February 2005

Major Nottingham fundraiser for campaign against the G8 Summit (which will be in Scotland from July 6th-8th).

The 12th of March is the date for a very large Dissent! fundraising event to take place in Nottingham.

The event, which will probably get over a 1000 people in, will see a large variety of bands, dj鈥檚, vj鈥檚, poets, artists, break dancers, and other performances on various stages throughout the night.

The pre-sale of tickets will start at the beginning of February. Venue TBA. Much help will be needed in the week before and especially on the day itself to get this off the ground.


Full event details at http://www.m12.org.uk.

Email: info@m12.org.uk

Led by a wagon and horse and Romani musicians, Travellers will march through central London on Saturday, 9 April, calling for an end to evictions.

PLEASE JOIN US by coming to St James’s Church, Piccadilly, at 12 noon for the Commemoration of Roma victims of genocide and ethnic cleansing.

The march will start at approximately 1.30. It will be followed by a public meeting to launch the first-ever Traveller election campaign.

A candidate will be adopted stand against anti-Gypsy Tory MP John Baron, who is leading the campaign to “clear” Dale Farm, the biggest Traveller community in the UK.

Meanwhile, Cliff and Janie Codona have been forced to leave Woodside – having spent four years trying to get planning permission for their caravan park.

More details:
call Grattan Puxon 01206 523528

Global blogger action day called
By Jo Twist
BBC News science and technology reporter


The global web blog community is being called into action to lend support to two imprisoned Iranian bloggers.

The month-old Committee to Protect Bloggers’ is asking those with blogs to dedicate their sites on Tuesday to the “Free Mojtaba and Arash Day”.

Arash Sigarchi and Mojtaba Saminejad are both in prison in Iran.

Blogs are free sites through which people publish thoughts and opinions. Iranian authorities have been clamping down on prominent sites for some time.

“I hope this day will focus people,” Curt Hopkins, director of the Committee, told the BBC News website.

The group has a list of actions which it says bloggers can take, including writing to local Iranian embassies.

The Committee has deemed Tuesday “Free Mojtaba and Arash Day” as part of its first campaign.

It is calling on the blogsphere – the name for the worldwide community of bloggers – to do what it can to help raise awareness of the plight of Mojtaba and Arash as well as other “cyber-dissidents”.

Some blogs have already posted messages about the day, and some have downloaded the banner to mark it.

“If you have a blog, the least you could do is put nothing on that blog except ‘Free Mojtaba and Arash Day’,” said Mr Hopkins.

“That would mean you could see that phrase 7.1 million times. That alone will shine some light on the situation.

“If you don’t have one, find one dedicated to that – it takes about 30 seconds.”

Technorati, a blog search engine, tracks about six million blogs and says that more than 12,000 are added daily.

A blog is created every 5.8 seconds, according to a US research think-tank.

‘No man’s land’

The Committee to Protect Bloggers was started by US blogger Curt Hopkins and counts fired flight attendant blogger Ellen Simonetti as a deputy director.

She has since started the International Bloggers’ Bill of Rights, a global petition to protect bloggers at work.

Although not the only website committed to human rights issues by any means, it aims to be the hub or organisation, information and support for bloggers in particular and their rights to freedom of speech.

The Committee, although only a month old, aims to be the focal point for blogger action on similar issues in the future, and will operate as a non-for-profit organisation.

“Blogging is in this weird no man’s land. People think of it as being one thing or another depending on their point of view,” said Mr Hopkins.

“Some think of themselves as pundits, kind of like journalists, and some like me have a private blog which is just a publishing platform.

“But they do not have a constituency and are out there in the cold.”

‘Everyone doing it’

A spokesman for Amnesty International said: “Just as the internet is a tool for freedom, so it is being used as an excuse for repression.

“Amnesty International has recorded a growing number of cases of people detained or imprisoned for disseminating their beliefs or information through the internet, in countries such as China, Syria, Vietnam, the Maldives, Cuba, Iran and Zimbabwe.

“It is also shocking to realise that in the communications age just expressing support for an internet activist is enough to land people in jail.”

It is not just human rights issues in countries which have a track record of restricting what is published in the media that is of concern to bloggers.

The question of bloggers and what rights they have to say what they want on their sites is a thorny one and has received much press attention recently.

High profile cases in which employees have been sacked for what they have said on their personal, and often anonymous blogs, have highlighted the muddy situation that the blogsphere is currently in.

“This is a big messy argument,” explained Mr Hopkins.

He added: “It is just such a new way of doing business, there will be clamp downs.”

But the way these issues get tested is through the courts which, said Mr Hopkins, “is part of the whole messy conversation.”

“If you haven’t already got bloggers in your company, you will have them tomorrow – and if you don’t have a blogger policy now you had better start looking at having one.

Mr Hopkins said that the blogsphere – which is doubling every five months – was powerful because it takes so little time and expertise to create a blog.

“Everyone does this – mums, radicals, conservatives,” he said.

Many companies offer easy-to-use services to create a blog and publish it in minutes to a global community.

“That is the essential difference. What I call ‘templating software’ gives every single person on Earth the chance to have one.

“You don’t even have to have your own computer.”


Actually, being a piece of advertising, that has been ‘Subvertised’, it is a tory election poster that they thought should have said.

“The law should protect me, not burglars!”

I think you get the idea. Nottingham might see some more of this 馃檪

http://www.subvertise.org for other examples

a few more piccys on my FotoBlog at: http://tashcamuk.fotopages.com/?entry=357202

and, on Indymedia at: http://indymedia.org.uk/en/2005/02/305629.html

More links about this subject, check out:


Click to access global04_32.pdf


[this especially interesting, trying to get it on the telly]

With the commencement of the Hunting Act 2004, this week, the League Against Cruel Sports, Huntwatch, Hunt Sabs and others, ask people to be on the look-out for such illegal activities. Further, and most importantly, to gather evidence of a suitable standard to help gain a prosecution.


Please email them if you can help with any of the following activities:

If you want to attend an ‘introduction day’ to hunt monitoring.
If you see or hear anything that you think might be relevant and useful. If you have them, please send us details of where hunts are meeting. You might find this information by looking in local post offices and shops where hunts will sometimes advertise their meets. You could also phone your local hunt to find out where they are meeting.

Please see “Masters of Foxhounds Association” http://www.mfha.co.uk where you will find a list of hunts with contact details.

If you can help donate equipment such as video cameras (even if they are old-fashioned ones), camcorder batteries and tapes, handheld GPS, mobile phones, walkie talkies, compasses, binoculars, or small audio cassette recorders. Anything donated could be passed on to monitors who might need it.

Please send them news cuttings from your local papers with information about the hunt which will help us to piece together their movements and intentions.

Spread the word about the programme and the other ways in which people can help and encourage others to join us.

eMail at: info@huntcrimewatch.com


The Law: Hunting Act 2004: http://www.hmso.gov.uk/acts/acts2004/20040037.htm

On Tuesday 15th Feb, around 30 cyclists gathered at about 3pm in Nottingham for a critical mass ride with the theme of ‘no more blood for oil’ and ‘no G8 2005’, together with raising the issues of transport priorities in the city.

We set off towards the city centre and went round and round a key rounabout in the city centre until we became victims of our own sucess ie we couldn’t move because the roundabout was backed up with stationary traffic. We then set off through the centre of Nottingham and down to another key roundabout with chants of ‘no more blood for oil’ and ‘get out your car and on your bike’.

The drivers must have supported us because they were all beeping like mad at us. One or two SUV drivers seemed particularly inconvenienced, especially when they tried to pass us by mounting the pavement which they suddenly found to be blocked by bikes.

We cycled round for around two hours and fun was had by all.
It is hoped to make the critcal mass a regular monthly event so watch this space for news.

More piccys on my FotoBlog at: http://tashcamuk.fotopages.com/?entry=353433

and, an Indymedia entry at: http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2005/02/305420.html

Sumac ‘Events’ Diary: http://www.veggies.org.uk/arc/event.php?ref=213

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McDonalds, Nottingham.

After the Critical Mass Bike Ride around Nottingham, a few folks went down to the local McDonalds, to hand out leaflets and the tell passers by, about the court success of the McLibel Two.

Very well done guys.

Dosen’t anyone think that Burger King and the like, are needing a bit more attention?

FotoBlog at: http://tashcamuk.fotopages.com/?entry=353453

Indymedia entry at: http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2005/02/305441.html

Quarry firm and national park discuss land-swap

David Ward :: Monday February 14, 2005
The Guardian


They are not coming down from the trees or filling in the tunnels yet. Nor will they abandon the hammock-like nets they have stretched across a deep and silent quarry filled with infant trees.

But there are signs that eco-warriors might be about to win their long battle to ensure that quarrying will not destroy the peace of the Nine Ladies, a bronze age stone circle on the moor above Endcliffe and Lees Cross quarries near Matlock in the Peak District.

Some thought they might leave when planners and the Stancliffe Stone company announced a cautious deal last month to solve the problem of squaring stone extraction with the protection of a treasured landscape in the world’s second most visited national park.

But the protesters say they will not budge until they are certain. “This is our national park,” said Julie, who has lived there for four-and-half years.

“We have put so much effort in here and I’m not willing to see it sold off for the profit of a few people.”

There are about 60 dwellings on the site, many of them, including a caravan up a tree and a narrow corrugated iron hut, rather more sophisticated than those built at the Newbury bypass or Manchester airport protests.

“Even if nothing happens for two years, it would be daft for us to move out if we have already been here for five years,” said Wookie.

In 1952, in the run-up to the creation of the Peak District National Park, the government granted planning permission for quarrying at the two sites until 2042. But in 1996, park officials listed Lees Cross and Endcliffe as dormant under the 1995 Environment Act, arguing that they had not been worked for many years.

Last year, Stancliffe went to the high court to claim that the quarries were active. They lost but appealed, with the case due back in court next month.

Now the park has agreed to a suggestion by Stancliffe that both sides ask for the appeal to be adjourned while they negotiate a land swap, with Stancliffe giving up its right to work in the two contentious quarries while seeking permission to cut stone on a site at Dale View close by.

To do that, the quarry company would have to make a completely new, and possibly unprecedented, planning application to cut stone in the national park because the scheme would not be covered by the 50-year-old permissions. Securing that permis sion could prove tricky. “None of us can predict … what will be in Stancliffe’s planning application, none of us can predict how we as officers will react to it, and none of us can predict the outcome when it comes to the planning committee,” said Jim Dixon, the park’s chief executive. “But we have made it very clear to Stancliffe that if they put in an exemplary application, address very thoroughly issues such as lorry movements, and are prepared to offer Endcliffe and Stone Lees, then there is a precedent for us approving that kind of proposal. If at the end of that process, Stancliffe are unhappy with the permission or we refuse it, we go back to where we are now.

“But the general sense of what we are doing now is mediation, trying to resolve the issue without the game of dice that is the high court,” he said.

The eco-warriors suspect a deal has been done behind closed doors, although the park denies this. “If I was the national park, I’d tell Stancliffe, ‘We’ve got you by the short and curlies. If you want to discuss the land swap seriously, drop the court action now’,” said Ben Hartley, a long-term protester.

The general manager of Stancliffe, Mike Jones, said the company wanted to secure the jobs of 68 workers and ensure that stone would be available for construction work.

“We are looking for an extension at Dale View quarry which is more in keeping with the park’s principles for quarrying,” he said.

“After the adjournment hearing we would hold a pre-consultation meeting with local residents, the park and other interested groups such as the Campaign to Protect Rural England, so that we can hear the views of interested parties.”

Sorting out the land swap deal could take two years. “This is becoming a running sore,” Mr Hartley said.

“The park is leaving it all hanging. Stancliffe could reactivate their appeal at any time and could win if the political environment changes. It’s a very powerful iron they have in the fire.”

He, Rosie and Wookie are looking forward to spring. But they do not believe it will be the last season they will spend at Stanton Lees.


Cold today or what!!, blasting northern gale, so put on a pace, to keep warm. I could see snow on some far peaks, about 20 miles north.

Had started out from Monsal Head, along Monsal Dale, walking out west first of all, along the River Wye. Then returned on the other bank, back to the viaduct.

Then Struck north to Wardlow village. You can see this trig for miles all around.

Map of the Area at:

Triangulation Pillar at Wardlow [S4192]:

at: OS Ref: SK178739

More piccys of this landscape at:

I had gone to the University of Nottingham students ‘Peace Conference’. Attended by the usual suspects, and a few extra, but really, not enough new faces. I had put in a couple of hours, listening to speeches, but I was getting a backache, so went outside for a walk.

A distant ‘kodo’ style drumming attracted my attention from the Lakeside Arts Centre, on the other side of the grounds. ‘Twas then I realised the so colourful spectacle I was missing!

There was some Chinese classical pieces, the regulation and truly splendid dragon, acrobatics, dance, and a children鈥檚 choir. I piece also put together by the Chinese society from Broxtowe College, here in Nottingham.

More piccys on my FotoBlog at: http://tashcamuk.fotopages.com/?entry=353970

I wasn’t expecting any of this when I awoke this morning: but I’m going to put myself out, to find more of this culture’s entertainments. A fantastic performance.

Lakeside Arts – University of Nottingham :: http://www.lakesidearts.org.uk

Royal shrovetide football is an ancient annual event that takes place in Ashbourne, Derbyshire on Shrove Tuesday. It has little to do with normal football, for the game has few rules. Murder and manslaughter are barred as is the transportation of the ball by vehicle. Play after midnight is also forbidden.

There are 2 goal posts, one at Sturton Mill, the other at Clifton Mill, a distance of 3 miles apart, and the 2 sides are made up of those that live north of Henmore Brook, called the Uppard`s, and those who live south of it, called the Down`ards. In reality anyone can join in the fun.

Ashbourne town centre is boarded up for the occasion and the game starts around 2pm, with a leather and cork ball being `turned up` at Shaw Croft by a local dignitary, usually after a short speech.

The ball is hardly ever kicked, but mostly `hugged` by a scrum which tries to move forward. At times there seems to be hardly any movement at all, except for players desperate to get into the scrum. Sometime or other, the ball has to go into Henmore Brook and everyone follows, regardless of the soaking they will get.

If a goal is scored before 5pm, a new ball is turned up at Shaw Croft, as the scorer is allowed to keep the ball. Women do take part and have occasionaly scored.

It is called `Royal` because in 1928 the ball was `turned up` by the then, Prince of Wales, later to become Edward the Eighth. In 2003 the ball was turned by by Prince Charles.

More pictures on my FotoBlog at: http://tashcamuk.fotopages.com/?entry=347178

The Green Man connection
Whilst the crowds gather to watch the game and the players enjoy a little pre-game refreshement, others are in the Green Man Royal Hotel continuing the Shrovetide tradition.

The Green Man Royal Hotel is the venue for the pre-game luncheon.

Here, the starter, the Shrovetide Football Game Committee and other dignitaries spend a couple of hours of socialising over drinks and a roast dinner.

The Shrovetide Anthem is sung and the starter is usually invited to make a brief speech after lunch.

It is here where the crowds get their first match-day glimpse of the ball as it is carried out of the Green Man (under guard!) and taken to the Shaw Croft car park.

The Green Man, a former coaching inn, has hosted the Shrovetide lunch since ancient times.

Once the ball has been carried out of the Green Man Royal Hotel, the starter is ‘guarded’ as he carries it along Dig Street and into the Shaw Croft car park. The guards are necessary to prevent over-eager players or souvenir-hunters from stealing the ball!

As it is paraded through the town crowds cheer and follow the ball to its starting point – a specially-constructed plinth. The starter mounts the plinth and holds the ball aloft for all to see.

The players are reminded of the rules which state that the game must not be allowed to wander onto church ground or the memorial gardens and that residents’ private property (including cars!) must be respected and should not be damaged.
After that, the National Anthem is sung and a chorus of Auld Lang Syne.

Then, at 2pm, it’s all up to the starter – he lifts the ball high and throws it into the waiting crowd.

Often, the ball is immediately lost from sight as it is grabbed by a large scrum of players, known as the ‘hug’.

From there, it’s anybody’s guess as to where the ball will go and it can often be stuck in the same spot for many, many minutes as the opposing teams push against each other.

Frequently, the ball ends up stuck in the River Henmore.

Shrovetide football has been played for centuries and possibly for over 1,000 years.
The origins of the annual Ashbourne Shrovetide football game have long been lost in the midsts of time after a fire at the Royal Shrovetide Committee office in the 1890s.

The earliest surviving reference to the game is from 1683 when Charles Cotton, who penned ‘The Compleat Angler’, wrote about it.

There are many versions as to the true origins of the game – but the most popular seems to be the theory that the ‘ball’ was originally a head tossed into the waiting crowd following an execution.

There have also been several attempts to ban the game – the most famous being in 1349 when Edward III tried to outlaw it as he claimed it interfered with his archery practice!

And in 1878 the game was briefly banned after a man drowned in the Henmore. Local land-owners signed petitions and refused to let the game take place on their properties.

The game has received true ‘Royal Assent’ only twice – in 1928 the Prince of Wales, later Edward VIII, turned up the ball. This is when the event officially earned the designation Royal Shrovetide Football.

Later, in 2003, HRH Prince Charles turned up the ball. He had agreed to start the game for the two previous years but had to cancel due to Foot-and-Mouth, which forced the cancellation of the game, and the death of his aunt, Princess Maragaret.

Records show that 1943 was the first year in which the ball was goaled by a woman. Doris Mugglestone goaled for the Up’ards and Doris Sowter goaled for the Down’ards – both on Ash Wednesday.

There are actually few ‘rules’ to playing in the Ashbourne Shrovetide Football Game – but there are some pointers to getting the best from the game and understanding it.

Many local traders have become wise to the ‘hazards’ of Shrovetide Football over the years and these days Ashbourne town centre is boarded up for the occasion.

This helps protect property from a surging ‘hug’ and protects the players from the possibility of broken glass.

The main rules of the game are:
Keep the ball out of churchyards, the cemetery and the Memorial Gardens.
Do not trespass on other people’s property.
You must not intentionally cause harm to others.
The ball must not be hidden in bags or rucksacks.
The ball must not be transported in motorised vehicles.
Murder and manslaughter are barred

One of the earliest rules, from ancient times, states that players must not murder their opponents!

The players are divided into two teams, the Up’ards (those born north of the River Henmore) and the Down’ards, but in reality anyone can join in the fun.

There are two ‘goal posts’ – one at Sturston Mill, the other at Clifton Mill, a distance of three miles apart.

The ball is hardly ever kicked, but mostly hugged by a scrum which tries to move forward as each team pushes towards its own goal post.

A ball is goaled by tapping it three times against a marker board attached to the stone goal plinth.

If the ball is goaled before 5pm, a new ball is turned up at Shaw Croft, as the scorer is allowed to keep the ball.

Ashbourne Town Site

Shrovetide Football Guide

Shrovetide Game History


The government’s plans for compulsory identity cards raise serious questions about human rights and the invasion of privacy, an influential all-party group of MPs and peers has warned.

The joint parliamentary committee on human rights has also sharply criticised ministers for claiming that their ID card legislation is compatible with human rights conventions without giving any explanation to support the claim.

The report from the committee of MPs and peers, chaired by the Labour MP Jean Corston, says they have serious human rights concerns over key parts of the legislation including:

路 The extent of personal information held on the central computer register.

路 The potential for personal information to be recorded without the knowledge or consent of the individual concerned.

路 The potential for discrimination by making registration compulsory for certain groups, such as foreign nationals.

路 Personal information that can be disclosed to public service providers as a condition of access to public services.

路 Provision for extensive data sharing across both the public and private sectors.

The committee said: “The information which the bill envisages will be held on the register allows for significant intrusion into private life.”

The committee’s report was welcomed by the Liberal Democrats and by Liberty, the civil rights organisation. The Lib Dem president, Simon Hughes, said Charles Clarke “must listen to this crystal-clear warning”. Shami Chakrabarti of Liberty said it was meticulous in pointing up the numerous flaws in the legislation.

But the Home Office said it would respond in due course to the committee’s concerns, adding that the MPs and peers had also concluded that the European convention on human rights did not prevent the issue of any form of identity card.

“Twenty-one out of the 25 European states have identity card schemes, which underlines the point that ID cards do not raise concerns under the convention,” said a Home Office spokesman.

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ID cards put human rights at risk, say MPs and peers – Independent 3 Feb 2005


Proposals for ID cards which lie at the heart of Tony Blair’s pre-election programme were dealt a devastating blow yesterday as senior MPs and peers declared they risked infringing human rights.

Plans for compulsory biometric ID cards and a national identity database could breach the right to privacy and protection against discrimination enshrined in the European Convention on Human Rights, a powerful committee of MPs and peers said. A report by the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights, which checks that all law complies with the convention, warned that the legislation contained a string of potential breaches.

Human rights campaigners and MPs condemned ID cards for heralding a “surveillance society” and said yesterday’s report struck at the core of the Government’s plans. But Downing Street insisted planned ID cards would not violate international human rights law. It warned that doubts had been raised about the use of cards in preventing terrorism or crime, one of the key justifications for ID cards in human rights law.

Wide-ranging powers to hold information without consent, make cards compulsory for people applying for passports and allow organisations inside and outside government to access information about people all raised serious questions, the committee said.

In a letter to Charles Clarke, the Home Secretary, the committee demanded answers to 14 questions about the impact of the ID Card Bill on human rights. Their 30-page report was published before members of the committee question Mr Clarke about his proposals next week, with the ID Cards Bill going through the Commons.

The report rejected claims by ministers that ID cards would initially be voluntary, saying people would be forced to join a national identify database if it was linked to passport or driving licence applications.

The committee also raised questions about information to be held on ID cards, which could include previous addresses, immigration history and details of previous requests to access information by police, prospective employers or other bodies. The report warned that the Bill was “potentially highly intrusive of private life”, raising the prospect of any organisation asking people to produce an ID card or agree to an identity check before dealing with them.

The committee expressed concern at the lack of safeguards in the legislation and attacked the former home secretary David Blunkett, condemning as “deeply unsatisfactory” his failure to explain how the Bill conformed with human rights law.

Shami Chakrabarti, director of the pressure group Liberty, said the report was a “road map” for future legal challenges.

Its been a thing on the news of late, with the anniversary of Auschwitz liberation that first, young folk don’t know where / what that is, and on realising that, a few journo went off to ask a few more samples of young people, we’ll you don’t know about that then, what about Hitler? Who? so, education and history is worse than many of us thought …..

I had no interest in history myself at the secondary modern school I went to. I raised a laugh in the corridor a few time with the funny “History, no, future in it!”

HoHo. But not true is it. Those who don’t know any history are condemned to repeat mistakes etc …. and stuff seems to ‘come round again’, which means you stand a better chance of prediction, if you’ve got some idea what’s’ happened before.

Gypsy evictions all over the place, since the passing of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994. A lot of the gypsies thought it didn’t apply to them, only these hippy convoy types, and we don’t like them, so, ‘good riddance’. Some of us on this side of the fence said, they do mean you also. We saw a divide and rule mentality going on here. So on the day of enactment of the CJA at 9.30am, ‘Gypsies’ were the first to have some of the provisions applied. Downhill for all of us, ever since. Shame we couldn’t have stood more together, but, to late now. Most of my tribe has left, years ago, fearing yet more laws against them, and perhaps, a re-run of history.