Please sign the petition to save protester from deportation UK

On April 07 2012, Trenton Oldfield undertook a peaceful direct action protest in order to draw attention to the mouth dropping, entirely unnecessary and rapidly increasing inequalities that are occurring as a result of ‘austerity’. The protest took place at the Oxbridge Boat Race; a symbolic representation of ‘the establishment’ that in the three days before the boat race received royal assent for the fire sale of the NHS, introduced the Data and Communications Bill and called on people to ‘shop’ their neighbours if they thought they might protest at the forthcoming Olympics.

 Trenton was protesting ‘elitism’ the idelology that allows, encourages and maintains inequalities and exploitation.

petition

On 07 June 2012, Deepa and Trenton received correspondence from the Home Office suggesting Trenton, who was born in Australia, though lived and worked his adult life in London is ” undesirable, has unacceptable associations and could be considered a threat to national security” and they want to remove him from the UK.

 Trenton has been labelled by Teresa May as ‘not conducive to the public good’.

Trenton Oldfield ‘stuck his head above the parapet’ now he and his young family are facing a disproportionate, extremist and possibly vindictive attack from the current British government which looks hell bent on undermining their lives. This attack is consistent with how protesters, those that dissent are increasingly being criminalised. It has to stop – now. Even Matthew Pinsent, race umpire said in December 2012: “Look, I want to live in a country where protest is possible. However unwelcome it was, I still value the freedom to do that.”

Also, a few weeks ago Facebook took down the Myrdle Court Press page. They were labelled as ‘abusive and or spam’. This is most likely a result of complaints from Cambridge students who were photographed disrespectfully wearing indigenous head wear whilst drunk. For this reason, a new page has been set up – please join here.

View the full article and sign the petition here, to defend the right to protest. Thousands have signed already.
Or see the full article from the Guardian.

If you would like to attend the tribunal to support Deepa, Trenton & their daughter please join them on Monday 09th Decemember 2013 (meeting outside around 09:15am) at:

Taylor House, Immigration and Asylum Chamber
88 Rosebery Avenue
London EC1R 4QU.

This petition will be handed over Friday 6 December. Please join at the Home Office at 1pm.

See our blog homepage for more information and videos.
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The Hostages of Guantanamo: A Letter From Shaker Aamer

 A letter from Shaker Aamer, the last UK resident in Guantanamo Bay, to is lawyer has been recently unclassified by the Pentagon. The letter, dated July 15 2011, describes the inhumane treatment the detainee of ten years has been experiencing and the continuing injustice that led him to begin a peaceful protest involving a hunger strike.

I the signatory below, in Camp 5E announce the start of a peaceful protest/hunger strike for the reasons enumerated below:

1. The opening and continuing operation of this unjust detention facility for the ninth year of my continuing and indefinite detention in the absence of any real accusation or crimes committed. Therefore I am hostage.

2. The inhumane treatment and deprivation of some of the items we are truly in need of, most important of which are the family calls since they are most critical to our families, especially to those experiencing special circumstances. Therefore, I want these calls to take place on a continuing basis and recur once every 15 days. These family calls ought to last no less than 2 hours with further consideration given to those experiencing special circumstances. I also speak for the regular mail to be made more efficient and provide us with e-mail.

3. The inhumane treatment is taking place at the hospital among other areas especially affecting the sick and those who are on strike and our deprivation of real treatment, health diet and appropriate clothing which are not provided to us nor are we allowed to provide them for ourselves.

4. Not upholding the promise that both your president and government gave on 01/21/2009 concerning the closing of Guantánamo detention facility. Very few people have left ever since although many here have been deemed to not represent any danger for the United States. Therefore, I ask you to establish justice and remove the injustice that has befallen us and our brothers in all detention centers.

By submitting these demands, I affirm our right to life. We want our freedom and the right to return to our homes since I am innocent of the charges (if there were any) you have levied against us. I ask that you establish justice that you claim to be a foundation of your country.

After these years of hardship we have spent here — and which I managed to do only through the grace of God, otherwise I would have lost my sanity — I want you to consider my case as soon as possible and give me the right to a just and public trial or set me free without conditions.

Shaker Aamer (00239)

 

See our Shaker Aamer pages for more information.

Sign the Government petition to return Shaker Aamer to the UK.

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Shaker Aamer – Ten Years On


Shaker Aamer is one of the 171 men still held in Guantanamo Bay and its last remaining British resident. Despite never having had a trial, having been approved for release twice and been the focus of a high-profile campaign for his immediate release, Shaker has remained in detention for more than ten years. His physical and mental health deterioration is also a prevalent concern.

Spectacle is making a short film about Shaker Aamer to mark the tenth anniversary of his incarceration. The film includes interviews with activists and former detainees and paints a picture of who Shaker Aamer is and the injustices he has endured for the last decade.

The project area of the Spectacle website also contains full information about Shaker Aamer, the progress of the campaign and links to more content such as Scott Horton’s 2010 article, ‘The Guantánamo “Suicides”: A Camp Delta sergeant blows the whistle’, published in Harper’s Magazine.

Order Spectacle’s DVD Outside The Law: Stories from Guantánamo

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A screening of “Outside the Law: Stories from Guantanamo” at the European Parliament in Brussels- January 24


On Tuesday January 24, at 7 pm, there will be a special screening of the acclaimed documentary film “Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo” at the European Parliament in Brussels. The screening will take place in the main European Parliament building, the Altiero Spinelli Building, Rue Wiertz, in Room ASP – 3G2, on the 3rd floor, and Moazzam Begg, former Guantánamo prisoner, and the director of the NGO Cageprisoners, will be joining Andy Worthington and Polly Nash for the screening, and for the Q&A session afterwards.

 

The screening has been arranged by Jean Lambert (UK Green MEP), with the support of Sarah Ludford (UK Liberal Democrat MEP) and Ana Gomes (Portuguese Socialist MEP), and the purpose of the screening is to raise awareness of the continued existence of Guantánamo, and its mockery of universal notions of fairness and justice, ten years after the prison opened, on January 11, 2002. Given President Obama’s very public failure to close the prison as promised, it is essential that other countries step forward to take cleared prisoners who cannot be safely repatriated, and one of the main purposes of the screening is to encourage EU countries to re-engage with the process of resettling prisoners that was so successful in 2009 and 2010.

The screening is free, but anyone who wishes to attend needs to contact Rachel Sheppard, the Parliamentary Assistant to Jean Lambert MEP:  jean.lambert@europarl.europa.eu

This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

If those wishing to attend do not already have an access badge for the European Parliament, they need to provide their full name, date of birth, nationality, passport number or ID card and number and also specify the type of document (passport, ID card) so that access badges can be arranged. Without an access badge, those wishing to attend the screening will not be allowed.

Moazzam Begg and Andy Worthington will be available to talk to the press along with Jean Lambert MP, Sarah Ludford MEP and Ana Gomes MEP they are hoping to have the opportunity to discuss the need for European countries to revisit the generosity shown in 2009 and 2010, when many offered new homes to cleared Guantánamo prisoners who could not be safely repatriated.

171 prisoners are still held in Guantánamo, and 89 of these have been cleared for release by President Obama’s interagency Guantánamo Review Task Force. 58 of these men are Yemenis, whose release is being prevented by President Obama, and by Congress, but others remain in need of new homes, and it is only the absence of offers from, for example, countries in Europe, that is preventing them from finally being freed.

As Guantánamo recently marked the 10th anniversary of its opening, with no sign of when, if ever it will close, given Congressional opposition, and the President’s refusal, or inability to assert his authority, it would be a powerful humanitarian gesture if European countries once more agreed to take cleared prisoners, to help to close this shameful icon of the Bush administration’s misguided “war on terror.”

 

Order Spectacle’s DVD Outside The Law: Stories from Guantánamo

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USA Congress to vote for “outside the law” detainees to remain in Guantanamo forever

USA Amnesty International  calls for action to stop Guantanamo detention centers being open permanently. This is a response to the US Congress having to decide soon whether the rights of those kept in custody in Guantanamo would be yet again weakened significantly. Now congress will vote for “outside the law” detainees to be forever denied freedom and kept in indefinite detention.

This Human Rights organization asks American citizens to either sign their online petition or directly call congress representatives, and to help in doing so Amnesty International provides detailed instructions.  Among them there are such steps to follow as:

* I am calling to urge the Senator to oppose provisions in the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012 (H.R. 1540) that would keep Guantanamo open.
* The Guantanamo detention facility must be closed. Indefinite detention and military commissions must end.
* Detainees must either be charged and fairly tried in US federal courts, or be released to countries where their human rights will be respected.
* I don’t want our government to sacrifice human rights in the name of security.

In its online petition Amnesty International says: “Indefinite detention, denial of due process and the unfair military commissions are violations of human rights and contravene international law. There is a better way to ensure justice and security for all of us.”

Amnesty International puts forward a solution for US Congress, which could release the detainees to countries which respect human rights or charge and try those individuals in US federal court.

The Guantanamo Bay detention camp is far and wide known for abusing human rights of “prisoners” from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Human rights organizations claim that those centers resemble concentration camps. This is because of the interrogation techniques used on prisoners, such as “stress positions”, “sleep deprivation” and other.

Spectacle is running a series of projects on Guantanamo detention centers, and you can find them in Guantanamo section on Spectacle’s blog. Also, you can order “Outside the Law: Stories from Guantanamo” documentary also produced by Spectacle, by visiting Projects section on Spectacle’s website.

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Spurs and Leyton Orient to launch review over Olympic Stadium


Tottenham Hotspur and Leyton Orient are applying to the high court for a review of the OPLC’s (Olympic Park Legacy Company) decision to award West Ham United the chance to move into the Olympic stadium after the 2012 Olympic games.  One of the reasons for OPLC’s decison to pick West Ham was that they had said in their bid for the stadium, that they would keep the athletics track, whilst Spurs had argued the only viable option was to rebuild the entire stadium as a dedicated football ground.

Leyton Orient’s chairman said. ‘We will shortly apply to the High Court for judicial review and take action against the Premier League for ignoring their own rules.’

A big concern for Leyton Orient is that because of the size of the stadium, West Ham plans to offer discounted tickets. The worry is that this could significantly effect Orients ability to generate ticket revenue since the clubs current home is the Matchroom Stadium just over 2 miles from Stratford. The club’s fan groups have launched an online petition urging the Government to revoke the decision. Orient have also accused Newham council of granting “unlawful state aid” to West Ham in offering them a £40m to finance their move into the Olympic stadium after the games.

What are they doing lending £40m to a football club? They are not allowed to be involved in commercial deals. This is state subsidy of a commercial operation, which falls foul of European competition laws.‘ Barry Hearn (Orients chairman) said. ‘We are asking them to withdraw it. It is state aid and they don’t have the authority to make this kind of commercial investment under their charter.’

This another incident linked to the Olympics where there is no accountability.  It seems that although the decision to award West Ham the loan is technically illegal, it is allowed to happen because of its connection to the Olympic games. Should allowances such as this be made just because of its links to a major event ? It seems unlikely that West Ham will be able to pay back such a huge loan given football isn’t renowned for financial sustainability and it will be the Newham taxpayers who will be liable for the debt in the event of default.

In January, BBC London found a number of potential ‘abuses’  during the process leading up to the loan. These included:

  • Crucial documents explaining the bid in detail being withheld from councillors until shortly before the vote
  • No explanation as to whether the council would be liable for the debt if relegation-threatened West Ham defaulted
  • A ‘significant number’ of councillors holding reservations – but refusing to speak openly because they are allegedly “afraid” of missing out on lucrative positions
  • Mayor of Newham Sir Robin Wales declaring dozens of gifts from West Ham, with critics saying his impartiality has been compromised

For more information click BBC News

Spurs also intend to take the OPLC to court over a number of concerns they have about the process which led to the decision to give West Ham the £537 million stadium. They released a statement saying that,

‘Our lawyers have written to the OPLC, the Mayor of London, the Minister of Sport and the Secretary of State for Local Government and a separate letter to the London Borough of Newham raising a number of concerns with the processes which led to the award.’

‘The letters also requested – in the interests of transparency – for the provision of certain information concerning the processes, which the Club considers that it is entitled to. Tottenham Hotspur will determine its next step as and when it receives a response to these letters.’

Tottenham also plan to challenge the £40m loan which West Ham will be given at preferential rates that was not been offered to any other bidders for the stadium believed that this will form a key argument  for Spurs’ claims against the decision.

Tottenham said that they have now ‘sought permission from the High Court to bring a claim against the London Borough of Newham (“Newham”) for judicial review of Newham’s process in providing a loan for the conversion of the Olympic Stadium after the 2012 Games.’

A spokesperson from the OPLC stated that, ‘We have been consistent, fair, objective and entirely equal in our dealings with the bidders from start to finish. We are confident that if these judicial review proceedings are pursued, our approach will be entirely vindicated by the courts.’

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Olympic Marathon dumps East End for tourist landmarks

The London Olympic Marathon will not go through the East End or finish at the Olympic Stadium as is tradition. To please the Olympic Committee, it will pass through the West End showcasing tourist landmarks St Paul’s Cathedral, the Houses of Parliament and Tower of London.  The race is planned to finish in the Mall with Buckingham Palace as its TV friendly backdrop. The race walks are also set to be held in central London instead of the East London as first planned.

Rushanara Ali, the MP for Bethnal Green and Bow, has claimed that the change meant that organisers were “embarrassed and ashamed to showcase the area and its people to the world”
“If LOCOG goes ahead with this proposal, the message they send to the world is ‘while we are happy to use the vibrancy, dynamism and diversity of the East End of London to win the Olympics bid, we’re embarrassed and ashamed to showcase the area and its people to the world’,” said Ali.

Tower Hamlets Council have created a petition as well Facebook group to protest the decision. They claim that Sebastian Coe, chairman of London 2012, had promised them that the marathons would pass through their area.

In his defense, Coe stated that “This is not a beauty contest and it would be ludicrous to suggest that we are ashamed of the East End,” when he met with Ali during the Labour Party Conference in Manchester. Although defiant, Coe did promise that the Olympic Torch Relay would pass through East London.

The London Thames Gateway Development Corporation (LTGDC), the Government’s lead regeneration agency for East London, has described the decision not to route the marathons and walks through that area as a “missed opportunity” to promote the region as a key investment destination to international investors.

As with Greenwich Park (see here and here), spectacular televisual backdrops demanded by the Olympic Committee override the interests of London and its residents.

To read more visit insidethegames.biz

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Wanstead Flats: Green space to Olympic holding cells?

Wanstead Flats: A vast, open grassland in Epping Forest, east London, surrounded by residential areas: This is where the Metropolitan Police plans to site an operational centre for the 2012 Olympics. On 5th September 2010, about 350 people attended a Mass Community Picnic on Wanstead Flats, demonstrating their opposition to the police’s proposal.

Official statements by the City of London, responsible for Epping Forest, have stated it will be a police briefing centre in the southwestern part of the Flats for a period of three months. However, subsequent conversations with officials have revealed that the site, covering three hectares, will seemingly be used for police deployment, and include a feeding station and stabling for police horses and also holding cells. Since those plans became public in June, local residents have started to organise their protest in order to preserve the open green space. Wanstead Flats are protected by the Epping Forest Act, 1878 which inhibits any use other than for recreation and public enjoyment and does not allow the erection of permanent structures. It is feared that the police’s proposal will set a precedent for further developments on the Flats in the near future. The fact that the Epping Forest Act has to be adapted in order to legalize the planned project is strengthening these apprehensions. These and other critical issues such as lack of public consultation, concerns about traffic and accessibility were discussed by local residents during the event on 5th September with Paul Thomson, Superintendent of Epping Forest. Two similar temporary police centres are to be erected for the Olympic Games, one in Hackney and another in Greenwich.

The next Local Residents’ Public Meeting of the Save Wanstead Flats Campaign will take place on Wednesday 6th October 2010, 7pm, at Durning Hall Community Centre, Earlham Grove, Forest Gate E7 9AB. For further information see savewansteadflats.org.uk

Wanstead Flats is one of many green sites that the “Greenest Olympics” will affect.

Sign the Petition now!

This is one of many green sites that the “Greenest Olympics” will destroy also see

Park to be tarmaced for Olympics

Basildon is latest signing to Disgruntled First XI

Greenwich Park, a centre for Equestrian Excellence? Perhaps not

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Mass Picnic To Save Wanstead Flats 5th September

The “Save Wanstead Flats Campaign” invite all of us to protest with a picnic on Sunday 5th September.


All welcome 1pm on the spot to the west of Centre Road where the police want to site their Olympic operations base in 2012. Ever since over 250 people attended a packed public meeting in July, residents living near Wanstead Flats have been demanding answers about plans by the City of London Corporation to allow the Metropolitan Police to base its Olympics operational centre on the Flats in 2012. In order to push this proposal through, the Corporation would need to amend an Act of Parliament that has protected Wanstead Flats from enclosure and development for well over a century.

Local people want to know why the proposed site for this police base, west of Centre Road, has been chosen, how that decision was made and why the Olympic stadium site itself cannot be used. There has been no consultation, even though the plans involve locating a fenced, high-security compound – with buildings, parking areas, stables and apparently even police holding cells – for at least 120 days and so close to residential neighbourhoods.

The Save Wanstead Flats campaign is organised by local people and on Sunday 5 September, we’d like to invite you to show your opposition to the City of London Corporation’s plans by joining us for a picnic – occupying the very spot where the police operations base would be constructed.  FLYER MAP

BRING FOOD, PICNIC BLANKETS, YOUR CHILDREN AND YOUR FRIENDS! MEET ALL YOUR NEIGHBOURS WHO ALSO WANT TO SAVE WANSTEAD FLATS!

Sign the Petition now!

This is one of many green sites that the “Greenest Olympics” will destroy also see

Park to be tarmaced for Olympics

Basildon is latest signing to Disgruntled First XI

Hackney Marshes

London 2012 Equestrian Events

Click London Olympics for more blogs

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