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On June 5-6, the Sumac Centre hosted the "first ever Vegan Beer Festival". Vegans and vegetarians are wary of real ales as they often use isinglass, derived from the swim bladders of fish, to make it less cloudy. This inspired a number of local vegans to organise the real ale festival as a way of demonstrating that there is an alternative.
The Saturday was a gloriously warm day and the event was well attended, with the alcohol flowing within minutes of the official opening at 12 noon. There were a range of beers available to try, along with several ciders and perrys. Interest was so great that the beer ran out on Saturday.
Contrary to popular perception, activists are not a humourless bunch. Not completely anyway. To prove this point, this year's April Fools' Day saw a spate of unlikely claims appearing on Indymedia.
We announced that Notts Indymedia was entering "a new era of collaboration with the Northcliffe Group, owners of the Evening Post." This was to see "content taken from the Indymedia newswire appearing in the Post, opening up the radical message of Indymedia to a larger audience than ever before. In return Indymedia will be able to use images collected by the Post's team of roving cameramen." All nonsense of course. The Post won't event return our calls.
Meanwhile, council-watching blogger and regular Indymedia contributor Andy from NCC LOLs claimed that he was planning "to run for election to Nottingham City Council in 2011 on an 'anti-sleaze' ticket." An annual celebration of the 1831 Reform Riots was to be a central plank of his manifesto. At least one local councillor fell for it.
Saturday 20th March saw over 100 members of the Radford community march from the threatened Radford Unity Complex to Market Square. They were protesting City Council plans to close the building which is currently home to a number of community groups.
The Council says it is saving £140,000 per year by closing the building and says it has a buyer. They have offered the affected groups premises at the closed Douglas Road Primary School. However, Joginder Singh of the Sikh Community and Youth Service said that the new premises are "many times worse" than those they have at the moment and that the groups have been "treated like parasites" by Jon Collins and the City Council.
The groups are angry that they were not consulted about the plans before being served with an eviction notice and that they are not being given an opportunity to buy the building themselves. They are considering taking legal action against the council over the way they have been treated.
Notttingham's annual carnival took place at the city's Forest Recreation Ground on July 3rd and 4th with a procession of dancers and floats from the castle on Sunday 4th. The parade was a well attended event with the warm weather encouraging large crowds along the route, through Radford and Hyson Green.
The event was well attended and a major success, although the controversial choice of prominent homophobe Beenie Man may have attracted some negative publicity.
On the newswire: Nottingham Carnival 2009 | Chase that crazy beenie out of town& Nottingham carnival
Sunday saw the opening event of a new centre for anarchist education and culture in St Ann's. The Sparrows' Nest, named after local anarchist publication The Nottingham Sparrow, hosts a large collection of material on anarchist theory, local struggles and workers' struggles. The Sparrows' Nest is largely the work of local Anarchist Federation members and was inspired by a squatted infoshop in Ljubliana and similar projects in Carrara, Italy.
At the opening a selection of pamphlets and books were on display in four sections: The Classics (of anarchism), Neither Left or Right (referring to anarchism's opposition to fascism and the authoritarian left), Work (workers' struggles and the struggle against work) and Anarchy and Action in Nottingham. People were also able to watch films and browse the extensive library.
Newswire: The Sparrows' Nest - A centre for anarchist education and culture | Sparrows' Nest Anarchist Library & Archive, St Anns : opening event | Rebel bulletin The Nottingham Sparrow - March 2008 - No.3 | 'Rebel' bulletin - The Nottingham Sparrow - May 2007 - no.2 | New 'rebel' bulletin - The Nottingham Sparrow - March 2007 - no.1
Notts Indymedia and others have launched a new radio show called 'Riseup! Radio'. The community based podcast includes reports covering issues often overlooked by other local media, as well as music from local artists and bands, and chat about stuff that matters. Each month a new podcast will be downloadable through the riseup! Radio website, or by subscribing to our feed. Look out for extra features and new shows in the near future, but for now.. Download, listen, enjoy, distribute and comment on February's show !
The Sneinton Festival took part for the 13th year running last week. The theme of this year's festival was Earth, Wind and Fire, with a focus on green energy. Schools and youth groups from around Sneinton have been working hard to make fantastic costumes for this year’s parade. Many feel this year's festival was one of the best one yet, creating a sense of pride within the community and involving local children increasing their self esteem, skills and confidence in art. The Caves had been opened up on Wednesday, while on Thursday the International Food Tasting Evening gathered hundreds in the Hermitage Community Centre. On Saturday a big parade took off from Sneinton Windmill, along the Dale and down the Boulevard onto the Hermitage Square. On the square performances took place all afternoon, with workshops and stalls. One stall showed people how to build their own wind turbines while elsewhere folk were informed about why they should make their way over to this year's climate camp.
On the newswire: Sneinton Festival: Some More Photos | Sneinton Community Festival: 2 Hermitage Square Festival | Sneinton Community Festival: 1 Parade | International Food Evening: Sneinton Community Festival | Sneinton Festival - Opening Of The Sneinton Caves | The Sneinton Festival Rolls On
Nottingham Arboretum celebrates with a Green Festival embracing all things green. Live bands, fun for children and sustainable produce. Stalls, including crafts, plants, local produce, energy conservation demonstrations, wind and solar power, social struggles and human rights issues etc and plenty of other organic, eco-friendly activities.
The campaign to save Sharp Hill is stepping up this weekend with live music and a fresh call for support. A group of activists - with strong support from the community - have been camping at the site near Edwalton for a month in protest against Rushcliffe Borough Council's plan to build 1200 houses. They have pledged to stay at least until June 15 when the council makes its final decision, and encourage everyone to join them. A central government inspector's report opposed the council's plan. Read it (Sharphill from page 14), with the council's response.
Site photos: BBC 'Politics Show' visit | Camp Piccys | What's going to be lost, Landscape Piccys | Activist in Market Sq Photos | Hands Across the Hill Pictures | Bus Living at Wilford Hill [an earlier site]
Aerial Views Sharphill Woods Satellite view
Audio Interview: Tash's podcast of the BBC interview [6:26mins 2.6Mb]
Links: Campaigners' response to planning document | Activists' statement | Announcement, directions and map | BBC Politics Show | BBC Politics Show watch again [RM from 14:30mins] | Rushcliffe Council: Response to Inspector's Report and Proposed Modifications | 'Savesharphill' a NEW website
Mayday was celebrated in a variety of ways around the Nottinghamshire/East Midlands area. From organised marches to Pagan festivities.
Saturday saw a May Day march and rally in Nottingham and a May Fayre in Leicester. Sunday saw the Mayday minus one event at the Sumac Centre in Nottingham. Monday saw a large Mayday march and rally in Chesterfield.
Click here for a full round up of all the Mayday events that happened UK wide.
The Sikh Vaisakhi Parade is essentially a harvest festival and new year rolled into one. Vaisakhi, also spelled Baisakhi, is thus one of the most important dates in the Sikh calendar. It also commemorates 1699, the year Sikhism was born as a collective faith.
In Nottingham, the parade started at the Sikh Temple in Church Road, Lenton at 12:00 on Sunday 16 April. Then walked to other temples in the city, visiting Noel Street, Gladstone Street in Forest Fields, where walkers were given refreshments. Then, onto Basford.
Join us for Nwroz Celebration ; New years Celebrated in Kurdistan, Iran and Afghanistan on Tuesday 21st March from 6pm in the Sycamore Centre.(see map).
There will be World Music, Dancing, Drinks and Kurdish Food (good prices). Admission £3.
Once again the popular and successful Chinese New Year celebration events took place at Beeston and at the Lakeside Arts Centre on the 28th and 29th January consecutively. The events had been organised by Broxtowe Borough Council in conjunction with Broxtowe College, Lakeside Arts Centre (Nottingham University) and Nottingham City Council. Acts included, over the two days, were contributions from local schools and Broxtowe College, acrobats, Master Lee Kam Wing's Troupe did Kung Fu demonstrations and performed the Lion Dance. Students from the Chinese Society at Nottingham University performed their now famous Dragon Dance. A really colourful and exhiberant performance.
The annual community lantern festival in Coalville, Leicestershire was moved from just before christmas to coincide with the Chinese New Year celebrations this year. Members from the far-right British National Party (BNP) think that because of the 'removal of Christian symbolism and tradition from Christmas' it needs them to 'once again save another British tradition'.
Ever since the rescheduling of the event was announced, local members of the BNP have threatened the organisers of the community run event. Verbal abuse from people ringing up the group has become a daily occurance since the BNP posted the contact details on their website. The BNP, who claim to be the 'law and order party' recently published another article on their website inciting criminal damage, calling on people to protest the usage of the words 'white trash' in a recent episode of the TV soap serie Coronation Street. A prominent member of the party in Lincoln recently appeared in court for multiple counts of arson and criminal damage. Read article.
Links: Photos from last years lantern festival | Watch video of last years lanternfestival:   | Stop the BNP (website full of facts and research) | Wikipedia on the BNP | Previous articles on Indymedia on the BNP
From the Notts Indymedia newswire: Lincoln BNP member in court ! | Meeting called at uni after BNP article published in student paper
The Sumac Cafe is in crisis, due to a shortage of volunteers. It is in danger of closing and an important meeting is planned to look at possible solutions. These might include reinventing the nature of the cafe, perhaps doing more 'special nights', such as the monthly People's Kitchen events, instead of serving the breakfasts during weekends.
The meeting will be held on Friday 13th January, 7pm at the Sumac Centre, 245 Gladstone Street, Forest Fields, Nottingham, NG7 6HX. All people with an interest in the cafe, or ideas about how it could or should be run, are most welcome.
Contact: email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Nottingham Police, allied with authoritarians at the local council and the Home Office, have been wasting taxpayers' money on a wave of offensive posters intended to terrorise dissidents and the socially excluded. This campaign has escalated with attempts to terrorise those involved in subvertising the posters.
Recent instances have included the return of the especially sinister anti-begging campaign, where the state spreads slanderous accusations accusing beggars of bankrolling drug dealers. This campaign has been connected in previous years to deaths of homeless people in cold weather, and to physical assaults on homeless people due to incitement by the posters. The campaign even led to violence and reduced revenue for Big Issue vendors who are engaged in an entirely legal activity.
Amity Night 2 is an evening of live music and art to bring communities together, to raise money for a small Palestinian village and the Pakistan Eartquake appeal. Saturday November 12th 2005, 7.45pm-11.00pm, at The Malt Cross. A night of musical entertainment featuring Mecca 2 Medina, Fat Digester and many more... Nottingham Amity is a voluntary organistation which aims to bring communities together.
Veggies is a catering campaign that has catered for and supported a huge range of groups campaigning for animal and human rights and social justice for the last 21 years. Since 1984 Veggies volunteers have been frying 'veggie-burgers', selling 'samosas for social change' and distributing a large range of leaflets, booklets and magazines.
Besides touring the country, catering at actions, demonstrations, festivals, fairs and meetings, Veggies play a vital role in the running of the Sumac Centre, the publishing of the Veggies Directory and putting together the Veggies Diary. Join us to celebrate! Tuesday 18th October from 8pm at the Sumac Social Club bar, with buffet provided.
Here an update on some new community initiatives in Nottingham:
Radford - Last night the new community cafe in the Blueprint, Radford, opened its doors for the first time. The fairtrade cafe has been set up by people who put on the famous ethical clubnight Demo, at Blueprint every last Saturday of the month. Trying to create a chilled space for people to meet and hang out, while enjoying organic cake, and eclectic DJ's. Every Tuesday, 509-511 Alfreton Road, Radford.
Arboretum - Saturday will see the grand opening of the ASBO Community Centre on Burns Street, Radford. The occupied community space is opening its doors on Saturday at 2pm. There will be 'Broad Bean' internet access all afternoon, 'Kranks' Bike maintenance workshop from 3-6pm, 'Free Shop' open from 3pm and the People's Kitchen will be serving food from 5.30pm till 7pm. These events will be running every Saturday, 33-35 Burns Street, 1 Wildman Street, Arboretum.
Sneinton - Rumours go that a new collective has also been set up in Sneinton, to start a community cafe/open arts space there. More information to follow... (or contact email@example.com)
Print resources - A call out was issued this week as help is needed to set up a print workshop and resource centre for Nottingham's campaign community. In July 2004 Veggies catering campaign funded the acquisition of the resources of the now defunct Nottingham Community Resource Centre. The intention was to find premises, such as a portable office in the yard of the Sumac Centre, to set up a well equiped print workshop for community use. However a year has rolled by and it has proved impossible to find suitable premises. The situation is now desparate - the equipment must be removed from its temporary storage in two weeks. Are you involved in a project that could make use of printing equipment, in return for making it available to others? Do you have any storage space to offer? If you can help email: firstname.lastname@example.org
"Those who wish to control their own lives and move beyond existence as mere clients and consumers - those people ride a bike." - Wolfgang Sachs, For the Love of the Automobile
This month is full of bike related events with meetings, bikerides and film screenings. Time to get on yer bike !
Two film makers from the US, who made the film 'Still we Ride' about the Critical Mass in New York and the constant repression it receives, are coming to Nottingham. Their film will be screened at the Broadway Cinema on September 28th at 6pm, followed by a short introduction.
Nottingham's monthly Critical Mass will take place again on September 30th, leaving from the Savoy Cinema on Derby Road at 5.30pm, followed by a social at the Sumac Centre, with some short Critical Mass films (tbc).
Pedals, a local group campaigning for better cycle facilities in Nottinghamshire, will hold their monthly meeting in the Globe Public House, 152 London Road on September 19th.
Last week the Tour of Britain crossed Nottingham. Local photographer Alan Lodge took some shots of the riders and displays at this nationwide cycling event that has taken place since 1951. Photo's: (1) (2)
Links: Download Film Trailer | Website 'Still We Ride' + screening dates | Critical Mass Sept 30th | Previous articles on Critical Mass in Nottingham (1) (2) (3) | Pedals (website) campaign for cyclists in Notts | Art and Critical Mass | Some local bike shots | website with global Critical Mass info
Unsatisfied with years of council inaction, an abandoned block of flats on Burns Street, Arboretum, has been occupied and turned into living spaces once again. The new homes, which are owned by the City Council had been left to rot for over 7 years.
The occupiers, who squatted the building early August, have been repairing damage and planting flowers in the garden with local residents. The council have given the new residents a 'notice to leave', stating they would obtain an eviction order through court, if they would not leave within 7 days. There is much support from local residents, as for them, the property has been an eyesore, attracting drug users and causing a general hazard.
Photo Gallery of the Squat | Notice to Leave | Announcement Garden Project | Council still no plans with previous squat (Forest Lodge) | Advisory Service for Squatters (ASS) | More Photo's of the Tidy Up | Some current advice on squatting