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UK: Manchester homeless call out council ‘one way ticket’ scandal

House Occupation News -

Following revelations that Manchester Council has spent £10,000 on one-way tickets to push rough sleepers out of the city, activists have been expressing their disdain for executives’ excuses that the measure is aimed at “reconnecting” people with relatives who can help.

In a statement, Manchester Activist Network (MAN), which has been heavily involved in homeless self-organising in the city explained the real way in which the system works:

Person becomes homeless. Person goes to local town hall. Person is told no housing available, all the money is in Manchester. Person goes to Manchester and asks for help. Person told they have no local connection, go back home. Person kicks off a bit. Person is offered a train ticket to stop them from staying in Manchester long enough to be considered as having a local connection (six months). Decision time. Go back to the place that’s already failed you (and has a waiting least of two years+) or stay and take a chance in a city where at least the public care even if the council doesn’t.

Either way there’s no ‘reconnecting’ going on, if it were they would be following up each case and ensuring that the relevant services in the persons home town were ready for them. They don’t. They pay for a ticket and that’s the end of it.

If there’s one thing Manchester City Council does know how to do properly it’s waste money, they’re experts at it in fact. But whose money are they wasting? Yours. Ours. We must demand better.

The gulf between the promises of Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham and the policies of the city council have been growing ever more stark in recent weeks, following a spate of evictions of self-organised homeless groups, including of MAN actvists, sometimes within days of new policies being announced that will supposedly “end rough sleeping by 2020.”

Freedom News

Police restrict medics ahead of Richard Spencer protest at University of Florida

Waging Nonviolence -

by Mike Isaacson

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Student organizers at the University of Florida have worked with local organizations to provide a team of street medics for an October 19 protest of Richard Spencer, but the uniformed command — the many law enforcement officials coordinating to provide security — says the medics can’t bring any supplies.

On a website set up specifically to answer questions about the accommodations and restrictions for the speech, the university listed several prohibited items including water bottles and bags of any kind. A student representative for No Nazis at UF, a student-led coalition of local and national organizations founded when Spencer’s speech was first announced in August, called the policy “ridiculous,” and lamented that “medics can’t even carry supplies in order to help anyone.”

Street medics — who wear the red cross on a shirt, armband or backpack — train regularly to carry injured protesters away from danger and administer first aid for ailments ranging from broken bones to heat exhaustion. One medic, who asked to be referred to as Jane, completed the initial 20-hour street medic training in August only to treat head wounds in Charlottesville later that month. “I can’t imagine Charlottesville without medics,” Jane said. “Whether we’re dealing with injuries, chemical agents, or just making sure people stay hydrated, there’s always something to do.”

Another medic, who asked to be referred to as Bo, said he has mostly seen cuts, burns and concussions over the past year of helping out in the streets. Bo has been an Emergency Medical Service, or EMS, for the past eight years and used his training to treat these injuries, as well as diabetic emergencies, heat stroke, and “penetrating trauma” caused by stabs and gunshot wounds.

To prepare for a protest, street medics need to be able to carry equipment to treat injured protesters. Jane packs what is needed for any given protest, ranging from some snacks, gauze, tape, gloves and salts for peaceful rallies to flashlights, fold-up splints, hot and cold packs, and menstrual pads for more intense protests.

At the top of the priority list for Gainesville is water and cold packs. “Florida’s hot and people are at risk for dehydration and heat stroke,” Jane said. “If people get arrested, they’re likely to be denied water in jail, and under stressful circumstances, bodies need proper electrolytes and good hydration. Bringing hundreds of protesters to the infirmary is going to be expensive and dangerous.” No Nazis at UF says it has alerted the University of Florida police of their safety concerns and is investigating legal action against the uniformed command’s restrictions.

Bo has experienced being stripped of his ability to provide care before. At a protest in Virginia, a state trooper actively prevented him from performing CPR on a patient in critical condition. “As a professional,” he said, “I feel best equipped to serve in a caregiver role.”

The restrictions in place by the uniformed command will prevent street medics from being able to treat common protest injuries. They will have no water to flush eyes of chemical spray and will only have as much gauze as they can carry in their pockets — assuming the police don’t confiscate it anyway. At the end of the prohibited items list is, “Any other items that campus police determine pose a risk to safety or a disruption of classes or vehicular or pedestrian traffic.”

So far, the university plans to spend over $500,000 with other agencies to neutralize the protests both on campus and around the city of Gainesville. To No Nazis at UF, this is a hefty price tag to protect an uninvited lecture from a widely acknowledged crackpot who paid $10,564 to reserve a university auditorium to pontificate on biological and psychological theories roundly rejected by the scientific community.

On the group’s Twitter account, No Nazis at UF proposed a shortlist of items this security tab could have funded at the university, including additional full time professors, minority outreach and retention programs, and departments for African American and Latinx Studies.

They were critical of the president’s emailed statement to the university which encouraged students to attend alternative events or stay home. He also tweeted, “Not only is UF paying for Spencer’s platform, they are actively encouraging students not to protest.”

On Monday, student and faculty protesters held a press conference that turned into an impromptu march to the university president’s house. Nicole Long, a University of Florida grad student and organizer with National Women’s Liberation, said the marchers developed a list of three successive demands, asking him to cancel the event or, failing that, roll back the prohibited items list. Failing these first two demands, protesters demanded that the president, “Resign so we can get someone in leadership who will actually stand up for our students.”

While the university has closed numerous buildings including the main wellness center, classes are otherwise not cancelled. According to the university website, students are expected to request to be excused by their instructors. Faculty who want to cancel their classes may only do so with the permission of their deans.

“The proposed Richard Spencer visit,” said Paul Ortiz, a history professor and vice president of the United Faculty of Florida union, “is a violation of our collective bargaining agreement, because it is a violation of worker’s safety. When Richard Spencer comes here with his acolytes it makes the staff unsafe; it makes our students unsafe; it makes our faculty unsafe. So we believe the proposed Richard Spencer visit is a violation of not only federal labor law, but a violation of our collective bargaining agreement.”

Union officials have reported hate crimes at the African American Studies department as well as nooses left in the classrooms of black faculty members. The union has circulated a petition demanding the president and board of trustees cancel the event and is exploring legal options. While the university is coercing its faculty to work in such a hostile environment, it is simultaneously cutting the hours of staff who work in the shuttered buildings.

The event had originally been scheduled for a month prior, before public outcry shortly after the attack on Charlottesville antifascist protesters by a member of the white nationalist Vanguard America that left one dead and 19 injured. Vanguard America was one of the groups that teamed up with Richard Spencer to hold the Charlottesville rally.

In an open letter from August on the United Faculty of Florida website, UFF chapter president Steven Kim exposed credible threats of violence to student and faculty protesters from the far right on various blog posts and forums in response to the original announcement. The event was cancelled amid security concerns, but the university capitulated to Spencer when he threatened legal action last month.

According to the university website, the event was merely postponed to allow for significant security arrangements. Malini Johar Schueller, an English professor for over 30 years at the University of Florida, was skeptical that more heavily armed police would make anyone safer. “A lot of violent tragic things happen when the police are trained,” she said, pointing to a video documenting the shooting of University of Florida doctoral student Kofi Adu-Brempong by the campus police in 2010. In response to a noise complaint from a neighbor, campus police arrived in SWAT gear, kicked down the door of Adu-Brempong’s apartment, and shot him with bean bag rounds, a taser and an M4 rifle.

Schueller estimates the $500,000 security budget would be better spent on financial aid and graduate assistantships for the student population the university is intended to serve. “The disruption it’s causing is totally ridiculous,” she said.

If only spycops were just paranoid fantasy | Letter

The Guardian | Protest -

It is highly unlikely that police forces have stopped spying on protest groups and politicians, say Donal O’Driscoll and Eveline Lubbers. Hence the importance of the undercover policing inquiry

We must disagree with Paul Mason’s assessment that we should simply “bury the paranoia and move on” (Stella Rimington should stop fuelling paranoid fantasies about Jeremy Corbyn, G2, 17 October). It is highly unlikely that spying on protest groups and politicians has ceased. Though the two main undercover policing units have been disbanded, across the country police maintain “domestic extremism” (what in past times was known as counter-subversion) monitoring units, and these units work hand in hand with the secret services.

Related: Stella Rimington should stop fuelling paranoid fantasies about Jeremy Corbyn | Paul Mason

Related: Sir John Mitting to take over undercover police inquiry

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Turkish environmentalist murders and the legend of Gilgamesh | Letters

The Guardian | Protest -

Robin Russell-Jones writes of the long and hazardous history of trying to protect the cedars of Lebanon

There have been many attempts throughout history to preserve the cedars of Lebanon, including a decree against logging by the Roman Emperor Hadrian, but Aysin and Ali Büyüknohutçu are the first to have been murdered since Gilgamesh, a king in ancient Mesopotamia, slew the mythical guardian of the cedar forest, Humbaba, in 2750BC (Murders are a warning, say Turkish activists, 18 October).

It is likely that the Epic of Gilgamesh was written to warn against assaults on the natural world, but ancient cedar forests in Lebanon have nevertheless been decimated, not least by the British military when constructing a railway from Haifa to Tripoli, and Cedrus libani is now classified as a near-threatened species. The best-preserved trees are now found in the Taurus mountains of southern Turkey, and it is for these forests that the couple gave their lives. Turkey no longer has an independent judiciary, and there is a menacing link between nationalistic leaders and disregard for the environment. Trump’s attitude to climate change is just as dangerous as Turkish hitmen who murder environmental activists.
Dr Robin Russell-Jones
Author, The Gilgamesh Gene

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UK summons Chinese ambassador after British activist barred from Hong Kong

The Guardian | Protest -

Foreign Office says it has contacted Beijing following decision to deny entry to Benedict Rogers earlier this month

The Foreign Office has summoned China’s ambassador to the UK after a prominent British human rights activist was barred from Hong Kong, in a case that has sparked fears that the city’s autonomy is being eroded.

During a parliamentary debate, the MP Fiona Bruce, chair of the Conservative party’s human rights commission, asked what the Foreign Office was doing in response to shrinking freedoms in the former British colony.

Related: China rebuffs criticism of decision to bar British activist from Hong Kong

Related: Hong Kong could ban Chris Patten, city's leader says

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Bob Brown wins high court challenge to Tasmanian anti-protest laws

The Guardian | Protest -

High court strikes down laws after former Greens leader argues the laws interfered with constitutional right to freedom of political expression

Former Australian Greens leader Bob Brown has won a landmark high court fight against Tasmanian anti-protest laws passed in 2014 and under which he was charged in 2016.

Brown, the third person arrested under the Workplaces (Protection from Protesters) Act 2014 argued the laws directly targeted implied freedom of political expression in the constitution and were therefore unconstitutional.

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Ken Burns’ powerful anti-war film on Vietnam ignores the power of the anti-war movement

Waging Nonviolence -

by Robert Levering

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Ken Burns and Lynn Novick’s PBS series, “The Vietnam War,” deserves an Oscar for its depiction of the gore of war and the criminality of the warmakers. But it also deserves to be critiqued for its portrayal of the anti-war movement.

Millions of us joined the struggle against the war. I worked for years as an organizer for major national demonstrations and many smaller ones. Any semblance between the peace movement I experienced and the one depicted by the Burns/Novick series is purely coincidental.

Two of my fellow activists, Ron Young and Steve Ladd had similar reactions to the series. Historian Maurice Isserman says the film is “both anti-war and anti-antiwar movement.” Another historian Jerry Lembcke says the filmmakers use the technique of “false balancing” to perpetuate myths about the anti-war movement.

These criticisms are valid. But for today’s resisters, the PBS series misses the most relevant story of the Vietnam era: How the anti-war movement played a critical role in limiting and ultimately helping to end the war.

You would never guess from this series that as many Americans took to the streets to protest the war on one day (October 15, 1969) as served in Vietnam during the 10 years of the war (about 2 million for both). Nor would you realize that the peace movement was, in the words of respected historian Charles DeBenedetti, “the largest domestic opposition to a warring government in the history of modern industrial society.”

Instead of celebrating the war’s resistance, Burns, Novick and series writer Geoffrey C. Ward consistently minimize, caricature and distort what was by far the largest nonviolent movement in American history.

Anti-war vets are the only participants of the peace movement that Burns and Novick relate to with any sympathy or depth. John Musgrave, a former Marine who joined the Vietnam Veterans Against the War, describes his transformation. We also hear anti-war vet John Kerry’s moving testimony before Congress: “How do you ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake?” And we see and hear from war veterans who threw back their medals at the Capitol steps. The filmmakers would have done well, however, to describe the extent of that GI resistance movement, such as the 300-plus underground newspapers and dozens of GI coffeehouses.

So, it’s disconcerting that the filmmakers did not interview even one draft resister. Had they done so, we could hear why tens of thousands of young men risked up to five years in prison rather than fight in Vietnam. The filmmakers would not have had difficulty finding any as there were at least 200,000 draft resisters. Another 480,000 applied for conscientious objector status during the war. In fact, more men were granted CO status in 1971 than were drafted that year.

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Even worse, “The Vietnam War” fails to tell the story of the organized movement of draft resisters that grew to such proportions that the draft itself became virtually unworkable and that was a major factor why Nixon ended the draft. In “Jailed for Peace: The History of American Draft Law Violators, 1658-1985,” Stephen M. Kohn writes: “By the end of the Vietnam War, the Selective Service System was demoralized and frustrated. It was increasingly difficult to induct men into the army. There was more and more illegal resistance, and the popularity of resistance was rising. The draft was all but dead.”

The movement’s crippling of the draft system was not the only major achievement of the anti-war movement omitted from the Burns/Novick epic. The film shows scenes from the March on the Pentagon in 1967, where more than 25,000 protesters confronted thousands of Army troops. But it does not tell us that the Pentagon demonstration and the increasingly radical anti-war movement were among the factors that led Johnson to refuse General Westmoreland’s pending request for 206,000 more troops and why the president himself refused to run for another term just six months later. (The Vietnam Peace Commemoration Committee is holding a gathering October 20-21 in Washington, D.C. to mark the 50th anniversary of the march.)

Likewise, the film shows footage from both the Moratorium on October 15, 1969 (demonstrations that drew more than two million people in hundreds of towns and campuses) and the Mobilization in Washington the next month, which drew more than a half-million marchers (the largest single demonstration in American history until the Women’s March earlier this year). Unfortunately, Burns and Novick do not tell us about the impact of the peace movement’s fall offensive: It forced Nixon to abandon his plans for bombing the dykes of North Vietnam and/or using tactical nuclear weapons. This story was not known at the time, but numerous historians have written about it based on interviews with Nixon administration officials, documents from the period and White House tapes.

Another missed opportunity: We see scenes of the massive demonstrations throughout the country — and on college campuses — in reaction to the Cambodian invasion and the killings at Kent State and Jackson State. That eruption forced Nixon to withdraw from Cambodia prematurely, another point Burns and Novick failed to tell.

Meanwhile, the scenes related to Daniel Ellsberg’s release of the Pentagon Papers in 1971 do not make clear that Nixon’s reaction led directly to Watergate and his resignation. Had Burns and Novick also interviewed Ellsberg, who is alive and well in California, they would have discovered that the most significant individual act of civil disobedience during the war was inspired by the example set by draft resisters.

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Finally, the film does not explain that Congress cut off funds to the war largely because of the intensive lobbying efforts by such groups as the American Friends Service Committee and Indochina Peace Campaign, or IPC, led by Tom Hayden and Jane Fonda. Don’t take my word for it. In his testimony before Congress the year after the fall of Saigon, the last U.S. ambassador to South Vietnam blamed the peace movement’s lobbying efforts for eliminating the funds needed to forestall the final North Vietnamese offensive. Not mentioning IPC’s lobbying efforts is particularly puzzling since the only peace movement activist interviewed for the series was Bill Zimmerman, one of IPC’s principal organizers. We hear opinions from Zimmerman about a variety of other issues, but absolutely nothing about the organization he describes in detail in his memoir.

All these omissions and distortions notwithstanding, we must credit this 18-hour epic as one of the most powerful anti-war films of all time. “The Vietnam War” certainly rivals “All Quiet on the Western Front.” Just as that World War I classic portrays the nightmare of trench warfare, Burns and Novick show horrific scene after horrific scene of mutilated bodies and corpses. Through the words of combatants on both sides, you can almost feel what it’s like having bullets and shrapnel flying at you and watching your buddies get hit while you’re trying to kill other human beings.

You may find yourself emotionally drained after watching countless gruesome battles and stomach-churning scenes of mutilated Vietnamese peasants and torched villages. Several of my friends stopped viewing after two or three episodes because they found it too upsetting. Still, I encourage you to view it if you haven’t already. (PBS stations will air episodes on Tuesday nights through Nov. 28.)

Burns and Novick do more than immerse you in blood. They demonstrate the callousness, ignorance and hubris of the warmakers. You can hear tapes of John F. Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson and Robert McNamara revealing that they knew from the outset that the war was unwinnable and that more combat troops and bombings would not change the outcome. Yet they lied to the public and sent hundreds upon thousands of Americans into the fray, while dropping more tons of bombs on Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia than the total tonnage of bombs exploded by all combatants in World War II. You can also hear Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger cynically plotting to prolong the war for four more years so that he could run in 1972 without the stain of losing Vietnam to the communists.

Generals and battlefield commanders in Vietnam show just as little regard for the lives and limbs of their men as their bosses in Washington. Soldiers fight valiantly to capture hills, where dozens are killed or maimed only to have their leaders tell them to abandon their conquests.

It’s no wonder then that, almost without exception, the American soldiers tell the filmmakers that they now believe the war was senseless and feel betrayed. Many voice support for the anti-war movement. Some even proudly became part of the GI resistance movement after they returned home. (My brother-in-law, who served two tours of duty in Vietnam and later joined the Secret Service, expressed the same sentiment when he told me, “We were suckers.”)

Burns and Novick should also be applauded for incorporating numerous Vietnamese soldiers on both sides of the civil war. By humanizing “the enemy,” the film goes beyond a condemnation of American perfidy in Vietnam and becomes an indictment of war itself. Particularly touching is hearing a North Vietnamese officer talk of how his unit spent three days in mourning after losing over half of his men in a particularly bloody skirmish. (They did not do as good a job portraying the toll on Vietnamese civilians, however.)

We also see how North Vietnam’s leaders mirrored their counterparts in Washington by consistently lying to their citizens and by callously sending tens of thousands of their young on suicidal offensives that had little chance of success. Similarly, the filmmakers get beneath the surface enough to reveal who actually fought the war. Just as the overwhelming majority of American soldiers were working class or minorities, the North Vietnamese side was composed almost entirely of peasants and workers. Meanwhile, children of Hanoi’s elite went to the safe environs of Moscow to further their education. Back in the United States, children of the white upper middle class and the privileged found safety in their student and other draft deferments.

Military recruiters would hate to have any of their potential enlistees watch this series. Those who sit through all 10 episodes will have a tough time discerning significant differences between the war in Vietnam and the ones in Iraq or Afghanistan. Common themes abound: lies, pointless battles, mindless violence, corruption, stupidity.

Unfortunately, most viewers will justifiably feel totally overwhelmed and helpless by the end of this epic film. That’s why it’s important to spotlight the misrepresentations and underestimations of the peace movement. For the success of the anti-Vietnam war movement provides hope and illustrates the power of resistance.

Rarely in history have citizens been effective in challenging a war. Other unpopular American conflicts have had their protesters – the Mexican, Civil and Spanish-American Wars, World War I, and more recently the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Opposition typically fizzled out soon after troops were sent into action. Not so in the case of Vietnam. No other antiwar cause has developed a movement nearly as massive, endured as long or accomplished as much as the struggle against the Vietnam war.

The Vietnam peace movement provides an inspiring example of the power of ordinary citizens willing to stand up to the world’s most powerful government in a time of war. Its story deserves to be told fairly and fully.

Why I’m going on hunger strike | Tom Watson

The Guardian | Protest -

Guantánamo Bay inmates Ahmed Rabbani and Khalid Qasim have gone 26 days without food. President Trump has to take notice, and give them a fair trial

I’m going on hunger strike from today. I’m not allowing myself anything but sips of water.

Why? This is not some George Osborne-inspired weight-loss plan. No. I’m following the Guantánamo diet in solidarity with two men who are being slowly starved to death by President Trump.

Related: I am in Guantánamo Bay. The US government is starving me to death | Khalid Qassim

Related: I was in Guantánamo. Donald Trump can take it from me that torture doesn’t work | Moazzam Begg

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Oklahomans turn ‘Oilfield Prayer Day’ into a protest against Big Oil

Waging Nonviolence -

by Brandon Jordan

Demonstrators gather in front of the Oklahoma Corporation Commission’s building in Oklahoma City on October 13. (KOCO)

“Pipelines are genocide!” and “Keep the frack out of my water” were just a few of the signs held by protesters at a rally in Oklahoma City on Friday. Standing outside the building that houses the Oklahoma Corporation Commission, protesters rallied for nearly two hours to demand that the public utilities commission ban fracking and limit the damage of the fossil fuel industry.

The rally was set up to coincide with the one year anniversary of “Oilfield Prayer Day,” a state-sanctioned event proclaimed by Gov. Mary Fallin in an effort to recognize, as she explained it, “the incredible economic, community and faith-based impact demonstrated across the state by oil and natural gas companies.” Last year’s celebration involved a prayer breakfast in Oklahoma City with more than 400 people in attendance, including Gov. Fallin, to support an industry suffering from low prices and mass layoffs.

Indigenous people and other local residents at Friday’s gathering said they weren’t protesting prayer itself, but rather the harmful impacts of the fossil fuel industry. One such impact has been measured regularly by the state government itself. In 2010, the Oklahoma Geological Survey reported 41 earthquakes with a magnitude of 3 or greater in center and north-central Oklahoma. Five years later, the same region experienced 903 such earthquakes in a single year. According to the survey, they were “very likely triggered by the injection of produced water in [wastewater] disposal wells” used by oil and gas firms.

In addition to earthquakes, Oklahomans are regularly faced with oil and gas leaks. A few years ago, Oklahoma was second in the country for most spills. The state’s drinking water is at risk of contamination from fracking, and polluted ecosystems can lead to dead wildlife. The latter issue led the Ponca tribe, an indigenous group near Ponca City, Oklahoma, to pass a moratorium on any future fossil fuel work near their lands.

“Tribal sovereignty is also being ignored for the sake of Big Oil,” said Ashley Nicole McCray, a member of the Absentee Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma. “The Pawnee nation is one example of a tribe that has banned this sort of resource extraction from taking place on their lands, but this has been ignored by the state of Oklahoma. Last year, the Pawnee nation was hit hard by a 5.8 magnitude earthquake that destroyed much of the community.”

The Oklahoma Corporation Commission, or OCC, is a three-person board that regulates industries such as oil and gas. The commission, as McCray noted, possesses “scientific information that shows the direct correlation between fracking and earthquakes,” yet are not opposed to the presence of fracking companies.

“We want to not only draw attention to the purpose of the OCC for Oklahomans who were unaware of their purpose prior to this day, but also demand that they ban fracking statewide,” she said.

Meanwhile, Casey Holcomb, a community organizer from Norman, Oklahoma, noted the importance of pressuring officials who can change the state’s oil and gas policy.

“We’re really tired of the earthquakes. We’re tired of the negligence of the industry. We’re tired of [oil and gas companies] bankrupting our state,” Holcomb said.

He then pointed out the connection between the state’s budget crisis and gross production taxes paid by the industry. The state’s gross production tax used to be 7 percent — until, in 2015, lawmakers temporarily lowered it to 2 percent, essentially as a tax cut for companies. Yet, some smaller producers actually favor a return to the old rate amid the state’s monetary shortfall.

“We wouldn’t be in this situation if the horizontal drillers paid their fair share,” Holcomb said. “But they’re not, and they’re being subsidized by the taxpayers of Oklahoma. As a result, we have schools that are only open four days a week because they can’t afford to pay the salaries of the teachers and overhead costs of the schools.”

Oklahoma residents face additional barriers in curtailing the power of the oil and gas industry. For example, in 2015, some lawmakers drafted a bill barring local governments from banning fracking, while also establishing the OCC as the only entity allowed to regulate oil and gas firms. After lawmakers voted in favor of the measure, Gov. Fallin signed it into law.

“The single biggest issue that we are trying to convey to Oklahomans is that this is not an anti-fossil fuel movement,” said Jonathan Bridgwater, the director of Sierra Club’s Oklahoma chapter. “This is a pro-Oklahoma movement.”

Activists in the state are emphasizing the failure of Oklahoma’s politicians to advocate an economic system that does not rely on fossil fuels and instead focuses on other industries such as renewable energy.

“To sum it up, we completely see the state government of Oklahoma heading down a track that’s going to turn Oklahoma into the next West Virginia, rather than turn it into, say, Texas or California,” Bridgwater said.

Organizers are determined to pressure officials into changing their relationship with fossil fuel companies despite the crackdown they continue to face. Earlier this year, their efforts against the Diamond pipeline — a nearly $900 million interstate venture — were deemed “domestic terrorist threats” by the Department of Homeland Security. In addition, officials implemented a law on May 3 that penalizes citizens who protest “critical infrastructure,” which are mainly oil and gas facilities.

“The situation in Oklahoma is tense to say the least,” McCray explained. “Fighting against Big Oil — which has had a huge hold over Oklahoma since the illegal inception of this so-called state — is difficult for everyone, especially indigenous people.”

Nicole wants the state to acknowledge and respect the federally-recognized tribes in Oklahoma. She recalled how former Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, “repeatedly ignored tribal sovereignty to the benefit of Big Oil and the detriment of the people of the state of Oklahoma.”

With Pruitt now heading the Environmental Protection Agency, McCray said, “It is vital that the rest of the nation look back to Oklahoma and see how our path has unfolded. What we have endured and what we continue to experience is a mere sample of what the rest of the nation is in for if something drastic doesn’t happen now.”

For now, Oklahoma activists are preparing and training for future actions. Right after the rally, some organizers headed nearly 20 miles east of Oklahoma City to attend the grand opening of the Good Hearted Peoples Camp, where residents are sharing strategies and experiences, while also getting some rest before continuing their actions against fossil fuels.

Hertha Berlin players ‘take a knee’ in solidarity with NFL protests – video

The Guardian | Protest -

Hertha Berlin showed support for NFL players in the US by kneeling before their home game with Schalke. The club’s starting lineup linked arms and took a knee on the pitch, while coaching staff, officials and substitutes took a knee off it. NFL players have been demonstrating against discrimination in the US by kneeling, sitting or locking arms during the national anthem before games. On Twitter, Hertha said: 'Hertha BSC stands for tolerance and responsibility! For a tolerant Berlin and an open-minded world, now and forevermore!' The Bundesliga club lost the game 2-0

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Adani’s Carmichael coalmine won’t go ahead, Greens leader says

The Guardian | Protest -

Richard Di Natale ‘confident’ if project can’t be stopped in parliament or for financial reasons, Australians will stand in front of bulldozers

Adani’s Carmichael coalmine won’t go ahead, the Greens leader Richard Di Natale said, predicting “many, many thousands” of Australians would come together to protest any moves to stop the project.

Di Natale said he believed Australians largely stood against the Carmichael coalmine, choosing the Great Barrier Reef and the environment over the construction of what has been billed as the largest coal project in the southern hemisphere.

Related: Abbot Point coal terminal: Westpac may not refinance Adani loan

Related: 'Green Left ABC': George Christensen takes out ad attacking Adani story

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Oh, why are we all being so polite? Start stomping | Catherine Bennett

The Guardian | Protest -

The US rapper pulled no punches in expressing his disgust for irresponsible leadership. Britain’s pro Europeans need to do the same

If public protest is any guide to public feeling, what can we learn from the Autumn of Discontent? That, for anyone in doubt, is the series of anti-Brexit demonstrations that began in London in September, and were due to continue on Saturday with regional rallies in each of the UK’s 12 European parliament constituencies.

For sense and civility, the remainers’ approach has, as always, much to teach the idiot rhetoricians of Brexit, recently heard blithering about a “tiger in the tank”. The latest round of anti-Brexit rallies will, say the organisers of the Cambridge event, “send a message to all our political representatives that the time has come to rethink the damaging path that the UK is now on, and say to them that we can and we must stop Brexit”.

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Notre-Dame-des-Landes (France): Week of actions against speciesism

House Occupation News -

From 30 October to 5 November is called for week of actions against speciesism.

In memory of Barry Horne and of all human and non-human animals victim of specism and domination.

This week, we want to highlight the struggles against the various forms of exploitation and killing of animals, a struggle that is very present on the ZAD in notre-dame-des-landes, france, as many texts on the site and recordings testify. During this week we would propose open debates / discussions, screenings and workshops. If you want to participate, propose an event, actions or just network to keep up with the news, you can write to us on the mail indicated under the article. We also want to be able to engage, coordinate or synchronize our actions and events with those in cities: nantes, rennes or elsewhere. If you want to stay a few days on the zad, it is possible.

what we had already imagined to propose:
– Broadcasts on Radio Klaxon (the pirate radio of the ZAD that emits locally and which is streamed on the Internet) with public debates, readings, news, music. etc.
– A public debate. We would like to set up a debate, also with breeders, hunters or other defenders of the exploitation and slaughter of animals ?
– An evening of screening with a discussion.
– A musical evening / party (we are looking for committed bands).
– Workshops on digital defensive and offensive (bring your key usb / computer / smartphone).
– Discussions about our practices, our forms of action and the future of a world without speciesism (any reflection is welcome, especially those involving the intersection with other struggles against oppressions).
– Stuff in town (vegan kitchen, actions, flyering, staging a scene, demonstrations, etc.).

A first program will be published on Saturday 21 October. do not hesitate to send your proposals, questions or information to

You can find the call in several languages ​​here.

[Thursday 12 October 2017, | French version.]

Police show their true colours at fracking protest | Letters

The Guardian | Protest -

Green peer Jenny Jones says the police’s actions at a fracking protest show they are helping impose government policy and defending corporate interests

When the police forcibly remove a 79-year-old woman for serving refreshments to fracking protesters, you know they have taken sides (Report, 11 October). Having wasted their time and our money dragging pensioners around, the Lancashire constabulary has asked the Home Office for an extra £3.1m to cover the cost of drafting in police from Somerset and Wales. It is time for the policing operation at New Preston Road to be scaled back, or called off altogether. The police are helping to impose a government decision to frack, which is opposed by local residents at every level of local government. The police should go back to patrolling the streets and arresting criminals, instead of defending corporate interests by harassing the protesters.
Jenny Jones
Green party, House of Lords

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Britain will greet Trump with our biggest ever carnival against hatred | Owen Jones

The Guardian | Protest -

Theresa May and the White House clearly think that downgrading his state visit will subdue our protests. Quite the opposite

Protest works. Cast your minds back to that distant political era otherwise known as January 2017. A racist misogynist megalomaniac had just celebrated his inauguration as the 45th president of the United States. Theresa May – overcome with hubris, but yet to be fatally wounded by her nemesis – gallivanted off to the White House and served us up a grotesque love-in with Donald Trump. Her offer of a state visit, an honour never even extended to some presidents, was a PR coup for an already deeply unpopular demagogue.

Then came Trump’s Muslim ban, and – with 36 hours notice – ten of thousands of us poured on to Britain’s streets in protest. Our message was not just solidarity with those targeted by Trump’s hatred. It was a rejection of xenophobia and racism at home and abroad – and a passionate rejection of May’s government subordinating Britain to the level of Trump’s poodle.

May’s government is weak, shambolic and crisis-ridden. The last thing it wants or needs is mass protests on the streets

Related: Trump calls free speech ‘disgusting’ | The minute

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Kenya bans opposition protests as election crisis deepens

The Guardian | Protest -

Demonstrations banned in centres of Nairobi, Mombasa and Kisumu because of lawlessness during rallies before poll rerun

Kenya’s government has banned protests in three city centres, citing lawlessness during opposition rallies against the electoral commission before a scheduled presidential vote rerun.

The opposition leader, Raila Odinga, has called for daily protests next week to keep up pressure on election officials, after his refusal to take part in the 26 October poll plunged the country into uncertainty.

Related: Kenya: Raila Odinga withdraws from election rerun

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China rebuffs criticism of decision to bar British activist from Hong Kong

The Guardian | Protest -

Beijing unshakably opposed to foreign interference, says foreign ministry after Benedict Rogers turned away at border

China has rebuffed criticism of its decision to bar a prominent British activist from Hong Kong, declaring itself unshakably opposed to foreign interference in the former colony’s affairs.

Speaking a day after the Conservative human rights campaigner Benedict Rogers was refused entry to the financial hub, Hua Chunying, a spokesperson for China’s foreign ministry, said decisions about who was allowed to enter were a matter of Chinese sovereignty.

Related: British Conservative party activist barred from entering Hong Kong

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Why I had to confront Jacob Rees-Mogg, and speak the truth about austerity

The Guardian | Protest -

This potential Tory leader needs to know why a policy that has devastated the lives of millions – a policy he still champions – causes such outrage

A week ago I confronted Jacob Rees-Mogg with other protesters at a public meeting in Manchester, as part of the People’s Assembly Against Austerity’s week of action against the Tories. He is an up-and-coming figure in the Conservative party with support to be the next leader, so I am proud that I was able to convey directly to him the message of 50,000 people who had marched through Manchester the day before.

I am proud that I was able to convey directly to him the message of 50,000 people who marched through Manchester

Related: Why Jacob Rees-Mogg for Tory leader is no laughing matter | Michael Segalov

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