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UK Social Struggles Newswire Archive

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UG#570 - The Fundamental Wrongness of 'Rights' (Law as Fiction)

15-10-2011 09:36

The show this week looks at the ideas of 'law' and 'rights'. As George Carlin says, if the government can take it away, it isn't a right, it's a privilege. A disturbing but important thought in these days in which governments worldwide are becoming more open about their subservience to expediency. We hear from a range of speakers, and our material ranges from the comic to the deadly serious.

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UG#569 - The Light Within (Can Technology Make The Handicapped Whole?)

15-10-2011 09:32

This week we introduce a new author, Jacques Lusseyran. As a teenager, although completely blind, he organised some of the most effective French resistance to the Nazi occupation. We begin with a reading of Steve Talbott's Can Technology Make The Handicapped Whole? about techno-fixing human beings, which focuses on Lusseyran. Next, we read one of Lusseyran's essays, The Blind in Society. Finally, an interview with Laura Fogg, author of "Travelling Blind -- life lessons from unexpected places", on her experience of helping the blind to navigate.

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Brent-Kensal Rise library

15-10-2011 00:28

Brent SOS Libraries campaign was unsuccessful on thursday in the high court against closure. Local community resists full closure.

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Indignados in Brussels: real democracy under eurocrats’ noses

14-10-2011 18:12

They come mostly from Spain, but also from France, England, Germany, The Netherlands… Several hundreds of people are occupying for one week HUB University, in Brussels. A week of collective living, assemblies, political discussions and workshops – to end up with tomorrow’s big demonstration. On the eve of the October 15th, the indignados are everywhere – and came to Brussels in full strength.

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15th October 2011: Birth of a Global Anti-Capitalist Movement?

14-10-2011 16:59

Global map of the 15th October Occupy X events
In my opinion, it is very likely that the historians of the future will look upon tomorrow as the day a truly global anti-capitalist movement was born. Following the example of Occupy Wall Street, Los Angeles, Boston, and hundreds of US towns and cities, a huge number of small and large occupations will begin on every continent except Antarctica (see Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, North America, South America).

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Dale Farm: The wider context

14-10-2011 16:14

The last time I wrote about Dale Farm I had been living there for four days and it had felt inspiring to be a part of Camp Constant and the Dale Farm Solidarity Campaign, trying to resist the eviction of the largest Traveller community of its kind in Britain. I am now writing this six weeks later and after an aborted eviction attempt and a short respite as another appeal has gone through the courts, eviction is once again imminent. It is not my intention to interrogate the facts around the council’s pretext for the eviction as I already laid down in my previous article my argument for why I believe it is unjust and based on prejudice. After having lived there for five weeks the following article represents just a small part of my personal experience of being at Dale Farm, the wider context of what I have discovered and why I think you should get your arse down there immediately.

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Second Open Letter to those concerned with the progress of our enemies

14-10-2011 01:59

Second Open Letter to those concerned with the progress of our enemies (including some necessary clarifications and refutations of the cop consultant's defence team's claim)

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Defend Welfare Gathering

13-10-2011 15:27

Join us for a meeting with like-minded people to share ideas and strategise to stop the government’s attacks on welfare.

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Birmingham Food Not Bombs is back

13-10-2011 14:06

Food Not Bombs was very active in Birmingham a number of years ago and last night saw the first meeting of a new revitalised group.

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ARK Academy Public Meetings

13-10-2011 08:48

I live in South Birmingham and am a parent of two primary school-aged children. On 10th October 2010, I attended a public consultation meeting at Kings Norton High School on the proposal to turn it into an ARK academy school. I have to say that it was far worse than I had actually imagined it would be!
I had thought that, whilst academies would be a form of privatisation, there would be enough safeguards in place and enough self-restraint by the people running the academies for it to avoid being too radically different from schools as they are currently run. Having heard from the people pushing this academy agenda I now think that is quite naive.
The 1-hour public ‘consultation’ meeting basically consisted of a 30 minutes of an incredibly one-sided sales-pitch given by 4 academy fundamentalists, followed by an attempt to shut down any form of criticism that came from the floor. The academy fundamentalists consisted of the ARK project director, the chair of the governors of Kings Norton High School, the Head Teacher of Kings Norton High School, and another head teacher from an existing ARK school in Birmingham.

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Dale Farm: An End to the Legal Process? A Call to the Baricades!

13-10-2011 01:56

Work on the Baricades
An article about the situation at dale farm. Highlighting the seeming finality of the legal process and a realization that eviction may be imminent. A call on activists to join the struggle, and an attempt to solidify Dale Farms Place in the broader dialogue of eviction resistance and class struggle.

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#OccupyLSX Callout – Let’s do this!

12-10-2011 16:48

Occupy the London Stock Exchange
15th October
St Paul’s Cathedral

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The Impact of Occupy Wall Street: Some Early Indicators

12-10-2011 14:30

A quote well-known among activists, variously attributed to Gandhi or US labor leader Nicholas Klein, says that “first they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.” In the space of just the past several weeks, it’s possible to discern the first three steps of this progression in the response of the US political, economic, and media elite to the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movement. This fact should be a great source of encouragement for all those brave and dedicated individuals who have helped build this movement.

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Eyewitness: Occupying Wall Street

12-10-2011 12:05

The Occupy Wall Street movement and subsequent protests that are continuing across the United States have drawn world-wide attention. Our correspondent, a college freshman, participates in the first demonstration of his life. Here is his point-of-view of Occupy Wall Street.

Before I went to Occupy Wall Street, I did some research to see what I was protesting. I went to which told me the time and location of the occupation, but not much more. “The one thing we all have in common is that We Are The 99% that will no longer tolerate the greed and corruption of the 1%,” claimed the site. I felt like I could buy into this cause, so I got a couple of people from my college dorm just outside New York City to come with me to Manhattan to be stereotypical protesting college students. We were going to go down in history, just like the kids from the UC Berkeley Free Speech Movement, the Paris spring of 1968, and Tiananmen Square. Hopefully not just like Tiananmen Square.

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Slavoj Zizek at #OWS

12-10-2011 09:17

Part One:

…2008 financial crash more hard earned private property was destroyed than if all of us here were to be destroying it night and day for weeks. They tell you we are dreamers. The true dreamers are those who think things can go on indefinitely the way they are. We are not dreamers. We are awakening from a dream which is tuning into a nightmare. We are not destroying anything. We are only witnessing how the system is destroying itself. We all know the classic scenes from cartoons. The cart reaches a precipice. But it goes on walking. Ignoring the fact that there is nothing beneath. Only when it looks down and notices it, it falls down. This is what we are doing here. We are telling the guys there on Wall Street – Hey, look down! (cheering).

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Boston Police Brutally Assault Occupy Boston

12-10-2011 00:08

At 1:30 this morning hundreds of police in full riot gear brutally attacked Occupy Boston, which had peacefully gathered on the Rose Kennedy Greenway. The Boston Police Department made no distinction between protesters, medics, or legal observers, arresting legal observer Urszula Masny-Latos, who serves as the Executive Director for the Massachusetts branch of the National Lawyers Guild, as well as four medics attempting to care for the injured. Earlier in the day, an estimated ten thousand union members, students, veterans, families, men, and women of all ages marched from the Boston Common to Dewey Square, and then to the North Washington Bridge to demand economic reform on Wall Street and the end of special interest influence in Washington.

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#OccupyLSX First General Assembly

11-10-2011 09:41

Sunday's General Assembly

London’s first General Assembly took place on 9th October during UK Uncut’s Block the Bridge, Block the Bill action on Westminster Bridge. The General Assembly is the main decision-making forum for #occupylsx – as it has been for other international occupations, drawing on the model pioneered in Spain earlier this year. It’s a form of direct democracy, a space for debate that is totally open to the public – it’s there for anyone who wishes to make their voice heard and there is plenty of room for dissenting voices, although we try to reach consensus.

It is intended that the General Assembly become a permanent feature of the occupation, an open forum which will provide a platform for everyone to air their grievances, demands and proposed solutions. The hope is that the General Assembly will be allow us to create a list of demands democratically – a unified message that represents the sentiment of the 99%.

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Weekly blog roundup

10-10-2011 16:15

The following is drawn from a variety of local activist blogs