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parl sq peace plinth in art exhibition

rikki | 13.10.2012 14:16 | SOCPA

in a joint project between contemporary artists and peace activists, thursday saw the parliament square 'westminster cabinet' once more on public display, at the 'different' gallery in percy street, alongside works on a theme of peace by various contemporary artists.

different gallery
different gallery

exhibition opens
exhibition opens

mark wallinger with maria gallestegui
mark wallinger with maria gallestegui

message on a box
message on a box

busy opening night
busy opening night

peace strike
peace strike

the 'westminster cabinet' originally appeared in parliament square after the SOCPA law was used to limit protest displays to a size of 3m x 3m x 1m after its introduction in 2005.

peace activist, maria gallestegui, founder of the 'peace strike' campaign (against wars in afghanistan, libya, and the threatened action in iran), challenged the law by building a huge box with exactly those dimensions on parliament square.

she also built a second box (the peace tardis), based on a separate SOCPA authorisation, so that the two imposing monoliths stood opposite the gates of parliament for several years.

earlier this year, after the introduction of the new PRASRA laws, the police removed both boxes, using the legislation designed to prevent 24-hour or long-term protest in the square (and beyond!).

during the time they were standing in the square, the two boxes attracted support from contemporary artists, who contributed their works to the locations.

the new exhibition at the 'different gallery' in percy street, sees some of those artists selling their work in a small showroom dominated by the 'westminster cabinet' plinth.

the box, along with its 'brother', will be later auctioned, and all the proceeds will go to a charity project in iraq (the halabja community playground project - a few (but unfortunately it seems not all, despite months of free public display on the protest site!) of the artists have also agreed to donate some part of their sales to the charity.

the exhibition, lasting a week, will also see several events taking place at the gallery.

TONIGHT 7.00 tam carrigan will show images and talk about his work at the halbja project

SUNDAY 2.30 rikki will show his 2007 film "SOCPA - the movie" about the struggle against new laws designed (but ultimately failed and replaced) to ban 24-hour protest in parl sq. there will also be short films and trailers from emma stoner and dean puckett around the democracy village. there will then be an open discussion with the film-makers and peace activist, maria gallestegui, focussing on protest and protest rights around parliament.

TUESDAY 7.00 maya evans and guy smallman will present guy's film 'fifteen million afghans' on the struggle for ordinary afghans to survive in a country crippled by war, corruption, poverty and unemployment

WEDNESDAY 7.00 emily johns will present images and a talk about her work as an artist and activist. artists 'kennardphillips' will also discuss their work.

further info at

- e-mail: rikkiindymedia[At]gmail(d0t)com


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common sense

13.10.2012 14:40

Only it isn't a corporate war in Afghanistan is it! It's a state war; fully socialised: funded through taxation. Sure the corporations are doing very well out of it, but if you want to make money, how better to do it than serve you local monopoly on violence; the state. It's the public sector military that is doing the killing and disarming the ordinary people.

Get rid of the state, and the corporations lose their protected corporate status and become ordinary businesses, beholden only to the people they serve.

Draw the wrong conclusion and make governments bigger and more powerful and the problem just gets worse.


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correction to web address

13.10.2012 22:08

sorry the final "more info" web address was wrong.

for full details please see

(mods may want to edit this and then lose the correction if that's possible

mail e-mail: rikkiindymedia(At)gmail([d0t]com


14.10.2012 23:21

the corporations will just become helpless lambs if the state disappears?

Tell that to the victims of Academi/Xe/Blackwater private armies in Iraq. Tell that to G4S as they take over policing around the planet.. the corporations increasingly don't need the state, they can do whatever they want and they have the weapons and mercenary troops to enforce their own will.

You think they will just become servants of us customers if the state doesn't back them up?

We will work and consume as, how and when we are told by the militarised corporations forming now around us.


Crap analysis.

10.11.2012 00:00

"Get rid of the state, and the corporations lose their protected corporate status and become ordinary businesses, beholden only to the people they serve.

Draw the wrong conclusion and make governments bigger and more powerful and the problem just gets worse."

That is a really really awful analysis! Where the hell do you get this...the back of a cornflakes packet!

The state is many things in many places but here in the is a corporate entity and its methods are overhwelmingly corporate. This is why the UK Prime Minister can swan off to Dubai on a mission to sell British arms to human rights abusing regimes. This is how the public sector has become smothered with "stakeholders" and private institutions competing with each other to feed from the public purse. This is how you get "war by powerpoint presentation".

This is a corporate war. You do not see this because you live in the very environment that is being scrutinised by the function of this exhibition and those taking part in it.

It takes cunning and guile to see clearly from within a haze, and these people depicted in this report have done that. Which is emminently more than can be said for the feeble minded garbage that passes for politics in the comments section of this website.

Big government, small government, all is nought. This is simply something the right and the left argue about because neither can see the basic reality of the world they live in. It is the deatil of government which counts and it is the way government chooses to arrange itself that determines its historical legacy.


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