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UK Newswire Archive

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700 Arrested on Brooklyn Bridge as Occupy Wall Street Enters Third Week

04-10-2011 08:16

Audio protesters in plastic cuffs awaiting transport off the bridge by bus
The "Occupy Wall Street" protests in the financial district took a dramatic turn on Saturday when protesters tried to march across the Brooklyn Bridge. When police arrested 700 of the demonstrators, the event quickly turned into one of the largest arrests of non-violent protesters in recent history. Some protesters claim police lured them onto oncoming traffic on the bridge’s roadway; others said they did not hear instructions from police telling them to use the pedestrian walkway. Meanwhile, similar "Occupation" protests have spread to other cities, including Chicago, Boston and Los Angeles, where hundreds of protesters are now camped out in front of City Hall. We host a roundtable discussion with Marisa Holmes, an organizer with the main organizing group of Occupy Wall Street, called the General Assembly, Marina Sitrin, an attorney who is part of Occupy Wall Street’s legal working group, and Laurie Penny, a writer and journalist who reported on protests in London earlier this summer

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Tory Conference Disrupted

03-10-2011 22:55

A Fringe Event at the Conservative Party Conference was disrupted today by a two hunt saboteurs (one protesting, one filming)




The Reception was held by the National Farmers Union was held at the Palace Hotel In Manchester. Peter Kendall (director of the NFU) was on the pannel aswell as James Paice MP, Lord Taylor, Richard Benyon, and Mark Spencer.


Ten minuites into the speeches Peter Kendall started to praise Defra on helping them in achieving a badger cull stating how 'necessary and scientifically based the cull was'


It was at this point a suited us hunt saboteur ran up and took centre stage, with a poster saying “STOP THE BADGER CULL,” and recited “shame on you Peter Kendall, the Badger cull is not based on science, its just another cruel bloodsport that does not help farmers”


At this Point the Protester was being dragged away whilst chanting “no more torture no more pain, Peter Kendall your to Blame!!” whilst being booed by the conference room full of torys and farmers, some of which shouted for the activist to be shot and shouts of “off with his head”


No arrests were made :)


(due to human error, we may have forgot to press the record button so we have no footage)

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All nine antifascists acquitted after second trial

03-10-2011 22:55

Great news for antifascism in the UK - a long running attempt to fit up antifascist activists is over, with all defendants in a second trial being acquitted. In March 2009, antifascists protesting a neo-Nazi gig in Welling encountered some Blood & Honour fascists. Acting in self-defence they put one Nazi on his arse. The state used this as an excuse to crack down on antifascist activism and arrested 23 people in connection with the events, kicking in doors around the country. Without enough evidence to prosecute for common assault the trumped up charge of 'conspiracy to commit violent disorder' was brought against the defendants.

In the first trial, 7 antifascists were found guilty and 6 were sentenced to between 15 and 21 months prison. There have been many solidarity events in support of the prisoners around the country including several in Nottingham. The prisoners deserve our support so please send them a letter, donate to the campaign and do what you can to raise the profile of their struggle.

However, all of the other defendants have now either had their charges dropped or been acquitted. As Leeds ABC wrote "We hope that Indymedia readers will join us in raising a glass – to our comrades who triumphed over this judicial fit-up, to the antifascists down the ages who have been prepared to go out onto the streets to confront fascism, and to our six comrades who were fitted-up earlier this year and who deserve our fullest possible support."

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Tory Conference Protest in Manchester

03-10-2011 20:55

Unions organised a rally of 35,000 protesters against government budget cuts on Sunday in Manchester.

Unions organised a rally of 35,000 protesters against government budget cuts on Sunday in Manchester where the Conservative Party opened its annual conference.

The TUC billed the protest as a rally for "the alternative -- jobs, growth, justice".

"The TUC is organised a protest to show opposition to the coalition government's disastrous policies of pay freezes, cuts and attacks on public services that are producing rising unemployment, cuts in living standards and stagnation," it said.

Police estimated the crowd at the rally at 35,000, including mainstream public sector workers and left-wing activists, carrying placards saying: "Unite and fight".

Mark Serwotka, leader of the Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union, told the crowd that the whole country would unite in a mass strike called by several trade unions for November 30.

"If you never fight you lose every time," he said. "Now's the time to fight, now's the time to defeat the government."

Len McCluskey, general secretary of the Unite union, added: "The reality is civil disobedience is the oldest form of democracy and we should applaud it."

Police said the march had been peaceful with no arrests, although around 150 Occupy Manchester demonstrators staged an Occupation in front of the town hall at Albert Square.

All Images © Stillshooter 2011.

Further Images here:

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An Open Letter from Black Women to SlutWalk Organi

03-10-2011 16:55

We, the undersigned women of African descent and anti-violence advocates, activists, scholars, organizational and spiritual leaders wish to address the SlutWalk. First, we commend the organizers on their bold and vast mobilization to end the shaming and blaming of sexual assault victims for violence committed against them by other members of society. We are proud to be living in this moment in time where girls and boys have the opportunity to witness the acts of extraordinary women resisting oppression and challenging the myths that feed rape culture everywhere.

The police officer’s comments in Toronto that ignited the organizing of the first SlutWalk and served to trivialize, omit and dismiss women’s continuous experiences of sexual exploitation, assault, and oppression are an attack upon our collective spirits. Whether the dismissal of rape and other violations of a woman’s body be driven by her mode of dress, line of work, level of intoxication, her class, and in cases of Black and brown bodies - her race, we are in full agreement that no one deserves to be raped.

The Issue At Hand

We are deeply concerned. As Black women and girls we find no space in SlutWalk, no space for participation and to unequivocally denounce rape and sexual assault as we have experienced it. We are perplexed by the use of the term "slut" and by any implication that this word, much like the word "Ho" or the "N" word should be re-appropriated. The way in which we are perceived and what happens to us before, during and after sexual assault crosses the boundaries of our mode of dress. Much of this is tied to our particular history. In the United States, where slavery constructed Black female sexualities, Jim Crow kidnappings, rape and lynchings, gender misrepresentations, and more recently, where the Black female immigrant struggle combine, "slut" has different associations for Black women. We do not recognize ourselves nor do we see our lived experiences reflected within SlutWalk and especially not in its brand and its label.

As Black women, we do not have the privilege or the space to call ourselves "slut" without validating the already historically entrenched ideology and recurring messages about what and who the Black woman is. We don’t have the privilege to play on destructive representations burned in our collective minds, on our bodies and souls for generations. Although we understand the valid impetus behind the use of the word "slut" as language to frame and brand an anti-rape movement, we are gravely concerned. For us the trivialization of rape and the absence of justice are viciously intertwined with narratives of sexual surveillance, legal access and availability to our personhood. It is tied to institutionalized ideology about our bodies as sexualized objects of property, as spectacles of sexuality and deviant sexual desire. It is tied to notions about our clothed or unclothed bodies as unable to be raped whether on the auction block, in the fields or on living room television screens. The perception and wholesale acceptance of speculations about what the Black woman wants, what she needs and what she deserves has truly, long crossed the boundaries of her mode of dress.

Read full story:

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All Nine Antifascists Acquitted In Second Welling Trial!

03-10-2011 16:10

(But there are six already in jail who need support.)

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Nine anti-fascists not guilty!

03-10-2011 15:28

At 4.15 p.m today all nine defendants in the Welling Blood&Honour case were found not guilty of conspiracy to violent disorder.

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Solidarity with the comrades of Revolutionary Struggle (Greece)

03-10-2011 13:50

Solidarity statement from UK antifascist prisoner Thomas Blak.

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Enfield votes to occupy hospital!

03-10-2011 10:55

Over 100 people met at the North East London Council of Action Conference on Saturday 1st October 2011 and voted unanimously to occupy Chase Farm Hospital if planned closure goes ahead. Will TSG vans be commandered and turned into something useful, like ambulances??

The government plans to close many District General Hospitals around London, especially to scrap their A&E, Maternity and Paediatric units.

The meeting hall was near to Chase Farm hospital and speakers were frequently drowned out by the noise of blue-light ambulances taking patients to A&E.

I hadn't been involved in the Chase Farm campaign before and was really impressed by the group gathered there, young and old and and very friendly to newcomers. It was inspiring to see an elderly lady take the microphone and declare passionately how she was prepared to occupy the hospital, and how it belonged to them as residents of Enfield.

Visteon workers were also present to lend advice about occupations.

It was also striking to feel a real sense of community built around the presence of a local hospital, something that is often hard to find in England.

The group has been campaigning for the last 4 years against their hospital being closed. David Cameron and a local Tory MP had even made a shameless election pledge to reverse Labour's plan for closing Chase Farm. People at the meeting expressed a real sense of betrayal and dissolutionment with Parliamentary democracy. The meeting had an authoritarian socialist leaning, and there was no doubt that the State would support the Health Service if enough pressure was applied. One pensioner talked angrily about how all the political parties couln't be trusted. Then she asked what the alternative was - a few people muttered about a worker's government, but they didn't sound very convinced themselves. Still, people were certain that you had to have a government of sorts.

I want to know more about anarchist style alternatives to health care. If there is no National Health Service, supported by the Welfare State, how would an Autonomous Health Service work instead? If Enfield residents do occupy their hospital, it could be an interesting time to discuss anachist ideas about health care, in a situation where the local community have taken over a state-run hospital and are confronting the State. What will occupiers do if the State refuses to continue funding Chase Farm Hospital? How do you organise Social Welfare without the Welfare State?

The Council of Action are planning a large demonstration for December 10th. They reckon the government could try to close Chase Farm in January. They have been holding monthly pickets already and want a big picket on October 18th and another sometime in November. After the march in December they plan daily picketts to draw more attention and prepare for occupation.

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Interview: Behind the Lines

03-10-2011 09:41

Hussein Al-Alak speaks with a Jordanian based activist involved in helping Iraqi refugees who have fled to Jordan.

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Ed Bauer bailed after 10 days in prison

03-10-2011 09:34

Solidarity demonstration last Monday
Ed was given bail by Birmingham Magistrates and released after 10 days in prison! Thank you to everyone for your support and all those who attended the solidarity demonstration last Monday! We are still very hacked off about the dis-proportionate and politicised use of criminal justice powers against Ed and now his rather harsh bail conditions. Hopefully the courts will see sense and drop the ridiculous case against all three banner droppers.

Speaking in support of his bail application in court John Hemming MP, a local Liberal Democrat member of parliament for Birmingham Yardley, said:
“Whilst I do not believe he should have put the banner there in the first place, the protest was peaceful and placid and I think it is dis-proportionate to keep him in prison any longer.”

Outside the court over 70 people attended a ‘solidarity’ demonstration. They chanted “free ed bauer” pretty loudly, which could be heard within the court room as the hearing started. Claire Lister, a student at Birmingham University attending the demonstration, said:
“I came here to show my support for Ed being granted bail today. I’m very happy that the magistrate has seen that he is not a danger to the public and there would be no reason to continue his imprisonment for what was basically peaceful protest against the government. He is an important member of the University community and has a lot of support amongst students and staff for the stand he has taken defending our education.”

Michael Chessum, a member of the National Executive Committee of the National Union of Students, commenting on the days events said:
“It is a farce that Ed Bauer has spent over a week in prison for a banner drop, and this can be seen as part of a broader attempt, along with kettles and political charges, to muzzle and intimidate student protest. We are determined not to allow this to stop us from fighting for the right to an education and for a better society.”

There is a press release here:
There are some great pictures of the solidarity demo here (thanks Jon!)

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Blockaders begin mass protest outside Hinkley Point Nuclear Power Station:

03-10-2011 09:17

Blockaders from all over the country converge outside gates of Hinkley Point nuclear power station

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Sheffield Free School Event - 15th October

03-10-2011 08:56

Our next Free School event will be all day Sat. 15th October 2011, followed by evening entertainment.

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Call from France to all UK anti-nuclear Activists

03-10-2011 06:45


The french and the english government have this common feature of being mad about nuclear power. Whereas Germany, Switzerland and Italy are stepping out of the nuclear energy, France and Great-Britain are doing as if Fukushima never happened. If we refuse to let Fukushima become, like Tchernobyl before, an accident without consequence, it is time to take action, NOW.

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Manchester Occupied

02-10-2011 23:28

The occupation starts
As planned, an occupation of Albert Square next to Manchester town hall began as the TUC march was winding its way round the city centre.

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Bristol Indymedia Presents Erasing David

02-10-2011 22:55

Bristol Indymedia presents Erasing David, a documentary about surveillance, privacy and the database state. Described by the Observer as ‘chillingly admonitory‘, the film questions the well-repeated myth ‘if you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear’. Exposing the UK as one of the top three surveillance states in the world, after Russia and China, Erasing David investigates just how traceable we are.

Bristol Indymedia presents Erasing David, a documentary about surveillance, privacy and the database state. Described by the Observer as ‘chillingly admonitory‘, the film questions the well-repeated myth ‘if you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear’. Exposing the UK as one of the top three surveillance states in the world, after Russia and China, Erasing David investigates just how traceable we are.

David Bond, a UK citizen, decides to find out how much private companies and the government know about him by hiring private security guards to track him for thirty days as he attempts to disappear, a decision that changes his life forever.  Leaving his pregnant wife and young child behind, he is followed across the database state on a chilling journey that forces him to contemplate the meaning of privacy and the loss of it. Featuring music by Michael Nyman.

At the Cube cinema, Dove St, Bristol. BS2 8JD, on the 3rd October 2011 at 8pm and entry is £3/£4 but nobody refused for lack of funds.

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Scotland's census - prosecutions in the pipeline

02-10-2011 20:55

A US-based defence contractor involved in human rights abuses at Abu Ghraib Prison helped to run the Scotland's census earlier this year.

read more

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Tory Strategy to Trump Fantastic Manchester Protest

02-10-2011 19:21

The Conservative Party were relying on there being a poor turn-out for the Anti-Cuts protest in Manchester today. Unfortunately for the Tories, 35,000 people showed-up. David Cameron's response was to play the Tory trump card - by announcing an immediate return to Margaret Thatcher's most divisive, effective and populist strategy. The Tories are going to sell more cut-price Council Housing...

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counter protest the NWI/ NEI in leeds on saturday

02-10-2011 19:01

fascist demo in leeds on saturday

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Occupy Manchester + Education Bloc Tory Demo Pics

02-10-2011 16:55

Today tens of thousands marched in protest at the tory party conference in manchester. A feeder march from the university started around 12.30pm after speeches setting out the reasons for the occupation of albert square and future dates for mobilising resistance to the cuts and the con-dem coalition. It joined the main protest which noisily snaked its way around the tory party conference centre. There was a huge amount of anger expressed by marchers with many saying they were inspired by events in other countries and were preparing to support the block the bridge action in london on 9th october, the education demos on 9th nov and the strikes on 30th Nov.     

With Unite supporting the Block the bridge demo in london maybe we are getting closer to the point where the trade unions really do put their money where their mouth is as they repeat the call for civil disobedience alongside industrial action.

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