UK Newswire Archive
30-07-2013 08:42*3pm Eros statue/ Picadilly *6pm U.S. embassy
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From Themis http://tinyurl.com/pu8kmxv to Eros http://tinyurl.com/opehs4o
the Gods of Justice & Love say "Free Bradley Manning!"
The Civil Service Rank & File Network is calling for action aimed at Jobcentre Plus in the week of the 5 August.
The government is trying to draw a dividing line between claimants and those in work as it attacks all of us. Nowhere is this more clear than at the Jobcentre, where low waged civil servants are expected to impose sanctions and enforce unpaid work schemes for unemployed people subsisting on benefits.
Day 5 of Balcombe village's struggle against Frack Attack (Update)
Update - Day 5 - Monday 29th July - for continual updates head to http://frack-off.org.uk/
After a relatively quiet day on Sunday, today Monday, saw many vehicles arriving on site. Each delivery was met with heavy resistance. A heavily pregnant woman attempted to stop one of the trucks but was forced away as things got dodgy and dangerous. At the same time a man was arrested and brutally wrestled to the ground with a suspected broken arm.
For the rest of the afternoon more deliveries regularly turned up but only got through with police marching in front of each HGV and clashing with protesters attempting to stop them. A later delivery of office furniture saw a sit-down protest that resulted in a more significant delay and yet another arrest.
Perhaps as a sign of the struggle ahead the police have installed a mobile office on site and a casual conversation with one cop made it obvious that the police think they are there for the long haul. Some protesters thought it might pay to also set up a solicitor's office and branch of Infinity Foods alongside.
Following in the footsteps of the National Front and the BNP, the EDL went to Skegness to demonstrate against the halal slaughterhouse on Saturday. About 40 members of the far right group turned up carrying English and British flags and pictures of cows on sticks. They’re obviously not that clued up on how halal slaughter works.
According to their spokesman, the demonstration was not about race or religion, just about cruelty. Someone should’ve told the people who turned up with an English flag emblazoned with “No more mosques”. Someone should probably have reminded them that the English Defence League is not an animal welfare organisation! We have never seen these people oppose veal, foie gras or fur. The EDL claims to be concerned with what it paranoidly calls “creeping Sharia”, something which is all about religion (and many would say is a coded reference to race as well). The organisation’s mission statement says that “No one should be made to consume halal produce unwittingly”, suggesting that halal food should always be labelled and that people should have a choice whether to eat it or not. In reality, the EDL’s actions suggest that they are opposed to halal and the freedom of choice to consume it or not.
Perhaps even more so than the openly racist National Front and BNP, the EDL are hypocritical when they oppose halal slaughter without saying anything about kosher slaughter. The EDL spokesman in Skegness complained about pre-stunning. In fact, figures produced for the Food Standards Agency in 2011 showed that that 84% of cattle, 81% of sheep and 88% of chickens slaughtered in the UK for halal meat were stunned prior to their deaths. Kosher slaughter prohibits pre-stunning, so by the EDL’s own criterion, kosher is worse. But the EDL has a long history of pandering to Jewish islamophobes such as Roberta Moore, former head of the Jewish Defence League, and Rabbi Nachum Shifren, and the organisation has held a solidarity demonstration with Israel. The EDL leadership don’t want to upset the small number of Jewish islamophobes it has brought into the fold. The organisation knows that it can make more political capital out of hatred against Muslims.
On Saturday 27th July a ceremony was held to "re-dedicate" the Spanish Civil War memorial at County Hall.
The memorial was unveiled in 1993 to remember the men from Nottinghamshire who volunteered to join the International Brigades in Spain to fight against fascism in Spain during the Civil War. In 2009, as one of their first acts in power the newly elected Tories rearranged the memorial and removed the information panel, replacing it with a generic plaque dedicated to those "who have sacrificed their lives for others and for freedom."
The removal didn't go down well, with a protest event held in 2010. When Labour were returned to power in the council elections earlier this year, they promised to replace the information panel and Saturday's event saw the fulfilment of that pledge.
The replacement isn't without controversy. When it was announced, Thatcher clone and former council leader Kay Cutts wasn't happy, moaning that it was "offensive" to "single out a few names."
Cutts even referenced the brutal murder of Lee Rigby, claiming that "if I were the family of the young soldier that was killed on the streets of Woolwich recently I would be very offended by something like this." Quite why the Rigby family would be offended is unclear. As a resident of Greater Manchester, Rigby was already excluded from the memorial Cutts herself introduced which remembered only the "men and women of this county" (i.e. Nottinghamshire).
It remains to be seen whether Cutts will boycott the events beginning next year to remember those killed during World War 1, because to do so would be to ignore those who have served in other wars. (Hint: she won't.)
Labour are clearly very pleased with themselves for putting the memorial back (with good reason) and think it will play well with trade unions and left-wingers (it's certainly easier than actually doing anything to oppose the cuts). Saturday's event was something of a Labour party back patting event and there were a plethora of party members in attendance including MPs Vernon Coaker and Alan Meale, county councillors Alan Rhodes, Joyce Bosniak, Parry Tsimbiridis, Michael Payne and council chair John Allin.
There is an obvious disconnect between the politics of many of these people and those who went to Spain in the 1930s and it was interesting to see how this was dealt with. Vernon Coaker even implied that the members of the International Brigades were "left of centre democrats" fighting for a democracy like our own. This, as president of Notts TUC Liam Conway pointed out, is nonsense. They were revolutionaries fighting for a very different world to the one envisioned by "left-of-centre" neoliberals like Coaker. That said, as a Trotskyist, Liam seemed to wary of the term "communist", preferring to conceptualise those who joined the International Brigades as part of the "worker's movement".
The generally confused politics of the whole event was perhaps best encapsulated when Conway turned to George Orwell's Homage to Catalonia to illustrate the reolutionary aspirations of the Brigaders. Orwell went to Spain to fight with the POUM, was critical of the Spanish Communists (to whom the Brigades were allied) and, in the quoted passage, was referring to the achievements of the anarchist revolution in Catalonia, which the Brigades would later help to crush.
While Labour politicians were prominent, they were not the only speakers. Others included Conway from Notts TUC, a member of the Co-Operative Party and a representative of the International Brigades Memorial Trust. Speeches were interspersed by readings of poems and, extracts from Walter Gregory's book about his experiences in Spain, The Shallow Grave and the reading of the names of all the 24 volunteers who went from Nottinghamshire. There were also songs from Notttingham's Clario Choir.
It was striking how little mention there was of modern fascism, particularly given the growth of the far right in much of Europe. Only towards the end, did a single speaker make reference to the EDL and then only in passing.
Generally the event was very similar to the previous "re-dedication" event in 2010 with many of the same speakers. One even conceded to me that they had largely used the same speech as they did three years ago.
One real surprise was a retired Air Vice-Marshall-cum-vicar who re-dedicated the memorial by leading prayers, including one which also covered other ongoing wars with particular focus on British forces in Afghanistan. Quite how this would have gone down with the people who went to Spain, most of whom would have been atheist anti-imperialists, can only be guessed at.
After the religious bit, wreathes were laid. There was one in the colours of the flag of the Spanish Republic (red, yellow and purple) with the names of the volunteers from Nottinghamshire and another in red, white and blue with those killed during World War 2 bombing raids against Nottingham. The suggestion being that had the Spanish Civil War ended differently the world war need not have happened.
Whatever my opinion of the politics of the event, it was surprisingly well attended. I estimated the numbers at over 100 people. A friend suggested it might be as much as 200, with a third person suggesting around 170. Whoever of us was right this was a good turnout for so early on a Saturday morning, particularly as the weather forecast had not been good (fortunately this was wrong) and the event clashed with the Nottingham Pride parade.
28-07-2013 16:43The popular street mandate for the Egyptian military to prosecute a 'war against terror' opens up the path for further reactionary developments. The absence of a strong left in Egypt to counter this development is not something unique to the Arab World and the Arab Spring. It is a symptom of radical left weakness which is endemic throughout the world. A global crisis of the capitalist mode of production requires a global response which has yet to develop.
28-07-2013 07:26VID ( 5 mins) Free Speech: Use it or Lose it!
Sat J27: London Bradley Manning Solidarity Crew joined by NYC's Rev. Billy!
The planners lied, said the trees were in poor state of health. The trees had to go, as they showed the planners lied. Green space, the only green space in town, earmarked for destruction for an 80-bedroom Premier Inn hotel.
26-07-2013 18:16Far-right EDL splinter group the English Volunteer Force are demonstrating in Croydon tomorrow. They will be outside Lunar House - the home of the UK Border Agency. Antifascists will be there to oppose them. UPDATED INFO
26-07-2013 14:44Grow Heathrow after opposing the Heathrow's 3rd runway expansion for last 3 years in under a threat of eviction. Please support the Site by increasing the number of peple staying on location, engaging in eviction resistance and by helping to move the infrastucture.
Netpol has been asked to publish the following statement on behalf of former friends of an activist known as Jason Bishop, who they now believe to have been an undercover police officer.
Netpol have published this statement as we feel it adds important information to the debate about undercover police officers.
This is the latest in a long line of disclosures relating to the infiltration of protest groups by specialist units of the Metropolitan police including the Special Demonstration Squad and later, the National Public Order Intelligence Unit.
26-07-2013 07:40US Department of State spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters that unless progress was made on Kerry’s sixth visit to the region, he would not be returning for more visits. If anything, this sounds like an unveiled threat aiming to put pressure on Abbas and his chief negotiator and force their cooperation