May 2003

 For the past 6 months the National Steering Committee have systematically censored and sabotaged virtually all forms of Direct Action. From the international significance of USAF Fairford, to the Mass Sit-Down on the 15th Feb National Demo, to the Reclaim The Bases Weekend on 5th and 6th April, the Steering Committee has used and abused the national email list and website to squeeze out, downplay, or just plain censor these, and many other actions.

The censorious agenda of the Steering Committee was most plainly exposed during the lead up to the 22nd March Fairford National Demo. Stop The War groups around the country were telephoned by someone claiming to be from the National Steering Committee, who was spreading the message that Fairford had been cancelled. Whether this individual was genuinely from the Steering Committee is unclear, but the issue remains that the Steering Committee refused to use resources at it’s disposal to refute this sabotage, as it clearly suited their censorious agenda to allow Fairford to be damaged in this manner.

The Steering Committee have therefore made it absolutely clear that they have no intention of representing the full spectrum of opinions which make up the coalition, but only those opinions and actions they narrowly approve of. This is the definition of a hijacking, and that is exactly what has occurred. Furthermore, on the 20th June defendants who took part in various forms of Direct Action at Fairford will be making the first UK legal challenge to the legality of the war. It is expected that this landmark event will also be censored by the Steering Committee, and sidelined at conference.

The Steering Committee still has the opportunity to pull back from this active censorship and sabotage of the movement. If it does not then the calls to bypass the Steering Committee will continue to grow. This is one of the first, and in the longer run, as more people become aware of the extent of events, actions and landmark legal cases which have been censored from view, trust in the National Steering Committee will evaporate, andshift to those who diligently bring this information to the movement in it’s uncensored form.

In the interim, ‘National’ events called by the Steering Committee will be referred to only as ‘London’ events in Bristol-Stop-The-War News, and the ‘National’ website will be relegated to an ordinary link in our links page, as it is not representative of the movement, and therefore should not be advertised as such. If people have an issue with this they should refer it back to the Steering Committee. In the interim, ‘National’ Demonstrations will continue to be called ‘National Demonstrations’.

Voice your concerns to the Steering Committee: 07951 235 915 or 0207 053 2153/4/5/6

James Venables (Bristol-Stop-The-War Communications)

also …….

Meetings Vs Actions. SWP etc

Mark Thomas on the SWP

This is a first post to my blog, from my p800. testing, testing, 1 2 3 ……………..

here is what the BBC had said.

Thousands of people are taking part in an illegal music festival on agricultural land near Leominster in Herefordshire.

Residents living in the hamlets of Upper Ivington and Hyde Ash claimed around 10,000 people were in the area but West Mercia Police have put the figure at about 3,000.

The gathering at Stretford Court began on Saturday evening and one person has been taken to Hereford General Hospital suffering from the affects of drugs or alcohol.

Local residents have complained of excessive noise and traffic problems in the area.

‘Turn-back’ policy

Nobody has been arrested but West Merica police say they are operating a “turn-back” policy to prevent more people arriving at the site.

A spokesman for the force said they are advising people who are thinking of attending the event, which has been staged illegally, to stay away.

Christine Rosearsh’s house in Hyde Ash is near to where the event is taking place.

She told BBC News Online: “I was out in my garden on Saturday and could hear bits of music and vehicles and it gradually increased throughout the night. It’s a nightmare.

“I didn’t get any sleep and I’ve been told this could last up to three days.”

Mrs Rosearsh said she first phoned the police about 2200 BST on Saturday to complain and made two further calls – the last at 0415 BST – only to be told the police were “monitoring” the situation.

“I’m hopping mad and nobody seems to be helping.

“When I looked out my window at four this morning I was scared because I could see all these people everywhere.

‘Environmental hazard’

“Apparently the entrance to the rave had been blocked off by police and the people were trying to find places nearby to get in.

Local residents have complained about vehicles and mess

“They were opening the gates to fields to get through and leaving them open. The cows were getting out and a neighbour who has young calves was going demented.”

She added: “When I phoned the police, they said they were aware of the rave and that it was unauthorised but could not do anything about it at that time.

“We live right in the middle of the countryside and the lanes around my house are very narrow and they’re all being blocked. Apart from that, people are going to the toilet where they can so it’s an environmental hazard.”

But the partygoers are more laid back about inconvenience to local people.

One said: “I feel a bit of remorse towards them but I think it’s worth it because there are so many people having a good time that I reckon it outweighs a few people being disturbed.

“I don’t think anyone’s going to smash down fences, and normally people are quite good at tidying up the rubbish and stuff.”

It is believed the land where the rave is being held is in receivership and is being sold by Barclay’s Bank.

Officials from Herefordshire Council are currently in meetings with the emergency services about the situation.

BBC Your perspective on the world: 10-16 May 2003

Your part in the news is important to us and we’d like to see the images you are taking using the latest digital technology.

have already received thousands of fantastic images from around the world so why not send us yours.

Each week our picture editor will select and publish the best of those here each Friday – so do keep on sending them in.

Remember, whilst we are after news images we’re also interested in your visual interpretation of global issues.

Any pictures directly related to a current news event may be used immediately within a picture gallery or story.

How to submit a picture

So if you think you have a photograph worth looking at, if you found yourself in the right place at the right time,

send it to BBC News Online.

If you want to e-mail it to us, send it to

If you want to send your picture from your mobile phone, dial 07970 885089. You can send them from any network or phone. Please send the large full size images (usually 640×480 pixels) taken by the mobiles otherwise they are too small to publish.

Don’t forget to include your name and some background information as to what the image is about and why you took the picture as this will increase your chances of selection.

HOWEVER. As this technology is so exciting and immediate innit? is does represent a further turn of the screw, in trying to keep copyright, AND get a reward for a photographers labour. In the ‘activism’ front though, I expect it is possible to take a picture of, say a police line, with the digital camera of a mobile phone, upload to the the BBC, and have it on the Six O’clock News !! and not get paid!!

Here are their terms ……..


If you submit an image, you do so in accordance with the BBC’s Terms and Conditions.

In contributing to BBC News Online you agree to grant us a royalty-free, non-exclusive licence to publish and otherwise use the material in any way that we want, and in any media. (See the Terms and Conditions for the full terms of our rights.)

It’s important to note, however, that you still own the copyright to everything you contribute to BBC News Online. This means you are perfectly free to take what you have produced and re-publish it somewhere else. Please note that if your image is accepted, we will publish your name alongside it on the BBC News website. The BBC cannot guarantee that all pictures will be published and we reserve the right to edit your comments.

How many meetings have I attended with people, on different issues, only for nothing significant to happen, beyond an agreement the meet again, or, see you on the next demo!

Green matters, ‘alternatives’ and action, have mostly implied ‘building things up’ [positive alternatives] a lot of recent protest has been ‘down with’ etc ….. Some of us think that simply marching with a message on a banner, to try and influence politics to our way of thinking, [especially in bloody London, again], has not worked for years. Worth the effort of course, but not enough on its own. It is of course a deficit in the democratic process.

For years many of us have decided that rather than have a meeting about it, [whatever], it is a better use of time and energy to go out into the world and stand in-front of the machine and be obstructive to it! And at other times, to find alternative and sustainable ways of life, and live it! This does not require a meeting, just simple action.

I though it relevant to draw attention to another yahoo group thinggy,

I’ve been on for a while and a recent post that seems to illustrate exactly what some of us are saying. Especially about Londoncentric and politic orgs and in this instant, the lack of ‘Coalition’.

The future strategy of the STWC is mapped out by the SWP’s John Rees, a leading member of the STWC at

The coalition aims to become a social democratic alliance run by the SWP that ignores/fails to understand the growth of the global justice movement

I get the impression that there are lots of agendas / political ambitions, that I know little of [or care!]. With this war stuff, it was about an attempt at building coalitions, like , greenies, CND, the left, straight politico, non-politicos, hippies, ravers, anarcho etc. most of these folks have got an attitude about meetings. Not meeting people though, that’s good. But meeting under rules, that’s frequently boring. Now the methods that we had tried have failed, it is all falling apart now, with little else to bind the coalition together.

My support, and I think quite a few others, was / is for opposition to the war. Not the left analyses on the state of things. They have always made me a little tired.

The different agendas of folks had become had, AGAIN, become apparent back in march / april. Many thought the idea of yet another march in London, was only going to be of advantage to the coach companies. Other felt we were past all that, and it was necessary to ‘go to the bases’ and be obstructive!

Menwith Hill, Fairford. Fylingdales, Reclaim the Bases, Fasleine, Northwood, were all suggested many turned out, but ‘the party machine’ was conspicuous in is absence in all these cases. It even got at far in argument that the SWP, not the police, had put about emails and rumours that the Fairford actions had been cancelled, so that more would go to london for the march. And hence further some folks ‘political ambitions’ and messages afterwards.

Many of us remain active, but think boring meetings, follow by a march saying ‘down with sommat’, is not going sell many onions. I wonder if the three days after mayday march in nottingham, might have illustrated that to some. I doubt it.

Nottingham ‘Collected’ Work at:

‘Three Days after Mayday, Mayday March in Nottingham [from gallery pages 9 to 11]

A friend of mine claims that he and his wife are in the biggest and probably fastest growing political party in Britain – they are both ex members of the Socialist Workers Party. They, like many, found being in the SWP not unlike being in a cult. They too had directives from a central committee or leader, they too had to strictly follow an ideology and they too had to perform daily tasks and rituals, namely selling the paper. If the SWP had the flair of the Hare Krishna’s they would be dancing up and down Oxford St banging drums and chanting “Marx and Trotsky, Marx and Trotsky, Trotsky and Marx.” Unfortunately “flair” is just one of a number of qualities the SWP doesn’t possess – popularity being another that just happens to spring to mind.

The SWP has been criticised for its involvement in the anti war movement. Mainly from the pro war camp, who condemn the SWP for being a “far left” group and therefore by implication too radical. For some the problem with the SWP is the polar opposite – they are too conservative. The SWP domination of the Stop The War Coalition was unsurprising; they are old hands at controlling “popular fronts”. They have to be. Without fronts like Globalise Resistance (commonly known by activists as Monopolise Resistance) they would have shrivelled into political oblivion long ago. What should be surprising is their treatment of the coalition partners. For a group that hates the competitive pressures of capitalism and believes in our ability to co-operate with each other, the SWP are totally incapable of co-operation. Coalition partners found themselves presented with decisions as a fait accompli, the SWP would call a demonstration then inform its partners after the press release had gone out. Not content with dominating the STW they actively undermined protests and demonstrations that were independent of them.

Not only are the SWP incapable of treating individuals from other groups as equals, for many activists the SWP aren’t that “active”. For a bunch of revolutionaries they do seem to spend an inordinate amount of time in shopping centres selling the paper and recruiting. Which just doesn’t seem that revolutionary. I don’t recall Che Guevara uttering the words ” You can pay the monthly subs by direct debit if you like.”

On the London demonstration on the 22nd of March it was the SWP stewards who tried to stop protestors taking part in a spontaneous sit down protest outside Downing Street. They have a problem with direct action or civil disobedience, as do some Labour MP’s who have conveniently forgotten that they have their jobs as a result of direct action. One senior member of the SWP and STW steering committee was quoted as saying in full-blown Pravda style “direct action is elitist”. How can protest actions that anyone can organise and commit be elitist? It is natural for the SWP to dislike people organising independently. What use are people who spend the day chaining themselves to the gates of a nuclear base to the SWP. Chained to a fence you can’t even hold a pen to sign the membership form? The SWP’s main priority is recruitment. Why else did they continually call demonstrations week after week during the conflict?

This was a massive tactical error for the anti war movement. When the bombing started many felt dispirited and tired, many were organising and carrying out other actions and protests. More importantly the SWP had not registered with the fact that many people on the massive February demonstration where there because they felt they had been denied a democratic voice. These demonstrations were bound to result in diminishing numbers and to be judged by many as the collapse of the anti war movement. However, if recruitment to your party is the priority the demos were a success. Even if you get only 20,000 people out, they are what market researchers might term a pure market group. They are prime targets for recruitment and who cares if the peace movement breaks in the process.

For many in the anti war and anti globalisation movement the act of creative dissent is a cornerstone to their moral and political philosophy. They want to empower and inspire themselves as well as others. Over a million people marching in London against the war was inspiring. However, on a day to day scale isn’t a group of Quakers spiking the bombers support vehicle at Fairford or a carnival of dissent at RAF Menwith Hill or stopping a bomb convoy by locking on to the vehicle more inspiring then hearing the words “copy of this weeks Socialist Worker comrade?” We don’t know exactly what country Bush will attack next but there is no doubt that he will. The peace movement could do a lot worse than start to organise a coalition free from SWP domination, one that regards peace as the goal and co-operation as a method to get there. . … ….. …… Mark Thomas

My main page for the ‘Stop the War’ Work and Reports:

Mayday: Stop the War demo, Nottingham

Were you can see more of what I mean. Cuckoo in the nest, me thinks .. .. .. ..

Various campaigns exist, as violence here in the inner-city, continues to rise. I walked past a shop in the St Anns district recently and it had a copy of this poster in the window. I was impressed, and though it quite ‘hard-hitting’. What is needed really.

‘Young, Gifted and Dead’

Have mentioned much about this previously, and the police response to it all. Many of us becoming quite scared by the progress.

Mothers Against Guns: Gun Crime, murder and shootings

Gun Crime and Police response – Collected Links

Well, one day perhaps. This not real yet, but they have ‘staked their webspace’ and it gives an idea of the possibilities ……… I was especially attracted that you would be able to get their service, at the end of a WAP phone

iToke WAP

Buy your cannabis online… (Independent, 30 October 2000) By Gail Robinson

So far you can only get the T-shirt, but the founders of iToke think it’s just a matter of time.

The image of a typical cannabis smoker uncannily matches that of atypical Net-user – thirtysomething members of the slacker generation looking to rebel, but in a mild way.

Tim Freccia and Mike Tucker are the founders of iToke (, an Amsterdam-based website that aims to make the whole process of buying pot safe and respectable.

Pay a visit to the iToke site and you’ll see why some Amsterdam coffeehouse owners have accused them of attempting to Amazonify the coffee-shop scene. The stylish iToke website has been designed to look like a mix of Apple’s online store and Starbucks’ coffee site.

The buying process seems simple, you get yourself a rechargeable iToken, which works much like a phone card. Then you place your order via the website or over the phone or by using a WAP phone (two grams max, I’m afraid). A bicycle courier delivers your cannabis and if it doesn’t get there within 30 minutes then, just like pizza deliveries, you get your goods for free.

The only problem is that this revolutionary service was meant to launch in Amsterdam on 1 September, but currently the only thing that you are able to buy is an iToke T-shirt. Co-founder Tim Freccia explains: “We made a strategic decision not to launch for a couple of reasons. The biggest was because of the amount of publicity we’d had over the last few months, we thought we would have a media circus. The second reason was we were getting mail from a certain sector of the Amsterdam coffee-shop community that seemed to indicate that we were being misconceived.”

ON DAY .. .. .. .. .. ..

Protest and celebrate at English Heritages decision to open the monument on the wrong day! Actual solstice on 22nd June, but officially only open on the 21st.

Tempory solstice car park open from 12.00am to 4pm (last admittance 11am) on Saturday 21st June.

Free accesss to the stones (subject to security searches) Stones open from from 2.00am to noon Saturday 21st June 2003 (as of 5th of May still no confirmation officially of access times from English Heritage).

Unfortunately the solstice dawn occurs on the 22nd and festival campaigners intend to protest at the decision to deny access with music fun and agit prop morris dancing… The campaigners are demanding full restoration of their traditional rights of free access to Stonehenge and provision of land for camping while attending the summer solstice celebration from the 21st to Sunday 22nd of June 2003, Acoustic musicians and groups wanting to participate in the celebration should contact Seize the day, Headmix Celtica and Nik Turner are some of the groups who have already agreed to play.Bring a drum a guitar, and join in the fun for the future of the stonehenge solstice celebration.

on Guilfin

and Indymedia at:


English Heritage have just announced their list of restrictions for the event. There is a shed load, as usual. Take a peek at:

A whole day, trying to find more details about devices and services. I want to take a picture with such a phone, but, then upload it to a website.

When every picture tells a story Bill Thompson, BBC Friday, 3 January, 2003, 08:54 GMT

With cameras everywhere, technology consultant Bill Thompson wonders if we should be worried about where the images of ourselves are ending up.

…… it is also a pointer to a future in which visual records are increasingly available online, and this has some frightening implications. We will soon be surrounded by millions of picture phones, all with internet connectivity and the ability to send photos via e-mail, or upload them to websites.

* * * * * *

I’ve included this extract from the BBC tech website, ‘cos it confirms that a process I’m trying to do, does exist and IS possible.

Bill Thompson info and contact

Being a photographer, I’m very interested in the development of the digital cameras on mobile phones AND their application.

The system is being sold as ‘picture messaging’ ie. sending a photo from one mobile device to another. If the other party does not have a suitable mobile, if can be sent to an e-mail address, and viewed later on a PC.

Right then, none of this is news! However, I’m interested in another possiblity. That of taking a picture with such a phone, which I would be able to upload it to a website, thus be instantly viewable, by the public.

I can already, [as regulars on my blog will know] write some text on my WAP phone, and publish it to my blog.

Details of how I do this WAP to my Blog at:

I have been able to do this for a couple of years now, but am finding so much difficulty in finding out, if I can add a picture as well.

I might be able to call myself a proper ‘internet photo-journalist’ then 🙂

When dealing with police / protest / evidence in the street, can you image how much the police are going to hate that? Not just by trouble-makers like me, but by very many members of the public who find authority being oppressive to them! In fact, Police Review has already covered this as a possiblity of concern to officers in an article by Superintendent Peter Woods of the Northumbria Police, in an article titled: ‘Candid Camera: how in the near future, mobile phones will change the work of the police’ . Police Review 27th September 2002.

As I say, I’m still looking into what devices and services, might be able to do this. Considerations are also picture quality, picture size, compression, memory capacity [number of saved images] and loads more!

After an afternoon round the shops, [where most shop assistants have though me to be talking Martian!]. I think it comes down to the following devices.

Sony Ericsson – P800

the alteratives being, the Nokia 3650 and the Samsung V200

Latest news on all this might well happen on these info sites.

Smartphones info center:

Sony Ericsson P800 – Symbian News:

GSM Arena:

On-Message – Weblog and commentary on multimedia messaging from FableFlow

Contact 2.0 expedition software:

So, please, if you think you know more of the possibilities than this, or, have some advice to offer me, please e-mail me at:

* * * * * *

Mentionned earlier, the new UK Music Licensing Bil. This is still being debated in parliament but only until the 20th May.

The Licensing Bill was launched on 15 November 2002 as a ‘central plank in the government’s drive to tackle antisocial behaviour’. This bill increases licensing control over the performance of live music and replaces the ‘two in a bar rule’ with a ‘none in a bar rule’. In future, even solo acoustic performance would be illegal unless the premises is licensed for live music. The Bill has positive proposals that will benefit specialist music venues (reducing high annual public entertainment licence fees). However, there is a real risk that if enacted without amendment it would lead to a two-tier regime in which thousands of smaller pubs, bars and restaurants would lose the right to host even solo acoustic performance on any regular basis.

previously on Blog at:

Two in a bar to none in a bar – the Licensing Bill

Licensing Bill 2003 – a threat to live music

Pub music scene ‘under threat’ : licensing bill 2003

As new technology moves rapidly into ever more user friendly and haptic interfaces, the distinction of what is hi-tech and what is an everyday tool is blurred. The mystery decreases in inverse proportion to the size of user base.

The second Radiator Festival celebrates new technology art as a discipline practised by an increasing number of artists. Not so long ago this practise was restricted to the computer monitor, now there is the capability to take it to the outside world.

Since the late nineties there has been a rapid proliferation of media art festivals trying to encapsulate this new form of art. Although the term is vaguely defined by its usage of electronic or digital technology, considering the wide range of artists from all fields now utilising it in some form, new media art could be seen as an umbrella term rather than a specific discipline in its own right.

The works shown within Radiator 002 create environments within which the viewer can experience the real world with technology acting as the mediator. This is in contrast to the assumption that digital art can only take us on a screen based computer generated fantasy. While online galleries have neither proven to be a run away success nor done away with the need for a traditional exhibition space, the white cube is increasingly finding the need to accommodate digital technology within its infrastructure.

Media art today has moved away from a merely virtual environment contained within a ‘beige box’ in favour of placing work in a physical space; from the passive state we now move towards the interactive and immersive. Interestingly, many of the artists presented in the Radiator 002 Festival come primarily from a performance background rather than a digital or technical one.

As the name might suggest, Radiator presents electronic art works that spread away from the small screen of a computer into the wider world of space and architecture. Such interdisciplinary work tests the possibilities that new technologies throw up and readily combine with the process of exploration that artists have always engaged in.

In these ten days Radiator 002 will present a packed programme of exhibits, screenings, workshops, talks, evening events and presentations.

On wednesday [tomorrow], there is:


Plug into a whole day of careers advice and information for creatives. Representatives and individuals working within the creative industries will be offering advice about funding systems, business opportunities, courses and much more.

Included in the programme are the following:

Arts Council England has launched its Grants for the Arts for individuals, organisations and national touring, with just one application form and one set of guidelines for people applying from anywhere in England

Business Link

Christine Johnson is the Creative Industries Specialist Adviser for Business Link. Although based at Business Link Derbyshire with a focus on developing business support in the county the role also has a regional perspective. Research into the Creative Industries sector, commissioned by EMDA, defined the need for Business Link as a key partner to developing and supporting the growth of the creative industries sector within the East Midlands. This is acheived by working with individual companies, networks and key strategic partners throughout the East Midlands region, linking appropriate funding sources and business support to the needs of individuals and companies.

Creative Technologies – Postgraduate School of Art and Design

Frank Abbott is the Course Leader for the new one-year PGDip/MA/MSc Creative Technologies course at Nottingham Trent School of Art and Design that starts in January 2004. Besides the traditional art based intake they are looking to recruit technologists and science orientated workers looking to re-skill or change careers. He will be present in the Mezz to introduce this course, plus a portfolio of postgraduate courses that cover the many riches at Nottingham Trent School of Art and Design.

EM Media

EM Media is the integrated media agency for the region. We exist to grow the media economy by supporting access to, production and distribution of media in the East Midlands. In particular, we distribute Lottery funds on behalf of the Film Council and can provide a wide range of support to those thinking of setting up or developing their media business or project. Media includes: film, video, broadcast, radio, games and website


Contact for more details.

Wed 07.05.03 Broadway Mezzanine @ 11am – 4pm Cost: Free




is a space, for




reasons ………!

Added this entry form WAP phone, on passing through Hartington [SK151612]

Details of how I do this WAP > Blog @

Added full entry, when I got home:

Rode from Thorpe, [SK164502] to a couple of miles north of Parsley Hay. [SK148638]. That’s where the High Peak and Tissington Trails meet.

There are many cycle tracks, created from the old railway tracks, that serviced the brick kilns and quarries of the area. A lovely way to see some of englands finest countryside, oh, and being railway tracks, they don’t go up and down that much!!

Middle of last month, I tried out the other ‘leg’ of these tracks.

High Peak Trail, from Middleton Top

* * * * * *

Tissington Track Info:

Other cycle tracks info:

Added this entry form WAP phone, on passing through Hartington [SK151612]

Next Page »