UK Repression Feature Archive
If you are sprayed with an unknown substance, stand and think about a cool design for a new tattoo.
With the war propaganda fighting full speed ahead an information war on our heads, independent media becomes more and more important as the ownership of the media is concentrated in fewer hands and conglomerates than ever before.
Discussion about the BBC- Blairs and Bush war-vertising Channel
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Also check out Media Workers against the War!
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[ comment | Jo Wildings Iraq diary 19th of march | 20th of march ]
On 16 March 2003 in Rafah, occupied Gaza, 23-year-old American peace activist Rachel Corrie from Olympia, Washington, was killed by an Israeli bulldozer. As a volunteer with the International Solidarity Movement (ISM), Rachel had been staying in Palestinian homes threatened with illegal demolition. Throughout a 2 hours confrontation between the ISM and the Israeli Army Rachel and the other activists had clearly identified themselves as unarmed international peace activists. Witnesses say that Rachel was clearly visible to the bulldozer driver, and was doing nothing to provoke an attack. Initial report; detailed reports on Electronic Intifada. A statement by the parents of Rachel Corrie here.
Another foreigner was also injured and has been hospitalized - at this stage his nationality is unknown. Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) spokesman Captain Jacob Dallal was reported as saying in Ha'aretz newspaper, "This is a regrettable accident," "We are dealing with a group of protesters who were acting very irresponsibly, putting everyone in danger." Israeli troops have shot and killed several other internationals in different incidents during the Intifada: German doctor Harald Fischer, Italian cameraman Rafaeli Ciriello, and British United Nations worker Iain Hook.
A protest was called at the London's Israeli Embassy on March 17th, whilst in Manchester a vigil is taking place on Thursday 19th.
As the investigations of the brutal raid at the Diaz school and the beatings of Via Tolemaide are about to draw to a close the case has shown how video images have been crucial. Footage of the events that took place during and after the police burst into the Diaz and Pasquali schools badly injuring 61 people and arresting 93, the opposite Media Center could turn out to be fundamental in order to demonstrate what really happened on the night of July 21st 2001.
We are still looking for victims and witnesses who could provide decisive testimony. We are particularly looking for video footage because no testimony is stronger than that of the image. Many of the beatings in the streets of the city will be dismissed if it is not possible to identify those responsible and the arbitrary character of many of the arrests can only be proven using footage. In addition to the work of the lawyers, it is thus necessary that we activate every communications network so this material can be tracked down and made available so as to prevent the shelving of this Genoa in such a manner that there could be another Genoa.
Please make a copy of your footage and send it to:
Daniele Jenni (Lawyer), Speichergasse 31, 3011 Berne, Switzerland;
e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, tel: Genoa legal forum 00 39 010 24 61 413
Genoa Legal Forum with the support of IMC Italy
12-03-2003 23:00Access has been gained and a hangar was entered at the Royal Air Force base in Leuchers near St.Andrews in Fife, when a Tornado Aircraft was damaged by 48-year-old Ulla Roder. Tornados are among the aircraft being deployed to the Gulf and part of the air-defense.
Also, Roz,33, from Edinburgh, and Petter,22, from Glasgow, face two charges at Cupar Sheriff Court relating to the perimeter fence and spray painting.
On Saturday a group of anti-war activists held a protest at the very same base near St.Andrews in Fife .
[update and description of action |full report | Trident Ploughshares |BBC report | Anarchist Black Cross | Earth Liberation Prisoners]
11-03-2003 23:00The Spanish embassy in Edinburgh was targeted by about fifty activists, who attempted to occupy the representative institution of the Spanish state and its politics.
Scuffles broke out and two people were at one point thrown to the floor and handcuffed by police, but later released without charges or arrest.
The action at the Spanish embassy had the aim to reveal the repressive measures in conjunction with the war-propaganda as well as the further institutional ignorance towards right-wing, fascist structures in Spain.
[full report and picture | more pictures| picture1 | | picture2 | theoretical background]
26-02-2003 23:00On 20th of February the Basque newspaper Euskaldunon Egunkaria was shut down by the Spanish Guardia Civil after 13 years of existence. As well as the closure of the only remaining Basque-language daily newspaper, 10 people working with Egunkaria were also arrested by the Guardia Civil under the accusation of supporting ETA, the basque armed group seeking independencie for teh Baque Country.
Soon after, on the 25th of February, the former director of the newspaper was hospitalised after his release, and has since made allegations of torture as well as denouncing this repression as an attack to freedom of expression. His release, and that of other Egunkaria journalists was only possible after having paid bails of 12 to 30,000 Euro.
This last chapter of criminalisation in the Basque Country by Spanish authorities, has been met with a huge international outcry for a proper investigation of the police actions and for a detailed examination of the actions of the Spanish authorities. A campaign to denounce the closing of Egunkaria has started. At the same time Amnesty International is calling for a prompt and thorough judicial investigation. In Britain, mainstream media has also reported the alleged tortures suffered by the Egunkaria journalists arrested [ Independent report] [Report by Basque anti-torture committe]
A support demonstration took place London on Saturday 22nd February, joined by Bristol activists. Other demonstrations and protests were also held all over the Basque Country on Saturday 22 to protest against the closure of Egunkaria newspaper and for the freedom of expression. These included: Irun, San Sebastian [see video] and Bilbao [see videos 1 | 2]
For more information see:
Feature on IMC-Global | IMC-Euskal Herria | Euskalinfo
Justice Collins, in his judgement yesterday on Section 55, said there were quite clearly breaches of Articles 3, 6 and 8 of the Human Rights Act and this has quite clearly influenced NASS to take the action to suspend issuing negative decisions.
Section 55 and 57 came into force on January the 8th and withdrew all support, such as food, shelter, clothing for refugees who claimed asylum in country without legally giving them the right to work, so to force them onto the streets and into complete destitution.
The National Coalition of Anti-Deportation Campaigns estimates that there are up to 7,000 asylum seekers who have received negative decisions since 8th January 2003. On average 60% of all applicants have been refused support.
These Sections are even more appalling as most asylum seekers in Britain come from war-torn countries such as Afghanistan and Iraq.
[ NCADC| Scottish Refugee Council | Noborder | audio: interview with activist | audio: interview with NCADC ]
On Monday 17 February, President of Prepcom Adama Samassekou opened the second preparatory conference for the WSIS - Prepcom 2. The aim of the conference, according to Samassekou, is to achieve a better understanding about content and themes of the summit. During the coming two weeks, the final declaration of the WSIS as well as the action plan will be drafted. The World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) will be the first UN summit to focus on issues of information and communication. The first part of the summit will take place in Geneva in December 2003.
Several fundamental lines of conflict already became apparent during the opening event; for example between those who propagate technology as a solution of all problems, and those who would like to extend the summit agenda to cultural and fundamental communicative issues. Diverse groups and organisations of civil society are participating in the summit preparations and will use the Prepcom to create networks, develop their own ideas, and influence the agenda in a positive way. At the same time a counter-summit is being discussed and campaigns around WSIS are already being developed.
The International Solidarity Movement (ISM) is a Palestinian-led movement of Palestinian and International activists working to raise awareness for Palestinian freedom and an end to Israeli occupation.
On 14 Feb 02 ISM faced two almost simultaneous crises in Rafah and Nablus. The first incident involved peace activists trying to stop the bulldozing of several Palestinian homes in Rafah. The activists were fired at with warning shots and engaged in a stand-off with a tank, which was also in the area. IMS contacted the US Consulate to inform them of the presence of its nationals at risk. However it was the first time a consulate has stated explicitly that it will take no responsibility whatsoever for the welfare of its nationals performing peace work in the Occupied Territories. The activists were forced to retreat to safety, the homes were destroyed.
Elsewhere 12 ISM activists were trying to deliver chocolates to detained families in East Nablus. As the activists approached the house they were confronted by Israeli soldiers who seized Hussein Khalili, a Palestinian member of the ISM, before firing warning shots at the rest. Khalil was threatened with detainment, very roughly treated and verbally abused. When a brave attempt to intervene by an Israeli ISM activist failed, the combined efforts of ISM Media Centre, the Hamoked and Gush Shalom human rights organisations, were able to alert global support to Hussein's plight and issued an appeal to phone the District Coordination Office of the Israeli Army in the Nablus area to demand Hussein's immediate release. Several hours later he was released, calls continued to flow in till the early hours.
ISM activists have come under increasing pressure from the Israeli Occupying Forces in an effort to intimidate them. It is testament to the desire of Palestinian, Israeli and internationals to work together for peace in the Middle East, that ISM volunteers continue their amazing work. Read full report.
Saturday 8 February:
25,000 people demonstrated against the "security" conference in Munich today, where the heads of NATO, defence ministers and the war industry met to plot upcoming military aggressions. The demonstration that took place in the city was peaceful and cheerful, despite continuous provocations by large numbers of riot police.
Friday 7 February:
Convergence Centre searched- journalists and demonstrators arrested!
At about 11 pm on Friday, 7th of february, the bavarian police (USK) entered the convergence center in Munich, where the anti-war demonstrators gathered. Demonstrators and Journalists were arrested by the police - a terrible attempt to criminalize the protest against war. lates reports inform that he police arrived with over 40 minibusses and raided the centre.(www.no-nato.de). Video footage was taken of all the persons present without their permission, and all identidies were checked and registered.
The legal team stated, that no motive was given by the police for the raid. Journalists present to the scene were not allowed access to the convergence centre by the police. Reports vary also in the justification of the raid - according to the protest organisers it seems the whole operation was planned longterm beforehand. A report on IMC UK by flopserver states:
Maybe, before there was some struggle with the civil agents (agents provocateur) of the police.
For more information and latest updates see Indymedia Germany.
More background information about the anti-nato protests see here.
'In Valencia repression against political dissidents and grassroots social movements is becoming a common thing; the arrest of these four anarchist activists, the eviction of squats including "Malas Pulgas" where they were also involved, illegal home searches by the police, harassment towards solidarity groups.....It is a very long list. For all those reasons we are here today.'
[full story | pictures]
Some of the brave Glasgow Anarchists who took direct action against the war by occupying the Adam Smith Lecture Theatre on campus for 21 hours are now to be facing the repressive intimitation methods of the powers that be.
As usual when the state and other representatives of power lack arguments, they try to suppress civil courage and resistance by abusing their bureaucratic hierarchies to prove their self-righteous, elitist, capitalist, sell-out neo-liberal attitude.
The demands are and were:
- to the Chancellor of the University of Glasgow to step down; because of him investing the universities pension funds in war-profiteering companies.
- the Army to be booted off campus instead of the brave Glasgow Anarchist students; because the army does not belong there, whereas courageous, independant-thinking ethically sound students do.
- For the university to keep the Slavonic and Philosophy departments. Because philosophy makes more sense than war.
- Read Adorno!
Reading tip especially for university professors and politicians: Minima Moralia. For more brains and more discussions and less intimitation or superiority policy.
For all to support the Glasgow Anarchists Students meet on Friday, 24th, 9.30 outside Hillhead Underground to protest against the university hearing. [full story | link to former article]
For more demands on libertarian education go to: lib ed magazine
Free University Copenhagen
[ women | abz | all powers | publications | on knowledge production | all power ]
On December 2nd 2002 a peaceful march of around 200 women survivors from Bhopal delivered toxic waste from the abandoned Carbide factory back to Dow's Chemical Indian headquarters in Bombay with the demand that Dow take responsibility for the disaster and clean up the site. Union Carbide's (now known as Dow) negligent gassing and poisoning of thousandsin the Indian city of Bhopal killed between 3,000 and 20,000 and left thousands more with serious diseases and injures. [Union Carbide' website documenting this has now been made private]
December 3rd was the 18th anniversary of the criminally negligent disaster in Bhopal. Dow however continues to stamp down on dissent, and shows utter contempt for its legal and moral responsibilities. Whilst CEO Michael D. Parker exploited the anniversary of the incident as an opportunity to express his "profound sadness for the accident", Dow also announced it's decision to sue the female protesters for $10,000 in compensation for the corporation's "loss of work" during the two hours that the peaceful protest lasted. To put Dow's claim in perspective it is important to point out that Dow/Carbide provided only $300-$500 compensation to those most severely affected by the Bhopal disaster. Read reports 1 and 2
Around 2500 people marched in Glasgow on Saturday, 30 th of november, in the annual anti-racism demo organised by the Scottish Trades Union Council. The night before the annual anti-racism demo in Glasgow, an asylum seeker is attacked and stabbed by a gang in Sighthill, Glasgow.
[full story | the attack on the refugee | physical attacks and verbal ones ]
Update 4 Dec: On the morning of December 4th 9 people have been arrested and a total of 23 are under investigation with several accusations relating to the protests against the G8 summit in Genoa in July 2001. Report
Update 3 Dec: All the people arrested on Nov 15 have now been released.
Update 24 Nov: Mobilisations are still taking place in Italy following the arrests of 42 'No Global" activists two weeks ago. 13 people still remain locked up in maximum security prisons in southern Italy, whilst another six are still under 'house arrest'. In a turn-out exceeding all expectations, 60,000 people demonstrated for the freedom of the NoGlobal prisoners in Cosenza on November 23rd. Participants included many people who had travelled far to the southern tip of the country, but also many local people including the mayor. Local citizens welcomed the demonstrators enthusiastically, with people applauding from the balconies all along the demo route. IMC Cosenza notes: "The whole city is embracing and kissing the movement!". Pictures: 1 | 2 | 3
Update 21st Nov: A loose network of internet activists from different countries has called for a virtual protest on the Italian Justice department's website on November 23, starting UK time 10.00am. This will coincide with a day of mass protests and demonstrations agaisnt repression due to take place in several Italian cities. Netactivists call to action | Arrests update.
During the night to Friday, 15 November, 20 alleged members of the Italian social movement No Global have been arrested under article 270 of Italian Penal Code, with another 22 people not allowed to leave their homes. The judge's arrests order declared NoGlobal as "a subversive association" and its members "to conspire against the Italian State". There have been house raids in many parts of Italy. The wave of repression against alleged "leaders of the anti-globalisation movement" comes just days after 40,000 people took part in the successful European Social Forum in Florence, and 1 Million people marched against the war peacefully. The massive violence by demonstrators, which had been announced previously by the Berlusconi government and the police did not materialise, which had put the alarmist scare-mongering by government and media prior to the Social Forum in a different light. In an attempt to keep up the tension, repression was started against the no global members. The latter are being charged not of actual criminal acts but of "political conspiration" and "subversive propaganda". Read Radio Sherwood and Disobedienti press release.
Protests and demonstrations have been called for this weekend against political repression and to show solidarity with those arrested. Thousands of people have taken the streets of many Italian cities with reports of 30.000 people in Rome,10.000 in Napoli and several thousand in Firenze, Genova and Milano. At the same time a netstrike has been proposed for Monday 18 by ECN - Isole nella Rete network.
The largest eviction in a long time took place in Hamburg in the early hours of Monday 4th November. From that moment on, the city with a long history of strong autonomist movements, was awakened with protests against the eviction of the 'Wagenplatz' "Bambule" ≠ one of several sites in Hamburg and other German cities where people live in lorries and trailers. Many of those living on such sites are involved with local political activism such as social centres, anti-racist work etc. On the previous Saturday night, and as a culmination of a week of action prior to the eviction, hundreds of people gathered in several street parties around the city.
From the morning that the eviction took place, the situation escalated dramatically turning the city to a state of unrest, with demonstrations and occupations happening every day, mostly being dissolved immediately by massive numbers of riot police that was trying to control every neighbourhood and every corner of the city. Almost every night of the week saw clashes between police and protesters angry about the way the eviction had taken place, as well as the fact that the Bambule inhabitants had been driven out of the city and some been arrested. On Saturday 9th, one week after Bambule's eviction, demonstrations and actions took place once more in the streets of Hamburg.
The right-wing city government, elected just over a year ago, had declared the will to get rid of all 'Wagenplaetze' (Travellers' sites) as soon as possible, and so Bambule received their eviction order for November 1st. Situated in the middle of a traditionally 'alternative', yet very fashionable neighbourhood, Bambule had served as a symbol for alternative ways of life. On the night of Sunday 3rd police had amassed around the neighbourhood "Karolinenviertel" where the Bambule was situated. At around 7am 1000 riot police equipped with water cannons and other heavy vehicles, supported by police from Berlin and from neighbouring Schleswig-Holstein, started to advance from all sides into the small streets of the Karolinenviertel, where several hundred supporters of the Bambule were waiting, having occupied several crossroads and erected barricades to defend the 18 vehicles due to be evicted.
For more info IMC-Germany
Around 500 Israeli Army reservists have so far refused to serve in the illegally occupied territories of West Bank and Gaza Strip, and the number grows day by day.
High school students have also formed a movement of conscientious objectors to declare their refusal to serve in the Occupied Territories. One of the organisers of this movement has been sentenced to jail and is expected to be re-arrested once he is released. Read the full report.
Meanwhile, Turkish conscientious objector Mehmet Bal was arrested yesterday. Today he was transferred to the military prison in Adana. Fears for his safety grow. Read full report
New South Wales Police Minister Michael Costa wants to shutdown several anti-wto websites he claims are designed to aid the violent disruption of the forthcoming World Trade Organisation meeting in Sydney in November 14-15.
Melbourne Indymedia has responded by stating; The press release was an obvious attempt to "spin" the WTO event, focusing sensationalist media attention on a conflict between protesters and police rather than protesters' legitimate concerns about the WTO. All we can say is that it's a good thing that there are independent media outlets like Melbourne Indymedia to counter the daily spin of political hacks like Costa. [full story]
Dr Jude McCulloch, a lecturer in police studies, has written in a recent article concerning the protests:
A "hearts and minds" campaign against protesters is an important part of the modern day police strategy. In the lead up to the protests the police, aided by a conservative and compliant media, will vilify protesters in order to create a climate that attempts to justify any future violence against them. [full article]
Theatre Workshop launched its new play “Nothing ever burns down by itself” (in relation to the Chumbawamba song “Give the anarchist a cigarette” /Anarchy) on Thursday, Friday, Saturday (3./4./5. October) in Edinburgh.
The play is about the Global Action Days from 19.-22. July 2001 against the G8 summit in Genoa.
The play broke down the barrier between the audience and the players by the total removal of seats and stage, constantly moving artists, audience and requisites around, giving the audience the feeling of really having been there and to be involved.
Book to read about this topic:
On Fire - Genoa and the Anti-Capitalist Movement”, One -Off Press
Paperback, ISBN: 1902593545, £ 3.00
Since the end of July, the squat of Lelas Karayanni 37 has been confronted with a local and state repression as the chancellors of the university commissioned police to cut off the water and electricity supplies into the occupied building, and threaten a violent eviction refuse they to leave. L. K. 37 was bequeathed to the University, under the proviso it is used to house homeless and poor students. Despite that, it was abandoned since 1960, until April of 1988, when it was occupied by a collective of young students, workers and jobless, who transformed it into a place for housing and self-organisation. L.K. 37, through open assemblies, publications and social interventions became a workshop and base for radical criticism against housing issue in Athens.
The repression seems to be one of the initial casualties that seem to co-inside with speculative business enterprises earmarked for the "Olympic Games 2004". In another case the Students' House in Ilisia suburb has been occupied for more than two months as the rectors' council demanded all students must leave in order to use it for the journalists' accommodation during the Olympics, the students have refused.