UK Newswire Archive
20-04-2012 07:39You can have your cake and eat it at Brighton Bike Fest!!
20-04-2012 06:55This morning at 5am (19th April) the bailiffs and police numbering over 60 evicted the residents of the site. The barricades were up but no one had been up the tree houses for the night. The residents were given time to remove what possessions were left and the whole thing was over by 9am. The eviction was characterised by the huge police presence out numbering the occupiers by about 5 to 1, the police having prevented a breach of the peace continued to assist the bailiffs by carrying wood, boards and enjoying the beautifully spring morning laughing joking while the evil squatters retreated to their tents in the forest. The site now has 24 hours security with attack dogs.
20-04-2012 04:33Oh dear it appears that animal abuser Bobby roberts has decided to return to the North
remember anne the elephant
Imagine that David Hume never was. Or that everything Richard Dawkins wrote was a lie. Imagine that women didn't have the vote and were just baby factories. Imagine that women, because of baseless rumour and absence of science, were still burned as witches.
FBI seizes server providing anonymous remailer and many other services from colocation facility.
Unemployed people in Edinburgh have won a significant victory by forcing workfare provider A4e to recognise that claimants on their programmes have the right to take their own representative to meetings with A4e. For over two and a half years A4e have refused to recognise reps from Edinburgh Claimants, affiliated to Edinburgh Coalition Against Poverty. A4e often called the police to
19-04-2012 18:55Following on from the previous demonstration on Friday 30th March and in response to the callout for another Day of Action; people gathered once again outside Metropolis, Stokes Croft on Saturday 14th April to protest against the House of Lords recent decent to criminalise squatting in residential properties.
Following on from the previous demonstration on Friday 30th March and in response to the callout for another Day of Action; people gathered once again outside Metropolis, Stokes Croft on Saturday 14th April to protest against the House of Lords recent decent to criminalise squatting in residential properties. From the beginning there was a much higher police presence that last time with several officers patrolling Stokes Croft and keeping guard over Metropolis while two riot vans sat quietly round the corner outside Montpelier Station.
While people waited for more numbers to arrive two banners where hung on the old Metropolis noticeboard. One read: "CONTEMPT OF COURT: Solidarity With All Those Who House Themselves By All Means!" and another which read: "United People Of Earth: KEEP FREE HOUSING". Shortly afterwards a tricycle soundsystem turned up and the protest decided to move on (despite all the Police fears that the meeting point outside Metropolis was a clever ruse to break-in under the cover of daylight).
The protest moved down Stokes Croft where it took the road and made it's way towards town, stopping briefly outside Classic's Free Shop and The Emporium so people could show their support for the two buildings which have been squatted for several years and resisted eviction on multiple occassions. When they reached the St. James Barton roundabout people continued to block the road on their way towards Broadmead.
Chants of "Who's Street? Our Street!", "Build A Bonfire...", "All Bailiffs are Bastards" and "Stop Shopping, Start Squatting" could be heard over the soundsystem.Full article.
19-04-2012 17:28The trial opened with what would have been a comedy of errors if it hadn't been for the seriousness of what was happening.
If you are on, or have been on the work programme, or one of the other workfare schemes, please get in touch with us, anonymously if you want, and let us know what happened and whether it was useful to you. email BirminghamAgainstTheCuts@Gmail.com or comment on this post.
At our demonstrations we’ve had many people stop and talk to us telling us that workfare did not help them, and the more of these stories we can publicise, the more pressure there is on the government to scrap the scheme and stop the providers profiteering from the taxpayer.
This is what Raman has to say:
19-04-2012 16:55The Ruling May Have Gone Against Us But We Won the Arguments In Court!
Yesterday a two hour hearing of the civil injunction, lodged by the ODA against peaceful protestors engaged in blocking construction vehicles on Leyton Marsh, took place at the High Courts of Justice.
This was a subsequent hearing of the initial injunction on 4th April granted to the ODA for a two week duration.
Six defendants were summoned before the court; Simon Moore, Anita Olvadacce, Connor Murray, Daniel Ashman and Rowena Johnson. Simon, Anita, Connor and Daniel had already appeared before court charged under section 14 of the Public Order Act. Connor pleaded not guilty and will be tried on 1st June. Simon, Anita and Daniel pleaded guilty, were subsequently fined £640 which they were unable to pay and hence were incarcerated for 5 days.
Rowena Johnson, a local resident who was unaware of the injunction until her summons, was included as a defendant solely on the evidence provided by the Evening Standard. One of their journalists, who had covered the previous court case, sat on the prosecution bench and was on first name terms with the ODA lawyers (as verification, the first name by which he was referred to was Stewart and he kindly carried their box files of documents into their shared taxi).
The judge heard first the arguments put by the ODA for their case; this included a description of the obstruction of lorries that occurred on 10th April. None of the defendants challenged the fact they had engaged in obstruction of lorries since their aim was to challenge the construction using peaceful direct action. However, a local resident who appeared as a Macenzie friend on behalf of Daniel Ashman did challenge the ‘partial’ witness accounts of the ODA’s Mark Sorrell whose descriptions of incitement were described as ‘vague’ and ‘unsubstantiated’. The judge pointed out that any criminal incidents should be pursued as criminal matters and did not relate to the defendants and the civil injunction being heard.
In addition to using the Evening Standard article as fact, an undertaking critiqued by Daniel Ashman during his defence, the ODA employed as exhibits screen captures of various social media pages as evidence of ‘incitement’, including an anonymous comment posted on indymedia and the Occupy Twitter account. The judge asked for clarification from the ODA as to whether any such proposed ‘shut down of the site’ had taken place on the day in question. The ODA confirmed there had been none and indeed the defence pointed out that no such idea had appeared on our official website and where it had appeared elsewhere, it had been disclaimed by our Save Leyton Marsh Group.
In an Orwellian twist, the ODA claimed that the injunction was necessary “to ensure the health and safety of their workers” and that there was a ‘serious’ and ‘imminent risk’ to workers on site from the protestors. All the defendants, as well as local resident Katy Andrews, pointed out to the judge that the serious risk was in fact posed by the construction itself. As part of Simon’s defence, a document of chronology was handed to the judge. This included key sections from the ground investigation report carried out on behalf of Nussli in January which stated that “ground workers should be made aware of the presence of lead and the potential presence of asbestos containing materials in the made ground” and “the relevant levels of personal protective equipment” would be required . In our numerous discussions with workers and dog-handlers, our group has never spoken to one who was aware of the risks or was wearing suitable protective clothing.
In further Orwellian fashion, the ODA went on to claim that presence of protestors constituted “interference to the use and enjoyment of the land”, neglecting of course to mention that their unwanted construction has confiscated 70% of Porter’s Field Meadow for a huge 3 storey 11m high structure. The protestors were described as being a ‘nuisance and obstruction’ to the local people who have supported the camp from the beginning!
Simon and Anita defended their actions on the basis of the context in which they had been undertaken. They both referred to the lack of consultation and due democratic process that had led to the decision to use our beautiful marsh as a site for considerable and ‘destructive’ development. Anita pointed out that thousands of Londoners walked the marsh and that hundreds of local residents directly opposite suffered the loss of Leyton Marsh even more since they did not have their own gardens. Simon told the judge: “It is priceless. It serves an essential human need that no building could.” They both clearly outlined the serious failings of the authorities involved, including failing to engage with locals’ concerns and resorting to expensive legal ‘remedy’ with tax payers’ money. They explained their (we must say passionate and admirable) motivation to support local people in their struggle to protect their open green space for all.
Judge Arnold’s summing up acknowledged the frustrated attempts to engage with the authorities through normal channels and listed the failings of the authorities that were described during the hearing which included concerns about ‘permission’, ‘undemocratic process’, ‘various environmental considerations’, ‘environmental matters of public concern’, ‘development of MOL’ and a number of other ‘legitimate’ matters of concern. Hopefully this list of valid concerns will appear in the decision when it’s published.
The judge also acknowledged that we felt “handicapped by a lack of resources and the financial ability to obtain legal representation” since our claim for legal aid was rejected as not constituting a ‘priority’. However, most of his summing up was reading from a pre-written document and he found the ODA’s property rights under article 1 of the First Protocol meant that the protestors human rights should be ‘waived’. Not all that surprising for a judge who presides over Intellectual Property cases!
UNISON Birmingham Branch, 19th Floor,
McLaren building, 48 Priory Queensway
19-04-2012 15:21RALLY & PROTEST
at Brand Street UKBA Reporting Centre
Saturday 21 April
Stop the Evictions
Housing is a Human Right
19-04-2012 14:40On Saturday, 14 of April 2012 around 250 members of National Radical Camp (Polish far right organization, ONR), neo-nazis and football hooligans came to Katowice, a city in southern polish region of Silesia to commemorate 78 anniversary of creation of the pre-war ONR, openly fascist and anti-Semitic group responsible for numerous assaults on left – wing activists and Jewish minority. In response to this sheer provocation, Silesian Antifascist Movement organized a counter - demonstration that has gathered around 150 people. Their protest was attacked by the riot police squads, and more than 100 people were arrested and unlawfully fined for ‘disturbing the legal demonstration’ (which means the fascist march). Six antifascists were charged with ‘serious assault on police officer’ (maximum penalty – 10 years in prison).
19-04-2012 14:22Flannels release a signed, official statement/policy that they will no longer sell fur!
Over the past 3 weeks Nottingham Solidarity Network has been taking actions against a dodgy landlord, Mr Shakil, also known as “Shak”. The landlord collected rent from tenants whilst at the same time not paying the mortgage. This caused them to be evicted upon repossession of the house. The landlord also neglected to pay the £700 deposit into a deposit protection scheme as required by law, nor maintain the property.
We see this level of mendacity as stemming from the control landlords and bosses have over our lives and thus we created Nottingham Solidarity Network in order to fight back. J contacted us and together we have come up with ways of collectivizing the dispute in order to apply pressure to get the money back he’s owed.
On Saturday March 31st twenty or so friends of NSN met in Carrington to await a sighting of Mr Shakil in his new workplace; Nad’s takeaway owned by his brother in law. Once we spotted him getting into his car on the other side of the road we briskly made our way towards him. Whilst the group surrounded the car, J knocked on the open window and handed over a letter demanding the return of the £700. Mr Shakil accepted the letter, mumbled several unconvincing excuses and drove off at speed.
This action had the benefit of showed Mr Shakil that this was no longer merely an issue between ex-tenants and ex-landlord, but had become a collective action. The relationship between landlord and tenant is one which has an intrinsically uneven power balance, with the landlord the owner of the property collecting money from the tenant who has no other option but to pay or be made homeless. When the tenant pays rent, but is still evicted from their home this is an abuse of this power.
In order to redistribute this power we can respond collectively, ensuring that landlords and bosses in Nottingham are aware that their actions will elicit a response.
Having received no response from Mr Shakil we decided to again target his workplace in order to remind him that action will continue to escalate until the deposit is returned. To this end Nottingham Solidarity Network called out for as many people as possible to contact the takeaway from 6pm to 10pm on Saturday the 14th April via phone, and politely ask for the circumstances to be redressed.
Following a call out via numerous organisations, social media platforms and websites the subsequent phone blockade was hugely effective. We’d like to thank everyone who showed solidarity by taking the time to get involved.Scores of people reported ringing in, with calls frequently unable to connect and going to voicemail. Staff reactions included denying he worked there, resignation, intimidation and threats of violence.
Obviously perturbed, reports suggest that a member of staff called the police at around 7pm and some callers who weren’t shielding their number were then contacted from a local police station and told to desist or face repercussions. Despite these questionable attempts at intimidation the call out had already gone out and people continued to ring throughout the evening. There have been no further attempts to contact callers by the police that we know of, but if anyone has had contact please let us know.
Reports from takeaway staff indicated that takings were down 50% on a normal Saturday, one of the two busiest days of the week for them. This is a reminder of our power when we act collectively.
These actions have obviously caused Shak discomfort as he took this occasion to make his first proactive engagement with the NSN. Unfortunately this was to contact a fellow ex tenant unconnected to NSN and make a series of threats against his person, whilst simultaneously admitting fault and expressing a desire to pay if he had the means. He also contacted the NSN phone. We refuse to be intimidated and hope this marks the beginning of Mr Shakil’s engagement with us.
NSN will continue to take actions until Mr Shakil begins act in good faith and takes steps to begin to repay the outstanding deposit.