UK Newswire Archive
Nottingham Pride continues to go from success to success, this year's event was for the first time held at the Forest Recreation Ground, a step-up from the Arboretum where it has been held previously. Following on from last year, the event was preceded by a well-attended march. Encouragingly this year, there was an explicitly political fringe event, with a number of speakers including prominent gay rights activist Peter Tatchell.
On the newswire: Nottingham Pride: more than a walk in the park? | Nottingham Pride 2010 | Nottingham Pride - Political Speakers | Nttm Gay Pride now underway on Forest Rec Ground | Nottingham's Gay Pride Parade | Anti-gay Bollocks, stickers appearing in town
Previous Coverage: Pride in Nottingham | 'My Big Gay' LGBT Nottingham photo | Pride 2008: 1 | 2 | Nottingham Gay Rainbow Heritage Exhibition | Pride 2007: 1 | 2 | Pride 2006: 1 | 2 | Pride 2005: 1 | 2 | Pride 2004
At the meeting, Peter Tatchell, Skye Chirape (lesbian activist and artist from Zimbabwe) and Claire Jenkins (trans-activist) spoke about LGBT struggles for recognition and freedom in different parts of the world, the experiences of LGBT asylum seekers in Britain and cuts to funding for LGBT people in Nottingham. Ali Hili (Iraqi gay activist) was unable to attend through ill health, but a message from him was read out.
The meeting was chaired by Richard McCance, a veteran Nottingham LGBT activist who expressed dismay at council cuts of funding to Outburst, an outreach group for isolated LGBT youths across Nottinghamshire. He referred to a recent case in Derby where a teenage gay boy, spurned by his boyfriend, threatened to jump from a tall building. Emergency services had started coaxing him down when a crowd of people who'd gathered goaded him to jump to his death. It was people like this lad who were so desperately in need of services like Outburst.
In the discussion that followed a member of the audience expressed concern about a small handful of Islamists who had turned up to protest Pride. Peter Tatchell was quick to point out the importance of dialogue between the LGBT community and local Muslims, recounting very positive experiences he'd had in the past.
All of the speakers were clear in pointing out that much of the homophobia that exists in the post-colonial world has its roots in imported Victorian colonial values and an extremist missionary Christianity. This makes claims by macho African leaders that homosexuality is 'un-African' false. The struggle for LGBT rights in Africa was described as the continuation of African liberation.
The meeting was well attended - extra mats had to be brought into the room so that people could sit on the floor because all the seats were filled - and there were calls for it to be made an annual event. Let's hope it happens again next year.
08-08-2010 12:40Wikileaks vs the Pentagon, pick a side
08-08-2010 08:49"At a time when we are thinking about people less fortunate than ourselves it would be hypocritical and an affront not only to ignore what's happening about Palestine but also to support it by buying dates from Israeli. You're fuelling oppression," said Shamiul Joarder, from Friends of Al Aqsa.
08-08-2010 00:52The barbarism of the US, British and other military to animals as well as people
is not a thing of the past
07-08-2010 23:05"A new opinion poll finds that most people in the Arab world favor nuclear Iran amid growing distrust about the US government's policies in the Middle East.
According to the latest annual poll by the Washington-based Brookings Institution, "a majority of the Arab public now see a nuclear Iran as being better for the Middle East."
07-08-2010 19:52A new campaign has been launched to support the inspirational autonomus Zapatista communities of Chiapas in their resistane to attacks from government forces and paramilitary groups. Another world is possible!
07-08-2010 18:39Detainees at Campsfield migrant prison near Oxford are currently on hunger strike in protest at their injust situation. This statement was released by them several days ago, but so far has not been published here, only circulated on mailing lists..
07-08-2010 18:30Detainees at Campsfield migrant prison near Oxford are currently on hunger strike in protest at their injust situation. This is a short report from Tuesday night, forwarded from a campaign mailing list..
07-08-2010 18:14Abahlali baseMjondolo on the authoritarian (white middle class) left, the world cup and more.
07-08-2010 17:22Introduced by Toni Mayo
Easton Community Centre, Wednesday August 11th
The vote in France to ban full-face veils has nothing to do with women’s liberation and will lead to further attacks on Muslims.
The French parliament voted two weeks ago to outlaw the wearing of full-face veils, like the burqa or niqab, in public. Only one deputy voted against, with the Socialists and Greens abstaining.
It is a law that will immediately affect fewer than 2,000 people since only around 0.1 percent of Muslim women living in France wear full-face veils.
France’s constitutional council has already indicated that legal complications mean the measure may never be implemented.
It follows the referendum vote against the building of mosques in Switzerland and the decisions to ban veils in Belgium, and parts of Spain and northern Italy.
These are all measures aimed at inflating the “danger” of Islamic fundamentalism by scapegoating a minority of Muslims.
Months of hysterical outbursts against the veils have seen leading politicians equate them with Mickey Mouse masks, muzzles or “walking coffins”.
President Nicolas Sarkozy has said that full-face and full-body veils “oppress women” and are not welcome in France. The onslaught legitimises Islamophobia.
In western France earlier this year a woman had her veil ripped from her face in a shop. Regional elections this spring saw a surge in support for the fascist National Front of Jean-Marie Le Pen.
But the measure is also an indication of the weakness of Sarkozy’s presidency. He came to power promising a “break” with the compromises of previous governments of both left and right.
His mission was to assert an uncompromising neoliberal agenda and to face down resistance.
Instead his government has, like its predecessors, learnt that resistance is hard to quell and now finds itself embroiled in a major corruption scandal.
In this context Islamophobic legislation acts as a substitute for measures which the government has been unable to implement and deflects attention from its own shortcomings. Why, then, is the rest of the left not exposing government racism?
Where are the demonstrations in defence of France’s Muslim community?
Why, in a country that has seen social movements on an unparalleled scale over the past decade and a half, has the left failed to oppose Islamophobia?
Part of the answer lies with the hold of the Republican tradition of secularism over the French left.
In the late 19th century this took the form of anti-clericalism, a powerful tool against the influence of the monarchist Catholic church.
But it was also, as the socialist Paul Lafargue argued, a way of getting workers “to eat priests rather than eat capitalists”.
This opened up a space for Republican nationalism to root itself in the Socialist and Communist traditions.
In the 1980s, once the Socialist Party had abandoned its ambitious plans for social reform, it turned to Republican nationalism as a substitute. It invoked “Republican values” as an alternative to the rise of Le Pen.
This in turn disarmed the left when Muslims were attacked during successive headscarf affairs from the late 1980s. Eventually the hijab was banned from schools in 2004.
Once a weapon against the wealth and privilege of the Catholic church, Republican secularism has become a means of scapegoating France’s oppressed Muslim minority.
The ban on full-face veils is based on a series of myths – that Muslim extremism is a greater problem than Islamophobia, or that women have more freedom when the state tells them what they can wear.
These myths can be challenged, but this requires a concerted and unequivocal campaign that identifies Islamophobia, and not Islam, as the enemy.
07-08-2010 14:32Report from demo tonight (Friday) and other news from Campsfield
On Dissident Island's third birthday the crew brought a nice mixed bag of happenings from the UK and beyond.
In the History corner this week we have Martyn Everett discussing the life and work of revolutionary Frechwoman Louise Michel.
Finishing off the talking we had an exclusive follow up with members of the Belgrade 6 on their acquittal. Ronin rolled up to the studio at around 10 to help us celebrate our birthday in style - raise a toast to three years of radical radio!
Check it - click here to download (132 mb),
07-08-2010 14:22Check out the 3rd birthday show from London-based DIY radio crew, Dissident Island...
07-08-2010 11:34The brutal police repression against migrants in Calais continues: and it is often refugee children and other unaccompanied minors who feel the brunt. The number of refugees trying to cross the channel at Calais is now down to the low hundreds: but the police presence and level of violence is just as high as ever.
07-08-2010 11:22Get them in by 9 August please!
This is the final callout for requests for stalls, and proposals for workshops/meetings at the Bristol anarchist bookfair 2010. The bookfair collective meeting on 10 August will be working through and ratifying stall requests, and then assessing proposals for workshops. Once those decisions have been made, details will go into the bookfair programme which will be printed 2 weeks before the bookfair.
With the coming years looking increasingly shite for the majority of people, everyone except the rich & powerful in fact, now more than ever is the time for anarchists and other progressive radicals to sharpen their ideas and practices in the public arena. Let's get on with it, there's a world out there to save, and win.
If you wish to request a stall and/or propose a workshop, you need to download and submit a booking form from here http://www.bristolanarchistbookfair.org/?page_id=683
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Stalls - We are now close to capacity with stall requests, so any requests sent in after 9 August may very well find there is no space left. If on 10 August we find we have requests for more tables than we have space, we will consider reducing the number of tables some groups/distros have asked for, in order to ensure the maximum number of groups/distros can have a space. If you submit your stall request after this date, you may well be relying on others dropping out, and you'll be too late to be included in the programme.
Workshops - we have space for 12 x 1 hour workshops/meetings. If you have a proposal, get it in now! At the meeting the bookfair collective will assess all proposals received, and select what we think are the 12 most interesting/relevant/challenging proposals. Proposals identical to last year, or just publicising a specific campaign, or not in any way related to anarchism, are unlikely to garner much support. We hope to have proposals that challenge the way we think and act, and generate debate and discussion.
In addition to the above, we are also due to shortly receive the details of whats going to happen in the Film Room (organised by Bristol Indymedia), and the radical History Zone (facilitated by Bristol Radical History group). Once received these will be published on the website, and in the programme.