Westside Action

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

Archive for November, 2008

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

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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.

Observer forced to withdraw “eco terrorist” article

how it got past the sub editor in the 1st place, we’ll never know…but here’s the guardian article:

“…there was understandable dismay at a recent story which told of a ‘growing threat from eco-terrorists’.

Police were said to be investigating the eco-movement Earth First! which, they claimed, had supporters who believed that reducing the Earth’s population by four-fifths would help protect the planet. The National Extremism Tactical Co-ordination Unit was concerned that a lone maverick might attempt a terrorist attack. It had also warned several companies they were being targeted as major polluters by the group and had offered them advice on how to withstand attack.

It’s perfectly legitimate to report police security concerns, but none of the statements were substantiated. No website links were offered, no names were mentioned, no companies identified and no police source would go on the record.

The article linked Earth First! to climate camps established last summer, including one at Kingsnorth power station, Kent, and at Heathrow.

While the paper had no intention of suggesting that every activist was a potential terrorist, several climate campers wrote to protest. ‘If a journalist is told by a single anonymous source that a movement of people has among it individuals who would take the lives of men, women and children in a terror attack, what standard of evidence does that journalist require? In this case: no evidence whatsoever. The claim itself was the story.’

We’ve been here before. Other newspapers reported on a predicted ‘summer of hate’ at climate camps that never materialised and the Press Complaints Commission found against the Evening Standard at climate campers were planning attacks at Heathrow.

Environmentalist Keith Metcalf explained that Earth First! supported direct action against property, but not against people. He believed that the debate around sustainable population size had been twisted to imply that environmentalists wished to kill people

He also repeated the belief of several others that Nectu was briefing in this manner in order to make prosecutions easier and to boost its funding, which is at risk owing to the decline in animal rights campaigns. I can’t verify that or the fears about mass murder because, despite repeated requests, Nectu won’t respond. Accordingly, The Observer has decided to withdraw the story”

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2008/nov/23/readers-editor-climate-change

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.

meeting madness?

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This weekend and and the last has seen a car crash of national organising meetings, for both climate action (Climate Camp National Gathering, Workers Climate Action) and migrant solidarity (No Borders).

While all-weekend meetings sound like a nightmare (ok, they occasionally are) it is very hard to find a alternative way of getting activists across the country who are fighting on the same issue(s) together. Fortunately( or unfortunately!), the evidence that squandering our weekends in this way does pay off.

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The long list of activities that different No Borders groups had engaged with since the last gathering in Manchester earlier this year, was wide and undoubtedly aided by the feeling of being part of a network, that stretched beyond our respective city limits. Coordinated action against immigration snatch squads being the notable success of the network, while failures were also acknowledged.

The gathering (8/9th Nov) was brilliantly hosted by the Newcastle lot with groups from Bristol & South Wales as well as London, Oxford, Manchester, Leeds, Edinburgh and Glasgow. A interesting discussion about whom are allies are in the fight against repression, and a more prosaic but just as important one took place about how we best get our message across. The next gathering will be in Bristol in February. www.noborders.org.uk.

The same weekend saw the climate camp gathering in Bradford, but I haven’t had any feed back as yet. Watch this space.

http://www.climatecamp.org.uk

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The weekend just gone (15/16th) saw the 1st Workers Climate Gathering. This came out of the Climate Camp process, and is made up of (so far) of those who have most recently been involved in “environmental” direct action and trade unionists. In part, it is a counter to those within the climate movement like Monbiot and Lynas who seek to sideline social justice and dismiss the idea that we could do without government and corporations, and a redistribution of resources. Within the group there are certainly differing opinions on the role of government, but (I think) a shared view that any major social change (or revolution) which did not involve and further the interests of the global working class would be disastrous, and obviously inequitable.

We looked at a couple of inspiring examples of worker-led social struggles which had eco/enviro-mental elements to them, neither i have to confess, that I was previously aware of.

“In the 1970s workers at the Lucas Aerospace Company in Britain set out to defeat the bosses plans to axe jobs. They Produced their own alternative “Corporate Plan” for the company’s future. In doing so they attacked some of the underlying priorities of capitalism, Their proposals were radical, arguing for an end to the wasteful production of military goods and for peoples’ needs to be put before the owner’s profits.” http://struggle.ws/ws88_89/ws29_lucas_struggle.html

Meanwhile in Australia, at around the same time the Builders Labourers Federation became quickly transformed from a weak, corrupt organisation to dictating its own terms and conditions to the ruling class. “The Green Bans movement, as it came to be known, was perhaps the most radical example of working class environmentalism ever seen in the world. At its peak it held up billions of dollars worth of undesirable development and it saved large areas of the city of Sydney – streets, old buildings, parks and whole suburbs – from demolition.” Big business and Government, and corrupt Union leadership were for a brief time on the backfoot. http://www.internationalviewpoint.org/spip.php?article94

Whether we can get something that significant off the ground today is up to us.

http://workersclimateaction.co.uk/


12.00pm Friday:Ashley Rd Eviction Resistance Continues

“We’re Still Here”

its friday midday and we’re still here

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Several people are on the roof after staying all night and despite the rain this morning.

Support on the ground is thinning, There’s tea making facilities, bring yer tea and coffee stay, 10 mins-5 hours what ever you can. Leaflets stating the reasons for resistance have been made can be handed out.
Lets take this debate to the streets!

BATH BOMB OUT NOW! No.16

Look out for their extensive listings – and the kick off of their “We Won’t Pay For Their Crisis” campaign which will be taking the fight to the greedy politicians, bankers and bosses who are behind this financial crisis. Meet at 12.30pm in the Abbey courtyard on Saturday the 22nd of November.

http://www.myspace.com/bathbomb

87 ASHLEY RD – EVICTION IN (SLOW) PROGRESS

Rooftop Occupation -update

23.36 – 5 people still on roof

Not much else to say, except they seem to be in good spirits, have plenty of people giving them support on the ground . We now have our own mobile incident support unit on the scene. No police at the moment, but security with a couple of vicious looking dogs inside the house.

Be good if people could be their as early as they can tomorrow morning.

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The inhabitants of 87 Ashley Road woke up this morning to a garden full of cops and bailliffs here to evict them from the house that is a home to around 15 people, and make them homeless.

As I arrived on the scene(around 10.30 am), Ashley Rd was cordoned off both sides of the house, and there was also police presence behind the house. The bailiffs were already in the building at this point, and all inhabitants had left, apart from 2 that managed to get onto the roof. They even called a helicopter in to ‘check that there were 2 people on the roof’ (I thought that’s what eyes were for!) As I was leaving to come and write this (12.30pm), 3 more heads popped up over the roof!

UK GREEN SCARE – DOES IT START HERE?

“The term in the US has now been widely used to describe an early 2006 sweep of arrests, convictions and grand jury indictments of alleged ELF/ALF activists on charges relating to acts of property damage, conspiracy, arson and use of destructive devices dubbed “Operation Backfire,” the cases of the SHAC7, Eric McDavid and Rod Coronado, as well as recent repressive legislation such as the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act, which attempts to turn activists into “terrorists.” ”

Is it coming to the UK?

This follows a NECTU (National Extremist Tactical Co-ordination Unit) press release published in full in last weekends Observer, under the headline ” Police fear Growing threat from Eco-Terrorists”, which highlights the notorious, but some how unknown terror campaign by eco-murderers Earth First!

Oh, but hang on a minute, it seems that Earth First have never committed terrorist offences (or crimes against the person) but according to the Police, they might be thinking about it. This seems to be based not on material evidence, but on the claim “There are a number of very dedicated individuals out there and they could be dangerous to other people.” Yeah, and most of them wear uniforms, you could add. The article yet again mentions the now legendary “stash of knives” allegedly found outside climate camp. It also claims that Earth First is well funded! ha ha ha.

Apparently, people are also researching corporations. Oh my God! It also mentions a statement by an earth firster that we need to reduce the worlds population by 80%. No one has advocated this in the uk (and most radical greens that i know would reject population control as way of stopping environmental catastrophe as vehermently as I do). This was never a call for a ‘human cull’ as the article implies anyway.

In fact, lets do a quick calculation:

Deaths in Police Custody: over 1000 (since 1969 -incidentally, no convictions)

Deaths caused by Earth First: 0

Civilian Casualties In Afghanistan: 3485 (2004 only)

A westsider also writes:

Welcome to WECTU

There is a new force in the battle against ‘domestic extremism’. Not to be outdone by the English (see NETCU – National Extremist Tactical Co-ordination Unit) the Welsh police forces have come up with WECTU. Taken from the South Wales Police Policing Plan 2008 – 2011: “Along with the other Welsh police forces we have created a single Special Branch for Wales: the Wales Extremism and Counter Terrorism Unit (WECTU). This will improve our resilience, capacity and capability when dealing with Counter Terrorism and Domestic Extremism and will enable us to provide mutual aid to other Counter Terrorism Units across the UK. Over the next three years WECTU will work to improve protective security at key locations, enhance border security and increase our capability to identify terrorist and extremist threats.” If you think that this only applies to all those terrorists hiding out in the Rhondda Valleys, you may like to think again. NETCU define ‘domestic extremism’ as follows: “The term ‘domestic extremism’ applies to unlawful action that is part of a protest or campaign. It is most often associated with ‘single-issue’ protests, such as animal rights, anti-war, anti-globalisation and anti-GM (genetically modified) crops.” Hmm, since legislation is constantly passed to criminalise political protest, I think that just about covers everything and anything! Like NETCU and the other ‘domestic extremism’ units, WECTU will feed into the ACPO Terrorism and Allied Matters Committee, a high level committee including senior government officials, security services and police. They, in turn, will lobby for more police powers and more legislation to criminalise protest. It’s all a bit silly really, but it seems the government are putting structures in place to try to stamp on any grassroots opposition they stumble upon. Not that they’ll succeed of course – no matter what daft names they come up with, they’re still just coppers. But We are Everywhere…

BREAKING NEWS: RAYTHEON BLOCKADED: WEDS 5TH NOV

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Five protesters managed to evade detection this morning by disguising themselves as work men and when at the front doors of Raytheon, One Protester, A former British Soldier chained and D locked himself to the front doors of the offices in the Bristol Business Park, Frenchay, Bristol. The Police finally arrived around 9:00 when agitated workers could not get into work, to plan the building of more illegal weapons which are being used in illegal conflicts around the globe including Palestine and Iraq.

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So Protesters are still there, any support would be welcome at Unit 510, Bristol Business Park, Off Coldharbour lane, Frenchay. Opposite the U.W.E Campus. Every Thursday between 3pm and 5pm we will be squatting the roundabout at the entrance to the business park. For a noise demonstration, banner drop and information share come and show your support for the campaign with no name thats not going away until Raytheon do.

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Enough is Enough!

You can get any UWE (U) bus to frenchay. they go from town, gloucs rd, trinity and clifton