UK Newswire Archive
The climate 9 are a group of climate change activists currently on trial at Aberdeen Sheriff Court for closing down aberdeen Airport in March last year.
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The racist Scottish Defence League took a trip to Kilmarnock this morning and were met with fierce opposition from local people and anti-fascists from across Scotland.
Although the SDL claim to be protesting against Islamic extremism and in support of free speech, their past record shows that they’re nothing but a bunch of racists and hooligans.
The SDL planned to assemble at the Rabbie Burns statue at Kilmarnock Cross at 11am and then march across town to spread their message of hate and intolerance.
Anti-racists occupied the space from 10am to ensure that the SDL didn’t get a foot in the door. There was a heavy police presence who pushed us into a small area of Kilmarnock Cross and didn’t allow us freedom of movement. We heard from various sources that the SDL had been herded into a nearby alley. A few of our number managed to break off and sneak away for a look, by following the sound of their vile chanting. As we approached we saw that the small number of SDL protesters were entirely surrounded and outnumbered by police.
At the SDL events in Glasgow and Edinburgh at this stage in the day, due to pressure from huge numbers of anti-fascists, the police stopped the SDL from having freedom of the streets and prevented them from their spouting racist abuse, by keeping them in one location and then removing them in buses.
This was not the case in Kilmarnock, however. Despite the SDL seeming quite happy to stand where they were and shout horrible things whilst waving Union Jacks, the police approached the group and told them that they would facilitate their “peaceful” demonstration, had identified and were happy with where the SDL wanted to go, and then invited them to march to Kilmarnock Cross.
Separated by only a few metres and a couple of lines of stony faced cops, the SDL shouted anti-Muslim slogans and made violent and threatening gestures at the assembled group of anti-racists, whilst we told them what we thought of them (and reminded them that even their own organiser thinks they’re all “wankstains”).
This went on for around 30-40 minutes – far longer than the SDL have ever been given free reign before. The SDL were eventually escorted away from the town centre. Rather than bothering to protect the people of Kilmarnock from the racist scum, the police instead focused all of their efforts on preventing us from pursuing the SDL. They were ultimately unsuccessful, as a small group of anti-fascists broke free and ran through multiple police lines to maintain a presence outside the hotel that the SDL had ended up in.
When we approached the hotel, a huge number of police officers swarmed around us and tried to pack us tightly into a small space on the pavement and didn’t allow us to move. The sun was blazing hot and we were stranded without food or water as the police desperately tried to persuade us to abandon our outpost and join the tokenistic rally in favour of multi-culturalism, organised by local trade union and political bureaucrats, that was being held near by.
Some of those anti-fascists who hadn’t managed to run past the police lines had been herded into the rally in park, where they discovered around 35 people nonchalantly lying in the sun, without even any speakers or political message being espoused. The speaker and the singer that were booked had both neglected to attend. One councillor made a half-arsed attempt at a speech and waffled a wee bit about how multi-culturalism is good. (Aye, that’s all well and good, but how come you’re too feart to say that racism is bad?) Whilst the fascists were being given free reign to roam the streets of Kilmarnock, the smug folk in the park were patting themselves on the back and talking about organising dancers and singers for a pro-multi-cultural event two months away in August.
Some anti-racist campaigners, frustrated at the lack of action, called on the people at the park to join the others outside the hotel in taking action against the fascists. Six polis on bikes immediately sped towards the group attempting to make their way to the hotel and LIED to their faces, telling them that the SDL were absolutely not in that hotel on that street. A couple of undeterred demonstrators pressed on, followed by the cops on bikes, only to be denied access to the street by more cops. Errr… but if the SDL aren’t there, as your colleagues claimed, how come we’re not allowed down this street? Confronted by their own lies, the police then attempted to intimidate the protesters and demanded their names and all of their personal details.
We continually faced harassment from both the police and the few SDL members who dared to show their faces outside of the hotel to attempt to goad us. After it became clear that the SDL were being allowed to leave the hotel in small groups unescorted by the police, we attempted to follow them down the street to ensure that they were contained and not posing a threat to local people. The police reacted forcefully and physically prevented us from moving. After a heated argument they realised that if the SDL were being allowed to disperse and go home, then they would have to allow us to the same.
As we walked down the street, we saw that a group of unaccompanised fascists had walked right past a few of the protesters that they had been threatening earlier on that day, as the police continue to hassle and harass us. It was potentially a very dangerous situation, that thankfully passed without violence from the racists. Understandably, we were a little shaken up and pissed off at the way the police failed to protect peaceful protestors from potentially violent thugs.
We were talking amongst ourselves about the scandalous behaviour of the cops, when one of our number said something about a “fat jolly policeman”. He was immediately grabbed by the arm and pushed against a wall and told: “If you say anything else, it’ll be the last thing you say today. Do you understand me?”
When the shocked protestor failed to answer immediately, the cop pushed him further the wall and repeated the questions, whilst his colleagues tried to block anyone else from seeing what was going on.
The police turned their video camera on the protestor and pressured and intimidated him into providing them with his personal details, whilst refusing to answer any of his questions. After being asked multiple times if he was being threatened, arrested, detained… the police said that he was required to give his details because he was a suspect. A suspect of what, exactly? They refused to say until they had been asked a dozen times, and it was clear that the rest of us were not going to leave – they then claimed he was suspected of breach of the peace. Pfft. The police forcefully pushed the rest of us away, in order to better intimidate the lone protester, despite the fact that he had been nothing but respectful – even apologising to the police, saying: “I’m very sorry if I caused any offense to you in the heat of the moment.”
It was a beautiful sunny day in Kilmarnock, there was great participation by local people and we had a degree of success – the fascists’ attempt to spread their message of hate was drowned out by our songs, and we certainly showed them that they were not welcome in Kilmarnock.
There are some things that could have made the day a lot better - if there had been more protestors willing to confront the SDL, and if the police had stop trying to restrict us whilst the fascists do what they wanted, for example.
No doubt the SDL will proclaim today as a success, but to the vast majority of the people of Kilmarnock, they came across as nothing but a bunch of pathetic racist thugs.
One thing’s for certain, it was a confidence booster for the SDL, and they’ll be back.
What are you gonna do about? Wherever they rear their ugly head, we need to be there to let them know that their racist rhetoric is not welcome in Scotland.
Not now, not ever.
19-06-2010 20:16griffith williams lj - who are u?
19-06-2010 17:25Brasserie at West Park remove foie gras from the menu
19-06-2010 17:13Recent deaths of primates in the US exposed to freezing and baking temperatures
in San Antonio Texas and in Nevada have brought renewed attention to the
The Judge has ruled against arguments that Boris's GLA don't actually have the right to claim a possession order as they are only managers on behalf of the current owner, the Queen, who was "given" the land by Government in the GLA Act of 1999. Tony Benn will appear in court for the defence on Monday afternoon, and supporters are urged to attend the High court from 2pm on Monday as there will be lots of statements from the defendants. The case is likely to carry on at least a couple more days.
Boris Johnson vs Democracy
On Mon Jun 14 in the High Court began the trial of the Mayor of London claiming repossession of Parliament Square from Democracy Village. This prime piece of real estate had been seized from the enemy class on Mayday, and a Village of over thirty tents, kitchen facilities, compost toilet and peace garden established over the course of the next six weeks.
From the outset, the villagers declared they would stay until all soldiers had come back home from Afghanistan. Villagers have regularly sallied forth to perform direct actions including spectacular banner drops from Big Ben, the roof of Westminster Abbey and, on our first date in court, even from the roof of the Royal Courts of Justice!
Boris faced 19 named defendants, among them Brian Haw, plus Persons unknown who had entered or remained without the consent of the GLA. From the very first Bank Holiday weekend, our tents were served with notices of the Mayor’s bye-laws. Unless you’ve filled in a form, attached a risk assessment, obtained public liability insurance and gained the Mayor’s explicit written authorization, you’re not allowed?to assemble or make a speech in any part of Parliament Square. It goes without saying that Election Meltdown, organisers of the original Mayday Carnival which occupied the Square, never asked anyone’s permission for any of their lawful and popular activities. These included erecting a 30-foot maypole and hanging New Labour class traitors from a large gibbet.
One of the first defiant acts of the Grassroots Government was to celebrate its inauguration by planting a young oak sapling in the very centre of the Square. This has since become the centrepiece of a beautiful garden of shrubs, herbs, flowers and vegetables. According to Boris’ minions, this amounts to £50,000 worth of criminal damage, the costs of digging up the oak tree and replanting the grass. The consensus view of the villagers is that the true criminal damage is the death and destruction wrought by illegal and inhuman wars.
Bindmans, the solicitors, represented the first named named defendant, Rebecca Hall, a long-standing villager, but several others stood up to represent themselves. Our first line of defence was that the Mayor could not claim repossession because he does not own the land – the Queen does! Boris’ men had a real headache, having to argue that effectively any tenant farmer, steward or estate manager had the right to take possession of land they were occupying even if that meant evicting the titleholder. Boris explicitly claimed he has the power to evict the queen from Parliament Square if he so chose. His minions argued that, whatever the law said, the fact that the Mayor had erected a fence for reseeding the grass back in October 2007 implied he had control of the Square, and therefore possession. So the queen can be ousted by her gardener! It also implies, what’s to stop us from putting up fences and saying it’s ours!
The main line of argument of the claimants is that Boris is a stalwart upholder of democracy and he fears that while a minority is camped on Parliament Square this will deter and prevent other demonstrations by the majority. The Square has a long and illustrious history as a site of protest, and as a tourist attraction. Supposedly, the presence of the village undermines this. Boris’ minions claim the Heritage wardens have been counting far fewer visitors than usual – though they can’t tell us how these estimates are arrived at. It doesn’t ring true with the experience of most villagers, who generally interact and chat with dozens of people everyday, tourists and visitors who are very curious to find out what is going on, and then almost always supportive. As far as demos go, the Village arranged plenty of space for the large-scale demonstration by the British Tamil forum on May 18, when well over a thousand men, women and children were spread around the square to commemorate the anniversary of genocide. Also on the Square on May 22, villagers held a tense but eventually fairly amicable exchange with members of March for England who had been intending to parade with the English Defence league. All of this is democracy in action.
Boris’ main witness, Simon Grinter, official manager of Parliament Square gardens, declared in his statement that the Welcome desk, a table laden with leaflets and info for visitors, acts as a ‘control’ point of entry to the Square. This despite the fact that it is possible to walk onto the Square from all four corners. Under cross examination by all the unrepresented defendants on Jun 17, Grinter was forced to admit that there was no disabled access to the Square at all; that there isn’t even a green man crossing, let alone a zebra crossing to get over to the Square; parents with children, or the elderly have to brave at least three lanes of busy traffic to get across at red lights. On the south side of the Square, some paving stones are so cracked and neglected they constitute a hazard.
Grinter has also let slip that that the first step Boris will take should his bailiffs manage to evict us is once again to fence off the entire Square ‘to reseed the grass’. No demonstrations will be allowed there for weeks on end. The villagers’ response to this has been to start reseeding the grass ourselves already, operating patch by patch. This is proving immeasurably cheaper, since it’s being done for love not money. In contrast to Boris, we’re insisting on unfettered public access. In most places, the grass is in perfectly good order. We’ll be exercising our rights there until the troops come home.
Clearly from the outset, Mr Justice Williams was prepared to set aside all precedent on feudal property law to help Boris reestablish his grip on the Square, and indeed ruled to that effect on Weds June 16, granting him jurisdiction to claim repossession. So, even though Boris is not the titleholder, the judge has ruled (without yet giving his full reasons) that Boris does have the right to bring the case - this is a potentially dangerous precedent for feudal property owners.
The Villagers rallied behind the moving declaration made by guerrilla gardener Simon Moore, invoking the Diggers, English Revolutionaries of 1649. Approaching the bench, he respectfully suggested that property was possessed by theft and murder. The Earth, he said, is a common treasury for all. No man has any right to buy and sell the Earth for private gain. Sir, he challenged Mr Justice Willams, ‘you would do a service for humankind to admit that.’
The case for the defence will begin on Mon Jun 21 at 2pm in the High Court, the Strand, and Tony Benn will take the stand for the defence, along with statements of defence from many of the unrepresented defendants. So, Monday afternoon is highly recommended for supporters to attend.
On Tuesday, much of the case will focus on Brian Haw and whether and by how much his protest has encroached on the GLA's turf. The democracy village will have a skeleton crew in court as they are focussing on a day of action against the cuts.
In theory, there will be a judgement on Wednesday, but with all the witness statements, and then further legal arguments about a possible injunction, insiders are suggesting it is more likely to extend through the week.
For more information see??http://meltdown.uk.net??http://democracyvillage.org
And join facebook group for regular notice of activities
19-06-2010 16:1412noon Parliament Square Tuesday 22nd June
Street Party - Rave against the Cuts
For the corporate elites to continue practicing genocidal predation for power and profit in developing countries, it is necessary that the predation be cast in a false cover of humanitarian aid, democratic development, solidarity, progress, and the like, and that the most overtly murderous practices be cast as necessary in a fight against evil.
If sufficient care is not taken to secure this cover of mental imagery, then the bosses’ actions will appear more to be what they are, murderous and psychopathic, and the bosses’ children may not feel comfortable sitting on the bosses’ laps and the bosses’ partners may not feel comfortable sleeping in the same bed…
19-06-2010 11:43Top line up at an affordable price for a jolly good cause.
19-06-2010 11:22Dance the night away in support of local climate activism
19th June at The Plough, Easton. An extravaganza of bands, DJs, open mic, bar and vegan food. Party through the night and help support those facing a lengthy court process.
The night will start with an open-mic session with local bands and you - bring your instruments!
Later Bristol based 'Heroin Hero' will kick off with some skanking reggae and proggy indie beats followed by 'Ceilidh Minogue' with an upbeat stomping mishmash of Celtic / French / Balkan / American Folk.
Two DJ sets will take us through the night with 'DJ Blackrainbow' giving us global beats and bass and 'Krackpotkin' with glitchbass raggastep.
Suggested donation for entry - £3
This is a fundraiser for 18 people accused of maliciously obstructing a railway with regards an action at Ffos-y-Fran open-cast coal mine near Merthyr Tydfil in April. 7 people from Bristol and Bath chained themselves to a railway to prevent a train from delivering coal from the mine to Aberthaw Power Station, the dirtiest power station in Wales.
Disclaimer: proceeds will pay for the cost of travel to court appearances for defendants who would otherwise have difficulty reaching court. They will not be used to fund direct action or pay fines.
19-06-2010 10:14The US and European Union (EU) ratchetted up the pressure on Iran over its nuclear programs this week with additional sanctions on top of those adopted last week in a UN Security Council resolution. The latest moves set the stage for an escalating confrontation with Iran, which has denounced the latest UN resolution as “illegal”.
19-06-2010 10:12A total of five US soldiers are now charged with murder in the killing of three civilians in Afghanistan earlier this year, according to a statement issued by the Army Wednesday. Three soldiers were charged Tuesday, joining two charged earlier this month. All could face the death penalty if convicted.