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Galloway Back In Parliament, Declaring Duopoly Defeated

George Galloway began his victory speech on Friday morning with these words: “Keir Starmer: This is for Gaza.” It was a clear message that he sent the British Labour leader: “You will pay a high price for the role that you have paid in enabling, encouraging and covering for the catastrophe presently going on in occupied Palestine.” Galloway declared his victory in a by-election here to be the beginning of a major change in politics.  “I want to tell Mr. Starmer above all, that the plates have shifted tonight,” he said at the town’s election center.

The Peasants Are Seizing The Commons (Again)

Devon, England - A ghostly rider on a skeletal horse is said to roam the windswept moors of southwestern England. According to legend, ​“Old Crockern” guards the sprawling expanse of Dartmoor from those who would try to close it off from commoners. In January, more than 3,000 locals invoked Old Crockern’s spirit in one of the United Kingdom’s largest-ever countryside access protests. To beating drums and cheers, they hoisted a massive puppet of the ghostly rider as they marched across the estate of a wealthy landowner, protesting a court decision that would further shrink access to England’s already endangered commons.

England To Ban Single-Use Plastic Dinnerware, Including Styrofoam

In England, the government has announced plans to ban single-use plastic dinnerware, including closed-cell extruded polystyrene foam trays (commonly referred to as the brand name Styrofoam), plastic utensils and plastic plates. The announcement follows similar bans in Scotland and Wales. Scotland’s ban on single-use plastics took effect in August 2022, and Wales recently passed a single-use plastics ban in December 2022 that will take effect in fall of this year. England’s Environment Secretary Thérèse Coffey confirmed the ban, noting that it would preserve the environment for future generations, as reported by the BBC. The announcement follows a consultation that ran from November 2021 to February 2022 on single-use plastics by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), with results expected to be shared on January 14, 2023.

Palestine Action Return To Shut Down Israeli Arms Firm HQ In London

Another action has taken 77 Kingsway, the London headquarters of Elbit Systems – Israel’s largest weapons company. Three activists took to the site, two securing themselves to the site entrance with a lock-on, and all three soaking the building in red paint. In doing so, the trio have shut down the site for the day, leaving the company headquarters unable to operate. Today’s action marks the fifth time in just over a month that 77 Kingsway has been targeted by Palestine Action, our activists making clear that war criminals are not welcome in Britain. Alongside recent actions at Elbit’s London headquarters, in the past week, two covert actions targeting JLL (who lease a number of sites, including 77 Kingsway, to Elbit) have been carried out by activists, calling on the real estate company to “Evict Elbit”.

Trumpism: Anger Going Viral

By Padraig Reidy for Bill Moyers Journal. It is difficult to argue against people who are sincere but not necessarily serious, and whose aims seem to lie entirely in the gesture — the great big NO to the world. But that is the task at hand. The first thing to do is to reinforce the idea that actions have consequences. If you refuse to help Syrian civilians in Syria, you will end up with refugees in your own country. If you vote to leave a stable trading community, your economy will suffer. The second thing is to treat people like grown-ups, in a way populist leaders refuse to do: The world has changed, and continues to change radically. Promising to turn back the tide, as the new right does, is idiotic and insulting. Countering populism involves a genuine appraisal of what a future for working-class people looks like — too often this is simply ignored, or dealt with on grounds dictated by the right — as if, for example, tighter controls on immigration are somehow the answer to the huge challenges of automation and globalization.

Arrests In London As Thousands Protest Austerity

Thousands of anti-Tory protesters have taken to the streets to show their fury withthe most right-wing Queen's Speech in a generation. At least five were arrested as pockets of trouble flared in London today, where union leaders, students and left-wing MPs blocked streets and chanted slogans. Although most of the demonstration was peaceful, there were scuffles between police and some protesters. Some were knocked or held to the floor as tensions flared, with those around them shouting: "F*** the police". One crowd of protesters was seen blocking the part of a police van with its sirens on as they shouted: "You killed Mark Duggan." And a group mobbed UKIP's only MP Douglas Carswell calling him 'racist' and 'fascist' - an experience he said was 'terrifying'. He was led by a large group of officers to safety in a police van after the incident outside St James' Park tube station. He said it was "out of nowhere, a mob over 100 strong, and it got incredibly nasty. I mean this was a lynch mob on the streets of London.

1000s Expected At Anti-Tory Protests As Queen Opens Parliament

Thousands of people are expected to join anti-government demonstrations during the state opening of parliament on Wednesday, just over a fortnight after an anti-Tory protest in Whitehall led to clashes with police. Organisers expect a crowd of around 5,000, including a large student bloc, to gather at Trafalgar Square in opposition to Conservative plans for five more years of spending cuts. About 2,000 are expected for a separate march from Downing Street through Westminster. Militant anarchists have organised a protest on Parliament Square earlier the same day, around the time the Queen is expected to arrive at Westminster. They intend to use the slogan: “Five more years of this shit? No fucking way!” The rallies are part of a wave of protests that have followed the Conservatives’ election victory on 7 May. Fifteen people were arrested a day after the resultswhen scuffles broke out between police and protesters outside Downing Street.

Students Occupy For 2nd Night To Protest Austerity

Around 30 students are set to spend a second evening barricaded inside a building at the University of Manchester in protest at government cuts. The protesters are refusing to leave after occupying the Manchester Business School building yesterday afternoon. A group called Free Education MCR have claimed they set up the occupation to make a stand against five more years of 'Tory cuts and privatisation' following last week's general election. The University of Manchester has said the protest is causing disruption to the institution but has made arrangements for students to remain safe while inside. See below for a recap of how events unfolded earlier today.

Corporate ‘Exorcism’ Held Outside London Law Firm

A group of radical performance activists who hail from New York staged an “exorcism” of corporate power outside an international law firm in London to raise awareness about the dangers of an EU-US trade deal being brokered behind closed doors. The group, Reverend Billy & The Stop Shopping Choir, conduct creative and political performances across the globe to preserve local communities, life and the imagination. On their website, they describe themselves as “wild anti-consumerist gospel shouters and Earth loving urban activists.” In a symbolic act of political protest on Thursday, the performance artists targeted the London office of global law firm King & Spalding over its role in Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) litigation.

Bank Occupied In Liverpool, Turned Into Homeless Shelter

We make this document a Statement of Intent regarding the old Bank of England building on Castle Street, Liverpool. The intentions are as follows to feed, cloth and help all those who seek it and for the local community to help resource this project. We intend to use this building for the community, to inspire a feeling of community, which is lacking. We do this in direct response to a local council and government who are lacking in their efforts to help those in need and in fact, the local Council and government seem intent on making matters worse for the people by putting more and more austerity measures in place. We wish by the direct action of occupying an empty unused building and using said building to provide certain needs for the street people or for that matter anyone else who needs to use what is provided by donations, which come from the local community.

LSE Students Stage Occupation In Protest At ‘Profit-Driven Education’

Students at the London School of Economics have occupied a central administration room at the university in protest at what they call the marketisation of higher education. The group of about 40 students used bicycle locks to barricade themselves in the Vera Anstey Suite of LSE on Tuesday night and have remained there since. Organisers say the occupation they call the “Free University of London” aims to create an “open, creative and liberated space, where all are free to participate in the imagining of a new directly democratic, non-heirarchical and universally accessible education”.

Oxford Alumni Occupation For Carbon Divestment

Oxford alumni have occupied a university administration building to demonstrate their anger over today’s announcement that the university has deferred until May its decision on whether to divest from fossil fuels. The student campaign would like to issue a statement of solidarity with the alumni who have gone into occupation over the issue of fossil fuel divestment. We share their concern that the University is moving too slowly on this vitally important issue. Today’s events indicate the wide ranging support for divestment from University members past and present. We hope that today’s occupation will inspire others to express their support for meaningful climate action from Oxford University.

Anti-Austerity Protesters Occupy Liverpool Cathedral

A group of “concerned citizens” occupied Liverpool’s Anglican cathedral to protest about wealth inequality and benefit cuts. The group of around 20, including some children, protested near the altar at the front of the church. They came with a banner which read “We Need Sanctuary”, which they hung from a balcony high up in the cathedral. The group protested about benefit sanctions, wealth inequality, and new legislation regulating protests which was introduced last year. They want the church to speak out against austerity, and a repeat of 1985’s “Faith in the City” report into urban poverty. Organiser Ruby Sands said: “It’s really important because there’s people dying right now in this city. “There’s massive wealth division, it’s not being touched upon. People are killing themselves, and we need sanctuary.”

Swedish Prosecutor Rejects Questioning Assange In London

Backtacking from an earlier suggestion described by the Guardian below, the Swedish prosecutor has once again rejected questioning Assange in London. Telesur reports: "Sweden’s chief prosecutor Marianne Ny has ruled out questioning Julian Assange in London ahead of a court ruling in Sweden on whether to lift the warrant for his arrest, she stated on Wednesday. "This comes despite suggesting earlier this week that she was considering taking advantage of the offer made by Ecuador to facilitate the interview at its London embassy." An earlier report: Sweden’s chief prosecutor said on Tuesday she was seriously considering an invitation by the British government to question Julian Assange in London, before a court ruling in Sweden on whether to lift the warrant for his arrest. The Foreign Office said on Tuesday it would welcome a request by the Swedish prosecutor Marianne Ny to question Assange inside the Ecuadorian embassy and would be happy to facilitate such a move, which is seen by Assange’s lawyers as an important step towards breaking the deadlock surrounding the case.

Tens Of Thousands Take Streets In Pay Protest

Tens of thousands of union members have marched through central London to highlight their calls for pay rises. Members of Unite, Unison, the National Union of Teachers, the Communication Workers Union, the Royal College of Nurses and Equity took to the streets in the capital on Saturday, while other protests were held in Glasgow and Belfast. Pensioners and anti-nuclear activists also took part. The TUC, which organised the Britain Needs a Pay Risedemonstration to mark the end of industrial action by public sector workers, including nurses, midwives and civil servants, said up to 90,000 people were on the march. Midwives went on strike for the first time this month to protest against the government’s decision not to pay a recommended 1% increase to all NHS staff. Hospital radiographers and prison officers are due to take action next week.
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