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Vote EDL? I Doubt It

11-10-2010 13:28

Will the EDL evolve into a legitimate political party or just get pissed instead?

Following the English Defence League's static demo in Leicester on Saturday, the Guardian published a scaremongering piece by Labour MP John Cruddas warning that the EDL are now a bigger threat than the BNP and that they could become a legitimate  political party echoing the success of European far right parties and the American Tea Party. Crivvens! Calm down! Seeing as the BNP at the moment is about as likely to win as many seats as the Society of the Undead, this is fairly obvious. Also, as most active anti-fascists know, the Labour party has as much a clue about street politics as they do about running an economy. The view from London and the view from the streets on regional counter-demos is very different.

The idea of the EDL becoming a legitimate political party is problematic in many ways. Like UKIP or the BNP they will be seen as a single issue party who have very little to offer in the way of practical political solutions to a global economy in crisis and the effect that this has on our everyday lives. Most people realise it is not ‘Islam' that is cutting jobs and public services, slashing benefits, dishing out City bonuses, and failing to deal with inner-city problems. It is not ‘Islam' that is pushing up the price of food and other essentials or making the trains run inefficiently as ticket prices soar. It's a little bit more detailed than that but in the fascist tradition the EDL are offering very simple solutions to very complex problems: get rid of the Islamic Extremists and things will ok! Hmm ... not even naïve, just stupid.

Turning up at static demos, getting drunk and fighting the cops is one thing but political campaigning takes lots of time delivering boring leaflets, canvassing people who in many cases will be openly hostile, and organising meetings in community centres where policies are discussed in the most tedious bureaucratic manner. Will the ‘foot soldiers' of the EDL have the stomach for that? It is doubtful. Even if they did get council seats they would no doubt behave like the BNP councillors do: once they realise that council work is more to do with lamp posts and dog poo than starting a race war or combating ‘Islamic Extremism' they rarely have the stomach for a 2nd term. That is if they have turned up at all. The EDL will need people with previous organisational skills who know how to organise information distribution, i.e., not just Facebook, but mostly they need to understand how to relate to the media in a civilised manner, i.e., by not threatening or attacking journalists as they are doing on their forum. If political efficacy is all about how you are represented in the media then attacking the people who are in control of these representations is a tactical calamity. They have done themselves no favours with their threats to NUJ members. The EDL will need to put across reasonable arguments about a plethora of issue, not just ‘Islamic extremism', with people who do not look like psychotic thugs, who have no criminal records and who can actually string a sentence together. Looking at the EDL at the moment, this looks a long time coming.

The EDL have got a serious PR problem. All they have achieved is media splashes of drunken white thugs fighting the police and getting battered and arrested. They have achieved little more than public disorder and have not seen one ‘extremist' identified, deported or arrested, despite their endless boasting. They are blatherskites who have done  nowt but annoy people.

Whatever they say on their forum or Facebook the people who know about them either couldn't care less if the cops batter them, are not remotely interested, or see them as a rowdy bunch of alcoholic idiots. The EDL have caused violence at nearly every demo and this does not help to attract the public. Folks don't like violence on their streets. It's not nice. Even Nick Griffin realised that the BNP needed to move from violent street confrontations to a more electable Euro-Nazis mode. The EDL Party will attract the same nutty racists and disenfranchised working class voters as the BNP (UKIP are too posh for the estates up North!) and politically would have as much impact as Griffin's mob, i.e., very little.


The EDL were arrested, kettled and battered on Saturday by the cops which was a result compared to ‘the big little one' at Bradford. Leicester Plod was going on about how this was the biggest police operation in 25 years so they should be ashamed of themselves . Well they didn't do a very good job of it if that is the case. They let the EDL run amok as accounts from YouTube videos show, they let a few EDL out to kick in windows and attack Asian people, and they completely failed to contain the ‘static' demo even with the help of 1,400 cops from 12 or 13 other forces from round the country. A very poor do: result? EDL 1, Plod 0. If the EDL achieved anything it was giving plod a bit of exercise but how this combats ‘Islamic Extremism' is vague. This is a good account of anti-fascist activity of the day.

The EDL's relationship with the cops has broken down it seems. YouTube clips show the stewards completely unable to control their ‘lads' and many EDL are against liaising with Old Bill anyway. The vast majority of the violence was between EDL and cops rather than EDL and anti-fascists and they came off worse. On the EDL forum they admit that they have no control over the violence and that it is inevitable. Of course it is! That's why they turn up in the 1st place.

This is not to play down the threat posed by  the EDL. Anti-fascists must respond wherever they gather. There is a dual strategy at the moment with the UAF demonstrating and getting media coverage and more militant anti-fascists and local folk who are out and about on the streets unwilling to be kettled in. The EDL are looking to European racists like Geert Wilders and to the American Tea Party and probably hope to emulate them. However, these organisations are not a bunch of pissed up football lads kicking in windows and attacking anyone who is not white. They behave a wee bit more respectably and have serious political and economic influence. They also know how to play the media. Unlike the EDL. That the EDL could be backed by more nefarious forces is not unfeasible but there electability following the predictable drunken melee on Saturday will do them absolutely no favours and they continue to look foolish and politically naïve.


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2 Days to go until ITT's Hammertime

11-10-2010 13:08

The convergence space for HAMMERTIME has not been announced yet but if you are coming to Brighton for the demo please come to the Cowley Club (London Road) for a meeting at 7pm on Tuesday

If you are coming early and need accomodation call 07538093930

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EDL in Leicester

11-10-2010 13:00

What happened at Leicester and how we can bury this fasicst organisation. Lessons need to be learnt and consistent activity to put down the fash.

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Nottm Histreh Walk 'To the Castle!' Reform Riots

11-10-2010 12:25

Sunday 19 October 2010

Assembling at St Peters Square, [next to St. Peters Church] about 60 folks gathered for a guided walk through Nottingham retracing the events of the 1830s ‘Reform Riots'.

[Taken from the second issue of Notts Indypendent.]

New deputy prime minister Nick Clegg has described the ConDem government’s plans to reform politics as “The biggest shakeup of our democracy since 1832, when the Great Reform Act redrew the boundaries of British democracy.”

The choice of the Reform Act as a model is interesting. The Reform Act was a bill that fobbed off the masses of disenfranchised people who had been calling – with petitions, demonstrations and riots – for the vote to be extended to all people and not just the rich. Whilst the Reform Act did extend the vote to better-off middle class men (about 7% of the adult population), it left less well-off working class men – and all women – without a vote. The rest of us would have to wait until the 20th century.

The Reform Act was the third attempt at an Act to extend voting to be considered by Parliament. The Second Reform Bill had been defeated in the House of Lords in the year previous. As the news of the bill’s faliure spread across Britain, there were riots in several towns and cities, including London, Derby, Bristol, Worcester and Bath.

Nottingham had vehemently supported Parliamentary reform since the 1780s. In March 1831, following a public meeting in the town, more than 9,000 people signed a petition in favour of reform. When news of the voting bill’s defeat in the House of Lords reached the city, there was disbelief and anger.

Rioters attacked a number of buildings owned by the rich including Colwick Hall and a silk mill in Beeston. Infamously, Nottingham Castle, owned by the hated Duke of Newcastle, was invaded and burned to the ground. Crowds attempted to do the same with Wollaton Hall the next day, but were repulsed with cavalry charges and gunfire.

Three people would later be hanged for the burning of the silk mill, other prisoners jailed and deported. The message of the riots, both here and elsewhere, was not lost on the powers that be. The Third Reform Bill was passed into law the next summer with minimal parliamentary opposition.

It is however an entry in the Duke of Newcastle’s diary that sums up the the 1832 Reform Act, a history which is – in part – about to repeat itself. He wrote of the “greatly insensed” middle classes “who gained nothing” by the Reform Bill and of a worker who told him that “both parties were alike” (“both” meaning Liberals and Tories at the time). Newcastle wrote deeply concerned that ’They Say now that nothing but revolution can Set them right.’ This was true for the disenfranchised 170 years ago, and is true now.

As it happened with the 1832 reform, however the ConDem plans for reform will turn out, people’s hopes for democratic change will be in vain now as they were then, and the government will act in favour of the rich and against the poor. But this time it’s unlikely that we’ll get to burn down a castle!

more info at:

People's Histreh blog

peopleshistreh [at]

The Sparrow’s Nest

Photographer - Media: One Eye on the Road. Nottingham.  UK
Member of the National Union of Journalists [NUJ]
"It is not enough to curse the darkness.
                                   It is also necessary to light a lamp!!"

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Please Help Support The Community Of Ashton Vale, Bristol: A Petition.

11-10-2010 11:22

Ashton Vale Fields were considered for Village Green status earlier this year by an Independent Inspector. To the developer’s and City Council’s great surprise, she recommended it receive the status.
StillWaters writes: Ashton Vale Fields were considered for Village Green status earlier this year by an Independent Inspector. To the developer’s and City Council’s great surprise, she recommended it receive the status. For Ashton Vale residents, it is about retaining an area of green belt and a Site of Nature Conservation Interest for the local community and visitors to the area. This area has been used for over 60 years by residents of all ages, proven by oral, written and photographic evidence provided under cross-examination and accepted as the truth by the Independent Inspector.

The area may not look like much at first glance (owing to damage caused by boreholes and hedge-grubbing by the new landowner, overly-keen to start development), but ramble over the entire area and you will see there is quite of lot of wildlife there - snipe, swans and other wading birds that choose to use the wetlands when flooded, migrating songbirds stopping for rest and food, otters hunting in the brooks, butterflies, dragonflies, bats, owls, reptiles - the list of flora and fauna recorded on the site could go on and on.

We decided it was necessary to provide a rallying point for those in Bristol’s community that were actually in favour of the Independent Inspector’s decision, after seeing the free and widespread (and often inaccurate) publicity supplied by The Bristol Evening Post to the petition in favour of a football stadium on the site. It was a combined concern for the community in which we live, the local environment and freedom of speech. It is there for anyone to sign who wants to support the Village Green at Ashton Vale Fields and the continued protection of green belt land in the UK.

Full Story | ashton vale wildlife website | ashton vale heritage website | petition link

How To Contribute Articles A Brief Guide | Donate |Publish an Article/Event | Help Guide | Calendar | Indycycle | Bristol Just Living Positive Guide to Bristol | Get Involved with Bristol Indymedia

Our petition may not get as many votes as the pro-stadium petition for exactly the reasons of intimidation and bias stated above but, in the short space of time it has been available and with very limited advertisement, those who wanted to voice their concerns by signing it have done so and are continuing to do so.
Thank you for your support.

Petition link:

Please also see:

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Evan Greer, The Undercover Hippy, and Dr. Spin

11-10-2010 11:22

A Bristol Space Invaders Benefit
At No. 28 Portland Square on Friday 22/10/10

7pm start, £4 (no one turned away through lack of funds), smoke free and all-ages

everyone welcome

Evan Greer is a radical genderqueer singer/songwriter, parent, and community organizer based in Boston. (S)he writes and performs high-energy acoustic songs that inspire hope, build community, and incite resistance! On the road over 100 days a year performing and facilitating interactive workshops for all ages that connect many struggles for justice and liberation, Evan’sprimary goal is to directly support grassroots movements with music and education, and also to generate funds for local struggles in the communities (s)he visits.

Billy Salisbury, a.k.a. The Undercover Hippy, is definitely not your average singer songwriter. His music brings together folk guitar, soulful vocals, infectious reggae rhythms, and the lyrical wordplay of a hip-hop mc. Political without preaching, his songs deliver a positive message that is hard to ignore.

Dr. Spin, purveyor of hyper-active mind boiling poems and bouncing intensity, displays an octopus-like reach through the Bristol underground appearing in The Suit Burners, Anarco Folko, Circus of Invention, and alongside Ratface and Clayton Blizzard. Here though is your chance to catch his distilled yet perennially murky solo act. Possibly with friends.

Bristol Space Invaders are a diverse bunch of enraged creatives, DIY tinkers and thinkers, dreamers and schemers drawn together by common threads but mostly by our indignation at the impending grip of corporate expansion on our city. By that we mean the privatization of social space (aka if you havnt paid you can fuk-off), the plague of yuppy flats and identikit supermarkets, the marriage of local council to business interests and the rising rents and house prices that come as a result of all this and make our own neighbourhoods sterile, boring and out of reach for all but a privileged elite who come to displace us.

We are aware of the social division in our city and refuse to be evicted or deported from the centre because we do not fit a certain income bracket or pertain to the correct market segment. And we recognize that the changes we see in Bristol are part of global processes but that does not mean we are powerless to resist them – because we too form part a global process.


Rather than hold a protest to ask others to change things for us, we believe in the confrontational reclaiming of social space – taking spaces back with our hands rather than lobbying, paying or praying for others to do it for us… we are creative and work as a collective be it making art, taking housing, holding workshops, discussions, talks, films, food/swap-shops, music, info-stalls, performances & open mic nights to name but the tips of icebergs. We are non hierarchical – we don’t follow leaders – and make decisions, openly and as a group, we reject prejudice and racism in all its forms.

If any of that strikes a chord with you – or simply sounds like fun – join us We welcome your input, criticism, ideas, apprehensions and vision.


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Tues 12th october

11-10-2010 10:28

7pm the Better food co
Tomorrows freeskilling is 'Meditations for Inner & Outer Peace', with Kelsan Chonden.

Learn the basics of how to meditate, how to apply mediation to solving our human propblems and finding the lasting happiness that we long for.
Next week's freeskilling is 'Meditations for Inner & Outer Peace', with Kelsan Chonden.

Kelsan has practised Kadampa Buddhism for 19 years, and teaches at the Amitabha Buddhist Centre at Old Vicarage, Gloucester Road, Bishopston. He has offerred to share with us the basics of how to meditate, and how to apply meditation to solving our human problems.

7pm Better Food Company, Sevier Street, Bristol.

Future freeskills:

19 October Car Sharing
Set up and manage a car share with your own car, limit your car use and share running costs. Understand the logistics, pit falls, benefits and responsibilities. There will be a car-share match making service during the evening where you could find your perfect partner. With car sharers Sarah Pugh, Hannah Fearnley & Adele Watt.

26 October Bach Flower Remedies for Pets
Learn more about the Bach Flower Remedies and how you can use them to help your pets with emotional problems such as fear of fireworks, anxieties, bullying, grief, and re-homing. With holistic vet Holly Mash

If you have a skill you'd like to learn, or one you'd like to share, please email or post a message on We'd love to hear from you.

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Hugo Blanco Meeting

11-10-2010 10:28

Hugo Blanco will be speaking in Bristol this Tuesday
Hugo Blanco will be speaking in Bristol this Tuesday (12th October) at a meeting specially organised as part of his UK tour. Hugo is a lifelong activist, environmentalist and revolutionary. He led the Quechua peasant uprising in the 1960s and is currently leader of the Campesino Federation of Peru. He is the author of Land or Death: The Peasant Struggle in Peru, written while he was in prison.
Hugo Blanco will be speaking in Bristol this Tuesday (12th October) at a meeting specially organised as part of his UK tour. Hugo is a lifelong activist, environmentalist and revolutionary. He led the Quechua peasant uprising in the 1960s and is currently leader of the Campesino Federation of Peru. He is the author of Land or Death: The Peasant Struggle in Peru, written while he was in prison. Meeting details are as follows:

Latin America and the Ecosocialist Alternative

Tuesday, October 12th


Hamilton House,

80 Stokes Croft,



(Opposite junction with Jamaica Street)

Entry is free although donations would be appreciated. The meeting is jointly organised by Socialist Resistance, Green Left, Bristol Green Party and the Centre for the Study of Colonial and Postcolonial Societies.

Please circulate details as widely as possible.

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Anti nuclear energy activists target EDF Energy

11-10-2010 10:08

The launch of a national boycott of EDF Energy heralds the beginning of a wave of campaigns and actions designed to alert the UK to the dangers of allowing the government to give the green light to a new generation of nuclear reactors next Spring. There's a lot of work to do and very little time left to stop new nuclear for good.

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Anarchist prisoner Marco Camenisch has been transferred

11-10-2010 09:41

First released by the International Red Aid

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Chiapas News - BoCa En BoCa 8

11-10-2010 00:01

New human rights group in Tila and Tumbala.

Ejidatarios from Tila demand justice

The Abejas (Bees) of Chenalho support the harassed Triquis of Copala

The JBG of Oventik denounces the displacement of 170 Zapatistas.


Other resistances: Argentina: National Congress of the Movement of Indigenous Campesinxs (MNCI)

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Homophobes riot against serbia pride event

10-10-2010 22:12

Church and culturally endorsed homophobia still runs wild in Serbia, where today a Belgrade pride parade suffered the attacks of several hundred bigots. The majority of clashes seem to be between cops and bigots. Win win I suppose, although it's obviously never that simple.

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Bath protest against Cuts - weds 20th

10-10-2010 21:23

Weds the 20th of October will see the first Bath demo against the cuts....
... But we need YOU to make it work.

The protest comes after a 60 strong public meeting against the cuts and a coach from Bath going to Birmingham for the Tory party conference demo.

Details of the demo are -

Bath No-Cuts Protest
Weds 20th October, 5pm
Bath Abbey, Bath

We all have good reasons to oppose the cuts, so come along, bring your mates and help us kick off the local fightback against the tory cu*ts!

p.s - Bristol people are MORE than welcome!

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Truth To Power: Guerilla Projection on FBI Headqua

10-10-2010 18:25

It is one week after a nationally-coordinated series of FBI raids seizing computers and documents, grand juries subpoenas and harassment of antiwar activists in Minneapolis, Chicago, California and North Carolina. A group of activists and video artists executed a guerrilla projection on the FBI Headquarters in Washington, D.C., to highlight the new government campaign to define nonviolent solidarity with groups in Palestine, Lebanon and Colombia as terrorism. For more information, visit the Committee to Stop FBI Repression at and follow @stopfbi on Twitter.

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pics and report from yesterday's democracy rally

10-10-2010 17:27

up to 100 people attended the democracy rally in london yesterday afternoon. as boris was suddenly using trafalgar square, the rally moved to the much more convivial st james park, where speakers spoke, musicians played, people's assemblies discussed, and bridges got built. at the end of the afternoon, some of the attendees marched to parliament square and later reclaimed the grass and took down some fences.

the democracy rally had been planned and advertised for many weeks. organisers were told by the GLA that no events were planned for yesterday's date, and at such short notice, a booking would be unlikely.

while the democracy rally team refused to comply with restrictions and legislation governing the use of trafalgar square, they were open about what they were planning. against all odds, with only ten days to go, the GLA suddenly announced an 'african weekender', and on the day they laid on lots of security, and a system of barricaded entrances, to stop any democracy rally from occuring.

still, the rally folk were prepared, with a huge hard-to-miss 'info point' banner and no shortage of volunteers to redirect people, and after some preliminaries on the charles I island south of nelson's collumn, the rally moved into st james' park, where it's presence officially broke several park bye-laws.

people came and went during the afternoon, and at times there were up to a hundred involved. under the autumn leaves of majestic horse chestnut trees, they listened to speakers including mafeez mosaddeq ahmed, (author of 'a user's guide to the crisis of civilisation, and how to save it'), pheonix (from democracy village), john armstrong (land tax campaigner) and peter tatchell (human rights activist), among many others.

there were also a few spiritual moments, including a circle of held hands and a few minutes of the universal 'om' chant, which seemed much better suited to the glorious park than it would have been in trafalgar square.

the rally then split off into several smaller zones for discussion, including 'peace' (the largest), 'economy', 'climate and environment' and 'justice'. this model of people's assemblies worked well, when after an hour everyone reconvened and spokespersons summed up for the crowd what each group had discussed and proposed.

park police occasionally passed by, but it was clear the assembly was going to be tolerated, even when a sound system arrived and several performers, including maya and radfax, sang and played.

as the sun began to fade, food was shared and then a proposal was made to march to parliament square and join another group ('united against injustice') campaigning against a new and very unjust 'joint enterprise' law, which was designed to convict individuals who encourage others to commit crime on their behalf, but has led to various miscarriages of justice and unsafe convictions in very serious cases.

there, what with the two crowds, along with brian haw's ten-year campaign, and the peace strike campaign, this began to look like real democracy.

the only thing spoiling the show was of course the huge fence all around parliament square to prevent any protests from "stopping ordinary members of the public from enjoying the square", by, er, preventing everyone from using the square except for a group of 24-hour security guards who sit around all day every day at taxpayer's expense.

and so, some original villagers, and some new rally attendees, decided to challenge the fence and reclaim the square. (full report at

all photos free to copy for non-commercial credited use. all other and commercial rights reserved ©rikkiindymedia

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Donald Dewar - 10 years dead. A Scottish republican review.

10-10-2010 15:31

Even I who had been tortured by police almost under Dewar's nose felt moved to show my respect for his death at the time, such is the power of the media to stir up undeserved sentiment.

So I am for republican revolution and for melting Dewar's statue down.

read more

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Animal Abusers in Hackney

10-10-2010 15:21

Trendy vintage boutique Pelican Paradise displays heads of Butchered Animals for sale

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Elections in Brazil: US Covert Intelligence Operations in Support of "Democracy"

10-10-2010 15:18

"The CIA employs former Brazilian policeman fired from their posts for various reasons to do the field work like surveillance, apartment penetrations, computer data thefts, and blackmail. In the majority of cases, these are individuals with ultra-rightist leanings who regard Serra as their candidate. Brazil's ministries, intelligence community, and military-industrial complex are heavily infiltrated by US agents. The US Embassy and consulate staff in Brazil includes some 40 CIA, DEA, FBI, and army intelligence agents, and Washington plans to open 10 new consulates in Brazil's major cities such as Manaos in Amazonia."

Don't think for a second that the empire has given up on Latain America. Progressives must organize now to defend the gains made there or they will be lost. The CIA has an unlimited bank account and no shame or "morals." Please spread widely.

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Bristol Uni wins contract to tell Non-EU countries to behave on Human Rights

10-10-2010 14:37

The University of Bristol’s Human Rights Implementation Centre (HRIC), which seeks to address the effective implementation of human rights, together with partners in Africa and Europe, have been awarded two grants totalling nearly €2.4 million by the European Commission (EC). The funding will contribute towards research into torture prevention in Africa and the Commonwealth of Independent States.

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Attacks against police targets in Bristol

10-10-2010 14:08

Anti-police actions on the nights of the 8th and 9th October.