April 2003


On Saturday 3rd May 2003 London & 230+ Cities Worldwide – A peaceful celebration of Cannabis for an end to prohibition.

March 12 Noon sharp! Kennington Park. Oval Tube.

with Ascension sounds, Rhythms of Resistance Samba Band, dress up, noise up,

Festival Brockwell Park, Brixton 1pm – 8pm. £3 donation. Hemp Tent, Kids Area, Cannabis College, Food & Craft Stalls, Grow Tent, Sounds from Negusa Negast, RDK Hi-Fi, Ascension, Access All Areas, SQUALL, FEMI 9, Trojan, BASS, Rinky Dink, King Beat Sound system – UK Hip Hop. Info Spaces – Spike, Pirate TV, Green Party, Stop the War, Lambeth Community Police Consultative Group, Indymedia, Comtech, Festival bars (please bring no glass bottles), two live stages, Main Stage – Ooojami, Babyhead, Tarantism, Spacegoats, Didgi Dub, HashBash Stage – Pain, Headjam, Bryan Wilson Band, Orginal African Idians, Nomadix Roots, Soulclyde, Howard Marks, Dr Nuke, MC Vic Lambrusco.

Due to the oil wars this festival will be powered by renewable energy, bio-diesel, love and tolerance.

Info Line: 07931 243 855 Festival Site:

http://www.ccguide.org.uk/cannabisfestival.html

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So mayday is nearly upon us again….. and, London again!

Am told that there is a strong anti-war theme, this time round.

2pm: Main meet up @ Lockheed Martin [the biggest arms company in the world]

corner of High Holborn &Endell St, WC1.

http://www.ourmayday.org.uk

In the past, it has turned into a bit on annual punch up with the Metropolitan Police. They have had 6000 officers on the line, in the past.

This year the MP say:

What to expect?

“Thursday 1st May 2003 will once again see Central London as the site for a number of demonstrations by groups and individuals aligned with anarchist, anti-capitalist, environmental and pacifist ideals, as well as a number of non-aligned individuals.

We will have a policing operation in place with sufficient resources to be able to deal with whatever it occurs …….”

Oh god …. here we go again.

May Day 2003 advice to businesses and local communities

What to expect?

http://www.met.police.uk/campaigns/mayday.htm#expect

This is the ‘general advice’ – been the same for a few years …

Protest Action: Guidance paper for personal safety

http://www.met.police.uk/publicorder/protest_paper.htm

* * * * * *

News just in ……….

Date: Sat, 26 Apr 2003 13:51:10 +0100

From: peacewatch <fairfordpeacewatch@blueyonder.co.uk>

Subject: latest on Peacewatch Fairford and Welford

The really great news is that the last of the B52 bombers left on Thursday at 5.10pm. Some of us were skipping with delight as they began warming up to leave, others said they were as deeply saddened as when they first arrived, knowing what has been done in Iraq by weapons launched from our own glorious Cotswold countryside.

People at the Welford Peacewatch camp at Westbrook village in Berkshire, knowing that they may be witnessing the return of the bombs from Fairford to Welford, and thence hopefully ‘home’ to the USA, decided to break camp on Friday night.

There have been no ‘evictions’ at G10 or at Welford.

There are a few people still camping at G10 as I write, although this situation may change at any time. Efforts have been made to look for a new site or sites, as the health implications and vulnerability of remaining at the centre of the runway become more apparent.

So what next?

The Peacewatch continues. We have established a great number of contacts with local people in Fairford and surrounding villages, and with peace groups further afield. We have amassed a bank of intelligence about activity at the airbase while it was active and have a continual log of aircraft movement during the 52 days of the bombing campaign.

Plans are afoot for the next stages, but in the meantime, there are a number of things people can do:

· keep sending letters or cards to people at G10:

G10 Peacewatch, Near Dunfield

USAF Fairford

Gloucestershire. GL7 4HE

· we will have an additional address for mail soon, please let me know if you’d like to be put on our paper mailing list.

· to be kept up to date either via email with what we’re planning, join:

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/fairfordpeacewatchsupporters

· a new website containing bomber spotting and peacewatch logs will be up and running in the next few days. Watch this space, or join the list above for details.

· ask one of us to come and talk at your peace group or local event.. we have lots and lots to tell, and we need your support for the next stages.

· tell your MP what you think about this appalling use of UK airspace and countryside to promote this illegal pre-emptive strike http://www.faxyourmp.com

· make a donation to Peacewatch so that we can get material like leaflets and spotter info together and help with minor costs like webhosting and phones. Cheques can be made payable to: peacewatch, please phone or mail me for our temporary address.

· if you live locally, please get more involved. We need places to store things and volunteer helpers who can offer baths or bedrooms or back gardens for overnight stays.

Most importantly, we haven’t gone away, so we need you more than ever !!!

Om Shanti, Salom, Pace, Salaam

brenda

info and news by, for and about Peacewatchers at USAF Fairford

Earlier entires on Fairford

US Bombers land in Britain

http://tash_lodge.blogspot.com/2003_03_02_tash_lodge_archive.html#90043322

Bomb Convoy to RAF Fairford, stopped by Direct Action

http://tash_lodge.blogspot.com/2003_04_06_tash_lodge_archive.html#92477539

A really bright and sunny day!

These last few weeks, I’ve been sat in front of the computer, correlating my anti war pictures / work.. [see earlier entries in this blog]. So, as summer has arrived early, [well for the next few days, anyway!] thought I would take my bike out, into the Peak District. There are many cycle tracks, created from the old railway tracks, that serviced the brick kilns and quarries of the area.

Lovely way to see some of englands finest countryside, oh, and being railway tracks, they don’t go up and down that much!!

Started out from Middleton Top, nr Wirksworth

http://www.streetmap.co.uk/streetmap.dll?G2M?X=427500&Y=355500&A=Y&Z=3

then cycled north west to the very end of the off-road track at Dowlow, couple of miles south of Buxton. A run of about 18 miles. Oh, then i had to go back again……..

Dowlow is a farm on the map. Absolutely nothing there on the moor. except this rikety old gate across the track and old sign the says “End of High Peak Trail”.

Gosh! I was a bit surprised. I thought it might have been marked with a shop full of ice cream, a cairn, a visitor centre, I mean, something at least!

So, anyway, took this picture, and cycled back again ……

For more info on the trail, check out

http://www.cycle-tracks.co.uk/Cycling/HighPeakFrame.html

http://www.peakdistrict.org/pubs/access4all/highpeaktiss.htm

Cycled out to Trent Lock, past Attenborough nature reserve. Along the canal tow path, then along the River Trent. Nice day by the river. Lunch at Steamboat Inn. Vegi-burgger and chips, if you want to know. The pub Peacock and passing Swans ate a fair number of my chips……. Bastards.

Blast! puncture on the way back. Asked a passing cyclist if he had a pump. Invited me to drop in house in the village, for assistance. A really nice man. Such help doesn’t come for car drivers……

Multimap Map

http://www.multimap.com/map/browse.cgi?X=450000&Y=332500&scale=50000&coordsys=gb

Course of the River Trent: Aerial Photo

http://www.multimap.com/map/photo.cgi?x=449000&y=336250&scale=100000

Posted by WAP phone.

http://tash_lodge.blogspot.com/2002_10_13_tash_lodge_archive.html#83088570

Back to Nottingham shortly………

More news just in, an appeal for help from Peacewatch.

From: peacewatch

Subject: urgent ! Welford Peacewatchers needed !

A new Peacewatch is here, just next to the bridleway footbridge over the M4:

http://tinyurl.com/9df5

A military base near Welford north of Newbury in Berkshire is where the deadly bombs are made to supply the 16 B52s based at USAF Fairford in Gloucester. Every morning, lethal weapons convoys join the M4 between junctions 13 and 14 just north of Westbrook village and using ~public roads~ make their way via the motorway or the A417 and 419 to Gate 14 at USAF Fairford.

Two of the crew who started G10 Peacewatch at USAF Fairford (i’ve got the ‘flu ) have set up a Welford Peacewatch just next to the footbridge on the bridleway over the M4, within sight of the access road to the military base, where the convoys can be observed at a safe distance.

People, visitors and overnight campers are urgently needed. Please bring food, water and camping gear so that you are self sufficient. Visitors are very much needed, whether for an hour or two or a few days. Donations or loans of the following would be extremely useful:

 water, bottled or containers of tap

 tarpaulins

 gas in canisters for camping stoves and lamps

 torch

 wind up radio

 solar or wind up phone charger

 cooked food like cake or sarnies for the first few days

 flags and banners, esp ones which say Welford Peacewatch

There has been an upsurge in activity at USAF Fairford in recent days, with 10 b52s taking off over the past 24 hours, more than at any time since the bombing started. We urgently need to get this information out to the peace movement in general, so more watchers are always needed.

Peacewatch at Gate 10 was started on 2nd March 2003 by Kate, Nick and Brenda. The two reasons for keeping this round-the-clock watch opposite the centre of the runway at USAF Fairfield are to:

 peacefully protest by maintaining a continual presence

 inform the world about the build-up to and continuance of the bombing campaign.

Peacewatch at Welford will maintain the spirit and purpose of the G10 Peacewatch. The police have visited the site this morning, and to date reports are ‘all is cool’.

Do take care with parking in Westbrook village or surrounding area, and make sure you don’t block gates or drives, and stay quiet and respectful.

Phone 07932 628 269 for updates, directions and more information.

If you want your details added to the Fairford Peacewatch supporters list, please mail by return. Updates will be posted there.

See you at Welford Peacewatch !!

please pass this message on to anyone who you think can help

xxx

brenda

* * * * * *

Welford Watch – new peace camp started

In the early hours of 12th April 2003 the team that launched G10 Peace Camp at Fairford started Welford Watch. The watchers will stand vigil over the convoys of death that transport bombs bound for Fairford and onward to Iraq.

The camp needs support and more campers / visitors are invited. Parking can be found nearby but the final access is along the bridalway towards the footbridge. Please park carefully and try not to annoy the neighbours. At present they particularly need water and a solar charger for the mobile phones. Contact numbers are Nick 07736 964653 and Kate 07748 015601. Bright flags and peace banners are particulary welcome. The camp was found by police at around 9am this morning and no attempt has yet been made to move the camp or evict the campers.

Welford is the USAF munitions store where the daily bomb convoys start. These convoys bring the weapons, including cluster bombs, used to arm the B-52s.

The camp is situated near the pedestrian bridge over the M4 just north of Westbrook.

http://www.multimap.com/map/browse.cgi?X=443000&Y=173000&scale=25000

The main entrance to USAF Welford munitions store is at junction 13.5 on the east bound carriageway of the M4. This is a couple of miles west of Chieveley services (at J13). The convoys usually come out the main entrance of USAF Welford onto the M4 and head east. They turn around at Chieveley and head west along the M4.

At J15 they turn north and follow the A419 to Cirencester or turn onto the A361 to Lechlade and then take the A417 to Fairford. Convoys typically leave Welford at 9-10am arriving at Fairford approximately one hour later. Times and routes vary.

A convoy usually comprises 6 trucks with two 20 foot containers each and around 20 police vehicle escort.

On Thursday 10th April, at 3 p.m., a military convoy carrying bombs for use in Iraq was stopped en route from RAF Welford to RAF Fairford in Gloucestershire. Five anti –war activists from Bristol blocked the A417 near Cirencester with a car. Two of the group chained themselves underneath their vehicle with bike locks. Police escorting the convoy soon arrived on the scene. One officer was heard to say “Shit, we’ve been looking for this sort of thing all week, and now it happens on our own back doorstep!” It took them 45 minutes to remove the activists with hydraulic cutters and clear the blockade. Four activists were arrested for obstruction of the highway. All were later released, three without charge, but one still facing charges.

This action was carried out as part of continued widespread opposition to the bombing of the Iraqi people. Bombs dropped by B52 bombers flying from RAF Fairford do not discriminate between military targets and civilians. There is no such thing as precision bombing, as events of the past few weeks have proved. Most casualties in any war are civilians and thousands of normal Iraqi people have been killed. This is not “liberation” by the forces of freedom and democracy. This is mass murder.

Despite the apparent collapse of the regime in Iraq, two convoys containing bombs arrived at RAF Fairford yesterday. These weapons of mass destruction continue to be used in the unjustified and illegal attack on Iraq. War without end?

Millions of people have objected to this war but the US and UK governments have consistently ignored worldwide calls for peace. Widespread direct action can have a real impact on the war machine. The people involved in the blockade yesterday believe it is up to normal people to work towards a world without the destruction and terror caused by war.

FFI contact Kebele 0117 9399469

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