Archive | November, 2011

Cross Post – Nottingham Students Against Fees and Cuts Reports Back from @OccupyNotts

21 Nov

Nottingham Students Against Fees and Cuts expresses its support for the members of the 99% who are now more than a month in occupation of Nottingham’s Market Square. The dedicated and dynamic group of individuals are voicing their dissent to political corruption, state and police violence and corporate greed by creating and maintaining a communal space in which everyone is welcome as long as they respect camp guidelines. They employ the Occupy Movement’s General Assembly model for consensus-based decision-making twice daily, and with a tidy tent camp and communal area with kitchen, tea/coffee corner, tech/chill room, patio table, fire extinguisher point and central oil drum for a nightly fire, are effectively demonstrating an alternative, eco-conscious community-oriented use of public space. The information table at the camp entrance is open from 8AM-8PM daily, with participants engaging in dialogue with members of the public about their reasons for occupation and exchanging information from NSAFC, Notts Uncut, Notts SOS and other local organizations in solidarity with the liberation movement around the world.

Like many other camps around the UK, the camp has been experiencing problems with fascist organizations like the EDL threatening camps at night. Occupy Notts requests support in the form of more bodies at the camps overnight to prevent this kind of trouble. Along with them, we ask members of the local and student community to volunteer to visit the camp and especially to stay overnight or during an early morning shift; it would be greatly appreciated.

Tonight, in the 36th day of Occupation, campers and city residents held a candlelight vigil in solidarity with Egyptian civilians in Tahrir Square who were attacked by and are currently engaged in a tense standoff with Egyptian armed forces. In doing so, they stood with people from all major cities in Egypt and other cities around the world against the violent repression being enacted on peaceful protestors from Oakland, Berkeley and Davis, California, to Atlanta, to New York, to Cairo.

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During the vigil, campers shared their reflections: an American student noted that it is the US funding the Egyptian army and mentioned the familiar neo-colonial theme of the military vs. the people, while other campers spoke of the Spanish acampada movement and the more than 3,500 people who have been killed under the repressive regime in Syria. The group rallied around the reminder that it was the courageous and powerful actions of the people of Tunisia, Syria, Egypt, Libya and the events of the Arab Spring which inspired the Occupy Movement sweeping the globe, while their own stories continue to unfold, outcomes yet to be known.

Lowkey’s “Soundtrack to the Struggle” Success in Notts

16 Nov
Lowkey Stalls

Stalls at "Soundtrack to the Struggle" Notts -- Photo Credit: Tash (Alan Lodge)

Originally posted on Nottingham Indymedia.

On Thursday November 10th 2011, over 250 people attended the Nottingham launch of revolutionary rapper Lowkey’s “Soundtrack to the Struggle” album.

The hiphop artist and activist who has traveled to Palestine and whose #1-selling album raises awareness about the arms trade, Islamophobia, the so-called “War on Terror”, international U.S military bases and the hypocrisy of Western leaders including Obama, enjoyed a warm welcome from the Nottingham crowd which included students from both universities and colleges as well as local residents. Fans sang along to lyrics rejecting war and Western consumerism, promoting instead justice, equality and peace. Prior to the headline act, an open mic took place, and local artists such as El Dia (who’s performing at the Sumac‘s Insurrection Hiphop night this Friday) and MC Drago warmed up the crowd with their politically conscious lyrics and cheers of “Free Free Palestine!” Logic, Awate, and Crazy Haze, who accompany Lowkey on tour, were also met with enthusiastic appreciation of their inspiring lyrics. Poet and journalist Jody McIntyre then shared his critical, witty, political poetry to a receptive audience.

The stage was adorned with a large Palestinian flag and graffiti pieces created by 16-year old Lowkey fan Usamah Qaiser and the venue also hosted a diverse range of stalls from local activist organisations and campaign groups. Palestinian Solidarity Campaign was joined by Notts Uni Palestinian Society, Nottingham Students Against Fees and Cuts, Nottingham Refugee Forum, local artists and Veggies from the Sumac who provided tasty samosas and vegan cake along with relevant newspapers and pamphlets such as Peace News. Radical feminist collective Sisters of Resistance politicised the women’s toilets with details of their anti-imperialist, pro-vegan hip-hop blog.

The diverse crowd engaged with the stalls, took flyers and purchased Palestinian scarfs (kuffiyehs) raising money for Palestine and becoming aware of the need for organised resistance. Members of the audience were encouraged to become actively involved in building alternatives to the exploitative, unsustainable system that the featured artists powerfully denounced. With Lowkey’s soundtrack as the inspiration, the successful event saw revolutionary activists and hiphop fans, students and locals alike united in their determination to continue the struggle.

Lowkey rockin the crowd -- Photo Credit - Tash (Alan Lodge)

#OccupyOakland

3 Nov

Follow @OccupyOakland on Twitter

These are not cars.

Today, we congratulate and stand in solidarity with #OccupyOakland, who shut down the Port of Oakland on 2 Nov 2011 with reports of between 10 and 30,000 protesters who took the Occupy Movement to its next logical level. As with the Montgomery Bus Boycott, we are powerful when we #OccupytheEconomy.

Venceremos!

Nice Day

Shoutout to this Sista Resista and her sick placard.

UPDATE – 3 Nov 2011:

As Orwell would have predicted, Occupy Oakland protesters were violently attacked by riot police the next night. From the @OccupyOakland Twitter account:

Social center was liberated tonight, a previous homeless center, shut down and owned by bank…then police came in riot lines, fired tear gas and rubber bullets. There have been arrests and injuries.

They reported 90 arrests and at least one protester who was critically injured. Kayvan Sabehgi was beaten by the OPD and has a ruptured spleen. He is the 2nd US veteran (along with Scott Olson) to suffer serious injuries at the hands of the police. We stand in solidarity with them, Occupy Oakland and all those who call for an END TO ALL WARS OF AGGRESSION, equality and justice for the people.

Follow @OccupyOakland and please do whatever you can to show your support for them.