“Despite the City” saw today’s anti-capitalist protests

Today’s anti-capitalist revolt around the world did not start a couple of weeks ago in Wall Street, but has its roots in the 80s. The fears of “unequal redistribution of wealth”  first emerged and spread when the colonisation of the financial centers began, just when the London City annexed the docklands area. But only now the real protests have grown in power, with St Paul’s Cathedral yard and Brighton park being resolutely occupied in the past weeks.

“Despite the City” witnessed this movement of discontent since its beginnings in the 80s and documented it in a community-led video showing local residents under threat. They are filmed when confronting the planners and property dealers, who broke their promises about the “real” job opportunities. Relocating the world’s biggest banks and companies to the aptly named Isle of Dogs changed the realities of many. For sure!

You can buy this still very relevant documentary on corruption, lies and broken promises on Spectacle’s website.

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“the whole essence of the movement is to reject the game’s rules as it is being played” – Occupy Wall Street defined!

Occupy Wall Street is a movement in response to a system of society where wealth is concentrated in the hands of the few.

Yet its methods are uncommon. Peter Marcuse offers the following explanation:

“It makes 4 points:

1.       Occupy Wall Street doesn’t make specific demands. Understandably. There is a difference between immediate demands and claims of rights, and the Occupy movement is about targeting claims of rights.

2.       This is not only for strategic reasons – it’s not their role – but also on principle; its supporters don’t want to get into the game, they want to change its unfair rules.

3.       They do not seek consensus but understand the inevitably of conflict. They wish to stand with the 99% and recognize that this means losses for the 1%,  but not losses that would seriously impinge on their needs.

4.       The space they have chosen to organize their protest is not classic public space, but space in the heart of the territory in which the activities and forces they target operate. It is both a physically and a symbolically well-chosen space for their purpose.”

Peter further expands on these points in the following blog article, where he also details his personal experience of Occupy Wall Street’s Oct 5th march:

Peter Marcuse’s Blog – Occupy WallStreet – For What? For Whom? Where? Why?

 

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Julian Assange to speak at Anti-war Mass Assembly in London – Saturday 8 October

The Anti-war Mass Assembly, marking 10 years of war in Afghanistan and Iraq will start at 12 noon in Trafalgar Square, London tomorrow 8th October.

It will be officially opened by Joe Glenton, the ex-soldier who was jailed for refusing to fight in Afghanistan alongside Grace McCann, who in 2010 attempted a citizen’s arrest on Tony Blair.

Supporting Glenton and the assembly will be high profile figures such as Noam Chomsky, Julian Assange, Jemima Khan and Tony Benn.

For more information including a list of who will be attending, a complete timetable and for the chance to sign the pledge to attend please click on the Stop the War Coalition’s website and/or the Anti War Mass Assembly’s dedicated site.

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

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Cuts demonstration – London october 2010

Footage of the anti-cuts protest in London, October 20th, before the drastic cuts were confirmed.

Many students were marching against the government planned education cuts.

The cuts will  particularly affect the humanities as well as precipitating entire programs and grant facilities to be totally shut down. Current prospective students could see their university fees triple.

The student movements against the cuts culminated with the march last Wednesday 10th November that gathered more than 50,000 people coming from all over the country.

More actions should be announced to take place later during the month. Spectacle will be covering the ongoing actions.

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Thousands protest against Government Spending Review

Thousands of students, trade unionists, community groups and others marched through the streets of London in protest following the brutal spending cuts issued by the Tory government yesterday.

Students from University College London and surrounding universities initiated the march on their campus and were soon joined by thousands of others united in the cause. Banners on display reflected the diversity of those protesting, including unions such as Unison, the National Union of Teachers and the GMB. The procession passed through Central London and ended up at a rally outside Downing Street. Simultaneously thousands of demonstrators were also gathered at a rally at Lincoln’s Inn Fields where Tony Benn, as well as other trade union and movement leaders addressed thousands of angered protesters. The Lincoln’s Inn Fields protesters later marched towards Downing Street.

Local protests were also organised around the UK;  a clear indicator of the public’s outrage at the proposed rebudgeting of the country’s coffers.

To read related articles go to our blog and to IndyMedia.

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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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Or visit PlanA our general blog on urbanism, planning and architecture.

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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

See our Olympics project pages for more information and videos.

Or visit PlanA our general blog on urbanism, planning and architecture.

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Police State Tactics in Toronto: Call for Support

Signatories sought for appeal against Canadian authoritarian policing strategies:

We believe it is urgent to respond to the police actions in Toronto duringthe G8/G20.  We are writing to invite you to sign on to The Toronto Call. We are hoping to get signatures from trade unionists, faculty, students, community activists, legal workers and cultural workers among others (including those arrested and detained around the G20).   We believe it is possible to shift the terms to debate, and to shine a spotlight on the abusive police practices during the G8/G20.  But we need your help to do that.

Please sign on and circulate the call widely to friends, colleagues, allies and networks who might be willing to sign.

If you want *TO SIGN ON, PLEASE WRITE TO* TheTorontoCall@gmail.com and with your name, affiliation (as you would want it in the final version) and which category you prefer to be placed in (trade unionists, faculty, students, community activists, legal workers, teachers, cultural workers, arrested and detained)  if we decide to arrange signatures in that format.  We ask you to sign on as soon as possible.  We will continue *collecting signatures until Monday, July 5 at 6:00pm* but may publish versions if it becomes useful to do so before that time.

*NOTE:* Please feel free to place a  * beside your institutional affiliation if you want indicate you are signing in a personal capacity

Thanks very much – please pass the message on …

Follow this link for a bit more information on what happened:

http://www.socialistvoice.ca/?p=1262

The comments here: http://wmtc.blogspot.com/

And here is a little information on the G20 itself:

http://www.naomiklein.org/articles/2010/06/g20-global-menace-invented-larry-summers

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