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 >>
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].
Thousands of people crammed into the London Voluntary Resource Center in Holloway Road for the 22nd annual Anarchist Bookfair on Saturday 22 October. As usual people came together to buy and trade books, films, t-shirts, stickers, gossip, and new directions for the anarchist movement in Britain and beyond. About three dozen meetings and seminars took place throughout the day, on subjects such as precarious labour conditions, no-borders and migration issues, anarchism in film, housing co-operatives, and the proposed National ID card scheme.
The after-bookfair drinks at the Coronet pub down the street, were abruptly terminated just before 7pm. After some people started playing their own music in the pub, the management closed the place on police advise. Leaving the pub, people were confronted by police officers. One person was arrested. Some attempted to de-arrest the person. More police vans arrived, baton-charges down Holloway Road followed. [ Reports & pics 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 ]
Seven people, including an indymedia journalist, were detained or arrested. All of them were released on bail on Sunday evening [report]. A call for evidence including eyewitness statements, video and photo footage went out.Read more >>
It will be fondly remembered not least for indymedia's 5th Birthday party, but also for the many workshops and events held there over the years, and their work with the local community. To hear an Audio interview on the eviction.Read more >>
Read Letter to Met Police Commissioner from Jenny Jones; Green Party Member of the London Assembly, The Mayor’s Road Safety Ambassador and Member of the Metropolitan Police Authority.
NEW: Audio interview with Jenny Jones (12th Oct)
A callout has been issued to make October's London Critical Mass the biggest one yet.Read more >>
Davids 'crime'? - wearing a rucksack along with an 'unseasonal' jacket and checking his phone messages while waiting for his train. Luckly for David the police refrained from following the shoot-to-kill policy that had resulted in the tragic death of Jean Charles De Menezes less than a week earlier. Instead, they closed Southwark tube station and cordoned off the whole area while the bomb squad checked his bag. Eventually, finding nothing but a laptop in his bag, the orginal officers appologised then arrested anyway. His home was searched and his computers confiscated. You could be next.Read more >>
Bombs on the underground, bombs in Iraq, guns in Harlesden, Euston, Kings Cross, in the car and under your pillow, destroying the lives of men women and children, and destroying the world in which we live, all sold to you by these nice men and women in suits, who only do this job because, "if I didn't, someone else would"..Read more >>
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 >>
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]
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 >>
Admission to all the dates are free and two short films made by activists will also be shown. They hope to raise awareness about the recent increase in state repression being suffered by Mexican activists. There will also be a benefit gig on feb 18th in London.
Twenty Israeli military vehicles and two bulldozers have been occupying the village of Sieda in the northern Tulkarem district since early this morning placing the village under curfew and conducting house to house searches.
Electricity and the water supply in the village have been cut off. The Israeli military has closed all entrances to the village and are occupying the boys' school. Two family homes, belonging to Mohammed Zaki Raddad and Hussein Raddad are also occupied. Villagers fear that the bulldozers are there to demolish the homes of families of men wanted by the Israeli army. Volunteers from Canada, England and Denmark, who work with the International Solidarity Movement, are present in the homes where the Israeli soldiers are occupying the roof and ground floor of the homes, trapping the family inside on one floor. Israeli soldiers have invaded the village every night since the Eid, searching homes and harassing villagers. The soldiers have told the villagers they intend to remain in the village for at least three days.Read more >>
Reports of humanitarian work in the west bank between the 7th & 18th of Jan 2005Read more >>
Indymedia cinema and the RampART Creative Centre have been hosting a week long festival of documentary films from India. From Monday 10th to Saturday 16th January, each day focused on a particular social or political issue. This festival brings to London’s East End some documentaries that are rarely seen, inside or outside India, with the intention of creating spaces for debate. Some disturbing, some impassioned, others humorous, all inspiring and controversial, these films provide a glimpse into some of the most difficult challenges facing Indian society.
During film festivals in India attempts have been made to censor films covering these events. Now the same is happening in London. Last week, the ramparts social centre started to receive threatening emails, and anonymous comments posted on the ramparts web pages  from people trying to force the venue to cancel the film festival. They claim that the films present Hinduism in a bad light and that the organisers have an anti-Hindu agenda. The threats began after an email posted on nationalist Hindu mailing list alerted members of right wing Hindu groups such as the BJP and the VHP (both part of the Sangh Parivar, the family of Hindu fundamentalist organizations spawned and led by the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh). However, of course, the organizers refused to bow to the threats and the festival went on as other venues came forward to offer alternative places to show the film should disruption take place. In the end, there was no disruption, and attendance was very good. Read more >>
Reports from the villages of Palestine from the 20th of December through to the New Year. On arriving here the first thing that I realise is that there is so much to do here because the military repression occurs throughout this land on every level. Not just in the incursions and massacres that we see so often on TV but in simple things that we as non Palestinians take for granted like there being a separate and inferior road system for Palestinans to use, and the fast super high way settler roads for those with the Isreali car nuimber plate. The Apartheid here is a rigorous and active racism.Read more >>
Most people believe sex workers should not be criminalised. "Paying the Price", the first review of the prostitution laws for 50 years, hides the impact of the prostitution laws on women's and children's safety, protection and welfare, and makes way for more criminalisation. Sex workers and others discuss a response. See Paying the price of criminalisation - A response to the government consultation paper on prostitution by the English Collective of Prostitutes.
International Conference on prostitution, Saturday 4 December 9.30 - 6 pm St Mary's Church, Eversholt St.Read more >>
Britain continues to hold 14 foreign nationals who have never been charged with any offence. The supposed evidence against them remains secret. They were never questioned by the police. They have not been put on trial.
These men are detained under the Anti-Terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001, which allows the Home Secretary to detain indefinitely any foreign nationals if he has 'reasonable suspicion' that they have links with 'international terrorism'. At hearings last year, the government acknowledged that some of the 'evidence' could have been obtained by torturing detainees elsewhere, e.g. Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib.
On Sunday 3 October, around 100 people gathered outside Belmarsh Prison in south east London to protest against the indefinite internment of the 14 prisoners, and to demand the repeal of the UK's anti-terrorism laws. A wide range of people were present, from Muslim leaders to grass roots activists, incluiding Lawyers and anti-racism campaigners. A number of speeches were made, and an open microphone included poetry and music. Photos 1 | 2.Read more >>
Public sector cuts