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’s, vj’s, 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.

PLEASE COME AND HELP! ! ! ! !

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

Email: info@m12.org.uk

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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

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/4278241.stm

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.”

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/4278241.stm

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 🙂

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:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/gall/0,8542,708140,00.html
http://www.subvertise.org
http://tash.gn.apc.org/gal_ps-arty1.htm
http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2004/10/299957.html
http://www.guardian.co.uk/arts/story/0,3604,707822,00.html
http://subvertise.org/details.php?code=8
http://subvertise.org/details.php?code=581
http://www.venue.co.uk/global/global04_32.pdf
http://bristol.indymedia.org/newswire/display/15870/index.php

[this especially interesting, trying to get it on the telly]
http://barcelona.indymedia.org/front.php3?article_id=557
http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2001/05/5060.html

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.

http://www.huntcrimewatch.com

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

http://www.league.uk.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

* * * * * *

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

http://society.guardian.co.uk/environment/story/0,14124,1412417,00.html

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.

http://society.guardian.co.uk/environment/story/0,14124,1412417,00.html

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