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Cambridge Feature Archive

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17-12-2006 18:44

Ipswich will Reclaim the Night

Reclaim the Night

Update (27/12): Accommodation details added.
Update (26/12): Transport details added for Portsmouth and Scotland - see below.
Update (19/12): The organisers are calling for volunteers to help steward the event.

Five sex workers from Ipswich have been murdered in ten days. The leader of the County Council, Jeremy Pembroke, has urged women not to go out alone. But as a response local people are organising a "Reclaim the Night" event to assert their freedom to go out at night (Press Release). The event will take place on the 29th December, starting at 7pm outside Ipswich Town Hall. There will be a few speakers and then a walk to the "red light district". The organisers are inviting both women and men to join them in showing their "love and solidarity for the friends and families of the murdered women and all the people of Ipswich".

People are expected to come from all over the country to show their support. Transport is being organised from Birmingham, Cambridge, Portsmouth and Scotland.

Links: [ Announcement of Reclaim the Night Ipswich | Reclaim the Night marches, 2005 | Herstory of Reclaim the Night ]
Reclaim the Night marches in 2006: [ 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 ]

Full Story | 9 additions >>

03-10-2006 12:48

Is Britain ready to defend its NHS?

Photo by Alan Lodge

The National Health Service is in a huge crisis. Crisis can be an over-used word, but in the case of the NHS it’s difficult to get across the scale of the problem without using it. Three quarters of the NHS trusts in the UK are reporting that financial deficits are forcing them to make cutbacks. Massive cutbacks that is. Wards are closed down, hospitals shut and jobs cut around the country. Billions are going to restructure the NHS along market lines, with millions going on management consultants and financial advisors, and millions more in massive PFI payments to shareholders and bankers. In one example venture capitalists have pocketed an extra £81m million in profits from the £220 million PFI scheme to build the Norfolk and Norwich hospital. Billions more are being diverted into a new, expanding private network of profit-seeking 'Treatment Centres', which are paid at enhanced rates, and select out the profitable treatments and patients, leaving the unprofitable behind in the NHS.

Over the last few months unions, patients, activists and campaigners have hit back in a wave of protest to halt the NHS reforms around the country. Thousands of people took part in public meetings around the country: [1] [2] [3] [4]. Protestors took to the streets in Birmingham, Cambridge [1] [2], Huddersfield, Liverpool, Manchester [1] [2], Oxford, Sheffield, Shropshire and Stamford. Other protests have happened in Morecambe Bay, Bristol, the Costwolds and Wolverhampton. The largest demonstration took place in Nottingham and was joined by over 3,000 people. After the announcement that the government has awarded a £1.5 billion NHS contract to Germany-based courier DHL, NHS Logistics staff walked out at their depots.

See also: UK Indymedia Health Pages

Previous feature articles: The NHS in Crisis | Sheffield Children's Hospital: Save Ward S2 | Local Trusts Take Scalpel To NHS

Other media: Bad Medicine | NHS To Be Reformed By Using A Hybrid Approach | Unison wins over Labour on NHS reform

Links: Keep Our NHS Public! | Unison | British Medical Association | Wikipedia on the NHS | The history of the NHS | Wikipedia on Private Finance Initiative (PFI) | Community Hospitals Association | Save Townlands Hospital Campiagn | Save Bridlington Hospital Campaign

Full Story | 1 addition | 4 comments >>

19-08-2006 00:51

Student fingerprinting - not so VeriCool

The plans for the introduction of national ID cards may have been watered down somewhat, but the spectre of a future where everyone's every movement and purchase can be tracked by biometric data looms ever larger. One, at first glance unexpected front where this dystopia is already rearing its ugly head is in our schools. Several companies, with VeriCool the current front runner, are aggressively marketing fingerprinting solutions – solutions to what is not exactly clear as we'll see – to primary and secondary schools, as well as libraries. Before outlining some of the dangers of the system (for a more complete overview see LeaveThemKidsAlone, I will look at one particular case, Impington Village College (IVC) on the outskirts of Cambridge.

In the beginning of this academic year, IVC introduced a new fingerprinting system, which is used to register students at the beginning of each lesson, and that has replaced borrowing cards in the library and money in the school's canteen. This is how it works, at least in theory: before the start of each lesson the teacher logs onto the system with her own fingerprint, and the students register by pressing their thumbs against the plexiglass of a small scanner (with the exception of the Year Eights, who get to give the system the middle finger). A beep signals that a thumbprint has been recognized. Any unauthorized absenteeism is automatically flagged and available to the school office. VeriCool, the makers of the system, claim that taking a register is quicker, the results are immediately available, and that this is a useful weapon in the fight against truancy. The operative word here is 'weapon', but more about that later. When it's time for lunch, the students pay for their food by the same mechanism, and their accounts are debited. This is meant to prevent children being bullied out of their lunch money...

Read the full article.

Full Story | 1 addition | 3 comments >>

06-08-2006 15:02

Cambridge Reaction to the Carnage Inflicted by Israel

Friday; ...Barred the way into the Guildhall.

The Israeli wars of aggression in Lebanon and Gaza have been now been going on for almost four weeks and there have been three protests against it in Cambridge. On Friday (28th July), there was a small meeting in The Market Square, which was attended by about 30 people, followed by a larger demo on saturday (150-200 people). [report] Other activists conducted leaflet drops in the Grafton Centre and from Great St Marys Church (leaflet). On Sunday there was a vigil for the victims of Hiroshima [report].

Also in the region, it was revealed that US bombs bound for Israel have passed through Suffolk and Norwich people called for a ceasefire

Israel has been targetting civilians, journalists, the UN and ambulances using cluster bombs, depleted uranium munitions, bunker busters via Scotland and a catalogue of other illegal weapons. The USA is the main source of Israeli weapons.

Indymedia UK coverage of the attacks, demonstrations around the 22nd of July and the 5th of August.

Full Story >>

04-07-2006 23:51

No chains on Mill Road

We'll be back!

Local residents have formed a 'No Chains' campaign to save Mill Road from becoming yet another identiket street of multinational chain stores.

Mill Road is treasured for its individuality but the encroachment of multinational chain stores - Pizza Hut, Chicken Cottage and Subway- is threatening this unique neighbourhood.

In their most recent action last Friday evening, 20 residents took over Mill Road Pizza Hut with a "No Chains" party with music, dancing, balloons and playing twister to show their refusal to give up their neighbourhood. While the employees behind the counter appeared amused by the party, the manager and police eventually shut down the fun after half an hour.

Indymedia coverage of the Pizza Hut Twister party and earlier actions: [1], [2], [3].

No Chains campaign website and flyers.

Full Story >>

03-05-2006 14:00

Cambridge Mayday Weekend Round Up

Drinks all 'round!

It's been a busy Mayday weekend in Cambridge. Starting on Friday, and continuing through to Sunday, the Immaterial Labour conference - "a large international gathering of radicals and militants, with a focus on autonomous inquiry in the digital era".

On the Saturday there were protests about the privatisation of the NHS and other public services with a Critical Mass and a march around the city. In the evening there was a benefit gig for the Cambridge Campaign Against the Arms Trade.

On Mayday itself, activists visited a supermarket to handout tea and coffee - photos. In the evening there was the Wild Thyme Community Cafe which this time fundraised for the Climate Camp.

UK Mayday Coverage

Full Story >>

28-04-2006 13:44

Immaterial Labour

Antonio Negri

Ed Emery of the Universitas adversitatis has organised the "Immaterial Labour, Multitudes, and New Social Subjects: Class Composition in Cognitive Capitalism" Conference in Cambridge this weekend (August 28-30th). This conference will be feature a large international gathering of radicals and militants, with a focus on autonomous inquiry in the digital era and a keynote open to the public by Antonio Negri, co-author of Empire.

This diverse revolutionary current believes that the era of the "material labour" of the factory has been superseded by the "immaterial labour" that includes unpaid family work, "service with a smile" and the production of affects, and symbolic-linguistic production such as computer programming and entertainment. There is also an increased focus on the cybernetic communications of both capital, and as opposed to vanguard parties, the natural antagonism of labour to capitalism and their ability to subvert their own machinery - including the Internet (see texts related to the themes of the conference).

Antonio Negri will give his keynote in French on the evening of the 28th on the topic of "J.M. Keynes, Guaranteed Minimum Income and the Recent Events in France," an analysis of the recent revolt in France against the neoliberal CPE.

To make this conference as widely available, there will be live audio-stream available on and an IRC chat room at This room will allow people, regardless of their location in space, to discuss the speakers and ask questions. A full archive will also be made.

Update: At the last moment, Negri had to cancel for personal reasons, but his paper will be delivered by his esteemed colleague Andrea Fumagalli at 7:30.

Full Story | 1 addition | 2 comments >>

20-04-2006 22:46

Do you find Indymedia Cambridge easy to use?

We want your feedback so we can improve Indymedia Cambridge. So let us know what tasks you've had trouble with, what features you've found useful but hard to find, what parts of the site you just don't understand. In particular

  • Have you tried to publish your news?
  • Have you been successful when you tried?
  • What have you found confusing in the process?
  • Did you know clicking on the title of a feature leads you to the full feature?

Don't think you sound silly admitting you're confused - if you're confused we need to improve our site. We're very used to our site, so what's obvious to us might not be obvious to others - so tell us.

You can let us know by adding a comment to this article, or emailing us at imc-cambridge AT

Full Story | 4 comments >>

11-04-2006 20:30

The NHS in Crisis

Crisis can be an overused word, but in the case of the NHS it’s difficult to get across the scale of the problem without using it. Three quarters of the NHS trusts in the UK are reporting that financial deficits are forcing them to make some form of cut backs this financial year.

But, hold on. The government says it’s putting more money into the NHS than ever before. For once the government is telling the truth - they are spending far more on the NHS than ever, but the cuts are still taking place... how on earth can they both be true?

The answer is simple, it's not a question of how much money, but where it goes. Private companies have become more deeply entrenched in the health service than ever before, on a level that would have been unimaginable even under the Tories.

Keep our NHS Public, Indymedia coverage [ 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 ]

Full Story | 1 comment >>

09-02-2006 21:10

Community Radio on FM in Cambridge

209 radio logo

209 Radio is broadcasting on 103.5 FM for one week in Cambridge - the 10th - 19th of February. 209 Radio has been broadcasting over the internet since March 2003, building up its output - a range of specialist music programs with community and arts programmes being added all the time. And 209 Radio is hoping to hear soon about the results of its application for a long term FM community radio license.

As the Community Media Association say "Community Media is community owned and controlled, giving access to voices in the community and encouraging diversity, creativity and participation. Community media provide a vital counterbalance to the increasing globalisation and commercialisation of the media."

The shows being broadcast include local news and views on Newzone, local and global issues on So Far and Yet So Near, socially responsible technology on Brain Candy and traveller issues on Romani Radio.

Update 24/3/2006: Shows have been uploaded as additions to this article.

[ 209 radio | Schedule | So Far and Yet So Near | Newzone | Brain Candy | Romani Radio ]

Full Story | 3 additions >>

05-02-2006 14:34

One World Week

One World Week

This week is the annual One World Week in Cambridge University - a week of events around the themes of environment, development and social justice. It includes talks, Tibetan folk music, films, social events and a fair trade wine tasting.

One of the unique events is the Works Careers Fair - an alternative careers fair, which features organisations and businesses that have an emphasis on ethical, social and ecological criteria. This will be in the Examinations Hall of the New Museums Site from 1pm - 5:30pm.

Full Story | 1 comment >>

03-02-2006 14:25

Guilty of opposing the arms trade

Stu and Irene

Stuart Jordan, of Cambridge Campaign Against the Arms Trade, and Irene Willis, from South Essex CAAT, were in court on 23rd Jan. charged with "unlawful demonstration" for their role opposing the Dsei arms fair in September last year.

The police were at pains to state throughout the trial the significant size of the demonstration and how intimidating they found the "banners, dancing and bicycles" (!) The police were frustrated because they had set up a "pen" where they had decided protest was allowed to take place and some protesters had chosen to go elsewhere...

[Read More... | Donate to cover the fines at Wild Thyme, Feb 18th!]

Full Story >>

15-12-2005 19:37

Community use for the Howard Mallett centre?

Aiming at making effective community use of the soon to be empty Howard Mallett centre, a group has been set up to put forward proposals for the space.

The centre, in Cambridge’s densely populated Petersfield ward on Sturton Street, has a long history of community usage and features a gym, radio recording room, café area and further office and community rooms. However, it is soon to be vacated by current lease-holders Dawe Media and the new tenants, charity Citylife, will take a long time to carry through their plans of knocking the building down to construct a ‘social innovation incubation centre’.

The new group is connecting with people with ideas for how the space should be used, which so far include a range of community media, arts, youth, sport and soup kitchen proposals.

New group list:
and their website

Indymedia articles on the Howard Mallet Centre: [ 1 | 2 | 3 ]

Full Story >>

14-12-2005 14:37

Pressure on County Council over arms investments

Welcoming the councillors...

A group of campaigners held a protest on Tuesday outside a meeting of Cambridgeshire County Council to draw attention to the large investments that the council pension fund has in the arms industry. This currently includes 768,000 shares in GKN, and has previously included significant numbers of shares in BAe Systems, Cobham and Smiths Group.

In a startling display of the council's contempt for the public that elect it and pay its council tax, Cllr John Albert Powley (Conservative, Soham and Fordham Villages) of the Pension Fund Investment Committee hurled unprovoked abuse at the campaigners from the balcony above the entrance prior to the meeting, calling them "pathetic" and telling them to "grow up".

Previous coverage on the Indymedia Cambridge newswire: [1] [2] [3] [4].
Cambridge Evening News article. (Previous articles [1] [2]).
Varsity (student newspaper) article.
Campaign Against the Arms Trade (CAAT) press release.

Full Story >>

08-12-2005 22:33

Thousands join International Day against Climate Change

December 3rd was propagated as the International Day against Climate Change. Worldwide, demonstrations and protests had been announced to coincide with the meeting of the World Leaders in Montreal. Thousands marched today as London's contribution to the International Day of Climate Protest. A wholly peaceful demonstration wound its way from Lincoln's Inn Fields, via Thames Embankment, Parliament Square (where there was a brief sit down) and Downing Street to - astonishingly - the US Embassy in Grosvenor Square.

Full Story >>

20-11-2005 16:47

Site update to display of comments


You may notice we have changed the way comments to articles are displayed. If you want to know why and how, please read the full article.

Full Story | 35 comments >>

25-10-2005 18:40

Evening News editor loses it when challenged on Traveller reporting

Cambridge Unite Against Fascism has sent a letter to Murray Morse, the editor of the Cambridge Evening News highlighting their "deepest concerns at the ongoing 'campaign' that [the paper is] running against the Traveling Community". The letter was signed and supported by a variety of political and campaining groups in Cambridge.

Murray just `lost it' and in an email reply singles out the individual signatories to brand them as clueless. In an amazing display of professionalism he describes the content of their letter as 'poppy cock and misinformed drivel', and proceeds to publish an article in CEN entitled "Group tries to halt News campaign - but doesn't know our real aims". The Evening news, despite also reporting on events and organisations that are supporting traveller's rights to be in Cottenham [1 | 2] has often been the mere mouthpiece of [1 | 2]the CRA. The responsibilities of the media, that are usually perpetuating the prejudice against Travellers are fully explored in the paper Gypsies, Travellers and the Media.

Full Story >>

19-08-2005 17:46

Cambridge Support for Jerry Hicks

There has been active support in Cambridge for the campaign to reinstate Jerry Hicks. Jerry, a worker at the Bristol Rolls Royce plant, was "probably dismissed on trade union grounds", the employment tribunal found, for supposedly organising unofficial action, influencing the decision of the disciplinary panel (both to support two sacked colleagues), and standing in the way of normal working practices [more details].

Jerry Hicks has spoken at a public meeting in Cambridge [ Report | Photos ]. And there is now a call to action.

IMC UK feature on Jerry Hicks.

Full Story >>

07-08-2005 11:13

Radical Summer in Cambridge

Demolish this?

Things seem to have slowed down in town, but not for those who want to change the world! Lots of traveller support, free spaces and cycle power activities are taking place over the next month.

Part of the Essex traveller community, Dale Farm, housing 1000 people, is under constant threat of eviction. A public meeting, and training session will be taking place on the weekend of August 13th for those who want to support the traveller community. There is a special need for human rights monitors and people with recording equipment (since an eviction is quite an ugly business, often unseen by most people). The Hoverfield community just got evicted [report, another report].

Meanwhile in Cambridge a group of people have decided to put empty buildings to use, and have opened a Social Centre in Fitzwilliam road [open letter]. A film screening of "The Mark Thomas Comedy Show" will take place there on the Sunday 7th, but much more is promised in the next few weeks.

Finally a Critical Mass, a spontaneous convergence of cyclists, skateboarders and skaters to celebrate life without cars took place in Cambridge. This is to become a regular event, with people meeting the last Friday of every month, 6pm, beneath Elizabeth Way Bridge.

[Looking for a radical holiday? : Earth First! summer gathering 17-21 August 2005]

Full Story >>

27-06-2005 09:06

Borders at the G8

Stop the War on Asylum Seekers

G8 countries spearhead the world system of borders; a system which renders many people illegal and which leaves all of us divided. Restrictions on our movement, restrictions on our right to work, restrictions on our right to receive medical treatment or legal aid or any other social benefit are all standard. What's more these restrictions are largely based on the arbitrary notion of nationality and on its ugly twin: race.

[Groups opposing borders and/or campaigning on immigration issues: No Border Network | No one is Illegal | Make Borders History | Committee to Defend Asylum Seekers | National Coalition of Anti-Deporation Campaigns]

[Opposing borders at the G8: Make Borders History tour (July 3, Glasgow)]

Full Story | 1 comment >>