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UK Social Struggles Feature Archive

Full article | 27 comments

Edinburgh's Forest Cafe under threat

07-12-2010 19:18

The landlord of the social centre network member "Forest Cafe", the over a hundred year old charity"Edinburgh University Settlement" (EUS) filed for bankrupcy end of October, with reported debts of over 4m [analysis].
The Bristo Place property is currently for sale and in a planning dispute.
Now the Forest Art and Event Space collective is running a fundraising campaign [ info pdf] to buy the building [ Ryan's report]. The Forest Art and Event Space started in 1999 in a small shop at the Grassmarket primarily as a collective of artists, but quickly became much more. It hosted a street party and the Independent Media Access Centre during the G8 protests in 2005 as well as supported grassroot political film screenings [Dan's account] and events such as the Argentina Autonomista Tour, activities around the "Smash Nato" protests, Painting with the Zapatistas, The Lost Film Festival, Food Not Bombs and much more such as punk gigs, feminist, video activism and climate change weekends.
Main Reason for the bankrupcy of the EUS seems to be the financial advice of David Duff, former Hibs chairman, who nearly brought the football club into administration, too, and who had been jailed for property investment fraud before [ analysis ].

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November in Oxford - it's not all cuts

04-12-2010 20:26

Clearly opposition to the cuts has been at the forefront of many people's thinking during November. This opposition is welcome, and much needed, but let us not forget all the other struggles and positive alternatives that are going on. Here is a round-up of non-cuts news in Oxford during November - peace, migration, zines, water, and food.

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Hide And Seek at student demo: cops keep fit

30-11-2010 23:56

police lining up in Parliament Square for the students anti cuts demonstration

LIVE TIMELINE (for info on what happened when) and check TUMBLEWIRE too

After the Lewisham Council meeting was disrupted the previous night [video 1, 2; article 1, 2] with mainstream reporting 4 arrests, and Top Shop being blockaded, there was a call for the 2nd day of action, or dayX2, against the cuts today. A Kettle Carnival is announced for noon at Trafalgar Square, as well as a Black Triangle action against Disability Cuts at South Bank at 12:30, followed by a march by the Women Against the Cuts starting at the treasury at 5pm.

Reports [1, 2, 3] ; Statements [1, 2, 3, 4]

Bust cards were available online and the legal team could be reached all day at 07946541511.

Full article

Uni of Nottingham occupied in anti-fees protest

30-11-2010 18:30

As part of a second day of action against fees and cuts, students at Nottingham University have occupied The Great Hall in The Trent Building on University Park. Occupiers are encouraging to supporters to visit them. Donations of food, bedding etc are welcome.

A third day of action is planned for Saturday 4th December (note this was originally planned for Sunday, but has been brought forward).

Links: Voices from occupied Nottingham | Uni of Nottingham Occupation: Update | Interview with occupier | Photos from Student Rally and Occupation | Uni of Nottingham Occupation

Previous occupation: Nottingham Gaza solidarity occupation violently evicted | Nottingham university occupied in solidarity with Gaza

National action: Student Resistance Spreads

Full article | 5 additions | 1 comment

Student Resistance Spreads

29-11-2010 14:36

Day X3 is Thursday 9 December, when Members of Parliament will vote on increasing tuition fees to as much as £9,000 per year for students in England. Protest at Parliament. Protest everywhere. For more information, read the whole article.

Edinburgh University Occupation is keeping a list of all occupations regularly updated. For more information about resistance to the cuts, see the anti cuts website.

Full article

Council House & universities occupied: students reject cuts and fees hike

26-11-2010 12:46

On Tuesday 30th November school students and university students took to the streets over cuts which will leave higher education out of reach for working class students. The city Council House chambers were taken over by students staging a sit-down protest and a list of demands put to the City Council.

On Wednesday 24th November students at both Birmingham university and Warwick university showed solidarity with all future generations intending to enter higher education. The universities were occupied to resist the cuts to education and the £12,000 a year fee hikes which would make Britain one of the most expensive countrys in the world to study. These attacks on education are part of a wider neo-liberal experiment, where swathes of public services are planned to be 'marketised', opening up a large sector of the economy to corporate profiteering.

Related Links | Video: Birmingham university protest & occupation | On Facebook: Birmingham Stop Fees & Cuts | Anticuts website | Tuesday National Protests - Day X2

Full article | 6 additions | 16 comments

UK-wide Student Resistance to the Cuts

24-11-2010 10:50

Update: A Second DayX has been called for 30th November. [ 2 | 3 | List of planned DayX2 actions ]

On Wednesday 24 November, tens of thousands of students walked out of their Schools, Colleges and Universities in protest against the cuts and austerity measures, whilst others occupied theirs.

Reports, updates, further action and advice for students in full article. Read on...

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SchNEWS 747: Gorle-Blimey!

11-11-2010 23:22

Over 3,000 anti-nuclear protesters took part in the blockading of a shipment of nuclear waste into north-western Germany this week. After activists and local communities spent four days blocking them at every turn, the toxic containers finally arrived at their Gorleben destination on Tuesday (2nd).

On the Newswire: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4

In SchNEWS: 2008 | 2001 | 1998 | 1996 |

Full article

Demos, a banner drop and a takeover - this month’s Anti-Cuts Campaign

01-11-2010 22:49

education demo (photo Adam Ramsay)

Oxford's anti-cuts campaign, a network of service users, unions and student groups, rapidly mobilised an escalating succession of protests in the last two weeks against the planned demolition of the welfare state by the ConDem government.

About 200 people rallied during a day of action against the cuts in Bonn Square on 20th Oct, coinciding with the release of the Comprehensive Spending Review. There were speeches and several people gave us their reactions to the cuts. That same morning, activists dropped a banner on Carfax Tower.

The Oxford Education Campaign, a group of hundreds of Oxford and Oxford Brookes students mobilising independently of their student unions, organised over 1000 protesters to march on the day of Vince Cable’s (Government Business Secretary) scheduled visit (28th Oct). Vince Cable embarrassingly cancelled his talk, but the march occurred as planned and police cordons were broken several times.

Within 48 hours of the education march, the local Vodafone shop on Cornmarket was taken over by 30 protesters as part of a national action against the company, in which over 21 shops were occupied around the UK, for its widely reported £6bn tax evasion.

Throughout the month, the Oxford Save Our Services campaign spoke to the BBC, ITV, and others about the prospect of losing their services. SOS also leafleted in central and East Oxford and engaged with the community about the cuts.

Next steps

  • The National Union of Students will march in London on 10th Nov. Over 7000 students and supporters from around the country are expected to attend.
  • The Oxfordshire Anti-Cuts Alliance has called a meeting on 16th Nov, "United Against the Cuts" at Oxford Town Hall at 7.30pm.
  • Nick Clegg will be in town on 17th Nov, to speak at the Oxford Union; if he doesn’t cancel then his presence is likely to galvanise thousands of activists in the region.

[ Bonn Sq rally: 1 | 2 | 3 | demotix ] [ banner drop ] [ education demo: 1 | 2 | 3 elsewhere: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 ]
[ vodafone demo: 1 | 2 | elsewhere ] [ Save Our Services | Oxford Education Campaign | UK Uncut ]

Full article | 9 comments

Anti-cuts Actions against Vodafone continue...

01-11-2010 17:46

Latest: 4th December there is a National Day of Action against Tax Avoiders and advice on doing your own action.

Once again this weekend there were Anti-cuts occupations of Vodafone high street stores. In Bristol activists picketed and shutdown the vodafone in protest against corporate tax evasion and government cuts [2]. Student protesters once again activated a shut-down of a Vodafone store in Birmingham city centre in larger numbers, coinciding with People and Planet's annual gathering. In Glasgow activists announced that they were occupying the premises as a protest to the £6bn in tax that the company avoided when public services are being slashed to ribbons. There was another successful action in Clumber Street, Nottingham including a critique of the slogans used. In Cambridge over 20 people occupied the Vodafone shop in the Grand Arcade, three arrests were made, later released without charge. Other actions took place in London, Newcastle and Brighton. Get involved in your area.

On the last weekend in October a series of sit-in actions and blockades managed to close down at least 21 Vodafone stores across the UK. Bringing a new generation of protest out onto the High Streets in full view of the public, gathering much support, people could see that direct action was effective and we would not sit back and take the cuts. See upcoming actions and meetings this week.

Full article | 1 comment

Callout to Defend Huntington Lane!

29-10-2010 20:09

and the 'fort'

There has been a callout on the newswire to defend the Huntington Lane protest camp. The coal protest camp based at the foot of the Wrekin near Telford in Shropshire is resisting attempts by UK Coal to destroy an Area Of Outstanding Natural Beauty. UK Coal plans to extract 900,000 tonnes of poor quality coal, in a huge open cast operation over the next few years. The plans include destroying parts of an ancient woodland and will be responsible for a minimum of 1,500,000 tonnes of CO2 emitted into the atmosphere.

Links: Defend Huntington Lane: Photo report and call-out (Part 1) | Defend Huntington Lane: Photo report and call-out (Part 2) | Defend Huntington Lane | 4 November callout

Previous feature: Don't Wreck The Wrekin

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SchNEWS 745: Serious Organised Crime

28-10-2010 22:49

The six defendants in the second SHAC trial were hammered with vicious sentences this week. The harshest sentence was the six years handed down to 53 year old Sarah Whitehead. Sentences for the other defendants Tom Harris. Nicole Vosper, Jason Mullan, Nicola Tapping and Alfie Fitzpatrick ranged from a two year suspended sentence for the youngest, Alfie, to three and a half years for Nicole Vosper. All the defendants also copped lengthy ASBOs, which will prevent them from any further participation in animal rights activism.

On the Newswire:

In SchNEWS: 581 | 586 | 616 | 630 | 652 | 660 | 663 | 666 | 667 | 688 | 738

Links: | |

Full article | 1 comment

SchNEWS 744: To The Manor Osbourne

21-10-2010 21:36

Thousands have marched, a government department has been broken into, and a Scottish branch of Lloyds TSB has been occupied by pissed-off pensioners...It must be the (OK, somewhat quiet compared to France) start of the anti-cuts revolt!

On the Newswire: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5

Full article | 4 comments

SchNEWS 743: Leicester Is More

14-10-2010 21:05

A thousand EDL supporters rampaged through the streets of Leicester on Saturday (9th), attacking locals, anti-fascists and police.

On the Newswire: 1

Full article | 3 comments

SchNEWS 742: ITT's Hammertime

07-10-2010 18:31

Brighton's Smash EDO campaign are holding a mass demo at EDO/ITT on Wednesday 13th October. Anti arms trade campaigners plan to lay seige to EDO/ITT and shut them down for the day.

Info for the Day:: The meeting place for the demo is Wild Park Cafe (directions here) at 10am on Wednesday, but people are being asked to arrive on the evening of the 12th. Convergence space will be available. There will be a meeting about the demo at 7pm at the Cowley Club on Tuesday 12th. There will be a timeline on Indymedia and a twitter feed: @smash_edo

Local contacts for ITT's Hammertime: Birmingham - hammertime-brum [at] | Bristol - bristolagainstarmstrade [at] | Cambridge - hammertime-cambridge [at] | Cardiff - val.swain [at] | Cornwall - kernowaction [at] | London - hammertimelondon [at] | Manchester - info [at] | Notts - alex.dable [at] | Swansea - d [at]

Previous features:They Think It's All Over ...ITT Is Now | Smash EDO Solidarity in Nottingham | Hammer Time: The EDO Decommissioners go on trial | Indymedia Coverage of Remember Gaza | Anti Militarists take on Barclays | Support the EDO Decommissioners | Mayday! Mayday! | EDO Smashed | Anti-Arms Protesters Shut ITT | Smash EDO Carnival Against the Arm Trade - Timeline | Carnival Against the Arms Trade | Marie Vesco RIP | On the Verge - The Film They Tried to Ban | Singers Arrested Outside Arms Factory | Smash EDO Action Camp: Shut down the Brighton bomb builders | Lebanon War protesters - Not Guilty! | EDO CORP: 2006 Alternative Report | 2007 Is The Year To Shut EDO Down | EDO MBM Injunction crumbles | EDO MBM desperate to stop protests as resistance increases | Smash EDO Take On The Law | Harassment Law Used Against Anti-War Campaigners | Campaign to Smash Edo | Arms company shut down

Links: ITT's Hammertime demo page| Smash EDO |Target Brimar| Decommisioners

Full article | 14 comments

SchNEWS 740: No Borders Camp, Brussels

23-09-2010 21:40

No Borders Camp 2010 in Brussels kicks off this Saturday (25th) til the 3rd October, so get yourself to the continent to make a start on creating a world where no one is illegal. Among the objectives of the camp are the denouncing of European migration policy; showing the links between this policy and the structures of capitalism and repression; the blocking of Brussels' deportation system and the organisation of an autonomous safe space for the voices of migrants and activists to be heard.

On the Newswire: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

In SchNEWS:1

Full article | 12 comments

Confront the Tory Con in Birmingham

20-09-2010 22:27

On Sunday 3rd October the Tory Party Conference begins in Birmingham. The Right to Work Campaign which is supported by a variety of trade union groups has called a national mobilisation against the conference. An autonomous direct action bloc was soon announced by a group known as No CPC who have posted a comprehensive list of venue targets.

Various possibilities to disrupt fringe events have also been announced, Class War have called for people to cheer their team on at the Tory Party Conference 'pub quiz' taking place in the evening of the mobilisation, and CPC have now announced a Reclaim the Streets Party.

On Tuesday 24th August a delegation from the Right To Work campaign met with West Midlands police to discuss the route of the organised protest march outside the Tory party conference on Sunday 3rd October. West Midlands police stated that they were happy for RtW to march past the conference centre and confirmed that centenary square, the square directly in front of the conference centre, would not be a “sterile zone”. Not surprisingly, on 2nd September the police reneged on the proposed route citing 'security reasons'..

Links: No CPC | RtWC | Fliers & Posters | Transport to mobilisation | Twittter updates

Full article | 1 comment

Opposing the cuts in Oxford

17-09-2010 18:16

Stuart Speaking

Opposition to the planned public sector spending cuts is growing across Oxfordshire and beyond.

In early September there was a sit-in protest in Lloyds Bank in central Oxford. Protesters pointed out that the banks are being funded by the public at the expense of our frontline services including heath care, social services, and housing.

A week later, Oxford Save Our Services held a public meeting to start mapping the cuts in Oxfordshire and to start building resistance to them. Around 50 people - including service users and public sector workers whose jobs could be under threat - all spoke about the cuts that were being made. These ranged from closing the GAP homeless project, stopping schools & parks projects, closing care centres, turning off speed cameras, and much more.

There was a passionate speech from Stuart (pictured) who had been to the Oxfordshire County Council 'Big Debate' meeting calling for solidarity amongst all those seeking to oppose the cuts.

Resistance to the cuts is in fairly early stages, but rapidly gathering momentum. Events coming up in the near future include:
23 September 7pm: Town Hall Oxford Trades Council open community meeting for all groups and unions against the cuts.
27 September: Oxford Save Our Services planning meeting. Update: Meeting details.
3 October: Demonstration at the Tory party conference. Coaches going from Oxford.
20 October (day of the Comprehensive Spending Review): National day of action against the cuts.

[ Bank sit-in report ] [ Save Our Services meeting: Report | Photos | Audio ]
[ Oxford Save Our Services | Oxford Right to Work | No Shock Doctrine ]

Full article

SchNEWS 739: Tesco Check-Out

16-09-2010 19:01

In fantastic victory for the local community, Tesco have withdrawn their involvement from the Lewes Road Community Garden development plans.

On the Newswire:1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

In SchNEWS: 738 | 732 | 729 | 727 | 680


Full article | 2 comments

SchNEWS: Caravandals - Hovefields Gypsy Site Eviction

10-09-2010 03:08

Hovefields Gypsy Eviction

The Hovefields Gypsy/Traveller site in Essex has been evicted this week. At the time of writing, a group of these families are still on the road without anywhere to stop, having been also evicted from two other sites they tried to move on to, all within 24 hours. In fact it is illegal for them to stop anywhere as a group, as they are more than six live-in vehicles.

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