UK Newswire Archive
16-11-2011 16:59The sickening November 15 police raid on Occupy Wall Street, complete with videotaped beatings,cries out for payback. Late afternoon the same day, Occupy DC stormed into the Victor Building on 9th st, housing the DC offices of Bloomfield Office properties, "owner" of Zucatti Park the home base of Occupy Wall Street.
Occupy DC's arrival seemed to take Bloomfield by complete surprise, as the door was unlocked, allowing protesters to swarm into the building, reinforced lead banner and all, until no more would fit in the first floor hallway. I do not know if anyone tried to get upstairs or otherwise further into the building to the actual offices of Bloomfield Office Properties.
STOP DAWN RAIDS! STOP DETAINING CHILDREN!
Come to the protest Monday 21 November, 10.00 am at Festival Court
16-11-2011 15:49Thomas Blak is the first of the six UK antifascists to be released, but he has been deported.
Saturday 12th November 2011
Meeting outside Boots on Upper Parliament Street, protestors and activist proceeded to Vodafone in Clumber Street, a regular on the Notts uncut tour route ... to remind them of the £8billion pounds that they owe in taxes.
Since this was the first birthday of events and actions on this cause, baloons, party whistles, and cake were produced. Staff invited to join in, but they declined. We were also joined by a rather menacing-looking clown. Some children were a bit scared!
After quite a while police arrived and joined the party.
Onward then tothe other usuals including Topshop, Dorethy Perkins another Vodafone, BHS in Broadmarch and of course Boots. By this time we got a few more followers including Bananaman, assored Guy Fawkes and Army cadet selling p[oppies [concerned about public service and army cutbacks!].
Eventually arriving back in the Market Square for more tea and cakes at the occupation camp.
Happy birthday Notts Uncut
Nottingham Occupy 3 Uncut Tour
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!!"
16-11-2011 13:57D Murphy wins £5,000 grant for new internet TV channel about community and activist life in Swansea.Swansea resident will be honoured at House of Lords ceremony
An account of my arrest for shouting "NO MORE WAR!" during the 2 minute silence at the cenotaph war memorial on Remembrance Sunday.
Last Thursday, carrying a coffee back to my tent in Parliament Square in London after my morning visit to the public toilets in Green Park for ablutions, I noticed a line of metal fences along the pavement around Westminster Abbey, and a large crowd of mostly aged people in various kinds of military attire congregating in the grounds where thousands of small wooden crosses bearing names and red paper poppies had been planted in the mown lawn, a Field of Remembrance to commemorate those who died fighting in wars for their country. I learned from one of the numerous luminous-lemon-jacketed policemen that the Queen's husband, Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, was about to arrive to lay a cross of his own. Deciding to wait among the smallish crowd of mostly curious camera-weilding tourists to witness the event, I noticed a strange curved shape among the plywood Poppy Factory crosses a young Chinese woman was selling from a tray at the gate, and she showed it to me. It was in the shape of a Muslim crescent, minus poppy. She also showed me other shapes - one in a Jewish star, one like an hourglass for Sikhs, and one like a lollipop stick for 'No Faith'.
Police started to move people away from the Abbey so I went over the road to Parliament Square where I got a good view of the arrival of the Duke in his insignia-crested Rolls and his greeting of the clerics and dignitaries. Then it was the two minute silence to remember the war dead. Traffic came to a halt and the air was pregnant with silence. Suddenly a trembling indignation came over me. I felt that silence was an inappropriate way to commemorate those gassed, maimed, crippled, killed, and driven mad by armed conflict, both in the past and today. Instead I felt like shouting "No More War!" at the top of my voice. But I didn't. I was afraid that I might swiftly find myself in police custody on a charge of 'breach of the peace'. The silence ended, the chatting began again and the traffic resumed its incessant roar. I had missed my chance. Disappointed at my funk, I went back to my tent and finished my coffee in a pensive mood. I still had another chance. The official Day of Armistice was on the morrow, the eleventh day of the eleventh month of 2011, and the 2 minute silence would begin at 11am at the Cenotaph in Whitehall.
Next morning as the hour approached I walked along the Victoria Embankment next to the Thames, and came into Whitehall from the direction of Trafalgar Square. I couldn't have cut it finer. There was quite a crowd standing to attention around the cenotaph memorial and the last post was being sounded by a bugler prior to Big Ben's striking of the eleventh hour signalling the beginning of the 2 minute silence. I got as near as I could and stopped about twenty yards from a quartet of lemon jacketed policemen. One of them stared at me intently as though he knew I was going to do something. Looking behind me I saw a group of uniformed soldiers standing to attention. Running away would be useless. I decided to play it cool. The bell gonged eleven times and the silence began. I counted ten slowly and then opened my mouth and shouted at the top of my voice in the direction of the cenotaph.
"NO MORE WAR!"
Several heads in the crowd turned. I shouted again.
"NO MORE WAR!"
I wanted to say it three times, but I was suddenly approached swiftly by the policemen.
"You are entitled to your opinion," said one, "But this is not the time or place."
I turned and walked away past the soldiers and up towards Trafalgar Square, free, feeling quite proud of myself. No newspaper reported the incident.
On Sunday morning I was awoken by a dog sniffing outside my tent. I looked out and found it was on a lead held by a young policewoman who explained that they were doing a security check in the area before the Remembrance Day Ceremony at the Cenotaph in Whitehall. Another one? But this was the special one, to be attended by Her Majesty and the Royal Family, the Prime Minister and Military Dignities. I thanked her for the information and she went on her way with the sniffing white labrador (named Sunny). "So," I asked myself, as I sat on the kerb of the fenced-off lawn watching the crowds in civilian and army dress arriving for the ceremony, all with poppies pinned to their breasts, while a policeman crawled inside my tent and rummaged for bombs, "Are you going to do the shout again?" Definitely! (I had just been reading about the sale of arms to Israel by UK warmongerers.) And this time I would shout three times. But where? There was a lot of people around. I'd be safe doing it in St James' Park but felt the sound not might reach the cenotaph. I went for a walk along the Embankment parallel to Whitehall but there were too many police vans parked along it. I decided to go back to Parliament Square.
Big Ben was just striking when I reached my tent. People were already standing to attention in the traffickless street. The last gong sounded. I counted slowly up to ten and then raised my hands to the sides of my mouth and cupped them.
"NO MORE WAR!" I bellowed three times, with a brief pause in between. Then I crawled into my tent and lay down. It was dead quiet for a while, and then a policewoman peered into the opening. She said there had been a complaint, and could I explain my action. I said that I had been speaking for those killed in armed conflict, and that God had told me to do it. Another couple of policemen arrived and they told me to come out. I did so and was tightly handcuffed behind my back and escorted across the road into the grounds of the Houses of Parliament where we waited for thirty minutes behind the black bars of the gate for a police van to arrive. A passing politician coming in from the ceremony glared at me and snorted "Disrespect for the dead!"
"It wasn't disrespect!" I replied indignantly, unheeded.
The van arrived and I was bundled into the little cell cage at the back. The two plastic seats had recently been washed and were still wet, and I perched precariously on the edge of one as we wheeled through the streets across town to Marylebone Police Station. There the handcuffs were removed and I was also relieved of my shoes and trousers (both having strings for tying which could be used for hanging myself). Instead they gave me a pair of long johns and canvas slip-on shoes to wear, and after having the inside of my mouth swabbed for a DNA sample, my fingerprints and mugshots taken, I was shown to a cell. A policewoman gave me a cup of tea and a chicken supreme and rice packed lunch that she had heated in a microwave oven. After I'd eaten I lay and waited for the arrival of a lawyer from Biden's Solicitors, who help people arrested in political demonstrations.
When she arrived we talked in the room before the taped interview to be conducted by detectives. She advised me to say "No Comment" to most questions when asked, but I found this difficult and generally replied honestly and straightforwardly to what was put. The officers said that I might be charged with a Public Order crime or for demonstrating without permission. They withdrew for discussion and I was returned to my cell. When they let me out an hour or so later I was informed that I was being charged with 'use of threatening, abusive or insulting words/disorderly within the hearing or sight of a person likely to be caused harassment, alarm or distress thereby CONTRARY TO SECTION 5 (1) AND (6) OF THE PUBLIC ORDER ACT 1986.
I am due to appear in Westminster Magistrates Court at 181 Marylebone Road on 23rd of November at 10 am. In the meantime, on condition of bail I must sign in every day at a police station in Charing Cross in case I fail to surrender to custody. However, I have decided to attend the hearing on the prescribed day and I will stick to the answer I gave the police when they read me the charge. "In my opinion I was not threatening, abusive or insulting."
It is we, the people, who are under threat from the military machine.
"NO MORE WAR!"
Michael Dickinson can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
16-11-2011 08:51Designed on the principle of 'Free Currencies – Free Markets – Free People – Free Planet', on 13 November 2011, the long-awaited Crom Alternative Currency System has finally been opened – in many ways a unique combination of a social network and payment system.
16-11-2011 07:34NOVEMBER 17 will be an important day for democracy on two continents, with big protests against neoliberal tyranny lined up.
Today the City of London Corporation announced that they intend to recommence their legal action against us under the Highways Act.
As a movement, Occupy London believes in bringing divergent views together in a spirit of open discussion, with the intention of reaching consensus. We are therefore disappointed that the City of London Corporation has decided to cut off the process of dialogue at their end and go down the legal route.
Last week, Occupy London presented our formal counteroffer to the City of London Corporation. We asked the Corporation to do a few things that every other local authority does as a matter of course: to make itself accountable to the public under the Freedom of Information Act and to make certain aspects of its financial and lobbying activities more transparent. Today’s announcement is the first thing we have received in terms of a response. We cannot help but feel that the failure to engage with us constructively represents something of a missed opportunity.
We note that, in addition to discussion of the Corporation’s responsibilities as a highway authority, Stuart Fraser, the outgoing policy chair saw fit to cite “reports about vulnerable people, cases of late-night drinking and other worrying trends.” This is something we want to respond to directly.
Like occupations across the world, the sense of community Occupy London has fostered has attracted some of the more vulnerable members of our community to our camps. We have given a number of people, whom society has essentially written off, a renewed sense of purpose and self-esteem as part of a community where they are respected for the contributions they bring.
Some of those attracted to our camp come from challenging situations and bring those pre-existing difficulties with them. We have recently set up a welfare initiative to help those people where we can and to signpost them to existing service providers. We are not in a position to provide a solution to these problems – we are very much aware of this – but we are doing what we can. We are certainly not encouraging anyone who is already being provided with accommodation or support to come and join us: we just don’t have the resources to provide that kind of specialist help, as much as we’d like to.
Our camps at St Paul’s Courtyard and Finsbury Square represent hope to a great many people – some of whom don’t have all that much. If the City of London Corporation wishes to pursue this line of argument, what we would say to them is this: whatever “worrying trends” the Corporation may perceive are not actually trends. These are pre-existing problems and issues that the Corporation, as a local authority, has a responsibility to deal with. Sweeping difficult issues under the carpet, or simply seeking to move them on, will not actually solve anything.
In the spirit of the Occupy movement in London and throughout the world, we remain committed to open dialogue and will seek to continue that dialogue with the City of London Corporation, whether they feel willing to continue that process with us or not. As far as legal action goes, there is really very little to say: we are aware of our legal position and the likely timeframe for any action. We have a great legal team on board and are not in the least concerned about the road ahead.
11th November Response from OLSX to Corporation of London
The General Assembly of Occupy London has this morning communicated the following to the City of London Corporation via its lawyer Paul Ridge of Bindmans.
Occupy London would like to emphasise that, as part of the global movement for real democracy challenging social and econonomic injustice, its interests are broader than matters pertaining to the City of London Corporation, as per the initial statement of the Occupy London Stock Exchange General Assembly. This was collectively agreed on Sunday 16th October, the second day of the occupation, at the camp based at St Paul’s Courtyard.
It is the hope of Occupy London that, in the spirit of openness and inclusivity that the Occupy movement embraces and advocates, representatives of the City of London Corporation will attend one of its General Assemblies at the Occupy London Stock Exchange camp to discuss these and other issues in a non-hierarchical democratic forum.
Response of Occupy London
We reject the proposal, as the terms are unreasonable and they serve only to establish the ground work for the City of London Corporation to bring proceedings against the Occupy London Stock Exchange occupation based at St Paul’s Churchyard.
The City of London Corporation is an undemocratic authority which is more accountable to corporations than the public. We cannot negotiate with such an institution without undermining our sister occupations across the globe, who are being violently oppressed by authorities with the same interests as the City of London Corporation.
We propose that if the following terms are met, we will wish to continue dialogue. We call on the City of London Corporation to do the following:
1. Publish full, year-by-year breakdowns of the City Cash account, future and historic.
2. Make the entirety of its activities subject to the Freedom of Information Act.
3. Detail all advocacy undertaken on behalf of the banking and finance industries, since the 2008 financial crash.
We have been working, and will continue to work, with the fire service as well as the health and safety executive to ensure the occupation remains a safe environment for ourselves and our neighbours.
On hearing that the occupation in New York Zuccotti Park was evicted this morning, I spent a few hours browsing for more info. On youtube, I stumbled across something rather different. As one youtuber puts it: "Occupya Wall Street is trying to find its musical groove as the demonstrators show no sign of stopping their revolutionary revolt against corporate greed". I'll share some examples and wonder if the revolution will be youtubed after all.
David Harvey pointed out that apart from organising and assembling, building a social movement is fun - so looking at the music of the Occupy movements makes sense. One thing is the music that is being played in the squares, but then there is also the music people use in their hommages to the movements on youtube.
I'm not so much interested in the quality of the pieces, don't know much about music anyway - but it strikes me how many people take the time to express their political emotions on youtube via music. Some do it under the impression of an occupation, like this young guy with his guitar who sings a song he thought about while being at Occupy Los Angeles. Others turn to Youtube precisely because they can't participate physically, but want to contribute anyway, for instance this guy, very emotional, who can't go to an occupation but dedicates a song to "them who stand for all of us".
Some clips are like these fans videos made for a favourite popstar - photos lifted from the web, overlaid by some tunes. Considering the range of chosen tunes, the Occupy Wallstreet supporters must be a varied bunch.
Someone collected images found on youtube, flickr, facebook etc and combined them with The Who's "we won't get fooled again". Another one used Reggae/Rock: "Stand tall" by Rya Fraser - and got a hearty thank you from Brisbane in the comments. An "Occupy Wall Street Tribute" counters mainstream media representation of the protests by showing photos of protesting "people who are not hippie slackers", overlaid by The Beatles' "Come Together". "Talking about a revolution" can't be left out - here combined with pics and sound from Occupy Wallstreet on Oct 5th.
Sentiments of "the nation", kind of "the better America" thing, seem to be quite widespread. Radiohead's national anthem is remixed and accompanied by images of a violent police raid on Occupy Wallstreet. The uploader says: "This is the most important video that I have created thus far" and encourages massive redistribution. A rap-style piece about the occupiers agenda is dedicated "America" and "to everyone out there in the streets protesting" and mixes the US flag with audio footage from the occupations.
Some musicians used their own songs and added protest footage from occupy wallstreet, for instance Iris Eve. And there's a remix of political speeches with some techno-ish beats, directed at the "99%" and claiming that "this is our chance to restore the American dream".
Quite a few people made their own songs, like a slightly boring singer songwriter. Another one identifies the need for the movement's very own protest song and attempts to "fill the gap" with his own creation to the tune of "Give peace a chance". The singer-songwriter protest song style seems to be rather popular on youtube. Here's one by Spencer Livingstone, one by Evan Wilson, one by Square of the Roots from Springfield, Illionis, and another one about the American dream.
Many rappers/hip hoppers created new songs for the Occupy Movement, like "Better Days" by Rob Royalty & Flick Millan, or the "Regular Man" song. The rhytm is taken from peoplechanting the slogan "Occupy Wallstreet". More rap is here and here and in one of the many 99% songs, one of the few with women in it. Finally another "Anthem for the Occupiers" starts with the Anonymous trademark greeting: "We do not forgive. We do not forget" and closes with the slogan: "We come to occupy".
Occupy Nottingham appeared on 97.5 kemet FM on Sunday 13th of November at 9:00PM for a 2 hour show.
Occupy Nottingham appeared on 97.5 kemet FM on the The Talk Back Show at 9PM on Sunday 13th of Novemebr. They had 2 hour lively discussion on the show with phone-ins from listeners.
Photographs By Lewis Stainer
Thursday November 10th 2011
Gathering at the Polish Eagle Club, Sherwood Rise, Nottingham, over 250 people attended the Nottingham launch of revolutionary rapper Lowkey's "Soundtrack to the Struggle" album.
The hiphop artist and activist who has traveled to Palestine and whose #1-selling album raises awareness about the arms trade, Islamophobia, the so-called "War on Terror", international U.S military bases and the hypocrisy of Western leaders including Obama, enjoyed a warm welcome from the Nottingham crowd which included students from both universities and colleges as well as local residents. Fans sang along to lyrics rejecting war and Western consumerism, promoting instead justice, equality and peace. Prior to the headline act, an open mic took place, and local artists such as El Dia (who's performing at the Sumac's Insurrection Hiphop night this Friday) and MC Drago warmed up the crowd with their politically conscious lyrics and cheers of "Free Free Palestine!" Logic, Awate, and Crazy Haze, who accompany Lowkey on tour, were also met with enthusiastic appreciation of their inspiring lyrics.
Poet and journalist Jody McIntyre then shared his critical, witty, political poetry to a receptive audience.
The stage was adorned with a large Palestinian flag and graffiti pieces created by 16-year old Lowkey fan Usamah Qaiser and the venue also hosted a diverse range of stalls from local activist organisations and campaign groups. Palestinian Solidarity Campaign was joined by Notts Uni Palestinian Society, Nottingham Students Against Fees and Cuts, Nottingham Refugee Forum, local artists and Veggies from the Sumac who provided tasty samosas and vegan cake along with relevant newspapers and pamphlets such as Peace News. Radical feminist collective Sisters of Resistance politicised the women's toilets with details of their anti-imperialist, pro-vegan hip-hop blog.
The diverse crowd engaged with the stalls, took flyers and purchased Palestinian scarfs (kuffiyehs) raising money for Palestine and becoming aware of the need for organised resistance. Members of the audience were encouraged to become actively involved in building alternatives to the exploitative, unsustainable system that the featured artists powerfully denounced. With Lowkey's soundtrack as the inspiration, the successful event saw revolutionary activists and hiphop fans, students and locals alike united in their determination to continue the struggle. text: Sofia Mason
Sisters of Resistance
Lowkey's "Soundtrack to the Struggle"
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!!"
15-11-2011 22:34Update 15 November 2011: Julian Assange’s team have raised the following points of law as grounds to appeal to the Supreme Court: