TODAY (Tues) Eviction alert and demo 9am at Nursey Social Centre Birmingham
Recently there has been a spate of stories about social centres and evictions. At 5.30am 25th August, around 40 police and 30 bailiffs smashed down the front door of the Ex-Grand Banks in north London. This high profile centre had proven to be one of the most successful squatted community projects for some time, despite occasional police harrassment of people attending meetings there (see video). On Saturday 4th there was a street party in protest against the eviction.
Use Your Loaf, an ex-bakery on Deptford High Street which had been occupied as a centre for social solidarity since summer 2002, has also now been evicted after managing to resist eviction a week before.
Meanwhile, in Birmingham, a disused nursey has just been occupied. In Arms Reach, a squat just off Oxford Street in central London, provided a one-off week-long series of workshops, films and gigs. Back in north London, the AUTONOMOUS LAB in Chalk Farm Road, having already resisted eviction at the beginning of August, have now expanded into a second vaccant shop front!
There are plenty of other successful projects nationally and internationally as well: read on for more details...
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Travellers or Roma have faced oppression, murder, sterilisation and genocide from successive European governments, including the Nazis and the current regimes. In Essex, the situation is currently worsening for Travellers. The British Nationalist Party have won 3 seats
on Epping Forest District Council with their neo-Nazi pledge to drive out the local Gypsy people.
A young mother with triplets and an elderly couple, who had lived on their own land at Paynes Lane, Lower Nazeing, Essex, for l4 years, along with other families were evicted in June. Another man was sent to prison for 28 days for living on his own land, and a judge is threatening to imprison his wife and children if they don't move from land they bought at Colney Hatch. The council now hope to evict the last remaining couple
from Paynes Lane on 22nd August, despite the fact that they have been paying council tax for over 10 years.
Anti-racist and Gypsy Council campaigners are planning a rally to counter the eviction at Paynes Lane
on the 22nd August. The rally will include the unveiling of a Memorial Field
for Roma victims of the Holocaust, and will celebrate the survival of Romani culture with music and food.
Anti-racist campaigners also demonstrated last Saturday near Cambridge. Local residents protested against neo-fascists outside the Oakington Immigration Detention Centre
. Previous coverage:
][East Anglia Social Forum
]Calls for rally at Paynes Lane, 22nd August:
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Campaign groups "Voices in the Wilderness" and "Iraq Occupation Focus" call for an emergency vigil at 10 Downing Street in Central London on Sunday, 15 th of August, Noon -2 pm to protest against the latest military attacks in Iraq. Densely-populated Iraqi cities are under fire from US-UK forces. On Thursday, more than 75 Iraqis were killed in the US bombardment of Kut. British troops have killed at least twenty in their assault on Amara.
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The attack on Najaf, led by US warplanes, has been condemned by public opinion across Iraq. Sixteen members of Najaf's 30 member provincial council have resigned in protest at the assault.
In the last 48 hours, hundreds of civilians have been killed by occupying forces in the cities of Najaf, Kut, Sadr City, Sammara, Nasiriya, Amara, Basra, Ramadi and elsewhere.
Saturday 26th June will see the beginning of the preliminary hearings for the 29 Italian policemen and officers
who face charges related to the brutal night time raid
on the Diaz school (pics
) in Genoa, Italy during the Anti-G8 demonstrations
there in 2001
, where scores of people were beaten, many left unconscious and hospitalised, before later being tortured in Bolzaneto detention centre
. For more see Indymedia Italy
At the same time in Switzerland the court case against four people from the Aubonne Bridge
action at the 2003 G8 Summit in Evian
will begin. UK climber and activist Martin Shaw was cut from the climbing rope he was dangling from by police, falling over 20m onto a riverbed and sustaining very serious injuries [see pics 1
| collected reports
]. While the policeman who cut the ropes remains on duty, ironically, the four protesters, including Martin and the other climber, have all been charged with blocking the traffic and endangering human life! Alongside a European anti-repression meeting
will take place on 26-27th June, to promote wider awareness as to the many different cases of repression that have happened recently and to discuss proposals and strategies for creating a stronger and more effective anti-repression network in Europe.
For more see: www.aubonnebridge.net
| Indymedia Switzerland
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Update Fri 5th March: A new Social Centre has been squatted in 156 Fortess Rd in Kentish Town! Read report and list of events.
Update Thurs 26: People in and around the building are still determined to resist the eviction. [Report | Short video of picket]. Meanwhile, events at the Occupied Social Centre will continue as normal in resistance to the threat of eviction.
Update Wed 25th: The Occupied Social Centre still needs people urgently, as it is thought the police will be round sometime between now and the weekend. Supporters of the Centre state: "we intend to continue our resistance to the eviction".
On the 6th of January this year, after 6 months of neglect, 93 Fortess Road was occupied. The aim of the people involved was to set up a social centre, a free space for people in the local community to use as a resource and to create a place where people can come together and get creative. A place which is free, fun and accessible to everyone.
On Wednesday January 21st, the Social Centre was taken to court by the building’s owners - Mark Oliver Homes - property developers, who plan to demolish the building and turn it into commercial space and luxury flats. Following the court hearing, an eviction date was set for Tuesday 24th February. Early in the morning police and bailiffs arrived to Fortess Rd, but around 70 supporters of the Social Centre gathered o defend the space. With people occupying the rooftop, new defences having been constructed overnight (both inside and outside), supporters out on the streets and people inside ready to lock-on, it seems the eviction has been stalled, at least temporarily. It is not certain what will happen in the next few days, but what it seems clear now is that any eviction would require specialist bailiffs to remove people from the roof, cut others out of lock-ons and deal with the extensive barricade defences inside.
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[Photos 24/02 | Fortess Rd Background | UK Social Centres | WOMBLES]
| 3 additions
On Friday, February 13th, almost 8 months since their initial imprisonment, 13 people arrested during protests at the EU summit in Thessaloniki last June have had all charges dropped. 8 of the remaining cases are still under investagative review by the Greek Judiciary whilst the remaining 6 have had their charges dropped to misdemeanours. A final decision on whether to pursue allegations could come as early as next week. This is an enormous victory in the campaign against state repression waged by the Greek state against anti-capitalist protestors - although it must be remembered that the battle is not over yet.
Comprehensive coverage of the Thessaloniki Support Campaign can be found on the UK Indymedia site; Athens and Thessaloniki Indymedia sites both carry breaking news regarding the Thessaloniki 7 and the other accused.
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Friday 16th Jan: A Judicial Review at the High Court yesterday began proceedings considering the lawfulness of the police actions last March when around 150 anti-war campaigners were 'coachnapped' - stopped and searched for almost two hours on their way to demonstration at RAF Fairford, then forcibly returned to London under police escort (pics
). As the protestors put signs in the coach windows saying "Help We've Been Kidnapped" "Call the Media" and "Denied The Right To Protest The War", the police closed the motorway behind the coaches while police motorcycle outriders blocked motorway exits (see old report
The campaigners claimed the police overstepped their powers and furthermore that they breached articles of the European Convention on Human Rights, guaranteeing freedom from arbitrary detention, the freedom of speech and assembly, and respect for physical and psychological integrity.
Police statements revealed that at 10.45am an order was issued by Chief Superintendent Lambert to stop and search the coaches including instructions for the coaches to be turned around and escorted non-stop back to London if any 'dangerous items' or items likely to be used to conceal identity were found. It is this order that will now be scrutinised. Michael Fordham acting on behalf of the protestors said the police were within their powers to seize certain items, and that they even possibly had the right to detain certain individuals under public order and common laws, but they overstepped the law and infringed both common law and human rights law, by the blanket nature of their action (despite intelligence notes showing that the police were aware that the coach passengers were made up of individuals and members of various groups) and the way evidence was used in an attempt to justify this.
The case continues today at the High Court and a decision is expected from Lord Justice May and Mr Justice Harrisonin in around three weeks time. Court Report (15/1)
| Video of Protest Outside Royal Courts
| Corporate Media Reports
See Press Release
| Campaign Website
| Archive Indymedia Coverage
| Archive Video Report
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On Monday 27 October there were two protests
outside the Greek Embassy in London in solidarity with Simon Chapman
and six other people imprisoned in Greece. The 'Saloniki 7'
have been in jail since last June, when the mobilisations against the EU Summit took place in Thessaloniki. They have been refused bail under Greek "antiterrorist" legislation and they are now facing between 7 and 25 years imprisonment.
Five of the 7 prisoners are currently on hungerstrike
protesting the circumstances of their arrests and imprisonment. Four of them have been without any food for 24 days, whilst Suleiman "Castro" Dakduk has already been on a hunger strike for 37 days.
For more information see IMC-UK dossier "Thessaloniki Prisoner Solidarity".
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The second main day of protest against the Defence Systems & Equipment International (DSEi) took place at London’s Docklands on Wednesday 10th September. Activists, anti-arms organisations, students and the public, angry, both about the items on sale, the well-known human rights abusing countries invited, and the devastation caused by weapons and munitions, attempted to "Shut DSEI by any means possible". This was the day that bargaining at the DSEi arms fair began in earnest and general press were prohibited from entering (see pics
from inside: 1
). "Whose streets? Our streets!"
Early in the morning the Dockland Light Railway (DLR) was stopped in the first of several actions (see reports
:  
:   
) with activists D-locking
themselves onto the train at various stations or climbing onto the roof (see video
). This disrupted the DLR for much of the day. Also on the DLR, activists engaged in "train theatre"
posing as arms dealers (report and pics
). On their way to the Excel centre they announced they had arms for sale two opened their cases revealing various sets of arms (prosthetic and dolls arms) they had to sell.
At Custom House DLR (pic
others went to a "Meet the Delegates"
action. From eight in the morning a Critical Mass
left from the City of London to the Docklands (pics
:  
. On their way to the Excel around a hundred cyclists blocked traffic while comedian Mark Thomas entertained the crowds. Just after nine the Palestine support group, International Solidarity movement (ISM) visited the Israeli arms company Rafael in an attempted office occupation
, later unfurling banners outside.
At eleven o'clock the two meeting points of "Storm the Death Fair
" at Connaught Bridge underpass and "Blockade the Death Fair" at Canning Town roundabout allowed affinity groups to converge to form mobile groups forming and splitting as they engaged in their various actions. At Canning Town the group was prevented from moving by police but soon shoved their way through and moved off down Silvertown and along Victoria Dock road.
At Connaught Bridge a car partially blocked the ExCel approach road in a D-lock action (pics
) while groups moved in a variety of directions, many up to Connaught roundabout and some down to the underpass (pics
:   
), blockading the traffic for several hours. Groups remained mobile; some pushing through police lines as other roads nearby were temporarily occupied or blockaded.
As pink and silver Samba drummed their way along Victoria Dock rd (pics
), blocking the road with crash barriers, clashes occurred as police pushed the crowd against the railings of a recreation park. Samba managed to move off up Freemasons Road joined by Sheffield samba band and preceded to block the A13 main road (pics
). There were scuffles and arrests as police chased the crowd in different directions.
Meanwhile at the ExCel centre six activists infiltrated DSEi, occupying two tanks, daubing them in ‘Stop Death’ banners and locking on, before being removed by security (see press release
, pics and video
). Some delegates are forced to walk to DSEi due to the disruption caused by the protests (see delegate video
At 4pm the Reclaim the Streets
party mobilised many of the roaming affinity groups at Rathbone Market where a crowd of around 300 took to the streets soon meeting up with a critical mass bicycle group complete with sound system. On the A13 the crowd was eventually blocked in by police (video
), later being forced into a park (video
), which police had cleared with mounted riot police (video
). They were slowly released in small groups after being photographed (reports
:   
Meanwhile next to Canning Town DLR a second RTS group occupied the roundabout, as the DLR was again stopped, banners hung on top of the flyover ("Disarm DSEi"), arms delegate buses blockaded and riot police deployed. With another samba group playing, there were more arrests and scuffles as police cleared the roads, later blocking in two main groups of protestors for several hours as people tried to push through police lines (pics
:   
The day had seen a high level of disruption around the arms fair, especially given the relatively small numbers of protestors, while police continued using stop and search powers under Section 44 of the Terrorism Act 2000 (reports
:    pics
). There were many arrests, some targeted, some quite violently, throughout the day.
See Full Timeline
Miscellaneous: Pensioner protest
, Corporate media: [1
] Call for evidence of legal support
Arrests update: 10th
Reports from corporate press:   
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A samba action has taken place in London at the BAE offices in London just before 9am this morning. An attempt was made to bestow an award to the company. Entry was gained to the foyer by 6 suited anti-arms campaigners. There were two arrests of people using D-locks on tables. The people arrested are now at Charing Cross Police Station where there has been a supportive samba noise demo. Click here for full report - pictures [1,2] - [ 2 short video clips, longer video clip on Imc Italy]- audio.
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On the way from the BAE action to Charing Cross police station the group stopped by at the Army Recruitment Office to voice their protest against the war machine.
In the morning, delegates to the NATO military committee meeting in Cambridge were greeted by a lively show of the street theatre "performing for peace" on Monday morning.Pictures.
| 2 additions
Peace campaigners have won the right to challenge police decisions to detain and prevent them from demonstrating against the war on Iraq at Fairford air base in March this year. Over 120 people from two coaches were searched, detained, and forcibly returned to London with a huge police escort. Granting permission for their judicial review case to proceed Mr Justice Richards commented that the issues it raised were "substantial" and "of importance" to merit a full High Court hearing.
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Update 8.8:The last protester detained has now been released. See also anaylsis and editorial for August 7 on IMC-Israel
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Latest from IMC-Israel, 6.8.: 1 2
Breaking news 5.8.2003: Indymedia Israel reports 45 detained,3 arrested in protests in Mas'ha against seperation wall.
For a year now, Palestinian, Israeli and international peace activists have been calling attention to the building of the Separation Wall by Israel in Palestinian areas. Although it is the most acute threat to Palestinians getting bigger as we speak, the US sponsored Road Map to peace nor the corporate media paid attention to their pleas. But, this month it seems that finally the world is starting to listen. Dozens of pictures on the mainstream newswires and heated debates on Indymedia UK, and yes, protests too!
, the human rights group, has released a 13 page report focusing on the policing of anti-war demonstrators around USAF Fairford, Gloucestershire, during the concentrated bombing of Iraq earlier this year. The damning report details fundamental breaches of the European Convention on Human Rights in the extensive use of anti-terrorism laws to prevent citizens taking part in legitimate protest and to harrass them (by mid-april the campaign group Gloucestershire Weapons Inspectors
alone had recorded 89 stop and searches under Section 44 of the Terrorism Act 2000
carried out against just 26 people!), as well as the excessive use of various other public order legislation. At its most extreme an anti-terrorist order was served on an 11-year-old girl (her father is now seeking legal redress) and 3 coach loads of demonstrators were "kidnapped" by police (see indymedia feature
), also the subject of a legal action
(also see Fairford Coach Action
). Download full Liberty report:
(pdf) Corporate Media Coverage
of Liberty report War on Freedom and Democracy
(10 page Statewatch pdf, Sept 02)
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Update Saturday 19
: Simon, thessaloniki prisoner, has just phoned and said that letters, which DO NOT have a return address on the ENVELOPE will not be delivered to prisoners.
If you want to send a card Simons 30th birthday is the 24th of july.
This new procedure applies to all prisoners. Update Sunday 13
: The greek government has seized the account at the Pireus bank which had been opened to receive fundings for prisoner solidarity (concerning the last EU summit in thessaloniki). It's important to avoid depositing any money into it, and to wait for more updates before sending more funds. Meanwhile for financial support please contact: email@example.com Update Saturday 12
: On Thursday, 10th of July Solidartiy actions
so far known of, were taking place in London
, Graz, Athens
, Bilbao, Torino, Rome
, and Buenes Aires
. Update Friday 11
: Letter received from Simon Chapman
from Thessaloniki's prison.
Thursday, July 10, will mark an international day of solidarity
with the eight protestors arrested and imprisoned after demonstrations against the European Union summit in Thessaloniki three weeks ago. In London, supporters will gather at 3 pm at the Greek tourism office and the Greek airline, on Conduit Street, to raise awareness about the injustice being perpetrated by the Greek government
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On 25 June, a court hearing took place against 8 protesters who were arrested during the demonstrations against the Thessaloniki EU Summit on June 22. A British protester, and 6 other people from Greece, Spain
and Syria will be remanded in custody for the next three months until their cases are dealt in Court.
They were charged on three separate counts, all of which carry sentences ranging from 7 to 25 years in prison.
Supporters are calling for a protest
at the Greek Embassy in London on Saturday 28th June, 2PM. Reports [1
]. Update #3 | Update #2
| Support for Simon (UK)
and Jonathan (US)
| Anarchist Call
| Situation in Thess Prison
| International Solidarity Group
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