Reports and news related to the US-UK-led war on Iraq (20 March 2003 to the present) and the worldwide protests against it.
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
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
A thousand EDL supporters rampaged through the streets of Leicester on Saturday (9th), attacking locals, anti-fascists and police.
On the Newswire: 1
Brighton's Smash EDO campaign are holding a mass demo at EDO/ITT on Wednesday 13th October. Anti arms trade campaigners plan to lay seige to EDO/ITT and shut them down for the day.
Info for the Day:: The meeting place for the demo is Wild Park Cafe (directions here) at 10am on Wednesday, but people are being asked to arrive on the evening of the 12th. Convergence space will be available. There will be a meeting about the demo at 7pm at the Cowley Club on Tuesday 12th. There will be a timeline on Indymedia and a twitter feed: @smash_edo
Local contacts for ITT's Hammertime: Birmingham - hammertime-brum [at] riseup.net | Bristol - bristolagainstarmstrade [at] gmail.com | Cambridge - hammertime-cambridge [at] riseup.net | Cardiff - val.swain [at] yahoo.co.uk | Cornwall - kernowaction [at] gmail.com | London - hammertimelondon [at] dsei.org | Manchester - info [at] targetbrimar.org.uk | Notts - alex.dable [at] ntlworld.com | Swansea - d [at] undercurrents.org
Previous features:They Think It's All Over ...ITT Is Now | Smash EDO Solidarity in Nottingham | Hammer Time: The EDO Decommissioners go on trial | Indymedia Coverage of Remember Gaza | Anti Militarists take on Barclays | Support the EDO Decommissioners | Mayday! Mayday! | EDO Smashed | Anti-Arms Protesters Shut ITT | Smash EDO Carnival Against the Arm Trade - Timeline | Carnival Against the Arms Trade | Marie Vesco RIP | On the Verge - The Film They Tried to Ban | Singers Arrested Outside Arms Factory | Smash EDO Action Camp: Shut down the Brighton bomb builders | Lebanon War protesters - Not Guilty! | EDO CORP: 2006 Alternative Report | 2007 Is The Year To Shut EDO Down | EDO MBM Injunction crumbles | EDO MBM desperate to stop protests as resistance increases | Smash EDO Take On The Law | Harassment Law Used Against Anti-War Campaigners | Campaign to Smash Edo | Arms company shut down
No Borders Camp 2010 in Brussels kicks off this Saturday (25th) til the 3rd October, so get yourself to the continent to make a start on creating a world where no one is illegal. Among the objectives of the camp are the denouncing of European migration policy; showing the links between this policy and the structures of capitalism and repression; the blocking of Brussels' deportation system and the organisation of an autonomous safe space for the voices of migrants and activists to be heard.1
The Africa House squat in Calais is to be evicted next Wednesday (9th). After a herd of 20 CRS vans circled the squat scoping the site on Wednesday morning (2nd), they deposited an eviction notice with those present, informing the migrants they had a week to hit the streets. The building - home to Eritrean, Sudanese and Ethiopian migrants, many of whom had already seen previous squats and camps destroyed - has been marked for demolition.
This Saturday (15th) people will be protesting at various places around central London to give the new 'stable, national interest' coalition a warm welcome.
SchNEWS gives a round-up of all the events taking place over the weekend to get your action-hungry teeth stuck into.
On Monday 18th January, the first anniversry of the final day of the Israeli massacre in Gaza, Smash EDO are holding a mass demonstration in Brighton against arms manufacturer EDO/ITT. Indymedia will be running an up to the minute timeline of events for the day.
Be the Media:Phone or text in your reports from the demonstration to Indymedia Dispatch on 07943685168 (from Monday morning).
Arrests - So far we know of four people who have definitely been arrested. Three have been released on police bail until March. Those who live in Brighton have been given bail conditions restricting protest at EDO/ITT, non-Brightonians have been bailed away from Brighton. It seems that the police have been deliberately targeting action medics.Update on the Squat raid - Reports have come in that the police who raided the squat last night were armed with tasers and at least one gun. The person who was arrested has been released without charge.
If you were affected by police tactics on the demo call Emotional Support on 07985211033
19.26 - There have been four or five arrests in total. Several for breach of section 14 and one for threatening behaviour. Legal support are outside the police station waiting...
17.59 - There are reports of one more arrest in the North Lanes. If you witnessed an arrest or need support call legal support on 07805125940.
17.43 - Police have snatched two people, including an action medic, out of the cordon on North Rd.
17.42 - People have attempted to reach Barclays on North St. Some people made it.
16.17 - The demo is now marching alongside St Peter's Church toward the Old Steine. People are beginning to disperse.
16.10 - The demo has reached the Level and is crossing it.
16.10 - A crowd of about 300 has reached the junction between Lewes Road and Elm Grove. The police are attempting to prevent them from going further. A kettle may be forming.
16.00 - Reports are coming in that EDO/ITT has closed for the day
15.52 - The demo is now moving again, with the police in front, toward Brighton on the Lewes Road. There are about 150 people in the main section. No arrests so far
15.46 - One person has been hit with a police baton
15.45 - Cops now blocking Lewes Road at Comet. Some people are corralled in the car park of Brighton university. Lines of riot police in front of lines of riot vans are at the front of the demo.
Information for Action:Spot of bother with the Old Bill? We recommend Kelly's Solicitors – (01273) 674898 –**Witnessed an arrest or need advice? Legal Support – 07805125940** Need somewhere to crash? Accommodation – 07805125965**
On Saturday 28th November protests took place in Brighton, Wrexham, Falmouth, Hastings, Tunbridge Wells and Cambridge [Pics] as part of a day of action marking the launch of Smash EDO's'Target Barclays' campaign.On November 30th an action took place in Plymouth.
Smash EDO have been calling for autonomous actions against Barclays Bank to force them to stop providing 'market maker' services for ITT Corporation on the NYSE. Smash EDO's site states 'Bankers and institutional investors are the glue that finances the state terror wreaked by the arms trade. Companies like EDO do not operate in a vacuum but are propped up by the networks of corporations and investors which constitute the global capitalist system which puts profit before peace, greed before people.'
As ITT’s market maker, Barclay’s acts as a ‘middle man’, purchasing shares from a seller and holding them until such a time as a buyer becomes available. This ensures the stability of ITT’s share price by allowing shareholders to sell off their assets at any time, even when a buyer is not immediately available, and vice versa. Barclay’s also profits from this enterprise, by selling ITT’s shares at a small markup, which nevertheless generates a considerable income when spread across large sales. Barclays is also the largest UK investor in the global arms trade.More.
Smash EDO's next big mobilisation is the REMEMBER GAZA SMASH EDO MASS DEMO JANUARY 18TH. Assemble at 1pm, Brighton, wear black.
The decommisioners are six activists on trial for direct action taken against the massacre in Gaza. On January 17th, as the bombs rained on Gaza, they destroyed hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of machinery owned by EDO MBM, preventing the factory from manufacturing bomb racks and arming units for Israeli F16s.
Eight people are currently on bail and one is on remand, currently in Lewes Prison. All are charged with conspiracy to cause criminal damage.
Between the 16th and the 23rd of October, actions were held across the UK and in Palestine in support of the decommissioners. On the 16th, in Manchester, a demonstration was held outside Brimar, a factory making display units for the Israeli Apache helicopter, launching a new campaign. Several of the decommissioning defendants were arrested at the demonstration for breach of bail but later released. On Monday a demonstration was held at Brighton Town Hall calling on Brighton and Hove Council to debate the presence of EDO MBM in Brighton, a petition will be handed in to the council meeting in December. On Wednesday some of the names of those killed during the Gaza massacre were read outside the EDO MBM factory in Brighton. On Thursday two pickets of the Foreign office were held and a petition calling for an end to arms exports to Israel and in support of the decommissioners was handed in. On Friday the Palestinian village of Bil In dedicated its weekly demonstration against the apartheid wall to the decommissioners.
Reports of Target Brimar Demonstration 1 | 2 | Target Brimar Campaign Statement about Arrests of Decommissioners | 3 | SCHnews - It's Brim Up North
Click here to download 'If I had a Hammer', a 32 page booklet explaining why the decommissioning was necessary.