London Indymedia

London Feature Archive

27-12-2006 21:15 | 3 additions

Happy New SOCPA

The Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005 (SOCPA) is a major piece of legislation, which established the Serious Organised Crime Agency, an FBI-like agency to tackle "serious organised crime", as it says on the box.

People-trafficking, drug wholesaling, violent armed robbery, torture, extortion and murder, is the kind of thing that might spring to mind. The bill, however, was used as an opportunity to deal with issues that might not be considered so serious. It introduced us to ASBOs, for example; outlawed animal activists' "interference with contractual arrangements" and, most pertinently, the right to protest in designated areas without prior permission.

Below is a comprehensive 'diary', put together by IMC UK activists, of events related to SOCPA since it came into force on 1 August, 2005. See also the SOCPA topic page for full coverage.


13-12-2006 18:26 | 2 additions

Victory For Fairford Coach Campaigners

Denied the right to protest

Campaigners have won a massive legal battle after they proved that the police violated their rights to protest when around 120 peace protestors were prevented from reaching USAF/RAF Fairford on the 22nd of March 2003. Three coaches full of protesters were first stopped and searched, then forcibly returned to London under police escort. At the start of the war with Iraq, Fairford airbase in Gloucestershire (and the B-52 bomber planes that were flying from it) had become a focus for anti-war protest and direct action.

The High Court and Court of Appeal had already ruled that the police acted unlawfully in detaining protesters on the coaches. But on Wednesday 13th Dec, in a judgement that has implications beyond the Fairford case, Law Lords ruled that the police also violated the right to freedom of expression and lawful assembly. See campaign Press Release.

Original coverage on Indymedia UK: Pics 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | Reports: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | Video: 1 | 2
July 03: Civil Liberties and Anti-war Protest Policing | Aug 03: Judicial Review Granted | Feb 04: High Court Victory [ruling] | Dec 04: Court of Appeal Outcome [ruling]

Links: Fairford Coach Action Campaign | Full judgement from the Lords | We fought the law and... eh... we won? Fairford coaches appeal victory


06-12-2006 14:05 | 3 additions

Deaths in Custody

The very mention of custody deaths brings to mind nasty foreign repressive regimes. But these deaths happen in Britain, too - on average, one a week in police custody alone. Then there are the deaths in immigration detention centres and in prisons, including children. Many of these deaths occur under dubious circumstances. Moreover, those in custody may not not have been convicted of any crime and are supposed to be presumed innocent.

The suicide rate is much greater in custody - as much as 18 times the UK average for young males, and disproportionately large among black people, especially as a result of "the excessive use of force by functionaries of the state", according to the group Inquest [example]. Deaths can also occur as a result of deliberate police inaction.

There is a lack of transparency in investigations into deaths in custody and very long delays before inquests (up to five years in some cases) as well as lack of accountability after juries return 'unlawful killing' verdicts. Of those verdicts since 1990, which the group Inquest is aware of, 18 police officers were prosecuted but all were acquitted. As far as is known, no police officer has ever been brought to justice for such killings.

Links: United Friends and Family Campaign’s annual Remembrance Procession (2006) | 19 minute video | photos Guido, Real2Reel, Marc Vallée | 2005 (photo report) | 2003 (photos & audio) | Ireland 2006 part 1, part 2.


30-11-2006 16:58 | 10 additions

Riot in Harmondsworth Immigration Prison.. Again

detention centres: barbed-wire prisons

Frustrated at being detained in awful prison-like conditions, often for long periods, the detainees of Harmondsworth detention centre, near Heathrow, have 'gone wild'. Around 10pm on 28 November, 2006, a group of detainees started a riot in Wing B after a guard switched off the TV preventing them from watching a report about Harmondsworth, and it soon spread to all 4 wings. Some detainees have reportedly been beaten up, while others were kept locked in, with fires and smoke all over the place [reports and updates]. 'Specialist officers' from prisons across the south of England were brought in to help the prison and immigration services 'contain the situation'. Everything is 'under control' now, according to the Home Office [John Reid Invokes Riechstag Fire Tactics For Detention Centre Fire]. For further information click at the Full article link above.

Several calls to protest have been made to show solidarity with those struggling inside the detention centres. On Friday, 1st of December No Borders London called for a solidarity demonstration outside London's headquarters of Kalyx, the private company that runs the detention centre. Around 80 people joined the protest [pics]. Barbed Wire Britain also called for a demonstration at Harmondsworth and Colnbrook detention centres near Heathrow airport on Sunday 3rd December, when over 80 people gathered near to the gates of the detention centres [Reports and Pics 1 | 2] London FRFI also staged a protest on Tuesday 5th December outside London's Communications House immigration reporting centre.

Related: Harmondsworth Immigration Removal Centre 'Not fit for Purpose' | Noborders Demo at Harmondsworth Detention Centre | Harmondsworth Detainees Protest after Death in Detention | Severe riot at Harmondsworth refugee removal centre (2004) | Hunger Strike in Colnbrook Detention Centre | Voices From Detention | Asylum Statistics: Q3 2006 | Continuing conflicts that create refugees | Why campaign against deportation | The truth behind the deportation statistics | Asylum Seekers get an early xmas present | Gay refugees abused at UK detention centre | Babar Ahmad to appeal to Lords against extradition | Singing Session at Campsfield House Detention Centre | Glasgow: 6 Kids Abducted in 2 Days.

Links: NoBorders groups in UK | National Coalition of Anti-Deportation Campaigns | Barbed-Wire Britain


28-11-2006 00:00 | 2 additions

Buy Nothing Day 2006

All Hail Stand-By Mode!

First suggested by Canadian artist Ted Dave in the early 90's, Buy Nothing Day has become an annual global event. Using Direct action and culture jamming, activists use this day to challenge consumerism and capitalist way of life.

This year, on 25 November, the Space Hijackers decided to resurrect one of their favourite projects: the half-price sale". Many actions and activities took place in Bath, Birmingham, Manchester, Oxford, Redditch and York.

Elsewhere: Reverend Billy lays into Bono | Adbusters round-up of global reports | critique their politics (pdf) | Steal Something Day | 2005 Buy Nothing Day | some background on Wikipedia.


24-11-2006 14:38 | 4 additions

Caterpillar Homewrecker’s Visit to London

On Wednesday around 50 protesters including the rhythms of resistance samba band turned out to 'greet' Mike Baunton, the Vice President of Caterpillar, who was due to speak at the Institute of Mechanical Engineers' Annual Dinner. The function was held in the ballroom of the Grosvenor House Hotel.Caterpillar hold the sole contract for the supply of military D9 bulldozers to the Israeli army. Caterpillar machines are used to destroy Palestinian homes in acts of collective punishment, build checkpoints and roadblocks to restrict civilian movement, build illegal Israeli colonies on Palestinian lands, destroy Palestinian olive trees and agricultural land, build the illegal annexation wall and murder civilians.

Caterpillar Homewrecker’s Visit to London | Caterkiller demolish 300,000 homes in Zimbabwe | Stop Caterpillar | Caterkiller | The Alternative Report - War on Want Publication

Previous CAT coverage on Indymedia:1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5
Caterkiller Shutdown | Jewish Voice for Peace - Rachel Corrie (1978-2003) | Caterkiller


05-11-2006 15:38 | 1 addition

Plane Stupid's Day of Action

Co-ordinated actions under the banner of Plane Stupid - including the occupation of Easyjet's London headquarters - took place today as part of a national campaign against short haul flights. Conceived at this summer's highly successful Climate Camp and enabled by the formation of affinity groups in Sheffield, Cambridge, Manchester, Southampton and London, it follows on from the occupation of East Midlands Airport, dubbed Climate Camp 2 in September.

Travel agents closed: London and pictures | Bristol | Manchester | Cambridge | Reading
Other Actions : Easyjet HQ occupation | Leeds/Bradford airport protest | London Rising Tide invade CAA | Day of action in Manchester
Background Information : Climate Camps 1,2&3 | Plane Stupid website | Blair's speech at launch of Stern review


05-11-2006 13:48 | 1 addition

Monday Love Continues..

History Of Oil

MONDAY LOVE the free weekly film & music night at The Good Ship, NW6

March 26th, at 8pm - Robert Newman's 'History Of Oil'

Comedian Robert Newman brings this innovative history programme placing oil centre stage as the cause of all the wars and politics of the last hundred years.

Discussion after film with activists from Platform & Price Of Oil Performance from Paz, Lee Harris & more!


02-11-2006 12:14 | 3 additions

Repression in Mexico continues as UK prepares for action

As the Federal Preventative Police (PFP) continue their advance on the city of Oaxaca in the hopes of dislodging the Oaxacan Peoples’ Popular Assembly (APPO), the determined residents are resisting the invasion with any means available to them [Pics: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5]. This is being marked with a demonstration outside the Mexican Embassy in London at 5pm today, to coincide with the Mexican Day of the Dead [Earlier demo report] . Afterwards, there is a video screening of Brad Will's final footage [bittorrents: Es | En | DVD ] and discussion at RampART at 8pm. Meanwhile, the planned solidarity film screening on Saturday is temporarily on hold, following the eviction of the Dalston Squat on Thursday [Pictures: 1 | 2 Video: 1].

There is also a mass demonstration against climate change taking place in London on Saturday, marching to Trafalgar Square.

Recent reports about Oaxaca in IMC-UK Newswire: Mexican embassy covered in symbolic blood | Reports from Oaxaca (and what to do) | Timeline from Oaxaca City, 2 November, 2006 | Timeline from Oaxaca City, 2 November, 2006 (Part 2) | News From Mexico | Timeline from Oaxaca City, 2 November, 2006 (Part 3) | Latest from Mexico | Timeline from Oaxaca City, 2 November, 2006 (Part 4) | Oaxaca: the people win an important battle against the police! | Reporters San Frontiers investigates Brads death | Investigators slip up in Brad Will case, while seven journalists hurt in Oaxaca | Oaxaca 3rd November | London Mexican embassy protest video - 30/10/06 | Oaxaca: the battle of the Day of the Dead | Oaxaca Worldwide | 1.3 million people march in Oaxaca | Letter in Support of the People of Oaxaca.

Links: Mexico IMC (Es) | CML Mexico (Es) | New York IMC | Radio APPO (Es) and transliteration (En) | UK Climate pages


02-11-2006 09:15

Dalston Theatre Evicted

road is closed

Today police forces evicted the occupied Dalston Theatre in Dalston Lane, Hackney. Police came around 4.30 in the morning, climbing the massive building from several sides with ladders.

By 9.00h everyone is evicted from the theatre, police is still around the whole building. Read full story and the chronology of the building and 'Rebel Thanks to Everyone' from the Everything4Everyone collective..

Pictures 1 | 2 Video: 1

see also: Dalston Theatre Faces Eviction | Some background


31-10-2006 17:21

Demo in Solidarity with Oaxaca outside the Mexican Embassy

IMC Banner

A peaceful demonstration to show support and solidarity with the Oaxaca people currently suffering violent police and military repression by the Mexican state took place in front of the Mexican Embassy in London on Monday [Press release]. Around 60 people including drummers and Indymedia supporters gathered in front of the Embassy with banners, and murdered indymedia videographer Brad Will's final footage was projected directly onto the Embassy's facade - all eventually violently interrupted by a massive police presence resulting in eight arrests. Reports: 1 | 2 | Photos: 1 | 2 | 3 | Videos: 1 | 2 | Updates on the London arrests: Tuesday and Wednesday.

On Wednesday night red paint was thrown on the walls, stairs and doors of the Mexican Embassy in London to symbolise the blood of the people of Oaxaca. On Thursday another demonstration took place outside London's Mexican embassy [Photos] Later in the evening, discussion and screening of films related to Brad and the situation in Oaxaca took at rampART Social Centre and another one is planned for Saturday 4th (E4E).

There were also protests at embassies and consulates around the world, with 14 demos in the US including direct action at the Mexican consulate in New York City | demos in Rio de Janeiro, Soa Paolo, Brasilia, and Fortaleza in Brazil | Madrid | an embassy occupation in Barcelona | an embassy occupation in Napoli | and several actions in Berlin.

Further information: Last Communique from NYC Indymedia Journalist Brad Will | NYC Indymedia | IMC Mexico | Narco News | CML | La Jornada | APPO Radio Live Broadcast (Sp) | Live Radio Transcript (Eng)


30-10-2006 00:00 | 1 addition

No More Fallujahs

Peace Camp in Parliament Square

28th and 29th October saw a weekend of Nonviolent Resistance in London against the Occupation of Iraq on the 2nd anniversary of the US/UK massacre in Fallujah culminating in an unprecedented 'unauthorized' Peace Camp in Parliament Square defying the SOCPA.
Personal Accounts:here and here and Rikki’s Report


20-10-2006 17:21

What Lies Beneath Shell's Wild Lie?

Roving version of the Shell's Wild Lie counter-exhibition

Shell is the third largest oil company in the world. It is also the new sponsor of the Natural History Museum’s Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition. On wednesday 18th of October, as guests began to queue up outside the museum's main gates for the awards opening ceremony, London Rising Tide activists turned up armed with banners, boiler suits, animal costumes and a Shell Wildlie counter-exhibition, all bent on ending Shell’s sponsorship deal with the Natural History Museum [Report and Photos]

The action was received with wide support by the assembled crowd. Many agreed to register their disgust once inside the museum, and to sign up to London Rising Tide's statement opposing the sponsorship deal.

Past London Risisng Tide Shell Actions: Carnival shuts Shell station on County Mayo Day of Action | Ogoni & Bogoni Solidarity vs. Shell | Greenwash Guerrillas Target Shell Chairman's Lecture.

Related links: Statement to End Shell's Sponsorship Deal | Art Not Oil | Natural Petroleum Gallery | Rising Tide UK.


14-10-2006 20:52

Dalston Lane Theatre Faces Eviction

The cafe

The occupied theatre on Dalston Lane (Hackney, London) is currently facing eviction - the local council has got permission to demolish the buildings from next Wednesday. Dalston Theatre was occupied in February [pics 1 | 2] to protest against the gentrification of the area and has ever since been open as a community centre, hosting a variety of activities and workshops.

The first attempt to evict the building, in March, was successfully resisted. Now, the ocupiers are asking for support to resist the eviction once again. The week of resistance started with a "Day of Celebration" last Sunday, 15th Oct.

Updates: Mon 16th 1 and 2 | Tue 17th 1 and 2 | Wed 18th 1 | Tue 24th 1

Update Nov 1st: Dalston Lane Theatre is getting evicted since the early monrning: pictures 1 | 2

Read: The occupation in February: 1 | 2 | Articles on Indymedia UK: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | To the People of Dalston: Why We Are Here | History of Dalston


09-10-2006 23:00 | 6 additions

Sack Parliament!


At 1pm on Monday October 9th, up to one hundred and fifty angry and concerned people converged on the Palace of Westminster, to sack parliament. The plan was to surround parliament and cause parliamentary activities to cease. MPs, Lords and civil servants would be prevented from re-opening Parliament.

As soon as protesters started to arrive, police quickly moved in stop and search everyone that was considered 'suspicious'. Many people were turned away from reaching Parliament Square, others were singled out by police units and prevented from joining the protests. See 2pm update when protesters were surrounded by police. An NUJ photogapher was hospitalised by police [photo + witness appeal] after being violently thrown into a kerb. See also 3pm update and a report.

Eventually the people trapped in the police ring were let out and escorted from Parlianment Square after having been searched, photographed and identified [treatment of press report]. All were told that they would be reported for summons for the offence of taking part in an unlawful demonstration.

There are reports of up to 40 people having been arrested. The court hearings for those arrested and summoned will start on Tuesday 17th Oct at 10am in West London Court [details] Anyone who can get down there to show solidarity and support to those involved will be greatly appreciated. [screening of footage (tuesday 10th)]

Accounts of the day: 1 | 2 | 3
Photos: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | Mainstream media pics | Videos 1 | 2

Links: Sack Parliament website | Reflections on Sack Parliament


09-10-2006 22:14

'i' the film - screening tour

Indymedia meeting at protest
Touring the UK this week, 'i' the film expands on the explosive prequel, "Eye of the Storm" and examines the relationship between media and power as manifest by the worlds largest all volunteer network of media activists - Indymedia. Further Links: 'i' The Film website | European tour schedule | Film reviews | Report and Audio from Nottingham Screening | Argentina Indymedia | Wikipedia on Indymedia | Indymedia at the Camp for Climate Action 2006


02-10-2006 22:56

No One Is Illegal! International Day of Action on Migrant Rights

"For Freedom of Movement and the Right to Stay"

Today, Saturday October 7th 2006, a march through London is calling on migrants, asylum seekers and their friends, families and colleagues to act together against the criminalization of migrants and the denial of their rights; with the intention to build a transnational movement to change conditions for the better.

Oct 7th: London Timeline [Pics] | Benefit Night

Background: Organizing group press release. | Institute of Race Relations 'Driven To Desperate Measures' | Inquest points to asylum failures | Yarlswood report


07-09-2006 22:21 | 4 additions

No Deportations to Iraq

No Borders demo at Harmondsworth and Colnbrook detention centres, 8 April 2006

32 Iraqi asylum seekers, who had been incarcerated in different detention centres, were deported to Arbil, northern Iraq, on 5 September, 2006, on a specially chartered flight from the RAF Brize Norton military base in Oxfordshire. There was a demonstration at the Home Office in London, called by the Coalition to Stop Deportations to Iraq and the International Federation of Iraqi Refugees, but that did not apparently stop the process, and neither did the warnings from international organisations [1 | 2 | 3] or the legal challenges.

The first forced deportation of Iraqi Kurds from the UK took place on 19 November, 2005. 15 men were taken to an airport at night, handcuffed, beaten and forced onto a military plane headed for Arbil through Cyprus. The move then sparked a lot of anger and protest [1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5], and the deportation of Iraqis was halted for a while until resumed this month. Tens of Iraqi Kurds are believed to be interned in UK detention centres, while thousands more have been served notice that they will be 'removed' from the country [latest report].

Read: initial report | call-out for demo | names of deportees | Home Secretary resumes forced removals to Iraq | EU-coordinated deportation of Afghani refugees

Links: Coalition to Stop Deportations to Iraq | International Federation of Iraqi Refugees | National Coalition of Anti-Deportation Campaigns | Noborders UK communication channels


03-09-2006 14:53

Blockade of Israeli Company Carmel-Agrexco

A number of Palestine Solidarity activists blocaded the UK headquarters of Israeli company Carmel-Agrexco for over 11 hours on 30 August, 2006, to gain ruling on the legality of trading with Israeli settlements [see report]. The purpose of the protest was to expose an Israeli company that is engaging in continuous unlawful and brutal activity by importing fresh produce originating from illegal Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. Carmel-Agrexco, however, chose to withstand the disruption and not have the blockaders charged with 'aggravated trespass'. At the end of the day only one activist was arrested and subsequently de-arrested.

The method of protest was to construct two large metal triangular cages at each entrance. Protestors secured their necks to the cages by using bicycle D-Locks, with several supporters close at hand. One cage served to totally shut down the exit, and the other caused major disruption at the entrance.

Read: Text of letter to Carmel-Agrexco | Press release from previous trial | Report on Carmel's involvement in the Jordan Valley | War on Want's report: Profiting from the Occupation | previous actions: 1 | 2

Links: Palestine Solidarity Campaign | The Big Campaign | ISM London | ISM Palestine


05-08-2006 11:34

Mass Demo Against Israeli Attacks

a line of thugs right across the road

Thousands marched in London on 5th August, 2006, to protest against Israel's attacks on Lebanon. Starting at Speakers Corner in Hyde Park, the march went via the US Embassy and Downing Street to Parliament Square. The demands of the march were for an unconditional ceasefire, to stop Israel's attacks on Lebanon and Gaza and to end Tony Blair's support for Bush's wars. The demonstration follows 30,000 people demonstrating in London two weeks ago and many smaller protests around the country.

In front of the US Embassy: "territorial support group police suddenly flooded the road and formed an arbritary barrier in the middle of the crowd. They then began pushing forward, shoving and occasionally hitting people in a pointless show of thuggery. There were several arrests and then they were suddenly recalled and the march returned to peace."

Outside Downing Street: "Hundreds of empty tiny children's shoes symbolising the outrageous number of child casualties were piled up there which made a very poignant display."

The Rhythms of Resistance samba band staged a die-in opposite Downing Street: "Others gradually joined the sit-down, although stop the war coalition stewards were urging the passing crowd to not join in, and police quickly surrounded the sitting protestors. After some twenty minutes, the samba band moved on, but some activists tried to use pipes to lock on on the ground, and were viciously arrested by police before they managed". 7 Anti war activists were arrested outside Downing St

At Parliament Square there were speaches including one from Bruce Kent, "The other day, I was in Downing Street, handing in a petition against replacing Trident, and I thought how wonderful it had been if I had taken in a warrant from the International Criminal Court, and I was offering it to Mr Blair and a policeman would arrest him. That’s a dream that will come one day. This is a war crime.”

The policing of the demonstration was heavy handed and reflects the slide towards fascism.

Photos: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 Videos: 1 | 2



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