President Trump supporters clash with counter-protestors dressed in all black at a Make America Great Again rally on Bolsa Chica state beach in California. Fights broke out between the two groups on Saturday which saw four counter-protesters being arrested - three for illegal use of pepper spray and one for assault and batteryContinue reading...
Meeting the veteran activist was a dream come true for Greenham Common protester Kathrine Jones
The thing that really stands out is how cold it was that day. The wind cut straight across the common. Underfoot it was all mud and straw.
There were maybe 10 women in this protest camp. We were stood around a fire in big coats, woolly hats and wellies. Then, all of a sudden, gliding towards us in nothing thicker than a sweater, came Dora Russell. She was in her 90s by then. She looked so small and fragile, I thought she’d freeze to death, but she didn’t shiver once. I’m not sure she even noticed the cold. She was an old lady made of steel.
Dora was little and white-haired, but she had such astonishing presenceContinue reading...
Former deputy prime minister addresses tens of thousands of people protesting against decision to leave EU
Tens of thousands of people took to the streets of central London on Saturday to protest against Britain’s departure from the European Union, just days before Theresa May begins the process by triggering article 50.
Nick Clegg told the crowd in Parliament Square that “sadness” about the outcome of last June’s referendum had given way to “a perpetual sense of anger about the choices that Theresa May and her government have taken since”.Continue reading...
EU supporters take to capital’s streets to demonstrate against Britain’s departure from the union
We are wrapping up our live coverage of the Unite for Europe march today - thanks for reading.
Nick Clegg wraps up the rally with a blistering speech that almost persuades Alistair Campbell to forget the coalition.
There have also been anti-Brexit protests in Madrid today, as Guardian contributing editor Giles Tremlett tweets:
Tottenham MP David Lammy tells the Guardian there is a way back into the EU for Britain. “In the end this is about the people. We’re hearing a lot of stuff about the will of the people and it’s complete spin,” he says.
Writer and commentator Bonnie Greer tweets:
Edward Farquharson, 54, says he attended the march to make his voice heard.
Sid Mohandas, 33, teacher and researcher, attended the march with his husband Jayson Gillham, 30.
Fiamette Porri, 50, is from Italy, and met her husband Donald Thompson, 55, at a London nightclub 19 years ago this month.
Alastair Campbell tells the Remain movement not to give up: “When you see a car heading toward a cliff, you don’t keep driving.
More from Alastair Campbell:
"I know I am in a minority in thinking Brexit can be stopped, but I'm not in a minority in thinking that it should be," says @campbellclaret
Tens of thousands of anti-Brexit demonstrators fell silent at Parliament Square in tribute to the victims of the Westminster attack.
More from campaigning lawyer Jo Maugham, who says his recent legal action is about giving people a democratic voice.
“Starting article 50 is like a journey, a journey we can turn back from,” he tells the Unite For Europe rally.
Barrister Jo Maugham is now addressing the crowd in Westminster.
Defiance from @JolyonMaugham “Anyone who says they know what the popular mood is is lying. What will make Brexit happen is if you give up.”
Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron cemented his growing role as the political leader of the Remain movement with a well-received address to the Unite For Europe march in Parliament Square.
Farron to cheers: “We are not giving up this week of all weeks. We here are as testament that we refuse to despair. Britain can be better."
Speakers have been taking to the stage in Parliament Square.
#uniteforeurope speaker Seb Dance MEP says: "It's not us who need to confront reality. It's the Brexiteers" says no mandate for hard brexit
Lib Dem's Tim Farron next at #uniteforeurope march says Theresa May makes Nigel Farage look like a moderate by choosing most extreme Brexit.
Jean-Claude Juncker, the European Commission’s president, has told French voters to remember the key role their country plays, together with the European Union, when they vote in next month’s presidential election in which the anti-EU candidate Marine Le Pen is a strong contender.
Former BBC correspondent turned academic James Rodgers tweets:
On its 60th birthday, people from Sweden to Bulgaria speak their mind about whether the project is worth pursuing.
Pertinent point from the Financial Times’ Jonathan Eley:
UKIP now has zero MPs. And to think Cameron called a referendum on a matter of huge importance to placate this shower.
The Unite for Europe march isn’t just for people it seems...
Meanwhile in Warsaw, thousands have taken to the streets waving EU and Polish flags in a show of support for the union as leaders in Rome to mark the 60th anniversary of its founding treaty.
Greek-born lecturer and longtime London resident Lakis Zervoulis (right) and friends on the march today.
Some very British signs from today’s march...
The Greek prime minister, Alexis Tsipras, who initially signalled that he would not sign the Rome declaration if it failed to acknowledge that European achievements applied to all, has said the EU is far from the place its founders dreamed of.
And we're off. Crowd starts moving toward Green Park to the strains of "happy birthday to EU" pic.twitter.com/pJ7gnA7w8o
Some breaking news: Ukip’s only member of parliament, Douglas Carswell, has quit the party, announcing on his website that he will become an independent MP.
Carswell, who defected from the Conservative party to Ukip in August 2014, said he was leaving the party “amicably, cheerfully and in the knowledge that we won”.
Juncker hails ‘optimistic mood’
More from Rome: EU leaders have signed the Rome declaration that enshrines the principle of a multi-speed bloc, allowing some nations can move ahead while others stay on the sidelines on specific issues.
The declaration, signed by 27 nations, said that “we will act together, at different paces and intensity where necessary, while moving in the same direction”.
It appears that the start of the march has been delayed until noon at police request due to congestion. Buses are still arriving.
March steward tells me organisers expecting crowd of 16,000. Hoping for 20,000. Sounds about right to me. Angry heckling from motorists.
The leaders of the 27 states that will make up the European Union after Britain’s departure have gathered in Rome to reaffirm their support for the bloc.
Meanwhile in Rome, the leaders of European Union members - except Theresa May - have gathered to mark the 60th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome. The treaty was the forerunner to what became the EU.
A spirited crowd of Brexit protesters gathered at Hyde Park Corner in spring sunshine for the start of the Unite For Europe march on parliament. Many were carrying yellow flowers to lay at the memorial for victims of the Westminster attacks.
Matt Kamen, who writes for the Observer and Wired among others, is at the Unite for Europe march.
David Lammy, the Labour MP for Tottenham in north London, tweets:
Don't mourn, organise. Will be speaking at #UniteForEurope later. See you there.
Dan Roberts, our Brexit policy editor, is live tweeting the march:
Crowd beginning the gather in Park Lane for the Unite For Europe march on parliament. Sun shining, positive atmosphere, lots of EU flags pic.twitter.com/EiwVgLCz0n
Welcome to our live coverage of the Unite for Europe march in central London today. The protest is being held just days before the prime minister is expected to trigger Article 50, which will formally notify Brussels of the UK’s intention to leave the European Union.
It is also the 60th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Rome, which established the European Economic Community- the forerunner of the EU.Continue reading...
From the women’s march to climate change protests, people are taking to the streets in an attempt to get their voices heard. How can they make an impact?
Protesting is back. People have woken up to the undeniable fact that power ultimately lies with them. We can’t change what’s already happened, but we can organise to ensure that the huge progress we have made tackling some of the world’s greatest problems is not lost.
We are returning to the traditional and most effective form of protest – marching, with placards, bull-horns and a collective, defiant voice.
Activism must become as much a part of our civic duty as paying council tax or dividing rubbish for recyclingContinue reading...
Campaigners will occupy work sites, chain themselves to machinery and clog phone lines, Galilee Blockade says
A group of activists say the mining contractor Downer Group is the “prime target” of a civil disruption campaign to force it to walk away from a $2bn deal to build and run Adani’s proposed Queensland coalmine.
Galilee Blockade organisers warn members of their network will occupy work sites, chain themselves to machinery and clog phone lines, among other actions that will cost Downer money until it exits a non-binding contract over the contentious Carmichael site .Continue reading...
Barack Obama defends Affordable Care Act as protesters mobilize across US; thousands sign petition to keep PBS funding; anti-transgender bus defaced
A new cell service called Resistbot is exciting activists. It launched earlier this month but has picked up traction this week as people aim to pressure politicians on the healthcare vote.
So if Republicans are serious about lowering costs while expanding coverage to those who need it, and if they’re prepared to work with Democrats and objective evaluators in finding solutions that accomplish those goals – that’s something we all should welcome. But we should start from the baseline that any changes will make our healthcare system better, not worse for hardworking Americans.
Was there another meeting for women? https://t.co/rKjDYkMraE
Fast & Furious 9 (2019) pic.twitter.com/o3JFal4bYcContinue reading...
Your article on Greenham Common (‘We weaponised femininity’, G2, 21 March) brought back many memories. Having joined CND and taken part in several anti-nuclear marches in the late 70s, Greenham was the next active step for me and an important part of my political education. Embrace the Base was an exhilarating experience which confronted the establishment full on and in solidarity. I recall the police inside the fencing using batons and spanners to bang the hands of women trying to rock and break the wire fencing. It was a menacing and disturbing experience but also invigorating.
As a single parent I never stayed there but did visit regularly with friends to take food treats, especially at Christmas, and also help take bags of rubbish to the local refuse depot as the rubbish from the camps was not officially collected. From there I became active in supporting prisoners on death row in the US and was in Louisiana in 1991 when my first pen friend was executed. From that I founded a small charity now called Amicus which provides British lawyers to support US capital defence lawyers. I doubt that would have happened had I not felt empowered by my Greenham Common experience.Continue reading...
Organisers say demo, ending in Parliament Square, will show resilience of democracy and urge people to lay flowers for victims
Organisers of a pro-Europe demonstration in London have said it will go ahead as planned on Saturday despite concern that a major political protest might be inappropriate after this week’s nearby terrorist attack.
Unite for Europe said it was important that the march, ending with a rally in Parliament Square, demonstrate the resilience of British democracy. It encouraged supporters to show their respect for the victims of Wednesday’s attack in Westminster by laying flowers and will hold a minute’s silence.Continue reading...
Let’s occupy again! Biblioteca Kaos (Kaos Library) has a new space.
On Sunday, March 12, we entered the house at 641 Coronel João Manoel street, near the start of the hill. The house was abandoned three years ago and it is in the middle of the historical center of Porto Alegre, it forms part of the inheritances of two of the most bourgeois families and owners of the city for centuries: Chaves Barcellos and Wallig.
We are absolutely certain that we are irritating the powerful who have already appeared to threaten us and very ludicrously invite us to be part of their alternative capitalism projects. Our answer is unanimous: we are anarchists and squatters, and we will not have any conversation with the bourgeoisie at all.
To our surprise and joy, the neighborhood fully supports the occupation because they can see that a few people have set up a space that has been unused for years. The interactions with them have had a clear attitude of solidarity and initiative not only in words but above all in action, they participated bit by bit in the cleaning of the space and supported us with their presence during some of the visits by the owners.
After the threats by the owners to throw us out with their henchmen and pit bulls, the other squatters of the city arrived to show us their solidarity and support.
At the moment we are still fighting for the space but our decision from the start is still to remain without either legal or verbal negotiation with the owners. Occupation is a subversive practice that can’t be swallowed up by real estate rules, it is an effective response to the absurd accumulation of land into the hands of a privileged few. Our determination in the face of this is clear: abandoned house, occupied house.
We send our greetings to Solidaria who face an eviction in the next few days, compas – an eviction, another occupation!! To the compas of Nadir and CCF in Greece, compas we follow! Bibliotechas (Libraries) Flecha Negra in Brazil, Sacco and Vanzetti and Sebastian Oversluij in Chile, and to all self-managed spaces in search of anarchy.
From a new space we will continue from where we have always been: in search of freedom and against all authority!
In the next few days we will provide updates about the opening times and activities of the library.
This is the environmental issue of our times and the Great Barrier Reef is at stake. But people standing up for what they believe in has unbeatable power
When I rafted the Franklin in the 1970s, I knew the campaign to save that spectacular river, despite local support for damming it, would become one to test that generation. In 2017, stopping the Adani coal mine is a campaign to test this generation of Australians.
In 40 years time people will be talking about the campaign to stop Adani like they now talk about the Franklin. “Where were you and what did you do?” they will ask.Continue reading...
Human rights groups call for release of men arrested by security forces at Minsk literature festival, and others held as protests rock authoritarian state
Human rights organisations have called on Belarusian authorities to drop all charges immediately against writers, publishers and journalists who have been arrested following a wave of nationwide protests.Continue reading...
Whistleblowers from within institutions, corporations, government departments, police or military can be critical to movement success, and their testimony is often the key to exposing and resisting injustice and creating change.
Institutions clamp down on and deter whistleblowing for good reason. Whistleblowers can shake major institutions. They can feed vital information to movements, can warn activists about impending threats, can expose corruption, public health dangers and reduce the power of governments and deep state agencies. Disclosing secrets and releasing information poses high risks and personal costs and always takes a fair degree of courage. To expose an injustice, whistleblowers will have to trust who they are communicating with.
Nonviolent politics has long recognized that societal institutions, even rigid hierarchies such as the police or military, are not monolithic, but are in fact riddled with dissent. Institutions are made up of individual human beings. Despite well-developed cultural, legal and bureaucratic mechanisms used to enforce internal obedience and discipline, whistleblowing and other forms of internal resistance are surprisingly common.
So, what can activists, organizers and movements do to encourage and support whistleblowers?
1. Don’t alienate them.
Avoid generalized public statements that are likely to deter whistleblowers from approaching you. Saying things like “All cops are bastards” or “Everyone who works for Exxon should be charged with crimes against humanity” are likely to dissuade potential whistleblowers from contacting you. If the activist group or movement is perceived to be hostile, violent, unorganized or antagonistic then being approached by a whistleblower is far less likely. Targeting critiques toward management, government leaders or the decision-makers and not ordinary workers or the rank and file makes an approach more likely.
2. Send out invitations.
Publicly address and encourage people within the institution to blow the whistle on unjust or illegal practices. Talk about “people of conscience” within the institution. Actively and openly call upon people of courage and conviction within the ranks to tell their story. At rallies and public events engage with staff or rank-and-file workers to demonstrate that you are not hostile to them as individuals.
3. Communicate your support.
Use leaflets, speeches, union newsletters, social media and statements to the mainstream media to show that you or the movement can be trusted to support and protect whistleblowers. Let them know that you are open to hearing from them. Don’t make promises you can’t keep but offer support when and where you can.
4. Create and promote avenues for interaction.
Develop or utilize secure anonymous document drop links that you actively monitor. SecureDrop is one open-source whistleblower submission system that media organizations can use to securely accept documents from and communicate with anonymous sources. It was originally created by the late Aaron Swartz and is currently managed by Freedom of the Press Foundation.
Develop activities or events that encourage interaction between the movement and staff. Organize a BBQ or dinner for staff, a public meeting for workers where they can hear about the movement. In Australia at Roxby Downs, anti-uranium activists held public meetings in the township to listen to the concerns of mine workers and their families. During the Vietnam War peace activists and veteran groups set up G.I. Coffee Houses near military bases. The principle is the same: Positive interaction generates trust and encourages internal dissent.
5. Prioritize and actively engage with any contacts.
Potential whistleblowers will often put out subtle “feelers” long before disclosing who they are or before releasing any information. They are seeking trusted contacts and testing you out. How activists respond to these initial contacts can be critical. Be open to communication that may appear suspicious at first or from dubious or anonymous sources. The general rule is to be respectful and courteous to all contacts as any one of them could end up being a critically important whistleblower.
6. Ensure confidentiality.
If a potential whistleblower does make contact with you and identifies themselves in some way, make it a priority and do everything possible to ensure confidentiality. Drop other work if you need to in order to engage with them.
7. Conduct a risk assessment.
The risks for a whistleblower increase dramatically once they have made contact or gone public. Discuss with them what their fears and concerns are and help them conduct a risk assessment, which is essentially listing, discussing and then evaluating each identified risk. Seek out legal support for them that is capable of advising and advocating for them in the case of legal sanctions. Whistleblowers may be breaking contracts, agreements, regulations and laws in order to make information public. Form a small and capable support team around the whistleblower.
The decision to go to the media needs to be considered carefully and the whistleblower should be supported to make the best and safest decision for them as they will bear the vast bulk of any consequences. Having a high profile in the media can be a risk but can also lead to additional safety.
If the decision is made to go to the media, choose the most experienced journalist in the most reputable media outlet available. Take the time to find the right one. Professional journalists who adhere to professional ethics should protect sources and may be able to work with you on making information go public safely. But not all journalists will act ethically and will also have their own interests in breaking a story. You can act as a go-between at the early stages to reduce the risks for the whistleblower.
8. Share resources for whistleblowers
Provide them with a copy of “The Whistleblower’s Handbook: How to Be an Effective Resister” by Brian Martin. It is out of print but available online here. Based upon hundreds of interviews with whistleblowers, this book provides insights, lessons and important advice for people considering blowing the whistle in the public interest.
9. Be ready to provide protection.
Work with your networks or activist group to provide as much support, security or protection as possible. In some cases this may mean making sure someone trusted is with them 24 hours a day for a while. This form of “protective accompaniment” would mean creating a roster to have trusted people stay with the person and a protocol to alert more support if there is a threat or incident.
10. Prepare to give ongoing support.
Whistleblowers are often risking their safety, careers, incomes and reputations when deciding to release information on corruption or injustice. They will face damaging personal attacks and harassment, traumatic and long legal battles and possibly imprisonment. They deserve the ongoing and long-term support of the movement. Some movements have set up ongoing support groups for whistleblowers that raise funds and generate public and political support.
The Chelsea Manning Support Network operated for seven years and was able to cover 100 percent of Chelsea Manning’s legal fees throughout her court martial — nearly $400,000 — and mount a huge publicity campaign to raise awareness about her situation. Other groups like the Courage Foundation support several “truth-tellers” internationally, and fundraise for the legal and public defense of specific individuals who risk life or liberty to make significant contributions to the historical record and are subject to serious prosecution or persecution. The more support existing whistleblowers receive, the more likely others will follow.
Whistleblowing poses a serious threat to power, privilege and the continuation of anti-democratic or authoritarian practices. Our movements grow stronger when we support them. Every bit of encouragement, support and protection you can provide is worth it.
Protesters detained for trying to stop contractors from chopping down trees to challenge legality of their arrest
Fourteen campaigners arrested in a dispute over tree-felling in Sheffield are to take legal action against South Yorkshire police.
The protesters, who include a Green party councillor and university academics, were detained under trade union legislation for preventing council contractors from chopping down roadside trees.Continue reading...
Organisers of 25 March protest face backlash after changing ‘Stop Brexit’ slogan to ‘make your voice heard’
The impending launch of Britain’s departure from the European Union has left campaigners against Brexit with a conundrum: fight on and seek to block the decision, or adapt and seek a new voice in the process?
For the organisers of a protest march scheduled to take place in London on 25 March, it is proving a controversial, and perhaps debilitating, choice.Continue reading...
When Britain handed over control to China in 1997, Hong Kong was a beacon of freewheeling prosperity – but in recent years Beijing’s grip has tightened. Is there any hope for the city’s radical pro-democracy movement?
Early one morning in January, under the veil of darkness, a team of undercover police from China quietly entered Hong Kong’s Four Seasons hotel and made their way into a luxurious residential suite. After sweeping aside the billionaire occupant’s private contingent of female bodyguards, they shrouded the man’s head in a white sheet and bundled him off in a wheelchair.
Xiao Jianhua was one of China’s richest businessmen. He had built his fortune over the past two decades through deals involving the cream of China’s political elite, reportedly including close relatives of the president, Xi Jinping. Because of China’s opaque political culture, one can only speculate about the reasons for Xiao’s abduction, but it seems that he had taken careful steps to protect himself. Not only was he residing and conducting his business outside of China, his country of birth, he had a diplomatic passport from Antigua and Barbuda and had adopted Canadian citizenship, perhaps thinking that this might offer him some extra degree of legal or diplomatic protection.Continue reading...
The 1980s peace camp against US cruise missiles was a demonstration of joyous female power that echoes through to the women’s marches of today. Activists recall those heady, scary, inspiring days
Recently on the Women’s March I heard a sound I had not heard for a long time. It was a woman ululating and it took me right back to Greenham Common where women would make this strange keening noise. Mass ululation would freak the soldiers out.
I first went to Greenham in 1982 for Embrace the Base. The camp had started a year earlier as a protest against Nato’s decision to site American cruise missiles at the Berkshire site. By February 1982 it had been decided that this was a women-only protest – and this was crucial: a woman’s place was not in the home, but at a protest. Women could use their identity as carers and mothers to say, this is about the future safety of our children. We weaponised traditional notions of femininity.Continue reading...
Activist, who became symbol of 1968 protests when she was photographed in Paris, prepares to march against Brexit
Her image has been symbolic of the national mood once before. Recreating a 19th-century masterpiece of Lady Liberty leading the French to revolution, a statuesque portrait of Caroline de Bendern emerged as a defining image of the protests that swept Europe in the summer of 1968.
Now almost five decades on, the British former model and disinherited aristocrat is taking to the streets again – to demonstrate her opposition to Brexit and fly the flag for the European Union at this week’s Unite for Europe march.Continue reading...
This afternoon a building was squatted at Singel 356 in Amsterdam. The canal house, which has monument status, was last sold in 2014 to a British hedge fund banker based in Switzerland. Prior to the sale, the building was uninhabited for a number of years, with planning permits denied, and only minor works carried out by a now bankrupt construction firm. Since acquiring the property in 2014, the current owner has continued the trend of his predecessor: leaving the building vacant.
Like the majority of these typical Amsterdam canal houses, the property has been deemed monumental. Generally, this status is given to structures and buildings of significance in particular to preserve an area’s historic architectural value. Future plans for this property remain unclear, and we strongly believe that unique, significant monumental buildings such as this should not be left empty to deteriorate over time – particularly when the reasons behind this likely involve some means of speculation. As a group we intend to look after this property, which its current wealthy owner appears to be unconcerned with.
The continuing housing crisis in Amsterdam shows no sign of improvement anytime soon. The accommodation shortage we are witnessing is driven by surging prices in both real estate and rental accommodation. At the same time, increasing numbers of social housing properties are being switched into the free sector or even sold, with very few being added to the social sector. Understandably, waiting lists for social housing have ballooned in recent years – 15-20 years on average across the city.
This scenario has led to many of the city’s residents being forced out in search of affordable alternatives in the outer suburbs or even further afield. Indeed this is not a suitable option for all, and nor should residents be made to leave. Increasingly people find themselves in precarious living situations (e.g. temporary rental contracts, anti-squat, illegal subletting, sofa surfing etc.) as they are left with no alternative. Recent developments purported to cater to those like ourselves promise an equally unacceptable arrangement – e.g. a studio in the North Orleans development is 1050 – 1250 euro per month exclusive, with a fold out sofa as the bed.
At the same time, there is a great deal of empty real estate in the city. Whilst the reasons behind the vacancies are varied, we can identify several common themes:
On the one hand, the AirBNB concept has been widely abused in Amsterdam. Properties fit for housing are instead being used solely for this purpose, with the profits rarely seen reflected in the community itself.
On the other hand, a great deal of properties are owned by (foreign) investors – many of which are left vacant for years. The property at Singel 356 falls into this category and as the city has a severe housing shortage, this property and others like it could go a long way towards remedying the crisis.
We believe that in the current climate, buildings such as this should not be left vacant to deteriorate. We have squatted this property for the purpose of housing and with the goal of adding value to the local community.
Houses for people, not speculation!
After more than a year of existence, Themistokleous 58 anarchist squat and housing project for people with and without papers in Exarchia, downtown Athens, still needs some very practical solidarity to stay functional. Here goes our current list of needs.
Food supplies: Oil (olive oil/corn oil), rice, pasta, tomato sauce, beans, lentils, chick peas, eggs, potatoes, canned milk, dog-food.
Cleaning supplies: Bleach, dish soap, laundry detergent, sponges, trash bags, mop-heads.
Personal hygienic: Shampoo, shaving cream and razors, toothpastes and toothbrushes.
General stuff: Light bulbs (screwing and bayonet type), paint, chairs.
We also welcome financial support (not by NGOs and State/Capital institutions) to cover the squat’s structural needs and occasional medical care expenses. For those who want to contribute from abroad our bitcoin wallet address is: 1aXVM16soZt4ZisC8ZttuqvzztVKFBCMz
We take the opportunity to thank all those who have helped out so far in every way they could.
Love, rage and solidarity!
Themistokleous 58 Squat (th58@@@riseup.net)
* (The banner reads “Death to patriots (A)” in Albanian.)