Thursday, 30 December 2010

Bomb wrecks Athens court


A POWERFUL bomb detonated outside a court building near central Athens on Thursday morning, causing significant damage but no injuries, reports Angry News From Around the World.

The authorities found the device and cordoned off the area around the Athens administrative court after calls to the private television station Alter and the daily newspaper Eleftherotypia at about 7:40am warned that a bomb would go off there in 40 minutes.

“In both cases, the caller said the device had been strapped to a scooter outside the courthouse and gave the scooter’s registration number,” said an officer at the Athens police headquarters who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to comment publicly.

“The explosion occurred two minutes after the deadline,” the officer said, adding that police bomb disposal experts had gathered the remnants of the device and the vehicle and were examining them.

A local resident told the private television station Skai that he had seen two men dressed in police uniforms pull up near the court building on a motorcycle about 6:30am.

The witness said he greeted the men, who told him they were abandoning the scooter because it had engine problems. According to the witness, the pair then got into a white van parked nearby and were driven away by a third person.

The explosion damaged the facade of the court building as well as several cars, and also blew out windows in nearby apartment buildings.

The caller who provided the warning in the Athens bombing was described as a man speaking clearly in Greek.

The blast occurred in a densely populated area in the city’s Ambelokipi district, shattering windows and nearby shop storefronts in a 200-meter (yard) radius, and seriously damaging at least 10 cars. It sent up a cloud of smoke that was visible across the city.

Police said the bomb was stored in a hard luggage case in the back of a motorcycle reported stolen in a nearby area of Athens several hours earlier.

An initial examination of the site, suggested that the explosive Anfo — a mixture of ammonium nitrate and fuel oil used in construction but also in improvised explosive devices — was used, police investigators said. The material has been used in the past and seized in police raids in recent months on suspected militant safehouses.

Meanwhile, as Angry News also reports, shortly before the bombing in Athens, a smaller explosion occurred outside the Greek Embassy in Buenos Aires in the middle of the night.

“According to the initial findings of the Argentinean police, the blast was caused by a Molotov cocktail thrown by unidentified assailants,” the Greek Foreign Ministry said in a statement, referring to a crude incendiary weapon comprising a glass bottle filled with flammable liquid.

Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Free Binayak Sen!


OUTRAGE and anger have greeted the jailing of a well-known Indian civil rights campaigner for helping the Naxalite rebel cause.

Writer Arundhati Roy and American academic cum activist Noam Chomsky are among those who have voiced support for the growing campaign.

Dr Binayak Sen was convicted of sedition under the Chhattisgarh Special Public Security Act and faces life in jail on what many see as false trumped-up charges.

Sify News reports that activists and civil society leaders staged a protest march in Kolkata to condemn the judgement, and said their protests would continue till Binayak Sen was released.

It quotes renowned actress and filmmaker Aparna Sen as saying: "We protest this because we feel we have very few workers who serve the poor as tirelessly as Binayak Sen.

"We feel it is a travesty of our democracy that a fine worker like Sen is incarcerated while we know there are many people who are cheats and who have robbed the country of thousands and thousands rupees of money are walking free on the streets today."

Renowned activist Medha Patkar called the judgment a political statement, says Sify.

"We must really stand up and fight. We condemn something that is not legal or a judicial judgment. It is political statement, that clearly expresses the content of constitution, the fundamental rights and also the freedom of expression," Patkar is reported to have said.

Raipur Sessions Court had held Dr Sen and three other people guilty of treason and waging war against the state. He has also been found guilty of sedition. He now faces life imprisonment.

Dr Sen was arrested in Chhattisgarh in 2007 and was granted bail two years later. He was honoured with Jonathan Mann award in 2008, while he was still in prison.

The 58-year-old paediatrician and public health physician with a 25-year record of providing health care to the Adivasi people of Chhattisgarh.

A graduate of Christian Medical College (CMC), Vellore, Binayak Sen was one of the top students of his batch. He completed his post graduation in paediatrics in the early 1970s.

For most of the years since then, he has devoted his life to health care of the poor.

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Italian students avoid police blockade


THOUSANDS of students in cities across Italy have protested against a law that would result in cuts to university budget expected to be approved by parliament this week, reports Aljazeera.

It says: "Police blocked off large parts of central Rome, the capital, to prevent a repeat of last week's violent clashes, but students managed to avoid the blockade.

"Instead the demonstrators occupied part of a highway running to the east of the city, but many students made it clear they intended the action to be a peaceful one.

"Some carried flags and banners emblazoned with non-violent slogans, and many had painted their hands white as a representation of their peaceful intent.

"However clashes broke out at a protest in the city of Palermo, and there were reports of incidents in Naples, Milan and Turin.

"The government says the new law, which could be voted on Wednesday or Thursday, will strengthen Italy's crumbling university system. But critics say will only cut funding without solving real problems.

"The battle over university reform has highlighted discontent over the future of Italy's youth, which has been fuelled by an official youth unemployment rate of around 25 per cent in the country and up to 35 per cent in the poorer south."

Reuters quotes one student as saying:"We will certainly continue mobilising. It's not only a mobilisation against university reforms but of a generation that is making itself heard again over the politics of the country, the issues we face and the precarious situation in which we live."

Sunday, 19 December 2010

Rising up against the rich


WILL 2011 be the year in which the people of Europe finally rise up against the rich parasites feeding on their lives?

The anger expressed at the rich and the royal family in the London student protests, the regular uprisings in the banlieues of France and the ongoing burning of expensive cars in Germany all point in that direction.

And in Greece, fears are being voiced that a massive class war is about to erupt.

Reports The Guardian: "An attack in broad daylight on Kostas Hadzidakis, a minister in the former conservative government, has highlighted fears that Greeks are at a tipping point.

"He was set upon as he walked through Athens during one of the capital's biggest ever anti-austerity demonstrations.

"Protesters were seen shouting 'thieves, thieves' and 'let the parliament burn' as they punched him in the face, threw stones at him and tried to attack him with sticks.

"Official unemployment reached a record high of 12.4% last week, further proof that seven months after its €110bn bailout by the EU and IMF the recession-hit country is nowhere near exiting its worst economic crisis since the second world war.

"'There's an invisible red line of what Greeks are prepared to tolerate in terms of sacrifices, and I think we are crossing it,' said Aliki Mouriki, a sociologist.

"'The assault on Hadzidakis by middle-aged men who didn't even bother to hide their faces reflects the desperation and anger of people who would normally never have done such a thing'."

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Mass anger on streets of Greece



ANGRY scenes erupted in Greece on Wednesday as opposition to neoliberal rule grows stronger across Europe.

Reports From the Greek Streets:"More than 100,000 people marched in central Athens today against the freshly-voted labour relations law and the austerity measures imposed by the government and the EU/IMF/ECB troika.

"One of the most mass demonstrations the city has seen in recent times was met by brute police violence; the police, nevertheless, proven unable to quell people’s anger.

"A former conservative minister, Kostis Hatzidakis, made the unfortunate decision to be present at Stadiou Street at the time of the demonstration and felt the anger of the demonstrators, quickly leaving the scene injured.

"Street-fighting erupted across the city, which saw chaotic scenes for hours.
"Barricades were erected across Patision Avenue, which leads to the Polytechnic School; waves of demonstrators arriving at Syntagma square, outside Parliament, fiercely fought with the police.

"An – eventually unsuccessful – attempt by demonstrators to occupy the building of GSEE (the country’s mainstream trade union) saw people fighting off the notorious Delta motorcycle police and two of their bikes were set ablaze.

"From reports coming in so far, 23 people were detained in Athens today and of those 10 are arrested and face charges. There will be an update on the arrested tomorrow.

"One of the most empowering elements of today’s demonstration was people’s sheer anger and their willingness to fight back at the police repression and to defend their right to be on the streets.

"New tactics, including the incredibly successful use of fire extinguishers in keeping police away from demonstrator blocks, is surely a legacy for the struggles to come."

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Romans riot against corrupt regime



ROME erupted into riots on Tuesday after the corrupt neoliberal regime of Silvio Berlusconi clung onto power in a controversial parlaimentary vote.

Violent clashes in the streets of the capital left 90 people injured and dozens more arrested.

Following hot on the heels of massive protests in France and Britain, this is yet another sign of growing public anger against the totally discredited global capitalist system.

Reports Aljazeera: "Angry protesters banged on the metal blinds of shuttered shops in the centre of Rome late on Tuesday as word spread that Berlusconi had won the vote.

"Some of the protesters then set cars alight and hurled cobblestones at police in chaotic scenes in some of Rome's most tourist-heavy streets.

"Riot police fired tear gas and could be seen striking some of the protesters with truncheons in running street fights. Several protesters were taken away, some with blood on their faces.

"Officials said at least 90 people were injured in the violence, including 50 security officers and 40 protesters, while forty-one people were detained on charges of violence, vandalism and use of illegal arms.

"The clashes came after a peaceful march by several thousand anti-Berlusconi protesters through the centre of Rome. There were also protests in some of Italy's biggest cities including Genoa, Milan, Naples and Turin."

Sunday, 12 December 2010

New protest against police brutality


ANGRY students have called for a protest against police brutality outside New Scotland Yard in central London on Tuesday December 14.

A posting on Indymedia from Friends of Alfie Meadows calls on supporters to "Kettle the Cops - protest against police violence" and to wear a hard hat.

It adds: "Alfie Meadows was brutally assaulted by police on the 9th. He suffered severe brain haemorrhaging and has undergone 3 hours of brain surgery.

"THE POLICE TRIED TO STOP THE HOSPITAL TREATING HIM-HE COULD HAVE DIED IF NOT FOR THE AMBULENCE DRIVER! Something the mainstrean bullshit media is hiding.

"Due to luck his situation is now stable. This is a call for all to show your solidarity with him and the fight for our civil liberties, of which the right to education and the right to protest are both crucial parts.

"Bring hard hats, fancy hats and any other kind of hat you can. Lets get noticed.

"Please pass this on to all sympathizers and post up the flyer anywhere you can. We need 1000's on this demo-we will not tolerate extreme violence by these thugs.

"To the streets! Spread the word."

The protest on Tuesday 14th December is at 1pm at New Scotland Yard, 8-10 Broadway, London SW1H 0BG

There is a Facebook page for the protest.

Friday, 10 December 2010

Something powerful is in the air


EVERYTHING has changed on the streets of Britain over the last few weeks.

Partly it is just a matter of mood – an electrically charged atmosphere at the anti-cuts protests that presents the visceral possibility that anything at all could happen next.

But it is also possible to identify some specific factors that have dramatically and rapidly transformed the landscape of domestic protest.

The new generation of rebels have made remarkable progress in several areas:

Tactical. They are wised up to police methods, often successfully avoiding containment. They spotted that the ‘agreed route’ to Thursday’s march was nothing but a rolling kettle designed to end in a giant trap out of sight of Parliament on Victoria Embankment, under the guise of a rally addressed by various dull centre-leftists. As well as appreciating the need to keep mobile, they also mostly now know to mask up when appropriate.

Physical. They have the courage to take on and break through police lines and the speed and stamina to stage running demonstrations through the city streets, leaving the Plod to live up to their nickname.

Political. There is plenty of joined-up thinking in evidence. Protesters in Oxford Street quickly identified Boots, BHS, Dorothy Perkins, Vodafone etc and targeted them as corporate tax dodgers, making the vital link between spending cuts and capitalist corruption. The police have been fully exposed as a private army of capitalism and most of the mainstream media as nothing but propaganda conduits for the same system.

Class consciousness. Perhaps the most significant development of all, as veteran anarchist Ian Bone points out in his blog. The highly publicised attack on Charles and Camilla’s Rolls Royce was not out of place on a day when chants of “The rich, the rich, we’ve gotta get rid of the rich” filled the West End. Cameron was mocked for his Eton past. Posh cars and pedestrians were picked out for abuse, with one youngster shouting angrily at an arrogant driver who tried to run him over: “Why do you need a fucking Range Rover anyway?” These protesters understand the Tory vision of Britain and their own proposed place in it – as an underclass of serfs serving the smug public school Ubermensch. And they are simply not going to accept that version of the future. They have little prospect of higher education, of a worthwhile job, of a home of their own… They have nothing to lose and everything to fight for.

Commentators have made the connection between these protests and the anti-capitalist demonstrations of 1999-2003. Parallels have also, of course, been made with the Poll Tax riots of 1990. Others have mentioned 1968 and Ian Bone invokes the London Mob and the Gordon Riots.

But one link that hasn’t been widely made is with the inner city riots that swept the UK in 1981.

This cold winter of discontent is by no means over yet, but already rebel hearts are being warmed by the prospect of a heated Spring and Summer of 2011.

Thursday, 9 December 2010

This is only the beginning...


CONGRATULATIONS to all those who took part in the inspiring resistance in London on Thursday December 9.

Congratulations too to all those participating online in the attacks on PayPal and other agents of global oppression.

Keep up the effort - and remember, this is only the beginning.

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

No more illusions


FAILING the timely intervention of a 9/12 terror attack in London, two news stories are likely to dominate the UK media on Thursday.

One is the continuing leaking of US embassy cables by Wikileaks, together with the US-led persecution of both website and founder, and the other is the students’ March on Parliament as the tuition fees vote takes place.

Except, of course, they are not really two separate stories at all, but merely two facets of one narrative.

In both instances, the mask of ‘democracy and freedom’ - behind which our rulers have so long been hiding – has not much slipped as fallen to the hard winter ground and shattered into a thousand splinters.

The original spark for confrontation in both disputes was an outrageous deception.

In the case of the USA’s foreign policy, this has been perpetrated for decades and visible to many global observers for much of the time.

But now there is no more benefit of doubt to be enjoyed – we all know for sure that they are just as hypocritical and manipulative as we had ever imagined.

In the tuition fees debacle, young people have been shocked to discover that a ‘pledge’ from a politician is an empty gimmick. Like the US government, Clegg has always been prepared to lie through his teeth in the pursuit of power.

The students and school kids who have been taking to the streets for the last month have demonstrated, and discovered, the all-too-narrow limits of dissent permitted by the British state.

And Julian Assange of Wikileaks has exposed the truth behind the neoliberal attachment to free speech and a pluralistic internet.

Step over a certain line and the illusion of cosy liberalism is abandoned, as powerful players are forced to step forward to defend the status quo.

The student rebels have found that the state will send its hired thugs out on to the streets to crush the slightest sign of empowered opposition.

Wikileaks have found themselves confronted with the full spectrum of commercial persecution available to the US regime.

All of this raises these originally specific conflicts up to a whole new level of contestation.

Young kids now realise that the police and the media are every bit as much their sworn enemy as Cameron, Clegg and the other Tory cunts.

Wikileaks has forced the likes of Amazon, PayPal, Visa and Mastercard to reveal themselves as the partisans of the global capitalist dictatorship that some of us have always known they were.

Other issues, in the months to come, will follow the same pattern and emerge likewise as aspects of the same worldwide scenario.

And once you have seen through the illusions of neoliberal ‘democracy’, there is no going back.

The battle lines are clearer now, to far more people, than they ever have been before.

Our war for liberation has begun.

Monday, 6 December 2010

Riot police storm Athens metro



RIOT police stormed Syntagma metro station in Athens as they viciously clamped down on protests marking the state killing of teenager Alexis Grigoropoulos.

This video, plus other shsowing the spirited scale of Greek resistance against neoliberal tyranny, can be seen at the excellent From the Greek Streets blog.

In a preliminary report, it says 96 people were detained in Athens on the commemoration of his assassination, 42 of whom have been arrested.

Here is the timeline from its December 6 updates:

22:30 (GMT+2) Tension around Polytechnic school and Exarcheia square remains. A large group of people is gathering outside the Athens Police Headquarters where today’s detainees are being held.

22:00 (GMT+2) Clashes still taking place in Exarcheia. Corporate media report that more than 90 people have been detained in Athens today.

21:30 (GMT+2) Police brutally attack the commemorative gathering on the spot where Alexis was assassinated. The police forced the gathered people away from the shrine. One person has fainted. The gathered people are now marching towards the Polytechnic School. Tear gas and stun grenade bombs thrown by police

21:03 (GMT+2) The memory gathering in Messologiou Street in Athens has just started. Hundreds are already there while more are on their way.

20:05 (GMT +2) People have been concentrating all evening at the spot where Alexis Grigoropoulos was shot in 2008 in the Exarcheia district. At the moment barricades and clashes with riot police in various streets of Exarcheia, but as it seems in other parts of Athens’ centre are taking place. According to reports on Athens IMC, a few minutes ago the police threw tear gas and stun grenades to people concentrated in Messologiou st. exactly where Alexis was shot two years ago. At 21:00 a commemoration gathering will take place there.

Police have attacked demonstrations in other cities such as Giannena, Agrinio and Volos, but demonstrators defended the protests, yet several people (many high school students as it seems) have been detained or arrested.

19:40 (GMT+2) There is tension in the centre of Athens, where police attacks to protesters who remain in the streets while they are pushing groups of protesters towards various directions. The police attacked demonstrators in Syntagma Sq. while at the moment clashes take place in front of the Polytechnic School.

18:00 (GMT+2) According to posts on Athens Indymedia there are several thousands of people in the streets of Athens at the moment. Police surrounded several demonstrator blocks and attacked to the demonstration a number of times, notably a harsh attack against the block of the Athens Law School students’ took place, now several demonstrators are in the building of the Law School. There were some clashes in front of the parliament and it seems that molotov cocktails were thrown to the police lines in front of there.

16:20 (GMT+2) The demonstration in Athens have been effectively banned. charging at the first people who gathered at the University’s Propylaia police have now pushed a large demo block. Hundreds of people keep gathering, effectively behind the police lines.

15:55 (GMT+2) Main demo has not even started, but clashes with the police have. Riot police have surrounded the university of Athens where the pre-demo gathering was taking place.

13:45 (GMT+2) The joint student/teacher demonstration in Athens just ended. In the spirit of December, students pelted the police with oranges. We are waiting for the main evening demonstration to start.

Earlier high school students’ demonstrations took place in various parts of Athens and outside the capital, in the Athens’ suburb of Aigaleo it was reported that a few hundred students marched to the local police department where were they clashed with police.

Sunday, 5 December 2010

Greeks mark police killing of 15 year old


MASSIVE protests are to be held all across Greece on Monday to mark the second anniversary of the assassination of 15-year old Alexis Grigoropoulos by special police forces in the Exarcheia district of Athens.

The From the Greek Streets blog will be carrying continuous updates from demonstrations and actions organised in Athens and Thessaloniki and a summary of the events nationwide. There are demonstrations called in at least 17 Greek cities.

Says the blog: "On Sunday night, police presence in Exarcheia was very high (even higher than usual) and at least four people were reported to have been detained by police."

Among the protests called are:

- Athens: student demonstration at 11am, main demonstration at 4pm, gathering at the point of Alexis’ assassination at 9pm.

- Thessaloniki: student demo at noon, main demo at 3pm.

On the eve of December 6th, the police announced an unprecedented 21-hour traffic ban in central Athens: no vehicles whatsoever are permitted to park or drive through pretty much the entire city centre.

Friday, 3 December 2010

Greek solidarity with UK students


TWO thousand students marched in Athens against education reform and in solidarity with the British students.

There were clashes with police and five students arrested.

From The Greek Streets reports: "The demonstrators tried to approach the British Embassy in solidarity with the struggle of the students in the UK.

"In response to the arrests, the entire demonstration headed to the police headquarters (GADA) demanding their immediate release."

The blog includes a short video and will be updated with more information.

The action, together with the Italian student protests this week, reinforces the fact that education 'reforms' and cuts are not isolated national issues with specific local causes, as the corporate media claims.

The whole of European society is coming under unprecedented attack from neoliberal forces and students everywhere are finding themselves on the front line.

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Students rise up in UK and Italy




STUDENTS in Britain and Italy have taken to the streets against the neoliberal system that is stealing their future.

In Britain, thousands marched and occupied university buildings all across the country, with many reports of police violence as authorities begin to panic at the scale of the insurrection.

For details see reports on Indymedia and anticuts.org.uk.

Protesters in London outwitted cops by conducting roving demonstrations around the capital, blocking major roads such as Oxford Street.

Later hundreds faced off riot cops in Traflagar Square, at one point kettling the thugs-in- blue.

But when the media went home, police moved in to snatch out individuals and eventually arrested some 150 people.

The momentum is set to continue, with more protests called for Thurdsay December 9 and Saturday December 11.

In Italy, reports ABC News: "Thousands of students blocked the centre of Rome as part of nationwide protests against university budget cuts.

"Up to 50,000 students marched through the capital in a concerted attempt to 'paralyse' the city, dubbed 'Block Everything Day,' organisers said.

"According to the Italian Students' Union (UDS), 'more than 400,000 students are rallying throughout Italy'.

"Police in riot gear blocked all entrances to the Chamber of Deputies as lawmakers voted on the reforms and officers were forced to redirect traffic as the city centre was brought to a standstill in several areas."

Monday, 29 November 2010

Angry clashes at Lewisham town hall



ANGRY clashes broke out in Lewisham, London, on Monday night as police stopped campaigners from attending a key council meeting.

Despite freezing weather conditions, the incident raises the political temperature still further ahead of Tuesday's student day of action.

Hundreds of chanting protesters gathered outside the town hall as the council prepared to approve huge cuts to local services.

A number of them managed to get through police lines and into the building, where a smoke bomb was let off.

There were a number of injuries and arrests as police pushed and shoved the demonstrators outside. It was reported that riot squad TSG were later called and the area was cordoned off.

Interestingly, the cuts were being pushed through by the Labour Party regime, with the Tories this time in opposition and voting against.

But increasing numbers of the British public are no longer falling for the political party trick and understand that the fight is against the entire neoliberal capitalist system.

Sunday, 28 November 2010

Breaking out of the kettle


ONLINE advice on breaking out of police kettles is being published in the run-up to the next big UK student protests on Tuesday November 30.

One post on Indymedia encourages protesters to aim for weak points in police lines and use a wedge technique to open a breach.

Writes 'Mrs Nov 30th': "Sometimes life present us with a problem that we cannot solve without the use of a classic piece of scientific thinking.

"In today's puzzle, we are trapped in a kettle, surrounded by police officers and we want to get out of it. We have tried shouting en masse 'let us go!' but this has not worked for us. Next we need to do some collective thinking and put a new plan in effect.

"The first thing we should do is look for which police line seems the weakest and with the best chance of escape should we break the line. This may be a line of normal cops without riot gear and usually only one officer deep. Here how the work might proceed.

"In Fig 1 we see the crowd attempt to break the police line by using opposing force. This can sometimes work but usually the police can brace themselves and hold each other and thus hold the line. In this way, the strength of the crowd's force is lessened and absorbed by the police line.

"In Fig 2 we the crowd attempt to get technical and use a banner or metal barrier to push the police. The same dynamic occurs again and the crowds' force is lessened and absorbed by the police line.

"In Fig 3, the crowd has decided to form a wedge shape to drive a gap in the police line and follow though, the thickness of the crowd opening more and more of the police line up.

"In Fig 4, the crowd knows that the police line weak points are at the extreme ends of the line as the final policeperson has no brace or support. The crowd attempts two pushes on the line at the weak points."

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Youth revolt across the UK


STUDENTS and schoolchildren all across the UK rose up against neoliberal plans to raise university fees and slash education funding.

There were angry scenes in central London, where police blocked marchers from reaching Parliament Square and then 'kettled' thousands of youngsters for six hours.

But more impressive still was the news of walkouts, protests and occupations come in from cities and towns all over the country.

Indymedia reports that occupations, teach-ins and walkouts have been reported at places including the University of Kent, Birmingham, Loughborough, Strathclyde, Edinburgh, Essex, Hastings, Winchester, Dursley, Leominster, Bradford, Warwick.

There was also action in Newcastle (reports 1 and 2), Durham, Bristol (reports 1, 2 and 3), Leeds, Cardiff, London - [ULU], [Royal Holloway] [SOAS] [Roehampton] - Glasgow, Plymouth, Sheffield (reports 1, 2, 3, 4), Brighton, Oxford (reports 1 and 2), Nottingham, Manchester and many more...

Says the report: "By Wednesday afternoon, a large demonstration in London included around 3000 people kettled in Whitehall between two police lines (with around 2000 in the surrounding area), a police van smashed and many street fires keeping people warm.

"More trouble was reported in Bristol, Cambridge and Manchester (4 arrests reported).

"In Oxford, students and civilians occupied the iconic Radcliffe Camera, and are calling for supporters to join them. Reports indicate the occupiers are enjoying themselves, having managed to bring in a sound system!

"Many of the occupiers, including those in Cardiff, have announced their intention to remain in occupation until their demands have been met.

"Cops in Bristol were spotted on duty without their numbers displayed, which we'd been assured would never happen again."

Another day of action is being called for Tuedsay November 30.

Monday, 22 November 2010

Irish protesters breach police lines


ANTI-GOVERNMENT protesters forced their way into the grounds of Government Buildings in Dublin.

Reports The Irish Times: "Some 50 people, including Sinn Féin TD Aengus Ó Snodaigh, protested outside Government Buildings on Merrion Street at lunchtime yesterday, shouting: 'Cowen, Cowen, Cowen. Out, out, out!'

"Television footage showed the Dublin South Central TD caught up in scuffles between the demonstrators and gardaí, as gardaí sought to push back protesters carrying banners during the protest organised by Sinn Féin.

"A number of people pushed their way through the Government Buildings gates as far as the glass-walled reception buildings inside the entrance. A sit-down protest was attempted for about five minutes.

"According to gardaí, protesters attempted to get through, but were 'stopped in their efforts' to get to the Taoiseach’s office.

"The group was then escorted out by gardaí, who maintained a highly visible presence after the incident.

"Police vans and gardaí on motorbikes attended the scene, and at least 15 gardaí stood in a line across the large gates to the grounds. There were no arrests."

The Belfast Telegraph adds that police are now braced for a massive street protest being organised for the centre of Dublin on Saturday.

"The demonstration is expected by some of the organisers to attract at least 80,000 people but the final number could swell further as public anger boils over."

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Irish union warns of civil unrest


ONE of Ireland's biggest trade unions has called for a campaign of civil disobedience, as the EU/IMF bank bailout is being finalised.

The Workers Solidarity Movement reports that general secretary Eamonn Devoy (pictured) said the trade union movement would not “acquiesce in the ruination of our society”.

It adds: "He also said that we are on the brink of significant civil unrest. The call for mass civil disobedience comes just a week before the ICTU mass mobilisation for November 27th in Dublin.

"The march has been called by ICTU according to David Begg 'to allow ordinary working people to voice their opposition to a policy that could destroy 90,000 more jobs in the short term and the prospect of any long term prosperity'.

"The massive groundswell of anger in the population is pushing the trade union leadership to take an ever more militant public stance.

"Throughout the country people are crying out for opportunity to vent their anger. The Workers Solidarity Movement will be mobilising for this demonstration and the many others occurring now around the country.

"Demands will have to go beyond the resignation of this government and tactics beyond marching if any real change is to come."

Thursday, 18 November 2010

Athens dreams of a beautiful winter


MORE photos of the November 17 demonstration have been posted online by the From the Greek Streets website.

The blog reports that in total, almost 100 people were detained in what was Athens' largest Polytechnic uprising commemorative demonstration in more than a decade.

Of those detained, 29 have been arrested – while there are also four demonstrators injured.

Also featured are photos of disturbing flesh injuries suffered by one protester and appeals for help in determining what exactly caused them.

The blog adds: "First, today’s demonstration had a very peculiar feel to it. The largest Polytechnic uprising commemorative demonstration in more than a decade (30,000 according to the police, around double in real numbers). A very tense feeling in the air.

"Even before the demo set off, clashes with the youth branch of PASOK – the social-democrat party in power – who had the nerve to try join the demonstration.

"The police on the sides of the march, with their hands on the trigger of the tear-gas guns the entire time. People waiting for something to happen on both ends: our end, and on that of the police.

"And something did happen. The most intense and populous demonstration Athens has seen since May 5th.

"The police charging ahead whenever they could, whenever they would isolate people off the main block of the demonstration. People fighting back, during the demo and then, late in the night, in Exarcheia.

"But that peculiar feeling hasn’t faded: we are still waiting something will happen… Tonight was the last day of a long summer. Tomorrow is the first day of a strange winter – hopefully, a beautiful winter."

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Greek protests target US Embassy


GREEK youths hurled rocks, flares and smashed-up paving stones at police guarding the U.S. Embassy in Athens on Wednesday, during a mass rally to mark the anniversary of a 1973 anti-dictatorship uprising.

Reports The Associated Press: "Riot police used tear gas and stun grenades during the brief but violent confrontation with dozens of youths, and chased groups that dispersed down streets near the embassy building.

"At least 49 people were detained by police, authorities said, while one protester was being treated in hospital for burns.

"Groups of youths continued running clashes with riot police after the end of the march, while police helicopters with searchlights circled overhead.

"More than 6,000 officers were on duty to monitor the annual demonstration, which was generally peaceful.

"More than 20,000 people marched through central Athens, while another 12,000 protesters joined a rally in Greece's second-largest city, Thessaloniki. Police also reported clashes in the southern city of Patras.

"The march to the U.S. Embassy is to protest American support for the 1967-74 military rule in Greece, but this year coincided with harsh cost-cutting measures by the government, which is grappling with Greece's serious debt crisis.

"This year's demonstration took on an anti-austerity flavor, with protesters holding banners bearing slogans against the International Monetary Fund and European Union."

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Police fail to close rebel website


A WEBSITE challenging UK police intimidation of political dissidents is back online after the cops closed it down.

The Metroplitcan Police told the web hosters to shut the Fitwatch site for at least a year after it published advice to student protesters involved inthe historic storming of the Conservative Party HQ on November 10.

The move prompted widespread anger on the internet, though the only mainstream media source to report it was The Guardian.

In a statement on the resurrected site, Fitwatch thanks the police "for giving us such huge publicity and making us even stronger. And with a secure server, massive coverage and a clear message that we’re here to stay".

It explains: "On Monday night we received notification that our site had been suspended due to 'attempting to pervert the course of justice' due to our posting offering advice to the Millbank students.

"Whilst the email requesting the site be closed on the basis it was being used for 'criminal activity' came from DI Paul Hoare, from the Police Central e-crime Unit, the authorisation to close was given much closer to home, by acting Detective Inspector Will Hodgeson.

"Hodgeson, who was involved in the first Fitwatch case, and has sat through many of our trials and appeals, evidently finally had enough and decided to shut us down.

"However, through totally underestimating the power of social media, this pathetic attempt has failed miserably. Within minutes of networking what had happened, people were re-publishing the post anywhere and everywhere.

"There are now over 100 sites carrying the original post – we haven’t managed to count them all. We have been overwhelmed by the support and solidarity and send massive thanks to everyone who’s offered to help and reposted the information.

"If we haven’t replied personally, it’s only because we’ve been inundated, and haven’t had time.

"This was a real attempt to squash dissent and criticism of the police, as well as attempting to stifle common sense advice to protesters subject to a witch hunt by the right wing press.

"The solidarity given by so many people has ensured this hasn’t happened, and has shown we can fight back. Even if we were to be arrested and prosecuted now, we would still be grateful to CO11 for the amount of publicity they’ve generated for us.

"We’re back, and we’re stronger than ever."

The site is at www.fitwatch.org.uk

Monday, 15 November 2010

US nazis hide behind cops


AMERICAN anarchists have clashed with police protecting a neo-nazi demonstration in Phoenix, Arizona.

Reports Phoenix New Times blogger Stephen Lemons: "The Nazi-haters chanted slogans like, 'Fuck you, Nazis, fuck you!,' 'Hey, Nazi, you're an immigrant too,' and 'Hiding behind the cops,' which, of course, the so-called master race was doing.

"There were at least a hundred cops out there, maybe more. If the Nazis had not had that cordon, the anarchists would have eaten them alive.

"The anarchists were ticked and looking forward to a melee. Rocks and other objects sailed over the heads of the cops and hit some of the Nazis, as well as some cops and bystanders. (Two alleged rock-hurlers were arrested by the Phoenix PD.)

"Nails were strewn all over the street, I suppose to halt police vehicles. Dozens of anarchists pushed against police shields, anticipating an advance, which they knew had to come.

"This police advance was eventually achieved through the liberal use of pepper spray. Several members of the media, as well as numerous counter-protesters were hit with the debilitating chemical agent, which causes temporary blindness and an intense burn in the eyes and on the skin."

Sunday, 14 November 2010

November 24 - insurrection day!


WEDNESDAY November 24 is being hailed as a big day in the UK rebellion against neoliberal austerity measures.

Students are planning a national day of protest, with talks of mass walk-outs from schools and colleges and coalition offices being occupied.

Writes Class War anarchist Ian Bone in his blog: "Hundreds of thousands of kids will be pouring out of schools and colleges, blocking the streets, marching on town centres in cavalcades of fun and anger.

"The anger is palpable and growing as is the belief the fight can be won. The anger and visceral hatred against the Tories and Clegg broke out of all parameters on November 10th.

"The kids are uncontrollable.The genie is out the fucking bottle. NOVEMBER 24th – INSURRECTION DAY."

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Mexican town kicks out police chief


PEOPLE power in the Mexican town of Tepoztlán has seen the local police chief kicked out after an increase of violence, reports Narco News.

The mayor of the town, which is located 80 kilometers south of Mexico City, removed the police commander and seven of his subordinates after a mobilization from residents.

Now the security of Tepoztlán is in the hands of citizen brigades, bringing back a period from the 1990s when the crime rate was lowered dramatically due to the departure of the police.

Between 1995 and 1999 the town was governed by the customs of the people. During those four years Tepoztlán declared itself an autonomous municipality and expelled all the authorities—including the police—after they joined forces with real estate companies to try and build a golf course in the town.

At that time the security of the town was dependent upon the residents, and according to some of them, there has never been a safer period.

This time, on October 30, the people mobilized to close the highway to Cuernavaca and all of the entrances to the town in response to the police corruption.

During the mobilization they forced the Institutional Revolutionary Party mayor, Gabino Ríos Cedillo, to fire Fuentes Bahena and his subordinates, many of whom were ex-police from Jiutepec. Tepoztlán will continue to have some police officers, but they are subject to supervision by the residents themselves.

The mobilization against the Tepoztlán police is happening as other places in the country are organizing for similar reasons.

Says Narco News: "Perhaps now the people will relive Tepoztlán’s golden years when there were no crimes because there were no police to cover up or defend the crimes."

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Students storm Tory Party HQ


ANGRY students stormed the Conservative Party HQ in London on Wednesday as resistance to the neoliberal attack on the UK kicked off in dramatic fashion.

A radical breakaway group from the 50,000-strong demo against massive rises in tuition fees targeted the UK ruling party's home at Millbank Tower - with staggering success.

The building was occupied, smashed up, covered in graffiti and besieged by thousands of determined young people in the streets outside, with police left looking useless.

Some students made their way to the roof of the building, waving flags and hurling objects at the riot cops below.

There they issued the following statement, placing the action in a much broader context than the fees battle: "We oppose all cuts and we stand in solidarity with public sector workers, and all poor, disabled, elderly and working people.

"We are occupying the roof in opposition to the marketisation of education pushed through by the coalition government, and the system they are pushing through of helping the rich and attacking the poor. We call for direct action to oppose these cuts.

"This is only the beginning of the resistance to the destruction of our education system and public services."

Calls are being made for a national walkout from schools, colleges and universities at 11am on Wednesday November 24.

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Rebel clashes in the Sahara


REBEL protesters in Morocco have been attacked by live bullets, tear gas canisters, truncheons, stones and water cannon, it is being reported.

Western Sahara's independence movement said on Tuesday 11 people had been killed in clashes with Moroccan security forces.

Reports Reuters: "Western Sahara, a former Spanish colony which was annexed by Morocco in 1975 sparking Africa's longest-running territorial dispute, was the scene of violent clashes on Monday when Moroccan security forces raided a protest camp."

It says a statement released on Tuesday by the Polisario independence movement in Algeria, where it has its headquarters, said 11 people had been killed in Monday's clashes, 723 were wounded and 159 others had disappeared and were feared dead.

"The Moroccan forces of aggression used live bullets, tear gas canisters, truncheons, stones and water cannon against peaceful, defenceless civilians," the statement said.

Clashes erupted on the day officials from Morocco and the Polisario were gathering near New York for talks brokered by the United Nations and aimed at breaking the stalemate in their dispute, Africa's longest-running territorial conflict.

The protest camp of thousands of tents near Western Sahara's main city of Laayoune had been there for a month when attacked.

Adds Reuters: "Soon after, several hundred of the people forced out of the camp took their protest to the streets of Laayoune, where they blocked roads with burning tyres, set fire to cars, and threw stones at police."

One protester told Reuters from the scene: "Anger is boiling over. We are in the streets protesting against Morocco."

Western Sahara is a sparsely populated tract of desert about the size of Britain, with rich fishing grounds off its coast and reserves of phosphates, used to make fertiliser and detergent.

Morocco says the territory should come under its sovereignty, while the exiled Polisario Front says Western Sahara is an independent state.

The Polisario waged a guerrilla war against Moroccan forces until the United Nations brokered a cease-fire in 1991.

Monday, 8 November 2010

Seoul braced for anti-G20 protests


SOUTH Korea is braced for massive protests agains the neoliberal G2 circus when it rolls into town this week.

The Korea Herald reports that 50,000 police officers are currently deployed around the COEX, the summit’s venue, according to the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency.

It adds: "The highest number of police officers ever mobilized in a single G20 summit was 19,000 in Toronto this June."

Say organisers of the impressive anti-G20 coalition: "The G20, originally formed to respond to the global financial crisis, is attempting to set itself up as the authority responsible for directing the world economy and defining world governance.

"While completely excluding most nations from decision-making, the G20 is attempting to make the world ‘safe’ for neoliberal capitalism by forcing emerging economies to shoulder part of the burden of the crisis, promoting trade and investment liberalization dressed up 'in new robes', negotiating weak financial reforms that largely allow financial speculation to go on unchecked, and reviving the ailing IMF and other IFIs.

"This agenda is being pursued despite the fact that neoliberal capitalism is clearly a failed model, which only increases poverty and inequality around the globe."

A protest was held on Sunday and the main march and rally is planned for Thursday November 11.

Sunday, 7 November 2010

Germans battle to halt nuclear train


AN ARMOURED police vehicle has been torched by protesters trying to stop a train of nuclear waste from crossing Germany.

Reports The Independent: "Riot police using water cannon, teargas and baton charges fought thousands of demonstrators attempting to halt the shipment of 123 tons of atomic waste to a disputed storage site in northern Germany yesterday.

"More than 30,000 protesters took to fields, roads, lanes and railway tracks around the northern town of Danneberg to try to stop the movement – initially by rail and then road – of nuclear waste containers sent from France for storage in a disused salt mine close to the nearby village of Gorleben.

"The protests, which amounted to one of the largest anti-nuclear demonstrations in Germany for 30 years, were given added momentum by Chancellor Angela Merkel's recent decision to extend the life of the country's 17 nuclear power stations by an average of 12 years.

"Wolfgang Ehmke, a spokesman for protesters, said the attempts to disrupt the shipment through blockades and demonstrators chaining themselves to the tracks were not only meant to delay the arrival of atomic waste but were 'also meant to mess up the timetable for the government's nuclear policy'.

"Demonstrators used an array of different techniques to try to stop the shipment, which has been called 'Chernobyl on wheels'. Militant activists tried to rip up the train tracks due to carry the waste shipment by digging out the earth from under the rails.

"Squads of helmeted riot police equipped with batons and tear gas grenades tried to disperse the group. They were met by a hail of fireworks and stones. An armoured police vehicle was set ablaze in the clashes.

"Police eventually used water cannon to dispel the protesters. They made dozens of arrests. Both sides accused each other of violence.

"In other incidents, protesters abseiled down to rail tracks from a bridge and chained themselves to the rails. Police were forced to clear away some 60 tractors blocking the main road between Dannenberg and the Gorleben storage site some 12km away."

Video footage can be seen here.

Friday, 5 November 2010

Deliberate unleashing of state violence



MORE evidence has emerged of the brutal state violence used against Irish students who protested against increased fees in Dublin on Wednesday.

Several videos have been posted online showing riot police attacking young protesters, lashing out with batons at peaceful sit-downs and charging at lines of demonstrators with horses.

Said one campaigner: "What we witnessed today was the policing of fear, the deliberate use of state violence to discourage acts of protest and civil disobedience. "

Spineless national student union leader Gary Redmond has chosen to condemn the protesters as extremists and has not commented on violence from the Gardai.

But the WSM (Workers Solidarity Movement) issued a statement condemning in the strongest terms the police violence.

It reported that several members of the organisation were present with almost 1000 others in support of for those who entered and occupied the Department of Finance.

Mark Malone, student and member of the WSM, present at the protests, said: "I witnessed masked men in padded clothing beat a woman around the head with a baton.

"She was so scared she couldn’t move even as they shouted at her to do so. My friends and I helped her away from where the police where hitting people.

"The police refused to listen to our calls for medical attention and instead pushed me on top of this woman using a large plastic shield. This was only one of many instances of brutality.

"I also saw police punch, kick, drag and throw to the ground the people who occupied the Department of Finance. It was clear to everyone that the police decided to intimidate and physically assault us.

"The low number of arrests compared to the very high level of injuries suggest that this was a tactic decided at a high level. It was as if the police wanted to provoke a violent response from us. All we could do was try to defend our selves and each other from these thugs.

"While several WSM members where present in the demo, other members watched from the vantage point of our office window which directly over looked the scene.

"We witnessed many injuries as a result of police violence, mostly unprovoked batoning, but also the use of the edges of riot sheilds to dig into people.We witnessed police horses being run directly into a mass crowd, we saw women and men sitting on the ground, beaten with lumps of stick the police call 'batons'.

"We witnessed polices dogs being reared into the crowd as people shouted 'peaceful protest'. I heard the police swear and verbally threaten students, one saying they would 'knock the fucking shit' out of me if I didn't move.”

Malone continued: "The government chooses to target students, much in the way they target the sick, unemployed and marginalised because they think we are an easy touch.

"This government has lost legitimacy since in reality it is the IMF and ECB, and the faceless rich of the “markets” who now dictate policy. This is not just an economic crisis, it is a crisis democracy as we can clearly see the structures of power at play.”

"What we witnessed today was the policing of fear, the deliberate use of state violence to discourage acts of protest and civil disobedience. "

Thursday, 4 November 2010

Irish students resist police thugs


IRISH students occupied a government building and bravely resisted attacks by riot cop thugs during a Dublin protests against fee hikes.

Reports the BBC: "Gardai forcibly ejected students from the lobby of the Merrion Row building on Wednesday afternoon.

"In violent scenes, at least one person was carried away, possibly unconscious. Others were visibly injured and bleeding.

"The student protesters occupied the Department of Finance in a stand against plans to increase fees for third level education in the Republic of Ireland.

"Several hundred students also staged a sit-down protest outside the building."

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Mexican people power defeats Walmart


MEXICAN people have been successfully standing up to the commercial imperialism of the US Walmart empire.

An in-depth Narco News report shows how communities in Cuernavaca and in the Magdalena Contreras area of Mexico City resisted the capitalist invaders.

In the first instance the town council voted to buy up the land earmarked by Walmart and use it for the community, despite legal threats and pressure from the supermarket chain.

Says the report: "A citizen committee made up of neighbors, community members, and environmentalists will be in charge of the cultural center and environment-friendly park project, which will be operational by the end of the year on the same site where Walmart tried to build the store. "

In Mexico City the Broad Front Against the Western Superhighway has joined in the mobilization against Walmart. The construction project of five stores has been stopped.

Says Narco News: "In August the affected neighbors closed a side road to Periférico in Mexico City due to the lack of response from Magdalena Contreras delegation chief Eduardo Hernández.

"Since then the mobilizations were constant, to the point that on Tuesday October 12, residents of the region and members of the Front moved into the area to demand the cancellation of the Walmart projects. The mobilization was sucessful and the construction of the stores has been stopped.

"The areas where the megastores were to be constructed are located near local traditional markets. "

Comments Al Norman, the director of the organization Sprawl Busters: “The victories in Cuernavaca and Mexico City are just a reminder that citizens united can beat the world’s largest retail corporation.”

Monday, 1 November 2010

London party-goers defy riot cops


A THOUSAND party-goers saw off brutal attempts by riot cops to close down a weekend of fun in London.

The Daily Mail reported: "At one stage in the early hours, dozens of riot police were forced to retreat as party-goers shouting, ‘We won’t go’ hurled bottles, bricks and road signs."

It quoted Daniel, a 20-year-old student who had come from Manchester for the party, as saying: "There was a riot when the cops tried to close it down. They hit us with batons and used Taser guns. But we’ve carried on.

"People have come from Spain, and all over the world for this. It’s all free and we’re just enjoying ourselves. A lot of us are activists and anarchists who go to protests."

The report says the last contingent of ravers left at 4.15pm on Sunday, about 18 hours after the party started.

It said one 'organiser' had told the paper: "There will be a big resurgence of this sort of thing because of the economic situation. It’s mirroring what happened in the last recession."

Sunday, 31 October 2010

Dutch footie fans see off EDL


DUTCH antifascists have seen off an attempt by British extreme rightists EDL to export their brand of thuggery across the North Sea.

Intending to lend support to the anti-immigrant politician Geert Wilders, the EDL found themselves outnumbered by opponents, including Ajax football fans, and had their minbus trashed.

Says a statement from Antifa! Amsterdam "The demonstration of the EDL / DDL was an outright failure, not more than 50 protesters eventually took the trouble to show their support for Wilders.

"This while the organization, even after the forced relocation to a midle of nowhere spot in the western docklands, still said this week to expect up to 1,000 supporters.

"In the end, the meager turnout (in particular on the part of the Dutch Defence League, only a few of the protesters were Dutch) and the fierce resistance that they were confronted with should be an omen about the future prospects of their crossing of the channel.

"This while simultaneously a broad range of hundreds of people and dozens of groups showed throughout the city their disapproval and anger about the coming of the racist scum to the capital.

"Antifa! Amsterdam expresses support and appreciation to each and everyone who has gone out on the streets today against racism and xenophobia.

"From the hundreds of protesters who protested at 1941 general strike monument, the dozens of activists that spread over the city to prevent that the EDL would still showup in the center, to the many people who decided to ignore the emergency orders from the mayor and went in direct action in the docklands.

"The great variety of people who have come today in opposition is a clear signal, from young immigrants to experienced activists, from soccer fans to social organizations.

"In particular, the presence of Jewish individuals and the reform movement in Iran, for whom the EDL pretends to speak, and the high turnout of football fans that the EDL consider as their natural support, show that people are not deceived by the EDL. "

In summary Antifa! Amsterdam considers the day as overwhelmingly successful, and calls on everyone to keep fighting, in resistance against discrimination, hatred, fear and extreme right violence."

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Khimki hostage released in Russia


KHIMKI hostage Alexei Gaskarov has been released from police custody by a Russian municipal court.

On July 28 this year more than two hundred young antifascists and anarchists carried out a spontaneous demonstration outside the town administration building in Khimki, a suburb of Moscow.

They were protesting in defence of the Khimki Forest, under threat from plans for a toll motorway.

The demonstration, during which several windows were broken, received a great deal of public attention.

The authorities responded with a wave of repression. The day after the demonstration, two well-known social activists, Alexei Gaskarov and Maxim Solopov, were arrested.

A statement on October 22 posted on Infoshop news says: "Judge Svetlana Galanova made the decision to release Gaskarov on his own recognizance, ignoring an appeal from the prosecution to leave him in police custody.

"Alexei reacted by saying that he had not expected this decision because he has no faith in the Russian justice system.

"The prosecution presented no new arguments to support its request to keep Gaskarov in police custody, with the exception of a report issued by the FSB.

"The report states that Alexei Gaskarov has been a member of the Antifa IYA (apparently, 'informal youth association') since 2007; that he has extensive contacts, including with foreign countries, which is corroborated by his multiple trips abroad; that he has participated in and organized unsanctioned protest actions; and that the last time he was detained was on March 20, 2010, during the Day of Rage protest action.

"In his testimony, Alexei stated that antifascism is not a crime, that his antifascist views cannot be cause to place him under arrest, and that his trips abroad are his own personal affair.

"Gaskarov told the court that he was present at the March 20 Day of Rage protest in his capacity as a correspondent for the Institute for Collective Action (IKD) and that after his arrest he had been acquitted of all charges by a justice of the peace.

"Gaskarov had likewise traveled to Khimki on July 28 as an IKD correspondent, which was confirmed in a letter submitted by the institute’s directors.

"Civil rights activist Lev Ponomaryov, who participated in the hearing as a counsel for the defense, likewise voiced his bewilderment over the fact that the prosecution had portrayed antifascist convictions as a negative character factor, whereas in reality society should be proud of such people because they protect it from fascism.

"According to Ponomaryov, it is a very good thing that such people are resolute in their convictions.

"The court heard testimony from Andrei Demidov, deputy director of the Institute for Collective Action. Demidov confirmed that Gaskarov had been dispatched to Khimki as an IKD correspondent.

"Georgy Semyonovsky, Gaskarov’s lawyer, reminded the court that five well-respected citizens — Lev Ponomaryov, executive director of the For Human Rights movement; civil rights activist Sergei Kovalyov and Liudmila Alexeeva; and State Duma deputies Ilya Ponomaryov and Oleg Shein – had agreed to vouch for his client’s reliability.

"On October 18, the Khimki Municipal Court likewise released Maxim Solopov from police custody on his own recognizance. Like Gaskarov, Solopov has been charged with disorderly conduct for his alleged participation in a protest action outside the Khimki town hall.

"The Campaign for the Release of the Khimki Hostages congratulates Maxim Solopov and Alexei Gaskarov on their conditional release from police custody, but believes that it has not achieved its goals and intends to keep fighting until all charges against them have been dropped.

For more information, contact:

Tel: +7 915-053-5912
Email: info@khimkibattle.org
Website: http://khimkibattle.org"

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

US firms behind Afghan terrorism, says Karzai


AFGHAN President Hamid Karzai has said US private security firms, including Xe Services LLC, formerly known as Blackwater, are behind terrorism in the country.

Press TV reports that at a press conference in Kabul, Karzai said that US security companies have been behind explosions that have claimed the lives of women and children.

The Afghan president added that they have caused 'blasts and terrorism' in different parts of Afghanistan over the past months.

The Afghan president said his administration cannot even distinguish between the bomb blasts carried out by US security firms and those of the Taliban militants.

"In fact we don't yet know how many of these blasts are by Taliban and how many are carried out by them (US security companies)."

Blackwater has been involved in the murder of several Afghan citizens over the past years. The company has also been struggling with a trail of legal cases and civil lawsuits, including one for killing 17 Iraqi civilians during a Baghdad shootout in 2007.

Earlier in June, the CIA reportedly admitted that Blackwater had been loading bombs on US drones that target suspected militants in neighboring Pakistan.

The Afghan president has also pointed out that American private security firms are corrupt and have fueled nine years of war.

"Deals under the name of private security companies are cut in the hallways of American government buildings. It involves 1.5 billion dollars," he said.

Karzai has accused security companies of running what he called an economic mafia based on crooked contracts.

"The money, 1.5 billion dollars, is being distributed there (in the United States) on Blackwater [sic] and this and that."

The developments come as the notorious Blackwater has been awarded a five-year State Department contract worth up to USD 10 billion for operations in Afghanistan.

In August, Karzai ordered all security firms to disband before the end of the year.

Some diplomats and military officials say Karzai has been under intense pressure to reconsider his decision.

However, Karzai says he is steadfast in his decision to dissolve foreign security firms in the country despite US pressure to reconsider the decision.

The private companies are said to be in charge of providing security for foreign officials and embassies as well as development projects in Afghanistan.

Karzai has blamed mercenaries for civilian deaths and corruption in the troubled region.

Many observers have linked the USA to false flag terror operations in the past, ranging from the notorious Gladio network in Europe to strong connections with al-Qaeda.

Monday, 25 October 2010

Barcelona solidarity for Khimki battle


ANARCHISTS in Barcelona have carried out solidarity actions in support of activists in Russia and Belarus who are fighting to save the Khimki forest.

A statement published by Angry News From Around the World says: "The night of Monday, October 18, we wanted to make a small gesture of solidarity with anarchist comrades of Khimki (Russia) and Minsk (Belarus), imprisoned by their respective States in August 2010.

"The gesture consisted of moving in three locations linked to the Russian State and its commercial interests.

"Profiting our friend darkness, we went to the Russian consulate, to the headquarters of the Russian airlines the Centre for Culture and Russian language in Barcelona.

"We threw paint-filled eggs against these dumps and sprayed slogans in solidarity with the comrades.

"Death to all patria, border states, capitalism and every form of authority."

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Airport blocked as French resistance deepens


STRIKING oil refinery and port workers have blocked access to Marseille airport as the French government grapples with a 10th day of strikes and confrontations.

About 500 workers from the l'Etang-de-Beurre refinery and others including airline and postal workers, blocked the access road to the airport, which serves local and nearby international destinations, from dawn, reports MSNBC.

"No vehicles can get through to the car parks," Medhi Rachid of the CGT union chapter at a nearby refinery in Bouches-du-Rhone, told Reuters.

The renewed demonstration came a day after President Nicolas Sarkozy sent in police to clear access to barricaded fuel depots and restore supply as trade unions kept up their resistance on Wednesday to a pension reform due for a final vote this week.

Workers opposed to a two-year higher retirement age also blocked roads to airports around France, leaving passengers in Paris dragging suitcases on foot along an emergency breakdown lane.

Outside the capital, notably in Lyon [pictured] hooded youths smashed store windows amid clouds of tear gas.

Riot police in black body armor forced striking workers away from blocked fuel depots in western France, restoring gasoline to areas where pumps were dry after weeks of protests.

Riot officers in the Paris suburb of Nanterre and the southeastern city of Lyon sprayed tear gas but appeared unable to stop the violence.

With a Senate vote on the reform expected on Friday at the earliest, unions were ramping up the pressure with strikes, go-slows on main roads by truck drivers and work stoppages at regional airports.

Fuel imports hit a record high on Tuesday, the government said, as it tried to get round a 24-day blockade of France's largest oil port, near Marseille, where 51 oil tankers lay idle in the Mediterranean, unable to dock.

With more than 3,000 service stations out of nearly 12,500 in France out of fuel, police could also be deployed to clear access to striking oil refineries, according to Sarkozy's order.

A large rally is scheduled in central Paris on Thursday afternoon.

Monday, 18 October 2010

Riots break out across France


RIOTS are breaking out across France, as the population shows its anger at the neoliberal 'austerity' measures being imposed on them by the hated Sarkozy regime.

Secondary school children have been blockading schools and youngsters have been fighting back against the police.

In several cities cars have been torched and molotov cocktails thrown at riot cops.

A college near Le Mans was set on fire and burnt to the ground.

The authorities say that 290 'casseurs' (hooligans) were arrested on Monday alone.

University students, who have not so far been involved, are now about to also join in the battle, raising the stakes still higher.

Because of union blockades of oil refineries, petrol is running out across the country, with two-hour queues forming even where fuels is available.

Airports and railway lines have been blockaded and lorry drivers staging 10mph 'snail' protests to block congest roads.

Poll show a massive 70% of the public support the strike, but President Sarkozy refuses to back down from his authoritarian capitalist position.

Comments the Daily Mail: "Many fear a re-run of the May 1968 riots in Paris when thousands took to the streets to try to bring down the government of President Charles de Gaulle."

Tuesday sees another day of mass action and strikes - and the momentum currently seems to lie firmly with the street.

Thursday, 14 October 2010

Youth revolt sweeping France


A YOUTH revolt is kicking off on the streets of France, as resistance to the neoliberal Sarkozy regime deepens.

Protests by secondary school students were met with police violence in several cities, enraging the youngest generation and paving the way for more angry confrontations in days to come.

Pupils have been blockading the entrance to schools with makeshift barricades in their support for the wave of protest which has been focused on changes to the retirement age but has now taken on a much wider agenda.

Reports The Daily Telegraph: "France's BFM TV showed images of groups of students toppling waste containers in southeast France and erecting barricades in the middle of a Paris avenue.

"Police in the Val-de-Marne region southeast of Paris detained about 15 students for hurling projectiles at police and vandalising property.

"One student was injured when he was hit by a rubber flash-ball fired by police in the Paris suburbs, and another was taken to hospital in Bordeaux after clashes. In scuffles elsewhere, students in Lille burned a car and rubbish containers."

The Green Party Mayor of Montreuil, Dominique Voynet, condemned the police for shooting at children, adding that the teenager hit by the flash-ball risked losing his eye.

A big day of demonstrations this Saturday is to be followed by another day of strikes and protests on Tuesday October 19.