Tens of thousands throughout the world took to the street on Saturday, July 22nd, to protest against the ongoing Israeli war on Lebanon and Palestine. For the past 12 days and nights, Israeli air forces have destroyed countless civilian buildings and means of transportation in operations that have killed more 400 people, mostly civilians, and wrecked havoc on Lebanese cities, harbours, airports and other infrastructure, leading to the displacement of more than half a million people. The International Day of Action had been called by various anti-war and solidarity campaigns.Read more >>
Not been invited to the G8 Summit this year?
Never mind, Indymedia London is hosting an eight day film festival in London venues with no obligation to buy a gallon of Coke or a bucket of popcorn. The festival coincides with this year's summit of the 8 most powerful capitalist states on earth, taking place in St. Petersburg.
For the full festival's programme and venues click at the 'read more' link below.Read more >>
When is a demonstration not a demonstration? That's a question that SOCPA followers have been asking for almost a year now, with ever more people coming before the judge as Serious Criminals. Since Brian Haw's protest was trashed early in the morning of 23rd May by 50 police there have been many reports of challenges to the Act's restriction on protest and its uneven enforcement by the police.Read more >>
The Square occupied social centre, based at 21 Russell Square, London [Map], was facing eviction fom Friday, June 23rd. A call out was made to resist the eviction and to hold a Festival of Resistance, involving autonomous groups, social centres activists, live bands, DJs and participants from The Square.
On Friday, 23rd June, around 60-70 people followed the call for solidarity and to resist the eviction from the early morning. The building was festooned with an array of flags and banners, and the mood was light but determined. Apart from a couple of oficers from Camden Council that eventually turned up, made some telephone calls and then left, no other form of 'authority' showed up or attempted eviction. [Mid morning update | Pics 1 | 2 | 3]
On Saturday, around 400 people attended the concert in support of The Square, which featured live music in two stages and a couple of sound systems in the basement [Report]. A talk and film screening about repression in Mexico also took place in the evening, organized by Z.A.P.
On Sunday, around 30 people including most of those who had had a sustained relationship with the space, came together to decide the term of the resistance that had begun on Friday. This gathering eventually came up with a dissolution communique of The Square Occupied Social Centre, which informs that "the space has now been passed on to a handful of residents who wished to remain and a few people who wanted to continue to run the place as a political and cultural venue", and it ends stating:
"Something has passed from central London into our hearts. The red and black will not fly over Russell Square much longer but we carry them in exile, and we will have another building in due course".
A crowd of several hundred demonstrators, mainly Muslim, gathered outside New Scotland Yard on Sunday afternoon 11 June to voice their disquiet at the June 2 raid in Forest Gate. The police raid which involved some 250 officers, was one of the largest single 'anti-terrorist' raids in Britain. Two houses were targeted based on intelligence that they were the location for a chemical bomb factory run by two brothers, Mohammed Abdul Kahar and Abdul Koyair.
The raid was brutal and Koyair was shot in the shoulder in circumstances that remain a mystery. The two brothers were eventually released without charge late on Friday June 9.
A demonstration was called for the 18th of June to show support for the families of the Forest Gate raid. More than 2000 people marched in East London to show the community’s anger and frustration at the raids. Demonstrators carried placards with statements such as “The War on Terror is a War on Us” [Report]Read more >>
On 10th June, people in over 50 cities around the world took part in naked bike rides as a protest against oil dependency and car culture. Between 600 and 1000 cyclists, along with a few rollerskaters, rollerbladers and others took part in the London event.
Full Report and Pictures.
A replica of the Israeli wall and a large banner with the words "Stop Starving Palestinians, End Israel's Occupation and Recognise Palestinian Democracy", acted as a back drop for the up to 20,000 demonstrators that gathered in London's Trafalgar Square on Saturday 20 of May.
Reports: 1 | 2 | Photos: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4
The demonstration, organised by the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, was prompted by the Israeli government's decision to strengthen the economic blockade of the Palestinian people after the landslide victory of Hamas in the recent Palestinian elections. The Israeli and US governments, together with the EU, brand Hamas as a terrorist organisation and have therefore stopped vital aid and funding from reaching Palestine, with devastating effects on the everyday lives of Palestinian people living in the Occupied Territories.
For daily reports of life under Israeli occupation see the Middle East Media Centre and the Palestine Today audio reports in the IMC-UK newswires. Also check out IMC-Israel and IMC-Beirut for information about grassroots strugless and campaigns in the Middle East.Read more >>
On Friday 12th May, several activists and human rights campaigners, including people from different groups such as the London Zapatista Action Project (z.a.p.), Bristol Solidarity group Kiptik and the Comite Cerezo support group in the U.K, staged a peaceful occupation and noise demonstration at the Mexican Embassy in London [Photos and Report]. Four people locked on in front of the Embassy, effectively closing it down for business for most of the day. Meanwhile a Samba band was playing whilst other activists held banners referring to the events that have been taking place in San Salvador de Atenco, northern Mexico [Press Release]. Another protest outside the Mexican embassy had already taken place on Wednesday 10th [Pics and Report]. The Electronic Disturbance Theater and the Borderlands Hacklab also called for a virtual strike against the Mexican Government on May 5th.
Last week, residents of Atenco, a municipality near Mexico City, suffered massive police brutality and repression, after local organisations helped 60 flower vendors of the Texcoco local market to resist a blockade by state police that prevented them from setting up their stands. People from Atenco quickly responded by obstructing the highway that borders their town and leads to Texcoco market. The events that followed speak of unprecedented levels of police brutality. More than 3000 armed police forces stormed the town beating everyone in their path [Photos: 1 | 2 | 3 | Videos: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4] and arrested more than 200 people after a house to house search around the town. Francisco Javier Cort�s, a 14 year old local boy, was killed as a result of police violence on the first day, and many were severely injured. Since then there have been reports that a total of up to 300 people were arrested (of which the authorities have only recognised 109), 18 people were disappeared, 5 women were raped whilst in custody, and 5 foreigners deported.
Reports in the IMC-UK newswire by: Global Exchange | The Other Campaign Montreal | Irene of Mexico City | Erika Del Carmen Fuchs from Mexico DF | Kasa de Kultura para Tod@s | Edinburgh Chiapas Solidarity Group.
Follow the unfolding events in: Narconews Bulletin | IMC-Chiapas | IMC-Mexico | IMC-UK Zapatista Page
Radio webstream with daily reports (Sp): Ke-Huelga Radio Zapote
Brian Haw's display was removed early in the morning of 23rd May by 50 police officers. At 2.45am they turned up and started to load a container with all the placards and banners and almost all of Brian's personal possessions. [Photos | Video]
A timeline since Monday 8th, when the state won its appeal against the decision that the SOCPA legislation could not be applied to the protest which Brian Haw appears in full article and additions below.Read more >>
Monday May the 1st saw the culmination of the MayDay weekend 2006. A series of demonstrations and protests took place all over the UK and beyond. In London up to 4000 people marched from Clerkenwell Green to Trafalgar square in the traditional TUC march. One of the largest blocs of the march was the Autonomous Bloc which consisted of up to 800 people, marching on the issues of precarity and migration. Meanwhile, the Space Hijackers were having a 'police victory party' outside the Bank of England [Pics: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4]
The march went off peacefully until the Autonomous bloc tried to bring its soundsystem into Trafalgar Square to be used as an open microphone for speeches and discussion. At that point police snatched the pedal powered soundsystem from the crowd and prevented the Autonomous Bloc from assembling in the square. It was not until the march finished that the soundsystem was given back. Whilst this was taking place thousands of people listened to speeches at the rally in Trafalgar Square. After 4pm, people dispersed.
Other May Day demonstrations and protests around Britain included:
A Workers Memorial Day demonstration in London to commemorate those people who have been killed at work. In Manchester, a Chaos Mass bike ride took place, as well as a May Day march, an anti-nuclear demonstration [Video] to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the nuclear disaster in Chernobyl, and a picnic against capitalism. A march [more] also took place in Cambridge against the privatisation of public services, as well as an 'Extra tea for mayday' action where activists visited ASDA to give extra tea breaks to the workers forced to work on Mayday.
In Newcastle a contingent from Tyneside Community Action for Refugees marched demanding the right to work for refugees and asylum seekers, in Liverpool the Merseyside May Day celebrations included a march and a rally in Princes Park, and in Nottingham a march and rally [more] also took place. In Scotland there was the traditional May Day march and rally in Edinburgh, and a MayDay parade in Glasgow.
For reports of the massive demonstrations in the US and the several Euro MayDay Parades in Europe, as well as the full UK's Mayday 06 events listing click at the 'Full Article' link on top.Read more >>
Updates: 27th April: Some remain on hunger strike.
24th April: The hunger strike in Colnbrook seems to have ended [Timeline | Solidarity Page]. Meanwhile, around 20 Turkish Kurdish detainees in Harmondsworth began a hunger strike on 20 April.
17 April: About 25 detainees in Haslar have staged a peaceful protest in the courtyard early this afernoon and are still there, refusing to re-enter the building. There are also news that the hunger strike have spread to Tinsley House.
15 April: More than 120 detainees in Haslar detention centre, Protsmoth, have gone on hunger strike in protest againts arbitrary detention and in solidariety with the detainees in Colnbrook.
In protest at their inhumane treatment by security guards during the No Borders demonstration last Saturday (8th April, 2006), over 150 detainees in Colnbrook detention centre went on hunger strike. According to the latest updates, nearly 100 of them are still on indefinite hunger strike. A delegation from the Home Office is supposed to pay them a visit to hear their demands for release. [Strike update 17/04]
The hunger strikers have been subject to repression from Colnbrook’s management, with one detainee, deemed to be the "organiser" of the protest, having been locked in an isolation cell on Saturday night, then later removed to another detention centre.
Many of the people inside Colnbrook have been there for over 6 months, with some being detained for up to 3 years. There is no automatic bail review process for immigrants who are being detained. Last January, a detainee at Harmondsworth Detention Centre took his own life out of despair. Fellow detainees responded with a one-day hunger strike and a written statement about their conditions and treatment in detention.
On Thursday 13, a solidarity protest took place outside the Home Office building in central London [Report and Pics]. This had been urgently called by London No Borders and The Square Social Centre. On Satuday 15 No Borders fundraiser also took place in London. And on Thursday 20 Cardiff saw another solidarity demonstration called by the No Borders South Wales group.Read more >>
Harmondsworth, 8 April 2006. Around 300 people from London, Birmingham, Bristol, Leeds, Brighton, Reading and Cardiff demonstrated at the Harmondsworth and Colnbrook detention centres near Heathrow to ensure that "those inside will hear our voices and know that they are not alone." The call out for the demonstration was made by London No Borders, the Campaign to Close Heathrow Detention Centres, London Against Detention, and The Square Occupied Social Centre in solidarity with the Noborder actions in Australia [see the NCADC report].
There was a large police presence and they prevented detainees and demonstrators from establishing a line of sight: the demo was not allowed to take place in the field where detainees could see it from their windows. Security guards also prevented detainees from accessing the centre's exercise yard and didn't even allow them to approach the windows. Some detainees were reportedly beaten up when they protested against these restrictions. In response, some 150 detainees in Colnbrook have gone on hunger strike [Read press release on updated situation in Colnbrook].
Many phone calls from detainees were passed on to the demonstrators via a small sound system. Former detainees also gave live testimonies of their own experience in detention [Sekindi's speech]. Meanwhile, about 40 people managed to make their way around the side of Colnbrook where detainees could see and hear them from the windows, and they spent a long time communicating with people inside, before being moved on by the police.
In Glasgow, around 300 asylum seekers, refugees, sans-papiers, Unity activists, and their supporters marched from the Home Office Reporting Centre in Ibrox to a rally in the Carnival Arts Centre in town calling for the right to work and an end to deportations. On Monday, 10th April, the All African Women's Group and other organisations protested outside Communications House in London in solidarity with international actions for immigration and asylum rights, and against detention.
In Manchester, a demo and rally [more] were held on 15 April under the slogan "Manchester: city of detention, destitution and deportation". On the same day, the offices of Ethiopian Airlines in London were targetted by anti-deportation activists. Their locks were glued and anti-deportation slogans were painted over their office and in the surrounding area.Read more >>
This is an open invitation to participate in Indymedia London in whatever aspect you think you could help out. There are many ways and projects you could get involved with: from helping out with the technical aspect of developing the website, or helping to maintain the Open Publishing right hand side column (the newswire), or producing features for the middle column, to a variety of offline activities such as film screenings, stalls at events, reporting from the streets and whatever else you may come up with. Possibilities are endless!
The IMC London collective has regular face to face open meetings, and they currently take place on the last Wednesday of every month.
The next two planned meetings will be on:
Please feel free to come and share your ideas, knowledge and skills. The agendas for these meetings are proposed and discussed in the IMC-London email list. This is an open list that anyone can subscribe to, and where the day to day running of the project takes place. Check it out.
Also, for those interested in getting to grips with how the Indymedia 'back office' works, there are montlhy training workshops available and open to everyone. These generally take place on the Sunday before the meetings, so people have a chance to familiarise with different aspects of the project.
The next planned Indymedia training workshop will be on:
Finally, any contribution to the running and development of IMC-London is always much appreciated. The same as with any other local IMC within the IMC-UK Network, IMC-London can only be as relevant and useful to the people, campaigns, initiatives, groups and networks of London as we all make it!Read more >>
Indymedia always needs more volunteers and at the moment the IMC UK network in particular is seeking more tech help so that it can be more active in the development of the content management program used by many IMC sites. It is really important to increase the developer pool since many proposals made for improving the site are stalling at the tech bottleneck.
If you think you could help please get in touch with your local collective or email imc-uk-tech. You could also mention this to anyone else you think might be able to help.
If you'd like to develop your own tech skills, you might be interested in the various Hacklab projects around the country which host regular training and workshops. The rampART lab for example provides a useful venue for anyone wanting to become more involved in indymedia.
On Saturday 25th the London Hacklabs Collective is putting on a benefit event to help cover the cost of the broadband both at the rampART and Freedom Book Shop. You can find more details about the event from the rampART or the Hacklabs website. The event will be a workshop about IMC tech and various IMC projects.Read more >>
Thursday 16th March 2006: Milan Rai of the peace group Justice not Vengeance was on trial in Bow Street Magistrates Court for organising the two-person remembrance ceremony at which Maya Evans was arrested in October 2005. See rikki’s video of Milan & Maya’s arrest & a report of Thursday’s trial, as well as a video interview with Maya from Thursday.
The Crime: Milan was on trial for ‘organising an unauthorised demonstration in the vicinity of Parliament’. He notified the police of the demonstration over a week in advance, but he refused to ‘seek permission’ from them as required under a new law, the ‘Serious Organised Crime and Police Act’ , [SOCPA.pdf] Milan and Maya’s lawyer’s are fighting the case by suggesting that SOCPA is incompatible with the European Convention of Human Rights' Article’s 10 & 11, which gives every person freedom to speech, and freedom to peacefully assemble with others.
In October 2005, there was a mass protest against the SOCPA Exclusion Zone by Critical Mass, and many people feel that free speech in Britain is being seriously undermined, [IMC report].
On Monday 20th of February, local activists from Hackney, London, occupied three Victorian and Georgian buildings in order to stop the threat of demolition. The intention is to turn them into a community and social centre, instead of seeing the buildings sold off to private developers. The site consists of the Victorian Dalston Theatre and a pair of Georgian townhouses. Although some officials argue they are in a derelict state, members of the community are convinced that the theatre has a big potential as a cultural, social and community resource [Photos and Report]
At about 8am, council officers turned up and told the occupiers that they had to vacate the building by 9 or they would send in the police to evict them. Later in the morning, workmen from Byline (the contractors hired by Hackney Council) and police forced entry to the occupied theatre. Activists then climbed to the buidling's rooftops to defend the occupation, and have been up there to the day. [Read thoughts from the people resisting the demolition]
On Wednesday March 1st the case went to the High Court in a drive by Hackney council to rush the eviction. The Court unexpectedly refused to decide on the case, and ruled that the Council's claim for possession "should be transferred to the County Court" [report] On Friday March 3rd Shoreditch County Court issued an Interim Possession Order, which gives 24 hours to the occupiers to vacate the buildings. On Saturday 4th, a Guerrilla Screening and Open meeting were organised in the street outside the Theatre.
An eviction can now happen at any time, and the occupiers call for everyone to go down there and support the resistance when it happens. Call 07919998567 for the latest info.
In São Paulo, Brazil, major José Serra has made it his mission to 'gentrify' the city centre and ultimately expel thousands of the low-earning families and street dwellers. He wants to evict 'Prestes Maia', a 22 storey tower block, probably the biggest single squat in the whole of South America which is home to 468 families, a library, workshops, and a venue for numerous autonomous educational, social and cultural activities. Now the 'apparent owner' wants it emptied. The 'owner' has accumulated a debt in municipal taxes of around 1.5 million pounds during the last 15 years of 'ownership' (more than he paid for the building). This, together with long years of abandonment, should justify a claim for the building to become public property, but despite this, a massive police operation paid for by public money was planned to make over 1,600 people homeless in the name of gentrification.
However, the residents of Prestes Maia have enjoyed a last minute reprieve and the eviction has been postponed for at least two months. Nether-the-less, on Thursday 16th, people in London held a solidarity demo outside the Brazillian Embassy [ Call out | report and photos | video ]. In the evening, a film about Prestes Maia was screened at the rampART social centre along with a UK premiere of documentary about police violence in the favelas of Rio.Read more >>
The rebel clowns - and many others - had spent the day at Bow Street Magistrates court expressing solidarity with five defendants who had been charged under the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 132 (SOCPA 2005). The bill outlaws all "demonstration without authorisation" within 1Km of parliament [Full report]
These five defendants had had the audacity to hold signs reading 'We have the Right To Protest'. The magistrate must have thought they were very clearly Serious Organised Criminals indeed - because she found them all GUILTY.Read more >>
Public sector cuts