Press Releases

June 5 – DEFIANT G8 PROTESTERS REFUSE TO NEGOTIATE WITH POLICE, ANNOUNCE THAT THEY WILL CONVERGE IN PICCADILLY AND OXFORD CIRCUS

With a week to go before anti-capitalists take to the streets of London the Stop G8 group has released the start points for the June 11th Carnival Against Capitalism, which have been kept secret until this point. The two meet up points are Oxford Circus and Piccadilly Circus. Activists are defiantly refusing to communicate with police. Despite police appeals for organisers to speak to them, and false claims that they already are, (1) the group insist: Stop G8 do NOT negotiate with, or talk to, the police. (2) Instead they are preparing their supporters by organising street action training, skillshares on countering police tactics, legal sessions and police-monitoring workshops in the days before the protests, working with other radical groups such as Green and Black Cross and Fitwatch. (3) Stop G8 say past experience tells them that the police aim is not to facilitate their protest, as the authorities claim, but to clamp down on it by intimidating and repressing protesters. They cite an incident last month when two campaigners returning to Dover from the Netherlands were intercepted by Special Branch and detained for three hours under controversial Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act 2000 and interrogated about G8 protests. (4) They also point to the fact that police bail conditions imposed on anti-fascist protesters arrested en masse in London at the weekend (June 1) were aimed at stopping them taking part in the Week of Action from June 10 to June 14. (5) The group points out that anti-capitalist protesters are constantly being repressed in this way, adding: The role of the police has always been to protect the rich and powerful and to prevent dissenting voices from being heard. The packed week of London protests (6) is centred around the J11 event which starts at 12 noon on Tuesday June 11. Stop G8 have produced a map for this event, (7) showing the hiding place of power in the West End. As well as various banks, hedge funds and businesses including mining firms and weapons manufacturers, this also features Buckingham Palace, described as ‘the hideout of the infamous Windsor family’. A senior employee at one targeted hedge fund told the Financial Times “People will take this very seriously” adding that staff may be asked “not to dress like a hedge fund manager” on their journey to and from work. The week of action also includes an anti-militarist action on Wednesday June 12, a No Borders, No Prisons action on Thursday June 13 and a They Owe Us/Shift the Debt action at Canary Wharf on Friday June 14. (9) Stop G8 will soon be posting new information about the protests, and its central London convergence centre, on its website at https://www.anarchistaction.net ENDS LINKS 1. http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/d94be886-c229-11e2-8992-00144feab7de.html#axzz2V8cgPQcD 2. https://twitter.com/stopG8UK/status/337467068976873472 3. https://www.anarchistaction.net/week-of-action/key-events/ 4. https://www.anarchistaction.net/2013/05/24/activists-defy-police-attempts-to-gather-intelligence-on-resistance-to-g8/ 5. http://www.schnews.org.uk/stories/Youre-Avin-a-Cenotaph!/ 6. https://www.anarchistaction.net/week-of-action/ 7. https://www.anarchistaction.net/j11-carnival-against-capitalism/j11-map-of-the-capitalist-west-end/ 8.http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/d94be886-c229-11e2-8992-00144feab7de.html#axzz2VF9hRo00 9.http://theyoweus.org.uk/

 

May 24 – Activists call police’s bluff over use of anti-terror laws to gather intelligence on G8 protests

Activists call police’s bluff over use of anti-terror laws to gather intelligence on G8 protests Police are trying to redefine protest as ‘terrorism’ in order to deny activists their rights, it has been claimed. Two UK anti-capitalists, returning to the country on Sunday May 19 after attending an anarchist festival in the Netherlands (http://www.pinksterlanddagen.org/english), were intercepted by Kent Police Special Branch officers at Dover, then detained and questioned for three hours under Schedules 7 and 8 of the Terrorism Act 2000. Schedule 7 makes it a crime not to provide information to an officer if the questions are intended to investigate ‘terrorism’. However the activists refused to provide information, claiming the police’s questions were, instead, intended to gather information on political dissent. The focus of the questioning was on the Carnival Against Capitalism being staged by Stop G8 in the West End of London on Tuesday June 11 (https://www.anarchistaction.net/j11-carnival-against-capitalism/). They were also quizzed about their views on a wide range of political issues and asked about their personal lives and work. This is not the first time Schedule 7 powers have been used against anti-G8 activists. In 2007 activists were stopped under the Act while returning from G8 protests in Germany.[1] Tom Anderson, a researcher for UK based research group Corporate Watch, and radical writer Paul Cudenec(2), both verbally challenged the use of the legislation against them. They were then presented with print-outs of the Act’s definition of ‘terrorism’, which the police officers claimed could include protests. They were interviewed separately in locked rooms without the presence of their lawyers and their interrogators did not identify themselves. Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act 2000 removes the usual right to have a solicitor present during questioning and also the right to silence. The campaigners were warned that it is an arrestable offence not to answer questions, punishable on conviction with a three-month custodial sentence or a fine. The Network for Police Monitoring (Netpol)(2) has reported that Schedule 7 is frequently used by the police to gather intelligence about activists. However, the guidance to the law clearly states that Schedule 7 ‘should only be used to counter terrorism and may not be used for any other purpose.’ Arguing that the legislation was being illegitimately used for blatantly political purposes, the two campaigners declined to answer questions that were not related to any investigation of terrorism. The campaigners refused to answer any questions relating to the upcoming G8 protests. Having been detained at 5.30pm after leaving the ferry service from Dunkirk, the anti-capitalists were finally released at 8.30pm. The maximum detention time under the legislation is nine hours. Mr Anderson had previously been stopped three times under Schedule 7 and questioned about his activism and his research and journalism for Corporate Watch.(3) He said: “Schedule 7 is being used to intimidate those who voice political views and as an intelligence gathering tool. The term ‘terrorism’ is being interpreted as a catch-all term to delegitimise any expression of dissent against the system in which we live. I would encourage anyone stopped and questioned about political protest to defy this blatant misuse of the act. Furthermore, I am not surprised that the police are using anti-Terrorism laws to gather information about resistance to the G8 conference. Whenever people come together to confront the capitalist system that the G8 represents the state will take whatever steps it can to silence and intimidate them.” Mr Cudenec, who had not previously been stopped, said: “It’s extremely disturbing that anti-terrorist legislation is being abused to target and intimidate people voicing alternative political views and we both told them as much. The state can’t be allowed to get away with redefining protest as so-called terrorism it’s a complete denial of the right to publicly express opposition to the status quo. The protesters who’ll be taking to the streets in London are people who can see the enormous damage being inflicted on society by a corrupt system in which wealth and power go hand in hand and democracy is an empty charade.” ENDS Notes 1. See http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2006/12/358173.html 2. Not their real names, but noms de plume under which they write. 2. http://netpol.org/2012/12/12/schedule-7-terror-laws-used-to-interrogate-activists/ 3. http://corporateoccupation.org/schedule-7-of-the-terrorism-act-2000-a-police-snooping-tool-to-protect-private-profit/

May 12 – CAMPAIGN GROUPS CONDEMN G4S ROLE AT G8

Campaign groups have come together to condemn the role of G4S in providing security at the G8 summit. A joint statement has been issued by Stop G8, the group planning anti-capitalist protests in London in June, and Stop G4S, which is a network of grassroots activist groups, campaigns, NGOs and trade unionists focusing on the controversial international business. They describe G4S as a “pariah company” that is facing increasing scrutiny over its “drive to put private profit over human rights” and reveal that its HQ in London is one of the businesses featured on a protesters’ map of capitalism in the West End. The groups’ statement declares: “It comes as no surprise that G4S has been awarded the contract to provide security at the June G8 meeting. Both represent an economic system – capitalism – that kills, exploits and degrades the many for the profit of the few. “The last twelve months have seen G4S voted third ‘Worst Company of the Year’ [1] in the global Public Eye awards, they also face a UK parliamentary inquiry [2] into their disastrous handling of an asylum housing contract and will soon give evidence at the inquest into the death of Jimmy Mubenga [3] who died while being restrained by G4S staff. Not that you would know it from the self-congratulatory tone of G4S’ latest Corporate Responsibility Report [4]. “Across Europe, G4S are becoming a pariah company as trade unions [5], charities [6] and faith groups [7] take a public stand in opposing its drive to put private profit above human rights. Organisations in the Middle East have called for a boycott of G4S due to their complicity [8] with Israel’s repression and detention of Palestinians including children. “G4S and their politicians have the same goals: our freedom controlled and our lives up for sale. Securitisation [9] of our communities [10], private prisons [11], CCTV and racist immigration laws [12] are some of their means of attack. “There is already a call for a Europe-wide demonstration of outrage at G4S’ annual corporate jamboree [13].” Anti-capitalist movement Stop G8 has announced a Week of Action in the West End of London from June 10 to June 14 in the run-up to the G8 Summit in Fermanagh next month. Its website [14] lists protests planned for most days that week, including a Carnival Against Capitalism on Tuesday June 11, which is being dubbed #J11. As a part of this Week of Action Stop G8 have published a detailed map [15] of capitalist London, showing what it says are the hidden places of power in the West End. This map includes the G4S London Headquarters which it identifies as “Securing the world for capitalists”. As a part of the StopG8 Week of Action there will be a ‘No Borders No Prisons’ event, that will target securitisation companies such as G4S for the role they play in cementing state systems of control and oppression, such as prisons and immigration detention and removal centres.

May 10 – Anti-Capitalists are targeting the rich in the West End of London in the run-up to the G8 Summit next month.

As finance ministers were heading to the capital for advance talks on Friday (May 10), protest group Stop G8 published a detailed map (available at https://www.anarchistaction.net/files/2013/05/citymap_g8_webposter.jpg of capitalist London, showing what it says are the hidden places of power in the West End.[1] The news comes as Home Secretary, Theresa May is said to be in favour of the use of water cannons for the first time on mainland UK, fearing that “thousands of anarchists” are converging on Britain ahead of the summit. [2] The targets for anti-capitalist demonstrators include everything from banks to arms manufacturers, energy, PR and security firms. Courts and police stations are also marked on the map as are ‘Dens of the Rich’ such as Claridge’s, Annabel’s and Boodle’s private club. Buckingham Palace also appears, being described as the hideout of the infamous Windsor family. Stop G8 is behind calls for a week of actions in London from June 10 to June 14 just before the G8 Summit itself in County Fermanagh. Its website at network23.org/stopg8 lists protests planned for most days that week, but the main focus is on a Carnival Against Capitalism on Tuesday June 11, which is being dubbed #J11. Describing #J11, Stop G8 says: “Traditionally, carnival is the time where the people take over the streets, the bosses run and hide, and the world gets turned upside down. It is a time to celebrate our resistance and our dreams, to bring music and colour to the streets. And also to show our strength and our anger.” “The powerful feel safe in London so long as they go unchallenged. But the people looting our planet have names and addresses. On #J11 we will party in the streets, point out the hiding places of power, and take back the heart of our city for a day. Our streets. Our world.” Although the G8 Summit is being held in Northern Ireland, and some groups will be protesting near the venue, the UK anti-capitalists have chosen to focus on London in the days leading up to the showcase international event. The Stop G8 group explains it is targeting the capital because it is at the heart of global capitalism and one of the main hubs of a worldwide system of money and power. It adds: “Deals made here build factories in Asia, burn down forests in South America, and start wars in Africa. “For billionaires, dictators, and other parasites, London is a safe place to hide out, launder money, and go shopping. These people are not untouchable. They are right here on our doorstep, and they have names and addresses.”[3] [1] https://www.anarchistaction.net/files/2013/05/citymap_g8_webposter.jpg [2] http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/397113/Water-cannons-on-standby-for-summer-riots [3] https://www.anarchistaction.net/j11-carnival-against-capitalism/