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UK Feature Archive

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London-Benefit night for Ahmed Meguini

21-08-2002 02:46

On Saturday 24 August, London No Borders group are organising a benefit night in conjunction with the Radical Dairy in solidarity and raising awareness of the plight of Ahmed Meguini. Ahmed is a well-known activist and co-founder of the organization "Spontaneous Movement," and is in preventative detention in the Strasbourg jail until his trial on August 21st. His arrest during a demonstration of the strasbourg noborder camp was targeted and violent. Ahmed has been placed in solitary confinement, which signifies among other things that he has no visitation rights. Many groups around Europe are on the streets to support him and others charged for protesting.
Benefit and Noborders chat 24.8, 7pm, 47 Kynaston Rd Stoke Newington. Food and DJ's.
trial result

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Woodland planning struggle continues

21-08-2002 02:35

home in the woods
After winning an appeal against enforcement action on 14th August, the inhabitants of Steward Wood (a permaculture based sustainable living project set up in April 2000) received a 5 year temporary planning permission to remain resident with seven benders and assorted communal structures. The decision came after the culmination of two years of planning applications and appeals to the Dartmoor National Park Authority and the Planning Inspectorate. But it's not over yet! Despite being given a million pounds to promote sustainable projects in Dartmoor, the Park Authority have decided to appeal...

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Cop out at Cannabis protest

14-08-2002 06:44

August 11 2002 in Portsmouth once again brought out the humour of the Smokey Bears. Hampshire Police have been notorious for their mishandling of the peaceful annual event for the last nine years. One arrest for a single joint at one picnic resulted in a lenghty legal case costing the taxpayer £2700. The defendant was found not guilty after police revealed they have tried to save costs by not sending the contents of the joint for analysis.

Other arrests have included for poking fun at an officers wig and infamous arrest of cannabis smuggler Howard Marks. This years picnic was held without a trace of the Police. Local businessman and activist, Dave Bear, sees it as a victory and believes that the over policing of the event in recent years has been a waste of money and was designed only to intimidate and harrass. A community worker organised people to paint their own colourful bear masks, while a Gormet cook created an Organic cake with a kick in the shape of Smokey Bear. While teddy bears in fancy dress dotted the ground, guitars were plucked and drums where played while Cannabis packed Bongs were blown in full view of the world.
[read more @ undercurrents | 2001 picnic website | UK Cannabis Internet Activists | Video of Cannabis campaign ]

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Selfridges Criticised for Israeli Sales Policy

09-08-2002 20:14

selfridge action
On Saturday 3rd Aug campaigners from many different groups demonstrated at Selfridges department store in London. The protests were in response to Selfridges decision to return to the shelves the controversial Israeli goods produced in the occupied territories, which they had previously removed from sale.
Some campaigners entered the store with banners, flags and flyers and were removed by security staff. Outside people played drums, held banners, blocked entrances, and handed out leaflets. One drummer was arrested after police pushed people out of the road.
Reports + Pics: outside | inside | another report
Background: 1 | 2
Debate: here
Previous Protests: June 1 | 2 | April

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Dick Cheney downplays Devonport risk to save money

07-08-2002 14:53

Risks to Plymouth residents from nuclear facilities at Devonport dockyard are being deliberately downplayed for commercial reasons according to anti-nuclear campaigners and experts. Devonport Management Ltd. (DML) are hiding behind official secrets legislation, they say, to play down the danger the dockyard poses to the public.

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Activists modify GM field trial

02-08-2002 15:59

Carnival Against The Crop
A farm involved in a GM Maize field trial was trashed by twelve local campaigners in the town of Wivenhoe, Colchester. Close to midnight on Thursday, the ripping up of the plants began, but in an interesting twist, two of the group involved were arrested...

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Dozens of Billboards Subvertised in Bristol

02-08-2002 12:22

On Tuesday 23rd July around 50 billboards in Bristol were subvertised. In some cases text was added to the adverts, such as " Work, Consume, Die" and "Advertisers will be prosecuted" or other text related to the advert itself. In other cases the ads were just painted over so they lost their message. Main story | Pictures
Recent subverts : 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

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More strikes: Firefighters and train drivers

28-07-2002 18:43

Thousands of firefighters from all over Britain demonstrated Monday 21st in Glasgow. Later in the week, RMT members in dispute with Arriva trains started a mass picket at Manchester Picadilly station to co-incide with the start of the Commonwealth games on Thursday 25th.

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Arms Fair Dinner Disrupted

28-07-2002 18:38

3 people gate-crashed a dinner for arms dealers from the Farnborough air show, held by the Society of British Aerospace Companies (SPAC), and attended by Jack Straw on July 23rd. The 3 gatecrashers were arrested as other protesters leafleted the delegates. Read report

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Primary School Children Fingerprinted

28-07-2002 18:34

Privacy International has warned that tens of thousands of UK school children are being finger printed by schools, often without the knowledge or consent of their parents. The electronic finger printing is being conducted as part of a cost cutting "automation" of school libraries by the company Micro Librarian Systems. As many as 200,000 primary and high school children from the age of seven have already been finger printed.

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Strasbourg NoBorder Action Camp

25-07-2002 11:37

Sunday 28th: NoBorder camp ends peacefully, managing to get all remaining prisoners released, after a week of protests against European border systems. Latest report
Saturday 27th: the police attacked demo in Strasbourg city centre where all NoBorder related demonstrations have been declared illegal. For latest updates see the Global Features page or Strasburg timelines: Saturday | Friday | Wed & Thu. See also the NoBorder newswire.

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Anti-GM Convoy Heads to London

23-07-2002 00:57

UPDATE: At 1.45 pm, today, over 150 people, including families with children, held a colourful and peaceful demonstration at the DEFRA offices in Smiths Square, London. They left large bags of GM crops from trial sites around Britain at the entrance. They were calling for no commercial growing of GM crops and an end to GM crop trials. People left at about 2.40 p.m See report and movie of action.

A convoy of people from Devon will arrive in London on Wedensday July 24, joined on route by other concerned citizens from all over the country. They will converge at Westminster, to voice a strong message of public resistance to the commercialisation of Genetically Modified (GM) crops. The current GM crop trials, which are almost complete, have been contaminating the environment for over three years and are widely recognised as fraudulent.

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Strasbourg noborder camp

22-07-2002 00:00

This first Europe-wide noborder camp was initiated by the Noborder network and organized by activist groups from a number of European countries. The camp consisted of 10 days of actions, workshops and discussions around the central demand of 'Freedom of Movement and Settlement for Everyone', bringing together activists, migrants and artists from across Europe in a laboratory of creative resistance and civil disobedience.

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Remembering Genoa One Year On

18-07-2002 23:00

genoa film still
Protesters gathered outside the Italian Embassy, London on Friday for the anniversary of the Genoa protests, which saw tens of thousands take to the streets in Genoa during an emotional weekend. Reports from Genoa:1, 2, 3, photos

While Amnesty International accused Italy of failing to punish those responsible for violence and torture, a press conference held by victims of the Diaz school raid called for Deputy Italian Prime Minister Fini to be held responsible for the brutal attack, more claims of a state strategy of using agent provocateurs also emerged, as has recent evidence that the police faked the discovery of two molotov cocktails at the school. Back in the UK two people recently had their cases dismissed after they were arrested at a solidarity demonstration with Indymedia Italy at the Italian Embassy last February.

Indymedia UK is set to screen a new and comprehensive hour-long documentary on the G8 Genoa protests. The film will be shown at The Ritzy in Brixton on Wednesday 24 July at 7pm and at the Watershed in Bristol, the Big Green Gathering festival, the Glasgow Film Theatre and the Casa Dockers Club in Liverpool. More info on screening dates.

Genoa Background Links
IMC UK Genoa Coverage : IMC News Blast, Genoa G8 : Diaz Raid Archive 1 (and more) : Diaz Raid Archive 2

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Council strike an 'overwhelming success'

18-07-2002 22:59

Strikers in Manchester
The UK saw the largest strike for over twenty years as council workers throughout the country removed their labour in order to gain a 6% increase in flat rate payment. Unison, GMB and T&G claimed the days strike was an ‘overwhelming success’. Two thirds of those on strike were women who continue to remain in the low pay bracket.

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Underpass reclaimed from muggers

14-07-2002 19:56

On Saturday July 13th around 500+ local residents of Easton & St Paul’s joined together to protest against the growing number of attacks happening around the M32 underpass. Bristol City council have refused time and again to take any practical steps to ensure the safety of pedestrians, so the community decided to take matters into there own hands by stopping the motorway traffic and symbolically linking hands around the roundabout.

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London Rising Tide disrupt conference

12-07-2002 09:02

On 8th & 9th July, a publication called Environmental Finance hosted a conference on 'Monetising carbon credits in emerging economies'. Rising Tide was present.

On 16th July, a Climate Criminals critical mass highlighted the planned Azerbaijan-Georgia-Turkey Pipelines System (or AGT). If built, it will have an enormous effect on climate change and human rights abuses.

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Long jail sentences for young Asians

12-07-2002 08:48

Young Asians are being dealt very harsh jail sentences following the riots in Oldham, Bradford and Burnley last summer.
A youth, 17 at the time, has been sent down for a year and a half, another defendant was jailed for two years and three months. A further 26 people from Burnley are due in court on 2 September. Other sentences include four years for throwing three stones, four years and nine months for throwing two stones and 11 months for picking up but not throwing two stones.

[Full report]

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Woomera hunger strikers at the Strand

09-07-2002 15:36

Woomera action in London.

Since yesterday four hunger strikers have positioned themselves in front of the Australian High Commission at Australia House at the Strand (London). They are staging a protest in support of the refugees locked up in the notorious Australian Woomera Detention Centre, who have been on hunger strike themselves for the past sixteen days.
The police threatened to remove the hunger strikers, claiming their presence constitutes an 'intrusion to the dignity of the building'. The protesters action theme now is: "What government puts the dignity of a building over the dignity of a person?".
Other support actions for Woomera took place in New Castle , Kyogle (New South Wales), Mexico, Israel, India and the United States. This Wednesday Chilout (Children out of Detention) will hold a solidarity fast outside Australia House as well.
Join the hunger strike and Chilout's action!

Full report | Pic1 | Pic2 | Woomera video by IMC NYC and Italy

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Derisory Damages in first of Bookshop libel cases

07-07-2002 17:21

Housmans Bookshop - Moral Victory, Legal Impasse, Financial Predicament

The High Court veredict against Housmans bookshop to pay only £14 damages on Tuesday 2 July was the culmination of an action brought nearly 2 years ago against the Kings Cross store. They faced the potentially ruinous libel case for stocking the anti-fascist magazine Searchlight. The case was brought by someone criticised in Searchlight, who chose to sue only the shop, not the author or publisher concerned, due to his distaste for the sort of material made available in radical bookshops. This was the first case to end up in court, but another case is due in court in autumn against Housmans and also Bookmarks.  The Bookshop Libel Fund is calling for urgent financial support for the shops to cover their costs in these cases, and for a change in the law to stop bookshops being targeted in this way.