Posts Tagged ‘protest’

38 Degrees loses the plot

December 23, 2015
Lewisham choir

Lewisham choir

38 Degrees urge me to buy a single promoting the NHS, apparently if enough fools can be pursued to part with their money, it will make the Christmas No 1 spot. Does anyone actually care what is the No 1 spot?

It’s going to be close. In just three days time, the battle for Christmas number one could be won by a group of NHS doctors and nurses who have recorded a song about the NHS.

The Christmas charts are usually dominated by whichever X-Factor song Simon Cowell chooses. But this year, there’s just 2,000 record sales between the NHS song and Justin Bieber. And there are millions of 38 Degrees members. If just 10,000 of us spend the 79p to buy the song, we could make sure the NHS gets to number one.

It’ll mean millions of people will hear that the NHS needs saving over the festive period. The song will be announced on Christmas Day and it’ll raise lots of awkward questions for Jeremy Hunt as every radio station and TV chart show plays the song.Please can you stand with the NHS this Christmas and help get the NHS to the top spot? Just click one of the options below to buy the single and bump the NHS up the charts.

The winner will be announced on Christmas Day at 1pm. Imagine the NHS nurses and doctors switching on the radio during their shifts and hearing the nation has decided the NHS deserves the top spot this year. It might bring an extra smile while they’re looking after our loved ones this Christmas.

Putting the NHS at number one this Christmas will send a powerful message to the staff who make our NHS something to be proud of: thank you. And a ripple through government as millions of people hear the message that the NHS is in trouble. Can you help bump the NHS single to the number one spot and prove Britain loves the NHS?

I do not buy rubbish. Not when there is music around worth buying, musicians worth supporting.

And where do they release this festive  jingle? Er, tax dodging Google and Apple.

Methinks  38 Degrees has lost the plot and scored a massive own goal.

I can see their logic, but not directing to iTunes or Google Play.

Why not direct to bandcamp?

It is also on Amazon, and beggars belief being streamed on Spotify.

Full marks to Justin Bieber for directing his fans to buy the NHS festive jingle, not his own offering. And anything but the garbage promoted by Simon Cowel.

Sheffield reporter threatened with arrest under anti-terrorism laws

June 25, 2014

Alex Evans ordered by police not to film pensioners’ Freedom Ride protest against cuts to free travel at city train station.

Sheffield Star editor James Mitchinson said what happened to the reporter was absolutely unacceptable and the paper would be seeking an explanation

Sheffield Star editor James Mitchinson said what happened to the reporter was absolutely unacceptable and the paper would be seeking an explanation

A reporter was threatened with arrest under anti-terrorism laws and forced to erase potentially important video evidence after filming a protest in Sheffield.

The editor of the Sheffield Star has demanded an explanation as to why his reporter, Alex Evans, was warned off filming a protest against cuts to free travel provision for pensioners and disabled people by British transport police officers on Monday.

Evans claims he was ordered to erase footage he’d recorded on his phone because he did not have permission to film on private property inside Sheffield station. When he initially resisted the request and continued to film, he says he was told he could be arrested under terror laws.

Shortly after he stopped filming, British transport police officers handcuffing and bundling away two men. The arrested men, aged 64 and 65, were taking part in the Freedom Ride, a long-running protest against cuts to free travel provision in South Yorkshire.

Evans claims he was ordered to erase footage he’d recorded on his phone because he did not have permission to film on private property inside Sheffield station. When he initially resisted the request and continued to film, he says he was told he could be arrested under terror laws.

James Mitchinson, editor of the Star, said on Tuesday: “What happened to our reporter Alex Evans yesterday was absolutely unacceptable and we will be seeking a full explanation of why he was treated in such a heavy-handed, threatening manner. To cite anti-terror laws is clearly nonsense. We have a right to report the news, and the Star will always fight for that right. Our readers expect nothing less.

“But this case illustrates just how difficult it can be to report the news, on the spot when, increasingly, authorities are seeking to ‘manage’ it.

“We’re well aware that Sheffield Station is, like all stations, technically private property, and ordinarily we’d need to seek permission to film there. But this wasn’t a PR stunt, it was an extraordinary event that couldn’t have been predicted and it was very much in the public interest that people were made aware of what was going on. As the local paper and website that’s our job, and it’s a job that people expect us to do.”

Evans claims British transport police told him the officer who asked him to delete his footage was part of Northern Rail’s rail response team. Northern Rail said it was trying to establish who made the request.

Though the reporter was prevented from filming the scuffles, members of the public managed to capture the arrests on their own phones.

The “rough” manner of the arrests have been criticised by organisers of the Freedom Ride demonstrations, which involve large groups of protesters all attempting to board the same train without buying a ticket.

Jen Dunstan, of Sheffield Disabled People Against the Cuts, told the Star: “Dozens of elderly and disabled people have been left with bruising. Some have cuts where their skin has broken from being pushed and shoved.

“A placid and calm gentleman was roughly manhandled. I am angry and shocked. The police are meant to protect elderly people.”

Northern Rail said in a statement: “Members of the media must have written permission from the train operator which manages the station before undertaking any filming on station property. Under no circumstances are Northern Rail employees to be filmed without prior agreement from the Northern Rail press office.”

A spokesman for British Transport Police said: “We were called upon to assist rail staff dealing with issues relating to an ongoing protest.

“As a result two people were arrested – on suspicion of travel fraud and obstructing a police officer – and the investigation into these alleged offences is ongoing.

“A number of separate incidents arising from these arrests, and involving police, have been brought to our attention. We are in the process of fully investigating these and will speak to all those involved.”

George Arthur, aged 64, and Tony Nuttall, 65, have been charged with failure to pay and obstructing police.

Reposted from The Guardian.

I have had the same problem, been threatened with arrest for taking photos on a station, though terrorism legislation was not invoked.

Free Pussy Riot!

August 20, 2012
Pussy Riot v Vladimir Putin

Pussy Riot v Vladimir Putin

Free Pussy Riot supporter in Barcelona

Free Pussy Riot supporter in Barcelona

A man dies from a tumour, so how can a country survive with growths like labour camps and exiles? — Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

The outrage across the world has been nothing short of phenomenal!

On Friday, three members of the feminist punk group Pussy Riot were sentenced in a Stalin-era show trial to two years in prison for staging a peaceful protest against Russian President Vladimir Putin inside an Orthodox church. A judge rejected the argument their act was a form of political protest, instead ruling it was motivated by religious hatred. As the verdict came down Friday, solidarity protests took place in more than 60 cities around the world marking Global Pussy Riot Day.

The Pussy Riot case was seen as a key test of how far Putin would go to crackdown on dissidents during his third stint as president.

What message does it send to the world when the three young women are held in chains, in a cage with bars, then a glass cage, in court for 12 hours a day, not allowed breaks to go to the toilet or to eat, back to prison for five hours, but not to sleep as the only time to prepare their case.

Two years in a penal colony, a slave labour camp, for singing a protest song.

Imprisoned and persecuted writers have PEN, we now need something similar for musicians.

Has nothing changed in Russia since Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn wrote Cancer Ward and One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich?

Is the Kremlin so corrupt and rotten that Pussy Riot brings it crumbling to the ground?

Russia has a collapsing economy. It needed oil at $40 a barrel, it now needs oil at $150 a barrel. Investors will avoid Russia like the plague.

Reagan bankrupted the Soviet Union by forcing an arms race it could not afford and dragging into a war in Afghanistan it could not sustain. Vladimir Putin is now bankrupting Russia by making promises he cannot honour and presiding of a kleptocracy that is robbing the country.

Vladimir Putin is turning Russia into a pariah state. He has backed Assad in the slaughter of the Syrian people, now he is persecuting Pussy Riot for singing a protest song.

Please sign the global petitions in support of Pussy Riot:

http://www.allout.org/en/actions/russianriot

We are all Pussy Riot. You cannot kill an idea.

Garry Kasparov beaten by police outside Pussy Riot trial

August 19, 2012
Garry Kasparov beaten by police outside Pussy Riot trial

Garry Kasparov beaten by police outside Pussy Riot trial

Garry Kasparov beaten by police outside Pussy Riot trial

Garry Kasparov beaten by police outside Pussy Riot trial

Garry Kasparov was speaking to reporters outside the Moscow courthouse where the sentencing of the band Pussy Riot was taking place. Suddenly he was violently seized by police and forced onto a bus. Later he was beaten by a group of police. The police department has announced they are investigating whether Kasparov bit and injured an officer. The officer in question is highlighted in this video striking Kasparov with his fist. At no time during or after beating Kasparov does the officer show any sign of injury. The officer stays at the scene after Kasparov is forced onto the bus for the second time and the officer uses both of his hands to adjust his vest.

It is a dark day for Russia.

Three members of Pussy Riot get put on a show trial which bring echoes back to the dark days of Stalin.

Supporters of Pussy Riot outside the court get beaten and dragged away by the police, including former world chess chess champion Garry Kasparov who was in the process of giving a media interview.

London 2012 opening ceremony a celebration of democracy meanwhile outside

July 31, 2012
London 2012 Critical Mass cycle ride

London 2012 Critical Mass cycle ride

On Friday, we were all thrilled by the opening ceremony, well all thrilled except one Member of Parliament who attends parties where the dress code is Nazi uniform. We saw suffragettes, we celebrated the NHS, we saw winged cyclists.

Meanwhile outside it was business as usual. A Critical Mass cycle ride seen by some as protest at the Zil Lanes but in reality simply to exercise the right to cycle on the public highway was brutally attacked by the police. The police reaction was totally over the top. The police could have simply let the cyclists pass through, point made, and that would have been the end of the matter but that sadly is not the way the mentality of the Met works.

Something like 200 cyclists were arrested. They were held on a bus all night without food or drink whilst they waited to be processed.

Mass arrests for the heinous crime of “cycling in a group north of the river Thames” on the opening night of an Olympics, which is supposed to be promoting access to sport and active travel, sends a clear message about how committed Games organisers Locog are to any legacy other than a financial one.

A diverse group of people attempting to celebrate their right to use the road safely and in an environmentally friendly manner , which they have been doing for several years and even won the right to do so in the House of Lords, should be promoted by the Olympics, rather than persecuted for fear of their creating a four or five minute delay on the precious Zil Lanes. As Critical Mass is a long-running sporting tradition in London and many other cities across the world, Locog should have made sure they accommodated it — the Olympics are disrupting normal life in the city enough already without infringing the rights of the participants in one of few sporting events which no one is able to make a profit from.

On Friday 27th July, 182 cyclists were held in a police kettle for two hours, handcuffed in buses for three hours, and held in a police cell from six hours to two days. These included a 13 year old boy. Police also confirmed the cyclists reports that CS gas was used during these arrests.

Out of 182 cyclists, only 3 have been charged with any offence. However, ALL have bail conditions imposed on them until September 18th 2012 restricting their freedom to move, assemble, associate and live their lives.

We have the following demands:

  1. All bail conditions should be discharged
  2. All data including DNA, fingerprint, addresses etc taken from those cyclists should be removed from all paper and comupter records of police & other agencies
  3. An independent review of the thuggish police behaviour on Friday 27th July should be conducted as a matter of urgency

All this for continuing the 18 year tradition of a bike ride through the streets of London on the last Friday of every month.

Some of those arrested were nothing to do with the Critical Mass cycle ride. They simply happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time on a bike (which in the eyes of the Met is a heinous crime requiring cuffing and detention).

This political policing to crush dissent and restrict people’s rights without charge must be stoppped. Help us stand for a police and legal system which we can believe in, please sign our petition today:

http://www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/metropolitan-police-criminal-justice-system-uk-justice-for-the-critical-mass-182

Bradley Wiggins, the first Brit to win the Tour de France, has increased awareness and interest in cycling. A massive own goal by the Met.

Was this the image London 2012 wanted broadcast around the world on the opening night, police brutality against a bunch of cyclists?

Critical Mass is a mass cycle ride that takes place around the world on the last Friday of the month.

Protest the dominant theme of 2011

December 30, 2011
St Paul's in-the-camp Time Out picture of the year 2011

St Paul's in-the-camp Time Out picture of the year 2011

here to stay

here to stay

root out usury

root out usury

Christmas Bishop of London at St Paul's in-the-Camp

Christmas Bishop of London at St Paul's in-the-Camp

As 2011 draws to a close, Occupy and Arab Spring were the defining moments. Historians will note the date when one world changed to another, no longer were ordinary people prepared to be kicked around by corrupt politicians in the pocket of Big Businesses.

Strictly speaking the Arab Spring started in Tunisia as 2010 drew to a close, but it really took off in Tahrir Square at the beginning of the year. Mubarak has gone but the job is not yet finished, the ruling military elite has yet to be toppled. In Libya a job well done, but unfortunately much blood was shed. In Syria, work in progress, Assad has a simple choice, hand himself over to the ICC or leave with a bullet in the head. In Yemen, unfinished businesses. In Saudi Arabia the corrupt House of Saud has yet to be toppled or the Mullahs and Ayatollahs in Iran.

Syria troops ‘clash with Damascus activists’

Occupy started in Spain when the young unemployed occupied the centre of Madrid. It quickly spread to New York, then around the world. Brutal crackdowns in the US. In the UK St Paul’s in-the-Camp has spread to an estimated 60 camps around the country. Contrary to the smear stories in the media, it never was the camp v St Paul’s and the clergy are working closely with the camp. St Paul’s in-the-Camp has revitalised the church, made them recognise the core values of Christianity. Contrary to smears in the media, church attendance up not down.

Freedom to protest
St Paul’s plans for lasting legacy of Occupy protest
Archbishop of Wales urges church to ‘get hands dirty’ in the fight against poverty and injustice
The origins of Christmas
The Nativity of Our Lord
Attendances prove Christmas surprise

On Christmas day the Bishop of London delivered a box of chocolates to the camp outside St Paul’s. The year will end with a reading of Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol at 6pm this evening on the steps of St Paul’s.

Protesters celebrate Christmas, as judge postpones decision
An Occupy reading of Charles Dickens’ ‘A Christmas Carol’
Occupy London presents a reading of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol – 6pm Friday 30 December at the steps of St. Paul’s Cathedral
Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol especially adapted for Occupy London
New Year’s Eve Weekend at Occupy London – Make it count!

As Dickens’ bicentennial approaches, it seems only fitting for Occupy London to stage a public reading of A Christmas Carol at St Paul’s Cathedral. Dickens was compelled to write A Christmas Carol out of a strong desire to comment on the enormous gap between the rich and poor in Victorian Britain. It is a similar strength of conviction that has motivated the growth of the Occupy movement to work to transform the growing social, economic and political injustices of our time. As Giles Fraser, former Canon Chancellor of St Paul’s Cathedral said:

Christmas is the most political of the Church’s festivals … all politics is about people, and without a fundamental sympathy for the plight of other human beings, and in particular for the dispossessed, no political movement for social change is ever going to capture the heart. For Dickens, Christmas was the emotional centre of the big society. Peace on earth and goodwill to all.

Arab Spring and Occupy have become key words and phrases of 2011. St Paul’s in-the-Camp picture of the year for Time Out. Time Magazine proclaimed this year’s Person of the Year to be “the Protester”. Five of the Top 10 Most Commented Stories this year in the New York Times were about Occupy wall Street!

New words: the official* glossary of 2011
Best of 2011: pictures of the year – Occupy London camp
The Protester

In Leeds, when the unaccountable town council announced £90 million cuts protesters stormed the council chamber, then Occupy Leeds arrived.

2011: when year of global protests became local in Leeds
Quiet in the August troubles; but Occupy looks here to stay

UK Uncut has forced tax dodging up the political agenda. A damning report on HMRC by a House of Commons Select Committee. The Head of HMRC forced to resign, with effect next year. UK Uncut and Occupy London Stock Exchange have exposed the City of London as one of the few remaining Rotten Boroughs.

The tax haven in the heart of Britain

Who would have thought Russians would have taken to the streets in their tens of thousands if not hundreds of thousands to call for democratic accountability and to call upon Vladimir Putin to go?

Not all good news.

There has been coups in Greece and Italy. Italy no longer has a democratically elected government, it has a government put in place by EU and German bankers. A government to serve the banks and EU not the people of Italy. In Greece the government is acting for the EU and bankers not the Greek people.

Ryanair refused to allow a passenger on his way home for Christmas to board a flight to Malaga. Hints of terrorism. Yet one more reason to boycott Ryanair.

Occupy protester ‘banned’ from flight home for Christmas

Iraq is descending into Hell.

The Truth as Iraq descends into Hell

Occupy has inspired poetry.

Jesus was born in an empty building
Occupy
Oh St Pauls, why?

For Brazilian writer Paulo Coelho 2011 was a very good year, his latest book, the biographical Aleph released last year in Brazil, shot straight to No 1 in every country published. The noticeable exception was in the UK thanks to High Street bookshop chain Waterstone’s deliberately choosing not to put Aleph on display.

What a year!

As 2011 draws to a close there is still much unfinished business. The list is long, libraries closures, cuts in public services, Welfare to Work programmes, privatisation of the health service …

How to help disabled people fight the welfare reform bill

I will give but one example.

Lincoln City Council has decided to put a heritage site, The Lawn, up for sale. Set in a 8 acre site, this museum complex was a pioneering mental hospital, it now houses the Sir Joseph Banks Conservatory. Sir Joseph Banks was chief scientific officer on the Endeavour, established Kew gardens, President of the Royal Society. The Lawn is the ideal site for Occupy Lincoln.

Not for Sale! Hands off our Lawn!

As we head into 2012, the fight goes on …

Happy New Year!

Jesus was born in an empty building

December 24, 2011

Brilliant poetry reading on the life of Jesus at St Paul’s in-the-Camp.

Jesus was a protester by Catherine Brogan.

For Lina to bring a smile to her face.

Top story SPOT – a poetry paper (Friday 24 December 2011).

Egypt: Army thugs attack protesters

December 18, 2011
burning building

burning building

Tahrir Square

Tahrir Square

Tahrir Square

Tahrir Square

Thousands upon thousands entering Tahrir Square

Thousands upon thousands entering Tahrir Square

Army soldiers just came into apartment we are at and took cameras from us. — Sharif Kouddous

Starting Friday morning, and for the last two days, army and security thugs have been attacking protesters, rocks have been hurled off buildings, live rounds fired, tents in Tahrir Square burnt, at least one building set ablaze.

It was not only protesters who were attacked, the media was attacked too, cameras confiscated and destroyed.

The Military Council must be overthrown. Why are the politicians silent?

The Arab Spring started a year ago in Tunisia.

A third day of violence in Tahrir Square

Block the Bridge

October 10, 2011
Save our NHS - Westminster Bridge

Save our NHS - Westminster Bridge

Block the Bill - Westminster Bridge

Block the Bill - Westminster Bridge

Sunday afternoon people from all over the country occupied Westminster Bridge in protest at cuts and privatisation of the National Health Service.

On the eve of the protest I thought, why not the police let protesters occupy the bridge, it is after all public highway. For once intelligent policing, and that is what happened. Maybe because the police facing 20% cuts and in the same boat. Sadly though they did blot their copy book later by directing protesters off the bridge into a kettle on Lambeth Bridge.

Coverage of Block the Bridge by BBC Radio 4 news was a disgrace. A brief mention on a couple of on-the-hour two-minute news bulletins and that was it.

No mention on the garbage Westminster Hour. The real world occupies Westminster Bridge and yet not a mention. Nor a mention on the midnight news.

We won’t take this lying down: Thousands of demonstrators force Westminster Bridge to close with protest over Government health reforms

I recall my grandmother talking about days before the NHS, dreading anyone falling ill and a visit from the doctor and having to pay the doctor. We do not wish to see a return to those grim days.

I remember a pre-NHS Britain. I don’t want to see a post-NHS one

But already, in Yorkshire, patients are being charged for minor surgery. They are referred to a private company which surprise surprise, they find is owned by their own company.

In Farnborough, doctors and dentists have been told to refer patients to a hospital in Basingstoke, not the nearby Frimley Park. Patients are being denied patient choice and when they try to exercise that choice are being told they have to go to Basingstoke.

Farnborough patients denied patient choice

Yes, there are need for reforms. Consultants should be stopped from using the NHS to tout for business. Sorry a three month wait, but if you wish to bribe me, oops I mean pay me, you can be seen next week as my private patient.

Charlie Veitch discussing his arrest

May 2, 2011

In a pre-crime arrest, Charlie Veitch was one of many dissidents arrested in the run-up to the Royal Wedding.

In true Orwellian tradition, these arrests were carried out in the name of democracy.

Just in case the message had not got through that dissent would not be tolerated, facebook political groups were deleted!

Preemptive arrests
Political policing of dissent