Bristol Coach Tickets Now Available! (See Section 4)
IRAQ WAR ON TRIAL IN BRISTOL! (See Section 2&7)
(See Section 14) http://groups.yahoo.com/group/uwestopwar
*Updated Section **New Section
1) **ISM PROTEST: Marks & Spencer: 6th Dec
2) **Talk: Iraq War On Trial In Bristol: 10th Dec
3) **Talk: Human Rights Day Celebration: 10th Dec
4) **GUANTANAMO BAY RALLY: 13th Dec
5) ***Second Cairo Conference: 13-14th Dec
6) Talk: '...Palestinian Freedom': 16th Dec
7) **Report: IRAQ WAR ON TRIAL IN BRISTOL!
8) *Report: Thessaloniki Hungers Strikers Freed
9) **Report: The Fairford 'Gate Trials' Verdicts
10) **Report: DEPLETED URANIUM ON TRIAL
11) *Report: Bristol & The Al-Muajaha Project
12) *News: New Laws To Curb Civil Liberties
13) Planning Groups In Bristol & Bath
14) *BRISTOL'S MESSAGE BOARDS
1) ISM PROTEST : OUTSIDE MARKS & SPENCER : SAT 6th DEC
Related Links: http://www.palsolidarity.org & http://www.palestinecampaign.org
DATE: Sat 6th Dec. TIME: 2:00-4:00pm (approx)
PLACE: Outside Marks & Spencer. Broadmead. Bristol. MAP BELOW:
BACKGROUND: "Please join Bristol ISM in a protest against Marks &
Spencer & it's investment in Israel. Marks & Spencer is one among many British companies which helps to provide Israel with the means to continue its illegal occupation of Palestine. Marks & Spencer support for Israeli war crimes takes the form of ~ i) Supporting Israel with approx £233 million in trade every year ~ ii) Illegally importing settlement products. iii) Complicity in the Israeli settlement programme, which is a war crime under the 4th Geneva Convention ~ For these activities Marks & Spencer received Israel's 'Jubilee Award', the highest given to individuals & organisations which do the most to strengthen the Israeli economy. WHAT IS ISM?: "The International Solidarity Movement (ISM) is a Palestinian-led movement of Palestinian & International activists working to raise awareness of the struggle for Palestinian freedom, & an end to Israeli occupation. They utilize non-violent direct-action methods of resistance to confront illegal Israeli occupation forces & policies. They believe that non-violence can be a powerful weapon in fighting oppression & are committed to the principles of non-violent resistance. Due to the lack of respect for Palestinian human rights & human life by the Israeli government & occupation forces, an international presence is needed to support Palestinian non-violent resistance. Palestinian activists trying to work or protest alone face harsh punishment from Israeli forces. This has included beatings, long-term arrests, serious injury & even death. International activists are thus a resource for Palestinians, both in terms of their presence & as witnesses to the daily humiliation & injustice of the Israeli occupation."
2) TALK : IRAQ WAR ON TRIAL IN BRISTOL! : WED 10th DEC Related Link: http://
DATE: Wed 10th Dec. TIME: 7:30-9:00pm. FREE ENTRY
VENUE: Friends Meeting House. 300 Gloucester Rd. MAP BELOW:
SPEAKER: Margaret Jones. ('Iraq War On Trial' Defendant).
"In January the cases of some of those charged with causing criminal damage at
RAF/USAF Fairford in March are being heard at Bristol Crown Court. The main plank of
their defence is that they were trying to stop an illegal act - the invasion of Iraq. The first part of the trial will entail arguments over the legality of the invasion with many expert witnesses appearing. There will be intense media interest, ensuring that the whole issue of the invasion & occupation, & Britain's part in it, will remain in the public eye. One of the defendants, Margaret Jones, who lives in Bristol will be able to explain some more of the background to the case. There will also be an opportunity to discuss the arguments over the legality of the invasion, & activities that can be organised around the trial. It is also likely that the Hutton Report, on the death of David Kelly, will be published around the same time, increasing the potential to compound the pressure upon the Blair administration. Please come along."
DIRECTIONS HEARING @ BRISTOL CROWN COURT: 15th DECEMBER.
Prior to the main trial there will be a Directions Hearing on 15th December.
TO MARK THIS DATE THERE WILL BE A PEACE VIGIL OUTSIDE COURT.
Time: 9:30am. Place: Small Street (100 yards from the entrance to St.
Nick's market in Corn Street). Please Do Come Along To This Vigil. MAP BELOW:
FOR MORE BACKGROUND & EVENTS SEE 'SECTION 7'
3) TALK : HUMAN RIGHTS DAY CELEBRATION : WED 10th DEC Full Title: 'A Day To
Celebrate, Reflect & Take Action' Organisers Links: http://www.amnesty.org/
DATE: Wed 10th Dec. TIME: 7:00pm onwards. TAX: By Donation.
VENUE: Victoria Methodist Church. Whitleladies Road. Bristol. MAP BELOW:
AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL UK and WORLD DEVELOPMENT MOVEMENT
SPEAKERS: Rachel Murray: Lecturer at Bristol University, expert on
African issues & a key figure in the drafting of the African Charter. ~ Chantell & Pacelli Ndikumana: Their stoty from Burundi. ~ Pauline Wiltshire: Amnesty International Control Arms Campaign.
CHAIRS: Rec. Audrey Standhaft: Methodist Minister, World Development Movement. ~ Pauline Wiltshire: Bristol Amnesty Group.
THERE WILL ALSO BE MUSIC & A BUFFET SUPPER. ALL WELCOME
INFO: Graham Davey Tel: (0117) 9093491 & Margaret Hodson Tel: (0117) 9756684
BACKGROUND: "On 10th December 1948 the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted & proclaimed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Following this historic act the Assembly called upon all Member countries to publicize the text of the Declaration and "to cause it to be disseminated, displayed, read and expounded principally in schools & other educational institutions, without distinction based on the political status of countries or territories."
FULL TEXT OF DECLARATION: http://www.unhchr.ch/udhr/lang/eng.htm
4) GUANTANAMO BAY RALLY (LONDON) : SAT 13th DEC
TIME: 1:00-4:00pm. PLACE: Opposite Downing Street. London. MAP BELOW:
Guantanamo Bay model is now creeping around the world, with Camp X-Ray & Camp Delta next door to each other, Baghram Airbase in Afghanistan, in prisons across the U.S ... & also Belmarsh Prison, here in the U.K! We have to ask whether it is not only issues of fundamental human rights at stake here, but the possibility that we are witnessing something more akin to a slide towards illegal extermination camps. This is a short-notice mobilisation for this Rally, but we hope you can all once more make it... THIS HAS TO STOP!
Links: http://www.cacc.org.uk/petition.html & http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PNAC
COACH TICKETS FROM BRISTOL TO LONDON : £12 waged - £6 concessions.
TICKETS AVAILABLE FROM: Greenleaf Books. 82 Colston St. City Centre. (Near Top of
Christmas Steps). MAP BELOW: http://www.streetmap.co.uk/streetmap.dll?G2M?X=358
603&Y=173254&A=Y&Z=1 COACHES LEAVE BRISTOL: Anchor Rd Coach Park
@9:00am on Sat 13th Dec. (Near @Bristol. Behind the Watershed Complex. City Centre). MAP BELOW:
COACHES RETURN BY: 8:00pm approx. Dropping off at Broadmead & Anchor Rd.
More Links: & http://pnac.info/ & http://web.amnesty.org/library/eng-gbr/index
INFO: Campaign Against Criminalising Communities (CAMPACC). Tel. 0207 586 589 Fax. 0207 483 2531 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.cacc.org.uk/
RALLY SPEAKERS: Azmat Begg (father of Moazzam Begg), Gareth Peirce, Louise Christian (Haldane Society), Jasmine Kureshi (Association of Muslim Lawyers), Naima Bouteldja (Just Peace), Mark Jennings (representing Bishar Al-Raw's family), Jean Lambert MEP, Jeremy Corbyn MP, Tim Gopsill (editor, The Journalist), Mike Marqusee, Bruce Kent, Hugo Charlton (Chair, Green Party & CAMPACC), Stewart Hemsley (Chair, Pax Christi), Liz Fekete Campaign against Racism & Fascism), Paul Donovan (journalist), Jaffer Clarke (Muslim Parliament of Great Britain) & Mark Thomas.
BACKGROUND: "In the 'war on terror', many hundreds of people have been imprisoned without charge or trial by the US & UK governments. These people can be held indefinitely without trial, in conditions amounting to torture. Most are not allowed access to families or lawyers. The detainees at Guantanamo face a closed military tribunal, with prosecution, defence & judge appointed by the US military. In the UK 16 detainees have been held without charge in Belmarsh Prison since Dec 2001. They do not know the allegations - made by secret police in closed sessions - against them. Rejection of recent appeals means that detainees now face indefinite imprisonment. More generally, UK anti-terrorism legislation is being used to harass migrant & refugee communities & suppress dissent, fan the flames of racial hatred & restrict the right of free speech."
PLEASE MAKE IT TO THIS RALLY IF AT ALL POSSIBLE
5) SECOND CAIRO CONFERENCE : 13th - 14th DECEMBER
Cairo Campaign: http://www.cairocampaign.com/
DATE: 13-14th Dec. PLACE: Cairo (Capital Of Egypt).
IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO GO EMAIL: email@example.com
Limited accommodation with activists in Cairo is available, but you may need to arrange
accommodation in one of Cairo's many reasonable hotels. You will need to be in Cairo Fri
12th Sept for the start of conference on the Saturday morning.
FLIGHTS: Some people have expressed a wish to stay after the conference has finished, we have therefore decided to ask people to book their own flights, but if you contact the email above help & advice is available.
CAIRO DECLARATION: http://www.stopwar.org.uk/article.asp?id=301202
"Resistance to the US occupation of Iraq & to the Israeli occupation of Palestine is growing & the calling of the 2nd Cairo conference is an opportunity to strengthen our ties with the anti-war movement in the Arab world. The 1st Cairo conference, held in Dec 2002, issued the Cairo declaration against US aggression & globalisation & established the International Campaign Against US Aggression. In the following months many anti-war initiatives were undertaken in Egypt, Lebanon other Arab countries. These culminated in the 20 March demonstration in central Cairo, the largest demonstration since the 1970s. The 2nd Cairo conference has now been called for Saturday 13 & Sunday 14 December 2003. The preparatory committee in Cairo are now hard at work arranging the conference. We are
now calling on all peace groups, trades unions, religious organisations, political
campaigns & organisations to send representatives to the Cairo conference. Now is the
time to draw together the forces of resistance in the Arab world & from around the globe.
The Cairo conference will be a sign of the strength of that continuing resistance & of
solidarity with those in the Middle East resisting globalisation & imperialism."
6) TALK: '.....THE STRUGGLE FOR PALESTINIAN FREEDOM' : 16th DEC FULL TITLE:
'Edward Said & The Struggle For Palestinian Freedom'.
DATE: Tue 16th Dec. TIME: 7.30-9:00pm. TAX: £2.50 On The Door
VENUE: Anson Rooms. Queens Rd. 1st Floor University of Bristol
Students Union. Clifton. Bristol. MAP BELOW:
SPEAKERS: Hala Abuateya (Palestinian activist) ~ Alex Callinicos* (Professor of Politics, York University) ~ Ghada Karmi (Author of the book, In Search of Fatima) ~ Steven Rose (Biologist, & regular participant on Radio 4's Moral Maze programme). *Alex Callinicos is a prominent member of the SWP, & while this is of interest, it is not central to the meeting.
ORGANISED BY: Academics at Bath, Bristol & UWE Universities. There will be much informed debate, which will hopefully inspire all to continue the struggle for Palestinian freedom. Come & debate the present & future challenges thrown up by Israel's US-sponsored aggression against Palestinian people. What is the legacy of Edward Said for understanding this conflict? What strategies of protest & resistance should we adopt? How does the conflict link in to the wider system of US imperialism in the Middle East & elsewhere?
THE EDWARD SAID ARCHIVE: http://www.edwardsaid.org/
BACKGROUND: "The world continues to mourn the loss of Edward Said, who passed away on 25th September 2003, after a 12-year battle with leukeamia. Edward Said was a professor of English & Comparative Literature at Columbia University, but his realm extended from music, to literature to philosophy to media & political activism. His books, speeches & writings broke new ground in enlightening the masses in these fields, & bridging the gaps & misunderstandings between the West & East, or 'Orient' as he aptly called it. As a Palestinian in exile, he was the most eloquent spokesperson on the Palestinian cause, for a period spanning 3 decades. Shattering the myths & distortions propagated by the media became commonplace for the professor. His rebellion against injustice, & compassion with the everyday man, despite his own privileged upbringing, acquired him his critics. Yet he was one never to falter, as he stated, 'I have been moved to defend the refugees' plight precisely because I did not suffer and therefore feel obligated to relieve the sufferings of my people.'"
Related Links: http://www.palestinecampaign.org & http://www.palsolidarity.org
7) REPORT: IRAQ WAR ON TRIAL AT HIGH COURT LEVEL IN BRISTOL Related Link:
A week long hearing at High Court level will take place during Jan 2004, in Bristol, to decide if the Iraq war broke either international law, or British criminal law.
BACKGROUND: "A few days before the war on Iraq last February, 5 activists cut their way into Fairford Air Force base. Phil Pritchard & Toby Olditch, & Josh Richards, tried to reach & disarm the B-52 bombers stationed there, waiting to attack Iraq. Paul Milling & Margaret Jones disabled trucks used for carrying bombs, & tankers for fuelling the planes . All 5 are charged with conspiracy &/or criminal damage. Each of the activists offers a 'lawful excuse' defence - that they aimed at preventing the crime of the Iraq war. Therefore, in an unprecedented move, - the question of whether the war was in
fact illegal has to be considered at High Court level, before the trials can go ahead.
CALENDAR SO FAR: a) Directions Hearing On 15th December 2003. b) High Court Hearing On The Legality Of The War In January 2004 (or February). c) Trial Of Margaret Jones & Paul Milling Begins on 8th March 2004. d) This trial will then be followed by those of Phil Pritchard & Toby Olditch, & of Josh Richards
a) DIRECTIONS HEARING @ BRISTOL CROWN COURT 15th DECEMBER
Prior to the main trial there will be a Directions Hearing on 15th December.
TO MARK THIS DATE THERE WILL BE A PEACE VIGIL OUTSIDE COURT.
Time: 9:30am. Place: Small Street (100 yards from the entrance to St. Nick's market in Corn Street). Please Do Come Along To This Vigil. MAP BELOW:
b) HIGH COURT HEARING ON LEGALITY OF WAR IN JAN (OR FEB) 2004. @Bristol Crown Court. Watch this space for more information & events.
c) 8th MARCH. TRIALS OF MARGARET JONES & PAUL MILLING BEGINS. March 8th - Trial of Margaret Jones and Paul Milling begins. Margaret and Paul will rely on the testimony of expert witnesses. They hope to call international law experts, journalists, & a medical worker who was in Iraq during the war. This is our chance to see the Iraq war finally brought to trial in a British court.
d) THESE TRIALS WILL THEN BE FOLLOWED BY THOSE OF........ Phil Pritchard & Toby Olditch, & of Josh Richards. The verdicts of the trials of Margaret Jones & Paul Milling are likely to have a direct bearing on these trials.
More Info & Updates: http://www.fairfordpeacewatch.com/IraqWaronTrial.html
ALL AT BRISTOL CROWN COURT. Please come & support, whenever you can.
8) REPORT : THESSALONIKI HUNGER STRIKERS RELEASED
Full Story & Info: http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2003/10/279741.html
"The Thessaloniki 7 were released on 26 November at 4.00pm Greek time. The hungerstrike came to an end after between 49 & 66 days. The 7 are not allowed to leave Greece until their trial takes place. The Council of Judges ruled their release after the district attorney in Athens ordered doctors to force feed the hungertrikers. Pressure on the Greek authorities had increased since the hungerstrikers' health deteriorated. Solidarity groups formed all over the world,
INDYMEDIA ATHENS STATED: "This is a victory of the struggle for dignity & freedom by
the 5 hunger strikers, of the other 2 prisoners, but as well the thousands of people that
stood up for them all over the world! It is an outright defeat for the greek state-repression complex, & for the global 'anti-terror' mechanisms."
BACKGROUND: "The European Union summit (held in Thessaloniki, Greece, between 20-22 June 2003) discussed new measures to control their populations in the name of 'security' while building ever-higher defences for 'Fortress Europe' to keep out the victims of their capitalist wars & policies. Workers, migrants & the common people, anti-capitalists & anti-authoritarians came together from across Europe to resist this capitalist clampdown. During demonstrations on 21st June over 100 people were detained, some of them forced to sign blank papers by the police. The 'Saloniki 7' are facing felony charges, & up to 25 years in jail. Simon Chapman, from the UK, was beaten in prison & denied medical care, despite suffering serious head injuries & broken ribs. Only at the insistence of the British consular was a doctor permitted to attend him. Simon, & the other prisoners, are being charged with possession of explosives, resisting authority & rioting.
However, there is evidence that Simon was framed. Video footage documents police planting bags of molotov cocktails on him while he was being beaten. The 'Saloniki 7' include Simon Chapman (English), Fernando Perez Gorraiz (Spanish), Carlos Martin Martinez (Spanish), Souleiman 'Castro' Dakduk (Syrian), Spyros Tsitsas (Greek) and two Greek juveniles. Five of the 'Saloniki 7' went on hunger-strike in protest against the circumstances of their arrests & imprisonment.
9) REPORT : THE FAIRFORD 'GATE TRIALS' VERDICTS
Related Link: http://www.fairfordpeacewatch.com/CourtHearings.html
During a demonstration at USAF/RAF Fairford on 23 Feb 2003 (in anticipation of the arrival of the notorious B-52 bombers), the main gate of the airbase was pulled open by protesters. It was claimed that over £8,000 of damage was done to the gate, & although dozens of people were responsible for pulling open the main gate, only 3 people we're charged with it. Kate Holcombe, Geoffrey Cornock & Owen English stood trial at Gloucester Crown Court on Wed 12th November. The verdicts, & details, are shown below. "Two peace
protestors, Geoffrey Cornock & Kate Holcombe were found 'guilty' on Friday of damaging
a gate at USAF Fairford in February even though the video evidence showed that there
was no damage whatsoever. Kate Holcombe, one of the defendents who was given a 2 year discharge said 'There was a video shown of the protest in which it was blatantly obvious to all in court except the jury and the prosection that there was no damage whatsover to the bottom of the gate.' The video was watched over & over again by the court with all present searching for the damage that the guy from the base pretended had been done to the bottom of it. No damage was seen or found. They were convicted on the word of a worker claiming he had seen a ' kink' in the bottom of the gate. A 3rd defendant, Owen English, walked free after the prosecution failed to produce sufficient evidence."
SOME PRESS CUTTINGS & REPORTS ARE BELOW:
a) "Cornock, a countryside ranger, was cleared of possessing wire cutters with intent to
damage the base's fence. He was also ordered by the judge to pay £500 compensation
to the MoD. The Recorder told Cornock: 'You, I am convinced, played a more significant role in this enterprise.It was your intention, with others, to breach the gates of RAF Fairford.' Mother-of-two Holcombe told the jury that she had, with others, pulled on one of several ropes attached to the gate simply as part of 'street theatre' & had not intended to cause damage."
c) "The protesters had been pulling on the gate demanding entry when it finally gave way.
An eyewitness told The OxStu that hundreds of activists in fact gained entry to the base
as the gate swung open, but despite this the charges have only been made against English and fellow campaigners Katherine Holcomb and Geoffrey Cornock after their faces were recognised on security videotapes."
10) REPORT : DEPLETED URANIUM (DU) ON TRIAL
Related Links: http://www.pandoraproject.org/
http://www.unobserver.com/index.php?pagina=layout5.php&id=1205&blz=1 "Nibby David
became ill whilst working in the aerospace industry in the west country. His symptoms
started 3 weeks after starting work & progressively worsened over the years. He continued in his job until life threatening ill health finally forced him to stop work in 1995.
The cause of his illness was a mystery to him until 2000 when tests showed he was riddled with Depleted Uranium (DU), presumably picked up form his workplace. His health continues to worsen & has moved to the seaside in Devon as the fresh air helps him.
The medical authorities & benefits agency did not recognise Nibby's illness as being caused by DU, as a result of which he has been unable to get DLA. Nibby is left with insufficient money to cover all his bills & food, which is bad news as he has a wife & 3 children to support. Because of kidney damage caused by the DU Nibby should be on a special high potassium diet recommended by his doctor as vital in minimising the risk of cardiac arrest. However, Nibby can rarely afftord to keep to this special diet, placing him at further risk.
The stress of all this affects the entire family in every practical way, & because he is trying to prove that his illness is caused by DU poisoning, he has automatically forfeited any chance of getting Life Insurance, as it does not cover any illnesses caused by radiation. Nibby worries what will happen when he dies. There will be no insurance to pay for his funeral & more importantly, as his body will be radioactive for many thousands of years, who will pay for safe disposal of his remains?
It is more than possible there are others who have worked in the aerospace industry & been affected, some of whom may now be dead. Anyone in this situation will face the same problems. Nibby has been made an honorary Gulf War Veteran as he is suffering from the same Uranium poisoning. Broadly one third of Gulf War veterans in the US & UK are suffering from damage to their health linked with Uranium poisoning. In the recent war on Iraq it is estimated that 10 times more DU was dropped than in the 1st Gulf War & more of our troops will end up suffering.
Nibby has a court case in the West Country pending next year to try & get compensation. His case is a simple personal injury case, but he is aware of many others in a similar position who will benefit if he wins. Because of the importance of the case, expert witnesses from round the world will be giving evidence. These witnesses have already tested Nibby using unique facilities not readily available to many suffering from
DU poisoning. These tests show that Nibby has DU in his body & has genetic damage
resulting from proven damage from internal radiation."
Full Story: http://bristol.indymedia.org/front.php3?article_id=9749&group=webcast
HOW YOU CAN HELP: In order to pay for the travel of these experts to this country a fund has been set up to pay for their fares. If any one would like to contribute, cheques or donations should be sent to:
THE NIBBY DAVID DU SUPPORT FUND. P.O. Box 98. Greenleaf Bookshop Bristol BS1 5BB. Or
11) REPORT : BRISTOL & THE AL-MUAJAHA PROJECT
The Al-Muajaha Newswire: http://www.almuajaha.com/ http://bristol.indymedia.org/front.php3?article_id=9659&group=webcast
"On Sun 17th November, one of the founders of the Al-Muajaha, the Iraqi media project, visited Bristol. Al-Muajaha - The Iraq Witness - was one of the 1st independent & democratic media outlets to form after the fall of Saddam. Its foundation was aided with technical & financial support from Bristol. Indeed the physical server the site is hosted on remains here in Bristol, with additional tech-support from the Bristol Indymedia Tech team of people Within Iraq the project is run by a core group of 25 volunteers who represent Kurdish, Sunni & Shiite backgrounds. Most of the age range is around 20ish, with a few younger & older media activists. In deciding which stories to run or not to run they need to tread the fine line of freedom of expression with the huge number of armed factions of various agendas who, if offended by what is written, may decide the sword (or AK47) is more mighty than the pen; a scary prospect!
As a testament to the projects quality many who have passed though the project have gone on to highly paid work for outlets such as BBC, CNN & Reuters. However, this is leaching talent from the project, but the Chief Editor, Wassif, is admirably presiding over 2 faces of the project: One is the print version - essential in a country with very limited
internet access. This is printed in Arabic & English. The other is the website which, due
to the lack of a telecommunications network, is principally used by internationals.
However they maintain this external link is vital in a country who's people have for so long been isolated. The future of the project, as with any such volunteer organisation, is dependent on the commitment & ability of those running it to sustain their efforts. This is hard in a country with no secure water or electricity supplies, & an ongoing guerrilla war.
However there is a desire by those on the ground in Baghdad to face the challenges of
organisation, such ad censorship by threats, & the logistics needed to keep the project
alive. Al-Muajaha is also in the process of finding its own autonomous, independent voice, a process all Indymedia projects undergo.
There is a huge amount of international solidarity being directed to the project, a testament to the commitment of ordinary people across cultural, political & geographic divides. One example is in Italy where the Indymedia movement is raising funds to buy a satellite modem along with a year's subscription. Here in Bristol the process of transferring equipment to the project, purchased with funds raised here by benefit gigs is ongoing & a number of other possibilities to support this most vital of projects is under discussion!"
KEEP AN EYE ON BRISTOL INDYMEDIA FOR DEVELOPMENTS: http://bristol.indymedia.org/ &
12) NEWS : BLAIR PLANS NEW LAWS TO CURB CIVIL LIBERTIES
Full Story: http://www.sundayherald.com/38267
"SWEEPING new emergency legal powers to deal with the aftermath of a large terrorist attack in Britain are being considered by the government. The measures could potentially outlaw participation in a protest march, such as last week's demonstrations during President Bush's state visit, making it, in effect, a criminal offence to criticise government policy. In an attempt to give the UK government similar powers to those rushed through in the US after the 9/11 attack on New York in 2001, it is understood that a beefed-up version of current civil contingencies law is being considered.
It will allow the government to bypass or suspend key parts of the UK's human rights laws without the authority of parliament. In the US, the Patriot Act has been widely condemned by civil rights groups throughout the US. Many lawyers have blamed the Patriot Act as an excuse for eroding civil rights that dated back to the founding principles of the US constitution. That the UK government is considering seeking similar power in a crisis situation indicates the heightened level of concern following the terrorist bombings in Istanbul.
The new powers would only come into force if a state of emergency was proclaimed with the authority of the sovereign. The government, if the new measures were introduced, would be able to prohibit any assembly or activity it believed threatened national security. However, government legal sources have urged that any new laws in such a sensitive area would not be forced through without widespread consultation.
Aware of the current level of scare-mongering following the Istanbul bombing & the threats made by al-Qaeda-linked groups that further suicide attacks were being planned on
targets both in the UK & abroad, a source close to the Home Secretary, David Blunkett,
last night denied his department were seeking a massive & immediate injection of cash
from the Treasury. This would be needed to foot the bill if Britain's streets were to be
flooded with armed police in an almost constant level of red alert. Despite Blunkett saying he was 'sick & tired' of people pretending there was not a threat from terrorists & insisting only 'very, very good intelligence would save us', the Home Office seems to have no plan to boost security spending this or next year.
If 'Fortress Britain' were to be achieved, with countrywide security checks, increased police surveillance & widespread detention of any suspect group or individual, the Home Office's annual budget would rocket. The Home Office source said: 'We have absolutely no plans, advanced or otherwise, for seeking a level of increased spending. & we haven't even begun to think about next year." James Cusick. Sunday Herald. 23 November 2003
13) PLANNING GROUPS IN BRISTOL & BATH
a) THE MAIN BRISTOL PLANNING GROUP IN THE CITY CENTRE.
All are welcome. We hold a Bristol-Stop-The-War meeting every week, as a forum for local groups to inform each other of their intentions, of finding people to work together on projects, & as a venue where large scale Bristol Demos are agreed & planned. We don't vote at these meetings, as we're not here to force adherence to a consensus view. We do instead discuss issues until we reach broad consensus.
DATE: Every Thursday. TIME: 7:00-8:30pm. PLACE: St. Mary on the Quay
Hall. City Centre. Colston Ave. (Opposite War Memorial). MAP BELOW:
b) BATH: Bath-Stop-The-War meet every other Wed. Next: 12th November.
TIME: 8:00-9:30pm @Friends Meeting House. York St. MAP BELOW:
Bath Website: http://www.bathstopwar.org.uk/
c) BISHOPSTON: Bishopston Group meet every Tuesday. TIME: 7:30-9:00pm @Friends
Meeting House. 300 Gloucester Rd. MAP BELOW:
d) MONTPELIER: Montpelier Group meet on the 1st Wed of each month.
TIME: 7:00-8:00pm @Bristolian Cafe. Picton St. MAP BELOW:
e) ST.WERBURGHS: St.Werburghs Group meet every Wed. TIME:
7:00-8: 00pm@St.Werburghs Community Centre. Horley Rd. MAP BELOW:
f) UWE (University) STOP THE WAR: To receive updates send a blank email to:
14) BRISTOL'S MESSAGE BOARDS
Bristol now has 3 message boards for anti-war & activist mail. Please make use of these
forums, as not all the Bristol anti-war news makes it onto the Bristol-Stop-The-War
Newsletter, & you'll also find non- war news on Bristol Activists too.
a) UWE & BRISTOL UNIVERSITY FORUM: This forum was initially for UWE only, but
we're now advertising both UWE & Bristol University events, so please do join if you're
from Bristol University, & please do let us know of any events going on.
TO JOIN: send a blank email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
EMAIL THE FORUM: email@example.com
Visit The Forum: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/uwestopwar/
b) BRISTOL ACTIVISTS FORUM: Bristol Activists is independent of the anti-war movement, & accepts posts on a wide range of political issues, including the war. It is a very useful way of networking with Bristols' activist community.
TO JOIN send a blank email to: bristol-activists- firstname.lastname@example.org
EMAIL THE FORUM: email@example.com
Visit The Forum: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/bristol-activists/
c) BRISTOL-STOP-THE-WAR FORUM: Bristol-Stop-The-War now accepts general post
on all issues to do with the 'War On Terror'. We are also encouraging more post from
regional groups, so do please email us with your info & events.
TO JOIN email: firstname.lastname@example.org
EMAIL THE FORUM: email@example.com Visit The Forum:
d) NOTES ON ALL THE ABOVE FORUMS:
NOTE i) The UWE & Bristol University Forum, & the Bristol-Stop-The- War Forum, are both set-up in a 'Webpage & Newsletter' format. This means that the only mail you receive directly into your inbox is a regular newsletter, with all other mail viewed on the
webpage, & also posted to the webpage.
NOTE ii) The Bristol Activists Forum is set up in an 'Individual Email & Daily Digest' format. This means that all emails sent to the group emails are received in your inbox, but you can opt to receive 'No Email' & view mail on the webpage instead.
NOTE iii) If you have a Yahoo email you can also post *from* the webpage on all of these forums, but you otherwise need to post *to* the webpage from your normal email account.
"If you go to one demonstration and then go home, that's something, but people in power
can live with that. What they can't live with is sustained pressure that keeps building,
organisations that keep doing things, people that keep learning from the last time and
doing it better next time." Noam Chomsky
SAY YES 2 PEACE ... SAY YES 2 PEACE ... SAY YES 2 PEACE