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Widespread Calls for Civil Disobedience

17-03-2003 07:53

As Blair commits to a war against Iraq regardless of a 2nd UN resolution and Robin Cook resigning, there has been an unprecedented level of calls for direct action and civil disobedience - beyond the regular actions and widespread protests that have been occuring daily across the country.
* Following an international meeting of anti-war groups from 26 countries, a national student day of action has been called for Wed March 19th.
* A week of action and disobedience "Obstruct and Resist" supported by several groups will take place from for 17th-23rd march (likely encompassing the start of war), with mass protests at USAF Fairford, Menwith Hill Listening Station, as well as Flyingdales, Chetwynd Barracks, and at Plymouth Dockyards.
*In Ireland, St Patricks Day (March 17th) has been called as the next major day of protest.
* Campaigners are planning further protests at military bases throughout the country during the weekend of the 5th-6th April under the banner 'Reclaim The Bases'.
In addition to plans from Stop The War Coalition groups and others around the country for immediate widespread civil disobedience on the day war is declared, there will also be actions in London the following day called by the Disobedients, as well as mass protests the following Saturday. Meanwhile almost 4600 people have now signed the ARROW Pledge of Resistance to take action when war starts.

Reporting Resistance To War:
Indymedia is committed to reporting resistance to the war. We encourage everyone to participate by publishing your own reports of anti-war protests and actions (text reports, pictures, audio and video). Do Indymedia!

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Peace Activist Dies After Bulldozer Runs Over Her

17-03-2003 07:30

On 16 March 2003 in Rafah, occupied Gaza, 23-year-old American peace activist Rachel Corrie from Olympia, Washington, was killed by an Israeli bulldozer. As a volunteer with the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) Rachel had been staying in Palestinian homes threatened with illegal demolition. Throughout a 2 hours confrontation between the ISM and the Israeli Army Rachel and the other activists had clearly identified themselves as unarmed international peace activists. Witnesses say that Rachel was clearly visible to the bulldozer driver, and was doing nothing to provoke an attack.

For full story and first hand reports see our feature in the IMC-UK World Page

More information:
IMC Israel
IMC Palestine
International Solidarity Movement

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Welford Camp Protestors Arrested

17-03-2003 07:12

On the 17th March, three protestors from the anti-militarist camp at RAF Welford, Berkshire, were arrested while taking their minibus back to London. The reason for their arrest was given as conspiracy to cause criminal damage despite there being no evidence of conspiracy whatsoever. They are currently being held at Newbury police station. It is likely that the main reason for these arrests is to get the protestors away from RAF Welford. RAF Welford's primary mission is to support the bomber forward operating location at USAF Fairford. Reports say that in the event of war on Iraq bombs will be taken from Welford to Fairford. The arrests are only one of the ways in which the police have been harassing protestors. A Section 44 of the Prevention of Terrorism Act has been put in place in the whole Thames Valley policing area, enabling police officers to stop and search people and vehicles at any time. Police officers have also been coming into the camp and harassing the protestors, taking photographs of them while they're asleep. However the camp continues, and the protestors are calling for more people to join the camp. For more info call 07817 061183 or email at Full report

The arrested have been released [

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RAF Tornado Disabled, More Arrests at Fairford

13-03-2003 00:27

Ploughshares activist Ulla Roder entered RAF Leuchars Air Base early Tuesday morning in north-east Fife and damaged a Tornado plane with a hammer, putting it out of action. The Tornado's at Leuchars are important in the UK's mobilisation for war against Iraq, and the base, whose motto is "Attack and Protect", is believed to have been involved in the bombing of Iraq since 1991. Also on Tuesday 11th, 9 'citizen weapons inspectors' cut through fences at RAF Lakenheath and cycled around the base, some locking on and obstructing the runway for 3 three hours.

Prior to Ulla's action, early on the morning of Monday 10th March, two other anti-war activists had breached security at RAF Leuchars in order to inspect the base ahead of its likely illegal use in an attack on Iraq. The action followed a demonstration at the weekend with around 200 people protesting at the base - Full report.

Also at the weekend another 20 people were arrested at USAF Fairford in Gloucestershire, after a group broke into the base (pics + report). A number of people made it onto the runway and delayed the take off of a transport plane (report 2) - landing lights were also disabled. Recently at USAF Fairford a new razor wire fence (pics) was erected by US soldiers right through the bomb spotting camp (pics), and in what is believed to be its first use, Section 44 of the Terrorism Act 2000 has been authorised at Fairford in an attempt to control legitimate peace protests.

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Invest In Caring Not Killing

08-03-2003 01:33

March 8th has been earmarked as a day where women all over the world converege, strike, take action against the war in Iraq. Women’s strikes and actions happened today in over 70 countries on every continent. As more women come together, breaking the divisions of race, ethnicity, nation, religion, language - which divide us to deprive us - the more grassroots women's needs are visible and their demands heard.

This years Women’s Day took particular recognition of the recent war preparations and increases in military budgets. Women all over the world added their voices to the consensus global priority - to reclaim these budgets for, and demand a change in, the priorities of the global economy. The changes fought for include paid recognition to carers, rights to resources such land and water, and justice against inhumane treatment and unacceptable living standards exacerbated by poor working, economic and cultural conditions.

In the UK, women demonstrated in London (see pictures 1 | 2 and report + action against sweatshops); in Sheffield (see also pictures), Aberdeen , Derry, Manchester - (video); in Colchester there were 24 arrests as people sat down in front of the 16 Air Assault Brigade headquarters.

On the eve of inernational women's day, women and men stormed the protected Ashford Women's prison in Middlesex. (see report).

Click here for information on countries participating in the Global Women’s Strike, as well as other actions and resources on International Women's Day.
Toronto report | Statement of women from Anatolia| Remember the women of Afghanistan | Washington DC | Minneapolis | LA: report & pics | Alice Walker, Amy Goodman & Other Notable Women Arrested in Anti-War Protest

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Bomber Watch Established As US Warplanes Arrive in UK

06-03-2003 04:47

american bombers at raf / usaf fairford
Thurs 6th March: reports of cruise missile loading

Anti-war campaigners at RAF / USAF Fairford in Gloucestershire have been maintaining a Bomber Watch [pics] outside the base since US B-52 bombers started arriving there at the start of the week (one campaigner was arrested after four hours inside the base). The use of military planes from Fairford signaled the start of the previous Gulf War bombardment. Many protests including civil disobedience and direct actions have been held at Fairford in recent months (see previous features) - there is also an ongoing peace camp (recently moved).

Police have stepped up security around the base using Section 60 to enable stop-and-search powers.

Fairford is also one of only a few bases outside the US that can accommodate the nuclear capable B-2 Stealth Bombers. Despite rumors there has so far been no confirmation of B-2 deployment at Fairford, although U2 spyplanes have been seen.

Bombers continue to arrive, and campaigners are calling for more people to join the bomber watch. They also intend to hold a Picnic 4 Peace this weekend ahead of a mass protest planned at the base and elsewhere on March 22nd.

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Traffic Blocked Outside Parliament As Bombing Increases

06-03-2003 02:52

anti-war protestors block traffic outside parliament, london
On Monday night (3rd March) around 35-40 people took to the streets of london and blocked traffic outside Parliament to protest the recent large increase in bombing raids against iraq (the so called 'undeclared war' with over 40 bombings this year alone). Cars leaving parliament were also obstructed. There were two arrests later while Westminster Bridge was blocked.

The action mirrored the rise in civil disobedience throughout the country with many anti-war demonstrations over the weekend including sit down protests.

Read reports 1, 2 [pics]

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Actors Protest Against War as Opposition Increases

06-03-2003 02:32

actors and sex workers protest against war, parliament uk
On Monday 3rd March actors staged a global anti-war protest, with readings from the play Lysistrata held in almost 60 countries, and with over 1000 events worldwide. The play depicts how greek women organised a sex strike to convince their men that war must end. In London extracts were read out opposite Parliament with actors and supporters wearing white gags to show how Blair and the gorvernment are not listening to the people.

Read full report + pics

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Shanon Airport Protest Confronted By Police

06-03-2003 02:10

shanon airport anti war protest pic - ireland
Saturday 1st March was an eventful day at Shannon Airport in Ireland with two peace protests. Shannon airport which is being used by the US military has been the scene of recent mass protests and direct action. A large police presence complete with dogs and water cannon were deployed to protect a newly-erected razorwire fence, which campaigners had declared they would dismantle. Despite scaremongering, the Grassroots protest was peaceful, the attempt to take down the fence was unsuccessful, but participants promised to return ( 1 - Video) ( 1 - Audio), with ten arrests ( 1 - Video) accompanied by the usual over enthusiasm (Video) while the diverse IAWM protest passed off without incident.

While both Shannon demonstrations were underway people also gathered in Dublin (Audio ) and in Donegal to voice their opposition to the war.

See IMC Ireland for full story.[audio]

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Fences Breached at Civilian Weapons 'Inspection' BAE Systems Glascoed

04-03-2003 02:09

pic of civillian weapons inspection
A group of anti-war campaigners gained entrance to a major munitions plant in Glascoed, South Wales on Saturday 1st March, during a 'civilian weapons inspection' that saw 50 people protesting. The plant is run by BAE systems (the UK's largest arms company), and is not so much a factory, as a huge complex of buildings and bunkers, producing everything from bullets and grenades to depleted uranium shells. The protest was part of the Campaign Against the Arms Trade's Site Unseen campaign, which has scheduled protests at 40 sites belonging to BAE Systems or its subsidiaries throughout the year.

A group from Cardiff Anarchist Network used a home made rope ladder to scale a seven foot spiked fence and bolt cutters to get through chain link fencing. The action lasted several hours and activists gained access to sensitive areas despite the best efforts of security guards and police. There was one arrest for criminal damage, although BAE declined to press charges.

Read reports: 1, 2

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Peace Activists Close Trident Refit Factory

01-03-2003 09:14

Trident blockade
Seven Midlands peace campaigners were arrested this morning after successfully closing the Rolls Royce site at Derby for 1 hour. The company was targeted for its crucial role in the manufacturing of fuel components for nuclear submarines. The activists from Trident Ploughshares, the direct action campaign to peacefully disarm the British Trident nuclear weapons system, closed the Raynesway site just before 7am. They locked themselves to the entrance gates with a variety of chains, padlocks and thumb locks, closing the factory just as employees were arriving for work. A traffic jam ensued and some employees were sent away. All 7 were charged with breach of the peace, taken to St Mary's Wharf police station in Derby and later released without charge. Read report and photos

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Claimants Destroy Army Recruitment Material From Job Centre

01-03-2003 09:00

Edinburgh Claimants destroyed armed forces recruitment material in an Edinburgh Job Centre in resistance to the threatened war with Iraq. Group spokeswoman Ethel MacDonald said "The army and other armed forces try to take advantage of unemployed people's poverty. They produce glossy brochures, portraying exotic locations. The reality is killing and being killed". She continued "And what's it all for? Protecting the interests of the rich - like safeguarding the oil in Iraq for the western multinationals".

The protesters removed a large quantity of Army, Navy and RAF recruitment material from a city Job Centre. Thiese were shredded and returned through the letter box to Leith Walk Job Centre on 26th February. Read report

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Protests Against Repression In The Basque Country

01-03-2003 08:15

On Saturday 22nd February around 20 people demonstrated in London outside Belmarsh prison in solidarity with Iñigo Makazaga a Basque political prisoner, and demanding the repatriation of all Basque prisoners [Report and photo]. The group later decided to head for the Spanish Embassy to protest against the continuous repression in the Basque Country by the Spanish government, which has resulted in the recent closure of the only paper published entirely in Basque language Euskaldunon Egunkaria and the arrest of 10 of its staff accused of "supporting an armed group".

See feature in IMC-UK World Page for more information on this issue and reports on the recent mobilisations in the Basque Country.

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Greenpeace Target ESSO in Anti-War Actions

26-02-2003 06:27

Stop Esso
On the 24th February, Greenpeace volunteers and anti-war campaigners protested at and shut down up to 120 Esso petrol stations as well as blocking the entrance to the companies UK headquarters. The direct actions occurred as small mobile teams closed down Esso petrol stations from Hampshire to Yorkshire, Wales to Norfolk, with many towns and cities affected. Petrol pumps were disabled and in some areas protestors locked themselves together and refused to move.

Greenpeace UK says the oil giant Esso campaigns to keep the US hooked on oil, fuelling war and causing global warming and has funded front groups that are aggressively advocating an attack on Iraq (see greenpeace esso pdf report). Read full report.

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Protestors turn up the pressure on USAF Fairford

26-02-2003 00:52

protest pic from fairford
Sunday 23rd February saw around 500 people protest at the USAF base at Fairford in a mass civillian weapons inspection. The protests followed on from previous demonstrations, civil disobedience and direct action held at Fairford over the last few months.

The main gate was pulled open and dozens of civillian inspectors made it into the base with their high-tech array of "hypocrisy detectors" and "collateral damage anticipation indicators". Oppressive police tactics and around ten arrests were reported as riot police moved in, but the good natured protestors, as always retained the moral high ground against a war machine hell bent on destruction in the middle east. There was also a march around the base (where other breaches of the perimiter occured), which ended at the recently established peace camp.

Fairford, like several other military bases, is fast becoming a focus for direct action and civil disobedience against the war. March 22nd will see a national demonstration at both Fairford and Menwith Hill.

Read reports: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 / pics / 2 / 3

Prior to this on Saturday February 22nd more concerned "civillian weapons inspectors" from all over Britain went to their local police stations to report the presence of illegal weapons of mass destruction on British soil. Jeremy Clines, who reported Trident nuclear missiles to the York police, said: "We hope we get a positive response, but if we don't we will have no option but to take peaceful action ourselves, at the Really Big Blockade of Faslane on 22nd April." Read full report. Meanwhile a few days earlier on thursday 20th Feb four people blocked the runway at RAF Brize Norton.

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Peace Camp begins at USAF Fairford

18-02-2003 05:19

raf fairford peace camp pic
On sunday 16th Feb, under a full moon, a small group of anti-war campaigners established a Peace Camp at USAF Fairford. They are appealing to the wider peace community for support.

The camp will run for 28 days and seeks to draw attention to the B-2 Stealth Bomber base at Fairford and its key role in the planned war on Iraq. The camp will monitor aircraft during the build up to war and provide news for other peace campaigners on activity at the base.

The camp was attacked by vigilantes on 19th Feb; they will not be detered by such tactics, but they encourage others to come and support.

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From Global Resistance To Local Persistence

17-02-2003 12:33

stop war feb 15th poster
Millions around the world demonstrated against war in the largest co-ordinated global protest ever, held in at least 603 towns and cities. The unprecidented wave of demonstrations saw estimates of 5-6 Million in much of the corporate press and figures topping 10 Million reported by independent commentators. Alongside, the global independent media movement provided coverage from much of the globe as the protests swept the planet. Here are just a few of the global report links:

Global Indymedia Portal coverage
Global total hits 11 Million!
Global radio archive *new
Global roundup with pictures from IMC Belgium
Global breaking news from
l70 Pictures from over 110 Protests around the World
Infoshop coverage - pics and reports around the World

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Millions March Against the War

16-02-2003 06:16

thousands fill Hyde Park
Millions around the world demonstrated against war in the largest global wave of co-ordinated protests ever. London saw one of the biggest protests in the world with organisers estimating up to 2 Million people taking part, in the largest protest the country has ever seen. There were also huge protests in Belfast (up to 150,000) and Dublin (20,000). A major demo in Glasgow (up to 100,000) saw protests following Blair to scotland for the labour party spring conference. Check [Imc Ireland] and [Imc Scotland] for more.

For full coverage of F15 in London, timelines of events including first hand reports, photos and videos see our special feature in IMC-UK Major Reports page.

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Anti War Global Day of Action Approaches

13-02-2003 10:04

Valentines weekend is set to see massive anti-war protests involving millions throughout the world. There are now demonstrations and actions planned in over 300 Update:600! towns and cities.

London will see perhaps up to one million people protest (police now estimate 500,000)[details], marching to Hyde Park, after the governments embarrassing climbdown over the ban on the rally in the park. At 5pm people will also gather at Green Park to engage in civil disobedience against the war, (thus far ignored by mainstream media). Huge protests are expected in Glasgow are in ireland. In New York campaigners have been refused permission to march by the UN building, but over 60 autonomous feeder marches have sprung up, all intent on converging at the UN.

The protests are set to be so large and widespread that mainstream media coverage is expected the world over. However despite being content to cover the protests, the BBC made it clear in an internal magazine that presenters and senior editorial staff should avoid participating in the name of impartiality, a move which was not applied to the countryside alliance protest. Furthermore the BBC decided to remove a band with an anti-war message from the World Music Competition on Radio 3.

Links to anti-war websites here. Schnews launch direct action anti-war website. Route of march map (inc oil and arms companies).

ARCHIVE of anti-war newswire postings: here - (Jan 26th - Feb 13th) includes various direct actions, protests, and the build up to the massive feb 15th global demo.

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No-Nato Days Of Action In Munich

08-02-2003 01:34

A high ranking-conference of war mongers takes place annuallly in Munich in February. In camouflage as "security conference" representatives of the military, economic and political elite vote for their hegemony strategies. But this year's NATO summit in Munich was also accompanied with 25.000 people taking part in several actions and demonstrations under the slogan "Smash NATO". By Friday night a total of 22 22 arrests were reported after the police raided the convergence centre in Munich.

For more information, reports & photos see feature in IMC-UK World Page.