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Soundings sounding us out

23-01-2012 16:55

In the Southwark Notes decompression chamber, we heard this pow-wow account of our visit to the Soundings/Lend Lease consultation on what they are going to do with that bit of public land where the Leisure Centre now stands.

Despite the pain of talking to consultancy mercenaries, I would always choose an employee of a developer above a touchy-feely consultant specialist for whom words are only useful means to shape the interlocutors' emotions rather than ideas attached to concrete objects, flat sizes, height
of buildings, cost-benefit analysis, things you can name and say ‘but you could do otherwise'. I prefer to be quoted statistics, if misleading, than adjectives.

It was a marathon of patience. A Soundings employee came out of the Leisure Centre and very very nicely explained that ‘they' inside do not mind us outside expressing dissent with regards to the consultation, but that they ‘had' to be out there too in the freezing cold to hand out their leaflets with their own in order to ‘balance' the accounts. Otherwise the passers-by would only see big ‘RIP OFF' elephants and our very poignant five simple questions on the Leisure centre redevelopment .

And this point I flipped, and just went on a rant "I am SORRY, but YOU are paid to be here, and I am not. You have the budget for full-colour printing of panels, and we have to pay for photocopying out of our own pockets. You have a whole shop on Walworth Road, the Elephant's high street, where you can show your designs and have as many meetings as you want, and we don't. You could mail the entire population of the whole borough twice a week if you wanted, while we rely on leaflets, word of mouth and a (free) blog. So, sorry, but I really can't bring myself to pity you if for five minutes we are stealing your visibility."

The (naïve? clueless?) consultautomaton replied "Oh, but you must understand, our role in this is to give equal space to both accounts, combining a top down..." "...and a bottom up approach, yeah." I finished the sentence, as we have heard this all before.

Once upon a time, consultation used to be run by the Councils in some pretence to accountability to us. Nowadays, consultation is a panda-suit exercise in getting the right answers to the right questions. It is run by agencies that employ mercenaries with a background in art and design, performance and public art, "who can take you places" and "who want to know what you know". Nothing wrong with any of the above, except when it's paid for by large corporate developers who are out to get maximum benefit from land speculation (they didn't teach you that at art school, did they?), the public land grab and a mono-culture of studio and 1-bed luxury flats.

Enough said.


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Ilan Pappe on ‘Memorcide: Crime, Closure & Reconciliation in Palestine’

23-01-2012 16:19

Genocide Memorial Day 2012
Ilan Pappe, a Professor of history discussed ‘Memorcide: Crime, Closure & Reconciliation in Palestine’ at 'Genocide Memorial Day 2012' in London, hosted by the Islamic Commission for Human Rights at the Brunei Gallery, SOAS.

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Palestine Today 01 23 2012

23-01-2012 14:57

Welcome to Palestine Today, a service of the International Middle East Media Center, for Monday January 23rd, 2012.

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Operation Lunch - a lunch in the city

23-01-2012 14:14

UK Uncut and associated members of the 99% have decided that in light of recent news about corporate tax avoidance it is only right to make our voice heard and make sure we are not left out of these lunch meetings. As such we will host a lunch meeting in the city with a major corporation.

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First 2050 Gathering a success

23-01-2012 12:55

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Equity Partnership to hold vote on Trans inclusion

23-01-2012 06:55


In a nutshell: Equity Partnership is a Bradford LGB organisation that works with and supports groups and related issues for the community. It has previously explicitly not included Trans in its descriptions and implicitly in its efforts. There has been a proposal to include Trans people in the constitution. Before the amendment can go through, there will be a re-vote on the proposal on Monday 13th February, 5.30pm-6.00pm, at the Equity Partnership Offices (82 Grattan Road, BD1 2TP).



Bradford LGB organisation Equity Partnership (a charity that works with members of the LGB community in the area by supporting groups, holding events, providing information, etc) recently held a General Meeting, during which the members voted to change elements of the organisation's constitution. One such such change, under 'Charitable Objects' (meaning as they describe it: "the things the charity strives to achieve, its purpose") effectively supports the basic inclusion and recognition of the needs of Trans people in the Bradford area.

Before the amendment can go through, there will be a vote to allow the changes on Monday 13th February, 5.30pm-6.00pm, at the Equity Partnership Offices (82 Grattan Road, BD1 2TP).

The proposal, as outlined in the email I received regarding this matter:


It is proposed that the following changes to the constitution be made:

The Charity’s objects (the Objects currently are)

To promote equality and diversity and to eliminate homophobia and discrimination in relation to Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual (LGB) people for the benefit of the public in the district of Bradford and the surrounding area by:

(a) providing information, advice and support services for LGB people;

(b) promoting education and training and raising awareness among LGB people;

(c) promoting education an training and raising awareness among health, social care and other professionals in all aspects of LGB issues and related equality and diversity issues in the elimination of homophobia and discrimination;

(d) cultivating an environment in favour of equality in particular by the provision of information, advice, support and publications.

These shall be changed to:

To promote equality and diversity and to eliminate homophobia, biphobia, transphobia and discrimination in relation to Lesbian, Gay Bisexual & Trans (LGB&T) people for the benefit of the public in the district of Bradford and the surrounding area by:

(a) providing information, advice and support services for LGB&T people;

(b) promoting education and training and raising awareness among LGB&T people;

(c) promoting education and training and raising awareness among health, social care and other professionals in all aspects of LGB&T issues and related equality and diversity issues in the elimination of homophobia, biphobia, transphobia and discrimination;

(d) cultivating an environment in favour of equality in particular by the provision of information, advice, support and publications. "


Similar groups nearly always include Trans people (or Trans*, Transgender, Transsexual... the level of recognition varies) at the very least as a name-check. It's rousingly noticeable in its absence. There is much debate among the Trans* community as to whether or not we should be included in that grouping, but the fact remains that our struggles have been linked for a long time. Trans* people historically always been a part of and at the forefront of Queer liberation. Yet Trans* is still way behind LGB in terms of equality. It's a slap in the face to not be included. The oppressions we face are similar, and as a small minority I don't believe there are enough resources to 'go it alone'. Resources are of increasing shortage with public service cuts left right and centre.+

I do not see this reversal of explicit erasure as the be-all-and-end-all for the needs of Trans* people, but as laying the foundations to something bigger.

Although modern attitudes are very hopeful, LGB people will not necessarily vote in favour of this change - this cannot be relied upon.

So if you agree with me and are able to, then I urge you to come down and vote. If you are not already a member please try to join so that you can. For those who are unable to come down in person but still would like to show support: if you could get the word out it would really help.


N.B. I welcome opinions and insights on this matter as this article is as much about raising the issue for information and debate as it is a request for support. However, if you are not Trans* you should really think before you type as this is not about you. And if you are ignorant on anything relating to Trans* people and have any burning questions not strictly pertinent to this specific issue... look it up. Plenty of 101's out there; Google is your friend. I am serious.


Bradford Council is making more budget cuts which will affect many organisations including Equity Partnership. The proposals document for 2012/13 is here:

and you can contact the council to comment on this here:


++ Only people who self-identify as Gay, Lesbian or Bisexual are allowed to become members of Equity Partnership. I technically identify as a Polysexual Trans* person, but I feel that falls under Bisexual to the wider world. Given the context of this article, I think it would be justifiable for Straight Trans* people to join as this is about Trans* exclusion.

You can find out about joining here:


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Occupation Camp Nottm: Collected coverage 100 days

23-01-2012 00:55

To celebrate the 100 days mark .... I thought it would be a good time to collate the coverage so far.

Occupation Camp in Nottingham is part of a global network of occupy camps, to protest at governments cuts. Critical of growing inequalities. Anti-globalisation, anti-capitalist and in favour of helping to bring about fairness in society. 

'Collected' Indymedia Links at:

Flickr photoset at:

On the flickr set, you can also select the 'slideshow' and watch it cycle through the collection



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!!"



Full article | 2 comments

Occupy the Class War

22-01-2012 23:05

A member of Wild Rose Collective writes about how Occupy's '99% vs 1%' rhetoric is problematic and who in reality in doesn't include and does include.

Full article | 3 additions | 1 comment

Pinheirinho Occupation, Sao Paulo brutally evicted this morning

22-01-2012 22:43

Cops go in this morning
Today the State authorised 2000 police to evict the long term land occupation of Pinheirinho, near Sao Paulo in Brazil. Despite a 15 day truce demanded by a Federal judge last week, the police went in this morning in a surprise attack

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Glasgow Film Screening - Joe Hill IWW Organiser Framed & Executed

22-01-2012 21:31

19:00 until 22:00

Electron Club, CCA, 350 Sauchihall Street
Glasgow G2 3JD

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The SI alive and well

22-01-2012 21:31

I'm surprised to see the anti-capitalist protests have continued through the winter conditions.

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Nottingham Occupation Camp now at day 100

22-01-2012 18:55

Sunday 22 January 2012

Now at day 100. Gosh!!

Who would have thought they'd be sticking it out this long.  Very well done all.

Speaking about the motives behind the occupation, a camper who has been there from the start said: "We will be here for as long as it takes. We want to get people to realise enough is enough. We may not be able to stay here forever, but we are still trying to raise public awareness. We're still getting overwhelming support from people."

Another camper said: "Initially we were hoping for 24 hours but we have exceeded that. The message is beginning to get out there. People of all walks of life are starting to take notice and take things on board. We would like to see the city council being a bit more vocal with the Government. Our MPs also need to stand up for our city in Parliament."


I think those holding out against the elements for these issues, need to be congratulated for their commitments and deserve help and support from us.

Please drop by and offer your time, help, donations of food, bedding, waterproofing, warm clothing ...... oh, a bit of love.

Loads of earlier postings ...... but, here are the main features


Nottingham is occupied [1st Feature]


Nottingham Occupation Continues [2nd Feature]


Occupy Notttingham: Moved but still in occupation [3rd Feature]


Occupy Notttingham: Still there [4th Feature]


Nottingham Occupy Nottingham: No plans for eviction. Yet. [5th Feature]


Occupy Notttingham: Two months in [6th Feature]


Occupy Nottingham: Xmas and New Year in Market Sq [7th Feature]

and ......

Characters I've met during Cuts & Occupy Campaigns



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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right to protest consulations end today

22-01-2012 18:55

today and tomorrow are respectively the deadlines for getting your comments in to the two consultations aiming to criminalise protest camps in london.

based on the new PASRA law which covers parliament square, the department of culture and the GLA are both running consultations before attempting to bring in draconian new bye-laws that will criminalise protest camps in trafalgar square and in the royal parks. westminster has already finished its own consultation covering much of the borough especially areas around government buildings and corporations and any green patches.

the new law and proposed bye-laws criminalise any attempt to sleep overnight at a protest site, giving police and council authorities the powers to seize tents and any other apparatus deemed to be designed to aid an overnight stay. there are powers of forfeiture, and criminal sanctions including fines and even exclusion orders. the new rules will also outlaw megaphones and other amplifying equipment, again allowing seizure.

despite the draconian style of the new legislation, the authorities describe their sanctions, without irony, not to be an attack on the right to protest, but as just an innoccent attempt to prevent nuisance. however, george young was more direct on thursday in a commons response recorded by hansard in which he stated Finally, I would say that "we have also restored the historic right to protest, as long as those protesting go home at the end of the day." (

today and tomorrow are the closing dates for the two currently open consultations. the westminster consultation specifically referred to the 'occupation' movement and described the new rules as a pre-emptive move to prevent any 'occupy' sites from establishing in the area. these are the beginning of GWOC, the global war on camping, which is a direct response to recent trends in peaceful and effective protest.

responding to public consultations CAN help. huge negative responses swayed the government over SOCPA, and were also part of the campaign that saw off westminster council's attempts last year to criminalise feeding the homeless - yes, really!

the consultations can be found at for the royal parks (ending tomorrow, monday the 23rd jan), and the GLA one at (ending today, sunday the 22nd) for trafalgar square.


for more info on the background to the legislation and the battle for the right to protest in parliament square, see

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OffMarket Project Coming To An End

22-01-2012 18:55

It is with mixed feelings that we announce the end of the offMarket project. We took disused buildings and try to turn them into open resources for the wider community. We started the project with a big collective. Now there are only a few people left in the collective and we can't carry it anymore as everyone is becoming increasingly tired. We doubt that we will open a new space in the future, but one can never say never. Keep readng ...


Many of you will remember that it was just over a year ago that we opened our first space on Lower clapton Road. After a few months we were evicted from that space and we moved up the road into a larger space. During this time offMarket became a busy social hub in the local community with lots of different activities happening on a regular basis. Activities included practical squatters evenings, a freeshop, a bike workshop where one can get their bikes fixed, massage sessions, life drawing, photography, self defense, a monthly cafe, french lessons, haircuts and so much more! These workshops and more proves how people can share a variety of knowledge with the wider community without the use of money. When we found out that we were going to be evicted from this place, it was decided to take some time to reflect  on how the previous spaces worked and dream before we opened the next and last space. In October we opened the latest and last incarnation of the offMarket space on Dalston Lane.

We were recently served papers and so we will be out of the current and final offMarket space within the next four weeks. But until then, we will still be running practical squatters evenings and herbal & gardening workshops. If someone or a group would like to use the space for a workshop or a meeting in the next few weeks, we would most likely be up for hosting it at offMarket. So please do get in touch if you are interested.

We would like to give a shout out to all those who helped and supported the offMarket project throughout the past year: all the people who came and used the space, those that helped run and maintained the spaces, those who put on workshops, the police for a new door made out of corrugated iron, everyone who donated stuff, friendly neighbours, developers, landlords and councils for leaving buildings empty, Advisory Service for Squatters for writing our defenses, all past and present collective and crew members who were part of offMarket, and everyone who took a minute to tell us that it was great that a place like offMarket existed. We would like to give special thanks to Steve who visited regularly for some tea and cake in the early days of the offMarket project, to Ishmael for providing us with an never ending supply of tea, and to Richard who always warmed us with his big smile.

Each and every one of you made offMarket what it was. Without you, offMarket would not have been the same. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

Last but not least, we would like to affirm our belief that Northeast London deserves to have a social centre. If this is somethinthat you are interested, we encourage you to go for it! 


the current offMarket collective 


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Sparks Facing Defeat As Unite Urges Contract Acceptance

22-01-2012 18:21

The 'agreement' which Unite are now urging members to sign
The electricians who provided some of 2011's most militant workplace organising appear to be heading towards defeat, as their Unite union urges them to sign up for pay cuts of around a third.

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Record £1/2million Breach of the Peace ‘VENDETTA’ trial.

22-01-2012 16:55

Record £1/2million Breach of the Peace ‘VENDETTA’ trial of anti-abuse campaigner set for next week, Angiolini to appear as witness ?

read more

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Be ready for Salmond's referendum sell-out to the Queen

22-01-2012 16:55

We'll see shortly what Salmond has planned for his referendum but if it is anything like the White Paper he produced in 2010 this is my view.


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Glasgow Picket Against Adecco Supplying scabs at ABB Factory Cordoba Spain

22-01-2012 16:55

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Glasgow Picket Against Adecco Supplying Strikebreakers at the ABB Factory Cordoba Spain

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