UK Repression Feature Archive
"From 3:00 til about 8:30 everything was going well. Plenty of people had turned up, we had raised quite a bit of money and people were generally having a good time... At around nine, the police turned up. At first, we were only met with a couple of bobbies on the beat. They told us to turn the music down and that they didn't want to have to come back to tell us again. We complied with this order. A short while later they returned, this time they cited breach of the peace and noise complaints from local residents. At this point we were given no legal warning and shown no noise abatement order... At this point TSG arrived. The officer arriving on the scene demanded two spokespeople from the organisers to negotiate a de-escualtion of the situation. Two spokespeople were mandated and let outside of the property. The negotiation was a complete farce. The officer had no interest in an open dialogue, he ordered that the soundsystem be removed from the premises within ten minutes and when the spokespeople refused to give out their personal details repeatedly threatened them with arrest." See the full report for more details and photos.
An international campaign to prevent the UK government deporting Pegah Emambakhsh to Iran, where she fears persecution, for being a lesbian, has so far succeeded in getting her deportation delayed.
Pegah sought asylum in the UK in 2005, her claim failed despite appeals, and she was arrested in Sheffield on Monday 13th August and is being detained in Yarlswood detention centre.
Her case has been taken up by the Iranian Queer Organization, who have said: "If she is going to be returned to Iran, there is much of possibility that she, due to her sexual orientation and her past life in Iran, will be sentenced to death, or, in a most optimistic view, be prosecuted and tortured in some of the ways that are all common among Iran's religious officials when having made the decision to chastise the so called 'corrupted' citizens.".
The global anti-deportation campaign, which has included approaches to the British ambassador in Rome and the Deputy Consul General in San Francisco has resulted in her case getting coverage in the local media, the Iranian media and the gay press [ 1 | 2 ] around the world. However there has been no coverage of her case in the mainstream media in the UK but it has made the TV news been in and la Repubblica in Italy.Pegah now has excellent legal representation and support from Outrage!. Suggestions of ways to protest against her deportation include contacting the Home Office and signing a petition.
Articles: Urgent help needed to save the life of Pegah Emambakhsh | Appeal for the life of Pegah Emambakhsh | Pegah Emambakhsh Must Stay | British Ambassador promises: "We will not deport Pegah Emambakhsh" | Who wants Pegah’s Blood? | Urgent! - Save Pegah From Death. Don't Alow That Pegah Goes Up On The Airplane | Lesbian facing Deportation to Iran needs your Support | URGENT: Don't Deport Pegah Emambakhsh
Four German activists have been arrested on suspicion of being members or supporters of an alleged 'terrorist organisation' (the so-called Section 129a) [lawyers' press release]. The German federal police suspect that Militante Gruppe (MG or Militant Group) was behind several arson attacks against police and army vehicles since the group surfaced in 2001 [Federal Prosecution's press release]. The direct actions are said to have included an attack on German federal police vehicles to protest against their involvement in immigration deportations and another in response to the G8 raids earlier this year. If found guilty, the four could face up to 10 years in prison. Another three men have been accused but not arrested.
A number of solidarity actions have already taken place, including a demo in Berlin last Wednesday (August 1st) and another at the prison where the four are held on Sunday (August 5th). A Germany-wide protest against police repression is planned for September 15th [call], while many solidarity protests and actions are expected throughout the world.
"Teams of 12 specially trained officers will form a Forward Intelligence Team (FIT) who, operating in uniform, will seek to build a "rapport" with "street activists" so that people "likely to provoke disorder can be identified early in an event"
The FIT first surfaced in the early 1990s, as part of the Public Order Intelligence Unit (CO11), a section of the Public Order Branch of the Metropolitan Police. They were initially targeted at football fans but were soon extended to cover a wide variety of political events, and their tactics have more recently been used in town centres as part of the "community policing" strategy. Sometimes they are deployed outside of the Metropolitan area, as at the G8 in Scotland for example, and most UK police forces now have officers trained in their methods.
IMC Links: FIT hunting NoBorders activists at rampART | Protest at Heckler & Koch weapons manufacturers HQ in Nottingham. | Policing FIT for "serious and sustained" terror? | FIT watch at Disarm DSEi meeting. | Counter-FIT: some thoughts. | Resisting the FIT teams: a proposal for action. | FIT at Convergence Centre. | Fit Team vs the Grey Bloc. | Backwards Intelligence Team. | Fatuous Intimidation Team strike again! | FIT intimidation at rampART. | The FIT team at work. | Police Harassment Bayswater Rd. | Indymedia and British Intelligence Services. | Where are the London cops? | Mayday march and protest at Canary Wharf. | Mayday in London 2007. | Unprecedented police harassment operation against Wombles. | G8 Employment Ministers Protest In London. |
Other links: Defective Inspectors. | WANTED! | Europol. | The Empire Strikes Back. | Fairford Coaches judgement. | Anarchist Mayday Cricket. | Laboratory of Insurrectionary Imagination. | Defend the Intifada. | What really happened in London. | The police paparazzi. | Public order training and tactics reviewed. | We are heartbroken and furious! | G8 Employment Ministers Protest In London. | Bank Robbed! | All about my 'BIG BROTHER' ...! | NETCU Watch. | FIT Watch. |
In the early morning of 21st July, neo-nazi skinheads launched a vicious and unprovoked attack on an anti-nuclear protest camp in Angarsk, Siberia, Russia (see map). The nazis violently attacked activists in their sleeping bags and tents with iron rods, knives and air pressure guns. 21 year old Ilya Borodaenko from Nachodka suffered a head-fracture during the attack and later died in hospital from his injuries. At least nine others have been reported to be seriously injured, one of which has had both their legs broken. Tents were set on fire and several belongings were stolen.
Financial help and other forms of solidarity are urgently needed. See contact details in additions to this article.
Since Monday night, riots and violent police repression have been taking place in Oaxaca, Mexico. At least 65 people have been arrested, while one is dead and four heavily injured in hospital. A teacher, who had been arrested unharmed, was beaten into a coma by police [pic proof]. More info on www.indymedia.org
Pics 1 , 2 | alternative Guelaguetza pics 1 , 2 | Indy Scotland report | Narco News | Indymedia Oaxaca | Indymedia Chiapas | APPO
Last Tuesday (10 July), Indymedia Birmingham, in conjunction with the Mikey Powell Campaign, screened Injustice, a powerful film about deaths in police custody and the victims' families' struggles for justice. The screening, which was held at the Custard Factory in Digbeth, Birmingham, was preceded and followed by talks by Tippa Naphtali, a cousin of Mikey Powell, who died at the hands of police in Handsworth, Birmingham, in 2003.
The film was preceded by a short interview with Ramona Africa, the sole adult survivor of the FBI's bombing of the MOVE organisation's home in Philadelphia in 1985. The only justice, she stressed, is to bring down the "vicious, rotten system" that caused and continues to cause such injustices. Last month Indymedia Birmingham had shown a new documentary about MOVE at the Drum to galvanise support for the MOVE 9 and Mumia Abu-Jamal [Mainstream media ignore the plight of MOVE 9 and journalist Mumia Abu-Jamal | Radio interview with Ramona Africa and Fred Riley from MOVE].
Report with photos: Women representatives of Six Nations Territory Canada give Nottingham Sumac Talk
Over 20,000 demonstrators showed their support for the Palestinians living under Israeli occupation in a march and rally held in London on 9 June, 2007, to mark the 40th anniversary of the Six-Day War and the ongoing military occupation of the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem. The rally, which took place in Trafalgar Square, was organised by Enough!, a coalition of over 50 charities, trade unions, faith and other campaign groups.
All around the world, thousands marked the anniversary with a week of actions against the Israeli occupation (see this round-up). In Germany, G8 protesters responded with a mass demo at a Caterpillar plant in Rostock [Video]. An unconfirmed report claimed that the plant was fire-bombed that night, destroying Caterpillar machinery.
Related: This Week In Palestine – Week 23 2007 | Taking Aim: The Destruction of Palestine | Co-op Radio: Palestine - 40 years of occupation | The Six Day War Deceptions | Israel's Attack on the USS Liberty Revisited | John Pilger: Resisting the Empire
From June 6th to 8th the "representatives" of eight of the most powerful states from the global north are planning to meet in Heiligendamm near Rostock in Germany. Without any legitimacy to decide about global politics they will coordinate their decisions and therefore stand for the continuation of the state the world which for the majority means hunger, misery, war, and exclusion. Despite police repression and political propaganda, the summit will face one of the biggest mobilisations ever to shut down the G8.
On Saturday May 25th, activists held a demonstration outside the Scottish Parliament, as part of the growing Hands off John Bowden campaign. The demo was called by a group of Friends of John Bowden as an International Day of Solidarity. John Bowden is a long-term prison resister, who has spent more than a quarter of a century fighting for prisoners’ rights, and is now being kept in jail because of his politics rather than because of his original conviction. Brighton Anarchist Black Cross (ABC) has called for another demo outside the London Parole Board HQ on Friday 8th June at noon.
Articles by John Bowden: Uprising at Shotts prison | Brutality at Full Sutton | When is a Prison Reformer Not a Prison Reformer? | David Blunket Sanctioned The Machine Gunning Of Rioting Prisoners | "Riff-raff" prisoners? | Investigation into racist abuse at Whitemoor Prison
At least 12 activists have now been charged under SOCPA in connection with the No More Fallujahs Peace Camp and Naming the Dead actions in Parliament Square and Whitehall on 29-30 October 2006. Reports from the actions here.
In a planned act of civil disobedience against the occupation of Iraq, campaigners set up an unauthorised camp in Parliament Square for 24 hours last October. In all, over 100 people took part in workshops and discussions and held 'Naming the Dead' remembrance ceremonies in Parliament Square and Whitehall during the action.
Most of the defendants have been in court over the past two weeks, with the judgements to date illustrating the arbitrary nature of British "justice".
Critical Mass (CM) is a monthly event mainly consisting of cyclists but other forms of human propulsion are welcomed. The first one happened in San Francisco USA on Friday, September 25, 1992 and since then enthusiasts in many towns and cities worldwide have followed suit. Sometimes events calling themselves 'Critical Mass' accompany public demonstrations but purists argue they are not related to the regular monthly ride. It is difficult to describe CM as opinions differ widely but they seem to range from a simple celebration of cycling to an anti-authoritarian blockade of traffic, particularly cars, with many facets in between. Almost from the beginning there has been a mixed reaction from the police, ranging from helpful facilitation to aggressive confrontation.
In the last few years the police have become much more confrontational in the UK and they try to manipulate the rides. London now has large numbers of cycle police attending every Mass, except the one in December which is close to the New Year holiday when they don't turn up at all!. The Metropolitan Police issued a leaflet to participants in September 2005 claiming that the ride is not lawful. Their claim was rejected in the High Court in May 2006 but the police have since appealed and won.
Critical Massers have vowed that the ride will go on. The next London Critical mass is on Friday 25th May, meeting outside the NFT between 6 and 6.30pm and there has been a call-out to make this the biggest ride ever.
From the newswire: Abuse of police powers in Derby | London Critical Mass 30th September 2005 | London Critical Mass under threat | Critical Mass London: Letter from Green Party to Met. Police | London Critical Mass reports | Amazing turnout on "banned" critical mass | Massive Critical Mass Defies SOCPA Exclusion Zone | Southend's first Critical Mass stopped by police | 2nd Southend Critical Mass ends with 3 arrests | Leeds Critical Mass | York Critical Mass | Police charge cyclists at Glasgow Critical Mass | Birmingham's Ride reaches Critical Mass Videos: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 |
The northern branches of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign held a series of events in Sheffield on 12 May, 2007, in what was described as the biggest Palestinian solidarity event outside London for many years, calling for an end to 40 years of Israeli occupation and for justice in Palestine. The day's events included a march and rally, a mock-up of a checkpoint, food, dancing and a photo exhibition. Sheffield Live! have a report on their site and a audio compilation (MP3 | 36 MB | 41:57 min) from the day.
Police raided about 40 buildings in Germany on Wednesday morning, 9th May, including social centres and several private homes in Berlin and Hamburg, as well as the alternative web provider so36.net. Police forces searched the Rote Flora in Hamburg as well as parts of the Bethanien in Berlin. Both social centres are planning to be convergence spaces for the G8 protests in early June. See de.indymedia.org for up-to-the-minute info.
Reports so far on IMC-UK: 1 | 2 | 3 | press groups press release (en) | SO36.net statement
On IMC-Germany: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6
On IMC Scotland: feature | call for soli-protest | paint attack statement | 4 | 5 | 6
Solidarity demonstrations and actions have taken place in several cities around the world, including Amsterdam, Berlin [more], Hamburg [more], Cologne, Goettingen, Managua, Vienna. Internet activists hacked "german-police.org" , a police bulletin board. The German consulates in Edinburgh and Amsterdam were attacked with paint. This last wave of state repression in Germany just followed a weekend of over 100 arrests in the Netherlands , where the G8 bicycle caravan was disrupted in Utrecht.
Many more demonstrations were planned and have taken place in the following days. These included one in London [Pics 1 and 2 | Video] and another one in Edinburgh [Pics], both on Friday 11th. Next G8 UK mobilisation meeting in London May 17th.
Over 200 people protested on Thursday, 12 April, at the immigration reporting centre in Solihull, near Birmingham, against deportations to the Democratic Republic of Congo. The protest was part of a UK-wide coordinated day of action to mark a Directions Hearing for the Country Guidance Tribunal regarding DRC asylum seekers.
The peaceful protest was marred by a large police presence and was penned, twice, into Sandford House's car park. Protesters, however, broke off after a while and blockaded the road for about 2 hours. Two people were arrested, one also assaulted by an aggressive cop. They were released later on but only because their fellow protesters, in an empowering show of solidarity, refused to leave the site before they were released.
On Wednesday March 28th, people gathered on the Market Square to protest continued deportations to the Democratic Republic of Congo. After a while the protesters walked across town to Bridewell Police Station (next to the Magistrates Court) and made their feeling know about government policies. The Home Office plans to deport more Congolese people from the UK in spite of evidence that it is not only still unsafe for them to return but that the situation is worsening. In Leicester over 60 turned out in a demonstration. Other cities where protests happened simultaneously were London, Glasgow, Newcastle and Manchester.
In March a United Nations report described the situation there as ‘deteriorating’. The Bishop of Winchester objected recently in the Lords to government claims that the country was now safe, noting that every independent organisation with first-hand experience finds ministerial assurances of safety “simply incredible”. He said that the Country Guidance Case on March 28th, at which the situation could be re-evaluated by the government, “will hear fresh evidence of ill-treatment, torture and rape of returned refugees, both at the airport and at associated holding centres”. Asylum seekers in Nottingham need your help in putting pressure on the government to admit that its deportation policy is wrong.
From the newswire: Nottingham demo against deportations to Congo (photos) | Nottingham (and Leicester) demos against deportations to Congo (photos) | Stop Deportation to the Congo
The Congo Support Network held a demonstration on 13 March 2007 at Dallas Court Reporting Centre, Salford Quays, in opposition to the recent and continuing deportations of Congolese asylum seekers to war-torn DRCongo. It was attended by over 100 Congolese and Libyan refugees and supporters. To begin with everyone assembled in the road opposite the main entrance to Dallas Court before marching round to the back, where kidnapped asylum seekers are snuck out in blue vans to detention centres. Soon after, the crowd assembled at the entrance and the demonstartors held a banner completely across the doors.
The entrance to Dallas Court was then blockaded by the brave protesters, before being forced back by the police. The refugees chanted: 'SHUT DOWN DALLAS COURT!' and 'NO DEPORTATIONS!' throughout, along with many chants and songs in French. At around 1:30pm news emerged that Rosetta, a female Congolese asylum seeker who had had to 'report', had been kidnapped at Dallas Court while the protest was happening! In solidarity, the protesters announced that they would extend their protest and stay until Rosetta was released. They chanted for the next 2 hours and the atmosphere was electric. At one point the police attempted to arrest a Congolese man. As he was dragged off towards the police van the crowd swarmed around and dragged him from their grasp.
Early in the morning of 14 March, an Algerian detainee held in Campsfield immigration prison in Oxfordshire forcefully resisted an attempted 'removal' by the immigration authorities. Fellow detainees then tried to intervene in solidarity and a riot soon spread in the detention centre, with facilities smashed and set on fire. 2 detainees and 7 staff were taken into hospital, all suffering smoke inhalation [see reports and updates]. In addition to emergency services, Tornado units (riot squads) from the Prison Service were deployed to deal with the 'disturbances'. According to a written ministerial statement by Immigration minister Liam Byrne, 60 of the detainees at Campsfield House have been transferred to other parts of the Home Office detention estate, but other detainees have remained at the centre, which holds up to 200 detainees and was operating at near full capacity at the time of the riot.