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Saturday 20th March saw over 100 members of the Radford community march from the threatened Radford Unity Complex to Market Square. They were protesting City Council plans to close the building which is currently home to a number of community groups.
The Council says it is saving £140,000 per year by closing the building and says it has a buyer. They have offered the affected groups premises at the closed Douglas Road Primary School. However, Joginder Singh of the Sikh Community and Youth Service said that the new premises are "many times worse" than those they have at the moment and that the groups have been "treated like parasites" by Jon Collins and the City Council.
The groups are angry that they were not consulted about the plans before being served with an eviction notice and that they are not being given an opportunity to buy the building themselves. They are considering taking legal action against the council over the way they have been treated.
Since 9pm on Wednesday a group of students has been occupying a room at the University of Nottingham in solidarity with the people of Gaza. The students have published a list of demands that include that the university of Nottingham cut its financial ties with the arms industry, that 'academic' aid be sent to Gaza, and that there be no repercussions for those involved in the occupation.
Professor Noam Chomsky has sent the students a message of support stating that he was "very pleased to learn about your courageous and honorable actions, particularly significant because of the crucial British contribution to the savage onslaught on Gaza... I hope you have the greatest success in arousing public opinion and bringing these monstrous crimes to an end."
Update 01/02/09: The occupation has been violently evicted by university security. At around 6pm around 10 security staff used force to remove the occupants into the snow outside. Students were made to wait in the cold whilst they went in one by one to pick up belongings. They were also forced to give ID in order to be allowed entry.
National Feature: Over a dozen university occupations for Palestine
Newswire: Nottingham University Students Occupation in Solidarity with Gaza 1 | 2 | Minipodcast from the third night of the occupation at Nottingham Uni | Petition to support Occupation Nottingham | Riseup Radio Report on day one of the Occupation of Nottingham University | Breaking News: Student Occupation at Nottingham University
Sunday saw the opening event of a new centre for anarchist education and culture in St Ann's. The Sparrows' Nest, named after local anarchist publication The Nottingham Sparrow, hosts a large collection of material on anarchist theory, local struggles and workers' struggles. The Sparrows' Nest is largely the work of local Anarchist Federation members and was inspired by a squatted infoshop in Ljubliana and similar projects in Carrara, Italy.
At the opening a selection of pamphlets and books were on display in four sections: The Classics (of anarchism), Neither Left or Right (referring to anarchism's opposition to fascism and the authoritarian left), Work (workers' struggles and the struggle against work) and Anarchy and Action in Nottingham. People were also able to watch films and browse the extensive library.
Newswire: The Sparrows' Nest - A centre for anarchist education and culture | Sparrows' Nest Anarchist Library & Archive, St Anns : opening event | Rebel bulletin The Nottingham Sparrow - March 2008 - No.3 | 'Rebel' bulletin - The Nottingham Sparrow - May 2007 - no.2 | New 'rebel' bulletin - The Nottingham Sparrow - March 2007 - no.1
Students at the University of Nottingham protested "unethical career corporatism" at the university's careers fair on Monday and Tuesday. Dressed as grim reapers, students payed a visit to arms dealers BAE Systems, Rolls Royce and Qinetiq, as well as energy giants E.On and BP. Leaflets detailing the crimes of some of the companies were hounded out and the protesters even had a stall next to the Army's stall.
The protesters aimed to highlight the hypocrisy of organisers, AIESEC, who claim to embody "Peace and fulfillment of humankind's potential" whilst giving a platform to arms dealers, as well as to "oppose the general presence of mechanisms of the capitalist death machine." Their success was highlighted by the noteable absence of several targetted companies on the second day of the fair.
Previous Feature: Protests as arms dealers attend careersfair
Staff members belonging to the University and College Union (UCU) at Nottingham Trent University (NTU) were on strike yesterday, in protest against the university's derecognition of their union and plans to cut facility time for union representatives. Derecognition is an extreme move by the university authorities and is seen by the strikers as an attack on their right to organise independently.
Over three-quarters (77%) of members voted for the strike, which is supported by the UCU nationally. The action follows a rally on 6th Oct attended by UCU members from across the country which challenged the university's vice-chancellor's address to new students.
Newswire: Workers on strike at Nottingham Trent University | Demo by University & College Union, derecognised at Nottingham Trent University | UCU members vote for industrial action at Nottingham Trent University | UCU to ballot on strike action at Nottingham Trent University
On Tuesday evening, the University of Nottingham Students Union (SU) Council voted against a motion of no confidence in its Education Officer, Craig Cox. Cox held up a placard saying 'Bring Back Slavery' at a National Union of Students (NUS) event earlier in the year and was subsequently at the centre of a race hate investigation. The NUS has found Cox to be guilty of breaking equal opportunities guidelines and banned him from all non-democratic national events.
Cox has been allowed to stay in spite of a strong campaign by black and anti-racist students, who mobilised around 60 people to picket the meeting, and 2000 letters written to representatives. A fellow Conservative and personal friend of Cox's chaired the meeting and made the decision to close it to debate from all but voting Council members. Students have questioned the democracy of the system that has allowed Cox to remain in his post.
Newswire: Nottingham SU Council back racist | Riseup Radio: Say No to Racism Audio | Picket Nottingham Student Union | Students mobilise against racism on campus | Yet Another Racist at Nottingham Uni
Wissam Abuajwa risks losing a place at Nottingham University because Israel will not allow him to leave Gaza. He has a place, a scholarship (from the London-based charity Karim Rida Said Foundation, and a British visa to study for an MSc in Environment and Research Engineering at the University of Nottingham's School of Chemical and Environment Engineering, beginning in September.
However, his place could at risk because the Israeli authorities have prevented him from leaving Gaza to travel to the UK. Abuajwa's situation is, unfortunately far from unique. Abir Abu Warda, 29, has a Ford Foundation-funded place at London Metropolitan University, which is at risk for the same reason. In the US, seven students from Gaza who had previously been told that they would lose their Fulbright scholarships because of the travel ban have now had them reinstated by the State department. The US now claim to be working "closely" with Israel to secure exit permits (which you can interpret however you want).
On Wednesday May 28, students and academics held at protest at the University of Nottingham in defence of academic freedom and against the imminent deportation of former student and university staff member Hicham Yezza. The protest was called following the "anti-terror" arrests which saw Hicham and Rizwaan Sabir, a student acquaintance, detained for almost a week for possession of documents Sabir had downloaded as part of his research into political Islam. After it became clear on Friday May 23 that Hicham was facing imminent deportation, the focus of the protest inevitably shifted.
At 2pm there was a public reading of the "radical materials" which had led to the original arrest. The crowd was addressed by Alan Simpson MP before marching down to the Trent Building (where the university autorities are based) where people assembled in near total silence.
Two people (one of them a student) who were arrested on the Nottingham University campus last Wednesday using "anti-terror" powers have today been released without charge. After seven days of incarceration, the two men (aged 22 and 30) were released from custody. The manner of the arrests, the intimidating police presence on campus, and the gullible media coverage have raised serious concerns and anger amongst the student body, the academic faculty, and the general public in Nottingham.
The arrests were carried out due to the alleged possession of "radical material," specifically an Al Qaeda manual relevant to the younger detainee's dissertation, which had been emailed to the other for printing. Despite their own admission that there was no threat to local communities, the police decided to launch a full-blown "terror" operation and put the students, their families and many friends through a colossal amount of stress. Meanwhile, police on campus searched bags and dominated a central area, creating great fear amongst the student community that was totally disproportionate to the apparent ‘threat’ of radical material. The harassment of friends and relatives by the police also raised serious concern.
One of the two was rearrested on his release under "immigration legislation." See this feature for more info: Nottingham Uni Detainee Innocent But Still Facing Deportation
Audio: as featured in #5 the June Show ~ Riseup! Radio
Other Coverage: Times Higher Education SupplementLinks: Campaign Against Criminalising Communities | Nottinghamshire Police | Nottingham University | Notts Indymedia Repression topic page
Basic civil liberties and human rights have not fared well in the so-called "War on Terror." Using the threat of terrorism as a justification, governments across the world have introduced a raft of repressive legislation. In the UK we have witnessed crackdowns on protest and an increase in police powers, alongside a rapidly proliferating surveillance apparatus, soon to be supplemented (unless we can stop it) by a national ID database. Concerned about these and other threats, as well as a crackdown on freedom of expression at the university itself, Nottingham Student Peace Movement organised a conference addressing all these issues at the University of Nottingham on April 19.
The conference was addressed by a wide range of speakers including Liberty, the Campaign Against Criminalising Communities (CAMPACC), and Maya Evans from anti-war group Justice Not Vengeance, the first person to be prosecuted under Section 132 of the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005 which severely restricted protest around Parliament.
Newswire: New Edition of Ceasefire | Photos from Civil Liberties Conference at Nottm Uni | NSPM announce Civil Liberties Conference- April 19th- Maya Evans & more | Notts Indymedia Repression Topic Page
On Monday 5th June, 100s of students demonstrated at the University of Nottingham to call for a swift resolution of the current dispute between management and staff.
Students carried banners and placards and a samba band led the way to the Trent Building, where the university administrators are based. We chanted "Pay our lecturers! Give us our marks!", and some managed to enter the Vice-Chancellor's office. Security intervened and propagated the unsubstantiated rumour that exams were taking place in the building so we had to be quiet!
We then took a brief tour of the university to gather more support and sat down on a road for 10 minutes, before heading back to the Trent Building for more action. Security tried to lock all doors but we found a way into the lower corridor, where we blocked in by security until we pushed our way out. At this point news was relayed to us from the people who'd had a meeting with university officials in the VC's office, that they'd agreed to hold a public meeting with students on Thursday.
We had a discussion outside the VC's office about ways of continuing our protests and furthering our aims. People will be gathering for a further protest on Tuesday at 3pm.
Tony Blair set out new plans today for a nuclear power policy, as him and other cabinet ministers attended a Labour Party forum, at the East Midlands Conference Centre in Nottingham. The conference centre is based at Nottingham University, where students jumped into action after it was leaked to Nottinghamshire Indymedia that Tony Blair was to visit the Uni. A call out for a demonstration, meeting at 10am at the Portland Building (on Notts Uni campus) was supported by a number of local campaign groups including the Students Union, Nottingham Stop the War, Nottingham Student Peace Movement, Lenton Anarchist Forum and the arts activism collective the Mischief Makers.
Read: report and timeline
From the newswire: Union pushes for urgent energy reform | Prime Minister visits Nottingham University :: Surveillance Operations | Prime Minister visits Nottingham University :: piccys 1 | Prime Minister visits Nottingham University :: piccys 2 | Pic's of Tony Blair visit in Nottingham | Blair hypocrisy over nukiller power | PM rallies for nuclear power in Nottingham | Blair to visit Nottingham Uni THIS Saturday
Background links: Greenpeace target climate changer Blair at Downing Street | Blair nuclear announcement scuppered | Meacher condemns pro-nuclear 'spin' | Blair Reignites Nuclear Debate - American lobbying adds to pressure | Blair must not back new nuclear power plants
More and more artists within Nottingham seem to join the recycling art craze, as tetra-packs, plastic bages and cans are brought to new life. In the last few weeks various workshops were organised in the Sumac Centre in Forest Fields and the Old School Hall in Sneinton. The Rubbish Day Out in Sneinton was organised to raise awareness of recycling and waste issues. Here a collection of photo's from people who think creative workshops are fun and the way forward to promote environmental and social issues.
There is a creative campaigning workshop planned on Sunday 15 January 2006 from 11 am to 4 pm (with lunch break) at The Place, 2a Melrose Street, in Sherwood, Nottingham. It is all about drawing attention to your message. The Place is just off Mansfield road behind the old bus depot.
Amity Night 2 is an evening of live music and art to bring communities together, to raise money for a small Palestinian village and the Pakistan Eartquake appeal. Saturday November 12th 2005, 7.45pm-11.00pm, at The Malt Cross. A night of musical entertainment featuring Mecca 2 Medina, Fat Digester and many more... Nottingham Amity is a voluntary organistation which aims to bring communities together.
The last two days saw the AIESEC careers fair taking place at Nottingham University. The Portland Building, where the Students Union is based was full of businesses promoting their oppertunities for the under and post-graduates. People within the university informed the students attending the fair about some exhibitors: 'the problem is, they supply arms to countries with appalling human rights records'.
Arms manufacturers such as Caterpillar, BAE systems and Rolls Royce exhibiting at the fair were targeted because of their non-commitment to ethical responsiblity and the way in which they 'lie about the truth'. The protest, organised by NSPM, took place on both days of the fair. The Student Environmental and Ethical Network (SEEN) is organising an ethical careersfair later in November.
19/10/05: Students at Leeds University succesfully shut down BAe stall at the AIESEC careersfair at Leeds Uni.
Links: Nottingham Student Peace Movement (NSPM) | Environmental and Social Justice Committee | Student Environmental and Ethical Network | Stop Caterpillar :: Violations of Human Rights | Campaign Against the Arms Trade (CAAT) | The Ethical Student | AIESEC Nottingham Careers Fair | Environmental and Social Justice Committee | Previous article about NSPM
Campaigner, historian, author of 'Unpeople' and 'Web of Deceit', and former director of the World Development Movement; Mark Curtis, will give a talk at Nottingham University on Tue 18th Oct. The talk, entitled 'Government Propaganda and the Reality of UK Foreign Policy' will be at 5pm in the Portland Building, room B9. All are welcome, and the event is free. The talk is promoted by Nottingham Student Peace Movement.