The latest legislation which will be used to repress protest is the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act which comes into full force on 1 August 2005. This Act amends previous harrassment and trespass legislation as well as banning all unauthorised protests for about a half a mile around Parliament, requiring that organisers of a protest request permission from the Metropolitan Commissioner 6 days in advance (or 24 hours in not 'reasonably practicable') and allowing him to place potentially stifling restrictions on protests.
Sections 132-138 of SOCP Act were brought in to remove Brian Haw from his continuous peace protest opposite the Houses of Parliament. Brian Haw has been demonstrating against the suffering caused by this government's foreign policy towards Iraq - economic sanctions, invasion and occupation - since June 2001.
Ironically, a High Court hearing on 29 July 2005 found that the law did not apply to Brian because prior authorisations is only necessary for demonstrations that 'start' after 1 August. But this law still affects everyone else who may want to protest in Whitehall, opposite Parliament, or in a large area of Westminster. Even the London Eye is part of the 'designated area'. The weekly anti-war community picket [leaflet] is likely to be quickly targeted.
This new law amounts to the police making political decisions as to who may protest - and how - near Parliament. Campaigners will be openly and peacefully defying the Act in a series of demonstrations at the beginning of August. [Photos and Reports 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 ]
There will be a Mass Act of Defiance for the Right to Protest on Sunday 7 August at 12 noon in Parliament Square. Apparently other people may be in the area in a non demonstrating capacity.
Sunday: Reports and Photos [ 1 ] [ 2 ] [ 3 ] [ 4 ] | Arrests | Video
Restrictions that can be imposed include where and when the protest may take place, how long it can last and how many people can attend, how much noise can be made and the number and size of banners or placards used.
A network of activists are organising a Freedom to Protest Conference on 23 October 2005 in London.Read more >>
At around 10am (Friday 22/7), police shot dead an unarmed man on a train in south London. They had trailed him from a block of flats which they had under surveillance, allowing him to board a bus and then enter Stockwell underground Station, despite apparently believing that he was a suicide bomber.
first reports | more on shooting | train driver threatened
News of the 'shoot to kill' policy raised urgent concerns from Muslims and non-Muslims alike, especially since the man (now named as Jean Charles de Menezes) turned out to be completely unconnected with the bombers. After police admitted the man was innocent on Saturday a hastily organised vigil was held at Stockwell Station on Sunday 24 morning. [reports and photos - 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | audio | video ] A second much larger vigil took place on Monday 25 evening. [Pics and report | Spontaneous march | Photos of vigil and demo] On the following Wednesday 27 another protest took place outside the Metropolitan police headquarters at Scotland Yard. [Photos and Reports 1 | 2] [Audio interviews]
In February 2005 The Home Office brought about new regulations forcing all non European Nationals to ask ‘permission’ before getting married.
Those non EU Nationals married in the United Kingdom before February of this year may classify themselves as being amongst ‘one of the lucky’ few who managed to marry the person they love, however it seems that even before these new laws were passed marriage to an non-EU member didn’t count for very much in Britain anyway.
The shocking reality of being married to an non-EU member in Britain today is a life of forced uncertainty, dominated by the imminent threat of your loved ones being deported and returned to a country where they most probably face certain death. Astonishingly the ’Right to Marry and found a family’ as outlined in Article 8 of The Human Rights Act is certainly not a right that exists for many British women today.Read more >>
A statement posted on an Islamic website in the name of, Abu Hafs al Masri Brigade, an al-Qaida-linked group claimed responsibility for both sets of London attacks. The group has threatened "a bloody war" on the capitals of European countries that do not remove their troops from Iraq within a month.
The following day was extremely tense with many people expecting a follow up attack because the bombers had left too much evidence behind for them to believe they would not soon be captured. Security around the capital was increased with so-called 'random' stop and searches introduced on London Transport but many people stayed away from the city.
At around 10am (Friday 22/7), police shot dead an unarmed man on a train in south London. They had trailed him from a block of flats which they had under surveillance, allowing him to board a bus and then enter Stockwell Station, despite apparently believing that he was a sucide bomber. [first reports | more on shooting | train driver threatend ]
Transport remained in chaos all Friday and into the weekend with many security alerts, one of which involved armed police at the East London Mosque. Police has since raided several addresses and made at least three arrests. The dragnet extended to Birmingham where one man was arrested under terror laws but later released uncharged.
News of the 'shoot to kill' policy raised urgent concerned from Muslims and non-Muslims alike, especially since the man (now named as Jean Charles de Menezes) turned out to be completely unconnected with the bombers. After police admitted the man was innocent on Saturday a hastely organised vigil was held at Stockwell Station on Sunday 24 morning. [reports and photos - 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | audio | video ] A second much larger vigil took place on Monday 25 evening. [Pics and report | Impromptu march | Photos vigil and demo] On the following Wednesday 27 another protest took place outside the Metropolitan police headquarters at Scotland Yard. [Photos and Reports 1 | 2] [Audio interviews]
It appears that there were 3 explosions on the London Underground along with another bomb that exploded on a London Bus blowing its roof. There was no warning and although an unknown group linking themselves to Al Qaeda has claimed responsibility on a known Jihadist web site [offline - see screenshot instead | translation ], this has not yet been confirmed. The mainstream media are reporting that the death toll now stands at 52, with 700 or so injured. Reports that the Israeli embassy had been tipped off are circulating although a Scotland Yard spokesperson denied this. Transport within the capital is gradually returning to normal with bus routes reopening, although commuters and tourists will still rely on river boats, taxis, private transport and of course feet for many journeys.Eyewitness coverage : Aldgate first reports & photos | video confirms at least two killed | London bombings: an incredible story of survival ]
More indymedia commentry : [ Indymedia UK Statement | Poor use of Indymedia | London bombing to the eyes of the third world | Its' not enough to blame Al Qaeda | London: Explosion Updates | Anarchist response to attacks (includes West Midlands Anarchists) | Photos from Edinburgh vigil in response to London bombings
Official statements: [ Number 10 | London Metropolitan Police | Transport For London ]
Other media: [ The Guardian | Wikipedia | Al-Jazeera ]
Travel news: [ National Rail ]
Statements of solidarity: [ Muslim Council of Britain and Churches Together in Britain and Ireland | Various religious leaders | The E.U. | The U.N. | Personal messages from across the globe (BBC) | Personal messages from across the globe (Al-Jazeera) ]
The protests against the G8 Summit 2005 started last Saturday 2nd of July, and will go on for a week in different Scottish cities and other international locations. People from all over the UK, Europe and beyond have travelled to Scotland to show their rejection to the human, economic and environmental devastation that the G8 policies are causing all over the world.London The Dissent trains left Kings Cross station on Friday: video & audio | A local anti-G8 action took place at the Business Action for Africa summit on Wednesday. | Reports from Live8: 1 | 2
Scotland: see Indymedia UK homepage for up-to-the-minute reports with regional timelines: G8 Day 3 | G8 Day 2 | G8 Day 1 | Breaking through Gleneagles fence video | G8 Info including reporting hotlines, radio, video, and legal.
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 >>
Update: A legal observer was arrested on the 16th , and has now been released on bail pending a pre-trial review at Brighton Magistrates court on Thursday 23rd June.
In a spectacular march through Brighton on Saturday June 11th, 150-200 protestors showed that they would not be intimidated by the violence meted out at the May 31 Big Demo at EDO MBM by Sussex police.
After an open mic event on The Level where several protestors spoke out against EDO MBM as well as the draconian Harassment Act interim Injunction brought by the company against peaceful protestors outside their factory, and Sussex Police’s brutality trying to enforce it, the march began.Read more >>
RTF III is set to be one of the biggest parties-with-purpose to take place in London for a long time. From eight to eigth 5+ rooms including live stages, bands, djs, chillout, bar, cafe, Indymedia cinema, performance and vjs, will keep the crowd on its toes. Musical flavours will include Punk, Techno, Reggae, Drum & Bass, Breaks, World Music and Cabaret. The address is S&W Nightware Factory, Alie St. E1 near Aldgate East tube station.
The concept of RTF arose from a meeting of London Reclaim The Streets (RTS) on June 2002. The idea and call went out, and soon many of the people from the groups that RTS had spawned came together. These included Indymedia, Wombles, Rhythms of Resistance samba band, London Rising Tide, LARC, Disarm DSEi and it started to grow and grow. Quoting one of the party organisers she states:
"RTF was created as a way to show that the streets are ours and we will not be prevented from partying and protesting by laws which have tried to squash the reclaim the streets movement. RTF is also about working togther for a future that we all want, free from capitalism and freedom from exploitation for all peoples and for a planet free from the destruction and pollution it currently endures."
For more information about past RTF events see:
Friday 27 was one of the hottest days in May for decades, and the start of a busy Bank Holiday in London. The same as in every last Friday of the month, several hundred cyclists gathered at the South Bank for the evening’s Critical Mass that has now entered its 12 years of monthly cycle rides through central London. [Report and photos 1 | 2 | 3 and videos 1 | 2 | 3]
On the same evening the Laboratory of Insurrectionary Imagination, together with the Clandestine Insurgent Rebel Clown Army and the Church of the Immaculate Consumption arrived in the East End for the London's date of their UK wide G8 touring show. This included a two day intensive Clown Army training to prepare for this summer’s G8 Mobilisations in Scotland, as well as a show, films and free food [Report and Photos 1 | 2 | 3]
Saturday 28 also saw the London date of the 2012 Show; "a seven year trip that aims to create a creative space for change before it is too late”. In the event, this was an all nighter with music, poetry, performance, visuals and info stalls.
On Monday Bank holiday the annual Kingston Green Fair took place; a one day festival organised by local environmental activists that began in 1987 [Report and Photos 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 and videos]. The event offered a broad programme of music as well as art and info stalls, cafes, community groups spaces and more, all powered by renewable sources.Read more >>
A climate change activist gained access to the high security event and as the first speaker welcomed all the suits to their exclusive little back slapping event, she sprang up and planted the carrot and cream cake firmly in the face of the Minister. As she did so, she said "Future Heathrow stinks, your bogus economics stink, Alistair Darling being here stinks, and your vision for this planet stinks". She ejected by security guards but not arrested.
Meanwhile over 100 local residents took time off work to demonstrate outside the CBI HQ launch event, with a huge banner reading 'Future Heathrow Stinks', and a new report that concludes that Heathrow contributes little to the national or local economy, but simply lines the pockets of the aviation industry.
For full details see - newswire reportRead more >>
The UK has had its share of squatted political spaces over the decades but the last few years has seen something of a resurgence in activity, inspired by the strong social centres movement found in Spain and Italy etc. Social Centres have been springing up all over the country but their existence is often precarious, dependent either on maintaining rent or retaining a squatted property.
The average lifespan of a squat typically clocks in at around three months. However the rampART (www.rampart.co.nr) will be celebrating its first anniversary this weekend (21st May)
Established May 21st 2004, rampART took it's name from Rampart Street E1, home of the abandoned warehouse which was previously used as an Islamic girls school. For the last twelve months the derelict building has hosted over 100 cultural and political events - placing the rampART firmly and literally on the activist map of London (see ramPARTY details and lineup)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 >>
Indymedia London is organising a five day long Middle East film festival. Starting on Tuesday 26 until Saturday 30 of April, the festival will include films and talks form and about Iraq, Afghanistan, Lebanon, Palestine, Israel and more.
The festival is at RampART Creative Centre, Rampart Street, London E1. Events will start from 7pm each evening on Tuesday 26th to Friday 29th, and from 5pm Saturday 30th. It will include presentations by solidarity groups, international activists, film-makers, music, and food.
TUESDAY 26th: MEDIA DISTORTION - 'Planet Of The Arabs' and main feature 'Control Room' a documentary on Al-Jazeera's coverage of the US/Iraq war.
WEDNESDAY 27th: IRAQ - 'The Oil Factor'
THURSDAY 28TH: LEBANON & AFGHANISTAN - film by Indymedia Beirut and 'Afghan Massacre'.
FRIDAY 29TH: PALESTINE/ISRAEL - 'The Sun Doesn't Shine In The Camp' a documentary on life in Balata Refugee Camp filmed by international activists and Palestinians. Followed by 'Gaza Strip'.
SATURDAY 30TH: PALESTINE/ISRAEL - 'Democracy Isn't Built On Demonstrators Bodies' a film from Anarchists Against The Wall. Followed by 'Behind The Fence'.
Suggested donation of £3 for entry each evening (but noone turned away for lack of funds) For more information about Indymedia film projects see Indymedia Cinema page.Read more >>
Indymedia UK and the Institute For Autonomy are currently preparing for an international alternative media convergence in London on May 14 and 15. The convergence is set to bring the alternative reporting machine up to speed for non-corporate media corverage of the G8 summit in Scotland.
In the spirit of a project declared by the Zaptistas in 1997, they are inviting everybody with an interest in participation:
"We will make a network of communication among all our struggles and resistances. An intercontinental network of alternative communications against neoliberalism…(and) for humanity ... This intercontinental network of alternative communication will search to weave the channels so that words may travel all the roads that resist…(it) will be the medium by which distinct resistances communicate with one another ... This intercontinental network of alternative communication is not an organizing structure, nor has a central head or decision maker, nor does it have a central command or hierarchies. We are the network, all of us who speak and listen." [Second Declaration of La Realidad for Humanity Against Neoliberalism]
Click "Read more" for additional info.
Public sector cuts