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UK Social Struggles Feature Archive

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Zapatistas mobilise to defend Morelia Caracol (Dec. 2003)

20-12-2003 00:00

"Reclaimed land under control of the bases of support of the EZLN"
Last month, December 2003, hundreds of PRI supporters threatened to burn down the Zapatista centre of Morelia. This mob was headed and encouraged by a local mayor, and by a senator.

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.

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Campaign launched to prevent Swindon teenager being deported

15-12-2003 21:17

Haville family with Inna (front centre)
A broad based community campaign is promised to defend Swindon teenager Inna Haville from deportation to the Ukraine. Swindon Trades Union Council (TUC) are calling on all Swindon Trade Unions, political parties and faith communities to support the campaign, and to write to the Home Office asking that Inna be allowed to stay in Swindon on compassionate grounds. The Haville family are backing the campaign.

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Cambridge Drinking Ban

02-12-2003 23:00

On Thursday night, Cambridge City Council agreed to introduce a bye-law which is intended to "control anti-social behaviour arising from the drinking of alcohol in our public places". The bye-law will give police the power to "stop people from drinking alcohol in public places if they are causing, or are likely to cause, harassment, alarm or distress to other members of the public."

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Thessaloniki: Hungerstrikers' Determination Forces Their Release

01-12-2003 00:00

Passion banner

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".

Solidarity campaigns all over the world continue demanding justice for the "Thessaloniki 7". The main IMC-UK Thessaloniki Solidarity page is updated continuously.

Imc Thessaloniki | Hungerstrike Latest Updates | Reports | Support | Free Simon Chapman Campaign

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FTAA protests in Miami

20-11-2003 09:17

"Our need for freedom is bigger than the presidents definition"

The Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) summit has started in Miami, Florida, US. Huge protests will try to interrupt the negotiations, which involve the leaders of all 34 countries of the American continents.
The FTAA, if signed, will allow corporations to sue local or national governments in special courts for enacting any regulation that can be seen as a "barrier to trade" - labour, environmental, or health regulations, for example.

FTAA talks end early-
The Free Trade Area of the Americas summit came to a premature close this evening, after ministers from 34 countries apparently accepted a watered-down proposal for creating a hemispheric economic community.
For more background information, read the article "FTAA Negotiations Close to Failing in Miami" on Venezuelanalysis, and rabbles article Victory in Miami- Strategies Going Forward in the Anti-FTAA Campaign. More feedback in the article "FTAA crippled,but not a clean kill".

Huge amounts of protesters came to Miami to protest against the FTAA. They were met with extended police brutality- mainly on the streets but also in jail. Already in the run up to the summit, dissent was criminalized with support of the mainstream media. For more information, read the whole article.

The legal team estimates more than 250 arrests in total, with more than 50 arrested at a jail solidarity protest on Friday. Reports of arrestées being brutalized in jail. Independent journalists, including a producer of Democracy Now! arrested, and a nyc indymedia volunteer was held in solidary confinement and a $10000 bail is set for him.

Apart from the huge amount of repression, activists took the opportunity to feed the homeless and to show school kids the independant media centre.

Photos, Video and further links

Photos: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30
Videos: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | Imc compilation
Audio: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16
Summary: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4
Reports: 1
Solidarity Protests around the world: 1 | 2
Breaking News for latest updates and timeline please visit: FTAA Imc | FRAA Resistance Radio | Global IMC: [ 1 | 2 ] | StopFTAA | Infoshop FTAA background information | Infoshop coverage

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ESF - Paris Dossier

11-11-2003 22:08

Sans Papiers during ESF Paris - "always on the street"
After Florence [1 2 3], the second European Social Forum is held in Paris. Apart from NGOs, trade unions and parties, there is some grassroots activity, including media-activism. See alterphoto picture show.
According to first-hand reporter "Glasnost", the principles of the first World Social Forum in Porto Alegre (2001) regarding openness and non-hierarchic decision-making are hardly a reality. Demos and occupations however took place nevertheless.

Overviews: IMC Belgium | IMC Netherlands | IMC Paris | IMC Germany

Nov 10: ESF 2004 (Oct or Nov) to be in London, on condition that an open European Assembly Meeting takes place in London on 13-14 December (Glasnost 1).
Nov 11: Debate on European day of action - probably March 20th (Iraq Invasion)(Glasnost 2).
Nov 12: "(...) the local Arab population feel that the ESF has very little to do with them; there is no information, they don't think it will change anything" (Glasnost 3). "Many people of Indymedia did not receive press accreditation at the ESF, because the ESF is authoritarian, bureaucratic, not transparent, closed and arrogant" (vlo).
Nov 13: Session on independent radios in Italy
Nov 14: Occupation for Social Centre (ekes)
Nov 15: Social Forum demonstration through Paris. Reports and Photos 1 | 2 | 3
Nov 16: Opensource Session and Negri/Callinicos debate.
Nov 17 Police filmed returning ESF visitors at London Waterloo Station [Report].

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Bemused Oxford shoppers meet with walls and checkpoints

11-11-2003 13:13

On the 9th of November, as part of the international day of protest and action against Israel's 'security wall', protesters in Oxford (wearing huge white cardboard boxes on their heads) attempted to give the local weekend shoppers a glimpse of life in occupied Palestine.

People gave leaflets, talked to people and shouted slogans. The 'wall' was seen making its way through the Westgate and Clarendon shopping centres - to the annoyance of security guards, culminating by a walk down Cornmarket and a visit to Marks and Spencer's. Finally, a 'checkpoint' was built on a nearby (pedestrianised) street, until the 'soldier' announced he was taking the 'prisoners' into custody and the wall was taken apart and dumped in a nearby bin. If only the real thing was as easily dealt with...

[Report | Photos]

[Stop the Wall] | [Palestine Campaign] | [Wall that breaks Rafah's heart]

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Successful Samba Protest In Camden Market

10-11-2003 18:00

more samba rhythms

A co-ordinated protest in London's Camden Market scored a victory against Caterpillar, the company that supplies the Israeli army with bulldozers and tanks. Rhythms of Resistance were joined by members of the Sheffield Samba Band in this protest. At the same time, various groups including the Palestinian Solidarity Campaign and the International Solidarity Movement took over Camden High Street with several banners, some of which where designed to represent the (in)famous wall Israel is building inside the West Bank. [Pics 1|2]. A street theatre performance also recreated an Israeli checkpoint in the middle of one of the busiest street markets in London [Photo]

The protesters approached the manager of the chain of shoe shops Future Designs explaining the issues relating Caterpillar with the violent Israeli occupation of Palestine. He said that until today's demonstration, he was unaware of the connection between Caterpillar and the repression in Palestine. He then thanked the demonstrators and promised to remove all Caterpillar stock as well as writing to the company to explain his decision. At a time when millions were ignored over the War on Iraq, today's small action showed how effective direct action can be.

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Guatemalan Elections Update

09-11-2003 22:27

Elections have just been held in Guatemala. Polling in the number 3 spot is former dictator Gen. Efrain Ríos Montt who came to power after a coup in 1982. Analysis and results, with links and video from Guatemala in Spanish and English.

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St Agnes Place - No Bailiffs at Second Eviction Alert

31-10-2003 17:49

kids games at street party

On Oct 30/31st, residents at St.Agnes were on alert, building baricades and erecting a scaffolding tower. Police was seen several times during these days, but the bailiffs didn't turn up - St. Agnes Place is still going!

The previous eviction due 24th Oct of 14 houses on St. Agnes Place, London, was called off when bailiffs saw the number of people who had turned up to help resist.

Update 23 Oct 03 | Pictures: St Agnes Community | Defending the Houses | Videos: 1+2+3+4+5+6+7+8+9 | Street Webcam
Use Your Loaf social centre

Website with news and updates: | email: | radio Wireless FM Net Radio

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Free 'The Saloniki 7' - Demonstration in London

29-10-2003 15:50

On Monday 27 October there were two protests outside the Greek Embassy in London in solidarity with Simon Chapman and six other people imprisoned in Greece. The 'Saloniki 7' have been in jail since last June, when the mobilisations against the EU Summit took place in Thessaloniki. They have been refused bail under Greek "antiterrorist" legislation and they are now facing between 7 and 25 years imprisonment.

Five of the 7 prisoners are currently on hungerstrike protesting the circumstances of their arrests and imprisonment. Four of them have been without any food for 24 days, whilst Suleiman "Castro" Dakduk has already been on a hunger strike for 37 days.

For more information see IMC-UK dossier "Thessaloniki Prisoner Solidarity".

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"You Should All Be Worried"

26-10-2003 23:00

"You should all be worried because, what happened to my brother Leon could happen to anyone". These were the words of Stephanie, Leon Patterson’s surviving twin sister. Leon died in custody on 27 November 1992 in a Stockport police cell. So far, after twelve years of legal battles and a verdict of unlawful killing, no police officer has been convicted in relation to this incident.

Stephanie was one among many family members who attended the fifth national demonstration organised by the United Families and Friends Campaign (UFF) on October 25th in Trafalgar Square, London.

The UFFC was set up in 1997 as a coalition of family and friends of black and white people who have died in police custody or in psychiatric hospitals. The campaigners seek judicial justice for the family of the victims, demand the end of "institutionalised killings" and want the basic human rights of their communities to be upheld.

Audio report and photos.

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Palestine update & Hiphop Tour

04-10-2003 22:07

Tensions in the occupied Palestinian territories are running high as Israel completely seals off its border for Yom Kippur. On Saturday, a female suicide bomber - who's brother and cousin were killed by the IOF - blew herself up in an Arabic/Jewish cafe in Haifa, killing 20 and wounding scores more. Last week, Israel announced its intention to complete the controversial 'Apartheid Wall' which will effectively seal in 150,000 Palestinians whilst annexing another 1/4 million in East Jerusalem and creating an illegal defacto border. Israel also announced further plans for another 600 houses on its illegal West Bank settlements.

Educational charity Markaz at-Tanwir are bringing a Palestinian Hiphop outfit called DAM to the UK for an awareness raising tour and to generate funds for a computer centre in the Rafah refugee camp. Only last week in Rafah, the IOF demolished 18 Palestinian homes, leaving 44 families homeless. Also, 9 Palestinians, including a child who died of fright, were killed and more than 30 others were wounded by the Israeli occupying forces.
The tour kicks of on Thursday at the Scala, London with Fundamental. Full tour details HERE

Electronic Intifada | Palestine Solidarity Campaign | Arab Media Watch | Al-Awda | Palestine Report

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02-10-2003 22:51

A Blockade of the Unigate Dairy in Totnes is currently taking place. Farmers are not letting milk leave the dairy in protest at a further decrease in the price they get for milk.

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"Trading Freedom" Film Screening

29-09-2003 23:34

Scots against the FTAA
7:30 pm, Sunday 12 October @ the Locomotive Pub, 44 Mill Road, Cambridge

"Trading Freedom: the secret life of the FTAA" offers an explanation of the Free Trade Area of Americas, a proposed economic zone that will regulate the economic activity of one-sixth of humanity, overriding local democracy in favour of "rights" for multinational corporations throughout the Americas. This film is the story of those who resist - indigenous struggles, working-class organizations, women in rebellion, media activists, and a huge network of NGOs.

"Footage from Chiapas, Quebec City, Sao Paulo, Akwesasne and Tijuana, plus the combined efforts of over 100 videographers, photographers, free radio outlaws, writers, editors, techs, and rabble-rousers make this the perfect evening out." -- Luther Blisset

Suggested donation 2 squid.
Download and distribute a poster for this event.

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Oxford Post Workers Walk Out

21-09-2003 15:43

UPDATE (Thursday 25th): Striking Oxford postal workers won reinstatement yesterday for their two sacked colleagues, and voted to return to work.

UPDATE (Monday 22th): Oxford postal workers voted for continued strike action in the face of management's attempts to break their union, the CWU. This came after management sacked two people as a deliberate provocation.

This weekend, postal workers from Oxford staged a wildcat strike in response to agressive posturing from the chief executive, Allan Leighton. The strike started 5pm Friday, and workers intend to remain on strike until Monday, when they will discuss the next step.

report | responses to no vote | UPDATE and video | update 2

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Legal Update: DSEi, Anti-War protests and others...

12-09-2003 12:53

Legal Update 16th September here.
Samba player in deep trouble after having been badly beaten by police and spending two days at Charing Cross police station; Witness appeal.

Liberty are asking for reports from people who were stopped and searched, ASAP. An email list has been set up for people who were arrested / beaten etc..

Since the 1st of September, 144 people have been arrested in protests against the Defence Systems and Equipment international arms fair (DSEi) that has been taking place in East London. Policing tactics have been condemned by a wide range of people and Liberty is have won the right to seek a High Court injunction over use of Section 44 of the Terrorism Act 2000; they have also offered to provide legal representation for anyone stopped or detained under this legislation. Bindmans Lawyers have also requested information or witnesses from DSEi.

Numerous requests for witnesses have been made on the UK indymedia newswire [1 2 3 4 5 6]. There have also been several videos posted showing police violence against demonstrators which may provide evidence [ 1 2 - more can be found on the full reports from the 9th, 10th and 11th September].

Meanwhile, Anti-War demonstrators are still being threatened with - and receiving - harsh sentences. Protestors from Fairford come to trial next week while some are still fighting to get the charges reduced before they come to trial (Background to the case). Yet others are still looking for witnesses and some, like Ulla Roder (who was arrested for damaging a Tornado war-plane), have had their trials delayed numerous times.

Further afield, Simon Chapman and the Thessalonikki 7 remain imprisoned in Greece (solidarity website). Simon's first appeal has failed (against the charges) and he is currently awaiting the results of a second appeal. Key evidence such as the video have been re-submitted. In the United States, webmaster of Sherman Austin has been imprisoned for 1 year; he has since been subject to death threats and is being kept in solitary on the grounds of safety as a reason.

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DSEi: In Solidarity With Anti-WTO Protests in Cancun

11-09-2003 14:20

kyong lee
Summary reports, links, activities and timeline from Anti-WTO protests in Cancun, Mexico

Thousands of protesters, peasant and farmers organization, workers, environmentalists, trade unionists and many other groups opposing the World Trade Organization, corporate globalisation and militarism from around the world and Latin America are converging in Cancun, Mexico this week, the location for this weeks WTO meeting.

On Wednesday, Korean farmer Kyong Lee took his life in protest against WTO policy, while demonstrators tore down the fence surrounding the summit but refused to enter the summit grounds. The Mexican president Vicente Fox had ordered a police-led campaign of misinformation and barricades (Report) and prevented a teach-in organized by the International Forum on Globalization. Police repression is high. At least 8 protesters have been seriously injured during the Thursday march. Many other protesters throughout the week have been injured, threatened with deportation, banned from Cancun and refused entry to the country.

Breaking news:
Saturday report
Radio report
Photos [1][2]

A timeline of up-to-date events as well as ¡Radio Hurakán! (Mirrors 1 2 3) are also available.

Background: UK IMC article

Full article | 2 comments

Colombia: Mass demonstration and massive repression.

29-08-2003 16:00

pics of the demo 12th of august, Bogota
A general strike and a mass demonstration of a hundred thousand people in Bogota against the American free trade contract ALCA paralyzed Colombia on the 12th of august during the visit of Bush's trade delegate Zoellick to Colombia. [timeline of events.]
At the demonstration and from then on, repression in Colombia has increased, consisting of mass arrests of trade unionists, community and social workers and assassination attempts [AI statement].
As the conflict intensified, Juan Carlos Benavides, a journalist at the community radio Manantial Stereo in Putumayo, was murdered on the 22nd of August at a road-block set up by the guerrilla organization FARC.

"Juan Carlos was a well known community communicator in the region, always trying to support community participation and social journalism. He was an active member of the CRIS campaign, coordinated in Colombia by the local NGO Planeta Paz." From a statement of the campaign Communication Rights in the Information Society.

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Threats to Zapatista centre Roberto Barrios - update

28-08-2003 16:32

The Zapatistas Here we are and here we will be
The Zapatista centre of Roberto Barrios is still under threat of attack and eviction by paramilitaries backed by the PRI party local government authorites. On 24 August a delegation from six different organisations from "civil society" travelled to Roberto Barrios in Chiapas,Mexico. They reported a tense calm – the support could have caused the paramilitaries to back off – but a real threat remains, and international support is important.

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