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Cambridge Feature Archive

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17-10-2003 16:11

Campeace Forum and IMC Newswire

Low Tech Media

Two new print projects in Cambridge are bringing non-corporate alternative media onto the streets.

Campeace Forum is a not-for-profit volunteer run magazine devoted to independent and critical thinking on global and domestic affairs. The aim is to provide a Cambridge-based alternative resource to the dominant media in fostering a local-global peace and justice movement.

The first issue, which was released a few weeks ago, also provides information about Campeace and other local peace and justice groups. The poetry and art included questions the way things are and celebrates the strengths of the peace movement.

Also recently released in Cambridge is the Cambridge Newswire, the print edition of the Cambridge Independent Media Centre.

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16-10-2003 13:14

Clash over Baku-Ceyhan: P+P vs. BP

This Monday, activists from the campaign group People and Planet infiltrated a BP careers presentation being held in the Crowne Plaza hotel to protest against the company’s involvement in the controversial Baku-Ceyhan pipeline project. Posing as potential applicants, the activists entered the meeting room and started to mingle in the crowd, taking advantage of the tables of free food and drink BP was so kind as to provide.

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10-10-2003 14:39

Transport is always on the agenda

Three campaigns in Cambridge are constantly working to prove that traffic jams are not the only form of collective action that can be taken in relation to transport. The relatively new but rapidly growing CAST.IRON group is working to restore regular, timetabled rail services to the Cambridge-St Ives Line. Apparently fed up with the initial lack of interest of those "in charge" (Network Rail, Strategic Rail Authority, Office of the Rail Regulator) they are now mobilizing amongst people in Cambridgeshire to build Britain's First Community Commuter Railway.

At the same time Transport 2000 works for policies that give greater priority to the environment, saving lives and conserving natural resources. The current campaign focuses on the proposal to dual the A428 westward from Cambridge, which could worsen traffic problems in Cambridge.

The oldest, but still very active, is the Cambridge Cycling Campaign gives a voice and power to the cycling community in Cambridge (i.e. most of us!) The campaign believes that cycling means reduced congestion, less pollution and better health and is not afraid of telling everyone every Saturday noon in Cambridge Market Square or through actions.

[CAST.IRON | Transport 2000 | Cambridge Cycling Campaign]

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02-10-2003 13:05

CCTV : a Cambridge perspective

Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) is part of our everyday life. Although CCTV surveillance is not specific to the UK, the extent of its use is unique to this country. Indeed, the British are the most watched people on earth (by one estimate an average Londoner is now watched by 300 separate cameras in a single day). Cambridge has 127 cameras run by the Cambridge city council alone (not counting all the private CCTV and CCTV used for traffic control) and Cambridge is now planning to extend the scheme to new areas and update the old ones. CCTV is now widely used in public spaces including shopping centers, main urban streets, inside and outside major buildings, in lifts and in many other areas.

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01-10-2003 23:26


L38 towers and sky On October 4, 2003, the European leaders will meet in Rome for the Intergovernmental Conference, where they will attempt to finalize the European Constitution. This, however, will have no immediate effect on the lives of people in Cambridge. The EU is a "continental matter" and there is no reason why Indymedia Cambridge should cover such an irrelevant piece of news. Some people might think that EU's political processes deserve to be analysed and antagonised -but these folks are a tiny minority, so.... they might as well go to Borders and nick a radical magazine!

The fact that in the past the 'movement of movements' has carried out concerted actions in places like Barcelona or Thessaloniki, and the fact these summits generated some debate here in Cambridge should not fool anyone. The EU is out of fashion and if you are still interested in it, I am sorry to inform you that you are in the wrong place.

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01-10-2003 13:01

World Conference on Climate Change kicks off in Moscow

As the earth is warming up, glaciers are melting rapidly and land is being flooded, the international community is once again meeting to take baby steps to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Indymedia Cambridge will be reporting directly from the conference.

Background: [1][2]

Reports [1][2][3][4]

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29-09-2003 23:34

"Trading Freedom" Film Screening

Scots against the FTAA 7:30 pm, Sunday 12 October @ the Locomotive Pub, 44 Mill Road, Cambridge

"Trading Freedom: the secret life of the FTAA" offers an explanation of the Free Trade Area of Americas, a proposed economic zone that will regulate the economic activity of one-sixth of humanity, overriding local democracy in favour of "rights" for multinational corporations throughout the Americas. This film is the story of those who resist - indigenous struggles, working-class organizations, women in rebellion, media activists, and a huge network of NGOs.

"Footage from Chiapas, Quebec City, Sao Paulo, Akwesasne and Tijuana, plus the combined efforts of over 100 videographers, photographers, free radio outlaws, writers, editors, techs, and rabble-rousers make this the perfect evening out." -- Luther Blisset

Suggested donation 2 squid.
Download and distribute a poster for this event.

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21-09-2003 08:37

Notes from Occupied Palestine

A view of Nablus, Palestine in 2002 Note: This article was written by a Cambridge resident who is currently working with the International Solidarity Movement in Palestine.

Digging in the sand, late Wednesday night, outside Balata Camp. Four of us, crouched down near the mosque, next to the taxi rank. But there are no taxis - the streets are empty and silent. Everybody is inside, with the door locked - more soldiers are expected tonight.

Two small piles of light brown sand lie at the entrance to the camp. We kneel around one of them, as Mustapha slowly sifts through the sand, turning over clumps and examining the underside of stones.

'Move the light here. Now here. What's this?' asks Mustapha. I try to ignore distant rumbles of military vehicles and concentrate on aiming the torch at his quickly roving fingers. Each clump or lump is examined with care. Some are discarded, others placed in a see-through plastic bag, with the top folded over to keep it open.

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19-09-2003 11:27

A report from the Pink Picnic

On Saturday 30 August, the grounds of Cherry Hinton Hall were transformed as people gathered to celebrate gay culture and diversity in the form of Cambridge’s first ever Pink Picnic.

Pink Picnic was a free event “where everyone can enjoy [...] gay culture by removing barriers and stigmas to promote tolerance and understanding of peoples sexuality”. The Picnic was non-commercial and aimed to cover its costs. There were many sponsors including the trade union UNISON.

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05-09-2003 22:42

In Movement Towards the Abolition of NATO Bases in Europe

The banner in close-up On Sunday about 60 protesters marched from Market Square to the De Vere's University Arms Hotel on Parkers Piece to protest against the NATO meeting taking place inside this premise. Speakers at the demonstration linked the Cambridge event with the DSEi arms-fair in London and denounced the immorality of the arms trade, the war in Iraq and the failure of the "road map" to peace in Palestine. The demo was organised by Stop The War Coalition and CamPeace (see pictures). The protesters also voiced their discontent about De Vere's involvement with arms dealers and armies. According to a demonstrator: "since early April 2003 the De Vere's Hotel in Cambridge has become an extension of the military bases in the area putting up soldiers from the US, the UK and other countries. In two instances civilian customers in the hotel's bar were harassed by soldiers after they dared to make some negative comments about President Bush. The incident had no serious consequences, but, according to the protester, it is indicative of the climate inside the hotel. Some people among the demonstrators talked about the possibility of a nation-wide boycott against De Vere, if the company does not reverse its policy of war profiteering.

Today, as 168 delegates discussed war and the expansion of NATO inside the hotel, activists outside staged a colorful and effective protest with street theatre and music. In the two days of mobilisations local residents were made aware that war is being waged right from their doorsteps.

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31-08-2003 16:04

"We Interrupt This Empire..." Screening

7:30pm,Wednesday, 3 September 2003 @ The Locomotive pub, 44 Mill Road

The San Francisco Video Activists' Network and SF Indymedia presents the story you didn't see on the BBC: an unflinching look at the American radical resistance to an illegal and horrific war.

"We Interrupt This Empire..." is a collaborative work by many of the Bay Area's independent video activists which documents the direct actions that shut down the financial district of San Francisco in the weeks following the United States' invasion of Iraq. With the audio backdrop including the live broadcasts of SF Indymedia's Enemy Combatant Radio and the SF Police Department's tactical communications that were picked up by police scanners, the documentary takes a look at the diverse show of resistance from the streets of San Francisco as well as providing a critique of the coporate media coverage of the war and exploring such issues as the Military Industrial Complex, attacks on civil liberties, and the United States' current imperialist drive.

Suggested donation 2 squid

Trailer: [56k][Broadband]
Poster: [pdf]

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29-08-2003 03:33

Netwide Protests against EU Software Patents Bring Temporary Victory

As the cream of Europe's politicized programmers took to the streets in Brussels, much of the world's Open Source / Free Software community shut itself down voluntarily on Wednesday 27th of August in symbolic protest against proposed European Union software patents legislation.  The patents directive, prepared by Arlene McCarthy, UK Labour Member of European Parliament (MEP) for Manchester, is seen by its opponents as an attempt to introduce U.S.-style software patents into Europe in order to protect multinational corporations from innovative small software companies,  Open Source / Free Software developers, and the file-sharing habits of the vast majority of internet users.  The patents directive was scheduled for a vote on 1 September 2003, but the vote has been delayed due to the unprecedented concern in the programming community. Software patents opponents vow that they will use the extra time to organize even more effectively. 

[1] [2] [3] [4]
Audio:  Richard Stallman of GNU project speaks on software patents in Cambridge UK [mp3][ogg][text]
Text:  [1][2][3]

Full Story | 5 comments >>

19-08-2003 08:34

Gillette Pulls RFID Trial - Campaign Continues

Tesco protest After protests against the trial of RFID tags by Gillette at a Tesco store in Cambridge (pics), increasing press coverage, a boycott, and the growing mobilisation of campaigners against the intrusive use of the technology, Gillette have withdrawn their trial. RFID (Radio Frequency ID) tags are small tags containing a microchip which can be 'read' by radio sensors over short distances (for background see SchNEWS Feature / 2 part Guardian Article).

Recent trials involving attaching these tags to products have raised concerns about privacy, as information on the tag could be read long after the product was purchased. Tesco is also testing RFID tags in its DVD range at the Extra store in Sandhurst, Berkshire, in a trial that has received funding from the Home Office, while Asda has just completed a similar trial in Nottingham, there are reports that Marks & Spencer plans to include smart tags in clothes from this autumn. RFID tags continue to work indefinitely and so could also be used to track people's movements. Millions are being pumped into research and while much of it focuses on supply chain and just-in-time delivery tracking, there are increasing plans to use the tags in consumer goods as well as items like travel cards and even currency.

While campaigns are showing some success (in March, Benetton was also forced to announce it was not about to insert 15m RFID tags into its Sisley clothing range after an avalanche of consumer complaints), there are darker clouds on the horizon. The proposed EU Intellectual Property Enforcement Directive (see FIPR analysis) would specifically forbid Europeans from removing or deactivating Radio Frequency (RFID) tags embedded in clothing and other consumer devices! Recently 47 organisations have joined forces to launch the Campaign for an Open Digital Environment (CODE), which aims to fight the worst parts of the directive. The directive will also give intellectual property holders (ie companies) broad subpoena powers to obtain personal information about any EU citizen allegedly connected to an infringement of IP.

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13-08-2003 11:43

Cambridge firm targeted over DSEi involvement

Holding the banner outside the offices A group of activists from Cambridge visited the offices of Cambridge Consultants today to deliver a letter requesting them to reconsider the decision to exhibit at this year's DSEi arms fair in London.

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12-08-2003 14:01

Tesco and smart chip technology

Tesco protest Tesco have chosen their Cambridge store to pilot a new product smart-tagging scheme. Together with Gillette they are testing the RFID technology in packs of razor blades to track product movements and photograph shoppers as they move around the store. A group of concerned Cambridge residents recently protested outside the store...

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11-08-2003 09:47

The separation wall

For a year now, Palestinian, Israeli and international solidarity activists have been calling attention to the building of the Separation Wall by Israel on Palestinian territory. Cambridge based activist, Mika, is currently taking part in direct action to take down the wall .....

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06-08-2003 15:03

Actions at Oakington Detention Centre

Migrants detained at Oakington Detention Centre near Cambridge have been taking action to resist their imprisonment. Over the last week they have been on hunger strike, held sit down protests and refused to be counted at muster. Local people from Cambridgeshire Against Refugee Detention held a solidarity action outside the centre.

Video coverage of this action is now available.

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02-07-2003 21:48

Cambridge Day X accused walk free!

The three day trial, concerning four activists' actions on the day war broke out (Day X), finished today with all charges against them being dropped. They were arrested in relation to the massive sit-in [1| 2 ] that took place in Cambridge on the 20th of March, the first day of the invasion of Iraq.

The charges of willful obstruction of the highway and assault were dropped by the district judge after the prosecution made its case. Out of the 24 people arrested on March 20th, most were not charged, while other received cautions or had their charges dropped.

More arrests during anti-war actions, with charges dropped in Oxford.

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27-06-2003 22:00

Indymedia European Newsreal #6 - now out

The latest version of the Indymedia European Newsreal is now out. in Manchester are distributing the ENR6 for English language screeners. VHS's and CDroms are available or you can download and watch these films online.

As well as a selection of anti-war films, there are features about the Faslane big blockade, the Yesmen, the commercialisation of dutch education and critical mass - italian style.

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17-06-2003 09:37

Don't hate the media - be the media!

A group of people who had been covering Cambridge events for Indymedia UK, has now started a collective in Cambridge in order to cover local events.  IMC Cambridge is an open-publishing platform for news, issues, actions and analysis reporting on grassroots, non-corporate, non-commercial social justice, environmental and political issues.  We now have our own site within the UK network so that we can cooperate effectively with the IMCs that exist or are forming in Bristol, Lancaster, London, Manchester, Oxford, Scotland, Sheffield, and Wales. Happily, we've beaten the Americans to the name "Cambridge Indymedia", so Cambridge, MA is out luck.

Here's how you can get involved:

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