Westside Action

a motley crew of anarchists and activists from Bristol, Bath and South Wales

Merthyr to Mayo Solidarity Bike Ride

Across the planet, in the places where fossil fuels are sourced, people are resisting new energy developments.

Communities are standing together to defend their homes, health, land and water, and our shared planet… This is localised resistance with huge global significance….

From the tar sands of Alberta, Canada to the woods of Mainshill, Scotland….

from the rivers and plains of the Niger Delta to the Amazon jungles of Peru….

and from the valleys of Merthyr Tydfil, Wales to the Northwest coast of Mayo, Ireland…The ride has basically started, if you want to find us, and if the technology works, you should be able to see where we are with the map on this page.

Latest Post:

his morning we opened our tent zips to the sight of the beautiful mountains surrounding Killarney.

The dinner group set off early to prepare a meal for fifty people with no kitchen or stove to work with. So, instead they arrived in Trelee, after some leg-boggling uphills and awesome down hills, to ride along a nature trail and set-up the people’s kitchen in a local park. After some relaxed mega-chopping a buffet of delicious salads was served as the sun came down, and some riders did yoga to stretch out post-cycle cramps.

As the dinner crew set off in the morning the rest of the group headed into Killarney for a critical mass. As the good weather continued; music was pumped through the town’s streets by Peddles the bicycle sound system and the cyclists filled the roads handing out newspapers as they moved round the town. On leaving Killarney the mass cycled round a Topaz petrol station and let people know that Topaz is a Shell re-branding. After ten minutes spirits were high and the drivers seemed amused and enjoyed the show.

Tonight we’re staying in a Taekwon-Do hall with a squidgy floor to sleep on. No sleeping mats tonight. Up tomorrow for an early ride, goodnight!

Westside/Rising Tide Blockade Merthyr-Aberthaw Coal Train

News from the frontline…
UPDATE: TUES 27TH 14.30

Massive respect to every1 involved! Alas, on account of all the press persons being nicked this story needs to be got out as much as possible! Not that much out there at the moment. Please help getting the story out if you can! My latest update is that absolutely every1 involved has been nicked up to about 17/18 people all told I reckon, including drivers, legal observers, etc. Vehicles believed to have also been impounded.😦 A second wave lock-on with more heavy duty gear believed to have attached themselves to track shortly after 1st wave cleared; all arrested later that aft/eve. Lets get this story out there.

Chase x

Chase

PREVIOUS ACTION AT MINE

Bristol and Bath Rising Tide Stop Coal Train – Happening Now !

Today, people involved in the Rising Tide Network1 have literally puts their necks on the line by chaining themselves to the rails in order to block the rail link to the Ffoss y Fran Open Cast Coal mine near Merthyr Tydfil. They are currently blocking the movement of coal trains from the mine to Aberthaw Power Station2.

Please Call 07835366330 For on-site interviews and updates. Alternative number (off site): 07909172768

Kim Green from Rising Tide (UK) said:

“We are Protesting the continued extraction and burning of fossil fuels in the face of a global climate emergency. The failure of the Copenhagen climate talks to deal with this huge problem, and the obvious policy inadequacy the three main UK parties contesting the general election to take the necessary action to tackle the problem has highlighted the need for the people to take grass-roots direct action.”

Kim Green continues:

“This action is also in support of the local people of Merthyr Tydfil whose campaign ‘Residents Against Ffoss y Fran’ have been fighting the mine for over six years. The mine causes noise pollution for up to 16 hours a day, dust and dirt are carried into the town by the wind, and it turns the rain black.”

The process by which Miller-Argent3 were able to get the go ahead to exploit this resource at the social cost of both the local and global community, highlighting the democratic deficit in the planning process, which takes in to consideration the social-environmental impact of such projects. The newly formed quango “The Planning Commission” will only make these things worse, being able to ignore any consideration in favour of profit.

Miller Argent have been quick to pressure their small workforce into mobilising against local concerns – but their apparent concern for their workers is betrayed by the fact that they are actually looking to sell the mine as the quantity of high quality coal is only about as half as good as they initially believed. They are in fact making a loss on the project.

Notes To Editor:

1. Rising Tide is an international network of groups tackling the Root Causes of Climate Change and Climate Injustice .http://risingtide.org.uk/

2.Aberthaw Power Station is the biggest polluter in Wales. In 2006 it released 7.4. million tonnes of Co2. It is Projected to run until 2025 with NO PLANS to fit carbon capture storage (CCS) technology. 40% of the coal for the power station is supplied by Ffos y Fran. It was targeted by Bristol & Cardiff Rising Tide in 2008.

3.Miller Argent own and run Ffos Y fran. Argent are in turn owned by the BT Pensions Group. Both of these organisations make much of their ethical and sustainable practices But in this case they seem to be placing profits over and above any element of social responsibility.

From Our Women in Bolivia

Several Excellent Reports have already been posted by westsiders/bristol no borderers attending the Earth Summit in Cochabamba called by Bolvian President Evo Morales. There blog “ayya” can be found here.

march to commemorate 10 years since the water wars

They report on a immigration raid and the ‘co-opting’ of grassroots campaigns by the government , also report on local solutions to among other things sewage and composting and a commeration of 10 years of struggle for water rights.

Meanwhile, in La Paz, Bolivia a government spokesman said that ‘Indian’ protesters set fire to the offices of a Japanese mining subsidiary to demonstrate against unwanted development and theft of water from the local populace.

B & B Rising Tide Show Solidarity With Rossport Campaigners

Activists from Bristol and Bath Rising Tide visited the Shell garage in Muller Road, Eastville at 8.30am this morning to highlight the repression experienced by communities in County Mayo, Ireland who are trying to stop Shell building an onshore high pressure pipeline and gas refinery.

The community in Erris, County Mayo has seen continued harassment and intimidation by Gardai and Shell security, as well as the unlawful arrest and targeted jailing of key campaigners. In February fisherman Pat O’Donnell was sentenced to 7 months in jail for convictions of “breach of the peace” and of “obstructing a Garda”. The community has been fighting this project for over a decade. Construction of the gas refinery has resulted in the pollution of the local drinking water. Untreated waste chemicals from the refinery, including lead, mercury, arsenic and radon would be pumped into Broadhaven Bay despite it being a designated Special Area of Conservation. 1

Today’s action is part of Fossil Fools Day, a global day of creative action against corporations who contribute to and profit from climate change. 2

It is also the lastest in a series of acts of Solidarity that “Westside” has taken in support of the local campaign in Rossport since 2006, including visits to Mayo itself.  See links below:

http://bristol.indymedia.org/article/689329


http://bristol.indymedia.org/article/688933

http://bristol.indymedia.org/article/688042

http://bristol.indymedia.org/article/26833

http://bristol.indymedia.org/article/25476

https://westsideclimateaction.wordpress.com/2008/10/22/rossport-solidarity-cardiff/

https://westsideclimateaction.wordpress.com/2009/04/29/united-community-of-erris-co-mayo-remove-shell-nets/

1 http://www.shelltosea.com/node/21
2 http://risingtide.org.uk/node/336

Related Link: http://risingtide.org.uk/bristol

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Letter From COP15 Accused, 19th March

Dear All,

First of all, Noah and I wanted to say a massive thank you for all the solidarity, the actions, articles, petitions and messages of care that have been organized in solidarity with our trial. Although we know that political repression of this sort targets all activists, it does feel very isolating being the people picked out and charged.  Every single action of solidarity has made this process easier for us and reminded us that we are not alone. So thank you!

We have had several victories, some beautiful court moments, and a very stressful week in court. Our case was extended for three more days- which will not happen until August. Noah and I are both sad that the trial is not over but relieved to have not been judged yesterday. I have included english versions of some of the danish press coverage on the case below to give you a better idea of what has been going on in our trial.

We were originally given two days in court for our trial (the tuesday and friday just passed). We had been charged with organizing violence against the police, gross public disorder, systematic destruction of property and gross disturbance of public infrastructure. Two of these are charges associated with danish terror laws. The police said that we did this from the period of october to december 2009 but that these things were mostly to be carried out in copenhagen during the period of the 11th to the 18th of December. They said that the alleged actions we are accused of mostly failed because the police managed to stop them- in part by arresting Noah on the 11th and me on the 13th of December and keeping us in prison for the rest of the COP (and three more weeks- just to be sure!).

On the morning of the first day in court our lawyers argued for the case to be dropped. They explained that charges in Denmark usually have to include some description of what people are accused of doing, including things like how they were doing it, where, when…anything really. They successfully removed one of the terror charges (gross disturbance of public infrastructure) and got the police prosecutor to admit that none of the things we were accused of had any relation to what happened on the streets in Copenhagen during the COP 15. So now we are just accused of attempting actions, not actually carrying anything out!

It was at this point that the police prosecutor introduced the crystal ball defense. No more details than “something bad was supposed to happen at some point somewhere in Copenhagen” could be supplied by the police because they couldn’t look into their crystal ball when they charged us! In a spectacular display of confidence in the charges she then asked the court to note that she had not actually written them herself!

The court decided to continue with the rest of the charges regardless, but after two days in court I am wondering if they regret that decision. The ‘evidence’ for the non-specific things we are accused of organizing is spurious at best and in the worst cases produced bursts of laughter from both judges and spectators in court. They have trucked out tiny bits of conversations from tapped phones between other people and asked us to interpret them,  radically reinterpreted what we and others have said on the phone (from over three months of our private conversations that they recorded) to the point where even the judge objected. They used notes from brainstorms, scribbled notes from media report backs, and outlandish conjecture to try to demonize us.

My personal favorite is a note i made about big bolt cutters. Instead of asking to interview her during her three weeks in prison (although they said one of the reasons i was kept was for further investigation), they chose to leave until court to ask what was meant by this note in my confiscated personal note book. I explained that it was prop for a demonstration that was a huge two meter tall paper mache bolt cutter. It was to be used on the day of the climate no-borders day of action as both a humorous and serious way to say it is illegitimate to cage human beings. The prosecutor tried to throw doubt on the honesty of my reply until two of the audience in court went to pick them up from a local social center and brought them in for the court to see. Everyone but the prosecutor laughed.

The state of the evidence would really be hilarious if the case didn’t carry such serious consequences both for us personally and for Democracy in Denmark. We are the first of a series of cases against people accused of organizing. It seems that the Danish state is using us as a test case for new anti-activist laws they have passed, the extension of terror legislation to cover any form of political protest and to establish the ability to try people for things that never actually occurred.

Noah and I were both picked up and arrested on the side of the road while riding our bikes by ourselves, threatened, isolated and kept in prison for over three weeks of ‘preventative detention’. The personal impacts of this have been huge. Even scarier though is the potential effect this has on everyone’s ability to speak up about things they care about in Denmark. If they manage to criminalize protest to the extent that going to meetings, organizing speakers for a demonstration, or being a media spokes person can land you in jail, then what sort of world will we be living in? If they manage to say intense surveillance and monitoring of activists and their lovers and friends is legitimate, and arrests should be made on crystal ball suspicions of potential actions- then we have moved from even the sham of liberal democracy to a society more reminiscent of 1984 than any of us would like to admit.

It is clear also that this is not just happening in Denmark. Since our arrests we have heard of countless political prisoners facing the hard end of political repression. After our experience of injustice and repression in Denmark we feel very personally that it is so important that all of us speak out and not let this repression continue.

Free all political prisoners, drop the charges for the Cop 15 defendants and all people arrested during the COP15, and end political repression NOW!!!

Love, solidarity and actions for a better world
tash and noah xo

Why We Don’t Like The Police (and Can’t Stand Coppers)*

The Cardiff 3 -Stephen Miller, Yusef Abdullahi and Anthony Paris

In a recent national-network meeting I recently attended, a young-ish person expressed his puzzlement and his anger at many of his fellow activists hostile attitude to the Police.

A recent newspaper story reminded me where a large part of my antipathy to the Police  – and by extension – to The State grew from. It was an article regarding the case of Neil Hurley, convicted in 1994 and given a  life sentence for the murder of Sharon Pritchard, who was bludgeoned to death and left naked in a playing field near her home in Croeserw, near Maesteg, South Wales. Several witnesses who gave evidence against him at trial subsequently claimed that they were coerced by officers from South Wales Police into making false statements against him. There was no direct or physical evidence linking Hurley to the crime. Despite this, the body supposedly  responsible for ensuring that miscarriage of justices – The Criminal Case Review Commission – have not yet seen fit to review his case. This kind of thing isn’t supposed to happen anymore…

Of course, this brought back memories from the late 1980’s to the late nineties when case-after-case of miscarriages of justices were revealed  –  most infamously the Birmingham Six and the Guildford Four – that were eventually “rectified” at the Court of Appeal. For many of those victim to the miscarriages, their conviction may have been overturned but many of them had spent anywhere up to 27 years in prison –  for which there is no possible adequate compensation (not that the financial compensation offered to those was in any way proportionate to their suffering  – and to add insult to injury around 25% of the compensation was normally deducted for “board and accommodation” –  I kid you not).

While it was the West Midlands Crime Squad who became most infamous for their “fitting up” and torture of suspects, South Wales Police, as the case of Neil Hurley demonstrates earned them  an equally bad reputation.

Despite the lack of any direct or physical evidence linking Hurley to the crime, South Wales police saw him as an obvious suspect  – i.e. one that through fabricated evidence would be easy to secure a conviction, due to his previous (alleged) poor character. This is a pattern familiar to anyone with knowledge of the  numerous false convictions that have been revealed in the last couple of decades. The number of people with learning disabilities, or mental illness who were stitched up and used to falsely convict others for high-profile murders is truly disturbing. Previous convictions, normally for minor offences may have also marked you out for a framing. Race and Class were of course also determining factors.

Another case, The Cardiff 3, shows how the Police used people in a vulnerable position to get false convictions.  Over 13 Police Officers (Let’s name the scumbags: Police Constable John Howard Murray, Detective Sergeant Paul Stephen, Detective Constable Paul Jennings, Wayne Pugh, Graham Mouncher, Richard Powell, Thomas Page, Michael Daniels, John Brian Gillard, Peter Greenwood, John Seaford, Rachel O’Brien and Stephen Hicks)  have been summoned to court for the fabrication of evidence used in the Cardiff 3 trial which resulted in Stephen Miller, Yusef Abdullahi and Anthony Paris serving four years for the murder of Lynette White.

However, so far only three people have actually been jailed for perjury which led to the false convictions. They are not coppers, but witnesses who were bullied into making false statements by the Police. There was evidence that one of them, Leanne Vilday had been subject to particular pressure from police who coerced her to give evidence against the Cardiff Three, and that she was threatened with jail, losing custody of her young child, should she fail to give the evidence the filth sought.

Despite the undisputed role of police bullying and intimidation – Gaon Hart, prosecuting, stating in court that “it is clear that the defendants were harassed into lying” – all three witnesses were convicted on the basis that duress was not available as a defence.

In the cases of Birmingham Six, Guildford Four no Police Officers have ever been convicted. We’ll see what will happen with this one, but we won’t be holding our breath.

There are so many things about these cases that makes the blood boil. As with many of the miscarriages that have come to light, the convictions are for some of the most revilled crimes –  both inside and outside prisons. Sexually motivated murders, child murder, bombings of civilians etc. This of course adds to the agony of being in prison for what you have not done – as the rest of the prison population hates you and your family’s home on the outside is a likely target of attack.  Even once freed from prison  –  the Police in these cases, rather than apologise have given ‘off the record’ briefings to the press that they were in fact the right people-  they just didn’t have the evidence to prove it.  – despite what the court of appeal had decided. On release, these people should live a life of unparalleled luxury and happiness. Sadly, this is far from the case.

Take the case of Ellis Hill, one of the “Cardiff Newsagent 3” (not to be confused with Cardiff 3). In 1987, Michael O’Brien, Ellis Sherwood and Darren Hall were wrongly convicted of the murder and robbery of Cardiff newsagent Philip Saunders in 1987.

In 2001, Ellis Hill two years after he was released and a few days before his first daughter Catrin was due to be born, he suffered a stroke.

The stroke was a result of the drug habit he picked up behind bars but has since shed. It has left him with epilepsy, impaired speech, limited use of his right arm and, according to social workers, unable to be trusted to look after his own children in case he suffers a fit.

Neither does he have full control of his compensation money. When South Wales Police paid him a measly £200,000 for his 11 years in prison, the cash was held by the Court of Protection because it was argued the stroke had left him unable to look after his own financial affairs. He now has to apply in writing through solicitors in Cardiff to access any of it. Because of his illness, his partner was told to leave him in day centre. Afterwards, when they were living in Barry, Yvonne was told to leave him at a day centre during the week. For a man who had just been released from prison after 11 years, a day centre was too close to another institution. He didn’t want to go. She didn’t want him to have to. Yet they were dubbed “uncooperative” when they said no.

Of course, some would say these cases are isolated, a quick trawl on the internet would say otherwise.  The culture to cover-up for your colleagues, to issue false statements to the media  about the character of people who have been wrongly jailed,  or even killed by the police (e.g. Ian Tomlinson) is  still widespread. How else would you explain that no British Police Officer has been jailed for the dozens deaths in custody?

No Justice, No Peace…

*A paraphrase of a ‘Rodney P’ Track

Rossport Fisherman Jailed For Defying Shell and Authorities

Pat

This weekend saw the first UK gathering of Shell to Sea activists and supporters. Many aspects of the campaign were discussed, but a dominant theme of the gathering was one of support for Pat O’Donnell, now serving 7 months in Castlerea Prison, and for his family. Pat has consistently spoken out against the Corrib Gas Project and the collusion between Royal Dutch Shell and the Irish Government and has refused to be silenced by violent attacks on him and his boat, and by numerous arrests.

People at the gathering spoke out against the travesty of justice that saw “The Chief” sentenced to the maximum sentences for minor offences, and at a judge and press that labelled this kind and honourable man a “Bully and Thug”. Instead Pat was hailed as a “Hero and Friend”, a Hero for risking his own life to rescue Gardai and civilians in a sea rescue in 1997, and a Friend, because for all those who had met him, that’s how they saw him.

The Gathering sent messages of support to Pat in Castlerea Prison, and to his wife and family, and intends to continue to support them throughout his sentence.

The campaign against Shell, the Corrib Gas Project, and the Irish Government’s support for it, continues to grow in determination and strength.

Shell to Sea UK Show support for the Chief
– Homepage: http://www.shelltosea.com/content/no-justice-shell-sea-campaigners-judge-jails-fisherman

Westside Round Up – Blackcat, Climate Camp Gathering, Rossport, Smashings


Blackcat Social Centre – on the prowl again

After a productive month at the Methodist vicarage, the Black cat has moved on to pastures new. We are at the top of West Avenue (just around the corner from the old building) and our address is 63 West Avenue,Oldfield Park,Bath.

We will only be in this building for a very short time (probably a week) and obviously have a bigger better place lined up for then, but for now, all Black Cat Calendar events are running as usual at the above address. For a full list of Black Cat calendar events, check out www.bathactivistnetwork.blogspot.com. To get in touch, email:bathsocialcentre@gmail.com

The next Climate Camp National Gathering will be hosted by Bristol over three exciting days during February 19th – 21st February. Timings The gathering will start from 11am on Friday 19th February through to 5pm on Sunday 21st February. The venue for the meeting space will be at The Island (Bridewell), Silver Street, Broadmead, Bristol BS1 2DL, which is in Bristol City Centre. Further details click here. Following a victory in the courts about the unlawful use of Section 1 of PACE to search people at the Kingsnorth Climate camp in 2008, Climate Camp are asking people to fill in a form, with a view to take further legal action, here.

A bit further a field, but close to many people hearts is the retrial of many locals who ahve been involved in long running and impressivethe Anti-Shell campaign in Rossport, Ireland. If their appeal fails, then many could face jail. Check there website to see how you can support them.

Everybody Benefits

There has been the usual glut of benefit gigs in Bristol and surrounds -and this coming weekend is no exception. Check Out French Melodic Punk “La Fraction” (in aid of Bristol ABC and Moscow Antifa) at the Croft this Friday (£6 in) and then at The Plough in Easton on Saturday, Kilnaboy and others make a noise in aid of some travellers in South Devon who are due to be evicted.

Meanwhile,on we think, last Sunday Night – Bristol “…magistrates court next to the bus station in the middle of bristol was attacked. all the reachable windows were smashed out and spray paint messages left on the walls “fuck the law not the poor!”. According to the BBC report (not a mention on the evening post website) 35 windows were smashed.

Also Check

Bristol and Bath Rising Tide – New Year Meetings

Rising Tide – Rises again !

Rising Tide UK is a network of groups and individuals dedicated to taking local action and building a movement against climate change. 

After quite a pause since we last met – it was decided at the recent Westside Gathering to get regular meetings of Rising Tide happening in Bath and Bristol.  If you are still up for tackling the root causes of climate change – come and join us.

So the next meeting is going to be at the Black Cat Social Centre in Bath at 7.30 p.m. on Tuesday 2nd February. This is currently in the squatted vicarage building at the back of the Methodist church on the corner West Avenue less than 20 secs from Oldfield Park train station (turn left when leaving the station go over the railway bridge and you are facing it).  For Bristol folk there is a train from Bristol Temple Meads at 18.49 arriving 19.03 and trains back at 21.10 and 22.28.

The following meeting will be in Bristol at the Kebele Social Centre, Robertson Rd, Easton at 7.30 on Monday 15th Februay. Our proposal is that meetings will then continue on a fortnightly basis alternating between Bath and Bristol – lets give it a try.

Want to get involved?

Climate Camp Critique Reader

Drax, 2006

Excellent Range of Articles contained here: cca_reader

Yeah, I know it’s 52 pages long, but at least for those of you who arent getting out much at the moment or

A) Think Climate Camp is a “wizard idea” and don’t see why it needs to change at all

B) Think Climate Camp used to be good but now has been hijacked by liberals

C) Didn’t know Climate Camp was Started by Anarchists

It’s an essential read.

Editorial:

In January & February 2010, the Camp for Climate Action will go through a period
of introspection as it works out where it shall go next. While in some ways the Camp has been a success, it has also come under a barrage of criticism from some quarters within the radical movements that spawned it.

To help this debate we have put together a set of resources and relevant articles to inform and spark discussion relating to this criticism. Our bias is obvious, though the opinions expressed are those of the authors alone.

Whether you agree with them or not, we believe they are worth taking on board. We hope at least that you feel confident answering their challenges, rather than just dismissing them.
Now is the time for the Camp to examine its politics in more depth, to work out just what it stands for. This is a cross-roads in its development, to continue down a path of ever increasing liberal, reformist approach, or to be the noisy radical, pointing out all the white elephants in the climate change debate. The future of the movement around the camp is being shaped here. The decisions being made now will have profound impacts on who is and who is not involved in the future.

The Camp for Climate Action grew out of the radical anarchist and environmental movements, a synthesis of the organisational skills developed at the Anti-G8 protest camp at Stirling, and the ecological direct action movements such as Earth First! The perception that emerges from these criticisms is this has been lost along the way. We accept that this booklet makes challenging reading and that we offer little in the way of solutions. These, we believe, must come from within the camp itself. However, it is apparent that there is a need for two things. Firstly, a greater visibility for the anarchist roots within the day to day life of the CCA process and proposals.
Secondly, and just as important, a more open and explicit critique of capitalism and how it is the root cause of climate change.

If we do neither out of fear of a mainstream media backlash, then we are reduced to being another NGO. Yet, the power of the Camp has always been the promise of a genuine alternative action in the face of prevarication and obstruction from governments and corporations – now is the time to spell that critique out and use it to build real alternatives, not legitimising the system we complain of. It was the strength of the Camp‟s founding critiques that gave it the boldness its subsequent successes have rested on.

Ultimately, the message of the Camp is a very radical one – that radical social change is needed, especially if we are to tackle of the root causes of climate change. The answer is not to water down our actions and our messages, but to be bolder than ever. That is the excitement and power that gives the Camp its life.

Statement From COP15 Prisoners- and how to support them

Further below is an edited version of the statement collectively released by the 11 remaining Cop15 Prisoners. Meanwhile, a website has just appeared solely concerned with repression in Copenhagen:

This Includes:
* How to support people in jail: http://www.cop-enhagen.net/index.php/Main/Support
* Map and list of past anti-repression actions (a lot already happened!): http://www.cop-enhagen.net/index.php/Main/ProtestMap
* List of ‘what you can do’ (existing petitions, future protests, etc.): http://www.cop-enhagen.net/index.php/Main/Protest
* Contact points in your country if you want to get involved with anti-repression work: http://www.cop-enhagen.net/index.php/Main/Network (write to me if you want to become a contact point in a country where there’s none).

If youd like to write a letter to any of these prisoners (or any others for that matter) maybe you good pop along to the next letter writing session at your local Anarchist Black Cross group: ABC Bristol regular monthly letter writing and discussion meeting.2nd Wednesday of every month7 to 9pm, at Kebele Social centre, 14 Robertson Rd, Bristol BS5 6JY.

http://bristolabc.wordpress.com/
http://www.kebelecoop.org
Bring snacks to share, hot drinks available.

Statement from those still Imprisoned:

“Something is rotten  (but not just) in the State of Denmark. As a matter of fact, thousands of people have been considered, without any evidence, a threat to  society. Hundreds have been arrested and some are still under detention, waiting for judgement or under investigation. Among them, us, the undersigned…We want to tell the story from the peculiar viewpoint of those that still see the sky from behind the bars.”


Climate change is an extreme and ultimate expression of the violence of the capitalistic growth paradigm. People globally are increasingly showing the willingness of taking the power to rebel against that violence. We have seen that in Copenhagen, as well as we have seen that same violence. Hundreds of people have been arrested without any reason or clear evidence… even mild examples of civil disobedience have been considered as a serious threat to the social order”.

In response we ask – Whose order do we threaten? Is it that order in which we do not own our bodies? The order well beyond the terms of any reasonable “social contract” that we would ever sign, where our bodies can be taken, managed, constrained and imprisoned without any serious evidence of crime. Is it that order in which the decision are more and more shielded from any social conflicts? Where the governance less and less belongs to people, not even through the parliament? As a matter of fact, non-democratic organisms like the WTO, the NB, the G-whatever rule beyond any control.

We are forced to notice that the theatre of democracy is a  broken one as soon as, one approaches the core of the power. That is why we reclaim the power to the people. We reclaim the power over our own lives. Above all, we reclaim the power to  counter-pose the rationale of life and of the commons to the rationale of profit. It may have been declared illegal, but still we consider it fully legitimate.

Since no real space is left in the broken theatre, we reclaimed our collective power – Actually we expected it – to speak about the climate and energy issues. Issues that, for us, involve critical nodes of global justice, survival of the human and energy independence.

How the COP15 has ended proves that we were right. Many of us are paying what is mandatory for an obsessive, pervasive and total repression…We are detained with evidently absurd accusations about either violence that actually did not take place or conspiracies and organizing of law-breaking actions.

We do not feel guilty for having shown, together with thousands, the reclamation of the independence of our lives from profit’s rule. If the laws oppose this, it was legitimate to peacefully – but still conflictually – break them.

We are just temporarily docked, ready to sail again with a wind stronger than ever. It’s a matter of love, justice and dignity.”

Luca Tornatore – from the Italien social centres network “see you in Copenhagen”.
Natasha Verco – Climate Justice Action
Stine Gry Jonassen – Climate Justice Action
Tannie Nyboe – Climate Justice Action
Johannes Paul Schul Meyer
Arvip Peschel
Christian Becker
Kharlanchuck Dzmitry
Cristoph Lang
Anthony Arrabal

In addition there are 4 Greenpeace Campaigners who are not signatories to the above statement but could still do with your support: Juan Lopez de Uralde from Spain, Joris Thijssen from the Netherlands, Nora Christensen from Norway, and Christian Schmutz from Switzerland.

Radio Kebele – Review

Not one for the Elderly,  Infirm, or the Religous…

Radio Kebeleauthor email radiokebele@riseup.net

Excellent Interviews, covering the situation in Calais and Greece. As well as a global round up the news you won’t hear. Eclectic Tunes – Punk, Hip Hop and Anti-Folk –  they may agree on politics but definitely not on music.  Some of the presenters or rather – Stig – needs to tone down his sense of “humour” a bit – but trust me – he’s worse in real life.  Defintely worth a listen though.


Podcast: http://live1.radiovague.com:8000/archives/kebele/radiok…e.xml


Why we should go to COP15 – Interview with Bolvian Indigenous Activist

On 13th November Bristol Indymedia and Trapese collective filmed an interview with Crisitian Dominguez on his views of the COP15 summit and what his country Bolivia was hoping to achieve at the coinference. As well talking about this he also discussed his support for the people going to Copenhagen to support their demands coming from the global south. Find out what he had to say on the Bliptv Bristol Indymedia channel link below.

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More information:

Cristian Domínguez is the Bolivian Secretary of Environment and Resources and United Confederation of Bolivian Campesino Workers and member of the International Indigenous Peoples Forum on Climate Change, participating in the UN climate talks, presents his country’s position on the negotiations. As part of the 100 Days and C-Words exhibition at Arnolfini,[1, 2] Domínguez joined local activists planning to go to Copenhagen to call for an urgent people’s mobilisation to Copenhagen and an end to green capitalist solutions for the benefit of all life on earth.

Cristian Domínguez has previously said, “It’s not the decision of one country, but all of the countries of the world. It’s not about the interests of states or political parties, but the interests of the citizens of the world.” [3]

Evo Morales, Bolivian president, will be a major player at Copenhagen. He has demanded a court for climate justice and indigenous rights. Latin American and Caribbean countries have joined forces to call for climate justice and the defence of the rights of the Earth ahead of climate change talks in Copenhagen. ALBA (Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of the Americas) has called on developed countries to recognise the “climate debt” caused by their historical carbon emissions. The network, consisting of nine counties representing 73 million people, also demanded that rich nations “adopt significant commitments to reduce greenhouse gas discharge and approve mechanisms to help countries to preserve, protect and conserve their forests”. [3]

Naomi Klein, in a statement published on 13.11.09 for The Guardian, called for civil disobedience to support the Global South’s demands for Climate Justice in Copenhagen, “Unlike at previous summits where alternatives seemed like an afterthought, in Copenhagen the alternatives will take centre stage.” [4]

Alice Cutler, from Bristol said, “I will be going to Copenhagen next month to support the alliances of countries of the Global South to demand climate justice and real people’s solutions rather than neoliberal illusions. My message is, it’s not too late to book your ticket, come and make sure that the pressure from civil society on the outside gets progress inside. It could be the most important thing you ever do.” [5]

[1] Arnolfini 100 Days season (29 Aug – 6 Dec 2009)

Marking the Countdown to the Climate Change Conference, Arnolfini presents 100 Days – a major programme of exhibitions, films, performances and events around issues of climate change, social justice, art and activism. http://www.100days.org.uk

[2] C Words

Carbon, Climate, Capital, Culture is a major exhibition and season of 50 events in the run-up to COP 15, at leading contemporary arts centre Arnolfini, Bristol from 3.10.09 – 29.11.09.

http://blog.platformlondon.org/cwords?page=1

[3] Bolivia Summit report

http://www.cafod.org.uk/news/bolivia-summit-2009-10-20

[4] Naomi Klein

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cifamerica/2009…hagen

[5] Alice Cutler has been participating in the C-Words season and is part of Trapese Popular Education Collective http://www.trapese.org/ trapese at riseup.net

Related Link: http://blip.tv/file/2879169

Climate Rage!

Climate Rage

By Naomi Klein – November 11th, 2009

One last chance to save the world—for months, that’s how the United Nations summit on climate change in Copenhagen, which starts in early December, was being hyped. Officials from 192 countries were finally going to make a deal to keep global temperatures below catastrophic levels. The summit called for “that old comic-book sensibility of uniting in the face of a common danger threatening the Earth,” said Todd Stern, President Obama’s chief envoy on climate issues. “It’s not a meteor or a space invader, but the damage to our planet, to our community, to our children and their children will be just as great.”

That was back in March. Since then, the endless battle over health care reform has robbed much of the president’s momentum on climate change. With Copenhagen now likely to begin before Congress has passed even a weak-ass climate bill co-authored by the coal lobby, U.S. politicians have dropped the superhero metaphors and are scrambling to lower expectations for achieving a serious deal at the climate summit. It’s just one meeting, says U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu, not “the be-all and end-all.”

As faith in government action dwindles, however, climate activists are treating Copenhagen as an opportunity of a different kind. On track to be the largest environmental gathering in history, the summit represents a chance to seize the political terrain back from business-friendly half-measures, such as carbon offsets and emissions trading, and introduce some effective, common-sense proposals— ideas that have less to do with creating complex new markets for pollution and more to do with keeping coal and oil in the ground.

Among the smartest and most promising—not to mention controversial—proposals is “climate debt,” the idea that rich countries should pay reparations to poor countries for the climate crisis. In the world of climate-change activism, this marks a dramatic shift in both tone and content. American environmentalism tends to treat global warming as a force that transcends difference: We all share this fragile blue planet, so we all need to work together to save it. But the coalition of Latin American and African governments making the case for climate debt actually stresses difference, zeroing in on the cruel contrast between those who caused the climate crisis (the developed world) and those who are suffering its worst effects (the developing world). Justin Lin, chief economist at the World Bank, puts the equation bluntly: “About 75 to 80 percent” of the damages caused by global warming “will be suffered by developing countries, although they only contribute about one-third of greenhouse gases.”

Climate debt is about who will pick up the bill. The grass-roots movement behind the proposal argues that all the costs associated with adapting to a more hostile ecology—everything from building stronger sea walls to switching to cleaner, more expensive technologies—are the responsibility of the countries that created the crisis. “What we need is not something we should be begging for but something that is owed to us, because we are dealing with a crisis not of our making,” says Lidy Nacpil, one of the coordinators of Jubilee South, an international organization that has staged demonstrations to promote climate reparations. “Climate debt is not a matter of charity.”

Sharon Looremeta, an advocate for Maasai tribespeople in Kenya who have lost at least 5 million cattle to drought in recent years, puts it in even sharper terms. “The Maasai community does not drive 4x4s or fly off on holidays in airplanes,” she says. “We have not caused climate change, yet we are the ones suffering. This is an injustice and should be stopped right now.”

The case for climate debt begins like most discussions of climate change: with the science. Before the Industrial Revolution, the density of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere—the key cause of global warming—was about 280 parts per million. Today, it has reached 387 ppm—far above safe limits—and it’s still rising. Developed countries, which represent less than 20 percent of the world’s population, have emitted almost 75 percent of all greenhouse-gas pollution that is now destabilizing the climate. (The U.S. alone, which comprises barely five percent of the global population, contributes 25 percent of all carbon emissions.) And while developing countries like China and India have also begun to spew large amounts of carbon dioxide, the reasoning goes, they are not equally responsible for the cost of the cleanup, because they have contributed only a small fraction of the 200 years of cumulative pollution that has caused the crisis.

In Latin America, left-wing economists have long argued that Western powers owe a vaguely defined “ecological debt” to the continent for centuries of colonial land-grabs and resource extraction. But the emerging argument for climate debt is far more concrete, thanks to a relatively new body of research putting precise figures on who emitted what and when. “What is exciting,” says Antonio Hill, senior climate adviser at Oxfam, “is you can really put numbers on it. We can measure it in tons of CO2 and come up with a cost.”

Equally important, the idea is supported by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change—ratified by 192 countries, including the United States. The framework not only asserts that “the largest share of historical and current global emissions of greenhouse gases has originated in developed countries,” it clearly states that actions taken to fix the problem should be made “on the basis of equity and in accordance with their common but differentiated responsibilities.”

The reparations movement has brought together a diverse coalition of big international organizations, from Friends of the Earth to the World Council of Churches, that have joined up with climate scientists and political economists, many of them linked to the influential Third World Network, which has been leading the call. Until recently, however, there was no government pushing for climate debt to be included in the Copenhagen agreement. That changed in June, when Angelica Navarro, the chief climate negotiator for Bolivia, took the podium at a U.N. climate negotiation in Bonn, Germany. Only 36 and dressed casually in a black sweater, Navarro looked more like the hippies outside than the bureaucrats and civil servants inside the session. Mixing the latest emissions science with accounts of how melting glaciers were threatening the water supply in two major Bolivian cities, Navarro made the case for why developing countries are owed massive compensation for the climate crisis.

“Millions of people—in small islands, least-developed countries, landlocked countries as well as vulnerable communities in Brazil, India and China, and all around the world—are suffering from the effects of a problem to which they did not contribute,” Navarro told the packed room. In addition to facing an increasingly hostile climate, she added, countries like Bolivia cannot fuel economic growth with cheap and dirty energy, as the rich countries did, since that would only add to the climate crisis—yet they cannot afford the heavy upfront costs of switching to renewable energies like wind and solar.

The solution, Navarro argued, is three-fold. Rich countries need to pay the costs associated with adapting to a changing climate, make deep cuts to their own emission levels “to make atmospheric space available” for the developing world, and pay Third World countries to leapfrog over fossil fuels and go straight to cleaner alternatives. “We cannot and will not give up our rightful claim to a fair share of atmospheric space on the promise that, at some future stage, technology will be provided to us,” she said.

The speech galvanized activists across the world. In recent months, the governments of Sri Lanka, Venezuela, Paraguay and Malaysia have endorsed the concept of climate debt. More than 240 environmental and development organizations have signed a statement calling for wealthy nations to pay their climate debt, and 49 of the world’s least-developed countries will take the demand to Copenhagen as a negotiating bloc.

“If we are to curb emissions in the next decade, we need a massive mobilization larger than any in history,” Navarro declared at the end of her talk. “We need a Marshall Plan for the Earth. This plan must mobilize financing and technology transfer on scales never seen before. It must get technology onto the ground in every country to ensure we reduce emissions while raising people’s quality of life. We have only a decade.”

A very expensive decade. The World Bank puts the cost that developing countries face from climate change—everything from crops destroyed by drought and floods to malaria spread by mosquito-infested waters—as high as $100 billion a year. And shifting to renewable energy, according to a team of United Nations researchers, will raise the cost far more: to as much as $600 billion a year over the next decade.

Unlike the recent bank bailouts, however, which simply transferred public wealth to the world’s richest financial institutions, the money spent on climate debt would fuel a global environmental transformation essential to saving the entire planet. The most exciting example of what could be accomplished is the ongoing effort to protect Ecuador’s Yasuní National Park. This extraordinary swath of Amazonian rainforest, which is home to several indigenous tribes and a surreal number of rare and exotic animals, contains nearly as many species of trees in 2.5 acres as exist in all of North America. The catch is that underneath that riot of life sits an estimated 850 million barrels of crude oil, worth about $7 billion. Burning that oil—and logging the rainforest to get it— would add another 547 million tons of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere.

Two years ago, Ecuador’s center-left president, Rafael Correa, said something very rare for the leader of an oil-exporting nation: He wanted to leave the oil in the ground. But, he argued, wealthy countries should pay Ecuador—where half the population lives in poverty—not to release that carbon into the atmosphere, as “compensation for the damages caused by the out-of-proportion amount of historical and current emissions of greenhouse gases.” He didn’t ask for the entire amount; just half. And he committed to spending much of the money to move Ecuador to alternative energy sources like solar and geothermal.

Largely because of the beauty of the Yasuní, the plan has generated widespread international support. Germany has already offered $70 million a year for 13 years, and several other European governments have expressed interest in participating. If Yasuní is saved, it will demonstrate that climate debt isn’t just a disguised ploy for more aid—it’s a far more credible solution to the climate crisis than the ones we have now. “This initiative needs to succeed,” says Atossa Soltani, executive director of Amazon Watch. “I think we can set a model for other countries.”

Activists point to a huge range of other green initiatives that would become possible if wealthy countries paid their climate debts. In India, mini power plants that run on biomass and solar power could bring low-carbon electricity to many of the 400 million Indians currently living without a light bulb. In cities from Cairo to Manila, financial support could be given to the armies of impoverished “trash pickers” who save as much as 80 percent of municipal waste in some areas from winding up in garbage dumps and trash incinerators that release planet-warming pollution. And on a much larger scale, coal-fired power plants across the developing world could be converted into more efficient facilities using existing technology, cutting their emissions by more than a third.

But to ensure that climate reparations are real, advocates insist, they must be independent of the current system of international aid. Climate money cannot simply be diverted from existing aid programs, such as primary education or HIV prevention. What’s more, the funds must be provided as grants, not loans, since the last thing developing countries need is more debt. Furthermore, the money should not be administered by the usual suspects like the World Bank and USAID, which too often push pet projects based on Western agendas, but must be controlled by the United Nations climate convention, where developing countries would have a direct say in how the money is spent.

Without such guarantees, reparations will be meaningless—and without reparations, the climate talks in Copenhagen will likely collapse. As it stands, the U.S. and other Western nations are engaged in a lose-lose game of chicken with developing nations like India and China: We refuse to lower our emissions unless they cut theirs and submit to international monitoring, and they refuse to budge unless wealthy nations cut first and cough up serious funding to help them adapt to climate change and switch to clean energy. “No money, no deal,” is how one of South Africa’s top environmental officials put it. “If need be,” says Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, speaking on behalf of the African Union, “we are prepared to walk out.”

In the past, President Obama has recognized the principle on which climate debt rests. “Yes, the developed nations that caused much of the damage to our climate over the last century still have a responsibility to lead,” he acknowledged in his September speech at the United Nations. “We have a responsibility to provide the financial and technical assistance needed to help these [developing] nations adapt to the impacts of climate change and pursue low-carbon development.”

Yet as Copenhagen draws near, the U.S. negotiating position appears to be to pretend that 200 years of over-emissions never happened. Todd Stern, the chief U.S. climate negotiator, has scoffed at a Chinese and African proposal that developed countries pay as much as $400 billion a year in climate financing as “wildly unrealistic” and “untethered to reality.” Yet he put no alternative number on the table—unlike the European Union, which has offered to kick in up to $22 billion. U.S. negotiators have even suggested that countries could fund climate debt by holding periodic “pledge parties,” making it clear that they see covering the costs of climate change as a matter of whimsy, not duty.

But shunning the high price of climate change carries a cost of its own. U.S. military and intelligence agencies now consider global warming a leading threat to national security. As sea levels rise and droughts spread, competition for food and water will only increase in many of the world’s poorest nations. These regions will become “breeding grounds for instability, for insurgencies, for warlords,” according to a 2007 study for the Center for Naval Analyses led by Gen. Anthony Zinni, the former Centcom commander. To keep out millions of climate refugees fleeing hunger and conflict, a report commissioned by the Pentagon in 2003 predicted that the U.S. and other rich nations would likely decide to “build defensive fortresses around their countries.”

Setting aside the morality of building high-tech fortresses to protect ourselves from a crisis we inflicted on the world, those enclaves and resource wars won’t come cheap. And unless we pay our climate debt, and quickly, we may well find ourselves living in a world of climate rage. “Privately, we already hear the simmering resentment of diplomats whose countries bear the costs of our emissions,” Sen. John Kerry observed recently. “I can tell you from my own experience: It is real, and it is prevalent. It’s not hard to see how this could crystallize into a virulent, dangerous, public anti-Americanism. That’s a threat too. Remember: The very places least responsible for climate change—and least equipped to deal with its impacts—will be among the very worst affected.”

That, in a nutshell, is the argument for climate debt. The developing world has always had plenty of reasons to be pissed off with their northern neighbors, with our tendency to overthrow their governments, invade their countries and pillage their natural resources. But never before has there been an issue so politically inflammatory as the refusal of people living in the rich world to make even small sacrifices to avert a potential climate catastrophe. In Bangladesh, the Maldives, Bolivia, the Arctic, our climate pollution is directly responsible for destroying entire ways of life—yet we keep doing it.

From outside our borders, the climate crisis doesn’t look anything like the meteors or space invaders that Todd Stern imagined hurtling toward Earth. It looks, instead, like a long and silent war waged by the rich against the poor. And for that, regardless of what happens in Copenhagen, the poor will continue to demand their rightful reparations. “This is about the rich world taking responsibility for the damage done,” says Ilana Solomon, policy analyst for ActionAid USA, one of the groups recently converted to the cause. “This money belongs to poor communities affected by climate change. It is their compensation.”

Canadian 1st Nations Speak Out About Tar Sands – Tonight !

Hear three women activists speak out on the impact on their lives and culture of “the most destructive project on earth”

13 NOV 2009, 7pm, Arnolfini auditorium, FREE
On the first leg of their UK campaign tour, as part of the C Words season, powerful speakers Eriel Tchekwie Deranger, Heather Milton-Lightening and Melina Laboucan-Massimo of the Athabascan Chipewyan, Lubicon Cree and other indigenous communities tell it how it is. Also specifically, what we in Britain can do about this ongoing monstrous abuse of human rights and the environment.

The activists will give first-hand accounts of the devastating impacts of the massive oil extraction projects on indigenous communities. They will show how we as UK citizens are involved in these projects through companies such as Shell and BP, and the British financial system. Also how we can act to halt the Tar Sands and their impact on First Nations, the global climate and the forests and rivers of Canada.

CONTROVERSIAL DOMESTIC EXTREMIST UNITS MAKE DESPERATE RAIDS TO JUSTIFY EXISTENCE

 

ironing

Domestic Extremist?

Fitwatch Press Release on AR raids

Following a damning series of articles in The Guardian, the National Extremism Tactical Coordination Unit (NETCU), and their sister organisation the National Domestic Extremist Team (NDET) are attempting to justify their existence by raiding and arresting four animal rights activists for conspiracy to commit criminal damage.

NETCU and NDET are run by Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO). Denis O’Connor, the Chief Inspector of Constabulary, will next month release the findings of his national review of policing of protests and has already signalled he anticipates wide scale change. His inspectors are considering a complete overhaul of the ACPO units, which they have been told lack statutory accountability.

 

CO2558 Steve Discombe

FIT's Steve Discombe Co2558 - For the Chop?

Wearing balaclavas, police officers from four different forces carried out the raids yesterday, smashing through doors and spending over ten hours searching two houses. Witnesses to one of the raids described the police as “intimidating” and “threatening”.

Lynn Sawyer – a resident of one of the houses – who was not arrested stated “This was a massive fishing expedition to promote NETCU’s facade of effectiveness whilst attempting to stop protest through pure terrorisation.”

Apart from computers and mobile phones, the police were also interested in financial documents, evidence of travel and association in support of animal rights extremism. Evidence of such extremism included banners, leaflets and a poster from VIVA, a well respected vegetarian/vegan organisation.

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Paul McCartney - Due a visit from Nectu ?

Fitwatch activist Emily Apple stated that “This was an entirely disproportionate policing operation undertaken by an increasingly desperate unit. The threatening nature of these raids and using items such as NGO posters and leaflets as evidence of extremism demonstrate NDET’s dubious definition of domestic extremism and their willingness to intimidate protesters and criminalise dissent.”

Fitwatch
http://www.fitwatch.org.uk
defycops@yahoo.co.uk

Notes for Editors:
1. More information on The Guardian’s investigation – http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2009/oct/25/police-surveillance-protest-domestic-extremism
2. A third ACPO unit dealing with domestic extremism, the National Public Order Intelligence Unit, is also being investigated.
3. The term “domestic extremism” does not have a legal definition and has been invented by these units.
4. VIVA are supported by a wide range of people including Joanna Lumley, Michael Mansfield QC and Sir Paul McCartney.

Fitwatch
– e-mail: defycops@yahoo.co.uk
– Homepage: http://www.fitwatch.org.uk

What Does Climate Justice Look Like?:The Case Of BP In Colombia/Cinema Klandestino presents: “Our Oil And Other Tales”

 

Bristol Rising Tide Protest BP's sponsorship of the National Portrait Awards in 2007

Bristol Rising Tide Protest BP's Sponsorship of The National Portrait Award in 2007

Tuesday 10th November – 8pm

Cinema Klandestino present Our Oil And Other Tales plus

Wednesday 11th November – 6.30-9pm

What Does Climate Justice Look Like? Copenhagen and The Energy Crisis: The Case Of BP In Colombia

Bristol Rising Tide Protest BP's sponsorship of the National Portrait Awards in 2007

At the Old Council Chamber, Department of Law, University of Bristol
Wills Memorial Building, Bristol BS8 1RJ

As world leaders and world activists prepare to descend on Copenhagen to take action on climate change, have we fully understood its structural causes? Colombian NGOs argue that the developed countries need to control their patterns of consumption, luxury and waste. Who is responsible for the global North’s ecological debt to the global South?

Colombian social movements argue that multinational oil and mining corporations, especially BP and other British based companies, have destroyed their environment, their human rights and social fabric. This raises vital questions linking environmental justice with international solidarity. As Colombian communities struggle to defend their territories against multinational plunder, what can be done to build links with those affected by the seemingly unquenchable thirst for profit? How can corporations like BP be made accountable?

Guest speaker Isaac Marín from COSPACC, Colombia introduces and explores the situation on the ground in Casanare. The leader of this grass-roots organisation looks at the social and enviromental effects of BP in the region. Yasmine Brien (Rising Tide) re-contextualises climate change and global energy politics in terms of climate justice, including a look at so called “green” solutions such as biofuels.

Organised by Colombia Solidarity Campaign, Bristol Rising Tide and Espacio Bristol-Colombia. Chaired by Alice Cutler from Trapese. For info on this event contact: o.edwards@gmail.com or suspiciousasians@yahoo.co.uk
07838 504840

Tuesday 10th November – 8pm

Cinema Klandestino present Our Oil And Other Tales

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With introduction and discussion afterwards led by Mark Ellingsen (Bristol Solidarity with Venezuela) and Thomas Muhr (University of Bristol)

A two-month journey across Venezuela, from Lake Maracaibo to the Orinoco Delta. The people of the oil fields and the mining centres talk of their close encounter with these exploitations. For the first time, in the revolutionary Venezuela, a documentary delves deep in the problematic of oil and coal, from the angle of the life experience of communities, oil workers, indigenous people.

The film takes a look at world politics on oil and other extractive activities, jointly with the themes of sovereignty and self-determination of a people engaged in a real process of change.

Directed by: Elisabetta Andreoli, Gabriele Muzio, Sara Muzio y Max Pugh
Produced by: Gattacicova (Italy) and Yeast Films (UK)
From the film makers of “another way is possible in Venezuela”

83 minutes, Spanish with subtitles in English

Call 07747 833376 and listen to the brief message for venue and directions.

Putting “The Fun Between Your Legs” in Copenhagen

The Laboratory of Insurrectionary Imagination and Climate Camp are plotting together to design and build a new tool of civil disobedience for the RECLAIM POWER mobilisations taking place in Copenhagen, during the UN climate summit in December. Made from hundreds of recycled bikes, The Bike Bloc will merge device of mass transportation and pedal powered resistance machine, postcapitalist bike gang and art bike carnival.

Everything we take for granted: the weekend, gay rights, contraception, women wearing trousers, the right to strike, to form a union, the abolition of slavery. Everything was won by disobedience, fought for by people who refused and resisted, claimed back from those in power. Their disobedience was a gift to our future.

Every form of rebellion we know, from protest marches to lock-ons, barricades to boycotts, factory occupations to street parties, super glue actions to climate camps was invented, dreamt up and designed. More often than not, by a small group of people huddled together, laughing and creatively conspiring with each other; engineering the art of resistance.

The Laboratory of Insurrectionary Imagination and Climate Camp are plotting together to design and build a new tool of civil disobedience for the RECLAIM POWER mobilisations taking place in Copenhagen, during the UN climate summit in December. Made from hundreds of recycled bikes, The Bike Bloc will merge device of mass transportation and pedal powered resistance machine, postcapitalist bike gang and art bike carnival.

Bike hackers, welders, climate campers, artists and engineers will be working together to design and build The Bike Bloc across two cities: Bristol (Arnolfini Gallery 15th 30th Nov.) and Copenhagen (4th- 18th Dec.) Come and take part, either designing and building the prototype in Bristol, putting together the real thing in Copenhagen or swarming with us on the day of civil disobedience on the 16th of December.

*Put the fun between your legs, become the bike bloc.*

For times and how to get involved:

funbetweenyourlegs.info

bikebloc@climatecamp.org.uk

Turning the Heat Up before Copenhagen !

…Or should that be down?

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Climate Justice Activists Scale Didcot Power Station

Climate campaigners have this morning shut down N-Power’s flagship coal plant at Didcot in Oxforshire, and Shipley Open Cast Coal Mine in Derbyshire was shut down for several hours this morning.

The twenty peaceful protesters rode their push-bikes past security guards at 4.30am this morning before splitting into two groups. One team has shut down the giant coal conveyors which feed the boilers at the plant, while a second group of nine men and women has climbed the inside of the iconic 200m-high chimney and reached the top. They say they have enough food and water to stay in place for ‘weeks, not days’ – during which time the plant will be unable to operate. Already the activists in the chimney are securing the route behind them to ensure they can’t be reached by police and security guards.

Meanwhile…

shipley

Today 20 activists from Earth First! (1) stopped work at UK Coal’s opencast coal mine near Shipley (2), Derbyshire. The protesters entered the site at 9.20am and climbed on top of machinery, intending to stay as long as possible they are currently occupying 6 vehicles. This protest is part of a campaign to stop new coal mines and coal power stations in the UK. It follows hot on the heels of last week’s Climate Swoop at Ratcliffe-on-Soar power station, where coal from Shipley is burnt.

Shipley is one of over 30 new coal mines recently given the go ahead as part of the government’s drive to expand opencast coal mining in the UK. This is to secure coal supply for the 6 proposed new coal power stations. The mine at Shipley alone will provide 1 million tonnes of coal over the next four years, equivalent to the release of 3.5 million tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere.

Liz Cartmel, a protester at the site said “We recognise the important role coal mining has played in the local economy in the past, but at a time where our future survival hangs in the balance we need to work towards a future without climate destroying coal. Our only way out of the climate crisis is to reduce consumption and to use renewable energies such as wind and solar.”

Green Scare in the UK (part II): UPDATED

As the Climate Justice Movement becomes bigger and more of a threat, repression grows:

greenscarecover

UPDATED SUNDAY:NOW WORKER ACTION TARGETTED UNDER TERRORIST LEGISLATION “The main contractor at Fiddler’s Ferry power station in Cheshire is seeking an injunction under the Prevention of Terrorism Act to prevent blacklisted workers from picketing the site. A hearing is pending in the Royal Courts of Justice, London, on Wednesday 21st October at 10.30am, at which a company is applying for an injunction against Steve Acheson, one of the 3 electricians in the class legal action blacklist case against companies affiliated to Ian Kerr’s Consulting Association, & also Sec. of the Unite/EPIU Manchester Contracting Branch: this is an injunction sought by the company (main contractor) at Fiddlers Ferry. This injunction is being brought under the Prevention of Terrorism Act & seeks to show that Steve, as the 1st respondent, & others unnamed [as second respondents], by their constant picketing of the site represent “a threat to the energy supplies of this country”. Because this application is being brought under the Prevention of Terrorism Act, Steve will not be able to defend himself at this hearing, as we understand it. The basis of the application is that by picketing the site he is committing a Trespass because he & others are on the Firm’s property; that having issued leaflets to workers on the site calling for ‘direct action’ he is ‘inciting’ the workforce to commit acts contrary to the national interest which may impact on energy supplies & that he has, at times, acted in a way that might have intimidated the workforce. There is no mention in the company’s deposition to the Court that he was formerly employed by them, nor that his picket represents a campaign against blacklisting. One senior trade union leader in the RMT has already said that if this goes ahead it will have consequences for the whole trade union movement.”

CLIMATE TERRORISTS?

Too tired to write seperate article but one additional quote from the coppers who interviewed us: “95% of people we stop under this legislation aren’t terrorists”. This shouldn’t make people afraid of travellling to Copenhagen – or any other international mobilisation – but any travel plans should take this into consideration.

The Next Bristol- Copenhagen Mobilisation meeting is: Monday 26th October, Kebele, 14 Robertson rd, Bristol. BS5 6JY at 7pm

UK border police (Kent Constabulary) used anti-terrorist legislation to prevent 4 British climate change activists (including a westsider) from crossing over into mainland Europe where he planned to take part in events surrounding the forthcoming United Nations summit in Denmark.

Chris Kitchen, a 31-year-old office worker, said he feared his treatment by police could mark the start of a clampdown on protesters, hundreds of whom are planning to travel to Copenhagen for the climate change talks in December.

Tonight he will make a second attempt to reach Denmark, where he plans to take part in discussions organised by a network of protest groups coming together under the banner Climate Justice Action.

He said he was prevented from crossing the border yesterday at about 5pm, when the coach he was travelling on stopped at the Folkestone terminal of the Channel tunnel.

Jack Sheppard adds:

“On our second try to get to Copenhagen we we’re reminded that we were relatively lucky, when 2 “Sans Papiers” were removed from our coach at 3.00am – probably to a German Detention Centre”

Kitchen said police officers boarded the coach and, after checking all passengers’ passports, took him and another climate activist to be interviewed under schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act 2000, a clause which enables border officials to stop and search individuals to determine if they are connected to terrorism.

The passports were not initially scanned, Kitchen said, suggesting the officials knew his name and had planned to remove him from the coach before they boarded. During his interview, he was asked questions about his family, work and past political activity. The police also asked him what he intended to do in Copenhagen.

When Kitchen said that anti-terrorist legislation does not apply to environmental activists, he said the officer replied that terrorism “could mean a lot of things”. By the time his 30-minute interview had concluded, Kitchen’s coach had gone.

Police are understood to be monitoring protesters on a number of databases, some of which highlight individuals when they pass through secure areas, such as ports.

Kitchen is a prominent activist who has taken place in a number of peaceful acts of civil disobedience, such as glueing himself to a statue in parliament, to call for more action to cut carbon emissions.

“The use of anti-terrorist legislation like this is another example of political policing, of the government harassing and intimidating people practising their hard earned democratic rights,” he said. “We are going to Copenhagen to take part in Climate Justice Action because we want to protest against false solutions like carbon trading and to build a global movement for effective, socially just solutions.

“People who are practising civil disobedience on climate change in the face of ineffectual government action are certainly not terrorists, and I am sure that their actions will be vindicated by history.”

Kitchen said police paid for a ticket for him to return to London after questioning and arranged for the coach company to give him a seat on another coach.

A Home Office spokesman said: “There has been no change in policy. Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act 2000 enables an examining officer to stop, search and examine a person at a port or in a border area to determine whether they are someone who is or has been concerned in the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism.

“The exercise of the powers by the police is an operational matter for each force.”

Jack Sheppard adds: “The fact that legislation allows people to be detained, delayed -and forced to answer questions (under the legislation “no comment” is an offence), have there mobile phones confiscated and presumably empited of all there numbers, texts etc without even reasonable grounds for suspicion that we were going commit terrorist offences – the interviewing police officers made it clear that we weren’t suspected of being terrorists,or or were ever likely to commit them in the future is clearly a piss take.”

Swoop Arrests:

Climate activists including members of campaigning groups Climate Camp and Plane Stupid have pledged to shut down the Ratcliffe-on-Soar coal power station run by German energy giant E.ON. The arrests follow an injunction taken out by E.ON against protesters that will allow police to arrest anyone who enters the plant’s grounds. A large police and private security presence is expected at the site, which has upped its security measures, including the erection of a new electric fence.

The campaigner charged yesterday has been released and bailed to return to a police station on Saturday, when the power station protests are due to take place. On Tuesday this week, 31-year-old office worker Chris Kitchen was prevented from travelling to Copenhagen to take part in events around the UN climate talks this December. Three other activists are now understood to have been detained and searched this week while attempting to travel to Copenhagen, though they have subsequently completed their journeys.

Activists for Plane Stupid also claimed they were phoned yesterday by Nottinghamshire police and told “they would be arrested” if they came to Ratcliffe-on-Soar. Tracy Singh from Plane Stupid said “the police are acting like hoodlums. We are absolutely disgusted.” A press spokesperson for Nottinghamshire police said it would be facilitating lawful protest around the power station and denied activists would be arrested simply by coming to the site.

Richard Bernard, a spokesperson for Climate Camp, added: “They’re threatening and arresting people for just thinking and talking about taking meaningful action. This is clear intimidation — they’re just trying to scare us. But what’s really scary is climate change, and that’s why we’re going to take control of Ratcliffe on Saturday.”

E.ON has responded to the planned protest by placing a series of videos on its YouTube channel with comments from its press team, the power station manager and protestors.

A spokeswoman for E.ON, said: “We respect the right of people to have their say as long as it’s peaceful and lawful. [The planned action] is incredibly dangerous and irresponsible. What I would say is by all means come, but don’t try to break into the power station.”

Activists have been sharing satellite maps and photos of the power station online, which they plan to travel to by train and bus. The Ratcliffe-on-Soar power station emits 12.8m tonnes of CO2 a year and is Britain’s third largest source of direct greenhouse gas emissions. E.ON says it is one of the UK’s most efficient coal power stations.

In April this year, 114 people were arrested at a Nottingham school on suspicion of planning a direct action on the power station. At least 25 of the activsts have been subsequently charged with conspiracy to commit aggravated trespass, a charge which places restrictions on communications with friends and family and potentially carries a sentence of six months.

E.ON has also been the subject of an ongoing campaign by climate activists for its plans to build a new coal-fired power station at Kingsnorth in Kent. Last week the company said Kingsnorth had been postponed because of the global recession, an annoucement that campaigners viewed as a victory for the climate movement.

Bristol-Copenhagen Mobilisation Meeting: Never Trust a Cop

oct12thpost

For all those who want climate justice and are pondering going to Copenhagen for the latest in the a long series of ineffective and corrupt inter-governmental talks (COP15) then come to Kebele on Monday October 12th at 7pm. That ‘s 14 Robertson Rd, Bristol BS5 6JY

never ever, ever trust a cop of any description

never ever, ever trust a cop of any description


See ?

See ?

Vestas Workers Besieged by Riot Cops

Taken from http://workersclimateaction.co.uk

Link to channel 4 report: http://link.brightcove.com/services/player/bcpid1184614595?bctid=30341056001

Wind-turbine-workers-stag-001

Workers staging a sit-in at the soon-to-close Vestas wind turbine plant on the Isle of Wight are being starved out by police.

The police, many inside the factory and dressed in riot gear, have denied food to the workers who took over the factory offices last night, to protest the closure of their factory. The police, operating with highly questionable legal authority, have surrounded the offices, preventing supporters from joining the sit-in, and preventing food from being brought to the protestors.

Around 20 workers at the Vestas Plant in Newport, on the Isle of Wight, occupied the top floor of offices in their factory to protest against its closure which will result in over 500 job losses.

Acting without an injunction, on private property, the police have repeatedly tried to break into the office where the protesting workers have barricaded themselves, and have threatened the workers with arrest for aggravated trespass, despite the fact that no damage has been done to the property where the protest is taking place. Police have also forcibly removed people from private property, another action that is of very questionable legality in the absence of a formal injunction.

The office involved in the latter action was number 3606. The officer who appears to be in charge is 3115.

This heavy handed response is the latest in a long line of over-reactions to protest by various UK police forces.

vestas

The Vestas workers inside the factory released a statement earlier today:

“As workers at a wind turbine manufacturer, we were confident that as the recession took hold that green or renewable energy would be the area where many jobs could be created – not lost.

So we were horrified to find out that our jobs were moving abroad and that more than 525 jobs from the Isle of Wight and Southampton were going to be added to the already poor state of island unemployment.

This has sent, and will continue to send, shockwaves of uncertainty through countless families on the island – many of which are being forced to relocate away from the island.

We find this hard to stomach as the government are getting away with claiming they are investing heavily in these types of industry.

Only last week they said they would create 400,000 green jobs. How can the process start with 600 of us losing our jobs?

Now I’m not sure about you but we think it’s about time that if the government can spend billions bailing out the banks – and even nationalise them – then surely they can do the same at Vestas.

The people of Vestas matter, and the people of the island matter, but equally importantly the people of this planet matter. We will not be brushed under the carpet by a government which is claiming to help us.

We have occupied our factory and call on the government to step in and nationalise it. We and many others believe it is essential that we continue to keep our factory open for our families and livelihoods, but also for the future of the planet.

We call on Ed Miliband as the relevant minister to come to the island and tell us to our face why it makes sense for the government to launch a campaign to expand green energy at the same moment at the country’s only major wind turbine producer closes.

Please show your support.

Protest at Newport Vestas at 5pm today (off Dondor Lane – Monks Brook Newport, Isle Of Wight, PO30 5WZ)

Demonstrate Friday 24th of July Friday 5.30pm St. Thomas square Newport”

Contact details:

(ed) 07775763750

(martin) 07950978083

savevestas.press@googlemail.com

http://savevestas.wordpress.com

UPDATE:

Mass Walk-In Breaks the Siege

On July 22nd, 2009 Stuart says:

Taken from: savevestas.wordpress.com

At 5.10am this morning, a climate activist at the protest outside the Vestas plant attempted to take a bag of food to the occupying workers by means of a rope which the workers had lowered from the balcony. The activist was grabbed by 5 police officers and arrested. On his release he obtained the police report of his arrest, which stated that the reason for his arrest was that, as his bringing food to the occupiers had the stated intention of prolonging the protest, it was facilitating a breach of the peace – clearly ludicrous as the police have themselves admitted that the protest is not breaching the peace.

At 1248, a large number of protestors walked through the line of police holding food in their hands which they threw up to the balcony. The police pushed some of the protestors and attempted to obstruct the line but did not offer substantial resistance. One protestor was harassed by a security guard, and asked a police officer, whose number was 24266, if he intended to do anything about it; the officer said he didn’t. Another protestor saw a police officer grabbing the arm of an activist as he attempted to throw food to the balcony – the activist told the police officer that this constituted harassment, the police officer took no notice.

A second climate activist was arrested and taken through the front doors of the factory. Later, a sergeant whose number was 3027 came out and said that no-one had been arrested for carrying food, but that one activist had been arrested for assault. Other protestors present have commented that as the activist in question, who has not given permission for his name to be released, is a christian pacifist, this seems unlikely.

Security have started putting up a fence around the site, with protestors outside attempting to get a second food-carrying walk-in past the police before its completion. There are currently around 50 protestors outside the factory, over 30 of them Vestas workers, and sources say they expect numbers to increase drastically around 6pm when the protest starts.

Co-Mutiny: Next Meeting/COP 15 – Mobilisation

Next C0-Mutiny Meeting– Thursday 6th August 7.30pm. Kebele, 14 Robertson Rd, Easton. BS5 6JY

comutiny-poster-and-flyer-front1

Never trust a cop!

blog address: http://nevertrustacop.wordpress.com/

Climate Change is not an Environmental Disaster it is a Capitalist Disaster

While remaining part of the Climate Justice Action umbrella group, a more radical voice was needed for the mobilisation around the COP15  (Conference of Parties meeting, no. 15) this December in Copenhagen.

The mobilisation will be massive – tens of  thousands of people will converg on copehhagen – but will it be more than an ineffective lobbying exercise ? The Choice is yours.

e-mail westsideclimateaction@gmail.com for local mobilisation advice/suggestions.

http://nevertrustacop.wordpress.com/

GRAPHIX

Against COP15 summit, Copenhagen Dec. 2009

The catastrophe is real and climate change is one of its many symptoms.
The COP15’s inevitable talk of “saving the world from the climate
crisis” is an elaborate hoax to disguise the COP15’s true purpose: to
restore the legitimacy of global capitalism by inaugurating an era of
“green” capitalism. A new rhetoric of “saving the climate” will exist to
justify their repression, their fortified borders, their colonial
resource wars. To give the Emperor new clothes. Our response to this
astounding lie is an uncompromising and absolute NO to their system.

More has to be shaken than our holiday habits to sustain the world for
times to come. It would be foolish to pin our hopes upon the very people
who continue to kill off the planet for money. At Copenhagen, they will
argue over how to properly create a market to commodify and so pollute
the biosphere, dispossessing millions of people from their land to
profit from destroying what remains of our earth. Governments and
corporations will not sacrifice their growth to reduce carbon emissions,
or only do so in order to create a new authoritarian regime for themselves.

The entire rhetoric of the “climate crisis” and the “financial crisis”
is a cynical maneouvre by the state spin-doctors to deny the
all-encompassing crisis of self-declared civilization. The COP15 will
only attempt to hide the war that capitalism is waging against all life
on the planet, a war that has spread across the entire globe for the
last five hundred years, a war that encompasses the totality of even the
oceans and atmosphere. In the midst of war, one does not talk of
management and “technical solutions.” You cannot fight a war by
pretending the war does not exist, by blinding yourself to repression
and becoming complicit in accepting the false-promise of a petit
bourgeois tranquility. Instead, one recognizes the enemy. One chooses a
position. One fights.

Only by ridding ourselves of those who claim to be representing us and
by defeating the ideology of endless economic growth, industrial
production and consumption can we take control of our lives and planet.
It is time to state: we are going to consciously attack the structures
supporting the COP15: we will break through the lines of their police;
we will refuse to negotiate with warmongering governments and the
embedded media; we will refuse to side with sell-out NGOs and all the
would-be managers of protest; we will refuse all governments and
governance and not just de-legitimize the present ones. It is time to
state why we think that insurrection is needed to actually begin the
change everybody is so desperate for. Acting together in fundamental
opposition to those in power we might get a first glimpse of the
richness and opportunities possible when ideas, experiences and concepts
are shared amongst people from all over the world.

Against COP15 summit, Copenhagen Dec. 2009

The catastrophe is real and climate change is one of its many symptoms.
The COP15’s inevitable talk of “saving the world from the climate
crisis” is an elaborate hoax to disguise the COP15’s true purpose: to
restore the legitimacy of global capitalism by inaugurating an era of
“green” capitalism. A new rhetoric of “saving the climate” will exist to
justify their repression, their fortified borders, their colonial
resource wars. To give the Emperor new clothes. Our response to this
astounding lie is an uncompromising and absolute NO to their system.

More has to be shaken than our holiday habits to sustain the world for
times to come. It would be foolish to pin our hopes upon the very people
who continue to kill off the planet for money. At Copenhagen, they will
argue over how to properly create a market to commodify and so pollute
the biosphere, dispossessing millions of people from their land to
profit from destroying what remains of our earth. Governments and
corporations will not sacrifice their growth to reduce carbon emissions,
or only do so in order to create a new authoritarian regime for themselves.

The entire rhetoric of the “climate crisis” and the “financial crisis”
is a cynical maneouvre by the state spin-doctors to deny the
all-encompassing crisis of self-declared civilization. The COP15 will
only attempt to hide the war that capitalism is waging against all life
on the planet, a war that has spread across the entire globe for the
last five hundred years, a war that encompasses the totality of even the
oceans and atmosphere. In the midst of war, one does not talk of
management and “technical solutions.” You cannot fight a war by
pretending the war does not exist, by blinding yourself to repression
and becoming complicit in accepting the false-promise of a petit
bourgeois tranquility. Instead, one recognizes the enemy. One chooses a
position. One fights.

Only by ridding ourselves of those who claim to be representing us and
by defeating the ideology of endless economic growth, industrial
production and consumption can we take control of our lives and planet.
It is time to state: we are going to consciously attack the structures
supporting the COP15: we will break through the lines of their police;
we will refuse to negotiate with warmongering governments and the
embedded media; we will refuse to side with sell-out NGOs and all the
would-be managers of protest; we will refuse all governments and
governance and not just de-legitimize the present ones. It is time to
state why we think that insurrection is needed to actually begin the
change everybody is so desperate for. Acting together in fundamental
opposition to those in power we might get a first glimpse of the
richness and opportunities possible when ideas, experiences and concepts
are shared amongst people from all over the world.

Calais No Borders Camp – Site and Program announced

camp2_fused

Camp Site

Defy the rise of racism ! Come to the Calais No Borders Camp 23-29 June

With deportations of migrants (SOAS), attacks on Romanians in Northern Ireland and the rise of the elected neo-facists, we make a last call for all those who are wondering whether to come to Calais.

Workshops range from practical workshops for migrants to developing our politics and networks, as well as medical and legal workshops.

Workshop Programme

Directions and other site details

We even have the obligatory denouncement and misrepresentation in the Daily Mail.

Bristol Co-Mutiny

Comutiny Final Flyer Black and WhiteSMALL

Come and join the Co-Mutiny!
Bristol September 12th – 20th, 2009
Social Change not Climate Change

self- created recession, war, climate change, repression, environmental
degredation and poverty the list goes on…

But there is hope. Anti government protests are taking place across the
world, factory and school occupations have spread throughout the UK. Local
communities .  We are relearning old skills and learning new
ones for the transition to a just society.

In Bristol and surrounds, a diverse bunch of enraged creatives, dreamers
and schemers, builders and gardeners, workers and students have been drawn
together by the common threads of our indignation at how a combination of
corporate greed, social injustice and environmental degradation is leading
us all towards climate chaos and financial collapse. We invite you to
converge on Bristol for an uprising of autonomous actions and events from
practival skill share to direct action.

12th – 20th of September 2009. Come on down, join the mutiny, get in touch!

OPEN PLANNING MEETING: 13th June 2009, 12pm Bridewell Police Station (the
old one! – does it have another name?)
The Co-Mutineers will be organising actions and events but we need you to
get involved, wherever you are from and whatever your experience. We
encourage autonomous actions.

We are looking for groups and individuals to come along with ideas, plots
and plans for actions, workshops and skill shares. We need you to make
this happen!

For more info: email: comutiny@riseup.net or web: comutiny.wordpress.com/

Summer of Rage – Camping it up

carryonscreenshot

1.Boiling Over – Scotland’s Gathering for Climate Action: 11th – 14th June, Glasgow

2.No Borders Camp, Calais 23rd-29th June (www.calaisnoborder.eu.org.) 3.July Danish Climate Camp 11/19th July(http://camp09.dk/)

4.The Camp for Climate Action in Scotland: Some time 3rd – 11th August (http://climatecampscotland.org.uk/)

5. Belgian/Dutch Climate Action Camp August 3-9 2009, near Antwerp http://www.klimaatactiekamp.org/

6.French Climate Camp August 3rd-9th (http://campclimat.org/) August 3-9th

7.Cymru Climate Camp.13th-16th August 2009 – Merthyr Tydfil, South Wales (Next Gathering: June 6th, South Wales – Location TBC) http://climatecampcymru.org/

8.No Borders Camp, Lesvos, Greece August (25-31) (http://lesvos09.antira.info/)

9.The Camp for Climate Action 2009 will take place Somewhere within London between 27 August and 2 September.

10.Bristol Co-Mutiny: Social Change Not Climate Change. 13th-19th Sept (Next Meeting’s 11th May and 13th June – http://www.westsideclimateaction.wordpress.com

United Community of Erris, Co Mayo, Remove Shell Nets.

“There is no land that can rightfully be called ‘Shell’s land’. This land is our land”. – Local Resident

rossp

Following a cowardly and vicious attack in the dead of night by Shell mercenaries on Willie Corduff in the early hours of Thursday 23rd April 2009, members of the Erris community assisted by national supporters opposed to the Shell Corrib Gas Project, united at 3pm on Sunday 26th April to rid the Glengad beach and cliffs of Shell nets.
Westy writes: This defiant act is a good reminder of the call out for the Rossport Camp Taking Place Between May 29th and June 1st.  E-mail rossportsolidaritycamp@gmail.com orcall  0851141170 for more info.
Report Continues:

Nets covering mounds of rubble on the Shell site at Glengad were removed also, as Shell security retreated from their usual positions on top of the cliff and inside the perimeter fence surrounding the site.The fence was cut open by local residents who proceeded to remove and shred the nets before carrying them to the gates of the Shell site which was being guarded by quite a large force of Gardaí.

What is now crystal clear in the minds of the Erris community following lies copied and pasted from statements issued by Garda Supt. Michael Larkin and Chief Superintendent Tony McNamara into national media in the last few days, is the collusion between the State, An Garda Síochána, and Shell in the escalation of violent force executed and planned indefinitely against a local community engaged in a fight for its life.

Integrated Risk Management Services (IRMS), Shell’s security at Glengad, headed up by ex-Irish Army Ranger, Jim Farrell, in collusion with An Garda Síochána, are to blame for the vicious attack by up to 10 trained thugs, all dressed in black from head to toe, who beat Willie Corduff into submission, for fear of his life, when he refused to come out from under the wheels of a Shell truck this week. “I thought they were trying to kill me,” Corduff said. “They beat me until I stopped moving and I heard one of them say, ‘Stop now lads, he’s nearly finished.’ “

A Community Meeting on Friday 24th last, called in response to the attack, galvanised the local community who are resolved that they will not allow their community be taken over by trained thugs and killers who want to control this area for Shell, into the foreseeable future. “These boys are here to stay”, said one local resident, “Eamon Ryan is responsible for the importation of these scum into our community. Someone is going to get killed if this goes on and Ryan will be to blame”.

A joint press statement calling for an independent international investigation of recent events was put out from community activist groups Shell to Sea, Pobal Le Cheile, Pobal Chill Chomain and the Rossport Solidarity Camp, this weekend.

The community came together again today to remove the Shell netting at the cliff and on the Shell site at Glengad to demonstrate to Shell and the Government that this community will not be beaten back by the violent force which the State is willing to use against its citizens, for Shell.

“The State has been subverted by Shell, it’s down to the people to protect themselves,” said another local resident. And all community groups are agreed.

More news at http://www.indymedia.ie/mayo

All Welcome at the Upcoming Rossport Solidarity Camp June Gathering 2009 see here: http://www.indymedia.ie/article/92076

But any time is the right time to come now that Shell have returned to Glengad.

plymouth 5 – released without charge

Ooh! Look out for that toxic "Political Literature"!

Ooh! Look out for that toxic "Political Literature"!

“Terror probe police release group Police officer with evidence Investigating officers removed items from a city centre address All five members of a group arrested in connection with an alleged terror plot have been released without charge”

Really? This, as many of us had predicted was the inevitable result of arrests made purely to justify the repressive Police operation in London during the G20.

Police say the final member of the five, a 25-year-old man, was freed on Tuesday night. The man was arrested in Plymouth on 27 March, along with two 20-year-old women, a 19-year-old man and a 16-year-old boy after police found explosives. Police said investigations were continuing, but those freed were no danger to the public…

…Unike the Metropolitan Police

‘Firework-like devices’ A search of a Plymouth flat after the arrest of the eldest man led to police finding “political literature”. After the flat was searched, a number of “firework-like devices” were made safe by Royal Navy bomb disposal experts. Literature found in the flat was described by officers as political but “not extremist”. The 25-year-old man, the 20-year-old women and the 16-year-old boy are on police bail in connection with other offences. The 19-year-old man faces no further action.

So they found some Climate Camp leaflets and a couple of  Brock’s Bangers…and this is enough to keep 5 people in Custody without Charge for up to a week?

Det Supt John Clements, of Devon and Cornwall Police, said: “The Constabulary is continuing to carry out a thorough and detailed police investigation and, while a large number of items have already been seized and arrests made, the investigation is ongoing. “We would like to reassure the public that at no stage has anyone been released from police custody who poses any threat to the public.”

No shit.

video evidence of police assault on ian tomlinson

Ian Tomlinson's Widow, and Son, Paul. They Want answers

Ian Tomlinson's Widow, and Son, Paul. They Want answers

Click: Video:

Of course, this must just be a mirage, as the the Police said that they didn’t assault him, and they were being pelted with bottles.

g20 reports

police denied they used heavy handed tactics

police denied they used heavy handed tactics

Before we go to the reports, a statement by witnesses on the circumstances surrounding Ian Tomlinson’s Death:

Various participants in the City of London demonstrations on April 1st have come forward as witnesses to the collapse of a man later identified by authorities as Ian Tomlinson.  Four different university students witnessed the collapse of Mr. Tomlinson.  “He stumbled towards us from the direction of police and protestors and collapsed,” said Peter Apps.  “I saw a demonstrator who was a first aider attend to the person who had collapsed.  The man was late 40s, had tattoos on his hands, and was wearing a Millwall shirt.”

While the first aider was helping the man, another demonstrator with a megaphone was calling the police over so that they could help.

Natalie Langford, a student at Queen Mary, said “there was a police charge.  A lot of people ran in our direction. The woman giving first aid stood in the path of the crowd.” The running people, seeing a guy on the ground, went around them.

Another demonstrator had already called 999 and was getting medical advice from the ambulance dispatcher. “Four police with two police medics came. They told her [the first aider] to ‘move along’.”, said Peter Apps. “Then they pushed her forcibly away from him. They refused to listen to her [the first aider] when she tried to explain his condition.”

The first aider, who did not wish to be named, said “The police surrounded the collapsed man.  I was standing with the person who’d called 999. The ambulance dispatcher wanted to talk to the police, the phone was being held out to them, but the police refused.”

Another witness, Elias Stoakes, added “we didn’t see them [the police] perform CPR.”

Other people who had tried to stay with the collapsed man were also pushed away.

All of the witnesses deny the allegation that many missiles were thrown.

According to Peter Apps, “one bottle was thrown, but it didn’t come close to the police.  Nothing was thrown afterwards as other demonstrators told the person to stop.  The person who threw the bottle probably didn’t realize that someone was behind the ring of police.” All the witnesses said that the demonstrators were concerned for the well-being of the collapsed man once they realized that there was an injured person.

Natalie Langford said “when the ambulance arrived the protestors got straight out of the way.”

These witnesses are happy to give media statements.

They can be contacted through this press liasion email: g20witnesses@gmail.com

See video of two of the witnesses giving their statement: full interview |

 Statement in German

 

Email Contact email: g20witnesses@gmail.com

South Wales Anarchist Writes:

We’ve had a great day (April 1st) It’s been fantastic! We said we’d storm the bank and we did. They couldn’t stop us. We broke through the police lines and the royal bank of Scotland was trashed.  We’ve won! We’ve done what we said we would. It feels fantastic. We’ve had a brilliant day!

rbs-smashedWe estimate numbers of demonstrators at 8,000. The police were saying about 4,000 in Threadneedle St alone so add on a few thousand to that.

The journalists caused horrendous problems. When we wanted to get through police lines, they were pushing back against us. They were real nerds. They kept pushing in between us and the cops, which was a real problem because when the police were hitting people the journalists were stopping us getting to the injured. Their presence was also stopping demonstrators from going through police lines. In terms of numbers there, half were protestors and half journalists.

 The police have used batons on people. They’ve used horses but not for charging. It’s been baton charges. It is arguable that they were less aggressive because the press was there. They could’ve been more aggressive. It could’ve have been worse. Whether the presence of the press tempered them is a possibility.

 

Check out this brilliant sequence of photos of the day.

London Imc Writes:

With the G20 London Summit meeting, several demonstrations took place, including an early morning giant game of monopoly outside the Stock Exchange and several hundred protesting outside the ExCeL centre where the G20 were [report].

Elsewhere a remembrance event took place outside the Bank of England, near to where Ian Tomlinson died during the previous days demonstration. Heavily policed, people appealed for more information surrounding the death, and condemned the police tactics [report |Pics | Videos].

At the same time in a cynical display of power, hundreds of riot police raided two buildings associated with the protests. At Ramparts they burst through windows wearing balaclavas and aiming tazars at those inside screaming “Get down, get down” [report | Pics 1,2,3]. At Earl Street they smashed the door down and handcuffed around 40 people inside [report | Pics 1,2]. A handful of arrests were made. Later those who had gathered at the Bank of England were dispersed by riot police.

police denied they used heavy handed tactics

police denied they used heavy handed tactics

Another remembrance demonstration calling for an inquiry into police actions is planned for Saturday at Bank.

G20 Mobilisation Video

G20- mobilsation video

Bristol Call Out Against the G20

images

Following a recent meeting in Bristol, and an earlier one in London, those who attended it decided that we needed to make a ‘local’ call out for the meeting of the G20, which is happening on April 2nd this year, at the Excel Centre, in London’s Docklands.

Our call out is an anti-capitalist one, which will be further developed in
meetings on Wednesday 25th Feb at 8.00pm @ kebele, 14 robertson rd, easton. There will be a follow-up, more heavily promoted meeting on Saturday, 7th March at 2.00pm, again at kebele.

There has also been a Call-Out by Climate Camp, for action on April 1st.

capitalism3

Time is short, but this is as good a time as we are going to get to get an
anti-capitalist message across. Let Organise.Quick.

Please pass this message on to all autonomous groups in the region that you are involved with.

Klimax- oh baby!- Danish Climate Activists Visit Bristol

Yes, the finest named climate campaign group in the world visits Bristol on Tues 17th Feb at 7.30pm at Kebele (see link on main page), to talk about action at the  inter-governmental Climate Talks this November in Copenhagen.

THAT’S 6.30PM NOT 7.30PM

copreal1

The UN talks in Copenhagen this December are supposed to be the place where world leaders agree a new international deal to stop climate change. But progress so far has been undermined by corporate lobbying and false, market-based solutions. When activists from across Europe hit the streets of Copenhagen, should we be calling on governments to do better, blockading them in until they come up with a good deal, or be saying they are so flawed we should try to close them down?

Most people now agree that we need to do something about climate change. But there isn’t agreement on what. For corporations and most governments its a form of green (or maybe greenwashed) capitalism and before we even get there it will probably be too late. In opposition to this corporate agenda, social movements in the South have proposed ‘climate justice’, a transition to a sustainable world which sees the rich minority who caused climate change pay to put it right, not try and push the costs onto the poor majority.

Within this more progressive agenda proposals range from a ‘green new deal’ of state-led investment for social and environmental goals, to those who argue that only a grassroots anti-capitalism can get us out of this mess. This is the political background to the mobilisation around the Copenhagen climate talks and the strategic and tactical decisions activists are trying to make about it.

This is a chance for activists who are less and more involved in climate campaigning to come together and discuss all these issues. We can also talk about how we mobilise for what may be one of the most important events since the ‘battle’ of Seattle exactly 10 years previously.



Dukes, Squatters, Travellers and Mortgages

Three very different and apparently unrelated housing stories appeared in yesterday’s (22nd Jan) news. The biggest, and most worrying for most people who are feeling vulnerable to the effects of the recession, is the fact that house repossessions are up by 92 per cent in the last year, according to figures from the Financial Services Authority.

repo1

(above)Baliff- Scum Evict Man

The promise of home-ownership for the majority of people, including a large proportion of the working class has been the ruling classes’ most successful ‘divide and rule’ tactic to date. The fact that, for those people who are not all that comfortably off, home-ownership in reality means mortgages which are a struggle to keep up with in the ‘good times’, and impossible to do so in the bad, seems to be irrelevant to the psychology of those who now consider themselves ‘property owners’, but are in fact, in the main, only owners of large debts.

Squatting of course, for many of those struggling to keep up with their mortgage repayments seems unfair: Why should these “freeloaders” get something for nothing ?

Another of today’s housing stories was that a couple of The Duke of Westminster’s properties have been squatted. Of course, the fact that they have been empty for 20 years or so, and the injustice that property distribution is so uneven that one person can own most of the West End of London, will not be included in the undoubtedly splenetic editorials which will accompany the story.

But how did the Duke come to own all this prime real estate, and his resulting £7 billion fortune?

Duke - Trustafarian and heir to padeophile fortune

Duke - Trustafarian and heir to padeophile fortune

Well, the story starts in 1066 when a grateful William the Conqueror grants estates (which now comprise much of the Present Dukes’ estate) in London to Geoffrey de Mandeville, for services rendered. Between then and the late 17th Century it passed through many hands, until Sir Thomas Grosvenor, an ancestor of the current Duke married the heiress Mary Davies in 1677. As London grew it was developed into the fashionable areas of Mayfair and Belgravia. So in a phrase, the current Duke did sweet fuck all  to obtain his property and his fortune. Which must  make him (to use a  favourite “Daily Mail” phrase) the king of all “freeloaders”, not to mention the daddy of all trustafarians.  In fact, you could say that his fortune is based on pedophilia since Mary Davies was only 12 years old when Sir Thomas married her!

Those who have tried to avoid the property trap, generally come in for the most stick, like squatters and even more so – Gypsies and Travellers. Their transitory way of life forms the basis of hundreds of years of unreasoned hatred.

While Roma are currently persecuted in Italy, it is Irish  Travellers  who are often the vocal point of this ceaseless prejudice in the UK.  None more so than the groups of Travellers who live at Dale Farm, Basildon, Essex. Irish Travellers (and Gypsies) traditionally lived outside the property trap, either squatting land, or using land provided by law from Local Authorities.
However, in 1994, through the Criminal Justice Act (the same act that outlawed raves, for those too young to remember) combined with new local authoriy legislation removed the ‘legal’ sites and turned those on squatted site into criminals who could be moved on constantly without need for those pesky courts. Travellers were told they should now buy their own land instead and assurances were made that they would be allowed to settle it, despite suggestions that Travellers find it difficult to secure planning permission approval.

So, this is what they did. However, as most Travellers expected, local authorities were reluctant to give planning permission. The most openly unjust previous decision of this kind was at Woodside Caravan Park, Bedfordshire which not only owned by the people evicted but was previously a Caravan Park. Therefore the refusal of planning permission can only been seen as racist one, as the Commisson for Racial Equality suggested.

Similarly, in Essex today the prohibition not to build on “Green Belt” land has been used against the Dale Farm Travellers. Whilst it is not in dispute that the land is within the  greenbelt, the reality is that the previous use of the site was not a pristine water meadow, but a huge scrap yard, containing hundreds of car bodies. Nobody, it seems, complained during the forty years this was in operation, despite the heavy lorries and noise. Now today’s  High Court Decision, which reverses a previous court decision, means that Basildon Council can evict the families of Dale Farm without having to provide any alternative places for them to go, to applause of many of the locals, not to mention the rabid local Tory MP.

So the Duke and his ilk can sit pretty, comfortable in the knowledge that any resentment and anger resulting from the struggle to keep up with mortgage repayments, will not be be directed at them but on those even further down the ladder of this property-based and obsessed society.

Support the EDO Prisoners!

Prisoner Addresses at foot of report

Three people (two of whom are from Bristol) were remanded in custody by Brighton Magistrate’s court on Monday as they faced charges in relation to the break in and decommissioning of ITT-EDO MBM late Friday night in protest at the company’s supply of components used by the Israeli military in Gaza.

7 men have so far been charged with Burglary and Criminal Damage and those who entered a plea said they were not guilty. The CPS said they expected to charge another arrested woman as soon as she was released from hospital after being injured during the action.

One man from Brighton who was arrested outside the factory premises and states he had no knowledge of the intentions of the decommissioners was remanded till a committal hearing in the Crown Court next week, another man from Brighton was bailed not to return to the city and given curfew conditions.

In the afternoon two men who had admitted intending to smash up the factory in a video made before the action and posted on the internet were remanded, while three others were bailed not to return to the city with other conditions including not to protest against ITT EDO MBM.

The CPS said the company estimated the cost of material damage at £250,000 before any loss of business was taken into account. The threshold of £10,000 is required to justify a Crown Court jury trial.

Three of the arrested were remanded into custody at Brighton Magistrates court on Monday, They are:

Christopher Osmond VT7548 HMP Lewes 1 Brighton Road Lewes East Sussex BN7 1EA

Elijah Smith VP77551 HMP Lewes 1 Brighton Road Lewes East Sussex BN7 1EA

Robert Alford VP7552 HMP Lewes 1 Brighton Road Lewes East Sussex BN7 1EA

Please now start sending letters of support to keep their spirits up. We will try and find out what can be sent in to this prison, but envelopes, stamps, paper, postal orders and newsletters are usually ok

Advice on what you can do to help:

e- mail smashedo@riseup.net

ideas on prisoner support: http://bristolabc.wordpress.com/

gaza comes to broadmead

LATEST; LLOYDS TSB PAINT BOMBED, DIE IN AT TESCO BROADMEAD

“GAZA COMES TO BROADMEAD”

diein2

From Midday today, a protest will tour Bristol City Centre,
highlighting various companies’ links to the Israeli state, and thus
to the “War Crimes” (UN) committed against the people of Palestine
for the last 22 days.

Jason Bruton a resident of Easton, said :

“Everyone has seen the pictures on the mainstream media, they’re bad
enough, but my friend who is working as a medic out there has sent me
pictures so terrible that they wouldn’t be allowed to be published
here.”

Sheila Crawford, Horfield, said

“The Bombing of the UN HQ in Palestine was the final straw for me. I
had to do something. Over 1,000 Palestinians dead! It makes me angry
that the UK has done so little to halt this massacre. I feel that
companies who are happy to sell Israeli produce are complicit in the
war crimes taking place in Gaza.”

die3

Companies which may be visited on Saturday include:

1. Lloyds-TSB. Has closed its account with Palestinian charity
Interpal, based on false US accusations of links with terrorism. These
allegations have been investigated by the UK Charity Commission, who
found that Interpal is a “well run and committed organisation which
carries out important work in a part of the world where there is great
hardship and suffering.”

2. Boots The Chemist. Trades with Israeli pharmaceutical companies.

3.Tesco. Stocks much Israeli produce. Including that of fruit and veg
producer Carmel-Agrexco (50% owned by the Israeli State).

4.The Body Shop. Formerly with ethical reputation, long since gone
after being bought by L’Oreal who among other things have extensive
commercial interests in Israel, including selling ‘Dead Sea’ products
from the occupied West Bank.

5. Marks and Spencers. Also sells Israeli fruit & veg.

This follows a protest last Saturday at Broadmead’s Marks & Spencer’s.

Protesters will also be informing shoppers of the links between War
Crimes taking place in Palestine and Arms companies based in Bristol:

Bristol, of course, is home to some of the biggest names in the arms
industry. You can watch F-16’s (components manufactured by British
Aerospace) bombing Palestinians on YouTube now. In fact, arms
companies Raytheon, Boeing, Thales, Rolls Royce and BaE all have
factories and offices in Bristol and contracts with Israel.

In 2007, the UK government blocked “almost one-third of British
Military exports to Israel, citing possible threats to regional
stability and fears the equipment might facilitate human rights
violations” Quite. However last years UK arm sales to Israel were up
by £14 million on 2007.

While many skilled engineers in Bristol have their talent wasted,
ordered to build weapons of destruction (incidentally, subsidised by
the British taxpayer to the tune of £890 million pounds a year –
that’s about £13,000 per worker) surely it would be possible for them
to put their skills to better use.

ENDS

Notes to Editors:

1.Location of protesters during the afternoon can be found by
calling:07917383517

2.Pictures and Film of protest can be obtained by request to the above number.

3. Attachment is pdf of leaflet to be handed out

4.There have been many statements of condemnation by United Nation
representatives These include the U.N. Special The special UN
representative on the Palestinian territories, Richard Falk, has also
criticized Israel for committing “crimes against humanity”.Falk has
called on the International Criminal Court to determine whether
Israeli leaders and military commanders “should be indicted and
prosecuted for violations of international criminal law”.

More recently, Human Rights Watch says it has observed “dozens and
dozens” of white phosphorus shells being fired by Israel at the Gaza
Strip – a heavily populated civilian area where its use is prohibited.
The phosphorous on contact with human skin causes severe burning, and
is very painful to treat.

Gerald Kaufman, Labour Lord and son of holocaust survivors made a
speech in the House of Lords comparing current Israeli actions to
Nazis:

5.Documentation concerning commercial links between the companies
listed above, both military and non-military are widely available on
the Internet, including the companies own websites and press releases.

lastest gaza update from oj

Last night I got to have a proper long conversation with OJ, who was on good form. One of the families that first evacuated to where she is staying is still with them, and others drop by if there is increased shelling in their areas for a time. They were sitting on the floor wrapped in blankets as they have to keep the windows open in case they shatter. They can hear artillery fire now in the distance. There was electric today so the laptop was being passed about and she managed to get the following out. It seems that the Egyptians have randomly been letting some people through at the border, and today she’s going to be accompanying some Greek politicians who want to get a bit of an understanding. She talked a little about when she might leave if things stop (she wants to stay and help pick up the pieces for a while). And she asked me to send loads of love to everybody.
Devastation in the village of Khoza’a
This video accompanies the report sent yesterday about the Israeli ground incursion on Tuesday 13th January into Khoza’a, a small rural community east of Khan Younis in the south of the Gaza Strip. This attack followed heavy missile strikes on Khoza’a over the course of the last week.

Local resident, Iman Al Najar, describes her experiences on 13th January and how events unfolded, including the destruction of her family’s home. She indicates to the devastation in her neighbourhood around her.
Then her neighbour, pictured in the wreckage of his burnt-out home, explains how it was attacked by a strange type of missile, possibly containing white phosphorous. This is followed by the testimony of a woman whose home was so badly damaged she had to evacuate it. During the incursion she was imprisoned by Israeli soldiers in a nearby building, along with Iman’s younger brother. Scenes of destroyed homes are also shown.

Iman’s older brother talks about how he sustained a head injury as he tried to help neighbours who were wounded after the Israeli army fired a flaming material at them, again, believed to be white phosphorous. The young teenager seen with him is the brother who was detained and forced at gunpoint to dance and sing when Israeli forces shot a local woman in the street.A father and his son show the viewer around their demolished home, where the basement is the only room of the house still intact, at least partially. The family gathered in the basement as the rest of the house was being destroyed above them. They escaped through the cave-like hole shown in the film.

An old lady sitting on her front steps gives passionate account of how her daughters’ homes were destroyed. She highlights the plight of the Palestinian people.

Amazing speech by Gerald Kaufman. Amazing.
 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qMGuYjt6CP8

More Amazing Action by People at EDO Factory in Brighton Early This Morning: https://publish.indymedia.org.uk/en/2009/01/418777.html

fuller report from Gaza -“It was the hardest day of our lives”

Wednesday 14th January, 2009

In an escalation of the ground offensive in the south of the Gaza Strip, Israeli forces terrorised the population of Khoza’a, a small rural community east of Khan Younis. They entered the area at about 3.00am on the morning of Tuesday 13th January in an incursion lasting until Tuesday evening. This follows heavy missile strikes on Khoza’a in recent days, notably on Saturday 10th January.

According to a local municipality official, approximately 50 homes were bulldozed along with farmland, olive and citrus groves. The scent of lemons could faintly be determined whilst navigating the wreckage, emanating from so many mangled trees. A family explained how their home was demolished with them inside it. They sheltered in the basement as the upper storeys were destroyed. Later they realised the basement itself was being attacked and narrowly missed being crushed to death by escaping through a small hole in the debris.

Iman Al-Najar was with her family in their home when military D-9 bulldozers began to demolish it. They managed to escape and Iman then encouraged some of her neighbours to try to leave the vicinity. The group of women were instructed by Israeli soldiers to leave by a particular street. They had children with them and carried white flags, yet when they reached the street Israeli special forces concealed in a building opened fire on them and shot 50 year-old Rowhiya Al-Najar. The other women desperately tried to rescue her but the gunfire was too heavy and they had to flee for their lives. An ambulance was also prevented from reaching her and she bled to death in the street.

Meanwhile Iman and about 200 other residents whose homes had been destroyed had gathered near her uncle’s house which was protecting them to some degree from the shooting. However, this area in turn was also attacked. Iman described how the bulldozers began piling debris up around them, effectively creating a giant hole that they were standing in. They were literally about to be buried alive. By some miracle they managed to also escape from this situation by crawling on their hands and knees for about 150 metres. It was extremely difficult for them to move, especially with the injured and the elderly.

The terrified residents then sought sanctuary at a local UNRWA school. But when they got there missiles were being fired around it and they had to retreat. Finally they managed to leave the area entirely and walked several kilometres to where friends were able to pick them up. Iman’s 14 year-old brother Mohammed was missing for 12 hours and she feared he was dead. He had been detained by soldiers in a house along with a neighbour who had begged to be let out to find her children but was not allowed to do so. When the soldiers had shot Rowhiya Al-Najar, Mohammed said they had been singing and dancing and forced him to do the same. When he refused, they threatened to shoot him too.

“It was the hardest day of our lives,” repeated Iman over and over again. She had nothing left in the world but the clothes she was standing up in, but under the circumstances she was lucky to escape with her life. As in so many other parts of the Gaza Strip, the atrocities committed against civilians in Khoza’a amount to war crimes.

Missiles believed to contain white phosphor were deployed by the Israeli military during this attack. ISM volunteers photographed a fist-sized lump of flaming material found on the ground next to a burnt-out home. It was still burning from the previous day. The only way to extinguish it was to bury it, but it would instantly re-ignite if uncovered. It was giving off a thick grey smoke with a foul stench. Doctors at the Al Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis, which received 50 casualties that day from Khoza’a, described serious chemical burns and victims being covered in a white powder which continued to burn them. Many people were also suffering from serious breathing difficulties after inhaling smoke emitted by this weapon.

Dr. Ahmed Almi, a member of the delegation of Egyptian doctors who finally gained entry to the strip to support Gazan hospitals during the crisis, outlined some of the most serious cases. Four of them died in the hospital after doctors battled to save them. He commented that some of the injuries were so horrific they must have been inflicted by abnormal munitions. He gave the example of a man who had been shot and sustained a small entry wound but massive exit wound, 40-50 cm wide. 13 people were killed overall during this incursion according to medical sources.

Before the Israeli war on Gaza began, the ISM team here had been working with the farming community in Khoza’a, accompanying local farmers as they succeeded to access their land to plant winter wheat. The IOF had prevented them from reaching their fields, in some cases for over five years. Israeli soldiers shot at them, even during the ceasefire. The same ceasefire which Israel claims was broken by Palestinians.

Footage from Al Nasser Hospital

https://rcpt.yousendit.com/642329846/41a331f648ecb11f4e45374ded1e6a89

Photos from Khoza’a and Al Nasser Hospital

https://rcpt.yousendit.com/642278194/6be1fcdaa81b316f50424c012f2188ff

gaza update – thurs 15th jan

WARNING ! POST BELOW CONTAINS VERY DISTURBING PICTURES

Just spoke to OJ. Yesterday they went to a rural area nearby where she worked last time she was in Gaza. There was an incursion there on Tuesday, troups entered and left again. They started bulldozing her friends house while she and her family were still inside, when she and another group of women and old people tried to escape the area troups proceeded to directly attack and nearly kill them 4 times in one day. OJ documented the remains of a white phospherous flare and did interviews. Fida is currently writing a piece about it for the Guardian Weekend. OJ’s writing a short factual report out soon on palsolidarity.

Then they went to the hospital in Kahn Younis and interviewed one of the doctors who has been seeing injuries that are made by weapons he’s never encountered before, including bullets that create 50cm wide exit wounds. OJ said that she hadn’t slept for a couple of nights, or eaten that day, and colapsed when she saw the intesive care ward. I mention this because I doubt she will in her report. But she says she was so knackered last night she slept through the shelling, and today they have some electric so are getting on with phone interviews to Russia (!? and other places)and report writting.

She sent me the following email first thing yesterday morning-

Received this from a guy I know from Rafah in 2003 (he was with James Miller when he was killed). NB – Very shocking photos of children at the end. The type you’re not likely to see in mainstream media. The type that show the truth.

Love and rage

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

n550296671_1898334_7111

n550296671_1899028_70902

“ I left Gaza , by a miracle, only 4 months ago. I can’t imagine what would happen to me, my wife, and my two small children if we were there during these bloody attacks and bombings which have not spared any inch in Gaza .

Part of hiding the truth from the American and the Western public is the U.S media’s practice of purposefully prohibiting showing real pictures of the crimes in Gaza. If these were Israeli casualties there would be plenty of pictures, but because they are Palestinian casualties, the American media will not show the images.

Before I came here, I knew that the American media was biased, but I never expected that it is biased to the extent that the oppressed are turned into the oppressor, and that reporters don’t feel ashamed to justify the killing of civilians. “

I’ve attached some of the accompanying photos which I haven’t already seen in UK papers, in case they are useful to people on forthcoming demos. While UK press hasn’t been as appalling as the US, there’s still a very concerted media machine that is frantically spinning. On Tuesday one of them had a spanner in its works.-

Activists disrupted the offices of the British Israel Communications and Research Centre (BICOM) in central London. The lobby group’s media centre, which is playing a key role in Israel’s public relations operation during the assault on Gaza, was shut down as protesters occupied the building.

Photographs of civilian casualties from Gaza were pasted on to the computer screens of public relations executives, phone lines cut off to halt the organisation’s media rebuttal unit and leaflets thrown out of window on to the main road and handed out to staff pressing them to confront the truth about the human cost of Israeli aggression.

http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2009/01/418434.html

There was a benefit gig that did a live link up with OJ and Eva and raised two grand in London earlier in the week and a Free Gaza banner hang off the pier in Brighton. For those who’ve not yet seen today’s news on Free Gaza, here it is-

(Mediterranean Sea, 15 January 2009) – The Israeli navy today threatened to kill unarmed civilians aboard a mercy ship on its way to deliver medical supplies and doctors to besieged Gaza.

The Free Gaza Movement ship, SPIRIT OF HUMANITY, left Cyprus Wednesday morning carrying doctors, journalists, human rights workers, and parliamentarians.

At roughly 3am UST (1am GMT), in international waters 100 miles off the coast of Gaza, at least five Israeli gunboats surrounded the SPIRIT OF HUMANITY and began recklessly cutting in front of the slow-moving civilian craft. The Israeli warships radioed the SPIRIT, demanding that the ship turn around or they would open fire and “shoot.” When asked if the Israeli navy was acknowledging that they intended to commit a war crime by deliberately firing on unarmed civilians, the warships replied that they were prepared to use “any means” to stop the ship.

An earlier attempt by Free Gaza to deliver doctors and medical supplies ended on 30 December when Israeli gunboats deliberately and repeatedly rammed the DIGNITY, almost sinking that ship. Rather than endanger the lives of its passengers, the SPIRIT is now returning to Cyprus.

Israel’s reckless and shocking threats against an unarmed ship on a

mission of mercy are a violation of both international maritime law and the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, which states that “the high seas should be reserved for peaceful purposes.”

CALL the Israeli Government and demand that it immediately STOP attacking the civilian population of Gaza and STOP using violence to prevent human rights and humanitarian assistance to the Palestinian people.

Mark Regev in the Prime Minister’s office:

+972 2670 5354 or +972 5 0620 3264

mark.regev@it.pmo.gov.il

Shlomo Dror in the Ministry of Defence:

+972 3697 5339 or +972 50629 8148

mediasar@mod.gov.il

The Israeli Navy Spokesperson:

+ 972 5 781 86248

———————————–

To finish, this is Sharon’s most recent post-
Last night, Monday, at about 5am, one of our calls was to Jazeera Hotel in Al Mina (the port area) which had been shelled by Israeli ships. When we first arrived it seemed there was no-one there, but eventually the medics retrieved the two caretakers from under the rubble. 50 year old Faieq Moshtaha had shrapnel injuries but was able to walk and was put into our accompanying ambulance, 33 year old Helmi Moshtaha had shrapnel inuries and a deep head wound and was stretchered into my ambulance.

I filmed the first bit of this but then had to stop to help staunch bleeding; they might post the footage up on the ISM website but it’s not the best quality. (My voiceover sounds like I’m stoned, but it honestly is just lack of sleep!) Living by the sea as I do, I know the shells are usually followed by another lot of shells five minutes later, and I was really thinking the medics were going to get hit before they got Faieq and Helmi out, but all was well. As I held a compress to Helmi’s head I noticed something strange. If you have a woodburning stove, like I do, you often burn yourself mildly, and the hairs on your hand go all crisp. All of the hair on Helmi’s head was like that.

Tonight, Tuesday, just before I came on shift, I caught a ride with S that turned unexpectedly into the pickup of the body of a resistance fighter. This was in fact the first time in all these days since I began riding with the ambulances, that I saw a fighter in my ambulance. Since it was just the two of us I helped to haul what was left of him – which didn’t involve a head or the top of his torso – onto the stretcher. I was glad of the darkness that blurred the details, though it also made me very aware that our every move in this apparently empty wasteland was probably being observed. Back at the hospital I discovered that in the basement there is a man who washes and dries any of your clothes that have got blood on, within an hour.

For the medics here, it seemed this episode meant I had crossed some sort of line that brought me a little closer to their own lives. Several asked me if I had been afraid, and I gave the answer I’ve given you, but with the increasing feeling that not to be afraid is meaningless when it’s probably just because you really don’t quite get what awful things can happen to you and your friends and family. I have started to answer apologetically, “I’m not afraid, but I’m sure I should be.” Later on into the night, medic E asks me more specifically what I had felt when seeing the shaheed resistance guy. I think about it for a while and say,

“I think my strongest feeling is that I am very sad that any of us can do this to each other. Any human to any other human, no matter what reason. And, I feel respect for the strength of someone who does this job.”

He begins to talk to me about his own feelings. He is 36, has been a medic for ten years. He has a wife and four children. He says he has never seen anything as bad as these days, in that time. And he says a lot of the time he is very frightened. Sometimes so frightened, if the area is dangerous, that he almost can’t bring himself to continue to drive towards the call-out location. He describes a call-out during the night that we had both been on (perhaps thinking I had observed this hesitation) saying that he first thought he couldn’t do it; he had to stop, talk himself through his fear, and then continue with the collection, expecting a rocket to blow him apart at any moment. It seems that with the drone surveillance technology, they really can send rockets with your name on.

Arafa was a good friend of his, he told me, and described phoning Arafa’s wife several times since his death. He tries to talk to her but she can’t stop crying.

His family worry about him very much; when he visits his parents his father begs him to take a different job. But this job is important to him and he knows someone must do it. He tells me that if he came across an injured Israeli he would treat him with the same care he would anyone.

I want to hear more, but at this point that, in true Palestinian style, some of the others start getting actually distressed about the fact that there is hot food next door and I am not there eating it. It isn’t good enough that I can come and have some later, or that some can be put aside for me; it doesn’t matter that this is an important conversation, I am A Guest And I Must Eat Now.

Tonight, we collect two men carrying a little girl of 13 months. She is still warm, but EB finds no pulse. If I understood correctly, she has had breathing difficulties since she was born, and in the rocket attack that just happened, her mother held her so tight she wasn’t able to get enough air. I ask to clarify this story several times because I want to think I’ve misunderstood.

At one point tonight I come out of the Disaster Management room and am confronted with a family of about 12 small children, 1 old women, and a couple of young women, all on a sofa and all looking at me with mute appeal. The effect is so overwhelming I have to retreat back into the Disaster room again. Ambulance convoys were allowed to come up from Rafah today, and it seems this family caught a ride; whether they’re here to return home or to stay with relatives because Rafah is under attack is unclear. Shortly after we load them all into an ambulance and drive them to their destination.

This appears to be a bit of town that our driver considers extremely dangerous. They have all started smiling, he is getting more and more stressed, and the fact that they are all shouting directions at him does not help. We manage to suppress all but one set of directions, and then tip out the family at their door, trying to do it all at top speed. Our driver screeches off, shouting in one-part jest and three-parts panic that we are crazy to be here at all, that look! there isn’t even a cat or dog on these streets, they have too much sense, that this is all a game to the Israelis, a computer game, that we and our ambulance are just blips on their computer screens, that they’ll destroy us just for fun.

In the light of dawn, we collect an old woman and a young man from a shelled building down near Gaza beach; I clean the young man’s head wound. A couple of times tonight, I’ve look round for the medic and realised I’m it.

By the way – it turns out the triplets (Abdullah, Mohammad, and Samih) are about 28 days old, and have been separated from their family ever since their birth. They needed hospital care at first, but now could go home – except their home is in Khan Younsis, which is cut off. Their poor mother is phoning every day. They are getting great care here, but an incubator is a poor replacement
for a mother’s arms.

gaza update – monday

Oj texted this evening asking for help getting hold of features editors contacts,
so maybe they had enough time to work today. She also posted me a link to some crazy
American website that’s trying to build up a hit list of ISMers, with photos,
encouraging readers to help the IDF by finding them and killing em. Like she said-
there are some sick puppies out there.

News from the north gets worse.
Here’s Sharons latest.

I am again at Ramattan watching these wierd phospherous bombs falling on the
city.

“There were indications last night that Palestinian civilians have been
injured by the bombs, which burn intensely. Hassan Khalass, a doctor at
al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City, told The Times that he had been dealing with
patients who he suspected had been burnt by white phosphorus. Muhammad Azayzeh,
28, an emergency medical technician in the city, said: “The burns are very
unusual. They don’t look like burns we have normally seen. They are
third-level burns that we can’t seem to control.”

Victims with embedded WP particles in their flesh have to have the affected
areas flushed with water. Particles that cannot be removed with tweezers are
covered with a saline-soaked dressing.

Nafez Abu Shaban, the head of the burns unit at al-Shifa hospital, said: “I
am not familiar with phosphorus but many of the patients wounded in the past
weeks have strange burns. They are very deep and not like burns we used to
see.”
Read more at http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2009/01/09

“The Geneva Treaty of 1980 stipulates that white phosphorus should not be
used as a weapon of war in civilian areas, but there is no blanket ban under
international law on its use as a smokescreen or for illumination. However,
Charles Heyman, a military expert and former major in the British Army, said:
“If white phosphorus was deliberately fired at a crowd of people someone
would end up in The Hague. White phosphorus is also a terror weapon. The
descending blobs of phosphorus will burn when in contact with skin.”
Read more at
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/middle_east/article5447590.ece

Footage here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UVY4NUKowzg

Mo has just been speaking to his sister, his family were receiving the
phosphorous bombs all night last night, in Khuza’a, east of Khan Younis, she
said the bombs smell like sewerage. She said just in their area there were 110
injuries from the phosphorous. Today they fled their house and went to
relatives. We called the Ministry of Health to ask if they have analysed the
substances involved, but they said that unfortunately they simply don’t have
the resources to do so and have to wait on outside confirmation.

Osama from the Jabalia medics appeared briefly yesterday at Al Quds, with an
ambulance with bullet holes in. It had been shot at by an Israeli sniper
apparently on Friday between 1.30 and 2pm, and had to turn back without
reaching its call-out. Five shots were fired, Osama said.

“Please take care of yourselves,” I said to him.
“If we die, it’s ok.” he said. “What will be left? I think no-one will
help us.”

Last night I stayed near Al Quds but at a friend’s house – they have no
water. It was another night of heavy shelling, with shells falling near the
hospital, constant rockets, and Apache shooting. By the early hours of the
morning there was shooting between the Israeli army and the Palestinian
resistance very near, so that local people were coming to take refuge in the
hospital. They left in the morning, but a steady stream of people, escaping
their houses near the fighting, began to trickle past Al Quds.

The Israeli army refused the Red Cross permission for more evacuations from
Zaytoun and other cut-off areas yesterday and today.

I went home to get my things so that if we in the hospital are cut off by the
army, I’ll have most of what I need. This could happen tonight, or this whole
thing could drag on for days…

Dr Halid has managed to get to his family in Khan Younis, the first time he has
seen them since their house fell down around them. He will try to get back as
soon as possible since now Al Quds ICU has only one staff nurse running it. The
little boy who he was caring for the other night when I posted died several
hours later. His place has been filled by another explosion victim.

Referring to the shooting of medic Hassan Al Attal, you can see the footage
ISMers took here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gAPQXtvC6us

gaza update – saturday

I spoke to OJ this morning and this is what she said-

Since Wednesday and the heavy bombing and leaflet drops telling people to evacuate, things have been relatively quiet. Air strikes have continued, but in a less consistent way. In the three-hour cease fires people have been going back to their homes to retrieve things and check on what remains. Sometimes parts of streets have just vanished.

Yesterday in Rafah people receive automated calls to their landlines, like the ones you get telling you you’ve won some fabulous prize.

Only these phone calls are from the Israeli Defence Force saying that they have so far enacted phases one and two of their plan, and are about to proceed to phase three. No suggestions of how to prepare, no warning of when to actually expect it. Because both other phases were launched on Saturday the fear was that it would come today, but so far nothing.

They are lucky where OJ is staying; they had flour in stock before the incursion started. The electricity only came on late at night for a few hours on Thursday and Friday, so that they had miss sleep to catch up on news and get work done. Today it’s been on most of the day.

Yesterday she spoke to a Palestinian friend in Jaballiya who has had no running water since beginning of conflict, no electricity for a number of days and is now out of food.  There are troops 600 metres from their home but they managed to get out in search of food. Then the phones went down, and she doesn’t know if they had any luck.

They’ve not been asked to ride with any ambulances since Wednesday, though there is some discussion about them accompanying transfer patients at some point. Rafah only has a small hospital with limited facilities, so people needing more specialist care will have to go elsewhere, possibly through army crossings, to get to it.

Translated version of the leaflets dropped on Wednesday-

“Citizens of Rafah- Due to Hamas using your houses to smuggle and store ammunition, the Israeli Defence Force will attack your homes from Sea Street to the Egyptian border. To the people who live in these areas: Block O, Al Brazil camp, Al Shora area and Qishta area, all homes beyond Sea Street must be evacuated. You have from the time you receive this leaflet until 7.00am the following morning. For you and your children’s safety follow what this leaflet says – The leadership of the Israeli Defence Force”

Bristol Gaza-M & S Solidarity Action

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Around 30 people took part in a protest regarding Marks & Spencer’s support of the Israeli State late this (saturday) morning.

As the rockets reign down on the Palestinian people, those of us who have been watching in horror and angry of the images and reports of the massacre of (predominantly) the civillian population, decided to take some action.

30 people entered the store and filled their trolleys with food, much of from “Israeli” (read occupied territories) origin. We then went to the check out, but instead of paying a few people started to inform the saturday shoppers loudly about the links between M&S and Israel and the on going bloodshed in Gaza.

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What was supposed to be a relatively peaceful action, was nearly escalted by the aggressive and over zealous security, who had one ofthe ranters in a head lock (and was detained) and threw at least three of the protesters out by their arms and legs. Fortunately, we managed to stay reasonably calm, and the situation wasn’t escalated further.

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Shopping Aisles were closed as it took the combined forces of broadmead security and Avon & Somersets “finest” a while to eject all of the protesters, arresting one.

After this action, many people went on to join the ongoing Raytheon protest at Bristol Business Park. As I write this, one person has just been released from custody at Trinity Road Police Station.

Bristol Free Gaza

gaza/rafah update – thurs

I got a text through from OJ half an hour ago, asking me not to ring as the house was full of sleeping kids.
She’s been in the ambulences documenting the bombing which went on last night and this morning. Fortunately there were few injuries, as they were mainly targeting the relatively small area that has already been evacuated. Since then she’s written the report below. Apparently the area that she talks about holds nearly a third of Rafahs population, and it’s cold tonight.

Rafah Exodus
7th January 2009
(Link to photos expires after 14 days)
Shortly before midnight last night missiles began raining down on Rafah in one of the heaviest Israeli air strikes since the current atrocities began. Continuous sorties pounded the southern Gaza city for over 12 hours. Many homes were destroyed or severely damaged, especially in the neighbourhoods along the border with Egypt.
Residents reported mass leaflet drops in these neighbourhoods by Israeli ‘planes this afternoon. The papers ordered them to leave their homes in the areas stretching from the borderline all the way back to Sea Street, the main street running through the heart of Rafah, parallel to the border. This area is hundreds of metres deep and the site of thousands of homes. Most of these areas are refugee camps, where residents are being made refugees yet again, some for the third or fourth time following the mass home demolitions of 2003 and 2004 by Israeli military D-9 bulldozers.
A three hour respite was announced in the local media and residents saw this as the last possible opportunity to salvage some of their belongings despite F-16 fighter jets remaining in the skies over Rafah during this time. There were scenes of people picking through the rubble, children carrying bundles, donkey carts piled with bedding and trucks loaded with furniture.
Where will these families go? They are afraid to seek sanctuary in local UNRWA schools following yesterday’s massacres in Jabaliya. They are being temporarily absorbed by the rest of Rafah’s population – friends, neighbours, relatives. We have a friend in Yibna, directly on the border, who refuses to leave his home. We spoke to one woman in Al Barazil who has a family of 12 and simply doesn’t know where to go and another woman in Block J who is literally in the street tonight. Her father is in his nineties.

The family home where ISM volunteers are staying is on the other side of the city centre and has become a refuge for three other families tonight. The house is filled with excited chatter and lots of children. Palestinians have a long-learned talent of making-do, but there is no escaping the deep sense of uncertainty.

——————————————————————————————————————————
What follows is a report sent yesterday by Ewa, a Polish/English ISM activist and writer who’s working in the North.
Sharon also has a new peice up on talestotell following the school bombings whch can be found on her blog.

Inside Gaza
By Ewa Jasiewicz

WHEN I got there, the gates of Beit Hanoun hospital were shut, with
teenage men hanging off them. The mass of people striving to get inside
was a sign that there had been an attack. Inside the gates, the hospital
was full. Parents, wives, cousins, emotionally frayed and overwhelmed,
were leaning over injured loved ones.

The Israeli Apache helicopter had attacked at 3.15pm. Witnesses said that
two missiles had been fired into the street in Hay al Amel, east Beit
Hanoun, close to the border with Israel. With rumours of an imminent
invasion this empty scrubland is rapidly becoming a no-man's land which
people cross quickly, fearing attack by Israeli jets.

Gaza Update -Tues

This is taken from a conversation I just had with OJ-

We’re driving to the ambulance station at the moment to try and sort out riding with the crews, the bureaucracy of it has been dragging on for days now. Fortunately the guys in the north managed to get theirs sorted before the incursion started, but we’re still working with the Red Crescent to try and get it established here. We’re also hoping to ride with the local hospital ambulances. We heard that on Sunday, when the phones were down, that they wanted us to accompany them but couldn’t get through. The army have set up a base at the airport outside of Rafah, and there were some people injured in the area, but I think they managed to reach them. It’s very quiet here compared to the north, still no troops, just air strikes.

There was another big multiple strike on the border this morning, really loud. But there’s such a sense of suspense here that we talk about ‘just another air strike’. It’s so different in the North. Apparently yesterday Ewa went to the Reuters media building in Gaza city and was on the 10th floor when it was hit by seven strikes. I don’t know how she got out ok but she did.

We then talked a bit about the horrific stuff going on around Jabalia, but that’s contained in Sharons blog which I’ve pasted below.

To see earlier reports check http://talestotell.wordpress.com

OJ put me in the direction of a former peace worker who’s forwarding some of the ISM reports to a couple of MP’s, one of whom is a cabinet minister. I can’t quite believe I’m saying this, but MP’s might be as good a place to try as any at the moment.

6pm: To Al Awda hospital, run by the Union of Health Work Committees. It normally has a 50 bed capacity but has been stretched to 75. E and Mo interview Ala’a, the medic from Jabalia RC who was injured when Arafa was killed yesterday. The story goes as follows:
It was about 8.30 am Saturday morning in Jabalia. Five teenagers found themselves under shell attack and tried to get away. Three escaped. One, Tha’er, 19, had his foot blown off. His friend Ali, also 19, tried to pick him up and carry him to safety, but was shot in the head and killed. It took 75- 90 minutes before a Jabalia Red Crescent ambulance could reach them. Medic Arafa, 35, and Ala’a, 22, carried Tha’er to the ambulance, and then went back for Ali’s body. As they closed the van door, they were shelled.
Ala’a says “I felt nothing – just that I was flying in the air and then falling.” Other ambulances evacuated all. Arafa, who was married with 5 children, had a severe chest wound with most of one lung gone and only survived 2 hours. Ali’s head was blown off. Ala’a is now in hospital with severe shrapnel wounds all over, especially chest and legs. Tha’er survived but also now has several lacerations to back and body from shrapel.
Arafa was a teacher for the UN, gave medic training, and volunteered as a medic after being one professionally earlier.

7pm: We arrange to sleep in shifts at Al-Awda hospital. V and I crash. E, A and M hitch a ride with the first RC ambulance that turns up, out to Karmel Adwan hospital, the Red Crescent’s second new base since evacuating their centre. The base is a few blankets in a corridor, but there is tea sometimes.

11pm: E comes back to sleep, V and I ride with O’s ambulance to Karmel Adwan. O has a scarf wrapped round his knee, he was shot there some years ago and has pain in cold weather. I talking A and Mo into going to back to rest, but fail to convince EJ. The night turns out to be quiet. Unfortunately, I soon understand this is because a) a lot of Jabalia people have run away, and b) Israel is not letting the ambulances collected most of the wounded that do call for help.

2pm: we collect a woman in labour. Back at the hospital, I chat to Om, who is a nurse but volunteers at the Al-Assyria Centre that the Union of Health Work Committees runs. Also to M, in a hospital bed. He is 23, six months married, and made the mistake of standing next to the Jabalia mosque that was bombed two days ago. He is now recovering from abdominal surgery.
Everyone has naps in the ambulances. EJ and I are being called hourly by the BBC to contribute to news bulletins, “live from Gaza”.

5am: we hear that there has been a threat to bomb Al Wafa hospital which I understand is a centre for the disabled.

7.15am: we collect a man seriously injured by rocket explosion from a house in Sikha St, Jabalia; I doubt he has more than minutes to live, but he is still alive when we reach the hospital.
Injured woman having panic attack9am: we collect a woman whose home has just been shelled, she is having a panic attack and I am not clear on her injuries. Back at the hospital people are loudly grieving for two recent dead. These may be the nearly dead man my ambulance collected and another I saw arrive, both horribly mangled by rockets and the now-familiar grey colour.

9.30: we hear that Beit Hanoun is almost completely occupied by the Israeli army, as is the nearby small town Zahra which commands the north/south road. The north (us) and the south (F, G, and OJ in Rafah) may now be cut off from each other. We check in by phone, making contingency plans.

10am: Mo’s sister calls to tell him his village of Khosa is being shelled; the farmland in the centre which is surrounded by housing. “There’s nothing there, just people’s homes.” he tells us. He says there are now Israeli tanks in the Attatta and Shaimah areas of Beit Lahia. This is 1km inside the border, and 2km away from us at Jabalia. He says tank invasions used to take main roads, but he expects this time they will do what they did in February; bring in bulldozers and go directly through the houses.
He tells us that today Palestinian phones are receiving recorded messages from the army, saying “To the innocent civilians: our war is not with you, but with Hamas. If they don’t stop launching rockets, you are all going to be in danger.”

11.50 Call to near Gaza beach, turns out to be a mistake. Instead we pick up a family with two little children who are evacuating, sat on the side of the road, worn out from carrying bags. We passed Beit Lahia UNRWA school earlier, it is filling up with refugee families. Like Naher El Bared all over again.

Boy in bread queue collapses

Boy in break queue collapses

N draws my attention to one more extremely crowded bread queue, and then we discover a young teenage boy in the queue has collapsed from exhaustion; the medics treat him to the extent they can. 4pm: F calls to say they’ve heard Al Awda hospital has been shelled. I ring EJ. She says a structure immediately beside it received two shells; one person was injured, the man who lent her his jacket last night. He has shrapnel to the head and she says he isn’t looking too good. A apparently caught the shelling on his camera. We wonder if we should head back there to be again with Jabalia RC instead of Gaza city RC. But Gaza city lost 3 of their medics yesterday.

Latest:
There have been two separate reports about Israeli attacks on funeral tents. We are trying to confirm deaths and injuries for one. The second of the funerals attacked was medic Arafa’s yesterday afternoon; 5 people were injured.

We have also had reports that in the Zaytoun area two days ago, Israeli soliders rounded up a group of people into two houses; women and children into one, men into the other, where they were kept for two days. Then this morning at 11am Israeli forces shelled the houses. We have heard the number of deaths as between 7 and 20. One was a seven year old boy whose father was interviewed on TV while holding his body. We are trying to find out further details. It is getting very hard to keep up with this insanity.

We asked the Jabalia Red Crescent admin person how much of the emergency calls Israel is not letting them go to. These are in areas where co-ordination must be made with the invading forces via the Red Cross to enter. He said they are not being allowed to attend to about 80% of the calls from the north, covering the Beit Lahia, Beit Hanoun, and Jabalia area.
Shall I repeat that?
80%.
Eight of ten people calling for help are being prevented from receiving it.

raytheon protest continues as gaza burns

injured by sundays ground offensive

injured by sundays ground offensive

a report from a friend in Gaza:
12.00 Sunday 4th
“Tanks and ground forces moved into Gaza yesterday night. The BBC reports that there were clashes between Israeli ground forces and Palestinian fighters around the towns of Beit Hanoun, Beit Lahiya and Jebaliya refugee camp as well as tanks being present in the Zeitoun area south of Gaza City. The main north-south road is blocked. Troops also crossed near to Gaza’s defunct airport to the south of Rafah. F16s continued to pass overhead last night, but there was less shelling. OJ is waiting for the tanks to arrive to document the incursion, and to ride with ambulances. Her sister spoke to her an hour ago but the phone network is down again now. From a conversation I had with OJ last night it seems that Sharon and the in Gaza city ISM group were together at Jebaliya refugee camp when it started, waiting to be sent out with ambulances, but that it was impossible to get to some of the places where people had been injured.”

Those “internationals” bearing witness and providing medical assistance(including OJ and Ewa) , the have refused to leave Gaza.

As the tanks roll into Gaza, westsiders are showing solidarity with gazans in a variety of ways. for over 3 weeks now the roof of the raytheon office has been occupied, made even more pertinent by the israeli attack:

“Despite the cold weather…around a dozen people turned out to support the regular Thursday vigil in support of the Raytheon Rooftop Protest.

A fourth member has joined the protest, bringing an extra tent to the rooftop which now resembles a campsite! Plus a tripod and lock-on tubes have been added to resist any attempt to evict the protest. There was also a march through Bristol City Centre on Saturday, attended by hundred people. This was one of dozens acrioss the country.

Windows have been reportedly smashed at neighbouring merchant of death Boeing:

“around 10 windows were smashed at boeing opposite Raytheon on news years eve. They make the bunker buster bombs being used in Palestine right now. The GBU 39 check http://www.boeing.com/ for the proof. A quick google reveals where its being used. the time to act is now.

sorry if this effects the on going Raytheon protest next door but i had to act i was angry”

another busy week…in photos

stansted5

Stansted Lock-on

On Monday, there were two actions which westsiders were involved with. You’ve probably heard all about Stansted. There hopefully will be an interview with one of the participants on this site coming up soon. You’re less likely to know about the other one:

No Borders activists from Bristol,Oxford and South Wales joined with members of the Campaign Against Immigration Controls to make a horrible noise with drums, olive oil tins, a symbol and two megaphones in a noise demo outside the HQ of Amey PLC in Oxford. Whilst No Borders North East held a solidarity picket outside the company’s Newcastle HQ.

The protest went on for three hours, the noise visibly disrupting Amey’s working day. Though security guards initially asked for protesters to leave, no police were called, it appears the company simply do not want the attention that would bring. Employees were leafleted as they left the office and there was a banner drop from the nearby car park.

Amey Noise Demo

Amey Noise Demo

These protests are part of a campaign against Amey Plc. In September 2008 five Colombian cleaners working for Amey at the National Physical Laboratory were suspended for criticising the company, they have since been sacked. Amey Plc have worked hand in glove with the immigration authorities, asking ‘disruptive’ workers to attend fake training sessions, which turn out to be opportunity for UKBA agents and police to detain and deport.

Check bristolnoborders.wordpress.com for more info.

If you check Bristol Indymedia you’ll see there were some reports of attacks on police stations in solidarity with our friends in Greece.

Greek Cops on Fire

These were a example one of dozens of international solidarity actions throughout Europe and beyond.

Wednesday saw the third Raytheon roof occupation of a dynamic campaign. As we write on Saturday evening, they remain on the roof.

tn_3_rooftop_protest_10dec2008

Friday saw the opening of  a squatted art space with an photo exhibition “Waiting Rooms”. This was a series of photos derelict buildings, some sadly going to waste, others happily transformed into peoples homes, and social spaces.

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The exihibition continues over the weekend.

MIGRATION IS NOT A CRIME

Migration is not a crime. It is the conditions which produce forced migration that are criminal.

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Persecuting migrants is nothing new of course, but within the privileged economic zone of the global north, it seems especially in the EU and the US that both legislation and conversation has taken a nasty turn about immigrants of all kinds – whether labelled “economic” or “political”.

Economic crises have been in the past  an opportunity for the extreme right and the authoritarian elements within our supposedly democratic governments.

Restrictions on the type of economic migrant have already been introduced into the UK: with only those who have the “right skills”  granted entry. This in itself is unjust: basically, the native country of the lucky migrant has all its skilled workers taken away, while its least well off no longer have the opportunity of temporarily boosting their meagre incomes.

Of course, what this really means on the ground is that these unskilled workers will still make it to our shores, but once here they will be less likely to be in a position to get a fair deal on wages and other working conditions.

The well-known slogan “Workers of the world unite” means what it says. It does not mean “Only workers with the correct immigration status unite”

This would be obvious to any self-respecting trades unionist you would have thought, but it is only recently that British Trades Unions have started to address this issue, and consider whether immigration controls are just. Of course, that’s not to say that many within the Trade Union movement haven’t been fighting these battles for decades: they have. But the movement as a whole has had a somewhat narrow vision of what its role might be.

Dawn Raids

For example members of UK Trade Unions carry out jobs such as Prison and Immigration Officers, as well as civilian posts within the Police which are contrary to the interests of the working class. Specifically members of the Public and Commercial Service Union (PCS) carry out immigration raids on both refugee families and “illegal” migrants at the workplace. These people clearly should be excluded from the trade union movement.

In reaction to the news that there were protests (blockades) stopping immigration officers carrying out their brutal dawn raids in Scotland, Mark Sewrotka , General Secretary of the PCS had this to say:

“Members’ health and safety is our prime concern in this matter. PCS is committed to ensuring that its members in the Immigration Service, and elsewhere, have a right to a safe and secure working environment, and to be treated with dignity.”

As was commented at the time: “According to the logic of the PCS Executive, Serwotka and Godrich, the main issue in the deportation of Jews from say France during World War II would have been the health and safety of those carrying out the deportations.”

_42708591_protest203Fortunately, not everyone thinks along these lines and there has been resistance to the practice of dawn raids up and down the country. This seemed to have stopped them in Scotland, where the public and political reaction to the practice  was wide scale revulsion. Outrageously, they continue in towns across England, including your own . For reports on resistance see: http://bristol.indymedia.org/article/687906

Meanwhile, employers using the leverage granted to them by the tightening of harsher laws governing the UK migrant work force have sought to lower working conditions and wages at workplaces where migrant workers predominate.

Amey

One example of this is the case of the Amey Plc Cleaners employed at the National Physical Laboratory in London.   Amey, which is owned by Spanish multinational Ferrovia, took over the cleaning contract in May 2007 and found itself faced with a largely Latin American migrant workforce that had recently unionised and was taking steps to gain recognition – something afforded to all other NPL staff. The first came last year, when the company invited workers to a ‘training session’, only to bolt the doors behind them and leave them in the care of the Home Office, which promptly deported three of them, one to Colombia and two to Brazil, for not having official documents.

Since then the number of cleaners has been reduced from thirty-six to fifteen as Amey looks to cut costs as much as possible. The dismissal of the five was a direct result of the remaining workers’ attempts to protest against this trend after they wrote a leaflet to tell other staff at the NPL what was going on in the cleaning department. They were quickly sacked for bringing the company into disrepute.

Amey, which posted a net annual profit of a tidy £75 million, is well versed in these tactics. It is a majority shareholder in Tubelines, which cleans parts of the Underground. Tube cleaners who went on strike for a living wage this summer were faced with a corporate response consisting of paper checks, immigration raids and deportations to Sierra Leone and the Congo. Further background is available from the Campaign Against Immigration Control’s Website: http://caic.org.uk/ or Bristol  No Borders (link on front page).

There have been a number of public demonstrations around the Amey dispute, the most recent of which was when Mel Ewell, Chief Executive of Amey plc arrived at Kingston University on 2 December to be awarded a place on the University’ Wall of Fame’. A protest picket of 80 students and staff turned out in support of the cleaners. Days before, Kingston’s UCU lecturers branch wrote to Ewell urging him to reinstate the cleaners.

On the previous Friday more than twenty protestors entered the offices of Amey Plc in High Holborn on Friday in protest at the sacking of five Colombian cleaners and the rejection of their appeal. The protesters entered the office building to give a petition letter to an Amey representative but were blocked by security in the lobby and were told Amey did not want to see them. After the occupation Julio, one of the sacked cleaners, stayed behind to give the letter but Amey still refused to see him.

There have also been two pickets in Bristol, and a noise demo is happening this Monday (8th December) outside Oxford’s Amey HQ. There is transport from Bristol: e-mail bristolnoborders@riseup.net.

Nothing to do with me, guv ?

If you think its  “foreigners”  alone who will suffer travel restrictions under the general clampdown, try again.

There is legislation being discussed at EU level which will restrict freedom of movement of citizens who have been
convicted of serious crime or for “repeated offences” (which may be”low level”).

These say that: “Only those exercising their rights in the spirit of the Treaty should benefit from freedom of movement.” While
referring to third country nationals the proposals would apply to EU citizens as well and allow Member States to deny entry to those who: “break the law in a sufficiently serious manner by committing serious and repeated offences”

The scope of “repeated offences” is undefined and could apply, for example, to protestors who take part in cross-border demonstrations. Though beyond the specific interest of the political activist, given the increasing proportion of the population who are criminalised it is of unfortunate significance to many other people.

Who’s gonna be next?

For further info:  http://www.statewatch.org/news/2008/nov/eu-restrictions-free-movement-conclusions-nov-08.pdf

48hrs Against New Coal & E-ON: Cake Fight!

eon_logo_off2

Report: the day started with a banner drop on one of the flyovers crossing the M32 motorway running into the city centre. Over lunchtime the main RBS branch in the city centre was picketed, with activists handing out forged £20 banknotes (see below) to passers-by and customers only to have an ‘RBS bank robber’ steal them back to give to E-on and the coal industry (see photo). A mock bank statemate was also distributed showing RBS’s investment in coal around the world set against the taxpayer funded bail out of the bank. The picket moved on to an E-on ‘Family Football’ event in the Broadmead shopping centre (see photo). Mid afternoon saw over 50 activists gathering in the city centre for a reclaim the streets party. The party, with mobile sound system roamed the city centre forcing the city centre branch of NatWest to close early and leaving the RBS branch unusable after a very messy cake fight!

Tomorrow (Sunday) at Kebele :

Come and see a new film about the campaign against Shell at Rossport, County Mayo followed by a discussion with Bristol activists who took part in the action. Showing at Kebele, Robertson Rd, Easton on Sunday 30th November at 8.00 pm (you can eat there beforehand)

This is a new film about the campaign and showing recent events when Shell tried to lay a pipeline under the sea to the site where they are building a gas refinery. Opposition included a local woman going on hunger strike, action on the water with a flotilla of kayaks facing the Irish Navy and blockades of the refinery site.

Bristol Rising Tide

Bristol RT
- Homepage: http://risingtide.org.uk/bristol

As part of the national 48 hrs of action (28th/29th November) being called by the Camp for Climate Action against e-on and New Coal, Bristol Rising Tide is targeting the Royal Bank of Scotland the financier of climate chaos

This follows a successful national campaign against e-on’s appearance at student recruitment fairs, in which e-on, gaining only bad publicity, withdrew.

Come and join in a day of shenanigans targetted on RBS (now 60% owned by the British Taxpayer), the financier of new coal development in the UK. Be a bank robber or help the cooks with their recipe for disaster!

Meeting at the ruined church at 12.00 on Castle Green, then onto the RBS branch in Baldwin Street around 12.15, NatWest in Corn Street around 12.45 and then RBS insurance in Nelson St around 1.15.

Then:Party and Protect in defiance of e-on (owners of Kingsnorth) and coal expansion with solar powered sound system and free cake 3.00 pm at the Hippodrome, St Augustines Parade

bristolrisingtide@riseup.net if you want to get more involved before the day

This is one of 6 pre-announced actions against e-on (hopefully there will be some nasty surprises in store for the purveyors of new coal as well!):

Friday 28th November

COVENTRY
Join Warwick Uni students at E.ON’s headquarters in Coventry.
Meet at 12pm on the piazza. We’ll march from there to the Headquarters,
arrive there about 12:30. Once there, there’ll be loads going on,
including… .a ‘Catch the Carbon’ competition, drumming workshop, a mass
die-in, visually showing the effects climate change are already having
and more.
For more see: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=34220633837&ref=ts

LONDON
E.ON vs. Greenwash Guerillas
8am-10am. Meet up in Trafalgar Square at 8.00am to head down to E.ON’s
London office at 100 Pall Mall and show E.ON their greenwash won’t wash.
All inventive greenwash actions welcome!

LONDON
World Development Movement kids demo at E.ON
Meet at 10am in Trafalgar Square for the children to add their
footprints to the banner, then take our footprints to a ‘No new coal’
protest outside E.ON’s London offices in Pall Mall. Come along with your
children and participate

Saturday 29th November

LONDON
Stop Coal Sticker Rush
Keep the pressure up on E.ON by spreading the word and putting up some
E.ON F.OFF & Stop Coal stickers – you can get them from the Coal Hole
(91-92 Strand, WC2R 0DW) from 1pm-3pm on Saturday.

NORWICH
Spoof E.on Recruitment Stall
Location – Outside RBS, 5 Queen Street, Norwich.
Time – 12noon – 2pm, Saturday 29 November.

Also, on 30th Nov:

Come and see a new film about the campaign against Shell at Rossport, County Mayo followed by a discussion with Bristol activists who took part in the action. Showing at Kebele, Robertson Rd, Easton on Sunday 30th November at 8.00 pm (you can eat there beforehand)
This is a new film about the campaign and showing recent events when Shell tried to lay a pipeline under the sea to the site where they are building a gas refinery. Opposition included a local woman going on hunger strike, action on the water with a flotilla of kayaks facing the Irish Navy and blockades of the refinery site.

ACTION STATIONS! – click for details

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1.thurs 20/11: BMI AIRLINES PHONE BLOCKADE – EVERYWHERE

2.thurs:20/11 Raytheon Protest, opp. UWE frenchay Campus

3. fri 21/11: AMEY PICKET – BRISTOL ( AND LATER PUBLIC MEETING & DEMO IN OXFORD)

4. sat 22/11 BANKS BAIL OUT-BATH Marks the start of a campaign in Bath going under the heading ‘we wont pay for their crisis!’, demanding no more bank bailouts, and working towards initiating community based solutions to the financial crisis.

5. sat 22/11 2-3 pm outside Tesco Metro in Broadmead to protest against vouchers for asylum seekers, and encourage exchange of vouchers

6. tues 25/11 – I.D. CARDS- CARDIFF No Borders South Wales will be protesting outside the Cardiff Immigration office from 12 noon on the Tuesday 25th November

87 ASHLEY RD – RESISTANCE CONTINUES

The roof of 87 Ashley road St Paul’s Bristol continues to be occupied 120 hours (5 days) after the attempted eviction of the residents. The people on the roof are staying put in protest at the gentrification and destitution of our area. And defence of homes for all. They would appreciate your company, especially between 4pm and 6pm for a solidarity demo.

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