Skip navigation

Indymedia UK is a network of individuals, independent and alternative media activists and organisations, offering grassroots, non-corporate, non-commercial coverage of important social and political issues

Defend Public Space in Birmingham City Centre.

Bully | 07.03.2008 16:51 | Free Spaces | Birmingham

A call out for progressive groups to help defend our space on

the High Street - this Saturday and every Saturday at One.

The Bull
The Bull

The area in use.
The area in use.

and again
and again

For some time now, progressive groups campaigning in Birmingham
have used the area at the bottom of the city centre's High St
to set up stall and engage with the public. The area borders
the latest development of the Bull Ring shopping centre, and
the space within it's borders, as dominated by the giant bull
sculpture, is deemed to be private, not public. On saturdays
though, campaigning political groups sometimes dominate
the public area.

But this has not been without it's problems. Food Not Bombs
occasionally sets up stall here, for Buy Nothing day 2005 for
instance, and on that occasion staff from the large Virgin
megastore as well as representatives of the City Council and
ultimately a couple of police oficers expressed antipathy
towards the event and attempted to move it on. Food not
Bombs/Buy Nothing Day stood it's ground however and was able to
stay. While Buy Nothing Day moved to New St for 2006 and passed
without incident, the event in 2007 endured half hearted attempts by the
council, via two security guards, to be moved on, presumably
because it interfered with the carefully controlled image of
the German market up at the top of New St. Once more we stood
our ground.

Recently attempts to control and regulate the public space at
the bottom of the High St have reappeared. The area has been
used as campaigning ground sucessfully by a number of groups,
including Birmingham No Borders, yet in recent months both the
SWP, who often appear on the High St, and the Birmingham
Guantanamo Campaign have been asked to move on, accused of
obstruction. In the case of the Guantanamo campaign, the
presence not ten metres away of a car, as part of a commercial
display, indicates the political motivation behind this

The Birmingham Guantanamo Campaign will be there this saturday
from 1pm, and invite others to come to share the space and
provide a show of solidarity. All are invited, including any
groups who want to bring their own info-stalls or displays.
Lets show the city the meaning of public space and freedom of

Meet this Saturday 8th march at 1pm.



The same struggle all over- Here in South London too...

08.03.2008 12:56

All the best to Birmingham public space defenders!!