Open publishing was disabled on this site in mid-July 2016 as there was a very low volume of original grass roots news reports from activists being posted and the collective running the site was dwindling as people were working on other things. From 1st May 2017 this site is a static archive and will no longer be updated.
The history of UK Indymedia is somewhat documented under the Indymedia topic but the full history is yet to be written and perhaps never will be... but this archive will remain available.
See you in the streets!Read more >>
On Monday 2nd of March 2015, there were demonstrations in over 30 towns and cities around the UK (plus Toronto) against Maximus, the US based health insurance corporation that has taken over the contract from the French IT Company Atos to administer the Work Capability Assessment on behalf of the Department Of Work And Pensions. Atos announced its exit from the contract in early 2014 following an intense period of direct action against the company by groups such as Disabled People Against the Cuts.
The day of action was timed to coincide with the first working day of the new contract, with the spotlight turned on Maximus as well as the continued use of Work Capability Assessments and the life-threatening consequences of the ongoing government attacks on the sick and disabled.
In central London, to the chorus of "David Cameron is a W*****" (YouTube) activists from DPAC hit the streets, taking direct action to block traffic and at one stage bringing traffic to a standstill on Victoria Street in the shadow of Big Ben.
The demonstrations across the UK on the streets were complemented with an online Twitter campaign using the hashtags #Maximarse and #ScrapWCA, the latter trending for a number of hours. This gave the opportunity for those unable (including through sickness and disability) to make it to demonstrations to vent their anger and frustation around the Work Capability Assessment and at a government hell-bent on targeting the sick and disabled.Read more >>
***STOP PRESS 13th March: The Metropolitan Police has withdrawn its application to strike out women's case as the legal battle continues. Solidarity picket on Tuesday 18th March will go ahead as planned.***
Five of the eight women taking legal action against the Metropolitan Police, due to undercover police officers deceiving them into long term intimate relationships, will be opposing Scotland Yard's attempt to have their cases struck out on Tuesday 18th March. The women and their Police Spies Out of Lives support group have called for a solidarity picket outside the Royal Court of Justice, The Strand, at 9am on Tuesday 18th, as part of a week of action (17th - 21st March).
On the Newswire: Outrage as High Court permits secrecy over undercover policing | Abuse of women by undercover police must stop now! | Three undercover political Police unmasked | Undercover and over-the-top: The collapse of the Ratcliffe trial | Mark 'Stone/Kennedy' exposed as undercover police officerRead more >>
Section 144 of LASPO may prove unenforceable in practice
Resistance to s.144 of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act (LASPO) 2012 that outlaws squatting in residential buildings is growing. Ultimately, the law may prove unworkable and unenforceable. There have been a number of successful prosecutions under the new law, including the widely publicised conviction and imprisonment of 21 year old Alex Haigh who came to London looking for work and stayed in an unoccupied housing association flat. He pleaded guilty, but it has since become clear that where a not guilty plea is entered by defendant, it may be difficult if not impossible for the prosecution to prove the charge. After some notable acquittals, we have a better idea about the obstacles facing hapless prosecutors and some of the ways in which well-informed residential squatters might go about successfully defending themselves in court. Read on.
On the newswire: Brighton acquittals 1 | Brighton acquittals 2 | Moelfre acquittal | Squatting as protest in Southwark | Mike Weatherley is a coward case | Alex Haigh conviction | Henry: Bristol's first victim of squatting criminalisation
Other links: Squatters Legal Network | Advisory Service for Squatters | Rooftop Resistance | SQUASH
Anti-fascists are gearing up for the return of the English Defence League to Tower Hamlets in East London on September 7th.
The EDL don't have any right to "march on" areas. This is not about expressing freedom of speech, it's about causing fear and division. That's why they must be opposed - Anti Fascist Network
The EDL's leadership have a peculiar obsession with this borough of London - this'll be the third time they've tried (and failed) to demonstrate en masse in the area. That's without counting leadership Tommy and Kev's ill-fated effort at a charity walk through the area back in June.
The last time the league put in an appearance in the borough, in September 2011, a thirty day ban on all parades in the area was enforced by the Home Secretary. On the day, an army of cops enforced separation between them and the thousands of locals and anti-fascists waiting for them just up the road.
So why Tower Hamlets? According to the EDL it's because the area is already under Sharia law. In fact they go so far as to claim that there is "No beer allowed, this is a Muslim area", which will come as news to regulars of the White Hart and Blind Beggar.
In reality there probably are a handful of nutters who want to establish a global caliphate and Taliban-style social mores in the East End but they're a tiny, tiny minority. Despite EDL assertions, local government is probably no more corrupt there than in any major city. Scare stories about 'ghettoes' and 'no-go zones' are just there to whip up hate and get boots on the street.
Last time, the EDL mobilised around 800 of their footsoldiers for their venture into darkest Muslamic country. When they announced Tower Hamlets 2013 they were at the height of their post-Lee Rigby bounce. Recent outings in Hull and Portsmouth have not seen anything like the numbers turning out in the immediate aftermath of the soldier's death but the threat to the area is still substantial.
There's every likelihood that there will be a state ban on demos and parades again but anti-fascist opposition on the streets is what counts. The Anti-Fascist Network is calling for autonomous anti-fascists to meet in Altab Ali park at 11 a.m on September 7th saying, "We are calling a mass opposition, the more people, the safer and more empowering it will be for all of us. On the day we aim to be mobile and fluid in order to disrupt the EDLs plans".
Look out for the Anti Fascist Network (AFN) banners and flags and join them on the streets.
Follow @THStopEDL for updates now and on the dayRead more >>
Anti-capitalists have been gearing up for the protests against the G8 Summit with Mayday actions across the country. The focus was on Primark and other businesses profiting from the global slave labour system which led to the death of 700 people in Bangladesh. There were angry protests in central London, Hackney, Lewisham, Birmingham, Brighton and Bristol, with the clear message going out that the disaster was not an accident but the inevitable consequence of the callous capitalist system. Stop G8 is holding another organising meeting in London on May 25 and May 26, before the big week of action in the capital from June 10 to June 14, featuring the #J11 Carnival Against Capitalism.On the Newswire: Mayday protest in central London | Mayday protest in Glasgow | Mayday protests in Birmingham, Hackney and Lewisham | Mayday protest in Bristol | Mayday protest in Brighton | Squatted social centre in Lewes | Guillotine in Worthing | Oxford Stop G8 meeting | Call-out for J11 | Call-out for week of action Read more >>
Self-Organised London Social Space has now been opened in a squatted office building near Elephant and Castle.
Eileen House on 80-94 Newington Causeway, a 1960s office building, has now been empty for years. Its redevelopment has been subject to a protracted and contested debate between Southwark Council, Oakmayne developers, local residents, the famous nightclub “Ministry of Sound” (located opposite Eileen House) and – the mayor of London (see PDF). After numerous months of haggling and bureaucratic warfare, it’s time to reclaim Eileen house for the public and the interests of the Elephant’s residents!
On Tuesday night, 19th February, a number of social centre collectives squatted Eileen House as a direct action against gentrification. As a selforganised London Social Space, we want to propose & exchange ideas for radical alternatives, serving the needs of the many vibrant and organic communities around E&C!
For this reason we will put on a number of events, talks, discussions, film screenings, music nights and much more for the first week (see below). All residents and Londoners are more than welcome to pop in for a cuppa, discuss matters, attend our events or just have a good chat! During this first week we are really happy for people to come mby, have a look around the building and maybe give us a hand with setting up the space, while on the long run, the opening times will be from Wednesdays till Sundays, 2-10 pm.
From the newswire:
Fight gentrification! Reclaim regeneration! For self-organised spaces... | Siege of The Elephant | first protest on london shard viewing platform | News from the Library Street Social Centre | Southwark Council leaks it's own Confidential Regeneration Agreement
Israel launched a new offensive on the people of Gaza last week which claimed the lives of 162 Palestinians. Four Israeli civilians and one soldier have also died as a result of retaliatory rocket attacks.
As of 20th November 23% of Palestinian casualties were children. The youngest victim of the recent Israeli aggression is 11-month-old Omar Al Mashharrawi.
Hundreds of solidarity demonstrations have been held globally and a national demonstration is planned in London on Saturday 24th November. On Friday 16th November a demonstration was held in Birmingham and another is planned for Thursday 22nd outside the BBC offices to protest biased reporting. In Brighton on Saturday 17th November activists locked on to the Ecostream store, a shop owned by an Israeli company that has its main manufacturing facility in the West Bank settlement of Mishor Adumim. Later on a hundred strong crowd marched to the store and held a noisy demonstration outside the shop. On Monday 19th a phone and twitter blockade of the company was held.
The same day in Wrexham activists picketed Barclays Bank in protest at Barclays investments in companies supplying weapons to Israel.
On Tuesday 20th a group of solidarity activists occupied G4S headquarters over the company's contracts with the Israeli prison service as well as providing equipment and services to Israeli military checkpoints and maintaining contracts with businesses working in Israel's settlements.
The 'Don't Dance with Israeli Apartheid' campaign held demonstrations against London performances of the Israeli state sponsored Batsheva dance troupe at Sadlers Wells on the 19th-21st November as part of a coordinated international campaign. There were also protests both inside and outside of the Birmingham performances at the Hippodrome on the 14-15th November coinciding with the start of the latest Gaza massacre.
Palestinians in the West Bank have also been demonstrating in solidarity with their brothers and sisters in Gaza, only to be met with typical Israeli oppression. On Saturday, 31-year-old Rushdi Tamimi was shot by an IDF soldier at a protest in the village of Nabi Saleh. He died of his wounds in hospital on Monday around the time news surfaced that Hamdi Mohammad Jawwad Al-Falah, 22, was killed after being shot four times during a demonstration in the Bir al-Mahjar neighborhood in western Hebron. A baby also died in hospital on Monday after an Israeli tear gas canister landed in his bedroom in Qalandia refugee camp.
A ceasefire was reached on Wednesday 21st of November. However, the conflict is likely to continue if Israel does not end its siege of Gaza and attempts to control the Gazan economy. The need for solidarity with the people of Palestine struggling against Israeli militarism, apartheid and occupation has never been greater.
Upcoming events: Thursday 22nd November - Gaza solidarity demo in Brighton at the Old Steine at 5pm and Die In on the BBC Steps at the Mailbox in Birmingham 6pm-7pm| 23rd/24th November - Don't Dance with Israeli apartheid demos in Plymouth| Hebden Bridge Gaza solidarity demo - meet at the Central Intersection at 5pm| 24th November - Mass Gaza Solidarity demo in London| Sunday 25th - Demo at Ecostream, Western Rd, Brighton, 1-3pmRead more >>
While the London 2012 Olympic open ceremony was underway on Friday 27th July, there was a massive police and military operation underway, which included the use of CS gas, to contain and eventually arrest 182 London critical mass cyclists. The cyclists were held in a police kettle for two hours, handcuffed in buses for three hours and held in a police cell from six hours to two days. Out of 182 cyclists, only 3 have been charged with any offence. However, all have bail conditions imposed on them until September 18th 2012 restricting their freedom to move, assemble, associate and live their lives. Some groups have issued advice that the bail conditions may breach Articles 10 & 11 of the European Convention on Human Rights. They point out that "breaching bail conditions is not a criminal offence."
A petition for justice for the 182 has been launched with the following demands:
By now the glad tidings that ninety of her majesty's most loyal subjects were happy to celebrate 60 years of her reign by kipping under a bridge before a joyful thirteen hour shift of telling union-jack-sporting buffoons the way to the big river in the middle of London without being paid has been splashed all over the papers. But it's just the tip of the iceberg.
On the newswire: Liverpool Workfare Walk of Shame Occupies City Centre Exploiters| Mayday workfare demo shuts Oxford Street stores| Workfare actions around Birmingham in April| Workfare conference cancelled due to protest | Workfare Unravels | 'It's exploitation and it's repellent' | Tesco’s Secret Workfare Slaves | Demo shuts Westminster Tesco | GMB Union Promotes Workfare as Answer | DWP Locks Down FOI Responses | Legal Challenge to Government’s slave labour scheme
From Corporate Watch: Benefit claimant forced to accept Jubilee steward position for less than minimum wage | To pay or not to pay: Asda and Argos choose workfare over work | Regulating workfare (or not)| 'It's exploitation and it's repellent': Retailers, councils and charities benefiting from workfare | Unemployed people bullied into workRead more >>
Public sector cuts