From The Guardian

Justin Trudeau urges 'dialogue and mutual respect' to end rail blockade

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  • Canadian prime minister: ‘I know patience is running short’
  • Indigenous activists are protesting against C$6.6bn gas pipeline

Justin Trudeau has called for patience and dialogue as his government seeks a peaceful end to a rail blockade that has shut down freight and passenger traffic. But the Canadian prime minister is under increasing pressure from the Conservative opposition to clear the tracks.

For almost two weeks, protesters across the country have taken up the cause of the Wet’suwet’en indigenous people of British Columbia in their campaign against the C$6.6bn (US$4.98bn) 40-mile Coastal GasLink gas pipeline project.

The Wet’suwet’en nation have lived on their territories in what is now British Columbia for thousands of years. They have never signed treaties or sold their land to Canada. 

Related: Canada: protests go mainstream as support for Wet'suwet'en pipeline fight widens

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Paddington Green: inside the anti-terror HQ taken over by climate anarchists

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The Green Anti-Capitalist Front have occupied the closed police station to use as a base for week of action

For almost 50 years, Paddington Green police station in London was the nexus of the UK’s anti-terror policing operations. Its 16 high-security, subterranean cells have held IRA terrorists, Islamist would-be suicide bombers and prisoners returned from Guantánamo Bay.

But, in an extraordinary reversal, it is now anarchists from groups listed in controversial anti-terrorist guidance who hold the keys to its cell blocks. They have squatted the vast complex and intend to use it as a base for environmental protest.

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Rose McGowan says she regrets Natalie Portman Oscars dress comments

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McGowan tweets that she ‘lost sight of the bigger picture’ after calling fellow actor a ‘fraud’

Rose McGowan has expressed regret for her attack on Natalie Portman over the latter’s Oscar dress “protest”, which took aim at the exclusion of women from the best director Academy Award nominations.

Related: Rose McGowan: Natalie Portman's Oscars dress protest 'deeply offensive'

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Coalition may use government contracts to crack down on environment protests

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Attorney general seeks views on whether the federal building code could be used to stifle environmental secondary boycotts

The Coalition is considering using federal government building contracts to pressure companies not to engage in or to cave in to environmental boycotts.

In a sign the government is looking for innovative ways to implement Scott Morrison’s threat to crack down on environmental protests, the attorney general, Christian Porter, has sought views on whether the federal building code could be used to “prevent multiple secondary/environmental boycott demands and behaviour”.

Related: Scott Morrison threatens crackdown on protesters who would 'deny liberty'

Related: 'They're madly checking their payrolls': the ugly truth of Australia's underpayment epidemic

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Extinction Rebellion digs up college's lawn in Cambridge – video

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Climate protesters have dug up the lawn in front of Trinity’s 16th-century great gate, saying the Cambridge college must ‘cut ties with fossil fuel companies’.

A spokeswoman for Trinity said a statement would be released later, as the week-long series of demonstrations gets underway

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Extinction Rebellion protesters dig up Cambridge college lawn

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Action at Trinity part of week-long protests over ties between colleges and fossil fuel industry

Extinction Rebellion protesters have dug up the lawn of Trinity College, Cambridge, as part of a week-long series of demonstrations.

The climate activists dug channels into the turf in front of the college’s 16th-century great gate with shovels and pitchforks and planted Extinction Rebellion flags.

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Extinction Rebellion protest at Gatwick and London fashion week

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Activists aim to raise awareness of sustainable design and the need to reduce emissions from flights

Activists from Extinction Rebellion (XR) blocked traffic outside a London fashion week venue on Saturday and also staged a protest at Gatwick airport.

Dozens of demonstrators prevented traffic from passing through a busy intersection leading to the Strand in Westminster, where the fashion trade show was being held.

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Fighting the tyranny of ‘niceness’: why we need difficult women

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Today’s thumbs-up, thumbs-down approach to feminism is boring and reductive. It is time to embrace complexity

Difficult. It’s a word that rests on a knife-edge: when applied to a woman, it can be admiring, fearful, insulting and dismissive, all at once. In 2016, it was used of Theresa May (she was “a bloody difficult woman,” Ken Clarke said, when she ran for Tory leader). A year later, it gave the US author Roxane Gay the title for her short story collection. The late Elizabeth Wurtzel took “in praise of difficult women” as the strapline for her feminist manifesto in 1998. The book’s main title was, simply, Bitch.

The word is particularly pointed since it recurs so often when women talk about the consequences of challenging sexism. The TV presenter Helen Skelton once described being groped on air by an interviewee while pregnant. She did not complain, she said, because “that’s just the culture that television breeds. No one wants to be difficult.” The actor Jennifer Lawrence told the Hollywood Reporter that she had once stood up to a rude director. The reaction to the incident left her worried that she would be punished by the industry. “Yeah,” chipped in fellow actor Emma Stone: “You were ‘difficult’.”

In the name of inspiring little girls living in a male-dominated world, Rebel Girls doesn't so much airbrush Coco Chanel's story as sandblast it

Mothers struggled to understand why their daughters were desperate to have a big wedding and wear high heels

Related: How #MeToo revealed the central rift within feminism today

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School climate strikers join Valentine's Day protests across world

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In UK, students march on first anniversary of nationwide protests by young people

Striking students have joined Valentine’s Day rallies across the world as the protest movement attempts to ratchet up pressure on governments and companies before crunch UN climate talks in Glasgow later this year.

In London, the young demonstrators held banners proclaiming “Roses are red, violets are blue, our Earth is burning and soon we will too” and “Climate change is worse than homework” as they marched through Parliament Square on Friday to mark the first anniversary of nationwide climate strikes in the UK.

Related: Teenage activist takes School Strikes 4 Climate Action to Davos

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'We're not giving up': defiant Wet'suwet'en activists gain allies in pipeline fight

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Pressure on Justin Trudeau’s government grows even as some politicians decry ‘hard-left ideology’

As armed Canadian police officers advanced through snow towards their camp, the group of Indigenous women was absorbed in a drumming ceremony to honour the spirits of missing and murdered Indigenous women across the country.

Rows of red dresses hung from a fishing line slung across the road, and from pine and spruce trees in the surrounding forest – each one a memorial to the thousands of Indigenous women killed or disappeared in recent years.

The Wet’suwet’en nation have lived on their territories in what is now British Columbia for thousands of years. They have never signed treaties or sold their land to Canada. 

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School strikes give me hope, says head of Friends of the Earth

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Outgoing charity chief Craig Bennett says next generation ‘could not be more exciting’

The school strikes movement will ensure an exciting and dynamic future for environmental activism for decades to come, the outgoing head of Friends of the Earth has said, as students across the globe leave classrooms on Friday to demand political action on the climate crisis.

Speaking on the first anniversary of the movement in the UK, Craig Bennett said it was grassroots activism, not centralised politics, that was leading to change.

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Market economics has driven universities into crisis – and we’re all paying the price | Owen Jones

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When staff strike this month, they will be battling not just for the future of higher education but for our economy and culture

The trebling of tuition fees would unleash a new golden age for English universities, or so we were told. They would become financially sustainable, competitive, liberated from stifling bureaucracy and responsive to the needs of students. And yet, nearly a decade later, higher education is in crisis.

Tuition fees have formed part of a full-frontal assault on the living standards of a generation battered by a housing crisis, stagnating wages and slashed services. And with 83% of student loans forecast to never be paid back in full, the promises of financial sustainability are a nonsense. Both frontrunners for the Labour leadership have committed to maintaining the party’s totemic commitment to abolishing this punitive attack on aspiration, recognising that university education is a social good. But the issue goes much, much wider – and has profound implications for the future of our society.

According to the University and College Union, university staff’s pay has declined by 20% over the last decade

Related: Ending student quotas has been disastrous for higher education | Catherine Fletcher

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'I've lost friends': the young climate strikers forced to go it alone

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Activism can be lonely in rural areas, but social media lets lone children’s voices be amplified

In a remote village in north Norfolk, nine-year-old Amelia Bradbury has been standing alone outside her school gates every Friday for months. Like hundreds of thousands of young people across the world, she is following Greta Thunberg’s lead and campaigning for action on the climate crisis – but, far from any of the big city demonstrations, she’s having to go it alone.

“I was quite scared the first time because no one was doing it with me,” says Amelia. “But I’m doing this because I care about something. I really want people to listen to me and to make a difference.”

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Canada: arrests as protesters block ports and railways in support of Wetʼsuwetʼen

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  • Indigenous groups fighting construction of 670km gas pipeline
  • Chiefs says they never ceded land and thus still control it

Protesters across Canada have blocked access to road shipping ports and commuter rail lines in support of Indigenous groups fighting the construction of a pipeline on their traditional territory.

Early on Monday, police arrested several activists in Vancouver, who were part of a group that has blocked access to four shipping ports in recent days.

“You are not welcome here! This is #Wetsuweten territory! We are unarmed. We are peaceful... You! Are invaders!” Eve, holding an Eagle feather, stands off with RCMP tactical units at Gidimt’en checkpoint moments ago. RCMP appear to be moving in. #bcpoli #cdnpoli #WetsuwetenStrong pic.twitter.com/yg7ZPO5Nxr

Related: Pipeline battle puts focus on Canada's disputed right to use indigenous land

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Drive-By Truckers: 'We have redneck in us. No one tells us what to do'

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The band are shocking their fanbase with new album The Unraveling, full of fury about the state of America – from school shootings to caged kids. We meet the angry Alabamans

Mike Cooley has a gift for aphorism. “Paranoia’s like pulled pork,” he says, in his deep Alabama baritone. “It’s on menus all over the world, but in the American south it’s special.” That one is the final line of a riff on guns and why southerners like weapons, one of the subjects that crops up on Drive-By Truckers’ 12th album, The Unraveling.

Cooley and Patterson Hood, his fellow guitarist-singer-songwriter in the Truckers, are eating lamb meatballs on a chilly afternoon in New York, on the day The Unraveling is released. The title seems apt. A few hundred miles south, in Washington DC, Donald Trump’s impeachment trial is stalling in the Senate; across the Atlantic, as we speak, the UK is leaving the EU. “Unfortunately, we kinda saw it coming,” Hood says of the release date. “Things are so crazy right now, you never know what’s gonna happen next. You just know it’s gonna be ridiculous and shitty.”

My daughter got locked in a closet with 27 other kids for 20 minutes – to prepare for someone shooting up their school

I don’t want these people to think I’m walking away because they said mean things about me

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Activists try to occupy British Museum in protest against BP ties

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Environmental group puts pressure on museum to end its partnership with oil company

Dozens of activists have coated themselves in plaster and are trying to occupy the British Museum overnight in a bid to pressure the institution to cut ties with oil corporation BP.

About 60 protesters were taking part in the defiant act of impromptu sculpture making as the museum in London attempted to close its doors at 5pm on Saturday.

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Climate activists bring Trojan horse to British Museum in BP protest

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Activists dressed as warriors protest against corporate sponsorship deal with oil firm

Activists have taken a Trojan horse into the grounds of the British Museum to protest against its sponsorship deal with the oil corporation BP.

Protesters dressed as ancient Greek warriors snuck their 13ft-tall wooden horse through a side gate at 7.30am on Friday and pulled it on to the forecourt in front of the museum’s entrance.

Related: Greenpeace blocks BP HQ with solar panels on new CEO's first day

BREAKING! We have just brought a huge Trojan Horse into the @britishmuseum because #BPmustfall pic.twitter.com/NATOCMJjns

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Police Scotland sent out guide listing Extinction Rebellion with neo-Nazis

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Guide listing environment protest groups alongside white supremacists had been widely condemned

Scottish counter-terrorism officers sent out a controversial guide listing Extinction Rebellion and Greenpeace alongside neo-Nazi groups within the past few weeks, despite widespread condemnation of the document.

Police Scotland confirmed to the Guardian that it had circulated documents listing the environment protest groups alongside dozens of extremist neo-Nazi organisations, including several banned for terrorist violence, across the public sector last month.

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Terrorism police assessed Extinction Rebellion earlier than thought

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Police say Rising Up report, produced one year ago, concluded XR was not a threat

Counter-terrorism chiefs ordered a formal assessment of whether Extinction Rebellion was a national security threat one year ago and then sent a secret report about the group to police forces, the Guardian has learned.

The revelation shows that counter-terrorism police’s interest in the non-violent climate emergency group began earlier and was more extensive than previously thought.

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The COP26 climate conference can still be a success. Here's how | Ed Miliband

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If we want the government to address the climate emergency in Glasgow this year, we must put it under pressure to act

The Americans have a saying: “you break it, you own it”. In the world of climate diplomacy, the maxim is “you host it, you own it”. In Copenhagen in 2009, the Danes owned a disastrous climate event that broke up in rancour. In Paris in 2015, the French owned the successful agreement.

The 2020 UN climate change conference, known as COP26, which will be taking place in Glasgow in November, could be Copenhagen or Paris, or somewhere in between. Ownership and responsibility will firmly rest with the government. The events of the past few days have proved beyond doubt, however, that we cannot leave it to the government alone. We all need to take ownership of this event.

Related: Brexit has distracted us from the climate disaster awaiting us. Britain must step up | Jake Woodier

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