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UK Social Struggles Feature Archive

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100 000 March In Support Of Tamils

22-06-2009 22:54

Children inside the pen.

On Saturday 20th June, around 100,000 People, including many Tamils, marched in Central London in support of the plight of Tamils in Sri Lanka. The march was organised by the .British Tamil Forum.

There have been accusations of genocide having taken place in Sri Lanka in the last few months. So far this year, it is estimated that over 50,000 Tamils – mainly civilians - have lost their lives in a massive military onslaught by Sinhalese Sri Lankan government forces as the 26-year civil war was brought to a climax with the use of cluster bombs and shelling of civilian areas. Sri Lankan Armed Forces are also alleged to have used chemical weapons.

Over 280,000 displaced civilians are being held in prison camps – where conditions are reported to be dire, with poor sanitation, widespread diseases and a lack of adequate security. Amnesty International has received consistent reports of serious human rights violations, including enforced disappearance, extra-judicial executions and torture and sexual violence, including young girls being abducted from the camps.

March Reports: 1 | 2 | Short Film | Photos: 1 | 2 | 3
Parliament Square Protest Ends | Protest Against Sri Lankan President At Lords | Previous blockade of Parliament Sq by Tamils

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Attacks On Tamils Continue - Westminster Bridge Besieged

15-05-2009 22:09

Photo by Filkaler, originally published on London Indymedia

As attacks by the national army in Sri Lanka have intensified, so do the protests around the world. After the news of thousands of civilian deaths in Sri Lanka at the weekend, which the UN has described as ‘a bloodbath’, British Tamils began a civil disobedience protest on Monday (11.05.09) in the hope that the British government might put genuine and decisive pressure on Sri Lanka to stop the atrocities it is currently committing. Five hundred began the protest at Parliament Square early in the morning. Thousands more joined them, at which point they moved onto Westminster Bridge and closed it off to traffic. Police officers were taken by surprise. The blockade lasted until mid-afternoon, at which time police resorted to physical attacks on people in an effort to clear the bridge.

More than 300,000 Tamils are currently under siege by the Sri Lankan forces. Aerial bombardments and shelling of civilians are continuing. Children and elderly are dying as a direct result of the aerial bombardment. There has been increased violence in Sri Lanka following the capture of Tamil territory. It is estimated more than 75,000 people have already died in the conflict.

Upcoming: Tamil solidarity event this Sunday (17.05.09)

Previous features: Large Protests Erupt In Support Of Tamils | Tamil Blockade at Parliament (IMC London)

On the newswire: Estimate 1700 Tamil civilians killed 3000 injuried in 48 hrs in Sri Lanka | Civil Disobedience Protest By British Tamils Met With Police Brutality | Tamils Blockade Parliament Square Again (photos) | Tamils Blockade Parliament Sq (photos) | Bloodbath unfolding in Sri Lanka | Tamil blockade of Parliament Monday 11th May (photos) | "State terror in Sri Lanka - a Tamil perspective" today at Resonance 104.4 FM | Tamil protesters take to streets as the GENOCIDE of there people gose on | Urgent, westminster blockade happening now | Tamils genocide: More than 2,000 civilians feared slaughtered in a single night

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Mersey May Day Solidarity Raises £300 For Sacked Visteon Workers

06-05-2009 01:42

It is difficult to imagine a worse May Day rally...
£300 was raised on Merseyside this May Day weekend, in solidarity with sacked Visteon car parts makers who have now been blockading three UK sites for more than a month.

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Campaign against CCTV in Forest Fields continues to grow

28-04-2009 15:40

The Nottingham City Council scheme to impose CCTV on Forest Fields is facing increasingly organised opposition. Much of the affected area has been leafletted with anti-CCTV material and campaigners against the scheme attended a consultation meeting last Thursday to make their views known. Many are worried about the intrusive and controlling nature of CCTV and think it would contribute to suspicion rather than strengthening the local community.

Whilst the police and the Council's Area 4 Management claim to be engaging in consultation their language regarding CCTV has always framed it as a necessary development. Ironically, these same people objected to a journalist taking their photos at the meeting, indicating that residents are not the only ones who are concerned about surveillance! The plans have already been scaled down from 5 camera masts in Forest Fields to masts at 3 locations but campaigners vow to continue until it is scrapped.

Newswire: CCTV proposed scheme for Forest Fields : public meeting report | CCTV in Forest Fields - public meeting on April 23rd | Forest Fields Latest: CCTV | Forest Fields CCTV Update | CCTV coming to Forest Fields unless we act NOW! | Surveillance of Nottingham city centre | Surveillance of Nottingham City Centre [Update]

Previous feature: Watching the watchers in Nottingham

Links: | No CCTV | Area 4 management

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BNP activists assault anti-fascists in Liverpool city centre

24-04-2009 12:55

Yesterday, April 23rd, saw fifteen members of Liverpool BNP members take to the streets of our city again. As word got around that they were leafleting on Church Street, around 12.30pm, local anti-fascists did what they could to mobilise people (not the easiest thing to do mid-week, mid afternoon!). By 1pm there was around twenty anti-fascists leafleting in and around the BNP, making it loud and clear what the BNP stood for, and why people shouldn’t tolerate their presence. This was met by the standard bellowing of ‘get a wash’ and ‘get a job’ from the BNP only serving to further alienate members of the public, from whom they were already getting short shrift.

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Zimbabwe ‘Death of Democracy’ Gathering in Hyson Green

22-04-2009 22:38

On Saturday 18th April, the ex-patriate Zimbabwe Community from around the UK, came together to discuss the ‘Death of Democracy’ in their country. The gathering was held in Nottingham at the Hyson Green Youth Centre.

The NZCN (Nottingham Zimbabwe Community Network) organized and hosted the event. Most attendees dressed in black to remember and honour the hundreds of Zimbabweans who have been murdered during the MDC’s struggle for democracy. Guest speakers included MDC activists still working and striving towards a new, free and safe Zimbabwe.

Event Photos: ‘Death of Democracy’ Gathering

Previous articles: NZCN mourns the death of democracy in Zimbabwe | Zimbabwean Community Show The Film Flame at Sumac Centre | Zimbabwean Asylum Rights Demo @ Speakers Corner, Nottingham

Links: No Borders Nottingham | Nottingham Zimbabwean Community Network | Zimbabwe Civic Action Support Group | Association of Zimbabwean Journalists in the UK (AZJ-UK) | Zimbabwe Association Ltd | Operation Mavhoterapapi (how did you vote) - Post-election violence [pdf 5.2M]

Audio: Zimbabwe - [Speeches and Interviews] - mp3 16M [64kbps]

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Large Protests Erupt In Support Of Tamils

09-04-2009 10:56

Spontaneous protests have erupted in London as a result of the ongoing state violence in Sri Lanka. On Monday, over 300 Tamil youths blockaded Westminster Bridge, which remained closed overnight. On Tuesday and Wednesday large numbers gathered outside parliament and had reached at its peak up to 3000 to call on Gordon Brown to 'open his eyes' and work towards securing an immediate ceasefire in Sri Lanka. Under the banner 'Stop the genocide of Tamils in Sri Lanka' over 150.000 people marched in Central London on Saturday 11th April. Further demonstrations happened in Oslo, Paris and Copenhagen. Reports: [1] [2] [photos 1] [photos 2] [video]

Earlier on in the week police tactics were violent, with unprovoked attacks on demonstrators. On Wednesday morning Tamil flags were being confiscated under the Terrorism act. Demonstrators reported that police used truncheons and dragged protesters across the ground. A three-year-old's leg was reportedly broken in the process. Seven people have been arrested, two under the terrorism act on suspicion of carrying articles supporting proscribed literature. Two people started a hunger strike earlier in the week, of which one was still fasting on Saturday 11th April.

More than 300,000 Tamils are currently under siege by the Sri Lankan forces. Aerial bombardments and shelling of civilians are continuing. Children and elderly are dying as a direct result of the aerial bombardment. There has been increased violence in Sri Lanka following the capture of Tamil territory. It is estimated more than 70,000 people have already died in the conflict.

On the newswire: Fast unto last breathe (day 13) | Video of the Tamil protests | Massive Tamil Protest Against Sri Lankan Genocide | Tamil Hunger Strike, London - pictures (day 6) | Stop the Genocide in Sril Lanka Protest - London April 11 2009 | Tamil protest (day 6) | Tamil Demo in Central London | Emergency Protest In London 11th April Please Come | Supporting the Tamil protests, SOCPA arrest | parliment square still going strong (day 4) | Tamil Protest in Parliament Square: Students on Hunger Strike to the Death (day 4) | Tamil protest still going strong / 8th April 3pm (day 3) | Tamils protest against chemical attacks | Tamil protest amid more police violence (day 3) | A lively night in Parliament Square (day 2) | Tamil protest still going strong /continues (day 2) | Tamil Protest still going strong | Tamil Protest on Westminster Bridge (day 1) | Sri Lanka: Killings, Concentration Camps and International Silence | Students on Hunger Strike | Tamilgotcha! Westminster Bridge occupied for 3 hours - Sat 31st Jan

Around the world: Netherlands | South Africa | New Zealand | Scotland

Links: British Tamils Forum | Online appeal | Wikipedia on Tamil people

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Indymedia G20 Reporting

01-04-2009 22:16

For G20 feature coverage and reporting timeline of events see:

G20 Direct Action: April 1st

G20 April 2nd: Raids and Remembrance

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March 28th: 40,000 on Put People First March

29-03-2009 15:11

A march for Jobs, Justice and Climate headed across London on Saturday 28th as part of a global campaign to challenge the G20 ahead of the summit taking place on April 2nd. About 40,000 people braved the cold weather from 11am until 5pm and marched from Victoria Embankment via Westminster to Hyde Park for a rally.

Timeline of march (and international reports)

Photos: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | Video | Audio |
YouTube: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | Anarchist Rally Speeches |
Flickr: [pool] 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10

Report your news about the G20 and help Indymedia to cover the event.
Dispatch: 07588 479 039 also see: list of G20 protests

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John Moores Students Protest Against Cuts

26-03-2009 17:48

Marching down Hardman Street
John Moores Vice Chancellor Michael Brown fled a group of 150 angry students and their supporters in his BMW (complete with JMU 1 numberplate) this afternoon. In doing so, he postponed a showdown over his plans to cut thirty-four courses from September.

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Parliamentary scrutiny of political policing

24-03-2009 11:46

Police display a warning before attacking protesters (Photo: Tash [alan lodge])

With only ten days to go before the massive protests against the G20 summit taking place in London, the Parliament's Joint Select Committee on Human Rights accused British police of being heavy-handed, misusing counter-terrorism laws and anti-social behavior legislation when dealing with demonstrators.

"The right to protest is a fundamental democratic right and one that the state and police have a duty to protect and facilitate," said Andrew Dismore, Labour MP for Hendon and chair of the committee.

After a year of inquiry, the seventy-page report raised serious concerns about the police forces ability to distinguish appropriate use of the powers they are given. The committee complained that police have been routinely using "legal powers not designed to deal with protests such as anti-social behaviour legislation and the Protection from Harassment Act 1997."

The report was particularly damning regarding the police's abuse of stop-and-search powers to intimidate, unjustifiable seizures of personal property, and improper detention and containment of protesters. The committee's chairman said: "The state must not impose restrictions unless it is necessary, and proportionate, to do so. That is a high threshold. The presumption is in favour of protest without state interference."

Related Indymedia Posts: Police 'turn themselves in' over abuse of power claims | Report into police tactics at Kingsnorth released | Video of police tactics at Kingsnorth | Summer of rage? It's a figment of febrile imaginations | Senior police officer warns of “summer of rage” | Protest against police state | Britain 2009 (are we in a police state?) | Climate Camp Cops feel the heat | Over Policing | Police maintaining special database | Whole TV series on this issue

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Merseyside Job Cull Begins

20-03-2009 22:48

Merseyside Job Centre queues grew by the largest amount in eighteen years last month, bringing back memories of traumatic times before the 'regeneration' gold rush and the credit boom.

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Nottingham City Council workers protest job cuts

13-03-2009 12:56

On Monday 9th March, city council workers protested in Market Square against proposed cuts at the council which would see some 400 people laid off. The protest was several hundred strong and attracted particular attention in the local media because of the presence of film actor Samantha Morton, who was herself brought up in one of the council's children homes.

The evening after the protest and with no apparent regard for it whatsoever, Councillors passed the budget without amendment, confirming that 366 jobs would be cut with a further 333 vacant positions being axed. Inevitably, the council is now actively engaged in spinning the budget as an investment, an interpretation rejected by the unions.

Newswire: Council workers protest job cuts | Nottingham City Council job cuts demo | City Council cuts will damage your community services | City council job cuts protest: Interview

Previous Features: Credit Crunch Hits Nottingham | Local Government Workers in Notts Join National Strike | Notts Workers Join National Strike | Nottingham City Council: Mired in Corruption | Library Staff Speak Out Against Uniforms and Management Bullying | Public service workers out to protect pensions

Links: Nottingham City Council LOLs | Nottinghamshire, Nottingham & Mansfield Trades Union Council | Notts GMB | Unison

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Justice for the Shrewsbury 24 building workers!

11-03-2009 18:49

Shrewsbury pickets
1972 was a year of successful industrial action in Britain. The miners had won over pay, the Tory Government had been forced to release five imprisoned dockers. 1972 also saw Britain's first National Building Workers' strike. The strike committees of North Wales building workers would go on to be the victims of one of the worst miscarriages of justice since the days of the Tolpuddle Martyrs. They would be vilified and hounded by parts of the press, convicted by a court as a deterrent to strikers, and abandoned by their own union leaders and the TUC. Six of them would go to prison and one of these would die later as a result of the treatment he received while there. See

37 years later, an Early Day Motion (EDM) has been tabled demanding a public inquiry into the gross miscarriages of justice and disclosure of all Government and security papers relating to the case.

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Victory for wildcat strikers

12-02-2009 18:12

Thousands of workers in the construction industry who walked out in solidarity with workers at the Lindsey oil refinery run by Total in Killingholme, Lincolnshire, have won a significant victory. Strikers at Lindsey voted to accept a deal drawn up by union officials and the companies involved in the dispute and end their unofficial industrial action on Thursday 5th February.

The government and media have been keen to present this as a nationalist or even "racist" dispute and the ever-opportunistic BNP made efforts to capitalise on the struggle. Certainly there have been reactionary elements within the strike and the "British jobs for British workers" slogan, which echoes Prime Minister Gordon Brown, is unerringly reminiscent of the far-right. Nevertheless, the politics of the strike were complicated and at Langage Power Station near Plymouth, Polish workers joined strikers.

Regional Feature: Workers walk out at Staythorpe

Newswire: Strikes in oil refineries and power stations | British jobs for British workers - Green jobs for Green workers? | Oil and Power strikes: News, Resouces and analysis | Wildcat strikes in Newark | Today's wildcat strikes in the UK oil and now nuke business | Wildcat strikes - an open letter to the anarchist/anti-authoritarian movement | A 'Racist' Strike? | BNP activists agitating at wildcat strikes

Links: ConstructionWorkerUk | Unite the Union | Indymedia UK Workers Movements topic page

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Wirral Council Votes To Slash Services: What Now?

11-02-2009 02:08

When Wirral Council finally voted to go ahead with the Cabinet's proposed slashing of local services on 9th February, it caused anguish to the hundreds of people who have been campaigning for the last few months. Council employees are now set to lose their jobs at the worst possible time, as a global recession bites. Service users have lost access to libraries, leisure centres, and cultural venues. This terrible attack on ordinary people has shown the limitations of protests, letter-writing campaigns, and pinning hopes on politicians. The need for a new strategy has been highlighted.

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Workers walk out at Staythorpe

08-02-2009 15:36

Construction workers at the site of a new gas fired power station at Staythorpe near Newark, Nottinghamshire have joined workers across the country in striking against the use of foreign contractors. The issue has been contentious for some time, with unemployed workers holding protests outside the site since November. The issue was reignited after workers at the Total oil refinery at Lindsey in Lincolnshire walked out over similar concerns.

On Monday, all 300 British workers at the site walked out for several hours. They returned to work on Tue 3rd Feb, but within an hour, around 60 staged an unofficial walkout in solidarity with others in the construction industry across the country. A ballot held amongst those who had walked out showed a majority in support of staying out on Wednesday, which they duly did. A protest also took place outside the London offices of contractor Alstom on Thursday 5th.

National Feature Victory for wildcat strikers

Newswire: Staythorpe Power Station Demonstration‏ | Staythorpe walkout | Oil and Power strikes: News, Resources and analysis | Wildcat strikes in Newark | Today's wildcat strikes in the UK oil and now nuke business | Wildcat strikes - an open letter to the anarchist/anti-authoritarian movement

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Sheffield Hallam Gaza Solidarity Occupation

30-01-2009 00:33

On Wednesday evening (28 January), a group of students started an occupation of a tenth floor lecture theatre in the Owen Building, where an earlier meeting on the conflict in Gaza had taken place.

Following other occupations around the country, students and workers voted to occupy the lecture theatre and democratically approved a list of demands to Sheffield Hallam University. The full list of demands can be read in their announcement on the newswire.

On Thursday morning (29 January) negotiations began with university management.

A teach-in was scheduled for Thursday afternoon and a screening of La Haine for the early evening. University administration demanded that the group leave at 9pm, threatening police involvement if not. When the deadline passed, the group resolved to stay.

After more discussions, however, the occupation now seems to have been brought to an end. Further negotiations are still taking place with university management about the demands to the university: only one of which has been agreed to: "No victimisation of students or staff supporting the occupation in any form".

The group have a Sheffield Hallam Occupation blog with the most up to date information and the group welcome messages of solidarity and support. Messages of support and mutual aid have been received from other occupations in Bradford, SOAS London, Oxford and Nottingham, as well as Sheffield Trades Council, Sheffield NUJ, South Yorkshire UCU, Sheffield Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Free Gaza and the Sheffield and Rotherham Stop the War Coalitions.

Mainstream coverage: Sheffield Star

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Council house evictions rise 42% in Nottingham

28-01-2009 08:49

In the midst of the scandal surrounding the uncovering of corruption at Nottingham City Homes (NCH), other important news regarding council housing in Nottingham has passed more quietly. Council house evictions for rent arrears rose by 42% in 2008 whilst Nottingham City Council (NCC) were found to be refusing around 60% of applications for Discretionary Housing Payments. Discretionary Housing Payments are meant to be used by Local Authorities to help those whose housing benefit doesn't cover their rent. Due to the underspend NCC's grant for such payments has been reduced for the 6th year in a row. In addition, the Council's Housing Benefit Decision Notices have been deemed "Inadequate and illegal" by one commentator.

Whilst corruption in NCH is old news to some of our readers, the revelation that the NCH disability forum has a BNP activist as its Vice Chair has come as a shock. The individual involed also claims to attend the NCH Black and Minority Ethnic forum.

Newswire: Nottingham Loses Out again | Housing Benefit Decision Notices Inadequate and Illegal | Big Underspend on Payments to help Poor Tenants | BNP member on NCH Disabled Person's panel | Squatting and the Sept 2nd raid on Nottingham City Homes offices

Links: Nottingham City Council LOLs | Notts Social Struggles newswire

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Watching the watchers in Nottingham

20-01-2009 14:05

Concerned residents have begun a campaign of 'sousveillance' of Nottingham's CCTV cameras and of some of the people employed to watch over us. PCSO Watch aims "to playfully gather information, data, and stories about PCSOs and their Community Protection Officer (CPO) colleagues" in order "to open up a channel of communication upwards rather than downwards about an increasingly out-of-control area of our society." The Office of Community Sousveillance was recently out and about on the streets of Hyson Green, getting members of the public to give their testimonies about their treatment by PCSOs.

Meanwhile, a CCTV treasure hunt was held in Nottingham on Sunday in order to "help map Nottinghams insane surveillance system!!!" The aim was to encourage members of the public to anonymously photograph CCTV cameras in their area and post them, along with details of where they are located, on a national website.

Newswire: 'PCSO Watch' | The Cctv Treasure Hunt | CCTV 'Treasure Hunt' around Nottingham | PCSO Watch - Office of Community Sousveillance | Surveillance of Nottingham City Centre [Update]

Links: The Office of Community Sousveillance | CCTV Treasure Hunt