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Birmingham Feature Archive

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25-02-2011 12:36

Three BP petrol stations shutdown in Birmingham

16th February 2011
Earth First! writes:
Today three BP petrol stations in the Quinton, Longbridge and Selly Park areas of Birmingham were shutdown.

The action was taken in response to BP's involvement in the Canadian Tar Sands, the role it played in the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and more recently the joint venture with Russian energy firm Rosneft to exploit potentially huge deposits of oil and gas in Russia's Arctic shelf. The deal will result in the exploration of 125,000 square kilometers in three areas known as EPNZ 1, 2 and 3 located on the Russian Arctic continental shelf in the South Kara Sea. The deal will also see an Arctic technology center established in Russia which will develop technologies and engineering practices to make Arctic oil extraction easier. [1]

The pumps were all shut off after the safety switches were pushed up into the off position and a metal rod then inserted into the switch handle which was used to wrench it off, making it difficult to switch back on again. The doors were sprayed with the words "Climate Criminals"

One activist said "BP cannot be allowed to continue to destroy our planet for corporate greed. We will continue to fight back against them, and all other corporations that put profit before planet and people"


Full Story >>

22-01-2011 16:02

Advocating Domestic Extremism - Cops on Indymedia - An Exposé

On April 27th, 2010, a comment appeared on the Indymedia UK newswire entitled Don't use SPEAK as a model. The comment, on an article entitled New animal lab at Leicester; New nationwide campaign to start urged readers to respond to the campaign by "Model{ling} the campaign on a successful AR campaign such as Hillgrove cats or Darnley(sic) Oaks etc". Readers familiar with those campaigns will be aware that the campaigns are alleged to have included violent actions against individuals, including a a letter bomb in the Hillgrove Cats campaign, and the removal of Gladys Hammond from her grave.

Full Story | 2 comments >>

26-11-2010 12:46

Council House & universities occupied: students reject cuts and fees hike

On Tuesday 30th November school students and university students took to the streets over cuts which will leave higher education out of reach for working class students. The city Council House chambers were taken over by students staging a sit-down protest and a list of demands put to the City Council.

On Wednesday 24th November students at both Birmingham university and Warwick university showed solidarity with all future generations intending to enter higher education. The universities were occupied to resist the cuts to education and the £12,000 a year fee hikes which would make Britain one of the most expensive countrys in the world to study. These attacks on education are part of a wider neo-liberal experiment, where swathes of public services are planned to be 'marketised', opening up a large sector of the economy to corporate profiteering.

Related Links | Video: Birmingham university protest & occupation | On Facebook: Birmingham Stop Fees & Cuts | Anticuts website | Tuesday National Protests - Day X2

Full Story >>

29-10-2010 20:09

Callout to Defend Huntington Lane!

and the 'fort'

There has been a callout on the newswire to defend the Huntington Lane protest camp. The coal protest camp based at the foot of the Wrekin near Telford in Shropshire is resisting attempts by UK Coal to destroy an Area Of Outstanding Natural Beauty. UK Coal plans to extract 900,000 tonnes of poor quality coal, in a huge open cast operation over the next few years. The plans include destroying parts of an ancient woodland and will be responsible for a minimum of 1,500,000 tonnes of CO2 emitted into the atmosphere.

Links: Defend Huntington Lane: Photo report and call-out (Part 1) | Defend Huntington Lane: Photo report and call-out (Part 2) | Defend Huntington Lane | 4 November callout

Previous feature: Don't Wreck The Wrekin

Full Story | 1 comment >>

20-09-2010 22:27

Confront the Tory Con in Birmingham

On Sunday 3rd October the Tory Party Conference begins in Birmingham. The Right to Work Campaign which is supported by a variety of trade union groups has called a national mobilisation against the conference. An autonomous direct action bloc was soon announced by a group known as No CPC who have posted a comprehensive list of venue targets.

Various possibilities to disrupt fringe events have also been announced, Class War have called for people to cheer their team on at the Tory Party Conference 'pub quiz' taking place in the evening of the mobilisation, and CPC have now announced a Reclaim the Streets Party.

On Tuesday 24th August a delegation from the Right To Work campaign met with West Midlands police to discuss the route of the organised protest march outside the Tory party conference on Sunday 3rd October. West Midlands police stated that they were happy for RtW to march past the conference centre and confirmed that centenary square, the square directly in front of the conference centre, would not be a “sterile zone”. Not surprisingly, on 2nd September the police reneged on the proposed route citing 'security reasons'..

Links: No CPC | RtWC | Fliers & Posters | Transport to mobilisation | Twittter updates

Full Story | 12 comments >>

08-07-2010 20:27

Birmingham’s Spy Cameras: TAKE THEM DOWN…or we will!

Take them down! George Orwell writes: That was the message coming loud and clear from the community at a meeting about the Spy Cameras that have been put up in the Balsall Heath and Washwood Heath areas of Birmingham under the name ‘Project Champion’. Without any public consultation, ‘Project Champion’ saw the positioning of around 150 ANPR (Automatic Number Plate Recognition) cameras and 72 covert surveillance cameras. These cameras happen to be sited in two predominantly muslim areas in Birmingham. These cameras record all vehicle movements and have the capacity to photograph front seat passangers. The meeting was attended by about 250 people and any suggestion of taking down the cameras was greeted with an ever increasing roar of approval. The temperature is rising and West Midlands Police have created a powder keg of anger and resentment primed with a fuse of mistrust.
Related Feature: Campaign Against CCTV Camera Surveillance in Balsall Heath

Full Story | 2 comments >>

16-06-2010 15:28

Hunger strike against Leicester animal lab

Activists on the roof of Wilmott Dixon in Colehill

Protests continue against the construction of an animal lab at the University of Leicester. Activists have targetted various companies involved in the construction, including Willmott Dixon. On Monday June 7, activists held a protest outside the WD's headquarters in Coleshill, Birmingham. One campaigner chained himself to a bench and began a 3 day hunger strike.

The campaign was established following the university's announcement that it was going to be building a new animal lab on Lancaster Place. Whilst the university claims that "vital" research will be carried out at the facility, campaigners content that the new lab "is squandering money away from potentially life-saving research which is accurate and does not involve abusing animals."

On the newswire: Activist completes 3 day hunger strike outside WD office | Activist begins hunger strike protest at Willmott Dixon | Hunger striker to protest WD Coleshill | Pressure continued on Willmott Dixon in Coleshill

Previous feature: Proposed Leicester animal lab attracts protests

Links: Stop the Leicester Animal Lab | National Anti-Vivisection Alliance | Notts Indymedia animal liberation newswire

Full Story | 2 comments >>

19-03-2010 10:07

Don't Wreck The Wrekin

The Huntington Lane Fossil Fools weekend gathering

Anti-coal campaigners have set up a protest camp in Shropshire to fight the establishment of an open cast coal mine in an area of outstanding local beauty.

In 2007 UK Coal submitted plans to Telford and Wrekin Council to open cast mine 900,000 tons of poor quality coal from an area at the foot of the Wrekin in Telford over 32 months. The plans included destroying parts of an ancient woodland and will be responsible for a minimum of 1,500,000 tonnes of CO2 emitted into the atmosphere. The Wrekin is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

After discovering last week that many of the trees had already been felled signaling that work was due to begin imminently, West Midlands Climate Action and a coalition of local groups and activists last week swooped upon the Huntington Lane Surface Mine Site to claim the land.

As part of Fossil Fools Day, West Midlands Climate Action are putting on a weekend gathering at the newly established Huntington Lane Camp from April 1st to 4th. The weekend will include a ramble over the proposed Surface Mine Site, Banner drops, campaign planning and most importantly carrying out any work on site that needs doing to help establish a permanent base on site. They are calling on people to attend the weekend, and to support and defend the camp in any way they can.

West Midlands Climate Action | Defend Huntington Lane
Previous actions against open cast mines: Ffos-y-Fran | Mainshill Solidarity Camp | Broken Cross | Shipley

Full Story >>

26-12-2009 18:06

Remember Gaza

From December 27th 2008 to January 18th 2009 Israeli bombers pounded Gaza. The Israeli assault was the most violent since the occupation began in 1967. On the eighth day of the attack Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) entered Gaza and remained there for two weeks. Throughout the 22 days of the assault civilians were delierately targeted, hospitals were attacked, schools were bombed and 1417 people were killed, including at least 318 children.

The international Palestine solidarity movement is calling for January 2010, the first anniversary of the massacre, to be a month of solidarity actions in support for the campaign for boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel. One such call has come from the Free Gaza movement, whose volunteers broke the siege in order to stand in solidarity with the people of Gaza during the massacre.

On December 27th demonstrations, commemorating the first day of the massacre, were held in Brighton, Sheffield, Liverpool and Birmingham while a thousand strong demonstration was held outside the Israeli embassy in London. Elsewhere Manchester's Target Brimar campaign has called for 22 days of waging peace, incuding several actions against Manchester based arms manufacturer, Brimar, who supply equipment used in Israeli fighter aircraft, the Palestine Solidarity Campaign has called for a week of action, from the 9th to the 17th of January, against supermarkets selling Israeli goods, a mass 'die in' is planned in Trafalgar Square on the 16th and Smash EDO have called for a mass demonstration against EDO MBM/ITT, now ITT Integrated Structures, who supply components for F-15s and F-16s used by the Israeli military.

The Viva Palestina convoy was supposed to arrive in Gaza today, breaking the siege and bringing much needed medicine and rebuilding materials. However, the convoy has not been allowed to enter Egypt and has been in Aqabah, Jordan, since December 25th. On the 27th the convoy members began a hunger strike calling for the Egyptian government to allow them to enter. Activists are also arriving in Egypt to join the Gaza Freedom March, a march from Egypt into Gaza and to the Erez crossing. Freedom marchers have already suffered repression from the Egyptian authorities with dozens arrested (and then released) and a Gaza massacre memorial in Cairo shut down.

Links: Palestine Solidarity Campaign|Boycott Israeli Goods Campaign|Smash EDO|Target Brimar|Palestinian Return Centre|Gaza Freedom March|Viva Palestina|Free Gaza Movement|Palestinian BDS Campaign|

Full Story | 2 comments >>

22-10-2009 10:31

BNP Membership Leak 2.0

Question Time Shock

On 20th October 2009 a list containing personal details of BNP members was leaked for the second time by the whistleblowing website Wikileaks. According to Wikileaks the latest data reflects the state of the party membership as of April 2009. An analysis of the data alludes to the successes and failures of the antifascist movement within the UK.

The claims of a 'surge' in BNP membership since the European elections appear to be false. The figures show a unique paid annual membership of 11,811 which is significantly less than the 14,000 recently claimed by the BNP. The list leaked in November 2008 showed a membership of 12,802 names although this list was widely regarded to include non-members who had shown an interest in the party.

Wikileaks state that a total of 35,000 memberships appear on the list, but after this number reached 33,000, 100,000 has been added to all subsequent membership ID numbers. "It has the effect of making the BNP look larger to new recruits and those they talk to, since the numbers on their membership cards are all over 133,000" say Wikileaks. This was a tactic originally adopted by the German nazi party after 1919 who added 500 to every member's number to exaggerate the party's strength, and was regarded as a key propaganda tactic to increase support.

The number of lapsed memberships also appear to be significantly high which indicates the party is poor at retaining committed support. A member of the state-funded antifascist group 'Searchlight' stated "people join the party because they're angry, agitated or curious, but they leave in equal numbers out of the bottom". However most BNP supporters are unlikely to join a political party so the figures exhibit a skewed representation of the current landscape of fascism in the UK.

Article continued…

Birmingham Related Articles: Fash Get The Brum Rush | EDL is BNP front group | Birmingham kicks out EDL | Birmingham kicks out EDL.. again

Related Articles: BNP Threatens Free Media | Keep Question Time Nazi Free | No to the BNP! No to the Racist Labour Government! | Secret BBC Location

Full Story >>

16-10-2009 18:23

Resistance To The Fur Trade


With fur back in season so is the resistance to it. From raids at farms to sabotage of shops, this autumn has so far been another round of biting back. In the last two months farms imprisoning mink have been closed down in Germany by the Animal Liberation Front (ALF) and found abandoned in Italy by the Animal Liberation Investigation Unit (ALIU), while various shops selling fur have given up the cruel trade.

Since the launch of the West Yorkshire Animal Rights Group (WYARG) in August Best Vintage, Room 7, Accent Clothing and TK Maxx have stopped selling fur and with Daniel Footwear promising to follow suit, focus is now on Next One Leather (the last fur shop in West Yorkshire), by targeting their store and associates (1 | 2 | 3). In the West Midlands, the Western Animal Rights Network (WARN) launched a campaign against Madeleine Ann, ensuing three shops going fur free, with demos lasting under a month (1 | 2 | 3 | Video) after products were eventually sent back to the suppliers, ending their sale of fur products (Video). On the same day Le Scarpe issued a fur-free statement leading to harassment from police and new targets established in Cheltenham, while in the capital protests have escalated as anti-fur activists locked onto the London Fur Company's stall at the London Fashion Weekend, causing the organisers to ask the company to pack up and leave (Videos: 1 | 2).

Update: After two houses of campaigners in Leeds were raided in connection with an ALF action against Next One Leather, the fur shop has gone fur-free.

Links: West Yorkshire Animal Rights Group (WYARG) | It's A Knock Out | Next One Leather Campaign | Western Animal Rights Network (WARN) | Bite Back Magazine | Animal Liberation Front (ALF) | Max Mara Campaign | Coalition to Abolish the Fur Trade (CAFT)

Full Story | 2 comments >>

22-09-2009 10:33

Sean Kirtley Released From Prison After Appeal Victory!

The Final Nail In The SOCPA Coffin?

In May 2008, following an 18-week trial costing over £4.5 million, the operator of a website criticising animal testing, Sean Kirtley, was sentenced to four and a half years in prison for allegedly organising legal protests. He was found guilty under Section 145 of the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act (SOCPA) for "interfering with the contractual relationships of a laboratory" by campaigning against Sequani Limited and its business associates. He was released this month after his appeal was successful.

Solidarity direct action included a Carnival Against Vivisection in September against Sequani and anonymous ALF activists painting a city centre, walls and bridges, liberating hundreds of chickens, redecorating a fur shop, vandalising a hunter's car and sabotaging vending machines (1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5).

Newswire: A letter from Sean Kirtley to Gagged! | "Free Sean" | GSK and Mars vending machines sabotaged | Sean Kirtley's Appeal Launched | ALF Chickin' Nickin' For Sean | Law-lord ruling to free Sean Kirtley? NETCU on the run | Felix Says "Free Sean Kirtley" | Sollidarity actions for Sean Kirtley | Serious Implications for Freedom of Speech as Activist Jailed for 4.5 years | NETCU and Judge Ross crucify civil liberties | Support Freedom of Speech - Support Sean! | Sequani Trial Update - One Remanded - Three not guilty so far... | Jury out to decide the fate of the Sequani Six (longest AR trial in history) | How to be a seriously organised animal rights criminal - Section 145 SOCPA. | The Sequani Six say thanks for the support

Previous feature: Police repression at Sequani demo | World Day for Animals in Laboratories March | Anti-vivisection campaigners convicted of blackmail | Solidarity For Political Prisoner Sean Kirtley | Carnival Against Vivisection | Sequani Besieged by Surprise Action

Links: Free Sean Kirtley | Sequani 6 | Stop Sequani Animal Testing | NETCU Watch

Indymedia UK topic pages: Stop Sequani Animal Testing | SOCPA

Full Story | 1 addition | 10 comments >>

24-07-2009 19:03

Police repression at Sequani demo

Together with the Gateway to Hell Campaign a demo was organised outside Sequani Labs in Ledbury, Hereford. Vivisectors are always telling us British Labs are like hotels for animals so around 30 activists decided to highlight this disgusting lie by having an all day demo outside Sequani (a contract research organisation).

Firstly, police threatened an activist with arrest for using the term "puppy killers", saying it's offensive. Next they were trying to obtain details from lawful protesters, which angered them when they were refused. The demo was so succesful with such a good atmosphere that passers by started to pap their horns, this was met with blue lights by the police who followed them, issuing £30 fines to the motorists.

Pictures: 1 | 2

Previous features: World Day for Animals in Laboratories March | Anti-vivisection campaigners convicted of blackmail | Solidarity For Political Prisoner Sean Kirtley | Carnival Against Vivisection | Sequani Besieged by Surprise Action | Indymedia UK Stop Sequani topic page

Full Story >>

17-05-2009 23:12

Largest Shareholder Barclays and Top Investors Dump HLS

This week it was announced Barclays and four other large investors dropped all shares in Huntingdon Life Sciences (HLS), Europe's largest and most exposed vivisection laboratory. LSR stock owned by institutional shareholders has now fallen to 12%, placing HLS $4 million below the NYSE minimum listing standard for market value (the only stock exchange listing the company, a major target in the campaign to close HLS).

Following a legal challenge against the CEO's proposal to purchase all of the outstanding LSR stock, an intense global campaign and recent repression against SHAC in Birmingham, a total of 797,284 shares have now been sold. Barclays Global Investors, Barclays Plc, Hartford Investment Management Company, Rice Hall James and Associates LLC, Bank of New York Mellon and Wells Fargo sold all their shares, of which over 400,000 were held by previously largest shareholder Barclays.

Barclays campaign: Global (Videos) | London | Direct action | SHAC topic page

Full Story | 1 addition | 1 comment >>

22-04-2009 20:54

SHAC supporter unlawfully arrested at Barclays Bank

First time supporter arrested

During a regular demo outside Barclays (due to their support for Huntingdon Life Sciences) a group of teenagers came to find out what the demo was about. The police were called, they arrested one teenager (Video) for alleged criminal damage (kicking the door of Barclays) which activists claim he didn't do, then refused to take details of bystanders who were witnesses to the non-crime. See update on arrested person and the SHAC topic page for information on the ongoing campaign.

Update: Another arrest at Barclays

Full Story >>

22-01-2009 13:00

Over a dozen university occupations for Palestine

Student for a free palestine - occupations

Students across the country are holding occupations and sit ins in solidarity with Gaza. SOAS shut down a MOD exhibition on their campus whilst students at LSE declared victory after seven days when the university agreed to all of their demands.

They are followed by others at King's College,Essex, Warwick, Sussex , Birmingham and over 80 Oxford University students have occupied the historic Bodleian building to demand that the university releases a statement condemning the attack on Gaza and cancel the lecture series at Balliol College inaugurated by Israeli war criminal Shimon Peres. There are also early reports of occupations at Manchester Met, Newcastle, Leeds, Cambridge [Pics], Bradford, Queen Mary, Sheffield Hallam, Nottingham, Strathclyde and Manchester universities. Update Wed 28th: The occupations have started to bring in results as both Sussex and Bradfod students have declared "victory" [See Sussex and Bradford declarations] On the other hand, the Cambridge University occupation is under threat of eviction [more] Update Sun 1st Feb: Nottingham occupation violently evicted [more | video] Update 11th Feb: Golsmiths University and the University of East Anglia are occupied.

In Yorkshire, students have occupied a building at Leeds University whilst the Bradford AGM voted to give the university the weekend to comply with demands to support the Palestinians, or expect action on Monday. On Tuesday morning, around 80 students occupied the university boardroom. The students say they "are enraged and horrified by the unspeakable atrocities that have been committed by the Israeli military on the people of Palestine, and ... will not tolerate the complicity of ... institutions of education in this violence."

Regional features: Cambridge | Nottingham | Sheffield

Full Story | 4 additions | 6 comments >>

15-09-2008 23:06

Birmingham School rejects ARK as Academy sponsor

The Governing Body and the Head Teacher at Harborne Hill School, Birmingham, have rejected Absolute Return for Kids (ARK), the controversial sponsors of the proposed Harborne Academy, from taking over their school.

The Governing Body unanimously voted to stop ARK after it emerged that they were intent on destroying vital educational ties with local partnerships and organisations built up by the school over years. They were also shocked to find out that, despite Birmingham City Council saying that staff terms and conditions were ‘sacrosanct’, ARK refused to give any meaningful guarantees to their prospective employees. This means that ARK can refuse to acknowledge unions or any national agreements on pay and conditions. Their short track history so far has shown their contempt for their employees.

Newswire Reports: Harborne Hill School rejects ARK as Academy sponsor – so should St Alban’s! | Oppose Orimiston Academy!

Related News: Occupation of ARK by Wembley teachers in pictures | Furious parents occupy the lobby of venture capitalist firm | Video: Smash School Privatisation: The Wembley Tent City Eviction

Previous Feature: Teachers Occupation Defends Wembley Sports Ground From Privatisation

Full Story | 1 comment >>

10-09-2008 11:52

Solidarity For Political Prisoner Sean Kirtley

On Saturday 6th September two hundred activists made it to Ledbury, Herefordshire, for the Carnival Against Vivisection in solidarity with political prisoner Sean Kirtley. The day of action was called by various groups in resistance to the imprisoning of peaceful campaigners under SOCPA legislation, and as a stand for the animals suffering inside vivisection laboratories.

Protesters met on the grass verge, where the police held them allowing a maximum of 15 at a time to demonstrate outside Sequani labs. Shortly after campaigners made a spontaneous break for the labs, with police responding by blocking the bridge to push back the crowd, creating minor scuffles. Multiple attempts were also made to access the labs using various pre-planned routes, meeting police each time, some of which had dogs. Protesters then regrouped at the grass verge to march the original route around town.

Pictures: 1 | 2 | Videos

Newswire: Sequani demo | Carnival Against Vivisection - Arrest Witnesses Appeal | Carnival Against Vivisection - some thoughts | Carnival Against Vivisection - Latest

Previous features: Carnival Against Vivisection | Sequani Besieged by Surprise Action

Related links: Free Sean Kirtley | Stop Sequani Animal Testing | Antispeciesist Action | Animal Liberation Front | Bite Back | NETCU Watch | FIT watch | Western Animal Rights Network | Indymedia UK Stop Sequani topic page

Full Story | 3 additions | 11 comments >>

21-08-2008 19:18

Carnival Against Vivisection

In solidarity with Sean Kirtley, who was imprisoned by the state for supposedly organising legal demonstrations against Sequani's vivisection laboratories, activists will be making a stand for the animals with a march and rally against Sequani labs on September 6th in Ledbury, Herefordshire.

Since campaigning against vivisection labs has been criminalised under Section 145 of the SOCPA legislation, such as operating a website critical of a company like Sean did, the event has been organised without organisers and is not an authorised event.

Hereford Police have already shown concern for the day of action by contacting NETCU Watch and are appealing for organisers to identify themselves, in the hope of finding somebody responsible. Despite this, the call for mass action has been promoted by various groups including Antispe Britain, West Midlands ALF, Stop Sequani Animal Testing, SHAC, and the Western Animal Rights Network.

Details: About | March, Maps + Important Police Information | Routes | Programme/Newsletter | Antispeciesist Action Press Release | Poster Translations | Hereford Police | Police want the organisers | Transport | Other Targets in Herefordshire! | SEQUANI Site plan with building information | Promo video | Webpage for the Carnival

Sequani newswire: Sean Kirtley Moved Prison | The tormented and the witness: Inside Sequani Limited EXCLUSIVE REPORT! | ALF Support The Carnival | why come to the carnival | GSK and Mars vending machines sabotaged | Sean Kirtley's Appeal Launched | Independent: Judge who sentenced animal rights activist was fan of blood sports | AR Protesters Illegal Arrest at Arromight Hereford [Videos: 1 | 2] | Activist arrested for writing in the ground | ALF Chickin' Nickin' For Sean | Sequani Trial Talk | Law-lord ruling to free Sean Kirtley? NETCU on the run | Felix Says "Free Sean Kirtley" | Solidarity actions for Sean Kirtley | Serious Implications for Freedom of Speech as Activist Jailed for 4.5 years | NETCU and Judge Ross crucify civil liberties | Response to state crackdown on peaceful protest | Support Freedom of Speech - Support Sean!

Related links: Free Sean Kirtley | Stop Sequani Animal Testing | Antispeciesist Action | Animal Liberation Front | Bite Back | NETCU Watch | Western Animal Rights Network

Indymedia UK topic pages: Stop Sequani Animal Testing | SHAC

Full Story | 1 addition | 29 comments >>