UK Newswire Archive
30-05-2010 10:29Arrest warrant issued for Prateep Ungsongtham Hata. Prateep is a Thai activist noted for her work with slum dwellers in the Khlong Toey district of Bangkok, Thailand. A former Senator for Bangkok, she was awarded the 1978 Ramon Magsaysay Award for Public Service. She is Secretary General of the Duang Prateep Foundation.
On Saturday the 29th of May, at 5am around 40 church congregation members broke into the old Carlton Cinema on Essex Road, where a group of around 10 squatters were living. The cinema is owned by Resurrection Manifestation, an evangelical church currently based in Enfield.
The church members, some with their own weapons such as hammers and others picking up anything they could find on the floor woke the occupants up screaming "leave now!" One man was woken up by a strip light being smashed in his face. Another man got glass in his eye from a church member affronting him with a broken bottle. "They sprayed fire extinguishers in our faces and grabbed us by our clothes and threw us around," said one person living in the cinema.
One churchgoer in particular was very aggressive and clearly charged for a fight, shouting 'out now!' and breaking windows. Other congregation members kicked in tents where people were sleeping and said things like "what you're doing is wrong." This seemed a little ironic when they were throwing homeless people onto the street.
One of the strangest things about the siege was that the church had already got court papers for the squat and the date was on the 18th of June. The group had already been in the cinema for one month. Prior to the attack the group had a good relationship with the caretaker of the building, calming his fears about damaging the building by letting the fire brigade look around four times and deem it ok. The caretaker had the telephone number of two of the occupants and called regularly. So it seems like even more of a betrayal to the trust we thought we had built up.
The church has plans to make the cinema into a church as well as a seven-storey block of 44 flats and a new 520-seat basement-banqueting hall. Is this the kind of community we want in Islington? One that uses crazed violence in the name of the lord. ‘If there had been more of us we would have refused to leave the building and resisted.’ Said an occupant, ‘But because there were only 7 of us in at the time we feared for our safety. We are still unsure how they got in.’
30-05-2010 09:22Two Bristol people are currently on-board a flotilla of eight boats carrying thousands of tons of aid to Gaza. The boats are currently anchored off Cyprus and were expected to proceed toward the Gaza coast later today.
However Israel has vowed its navy will stop the flotilla using “force”. The Israeli military is planning to intercept the flotilla and tow the ships to the Israeli port of Ashdod where all those on-board will be deported.
A stand-off seems likely to develop – watch this space for updates.
For latest news of the flotilla with continual live TV broadcasting see:-
It is probable the Israelis will attempt to jam communications when the ships approach the coast
For postings see also:-
www.freegaza.org, (with twitter page)
The Bristol pair are Sakir Yildirim from Fishponds and Cliff Hanley from Southville. They have been organising a local fund-raising project - The “Bristol Cement For Gaza” project. This was formed by members of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign http://www.bristolpsc.info/ and Bristol Gaza Link http://www.BristolGazaLink.org.Over six thousand pounds has been raised has been raised by a variety of means. The group has run street-stalls in shopping centres throughout the city over the last few weeks. Local shops have been collecting money in donations tins from customers. Local groups have run film nights and fund-raising events. Appeals have been made at the Turkish mosque on Gloucester Road, and at the large Turkish Mosques in London. Donations have also been made by numerous private individuals across the city. People have also had the chance to write messages of support on a giant “Solidarity” banner which will travel with the consignment of building materials to Gaza.
Sakir and Cliff flew to Turkey earlier last week and boarded the passenger ship “Mavi Marmara” which sailed on Friday. This ship together with 3 cargo ships loaded with humanitarian aid are currently anchored off Cyprus. The ships have been organised by the Turkish aid organisation IHH http://www.ihh.org.tr and are carrying 10,000 tonnes of cargo and about 700 passengers. The cargo includes prefabricated homes, building materials, cement, steel, spare parts, medical supplies, a CT scanner, a complete dental surgery and paper for schools. Crayons and chocolate are also on board for Gazan children. The cargo has been paid for by donations. They are meeting up with four boats from other countries including Greece, Kuwait and Algeria and Ireland. Also due to travel on the flotilla are 15 MPs from the EU. They were expected to proceed toward the Gaza coast on Sunday.
This is the biggest attempt to take aid to Gaza so far but looks likely to run into a major confrontation with Israel. Israel has imposed an economic blockade on Gaza since the Hamas Government was elected. Nearly all exports and imports are banned and only a limited supply of food and medical aid is allowed in. Free Gaza has organised six previous aid boats to the Palestinian territory, the last three of which were blocked from reaching their destination by the Israeli military. The Israeli navy enforces a 20-nautical mile (23-mile) closure of the sea off Gaza, which has had a devastating impact on its fishing industry.
The Turkish Prime Minister, Racep Tayyip Erdogan, has called on Israel to allow the boats through. A call echoed by other Governments around the world including Norway, Sweden, Brazil, Mexico, Chile, Italy, Russia and from the EU foreign affairs chief Cathy Ashton. At the same time, Israel has remained bellicose and truculent in its responses. Yigal Palmor, an Israeli foreign ministry spokesman has said "The boats will not be allowed to enter Gaza territorial waters. This is a territory in a self-declared state of war with Israel. There can be no uncontrolled transportation in or out of Gaza." Earlier on Friday, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman called the Freedom Flotilla “violent propaganda against Israel's sovereignty”, and added that Israel would not allow such a threat to continue.
The Israel Navy has prepared for the arrival of the Gaza aid flotilla by sending ships to counter the convoy in the Israeli-controlled waters. Israel announced that it will prevent the ships from reaching their destination, and warned that it will not hesitate to make use of “limited force” if it becomes necessary. Israel plans to overtake the ships as soon as they enter a 20-mile Israeli-controlled zone off Gaza. They will then be towed to the Israeli port of Ashdod. They have taken journalists on a tour of a detention centre being prepared at the port for holding the aid activists. They plan that Israelis on board would be arrested, Palestinians would be questioned by the Israeli secret service, and foreign nationals would be deported.
Israeli press is reporting that: The ships should expect the special anti-riot unit of the Israeli Prison Authority who have been given a special permission to operate outside the borders of Israel. The Navy will start an attempt to catch the different boats separately. There will use electronic masking devices to prevent broadcasts of the confrontation
Both Sakir and Cliff have visited Gaza before. Sakir Yildirim, originally from the Blacksea area of Turkey, drove an ambulance to Gaza in February 2009. He was so shocked by the devastation there he pledged to return. Last Christmas he did - driving a massive 44 ton truck organised by Bristol-Gaza-Link as part of the Viva Palestine convoy. Cliff Hanley, Secretary of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign in Bristol. Cliff has visited Gaza once before, in January of this year, also as part of the Viva Palestina Convoy. Cliff is a well known artist in Bristol, see www.cliffhanley.co.uk/. While in Gaza he met up with local artists and he intends to develop this link.
Sakir Yildirim, who has visited Gaza twice before, says “In the past Israel has been ruthless and unlawful with boats heading for Gaza; they’ve threatened to fire on them, rammed or boarded them, and imprisoned everyone on board. So obviously everyone is a bit tense right now. But what’s different this time is it’s a really big project. Plus it’s backed by the Turkish Government right up the Prime Minister and other Governments around the world. And we have right on our side of course! So I’m sure we’ll get there safely.
He goes on to say “I’ve been lucky enough to have been to Gaza twice before. The injustice is appalling, but their steadfastness is a lesson for us all. The people there are amazing. And the welcome they give visitors is fantastic.
Cliff Hanley Secretary of the Bristol Palestine Solidarity Campaign says “I’d sooner be over here doing something practical to help Palestine. Instead of sitting at home and writing futile letters to my MP!”
He goes no to say “Once again the people have Bristol have generously supported our appeal. So we’re determined to get to Gaza and to see the money being used to rebuild homes, schools, and hospitals.”
30-05-2010 06:06Apparently the theme of this ride was a BP protest, which is understandable and why not?
30-05-2010 00:23Could be interesting. Two groups of people that haven’t got out on the streets to fight the EDL yet are the West Indians and Somalis. Cardiff has well established communities of both and signs are some sections are mobilising for Saturday with talk of 80 taxi drivers turning up for example.Radicalism seems to have vanished from West Indian politics here since the street riots of the 70s and 80s so what happens in Cardiff will be hopefully be a return to the streets. All depends on whether they are able to act autonomously or walk into the pens with the UAF and bleat slogans. Anyway here’s an update from Adamski – keep ‘em coming mate:
‘The EDL are gonna try and invade Cardiff on Saturday 5th June and I don’t think local people are very happy about it. The counter-demonstration looks set to be massive
A group of TAXI DRIVERS turned up to the last planning meeting and spoke about the racism and abuse they often experience on a nightly basis. They said that over 80 drivers so far had said that they would be striking on Saturday 5th June (and they expect more to join the action) they explained that this wasn’t an act of fear – ‘we get racism every night’ but an act of defiance……………
Anti-fascists have also launched the Bluebirds vs. The Nazis group and over 5000 leaflets have been distributed among Cardiff City Fans with fantastic feedback on the streets.
Cardiff’s biggest REGGAE, SKA, ROOTS night have asked to be official sponsors of the demo and are bringing their SOUNDSYSTEM – Jah Rastafari!
Hell, there is even gonna be a bike bloc on the demo with CARDIFF CRITICAL MASS saying they are coming to cycle against racism and fascism. There is a proud tradition of anti-fascist cycling, hence we read in a report of a 1930s demonstration staged by Oxford based Redshirts against Moseley’s Blackshirts:
‘From the far end of the Broad there approached a din of shouting and chanting and a cacophony of bicycle bells. Down past Trinity and Blackwell’s, four abreast, rode a group of about twenty young men and women, sounding the bells on their handlebars in shrill chorus and singing at the top of their voices the Jewish anthem Hatikvah – Hebrew for “The Hope” – to the melody of a Moldavian folk song: “Cart and Ox”’
Taxis, bikes? We just need to get some buses, motorcycles and go-karts and we can rock n roll!
Smash racism, Saturday 5th June, Cardiff -
Come rain or shine it’s gonna be HEAVY
30-05-2010 00:22NO RACIST DEMO IN CARDIFF: No to racist WDL & EDL
Saturday, 05 June 2010 at 11:00 onwards
Outside Wales Millenium Centre and march through Butetown up to the National Museum
Cardiff, United Kingdom
The Welsh & English Defence Leagues (WDL & EDL) – a group of racist thugs with links to the Nazi BNP – will be marching on Cardiff on Saturday 5 June to whip up race hatred against Muslims.
People right accross Wales have a proud tradition of standing up and sending racists and fascists packing when they try to spread fear and hatred in our communities with the clear message that they are not welcome and where ever they try to go be it in Wales or elsewhere we will be there to stop them.
Unite Against Fascism Cardiff and Unite Against Fascism Wales is calling for the biggest possible counter demonstration on Saturday 5 June, celebrating the diverse multi-cultural society in Cardiff.
The WDL & EDL have a habit of changing the time and location of their racist gatherings and because Saturday 5 June is also the day of the Wales vs. South Africa rugby match and a Stereophonics concert in the evening, we feel there is a realistic chance that they will do so on this occasion so please keep an eye out for any changes to our counter demonstration.
To find out how you can help stop the WDL & EDL contact Unite Against Fascism Cardiff by e-mail email@example.com or telephone 07737470156.
30-05-2010 00:00EDL publish bank details on Facebook so that members can donate.
Canadian suffocated fishes ... until Harper stops the sealhunt
29-05-2010 14:07A few summers of protest and direct action have paid off - the BNP's flagship Red, White & Blue festival has folded. The decision was announced at an East Midlands organisers meeting earlier this month.
some pics from last night's critical mass
doug's already posted a fine report here
the arrest really was just an uppity cop throwing his weight around. he'd asked the cyclist to move, and then hardly giving him a chance went on to say "right, you're under arrest".
he and a female colleague had to wait several minutes for back-up, while various cyclists jeered them and pointed out they should be stopping real crimes and shouting "shame on you" etc.
eventually a van came, and cyclists were very unco-operative about getting out of its way as it took the arrestee off. more city police had to help clear the road for the van. all in all the operation took around ten minutes and ended up involving at least eight city police.
all because of one cop's over-blown sense of pride. ridiculous. the cyclist was supposedly arrested for causing an obstruction and for obstructing a police officer. the obstruction charge was rubbish as he was part of a huge traffic jam and had nowhere really to go. the obstructing a police officer was just nonsense.
later, the cab that deliberately rammed a bike surprisingly came off worse. that's the strongest bike wheel i've ever seen. and a rear-ender like that leaves the cabbie with no defence insurance-wise. he can't exactly claim the bike rammed him and caused all that damage. hope he loses his licence.
parliament square was pretty much the last stop for the mass last night, where they showed support for the democracy village by blockading the square for several minutes and continuing to hold several lanes for another ten.
critical mass meets on the south bank under waterloo bridge at 6.30pm on the last friday of every month.