UK Repression Feature Archive
June 12 was an International Day of Action and Solidarity with Jeff ‘Free’ Luers. There was solidarity Bradford, and there is a screening in Leeds to come.
In June 01, 23 year old forest defence activist Jeffrey ‘Free’ Luers was sentenced to 22 years and 8 months in prison for the burning of 3 Sport Utility Vehicles (SUV's) in Eugene, Oregon along with Craig ‘Critter’ Marshal, to make a statement about global warming. Both activists took measures to make sure that no one would be injured as a result of their action and scouted the location for months beforehand. An arson specialist later confirmed that the action did not pose any threat to people, based on its size and distance from any fuel source. Despite the fact that this action hurt no one, caused only $40,000 in damages and the cars were later resold, Jeff was sent to prison for a sentence considerably longer than those convicted of murder, kidnapping and rape in Oregon state.
On June 12th there was a benefit meal at the 1in12 club, Bradford. It included a talk about Jeff’s case and to watch the documentary ‘Green With a Vengance’ which includes an interview with Jeff from prison. All proceeds went towards Jeff’s defence network. [Report]
Then on the following Sunday incitement2 showed the film by Olivia Rousset, an Australian videographer and journalist. It is a video report for Dateline Australia back in 2001, containing some of the only video footage of Free in prison, as well as interviews with professor Bron Taylor, former ELF spokesperson Craig Rosebraugh and anarchist/author John Zerzan. One of the best pieces on the US ecological defence. [Report]
For ongoing coverage see: Atlanta Indymedia
Also San Francisco IMC | IndyBay IMC
Streaming Radio: Enemy Combatant Radio-In San Francisco | IMC-Atlanta Webradio
Also see Dissent! UK Solidarity Actions:
Nottingham: 8th June : Critical Mass | 9th June: Blockade of Oil terminal report | 12th June: Carnival Against Capitalism
Worthing: 23TOPIA - New anti-G8 social centre / Festival of Resistance (more)
Cambridge: A week of anti-G8 discussion and action | Street Theater report
Norwich and Ipswich: anti-war/anti-g8 protests / free shop / Anti-g8 rebel football
Cardiff Anti-G8 Jam
Also see reports of Reclaim The Commons protests at the Biotechnology Industry Organization's annual convention in San Francisco (more reports)
On Saturday 29th May approximately 50 demonstrators gathered outside Chicksands military base in Bedfordshire, home to the Joint Services Interrogation Centre where 'interrogation' techniques have been being taught to UK forces. Read interrogation as 'torture'.
Banners called for Chicksands closure and protestors recreated shocking images of torture. There were a number of speakers and also jugglers, banging tunes, bubbles, pictures on the pavement and skull and cross bones confetti (some of which ended up inside the base). A favourite moment was watching a policeman try to duck a huge bubble without betraying his cool exterior!
Threatened with murder already several times and allocated with bans on writing, she does not stop to point out the desperate situation of people in Chechnya.
Politkowskaja is now able to prove torture, inhuman treatment and homicide in Chechnya with a video, which is dated 21st of March 2000.
The Third Summit of Head of States and Governments from Latin America, the Caribbean and European Union (III ALCUE) has come to an end last night in a tense environment, and with a soft and indirect condemnation to the US military torture in Iraq, commercial agreements without popular support, violence against demonstrators at the end of the general demonstration and around 100 detainees and disappeared, as well as 30 injured. [Call for Solidarity, Update 31.06.2004]
More reports: [1, 2, 3]
Audio: [Houston Indymedia | Guadalajara Imc | Guadalajara Imc - part 2]
Guadalajara Indymedia/ | Mexico Indymedia
The community radio movement has grown worldwide over the last 30 years establishing a new tier of broadcasting that is challenging the traditional public and commercial sectors.
But just as community radio in the UK is starting to finally get a foothold, intense lobbying from the commercial sector to restrict community radio could limit its growth and even possibly kill it at birth.
There is an emergency situation right now in the Gaza Strip and the town of Rafah [feature on Indymedia.org], in particular, with scenes that bring to mind Israel's invasion of Jenin and Nablus in the spring of 2002... Last weekend, 116 homes were destroyed, making over a thousand people homeless [www.btselem.org]. Hundreds more are slated for destruction. [Indymedia Israel, Rafah Today, Electronic Intifada].
Add to this the ongoing trouble in Iraq, where revelations of torture abound, and there was real appetite for action as various groups around the UK called actions. The combination of the weeks' war crimes and media coverage brought people out in abundance, some of whom were protesting for the first time.
The previous weekend, Palestine Solidarity Campaign held its annual Nakba (Catastrophe) Day rally in Tragalgar Sq [Photo's: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 ] at which several speakers called on people to attend the Stop the War/End the Torture demonstration last Saturday morning [Reports & photo's: 1 | 2 ], which then, in turn, built the protest against the Rafah Massacre outside Downing Street, which resulted in a sit down on Whitehall. [Reports & pictures 1 | 2 ].
During the week, George Bush Snr played an ill-timed visit to raise party funds for his son [report]. The weekly picket at Marks & Spencer on Oxford Street was this week swelled by a large number of new faces [Report; pictures: 1 | 2] whilst there have been daily gatherings alongside Brian Hawe in Parliament Square.
Around the UK:
There were other protests over the past week in cities across the country:
- Palestine protest reports & pictures: Sheffield | York | Oxf ord.
- Iraq Torture protest reports & pictures: Northampton | Chicksands Joint Services Interrogation Centre .
The at present fugacious murderer, was recruited as a municipal policeman and followed the orders of Armando Sánchez Ruíz, who is president of the cmunicipality, but without the popular recognition of the Unidalguense community.
Indigenous Guaraní in the southeast of Bolivia blockade gas conveyor systems of multinational corporations and demand the reversal of the law from 1996 about the sell-out of the Bolivian natural gas. The union of farm workers and Aymará of the Anden region set a four day time limit for the governemt Mesa to fulfill their demands.
Streetblockades are prepared.
Translation of a feature by IMC Bolivia published on the 5.5.2004
Guaraní people defend the natural gas (original: El pueblo guaraní defiende el gas - 05/05/2004 10:51 )
On Wednesday, May 12th 2004 at 8.30am, Caterpillar Out of Palestine arrived at Caterpillar offices near Solihull to present them with their well-deserved Homewrecker of the Year Award, and to ask the employees to take up the issue of arms sales to Israel with the company. Unfortunately, the employees were too shy to leave the building. So the following morning the protesters decided join them for breakfast in the car park as they arrived for work.
UNWRA recently reported that 131 civilian homes had been destroyed in Gaza in the first ten days of May alone. CAT financial corp report that company profits had risen by 41% to $457 million this quarter. While CAT’s profits rocket, CAT machinery is instrumental in the occupation.
Manchester seems determined to shoot itself in the Northern quarter. The potential gagging of city centre venue Night and Day is another example of the city's cultural suicide.
How a long established city centre venue can come under threat from one noisy resident beggars belief, but read on to find out the full story of Night and Day
Meanwhile on the other side of town Free party possee collective take on a new lease of life with a massive party in the Lloyds metal warehouse just over the border in Salford. This tactical move put the party on the turf of Police whose priorities are not yet as set on ensuring cultural monoculture.
Easter Saturday, 10th of April, a peaceful demonstration of Zaptistas got attacked with stones, guns and fireworks in the highlands of Chiapas near San Cristobal de las Casas.
Result of the ambush: 29 Zapatistas injured, and 3 seriously, one with life threatening injuries.
More information, reports and pictures on Chiapas Indymedia or on La Jornada, [en] | Photo gallery Jechvó/Zinacantán
Update (13.4.2004): Manuel Gomez Hernandez, one of those wounded in the attack , is in critical condition in hospital with a machete wound to the head, it is in the balance whether he will survive or not.
The Zapatistas in the hospital in San Cristobal de Las Casas are suffering poor medical attention and even worse are being harrassed constantly by the police.
125 zapatista families have fled their homes in the municipality of Zinacantan, Los Altos, Chiapas, fearing attack by militants of the PRD (Revolutionary Democratic Party).
A press conference by ngos including the network of community human rights defenders and solidarity protests are called for.
Sign an international letter of support with the Zapatistas (esp) from Barcelona's Zapatista Solidarity Collective.
Update4: Saturday the 17th of April - Jo's account of the continued siege and her kidnapping and release."You look for ways out. You wonder whether they're going to kill you, make demands for your release, if they'll hurt you. You wait for the knives and the guns and the video camera. You tell yourself you're going to be OK."
Update3: Tuesday the 13th of April - Jo Wilding's amazing eyewitness reports of the situation in Fallujah are now available. She describes American attacks on unarmed civilians and ambulances in Fallujah: "Snipers are causing not just carnage but also the paralysis of the ambulance and evacuation services. The biggest hospital after the main one was bombed is in US territory and cut off from the clinic by snipers. The ambulance has been repaired four times after bullet damage. Bodies are lying in the streets because no one can go to collect them without being shot." Hundreds of people are being killed - the situation in Fallujah is catastrophic.
Update2: Tuesday the 13th of April - Due to the refusal of new Iraqi army units to attack Fallujah, the U.S. is now hoping to recruit senior former commanders from Saddam Hussein's Ba'athist security forces to ensure that there are "well-formed Iraqi chains of command."
Update1: Monday the 12th of April - Eyewitness acount from Dahr Jamail in Fallujah. Dahr Jamail is the Baghdad correspondent for the New Statesman.
Sat 10th April: As anti-occupation demonstrations erupted all over Iraq, the town of Fallujah, a flash-point for resistance was besieged by three battalions of American troops. The death toll in the town so far is being reported as 500 dead and 1200-1700 wounded. There were unconfirmed reports of B-52 bomber strikes and U.S. Apache helicopters attacking civilians as they try to flee the city. Eyewitness reports from Iraq contradicted American generals who claim that they are currently observing a ceasefire.
I just spoke to friends in Baghdad - Paola Gaspiroli, Italian, from Occupation Watch and Bridges to Baghdad, journalist Leigh Gordon, England, (NUJ, Tribune, Mail on Sunday) and a Palestinian friend with family in Falluja and friends in the Iraqi Islamic Party. Both he and Leigh have been ferrying out the injured from Falluja to Baghdad for the past three days. Ambulances have been barred from entry into the blood-drenched city. Here is their news, which they told me over the telephone on Friday the 9th of April.
Eyewitness Reports: Paola | Friend | Leigh Gordon
Audio Reports: Ewa Jasiewicz, Glasgow [1, 2, 3] | Paola Gaspiroli, Iraq
Other Reports: What You Can Do | View from Baghdad | Baghdad Burning | Palestine and Iraq | Mission Accomplished? | Jo Wilding on Hostages | From Liberation to Jihad | Background Info on Fallujah
Meanwhile, on Sunday 11 an emergency demonstration took place outside Downing St in London. Around 80 people gathered in a picket to show their repulse to the latest military attacks against civilians in Iraq. Photos: 1 + 2.
The two Manchester protesters who covered a British Petroleum stand in fake blood during the 2002 CBI conference in Manchester's G-MEX appeared at the crown court last week charged with criminal damage. Their action addressed BP's greenwash as the company sought profit from catastrophe in the impending Iraq war and the Baku-Tblisi-Ceyhan pipelines project. The jury found them not guilty of 4 counts of damaging clothing but could not reach a unanimous verdict on the damage to the stand. Eventually the pair were found guilty of the charge.
The G-MEX incident proved humiliating for security organisers, coming two days after protesters successfully stormed the building. CBI chief Digby Jones told the press that he would ensure the pair received maximum punishment. The conference had been besieged by protests over corporate globalisation, equal pay for women, fire service pay and the Iraq war.
Action coverage Film: 'Caterkiller Shutdown' | Photos | Audio Interview | articles 1 | 2
Background and history Caterpillar | Rachel Corrie
External links Caterkiller | Stop Caterpillar
Other related posts 'The dialogue of bombs & the underreported nonviolent resistance'
ISM Action Alert: Activist Arrested By Army
Why Seeking Justice for the Palestinians Is the Jewish Cause
Palestinian Olive Oil Project in the UK
Physicians for Human Rights: Another day in the Occupied Territories
Price of an orange
"My picture was taken with President Aristide when he visited and it was put in the front of the school office. The men came with guns and took the picture. They said they will kill me." Haitian domestic servant
"During the night of the 28th of February 2004, there was a coup d'etat. One could say that it was a geo-political kidnapping. I can clearly say that it was terrorism disguised as diplomacy." Ousted Haitian President Aristide
As the dust settles in the aftermath of the ousting of Haitian president Aristide, it appears that far from being the product of a popular uprising the change of government is another instance of US sponsored 'regime change'. Speaking in exile from the Central African Republic Aristide has claims he was kidnapped in the course of a coup d'etat, a claim supported by eyewitness reports that Aristide was forced out of Haiti at gunpoint by American soldiers. In a telephone conversation with Congressmember Maxine Waters, Aristide also claims he was threatened by US diplomats.
Indymedia has as yet few reports of events on the ground, but one disturbing report has echoes of previous brutal episodes in Haiti's recent history. One of Haiti's 400,000 restaveks (unpaid domestic servants) is reported in hiding in Northern Haiti after death squads targeted her. They looted her school where they found a photograph of her giving flowers to President Arstide. The girl is 12 years old.
In Kingston, Jamaica in early March, the 15-nation Caribbean Community, CARICOM, called for a United Nations investigation into the circumstances of Aristide's departure from office and from Haiti. They were joined shortly after by South Africa. Whilst Democracy Now! reports that the Consul General of the Haitian government in New York insists on recognising the Aristide government as legitimate.
"The inability of U.S. strategy to break the base of their movement has led many in Lavalas to begin to openly speculate that the ongoing attacks in the Central Plateau represent the second phase of the plan. If they are correct this second phase is likely to result in an escalation of armed incursions against Haiti with the intention of overthrowing the constitutional government." Kevin Pina on Otto Reich in Haiti
A protest has been announced by a Glasgow based Refugee Solidarity Campaign for Thursday 18 March 11.30 a.m. in Edinburgh.
Three Iranian Kurdish refugees, who have been refused asylum in Glasgow, Britain, are on hunger strike. The Three men, Faroq Haidari, Farnborz Gravindi and Mokhtar Haydary, have now been on hunger strike for about 3 weeks. They have apparently now stopped taking fluids, and are in a really bad way. Friday, the 5th of March, two of the men blacked out and were admitted to hospital.
The men are faced with a harsh choice, as once refused asylum they have no right to work, housing or benefits of any kind. They must choose whether to return to Iran and face arrest, imprisonment, torture - perhaps death, or stay and starve on the streets of Scotland.
Around 200 people attended a hastily organised solidarity demonstration the evening of Tuesday, March the 2nd, outside the city chambers (council offices). In a statement read out to protestors, the men say they would rather die than return. Supporters say they are close to death. Faroq Haidari, Farnboz Gravindi and Mokhtar Haidari are getting weaker by the hour. More information: [1,2]
Coinciding with this women around the world in sixty countries including America, Argentina, Uganda, Peru, Philadelphia, San Francisco, in Guyana, in southern India, in Trinidad and Tobago, in Spain, staged the 5th Global Women's Strike - a movement co-ordinated from london - with the slogan 'Invest in Caring not Killing' (see strike demands).
In london several events took place, from street theatre highlighting the anti-immigration policies of fortress europe to the serving of a Supboena on Prime Minister Tony Blair and his master George W Bush, charging them with Crimes At Home & Abroad. A trial was held in trafalger square supported by the Iraqi Women’s League and the All African Women’s Group. Due to their failure to attend both blair and bush were found guilty in the absence - resulting in an immediate loss of office, imprisonment and having to pay compensation for all those everywhere who have been hurt by their actions! (see pictures).
In solidarity with imprisoned women every where, protestors also gathered outside of Holloway Women’s prison with pots and pans making a noise protest and bearing a banner which read "The rich get Richer the poor get imprisoned" [audio]. Some protestors also tried to block the advance of Securicor Prison vans carrying the women to captivity.
The Transport and General Workers' Union also launched a petition for the UK Government to declare International Women's Day a paid National Bank Holiday for all UK workers, as it is in a number of other countries. The petition will be distributed to trade unionists up and down the country and presented to Downing Street on 8th March 2005. British workers have just eight days a year in bank holidays, the lowest number of any country in the EU - a representitive said:
"Women now make up more than half the UK workforce, yet continue to be discriminated against by pay, sexual harassment, working time and lack of senior representation. We need to assert women's political and social rights and what better way to do this than have an annual day to celebrate women's contributions?"
Germany | Auckland | Melbourne, 2, 3 | Tokyo, Japan | Santa Cruz Feature | Argentina Feature, (2) | Los Angeles Feature | Russia, (2) | Rome, 2 | Philippines
See Indymedia Coverage from previous International Women's Days: 2002, 2003
Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan Statement
Vancouver interview with Claire Robillard
CodePink Action in Washington USA | CodePink UK Call for March 20th Anti-War Protest
On March 1st, 1984, Margaret Thatcher’s Conservative Party announced the closure of Cortonwood colliery in Yorkshire - signaling her government’s determination to ram through a massive programme of pit closures and destroy the power of the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM). Miners had no choice but to fight, or see their lives and communities devastated. The longest major industrial battle in British history had begun - a battle that still defines the political landscape of today.
20,000 People injured or hospitalised
200 People served time in prison or custody
2 People killed on the picket line
3 Died digging for coal during the winter
966 People were sacked for striking
The full force of the state was used against the striking miners. 20,000 police were coordinated by Scotland Yard and they used massive computer-backed data gathering for intelligence. Tactics such as road-blocks, political questioning, curfews, beatings, illegal fingerprinting and photographing, snatch squads, phone taps, infiltration and agent provocateurs were widespread. Alongside this was the mobilisation of the media and the law. In the press, Thatcher compared the pickets to IRA bombers.
The strike involved enormous hardship, with many receiving no strike pay or benefits. Yet despite all the state could throw at them, for a year the miners and their communities stood firm in a magnificent display of solidarity. But it wasn’t just the miners themselves - the women played a central role. They transformed the strike, and it transformed them. At a meeting at the Easington Miners Welfare, Mick McGahey, Vice President of the NUM, referred to the "housewives in the County who understand the problems." One woman replied, "We no longer regard ourselves as 'housewives'. We are soldiers in the struggle."
Update Fri 5th March: A new Social Centre has been squatted in 156 Fortess Rd in Kentish Town! Read report and list of events.
Update Thurs 26: People in and around the building are still determined to resist the eviction. [Report | Short video of picket]. Meanwhile, events at the Occupied Social Centre will continue as normal in resistance to the threat of eviction.
Update Wed 25th: The Occupied Social Centre still needs people urgently, as it is thought the police will be round sometime between now and the weekend. Supporters of the Centre state: "we intend to continue our resistance to the eviction".
On the 6th of January this year, after 6 months of neglect, 93 Fortess Road was occupied. The aim of the people involved was to set up a social centre, a free space for people in the local community to use as a resource and to create a place where people can come together and get creative. A place which is free, fun and accessible to everyone.
On Wednesday January 21st, the Social Centre was taken to court by the building’s owners - Mark Oliver Homes - property developers, who plan to demolish the building and turn it into commercial space and luxury flats. Following the court hearing, an eviction date was set for Tuesday 24th February. Early in the morning police and bailiffs arrived to Fortess Rd, but around 70 supporters of the Social Centre gathered o defend the space. With people occupying the rooftop, new defences having been constructed overnight (both inside and outside), supporters out on the streets and people inside ready to lock-on, it seems the eviction has been stalled, at least temporarily. It is not certain what will happen in the next few days, but what it seems clear now is that any eviction would require specialist bailiffs to remove people from the roof, cut others out of lock-ons and deal with the extensive barricade defences inside.
[Photos 24/02 | Fortess Rd Background | UK Social Centres | WOMBLES]