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UK Social Struggles Feature Archive

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International protests against Shell

19-02-2006 15:09

Main Doors Locked Shut

Stop the Shell Pipeline! Protests have taken place in Ireland, England, Scotland and Sweden to publicise the campaign ahead of the re-opening of Rossport Solidarity Camp, a protest camp supporting a community based struggle against Shell in the West of Ireland. On Friday 17th there was a Rossport Solidarity Demo in Liverpool, a critical mass style bike ride and occupation of Shell garages happened on Saturday in Nottingham [picture reports 1 | 2] and in north London London Rising Tide organised a blockade of a Shell garage which was closed for four hours [reports 1, 2] [ Video]. Listen to an audio report recorded at the Rising Tide Solidarity action 1]. All this coincided with a Rossport Solidarity Camp speaking tour of Scotland and England. Meanwhile in Ireland, the doors to Shell's main offices in Dublin were D locked shut, there was also a blockade of a Statoil garage in Cork and two solidarity meetings.

In Rossport Irish residents & supporters continue to obstruct the building of a dangerous gas pipeline. Last year five men from Rossport were jailed for contempt of court for refusing to obey the High Court order not to interfere with the construction of the Corrib gas pipeline. They were expected to be back at the High Court also on Friday 17th, potentially facing more time in jail. In November '05 the Rossport Five were released after 94 days in jail.

Click the 'Full Article' link for more

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Swiss Police Acquitted in Aubonne Bridge Trial

18-02-2006 13:21

Martin and Gesine outside Nyon's court with a clear message.

On the 13th, 14th, 15th of February 2006 a court case against two Swiss police officers took place in Nyon, Switzerland. Michael Deiss and Claude Poget were charged with causing bodily harm through negligence. They were in court after nearly killing climbers Martin Shaw and Gesine Wenzel during the protests against the G8 in Evian. On Friday 17 February the verdict of this private prosecution came through with an acquittal of the two policemen [Read verdict press release by Martin and Gesine]. Following this verdict, the activists announced that they will appeal against this whitewash of police violence.

In June 2003, an affinity group blockaded the Aubonne Bridge with a climbing action in order to stop a G8 delegation from reaching the summit in Evian. The police cut the climbing rope. As a result both activists were seriously injured, specially Martin Shaw who spent one month in hospital and sustained irreversible injuries. See video and a Photo strory of the event.

Other recent newswire reports: Report of day 3 of the trial | Statement by the Aubonne Support Group on the court proceedings | Activists walk out of court after verdict | Activists appeal against whitewash of police violence.

More information: Aubonne Bridge Campaign | IMC-UK Evian G8 page | PigBrother Live Show

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Squatters united against global gentrification

15-02-2006 02:14

In november last year, Franscesca’s Cafe in East London, was occupied to keep it out of the hands of developers who acquired the council-owned property in what appears to be a dodgy deal with the notorious council. [background feature | campaign website ] Right next to London Fields park and the Regents canal, the area has long been considered desirable by developers. However, it's not just communities in trendy parts of London that are being torn apart by gentrification.

In São Paulo, Brazil, major José Serra has made it his mission to 'gentrify' the city centre and ultimately expel thousands of the low-earning families and street dwellers. He wants to evict 'Prestes Maia', a 22 storey tower block, probably the biggest single squat in the whole of South America which is home to 468 families, a library, workshops, and a venue for numerous autonomous educational, social and cultural activities. Now the 'apparent owner' wants it emptied. The 'owner' has accumulated a debt in municipal taxes of around 1.5 million pounds during the last 15 years of 'ownership' (more than he paid for the building). This, together with long years of abandonment, should justify a claim for the building to become public property, but despite this, a massive police operation paid for by public money was planned to make over 1,600 people homeless in the name of gentrification.

However, the residents of Prestes Maia have enjoyed a last minute reprieve and the eviction has been postponed for at least two months. Nether-the-less, on Thursday 16th, people in London held a solidarity demo outside the Brazillian Embassy [ Call out | report and photos | video ]. In the evening, a film about Prestes Maia was screened at the rampART social centre along with a UK premiere of documentary about police violence in the favelas of Rio.

Video of solidarity action in London

More links: Online Petition | Blog | Ongoing coverage from CMI Brazil (Portuguese)

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Workers' power in Argentina

05-02-2006 11:17

Worker at Zanon Factory

A WORKER from the famous occupied Zanon factory in Argentina is speaking at a meeting in Brighton on Monday February 13. Jose Julian Penunuri is currently touring the UK and will be at The Brighthelm Centre in North Road from 7.30pm to 9.15pm.

In December 2001, in the midst of economic collapse, Argentia exploded as unemployed activists, impoverished savers and workers occupied the streets, attacked the banks and took over their workplaces. The Zanon tile factory in Neuquen is one of many 'recovered' factories in Argentina - factories taken over and run by the workers.

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Seven blockaders acquitted

28-01-2006 16:14

banner at lunch

On Thursday 26th January, seven defendants were acquitted on charges of aggravated tresspass and failing to leave land when requested to do so by a police officer. The charges resulted from a blockade of the Agrexco premises in Hayes Middlesex on November 11th, 2004. Agrexco is the Israeli National exporter of fresh produce and flowers from Israel and the occupied Palestinian Territories. The acquittal after submissions at the end of the prosecution case, meant that the defendants were unable to present their defence that trade with Israeli Settlements is not lawful activity.

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Social Centres, Where Next?

26-01-2006 11:29

Five years ago, you could count the number of places in the UK which associated themselves with radical politics (anarchist, libertarian) on one hand. However, the mobilisations around the G8 saw a surge in activity (and cash) for setting up new social centres. Now there are around 20 such places from Brighton's Cowley Club, RampART, 56a Infoshop and LARC in London, to the Sumac Centre in Nottingham and the Saorsa Centre and George X in Glasgow. Perhaps of most note has been the increase of rented or purchased premises such as the Common Place in Leeds and the Basement in Manchester. That doesn't mean that aren't still new squatted spaces appearing. In Nottingham there is the ASBO Community Centre, and a new space (ex-SSEES) in London is opening this week.

Interest in the idea of social centres is still very high amongst the radical/anarchist milieu. Meanwhile a small group from the popular education collective Trapese have been travelling the country interviewing people involved in current social centres for a new book provisionally titled 'a handbook for autonomy and creation' due out in June 2006. But why haven't we got many places that can live up to the name "social centres"? What were the problems politically with previous attempts of social centres? What can we learn? What is next? Last month thirty people attended a wombles meeting in London to discuss just these issues and now a similar discussion planned to take place in Leeds at the end of January has started to turn into a national gathering of social centres.


Your views sought...

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World Allows Second Disaster to Hit Kashmir

08-01-2006 20:37

Earthquake survivor in Musafrabad

With over 3 million people homeless following the October Earthquake the winter disaster long predicted by NGOs [ 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 ] has now arrived.

Over Xmas a delegation from Sheffield visited the affected region helped by the JKLF. The daily hardships faced by survivors in Balakot, Muzaffrabad, Lagubura and Kamsar were plain to see as was the determination of the aid workers and victims of the quake. Despite the scale of the disaster and the incredible storys of survival, the mainstream media is giving little coverage to what is now a second catastrophe.

There is a screening of the film produced by the delegation on 11th Feb 2006 at SIF.

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No Room in Bethlehem for Peace Campaigners

28-12-2005 16:37

“If we get our freedom, we will take all our rights!”, Walaa', 16, Azzoun

Peace workers denied access to Bethlehem

In the early hours of December the 20th the Israeli authorities at Tel Aviv airport stopped a group of international observers who were en route to a Christmas Non Violence conference in Bethlehem.

After lengthy interrogations, two UK citizens were allowed to enter the country but three were denied entry on ‘security grounds’. The three internationals, from South Africa, Italy, Australia, intend to challenge this decision in the Israeli courts. Now they have spent Christmas in jail, rather than in Bethlehem.

The group are experienced peace campaigners who were on their way to the “Celebrating Non-Violence” conference to be held in the Palestinian town of Bethlehem early next week. All five have worked previously as international observers in the Palestinian territories.

Spokesperson Charlotte Carson states: “Our colleagues are being stopped from attending a conference about non-violent activism because they are non-violent activists. Clearly, Israel is afraid of the power of non-violence.”

Audio interviews with the peace activists prevented from attending the Non-Violence Conference in Bethlehem

Read the transcript of the judgement of the Peace Activists appeal against their deportation preventing their attendance at the Non-Violence Conference in Bethlehem

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Campaigners meet Environment Agency over incinerator

14-12-2005 20:15

Yesterday four members of NAIL met with the Environment Agency (EA), to discus Waste Recycling Groups (WRG) plans to build the third incinerator in Nottingham. Latest: The EA has issued the license that WRG need to be able to run their existing incinerator. The EA has in principle agreed to issue a license to operate the proposed expansion of the Eastcroft Incinerator.

More info on the NAIL camapign and the proposed incinerator expansion, see previous UK feature: Pollution for profit - we need to stop it!

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Mass protests meet WTO in Hong Kong

14-12-2005 16:18

The 6th Ministerial Conference of the WTO has been taking place from December 13th through 18th in Hong Kong. Negotiations have been continuing on key controversial issues such as agriculture, services, and market access for industrial goods and natural resources. The meeting hoped to shape the final agreement of the Doha Development Agenda, which members hope to complete next year.

The nations agreed to cut the agricultural subsidies by the end of 2013, and terminate any cotton subsidies by the end of 2006. This breakthrough is considered to be small but essential for the trading negotiation to be completed by the end of 2006.

The Ministerial Declaration text can be found here. BRIDGES Last Issue of Daily Report is available now from ICTSD, on HK WTO MC6. Click: PDF | HTML
For more news on the draft agreements, visit Focus on Global South or Trade Observatory.

What is wrong with the WTO?

The protest of this conference turned out to be the closest protest to the venue of the conference in the WTO history, the police were forced to use tear gas to prevent the protester forced their way into the venue of WTO, the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. An estimated 10,000 protesters were present in Hong Kong during the meeting and the areas around the convention center, where the meetings took place were barricaded from 6pm on December 12. During the last days of the summit, the police arrested more than 1000 people, many of whom reported police brutality and ill-treatment of prisoners. Read the dispatches for more info.

>>> Latest news: (and more from outside and inside the WTO negotiations).

Tuesday December 20th:
(i) A South Korean vice foreign minister flew to Hong Kong on Monday to try to negotiate the release of hundreds of his countrymen arrested during anti-free trade demonstrations.
(ii) There are still several (numbers unconfirmed as of now) WTO protest detainees from Africa, Latin America, North America and Europe whose status remain in question. If you have any more specific information about these people, please contact legal support at 2831-9837.
(iii) There is a rally outside the Kwuntong Courthouse to support the fourteen WTO protesters who are being charged with 'Unlawful Assembly'. Their next hearing is set for Friday. Protesters in solidarity with the incarcerated continue to hunger strike and camp outside the courthouse until the remaining detainees are released.
(iv) Confirmed: ALL Thai, Indonesian and Koreans currently incarcerated will be released by late tonight, except for eleven Korean nationals who are being taken to court.

13th: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7
14th: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4
15th: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6
16th: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5
17th: 1 | 2 | 3
18th/19th: Photogallery
Also: Photo collage | Image Pool | View Slideshow
Video: Protests on the 15th: 1 | 2 | 3 | Protesters enter conference centre [download].
Video websites: 1 | 2 | 3 | videoblog
Audio: G-20 Challenges WTO in Official Meeting | Hong Kong New Media and Social Transformation Conference | WTO and biodiversity: interview with Simone Lovera (Friends of the Earth) | Openings speech by Pascal Lamy, Director General of the WTO
Radio: People's Radio Hong Kong | Media Culture Action | Real World Radio | Forum de Radios

Solidarity actions: Paris | Reading (Read report) | Germany (Berlin) | Portland (US) | New Delhi | Lahore, Pakistan | Online demonstration | New Zealand

From UK Indymedia newswire: Take Action: 100's of protesters still detained in Hong Kong | Stop the WTO Negotiations! Save Jobs! | Kong Yee Sai Mau (No to WTO): The Battle of Hong Kong | Police brutality and inhumane treatment of prisoners at WTO summit in Hong Kong | NO-WTO! REPORT OF READING SOLIDARITY DEMO | Migrant Workers Strike against Poverty Wages and WTO | Inspiring photos from the WTO summit in Hong Kong | Fisherfolks Murdered By Drowning, Suspect 6th WTO | pics from the WTO Hong Kong | Insurgent Zombies Occupy Paris Supermarket in WTO Protest | NO-WTO: DEMO SAT 17TH DEC, READING | WTO Protests – You Cannot Speak If You Wear Too Little | WTO - HK05 - Images of Resistance | WTO Protests in Hong Kong - Day One report | Report on the WTO Conference Day One Protect Actions | A list of sites with news on the WTO protests. (with links) | anti wto HK site | Philipinos protest WTO | KONG YEE SAI MAU! - Protest against the WTO! | Peaceful direct action violently oppressed by HK media | Free Trade Endangers Jobs Worldwide

Dispatches from Hong Kong
Dispatch 1: As The Tide Rushes In: Four Days Before the WTO in Hong Kong
Dispatch 2: Raids Target Migrant Workers as WTO Summit Nears
Dispatch 3: WTO 6, Day 1: Just The Beginning
Dispatch 4: WTO MC6, Day 2: Face-Off at the Barricades, Stand-Off at the Summit
Dispatch 5: Celebrating Resistance Art and Culture at the Peoples Camp
Dispatch 6: Hear the Silent Majority Speak!
Dispatch 7: “Toxic Hotspot” - Kerala Activist Challenges Industrial Pollution Exacerbated by Intensive Globalisation and WTO
Dispatch 8: Low Wage Workers and Migrants Lead Opposition to GATS and Imperialism
Dispatch 9: Farmers Procession Sways Hearts and Minds at WTO Protests in Hong Kong
Dispatch 10: Hong Kongers hunger strike in support of Korean farmers against the WTO
Dispatch 11: Respect the Rights and Dignity of Our People!
Dispatch 12: WTO Indicted for Crimes Against Humanity at Rural Peoples Tribunal
Dispatch 13: WTO Out of Agriculture !
Dispatch 14: WTO MC6, Hong Kong, Day 4: “We’re Hungry. We’re Angry.”
Dispatch 15: Agricultural Workers of the World Unite!
Dispatch 16: Asian Farmers Condemn TRIPS as One of the Worst Agreements this Century
Dispatch 17: Rice Farmers Want WTO Out Of Agriculture!
Dispatch 18: Why We Do This: One Story from the WTO Protests in Hong Kong, December 17
Dispatch 19: A statement by the Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) about police brutality.
Dispatch 20: Release Those Fighting to Save their Livelihoods from the WTO!
Dispatch 21: WTO FIASCO: Lamp Spins Deception Deal at Hong Kong
Dispatch 22: La Via Campesina Delcaration on Farmers Protest March
Dispatch 23: DRAFT Timeline of Events, Dec 17th - 18th 2005 Hong Kong WTO
Dispatch 24: Target: WTO condemns Police Brutality - Drop Charges NOW!
Dispatch 24: Kong Yee Sai Mau: The Battle of Hong Kong
Dispatch 25: Focus: Off the Hong Kong road and back on the streets Number 10, 19 December 2005
Dispatch 26: “The Struggle Continues: Protesting Around the Clock” – Report from Dec 17/18 Battle for Hong Kong
Dispatch 27: Human Rights Abuse by Police on WTO peaceful occupiers
View more dispatches here.

More links: No WTO Hong Kong Wiki | People's caravan aims for WTO and Hong Kong | Direct Action Against the WTO | Go Media (videos) | People's Radio Hong Kong | article | Stop the New Round Coalition | Hong Kong People's Alliance on WTO | Transnational Institute: Beyond the WTO | Global Exchange's WTO Page | International Forum on Globalization | Peoples Global Action | Global Issues article | SEATINI - WTO and Africa | Media Culture Action (South Korea) | Stop WTO Video Blog | Hong Kong Independent Media | Vatican Releases Guidelines for WTO Summit

Monday December 19th:
(i) Some protesters have been released, but Korean activists are still being held. The first bus of 150 Korean women who are reportedly "released" has finally left the courthouse. Police say they’re taking them back to the camp they’ve been staying at. However, people are worried that the women might actually being taken to the airport to be deported. People are worried about what condition they are in.
(ii) 700-800 protesters (primarily Korean and Southeastern nationals) are still detained. Seventy-two imprisoned activists have declared a hunger strike inside the Kwuntong Jail.
(iii) Fifty activists and lawyers are visiting the 200-plus protesters who are still detained at the San Uk Ling Immigration Centre. Although more than 200 are inside, only the names of 40 are known. Legal Team: 28319827 (HK).
(iv) The 150 Korean women who were reportedly released last night have been released and were not deported. Some protesters have been released, but Korean activists are still being held.
(v) Back in the UK, in Reading, around 20-30 anti-capitalists, environmentalists, students and others marched to Starbucks to make a free cafe and anti-World Trade Organisation demonstration in the town centre. Read article.
(vi) As prisoners have started to be released, like 155 released women early in the morning of 19th, many are bearing witness of police brutality and inhuman treatment. Read the statement by the Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) and see the video. There is also a video of the pressconference.

Sunday December 18th:
(i)The police have started arresting the 1000 protestors held in the area of Wanchai. The arrests will continue throughout the morning.
(ii) All of our sources say that almost all of the people who were arrested early this morning are still waiting to be arraigned. According to a lawyer, as of now the charges they are facing are still unclear and may involve jail time and/or deportation for foreigners. Many of the detainees are Korean and some are Southeast Asian, and police are not providing them with information in the languagues they speak. In addition, police are not allowing interpreters to see the prisoners.
(iii) A rally is being held at the protest zone. See video. All the Hong Kong activists have now been released with $1,000 HKD bails. A march will leave from there heading for Kwuntong - where the incarcerated activists are being held. Activists will be running a relay hunder strike and camping outside of the detention facility, to demonstrate their solidarity with the Korean farmers and others who were arrested last night.
(iv) A crowd of 7,000 people took part in the march to mark the end of a week of anti-WTO Protests. Read article. There was a strong contingent of migrant workers, and lots of locals. At the conclusion of the march 200 Koreans and some of their local supporters sat down right outside a fence on the periphery of the legitimized protest zone. Later on a crowd of 400 people gathered.
(v) Fifteen people - mostly Hong Kong activists - are gathered outside the Kwuntong jail in solidarity with those locked up, drumming with the hope that the activists who are inside will be able to hear them.
(vi) Outside the Kwuntung jail nearly 20 people are still banging on the police barricades and otherwise being rowdy and cheerful as they continue to demonstrate their support for the WTO protesters who are in detention. Some police are setting up in the area with riot shields, and the police presence continues to grow.
(vii) 40-50 people are gathering outside the Kwungtung courthouse. See video. One woman announced that contrary to maintream news reports, no one really knows what is going on with the legal statuses of the prisoners. Some activists fear that police hold special antipathy for the male Korean protesters and will retaliate on them.

Saturday December 17th:
(i) Pakistan's Commerce Minister and facilitator Humayun Akhtar Khan has stated "no breakdowns or breakthroughs" had occurred during the WTO talks, although with news circulating that no new agreement may be signed, the International League of Peoples' Struggle (ILPS) are now preparing for a "celebratory mass action" tomorrow.
(ii) Big protests are expected, reports say people are confronted with a large police presence. The police are using a lot of pepperspray and rubber bullets to try and disperse people.
(iii) Hong Kong Police stopped the protest from approaching the conference center. Teargas and rubber-bullets are used. Some of the protesters are injured. 900 people are besieged in Wanchai near the conference center. Some protestors are charging police lines using metal barricades. No-one has been arrested so far.
(iv) It has been reported that hundreds of protesters from South Korean farmers' groups, have managed to brake through police lines, although were prevented from actually getting inside. Fifty riot police rushed inside the building. They are not allowing anyone out. Smoke could be seen rising from an area near the convention center and policemen could be seen preparing to use tear gas. Read article.
(v) Hong Kong has today been the scene of some very serious clashes between protesters and police. Forty-one people are reported to have been injured in the clashes, five of them police.
(vi) Hong Kong riot police began arresting activists after announcing by loudspeaker to the 900 cordoned-off demonstrators that they were going to take everyone into custody. Latest video's can be seen here (click on 'live cast'). There is also a live stream.
(vii) Back in the UK, in Reading, around 20-30 anti-capitalists, environmentalists, students and others marched to Starbucks to make a free cafe and anti-World Trade Organisation demonstration in the town centre. Read article.

Friday December 16th:
(i) Hong Kongers go on hunger strike in support of Korean farmers against WTO, starting 11am at the Protest Zone outside Conference venue. Read Declaration of Hunger Strike.
(ii) A text message circulated by activists this morning said that a Filipino activist was detained at an airport at 10am as he tried to enter the country.
(iii) Fifty Korean trade unionists stormed the Korean and US consulates in Hong Kong, spraypainting on the outside wall of the US consulate "Down, down WTO" and "No Bush." Reportedly, the unionists got into a scuffle with police officers. No one was arrested.
(iv) Hundreds of woman take part in the Women’s March Against the World Trade Organization (WTO) with the intent of demonstrating that worldwide—and certainly in Asia—peasant and low-income women suffer the worst effects of poverty, insecurity and displacement caused by WTO policies. See photos.

Thursday December 15th:
(i) About 500 Korean peasants are making very slow progress towards the convention centre while marching three steps and then lowering to their knees and bowing their heads to the ground. See photos.
(ii) Thousands march through Hong Kong - see photos - see video: 1 | 2
(iii) Fisherfolks marched down the Victoria Harbour, exchanging petitions to delegates.
(iv) Low Wage Workers and Migrants took action as part of a "consulate hopping" protest opposing the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS). See article.
(v) Women Peasants lead march and parade to Conference protest zone.
(vi) Cultural Solidarity display lights, dancing, songs and chants outside convention centre.

Wednesday December 14th:
(i) Police threatened to raid a place where Korean farmers are staying and camping.
(ii) Police violence continues on protestors who demand right to protest at the conference
(iii) Indonesia migrants go to Indonesia Consulate to protest against government neglect of its people.
(iv) Korean farmers take over a road to hold a candle vigil for Lee Kyung-hae who commited suicide at WTO protests in Cancun.
(v) Girl protesting gets arrested for wearing 'too little'. See article and videoshots

Updates Dec 13th:
(i) Migrants, Farmers, Poor People, and Allies try to break police barriers who use pepper spray on demonstrators. One group tried to get closer to the WTO delegates by swimming towards the conference centre.
(ii) Police have raided office of Indonesian migrants two days in a row. [listen to audio].

On Saturday, December 10, three days before the 6th Ministerial World Trade Organization summit, Hong Kong police raided the offices of the Indonesian Migrant Worker's Union (IMWU). Although no one was injured or taken away, activists see the raid as part of a general build-up of state repression on activists. In an interview, Revitriyoso, an Indonesian artist and organizer with Institute for Global Justice, speaks about the raid.

Conferences, cultural events, mass mobilizations, and direct actions are being planned for the dates between December 11th and 18th. Organizations that are mobilizing to protest the WTO meeting and corporate globalization, and to present alternative proposals, include peasants and small farmers from the Philippines, Indonesia, Taiwan, Thailand, and Korea. Events: A new media and social transformation conference and workshop will take place in early December. Global Exchange will bring a delegation/reality tour to Hong Kong and parts of China in December.

More video: From SWTOP:
Video Stream: March and Parade (A), Sun Dec 11
Video Stream: March and Parade (B), Sun Dec 11
Video Stream: Funeral at Conference Centre, Mon Dec 12
Video Stream: Day 1 MC6 - Rally, Protest, Direct Action, Tue Dec 13
Video Stream: Day 2 MC6 - Asian Rally and Candle Vigil, Wed Dec 14

Torrents: A collection of 20 videos from and has been posted as a single torrent to - [download].

More articles: Lamy's "Development Package" Lies Unfurled | Its Always Christmas for the Big Service Corporations! | Asia Pacific Peasant Women Denounce the WTO | A Swimming Lesson from the Koreans | Aid for Trade : Poor Washing Abounds at the Sixth WTO Ministerial in Hong Kong

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Police escalates offensive crackdown culture poster drive

09-12-2005 14:05

Nottingham Police, allied with authoritarians at the local council and the Home Office, have been wasting taxpayers' money on a wave of offensive posters intended to terrorise dissidents and the socially excluded. This campaign has escalated with attempts to terrorise those involved in subvertising the posters.

Recent instances have included the return of the especially sinister anti-begging campaign, where the state spreads slanderous accusations accusing beggars of bankrolling drug dealers. This campaign has been connected in previous years to deaths of homeless people in cold weather, and to physical assaults on homeless people due to incitement by the posters. The campaign even led to violence and reduced revenue for Big Issue vendors who are engaged in an entirely legal activity.

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Pollution for profit - we need to stop it!

07-12-2005 21:42

Nottingham has recently seen an uprising by local residents in the area of Sneinton to stop the local incinerator from expanding and to demand better recycling facilities. Last year the campaign group NAIL (Nottingham Against Incineration and Landfill) was set up to stop the incinerator burning waste in the middle of the city. When owners Waste Recycling Group (WRG) submitted an application for expansion, the campainers stepped up their campaign. Last Monday over 30 people took action against the local Environment Agency. On Saturday artists and residents in Sneinton organised the 'Rubbish Day Out'. A well attended event, organised to raise awareness of the incinerator expansion and to promote recycling through interactive workshops.

See report and photos: 1 | 2

Previous actions: include a demonstration in Nottingham city centre, a banner drop (which is still going on), a protest at the WRG promotional exhibition, and a public meeting back in September. Nottinghamshire Indymedia has been working on a short film about the campaign which will be online soon.

A campaign group has also been set up in Mansfield, just north of Nottingham, where there are plans to build a new mixed waste burning unit at the Crown Farm Industrial Estate in the Forest Town area. Campaign group MAIN (Mansfield Against Incineration) has held several well attended public meetings since early summer. Mansfield MP Alan Meale gave his support to the group. Both NAIL and MAIN are supported by Greenpeace, Notts Friends of the Earth, Nottingham Green Party and CABS (Clean Air for Bakersfield and Sneinton).

Campaign groups have started all over the country, including Sheffield, where a new incinerator being build urged campaign group R.A.B.I.D. ('Residents Against Bernard Road Incinerator Damage') to get into action, with local politicians [1] [2] stating the new facility will 'put the publics health at risk'. Also, the massive enlargement of the Parkwood Landfill site, with an increase from 266,000 tonnes to 1 million tonnes a year, urged local residents to step up their campaigns. Their ongoing investigation into the proposals is raising more questions than answers. Residents are beginning to see a possible link emerging between the new massive incinerator in Sheffield, which is nearing completion, and the proposals for the enlargement of the landfill site. The expansion of the landfill site, proposed by owners Viridor Waste Management, would enable the ash from the new Bernard Roads incinerator to be dumped there. See photos.

Links: Nottinghamshire Indymedia | Sheffield Indymedia | NAIL website | R.A.B.I.D website | View planning application for expansion Nott'm incinerator | Previous feature articles on Nott'm Indymedia: [1] [2] [3] | UK Indymedia articles on incineration | Wikipedia on incineration | Links to other campaign groups in the UK.

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Sneinton's Rubbish Day Out 1 - The Days Events

04-12-2005 20:52

On Saturday 3rd December, a community day was held in Sneinton, Nottingham, to raise awareness of the proposed expansion of the Eastcroft incinerator and promote recycling through fun and games. Sneinton's Rubbish Day Out was an event organised by the local community and the NAIL campaign.

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St Agnes Place Eviction

30-11-2005 00:00

Unwelcome visitors.

The eviction of St Agnes Place in Kennington (South London) by Lambeth Council finally took place on Tuesday 29th, after years of court battles and previous eviction attempts [Report]. The oldest squatted street in London was swarmed with hundreds of riot police the whole day, as residents were resisting the bailiffs and specialist climbers that were emptying the street of its 150 strong community set up 30 years ago [Photos 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 and Video]. Throughout the day there were reports of police stopping people on their way to show support to St Agnes Place residents outside Oval, Kennington, Stockwell and Brixton tubes. Later in the evening there was a demonstration outside Lambeth Town Hall in Brixton to celebrate St Agnes Place community, as well as to show support to the people that has become homeless as a result of the eviction [Photos 1 and 2].

By mid-afternoon there were still three houses resisting the eviction, as residents and supporters pledged to hold for as long as they could. But later in the evening, reports came in that the last resisting squatter had been removed from the remaining occupied house in an ambulance, as the eviction was brutally completed [Video]. He was taken to hospital after he was badly beaten on the head with truncheons. Click here for St Agnes place map and location.

Latest info and Timeline of Events
Netcast from Wireless FM live here - a free radio that has been broadcasting from number 81 in St. Agnes Place for the last two years.
More info on St Agnes Place from the Indymedia archives.

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Buses for people not profit

24-11-2005 11:42

Buses for people not profit

300 people demonstrated in Sheffield on 19th November 2005 against bus fare rises and cuts in services [callout | reports and photos]. Fares on First buses in Sheffield have gone up four times in the last year and since the privatisation of the bus service journeys made in South Yorkshire have fallen from 350 million a year to 112 million last year and there has been a corresponding increase in car usage, congestion and pollution.

In addition to the demonstration a group of activists put on a free bus service"Some people believe in asking large corporations for cheaper services so that there is less profit made. Whilst we understand that this is a desirable goal we go one step further to ask for a co-operative way of living, where no profit is produced."

The demonstration was organised by We Want Our Buses Back (WWOBB) and they also held a lobby of the Sheffield City Council meeting on Weds 7th December where they presented a 5,000 name petition.

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Film Listings for Sheffield Indymedia ALT.DOC.FEST 2

20-11-2005 18:00

The full list of films is now out for the Sheffield Indymedia's second alternative documentary festival: Alt.Doc.Fest 2: Films from the Frontline 24-26th November at Matilda Social Centre, 111 Matilda Street.

You can download the programme as a PDF file below

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Wigan School Kids Demand Return of Class-mates

15-11-2005 20:34

Wigan School Kids

Over 100 school children took part in a rally last Saturday 5th November 2005 to demand five of their class-mates are brought back from Uganda. Sarah Hata and her children - Dennis, Hope, Maureen, Peace and Moris - were taken from their home in Wigan, detained, forcefully taken to three planes within 48 hours and finally, without warning, removed to Uganda on the 26th October 2005.

Councillors and teachers joined pupils from St Thomas More RC High School and St. Cuthbert's Primary School as read they out letters they have written to Prime Minister, Tony Blair, and sang "Give Peace a Chance". They demanded that the Hata family are returned to their home in Wigan from Uganda whilst their solicitor continues to make representations on their behalf.

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Peaceful Land Occupations Violently Attacked by Colombian State Forces

15-11-2005 19:57

Project "Freedom for Mother Earth" was started this year on October 12th, when indigenous communities occupied idle farms in Cauca, southwest Colombia, accusing the far-right government of breaking promises to provide them with land. The State responded by refusing to negotiate until they leave and for over a week now have been attacking the occupied El Japio farm with hundreds of troops and at least ten tanks. 16 year-old Belisario Camallo Guetoto was killed on November 10th and many more have been wounded and arrested. Solidarity emails have been called for to help prevent further violent attacks.

12th October is traditionally celebrated in Colombia as "Columbus Day," but has been renamed "Day of Indigenous Resistance" by social movements across the continent. This year there were massive mobilisations across the country against President Uribe and his proposed "Free Trade" agreements, and solidarity actions also happened internationally, including a picket in London. Naomi Klein recently wrote about the Cauca indigenous communities (who reject both sides of Colombia's long-running civil war), describing the land occupations and how they are protected by the Indigenous Guard, who "patrol their territory armed only with sticks."

Updated info (in Spanish) | Colombian Embassy contact info

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Rossport meets Nottingham

07-11-2005 19:24

The Rossport Solidarity Camp in Mayo, Ireland was set up as local residents oppose of Shell's plan to build an unprecedented high pressure gas pipeline through the hamlet of Rossport, on the wild rugged coastline of north-west Mayo, Ireland. Five of these local activists, aka The Rossport Five, were subsequently imprisoned for refusing to obey a court order forbidding them from preventing contractors hired by Shell access to their farms and those of their neighbours. After 3 months in prison, they were released when Shell asked that the court order be lifted. The struggle has won significant victories in securing their release, and in preventing Shell building the development this year, as they had planned to do, but the battle is far from over...

Two participants in Rossport Solidarity Camp will be on a speaking tour of Britain in November and will speak in Nottingham at the International Community Centre, 61b Mansfield Road on the 10th November. The talk starts at 7pm and is free.

Links: Justice for the Rossport 5 | Shell to Sea network | Indymedia Ireland | personal report with pictures from the Rossport Camp, by Dean | Rossport Solidarity Camp speaking tour dates

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'The Revolution will be Televised'

05-11-2005 16:07

The Revolution Will Be Televised

The Common Place Social Centre in Leeds has relaunched with an incredible 10 days of radical films, talks gigs and art. Called The Revolution will be Televised, the festival is also the main political fringe of the Leeds International Film Festival. Hundreds of people have passed through the building, a former disused factory in the yuppified Calls district of Leeds city centre .

[Over 100 people attend First Day] [Newsire Details and Programme] Download Programme (RTF format)

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