UK Newswire Archive
On tonight’s show, we cast a critical eye over the 2012 Olympic games, which are set to open in East London in a week’s time.
Adam and Tim spoke to a number of people involved in campaigns surrounding the Olympics and discovered some of the hidden consequences of the games. First up, we have an interview with Julian Cheyne, former resident of the Clays Lane estate in Newham, which was demolished in 2007 to make way for the Olympic athletes village.
We also spoke to two activitsts, Caroline and Kev, who are part of the save Leyton Marsh Campaign, a grassroots campaign to prevent the destruction of a community open space to build a temporary basketball training facility.
We also have some historical background on repressive tactics used at past Olympic games and injunctions and exclusion orders that are being used today from Brian Richardson, a barrister based in East London who is also the author of Tell it like it is: how our schools fail black children.
We also spoke to several people who have been doing research into the corporations sponsoring the games. These include Richard Solly from the London Mining Network talking about the Greenwash Gold Campaign; Anna McMullan from the Play Fair campaign; and Tim Hunt talking about the great Olympic Tax Swindle. Also including tracks from Red Snapper, Radikal Guru feat Cian Finn, Dub Trio and Kidkanevil.
And to finish things off we have a set from Little Shit and Squeaky Grinder
To hear this olympic effort, go to our website and click the 'Listen Live' button
The ‘Occupy Eleven’, arrested and charged with “obstruction of a bailiff enacting a high court writ” during the eviction of the Occupy camp at St Paul’s Cathedral, have been found guilty but were released this afternoon with conditional discharges. The judge handed out the lowest sentence possible, despite the prosecution’s calls to exclude the accused from vast swathes of London.
On leaving court the defendants released a joint statement:
“Today we the Occupy Eleven have been found guilty of intentionally obstructing high court bailiffs performing duties. We maintain our innocence. Our intentions remain the same as when we first joined Occupy: To highlight the corruption in the financial sector and the influence that sector has over our political system. That message remains as significant today as when we occupied the London Stock Exchange on the 15th October 2011. We find it odd that those highlighting the crimes of high finance are criminalised, whilst Bob Diamond and the like remain free of any type of prosecution. We are resolute and will remain committed to the cause until the real criminals are brought to justice."
The OccupyLSX camp was cleared by bailiffs, with police assistance, in the early hours of February 28. The eleven defendants were amongst occupiers who climbed onto the camp’s kitchen shelves while the tents around them were dragged away. The eleven waved flags and chanted, remaining peaceful while police controversially cleared the church steps, carrying praying protesters away from what had been assumed to be a safe, sacred space. Bailiffs removed furniture piled up around the kitchen shelves and the ‘Occupy Eleven’ clung onto one another in an attempt to remain upright on their narrow ledge but, one by one, were pulled down by bailiffs and promptly arrested.
The defence argued that no clear warnings or instructions were given to those occupying the kitchen shelves, however the prosecution won the first round yesterday, with a District Judge declaring that there was sufficient evidence for the prosecution case to continue. The defendants returned to Westminster Magistrate’s Court on Marylebone Road this morning where the City Of London Corporation asked that year long exclusion orders from the City, Stratford and Westminister be imposed, and that the defendants each be awarded costs of £750.
This afternoon, having watched footage of the eviction and after hearing eyewitness accounts, the Judge acknowledged that the eleven were making a peaceful stand and awarded conditional discharges with no costs and no exclusions.
20-07-2012 18:30We a group of anarchists are organising a mass anti-Olympic games protest. Meet at 6pm on the South Bank under Waterloo Bridge, at 6pm on Friday the 27th of July we will then set off at 7pm to blockade roads and cause chaos around the West End.
In April 2009, along with everyone else, we saw the shocking video of Ian being violently assaulted by PC Harwood just minutes before he died. After the unlawful killing verdict at the inquest last year - we expected to hear a guilty verdict today. The NOT guilty verdict really hurts. But this is not the end, - we are not giving up on justice for Ian. There has to be one formal and final answer to the question “who killed Ian?”. And we will now pursue this in the civil court.
The last three years have been a really hard uphill battle. We have had to deal with many obstacles, set backs and emotions on the way. It has been hard to keep going sometimes, it feels hard to keep going today. We do take strength from the support that we receive from so many members of the public. Thank you. And thank you also to Lucy Apps for the compassion you showed to our dad when you tried to save his life and comfort him on Cornhill that day.
Statement from Jules Carey of Tuckers Solicitors - civil lawyers of the family
This is one of the hardest days for the family, and there have been many:
- The morning an officer told them Ian was dead,
- the day they first saw that video,
- the day an investigator said it might be a protester in a policeman’s uniform,
- the day the pathologist changed his evidence about finding 3 litres of blood,
- the day the CPS said that wouldn’t charge the officer of any offence
PC Harwood may have been acquitted of manslaughter by this jury, but another jury, at the inquest a year ago, found that Ian Tomlinson had been unlawfully killed. It is impossible for this family to understand these two, apparently contradictory, verdicts.
Ian Tomlinson’s family have not given up on justice. They will now look to the civil courts to reconcile these verdicts, deliver justice and formally answer the question “who killed Ian Tomlinson?”.
It is a terrible truth that in the last 30 years there have been over a thousand of deaths in custody and after contact, there have been many unlawful killing verdicts but there is not one case of an officer convicted for manslaughter.
Those entrusted with investigating and prosecuting these cases will need to reflect hard on today’s verdict and the unbroken chain of similar verdicts.
Statement from organisation INQUEST
Deborah Coles, co-director of INQUEST said:
"This verdict is a damning reflection of the systemic problems inherent in the current investigation system where deaths following police use of force are not treated as potential crimes. This failure has profound consequences on the proper functioning of the justice system in relation to such deaths.
"It is vital that the rule of law is upheld and applies equally to all, including police officers, and that they do not believe that they can act with impunity.
"For too long there has been a pattern of cases where inquest juries have found overwhelming evidence of unlawful and excessive use of force or gross neglect and yet no police officer either at an individual or senior management level has been held responsible."
Statement from Newham Monitoring Project - civil justice organisation who have supported the family campaign
"The message this verdict sends out to the wider public is that accountability systems are still failing and that police officers appear free to act above the law. The question of how Ian Tomlinson met such a tragic and sudden death still remains unanswered leaving a stain on British justice."
We have finally received our court judgement! We’ve lost but we live to fight another day as the judge has granted us permission to appeal on our arguments around human rights.
Handing down the judgement this morning, Judge Karen Walden-Smith took on board our arguments around the right to respect for the home, under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights. She upheld this right in the case describing the project as “much loved and well used” by the local community, despite arguments from the claimants that this right did not apply to squatters. While she ruled in favour of the owners, she agreed that we should not be evicted without our human rights case being heard in the Court of Appeal.
Grow Heathrow are asking for donations to support the costs of lodging an appeal to be made via paypal through the website.
20-07-2012 16:44The formerly anti-racist singer Morrissey is going ahead with his July 21st Tel Aviv show with nary a word mentioned of the campaign for cultural boycott.
Miscarriages of JusticeUK (MOJUK) News Service
Winston Green 8 - Just a Few Points
On the Friday 1st June, Justice Flaux in the absence of the jury acquitted Everton Graham and Aaron Parkins; he thought that in both cases there was no case to answer. Crown Prosecution Service appealed to the High Court and this was heard on Tuesday 12th June the appeal was upheld. Court resumed on Wednesday 13th June, with acquitted back on the indictment; jury was not told that two of the defendants had been acquitted.
20-07-2012 08:35The loss of tens of thousands of parents and caregivers from conflict has made children even more vulnerable
Edinburgh Council refuse workers are angry that Blue Arrow private contractors have been brought in to do their work. Only months ago the full Council voted against the privatisation of refuse collection, street cleaning and related services. But now Director of Services for Communities Mark Turley is disregarding the Council vote and bringing in private firms.
EDL outnumbered in the Wild South West
How low can the EDL's fortunes plummet? “We won't be coming back to Bristol any time soon” said Michael Bayliss, the up 'til now unheard of South West regional organiser for the EDL. That comment followed a dismal turn-out of around 300 to what had been billed by the League as a national demo.
19-07-2012 23:13Simon Harwood punched and racially abused 14-year old girl
Steinmetz moves to conceal facts that could scupper $5.1 billion De Beers’ deal
With a $5.1 billion deal at stake and human rights activists increasing pressure on De Beers to remove the Forevermark Steinmetz Jubilee Diamond from the Tower of London, the Steinmetz Foundation recently scrubbed from their website all reference to their funding and support for the Israeli military during the assault on Gaza (Operation Cast Lead) in the winter of 2008/2009.
London-based mining giant Anglo American recently received final regulatory approval to purchase the Oppenheimer family's 40 percent stake in the De Beers Group. According to Charles Stanley, US president of Forevermark - De Beers’ exclusive diamond brand "Forevermark diamonds account for the vast majority of value if not volume of De Beers'business. Mr. Stanley, speaking in June at a conference in Las Vegas, also indicated that consumer trust in the ethical provenance of De Beers’ diamonds was of critical importance to their business.
The Steinmetz Company manufactures Forevermark diamonds. The Steinmetz Foundation "adopted" a Unit of the notorious Givati Brigade of the Israeli military which it funded and supported during Cast Lead. The Givati Brigade was directly responsible for the massacre of 21 members of the Samouni family in one of the most despicable examples of gross human rights violations documented by human rights organisations and the UN Human Rights Council during the Israeli attack on Gaza.
A UN Human Rights Council investigation into the Israeli assault which killed over 1,400 people, including more than 300 children, concluded that the Israeli military committed serious war crimes and possible crimes against humanity.
Last Sunday, for the fifth successive weekend since De Beers put the Forevermark Steinmetz diamond on display in the Tower of London to mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, human rights activists in London staged a demonstration to highlight the linkage between the diamond and Israeli war crimes in Gaza. Demonstrations have been held every weekend either at the Tower of London or outside De Beers’ jewellery shop on the corner of Piccadilly and Bond Street.
The surviving members of the Samouni family in Gaza have issued a video appeal calling on the Queen to remove the "offensive blood diamond"
Given the discretionary nature of a diamond purchase and the public's revulsion of blood diamonds, neither De Beers nor Anglo American can afford any loss of consumer confidence in the ethical provenance of Forevermark diamonds. Anglo American’s Investor Presentation relating to the proposed purchase of the Oppenheimer family’s shares in De Beers did not mention the linkage between Forevermark diamonds and Israeli war crimes. Anglo American produced a fact sheet on De Beers which claims "all De Beers' diamonds are conflict free" - a false and misleading statement considering that Forevermark Steinmetz diamonds fund the Israeli military which stands accused of war crimes and possible crimes against humanity.
Anglo American shareholders apparently were not informed of the serious threat to the Forevermark brand and De Beers' business prior to their agreeing to spend $5.1 billion to acquire the additional 40% stake in De Beers. According to various rules and regulations (the City Code on Takeovers and Mergers (the “Takeover Code”), the UK Listing Rules, the Disclosure and Transparency Rules of the Financial Services Authority, the Listings Requirements of the securities exchange of the JSE Limited in South Africa, the SWX Swiss Exchange, the Botswana Stock Exchange and the Namibian Stock Exchange) Anglo American is obliged to carry out due diligence and make all relevant information available to shareholders and regulatory authorities.
1. Steinmetz Foundation Website "http://www.steinmetz-foundation.co.il/main.asp?sel_nav1=6&sel_nav2=46&sel_header=Others&cat=site
It now says: "The Foundation donate to the IDF."
It used to say: "The Foundation has "adopted" Tzabar Unit of the Israeli Defense Forces’ Givati Brigade. The Foundation fosters a close relationship with the commanders and their soldiers, helps the brigade organize evening events, buys equipment for end-of-course ceremonies and gives aid to needy soldiers. During Operation Cast Lead in the Gaza Strip, the Foundation helped the Unit purchase complementary equipment as well as visited and cared for the wounded soldiers.
2. Inminds website http://www.inminds.co.uk/article.php?id=10548
The site shows a copy of the Steinmetz Foundation web page before it was scrubbed. (red box added) It also has reports and photos of the demonstrations at the Tower of London and De Beers Jewellery shop.
3. Charles Stanley, Forevermark U.S. President speaking at the Rapaport Fair Trade Diamond Conference in LasVegas https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JAOg8KzyEuo
[Consumers]..."they want to know that our diamond is from a responsible source and that they can trust it."and "We are a diamond company and that's all we do. We mine $6 billion worth of diamonds every year and that‘s a high risk profile for any business. We can’t afford to have problems with diamonds. All of you who are selling diamonds as jewellers, we are ultimately a discretionary purchase. We rely on the fact that the consumers truly believe in the diamonds that they buy. If that promise gets unhinged in any way then economic value is eroded very very seriously and clearly as De Beers, that’s a huge risk for us and we can’t afford that to happen. So it's vital we have to do this [Forevermark Promise] in my view and it is why De Beers have done what they have done"
In response to a question from Alan Martin, Partnership Africa Canada, about the percentage of trade Forevermark represents for De Beers he said Forevermark represents "the vast majority of value if not volume so clearly going back to the economic issue we are clearly through that process, we continue to grow the credibility of Forevermark we will be protecting the vast majority of our value"
Full conference video - http://www.diamonds.net/news/NewsItem.aspx?ArticleID=40380
4. International Committee of the Red Cross report http://www.icrc.org/eng/resources/documents/news-release/palestine-news-080109.htm
The ICRC/PRCS team found four small children next to their dead mothers in one of the houses. They were too weak to stand up on their own. One man was also found alive, too weak to stand up. In all there were at least 12 corpses lying on mattresses. In another house, the ICRC/PRCS rescue team found 15 other survivors of this attack including several wounded. In yet another house, they found an additional three corpses.
5. UN Human Rights Council Report of the Fact-Finding Mission of the Gaza Conflict - http://www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/hrcouncil/docs/12session/A-HRC-12-48.pdf Relevant section pp.159-166
6. The Sammoni family's appeal to the Queen - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LpUTTGz6U-c
Helmi Sammoni, speaking on behalf of the Sammoni family, issued this appeal to Queen Elizabeth II.
"On behalf of the surviving members of the Sammoni family and the hundreds of other families in Gaza who have been killed by war crimes committed by the Givati Brigade of the Israeli Army, we are shocked and disappointed by the decision of De Beers to present the Queen of England with a diamond manufactured by the Steinmetz Diamond company – a company which supported the Givati Brigade during the Israeli war on Gaza late 2008 as they murdered 29 members of our family in cold blood. We the Sammoni family call on the Queen of England and the British people to decline this gift. We demand that De Beers be instructed to remove this offensive blood diamond display immediately. (Translated from Arabic)
7. De-Beers Forevermark Press Release - http://www.debeersgroup.com/ImageVaultFiles/id_1889/cf_5/Forevermark_Steinmetz_Jubilee_Pink_Diamond.PDF
The Steinmetz Forevermark Jubilee Pink Diamond has gone on display at the Tower of London to mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. This unique, fancy pink-brown colour, 35.60 carat cushion cut Forevermark diamond has been inscribed with a bespoke number, 19522012 - the year of HRH Queen Elizabeth II's coronation and the 60th year of her reign. It took the experts at Steinmetz Diamonds six months to perfect the cut, crafting the beautiful cushion cut from the original 179.96 carat rough diamond.
8. Anglo American Investor Presentation - http://www.angloamerican.com/~/media/Files/A/Anglo-American-Plc/investors/presentations/2011pres/hope-investor-presentation.pdf
9. Anglo American Fact Sheet on De Beers, November 2011 - http://www.angloamerican.com/~/media/Files/A/Anglo-American-Plc/media/de-beers-factsheet.pdf
"All De Beers' diamonds are certified conflict free and are produced in full compliance with national and international law, the Kimberley Process and De Beers' Best Practice Principles Assurance Programme.
19-07-2012 16:25Ian Tomlinson - demo outside Scotland Yard 6pm to 9pm - be there!!
19-07-2012 12:33Saturday 21st July 6:00 - 8:00pm
Community Play Centre
Birmingham, B20 2HF
All invited to attend this most important meeting
Accused WikiLeaks whistleblower Bradley Manning has been back in court at Fort Meade, Maryland, US this week for another pretrial hearing. Solidarity action has been organised outside the court, elsewhere in the US including 'Fort Manning' occupation of the federal courthouse in LA and around the world including London, Wrexham and Brisbane. For some background and a summary of the current situation at court, see this antiwar.com interview with Nathan Fuller of the Bradley Manning Support Network and Kevin Gosztola's blog.