UK Anti-militarism Feature Archive
A week of action against the NATO summit. / Wythos o weithredu yn erbyn Uwchgynhadledd NATO.
This year NATO will have their next summit at Celtic Manor Resort, in Newport, south Wales. In early September 2014, “world leaders” – all directly responsible for untold death, illegal torture flights, and wars fought purely to protect Western business interests and resource supply routes – will gather on the edge of this historic Welsh city. Many people from Newport, Cardiff, Bristol and beyond, will oppose the summit and use a diversity of tactics against it. We, an anti-capitalist, anti-militarist network in South Wales, plan to facilitate mobilisations and provide space for workshops, skill-shares and social events. We are organising without leaders as we do not agree with bosses or bombs.
For timetable, see the full article.
On the newswire: No Borders/Stop NATO day of action | Round up of Week of Action events | Stop NATO action against securitisation & policing | AFIACH benefit compilation | NATO CopWatch | Day of Action Against Militarism | 16-17 Aug, National Convergence, Blackpool | Police Harassment in Merthyr
26 May - 1 June, Newport.
Organised by Anarchist Action Network, Stop NATO Cymru and South Wales Anarchists, the festival runs all week at 95-96 Commercial Street, Newport NP20 1LU. Sharing ideas and skills, celebrating resistance & organising to win. All welcome. Workshops and skill shares all week, free cafe all day and free meal every evening.
The NATO Summit comes to Newport at the beginning of September. Come along this week and prepare for the Stop NATO week of action 30 August - 5 September and take part in some of the many talks, sessions and workshops. Something for everyone! All welcome (except cops and mainstream journalists, who will be asked to stay outside). The venue is an alcohol & drug free space.
If you can only manage one day and want to get clued up on NATO and what's planned for August & September, come along on Sunday:
Sunday 1 June. 4pm: Talk - Resisting the NATO Summit. 6.30pm: Meeting to build resistance against the NATO Summit.
On the newswire: Protest & Street Theatre | Banner drops | Photos from Newport Rising | Anarchists Shut Cardiff Barclays | Anarchist Travelling Circus Presents Newport Rising | Protest the NATO Summit | Antimilitarists Block NATO Conference | NATO Uncut Call-out | Stop NATO Cymru Statement
StopG8 have organised a week of action in London from 8th to 15th June, ahead of the UK G8 summit. Tuesday June 11th will be the big day, The #J11 Carnival Against Capitalism mass action will start at 12 noon on Tuesday June 11th, the meet-up points will be:
- North: Oxford Circus.
- South: Piccadilly Circus.
The action will finish with a ‘street party’ at 5:30pm, the location will be announced on the day.
The trial in the Court Martial of Welsh-American WikiLeaks Whistleblower Bradley Manning is finally scheduled to begin on Monday 3 June 2013 at Fort Meade, Maryland, US after an unprecedented three years of pre-trial detention. The mistreatment of Bradley Manning in prison including almost a year of torture by the US authorities that was condemned by the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture has to be seen in the context of the vast, 'secret' Grand Jury conspiracy and espionage investigation into WikiLeaks and the pressure that must have been exerted on Brad in a sustained but ultimately unsuccessful attempt to persuade him to testify against Julian Assange, who the US authorities very badly want to get their hands on.
Read or listen to Bradley Manning's statement to the court (extracts below) and his chat logs to see why he felt that the information he found himself in possession of should be shared with the world and what he hoped might happen as a result of risking his life and liberty to do this.
There are 22 charges against Brad including 'Aiding the Enemy' that potentially carries the death penalty although the prosecution has said it will not seek this sentence. Brad has already pled guilty to 10 lesser charges that could themselves result in a 20 year jail term and the government has accepted his lesser plea on just one count but not on any of the other lesser charges, for which it will still bring evidence. During the final pre-trial hearing on 21 May, Judge Lind announced that portions of the trial dealing with 24 witnesses, including US Ambassadors, will be held in closed session, with redacted transcripts provided afterwards.
The US, aided and abetted by Britain, is pursuing a permanent 'War on Terror' and continues its project of creating and escalating conflict around the globe at terrible cost to human life. The significance of the anti-war actions of Bradley Manning and Julian Assange can be judged by reference to the zeal with which both are being persecuted by the US authorities and the extent to which they have been variously misrepresented, vilified, smeared, ridiculed or ignored in the mainstream media. As anti-war activists or war resisters, they deserve our support and solidarity.
Join existing or create your own solidarity actions on Saturday 1 June and throughout Brad's trial, expected to last into August unless there's an early plea deal. 1 June solidarity is currently planned for London and Cardiff.
Previous features: December 2012 (Torture hearing) | April 2011 (Call-out for solidarity)
On the newswires (recent): Thanking Bradley Manning in Kabul | Bradley Manning's in jail for us, We're on the streets for him | 1 June call-out for Cardiff | Vivienne Westwood supports Brad | London solidarity in run-up to trial | Solidarity at Chester May Day | Downloadable flyers for 1 June | London solidarity/Report from Fort Meade | Brad nominated for Nobel Peace Prize (again) | Wrexham solidarity on 1000th day of detention
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
Accused WikiLeaks whistleblower Bradley Manning, the young American military intelligence analyst with Welsh and Irish roots, gave evidence in person for the first time at Fort Meade, Maryland in a hearing on the Defence's Article 13 unlawful pretrial punishment motion. The court sat for eleven days between 27 November and 11 December to hear the case that Brad was subject to unlawful pretrial punishment at Quantico brig where he was held for nine months before being transferred to less punitive conditions at Fort Leavenworth in April 2011. Brad's mistreatment at Quantico has already been condemned by the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, Juan Mendez. On the strength of evidence of mistreatment, the Defence is calling for all 22 charges Bradley Manning faces in connection with the biggest anti-war whistleblowing act in history to be dropped or, failing that, for any sentence imposed if he is convicted to be substantially reduced. Judgment has been reserved and the ruling of military judge Denise Lind is unlikely before January.
12 Jan: This feature (below) now finalised
12 Jan: Verdict from this hearing Judge declines to dismiss all charges; finds some unlawful pretrial punishment but ignores most; only 112 days sentencing credit awarded.
On the newswire - Notes from the courtroom: Verdict | 11 Dec | 10 Dec | 7 Dec | 6 Dec | 5 Dec | 1-2 Dec | 30 Nov | 29 Nov | 27-29 Nov | London vigil: 27 Nov Report | Call-out | Previous feature: April 2011
This feature has been compiled from the sources listed in the posts above. Read the full article for a summary of the hearing and links to articles by independent journalists and supporters of Bradley Manning.
Two women from Oxford are amongst a group of peace activists visiting Afghanistan this month. The delegation aim to spend time meeting and making links with ordinary Afghans, and then raise awareness back in the UK of what they discover.
"We are traveling as friends and equals of the Afghans we will be visiting, not to fix Afghanistan but to fix UK perspectives on Afghanistan" -Mary, one of the group.
Nine years ago another local peace activist, Paul, moved to Afghanistan to work with the UN, and sent a series of personal reports, providing a revealing first-hand account of life there.
UK Peace Activists Visit Afghanistan | From Cowley Road to Kabul | First days in Kabul | Kuchi Refugee Camp in the Shah's Back Yard | Oxford Man in Afghanistan
VCNVUK blog | Afghan Youth Peace Volunteers | Global Days Of Listening | RAWA
Israel launched a new offensive on the people of Gaza last week which claimed the lives of 162 Palestinians. Four Israeli civilians and one soldier have also died as a result of retaliatory rocket attacks.
As of 20th November 23% of Palestinian casualties were children. The youngest victim of the recent Israeli aggression is 11-month-old Omar Al Mashharrawi.
Hundreds of solidarity demonstrations have been held globally and a national demonstration is planned in London on Saturday 24th November. On Friday 16th November a demonstration was held in Birmingham and another is planned for Thursday 22nd outside the BBC offices to protest biased reporting. In Brighton on Saturday 17th November activists locked on to the Ecostream store, a shop owned by an Israeli company that has its main manufacturing facility in the West Bank settlement of Mishor Adumim. Later on a hundred strong crowd marched to the store and held a noisy demonstration outside the shop. On Monday 19th a phone and twitter blockade of the company was held.
The same day in Wrexham activists picketed Barclays Bank in protest at Barclays investments in companies supplying weapons to Israel.
On Tuesday 20th a group of solidarity activists occupied G4S headquarters over the company's contracts with the Israeli prison service as well as providing equipment and services to Israeli military checkpoints and maintaining contracts with businesses working in Israel's settlements.
The 'Don't Dance with Israeli Apartheid' campaign held demonstrations against London performances of the Israeli state sponsored Batsheva dance troupe at Sadlers Wells on the 19th-21st November as part of a coordinated international campaign. There were also protests both inside and outside of the Birmingham performances at the Hippodrome on the 14-15th November coinciding with the start of the latest Gaza massacre.
Palestinians in the West Bank have also been demonstrating in solidarity with their brothers and sisters in Gaza, only to be met with typical Israeli oppression. On Saturday, 31-year-old Rushdi Tamimi was shot by an IDF soldier at a protest in the village of Nabi Saleh. He died of his wounds in hospital on Monday around the time news surfaced that Hamdi Mohammad Jawwad Al-Falah, 22, was killed after being shot four times during a demonstration in the Bir al-Mahjar neighborhood in western Hebron. A baby also died in hospital on Monday after an Israeli tear gas canister landed in his bedroom in Qalandia refugee camp.
A ceasefire was reached on Wednesday 21st of November. However, the conflict is likely to continue if Israel does not end its siege of Gaza and attempts to control the Gazan economy. The need for solidarity with the people of Palestine struggling against Israeli militarism, apartheid and occupation has never been greater.
Upcoming events: Thursday 22nd November - Gaza solidarity demo in Brighton at the Old Steine at 5pm and Die In on the BBC Steps at the Mailbox in Birmingham 6pm-7pm| 23rd/24th November - Don't Dance with Israeli apartheid demos in Plymouth| Hebden Bridge Gaza solidarity demo - meet at the Central Intersection at 5pm| 24th November - Mass Gaza Solidarity demo in London| Sunday 25th - Demo at Ecostream, Western Rd, Brighton, 1-3pm
While over seventy countries now possess drones, so far only the UK, the US and Israel are known to have used armed drones. The UK has launched over 300 drones strikes in Afghanistan but there is little public information about these strikes. Israel regularly launches drone attacks in Gaza and the US has been using drones in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen. It is suspected, but not confirmed that US drones have also undertaken strikes in Mali and Philippines this year.
On the newswire: Ground the Drones Week of Action announcement | Drones Week of Action events listings | The faceless face of military drones at Menwith Hill: 9 October | Veterans for Peace action at General Atomics | Terrorist drones come to Lincolnshire – drones peace walk | Drones and Thrones – A London Diary
On Monday 16th July 2012 Smash EDO held a Citizen's Weapons Inspection' of EDO. Kent, Sussex and Hampshire Police used new Police Liaison Officers and a steel wall against demonstrators.Despite this, activists dressed in white suits managed to breach the police cordon and hang banners outside the factory gates and close down the industrial estate by locking-on to the police cordon.
On Sunday 15th July Smash EDO hosted a gathering against the G8, launching a new network. There will be a workshop to plan action against the G8 at Earth First and the next gathering will be 22nd September in Birmingham.
At 1pm on Monday 16th July a group of concerned citizens from Brighton and beyond will be attempting to inspect the EDO MBM factory in Moulsecoomb to further highlight the factory’s complicity in the murder of innocent civilians around the world.
It has long been known that this local company has links with illegal and immoral arms deals and Smash EDO intend to hold them to account. In January 2009 six activists broke in and successfully decommissioned the factory and then waited to be arrested by the police. At their later trial a jury found that their actions were entirely legal as they were acting to prevent war crimes against civilians in Gaza.
This mass action is part of an ongoing 'Summer of Resistance' which has seen almost daily actions by protesters against the factory in May and June and which will continue until the end of July.
Demonstrators will converge at the Level at 1pm.
A call has been made to FITwatchers to kettle the police and to sabotage their new tactic of using Police Liaison Officers to pacify the crowd.
The day before the demo anti-capitalists will be converging in Brighton for a day of plotting and scheming against the 2013 G8, to be held in the UK
Local Contacts for the Weapons Inspection: London: firstname.lastname@example.org | Bristol: email@example.com | Manchester: firstname.lastname@example.org | Swansea: email@example.com
Campaigners in the UK and Sweden have taken various actions against G4S over the last month. Meanwhile, various discussions and meetings are taking place to coordinate efforts aimed at forcing the multinational security giant to halt its “unlawful and criminal activities”, as well as to put pressure on public authorities to withdraw from and not award new contracts to the notorious company.
The UK antimilitarist movement is building fresh coalitions against new developments in state militarism. In March activists converged in Bristol to confront an unmanned drones conference and a ‘Disarm the National Gallery’ campaign was launched in London to end arms trade sponsorship of the gallery. This week delegates visiting the annual Counter-Terror conference were met by a counter-protest and Vince Cable's speech at the UKTI conference was disrupted.
Smash EDO, who have campaigned to shut EDO MBM down for eight years are launching three months of action, from May 1st to August 1st, next week with a mayday noise demonstration, a bad music demonstration and a phone and twitter blockade to name just a few of the planned events.
Smash EDO Summer of resistance reports: Picket of Barclays - 27/4/12| A few words on sensationalist journalism, protest bans and the local rag| The Summer of Resistance starts here| Mayday! Mayday! The Summer of Resistance Day One| Day Two: Face the Music| Day Three: Hot on the Wire| Day Four: Surprise! Surprise!| Smash EDO Summer of Resistance Week Two begins| Bikes not Bombs: Smash EDO Summer of Resistance hits the Pedals| Ratchet up the Racket: Summer of Resistance Continues| Summer of Resistance Targets Barclays
As the Taliban prepares to open a political office in Qatar, the US stalls on releasing Taliban prisoners and a leaked US military report alleges that "the Taliban's strength and morale are largely intact despite the Nato military surge, and that significant numbers of Afghan government soldiers are defecting to them", the UK is witnessing a small upswing in anti-war activism over the raging conflict.
Last month peace activist Maya Evans returned from a month-long delegation to the country with US activists from Voices for Creative Nonviolence, and she is now embarking on a speaking tour around the UK. Whilst in Afghanistan she helped deliver over £2,000 worth of aid, raised by NUJ members at the Financial Times and the readers of Peace News, to internally displaced Afghans in the capital. She is believed to be the first British peace activist to visit the country since 2001.
Meanwhile, photojournalist Guy Smallman - himself recently returned from a trip to Afghanistan - will be speaking alongside ex-soldier Ben Griffin at an event in London on 9 February, and activists are preparing to re-establish a peace camp outside RAF Waddington in Lincolnshire in anticipation of the UK starting to use the base to pilot its Reaper drones in Afghanistan later this year. In September last year, the RAF announced its 200th drone strike in Afghanistan. British drones are currently piloted by RAF pilots based in the US. In December, Catholic Workers occupied the entrance to Northwood Military HQ in protest at the ongoing occupation of Afghanistan.
Thoughtful observers have long pondered the question why, given the undoubted horrors of the war in Afghanistan as well as its deep unpopularity with the general public, there continues to be so little UK activism focused on the war. Indeed, for many years the only UK-based protests marking the anniversary of the 2001 invasion involved a tiny handful of people [ 1 | 2 | 3 ]. Similar actions took place on the tenth anniversary last October [ 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 ], as well as a Stop the War rally but even the latter was a relatively small affair compared to earlier 'national' Stop the War demos.
Whether recent events herald a change on this front remains to be seen.
In the days leading up to 11 January 2012, the tenth anniversary of the opening of Guantánamo Bay detention centre, Guantánamo prisoners held a three day hunger strike and protest. Beyond the prison walls, the event has been marked with many days of action in the US, Britain and elsewhere around the world. Protesters call for the closure of Guantánamo and the release of the 171 people still incarcerated there without trial.
50 people held a ten day fast, took part in actions in and around Washington DC during this time and supported defendants in a court case which, bizarrely, had been brought by the State using the (misspelt) name of Shaker Aamer, the last British resident detained at Guantánamo: Shakir Ami vs the US. The anniversary demo in DC on 11 January was the largest ever, involving 171 participants in orange jumpsuits and many hundreds of others, so large it split into groups and marched to the Supreme Court, Congress and the Department of Justice. The following day, 37 people in orange jumpsuits and with a full size cage were arrested in front of the White House while protesting against Obama's support for the National Defence Authorization Act, which effectively cancels Obama's promise to shut Guantánamo.
British solidarity actions demanded the release of Shaker Aamer, the closure of Guantánamo and bore witness to torture and other human rights abuses perpetrated there. Events included a rally in Trafalgar Square, a press conference at the Frontline Club, panel discussion at Conway Hall with numerous speakers including former detainees, a screening of the film 'Death in Camp Delta' about a detainee who died in Guantánamo, petition presented to the US Embassy calling for Obama to keep his promise to shut down Guantánamo and a vigil in Haringey during the morning rush hour. In Ireland, protesters held a vigil outside the US Embassy at Ballsbridge and handed a letter to the Ambassador Dan Rooney.
On Tuesday 14th February 2012, the last remaining British resident in Guantanamo, Shaker Aamer will have been in Guantanamo for ten years. The appalling conditions under which he continues to be held were eloquently described by his lawyer Clive Stafford Smith at the Remembrance meeting on Wednesday. Campaigners intend to mark the anniversary by staging a Guantanamo Chain Gang outside the US Embassy calling for him to be returned home to his family. Cage Prisoners believe that his testimony is vital in any investigation of British complicity in torture, and he is surely entitled to return to his home and the family he hasn't seen for ten years as he has been cleared of any wrong doing.
The LGC also maintains that the British government should seek the return to the UK of former British resident Ahmed Belbacha, an Algerian national who lived in Bournemouth from 1999 to 2001. He was cleared for release by the US military in 2007. Mr Belbacha fears for his life if forcibly returned to Algeria (an injunction currently prevents this), and remains at Guantánamo awaiting the offer of a safe home.
On the newswire: London Remembers Guantánamo: 10 years | We demand the truth about British involvement in torture | Anniversary demo in DC | 37 arrested at White House | Guantánamo Remembered event at Conway Hall | Campaigners demand Guantánamo closure | From Haringey to Washington DC: Close Guantánamo | Guantánamo prisoners' protest and hunger strike | former guard Brandon Neely on Gitmo | Schedule of anniversary events | Shut Gitmo: End 10 years of Shame - Call-out | Report
Audio reports: Guantánamo Remembered Event at Conway Hall - Introduction | former detainee Moazzam Begg | Attorney Michael Ratner | Vanessa Redgrave reads former detainee Murat Kurnaz | Human Rights lawyer Gareth Peirce | Former detainee Sami Al-Hajj | Human Rights lawyer Clive Stafford Smith | Former detainee Omar Deghayes | Chair of Islamic Human Rights Commission Massoud Sadjareh | Three poems brought out of Guantánamo | Audio from DC rally
External links: Reprieve on Shaker Aamer and Ahmed Belbacha | Cage Prisoners | Witness Against Torture | Amnesty Report - Guantánamo: A Decade of Damage to Human Rights | Human Rights Watch - Guantánamo Ten Years On
Cases against people who refused to complete the 2011 census in England and Wales are starting to come before the courts. Judith Sambrook, who declined to fill in her form in protest at the government's contract with WMD manufacturer Lockheed Martin to process census data, had a preliminary hearing at Wrexham Magistrates Court on Remembrance Day 11/11/11 with her case now adjourned to 8 December (tbc). Over 20 supporters attended the court in solidarity with Judith to demonstrate against Lockheed Martin and the wars it fuels, holding a vigil at the war memorial afterwards. Other known cases are in Liverpool on 8 December, Reading on 13 December and Birmingham on 5 January. There are bound to be more in the coming weeks and months.
Recent articles on the newswires: Birmingham court hearing 5 January | Reading court hearing 13 December | Liverpool court hearing 8 December | Judith Sambrook next court hearing tbc | Photos and reports from Wrexham 11/11/11 court hearing [ 1 | 2 ] | Local group in solidarity with census refuser | Occupy London in solidarity | Flyer for download | Support Conscientious Census Objector | Solidarity from Canada | Demo and Vigil at Census Court Case
Previous articles on the newswires: Guantanamo/Abu Ghraib Interrogation Firms and the Census | Supplementary Census Questions | Don't Co-operate (Scotland) | Boycott Census (Ireland) | For the non-religious | Discussion on Census Data Security | Census e-action day | Count Me Out: info | Count Me Out: Disarm the Census | London Demo Report | Dodgy Census Stats | Why I will be breaking the law | Lockheed Martin and the Census | UK Census 2011 | CACI Torturers in Scots Census Rehearsal
Elsewhere: Count Me Out | No Census Taking Part | Ethical Census (Scotland) | SACC on the Scottish Census | CACI gets immunity from US law | Canadian Resistance to Lockheed Martin's involvement in Census | The Register: Lockheed Martin suffers network 'intrusion' | How to complete your census without Lockheed Martin profiting | Guardian: Boycott Census | No2ID on the Census | London Guantanamo Campaign on the Census | Red Pepper: Why to Refuse the Census | CorpWatch on Lockheed Martin Interrogators | Guardian on torture link | Ekklesia on the Census | Book review: Prophets of War (on Lockheed Martin) | Lockheed Martin announces census contract | CACI announces Scottish census contract
Actions against this year's 6th biennial DSEi Arms Fair at the ExCel Centre in London's Docklands kicked off last week in the run up to the event. This week's resistance began with a candlelit vigil on Monday night followed by a day of action of Tuesday, dawning to reveal a subvertised billboard as well as a huge 'Destroy DSEi' banner hung between cranes. A critical mass of cyclists was out and about all day with explosive sounds and various groups blockaded entrances to the arms fair and death dealing companies such as Aerospace Defence & Security Group. There were die-ins all over the place, including outside the BAe Systems building and at the National Gallery, where the official arms fair reception was held on Tuesday evening, guests being greeted with chants of "Scum!"
Actions in Westminster during the day included a CAAT 'supermarket shopping' event and a Christian demonstration against drones with street theatre. This later moved on to General Atomics, which makes the British Reaper drone. A priest from Bradford was allowed to reach the main DSEi entrance after announcing that he'd come to perform the official exorcism. Many other actions and visual events took place in and around Docklands. FIT were all over the place, some thinly disguised as ordinary cops, with FITwatchers keeping a close eye on them. Two arrests were reported during the day, one for spray painting anti- arms fair slogans and one for fence climbing. Several more arrests were reported outside the National Gallery in the evening. [More]
On Wednesday, around 15 people marched from central London to the Excel centre. Despite a blanket 30-day ban on marches still in place in the City of London and the borough of Tower Hamlets, there was no police harassment.
See full timeline here.
Other Reports and Videos:
Wednesday's march | Bubbles Not Bombs | Protestors ejected from National Gallery | YouTube: Critical Mass | YouTube: Drones protest | Towards an 'ethical' Arms Trade? | Cluster Bombs | Torture Equipment
As arms companies add the last touches to their macabre exhibits, and military representatives from repressive regimes begin entering the country, activists are preparing to launch a wave of disruptive actions against Europe's largest Arms fair. DSEi will hold its 6th Arms Fair at the Excel Centre in London's Docklands from September 13th to 16th.
Last Thursday, activists from CAAT picketed the RBS in Bishopsgate, which was the advertised location for a pre-DSEI event crassly entitled "Middle East: A vast market for defence and security companies". After the protest was advertised on Indymedia, twitter and Facebook, the organisers claimed the event had been cancelled and removed the advert from the web. However, the event did go ahead at another location.
On the same day, two banks in Bristol, Lloyds TSB and Halifax Broadmead announced that they would not open on Saturday because of an advertised protest by Bristol Against DSEi.
On Saturday activists in kayaks disrupted the journey of the naval Destroyer HMS Dauntless as it attempted to sail from Tilbury Docks to the Excel Centre. The size of the ship means that it can only navigate the river at high tide, and its progress was disrupted for about four hours after the kayakers' intervention. The ship is due to be used as a reception space and for demonstrations during the event.
A coalition of groups under the umbrella of Stop The Arms Fair have promised a wave of actions during the event, with a day of action called for the opening day on the 13th. Planned actions include a Critical Mass in the morning followed by a call to be at Custom House en masse at 10am, an action at the Clarion Defence and Security offices in Earls Court, Bubbles Not Bombs, Sparkles Not Shrapnel, disruption of DLR trains taking delegates to the event, a mass lobby, and a die-in outside BAE at 5pm.
The Arms Dealers Dinner will this year take place, on Thursday 15th, inside the Excel compound, and a Critical mass will leave Bank at 3.30pm to meet up with other protesters.
Disarm DSEi, one of the groups organising the protests said "Tell the arms dealers what you think of their deadly wares and show them that their journey to DSEi will not be an easy ride. It's time to stop the arms dealers in their tracks and make DSEi 2011 a year to remember"Past coverage: 2001 | 2003 | 2005 | 2007| 2009
Links: Stop The Arms Fair | Disarm DSEi | Space Hijackers | Smash EDO | CAAT | London CAAT
Gloucestershire's skies were darkened again by the Royal International Fairford Air Tattoo as some of the world's worst climate criminals and human rights abusers compared their best killing machines. This is an event about the glorification of everything that a civilised society should feel repelled about. Despite this, virtually every single newspaper, TV and radio show lavished it with praise. In so doing, they justified the entertainment budgets that the military industrial complex lays on at our expense.
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange took his appeal against extradition to Sweden for alleged sexual offences to the High Court in London on 12 and 13 July. Assange has been electronically tagged and required to sign on daily at a police station for over six months since being released from Wandsworth prison in December 2010 prior to the extradition hearing which took place in February this year. The manner in which the allegations against him have been pursued has led many to conclude that the extradition is being sought neither for the benefit of the two women involved nor in the interests of protecting other women, but rather to secure Assange's extradition to Sweden with a view to onward extradition to the US where he would face the full wrath of the Empire, an Empire comprehensively exposed by WikiLeaks revelations. Assange has received many death threats from the US; there have been calls for him to face the Death Penalty over the WikiLeaks disclosures, as well as calls from prominent politicians and media personalities for him to be 'hunted down' and assassinated.
In the two weeks leading up to this appeal hearing, solidarity actions and events took place in London. Anti-war supporters of Assange and others maintained a presence outside the Royal Courts of Justice from 9am on Tuesday 12 July and throughout the two day appeal hearing. At the end of the hearing, judgment was reserved and is expected within the next few weeks.
On the newswires (re. current hearing): Report from the court Wed 13 July | Tues 12 July | Call-out for support at extradition appeal | Call-out for solidarity protest in Dublin | Assange Subterranean Homesick Blues |
Early on Saturday morning 18 June 2011, veteran peace protester Brian Haw, 62, passed away just after the camp he established right opposite the Houses of Parliament had celebrated its tenth anniversary of highly visible opposition to the wars being waged on ordinary people. Brian had been suffering from lung cancer, diagnosed less than a year ago.
Latest: Faslane Peace Camp Renaissance Weekend: 13-15 May. Tel: 07511 793227 for more info.
On the morning of 10 May 2011, activists from Faslane Peace Camp and Trident Ploughshares successfully blockaded both North and South gates of the Faslane naval base on the Clyde, home of the four Vanguard nuclear submarines which carry Britain's Trident Nuclear Weapon. The lock-ons lasted well over two hours.
This feature summarises Welsh, Irish, Scottish and English (WISE) solidarity efforts for Bradley Manning to date and is a call-out for anti-war activists and all those who believe in civil liberties and freedom of expression to take up Manning's cause and build a solidarity movement that can't be ignored.
Accused WikiLeaks whistleblower and US army intelligence analyst Bradley Manning has been held for almost a year since being arrested in Iraq after allegedly releasing confidential documents and video footage to WikiLeaks, including the Collateral Murder video, which shows unarmed civilians including two Reuters journalists being killed in an unprovoked US Apache helicopter attack in Iraq. The charges against him now include aiding the enemy which carries a possible death sentence. He was held at Quantico Marine Brig for months under conditions of torture, apparently in a so far failed effort by the US authorities to get him to deliver Julian Assange who could then be extradited to the US. Under such sustained ill treatment, there have been serious concerns for Manning's mental and physical health. Mid-April, after months of public outcry over his torture, he was moved to Fort Leavenworth in Kansas with the authorities claiming improved conditions of detention, since when Barack Obama has seen fit to declare him guilty 1 | 2. Why bother waiting for the show trial?
Read full article for background, analysis and all previous newswire links.
This February and March double roundup of grassroots news in Oxford begins with the anti-cuts movement. Back in February there was a March against the cuts, then in March, Cornmarket turned into the Big Society Hospital. A week later the big TUC march bought London to a standstill, one Oxfordian wrote My march for the alternative about the day. Please do share your experiences of demos at publish your news by the way! Not to be outdone both Swindon and Stroud were also organising against the cuts.
Welcome to the latest round up of grassroots news from Oxford. It's proven to be another busy month for activists and campaigners in Oxford. Local, national, and international attention has focused on our little city somewhere between London and the Midlands.