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