UK Social Struggles Feature Archive
London's newest autonomous zone opened last night with a free cafe, music, and a series of short films. After three weeks of resisting illegal forcible evictions, the Hackney Social Centre opened last night for an evening of food, music, films - including one, Trainsquatting, about squatters and resistance to evictions in Slovenia.
The social centre grew out of meetings through the Northeast Squatters Network, which seeks to strengthen solidarity and skill-sharing locally between the squats in north-east London.
It is a non-commercial social space and plans to be home to activities such as free language lessons, a donations-only cafe, a free shop, meetings of local groups, skill-share sessions and a bike workshop.
For the valentine month of February, Monday Love will be bringing you the finest in uptown, underground, raise your spirit and blow your mind live music, film and real life grassroots media.
Feb 25th - Monday Love 'Oil & Culture'
Come down for the last Monday Love of the season
Documentary films Source an award winning film about BP's Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline, presented by Platform Londons own Mika.
Live Music from Ruth Theodore and Hip Hop Poetry from 'The Assembled Servants'
DJ Snuff bringing Protest Reggae, Funk & Hip Hop from (Speakers Corner)
free entry to all those who believe in something more than money & fear
29-12-2007 17:25The rampART social centre in London is finally facing eviction after almost 4 years of providing a non-commercial venue for a wide range of activities. On the 12th of December, the social centre and the squatted houses in the street were all served with notice of court proceedings. On the 20th, the case was heard and a possession order granted from the 3rd of January 2008. However, the occupation has continued and the social centre is open as normal. An appeal has been lodged and evcition held off until a decision about the appeal has been made.
Meanwhile, there have been various meetings to organise opposition to the threat and open a new space. There was also an assembly on the 6th Jan to look at setting up a group to support London social centres and maintain continuity.
A court in Bangalore has issued an order for the 'arrest without the possibility of bail' of seven campaigners over their websites postings about labour conditions of an Indian supplier of fashion label G-Star. The activists are from the Clean Clothes Campaign and the India Committee of the Netherlands; the director of their Netherlands based ISP, Antenna, is included.
The case could have implications for activists posting anything on the web, with the court using the Convention on Cyber Crime to call for extradition. It all happens with the backdrop of the continuing campaign about labour conditions and particularly the huge number of child workers in India coming up against the religion of 'free trade'.
The case has been running for some time now. As the legal threats get worse the campaign are asking for solidarity. As G-Star is the only remaining buyer from the jeans manufacturer at which the CCC and ICN have highlighted the labour rights violations they are asking people to make demands of them listing things you can do [cleanclothes.org]. In the UK No Sweat! have called a picket of G-star [nosweat.org] focusing on their Covent Garden store. There are lots of outlets around on their store locator [g-star.com].
The calendar records and celebrates the region’s rich tradition of radicalism and dissent. History is for the most part written by and for the rich and powerful and ‘official’ histories of Liverpool are no exception. But an essential part of our history are those people and groups who put themselves on the line for their communities and what they believed in and who ‘had a go’ without waiting for society’s approval.
Several hundred people (estimates range from 250 to 800) marched down Mill Road in Cambridge today to show their opposition to Tesco's plans to open an "Express" store. Many sent reports on the event:
- Photos and short report by Poon
- Photos by manos | beverley | uug | Alan
- Photos and extensive comment on the event by Camera Boy
- Video by Sarah W
According to the campaign over 4000 people have signed a petition, and a remarkable 1100 people sent in written objections to the City Council regarding Tesco's planning applications. A poll in the local Cambridge Evening News suggests 75% of people across the city are opposed to the proposed increase in Tesco's dominant position in Cambridge. The multinational giant already controls 51% of the grocery market here - putting us in the top 10 Tesco-dominated places in the UK. According to a recent Competition Commission report such dominance - surprise, surprise - has a negative impact on the consumer.
Breaking News December 12th: rampART gets eviction papers. The rampART social centre in London today received court papers for repossesion on the grounds of Tresspass. The hearing date is the 20th Dec. A meeting of all the effected groups/individuals to discuss a response and plan what will happen over the next month or so, will take place on Monday December 17th at 7pm
The rampART social center in East London has been open for over three and a half years, hosting thousands of meetings, screenings, performances, exhibitions and benefit gigs. During that period the building and resources have steady evolved to adapt the demands of its users. Now gentrification approaches with property developers planning to partially demolish the squatted houses next to the social center and build three new properties at the back.
The rampART itself is under no immediate threat and regular activities continue as normal with Food Not Bombs, Rhythms Of Resistance, Radical Theory Group, Dissident Island Radio, WANC, and a new homeopathy clinic among the regular users. Coming up are a benefit for 'Papers For All' and an indymedia training session. Meanwhile the rampART collective is taking stock of its past and looking to the future with a special users meeting taking place on the Sat 17th Nov. All groups that have used the space or might like to use the space are invited to take part in discussions about how the social center is being run and the direct it should take in the coming year.
Links : The rampART and its evolution | Developers make their move on Rampart Street | Rampart Update in Indymedia Offline #21 (oct07) | Free food criminals | Reclaim Your Health | Load of WANC | Indymedia training session - be the media |
Demonstrations have been held this week in Carrington to save the local post office from closure. In the last fortnight, the Save Carrington Post Office Action Group has emerged and has been campaigning to keep the Carrington Post Office [CPO] open. They have urged people in the CPO's catchment area to write letters to the Post Office and Post Watch, asking for the CPO to be considered for further review after the public consultation. The action group has also delivered over 4,000 leaflets and its petition has collected 2000 signatures in just two weeks. In addition to carrying out its own branch assessment report, the group held a couple of demonstrations this week.
Futhermore, a wheelchair-using customer of the Post Office, attempted to travel to the two alternative post offices as suggested by the Post Office to see how accessible they really are. Doreen Sim, who has used CPO twice a week for the last twenty years to pay her bills and collect her pension, says the current journey takes her just 5 minutes from her home along all level terrain and wide pavements...
Articles: Save Carrington Post Office Demo Pictures (Saturday) | Save Carrington Post Office Demo Pictures (Tuesday) | Save Carrington Post Office: March to MPs Office with Petition | Save Carrington Post Office!
Links: Closure of Lenton Post Office | Post Office closure list of 180 is released | MPs raise Post Office closure doubts | Ministers accused as 2,500 Post Office closures confirmed | Post office closure response: services must be maintained for the most vulnerable
It was one of those things that the City Council wouldn't want to kick up a fuss about. After all, it was a controversial decision to merge the city's welfare rights department into the management of the housing benefit service back in September 2006. Employees were only told about the decision 2 or 3 days before it was implemented and were told in an email to 'keep quiet' about the issue. You can imagine people getting concerned over 'conflicts of interest' when you're supposed to get impartial and independent advice on welfare rights from people in the very same office as those authorizing the actual applications.
But thankfully someone decided she couldn't stay quiet over the issue. Sarah Roy, who worked for the council, posted an article on rightsnet.org.uk, a website for welfare rights workers to share information and knowledge. She posted the article in July but the City Council ordered the site to remove the posting instantly or else they would 'seek an injunction in the High Court and sue for damages'. The article was pulled. Another publication, called 'Benefits and Rights' also received legal threats from the council after it told readers it was to feature the issue in its next edition. They ran a 'shortened version' of the article. Sarah Roy was eventually fired over the issue. Read the full article for a second posting Sarah wrote on the Rightsnet forum, which has now also been removed.
Over 300 people came together in Nottingham today to voice their opposition against the city's gun crime and gang culture problems. The families of victims of violent crimes, such as the killing of Nathan Williams in the Meadows last year (read article) came together to call for 'Peace And Unity' and to put an 'End To The Killings'. A march started at the Forest Recreation Ground around midday and made its way to the city centre along Mansfield Road. The march was very loud and cheerful and attracted a lot of attention.
On arrival in the centre there was a rally in the Market Square, with talks and speeches by members of families that have been affected by violent crime as well as some of the organisers. Speakers included Paula Platt, who lost her 14 year old daughter Danielle in 2004 as she walked through the St Anns area after the Goose Fair in October 2004. Sarah Wallace, who lost her 20 year old son Daniel over a year ago in a stabbing in Radford, any so many others ..... The list of grieving parents is just too long. Added urgency to the proceeding, since there was yet another shooting in the St Anns area just this last thursday. As the crowds had gathered, silence was observed with thoughts of those, so affected.
At 7pm on Saturday 15th September, the door was unlocked at Next To Nowhere in Bold Street, and Liverpool's new social centre was 'officially' opened, although there weren't any mayors or anything like that. However, there was a whole week of great events, starting with a party and ending with a film night.
A second round of Indymedia Oaxaca infonite in the UK is starting, focussing on the experiences and struggless the people of Oaxaca's rebellion. The tour will begin in Cardiff at the PAD social centre on the 9th where it will also visit people who are fighting the Brecon Beacons gas pipeline. In London it will take part in the Disarm DSEi mobilisations, as well as a planned infonite at the LARC on the 12th. Then it will visit Nottingham on Friday the 14th at the Sumac Centre to continue to Liverpool on the 16th to join in the celebration of the new social centre Next To Nowhere, the Common Ground Community Garden in Reading on the 18th, and it will end at the No Border Camp in Gatwick on the 21st.
There will be talks and discussions with our compañero from Indymedia Oaxaca as well as the presentation of 'True To My Pledge', a video made by MALDEOJOTV to rise funds in support of the women made widows in Oaxaca due to state repression. Click at the Full article link for background information, and see IMC-UK Oaxaca topic page for reports on the Oaxaca Uprising.
This summer has seen the Shell to Sea campaign gain increasing momentum as construction of the proposed onshore gas refinery in County Mayo, Ireland, begins. The planned refinery and the high pressure pipeline, which would supply it with unprocessed gas from the offshore Corrib gas field, have been bitterly opposed by local residents and their many national and international supporters, since it was first proposed in 2000. Shell and their partners Statoil and Marathon had hoped to have the facility in operation by 2003, but massive local resistance has meant that four years on, the development is still in its infancy.
Resistance was stepped up following the jailing of three local fishermen accused of assaulting Gardai (Police) during a Shell to Sea picket last year. On Wednesday 11th July, two years on from the jailing of the Rossport 5, these men became County Mayo’s latest political prisoners. The judge’s verdict was met with disbelief by all involved in the campaign and has resulted in an upsurge of community resistance.
Following failed talks with Royal Mail management, postal workers on Merseyside and across the country are taking industrial action against Royal Mail's cost-cutting plans, which are based on the European Union Postal Services Directive. A campaign of walkouts has been planned by the Communication Workers Union leadership, spread over various sites at different times. Liverpool hosted a regional march and rally in support of the posties on Saturday, 21st July.
From June 6th to 8th the "representatives" of eight of the most powerful states from the global north are planning to meet in Heiligendamm near Rostock in Germany. Without any legitimacy to decide about global politics they will coordinate their decisions and therefore stand for the continuation of the state the world which for the majority means hunger, misery, war, and exclusion. Despite police repression and political propaganda, the summit will face one of the biggest mobilisations ever to shut down the G8.
Critical Mass (CM) is a monthly event mainly consisting of cyclists but other forms of human propulsion are welcomed. The first one happened in San Francisco USA on Friday, September 25, 1992 and since then enthusiasts in many towns and cities worldwide have followed suit. Sometimes events calling themselves 'Critical Mass' accompany public demonstrations but purists argue they are not related to the regular monthly ride. It is difficult to describe CM as opinions differ widely but they seem to range from a simple celebration of cycling to an anti-authoritarian blockade of traffic, particularly cars, with many facets in between. Almost from the beginning there has been a mixed reaction from the police, ranging from helpful facilitation to aggressive confrontation.
In the last few years the police have become much more confrontational in the UK and they try to manipulate the rides. London now has large numbers of cycle police attending every Mass, except the one in December which is close to the New Year holiday when they don't turn up at all!. The Metropolitan Police issued a leaflet to participants in September 2005 claiming that the ride is not lawful. Their claim was rejected in the High Court in May 2006 but the police have since appealed and won.
Critical Massers have vowed that the ride will go on. The next London Critical mass is on Friday 25th May, meeting outside the NFT between 6 and 6.30pm and there has been a call-out to make this the biggest ride ever.
From the newswire: Abuse of police powers in Derby | London Critical Mass 30th September 2005 | London Critical Mass under threat | Critical Mass London: Letter from Green Party to Met. Police | London Critical Mass reports | Amazing turnout on "banned" critical mass | Massive Critical Mass Defies SOCPA Exclusion Zone | Southend's first Critical Mass stopped by police | 2nd Southend Critical Mass ends with 3 arrests | Leeds Critical Mass | York Critical Mass | Police charge cyclists at Glasgow Critical Mass | Birmingham's Ride reaches Critical Mass Videos: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 |
While most workers were still working on their 'special day', hundreds of pickets, rallies, demonstrations and other events took place throughout the world on 1st May to celebrate the International Workers Day and the social and economic struggles of the working class and labour movement.
In the UK, Mayday 2007 was marked with a series of demonstrations, actions, events, pickets and strikes throughout the country. Click at the Full article link for an overview of what went on, and see the Mayday 2007 topic page for full coverage.