UK Newswire Archive
29-05-2011 09:55On a wet and windy Saturday afternoon around 50 Bristolians attended a UK Uncuts protest to save the NHS. The protesters were drawing attention to the relation between the huge bank bailout and the cuts being inflicted upon public services. Shoppers milling about were receptive to the protesters, many dressed as doctors, as they handed out leaflets and spoke to passers-by about the banks and the cuts.
On a wet and windy Saturday afternoon around 50 Bristolians attended a UK Uncut protest to save the NHS. The protesters assembled in Castle Park before moving to protest outside the Bristol Broadmead branch of Barclays. The protesters were drawing attention to the relation between the huge bank bailout and the cuts being inflicted upon public services.
Shoppers milling about were receptive to the protesters, many dressed as doctors, as they handed out leaflets and spoke to passers-by about the banks and the cuts.
Barclays bank was targetted due to its policy of avoiding paying UK taxes, its underpaid workforce as well as being part of the sector that protesters explained took ?1,000,000,000,000 of public money after having destroyed the world economy. In the midst of a government campaign to convince the public that human beings must accept cuts to public services and a decline in the standard of living, the protesters were angry that we are also being told that it was necessary to give billions of pounds of public money to millionaires who refuse to contribute to the public purse.
On protester explained, "it's like Robin Hood in reverse. I'm amazed that so many people believe the lie that we need to make cuts - if that's true, then where do they find the money to give to the banks?".Full Story | The Bitter Irony of Using the Financial Crisis to Scrap the NHS (UK Uncut) | Britain Before and After the NHS (UK Uncut) |Keep Our NHS Public | Landsley's Ally on NHS Reforms Faces Conflict of Interest Questions (Guardian)
A leaflet being handed out reiterated this point: the boss of Barclays takes ?11,000,000 per year in his pay packed, yet the banking sector is still receiving ?100,000,000,000 a year from the public purse.
At the same time ordinary Bristolians are facing ?30,000,000 cuts to services. A young activist explained "that's why we're here. Its about the banks really - somehow everyone has forgotten how much money they stole, and are being to convinced to blame the poor and the unwell for economic problems. It is such nonsense, but people believe it. We are here to tell them otherwise because the media won't".
After an hour or so outside Barclays, the protest moved to the nearby branch of NatWest. There were no arrests.
Members of the EDL have been sent to prison for the part they played in the violent demonstration that was organised by the English Defence League in Dudley on the 17th July last year.
28-05-2011 21:29A brief roundup of the best posts to Oxford blogs which we'll try and post weekly. Its just links and summaries of posts by radical Oxford bloggers. If you have a blog you think we should add, chuck it in the comments.
'Funk the Cuts' targets scores of high street banks and flagship stores in Leeds
Inspired by UK Uncut, a new group calling themselves 'Funk the Cuts' have set up in opposition to the government cuts currently being implemented. This Saturday saw the groups first day of protests as 40 people gathered outside the Corn Exchange in Leeds City Centre at 11.30am. From there they went on to highlight the alternative to the government cuts by targeting the banks who were bailed out by the taxpayer and two flagship stores avoiding paying the tax.
'Political parties' were set up inside Natwest, Barclays, Topshop and Vodaphone. Among the people involved in the protest were many people involved who were new to direct action. All four banks and shops were shut down for up to 20 minutes each - and hundreds of flyers were handed out to the public along the way.
A spokesperson for the group, Joseph Blake said:
“We know the energy that goes into having a party every weekend in this city. Funk the Cuts is a callout to channel this energy against the cuts. People across the UK are rightfully angry at the ideological cuts being implemented but feel helpless that there is nothing they can do about it. Funk the Cuts is about using direct action in a funky and creative way to encourage as many people as possible to take part.”
A student from Leeds University who helped set up Funk the Cuts said:
“Across Europe people are now starting to stand up against illegitimate government austerity measures which are protecting the very richest whilst impacting on the very poorest disproportionately. From the student protests in London, to the riots in Greece, the union protests in France and the recent demonstrations in the capital of Spain, ordinary people are coming together to say we won't pay for your crisis”.
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A very spirited and happy ride.
There were at least five or more sound systems, some of them amazing music and loud, and several skateboarders. It took an interesting route West for a change and didn't stray too far from Central London. Because of roadworks the ride was a tad slow at times and cars blocking lanes didn't help. A few drivers attempted to force their way into the mass of cyclists but they were met mainly with good humoured derision. Bikes were held high at a set of red traffic lights and in Piccadilly Circus. The ride more more less ended by invading Trafalgar Square and riding circuits around the fountains, followed by a bit of partying there to music.
Video to follow.
28-05-2011 09:46Structural violence is the effect of a systemic imbalance in society that prefers the interests of some over others. Its dynamics are less visible than that of direct violence, where the causes are generally easier to identify. The use of direct violence is mostly a state affair manifested in armed conflict. The participation of the general population is predominantly one of inaction. Structural violence, however, tends to involve the participation of the general population which is both a cause for concern and optimism.
28-05-2011 09:17FILAKI – documentary film about prisoners revolt in greek prisons (2007)
28-05-2011 08:23SPANISH protesters remain defiant after a brutal attack by police on the camp for real democracy in the centre of Barcelona on Friday.
Friday 27th May 2011
Protesting about cuts to these courses, English for speakers of other languages (ESOL) met with Lillian Greenwood MP [Nttm S] at her constituency offices in Regent Street, Nottingham. They presented her with a report on the consequences of the policy. She heared many of their stories and explanations of the likely hardships it will lead to. She promised to raise the issues with the Minister and to transmit their concerns.
The government are preparing to cut much of this service. Even stranger, it had earlier pronounced that it expected imigrants to this country to have some ability with the english language as a condition of citizenship. Further, there is obviously a requirement for anyone seeking work here, to be able to speak english. Not very joined-up thinking ...... me thinks!
ESOL Cuts Will Devastate Language Education, says Action for ESOL
ESOL teachers and students are campaigning to defend ESOL programmes. They are warning that Government cuts in ESOL funding will devastate language provision for people who don’t speak English as their first language.
Currently, ESOL classes are free to students in receipt of a range of benefits, including Job Seekers Allowance, Income Support, Working Tax Credits, Housing Benefit, or Council Tax Benefit. Others pay subsidised fees for classes.
But the government has proposed cuts amounting to 50% over 3 years. From September 2011, only those getting JSA and some receiving the new Employment Support Allowance, will be entitled to free classes. The cost of classes is also expected to rise to around £900.
In Nottingham, 76% of students do not receive JSA or ESA and are currently studying on free courses or paying subsidised fee rates. They will be expected to pay fees for the first time or fees that are 50% to 66% higher than before. This includes people in low waged employment, spouses of people receiving benefit and asylum seekers who have £35 to £39 a week to live on.
Campaigners warn that this will price many students out of learning English.
Campaigners have argued that these new measures discriminate in particular against women, who make up over half of current ESOL students in Nottingham. They argue further that it will make it more difficult for those who don’t speak English as their first language to find sustainable employment, access services, support their children in schools or to participate in society. They point out that many migrants bring important skills and experience to the UK and are keen to contribute to the society.
As a result of these cuts, the government will have to pay more for interpreters, whilst non-English speakers will find themselves caught in a trap of low-waged, insecure work.
Campaigners are angry that the Government has not carried out a credible assessment of the impact of these proposals, and the likely effects on individuals and the wider community. Rather, the Government seems to have the view that migrants simply come to the UK, learn the language and go home.
A spokesperson for Action for ESOL said:
“It is not easy to join ESOL classes and learning a new language is always difficult for adults. There are strict residency rules to meet before a person can join a class. Many may then wait months because there are not enough classes. Many juggle class times with long unsocial or irregular work hours. Many people on low wages may struggle with the current fee rates.
We are calling on the Government to rethink this disastrous policy. It will leave many people without the opportunity to learn English. It contradicts every statement the government has made about the importance of migrants learning English”
Action for ESOL is a national campaign alliance, and includes the lecturers’ union, UCU, the Refugee Council, the National Association for Teachers of English and Community Languages to Adults, trade unions and other organisations.
In Nottingham it is estimated that there are around 3000 to 3,500 ESOL learners in addition to 800 people currently waiting to join classes.
English for speakers of other languages (ESOL)
English for speakers of other languages ESOL Rally in Market Square
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!!"
[Turkey’s Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, interview on ‘TRT Haber’ TV channel, 25 May 2011]
27-05-2011 16:05A group of pixies attacked Brighton arms factory EDO MBM in the early hours of Friday 27th May.
Welcome to this Week in Palestine, a service of the International Middle East Media Center, www.imemc.org, for May 21st to 27th, 2011.
Last night Inside Out Security in New Basford had it's windows smashed.
We did this because they are responsible for making surviellence equipment that watches us everywhere we go. They are specifically responsible for a large number of CCTV cameras in schools around Nottingham. These cameras in schools further stigmatise and terrorise the young, postioning them as the dangers to each other, training them to become used to being watched, controlling their behaviours and taking away their freedom. Instead of encouraging the young to love and live with wild passion this society is caging them- forcing them into a lives not of their choosing.
We want to destroy these companies that profit from the sickness of social surviellence on behalf of capitalism and the state.
We also did this in solidarity with those who resist the G8 and G20 conferences occuring in France this week. While the goverment leaders from around the world discuss ways to keep their power, we will fight their systems of oppression that are all around us.
So their surviellence is there to protect us? Fuck that. Their cameras exist to make us live in fear, to do as we are told, to make us feel alienated and scared of one another. The surviellence system is there to serve the interests of the rich and protect their property, power and capital.
We see something that destroys our freedom, our relationships with each other and we wish to get attack it with the means we have available. So whilst this was a small act of defiance, quickly remedied in part by their insurance, we carry out this act because of the very fact that we search for freedom from all forms of social control. Every time we see similar acts of rebellion, from throwing rocks at cops to the burning of a prison, a smile spreads across our face and recognition that the attack against this society of domination continues. We will continue our participation in this attack, because it is our passion- settling for a life of meaningless subordiantion is not an option for us, not when all around us are examples of our friends, families and ourselves being continually fucked over by rampant capitalism, and the colluding state.
We must look to each other with love and solidairity.
We must destroy what keeps us apart with rage.
Against the prison society.
For total freedom.
27-05-2011 10:27The Financial Times has helpfully revealed what we always suspected about the 'establishment' after its legal department implied it offered work experience only to the sons and daughters of its own executives.
27-05-2011 08:41Its difficult to get clear information at this point but according to catalan radio the police started trying to clear the plaza de catalunya in Barcelona this morning.