***STOP PRESS 13th March: The Metropolitan Police has withdrawn its application to strike out women's case as the legal battle continues. Solidarity picket on Tuesday 18th March will go ahead as planned.***
Five of the eight women taking legal action against the Metropolitan Police, due to undercover police officers deceiving them into long term intimate relationships, will be opposing Scotland Yard's attempt to have their cases struck out on Tuesday 18th March. The women and their Police Spies Out of Lives support group have called for a solidarity picket outside the Royal Court of Justice, The Strand, at 9am on Tuesday 18th, as part of a week of action (17th - 21st March).
On the Newswire: Outrage as High Court permits secrecy over undercover policing | Abuse of women by undercover police must stop now! | Three undercover political Police unmasked | Undercover and over-the-top: The collapse of the Ratcliffe trial | Mark 'Stone/Kennedy' exposed as undercover police officerRead more >>
Section 144 of LASPO may prove unenforceable in practice
Resistance to s.144 of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act (LASPO) 2012 that outlaws squatting in residential buildings is growing. Ultimately, the law may prove unworkable and unenforceable. There have been a number of successful prosecutions under the new law, including the widely publicised conviction and imprisonment of 21 year old Alex Haigh who came to London looking for work and stayed in an unoccupied housing association flat. He pleaded guilty, but it has since become clear that where a not guilty plea is entered by defendant, it may be difficult if not impossible for the prosecution to prove the charge. After some notable acquittals, we have a better idea about the obstacles facing hapless prosecutors and some of the ways in which well-informed residential squatters might go about successfully defending themselves in court. Read on.
On the newswire: Brighton acquittals 1 | Brighton acquittals 2 | Moelfre acquittal | Squatting as protest in Southwark | Mike Weatherley is a coward case | Alex Haigh conviction | Henry: Bristol's first victim of squatting criminalisation
Other links: Squatters Legal Network | Advisory Service for Squatters | Rooftop Resistance | SQUASH
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 >>
The Hovefields Gypsy/Traveller site in Essex has been evicted this week. At the time of writing, a group of these families are still on the road without anywhere to stop, having been also evicted from two other sites they tried to move on to, all within 24 hours. In fact it is illegal for them to stop anywhere as a group, as they are more than six live-in vehicles.Read more >>
80 days ago the democracy village set up on parliament square. Now it has gone. After losing the court hearing on 16th July (press release), and sending a call out to stand up for democracy, the eviction started just after 1am on Monday night. The public square was fenced in and democracy out (pics | video), and the two people in D-locks couldn't stop this. No one was arrested, but calls were made for a day of non-violent direct action today and a people's assembly this Saturday 1pm.
See the democracy village newswire at
The Wembley 'Tent City' Occupation located on Wembley Park Sports Ground, was opposed to the plans for a privatised Wembley Park Academy school to be built on one of the few remaining green areas accessible to the local community for sports training. The campaign is in keeping with the wave of resistance [more] to new school academies up and down the country. The Wembley Ark Academy is an American and British educational charity sponsored and run by a group of millionaire merchant bankers and currency speculators, led by french/swiss and multimillionaire Arpad Busson. The Ark Academy is estimated to cost around £30 million of public money yet it would be privately run.
The re-establishment of the 'Tent City' started on the 30th of June, following last year's permanent occupation of the site that lasted six months, and which saw tree houses being built. The site was then only vacated when the protestors won a year’s extension on the lease. Wembley teachers and their local supporters argue that after more than two years of campaigning to keep the community sports grounds out of the private sector, they are now not going to give in without a fight, as the building of the planned Wembley Academy is part of Brent council's drive to privatise schools, turning education into a profit making business instead of a basic human right beyond the 'logic' of the market.
On Tuesday 15th July Brent Council representatives sought a court order for the immediate eviction of the site, but by the afternoon around 50 local people had turned up to show support, and the eviction didn't take place. On Wednesday 16th, teachers and local people continued the occupation despite renewed threats of forced eviction and possible arrests. They took permanent positions on the roofs of the building next to the sports grounds, with at least one protestor locking on to the main mast. By then it was generally expected that the final eviction attempt would happen soon and 'by surprise, probably in the early morning, and so they renewed their call for urgent solidarity and for people to go up there and show their support. On the early morning of Friday 18th, the teachers and their supporters' expectations came true when specialised bailiffs turned up at 6.30am and finally removed the last protestor resisting on the roof, who had the support of the crowd that had gathered at the site's gate [Report and Video]Read more >>
London's newest autonomous zone opened last night with a free cafe, music, and a series of short films. After three weeks of resisting illegal forcible evictions, the Hackney Social Centre opened last night for an evening of food, music, films - including one, Trainsquatting, about squatters and resistance to evictions in Slovenia.
The social centre grew out of meetings through the Northeast Squatters Network, which seeks to strengthen solidarity and skill-sharing locally between the squats in north-east London.
It is a non-commercial social space and plans to be home to activities such as free language lessons, a donations-only cafe, a free shop, meetings of local groups, skill-share sessions and a bike workshop.Read more >>
Meanwhile, there have been various meetings to organise opposition to the threat and open a new space. There was also an assembly on the 6th Jan to look at setting up a group to support London social centres and maintain continuity.Read more >>
Breaking News December 12th: rampART gets eviction papers. The rampART social centre in London today received court papers for repossesion on the grounds of Tresspass. The hearing date is the 20th Dec. A meeting of all the effected groups/individuals to discuss a response and plan what will happen over the next month or so, will take place on Monday December 17th at 7pm
The rampART social center in East London has been open for over three and a half years, hosting thousands of meetings, screenings, performances, exhibitions and benefit gigs. During that period the building and resources have steady evolved to adapt the demands of its users. Now gentrification approaches with property developers planning to partially demolish the squatted houses next to the social center and build three new properties at the back.
The rampART itself is under no immediate threat and regular activities continue as normal with Food Not Bombs, Rhythms Of Resistance, Radical Theory Group, Dissident Island Radio, WANC, and a new homeopathy clinic among the regular users. Coming up are a benefit for 'Papers For All' and an indymedia training session. Meanwhile the rampART collective is taking stock of its past and looking to the future with a special users meeting taking place on the Sat 17th Nov. All groups that have used the space or might like to use the space are invited to take part in discussions about how the social center is being run and the direct it should take in the coming year.
Links : The rampART and its evolution | Developers make their move on Rampart Street | Rampart Update in Indymedia Offline #21 (oct07) | Free food criminals | Reclaim Your Health | Load of WANC | Indymedia training session - be the media |Read more >>
Public sector cuts