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UK Newswire Archive

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Fri 30th July: 100 days of Gulf of Mexico oil spill

26-07-2010 14:22

Along with BP, Transocean, the world’s largest offshore drilling contractor, is also responsible for the Gulf of Mexico disaster.
Transocean also built the wellheads for the Shell Corrib gas project in Mayo, Ireland where the community campaign is now in it's 10th year of struggle

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EDO Judge in Anti-Semitism Row

26-07-2010 13:22

Judge faces anti-Semitism probe after Brighton campaigners walk free
Reported in today's 'The Argus' by Nigel Freedman a local Brighton rag that about as bad as Bristol Evening Pest.

A top judge is under investigation after being accused of making anti-Semitic comments that could have swayed a jury into acquitting a group of protesters.

Judge George Bathurst-Norman was said by critics to have persuaded a jury to clear a group of campaigners who smashed up a Brighton factory they claimed was making parts for Israeli war planes.

Jewish groups described the judge as acting like the “defence counsel [rather] than the neutral officer of the court.”

He is said to have compared Israel to the Nazi regime and accused the country of ignoring international law while summing up the criminal damage trial.

The judge, added that 'there may be much to be admired' about one Smash EDO protester, and that 'in the last war he would probably have received a George Medal'.

Eight protesters were either cleared last month by the jury or on the directions of the judge of conspiracy to cause £187,000 damage at the EDO MBM plant in Moulsecoomb, Brighton.

They claim the company makes weapons release mechanisms for Israeli F16 fighters which bombed Gaza killing more than 1,000 civilians.

The protesters said they acted lawfully in “decommissioning” the factory to prevent alleged war crimes being committed by Israel.

The Office for Judicial Complaints, which deals with objections over the conduct of judges and magistrates, confirmed that an inquiry into how Judge Bathurst-Norman handled the trial is under way.

The move follows a series of complaints from organisations including the Board of Deputies of British Jews.

Chief executive Jon Benjamin said: “The judge's summing up seemed to be more of a character reference for the defendants and an account of the iniquities of Israel and America than a dispassionate appraisal of the evidence.

“Rather than test whether the defence of lawful excuse was available to the accused he appeared more intent on telling the jury why they would be morally wrong not to acquit them.”

The judge told the jury: “It may be as you went through what I can only describe as horrific scenes of devastation to a civilian population, which one would have hoped to have disappeared with the Nazi regime, you may have felt anger, but you must put that emotion aside.”

Jonathan Hoffman, vice-chairman of the Zionist Federation, said: “The judge behaved more like the defence counsel than the neutral officer of the court that he was supposed to be.”

A spokesman for the Office of Judicial Complaints said: “We have received a number of complaints in relation to Judge Bathurst-Norman's summing up.

“Those complaints will be considered under the Judicial Discipline Regulations in the usual way.”

The findings of the investigation will be considered by Lord Chief Justice Lord Judge and Lord Chancellor Kenneth Clark who will decide if the judge should face disciplinary action.

End of newspaper article.

Anyway - if anybody should get a medal or award it should be James. A year and a half is a big chunk out of your life especially when all he did was try - best he could - to stop or at least reduce the suffering of the defenceless children, women and men of Gaza.

Well done James!!!!

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Brighton Hunt Sabs pre season meeting

26-07-2010 13:20

Brighton Hunt Sabs Pre Season Open Meeting and film screening.

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Afghanistan war logs: Wikileaks expose

26-07-2010 11:52

The War and wikileaks

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Servisair End the Importation of Lab Animals

26-07-2010 11:28


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Shenanigans at Glasgow's Castro LGBT Centre

26-07-2010 11:23

Two fine & detailed articles about financial irregularities and general skullduggery at Glasgow's Castro Centre. The 2nd LGBT Centre to get into debt whilst run by Labour councillor Ruth Black.

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Review of terror laws is welcome, but it needs to open its doors

26-07-2010 11:23

The review of counter-terrorism powers announced last week by Home Secretary Theresa May is very welcome. It is to be hoped that it will mark the beginning of the end for the regime of oppressive anti-terrorism laws enacted by the Labour Government over the last decade. SACC is calling for the reviewers to throw open their doors and invite submissions from all groups with an interest in the issue.

read more

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International Call-out For Solidarity

26-07-2010 07:41

Location: All British Embassies, High Commissions, British Trade Offices and any other British interests globally.

12noon Friday 30th July 2010.

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UKBA detention capacity @ 26th July 2010

26-07-2010 07:12

Harmondsworth IRC, managed by GEO Group UK, is now back to full capacity after being partially made uninhabitable by frustrated detainees in November 2006.

(Formally known as 'Wackenhut Corrections Corporation'. GEO Group has been accused of gross civil rights violations relating to adequate access to food and medical care, especially at its USA Northwest Detention Center, including unlawful interrogations and coercing inmates to sign paperwork they would otherwise not be inclined to. Source 'Wikipedia'. GEO's worldwide operations include the management/ownership of 63 prisons/Immigration Removal Centres and residential treatment facilities with a capacity of 61,500 beds)

As of today there are a total of 3,436 bed spaces, in Immigration Removal Centres (IRCs) and Short Term Holding Facilities (STHFs).

A sizable number of prison bed spaces are occupied by persons off the end of criminal sentences (have reached their release date) and continue to be detained as immigration offenders, awaiting deportation or transfer to a detention centre. UKBA no longer release the numbers of those held in prison as immigration offenders.

Eight IRCs and 4 STHFs are owned/managed or managed by private corporations, three IRCs managed by the Prison Service.

Campsfield House IRC GEO Group Bed spaces: 216 male detainees

Harmondsworth IRC GEO Group Bed spaces 615 male detainees

Yarl's Wood IRC Serco Bed spaces 405 Female detainees

Colnbrook IRC Serco Bed spaces 383 male detainees ( STHC 40 beds male/female)

Brook House IRC G4S Bed spaces 426 male detainees

Oakington IRC G4S Bed spaces 408 male detainees

Dungavel House G4S Bed spaces 190 Mixed, male, female

Tinsley House G4S Bed spaces 146 Male Detainees

Dover IRC HM Prison Service Bed spaces 316 male detainees

Haslar IRC HM Prison Service Bed spaces 160 male detainees

Lindholme IRC HM Prison Service Bed spaces 112 male detainees

Manchester STHF G4S Bed spaces 32

Queens Buildings (Heathrow) STHF G4S Bed spaces 15

Harwich STHF Abbey Security Ltd Bed spaces 12

Dover Harbour STHF Dover Harbour Board Bed spaces 20

Addresses/phone/fax/visiting times for all the above can be found here:

(Editors note, data has been taken from UKBA/Private management web sites)

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Landlords and Deposits: Know Your Rights

26-07-2010 02:30

Around this time of year many students are leaving, or have just left, their private rented accommodation. Aside from the frantic cleaning and figuring out how on earth they are going to move the junk collected through three years of university back home; one topic bothers pretty much all of them. How to get their deposits back.
A deposit for a student house is often a lot of money and it is not uncommon for students never to see a penny of it. Many others lose large chunks; £50 to mow the lawn, £150 to professionally clean the carpets, £75 to repaint that wall with all posters sellotaped to. It mounts up.

The frustrating thing about this is that landlords are very often seriously in breach of the law in making these claims. The Housing Act 2004, in force since 6th April 2007, requires the landlord to pay the deposit into one of three tenancy deposit schemes (Deposit Protection Scheme, Tenancy Deposit Scheme or mydeposits). They are then required to notify the tenants of which scheme is being used. If you are currently in a dispute with your landlord over deposits, get in touch with the three schemes listed above. If none of them have your deposit, your landlord is in big trouble.

Under s.214 of the Housing Act 2004, failure to pay the money into a scheme within the required period (14 days after recieving it) can result in a court order requiring the landlord to pay the tenants a fine equal to three times the amount of the deposit. Suddenly the boot is on the other foot.

Even though court cases are expensive and complicated (the landlord may appeal, you may be required to hire bailiffs to enforce the claim), it’s still worth knowing your rights. All landlords will know about the provisions of the Housing Act 2004, they just try and dodge them because they think students are too naive to know any better. Once you mention s.214, I would be willing to bet the long battles over the deposit evaporate. The landlord will be anxious to keep you happy and keep you out of court. And that means getting the carpets professionally cleaned at your expense quickly becomes much less important. The most likely result is that they’ll give you your money back and hope to never have to see you again.

And if your money is in a scheme, rely on their alternative dispute resolution system. This is cheaper and easier than going to court, and often results in a satisfactory ruling for the tenant. Again, you may find the threat of it encourages your landlord to give the money back much more promptly.

For those moving into a new property, now would be a good time to contact the landlord and ask them about the scheme they paid your deposit into. It could save a lot of hassle later on. It’s also a good idea to photograph the property when you move in, so you have evidence of the state it was in. If it looked a tip when you moved in, its less likely you’ll be held to account for the state of it when you move out.

All in all, remember your rights and don’t let your landlord take you for a ride. If we can prove we aren’t as naive as we sometimes appear, we may have a much easier time dealing with landlords in the future.

These are all general points, specific cases may require specific advice, and you should contact a solicitor before taking further action.

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What would you change in the Police?

26-07-2010 02:03

The BBC wants the views of the public on aspects of policing.
Go on, have your say!

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Poster for Ian Tomlinson DPP Demonstration

26-07-2010 00:22

DPP Demonstration

Please forward: 12noon Friday 30th July // Picket against DPP - Solidarity with Ian Tomlinson's Family
If you work, try and get half a day off like many of us are doing. Most importantly spread the word to all your friends and family.

Everyone to the streets! Never forget Never forgive!

Office of Department of Public Prosecution
Rose Court, 2 Southwark Bridge, SE1 9HS

Facebook event:

Download a printer friendly version at :-

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Benefit Gig For Shot Anti-Fascist

25-07-2010 23:22

Bristol Anti-Fascists Demonstrate Practical Solidarity
Thursday 5th August at The Plough, Easton, from 8pm-late. £4 on the door.

On Saturday March 27th in Portland, Oregon, Luke Querner, a long-time anti-fascist activist and skinhead, was shot by neo-nazis. Fortunately Luke survived, but he has been left with a mountain of medical bills. Comrades in Bristol have organised a benefit gig to raise funds to help Luke out. The line-up features two bands from Brazil, who are visiting the UK to take part in an anti-racist football tournament, with support from local acts, and all bands are playing for free.

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Jail Guitar Doors

25-07-2010 19:23

Jail Guitar Doors film screening and performance at the Hyde Park Picture House, Leeds on the 24th July 2010, featuring interviews and performances from Billy Bragg and several people who have benefited from the scheme whilst in prison.

Jail Guitar Doors is an independent initiative which aims to provide instruments to those who are using music as a means of achieving the rehabilitation of prison inmates. Founded by Billy Bragg, it takes its name from the b-side of the Clash's 1978 single ‘Clash City Rockers'.

For more information see the Jail Guitar Doors website


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people's assembly and more fence jumping

25-07-2010 19:22

yesterday afternoon, citizens from the democracy village held a people's assembly, open to all, in victoria tower gardens next to parliament. this was followed by non-violent direct action to reclaim parliament square and disobey high court injunctions. after dozens of incursions, eventually one person was arrested.

a couple of dozen people turned up yesterday afternoon for the people's assembly called for one o'clock at victoria tower gardens (which is the small park between millbank and the river just directly to the west of the parliament buildings, and a stone's throw from parliament square).

police were present and pointed out that the park bye-laws forbade meetings, speeches, assemblies, planning of assemblies, and even exercising and sports. however, the meeting continued without incident and police withdrew.

after more than two hours of debate, planning, discussion and brainstorming, it was time for some symbolic non-violent direct action against boris's fences which currently prevent anyone from enjoying the open space of parliament square (something which in his high court injunction he claimed was the main problem with the democracy village). unlike when the democracy village was present, there is no open way into the square now, there is no welcoming desk, and in fact the fences extend out (probably unlawfully) beyond the grass and onto westminster council's pavements, causing further danger and obstruction to the public.

at around 5pm, the first incursions began, and about ten people vaulted the fences into the square (including one dressed in an alien suit).  they ran around avoiding the orange tabarded bailiffs who have set up their own rather less welcoming camp in the square, and some of the activists managed to climb onto the churchill statue, the lloyd george statue and up a tree, flying peace flags and chanting peace slogans.

the incursion and the response was all pretty good-natured, and the bailiffs tried to persuade people to leave, escorting a few out without being overly heavy-handed. police were called and several attended over the next hour or so, again with conversation and persuasion the order of the day. this may have been partly because after much perusing of their police 'teams and duties' papers, it seemed neither a climbing team nor TSG were easily available.

passing cars hooted, passengers on tourist buses waved and showed the victory sign. a small phalanx of mainstream press journos took their pics, and even more activists jumped the fences and entered the square.

this is not a difficult place to penetrate, and in fact one person even came out for a pee-break before going back in and jumping on a statue again, while others got escorted out, came round the front, jumped back in and ran around again. another managed a quick incursion to take in supplies to some people on the churchill statue.

some of the police admitted they had a difficult time coming to terms with having to enforce petty restrictions which undermined the democratic right to protest. another even gave a cigarette to one of the activists when they finally came down from the statue.

of course there are always one or two bad apples, and special condemnation should go out to constable pollard (CW2474) who arrived on the scene at about seven fifteen, and shouted out "why don't you pay your taxes?". nice uneducated comment from a thug in uniform! the bailiffs too had a bad 'un, "james" who stole a flag, and broke it in two - er, that's theft and criminal damage innit? he also tried to hide his identity badge when challenged over it. but apart from those two, pretty much everyone else behaved themselves.

after about three hours of repeated incursions, including the symbolic placing of a tent on the grass, one person (named in the GLA's injunction) was arrested for "failure to comply with a court order". at the police station, that charge was immediately dropped, and instead he was held for a while for (is this a farce?) "breach of the peace". incidentally he had been sitting on the grass quietly holding a "peace" flag at the time of his arrest.

by eight thirty, there were just two young women sitting in the centre of the grass (where the oak tree used to be), and they refused to leave. rather than arrest them, police decided to withdraw, and after this final symbolic victory the young women left of their own accord.

the next people's assembly will take place, as usual next saturday afternoon. they intend to meet at the 'bottle' on the north west corner of trafalgar square at noon. from there they will process down to victoria tower gardens for a full open meeting. due to possible police interference there may be back-up plans, so check indymedia nearer the time for any updates, contact numbers and so on if you are planning to attend.

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Class Struggle and Consciousness in Venezuela: Some Socialist Reflections

25-07-2010 19:14

On Sunday, July 25, 2010, President Hugo Chavez was warning that there exists a very high probability of a coming United States military invasion of Venezuela via Colombia.

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Bristol No Borders Benefit: Some Sort of Threat / Olive Anne + More - Taunton

25-07-2010 17:47


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Raytheon dropped from border control contract.

25-07-2010 16:22

How to wasre money while increasing human suffering.
As regular readers of this website will know Raytheon have office on Bristol Business Park, Coldharbour Lane. Opposite UWE Frenchay Campus.

It has long been targeted by anti-arms trade protestersnot least because of its manufacture of cluster bombs and its arms sales to the Israeli military.

Its also emerged that Raytheon trade closely not only with the M.O.D. but also EDO, MBM, ITT who secretly ship beryllium ore in missle crates for them.
But this posting is not about Raytheons evil doing regarding the arms trade but its evil doing concerning immigration control.

Home Office sacks Raytheon-led electronic border control consortium.
Government says it has no confidence in Raytheon.
e-Borders system at least a year behind schedule

The government has ended its £750m contract with a consortium led by Raytheon, the US defence group, to put in place an electronic system to check travellers leaving and entering Britain.

The Home Office said that it had "no confidence" in the Massachusetts-based company because the programme was running at least 12 months behind schedule.

Raytheon won the contract in 2007 and so far the government has spent £188m on it. The Home Office said that it would seek another company to deliver the system "as a matter of urgency". It was meant to be operational by 2014.

The e-Borders system is supposed to vet travellers entering or leaving the country by checking their details against police, security and immigration watch lists.

A Home Office spokesman said that Raytheon had failed to deliver the target of having the technology in place to check 90% of all passengers this year. "They're nowhere near that. The government decided enough is enough," he said.

The Home Office said in a statement: "The home secretary has no confidence in Raytheon, which since July 2009 has been in breach of contract. With critical parts of the programme already running at least 12 months late, we have taken the decision to terminate the e-Borders contract with [the consortium].

"The government is determined to get value for money from its major contracts and requires the highest standard of performance from its suppliers. We will now be seeking alternative providers [for] this project as a matter of urgency."

Raytheon's UK representatives were not immediately available for comment.

Other members of the consortium include Serco, Accenture, Detica and QinetiQ. A spokesman for Serco, which was responsible for the infrastructure and service management of e-Borders, stressed that the company had fulfilled its part of the contract: "It's important to make clear that Serco delivered all of its commitments under its sub-contract."

Serco hoped to be part of future arrangements, the spokesman said.

Dreamer says:
While this report is great news for those who have always known that this company has blood on its hands from profiteering from mass human suffering as a result of constant wars initiated by the USA and Britain, the thought of this line of work being continued at all, let alone another bunch of bastards like Serco is a cause for grave concern.
UK and Europe:

Serco manages the UK Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE), Aldermaston as part of a consortium with Lockheed Martin and Jacobs. AWE is one of the most advanced research, design and production facilities in the world, developing the sophisticated materials, quantum physics and computer modelling vital to the safe and effective maintenance of the UK's nuclear deterrent.

Serco also enables the training of national security personnel through its services at the Defence Academy of the United Kingdom, the MoD's world class institute responsible for educating the military leaders of tomorrow; we train all of the RAF's helicopter pilots at the advanced training facility at RAF Benson; and we manage the Cabinet Office's Emergency Planning College, the government's training centre for crisis management and emergency planning.

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The case for direct action against Sainsbury’s in Crosby

25-07-2010 16:05

Two months ago, Sainsbury’s unveiled plans for a multi-million pound superstore on Moor Lane in Crosby.