Stop the Arms Fair week of action against DSEI: 7 – 12 September

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This September, one of the world’s biggest arms fairs is coming to London’s ExCeL centre. Help us to stop it! Join us for a week of action at the ExCeL Centre from 7 – 12 September.

The DSEI arms fair is where arms companies showcase their weapons and make deadly deals with buyers from across the world, including those from countries with serious human rights problems. The arms fair, due to take place on 15-18 September, involves more than 1000 companies and 30,000 attendees.

We have to stop these companies profiting from conflict and repression. Join us from 7 September for a week of action in the run up to the arms fair to make it as difficult as possible for it to go ahead. Each day different groups will be organising actions highlighting the different impacts of the arms trade and repression.

Exhibition equipment and military hardware will be rolling (or sailing) into ExCeL – let’s stop it getting to its destination.

Monday 7 September: Stop Arming Israel
Tuesday 8 September: No Faith in War
Wednesday 9 September: Stop the Arms Fair: Arms to Renewables
Thursday 10 September: Welfare not Warfare!
Friday 11 September: Freedom of Movement for People not Weapons
Saturday 12 September: Big day of action!

On Saturday 12 September there will be a big day of action on the weekend before the arms fair begins to stop the arms dealers going about their deadly business.

For more info and a full list of actions: http://www.stopthearmsfair.org.uk

Reclaim the Fields International Action Camp 2015

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This year, an international gathering will be held in the UK, in Dudleston, Shropshire, on the Welsh/English border to resist the mega prison.

When: Friday 6pm 28th August – Wednesday 2nd September 2015

Where: Dudleston Community Protection Camp, Shropshire on the Wales/England Border.

About: Reclaim the Fields UK (RTF) was born in 2011, as a star in a wider constellation of food and land struggles that reaches around the globe. Since 2011, camps and other RTF gatherings have helped support local communities in struggle, share skills, developed networks, and strengthened the resistance to exploitation, in Bristol, west London, Gloucestershire, Nottingham and Fife among other locations.

Every two years there is also an international camp, where people from around Europe and beyond meet together to support a local struggle (from gold mining in Romania to open cast coal mining in Germany, for example). People share share stories and ideas about resistance and reclaiming our food system beyond national borders. This year, an international gathering will be held in the UK, in Dudleston, Shropshire, on the Welsh/English border.

THE AIMS OF THE CAMP ARE:

* To support local communities in the west and north west of England, and the north of Wales with their struggles against fracking
* To increase participation in Reclaim the Fields
* To demonstrate visible, active opposition to prison construction
* To support Dudleston Community Protection Camp build a garden and infrastructure to become more self-reliant
* To demonstrate the interconnection between these struggles
* To inspire and radicalise everyone involved

What’s happening:

* TWO DAYS OF ACTION – Tuesday 1st & Wednesday 2nd September – demonstrations & actions against companies involved in the construction of the North Wales prison, as well as local fracking-related targets.

* WORKSHOPS & SKILLSHARES – Over the bank holiday weekend there will be abundant opportunities to learn, share, discuss and connect with other people.

* BUILDING & GROWING ON THE SITE – Be part of installing gardens & low impact infrastructure at the community protection camp. Learn about permaculture, agroecology, forest gardening, mushroom growing, pallet construction, compost toilet making, off-grid electrics and more.

Why:

* This camp has been organised to support the local community in Dudleston to resist fracking in their area (as well as working with other local anti-fracking groups & protection camps in the North West who have been resisting extreme energy developments for a number of years). To find out more about their struggle see here: http://rabble.org.uk/reclaim-the-fields-gathering-call-to-action/%20http://frack-off.org.uk/blockade/dudleston-community-protection-camp

* It has also been organised to give attention to the North Wales Prison Project that is being constructed. This will be Europe’s second largest prison holding 2100 prisoners and the first of a number of ‘mega prisons’ that the UK Government wish to build. Click here for more information about the prison, why we are against it & links to articles about the prison industrial complex in the UK: http://www.reclaimthefields.org.uk/reclaim-the-fields-international-action-camp-2015/about-the-prison/

How to get involved:

Click on the website to find more practical information about the camp and how to get involved: http://www.reclaimthefields.org.uk/reclaim-the-fields-international-action-camp-2015/

* Workshops & programme – what’s happening & how to contribute
* Planning Actions
* Directions & public transport information
* What to bring
* Safer Spaces Agreement
* Accessibility of the site
* Food & donations

This is a DIY camp and everyone is needed to get stuck in to make it happen. People are needed to:

* Support with publicity before the event – sharing the gathering online, putting posters up, encouraging your local group to get involved. People are also needed to help design the programme, respond to emails & plan facilitation.

* Helping with site set up & building infrastructure (planning this in advance & being on site a few days before the gathering)

* Signing up to a shift over the weekend to help with cooking, site set up & safety, being on the welcome tent & so forth

* Supporting local groups to organise actions

If you can help with any of these tasks please email:
INFO@RECLAIMTHEFIELDS.NOFLAG.ORG.UK

Reclaim the Fields
– e-mail: INFO@RECLAIMTHEFIELDS.NOFLAG.ORG.UK
– Homepage: http://reclaimthefields.org.uk/

UK anarchists pull off cheeky repeat factory occupation

Elbit factory rooftop occupation

Activists from the Anarchist Action Network formed part of the second rooftop occupation of an Israeli factory in Kent on Monday July 6.

This marked the anniversary of the 2014 attack on Gaza and coincided with the Block the Factory protest in Shenstone, in the Midlands.

Alongside Palestine solidarity campaigners and other anti-militarist comrades, the AAN participants launched an early-morning assault on Instro, a fully-owned subsidiary of drone manufacturer Elbit, which makes optical guidance components.

The compound and roof were both taken by 4am, with a sound system on the ground inside, a lock-on to the main gate and other protesters remaining outside the premises on the Broadstairs industrial estate.

Police turned up, initially in large numbers, and at one point were spotted trying to climb on to the roof from the back of the building – however, their ladder was not long enough and they retreated!

The factory was closed for the whole day and the occupation crew exited the premises under their own steam after a 12-hour stint.

The same factory was previously occupied, again with AAN involvement, in February this year. No arrests were made on either occasion. (See “What is Elbit scared of?” in Acorn 3)

East London Rising – 3rd-9th August 2015

East London Rising banner
Click here for the full details or View the latest Programme of Events.

From Monday 3rd to Sunday 9th August 2015 Anarchist Action Network is holding a free week of events at LARC (London Action Resource Centre) in East London. The week will include a social space with free drinks and evening meals, workshops, discussions, film screenings, practical skillshares and more. We hope that these events will address some of the issues which most people are facing right now – including problems with housing and welfare cuts, and the government austerity agenda, increased poverty, racism and the racist border system, state violence and harassment.

Overview of Events

Each day there will be themed workshops and discussions:
Monday 3 Aug – Anti-racism, Anti-borders
Tuesday 4 Aug – Environment & degrowth
Wednesday 5 Aug – Skillshares
Thursday 6 Aug – Benefits claimants and workers rights
Friday 7 Aug – Housing struggles and anti-eviction
Saturday 8 Aug – Anti-militarism and anti-imperialism
Sunday 9 Aug – Anarchism

Free every day:
– Tea and coffee
– Hot meals each evening
– Info area

Anti-Austerity Court Solidarity – 27th July

Time: 12.00pm
Date: Monday 27th July 2015
Location: Cardiff Crown Court
Address: Cathays Park, Cardiff, CF10 3PG

Demonstration to show solidarity with two facing serious charges after being violently attacked and arrested by police at an anti-cuts demonstration at a HSBC branch in Cardiff in May this year.

There will be a short solidarity demonstration outside the court from 12.00 pm on Monday the 27th of July 2015. Anti-repression and anti-austerity banners and well-wishers welcome.

URGENT WITNESS APPEAL:
***********************
Were you present at the Mayday demonstration and march in May 2015? Even if you think you didn’t see anything you may be able to provide useful defence evidence as to the nature of the day. If you think you may be able to help please email: bristoldefendantsolidarity@riseup.net

Facebook Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/838276806226790/
Blog: https://cardiffuncut.wordpress.com/2015/07/20/anti-austerity-court-solidarity-27th-july-2015/

Some UK summer events

Elbit shenstone

Monday July 6. Block the Factory.

A day of “creative action” against Israeli drone factory in the Midlands, supported by AAN among other groups. It is taking place on the anniversary of last summer’s assault on Gaza, which killed more than 2,200 Palestinians in the latest brutal chapter in Israel’s ongoing occupation and colonisation. The massacre was carried out using drones manufactured by Israeli arms company Elbit Systems, whose factory at Shenstone was occupied last year. Now campaigners are going back, in numbers…

breaking the frame2

Thursday July 9 to Sunday July 12. Breaking the Frame.

The politics of technology are the focus of a gathering in Derbyshire, England, from July 9 to 12 2015. Breaking the Frame 2 has been organised by Corporate Watch, Luddites200 and others. Workshops will focus on the technology politics of food, the workplace, privacy/policing, gender, energy, health, militarism, mining and infrastructure.

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Wednesday August 19 to Monday August 24. Earth First Summer Gathering.

The gathering is billed as “five days of skills sharing for grassroots ecological action” revolving around the struggle against fracking, new roads and lots more, with a particular emphasis on community-based campaigns. It is “a chance for people and groups from across the country and beyond to get together to network, share practical skills, ideas and inspirations to help our actions and campaigns be as strategic and effective as possible”.

Making merry on Mayday – and other dates

Mayday has traditionally been a time of both celebration and rebellion – and 2015 will be no exception. Here are a few events taking place this year that we have heard about – let us know of others to add to the list over the next couple of weeks.

Milan: International anti-capitalist protest

Noexpolittle

Six weeks after the massive protests against the opening of the European Central Bank HQ in Frankfurt, European anti-capitalists will be gathering again, this time in Italy, to take on another major showcase of European neoliberalism. The mobilisation on Friday May 1 is being billed as “a joyful angry international demonstration through the centre of Milan” and starts at 2pm at Piazza XXIV Maggio on the south side of the city centre. It is focused on the opening day of Expo 2015, an extravagant six-month “world fair” celebrating the corporate wealth built on the exploitation of workers and the destruction of the environment.

London: Mayday street party

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Reclaim the Beats – join the Fuck Parade! Class War 12V multi rig street party at 1 Commercial Street, London, from 6pm on Friday May 1.

London: Occupy Democracy

occupy democracy

As Britain gets ready to go to the polls,Occupy Democracy has announced a ten-day occupation of Parliament Square, from May 1 to May 10,  to continue building “a movement for real democracy: free from corporate control, working for people and planet”. They say: “We will return to Parliament Square to expose our broken democracy and work towards real democratic solutions through engaging workshops, lively discussions and creative direct action”.

Cardiff: Radical Workers Bloc (May 2)

Mayday Cardiff

South Wales Anarchists will be demonstrating in Cardiff on May 2 to celebrate this year’s May Day. We call on all those struggling for a world of justice, dignity and freedom to come together and join us this May Day in Cardiff. Bring your red and black flags and class struggle banners! Meet at 12 noon on Saturday May 2 at the southern end of St Mary St, under the railway bridge near the Great Western Wetherspoons. March starts at 12.30 through the streets of Cardiff City centre to…. somewhere with no bureaucrats’ speeches!!!

Future events

Didcot, UK. Reclaim the Power: Direction action camp May 29 – June 2. 

RTP

Reclaim the Power is holding a direct action camp near Didcot Power Station (Oxfordshire) as part of a global day of action, ahead of the UN climate talks (COP21) in December 2015.

Basque Country: International anti-fracking camp, July 13-19

Frack camp

The Frackanpada is an international protest camp against fracking that will take place this summer in Euskal Herria (Basque Country), called by the local movement against fracking (Fracking Ez) and with the support of a committed team of people based in different European countries.

Rhineland, Germany: Climate Camp – mass civil disobedience, August 14-16

degrowth summer school

“In a big colourful action of civil disobedience we will obstruct the exploitation of lignite (soft coal) with many hundreds of people. Thus we will resist one of the crucial root causes of climate change. We will use a variety of actions, about which we will communicate in an open and reliable way. Let’s make the Rhineland the focal point of a strong and powerful anti-coal-movement!” Also Degrowth Summer School,  August 9-14

Peak District, England: Earth First! Summer gathering, August 19-24

EF!SG15poster-small

The gathering is billed as “five days of skills sharing for grassroots ecological action” revolving around the struggle against fracking, new roads and lots more, with a particular emphasis on community-based campaigns. It is “a chance for people and groups from across the country and beyond to get together to network, share practical skills, ideas and inspirations to help our actions and campaigns be as strategic and effective as possible “.

Other sites with events info

Rabble

The Acorn

 

AAN join rooftop occupation

elbit

Anarchist Action Network took part in the occupation of an arms company in Kent on Tuesday February 17 2015.

Instro Precision, an arms company near Broadstairs, was occupied for more than 12 hours, from 5am, to protest its sales to both Israel and Afghanistan. Four people took the roof with banners to shut the factory down, with ten more on the ground, one of whom locked herself to the front gate.

The activists decided to leave after shutting the firm down for the whole day. There were no arrests.

Instro is owned by Israeli arms company Elbit Systems, who make drones that are used to kill Palestinian civilians in Gaza. Optical and camera systems like those made at the Instro factory are also supplied by Elbit for use in drones flown over Afghanistan, as well as in Israel’s apartheid wall.

Elbit Hermes drones have been flown over Afghanistan and the new Watchkeeper drone, based on the Hermes, was deployed by the MOD last year. Although the Watchkeeper is ostensibly a surveillance drone, it has been displayed with missiles under its wings at the DSEi arms fair in London.

During last Summer’s ‘Operation Protective Edge’ attack last Summer, armed drones killed 830 Palestinians in Gaza. 85% of the drones used by the Israeli military are supplied by Elbit. Elbit’s share price rose in July off the back of the extensive use of its technology during Israel’s massacre,and the company recently reported a backlog in orders worth $6.2 billion. Elbit advertises its products as “combat proven”, by which they mean their products are tested on the bodies of Palestinian civilians.

Comms Blockade: Stop Police Repression by the Guardia Civil!

The Anarchist Action Network is calling for a communications blockade of the Spanish embassy on Monday the 9th of February in solidarity with those suffering at the hands of the Guardia Civil (the Spanish Police Force).

Recently, Spanish Anarchists have suffered a wave of repression.  Raids, arrests, imprisonment, seizures of books and computers and a sinister “Anarchist Terrorism” charge. The reasons given by the judge for their continued detention include the possession of certain books, “the production of publications and forms of communication”, and the fact that the defendants “used emails with extreme security measures, such as the RISE UP server”.

If the Spanish state think they should be able to read anarchists’s emails, why don’t we send them some mail directly telling them exactly what we think of their repressive policies.

In addition to this the Guardia Civil are responsible for the cold blooded murder of innocent people simply seeking to move. This brings us to another reason for calling this comms blockade.  This February will be the one year anniversary of the killing of dozens of migrants by Guardia Civil on the Moroccan-Spanish land border at Ceuta. No one has ever been held to account for these actions. When tweeting, calling, emailing the Spanish Embassy, let them know that these murders have not been forgotten. There are also demonstrations to mark the anniversary happening across Europe, including in London.

Before you send emails to the embassy, consider your own security too – see Tech Tools for Activism for tips.

Details of the Spanish Embassy in the UK:

Phone: 020 7235 5555
Twitter account of the Office for Cultural and Scientific Affairs at the Spanish Embassy: @SpainCultureUK
Email: emb.londres@maec.es

They Won – DPRTE campaigners victorious!

On the 6th of January 2015 two local people stood trial, accused of disrupting last year’s Defence Procurement, Research, Technology & Exportability (DPRTE) Arms Fair, now an annual occurrence in Cardiff.

The defendants were accused of throwing red paint at delegates entering the fair, damaging their luxury goods worth hundreds of hundreds of pounds. They were charged with Criminal Damage and breach of s.4A of the Public Order Act (“Causing harassment, alarm or distress with intent”). They were advised that the prosecution would be seeking custodial sentences.

The defendants sought to run separate, distinct defenses. The first was to put forward a factual defense that the police had grabbed him and wrestled him to the ground for no reason. The second defendant contended that they had been acting out of necessity in an attempt to prevent war crimes based on the arms fair’s various links to Israel and the horrific attacks against Gaza that took place over the summer, in the context of the continuing oppression of the Palestinian people.

Before the trial started some 30 supporters gathered outside Cardiff Magistrates court for a solidarity demonstration with the two defendants. Several groups came out to support, including Food not Bombs Cardiff, Anarchist Action Network, Afed Bristol, Cor Cochion Caerdydd, Bristol Defendant Solidarity, Bristol Against the Arms Trade, disarmUWE as well as South Wales Anarchists.

Outside Cardiff Magistrates Court before the Trial

Throughout the day defendants and their supporters were followed and surveiled by Police Liaison Officers, who largely failed in their documented intelligence gathering role since all attendees wisely declined to engage with them from the outset.

Court proceedings were delayed for hours as there was no prosecutor – the Crown Prosecution Service was called and the prosecutor who had been appointed to the case said he knew nothing about it. A replacement prosecutor was then speeded to the court.

As the arms dealers and lay prosecution witnesses had also failed to turn up, the prosecution sought to amend the charge to Criminal Damage of the arresting officer’s uniform. One of the police witnesses had claimed paint damage to his uniform – which surely, if it had occurred, would have been the result of manhandling and grabbing the defendants when they were arrested. The District Judge said that this was “moving the goalposts” considerably and that Criminal Damage by paint transfer during an arrest when the police grabbed the defendants would be “ludicrous”.

After lunch the CPS informed us that it would drop all charges. The many supporters in the public gallery broke out into applause and the judge scolded them saying “this is NOT a football stadium!”.

Outside Cardiff Motorpoint Arena

The DPRTE arms fair will be returning to Cardiff Motorpoint Arena on the 8th of March 2016. To flog their machines of torture and death. The people of Cardiff and beyond stand ready to oppose them and we ask that you will join us.

For more info on how to get involved with the campaign against DPRTE arms fair, email: stopnatocymru@riseup.net