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UK Repression Newswire Archive

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Violent police attack on students in Turkey

07-12-2010 02:55

Police violently attacked to the students in Turkey who wanted to protest the summit of Prime Minister and University Rectors. One pregnant student (age 19) lost her baby because police continuously kicked her from the belly even though she yelled that she was pregnant. Around 150 students who were coming outside of Istanbul were stopped at the entrance of the city and attacked, beaten and detented by the cops. Many were severely injured. It is claimed even in the right-wing bourgeois media that police used agent orange sprays against the students which was also used by USA army in Vietnam that can cause cancer.

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Greek police vandalise memorial to Alexis, riots and repression today

06-12-2010 22:28

6th December, marks two years from the date of the assassination of 15-year old Alexis Grigoropoulos by special police forces in the Exarcheia district of Athens. Throughout Greece there have been demonstrations. The police have been particularly savage and tonight comes news that they have vandalised the memorial shrine to Alexis Grigoropoulos on Messologiou Street.

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We are at WAR. Political arrests and state terrorism

05-12-2010 21:13

fight back
One day before the memorial of the assassination of Alexandros Grigoropoulos on December 6th, the Greek democratic dictatorship decided to activate in a tragicomic way its repression mechanisms in order to prevent the upcoming uprising of the society. All the regime’s servants are on the alert trying to manipulate the public opinion and terrorize the parts of the society that resist.

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US inequality and New Zealand, a human rights perspective

05-12-2010 06:56

New Zealand has been given another chance to free itself from discriminatory collectivism while the US seems to be still battling with it. NZ was saved by the emerging truth of human rights omissions and one of life's miracles, the major Christchurch earthquake (no one killed).

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Calais update: new squats, dancing CRS, and fascists behind bars

05-12-2010 00:41

Calais Migrant Solidarity has continued the work we began a year and a half ago, giving practical solidarity in the form of aid, information and support in fighting ongoing persecution by the police.

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New TSA passenger ID cards on the horizon

05-12-2010 00:34

New TSA national ID card coming

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Ratcliffe Trial: Week 2

05-12-2010 00:26

Week 2 of the Ratcliffe Trial saw the defence open their case, giving some of the defendants an opportunity to explain why they took the actions they did. Among the witnesses called was NASA scientist James Hansen, former MP for Notttingham South Alan Simpson and Green Party MP Caroline Lucas.

The Manchester Airport Trial will begin next week, with 11 defendants facing charges of obstruction of the highway, for shutting off the World Freight Centre of Manchester Airport in May this year.

Newswire: Ratcliffe Trial Day 8 – Defence Calls MP's | Day 8 – Leader of the UK Green Party | Day 8 – Alan Simpson | Ratcliffe Trial Day 6 – The Defence Continues | Climate change protesters' anger was justifiable | Ratcliffe Trial Day 5 – Defence case opens | Ratcliffe Day 5 - Hansens says govt lie on climate | Ratcliffe Trial Day 5 - Cheryl Cole gets props

Previous coverage: Ratcliffe Trial: Prosecution Opens | Ratcliffe Conspiracy Trial Begins | Mass Arrest of 114 Climate Activists in Raid

The defence has called an impressive array of witnesses. James Hansen is a prominent climatologist, his testimony on climate change to congressional committees in 1988 helped raise awareness of global warming. Caroline Lucas is a former Green MEP from 1999 – 2010, and current MP for Brighton Pavilion. Alan Simpson was MP for Nottingham South from 1992 until May 2010 when he "decided to resign my seat in order to devote my time to work on climate change and renewable energy policies."

All spoke about the seriousness of the threat from climate change, the coming "tipping points" which would take the global climate to a point of no return, possibly as early as 2013-15. They also discussed the "democratic deficit" which leaves individuals unable to impress upon government the severity of the problem and allows energy companies to wield disproportionate influence.

Simpson stated “There is, in my opinion, an indisputable democratic deficit in [government] having power, but refusing to use it, even to require power stations to audit their annual carbon emissions and the energy efficiency of each power station. It is simply not coherent to argue that any of the governments commitments amount to a coherent plan for carbon emission reductions. This is particularly true within the timescale in which emissions reductions have to be made. Climate change protesters are in my view, absolutely right to argue that we cannot continue with a ‘business as usual’ approach to UK carbon emissions, without threatening the very prospects of existence for future generations."

Miss Felicity Gerry for the prosecution has sought to argue that alternative "democratic" methods of protest would be more effective, citing Paul McCartney and Coldplay’s Chris Martin as examples of effective environmentalism, through their involvement with ‘Meat Free Mondays’. Instead of closing down power stations, she suggested that the defendants would be better off searching for celebrity endorsements for the likes of ‘Turn-off Tuesdays” or “Switch-Off Sundays.” She even suggested that the money that was spent on the action would have been better off hiring Cheryl Cole to model second hand fashions.

The case continues.

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Developments out of Oxford 'Tamil' Protest

04-12-2010 11:34

Serious allegations are leveled against the Oxford Union following their own twisted cover up following the hurried flight of President Mahinda Rajapakse and his entourage as court proceedings of most serious nature were underway in London. As WikiLeak staff [2] organise US diplomatic cables International Bar Association has raised the issue to one of Crime Against Humanity.

Lame excuses and explanations by the Oxford Union is to be questioned. Further possible protest action is planned with an aim of exposing the involvement of the defence secretary's action 'in a private capacity' and that of Bell Pottinger.

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Legal Aid to be slashed for the UK’s poorest

04-12-2010 10:40

The British Conservative/Liberal Democrat government has unveiled a green paper which heralds the end of the 60-year-old system of Legal Aid in England and Wales.

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Ratcliffe Trial Day 8 – Defence Calls MP'st

04-12-2010 00:24

Mr Edward Rees QC for the defence, calls the first witness of the day.  He is Alan Simpson, former MP for Nottingham South between 1992 to this last election 2010.

During this time, he campaigned for a more serious response to climate change issues, by the UK government. He didn’t contest the last election in May 2010 wanting to devote his time on climate change and renewable energy policies.  He remains pessimistic in bringing about required changes through his previous post.  He is now the renewable energy policy advisor, to the Friends of the Earth. He does however, continue to have parliamentary contact, advising the coalition government on the consequences of runaway climate change, and the required shift to renewable sources.

At a total of 39% of all carbon emissions produced by the UK, coal is by far the biggest single contributor. This must not remain so and measures need to be taken.

Mr Rees asks him “is there a democratic deficit?” Mr Simpson insists yes there is, absolutely!! 

During the Labour government, what was their attitude to the projected tipping points?  Ed Miliband, the then Energy Secretary, pioneered the Climate Change Act 2008. This was world leading legislation. Together with the current coalition government, there is a virtual cross party agreement on the need to reduce global CO2 emissions. This act and a number of other important steps have been taken by government. But none however match the scale of the problems that we face. The future threats to life and our wellbeing are posed to future generations.

There is again agreement in the need to at least remain under a 2degC increase in temperatures. He refers to Dr Hansen of NASA research on these issues and the possible climate tipping points that can be predicted to occur between 2013 – 2015 if nothing is done. At this threshold, there could be the start of massive changes, for example once the Arctic tundra ice gives up methane on its melting, beyond that point it is clear we will not be able to do anything about it. Many climate protestors legitimately question whether there is anything in current government action plans that would see UK annual carbon emissions declining by this point in time.

Mr Rees takes Alan Simpson back to the Climate Change Act.  He says the object was to change the relationship of individuals and communities to attempt to contribute to solutions. Thus, since the Act came into force in April this year, people and communities who are able to generate electric power by wind turbine, or solar panels etc can contribute to the grid. It should no longer be a one-way system.  However the energy companies opposed and campaigned against such moves. E-on lobbied against such similar changes in Germany. They object claiming ‘intrusion into trade’. The European Union eventually found against the company on enquiry.

Simpson says there are six big energy companies and they do have a disproportionate influence in opposing any measures they disapprove of.  The ideas behind the passing of the act had cross-party support.  But, at the administration bit of the process were the legislation gets poured over by committees and civil servants, the levels of the caps proposed were obstructed at a variety of stages. The energy companies were able to lobby decision makers at various levels.  It’s an unequal process. Their money means they can open offices near to government, they can employ research and lobbying companies to put a shine in their case. They can find ‘experts’ to argue to keep operations as they are for maximum profits and dividends for shareholders.  Further to frighten politicians with job losses.

They are wrong. In Germany for example, they have created more that 300,000 jobs in renewable industries, more than those lost in older industries.  The UK efforts are lamentable. Mr Rees asks him about Vestas a company that used to operate on the Isle of Wight and left the UK because the market wasn’t sufficient for their turbine blade products. Mr Simpson sites another example of ineffectual policy. There are large wind farm of the Scottish coast, that cannot have their outputs connected to the grid for another 10 years!!  This is because of energy companies negotiating with government to give traditional generation priority for connection to the grid, over these renewable sources. Because they operate exclusively on their profit motive.

Energy companies are not even required to record and report power station emissions themselves. They are not doing this, because they are aware of possible public concerns. Mr Simpson says that governments aren’t insisting on such recording, even though there is an existing legal frameworks requiring them to do so. The Secretary of State for Energy now says he is intending to insist on reporting emission levels on new power stations.  But … this is no good since nearly 40% of carbon emissions are produced from the existing old coal-burning stations

On another issue, he says there were four carbon capture projects being considered in the UK.  Now that’s down to one and that has a question mark over it. E-on had pulled out as it being uneconomic to operate.

Mr Simpson says he was trying to get parliament to understand that it is government that should set standards and expect industry to follow them. Currently, things are the other way round. Further we must move to a statutory duty for companied to comply with regulations and for the public to have a right to know.

Mr Rees in finishing his examination asks, is there a shortfall on what is needed and what is done?  Yes, it’s why I stepped down from parliament. Government are not taking the measures required to protect us, our children or our grandchildren.

Miss Garry cross-examines. Referring to the Climate Change Act and Energy Acts 2008 & 2009, they set targets. Thus the various science committees and parliament ‘got it right’ in that session?  Yes, it was trailblazing legislation and these and other measures were looked at by other governments, as examples of good practice. But, the starting point of the UK was from the bottom, not much better than our position in the Eurovision Song Contest.

Can you say in terms of what individuals can do?  I have built an eco-house and produce more energy than I consume. Of course, this is beyond the capacity of many of us.  Mr Simpson then goes onto site the example of the Meadows estate in Nottingham. Saying that as a community, we helped to organise collectively to fit solar panels on roofs of houses and then selling power back to the grid.

Miss Gerry again seeks to point out that Mr Simpson took the community ‘with him’ through public consultation and engagement through organising many meetings. Her effort seems to be to seek to draw a distinction between these democratic methods and the direct action engaged in by the defendants. The Meadows community had to organise to overcome opposition and obstacles to achieve progress by engaging people in the locality, within their abilities.

Mr Simpson says that we have lots of information available to us, however, if we were on the Titanic, the main info we need is how to get off the boat. What people could do individually, just doesn’t match the 40% of emissions that power companies are creating.

She gets Simpson to agree that most of these efforts were achieved by knocking on lots of peoples’ doors. A team to canvas to communicate any message and to hold constituency meeting, surgeries etc…  He insists however, that people are so limited in what they can do individually, without parliament and government creating a framework that they can be effective within.  It is so unequal.  Energy companies are so much bigger and more able in lobbying than any individual or community group could handle. It is clear that to successfully lobby on an issue, people need to organise travel to London [sometime Europe], obtain science facts from experts, much time on research and parliamentary meetings.  It is beyond the capacity of the ordinary individual.  He sites the Suffragette movement and their campaign to get parliament to take measures on the wrong that needed to be put right.

Not responding to this point, Miss Gerry tries a few more examples to get Mr Simpson to agree that public engagement is best. He replies yes, it is best.  But since politics sometimes ignores them and their concerns, people need to protest as well !!!

Mr Rees re-examines:  What CO2 emission reduction have power companies actually made? None, to very little.  There was some reduction because of the loss of manufacturing, the older industries.  More recently, the recession means a reduction in the manufacturing output and this can expect to lead to a reduction also. But not, due to any intervention by the energy companies. Because of European Union directives, some of the older power stations may be forcibly closed, but this may result in a ‘dash for gas’.

Mr Rees asks Alan Simpson: Nothing personal … but in your experience do politicians do what they say they’ll do? Do they sometimes lie?  Grins all round  Its obvious that so many times, targets and policy remain politically aspirational, not what they’ll actually do. 

Concluding with this witness, Mr Rees asks: will knocking on doors, really change any opinions of the power companies.  No, of course not.

He made a statement in finishing:
“There is, in my opinion, an indisputable democratic deficit in [government] having power, but refusing to use it, even to require power stations to audit their annual carbon emissions and the energy efficiency of each power station.  It is simply not coherent to argue that any of the governments commitments amount to a coherent plan for carbon emission reductions.  This is particularly true within the timescale in which emissions reductions have to be made.  Climate change protestors are in my view, absolutely right to argue that we cannot continue with a ‘business as usual’ approach to UK carbon emissions, without threatening the very prospects of existence for future generations”.

Alan Simpson [former MP, Nottingham South]

Friends of the Earth


After lunch, a live video link is established from the Crown Court to the House of Commons. Mr Rees for the defence then introduces Caroline Lucas MP for Brighton and Leader of the Green Party of England and Wales.

She is a member of the all party Environmental Audit Committee, responsible for evaluating governments operations in meeting its objectives.

Prior to the UK elections in May 2010, between 1999 - 2010 was a Member of the European Parliament, Green MEP for The South East Region. She is also the Green Coordinator on the Climate Change Committee to reduce the impact of the aviation industry on the environment

Mr Rees get her to confirm that there is no serious challenge by elected members in either the UK or European Community that climate change is happening and that it is human driven. But, there is a huge difference between what politicians say and what actually happens. He asks are the targets that are set, commensurate with the perceived threat by emissions and the need for reductions. She says no. We know of the need to keep well within the 2 degC rise beyond which a tipping point will be reached. However, with businesses desire to maintain their activities, there is now no prospect of this if ‘business as usual’ continues.

Rees asks Ms Lucas, in Europe through its political structures, is it easy or difficult to get policy changes? Very difficult she says, it is a very unequal battle. Large companies lobby successfully and have such privileged access to committees and the European Parliament, than individuals or groups, and even the UK parliament gets.

Renewables and cleaner alternatives are currently more expensive and money is sometimes even found coming from a countries aid budgets. Further, sometimes doesn’t even arrive after being pledged.

Moving on to the emission trading schemes. These operate by making allocations to different industrial sectors. In practice these are open to much abuse since a rich company can buy their way out of their agreed obligations. Credits bought from poorer countries.  When the European Union require a reduction in emission by X%, much of that will be bought from developing countries, all resulting as ‘business as usual’.

Ms Lucas is asked: Are there penalties for exceeding agreed targets? No, such plans have never had a sufficient majority in the European Parliament and such ideas have always been defeated.

She moves onto describing the situation about Vestas, a company making wind turbine blades, that was based on the Isle of Wight and closed. The company couldn’t make a viable return on selling their product. There was simply a lack of a market for turbine blade in the UK. This of course is symbolic of government efforts in encouraging alternatives. A comparison in the use of renewables in other countries demonstrate out inadequate response. Further, the National Grid is centralised and makes it so difficult for renewable alternatives to adequately contribute.

Kyoto agreements are about to expire and there is no architecture in place to replace it.  Without the United States on-board, any proposals will be ineffective. Copenhagen was very disappointing, there was a complete absence of any binding agreement and will not deal with emission reductions within the required timescale. With regard to Cancún, Mexico happening now, expectations are rock-bottom. Agreements to reduce emissions are not even on the agenda, simply not on the table.

Mr Rees asks about current political interest. Lucas says that at a recent UK parliamentary debate, 12 MP’s attended. She is disparaging about this. No politics seems to be taking notice of these immediate tipping points and demonstrates a national complacency on such issues.

Miss Gerry cross-examines [well I think that’s what it was, she seemed to me to reinforce this last point]. She opens in pointing out that the Prime Minister David Cameron, David Beckham and Princes William are all in Zurich, Switzerland, presenting the British bid for a football match, instead of being in Cancún, Mexico. Newspapers and television are full of Zurich and not Cancún. She says that more of the public interest appears to be on football, rather than on climate change. Lucas explains that people feel a remoteness, in that individuals ability to influence European policy processes

Caroline Lucas MP, Leader of the Green Party

Green Party

UK Parliament Environmental Audit Committee

Snowing much outside, court rises a little early. [14:45]

2010 Nottingham Ratcliffe Conspiracy Trial Begins [Feature]
2010 Nottingham Ratcliffe conspiracy to trespass trial opens today
2010 Nottingham Ratcliffe Trial Day 2 - Prosecution’s Opening
2010 Nottingham Ratcliffe Trial Day 3 - Prosecution case continues
2010 Nottingham Ratcliffe Trial: Prosecution Opens [Feature 2]
2010 Nottingham Ratcliffe Trial Day 4 - Prosecution case concludes
2010 Nottingham Ratcliffe Trial Day 5 – Defence case opens
2010 Nottingham Ratcliffe Trial Day 6 – The Defence Continues

Ratcliffe on Trial Blog

Onwards ... >

Photographer - Media: One Eye on the Road. Nottingham.  UK
Member of the National Union of Journalists [NUJ]
"It is not enough to curse the darkness.
                                   It is also necessary to light a lamp!!"

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Too Toxic to Handle? Follow-up Alert on Israel's Policy of Near-Starvation for Gaza

03-12-2010 22:16

On November 17, we sent out a media alert that highlighted the corporate media’s lack of interest in official documents revealing Israel’s deliberate policy of near-starvation for Gaza.

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Fancy This??

03-12-2010 16:35

Fancy it really 2010 pc age??

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6 Dec Trial for anarchist Giannis Dimitrakis in Greece

03-12-2010 12:40

The anarchist Giannis Dimitrakis was arrested heavily wounded after a robbery at a branch of the National Bank in the center of Athens, on January 16th, 2006. He defended the choice to expropriate a bank, without statements of remorse and with clarity about his motives and intentions. He gave meaning to his act as a moment in his critique and action against the system of wage slavery and exploitation, against the antisocial role of the banks and as a part of the polymorphic social struggle.

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Cops red-faced in Bologna: A new tactic?!!

02-12-2010 15:52

It is just the beginning! - students against cuts, riot in Italy - November 30th

These days the crisis of the Italian government, that is living an agony since the last two months, was spread over the country: students’ protests, occupations everywhere are unfolding the political crisis. We are facing a multiplication of its dimensions, of its temporalities.

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UK - War Criminals R US

02-12-2010 14:45

Campaigners warned that Britain will be made a "safe haven for war criminals" by the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Bill which was launched in Parliament today.

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Big Gathering already in and around Hyde Park - Demo 3pm

02-12-2010 12:39

European Tamils who travelled to the now cancelled event that was going to arrest President Rajapakse of Sri Lanka are already converging on Hyde Park.
Permission has been granted for the demo today at 3pm.

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Miliband and London Tamil Protests of 2009 - WikiLeak

02-12-2010 11:48

Amidst the various activity the WikiLeak cable of a US embassy communication 09LONDON1082 2009-05-07 14:02 2010-12-01 23:11 CONFIDENTIAL//NOFORN Embassy London
should not be missed

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Fitwatch call for resistance to data gathering and breach of the peace advice

02-12-2010 00:55

During the protests yesterday the police went into a data gathering frenzy. From FIT teams searching and photographing occupying students in Oxford, to police arresting and processing 139 protesters for ‘breaching the peace’ in London, gathering intelligence has clearly been a key objective of police operations.

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Obama administration seeks to criminalize WikiLeaks

01-12-2010 22:30

Top officials of the Obama administration have threatened criminal prosecution of WikiLeaks for its latest release of secret US diplomatic documents. Attorney General Eric Holder, at a press conference Monday, declared, “There’s a predicate for us to believe that crimes have been committed here and we are in the process of investigating those crimes.”