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Met Uni: Occupying students evicted

10-05-2011 11:55


The entirely peaceful student occupation of the Graduate Centre on the Holloway Road was raided tonight by 16 thugs, including private security guards, 10 bailiffs, 4 police officers and only ONE London Met Security guard, John Hunt.

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Protests against Office Angels and ATOS

10-05-2011 09:55

On Monday 9th May, a small group of Nottingham visited the offices of Office Angels and ATOS Healthcare. Organised by the local Anarchist Federation and supported by various individuals, the protests were both part of coordinated national actions.

Office Angels

Office Angels is a national recruitment agency. In March, the Solidarity Federation began supporting a former Office Angels temporary worker. Dan had worked for the company for three days in December last year. Despite being assured that the lack of a timesheet would "not be a problem," Office Angels have refused to pay him wages he is owed, claiming he only worked for one day, even though they called him at work on his third day.

The Solidarity Federation has held a number of pickets across London and the country, demanding that Dan be paid. As part of an escalation of this campaign, the called a national week of action against the company from 9th-15th May. They suggested that people picket branches, "make solidarity calls and emails to the branch he had been working for on Wednesday 11 May" and, as Office Angels is a subsidiary of Adecco, that their branches be picketed also.

Office Angels' Nottingham office (dubbed "Angel House") is located on Cheapside, essentially in the side of the Council House/The Exchange, on the side the tram runs. A small group of activists picketed it from 11am until just before 12 noon. We gave out a number of leaflets (attached below) to passers-by, but only one person came out of the office in the time we were there and nobody went in. A couple of pickets went in to try and speak with the staff who were completely disinterested.

A couple of coppers arrived to keep an eye on us, but didn't interfere. They stood in the sheltered walkway opposite the office, in front of Squares. Surprisingly they weren't wearing the usual yellow jackets, perhaps suggesting they didn't think we'd be moving on. When we left they didn't make any effort to follow us.

ATOS Healthcare

ATOS Healthcare, our second target, is a subsidiary of ATOS Origin who have just begun a £300 million contract for the government to carry out "work capability assessments" on everybody claiming Incapacity Benefit. While it is claimed that these assessments are intended to test what people can do rather than what they cannot, the real purpose is to take benefits from as many people as possible. Already, people with terminal illnesses and severe medical conditions have been declared fit for work and had their benefits cuts. Plans announced for scrapping the Disability Living Allowance, suggest that this testing is likely to be extended to anybody claiming some form of disability or health related benefit.

ATOS has previously been targetted as part of national days of action in defence of benefits on 24th January and 14th April. A full week of action was called by various organisations for 9th-15th May. In response, we picketed ATOS Healthcare's offices, located in  "Price House", on Stoney Street in the Lace Market. Unfortunately, this is a fairly out of the way location, with few passers-by. It didn't help that we had apparently arrived during lunchtime, so there was nobody going into the office. Again, a couple of people went in to talk to staff, this time, finding only one person holding the fort.

It is clear that ATOS is a particularly deserving target. During our protests, one person came to talk to us about how they had been "screwed over" by the company who had fiddled the figures on their assessment to deny them benefits. They had won on appeal (as do 40% of appeals against the company's decisions), but were understandably angry. Another who supported people on benefits, expressed their gratitude that somebody was targeting the company, suggesting it was something they'd considered doing themselves.

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Faslane nuclear base blockaded this morning

10-05-2011 09:13

Trident Ploughshares[1] and Faslane Peace Camp[2] jointly blockaded Faslane from 7am today, shutting down the Trident submarine base for two hours. Four members of Trident Ploughshares blocked the North Gate of the base while six Peace Campers blocked the South Gate by locking themselves together. Just four days after the Scottish elections the activists called for the anti-Trident SNP government to fulfil its commitments and demand immediate disarmament of Trident and a global ban on nuclear weapons.

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False flags: An American tradition

10-05-2011 08:56

Wikipedia defines false or black flags as "covert operations designed to deceive the public in such a way that the operations appear as though they are being carried out by other entities."

They're "big lies," defined by Merriam-Webster as "deliberate gross distortion(s) of the truth used especially as a propaganda tactic."

America's decade from September 11, 2001 to May 1, 2011 was punctuated by the (big) lie of our time and (big) lie of the moment.

Put another way, the official stories are falsified, myths, widely believed fantasies contrary to reality.

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More money for the filth on stokes croft

10-05-2011 07:55


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Met occupation evicted by Police midnight raid

10-05-2011 07:55

The entirely peaceful student occupation of the Graduate Centre on the Holloway Road was raided tonight by 16 thugs, including private security guards, 10 bailiffs, 4 police officers and only ONE London Met Security guard, John Hunt.

They forced entry to deliver a high court injunction at about 11.55pm, which was ordered against 5 named individuals and Persons Unknown. It required the defendants to cease their current trespass, or they would be in breach of court and “could be arrested or imprisoned”.

This was massively initmidating and directly victimises students who face transfer to other universities as a result of the cuts. Students were only given 10 minutes to read the order and to leave the premises. The management had got the police involved to intimidate the students and threaten them with arrest, despite this being a civil matter and should not even be on site. The police told the student to “pack up and go” or be arrested.

The students had no time to prepare their defence, read the paperwork OR call lawyers. This is a disgrace and shows Malcolm Gillies (VC) is just as much of a thug as the sexist and racist individuals he has placed inside and outside the occupation, at an alleged cost of £35,000.

The eviction came as a surprise, as Malcolm Gillies had agreed to meet the students tomorrow morning at 9.30am to begin a dialogue about their futures. Clearly this was all false information and proves that his view of ‘consultation’ is that it is worthless. Tonight’s events illustrate how Gillies continues to cowardly refuse to communicate, even though his plans will devastate hundreds of lives.

Worried that they were about to be arrested, the students decided to leave the occupation peacefully, and now face having to find their ways home when public transport is closed.

The fight for our futures is now hanging in the balance. Please join us for a mass lobby of the Board of Governors on Wednesday at 4.30pm in Moorgate, to make a public protest to save London Met, and call for the resignation of Malcolm Gillies. This is disgraceful behaviour and such actions by Management should not be acceptable in a University environment.

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Correa's Reforms must stay on the right side of the Line

10-05-2011 07:53

Yesterday Rafael Correa the charismatic Ecuadorian President was able to celebrate winning a referendum on media reforms declaring proudly “The Ecuadorian people have triumphed”.

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NHS protest Tues 17 May, Gower Street, London, 5.30pm

09-05-2011 23:36

Just got sent this off a mate - last chances to save the NHS

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Squirrels now advocating direct action

09-05-2011 23:14

very high up a tree..
I've been noticing short political rants in all sorts of interesting places around Oxford... I can only conclude squirrels are getting active against the cuts.

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That Was The 4th Annual Bristol Anarchist Bookfair!

09-05-2011 22:55

Bristol's annual anarchist bookfair on 7 May attracted its largest turnout yet, as the vitality, creativity and politics of the anarchist movement continues to attract ever greater interest
featured image

Bristol's annual anarchist bookfair on 7 May attracted the largest turnout yet for the fourth year running, as the vitality, creativity and politics of the anarchist movement continues to attract ever greater interest.With the credibility of the established political parties and the capitalist system we live under at an all-time low, visitors to the bookfair lapped up the ideas, books and debates available.

It is of course impossible to tell how many people came into the bookfair as a result of the sale of the Banksy fundraising print outside, or who checked out the bookfair whilst checking out the events in the same venue as part of the Montpelier arts trail, but the increased flow of visitors from 10.20am in the morning until late into the afternoon was constant. The 850 bookfair programmes available were gone soon after 1pm, stalls and meetings were busy all day, and the bookfair cafe had run out of over 300 main meals by 3pm. Donations on the door were way up on last year, covering most of our costs - thanks to all who donated.

Once again the sun shone, for most of the day at least, bringing an at times festival like feeling to the serious business of resisting the onslaught of the ConDem Coalitions vicious attacks on the working class, and creating real alternatives to the chaos and destruction of capitalism. The decent weather alongside the hot topics up for debate and the growing anger at the inequalities inherent in the failing system around us combined to see the building near to overheating. But the genuine sense of co-operation amongst visitors and organisers of the events ensured a fairly smooth running day was once again a good example of anarchism in practice

Of course there are always some minor problems, such as not enough space for eating at the cafe, the clash of noise in the building disrupting some meetings and workshops, and the narrow stairways struggling to cope with the foot traffic during changeovers between workshops....but from feedback received so far their were no major issues or incidents.

Outside the venue, the long queue for the Bansky print started early, and meant the sale of the print was over pretty quickly. Many thanks to those from Hamilton House and PRSC who helped ensure that all went so smoothly. (We didnt take any photos outside the venue, others did and there's some harmless ones here and here). The local police kept an etremely low profile, bordering on non-existence, in sharp contrast to their intrusive bullying presence of recent weeks. Unsurprisingly their absence led to a lightening of the mood inside and outside the venue, ensuring bookfair participants were able to concentrate solely on the bookfair. For the sake of the communities in and around Stokes Croft we hope this continues.

The Bookfair collective would like to express our thanks to all those who visited, participated and helped out both on the day and beforehand in so many ways. Thanks also to our coalition partners who took on key aspects of the bookfair - Bristol Indymedia, Bristol Radical History Group, and the various collectives at Kebele social centre.

We have a very few bookfair fundraising t-shirts left (see image). Sizes left are men's large, and women's medium (ie 10-12) and large (ie 12-14). Cost £8 plus £1p&p, or pick one up direct from us at the feedback meeting next week.

Lastly, we appreciate feedback on the event from anyone who took part. You can download the attached pdf, complete it and send it back. Copies also available in other formats on the bookfair website. Or you can come along to the Feedback Meeting we have arranged for next Sunday, 15 May, 5pm at Kebele social centre (14 Robertson Rd, Easton BS5). If you are interested in helping out with a future bookfair, get in touch or come along on Sunday.

Love & solidarity
Bookfair collective

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Operation Sheeplemaker; 2nd death of bin Laden

09-05-2011 22:53

Cindy Sheehan is right .Anyone who believes this black-op farce story about Osama bin Laden being shot to death recently has their head buried in the sand. Well actually she used the word stupid.

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Picket and Picnic at Atos Glagow 12 May 5pm-6pm

09-05-2011 21:56

Picket and Picnic at Atos
Thursday12th May
Ca'D'Oro Building,
45 Gordon Street,
G1 3PE

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We Will Rise! - Song for our times

09-05-2011 21:18

We will rise! Sung by Côr Gobaith by Dr Vole, Zayeet & Paula Boulton written for Côr Gobaith, Dec 2010-Jan 2011 recorded live at Transition Llambed's party, Lampeter, 26 Feb 2011

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Redditch Green Fair 2011 - Sat 4th June

09-05-2011 20:57

The Redditch Green Fair, now in it's 6th year, is the biggest eco event for miles around. As always, we're looking for more stallholders, attractions and entertainment to help make this the biggest and best event yet!

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Faslane Farewell - ta ta Trident

09-05-2011 19:55

As First Minister Salmond steps up to the plate so will many other Scots who want to reclaim their right to a Nuclear Free Scotland.

Let's ensure he and the others know we mean business by gathering, in traditional dress, to create music and show the new face of Scotland.

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Report from Squattastic Bristol

09-05-2011 19:55

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ATOS Origin protest in Triton Square

09-05-2011 17:55

Branch Secretary Anna Owens speaking at the ATOS Origin protest in Triton Square (next to Euston Tower) on 9th May 2011.


see also

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Met police compensate 'Samaritan' they abused

09-05-2011 17:46

Metropolitan Police make four-figure payout to "Samaritan" abused by a Camden officer, after his complaints were not upheld by the Met and IPCC.

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Dispersal orders: Information for resistance

09-05-2011 16:55

This is an attempt to collect some relevant information and analysis to help resist dispersal orders. It is focused on the situation in Nottingham as a campaign has sprung up recently to resist the order imposed on Forest Fields.

The law

The police powers to impose a dispersal order are contained within Sections 30-36 of the Anti-Social Behaviour Act (2003). A Police Superintendent or higher ranking officer may make a written Authority if s/he has "reasonable grounds for believing that members of the public have been intimidated, harassed, alarmed or distressed in public places in a specific area (referred to as the Relevant Locality) and that anti-social behaviour is significant and a persistent problem in that area". The consent of the Local Authority (Nottingham City Council, in this case) must be obtained. Dispersal orders can be made for a maximum of 6 months although they can be renewed at the end of that period.

During the period specified a Police Constable or Police Community Support Officer may require a group of two or more people to disperse immediately or by any time specified in any manner specified, if they have "reasonable grounds for believing that the presence or behaviour of a group of two or more persons in any public place in the Relevant Locality has resulted or is likely to result in any member of the public being intimidated, harassed alarmed or distressed". If the person does not live in the designated area they can be ordered to leave the area for up to 24 hours. Children under the age of 16 can be taken home.

Breach of a dispersal order is a criminal offence under S 32(2) of the ASBA punishable by up to 3 months' imprisonment and/or a fine of up to £5,000.


An investigation into the impacts of dispersal orders was published by Crawford & Lister in 2007. The authors found that 'Where targeted at groups of youths, dispersal orders can antagonise and alienate young people who frequently feel unfairly stigmatised for being in public places.' They noted displacement effects, where problems were shifted to other places, sometimes just for the duration of the order. The report concluded that 'dispersal orders constitute a 'sticking plaster' over local problems of order that affords a degree of localised respite but invariably fails to address the wider causes of perceived anti-social behaviour'.

Interestingly, the study found that the use of dispersal orders did not correspond to 'victimisation risks' and that 'certain communities and businesses are able to influence dispersal order authorisation, primarily as a means of drawing police resources into an area.' This may be the case in Forest Fields given the history of CCTV introduction, which was championed by particular businesses on Berridge Road.

Dispersal orders were seen by young people as a factor in increasing intergenerational conflict and were thought to unfairly target youths. They were seen as giving the message that all youths are problematic:
Dispersal orders potentially criminalise youthful behaviour on the basis of the anxieties that young people congregating in groups may generate among other people. As such, the power is potentially less concerned with the agency of individuals than the assumptions that are made about what they might do.
Dispersal orders can emphasise the view that young people are a risk whilst hiding the extent to which they are at risk.

Sampson & Raudenbush (2004) suggest that concentrated disadvantage is a major predictor of urban disorder. Anti-social behaviour, then, may be 'a symptom of wider neighbourhood inequality, degraded public spaces, failing schools and poor local institutional infrastructures'. According to Farrall et al. (2000), much of what surveys measure as 'fear of crime' is linked to 'wider personal feelings of well-being, self-assurance and a sense of control', all of which may be lacking in disadvantaged areas. Anti-social behaviour and fear of crime can be seen as the products of social inequality and atomisation.


I managed to find a couple of examples of resistance to dispersal orders in the UK. In Being young is not a crime a member of Revo describes an attempt to organise against an order in Leeds in 2006. A dispersal order had been imposed to remove groups of youths who had been hanging around outside the Corn Exchange. The group organised a stunt involving dressing as police and handing out spoof ASBOs as well as cordoning off an area. They also organised meetings with anarchists and made connections with youths resisting a dispersal order in Wakefield.

A report by the Bristol Radical History Group describes a campaign agaisnt a disperal order imposed on College Green in 2007. Youths from the area had a 'demonstration or two and an active media campaign protesting against the order' although it didn't sound as though the local authorities were moved to act.

Other dispersal orders in Nottingham

A dispersal order was imposed in Radford last May 'to move on groups hanging round and causing problems in Alfreton Road' -  problems such as 'drinking, committing minor damage or ...swearing.' The order was extended until 26th Nov.

In November 2008 a dispersal order was brought in in Sneinton, following 'complaints from residents and businesses that groups are congregating in and around Sneinton'. Interestingly these groups were also described by a police officer as 'often seen drinking, committing minor damage or heard swearing'. This seems to be Nottinghamshire Police's operational definition of anti-social behaviour. A local resident was quoted by the Evening Post as saying 'There are a lot more girl gangs now. They just scream and shout and cause havoc.' The order was extended until November 2009.

There is also mention on this police page of a dispersal order covering the Wells Road/Ransom Road area which came into force on 2nd Nov 2009 for 6 months. It was re-applied for and will run until 16th May 2011. The police intend to renew the order.

In the Nottingham Post article advertising the Forest Fields dispersal order, there is mention that a dispersal order was introduced in Long Eaton town centre in March and will run for 6 months. A police sergeant described the problem as 'groups of teenagers congregating in public areas'.


Dispersal orders are part of the draconian legislation introduced by the former Labour government to tackle 'anti-social behaviour'. They cause rifts between the young, who feel unfairly victimised by them, and older generations. Dispersal orders give Nottinghamshire police the power to disperse any group of people they suspect might be planning on 'drinking, committing minor damage or swearing', but in practice this only seems to be directed at marginalised youths. The order will be in place for 6 months but it is very likely that the police will ask for it to be extended.

'Anti-social behaviour' seems to be a mixture of the normal activities of youths and minor criminal acts born out of frustration and boredom. Both the lack of other opportunities that inspires anti-social behaviour and the excessive fear that drives the authorities to crack down on it, are products of a capitalist economic system. Dispersal orders will not solve our problems.