UK Repression Feature Archive
At the International Court of Justice (ICJ), The Hague - Netherlands, from the 23rd to the 25th of February, there is a hearing as to the legality of the Apartheid wall being erected across Palestine [court schedule].The wall's construction - which has been criticised by the International Committee of the Red Cross - is widely seen as further land grabbing by the Israeli government, who couch its existence as a necessity for security in protection of the Israeli state.
State sponsored protests
On Monday the 23rd, Zionist groups are having a high profile demonstration in front of the ICJ. The local Israeli embassy has sponsored students and members of Zionist groups in support of the wall to protest outside the Court and has provided full colour pictures of bomb victims to 'Christians for Israel' who are carrying them on street protests. ZAKA, an Israeli 'rescue organisation', has brought to the Hague the two halves of a Jerusalem bus destroyed in a suicide bombing.
Anti-Apartheid Wall protests
25 anti-Wall protestors will be there to represent the concerns of the Palestinians along with the Palestinian Environmental NGO’s Network (PENGON) and other Palestinian solidarity groups, who have organised symposia, exhibits and protests around the time of the hearing. These groups will be bringing to The Hague Palestinians whose lives are affected by the Wall, including Sharif Omar (farmer from Jayyus), Fayez Tanib (farmer from Tulkarm) and Terri Balata (school administrator from Abu Dis separated from her school).
The Mayor of The Hague, Deetman, banned anti-Wall protesters from demonstrating in the morning, which will limit press awareness of the anti-Wall presence. The anti-Wall protestors will now march in the afternoon and hold a vigil outside the ICJ, remembering Palestinian victims of the Israeli occupation. Meanwhile, in Palestine, people are organising strikes, direct action and marches in support of the hearings in The Hague.
Today the court gave a landmark ruling that the police had unlawfully breached the Human Rights of anti-war protesters who were detained and prevented from attending a protest at RAF Fairford last March. The court firmly ruled the detention and forced return to London could not be justified and The right not to be arbitrarily detained (article 5 of Human rights convention) had been breached.
Giving judgment, Lord Justice May commented "For practical purposes none of the articles seized were to be regarded as offensive. Two pairs of scissors would not make much of an impression on the fences of the Air base.
However the court went on to rule that the police were acting lawfully in turning the protesters away from the demonstration, a conclusion Mr Halford (solicitor from Bindmans and Partners) described as inconsistent and unsatisfactory. He said:
"It can not be right for police to stifle protest by preventing attendance at a demonstration, simply on the grounds that some who might attend might cause trouble. That would allow the police to prevent any - and in fact every - demonstration taking place."
Leave for appeal has been granted to both sides.
Read Full Judicial Review Case Judgement Text:
Laporte, R v Gloucestershire Constabulary & Ors  EWHC 253
Press Release text from Bindman and Partners
Pictures Outside Court | Video (14Mb .wmv) | Corporate Media Coverage
Previous Reports from Judicial Review Hearing:
Court Report (15/1) | Video of Protest Outside Royal Courts (15/1) | Comments | Corporate Media Reports (15/1)
See Press Release (15/1)
Fairford Coach Campaign Website | Archive Indymedia Coverage | Archive Video Report
On Friday, February 13th, almost 8 months since their initial imprisonment, 13 people arrested during protests at the EU summit in Thessaloniki last June have had all charges dropped. 8 of the remaining cases are still under investagative review by the Greek Judiciary whilst the remaining 6 have had their charges dropped to misdemeanours. A final decision on whether to pursue allegations could come as early as next week. This is an enormous victory in the campaign against state repression waged by the Greek state against anti-capitalist protestors - although it must be remembered that the battle is not over yet.
Comprehensive coverage of the Thessaloniki Support Campaign can be found on the UK Indymedia site; Athens and Thessaloniki Indymedia sites both carry breaking news regarding the Thessaloniki 7 and the other accused.
Today (Wednesday 11th), in the High Court in London, Bayer AG (the German pharmacuetical and chemicals giant) sought to make permanent an interim court order against six named individuals and five 'organisations' which effectively turns previously lawful protest activities into a criminal offence.
The judge gave his ruling on Friday 13th, upholding all of the conditions previously requested. Defendants have 28 days to make a case against the ruling,until then, the interim court order obtained in December will remain effective.
Using the Protection from Harassment Act, the injunction places severe restrictions on the freedom of expression and ability to protest, for anyone that could be shown to be working in concert with the named organisations (which include two websites!).
Obviously this has far reaching implications for everyone. The simply act of reporting on events relating to the campaign against Bayer, or walking or parking in some streets in Oxford and Cambridge, could become a criminal offence for anyone that might be shown to have knowledge of the injuntion and be connected in some way to one of the named injunctees (perhaps having visited the StopBayerGM website).
Previous report | Court order on bayer's site | Schnews on Injunction | www.stopbayergm.org
More on this from the Indymedia topics Bio-technology page.
Global news on the bio-tech threat from the Bio-Tech IMC www.biotechimc.org
Martin Shaw is the activist who narrowly escaped death when the Swiss police cut the rope he was hanging from, in an attempt to blockade delegates attending the G8 summit in Evian, eight months ago. He will be in Leeds and talk at the next Leeds EF! monthly meeting, on February 4, 19:00 at the Adelphi Pub. A video will also be projected. All welcome!
Mexican armed forces have attacked the Chol indigenous community of Nuevo San Rafael, burning down 23 houses and violently evicting the inhabitants, who are Zapatista sympathisers. The attack, reported variously as happening on either 19 or 22 January, took place in the remote Montes Azules jungle area of Chiapas.
Resource-rich Montes Azules has long been coveted by multinationals. As the governments and multinationals press forward with the Plan Puebla Panama and Free Trade Area of the Americas, the “war of low intensity” against the thousand-plus Zapatista autonomous communities erupts into blatant repression. The Secretary of Government of Chiapas, Rubén Velázquez López, promises more evictions, declaring that land invasions will no longer be tolerated.
The fate of the inhabitants of Nuevo San Rafael is unknown, as the army is preventing reporters and human rights observers from entering the area. Local indigenous Chol, Josué Jiménez Cruz, has been arrested, and is apparently imprisoned in the town of Ocosingo. International solidarity activity is vital, declare Zapatista solidarity groups. Protesters call to ring the Mexican Embassy in London on 0207 499 8586 (open 9am-6pm)
The World Economic Forum has started in the exclusive wintersport mountain town of Davos, in Switzerland. The WEF "plays a key role for developing new economic, political, cultural and social tendencies and strategies", invites CEOs of major corporations, hundreds of top international government officials and just plain rich people.
Its start on the 20th of january was accompanied by a variety of protests, despite the policy of "Arbenz". The policy recommended by "Arbenz" is an integration and segregation strategy for the purpose of more control of WEF - protests, it tries to subdue NGOs and WEF critical organisations by giving them a chance of presenting their concerns to a small number of WEF delegates in Davos, in return for a "non participation" at the protests against the WEF on the streets, so in order to make it easier to justify a forcefull repression.
Despite police repression and the ice cold weather, protests and demonstrations have been taking place at a daily basis:
On Sunday 25 there was several demonstrations - Photos 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7
On Saturday 24 in Coire [Pics 1 | 2 | 3] - Landquart [Report | Pics] - Davos [Repot & pics] - Lugano [Pics | Video] - Neuchatel [Pics]
Photo reports of demontrations and actions from Wednesday 21 to Friday 23: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12
For up to date information see Indymedia Switzerland
Riot police stormed the autonomous, indigenous town of Tlalnepantla, south of Mexico City, in the early morning at 1am last Wednesday, 14th of January.
Eye witnesses talk of at least 2 deaths, a dozen injured and a dozen missing persons, and of widespread police brutality and intimitation.
GREG BERGER, independant reporter and documentary film maker in the Interview [ audio | 128kbs stream | 250 kbs stream] with Democracy Now!
“An armed incursion by the state police of about 1,500 riot police stormed the town. There were snipers placed on buildings, a rain of bullets fell on the people who were holding the city hall as an autonomous municipality, and at least two people were killed. Many people were beaten. I personally spoke with several old women who were beaten in the face and body by the riot police. Many of the people from the town ran into the hills and are currently being chased with helicopters and police dogs through the woods. And the entire town is basically in a state of siege.”
The campaigners claimed the police overstepped their powers and furthermore that they breached articles of the European Convention on Human Rights, guaranteeing freedom from arbitrary detention, the freedom of speech and assembly, and respect for physical and psychological integrity.
Police statements revealed that at 10.45am an order was issued by Chief Superintendent Lambert to stop and search the coaches including instructions for the coaches to be turned around and escorted non-stop back to London if any 'dangerous items' or items likely to be used to conceal identity were found. It is this order that will now be scrutinised. Michael Fordham acting on behalf of the protestors said the police were within their powers to seize certain items, and that they even possibly had the right to detain certain individuals under public order and common laws, but they overstepped the law and infringed both common law and human rights law, by the blanket nature of their action (despite intelligence notes showing that the police were aware that the coach passengers were made up of individuals and members of various groups) and the way evidence was used in an attempt to justify this.
The case continues today at the High Court and a decision is expected from Lord Justice May and Mr Justice Harrisonin in around three weeks time.
Court Report (15/1) | Video of Protest Outside Royal Courts | Comments | Corporate Media Reports
See Press Release | Campaign Website | Archive Indymedia Coverage | Archive Video Report
|13-01-2004: Tom Hurndall has died. A Vigil took place on Wed 14 . Background information here and website.|
The Israeli sniper who shot activist Tom Hurndall brain dead has been arrested. The army leadership has now admitted that its initial accusations of Tom being armoured and in camouflage, as well as its claim that the soldier was returning Palestinian fire, were lies. The arrest is particularly important as opening fire on activists in Palestine is becoming increasingly regular for the Israeli army. Last Friday Israeli soldiers fired live ammunition into a non-violent action [photos]. Gil Na'amati, an Israeli from the Anarchist Movement Against the Wall, and an American woman of the International Solidarity Movement were seriously injured. On 1 January the Israeli army fired over 100 rubber bullets aimed at people's heads during another demonstration. Approximately ten people were taken to the hospital and deportation orders were issued against four activists, including a Swedish MP. Tom was shot in Rafah (Gaza, Palestine) in April last year while pulling away children out of the way of a tank. He is currently on life support in a London hospital. [Maps of the Wall] [Palestine IMC] [Israel IMC]
But 1,000 Zapatistas gathered to defend Morelia, one of the five new Zapatista Caracols, and base for the Zapatista regional “Committee of Good Government”.
After a stand-off the PRI-istas (supporters of the Institutional Revolutionary Party) backed down and dispersed, though the threat to the Caracol remains.
The Zapatistas have declared: “We are prepared to face up to anyone, whoever they might be, to defend our Caracol - to the death if necessary.”
Pictures from Morelia below.
This marks the end of a drawn-out and contradictory legal process which saw all four activists cleared of aggravated trespass by the same District Judge in March 2003. The Crown Prosectution Service (CPS) appealed and had the verdict overturned by two High Court Judges who ordered a retrial, with instructions that the defendants should be found guilty. The four now face prison for refusal to pay the punitive costs.
Full Report | video | audio | earlier verdict one two | background history | Pink Castle website
As we approach the Christmas period, London Transport Police are gearing up to “keep London safe for Christmas" (words of a police officer outside Victoria Station). They are reportedly achieving this by implementing immigration sweep and deportations, outside of tube station.
Today friday, there was an anti-WSIS demo in the centre of Geneva, near the train station, at around 12.00 uk time. As people began to gather a steadily growing number of police in riot gear stopped anyone they thought might be there for the demonstration. The protest was broken up with Police dragging away demonstrators. Follow-up demonstrations were also attacked by the Police. The repression was condemned. Details...
A the same time, and during the whole day, a series of presentations, discussions and talks took place in the a the Polymedia Lab. These included a talk by Richard Stallman on 'Combating Terror Tactics'. The day ended with a Yomango style free dinner for all those present. The Civil Society plenary issued a press release denouncing repression against We Seize!. And in London Resonance FM broadcasted into the city's airwaves live from Geneva.
News from Geneva that the police have raided the Polymedia Lab on Tuesday, 9th December, at 11am local time. The Polymedia Lab was planned in for today's S-Conf open conference event to take place. Whilst the participants are currently consulting legal counsel, events have temporarily moved elsewhere. Meanwhile, action committees are formed to deal with the issues of space and accomodation.
Reports: short | long | Quicktime Video Clip | Performance review | Denial of new space | Meeting notes
Streaming audio | pictures | | irc.indymedia.org #sconf
Newswire reports: [1,2,3, 4, 5]
More information under: [WSIS? We Seize! | Polimedia Lab website | uk feature site | Wiki website | World Summit on Information Society]
"Our Passion For Freedom Is Stronger Than Your Prisons"
BREAKING NEWS! - 13 Feb. 04: Legal Team: Simon Chapman has been acquitted and the charges against another 12 protestors have been dropped! [Reports on IMC-UK 1 | 2 | feature] [Report in Infoshop News] [Report in IMC-Athens] [Report in IMC-Nice(fr)]
Update - 12 Feb. 04: Simon has written a letter to update on events in Greece.
Update - 1 Jan. 04: Simon Chapman is allowed to return to the UK for 2 weeks to attend his fathers' funeral (See the corporate media reports section).
Update - 17 Dec. 03: Latest report from Athens states the investigation against the allegations of planting [of molotov cocktails] against Simon Chapman has been closed as the evidence was "made up"!
Update 12 Dec. 03: The most recent news, however, is that the police are still trying to produce evidence linking Simon Chapman to the molotov cocktails.
On November 26th, the "Thessaloniki 7" won a five months struggle against the Greek prison system and various Greek authorities. Souleiman "Kastro" Dakduk from Syria, Simon Chapman from the UK, Fernando Perez Gorraiz and Carlos Martin Martinez from Spain and Spyros Tsitsas from Greece were on hungerstrike between 49 and 66 days in protest against the conditions of their arrest and imprisonment. Michalis Traikapis and Dimitris Friouras were also incarcerated in another, juvenile prison. The determination and dignity of their struggle for justice finally proved to be stronger than the Greek anti-terrorist legislation that framed, imprisoned and almost killed them. Their dedication and passion for freedom spoke louder than the judges, police chiefs and Greek ministers that hoped they would be forgotten. They weren't, and people in many parts of the world showed solidarity to their defiance whilst making clear that "They are inside for us, we are outside for them."
The seven were amongst 29 protesters arrested during the protests against the EU summit in Thessaloniki. While the others have been released, the seven were held on remand on charges of rioting, possession of explosives and resisting authorities. All 7 say that these charges are false. In Simon Chapman's case, video and photographic evidence confirm that he was framed.
The Thessaloniki 7 were released on 26 Nov at 4.00 p.m Greek time. The hungerstrike has come to an end after between 49 and 66 days [First pics of the hungerstrikers & health report & FZLN support message]. The 7 are not allowed to leave Greece until their trial takes place [imc athens | imc uk].
The Council of Judges ruled their release after the district attorney in Athens ordered doctors to force feed the hungertrikers. Pressure on the Greek authorities had increased since the hungerstrikers' health deteriorated. Solidarity groups formed all over the world, 28 European parliament members called for the prisoners' release, Amnesty International called for an independent inquiry.
Indymedia Athens states: "This is a victory of the struggle for dignity and freedom by the 5 hunger strikers, of the other 2 prisoners, but as well the thousands of people that stood up for them all over the world!!!! It is an outright defeat for the greek state-repression complex, and for the global "anti-terror" mechanisms".