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Week of Action to Ground the Drones
1 Oct 2012
To coincide with International Keep Space for Peace Week (from 6th – 13th October) the Drone Campaign Network is calling a week of action on the growing use of drones.While over seventy countries now possess drones, so far only the UK, the US and Israel are known to have used armed drones. The UK has launched over 300 drones strikes in Afghanistan but there is little public information about these strikes. Israel regularly launches drone attacks in Gaza and the US has been using drones in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen. It is suspected, but not confirmed that US drones have also undertaken strikes in Mali and Philippines this year.Protests against the growing use of drones have taken place in Pakistan and Yemen and protests have been growing in the UK and the US over the past year. [ 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 ]On the newswire: Ground the Drones Week of Action announcement | Drones Week of Action events listings | The faceless face of military drones at Menwith Hill: 9 October | Veterans for Peace action at General Atomics | Terrorist drones come to Lincolnshire ? drones peace walk | Drones and Thrones ? A London DiaryLinks: Drone Campaign Network | Drone Wars UK | TBIJ Covert War on Terror
Campaigners mobilising to fight ‘hundreds of new roads’
25 Sep 2012
Campaigners are hoping to kick-start opposition to ‘hundreds of new roads’ with actions in Twyford Down and Hastings this weekend.Government and local councils are planning to spend billions of pounds on dozens of new roads over the next few years, and new ‘growth’ funds and devolved spending powers for local councils threaten to add hundreds more disastrous projects to this list.In the 1990s, what was in effect a popular uprising [ 1 | 2 | 3 ] brought Tory plans for ?the greatest road-building programme since the Romans? to a screeching halt.Could this weekend’s actions be the beginning of a new upsurge of anti-roads protests?On the newswire: Local residents camp & rally against Bexhill-Hastings link road | Twyford anniversary action | Stop the Road! Rally & Camp | Parking the car ? for good | Bikes alive bike blockade at King’s Cross | Video of Bikes Alive! Protest | Climate Rush give cake to Sustrans | ‘bikes alive’ action at kings x tomorrow | No to Road Building | Tenth anniversary of the siege of Wanstonia M11 link rd | Pics from Arundel 2nd bypass protest march Links: Combe Haven Defenders | Hastings Alliance | Campaign for Better Transport | Bicycology
Homeless campaigners squat council house
30 Aug 2012
Birmingham Tenants & Homeless Action Group have occupied an abandoned council house with the intention of handing it over to a homeless person. They’ve contacted the council and demanded that they put the property back into use as low cost social housing and then do the same with the other nearly 12,000 empty properties around the city. Otherwise they have said that despite changes to the law on squatting they will continue with occupations of the other empty properties with the intention of handing them over to the homeless. With 11,924 empty properties, the highest rate of homelessness in the country and an estimate by city planners that Birmingham is currently short of 11,000 affordable homes, putting the abandoned houses back into use is the only logical stepPrevious Features: Birmingham’s Homeless CrisesOn the newswire: Tenants & Homeless seize abandoned council house | Birmingham Tenants & Homeless Action Group – What we are doing | Squatting sleepover! Homeless but not helpless! | Police arresting homeless in Birmingham | First eviction protest for B.E.R.N | VIDEO Birmingham Eviction Resistance Network first eviction protest | Birmingham Eviction Resistance Network meeting | Food not Bombs every Sunday at Holloway Circus | VIDEO FNB in Victoria SquareLinks: Birmingham Tenants & Homeless Action Group | Birmingham Eviction Resistance Network | Birmingham Food not Bombs
Birmingham’s Homeless Crises
17 Aug 2012
Birmingham has the highest rate of homelessness in the country and the West Midlands the highest rate of any region outside of London. With hostels and housing services struggling to keep up with the demand for shelter and support due to average funding cuts of 15% and the loss of 1 in 10 staff the people most in need of support, often with mental illness or substance abuse are not getting the help they need. On top of this the government has forced though a law to make squatting residential properties illegal (despite Birmingham having 11,924 empty homes) meaning there is currently a real homeless crisis in Birmingham that could get a lot worse. Especially if the 34,000 people in Birmingham who claim housing benefit find they cannot afford to pay the rent as Housing Benefit is slowly replaced by Local Housing Allowance and cuts to child tax credits go ahead. On the Newswire: Brum FnB at the Birmingham Social Centre | First eviction protest for B.E.R.N | BERN BABY BERN fundraiser for Birmingham Eviction Resistance Network | Birmingham Eviction Resistance Network meeting | Food is a right not a privilege ? statement of solidarity | Food not Bombs every Sunday at Holloway Circus | Birmingham Food Not Bombs is backVideos: Birmingham Eviction Resistance Network first eviction protest | FNB in Victoria SquareLinks: Brum Food not Bombs | Birmingham Eviction Resistance Network
Police arrest 182 at Olympics critical mass in London
5 Aug 2012
While the London 2012 Olympic open ceremony was underway on Friday 27th July, there was a massive police and military operation underway, which included the use of CS gas, to contain and eventually arrest 182 London critical mass cyclists. The cyclists were held in a police kettle for two hours, handcuffed in buses for three hours and held in a police cell from six hours to two days. Out of 182 cyclists, only 3 have been charged with any offence. However, all have bail conditions imposed on them until September 18th 2012 restricting their freedom to move, assemble, associate and live their lives.A petition for justice for the 182 has been launched with the following demands:All bail conditions should be dischargedAll data including DNA, fingerprint, addresses etc taken from those cyclists should be removed from all paper and comupter records of police & other agencies.An independent review of the police behaviour on Friday 27th July should be conducted as a matter of urgency.Articles: Olympic critical mass – report and pics | Arrests in Critical Mass during Olympics ceremony | Mass Arrest | Critcal mass | SchNEWS: Mass Arrest of the Week
Citizens’ Weapons Inspectors lock-on outside EDO MBM
18 Jul 2012
On Monday 16th July 2012 Smash EDO held a Citizen’s Weapons Inspection’ of EDO. Kent, Sussex and Hampshire Police used new Police Liaison Officers and a steel wall against demonstrators.Despite this, activists dressed in white suits managed to breach the police cordon and hang banners outside the factory gates and close down the industrial estate by locking-on to the police cordon. On Sunday 15th July Smash EDO hosted a gathering against the G8, launching a new network. There will be a workshop to plan action against the G8 at Earth First and the next gathering will be 22nd September in Birmingham.Links: Smash EDO| FITwatch| Mainstream media coverageFrom the Newswire: Call to kettle the police at Smash EDO’s Citizen’s Weapons Inspection| Pics| Update| Future Smash EDO events
Pebble Mill Social Centre
13 Jul 2012
The Pebble Mill social centre is the latest squatted social centre project by the Birmingham Social Centre collective. Last year the group made up of local squatters and activists took over the Whit Marley, an unused factory in Stirchley and reclaimed it for the local community.The Pebble Mill Social Club was part of the BBC Pebble Mill studios site in Edgbaston, Birmingham and has been left empty for 8 years. The building has now been reclaimed and hosts regular events.Update 14/07/12: Pebble Mill Social Centre EvictedNewswire: Birmingham Social Centre is back | Brum FnB at the Birmingham Social Centre | Garden day @ Brum Social Centre ? This Saturday 12pm onwards | Pebble Mill Social Centre survives flash flooding | Support The Spanish Miners Benefit – Fri 13th JulyPrevious social centres in Birmingham: Why are we in the Whit Marley? | The Cottage Occupied Social Centre | Birmingham Social Centre Reclaimed for CommunityLinks: Brum Social Centre
Call to kettle the police at Smash EDO’s Citizen’s Weapons Inspection
13 Jul 2012
At 1pm on Monday 16th July a group of concerned citizens from Brighton and beyond will be attempting to inspect the EDO MBM factory in Moulsecoomb to further highlight the factory?s complicity in the murder of innocent civilians around the world.It has long been known that this local company has links with illegal and immoral arms deals and Smash EDO intend to hold them to account. In January 2009 six activists broke in and successfully decommissioned the factory and then waited to be arrested by the police. At their later trial a jury found that their actions were entirely legal as they were acting to prevent war crimes against civilians in Gaza.This mass action is part of an ongoing ‘Summer of Resistance’ which has seen almost daily actions by protesters against the factory in May and June and which will continue until the end of July.Demonstrators will converge at the Level at 1pm.A call has been made to FITwatchers to kettle the police and to sabotage their new tactic of using Police Liaison Officers to pacify the crowd.The day before the demo anti-capitalists will be converging in Brighton for a day of plotting and scheming against the 2013 G8, to be held in the UKLinks: Smash EDO | FITwatchLocal Contacts for the Weapons Inspection: London: hammertimelondon@dsei.org | Bristol: smashedobristol@riseup.net | Manchester: manchesteragainstmilitarism@gmail.com | Swansea: d@undercurrents.org
International campaign against G4S gathers momentum
7 Jul 2012
Campaigners in the UK and Sweden have taken various actions against G4S over the last month. Meanwhile, various discussions and meetings are taking place to coordinate efforts aimed at forcing the multinational security giant to halt its ?unlawful and criminal activities?, as well as to put pressure on public authorities to withdraw from and not award new contracts to the notorious company.Related: Many reasons to stop G4S | G4S Alternative Annual ReportLinks: Corporate Watch | No to G4S
Take the flour back
10 Jun 2012
On 27th May at Rothamsted, Harpenden, Hertsfordshire, more than 400 growers, bakers and families from across England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, France and Belgium marched against the return of open air GM field testing. Take the Flour Back linked arms with their European counterparts, notably France?s Volunteer Reapers and walked calmly towards the field of GM wheat before being stopped by police lines.From the newswire: European activists link up to draw the line against GM| Final details| Take the Flour Back defend Direct Action on Newsnight| Open letter to Rothamsted| What is food sovereignty| Pull up the GM wheat, or we will, say growers| Meet-up point announced| CalloutPhotos|Video12From SchNEWS: If we stay there will be stubble|One man assault on GM crop trial in Hertfordshire|Flour to the peopleLinks: Take the flour back
SchNEWS 818 – Serf’s Up
9 Jun 2012
By now the glad tidings that ninety of her majesty’s most loyal subjects were happy to celebrate 60 years of her reign by kipping under a bridge before a joyful thirteen hour shift of telling union-jack-sporting buffoons the way to the big river in the middle of London without being paid has been splashed all over the papers. But it’s just the tip of the iceberg.Links: Boycott Workfare | Solfed (workfare page) | IWW| Corporate Watch | SchNEWSOn the newswire: Liverpool Workfare Walk of Shame Occupies City Centre Exploiters| Mayday workfare demo shuts Oxford Street stores| Workfare actions around Birmingham in April| Workfare conference cancelled due to protest | Workfare Unravels | ‘It’s exploitation and it’s repellent’ | Tesco?s Secret Workfare Slaves | Demo shuts Westminster Tesco | GMB Union Promotes Workfare as Answer | DWP Locks Down FOI Responses | Legal Challenge to Government?s slave labour schemeFrom Corporate Watch: Benefit claimant forced to accept Jubilee steward position for less than minimum wage | To pay or not to pay: Asda and Argos choose workfare over work | Regulating workfare (or not)| ‘It’s exploitation and it’s repellent’: Retailers, councils and charities benefiting from workfare | Unemployed people bullied into work
Occupy Brookes camp emerges
8 May 2012
Update (20/05/12): After a month, Occupy Brookes decided to pack up. The camp’s demands were almost entirely ignored by management but many people nevertheless felt it was a valuable experience, building links, raising awareness, and establishing a precedent for action that can be taken further in the future.Since Wednesday 18th April, a group of Oxford Brookes students and supporters have been camping in front of Gipsy Lane campus to demand free education for all, and more specifically and immediately, that the University switch from fee waivers to bursaries.The camp has now survived over two weeks of extremely wet weather, hosted various workshops and discussions, and received lots of verbal support and sympathy. A letter containing 3 basic demands was sent to the authorities early on, but there has been no substantial response from them, and the group’s next steps have yet to be decided.Anyone supportive or curious is very welcome to come visit or stay, and upcoming workshops and meetings are listed on the blog.[ Reports: 1 | 2 | 3 ] [ Photos ] [ Video ] [ Blog ] [ Fee waivers explanation ]
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