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UK Repression Feature Archive

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A Flight to Hell

15-04-2005 18:21

"Since the letter of warrant is hanging on your head you may be killed by this special squad RAB without observing the due process of law."

Zahangir Alam, a father and husband who has lived in Salford for nearly three years with his wife Naima and his sons, Jubaer (10) and his baby Jamiul (18 months), has been deported by immigration authorities from Manchester airport. Alam has been deported in spite of the fact that he has been recently told that his life is under severe threat should he return to his home country.

Alam was a politician in Bangladesh when he had to flee for his life because of his membership of the Freedom Party. The Alam family, who authorities have already attempted to deport, have consistently had poor representation during their asylum process. Their former solicitor has reportedly admitted he didn’t know what he was doing and documents have been mistranslated and lost. Alam's wife and young family remain under threat of deportation.

Full story and background

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Police, Lies, and Video Tape

14-04-2005 11:18

Cop attacks media filming protest
While dozens of police are on trial for abuses in Genoa in 2001 (including the violent raid on the Indymedia Centre which left British independent journalist Mark Covell critically injured), trials have been taking place in New York in relation to over 1,800 people arrested during the Republican National last year. This week (more than four months after NYC IMC first broke the story of perjury by a NYPD Officer, a front page story in the New York Times [which can be read here] reveals the role played by independent video evidence in the dismissal of the false charges brought by police.

Over 90% of the people arrested have since be found to have commited no crime. Police video 'evidence' presented in court by the prosecution was proved to have been doctored in at least one case. You can read the transcripts of the Democracy Now! interviews about this story that aired last week or check out the whole show as audio or video.

While the availability of cheap video technology has led to an increase in the amount of video being presented as powerful evidence in court. Police in this country are clearly targetting 'unsympathetic journalists' in an attempt to both stifle any publicity given to protests and avoid public scrutiny of their own actions. In a recent example, a freelance journalist was arrested just minutes after filming an arrest that occured during a protest outside a meeting of G8 environment ministers taking place in London. It was reported afterwards that the police kept the footage and the camera but typically, the charges have since been dropped.

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G8: Genoa: Police on Trial for Brutal Diaz Raid

06-04-2005 20:18

The trial in Genoa Italy of almost 30 police officers accused of various offences following the brutal raid on the Genoa Social Forum and Indymedia buildings during the Genoa 2001 G8 Protests began on Wednesday 6th April.

In the raid on the Diaz school over 90 people were arrested. At least 62 people suffered injuries after police savagely beat people, some still in their sleeping bags - 31 people were taken to hospital, three of them in a critical state. Some are still receiving medical treatment.

Almost four years after the raid various high ranking police officers stand accused of fabricating evidence (eg planting molotov cocktails) and trying to cover up the responsibility for the attack. Many of the police who took part in the raid are still not identified since they wore masks and no identification numbers.

The trial is expected to resume later towards the end of the summer.Meanwhile the trial of officres accussed of torture at Bolzaneto detneion centre, were those arrested were taken, continues.

With the latest G8 Summit due in July this year in Scotland, civil liberties groups will be watching the behaviour of the authorities very closely indeed.

Reports: Diaz Victims Group Statement
Amnesty International Statement Re Genoa Police Trials
Genoa G8 Trials: Laptop Seizure And Punishment | (2)
Inhuman And Degrading Treatment" Of Bolzaneto G8 Detainees

Links: Genoa Supporto Legale (en) | Italy Indymedia Genoa Pages | Genoa Justice Campaign | The Committee for Truth and Justice for Genoa

Indymedia 2001 Coverage:
Indymedia Genoa Newsblast - IMC Compilation Reports: one | two
IMC UK Genoa 2001 Timeline | Genoa Features

See also: PGA reports page | PGA pictures page | Collected Reports (various sources) | Horrific Raid at GSF / IMC Account

Mainstream Press: Guardian: Now, the reckoning | Guardian (AP): G8 Protesters Were Abused

See also: UK G8: Cases dropped against G8 arrestees

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Harassment Law Used Against Anti-War Campaigners

01-04-2005 19:07

On 25th March, Smash Edo, Bombs out of Brighton and 14 individuals were issued with intended injunctions under the 1997 Harassment Act, to be heard in the High Court on April 14th.

The law was first introduced to protect people from stalkers but was then used against anti-vivisection groups.. This is the first time it has been used against an anti-war or anti-arms trade group.

“SmashEdo” aims to shut down EDO MBM using awareness-raising and Non-Violent Direct Action tactics.”

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Mayday 2001 Mass Detention Compensation Claim Fails

24-03-2005 11:03

Nearly four years after police trapped thousands of protestors in Oxford Circus for 7 hours without access to toilets, food or water during the Mayday 2001 protests, the High Court has has rejected compensation claims that people's "right to liberty" under the European Convention on Human Rights had been breached.

The compensation claims were brough by Lois Austin and Geoffrey Saxby who were caught by the police action in surrounding thousands of protestors - their lawyer argued that detaining people for a short while might be justified in certain circumstances, but that holding people for over seven hours was illegal imprisonment.

After a two week court case, on Wednesday 23rd March, Mr Justice Tugendhat said the Metropolitan Police were "duty bound" to impose an absolute cordon to prevent violence and the risk of injury to persons and property. He said the case was about the right to liberty and public order "and not about freedom of speech or freedom of assembly", adding that if water and toilets had been provided, "they would have been used as weapons against the police by a minority of the crowd".

There are around 150 other claims by people held by the police operation which were depending on the test case outcome. The two are now set to take the case to appeal.

Civil Liberties organisations fear the judgement will encourage the police to use similar methods in the future, specifically at the G8 Summit in Scotland this July. Shami Chakrabarti, director of Liberty, said: "Today's judgment should alarm anyone who believes in the right to protest or that people should not be detained en masse like cattle."

See: High Court Outcome Report | Trial Report | Report and Mayday 2001 Pictures | Red Pepper Interview with Case Witness

For original 2001 coverage of the Mayday Protests see:
Indymedia Reports | Indymedia Timeline | Schnews | Undercurrents | Urban 75

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A 'Point of Disappearance'

23-03-2005 16:16

No Laager

Following the screening of the BBC programme ‘Asylum Undercover’ which exposed the abuse of immigration detainees, around 50 demonstrators including refugees from many different countries, gathered at Dallas Court Reporting Centre in Salford to demand justice for asylum seekers and an end to arbitrary detention and deportation.

The Home Offices answer to the abuse seen on the BBC programme is to call yet another public inquiry concerning GSL (Group 4) which has taken over the contract from Wackenhut. This is the third enquiry into this company. The last inquiry into allegations of abuse at Yarls Wood concluded that most of the incidents exposed by an undercover journalist did happen, and yet GSL retained all its contracts to run Removal Centres. A contract to build and manage an accommodation centre for refugees was awarded to them only thirty days after the publication of the results of the inquiry.

Dallas Court is effectively a ‘point of disappearance’ for some, into detention and eventual deportation to potentially unsafe countries. Each time an refugee reports to Dallas Court, they fear being snatched, detained and deported.

Full report | Press Release for Dallas Court Demo | Anti-Detention Center Filmscreening and Talk

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G8 Clampdown in Derby

20-03-2005 22:29

The biggest police operation [ 1 | 2 ] since the 1984-85 miners' strike was mounted in Derby to protect a G8 Environment Ministers Meeting between 15 and 19 March 2005. This involved orders under Section 13 of the Public Order Act to ban the holding of "public processions through the City of Derby" (funerals were exempted) for five days and then under Section 14 a protest was allowed on the 17 March which involved a "designated protest site of Derby Market Place", a time limit and a maximum number of 3,000 protestors.

Events on M17 started with a Critical Mass bicycle protest in the morning with around 40 people taking part, police arrested twelve cyclists, who were released on bail that night, however their bicycles have been kept "as evidence".

Around 100 protestors then gathered in the only place they were alowed to — the Market Place — and spent the afternoon hanging around, listening to some samba, eating snacks from Veggies and watching Bush and Blair get pied. The point of the protest was explained by a representative of Friends of the Earth, "We're trying to take this opportunity with the G8 Environment and Development Ministers meeting just outside Derby to send a direct message to those ministers, particularly about the rhetoric that's being used in terms of climate change, and actually trying to encourage them to take action rather than just talk about the issue — and also to stop pumping our tax-payers' money into new oil developments and actually look at real solutions to climate change."

The G8 Justice and Home Affairs ministers are due in Sheffield between 15 to 17 June 2005 and Sheffield Dissent has a g8-sheffield email list to discuss what protests might be organised — now we have an idea of what to expect...

Photos: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8

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Guatemala fights with riots and strikes against the Free Trade Agreement

16-03-2005 20:12

For about one week the economy of Guatemla has practically been shut down by strikes. And there is no end in sight. Primarily the protests are against the ratification of the central american free trade agreement CAFTA with the USA. But many people in Guatemala want to also bring down the neo-conservative government.

More information:
[ Guatemala section on Chiapas Indymedia | report | FTAA protests Imc | Indymedia San Fransisco Bay | pictures | original article on Indy Germany | coverage by Christian Aid | BBC world ]

Background information:

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Corp Media Watch :: Sun Starts Hate Campaign Against Travellers

14-03-2005 14:22

Paines Lane evicted site

The Sun started a campaign on Wednesday the 9th of March to "stop (the) Gypsy invasion". One front page was followed by another, which claimed mass popular support for their racist ramblings. By the second day the Daily Mail had caught up on this incursion onto their own home ground and come out with their own headline.

Previous coverage: [1] [2 | 3| 4 | 5 | 6] Recently activists from Cambridge have been involved in supporting the traveller commnity in Cottenham, where settlements are threatened by eviction. See reports [1 | 2] One site, Paynes lane has already been evicted. See photos [1]

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Zanon Under Attack

14-03-2005 12:44

Enough with the attacks on Zanon!
The workers of the self-managed Zanon ceramics factory are once again under attack by the government and business interests trying to evict them in the southern province of Neuquen, Argentina. Since 2001, the employees have successfully managed the factory, setting an example for the working-class worldwide that workers can produce and manage even better without a boss or owner. Over the past four years, workers have battled against eviction threats and intimidation, but in the past few weeks the government and security forces representing the factory’s old ownership have used tactics of torture and kidnapping – reminiscent of Argentina’s military dictatorship (1976-1983) in which 30,000 people, mostly activists, were disappeared in the dirty war.

On Friday, March 4 a group of four individuals (three men and a woman) kidnapped the wife of an employee at Zanon. They forced her into a green Ford Falcon, a model of car security operatives used to kidnap activists during the dictatorship, sending a chilling reminder of the dirty war. They tortured her and cut her face, hands, arms and breasts. They gave details of how they carefully followed her and have detailed information about her movements. In response, this woman, who had never participated in a protest, led the march on International Women's Day in Neuqen.

Links: [1 | 2 | 3 | 4]

More information: Argentina Indymedia | Zanon website

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CIPO-RFM to Speak in the UK

17-02-2005 21:59

Activists from Mexican indigenous direct action group CIPO-RFM will be visiting the UK for the first time on a 5 date speaking tour to promote their struggle against globalisation in Oaxaca.

Admission to all the dates are free and two short films made by activists will also be shown. They hope to raise awareness about the recent increase in state repression being suffered by Mexican activists. There will also be a benefit gig on feb 18th in London.

More information

Full article

CIPO-RFM to speak in Cambridge.

17-02-2005 21:02

Activists from Mexican indigenous direct action group CIPO-RFM will be visiting the UK for the first time on a 5 date speaking tour (including Cambridge: Wednesday 23rd February, 8pm Films, Bharat Bhavan -- old Mill Road Library) to promote their struggle against globalisation in Oaxaca. Admission to all the dates are free and two short films made by activists will also be shown. They hope to raise awareness about the recent increase in state repression being suffered by Mexican activists. There will also be a benefit gig on feb 18th.

[More information...]

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Violent Eviction In Goiania, Brazil

17-02-2005 20:46

A large military police operation took place on the morning of February 16 to evict the land occupation of Sonho Real(Real Dream) in the city of Goiânia, Brazil. Two people got killed, over 800 people got arrested and several people are wounded, five of which severely. Among the arrested there are two Indymedia volunteers, one from Goiânia and one from Indymedia New York.

For more information and updates see: Indymedia Brazil and Indymedia Global

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Bring Peace Talks to Seida Please

06-02-2005 12:09

Twenty Israeli military vehicles and two bulldozers have been occupying the village of Sieda in the northern Tulkarem district since early this morning placing the village under curfew and conducting house to house searches.

Electricity and the water supply in the village have been cut off. The Israeli military has closed all entrances to the village and are occupying the boys' school. Two family homes, belonging to Mohammed Zaki Raddad and Hussein Raddad are also occupied. Villagers fear that the bulldozers are there to demolish the homes of families of men wanted by the Israeli army. Volunteers from Canada, England and Denmark, who work with the International Solidarity Movement, are present in the homes where the Israeli soldiers are occupying the roof and ground floor of the homes, trapping the family inside on one floor. Israeli soldiers have invaded the village every night since the Eid, searching homes and harassing villagers. The soldiers have told the villagers they intend to remain in the village for at least three days.

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More strangeness from the Occupation in Palestine

05-02-2005 16:21

Reports of humanitarian work in the west bank between the 7th & 18th of Jan 2005

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Martial Law Declared in Nepal

04-02-2005 12:33

Photo: Nepalese Soldiers in Kathmandu Feb 2

Nepal: All communication links were cut after the King Gyanendra's announcement of suspending parliament and fundamental rights, on Tuesday, 1st of february.
Airlinks have been closed, roads blocked, other transport links delayed. Armed security forces in riot gear are deployed. Leaders of major political parties, trade unions and student organisations are under house arrest or detained. Army is stationed in the editorial offices of all national dailies in order to censor. Outside of Kathmandu, the Maoist strike is apparently observed.

A student demonstration at Prithvi Narayan Campus in Pokhara was fired on by a military helicopter gunship leaving several protestors badly injured if not dead; all FM radio broadcasts outside of Kathmandu are blocked and those broadcasting in Kathmandu play only entertainment-oriented programmes; the BBC FM station recently established in Kathmandu is forbidden from broadcasting the news in Nepali; news stands outside of the Valley have been closed; and a 72-hour blockade on long-distance public bus travel in and out of Kathmandu is in place.

[ full report] [ Zmag Coverage 1 | 2 ]

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Eviction of the Silver Squat

01-02-2005 23:16

silver squat artwork

The Silver Squat, which was located in an old silversmiths building near Sheffield train station, was finally evicted on Monday 24th January. The court case for the eviction took place the previous week. To mark the ending of the squat, a farewell gig was hosted there the night before. By One O'clock on the Monday the gates were open and the baliffs were in. It is not clear what the land will be used for, but there is a high probability that it will be redeveloped in to more 'lifestyle' flats.

Silver Squat Eviction Imminent | Photos from the Silver Squat

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Resistance to ID Cards takes to the Streets

01-02-2005 18:18


“The only way we’ll be able to stop this vile scheme is if ordinary people have the courage to stand up to the government." Manchester defy-ID representative

"We will be unable to access even basic services.., to drive ...[or] travel abroad unless we consent to this monitoring of our day-to-day lives.” Manchester resident

Saturday (29th January) was a day called for action against the government's proposal to introduce identity cards and a National Identity Register in the UK. In Manchester residents opposed to the scheme visited the offices of PA Consulting Group and Siemens Business Services, two of a number of companies that stand to make considerable profits from the proposed scheme.

Meanwhile, out on the streets of Manchester to pass on information on the proposed measure and its implications were the The Ministry of Truth (honest gov). Street protests also took place in Liverpool , organised by a local defy-ID group.

'ID cards will not be used to build up a profile on innocent people', according to former Home secretary David Blunkett, yet scrutiny of the Bill reveals that a wide-ranging amount of data on people will be stored via the National Identity Register. The card will also be buttressed by a vast array of new state powers and criminal penalties including, for example, 'refusal to obey an order to register' which could be greeted with a fine of £2500.

Manchester - Protest Against ID Cards | The Ministry of Truth | ID Cards - Who Profits? | Identity Cards Bill - a brief guide | Liverpool Defy-ID Group Take Action | Defy-ID

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Liverpool Defy-ID Group Take Part In National Day Of Action!

29-01-2005 00:00

PC Tony Blair showing his ID card in Liverpool today!
Today, Friday 28th of February was the National Day of Action against government plans for a compulsory ID card and ID database. Our group was only set up in early January and quickly and successfully organised a worthwhile protest here in Liverpool.

Full article | 5 comments

Demonstrations and actions against the WEF in Switzerland

19-01-2005 22:04

poster inspiring to anti WEF protests in 2005

Last Saturday 15th of january 2005, the first demonstration against the World Economic Forum in Davos has taken place in Winterthur, Switzerland. About 400 people demonstrated without any conflict arising. Another 400 demonstrators voiced their resistance in Chur and Adelsberg to the forthcoming WEF proceeding from 26-30th of January. In Aarau a creative action happened, whilst in Thun a political flashmob confused passers-by, leading to a spontaneous protest. In Heiden, an attack against the UBS, a giant bank consortium, occured. In Zurich, an anti-repression group burnt down a training camp for anti-terrorist units in protest against the WEF security preperations. In Bern, the "Tour de Lorraine", educates with films, theatre and gigs.

On Saturday 22 January a day if Descentralised Creative Actions was called agiainst the WEF summit. Around 1.500 people (Italian report) took part in a series of civil disobedience actions [Timeline in Italian].
Berna: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17
Davos: 1 | 2 | 3
Burgdorf: 1
At the same time, there was a solidarity action in Oxfrod.

More protests are planned during the week in Berna, Davos, Lugano and Basilea. For more up to date information see:
[AntiWEF 2005 | IMC Switzerland - links to languages ]

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