Study calls for new fracking definition to close regulatory loopholes

DRILL OR DROP?

The definitions of fracking in the UK are limited, ambiguous and inconsistent, a new study has said.


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The police “gathering intelligence” at #KillTheBill protest in Plymouth

Police Monitoring Group - Devon and Cornwall - Bagas Gorwolyas Kreslu

We all notice the police at protests. What many don’t realise, is that some police are there for surveillance – filming us, taking names, and recording it all in a database of “domestic extremists”. You don’t have to do anything to be on the database, just attending a protest is enough. With the G7 Summit in Cornwall fast approaching, we have seen Devon and Cornwall Police send more of these officers to protests. It’s important we learn to recognise them, not just for the sake of privacy, but because those they surveil can become the target for “harassment policing”. People on their database have found themselves followed at protests, had their car number plate flagged, and been targeted for preemptive arrest. We can stop this. Don’t talk to police, and make sure other protesters know what they’re up to. If noone speaks to them there is nothing they can…

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ACTION ALERT – Get Fellow Worker Kevan Out of Segregation

Industrial Workers of the World Dorset

On 7th April Kevan Thakrar was moved to seg without authorisation. Kev has been placed in a dirty punishment cell with no electricity, no toilet seat or lid. Kev also has less access to the phone. He has been falsely accused of threatening officers and placed on “backwall unlock”. This means he has to stand at the back of the cell against the wall whilst 4 officers enter. This is triggering for his PTSD after being subject to racist abuse including being almost murdered last year.

HMP Full Sutton are failing to meet Kev’s basic entitlement and needs. Kev has no mental health support. No care plan in place. Kev’s disability is not being acknowledged.

Take action now to get Kevan moved out of segregation!   Includes sample letter.

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Protests Break Out Across US Over Police Shooting of Daunte Wright

Abolition Media Worldwide

The Minnesota police murder of Daunte Wright reignited impassioned protests across many US cities Monday night — with a riot in Portland, Oregon, as hundreds attacked cops.

A second night of demonstrations boiled in Brooklyn Park, where the murder occured, while protesters gathered in other cities in a show of unity. Researchers were able to locate and publicly post the address of the pig who murdered Daunte, driving her from her home.

“Burn the precincts to the ground, in every city and every town!” chanted marchers in Portland. Demonstrations happened in Los Angeles, California, while areas of Seattle, Washington, were covered in anti-cop graffiti as protesters repeatedly blocked main roads.

Protesters streamed through a Washington, DC, subway station, jumping over turnstiles, as hundreds gathered at the capital. In New York, marchers shut down a portion of the Manhattan Bridge on Monday night.

The strongest actions took place in Portland, Oregon, as revolutionaries tried to storm the Penumbra Kelly Building, which houses offices for multiple law enforcement agencies, including Portland police and the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office. People threw glass bottles, frozen water bottles, rocks, ball bearings and shot fireworks at the police and the building.

Elsewhere in the city, a group cut through a chain-link fence to access a parking lot at the historic building that houses Portland Police Bureau traffic offices at the same time as the riot was happening. They succeeded in smashing windows and slashing tires of several police vehicles.

Bristol ‘Kill the Bill’ riot and protests (March 2021): A timeline and analysis of what actually happened

athens indymedia

post imageOn the 9th of March the UK government, alongside Police chiefs including Cressida Dick, announced the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill to parliament. The bill proposes changes to a variety of laws, however it has been criticised for a number of points including its implications on people’s rights to protest, its impact on the Gypsy, Roma and Traveller (GRT) communities, its encouragement of stop and search bias towards black men and youths and numerous other things.

Bristol is famous for its radical identity its historic riots and protests have shaped the England we know today. In addition to the fact that there is a longstanding political presence in Bristol, it hosts a substantial number of GRT’s and people of colour who would be affected by the passing of the PCS&CB. So several weeks after the controversial bill was put to parliament various local activist groups, and concerned Bristolians, organized a peaceful protest in Bristol City Centre on Sunday 21st March.

An anonymous eyewitness said, “We were there [on Sunday 21st] just to make a presence by marching against the bill”. However, after a typical protest walk around Bristol City Centre, “the crowd gathered outside Bridewell Police Station to stage a sit-down protest”. Another different eyewitness stated, “The aim of the sit-down protest was to show police, who were regularly arriving with extra vans of reinforcements, that we were not a threat. Not there to intimidate them… [However] the cops seemed overwhelmed by the sheer number of people protesting so they tried to disperse us with batons, shields and horses”. When questioned about the use of force by the police, the same eyewitness told how, “We were sat on the floor [by the police line] when a policeman almost hit my girlfriend with their baton. I had to jump in the way so she didn’t get hurt… [we] tolerated the beatings at first, to show we were being peaceful, but there’s only so much you can take before you need someone to help you”.

The next day Avon and Somerset Constabulary put out a statement that on their website, talking about how, “A total of 20 officers were assaulted or injured and two of them were taken to hospital after suffering broken bones. One of them also suffered a punctured lung.”. The statement about the broken bones and punctured lung was quietly retracted some days later but it is important to acknowledge that the statement had already been used by the media and police to paint the protesters in a bad light- probably so that they would lose public favour and interest- with The Guardian, amongst others, reporting that, “Police officers in Bristol feel “under siege” and that, “[Police were left] battered and bruised after protest turned violent”

Similar accounts were described two days later, at a slightly smaller follow up protest, organised on Tuesday 23rd, where about 200 protestors from Bristol’s GRT community set up tents on College Green to resist the bill. The event poster read, “We want to show solidarity with travellers who are targeted by this bill that will criminalise trespass with intention to reside…We [are] also stand[ing] in defiance with other groups under threat, including squatters, rough sleepers, protesters, hunt saboteurs, van dwellers, ravers and boaters…”. ITV interviewed protesters who stated that, “We’re looking for a nice Bristol protest…This is going to stay peaceful”, but despite their intentions the protest was broken up with riot police- who were backed up by The British Transport Police, Devon and Cornwall, and Dorset and Dyfet Powys, as well as police dog and horse units, helicopters, and a drone . A tweet from the Avon and Somerset Police later in the night stated that the police are “safely bring[ing] an end to the protest in #bristol”(sic).

My own personal speculation is that most people at this point, even the most naïve people who had been attending, with the most faith in the police and the media, started to realise that the media and police narratives of the last two protests were severely warped- except for that of The Bristol Cable, who provided some excellent coverage. As a result of this, at the third demo on Friday 26th- which started on College Green and culminated in the bear pit being shut down by protesters, and another sit-down protest outside of Bridewell Police Station- most protesters knew they could not put a foot out of line; and the day went well. There was an excellent turnout, and the protest walk went around the centre with little hassle from police. However, at 10pm the Police made their decision to use force to disperse everyone.

I was observing from the front three rows of protesters and personally witnessed a lot of excessive force, against an unthreatening crowd who were chanting, “we are peaceful, what are you”. I saw the police swinging their batons at the front rows of people, when they inevitably fell to the floor the same police would slam down on them with the hard bottom edge of their shield. I saw one boy, who looked about 16 or 17, get cracked in the head by a policeman’s baton- he was holding in the tears in front of his friends and shouting that he doesn’t know what he did wrong- and at this moment I heard him say “fuck it”, he picked up a bottle and threw it at the police line, smashing on a police riot helmet. He would not have done that if he was not the victim of police violence 5 minutes prior. In fact, one thing that surprised me that day was the amount of police throwing their fists at people when they got the chance. It seemed to me as if the policemen looked personally offended a lot of the times when I saw this happen. They looked angry, and out of control of their rationality, as if they may have seen someone that they suspected might have just thrown a bottle at them (a lot of people were dressed in black block, or nondescript, so it would have been hard to tell). It seemed as if they thought about settling it with their own two fists, and without going through the courts or paying any attention to “the book”, and without any thought of repercussion upon themselves.

The crowds eventually did disperse, after police charges with dogs and horses; and more clashes, of course, some of which involved fireworks. I left that day feeling utterly disappointed, I had a lot to think about. For the third time in a week the Avon and Somerset police had brutalized the people of the city they serve. Men and women, adults and teenagers, young and old… It was bad when it happened once, but three times in a week is no coincidence. It is now almost impossible for many Bristolians to deny that this institution does not exist to protect us, but merely exist to protect and enforce the interests of whoever is in power. With no commitment to public order, or protection.

Thankfully, the Bristolians did not give up. They had a small victory on Saturday 3rd April, as part of a national day of kill the bill action, which featured protests in 32 different UK towns and cities. The Bristol Cable reported that, “there was a minimal police presence and no attempt to clear out demonstrators, which allowed an entirely peaceful protest to go ahead… In contrast to the previous protests, there were much fewer police officers on the scene, with no riot gear, mounted police officers or police dogs.”. With the police adding that, “We have a long and proud history of facilitating peaceful protests”.

As of the 17th March it was announced that the Police, Crimes, Sentencing and Courts Bill will be post-poned for evaluation later in the year. Labour MP Peter Kyle commented that “A small group of MP’s [will] go through the bill line-by-line and can put amendments and vote to change it… no doubt when it reappears it will look very different than it does today”. Although this announcement happened about a week before most of the protests did, it is important that they still happened and continue to happen as the harder we protest the Police, Crimes, Sentencing and Courts Bill, the clearer the message becomes that we will not tolerate basic rights being stripped away, an increase in police powers, or a crackdown on protest.

Conclusions drawn from these past few weeks include the fact that a “riot” does not represent a failure on behalf of the people, but rather a failure on behalf of the government and/or police; the fact that direct action and resistance does indeed work as an effective strategy for change; and that the police serve to protect and enforce the interests of whoever is in power.

References

1. Hirst D, Beard J, Brown J, Dawson J, Lipscombe S (2021, March 12th). Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill 2019-21: Background. https://commonslibrary.parliament.uk/research-briefings/cbp-9158/ (Accessed on the 29th March 2021).

2. Bristol, Somerset and South Gloucestershire NHS (2019, October). JSNA Health and Wellbeing Profile 2019/20. https://www.bristol.gov.uk/documents/20182/3849453/JSNA+2019+-+Gypsy+Roma+Travellers+%28updated+Oct+2019%29.pdf/85405b07-f8ab-f704-92a0-84ab18f42a11 (Accessed on the 7th April 2021).

3. Home Office (2021, Feb 2nd). Stop and Search. https://www.ethnicity-facts-figures.service.gov.uk/crime-justice-and-the-law/policing/stop-and-search/latest (Accessed on the 29th March 2021.).

4. Avon and Somerset Police (2021, march 22nd). Statement from Chief Constable and PCC following Bristol disorder. https://www.avonandsomerset.police.uk/news/2021/03/statement-from-chief-constable-and-pcc-following-bristol-disorder/ (Accessed on the 29th March 2021).

5. Avon and Somerset Police 2021, 21st March). Statement about ongoing disorder in Bristol. https://www.avonandsomerset.police.uk/news/2021/03/statement-about-ongoing-disorder-in-bristol/ (Accessed on the 30th March 2021).

6. Morris, S (2021, 24th March). Police in Bristol feel ‘under seige’ after second night of unrest. The Guardian [Online]. https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2021/mar/24/latest-bristol-policing-protest-culminates-in-14-arrests (Accessed on the 30th March 2021).

7. McGukin, I (2021, 23rd March). Police will ‘take action’ if protesters at Bristol demo do not leave. The Bristol Post [Online]. https://www.bristolpost.co.uk/news/bristol-news/police-take-action-people-latest-5220088 (Accessed on the 30th March 2021). 8. ITV News West Country (2021, 23rd March). Bristol protesters set up encampment on College Green. ITV News [Online]. https://www.itv.com/news/westcountry/2021-03-23/bristol-protesters-set-up-encampment-on-college-green (Accessed on the 1st April 2021).

9. Cork, T (2021, 24th March). Bristol Kill The Bill protests: 14 arrests made during College Green police operation days after riots. The Bristol Post [Online]. https://www.bristolpost.co.uk/news/bristol-news/kill-bill-bristol-live-updates-5219342 (Accessed on the 1st April 2021).

10. The Socialist Worker (2021, 30th March). How to join the Kill The Bill protests on 2, 3, 4 April. The Socialist Worker [Online]. https://socialistworker.co.uk/art/51560/How+to+join+the+Kill+The+Bill+protests+on+2%2C+3%2C+4+April (Accessed on the 5th April 2021).

11. Aviram, A; Cantwell-Corn, A; Edwards, M; Vickers, H (2021, 27th March). Watch: Police forcefully break up Police and Crime Bill sit-down protest followed by major clashes. The Bristol Cable [Online]. https://thebristolcable.org/2021/03/watch-police-forcefully-break-up-police-and-crime-bill-sit-down-protest-followed-by-major-clashes-in-city-centre/ (Accessed on the 1st April 2021).

12. Gurer, F (2021, 31st March). Bristol’s fourth Police and Crime Bill protest remains peaceful after hand’s-off policing. The Bristol Cable [Online]. https://thebristolcable.org/2021/03/bristols-fourth-police-and-crime-bill-protest-remains-peaceful-after-hands-off-policing/ (Accessed on the 5th April 2021).

13. Kyle, P (2021, 17th March). Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill. http://www.peterkyle.co.uk/blog/2021/03/17/the-police-crime-sentencing-and-courts-bill/ (Accessed on the 5th April 2021).

14. Scott, A (2021, 23rd March). A city of Protest: Bristol’s history of resistance. BBC [Online]. https://www.bristol.gov.uk/statistics-census-information/the-population-of-bristol (Accessed on the 7th April 2021).

15. 2. Bristol, Somerset and South Gloucestershire NHS (2019, October). JSNA Health and Wellbeing Profile 2019/20. https://www.bristol.gov.uk/documents/20182/3849453/JSNA+2019+-+Gypsy+Roma+Travellers+%28updated+Oct+2019%29.pdf/85405b07-f8ab-f704-92a0-84ab18f42a11 (Accessed on the 7th April 2021).

16. Bristol City Council (2020, September). The Population Of Bristol. https://www.bristol.gov.uk/statistics-census-information/the-population-of-bristol (Accessed on the 7th April 2021).

17. @ASPolice (2021). March 23rd. Available at: https://twitter.com/ASPolice/status/1374517013104664580 (Accessed on the 1st April 2021).

18. BBC News (2021, 26th March). Bristol Kill The Bill Protest: Riot Police Disperse Protesters. BBC [Online]. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-bristol-56542893 (Accessed on the 1st April 2021).

19. Aspinall, A; Bazaraa D (2021, 27th March). Bristol police filmed confronting ‘Kill The Bill’ protesters with shields and batons. The Mirror [Online]. https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/bristol-police-filmed-confronting-kill-23805983 (Accessed on the 1st April 2021).

20. @TristanCorkPost (2021) 26th March. Available at: https://twitter.com/TristanCorkPost/status/1375593090157797379 (Accessed on the 7th April 2021).

21. Avon and Somerset Police (2021, 31st March). Peaceful protest held in Bristol city centre. https://www.avonandsomerset.police.uk/news/2021/03/peaceful-protest-held-in-bristol-city-centre/ (Accessed on the 7th April 2021).

-M.O.

 

Reflections on the passing of the D of E.

D of E mid left, her maj the Q sixth from left, King of the jungle (deceased) foreground.

What can one say about an old man that died? Lifelong family man and public* servant, went to war, dedicated to the nation – ah, that old manifestation of class antagonisms. Nothing to speak of, nothing that couldn’t be said of countless unknown Working Class folk, many of whom will have died on the battlefield or perished in prison and poverty inflicted by the British ruling class, unsung and un-celebrated. No cannon fired for these – not yet.

* The word ‘public’ as in -interest, -property, -safety, -ownership, etc, means nothing more than ‘state’; and the state doesn’t represent any people, just a mode of production.

That he was so casually racist he was blissfully unaware of it, that when he used his influence he pushed downwards and backwards, that he was habitually miserable to animals and foreigners despite being one himself. Of course, when you’re a member of a European dynasty, descendant of the Romanov tyrants, grandson of the Prince Of Battenberg, cousin of the British Queen and heir to the Greek and Danish thrones, place of birth doesn’t count, borders are only for plebs*.

* In case you needed reminding, borders are there to maintain differentials in prices and wages, which boost the mark-up on manufacturing.

The nation that rejoices in drowning refugees sent a warship for the Greek royal family then under the Truman doctrine hired a gang of Nazi war criminals to wipe out its victorious wartime resistance and keep its people in check. Not a peep out of the blunt-speaking Phillip as his people became the underdogs of Europe, playthings of the C.I.A. and international capital. The self-described “refugee” likewise had nothing to say about the latter day asylum-seekers deported from his homeland in defiance of international law. You can’t credibly claim to be apolitical when laws are enacted, parliament convened and wars declared in the name of your ol’ lady.

A conservationist who shot a tiger, along with a crocodile and six mountain sheep on holiday in India and allegedly accounted for over thirty thousand peasants. I’m no vegan, but could a chap eat thirty thousand pheasants in a lifetime? That’s getting on for one a day.

Now don’t mistake me for someone who gives a shit, we will see his like again, and again. I’m only driven to comment by the shameless hypocrisy. His long awaited demise couldn’t have come at a better time for the executive with its institutions universally discredited. Pfeffle’s long-winded grandstanding, even to the extent of celebrating the Duke’s verbal gaffes, surpassed only by his own, is a exercise in bad taste. Career brown-nose Keir Starmer will struggle to get his head out of there before they bury the old codger, and even Sinn Fein queued dutifully to kiss the royal sphincter.

The Duke is a poster boy for the ruling class’ fascist revival: ultra-conservative, obedient, grateful, backward-looking and dedicated to the fiction of national interest. Keep your place, one step behind, take what you can get, never complain and never do anything worth mentioning.

– Mal Content.

Free Siyanda demo in Cardiff 10th April.

freesiyanda.com

Issue XI – April 2021

Liverpool Anarchist

Contents: Kill the Bill | Porridge Strike | Electricians | Protest Legal Advice

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RMT demonstration in Southampton Monday 12 April over victimisation and sacking of leading bus activist.

RMT

BUS UNION RMT will be holding a demonstration over the victimisation of Southampton bus branch secretary Declan Clune who has been dismissed for reporting concerns to Network Rail around a bridge being struck by vehicles.

The protest will take place on Monday 12th April 2021 between 09:00 and 11:00 at Bargate, High Street, Southampton SO14 2DJ. The action will comply with all current Covid-19 rules and guidance.

The demonstration is part of a high-profile publicity campaign in support of Declan’s reinstatement by the employer, Bluestar. RMT is currently in dispute with the company and is balloting bus driver members for strike and other forms of industrial action.

At Declan’s appeal and Director’s review the company upheld their earlier decision of dismissal for bringing the company into disrepute. No evidence has been forthcoming to explain what the loud banging noise has been when buses have passed under the bridge in question. Bluestar have denied that they failed to adhere to their own procedure and decided that Declan, in reporting the issue to Network Rail, could have influenced their opportunities for further business. The union says that this is total nonsense.

RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said:

“RMT will be holding a demonstration in Southampton on Monday to highlight the disgraceful victimisation and sacking of bus driver Declan Clune.

“Bluestar need to come to their senses and reverse the decision so that an industrial dispute is not needed. Declan was seeking to uphold high standards of safety to protect the travelling public. As workplace representatives selflessly come to the aid of members without a second thought it is every member’s responsibility to come to theirs when attacked. That is why we have declared a dispute with the company, are balloting for action, and holding this protest.

“Bluestar now need to reinstate Declan.

“The Southampton District Bus & Coach Branch is supported by the union nationally in the campaign for Declan’s reinstatement.”

RMT Press Office 8th April

SWORD, PIKE, GUN – STRUGGLE FOR IRISH INDEPENDENCE

It isn’t worth shedding a drop of blood to put someone else in charge. Self-determination requires the dismantlement of all power structures, transaction and coercion, and along the was, silly distractions such as nationalism and religion.

Just because the other side killed your grandad – is the worst excuse in the world. You could take a leaf from the Spanish anarchists who eschewed personal vengeance in favour of practical action against the state.

By the way, the Spanish Revolution was not a defence of the poular front government or the second republic, it had been underway since 1898 and most of the people who voted in 1936 didn’t believe in government at all, they just wanted their prisoners out.

Solid, Mal.

rebelbreeze

Diarmuid Breatnach

(Reading time: 8 mins.)

A debate is currently taking place about whether armed struggle is appropriate in the context of achieving national liberation in Ireland. The debate is hardly new — traditionally some sections of the polity have opposed it and some have advocated, even embraced it. However tiresome it may be for some, revolutionaries need to address questions as they emerge and re-emerge but there is another reason to enter this debate, which is that in my opinion bothsections in the main are basing themselves on a false premise.

The composition of the sections opposed to or in favour of armed struggle has varied but in general and hardly surprisingly, the social democratic and liberal sections have opposed its use, while the revolutionary Republicans have defended it. But sections of the Republican movement at various times have also moved out of the armed struggle camp…

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