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URGENT - Middlesex occupiers need help to resist eviction

14-05-2010 14:10

The Middlesex management has just gone to the High Court to try and get an eviction order to evict the occupiers. So bailiffs and police are expected any time. Please come down to support us resist the eviction.

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VIDEO - What is the Democracy Village?

14-05-2010 13:53

A group of concerned citizens who came together to call for Peace, Justice and Freedom. The issues that they campaign for are diverse e.g. Peace, an end to the war in Afghanistan, Climate Justice, Civil Liberties, Land Reform, Electoral Reform and much more. It is a creative space to discuss and put into action solutions for the future, such as community, self sufficiency and sustainability. Everyone is welcome to pitch up a tent and get involved.

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Cine Klandestino: Sun 16th May Bolivia Films at the Cube Cinema

14-05-2010 13:22

This Sunday the 16th of may, cinema klandestino will be screening films from Bolivia at the Cube Cinema. We’ll be screening two documentary films by director Rodrigo Vazquez and he’ll be discussing them with everyone afterwards, either in person or by video link up.
Child Miners (2008)

Presidente Evo (2009)

Plus, we will be joined by two folk who have just returned from working with social movements out in Bolivia. They will be with us to share information, feedback on what they found out, give reports from on the ground, at meetings and marches with the social movements.

Before and after we will be playing audio of the Mayday 2010 scheenanigans in Bolivia, as well as interviews, music, short films and slideshows of images from their trip. They’ll be there two during the discussion to give updates on the situation in Bolivia and reflections on Rodrigo’s films, so hopefully everyone can stick about after the films!

Check out this blog before hand, it details much of their experiences out there:

The films:

Winner of the Grand Prize at the 2009 Montreal Human Rights Film Festival Child Miners (2008) is a documentary about the daily troubles of two child miners, Jorge and Alex, who make one dollar a day working in the crumbling Bolivian mine of Lllallagua.

Presidente Evo (2009) is co-narrated by the filmmaker and Evo Morales. It tells the story of how Bolivia’s first indigenous President managed to re-write the Constitution, re-distribute the land among poor peasants and nationalise the gas industry, as these events were actually unfolding.

doors open: 7pm

films start: 8pm

door charge: £2/1

directions to the cube:


Child Miners

For 100 years, the Llallagua mine has been used to extract tin. I filmed child miners Alex Choque and Jorge Mollinedo in December 2005, when Bolivia’s first indigenous President Evo Morales won the elections with the promise of transforming poor people’s lives. Evo promised to give miners a better life by re-nationalizing the industry. Jorge’s father has contracted silicosis, the “miners’ disease” and now is out of work, so Jorge had to increase his work load to keep bringing food to the house, thus increasing the chances of becoming ill like his father. Newly-arrived Cuban doctors sent by Evo’s government establish that Jorge has begun developing the “miner’s disease” and advised him to stop working immediately. But now more than ever, Jorge needs to keep working.

Evo Presidente

There are some rare moments in documentary filmmaking when we are privileged enough to be part of a historical moment. When a landslide election win gave coca-farmer Evo Morales the Presidency of Bolivia, I felt I was caught in one of those moments. This is a documentary that follows the first three years of government of indigenous Bolivian President Evo Morales in his bid to re-write his country’s Constitution to empower the poor.

Rodrigo Vazquez

In 2005 Rodrigo founded Bethnal Films in order to produce independent feature films and documentaries. He subsequently produced “La Apertura”, a short film that won the Audience Award in the Bilbao Film festival 2006 and was bought by Channel 4 UK, “Looking for the Revolution”, an observational feature-documentary about the on-going indigenous revolution in Bolivia, four series for “Witness-Al Jazeera” and “Al Jazeera People & Power”, “Inside Hamas”, nominated for the 2008 Rory Peck Award, “Child Miners”, winner of the Grand Prize at the 2009 Montreal Human Rights Film Festival, which was nominated for dozens of other awards, and set up internationa co-productions to make films such as “Angels of Rio” and “President Evo”. Rodrigo has just released two films: a short entitled “Interrogating a Torturer” and “This Land is Our Land” about the landless peasants’ movement in Paraguay. He is currently editing his first feature-length fiction film, “Lenin in Maracaibo”, where he blends documentary and fiction to tell the story of a young indigenous teacher living in a slum, and is working on his next feature-length documentary project, provisionally entitled “Borders”, to mark the 200th anniversary of Latin America’s independence.

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The Hate You Hired

14-05-2010 12:44

Once post 9/11 hysteria in the U.S. subsided Americans began to reflect on what happened that day and since. Our collective sense of national pride was renewed helping to make us stronger. We realized how precious our freedoms and liberties were. We became more vigilant over anything that threatened our way of life and culture. In the face of tragedy we pulled together.

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Philippine Democracy: Alive, but is it well?

14-05-2010 12:22

Reflections on the 2010 Campaign.

The 2010 campaign has drawn to a close, and it’s time to distill my experiences after registering hundreds of miles by land, sea, and air crisscrossing the country as a party-list candidate.

read more

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Protesters attacked at Jolly's Circus - again

14-05-2010 11:32

At least half a dozen ‘men’ came out from the circus to attack people at last night’s (Thursday 13th) Jolly's Circus demo, seriously assaulting one female protester.

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Philippine Democracy: Alive, but is it well?

14-05-2010 11:32

Reflections on the 2010 Campaign.

The 2010 campaign has drawn to a close, and it’s time to distill my experiences after registering hundreds of miles by land, sea, and air crisscrossing the country as a party-list candidate.

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Students fightback against University Cuts

14-05-2010 11:19

Bristol protest spreads worldwide
A Bristol University Centre that has been a beacon and an inspiration to Deaf people all over the world is facing savage staffing cuts which, experts say, would make it ineffective – and with it we may lose one of Britain’s proudest claims to worldwide academic leadership.
Official Press Release from the campaign 'savedeafstudies':

For more than thirty years, the Centre for Deaf Studies (CDS) has blazed a trail for others to follow in the fields of Sign Language Studies, Deaf Studies and interpreter training. It has a list of firsts for which most universities, let alone small departments, would give their eye teeth:

* First funded research on sign language in the UK
* First use of the term Deaf Studies, now widely used all over the world
* First textbook on British Sign Language – still in use
* First full-time training programme for sign language interpreters
* First BSc & MSc in Deaf Studies
* First Professorship in Deaf Studies
* First Deaf person to head an Academic Centre in Europe
* First full-time University training programme for Deaf people taught in sign language

In all, the Centre has chalked up nearly thirty firsts in thirty years – a return on (very modest) investment almost unequalled in the
increasingly bang-for-your-buck world of higher education.

But now, the CDS is threatened with cutbacks affecting 75% of staff. According to everyone who works there, this will make it almost impossible to continue teaching beyond the next couple of years. And students who have already embarked on courses such as the world-famous BSc in Deaf Studies may receive an increasingly inadequate tuition service, because staff will be so overstretched.

“This is a breach of trust – in fact a breach of contract – with those of us who came here in good faith because of the Centre’s reputation”, said one student. “I came here to learn from the best Deaf and hearing staff and go on to become a sign language interpreter. Now they’re planning to get rid of most of them.”

On Monday 10 May, the University Senate took the first step towards implementing the cuts. The decision now passes to a meeting of the University Council on Friday 14 May. The University has to make cuts of £15m per annum to its budget. The actual savings by removing the Deaf Studies undergraduate programme (staff costs minus the student fee income) is not much more than £100k per annum – hardly enough to consider putting this programme at risk and flying in the face of the University’s own Diversity and Public Engagement aims.

It is widely felt that the CDS has been targeted because it is seen in some quarters as a vulnerable minority interest. “Other departments who don’t want to bear the brunt themselves may just sit on their hands, hoping they might escape the worst if the CDS takes the biggest hit”, said one supporter.

If so, this would be seen in many quarters as not only cowardly, but against the law. Under the Disability Discrimination Act, all public bodies have a Disability Equality Duty to carry out a disability equality impact assessment of the community of any measures they take. There is strong evidence that Bristol University has hardly begun this process and is potentially acting contrary to the Code of Practice.

In fact, where so many Deaf people are concerned, far from rushing decisions through Senate at short notice, there is a requirement to allow extra consultation time because of the difficulties of communication. Ironically, the CDS has done more than almost anywhere over the years to improve communication and access for Deaf people.

But if the authorities acted at short notice, they must have been taken aback at the speed with which the campaign to Save Deaf Studies took off, once word leaked out. Within four days a petition started by a third-year undergraduate has gathered nearly two-and-a-half-thousand signatures from Deaf people and universities all over the world.

The CDS has always been a pioneer on a global scale. In 1996 it ran the first UK deaf-led project based in Africa – in Northern Uganda – funded by Oxfam and Action on Disability and Development. It has also pioneered Europe-wide initiatives. In April this year it launched a multi-million euro project in conjunction with police and fire services to give deaf people direct access to 999 services through videophones. Now all the effort that the team at CDS have put in over the decades is being repaid with an international outcry against the University’s cuts plan.

Academics from as far afield as Australia, Finland, Germany, Canada and the United States have leapt to the defence of the beleaguered CDS, with comments on the petition website and letters directed to the University’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Eric Thomas.

Two Assistant Professors from Utah Valley University in the USA wrote:

“.targeting programs such as Centre for Deaf Studies for budgetary cuts. stems from inability of majority culture to recognize and understand the significant contributions studies of minority cultures have towards the academic discipline of Humanities. those programs should be celebrated and promoted, rather than cut. Please reconsider before you implement such a disastrous plan – disastrous to greater understanding of humanity, disastrous to promotion of equity of humans worldwide – and disastrous harm to Deaf people everywhere.”

More comments from all over Britain and around the world can be found here on our website and the petition, at Save BSc Deaf Studies Campaign Petition.

Thirty years ago a beacon for the promotion of Deaf Studies was lit in Bristol. Now the campaign to save it is spreading like wildfire round the world.

For further information contact:

Please help our cause by also sending letters of support to Council Members who will tomorrow (Friday 14 May) decide the fate of our degree course and the ensured future of our department;

Lobby of University of Bristol Council members, Geological Sciences, University Road, 1pm until 2.30pm, Friday 14 May.

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a letter from a GREEK PRISON - Costas Gournas

14-05-2010 10:36
(Published also in Athens Indy in Greek)
Neither torture nor the psychological war nor do devastating penalties will make me kneel. I'm stronger than ever and I have unwavering faith in my struggle and revolution. Now I can look straight my kids eyes and be proud. Besides, their birth at 6 December 2008 is like an order for me to keep going. Finally, in this text I want to honor my partner Lambros Foundas murdered by the regime. This battle had this beautiful fighter that will always remain etched in our hearts.

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Robin Wood Protest at Unilever's General Assembly

14-05-2010 09:44

Following protests in Rotterdam and Hamburg yesterday,  ROBIN WOOD activists protested today during Unilever's general assembly in London against tropical rainforest destruction for palm oil. A banner with the message "Unscrupulous Destruction of Rainforest and Community for Palm Oil" was unfurled in front of the entrance to the Queen Elizabeth Conference Centre. The activists additionally distributed information to the shareholders and demanded that they not absolve the board of directors of their ethical responsibilities concerning company purchases.

The Dutch-British company Unilever is the largest purchaser of palm oil worldwide, most coming from plantations in Indonesia. This cheap fat is an ingredient in products from Unilever brands such as Rama, Langnese and Knorr. Approximately 9.4 million hectares of land have already been transformed into palm oil plantations in Indonesia and this area is increased every year by approximately 600,000 hectares. The palm oil boom has drastic consequences due to the destruction of tropical rainforests which are irreplaceable for biodiversity and the worldwide climate.

Additionally, landgrab for giant monocultural plantations threatens the livelihoods of millions of people. "We want to put a stop to the palm oil boom. Unilever is the largest purchaser of palm oil worldwide and therefore a key player" said Peter Gerhardt, ROBIN WOOD's rainforest campaigner. "For this reason in an open letter to CEO Paul Polman we demanded that Unilever require its suppliers to immediately cease expansion of their palm oil plantations. Otherwise the company will remain complicit in environmental destruction, climate change, and human rights violations."

One of Unilever's largest suppliers of palm oil is Wilmar Intl. Wilmar Intl. owns huge palm oil plantations in Indonesia, plans to expand further, and doesn't shy away from the use of violence in order to succeed in their expansion plans. "During our research trip to the Indonesian province of Jambi in 2009, local villagers told us of instances where Wilmar's henchmen threatened them with weapons in order to get them to give up their land for new palm oil plantations," reports Gerhardt. These are not isolated instances. The World Bank discontinued funding of palm oil plantations in part due to massive land conflicts between local villagers and Wilmar Intl. "We demand a ban on the establishment of new palm oil plantations," said Nordin, an Indonesian environmental activist working together with ROBIN WOOD. "We are dependent on the forest for protection against flooding, ecosystem stability, and for our own livelihoods and food."

Unilever attempts to appease its critics and customers with a promise to buy more RSPO-certified palm oil. Palm oil would be certified by the RSPO (Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil) when it is allegedly produced in a sustainable manner. However, the standards required to receive RSPO certification are unconvincingly lenient. For example, logging of rainforest for the establishment of new plantations is even allowed. Most palm oil companies which are involved with the RSPO follow an aggressive course of expansion to the detriment of unique natural ecosystems.

(The open letter to Unilever's CEO and ROBIN WOOD's report from the research trip to Indonesia can be found at

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BP: The Unfinished Tale of Imperialism

14-05-2010 09:35

an aerial view of the massive spill in the Gulf of Mexico, 6 May 2010
In the light of BP's crime against humanity committed in the the Gulf of Mexico, it is well to remember the sordid historical role of BP and its earlier incarnation as the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company.

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Bedford Fascist House Attacked

14-05-2010 09:31

The house of scummy nazi Kevin (Quimm) Quinn has been attacked again

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EDL invasion of Cardiff 5th June

14-05-2010 09:13

The EDL say they are gonna come to Cardiff on 5th June.

If they do they'll never make it home.

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Leicestershire County Council: Please make a Decision!!

14-05-2010 05:39

The Minorca Opencast Protest Group is to launch a Petition asking Leicestershire County Council to make a decision on UK Coal's Minorca Application on July 15th. This decision has already been postponed 6 times and by then residents will have been waiting for over a year which they consider is long enough.

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Defend the Right to Protest Israeli War Crimes.

14-05-2010 01:01

Audio Banner
There is disturbing evidence that laws are being used to stifle
political protest; especially when it concerns protest against Israel.
The severity of the sentences passed on demonstrators outside the Israeli
Embassy during the bombing of Gaza is unprecedented. Charges of racist
conduct against demonstrators in Scotland have been rejected by the courts.

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Don't get caught in a BAD HOTEL

14-05-2010 00:22

A flashmob infiltrates the Westin St. Francis hotel in San Francisco,  USA, and performs an adaptation of Lady Gaga's, as workers call for the boycott of their own workplaces

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Anthrax alert issued today. Heroin infected with deadly anthrax in circulation

13-05-2010 23:26

The BBC reported today that the Department of Health and UK Police have issued a safety alert as heroin infected anthrax has killed a number of people. Heroin infected with anthrax spores killed people in Scotland in December 2009. Today police revealed that more people have died including a person in London. Was it leaked from an animal testing lab?

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Turkey: Solidarity call for the "Platform of struggling workers"

13-05-2010 21:48

Militant workers from recent struggles in Turkey, including TEKEL tobacco workers, Istanbul Water and Sewers Department workers, firemen, metal workers, municipality workers, building workers, dustmen, science workers and workers from the ATV-Sabah News Corporation, have come together and established a workers' group called the Platform of Struggling Workers. We are calling on everyone to support the workers' group.

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a day at the peoples assembly

13-05-2010 21:36

The people's assembly activities in parliament square