Happy New Year from London Indymedia, and please read on for some very special New Year Messages from some incredibly awesome friends, creators, activists, commentators, and supporters, including Occupy London, John Pilger & many more. Please add your own New Year Messages below. 2012! See you on the streets! ...
Strikes and Pickets started early in the morning at their workplaces. In City of London there was a banner drop in Liverpool street station stating "All power to the 99%", accompanied by a band and the Electricians started picketing their work places. Dave Prentis of UNISON said earlier that it..."should be the richest people (bankers) not the poorest workers bailing out the economy" which sums up the anger felt today in schools, colleges, universities and all public workers across the country. The biggest strike held in the UK for decades meant that 2.5 million were on strike along with 200,000 workers in Northern Ireland and 300,000 in Scotland.
See the entire article for the full coverage of the day's pickets, demonstrations and actions as they happened in London.
The 29th London Anarchist Bookfair has come and gone, packed with thousands of people flicking through over a hundred stalls, attending a comprehensive program of meetings and talks on current issues, watching films & cabaret, catching up, networking, planning and plotting.
Along side our stall, Indymedia London and Be The Media interviewed and talked politics with many of the speakers of the day. So if you missed the Bookfair, or couldn’t attend all the talks and meetings, here are eleven recorded video interviews from the day.
The Tory government is currently pushing a process of 'consultation' through Parliament that aims to delegitimize and ultimately criminalize squatting in the UK, whilst most corporate media plays the same tune. If successful the creation of new legislation against squatting would do away with a right that is centuries old.
The recent evictions of the OffMarket occupied social centre in Hackney and of the long term squatted block of flats Clifton Mansions in Brixton [personal account] as well as the current eviction threat of the UK's largest Traveller community in Dale Farm in Essex [more], have re-ignited the debate about squatting and the right to dignified housing for all. Read the analysis posts recently published in the newswire addressing the political implications of the Government's current attack on squatting:
SQUATGEDDON?! The Potential Law Change | Our Society is Bigger than Yours | Listen to the episode 86 of Dissident Island Radio 'Stop the rot, squat the lot!'
Tuesday's morning eviction of Clifton Mansions, a block of flats in Brixton's Coldharbour Lane, signaled the end to one of the longest lasting community of squatters in the neighbourhood. The residents in the 22 flats that had been occupied since the early 1990's were made homeless in the latest operation of further gentrification of central Brixton that involved police in riot gear, a police helicopter hovering over the area, the fire brigade and bailiffs.
Two different communities. One living in Clifton Mansions, an inner city block of long term squatted flats in Brixton, south London. The other made of 90 families part of the UK's largest Traveller community in Dale Farm, a former scrap-yard purchased by the Travellers ten years ago near Basildon, Essex.
They both now face one common problem: the threat of eviction. Dale Farm's long battle has now reached a critical point as Basildon council yesterday served a final notice of eviction giving families until midnight on August 31st to abandon their homes. The community of squatters of Clifton Mansions have learnt that the police is planning to block off Brixton's Coldharbour Lane on Tuesday 12 July to enforce the eviction of all the people living in the 22 flats. [Read more]
See calls from both communities for solidarity in resisting the planned evictions: Clifton Mansions | Dale Farm
Across the capital most schools, colleges, local authority staff and civil service joined 750.000 UK workers on a one day strike to warn the govenment and capital to stay away from their pensions and wages. Across the UK over 12,000 state schools were closed. Read full feature with links to reports, pics and videos here.
Updates from the streets: Tumblewire | Tumble pics: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | Tumble video | Video | Report | Further info: June 30th website | UK Uncut | Afed statement on the strikes | The Commune on the march.
Union statements of action: NUT (National Union of Teachers) | UCU (Universitiy and College Union) | PCS (Public and Commercial Services Union) | ATL (Association of Teachers and Lecturers).
On Saturday 28th local high street branches of different banks were transformed into hospitals in a 'UK Uncut's Emergency Operation'. Anti-cuts activists from several parts of London followed the call to "tell the government to leave our NHS alone; it's the banks that are sick" [read full call].
Following a call to "march for the NHS" around 1500 demonstrated on Tuesday 17th from Euston to Whitehall to protest the planned cuts for the NHS. The NHS bill currently pushed through by the Government will ultimatelly allow neoliberal capitalist thinking and its belief in the markets to dictate the type of services the NHS will provide, causing irreparable damage to it.
See photos: 1 | 2 | 3 | Video
Here find assembled one very special collection of New Year Messages, from the ready, the wise and the very very awesome (just like you 8). After the year 2010 ended with a bang, or more than one (e.g. when the doors to the treasury burst open), we hope the monumentum will carry on into 2011 and beyond. So we wish to travel into 2011 with an excited sense of urgency that will grow and grow with the movement, and grow and grow we believe it shall, so be ready, be prepared, and now read some special messages written by some of our awesome friends, some of whom we met for the first time at last years awesome Anarchist Bookfair, where just maybe, the awesome beginning of the end of last year started...
The occupations which began on Monday at SOAS and other Universities in Bristol, Manchester have now been joined by 15 other UK colleges [blogs list] In London a sit-in started yesterday at Royal Holloway [1 | blog] whilst other occupations have started today at UCL, South Bank and Roehampton universities. The National Day of Walkouts in London started at Queen Mary University where students converged at Malet Street University of London's Union building as other walkouts and marches by school and university students began across London.
By midday around 5000 people gathered in Trafalgar Square and started marching down Whitehall with the intention to make their way to the Liberal Democrats HQ in Cowley St. The march was blocked before reaching Parliament Sq by riot vans, whilst lines of police quicky moved in surrounding the crowds troughout Whitehall [video] This resulted in some skirmishes between the crowds and police, and in an abandoned police van being attacked [more] [video]
By early evening around 1000 people were still being kept in the kettles despite the night cold setting in, and up to 2000 more outside the pens. At around 6pm police started letting small groups of 'younger protesters' out of the kettles, most of which joined an impromptu blockade of Westminster Bridge by around 200 people. From then on a series of flash demos and blockades took place all around Trafalgar Square and Charing Cross areas. Riot police - including mounted police units - kept charging against the crowds that included school children and passers-by. By 9pm most people had been let out of the kettles one by one, and at around 10pm those still being kept at Duncannon Street were finally let out after 9 hours of being detained and prevented from demonstrating. The Met reports a total of 32 arrests, 17 injured, 2 of those police officers.
Read first hand reports: No Ifs, No Buts...! | student cuts protest - pics and account (part one) | (part two) | (part three) | Dear diary...describing the march ULU to Whitehall | Video: David Graeber and Clare Colomon speak from inside the police kettle
A short interview with University of London Union President, Clare Solomon on last weeks student demonstration in London against tuition fees and cuts.
Clare gives a vivid description of the demonstration on the 10th November, and how with the level of anger that was evident on the march it was inevitable that a release would be found. But she also goes on to say that calling the occupation at Millbank a 'riot' was not correct and a misrepresentation by the mainstream media, who also want to narrow the debate down to single issues. The reality was that the majority of those on the demo where protesting about much wider issues, and further demonstrations, like the National Walk Out on November 24th, will continue to reflect this and build upon last weeks success.
A massive protest of 50,000 students marched against education cuts in a national DEMOLITION demonstration called by UCU and NUS. Report and pics [1 | 2 | 3] Videos [1 | 2] The Tory HQ building at 30 Millbank was occupied and protesters took the roof saying:
"We oppose all cuts and we stand in solidarity with public sector workers, and all poor, disabled, elderly and working people. [...] This is only the beginning of the resistance to the destruction of our education system and public services." read in full
Later Parliament Square was occupied (again) by the Open University. The campaign against fees and cuts is calling for people to sign a statement of solidarity with the arrested students and an anti-repression blog has been set up [more] A statement congratulating the anti-cuts demonstrators has also been signed by hundreds of academics and university workers and a petition to stand with protesters against victimisation can be signed online.
Latest News: A National Walkout Against Fees and Cuts has been called for Wednesday 24th November.
The 28th edition of the Anarchist Bookfair has come and gone, and, as always, what an awesome event it was!, packed with thousands of people flicking through over a hundred stalls, attending a comprehensive program of meetings and talks, watching films & cabaret and generally catching up, networking, planning and plotting with others that “want to start making anarchism a threat again”.
This year, Indymedia London not only had a stall as it did in the previous years, but it also put it’s kit where its mouth is, and, together with Dissident Island, it kept busy producing direct and DIY media. So if you missed the Bookfair, or you did go but couldn’t attend all the talks and meetings you would have liked to, worry no more! IMC-London is proud – and happy – to present a collection of audios from several speaker’s interventions, as well as a series of specially recorded video interviews with a variety of individuals, groups and campaigns which we and Dissident Island recorded on site. Read on for the full list …