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UK Anti-militarism Feature Archive

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4th July - Independence Day Protests

12-07-2003 10:46

Flags at Menwith 2003 American Independence Day, 4th July, was celebrated this side of the atlantic as people gathered at US military bases to issue a 'Declaration of Independence from American Militarism' (read full text).

Hundreds of campaigners from CAAB (the Campaign for the Accountability of American Bases) and several anti-war groups held a Gatecrashers Ball at the US's Menwith Hill Spy Base, in North Yorkshire (America's leading spy base outside the US which played a crucial role in both Gulf wars. It is also central to plans for the "Star Wars" National Missile Defence programme). Dressed in colourful costumes they were entertained with music from bands, sound systems and a samba band with comedy from the likes of Mark Thomas, while at the same time putting forward a serious message. There was strong criticism of chaotic policing as horses were delpoyed and a foot path closed - there were three arrests (see witness appeal).
See CAAB Statement and Reports: 1, 2 Pics 1 2 3 4

USAF Fairford in Gloucestershire, from where US B52s launched bombing raids on Iraq, also had its own colourful Gatecrashers Ball protest. See Pics 1, 2, 3 and latest news from Fairford. Independence day was also marked in Plymouth with street theatre. See pics and video.
Also see one hour 'radio' show produced for Independence from American Militarism Day.

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11-07-2003 13:36

Between 6-12 September, one of the world's largest weapons and arms fairs, Defence Systems Equipment International (DSEi) will take place at the ExCeL Centre in London's Docklands. In parallel a coalition of over 30 groups are organising a week of events against the arms trade, including a two day counter conference, film screenings and exhibitions, vigils, protests and direct action against the arms fair itself. Further explanation of DSEi.

Two years ago up to one thousand campaigners demonstrated outside the Docklands arms fair with a carnival style 'Fiesta of Life Against Death' - see Indymedia coverage | archive (1), (2), (3) | SchNEWS (1), (2) | Squall. That day would prove to be more significant than anyone could have imagined, with the date being 11th September 2001. This year the arms fair will be open for business on the anniversary of the Sept 11th attacks, with the counter mobilisation running from 6th - 12th September, (which also coincides with the WTO Meeting in Cancun, Mexico 10th-14th). Campaigners are also calling for a boycott of the ExCeL centre where the DSEi exibition is taking place. There is also going to be a weekend of anti-DSEi events in London taking place on July 26-27, and a "counter conference" is being planned as part of the Disarm DSEi week of actions.

There are also plans for demonstrations at the RAF Fairford Air Tattoo that is taking place between 15-20 July. The event "provides western military powers with the chance to flaunt their power" and "an opportunity for arms companies to advertise their wares" (see Fairford Peace Watch).

For more information and background see:
Disarm DSEi Campaign
Campaign Against the Arms Trade
Recent SchNEWS on UK Arms Industry


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Solway's Silver Bullet

08-07-2003 13:44

The Gulf War started a long time before we saw it on outr t.v.'s. Depleted Uranium contamination shows the contempt the British State has for the people of Scotland - and the time for opposition is now.

"Unborn children of the region are being asked to pay the highest price, the integrity of their DNA."
Ross B. Mirkarimi1

A new kind of nuclear war is being waged. It's already being fought in Scotland and the combatants are you and me. Our attackers are the Ministry of Defence, a force which has already poisoned its own soldiers and threatened the health of the civilian populations of the former Yugoslavia, Kuwait and Iraq.

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Gatecrashers Ball Marred by Chaotic Policing and 3 Arrests

07-07-2003 22:00

Official and unoffical flags outside Menwith Hill spy base.
On Friday 4 July,thousands of citizens across the UK held parties at US military bases (Fairford, Plymouth 1, 2, 3) as part of 'Independence from America Day'. One of the main events was the 'Gatecrashers Ball' held at the US's Menwith Hill Spy Base, near Harrogate in North Yorkshire, and hosted by the Campaign for the Accountability of American Bases (CAAB). As usual, chaotic policing led to three arrests and the walk around the base being curtailed. Police also closed off the public footpath for no stated reason. One of the arrestees was detained for 'assaulting a police officer' whilst apparently trying to protect his partner from pushy police. Another was chased and arrested for refusing to remove their mask, and the third arrest was for trespass.

There is an appeal for witnesses.

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RAF Fairford - Independence from America

06-07-2003 20:59

On Friday 4th July, American Independence Day, a number of people from Oxford met with other local activists and marched on RAF Fairford.  The demonstrators assembled in Fairford village at 3pm, with many in fancy dress as the event formed part of the "Gatecrashers' Ball". Some of the men came in black tie, with women in comedy ball gowns.  The procession went to the main gates of the base waving banners and enjoying some of the Arabic music someone had brought along.  On arrival, the Declaration of Independence from America was read and signed.  The protesters stayed to have a picnic of cucumber sandwiches and fairy cakes, and eventually drifted off home.  The protest passed off entirely peacefully, with only some irritable car drivers raising objections to the protest.

pictures 1 / pictures 2 / Fairford Peace Watch

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July 4 - Independence from America Day: Gatecrashers Ball at Menwith Hill Spy Base

04-07-2003 01:24

globocops - defending the domes at Menwith Hill
As millions of Americans celebrate 'Independence Day', thousands of citizens across the UK are today holding their own parties at US military bases as part of 'Independence from America Day'. One of the main events is taking place just a half-hour drive away from Leeds at the notorious Menwith Hill spy base near Harrogate in North Yorkshire.

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Leeds Says No To War on Iraq: Round-Up

30-06-2003 23:00

Leeds M27 Protests Mark 1 Week of Illegal War & Target BBC
The anger against the US-UK war on Iraq, which millions saw clearly as a war for oil and US empire, produced the monster international protests on February 15th when up to 2 million people in Britain alone took to the streets of London. Over 40 coaches went from Leeds. Although a strong anti-war movement had already emerged, February 15th inspired the biggest demonstrations that Leeds had seen for decades.

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Oxford peace activists seem to be winning the legal battle

25-06-2003 13:25

Coming out free...
Update: Charges of obstruction of the highway against Anna and David have been dropped. However, the case of another Oxford activist accused of causing 8,333 pounds worth of damage to the main gates of USAF Fairford has been transferred to Cirencester Magistrates Court.

Toby and Phil, the 'B-52 Two', were granted bail Friday the 20th and finally have their freedom! Charged with conspiracy to cause criminal damage when they tried to disarm a B52 warplane at RAF Fairford in March 2003, they pleaded not guilty as they acted lawfully to uphold international law. The Gloucester Crown Court will make a judgement on the legality of the war on 19 September.

Several other people with Fairford related cases had good news also. Two Oxford activists were offered bindovers in place of charges of aggravated trespass, a citizen from Oxford pleaded not guilty to charges of criminal damage and aggravated trespass - the case was adjourned, and two others had their charges of criminal damage to the main gate of Fairford completely dropped. Mysteriously the gate -related charge of another Oxford activist is still being pursued and was adjourned for the time being.

* The "B-52 Two" WEBSITE
* pictures of Phil and Tobi getting out of jail
* video of a vigil held by supporters of Phil and Tobi outside Gloucester Prison
* Prisoners for Peace website

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Peace activist on trial.

25-06-2003 12:08

On the 10th of march 2003, Danish peace activist and grandmother, Ulla Roder, was arrested for damaging a Tornado war-plane at RAF leuchers in Fife so it couldn't be used in an attack on Iraq.
Other Tornados from Leuchers were involved in the bombing of Iraq using cluster bombs and radioactive Depleted Uranium.
Ulla is currently on remand in Cornton Vale Prison, and her trial will start soon.

More information under these links:
Free Ulla Campaign
Trident Ploughshares
Scottish CND

Full article

Peace in the Park

23-06-2003 18:33

Hundreds of people gathered on Devonshire Green in Sheffield City Centre on Saturday 21st June 2003 for the Peace in the Park festival of peace and solidarity.

It was also the first public event that Sheffield Indymedia attended — the IMC stall went down well.

[Report | Photos: 1 | 2]

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International Activists Deported - ISM Office Raided - Increased Restrictions To Enter Gaza

15-05-2003 22:00

Over the last few days there has been increased repression towards Internationalists in Gaza. The office of the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) was raided on Friday [Reports 1 | 2 | 3] resulting in the arrest of the those present. An American and an Australian activist from Human Rights Watch have already been deported, and Nick, an activist from Scotland is held since Thursday by the Israel Security Forces. He is likely to be deported soon. Alice, an activist from London, is also arrested and might be held for longer.

Nick and Alice are being held as part of the overall execution of a plan to remove the presence of Internationals from the West Bank and Gaza. Both have been deported back to Britain on Tuesady, 13.5.2003. In a new development, activists arriving to the Israeli border controls are presented with a new Visa form to fill out. This effectivly clears Israel of all responsibility in the event of an International activists being injured or killed whilst in the West Bank and Gaza. In addition, the form also forces the International activists to sign away basic human rights and legal protection.

Latest reports and updates:
• Update on the situation on Sunday 11th.
• Nick and Alice being held: Saturday 10th and Friday 9th reports.
• Electronic Intifada article about new document to be signed.
• Increased repression of ISM international activists
• ISM workers arrested; including Charlotte's letter to The Guardian.
• Latest activists reports
• Description and history of ISM.

[IMC-Jerusalem | [IMC-Israel | [Electronic Intifada | [New Profile]

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Pict Defence Force: There Is No Scotland - Only Aberforth!

11-05-2003 22:00

The Latest News From Occupied Scotland

1. Text of interview with Pict Defence Force spokesperson:
May 9th, 2003 (19 Pitn, 2542 in old money)
(Pict Defence Force spokesperson, flanked by members of its political wing, emphasises a point at an interview given to various press agencies at a secure location in Aberforth ("Edinburgh") on May 9th, 2003, corresponding to 19 Pitn, 2542

[ read more.. | picture ]

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Scottish human right observer under arrest and to be deported from Gaza!

09-05-2003 23:00

Nick from Scotland, and his friend Alice, are currently held by Security Forces in Israel.
They were arrested at 8:30 PM on Thursday evening, May 8, 2003.
Their phones were temporarily confiscated, giving them no means of contacting friends, activists, or lawyers.
However, the activists called the British Embassy to inform them of the detention.
No formal charges have been brought against them, but they were told to be under arrest, although there are no grounds for legal action against them.
Nick and Alice are being held as part of the overall execution of a plan to remove Internationals from the West Bank and Gaza.
Another condition to enter Gaza is to fill in a form, which absolves Israel of all responsibility in the case an International is injured or killed and in addition forces the Internationals to waive all basic rights.

[ report on Friday | update on Saturday | update on Sunday ]

For further info:
Palestine Solidarity

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Peace Protesters still active!

09-04-2003 22:00

In Scotland anti war actions are still taking place nearly every day, despite the police tactics getting more and more restrictive for the protesters. On Thursday 3rd of april the autonomous demonstration suceeded in blocking an Esso garage for about an hour, following on from the demonstration a week earlier on the 27th of april.
On Friday the school students suceeded in blocking the traffic with a sit-in before marching of in a cordon of police to the American embassy. Friday saw also a mass mave-in of posters and postcards as a solidarity action for a protester, who was arrested alongside with others on the anti-war demo the 22nd of march for his design of the American flag.
An anti-war exhibition by local artists also opened on Friday, to be seen untill the 13th of april, in the Roxy Art House.
On Saturday, activists went to protest in front of the BP headquaters in Grangemeouth, Fife.
Peace Vigils were also held on Monday, 7th of april in front of the US consulate. The next women's vigil will take place on Saturday, 12th of april Night outside City Chambers on Royal Mile from 9-10pm.
More actions are also to take place on Wednesday,9th of april, when Glasgow activists have announced a demonstration, starting off at Kelvinbridge Underground at 5pm to march to BBC studios, Queen Margaret Drive.
On Saturday, 12th of april, another mass demonstration will take place in Glasgow and in London, following on from the one on the 29th of march.

Full article

M22 Anti-War Protests Around The World

23-03-2003 23:00

On March 22, anti-war protests took place all over the world, from Argentina to Vienna, in order to disrupt the killing of innocents, and to highlight the attack against Iraq.

A compilation of reports from over 15 US and Canadian states, 7 European countries as well as countries in the far east, demonstrates the wide variety of protest, from candle-light vigils in Seoul, Air base breaches in California to eighty thousand marching in the streets in of Stockholm [pics] and Helsinki [pics], whilst Barcelona saw half a million taking to the streets [photos 1 | 2]. In some places the police repression was very strong against protesters, such as in Madrid [video | photos], Athens [Pics 1 | 2] where 300.000 demonstrated, and Hamburg [photos 1 | 2 | 3]
The reaction against the war on Iraq in the Oceania region has also been both swift and massive, with huge demonstrations on the 22nd and continuing. In Cape Town over 8000 pupils and workers took to the streets to protest, with a continuos picket at the consulate, with shifts of 50 people picketing 24 hours a day.

Full article

Stop the War- Stop the City!

22-03-2003 23:00

Direct actions and peace demonstrations took place again today.
In Edinburgh, lots of speeches and a die-in in front of the Scottish Parliament started the anti-war protest, before school students speeded the demonstration off to Princess Street to block the traffic several times with sit-ins before marching to the US consulate followed by another row of speeches.
Then back to Princes Street with more Sit-Ins and Die-Ins to Charlotte Square.
Police until then has been astonishing relaxed, but become violent, aggressive and provoking when plain-cloth policemen brutally tried to arrest a protester for no apparent reason which kicked off the bystanders to intervene, resulting in more arrests and detention.
Whereas the speakers of the rally tried to support police tactics by asking demonstrators repeatedly not to bother, the police had to let the detained people go due to crowd pressure.
The crowd finally walked off to have a solidarity picket in front of St.Leonards police station, St.Leonard Street.
The demonstration broke through police-lines, when police tried to block their way.
The solidarity picket is still continuing after 10 pm on Saturday night.
In Glasgow there was a big demonstration, and protesters were boxed in for over one and a half hours by police.
Hoosie, from Faslane Peace Camp has been beaten up by police and is now hospitalised with bruised kidney and bruised liver.
He was arrested on Thursday at an action for allegedly assaulting a police officer.

Full article

More direct actions against the war reported

22-03-2003 23:00

The British army building in Glasgow has been attacked by protesters on Sunday night. Resistance is also awakening in Galloway, where depleted uranium is tested. From Dundee, first independent reports and pictures come in about anti-war actions during the last week. In Dumfries pupils went out of school to demonstrate, too. For Edinburgh a big demonstration has been called for next Saturday, as well as for a critical mass on Friday evening and anti-war actions on Thursday midday.

Full article

No War!

21-03-2003 23:00

As we are still waiting for incoming anti-war reports, there has been a pro-peace confetti action in Edinburgh.
Anti-war confetti- action in the Scottish Parliament

Full article

Banner drop and civil disobedience in Aberdeen!

20-03-2003 23:00

The city centre was brought to a standstill when protesters broke through the policeline in Aberdeen to reclaim public space from commercial business making.
A banner drop was also taking place. Some people were arrested.
Read this excellent report by Aberdeen Anarchist Resistance!

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