an international week of action against Adecco, the company which owns Office Angels and is also the largest recruitment agency in the world. This would prove unnecessary. On the second day of the Week of Action, Dan was contacted by Office Angels. They claimed to have discovered documentation confirming he had worked 2 days and offered to pay him for them, an offer he declined. As a result, Wednesday’s communications blockade went ahead.
On the morning of Wednesday 11th May, Office Angels again contacted Dan, offering to pay him for the full three days if he was prepared to go to court for the company if they had to go to court to retrieve money from their client, Kinetic. UK law requires that agencies pay their employees regardless of whether they’ve been paid by their clients and Dan rejected this offer and that night they finally offered to pay him. Not wanting to take Office Angels at their word, pickets continued on Thursday, but by Friday the money was in Dan’s account.
Dan offered "a massive thank you to London Solidarity Federation particularly, and everyone else who picketed, emailed and rung. Was actually touched by everyone’s support." In their summary of the campaign, SolFed conclude "direct action works. We achieved what we achieved without lawyers, courts, industrial tribunals, or even union reps. And we won. We planned and strategised and, despite some inevitable hiccups, we orchestrated an escalating campaign against the largest employment agency in the world. We didn’t even play all the cards in our hands and we still forced Office Angel to pay up out of pocket mid-way through our National Week of Action. After all, they still haven’t been paid by their client. In the process we strengthened our class confidence. Everything from giving demand letters to managers to speaking to the public to co-ordinating activities, we’re better at that now than we were three months ago."