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Mark Ruffalo among names calling for British Museum to drop BP sponsorship

The Guardian | Protest -

Artists, scientists and politicians sign letter to Guardian calling on museum to end ‘out of touch’ partnership with oil firm

Almost 100 prominent figures from the arts, science and politics are calling on the new director of the British Museum to drop BP as a commercial sponsor.

In a letter to the Guardian, the museum is urged to abandon the “completely out of touch” partnership.

Related: British Museum must sever its links with BP | Letter from Margaret Atwood, Mark Ruffalo, Mark Rylance, Tom Kibble, Naomi Klein, Emma Thompson, Vivienne Westwood and others

Related: BP to end Tate sponsorship after 26 years

Related: Hartwig Fischer: the German helping the British Museum change the world

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Calais, France: A political victory for the Calais 8

House Occupation News -

On Friday,  when the judge at Boulogne-sur-mer announced, three times that the trial of 8 friends was irregular the court room erupted into applause and cheering. Waiting outside were a brace of Police de l’Air et des Frontières (PAF) waiting to take 5 of them (the foreigners) to detention after they had been served with Obligation de Quitter la Territoire Français (OQTF). But these had already escaped and were not present to appreciate the announcement of their victory.

The judges had decided that there were too many irregularities and that the authorities had not followed procedure when arresting and detaining the 8 people on the roof of an abandoned building in the centre of Calais on Sunday the 27th April.

This decision marks a political victory for our movement at a time when authorities using the state of emergency arogantly permit themselves to use all means of violence and coersion to impose their rascist politics on people in Calais and the Jungle.

In defiance of the `zero-tolerance of squats` in this city, imposed by the mayor, Natasha Bouchart, the prefecture and co, The Collective ‘Salut o Toi’ opened a building on the weekend of 26-27April. Banners hung on the facade of the building read ‘Une toit pour tous.’ and ‘Amitié entre les Peuples‘ while supporters of the action on the outside handed out pamphlets to the passers by while others filmed the police.

This action was meant to provoke a reaction from the `authorities`, according to Phillipe Mignonet ‘Natascha Bouchart had contacted Bernard Cazeneuve’ the minister of the interior after which the order to evacuate the squat was given, without any respect of any legal procedure. CRS, lots of them, made a cordon around the building whilst other police types armed with a battering ram tried to batter down the door. After failing to budge the bomb proof barricades they smashed a window at street level to enter the building and gain access to the roof where 8 people had gathered and were subsequently violently arrested.

They were put on garde à vue (GAV) which was extended to 48hours after political pressure from ‘high up’ to have a comparution immédiate (fast trial) when the prosecuter initially had indicated that there was no need to extend the GAV nor to have a comparution immediate. This put into question the independance of the judicial authority, indeed”the prosecutors department doesn’t comply the exigence of independance towards the executive power” as frequently repeated by the European Court of Human Rights.

During the initial 24hours of GAV the people were not informed of their rights ; to an interpreter, to see a lawyer, to see a doctor or to contact someone they are close to, neither had they been explicitly asked to give their photos, fingerprints and DNA.

Initially the activists were charged with violation de domicile (violating a domicile) which was soon dropped when it was realised that the building was abandoned, and dégradation en réunion (degradation in a group) but soon these charges were changed to degradation en reunion and refusal to submit to giving their DNA, fingerprints and photos.

At the end of the GAV the people were taken to see the Judge of Liberty and Detention (JLD) to see if they were to be freed or not, by this time the friends, by the counsel of their lawyers, had given their identities. Five foreigners and three French nationals went before the JLD, but only the French were released the other five were taken to detention to garantee their presence at the trial which was to be held the next day, Wednesday 30 March.

Wednesday saw the next installment of this masquerade of justice when three from the five people who had been detained in prison could not be transported from prison to court because of a lack of staff and organisation.

Instead, after a long wait, an audience was organised in a small room with five present and in person to stand trial while a video conference link to the prison where the other three were, was set up. From the begining the lawyers for our team manifested their shock at the massive presence of police, some with automatic weapons in the small room. The three who were not present stated that they wanted to stand trial that day and to be present in person in front of the court and it was the incompetence of the state that they could not be. This resulted in the demand for their immediate release from prison and the trial being postponed until Friday 1 April. The judge, dismayed by the absurdity of the situation, granted their release after the lawyers heavily insisted for a reconsideration of their detention. By the end of the night everyone was free.

Friday 1 April, the court aknowledged the many irregularities in the way the police had conducted themselves during the arrest and the GAV.

To put this victory into context, the month of March has seen the destruction of the south part of the Jungle, the homes of over two thousand people : children, women, men and families were smashed to the ground and thrown away into skips by workers and diggers protected by hundreds of CRS for three weeks until all that is left is a wasteland. This has been an act of terrorism, by a state that decries terrorism in the media, whereas the voiceless have to sew their mouthes together and starve themselves in order to be heard, as nine people did for 24 days, 2 March – 26 March.

This action is a way to shine a light on the systematic destruction of homes and the segregation that exists in Calais to denounce the injustices of this racist, fascist political system.

[From Calais Migrant Solidarity, April 3rd]

Far-right and anti-fascist groups hold protests in Dover – video

The Guardian | Protest -

Far-right and anti-fascist groups hold rival protests in Dover on Saturday. Roads were closed and lined by police as demonstrators marched along separate routes through the port town in Kent. Police formed a human barrier to cordon off the anti-fascist protesters as far-right demonstrators, who are in favour of Brexit and against immigration, marched past. An EU flag was burnt by far-right protesters

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Revolution News Fundraiser

Revolution News -

Revolution News is a grassroots collective of independent journalists, photographers, artists, translators and activists reporting on international news with a focus on human rights. Between us, our members speak fifteen languages and are located in several different countries around the world. We love what we do. We think it’s important to publish news about global strugglesRead More

Marijuana Advocates Light Up at White House

Revolution News -

Hundreds of marijuana activists held a “smoke-in” civil disobedience protest outside the White House on Saturday. The action drew a spectrum of advocacy groups calling on the Obama administration to legalize the drug THC by de-scheduling it from a list of federally restricted chemicals. They called for access to Cannabis for medicinal purposes and puttingRead More

‘We won’t accept a coup’: groups unite to save beleaguered Dilma Rousseff

The Guardian | Protest -

As the Brazilian president’s position weakens, an unlikely popular movement is rallying to her side – and many of them do not support her party

The song of a bygone struggle against dictatorship echoed through Brazil’s cities last week as trade unionists, social activists and musicians rallied against what they see as a “coup” against president Dilma Rousseff.

Geraldo Vandré’s 1968 melody Pra não dizer que não falei das Flores (“So they can’t say I didn’t sing about the flowers”) harks back to an era of flower power and brutal military rule, but it has been revived in a very modern battle for the political soul of the country.

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Disabled artists use their skills to highlight ‘shoddy and cruel’ treatment over benefits

The Guardian | Protest -

Exhibition demands right ‘to live with dignity and without fear of harassment’

Disabled artist “Mow”, 32, has literally taken the shirt off her back for her latest work: a laundry-cum-mailbag made from her own clothes, with shopping receipts appliqued on the cloth.

Not Lost is Mow’s satirical response to the Department for Work and Pensions’ “shoddy” information-gathering process, inspired by her own experience of sending her financial details – a requirement of receiving her out-of-work sickness benefits for bipolar disorder – only for it to be “lost” in the system.

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Anger as Lisbon fails to condemn jailing of Angola book club dissidents

The Guardian | Protest -

Luanda regime defiant over long prison terms

Activists and human rights campaigners expressed dismay this weekend after the Portuguese parliament failed to condemn the long sentences given to the so-called Luanda Book Club – the 17 dissidents convicted of political defiance of Angola’s government.

The former colonial power had been warned by the Angolan president, José Eduardo dos Santos, against “interfering”, but the blocking of a motion in Lisbon to repudiate the verdicts was attacked by campaigners for the jailed men as “complicity in the ongoing looting” of the country by the regime.

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Police arrest 13 after immigration demos in Dover turn ugly

The Guardian | Protest -

Far-right and anti-fascist groups kept apart by a human barrier of officers to prevent more violence

Police arrested 13 people in Dover on Saturday as far-right and anti-fascist groups both held protests.

Roads were closed and lined by police as demonstrators marched along separate routes through the port town in Kent.

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Kaunas (Lithuania): Kauno Spiauda issue 4 “On Space”

House Occupation News -

Dear reader,

This is our first issue in English!

We chose a topic about spaces: there’s been a squat in Kaunas, Lower Šančiai have been filled with expensive stores for rich newcomers, the station district is getting another shopping mall which will push the poor out of the city centre. EU is trying to close its borders to immigrants who remind us of current and past “greatness” of colonialism and disciplined space. People move towards the centre- the centre tries to stop them by putting up barbed fences, enhancing the budget of the “Frontex” corporation which deals with border security, and creating refugee concentration camps in Europe’s periphery and around.

As the first article explains, all space is political, witnesses politics, materializes and changes it. And then practices – we have mostly interviews with squatters from different countries and here about alternatives dear to us, also texts on Šilainiai, Brazilkė, Vilkyškis and collective space. And of course, announcements and trivia at the end.

Gyvanimas per brangi!

February 2016 | KS editorial staff (

[PDF / Kauno Spiauda issue 4: On Space]

This issue is dedicated to the “Klinika” social centre in Prague, which has been squatted for a year already. To the memory of Poznan squat “Od:zysk” which, when faced with the threat of eviction, has been exchanged for 300’000 zlotys without full consensus of its creators. To the DEATH tag (symbolic value grows with time) and its creators. To the squat that existed in Kaunas – the “Green House” social centre. Also to everyone who fights for living where and how they want.

Mexico Deports 99.7% of Asylum Seeking Migrant Children Without Explaining Their Rights

Revolution News -

A new report by Human Rights Watch denounced that Central American children fleeing serious threats in their home countries face enormous obstacles when seeking asylum in Mexico. According to its laws, Mexico offers protection to those whose lives or safety are at risk if they return to their home country. However, less than 1% ofRead More

Blessed are the cheesemakers

Waging Nonviolence -

by Frida Berrigan

I’m not feeling very radical these days. There is not a lot of fighting the power or beating the system or rocking the boat. I am taking care of kids. Right now, that involves a lot of ballet lessons, broccoli summits and fielding questions about superhero characteristics.

“What can Batman do, Mom? Mom!”

“Mooooom? Does he wear leggings, Mom?”

“Does he have a cape?”

“Is there a girl Batman? Mom!”

“Oh yeah, and I am making cheese.”

Blessed are the cheesemakers.

I was reminded of that line from Monty Python’s “Life of Brian” last Saturday afternoon, while teaching 20 folks how to make simple cheeses in an Episcopal church hall in New London, Connecticut. Of course, as the rest of the line goes, it’s not meant to be taken literally. It refers to all manufacturers of dairy products.

I presented cheesemaking as an exercise in self-sufficiency, exploration and embracing mystery. That might strike you as a little too high-minded for the simple act of mixing warm milk and vinegar. But the throng of curious dairy lovers were all on the same page. They were eager to get an introduction to cheesemaking and semi-appreciative of my many curds and whey jokes.

Until relatively recently in human history, making cheese was an intensely local, home or village craft passed down and adapted generation to generation. At its most elemental, cheesemaking is a process of preserving and concentrating a perishable farm product, and there are countless ways to do that. I showed the class how to tackle three — ricotta (milk and vinegar), paneer (milk and citrus) and mozzarella (milk, rennet and citric acid) — in our short time together.

I started making cheese and yogurt at home because our family is on Women, Infants and Children, or WIC — a program that offers nutritional subsidies to families with small children. We have been getting WIC since I was pregnant with Seamus (now nearly 4) and can stay on it until Madeline (who just turned 2) is 5. Every month, we get vouchers for six gallons of milk, and — because the vouchers require you to purchase everything all at once — we often get two or three gallons at a time. That is a lot of milk for our slightly lactose-intolerant family. I grew up on powdered milk (which is so gross) and never had a hankering for a tall glass of milk. Our kids drink it occasionally, and we pour it on our cereal (of course), but we’d never consume six gallons a month. So, I turned to yogurt and then to cheese as a way of getting it into our kids’ bodies.

Every time I make it, I feel the magic. I know it is science — all about fat and sugar molecules (or something) and good bacteria. But there is a “Wow, I can’t believe that worked” moment that puts me in touch with my ancestors 200 years ago, who made cheese in between hauling water, chopping firewood, tending their gardens and staving off disease. They would not be impressed by me, but I am trying.

What’s more, making cheese — even the really simple cheeses — puts me in touch with how strange our relationship to food is in the United States. There are hundreds of cooking shows on TV, thousands of new cookbooks each year (Gwyneth Paltrow has one coming out this month) and — get this — no one cooks any more.

Well, that is not entirely true, but in March, for the first time ever (at least since the Commerce Department started paying attention), people in the United States spent more money in restaurants and bars than at grocery stores. That is sort of staggering, isn’t it? At least for our eating-out-once-a-month (maybe) family.

Are those restaurant denizens the same folks who would drop $30 on the “Skinnytaste Cookbook”? Or buy the “Thug Kitchen Official Cookbook” (whose subtitle is “Eat Like you Give a F*ck,” for a list price of $25.99)? And are they the same people who are always on a diet? Forty-five million Americans are dieting right now, and that is not just eating less and exercising more — it is also spending $33 billion on books, apps, gym memberships, boxed low-calorie meals, special shakes and inspiration (according to the Boston Medical Center estimates). See what I mean about a strange relationship with food and with food-like substances? The average person in this country gets nearly 60 percent of their daily energy intake and about 90 percent of their added sugar from “ultra-processed” foods (even with all that buying cookbooks and going on diets).

I like how making cheese from free milk that the government gives me allows me to circumvent this whole twisted economy of food, convenience and fear of fatness. But then I think about milk — where it comes from, how it gets from a lactating cow to a gallon jug in my shopping cart — and I know I am caught in a whole other twisted food web.

Marion Nestle, a professor at New York University, tried to teach a class on the Farm Bill and realized that it was too dense, too political and too contradictory to add up to sensible food policy. Many aspects of the Farm Bill are in direct conflict with the goals of healthy living, sustainable agriculture or food security. If you tried to eat a plate of the Farm Bill, she writes in In These Times, you’d be scolded by your doctor because “more than three-quarters of your plate would be taken up by a massive corn fritter (80 percent of benefits go to corn, grains and soy oil). You’d have a Dixie cup of milk (dairy gets 3 percent), a hamburger the size of a half dollar (livestock: 2 percent), two peas (fruits and vegetables: 0.45 percent) and an after-dinner cigarette (tobacco: 2 percent). Oh, and a really big linen napkin (cotton: 13 percent) to dab your lips.”

Yuck. No wonder cheese is the most shoplifted item in the world (bet those of you who don’t listen to “Science Friday” on NPR didn’t know that).

I still have a lot to learn about food and food policy, but — in the meantime— this is how you make cheese: Pour milk in heavy bottomed pot, add salt and bring to a boil. Stir in a few tablespoons of vinegar. Let it sit for a minute and then strain through cheesecloth. Half an hour later, you are noshing on delicious ricotta. Now that’s radical.

Far-right and anti-fascist rallies bring Dover to standstill again

The Guardian | Protest -

Major police operation prevents repeat of January violence between groups opposed to refugees’ arrival and counter-protesters

Dover has been brought to a standstill again by far-right groups marching through the town to protest against the arrival of refugees and a counter-rally by anti-fascist protesters.

Police closed roads and deployed hundreds of officers to keep the opposing groups apart and ensure the two groups of demonstrators marched along separate routes through the port town in Kent.

Militant hard left occupying port road at Dover. Unwelcome, damaging to our nation's economy and the town. Go away.

EU flag being burned in #Dover

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Police warn of significant disruption at Dover far-right demo

The Guardian | Protest -

Extra officers posted to Kent town in effort to prevent repeat of January’s clashes between far-right and anti-fascist groups

Police are boosting the number of officers deployed at a protest to prevent a repeat of violent clashes between far-right and anti-fascist groups in January.

Officers are braced for potentially “significant disruption” among some protesters planning to gather on Saturday in Dover, Kent.

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Native American tribes mobilize against proposed North Dakota oil pipeline

The Guardian | Protest -

About 200 people rode on horseback to protest against pipeline that encroaches on tribal lands and could pollute Missouri river: ‘We’re looking out for all people’

Dozens of tribal members from several Native American nations took to horseback on Friday to protest the proposed construction of an oil pipeline which would cross the Missouri river just yards from tribal lands in North Dakota.

The group of tribal members, which numbered around 200, according to a tribal spokesman, said they were worried that the Dakota Access Pipeline, proposed by a subsidiary of the Dallas, Texas-based Energy Transfer Partners, would lead to contamination of the river. The proposed route also passes through lands of historical significance to the Standing Rock Lakota Sioux Nation, including burial grounds.

Tribal citizens close to arriving at site to blockade the #DakotaAccess #Pipeline #DAPL #NorthDakota #IdleNoMore

Tribal citizens enroute to #Blockade #DAPL #Bakken #Oil #Pipeline in #NorthDakota #IdleNoMore

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Melbourne: Bendigo Street occupation to continue until demands are met public. Housing now

House Occupation News -

A group of housing activists and homeless people have occupied properties in Bendigo Street, Collingwood.
These 6 government-owned houses were pledged to be used to address homelessness by the Andrews government, but many have been sitting empty for over a year.
The occupiers of the properties have made the following demands and refuse to leave until they are met.
• Immediate release of all information relating to the current ownership of all
properties acquired for the East-West Link, with full transparency about all
acquired land and no more dishonesty.
•The 6 unused houses on Bendigo St to be made into genuine public housing
and allocated to some of the 35,000 people on the public housing waiting list.
Occupation will continue until the first keys are handed over.
• All unoccupied properties acquired for the East-West Link that are still in the
government’s possession to be added to the public housing register.

• Minister Martin Foley to come to Bendigo St and be interviewed by people
with experience of homelessness.
• The Andrews government to say how they intend to provide housing for 25,000
homeless people while there are 80,000 unoccupied dwellings in Melbourne.
Given the importance placed on addressing housing issues by the report
of the recent Royal Commission on Family Violence, the occupiers believe taking
action on public housing should be an immediate priority of all levels of government.

MEDIA ENQUIRIES:hpuvic [at] gmail [dot] com

See and more

Houses have been squatted for a week now, second house opened as kulin nations (australian first nations of melbourne area) meeting area… film nights, public meetings ongoing


Turkish President Erdogan’s Security Detail Assaults Press and Protesters in Washington, DC

Revolution News -

Washington, DC – Members of Turkish President Recep Erdogan’s security detail assaulted several journalists at the Brookings Institute in Washington, DC on Thursday. Erdogan was scheduled to give a speech about the state of Turkey in the early afternoon, when his security detail grabbed, struck, and forcibly removed journalists from the Institute. DC Metropolitan PoliceRead More

Who can afford the status quo?

Waging Nonviolence -

by Kate Aronoff

Embed from Getty Images

In a controversial tweet taken from a speech in Harlem this week, Hillary Clinton argued that “Some folks may have the luxury to hold out for the perfect. But a lot of Americans are hurting right now and they can’t wait for that.” Aside from its troubling implication that society’s worst off are damned to settle on sub-par candidates and policies, Clinton’s statement disregards the history of this country’s most transformative social movements.

The millions left unemployed by the Great Depression were hurting plenty, and they marched 10,000 strong to the capitol before rallying around the country — demanding relief from poverty considered politically impossible. Also hurting were the organizers of the black freedom movement, who — facing state and vigilante violence — made radical dents to Jim Crow, ending legal segregation across the United States.

The real question for 2016 is: Who can afford the status quo? There are small groups of people making out just fine under gaping racial and economic inequality, for whom supporting Clinton and the establishment politics she represents is a relatively safe bet. When it comes to climate change, though, the answer is literally no one.

Leading climate scientists couldn’t be clearer on this. As Justin Gillis reported for the New York Times yesterday, new research published in Nature has found that three-foot sea level rise —once thought to be hundreds or thousands of years off — could happen within decades, eviscerating all coastal cities. Rising tides, Gillis writes, would be “so high it would likely provoke a profound crisis within the lifetimes of children being born today.” New York City’s chances of surviving its next 400 years are “remote,” in line with risks faced by London, Hong Kong, Sydney and elsewhere.

The authors of this study, meanwhile, see a path out of near-certain destruction. Relaying scientists findings, Gillis writes that, “A far more stringent effort to limit emissions of greenhouse gases would stand a fairly good chance of saving West Antarctica from collapse.”

The problem is that the most ambitious international agreement to curb warming — announced at the U.N. climate negotiations in Paris last December — is woefully ill-equipped to deal such a blow to business as usual. In a best case scenario, where every nation signed on to the Paris Agreement fulfills all of its commitments, temperatures will still rise by at least 2.7 degrees Celsius — far more than the threshold we need to undershoot in order to avert global catastrophe.

Meanwhile, the settlement Clinton’s statement suggests is one taking place on the fossil fuel industry’s terms. As Greenpeace has pointed out, her 2016 campaign — via super PACs — has received some $4.5 million from fossil fuel lobbyists and large donors, and hundreds of thousands more from industry executives and their allies. Challenged on that point by a bird dogger this week, Clinton lost her usual campaign cool, berating a young activist to say, “I am so sick of the Sanders campaign lying about me.” The activist, notably, is not formally affiliated with the Sanders’ campaign.

“Luxury,” in the midst of the climate crisis, is survival. Although we all face a certain end from continued emissions, particular swaths of humanity are already particularly screwed. Unsurprisingly, those communities have also been the ones fighting back the strongest against warming and the fossil fuel interests driving it. Representatives from the Global South have consistently been the loudest voices calling for the stringent emissions reductions that science demands, chanting, “1.5 [degrees Celsius cap on warming] to survive” when walking out of the doomed U.N. climate negotiations in Copenhagen in 2009. In the United States, it was indigenous activists and ranchers who drove the fight against the “carbon bomb” Keystone XL pipeline, even as Clinton continued to push for it from her post in the State Department.

A lot of Americans are hurting right now, and they stand to hurt even more if fossil fuel companies get their way. Fortunately, the climate justice movement isn’t holding out for anyone.

Philippines drought protest leaves at least two farmers dead

The Guardian | Protest -

Scuffles break out and shots fired in Cotabato province when police move in to break up four-day demonstration

Police have clashed with farmers blocking a highway in the southern Philippines to demand drought relief from the government, leaving at least two demonstrators dead and dozens of people injured.

Scuffles broke out and shots were fired when security forces moved in to disperse about 6,000 farmers and their supporters, who were protesting for the fourth day in a row in Kidapawan, the capital of Cotabato province, police sources and the Cotabato governor, Emmylou Mendoza, said.

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Turkish journalists in clashes with bodyguards during Erdoğan’s US visit

The Guardian | Protest -

Reporters covering a speech by Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in Washington DC say they were excluded and physically attacked

Turkish journalists have accused Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s security detail of kicking, shoving and verbally abusing them on Thursday in an attempt to bar them from a Washington DC thinktank where the president was giving a speech.

A source close to the event at the Brookings Institution told the Guardian that it was close to canceling the president’s appearance until the Turkish embassy intervened and persuaded the bodyguards to back down.

Related: This is the end of journalism in Turkey | Yavuz Baydar

Related: Turkish court frees journalists, saying their rights were violated

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