UK Anti-militarism Feature Archive
Hundreds of people protested in Sheffield on 22nd July 2006 against the ongoing Israeli war on Lebanon and Palestine. The demonstration was called at short notice by the Sheffield Stop the War Coalition, Sheffield Palestine Solidarity Campaign and The Sheffield Muslim Association of Britain with the slogans, "Hands off Lebanon - Freedom for Palestine - Don't attack Syria - Don't attack Iran".
Despite very heavy rain there was an energetic, impromptu, march around the city centre which took the one policeman on duty by suprise. The route taken was down Pinstone Street towards the Moor, up to Fitzalan Square, up Carver Street, across Division Street and onto West Street. The protestors then marched down the tram tracks to Fargate — a route that would never have been agreed by the police in advance — and back to the Town Hall. It was all over by 1pm.
The protest was part of an International Day of Action in which tens of thousands of people throughout the world took to the streets to protest. In London, up to 30,000 marched from Whitehall, through central London, to Hyde Park, where they held a rally [ 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | Another Wasted Opportunity]. Similar, but smaller, demonstrations took place in other cities up and down the country, including Manchester, York, Newcastle, Edinburgh and Glasgow.
For the 12th day in a row, Israeli forces have been bombarding Lebanon, while more Israeli troops are moving into southern parts of the country. So far more than 400 Lebanese civilians have been killed, over 1,000 wounded and some 500,000 displaced, compared with 36 Israeli deaths (17 civilians) caused by Hizbullah's Katyusha rockets fired at northern Israeli cities and towns. Reports from Beirut talk of a deserted, devastated city, with residential buildings, roads and bridges being hit by Israeli air strikes [click the Full Article link for details].
Meanwhile in Palestine, Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip continue. Tens of Palestinian civilians have been killed and many more injured, not to mention the periodic shortages of food, fuel, electricity, water and medicine. Many of those killed were Palestinian civilians, including children, who died during Israeli air force "targeted killings". As well as actual bombing raids, Israeli military airplanes have conducted nightly sonic booming raids over Gaza, with the aim of making the civilian population fearful that actual bombing is under way. In retaliation, Palestinian groups also continue to fire Qassam rockets at Israeli towns [see Human Rights Watch's statement].
Apart from the mass destruction of civilian infrastructure, there are reports that Israeli forces have been using internationally banned weapons, such as phosphorus incendiary bombs and vacuum bombs, both in Gaza and in Lebanon.
Although still small in scale, there have been a few protests against the continuing Israeli attacks on Lebanon and Gaza throughout the world. On 18 June, several hundred people demonstrated in Parliament Square in London. National-wide demonstrations have been called for July 22nd by the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Stop the War Coalition and various Muslim organisations. July 22nd is also going to be an International Day of Action Against Israeli Aggression. Earlier this month, protesters blockaded EDO MBM in Brighton, which makes electrical weapons components for the Israeli military. [see also "Boycott Israeli Goods" National Day of Action].
Read more: Global Indymedia feature | Word from Lebanon | Cyprus Indymedia features 1 | 2 | Appeal for Solidarity with Lebanese Civil Society | The racist subtext of the evacuation story | The Israeli Censor | The Gaza Sea Weeps Blood | Background to the Israel-Palestine crisis | Arab-Israeli wars | Photos: cmaq gallery
The Srebrenica massacre was the July 1995 killing of up to an estimated 8,106 Bosniak males, ranging in age from teenagers to the elderly, in the region of Srebrenica in Bosnia and Herzegovina by a Serb Army of Republika Srpska under general Ratko Mladić including Serbian state special forces "Scorpions". The Srebrenica massacre is the largest mass murder in Europe since World War II and considered by many as one of the most horrific events in recent European history. It is also the first legally established case of genocide in Europe after the Holocaust. (source: Wikipedia).
11 years on, a large crowd gathered in the city centre of Belgrade to remember the victims killed in the Srebrenica massacre. Last year the same vigil was attacked by nationalist groups, some of who trew teargas in the crowd. The police guarded the protest heavily this time. We took some photos...
Links: Wikipedia on the Srebrenica massacre | Preliminary list of 8106 Bosniaks killed in Srebrenica - (PDF version) - Issued by Federal Commission for Missing Persons on June 5, 2005 | The Association Women of Srebrenica - Official Website | Srebrenica Genocide Blog - Independent Blog Regarding Srebrenica Massacre | "Cry from the Grave" documentary film detailing the account of the massacre | Chemical Warfare in Bosnia? The Strange Experiences of the Srebrenica Survivors (a Human Rights Watch report) | BOSFAM - Non-Governmental group supporting displaced women in Bosnia
On 4th July 2006, American Independence Day, the annual Independence from America demonstration was held at NSA Menwith Hill [ Photos: 1 | 2 ]. It was a hot and sunny Tuesday and the 100 or so protestors were outnumbered by the massive police presence, after drumming, songs from Tom Neilson and some speeches there was a circumnavigation of the expanding spy base. One woman was arrested and later released after a 'caution', see the report from Lindis and Anni for the full story.
The National Security Agency (NSA) base at Menwith Hill, near Harrogate, is the biggest US spy base outside America and it plays a key role in the interception of electronic communications — it is a part of ECHELON (Euskera article | the hardware behind Echelon), missile defence and star wars. The Campaign for the Accountability of American Bases (CAAB), the organisers of the demonstration, evolved out of the long campaign of protest at Menwith Hill, which have been going on since the 1950s, read on for links to reports of events held there over the last few years.
Saturday, 24th June, saw a day of protest at 5 British airports (Glasgow, Prestwick, Edinburgh, Gatwick and Birmingham International) against the so-called rendition flights, used by the CIA to secretly and illegally transport 'terror suspects' arrested or kidnapped around the world for 'interrogation' in other countries, where torture of prisoners is practiced. The protests were supported by Birmingham Guantanamo Campaign, Scotland Against Criminalising Communities, Save Omar Deghayes Campaign and Edinburgh Stop The War Coalition. The 5 are among tens of British and European airports where CIA-owned or chartered jets have been logged.
In Birmingham, about 20 people took part in a vigil on the A45 outside Birmingham International Airport to "demand action to put a stop to the CIA's torture flights". They were later joined by people from Oxford and Coventry. In Edinburgh, the protest involved about 35 people from different campaigns. Banners and placards read "Stop the torture flights", "Stop the War". In both cases, activists were dressed up in orange jump suits, worn by detainees in Guantanamo, and shackled and handcuffed. Similar protests took place at Glasgow, Gatwick and Prestwick airports.
The UK and other EU governments have repeatedly dnied any knowledge of such flights, despite the mounting evidence of their complicity. A report by the Council of Europe's rapporteur, Dick Marty, said European governments, including Britain, were complicit in these abuses. The report was debated by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe on 27 June. [the report in pdf]
Read more: El-Masri suing CIA for flight to prison | List of CIA torture planes | CIA's secret jails | CIA aircraft flying into Scotland | Europe knew | Europe's agreement
Amnesty International's report | Liberty's page on extraordinary rendition.
As the British government continues to boycott Palestinians by refusing to recognise their democratically elected government, by joining the EU in a blockade of aid and by entertaining Israeli leader Ehud Olmert in London whilst bombs rain down on Gaza, activists around the country have answered a call from the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) and the Boycott Israeli Goods Campaign (BIG) to join a day of boycott action against Israeli apartheid.
During the day of action on Saturday, 24th June, pickets and demonstrations took place at stores selling Israeli products across the UK: in Liverpool, Brighton, Camden, Hackney, Islington, Southport, Cardiff, Darlington, Brixton, Oxford, Nottingham, Birmingham, Exeter, Halifax, Brent, Durham, Sheffield and Manchester. Concerned individuals took part in creative actions to persuade the public not to buy Israeli goods and demand that retailers do not stock them.
In Brighton campaigners picketed Waitrose calling on the corporation to adhere to its ethical buying policy by not buying goods from apartheid Israel. Another picket was held outside a highstreet store selling CATerpillar goods, who have a contract with the Israeli military for the supply of military bulldozers used in illegal demolitions of Palestinian homes. In the West Midlands activists drove a replica CATerpillar bulldozer through the high street as a creative way of highlighting the way in which CATerpillar fuels the occupation. Across London activist picketed supermarkets selling Israeli goods and delivered letters to store managers informing them of the boycott.
The actions today were part of a concerted campaign calling for boycott, divestment and sanctions against apartheid Israel. Prevous actions and campaigns include:
Agrexco: Corporate Complicity in the Ethnic Cleansing of the Jordan Valley | Letting Apartheid Bloom | The Uxbridge Seven: Day One | Day Two | Seven Blockaders Acquitted
Caterpillar: Caterpillar Manchester Protest 2005 | Anniversary of Rachel Corries' Death | Film: Caterkiller Shut Down | Anti Caterpillar Motorcade | Rhythms of Resistance Anti Cat Shoes Protest | Caterpillar Trade Fair Action | Caterkiller Awarded Housewrecker of the Year | ESF Florence Action
Supermarket protests: Boycott Van | Marks and Spencers Stencilled | Repression of M&S Protesters
Academic boycott: AUT Boycott | NAFTHE Boycott | CUPE Ontario | COSATU (South Africa).
Sporting boycott campaigns include Stop Arsenal supporting Israeli Apartheid | Scotland Pitch Invasions | Free Jerusalem-Stop Connex and Alstrom.
On Friday, 9th of June, the Isreali Navy shelled families holidaying on Gaza beach. Ten people were obliterated in the bombing and children were left screaming over the mutilated bodies of their loved ones. Please follow the Full Article link for more details. [listen to audio interview with surviving member of the family]
The situation in Palestine is becoming more desperate in every area of life, from the continual land theft and increase in illegal settlements across the West Bank to the daily incursions, assassinations and arrests.
Check out the links below to read and listen to reports form across the region. For constant updates, please visit the International Middle East Media Centre website.
Palestine Today [ Mon, 5 June | Tues, 6 June | Wed, 7 June] | This Week in Palestine [2nd June] | Analysis from Palestine | Report from the West Bank | AL Numan report | New Fateh-led force in West Bank | Interview about the non-violent movement in Palestine | Israeli Army repression of non-violent protests in occupied Bilien
Peace in the Park is an annual free festival celebrating creativity, unity and understanding within the Sheffield community. The aim is to work towards peace and solidarity by bringing communities together through artistic, musical and vocal expression. Peace in the Park has been running for four years, driven by the efforts of many volunteers, and each year collects money for nominated charities.
This years Peace in the Park was the biggest yet as glorious sunshine and the enchanting surroundings of Sheffield General Cemetery brought in huge crowds [Photos: 1 | 2 | 3 ]. There was a live stage featuring a right good array of bands, an open-mic stage with a kalaidescope of acts, healing area with massage and yoga, kids area including mask making and drumming and an 'insect trail', a samba band, a film tent showing independent films and documentaries about local and global issues, ethical food outlets including a SpeakEasy with topical discussions, craft and information stalls offering opportunities to paint what you would do with £24 billion or play the asylum lottery or question a councellor or Bug your MP!
A Month of Film Screenings on:
9/11, Oil, War and Globalisation
Every Sunday in July at SIF (Sheffield Independent Film), films start at 6:30pm and 8pm
The attacks on New York and Washington on 11th September 2001 have been described as a "New Pearl Harbor" and they have been used to justify the war against Afghanistan and Iraq, the erosion of civil liberties in the US and the UK and the permanent "War on Terror".
Since 9/11 conspiracy theories have flourished, however one of the least credible conspiracy theory is the official narrative this selection of films explores some of the 9/11 smoking guns and the possible motivation of those responsible.
Read on for a complete listing of the films...
Brian Haw's display was removed early in the morning of 23rd May by 50 police officers. At 2.45am they turned up and started to load a container with all the placards and banners and almost all of Brian's personal possessions. [Photos | Video]
A timeline since Monday 8th, when the state won its appeal against the decision that the SOCPA legislation could not be applied to the protest which Brian Haw appears in full article and additions below.
Since the election of the Kadima party, violence and incursions against the Palestinian population has intensified. A report prepared and published by the Palestinian National Information Centre on the Israeli violations in the period between 4 and 10 April, 2006, revealed that Israeli soldiers shelled Palestinian homes, killing 19, while 7 residents were extra-judicially assassinated.
The Israeli violations also include repeated invasions of Palestinian cities, villages and refugee camps, with checkpoint closures isolating the Palestinian territories from each other.
Reports: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | Global Indymedia feature
Audio: report on extra-judicial killing | interview with Dr Ghassan Hamdan of the PMRS | interview with a member of the Hebron Christian Peace Maker team who was attacked by settlers
Read also: article from Laila El-Haddad's blog
For continuous updates on the situation in Palestine, please visit International Middle East Media Centre | Palestine News Network | and also This week in Palestine, which is a weekly audio round-up of key events in Gaza and the West Bank.
Condoleezza Rice - Secretary of State and former National Security Advisor to the Bush Administration - toured Liverpool on the weekend beginning 31st March. She visited LIPA & was serenaded by the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra. Mersey poet Roger McGough was due to compere the concert in her honour, but withdrew his support. Masses of protesters turned out and let Rice know she was not welcome here.
Liverpool Foots the Bill…And People Say Scousers Are Thieving Bastards
Sat 1st April - Maritime Museum visit Rice, Straw and Liverpool's Rich Cultural Heritage
On Indymedia: 30 Mar - Protests outside Condi's hotel | Protestors, performers & police get ready for Condi visit
Previously:1 | 2
The building of 10 new nuclear power stations, the replacing of the Trident nuclear submarinesa and recently Tony Blair announcing the governments new nuclear power policy at Nottingham University, all sparked protests and this week has been no exception. A protest took place in Derby where campaigners handed a letter to Mrs Beckett, head of DEFRA, outside Derby City Council about the dangers of nuclear powerstations.
In both Nottingham and Derby pickets took place. In Nottingham on the Market Square people from Nottingham CND informed passers-by about the controversial replacement of Trident, UK's largest nuclear submarine project and asked people to sign the petition. You can sign the petition here.
From the newswire: No To Nuclear Power Protest - Derby | The Nottingham Thingy just growed | No Trident Replacement protest March 25th | Anti Nuclear Power Protest - Derby 25th March | Day of action as Tony Blair sets out new nuclear power policy in Nottingham
Saturday 18th March was an International Day of Mobilisation against the war and occupation in Iraq, marking the three year anniversary of the war (see call from WSF Assembly of the Movements). Over the weekend of the 18th hundreds of demonstrations took place throughout the world demanding to end to the occupation of Iraq, and protesting against a possible attack on Iran.
In London, the Stop The War coalition said 80 - 100,000 people marched through the streets, however as usual there was disagreement over numbers with the police saying the turnout was as low as 15,000 (a figure which was then printed in mainstream media across the world). See reports and pictures from London [1 | 2 | 3 | 4]. The march sparked some personal commentary about the day and the tactics [ Brian B | riot act | Jo Wilding ]. Locally protests also took place in Glasgow, Newcastle and Dublin.
In the US tens of thousands took part in protests across the country (500 demonstrations were scheduled). For news, pictures and video see the following Indymedia reports: Rallies & Marches: Akron, OH 1 2 | Albuquerque | Arlington, TX | Ashland, OR | Binghamton | Boston 1 2 | Chicago | Colorado Springs | Columbus 1 2 | Concord, NH | Connecticut | DC | Eugene | Fayetteville, AK | Fresno | Houston | Kansas City | Los Angeles | Milwaukee | Minneapolis/St.Paul | Nashville | New Hampshire | New York | Olympia | Orange County 1 2 | Pittsburgh | Phoenix | Philadelphia | Portland | Rochester | San Diego | San Francisco Bay Area | Santa Barbara | Santa Cruz | Seattle | Springfield, Mass | Tuscon, AZ | Vancouver, WA | Vermont | Worcester
Civil Disobedience: Boston, MA: Demonstrators visit several ROTC Offices | Eugene, OR: Civil Resistance activists arrested after sit-ins | Lakewood, OH: Arrests at Lakewood Military Recruitment Center | Lansing, MI: Five Arrested at Lansing Military Recruitment Center | Los Angeles, CA: Eight Arrests at Senator Feinstein's Office -1 -2 | Portland, OR: 19 Arrested while Delivering Anti-War Petitions to Senator Wyden's Office | Washington, DC protesters target Halliburton, Bechtel, and Carslyle
Indymedia Centres around the world collected reports of demonstrations from hundreds, to thousands of people. In Germany the demands were often broadened to include protests against repression and or the liberty of political prisoners.
Worldwide IMC reports: Estrecho: Sevilla, Córdoba | Maritimes: Halifax feature and photos, Fredericton | Ontario: London, Toronto, Windsor | Ottawa Video | BC Vancouver | Winnipeg Victoria | Alacant | Barcelona: 1 2 | Bruxelles: 1 2 3 4 | West-Vlaanderen | Bulgaria | Cyprus: Greek English | Euskal Herria: Ermua | Ireland: Dublin | Germany: Berlin, Duisburg, Trier, Tübingen | Italia: Roma, Palermo, Saronno and Gorizia | Nederland: Amsterdam | Norge | Polska: Warszawa English report and photos, Wrocław, Wa-wa, Poznań | Portugal: Lisboa | Scotland: Glasgow | Switzerland: Feature, Ginevra | Brasil: 1 2 3 | Peru: Lima | Puerto Rico | Aotearoa: Wellington, Hamilton and Auckland | Perth
In the Arab world, demonstrations took place in Basra and the Syrian capital Damascus. Smaller ones took place in Beirut, Cairo and other Arab cities. In the Tunisian city of Sfax, police stormed into a crowd of about 3,000 people and beat them with batons and truncheons, injuring at least 20.
See also: [Infoshop] Global Protests Mark Iraq War Anniversary | [A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition] Initial Reports on March 18 Antiwar Actions | corporate media coverage [ 1 | 2 ] | Indymedia UK March 18th Section
Thursday 16th March 2006: Milan Rai of the peace group Justice not Vengeance was on trial in Bow Street Magistrates Court for organising the two-person remembrance ceremony at which Maya Evans was arrested in October 2005. See rikki’s video of Milan & Maya’s arrest & a report of Thursday’s trial, as well as a video interview with Maya from Thursday.
The Crime: Milan was on trial for ‘organising an unauthorised demonstration in the vicinity of Parliament’. He notified the police of the demonstration over a week in advance, but he refused to ‘seek permission’ from them as required under a new law, the ‘Serious Organised Crime and Police Act’ , [SOCPA.pdf] Milan and Maya’s lawyer’s are fighting the case by suggesting that SOCPA is incompatible with the European Convention of Human Rights' Article’s 10 & 11, which gives every person freedom to speech, and freedom to peacefully assemble with others.
In October 2005, there was a mass protest against the SOCPA Exclusion Zone by Critical Mass, and many people feel that free speech in Britain is being seriously undermined, [IMC report].
Hundreds of people gathered on Sunday for a day of talks, information, discussion and workshops on the theme of peace.
The Nottingham Students Peace Movement's conference welcomed Sam Azad (International Federation of Iranian Refugees), author Milan Rai and Alan Simpson MP to lead a discussion on "justice not vengeance." They were followed by lecturers Richard Keeble and Beryl Aldridge and Notts Indymedia's Wietse talking about combating media bias. Both sessions welcomed extensive audience contributions. Various workshops were later held on alternative media, creative campaigning, civil rights and black activism.
Campaigners against Brighton arms manufacturers EDO MBM, have made progress in their year-long battle against the company's attempt to silence them with an injunction under the Protection from Harassment Act,1997. At a High Court hearing on Monday 13th february, EDO MBM agreed to drop the provisions of the temporary injunction which affected any individual who wished to protest against the company. Restrictions included a prohibition on filming by protestors, and a designated protest area which was a grass verge across the road from the Moulescombe factory. The verge backed onto a steep drop to a railway line. Over 30 arrests have taken place in the last two years as EDO MBM tried to quell protests. 2 protestors spent a week each on remand in Lewes prison for alleged breach of the injunction. EDO MBM's failure to impose a blanket injunction represents a major victory for the right to protest. The matter is yet to be concluded for 2 campaigners who have declined to sign undertakings, and are determined to challenge the whole manner in which EDO MBM, their lawyer and Sussex police acted together to bring the proceedings.
Plans are in place for a 'Victory demonstration' outside the factory on Wednesday March 1st from 4-6pm, and protestors have vowed to carry on with their campaign against the company which makes bomb release mechanisms and is involved in the manufacture of the Hellfire missile.
Previous Indymedia Coverage:
From the smashedo website:Attorney General intervenes in EDO injunction | Peace Campaigner Remanded for Injunction Breach | Peace Campaigners Demand Police Arrest Local War Criminal | Protesters vow to Fight Injunction
As 100th British soldier was killed in Iraq groups around the country held Vigils and 'Naming the Dead' Ceremonies. Some of the Announcements on the newswire sparked discussion about the tactic in the comments, as it has on the IMC UK features list. Over 100,000 Iraqis have died.
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...