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 >>
Having spent £25m on the branding rights to London's new cycle hire scheme, the bright sparks in the Barclays marketing department have started a dialogue with the public which could last for several years. The scheme is part of a private finance initiative providing thousands of rental bikes in return for painting London's roadways in the bank's corporate colours.
Only minutes after the bank unveiled the bikes-for-rent in partnership with the city's Conservative administration, situationist guerrilla teams struck in the night to add their own mobile advertising messages under the Barclays logo. One of the messages, "Funding depleted uranium birth defects in Iraq", was particularly timely. New studies suggest that the ongoing genetic damage caused by the U.S. attack on the Iraqi city of Fallujah in 2004 may be worse than that caused by the atom bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki 65 years ago.
Barclays was also targeted in Cambridge on Friday 30th July 2010.Read more >>
Climate Rush activists gathered outside RBS (Royal Bank of Scotland), Thursday 5th March to protest the incredible multi million pound pay out to Fred (the shred) Goodwin, former RBS Chief Executive, and more importantly, the banks continuing role in funding the climate changing industries of coal, gas and oil. Posting the largest losses in British corporate history, RBS lost £24.1 billion in 2008 and has since had billions of pounds of taxpayers' money pumped into it. Already the largest bailout to date, the government has agreed to inject a further £13 billion on top of the £20 billion already given, and to make a further £6 billion available. While the tax payer now owns at least 70% of its shares, the bank continues to operate as a private company,
On the same day as the Climate Rush demo outside RBS, the Bank of England reduced the base interest rate to 0.5% and announced the printing of £100 billion pounds of new cash to inject into the stalled economy. Next month, the G20 leaders (G22 to be more precise) will arrive in London to discuss further ways to get the poor to bail out the rich. Various groups are mobilizing to protest against the summit which the police are co-promoting as part of a 'summer of rage'.
The G20 Meltdown group say they're going to reclaim the City, 'thrusting into the very belly of the beast', with a four pronged assault on the Bank of England at noon on 1st April. That afternoon, as part of a series of actions leading up to the COP15 climate summit in Copenhagen, the Camp for Climate Action aim to expose how the discredited market mechanisms are being sold as a solution to climate change and are planning a climate camp in the city close the the Carbon Trading Exchange.
Links : Climate Rush target RBS Photos: 1 | 2 | 3 | LCAP occupies RBS | Quantitive Easing | Corporate Undead | Image From The Future | Bristol Dissent g20 Call Out | Climate Camp hits the city | Press Complaint over G20 article | RBS boss pension | Arrogance of Capitalism | Environmental silver lining? | Climate chaos meets economic chaos | Bash a Billionaire | Doubt of global financial crisis? | Origins of the Credit Crunch | Summer of rage? | Demand for energy falling | Climate Crimes Delayed | Dissident Island Economic Special | "Pro-Capitalist" Mobilisation VideoRead more >>
As financial markets continue to slump around the world, several hundred people gathered in the City of London on Friday 10th to voice their anger over the British governments plan to commit over 50 billion GBP of public funds to shore up 'confidence' in British markets.
Following a series of calls [1 | 2] that had been circulated in different websites and forums, angry students and activists meet in the late afternoon outside Bank tube station at the heart of the City of London. The demonstrators soon moved on to the prestige shopping centre (The Royal Exchange) which they attempted to storm, and then moved towards the Bank of England but were quickly repulsed by police. They then went on a tour of nearby streets, often pushing through police lines that seemed to be quite unprepared for the unfolding protest. Eventually there was a sit-down as the protesters reached Bishopsgate, and finally a short rally with speeches on the corner of London Wall and Bishopsgate, after which the demonstrators slowly dispersed. At the same time, a group of clowns also toured The City with placards such as "There's no business like no business".
A similar demonstration has now been called in Edinburgh on the 24th of October.Read more >>
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.Read more >>
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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 >>
The first days of April were designated as a 'Week of action against the corporate pillage of Iraq' by a group known as the Corporate Pirates.
The week kicked off with an April Fool's Pro-Pillage party outside the offices of Windrush Communications, organiser of the Iraq Procurement Conferences. Around eighty people turned up in pirate costume to protest against the corporate piracy of Windrush. Reports: [1 | 2] Pictures: [1 | 2 | 3].
During the following days, a wide variety of events unfolded. These included: a training for Non-Violent Direct Action, an open meeting that included speakers from Iraq, a candlelit vigil outside the Windrush Offices, an attempt to disrupt the news broadcast announcements of the election with an anti-war message, a creative forum at the Rampart Social Centre, and on Wednesday 6th activists ended the week of action with a protest bading farewell to Windrush Communications.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 sunday 28 of November, there was a curious demonstration at the finish line of the Nike Run London Race at London's Surrey Quays, as various space-hijackers, culture jammers and No Sweat campaigners came together to engage in a spot of coporate image sabotage.
After spending an afternoon painting banners and customising clothing with Nike swooshes, the anti-corporate activists set off for the event. As the estimated 30,000 runners were arriving at the end of the race, the protesters stood next to the finish line whilst holding banners that read "Sweatshops ROCK!", "Child Labour is good for the economy!", "We need little hands to do the small stiching" and "Brand Your Kids". Another protester set up his very own Sweatshop, selling a spoof Nike perfume "Sweat".
The Nike organisers were getting suitably annoyed by the protests, but there was little they could do as the finish line was in a public park, and as such it was public not private property. Read full report and photos.
For more in depth info on Nike see NoSweat briefing.Read more >>
Public sector cuts