From The Guardian

Questions over role of police spy in closure of music festival

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Mark Kennedy, the undercover police officer who infiltrated green groups, helped run a fund-raising bar at a festival that was suddenly cancelled

What role did undercover police spy Mark Kennedy play in the closure of a long-running music festival that was enjoyed by thousands of environmental supporters? It is a question that has so far remained unanswered.

In 2009, up to 15,000 people were due to go to the Big Green Gathering festival and listen to music, plan political action and raise money for environmental causes.

Related: How the scandal of Scotland Yard's secret spy unit emerged

Related: Undercover infiltration scandal - what's it all about? | Guardian Undercover Blog

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Dairy farmers call for supermarket boycott as milk price falls

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Farmers protests against Morrison’s, Aldi, Lidl and Asda as milk processors cut price per litre

Dairy farmers are telling consumers not to buy milk at Morrisons, Aldi, Lidl and Asda as the battle over prices spills on to the high street for the second time in three years. Farmers have been protesting in UK supermarkets this week, with more action planned on Thursday night, after three major milk processors – Arla, First Milk and Dairy Crest – all said at the weekend they would cut the price they pay farmers.

Related: The battle for the soul of British milk | Jon Henley

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Greenpeace: why we're asking Shell staff to face the music over Arctic drilling

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We’re calling on those lower down the ladder than the bosses pushing through these dangerous plans to question the trajectory that Shell is taking

On Monday 3 August, Greenpeace began a musical marathon: daily performances outside Shell’s London HQ of a Requiem for Arctic Ice, created to highlight the company’s reckless attempts to drill for oil in the Alaskan Arctic this summer.

Inspired by the brave string quartet that played as the Titanic sank, a huge range of musicians from string quartets to brass bands will join the movement calling on Shell to get out of the Arctic. We’re also calling on staff in the company to blow the whistle on Arctic drilling before it’s too late.

Related: Working for Shell didn’t stop me having morals or accepting climate change

Related: Nick Stern: Shell is asking us to bet against the world on climate change

Related: Oil company employees should consider quitting their jobs | Jonathon Porritt

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Letter: ‘Red’ Ray Davies was opposed to the dangers and folly of the nuclear industry

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Ray Davies was a regular representative for Caerphilly on the committee of Nuclear Free Local Authorities, which usually meets in Manchester, attending until well into his 80s. Though the vagaries of the railway system generally led to his making late entries to meetings, his commitment to opposing the dangers and folly of the nuclear industry will be greatly missed. It is hard to believe that his red beret will never be appearing round the door again.

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The privatisation of cities' public spaces is escalating. It is time to take a stand

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In the first of a series on the changing nature of urban space, academic geographer and gonzo urbanist Bradley L Garrett discusses ‘Pops’ – privately owned public spaces – and asks who our cities are really for

I was recently sent a link to a YouTube video entitled We Too, in which a trespasser sneaks into the under-construction, 34-storey Lexicon skyscraper near the Silicon Roundabout in London, and pitches a tent on the top floor.

In the video, after a good night’s sleep, the interloper unzips the front flap of the shelter and steps into the early-morning air. The city unfolds before him in a stunning vista, suggesting the view that future occupants of the skyscraper will enjoy – or, more likely in London, the view that international investors will use as a selling point when they put the flat back on the market after a few years of not living in it.

Despite multiple objections from politicians, the construction of 'P​​ops' is continuing to escalate and expand

When space is controlled, we tend to police ourselves, to monitor our behaviour and to limit our interactions

Direct action against the loss of public space would echo the mass trespass of Kinder Scout in 1932

Related: London's public and private spaces – can you spot the difference? Quiz

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Greenpeace performs arctic requiem in effort to touch hearts over Shell drilling

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Activists hand workers copies of the music and encourage them to help the oil company ‘avert disaster’ on plans to drill for oil under ice cap

Shell staff arriving for work in London were regaled with a new piece, Requiem for Arctic Ice, on Monday morning, performed by a string orchestra in protest at the energy giant’s plans to drill for oil under the ice cap.

Greenpeace activists handed workers copies of the music and leaflets calling on them to blow the whistle, on what was the first day of a month-long protest outside Shell’s offices on the South Bank.

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Pro-Confederate flag rally at 'south's Mount Rushmore' draws hundreds

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Amid opposition to flag following Charleston shootings, protesters at Georgia’s Stone Mountain Park say their celebration is about ‘southern heritage’

In a flare-up of the controversy that followed a June mass shooting in South Carolina, hundreds of protesters waving Confederate flags gathered this weekend in Georgia’s Stone Mountain Park.

The park is home to the huge Confederate Memorial Carving, a southern Mount Rushmore that features Confederate president Jefferson Davis, General Robert E Lee and General Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson.

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Portland's bridge-hangers and 'kayaktivists' claim win in Shell protest

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In two of the most daring days in the modern environmental movement, Greenpeace activists set social media ablaze and, despite the Fennica’s moving on toward the Arctic, hailed the action as a ‘historic achievement’

They were two of the most daring days of the modern environmentalist movement: Greenpeace protesters, suspended from a bridge above – and others kayaking against a Royal Dutch Shell icebreaker below.

Thirteen activists hung from the St John’s bridge, while another 13 monitored their ropes from above. Then, on Thursday night in Portland, just when the Greenpeacers thought the Shell ship had turned away and they could fend off $2,500-an-hour fines, the authorities came in.

Kayaktivist run over today. #ShellNo That's messed up. pic.twitter.com/7XrVWpY2lM

The fennica is headed back to its dock where it belongs - not the arctic! #ShellNo pic.twitter.com/wCwByWhgHD

bridgesupportteam re-supply us with more water and food - climbers wouldn't be able to do this without them #shellno pic.twitter.com/f6vwoHLZze

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Striking French ferry workers burn tyres at entrance to Calais port – video

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Striking ferry workers burn tyres as they block the access to the port in Calais on Friday after negotiations with the French government over job cuts broke down. The dispute has added to disruption around the northern port, also struggling to deal with nightly attempts by hundreds of migrants to sneak through the tunnel into the UK Continue reading...

Campus police: different badges, different uniforms, but same deadly force

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Campus police departments in America grew from the student-activist unrest of the 1960s and 1970s that culminated in the shooting deaths of four students at Kent State University – and their officers are fully armed servants of the law

The uniforms are different. The badges are different. The bosses are different. Aside from that, the police who patrol the University of Cincinnati’s campus are empowered with virtually the same powers as sworn city police officers.

But on Wednesday, Hamilton county prosecutor Joseph Deters sought to draw a distinction.

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We can stop Shell's disastrous plan to drill in the Arctic. But only together | Daphne Wysham

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Shell’s plan to commence drilling in this untouched region would impact climate change efforts, indigenous populations and the marine environment

Shell is putting corporate profits ahead of our future in its determination to drill in the Arctic. Our elected leaders, most of whom are beholden to corporate interests, won’t act. That’s why some environmentalists are willing to put their lives on the line if need be to stop this insanity.

On Tuesday, Portland “kayaktivists” – activists on kayaks – and Greenpeace workers converged near the drydock to prevent MSV Fennica, Shell Oil’s damaged ice-breaker, from making its way to the Arctic. If it reaches its destination, the ship will pave the way for Shell drilling in a virgin territory.

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Portland icebreaker protesters cleared after judge fines Greenpeace $2,500 an hour

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Authorities force back kayakers blocking the path of Royal Dutch Shell ship headed to Arctic oil drilling fields

Authorities have forced protesters in kayaks from a river in Portland, Oregon, where they were trying to stop a Royal Dutch Shell icebreaker from leaving dry dock and joining an Arctic oil drilling operation.

Police also tried to lower protesters who were dangling from a bridge into the water below. Sergeant Pete Simpson said safety was the main priority, and police and coast guard officers were joined by firefighters and a rope-rescue team.

Related: Activists continue high-wire Shell protest at Portland bridge – in pictures

Backincamp - the Fennica is no longer in sight. That was one hell of wake up call and very exciting morning. #ShellNo pic.twitter.com/kEQS0K7X2D

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UK denies Ai Weiwei full business visa based on disputed 'criminal' history

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British embassy officials say celebrated Chinese artist failed to declare his record on application – but supporters say he was never actually charged with a crime

Related: Ai Weiwei free to travel overseas again after China returns his passport

The dissident Chinese artist Ai Weiwei has accused British authorities of turning their backs on human rights defenders after UK immigration officials rejected his application for a six-month business visa, claiming he had not declared a criminal conviction in his home country.

#AiWeiwei's UK visa restriction based on trumped-up criminal charges is purely a kowtow to #XiJinping's London visit. OUTRAGEOUS!

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Activists chant Kendrick Lamar's Alright during police harassment protest

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The song, which was one of the standout tracks on the rapper’s To Pimp a Butterfly album, was used by activists during a protest at Cleveland State University where an officer pepper-sprayed the crowd

Activists at Cleveland State University repurposed a Kendrick Lamar track during a protest against police harassment, which saw an officer use pepper spray on a crowd.

Footage shows the group chanting the chorus to Lamar’s track Alright, which appeared on his most recent album To Pimp a Butterfly, as they stand off with police at the protest.

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Activists hang from bridge in Portland to block Shell's Arctic vessel

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Greenpeace climbers in Oregon city say they plan to spend days hanging from the bridge but Shell maintains the Fennica will be off after ‘final preparations’

A group of environmental activists rappelled off a bridge in Portland, Oregon, shortly before 3am PT, in a bid to block a key vessel in Shell’s Arctic drilling fleet leaving the city’s port.

Related: The new cold war: drilling for oil and gas in the Arctic

Climbers are waking up slowly from morning naps. The sun is warm but the wind off the water is a bit chilly. #ShellNo pic.twitter.com/QfmGpM6CD9

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Anti-abortion activists rally across US as third video targets Planned Parenthood

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Presidential hopefuls Rand Paul and Ben Carson join protesters at US Capitol calling for organization’s defunding – but poll suggests most Americans disagree

The group behind two anti-abortion videos targeting Planned Parenthood has released a third video, continuing a two-week campaign that has seen renewed calls to defund the healthcare organization as well as several state and congressional inquiries.

Planned Parenthood was forced on the defensive after the release of the first of three undercover videos two weeks ago showed an official with the organization discussing the legal but controversial practice of donating fetal tissue for medical research. The organization has forcefully and repeatedly denied that it profits from the practice, saying the videos have been heavily edited and taken out of context.

Related: The anti-Planned Parenthood videos fail to make a case against abortion | Scott Lemieux

Related: The Planned Parenthood 'sting' video's first casualty? Women with breast cancer | Kira Goldenberg

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Independent committee to investigate Sandra Bland death and traffic stop

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  • Panel of attorneys to give evidence ‘appropriate level of scrutiny it deserves’
  • Demonstrations held at Bland’s alma mater and officer Brian Encinia’s house

A committee of independent attorneys will help investigate the evidence in the death of Sandra Bland, as well as the traffic stop that led to her imprisonment.

Elton Mathis, the Waller County district attorney, said on Monday that he is forming “a review committee of select former prosecutors and defence attorneys” to examine the evidence in Sandra Bland’s death.

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Just the fax: internet activists go analog to fight Congress on cybersecurity bill

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Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act would give tech firms broad latitude to collect personal data – even as Congress uses old tech to avoid prying eyes

Internet activists determined to halt what they see as another ill-conceived Washington cybersecurity bill are hitting Congress where it hurts: right in the fax machine.

Protesters have programmed eight separate phone lines to convert emails sent from a handy box at FaxBigBrother.com (as well as tweets with the hashtag #faxbigbrother) to individual faxes and send them to all 100 members of the US Senate.

Related: A government surveillance bill by any other name is just as dangerous | Trevor Timm

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The People’s Republic of Amnesia: Tiananmen Revisited by Louisa Lim – review

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Lim’s powerful book explores how the ‘act of excising the collective memory’ of the massacre that took place on 4 June 1989 has been achieved

Journalist Louisa Lim conducted a small survey of Beijing students and found that out of 100 only 15 recognised Jeff Widener’s “Tank Man” photo, the celebrated image of the Tiananmen Square massacre, instantly recognised around the world. Her powerful book explores how “this act of excising the collective memory” has been achieved. No one now knows exactly how many died on 4 June 1989 in the square that has been at the political heart of China since the 15th century. The authorities say 241; the real figure is probably 10 times that number. Lim has talked to soldiers, students and the relatives of those who were killed to show both the horror of what happened and how successful the Chinese state has been at expunging the event from the national consciousness. Lim’s important book offers a chilling vision of an Orwellian society: “Memory is dangerous in a country that was built to function on national amnesia.” Young Chinese are not interested now in what happened, but Lim clings to the hope that, in the words of author Lu Xun: “Lies written in ink can never disguise facts written in blood.”

• To order The People’s Republic of Amnesia for £15.99 go to bookshop.theguardian.com or call 0330 333 6846. Free UK p&p over £10, online orders only. Phone orders min p&p of £1.99.

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