On Monday, June 27th, Indymedia Bristol's server was seized by the police. An Indymedia volunteer was arrested during the raid on suspicion of incitement to criminal damage. He is now on bail. See Indymedia Bristol Statement (28th June 05):
"We are outraged at the actions of the police. They have completely disabled the entire Bristol Indymedia news service. By their actions they have undermined the principle of open publishing and free access to the media, thereby removing people's opportunity to read and report their own news. This situation has serious implications for anyone providing a news service on the Internet. We do not intend to let this stop us from continuing the project."Read more >>
Indymedia, together with other grass roots and alternative media groups are preparing for the G8 2005 Summit in Scotland in July. Several physical IMC centres are being planned to facilitate DIY reporting of the events around the G8.
Want to get involved? Have equipment you can lend or donate? Get in touch and find out more on the info page for the G8 Independent Media Convergence event. The convergence was held at the Institute for Autonomy social centre in London 14-15th May.
Money is also needed to help secure venues, vehicles for mobile media facilities and equipment - please consider donating money to Indymedia.
[ Convergence Call and Registration | Convergence Video Invite ]
To celebrate 10 years of critical mass, over 800 cyclists took to the streets in London last year with a bike samba band, live guitar from a rickshaw, multiple sound systems, mad bikes the like of which have to be seen to be believed. It was massive, and it happened again on Friday April 29. At least 500 cyclists, rollerbladers and skateboards joined the 11th Annivesary in London [photos 1, 2, 3, report]. There will also critical masses in Glasgow, Liverpool and Nottingham [photos] - and probably other cities around the country as well.
On Saturday 30th April there was a successful mass "against climate change, pollution and the G8" in Worthing, Sussex. Meanwhile, in Sheffield on June 11th and the 15th there are more rides to coincide with an anti-war demo and the G8 meeting of Justice and Interior Ministers in Sheffield taking place 15th/17th.Read more >>
Derby G8 Protests Go Ahead Amidst Massive Policing Operation
March 17th: Despite extraordinary measures approved by the Home Secretary to Ban all Marches in Derby [see pics of orders] and set up exclusion zones, the Derby G8 protests went ahead. A Critical Mass bicycle protest took place in the morning with around 40 people taking part - police arrested 12 cyclists [see pics], who were released on bail that night, however their bicycles have been kept 'as evidence'. Later amidst a militarised Derby with riot police [pics] stationed across the city, and several police surveillance units filming protestors, around 100 people gathered in the Town Square to protest against the G8.
See: Breaking News Reports from Derby M17 Protests
Pics: Bush + Blair Pied + General Photos
Pics: G8: Derby M17 Picture Collection
Pics: Derby Photo Report PtII
Friends of the Earth Interview at Derby M17
In the run up to the this summer's July G8 Summit in Gleneagles (Scotland), ministers from the eight more powerul economies have been holding 'mini-summits' around the country.
14-15th March: Coinciding with the International Energy and Environment Ministers' Roundtable meeting in London (see DEFRA link) a Climate Change Noise Protest was held on Tuesday 15th. Amidst heavy police security there were two arrests - including one person who was filming and whose film was seized. See Reports 1 | 2 | 3 and Pictures.
11th March: While the Employment Ministers of the G8 nations were meeting in London, activists staged a protest outside the Department of Trade and Industry and other locations [see report and pics 1 | 2 | 3]. Also see www.nodeal.org.uk for background and press release.
On Monday an Alternative Summit for Climate Justice called Moving Beyond the Greenwash was also held in London.
Other planned G8 Ministerial meetings include the G8 Finance Ministers in London (June 10-11th), the G8 Justice & Interior Ministers in Sheffield (June 16-17th), and the G8 Pre-Summit Foreign Ministers meeting in London (23rd June). For more protests and events follow the 'read more' link...
On the 14th November outside the recording studios in Hampstead where "Do They Know It's Christmas" - Band AID 20 (named after the 20-year anniversary of the original) was being re-recorded, demonstrations took place by protesters arguing that Band Aid is little more than a screen "whitewashing the real issues behind world poverty". Shouts of 'real aid, not band aid', 'don't whitewash Africa' and boo's were audiable over the screams of fans and onlookers. One protester was arrested for handing out leaflets explaining the reasons for the protest - [read full report].
Protesters from the Dissent! Network, organising against the G8 Summit, argue that the song is obnoxious, patronising and out of date with the real situation in Africa
"This isn't about creating a record to support people in Africa- this is a kodak moment for Bono, Midge Ure and for Blair to manipulate public opinion and push through a destructive economic agenda to serve Western economic interests."
As Britain gears up for the G8 summit next July, Blair's government together with Bono and Geldof are doing everything they can to convince the public into believing that real action is being taken on issues such as Climate change and poverty in Africa.
The original Band AID single produced in 1984 raised £9.5 million. The 2003 G8 summit in Evian cost £400 million. The security budget for the 2005 summit in Scotland is set at £150 million. The war in Iraq has so far cost the UK taxpayer £80 billion pounds and rising. The continuing loss of life due to poverty and war is unquantifyable.
International development campaigners - the World Development Movement (WDM) - also condemned the lyrics as promoting a "negative and inaccurate picture of Africa and its problems." The organisation, which has been campaigning on issues effecting Africa for over 30 years and was one of the founders of both the fair trade movement and Jubilee 2000, drew attention to several lines in the song which it described as "patronising, false and out of date".
Director of WDM, Mark Curtis said on Tuesday 14th: "The song perpetuates the myth that Africa’s problems can somehow be blamed on lack of rainfall and failed harvests. It conjures up an image of a continent inhabited entirely by starving children with flies on their faces sitting in the sunbaked bed of a dried up stream."
"African poverty is not an unfortunate accident of geography and climate. It is largely the result of damaging policies such as free trade forced on Africa by rich countries."
Several initiatives are now underway to re-write the lyrics - upload your own, or send lyrics or recorded audio files to firstname.lastname@example.org
Following months of speculation over the location of the 2005 G8 Summit in the UK, and reports that all police leave in Edinburgh and Scotland will be cancelled next summer, the Gleneagles hotel [official website] in Perthshire, Scotland has finaly been confirmed as the venue (G8 dates: 6th-8th July 2005).
The last time the G8 met in the UK was in Birmingham in May 1998. Then up to 70,000 people encircled the centre of Birmingham, forming a human chain and demanding an end to third world debt [pics]. On the same day up to 7,000 people took control of the centre of Birmingham for the second Global Reclaim the Streets Party [pics 1 | 2 | 3][video] - with actions and protests happening against the G8 in around 40 cities across the world, with over 400 social movements taking co-ordinated action under the banner of Peoples' Global Action (PGA).
Six years and many huge mobilisations later, people in the UK have been organising around the G8 for several months. A growing new network of local groups has been created called the Dissent! Network, with nodes across the country. Dissent! is planning a series of awareness raising events through the year and has been calling for both local and international participation. Many people and groups are now focussing on planning protests and direct action campaigns against the G8.
Recently many NGO organisations are also co-ordinating on a level unseen since the Jubliee 2000 drop the debt campaigns, and are set to try and take advantage of Tony Blair and Gordon Brown's aim to pitch the UK presidency of the G8 as a positive step towards reducing third world debt and around issues of development and trade [see guardian article] - 2005 is also the 20th anniversary of the Live Aid concert. Several groups are expected to use the European Social Forum in London in October later this year as a platform from which to launch campaigns. Recently several Trade Union leaders, politicians and Globalise Resistance have also issued their first call for protests.
Recent UK Savannah G8 Solidarity Actions
The People's Golfing Association (PGA) [statement][pics]
"Anarchist Group's Gleneagles Website Exclusive!"*
Corporate Media Coverage of Gleneagles G8
For more on G8 - see the Indymedia G8 Reports Section
Public sector cuts