Strikes, campaigns, Labour Movement and Trade Union issues.
The Reclaim the Fields International Action Camp, attended by 100-150 people, ran from 28th August to the 2nd September 2015 and was hosted by a local anti-fracking site. Workshops explored the links between land struggles, prison abolition and other issues including gender, animal liberation and freedom of movement.
People held evening noise demos at three prisons in the region in solidarity with those inside, leafletted the local town, and picketed several companies involved in the mega-prison. Finally a blockade of the construction site held up lorries for over 4 hours without any arrests.
As anyone with experience of them knows, prisons are abusive places used to control and threaten people, particularly those of us who are working class, people of colour, or disobedient. We need justice processes based on strong, vibrant communities, not more prisons and cops harming our communities.
The new prison would be the biggest in the UK, and the second biggest in Europe. It aims to open in 2017 and would give the State enough cages to lock up an extra 2100 people.
Meanwhile, Robert King of the Angola 3 will give a talk on struggle and revolution in the US prison system, on Wed 16 Sep in Dundee.
26 May - 1 June, Newport.
Organised by Anarchist Action Network, Stop NATO Cymru and South Wales Anarchists, the festival runs all week at 95-96 Commercial Street, Newport NP20 1LU. Sharing ideas and skills, celebrating resistance & organising to win. All welcome. Workshops and skill shares all week, free cafe all day and free meal every evening.
The NATO Summit comes to Newport at the beginning of September. Come along this week and prepare for the Stop NATO week of action 30 August - 5 September and take part in some of the many talks, sessions and workshops. Something for everyone! All welcome (except cops and mainstream journalists, who will be asked to stay outside). The venue is an alcohol & drug free space.
If you can only manage one day and want to get clued up on NATO and what's planned for August & September, come along on Sunday:
Sunday 1 June. 4pm: Talk - Resisting the NATO Summit. 6.30pm: Meeting to build resistance against the NATO Summit.
On the newswire: Protest & Street Theatre | Banner drops | Photos from Newport Rising | Anarchists Shut Cardiff Barclays | Anarchist Travelling Circus Presents Newport Rising | Protest the NATO Summit | Antimilitarists Block NATO Conference | NATO Uncut Call-out | Stop NATO Cymru Statement
***STOP PRESS 13th March: The Metropolitan Police has withdrawn its application to strike out women's case as the legal battle continues. Solidarity picket on Tuesday 18th March will go ahead as planned.***
Five of the eight women taking legal action against the Metropolitan Police, due to undercover police officers deceiving them into long term intimate relationships, will be opposing Scotland Yard's attempt to have their cases struck out on Tuesday 18th March. The women and their Police Spies Out of Lives support group have called for a solidarity picket outside the Royal Court of Justice, The Strand, at 9am on Tuesday 18th, as part of a week of action (17th - 21st March).
On the Newswire: Outrage as High Court permits secrecy over undercover policing | Abuse of women by undercover police must stop now! | Three undercover political Police unmasked | Undercover and over-the-top: The collapse of the Ratcliffe trial | Mark 'Stone/Kennedy' exposed as undercover police officer
Section 144 of LASPO may prove unenforceable in practice
Resistance to s.144 of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act (LASPO) 2012 that outlaws squatting in residential buildings is growing. Ultimately, the law may prove unworkable and unenforceable. There have been a number of successful prosecutions under the new law, including the widely publicised conviction and imprisonment of 21 year old Alex Haigh who came to London looking for work and stayed in an unoccupied housing association flat. He pleaded guilty, but it has since become clear that where a not guilty plea is entered by defendant, it may be difficult if not impossible for the prosecution to prove the charge. After some notable acquittals, we have a better idea about the obstacles facing hapless prosecutors and some of the ways in which well-informed residential squatters might go about successfully defending themselves in court. Read on.
On the newswire: Brighton acquittals 1 | Brighton acquittals 2 | Moelfre acquittal | Squatting as protest in Southwark | Mike Weatherley is a coward case | Alex Haigh conviction | Henry: Bristol's first victim of squatting criminalisation
Other links: Squatters Legal Network | Advisory Service for Squatters | Rooftop Resistance | SQUASH
On Saturday 2nd November 2013 a fundraising benefit gig for the family of imprisoned whistleblower Chelsea Manning, organised by WISE Up Action, at The Casa in Liverpool, a pub set up by sacked Liverpool Dockers, suffered multiple violent attacks.
The day before the physical and verbal attacks on the anti-war activist organisers and The Casa staff, a statement on Adam Ford's blog, "from a group of activists who will be supporting Chelsea Manning but opposing Ciaron O'Reilly at an event in Liverpool tomorrow" claimed that "Ciaron O'Reilly - a main organiser of tonight's event - does not support Chelsea Manning in the same way that we do" and said that they "intend to protest against that". Ten days before the attack an article opposing the event, published on the blog of a member of the Liverpool Solidarity Federation and reproduced the next day on Libcom, claimed that Ciaron O’Reilly was a "vile misogynist and transphobic shitbag" and that "O’Reilly’s fundraiser in Liverpool will be challenged on the basis of his behaviour towards women and on the basis of his support for Julian Assange." Ciaron O’Reilly refutes the allegations against him, in response to the accusation that he made some sexist remarks he has said "I am not sure I have" and in response to the charge that that he refers to Chelsea Manning using her previous name of Bradley, he has made it clear that he does "not refuse to use the name Chelsea".
On 19th October 2013, outside the Anarchist bookfair in London Ciaron O’Reilly was physically and verbally assaulted because of his ongoing support and solidarity work for Julian Assange of WikiLeaks who has been sheltering from persecution in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London for over a year.
Links: Catholic among the Pigeons | Solidarity gigs/events for US prisoner of conscience Private Manning | Drunk Attack on Chelsea Manning's Family Fundraiser in Liverpool | Weekend of Solidarity with Chelsea Manning's Family - the good news! | Photos and audio from Chelsea Manning's Family Fundraiser in Liverpool
StopG8 have organised a week of action in London from 8th to 15th June, ahead of the UK G8 summit. Tuesday June 11th will be the big day, The #J11 Carnival Against Capitalism mass action will start at 12 noon on Tuesday June 11th, the meet-up points will be:
- North: Oxford Circus.
- South: Piccadilly Circus.
The action will finish with a ‘street party’ at 5:30pm, the location will be announced on the day.
Anti-capitalists have been gearing up for the protests against the G8 Summit with Mayday actions across the country. The focus was on Primark and other businesses profiting from the global slave labour system which led to the death of 700 people in Bangladesh. There were angry protests in central London, Hackney, Lewisham, Birmingham, Brighton and Bristol, with the clear message going out that the disaster was not an accident but the inevitable consequence of the callous capitalist system. Stop G8 is holding another organising meeting in London on May 25 and May 26, before the big week of action in the capital from June 10 to June 14, featuring the #J11 Carnival Against Capitalism.On the Newswire: Mayday protest in central London | Mayday protest in Glasgow | Mayday protests in Birmingham, Hackney and Lewisham | Mayday protest in Bristol | Mayday protest in Brighton | Squatted social centre in Lewes | Guillotine in Worthing | Oxford Stop G8 meeting | Call-out for J11 | Call-out for week of action
On the morning of Tuesday 26th February at 7:30am a group of Save Birmingham activists blockaded the entrance to the Council House underground car park. Later that day the annual budget meeting would take place where over £100m worth of cuts would be voted through. Save Birmingham, who had previously occupied the balcony of the Council House in the lead up to the budget meeting, along with other anti-cuts groups had called for a public blockade of the Council House at 11:00am to prevent the councillors from entering the building and voting through the cuts. When 11:00 arrived the car park blockaders were joined by hundreds of people from around Birmingham angry at the way the cuts are being undemocratically forced onto the city by the council. Soon all major entrances to the Council House had been blockaded just in time for the councillors to start arriving. Police tried to break up and force councillors through but eventually resorted to sneaking councillors into the Council House via secret doors in the Art Museum which is connected to the Council House. When the meeting finally got under-way activists twice managed to gain entry to the building to disrupt the meeting.
On the Newswire: Video of Blockaded: Birmingham Council House cuts meeting | Council House Blockaded | Photos from Birmingham Council House blockade | More photos of Council House Blockade | Council Have Voted Through £102m Cuts – Blockade & Demonstration Is Not The End | It’s Time To Shut The City Down – Day Of Action Against Council Cuts | Save Birmingham - Blockade the Council House
Previous features: Anti-Cuts protesters occupy Birmingham Council House
Links: Save Birmingham
At 1:30pm on Monday 4th February a group of 20 protesters from the Save Birmingham campaign walked into the Council House and occupied the balcony overlooking Victoria Square. The group had previously sent two letters to every councillor in Birmingham the last letter with over 200 signatures but with no response from the council. The Save Birmingham campaign has been steadily growing over the past few months, from rooms packed full of people opposed to the proposed cuts at several of the councils own consultations to a meeting of 175 people called by Communities Against the Cuts to organise a grass roots movement to fight back against the cuts. This led to the day of action on the 4th, the day the Labour Group who have a majority on the Council had a private meeting to agree on the £625m cuts to Birmingham which will be voted through at the budget meeting on 26th February. The day started with a small silent protest in Victoria Square outside the Council House, which was followed by the occupation of the Council House later in the afternoon. The balcony occupation lasted five hours and ended after more than 200 anti-cuts activists arrived in Victoria Square after marching from the Bullring.
On the Newswire: Save Birmingham March on the Council House - Don't let them vote through the cuts | Birmingham Council House Occupied | Photos from yesterdays Birmingham Council House Occupation and Demonstration | Birmingham Council House Balcony protest
Links: Save Birmingham
Update! A week of direct action against Bexhill link road.
“We were caught out and a lot of damage has been done – but people have been amazing and now we've have a set of established tree defences and work has stopped for the day at least. We really need support and all the usual wish-list stuff, tools, tarps, ropes etc. So come and give us a Christmas visit” - Combe Haven Defender
Maps of the planned road (scroll down!) - the camp is at Adams Farm
Anti-road protestors in Bexhill were ambushed by an early start to the tree felling on the controversial Bexhill-Hastings link road this week, but they rallied and a week of constant direct action has put a spanner in the works, with no work reported today (Saturday 22nd). Work wasn't expected to begin until early January but as soon as East Sussex County Council acquired the land (by compulsory purchase) the chainsaw gangs were set to work.
From the newswire: Hastings/|Bexhill anti-road camp needs you! | Help Needed Immediately | Anti-road campaigners high in trees at Bexhill and are prepared to stay | Brighton: Emergency meeting | Second Battle of Hastings: Day One... Protestors 10, Road builders 0 | Protestors Take To Trees To Stop Chainsaws