UK Newswire Archive
23-05-2011 22:35National Meeting against cuts to Children's Services
Saturday 25th June 11:00 Sheffield
A meeting for grassroots groups to come together to discuss a national response to cuts to children's services. The meeting has been called by Save Westminster Children's Services and Sheffield Save Our Sure Start.
The protest and camp outside London's Spanish embasy that started almost a week ago grew in strenght during the weekend. On Friday night around 50 people set up camp, and on Saturday more people joined in to spend the night on the pavement opposite to the embassy. But it was during the day when the protest grew to several hundred, specially on Saturday when around 500 people joined in throughout the afternoon till well into the night.
Several working groups were formed and started to work on different aspects of the protest. These included logistics, communications & media, international, and art & action. The days were mostly spent in working groups meetings and plenary assemblies that discussed issues ranging from logistics and the future of the London protest, to people debating the characteristics and aims of this 'movement' both here in London and in Spain, as well as how it can be expanded beyond Spain. People from Italy and Portugal were present at the Sunday's assembly where they announced that people are starting to discuss plans for similar square occupations in their countries.
There was also time for spontaneous protest as people periodically gathered shouting "they (politicians) don't represent us!" whilst banging pots and pans. The bigger, loudest and more festive protest of the weekend was on Saturday night, with people improvising chants and slogans against politicians, representative democracy, bankers, political parties and demanding a system change.
On Sunday the plenary assembly decided to dismantle the camp until next weekend - starting on Friday 27th - but to continue the protest outside the embassy every day from 7 to 9pm, in solidarity with the camps in Madrid's Puerta del Sol [live webcam] and Barcelona's Plaça de Catalunya that announced they would continue for at least another week. During the daily protests this week there are plans for working groups meetings, workshops and further assemblies that will decide on the shape of the protest for nesxt weekend as well as how to continue is 'movement' in London.
Here there are some photos from Sunday afternoon and evening ...
Related articles in London Indymedia:
More information about the protests in London:
More information about the square occupations in Spain:
- Puerta del Sol Occupation blog
- 24h live webcam from Puerta del Sol
- Plaça Catalunya Occupation blog
- Video Gallery from Barcelona's La Tele
- Live feeds from Spain an across Europe
Last week saw a flurry of activity in opposition to the planned “reforms” of the NHS in Nottinghamshire. There were protests at the two “listening” events held in the county and a well received stall in the Market Square on Saturday. In Worksop, campaigners dressed as Robin Hood distributed leaflets in the town centre inviting people to the listening exercise there on Friday. Another Notts Uncut action, this time focusing on the NHS, is planned for next weekend.
Upcoming event: Notts Uncut Emergency Operation, Saturday May 28th, 12 noon, outside Boots, Parliament St, Nottingham.
On the newswire: Worksop NHS protest | Notts ‘Save Our NHS’ campaigning stall | Reports on NHS “listening” events in Notts | Picket of NHS ‘Listening Exercise’ evening | Picket of NHS “listening” event
Previous feature: Nottingham Mobilises to Save NHS
Edwinstowe, Tuesday 17th May
There were two “listening” events held in Nottinghamshire, one in the city and the other, for those in the north of the county, in Edwinstone. There was a protest outside organised by the Bassetlaw anti-cuts group who gave out leaflet: Save Our NHS From Lansley (doc) wearing their Robin Hood hats with “Robin Hood says Keep our NHS public” and “Robin Hood says the NHS belongs to the people not big business”.
About 100 people attended the listening event, mainly older people. There was considerable opposition to the Bill proposals particularly to the privatisation of the NHS. It was quite heated and people were keen to ask questions from the floor. The meeting was fronted by Zoe, the PCT Public Involvement Manager who was asked difficult questions and took the flack – apparently no one from the Future Forum had been able to attend.
There was a presentation on what’s happening (with much interupting by questions) and then group work (based on the 4 topics in the Listening exercise) and feedback to the whole group. Responses will be collated and fed into the Department of Health. There were no GPs or MPs present, as far as this reporter was aware. It was round table stuff – but every table reporting back made it quite clear privatisation was not an option and the reorganisation should be shelved.
Note: Bassetlaw is not part of NHS County – it is joining up with Doncaster and Rotherham.
Nottingham, Wednesday 18th May
About 20 of Notts SOS turned out on 18th May to picket the NHS listening event held at the Belgrave Rooms in the city. Placards and notices saying Kill the Bill, Bin the Bill, Hands Off Our NHS, Sickness is Not a Profit Making Industry, made our point clear. Many people arriving for the event stopped to look at our stall, pick up information and newsletters and talk, and passing vehicles hooted their support. The new Notts SOS printed waterproof banner with our name and logo on was ready for the event, and tied to the front of the stall. Some campaigners then went inside to join the exercise when it began at 6pm, but a presence was kept outside throughout and interested members of the public continued to stop and ask what it was all about.
The listening exercise was run jointly by Nottingham City and Nottingham County PCTs (Primary Care Trusts). Present were PCT staff, and Vicky Bailey who is a member of the government’s NHS Future Forum and chief officer of an existing GP consortium (Principia). The chair of the Future Forum, Prof. Steve Field, said earlier this week that the proposed NHS reforms were unworkable. The Nottingham meeting was overwhelmingly opposed to competition in the NHS and the use of private contractors. But the impression gained by the audience of about a hundred, was that the exercise was only concerned with making cosmetic changes to the underlying plan, and leaving the marketisation of the NHS untouched. Those present who left their names and addresses were promised that they would be sent a copy of the summary of opinion that will be forwarded to the Future Forum. No-one who attended could be left in any doubt that the public are overwhelmingly opposed to this government plan.
Nottingham, Saturday 21st May
On Saturday, Notts SOS held a stall in the Market Square to distribute leaflets zbout the government’s plans for the NHS and get people to sign a petition. Some campaigners wore white coats emblazoned with slogans criticising the Health and Social Care Bill.
The stall was well received with people almost universally opposed to the marketisation of the NHS and eager to sign the petition. Aroun 1,000 leaflets were given out in less than two hours.
Worksop, Saturday 21st May
Robin Hood and his band of helpers descended on Bridge Street, Worksop, last Saturday to tell the folk of Worksop that they had been missed out of the Government’s NHS “Listening Exercise”. Meetings had been held in Edwinstowe and Nottingham by NHS Nottinghamshire and the South Yorkshire PCT had held a meeting at Doncaster, last Monday that was attended by three people. Bassetlaw’s MP had not been told about the meeting and Bassetlaw people had not been invited to take part.
The group have asked John Mann to organise Bassetlaw’s own Listening Exercise and the Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, and a representative from Future Forum, the group appointed by the Government to Listen to the People, will be invited to speak at a Public Meeting to be held at Worksop Town Hall, on Friday 27th May, at 7.00 pm.
The Bassetlaw Protecting our People and Services Group gave out leaflets and collected 622 signatures, in just over 2 hours, on a petition to Keep our NHS Public. Barry Donlan, a spokesperson for the group said Robin Hood would approve of the group using his name to defend the National Health Service for the people. He said that, “The Government’s proposals include turning the National Health Service into a National health market with profits for private providers funded through taxpayers’ money. Private companies would ‘cherry pick’ the simpler procedures to deliver and leave the more costly procedures for the taxpayer to fund”. Councillor David Potts said that Government advisers had said that future reforms would “show no mercy to the NHS and offer a big opportunity to the for profit sector”.
Robin Hood’s helpers gave out invitations to the Public Meeting and urged everyone to attend.
23-05-2011 16:22Life in the camp in Sol, Madrid: self-management, solidarity and direct action.
23-05-2011 15:42Defend Dale Farm!
Monday 23rd May, 8pm
The Cowley Club, Brighton
23-05-2011 15:32Welcome to Palestine Today a service of the International Middle East Media Centre www.imemc.org, for Monday May 23rd, 2011
23-05-2011 14:56On Saturday 21st May a march took place to remember Fran and the animals
Sunday 22 May
At the Green Festival in the Arbouretum, Spanish Students and residence of Nottingham have been promoting the anti-austerity events in Spain.
People will again be gathering in the Market Square, Notttingham tonight [Monday 23rd] at 7.00pm
As you know, in Spain we have been having many demonstrations since the 15th of May asking for a real democracy instead of the bipartisanship and corruption.
We are not the pawns of politicians and bankers.
There are also many cities in the world which already support us, and now is Nottingham's turn.
From tomorrow on, 22st of may at 12:00 we will meet in Green Festival en el Arboretum, Arboretum Park, Waverley Street...
We will start our revolution, and we are waiting for your support, as citizens of the world. This is a problem that concerns everybody.
Follow us in #acampadanottingham
Democracia Real Ya: Spain Manifesto
May 22nd, 2011
By Democracia Real Ya:
We are ordinary people. We are like you: people, who get up every morning to study, work or find a job, people who have family and friends. People, who work hard every day to provide a better future for those around us.
Some of us consider ourselves progressive, others conservative. Some of us are believers, some not. Some of us have clearly defined ideologies, others are apolitical, but we are all concerned and angry about the political, economic, and social outlook which we see around us: corruption among politicians, businessmen, bankers, leaving us helpless, without a voice.
This situation has become normal, a daily suffering, without hope. But if we join forces, we can change it. It’s time to change things, time to build a better society together. Therefore, we strongly argue that:
The priorities of any advanced society must be equality, progress, solidarity, freedom of culture, sustainability and development, welfare and people’s happiness.
These are inalienable truths that we should abide by in our society: the right to housing, employment, culture, health, education, political participation, free personal development, and consumer rights for a healthy and happy life.
The current status of our government and economic system does not take care of these rights, and in many ways is an obstacle to human progress.
Democracy belongs to the people (demos = people, krátos = government) which means that government is made of every one of us. However, in Spain most of the political class does not even listen to us. Politicians should be bringing our voice to the institutions, facilitating the political participation of citizens through direct channels that provide the greatest benefit to the wider society, not to get rich and prosper at our expense, attending only to the dictatorship of major economic powers and holding them in power through a bipartidism headed by the immovable acronym PP & PSOE.
Lust for power and its accumulation in only a few; create inequality, tension and injustice, which leads to violence, which we reject. The obsolete and unnatural economic model fuels the social machinery in a growing spiral that consumes itself by enriching a few and sends into poverty the rest. Until the collapse.
The will and purpose of the current system is the accumulation of money, not regarding efficiency and the welfare of society. Wasting resources, destroying the planet, creating unemployment and unhappy consumers.
Citizens are the gears of a machine designed to enrich a minority which does not regard our needs. We are anonymous, but without us none of this would exist, because we move the world.
If as a society we learn to not trust our future to an abstract economy, which never returns benefits for the most, we can eliminate the abuse that we are all suffering.
We need an ethical revolution. Instead of placing money above human beings, we shall put it back to our service. We are people, not products. I am not a product of what I buy, why I buy and who I buy from.
For all of the above, I am outraged.
I think I can change it.
I think I can help.
I know that together we can.
A Defiant 'Spanish Revolution'
Facebook: Democracia real YA Nottingham
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!!"
23-05-2011 14:55Michael Chanan's documentary on recent student protests in the UK
Don’t miss this screening of a video diary about the movement against government spending cuts in the universities and beyond - with students, activists and citizens of the real big society. The film will be introduced by director Michael Chanan, and the screening will be followed by a panel discussion and Q & A.
Wholeheartedly celebrating the protest movement against government-imposed austerity, Chronicle of Protest presents the discussion, debate and arguments which have come together in open dialogue within the movement, without preferring one position over another, but trying to make sense of the collective clamour, in opposition to the disinformation of the mainstream media.
The mainstream media come under criticism from the start, exposed by the new flux of the internet’s social media, which have become a parallel domain of communication through which the politically unorganised can discover each other, communicate, and organise with great rapidity. This film belongs to this alternative circuit, since it takes the form of a reworking of a series of video blogs originally posted on the New Statesman web site. As the Brazilian film critic José Carlos Avellar put it another context, the camera is an actor within the reality which it films, and that reality is the co-author of the film.
One of the things it inevitably shows in consequence is the reclamation of public space through occupations, street protests, marches and rallies, as the proper place for the expression of popular political demands, precisely because the popular voice is never heard in the mediated public sphere directly but always filtered by the editorial stance. In this film, by contrast, the aim is to hand the word over to the range of individual and collective voices which are now ringing in the politicians’ ears at every turn, clamouring for
23-05-2011 14:50War Resisters' International has learned that imprisoned pacifist blogger Maikel Nabil Sanad has been moved to solitary confinement at El Marg prison.
23-05-2011 14:48Dear friends of the world,We see below a short
declaration of principles of Barcelona Camp
Here a message from the International Commission to help to spread protest worldwide and coordinate internationally
23-05-2011 14:39At the last festival those who had already paid were refused re-entry and sent to the back of the queue again if they happened to step outside for even a second. They were not informed this may happen so that they could make the choice not to leave the hall.
23-05-2011 13:35Urgent Action Required. A network of NGOs is asking for Edson Cosmas, a gay activist from Tanzania, to be released from a UK detention centre.
23-05-2011 13:21Public Meeting with Nick Clegg: The Big Climate Connection
27th May 2011 at 6.00 pm for 6:30 prompt start
The location is a secret and ID is needed to get in, can we call this a Police State yet?
23-05-2011 12:1323rd May, 6pm, Human Rights Action Centre, New Inn Yard, EC2A 3EA (Shoreditch)