A major threat to political protests of all kinds is currently being consulted on by the government and hardly anyone knows anything about it.
Under new proposals to cut legal aid further, criminal legal aid will become pretty much non-existent. What the proposals mean is that criminal suspects will lose their rights to choose or dismiss a solicitor, and the number of accredited legal aid firms will drop from 1,600 to less than 400 – raising the inevitable outcome of hundreds of small high street firms being replaced by huge contractors like G4S and Eddie Stobart.
The government have labelled this process by the memorable name of 'competitive tendering'. In other words, privatisation by offering contracts to whoever can offer the cheapest rate, ie G4S and co. You would be better off representing yourself then being represented by G4S!
Nearly every lawyer in the country, except those working for companies such as G4S, have come out strongly against the proposals including The Law Society and The Criminal Bar Association. However, most people aren't taking any notice. The lawyers need supporting otherwise by the end of the year the make up and possibility for protests in this country will be seriously undermined.
Alfie Meadows, beaten up by the Police at a student protest would not have been acquitted without criminal legal aid. For Plane Stupid - many of us would probably be in jail by now without proper legal representation.
On Wednesday a demonstration will take place outside Parliament at Old Palace Yard from 10.30am. We urge you to go down there and make your voice heard.
Big decisions are being made now about how we're going to power the UK. The government's policy of increasing our reliance on gas is pushing millions into fuel poverty. This - coupled with ruthless cuts to essential services - leaves many with an impossible choice between heating and eating.
And the same policy guarantees that we'll miss even our modest carbon reduction targets. Both the financial and the climate crises are related to the pursuit of profit above all else, in the interests of the few and at the expense of the many.
We need a win. And one win we need is a secure future for generations to come, where profits don't trump the public interest and where we have safe, clean energy to meet our needs. Be part of creating something BIG this summer, get involved now and Reclaim The Power.
We can fight back, as the student, trade union, women's, disabled rights and anti-cuts movements have shown us. There has never been a more critical time to take action. The solutions are there to be grasped.
Last October, 21 environmental activists shut down EDF's West Burton power station for a week in protest at the government's Dash for Gas. West Burton is the first of up to 40 new gas fired power stations being planned. With your help, including a solidarity petition signed by 64,000 people - they fought off EDF's attempt to sue them for £5 million.
This summer, inspired by their action, we are building a wide coalition of groups and individuals who will be coming together to Reclaim the Power. We’ll plan together. We’ll put forward solutions. We’ll cross the border from anger to action.
It was people power that stopped new coal and stalled plans for a third runway at Heathrow, that made bankers' greed and tax avoidance toxic and that is now fighting austerity attacks on workers, women, pensioners and the disabled. Together, we will stop the dash for gas.
Want to be part of creating Reclaim The Power? Wondering where we'll be, how you can get there or what you need to bring? More info to come soon, keep up to date at: www.nodashforgas.org.uk @nodashforgas.
Put together by Plane Stupid's very own activist and animator Leo Murray, 'Carbon Omissions' addresses the fact that UK emissions are soaring if you take into account emissions created by us but outside of UK borders.
The animation has the support of Green Party MP Caroline Lucas among others.
George Monbiot summarises the message well:
"The carbon cuts we have made so far... have been achieved by means of a simple device: allowing other countries, principally China, to run polluting industries on our behalf."
This is a hugely evocative video of protests against new Nantes Airport. Farmers, activists & residents campaigning together.
The date for everyones diaries is May 11th when they are planning their biggest mass action ever and are looking to get 100,000 people (remember they got 40,000 last year) to symbolically surround the land that would be needed for the airport.
No Dash for Gas, a group of activists who closed down an EDF gas-fired power station for a week last October, are being sued for £5 million by EDF.
Joss Garman from Plane Stupid said,
“I hope all the people living near an airport are concerned about this attack on the right to protest – if companies bring million pound law suits against activists, then people whose homes are threatened will have one less tool to defend themselves, and the legal system will shift even further in the favour of corporate money.
If this had been going on five years ago, there’d be a third runway at Heathrow by now and probably a second one at Stansted.”
With the arrival of March, Grow Heathrow will turn 3 years old – it’s time to celebrate!
Come along for a day of feasting, music, cake competitions, swap shops, arts and crafts, seed sewing, free yoga lesson and celebrations. Bring your friends, family and an entry for the cake competition on Saturday 2nd March, from 1.30 sharp.
On Saturday Le Monde reported that an incredible 25,000 activists took direct action to reoccupy the site of a proposed airport in Nantes, France.
Some protesters had been evicted from their squats. The amazing reoccupation united local farmers who risk losing their land with climate activists and thousands of protesters concerned about cost, pollution and noise.
We have been inspired by the passionate grassroots support for local people’s struggle to take their lives into their own hands and say, “no” to an unaffordable, polluting airport being built on their homes and farms. Check out these beautiful photos of the ZAD and you’ll wish you were there too.
Have your pitchforks, timber, nails and tools to hand... A meet on the morning of the 17 November at Zone A Défendre" (the "ZAD," the site of the planned airport) Notre-Dame des Landes for a re-occupation demonstration has been called for.
The planned assembly point and directions to the campsite for the eve of the action will be announced later. Please consult the ZAD website regularly: http://zad.nadir.org
The struggle against the proposed airport at Notre-Dame des Landes has continually intensified over the last few years. Among other actions, an occupation movement has taken over the threatened buildings and woods. Last year, confronted with the increasing threat to the various houses, huts, and kitchen gardens, the inhabitants of the ZAD and their supporting collectives called for a reoccupation demonstration in the event of evictions.
On Tuesday 16 October, the long feared police attack began. The 1800 hectares of the ZAD were invaded by 1200 police. Little by little, they attacked the occupied houses and huts, destroying them, and scrupulously removing all of the debris from the zone in order that nothing that might serve the occupiers be left behind. The occupiers and those that came to support them resisted, built barricades, reoccupied. Together, we did what we had to do to obstruct the machines of destruction and block police movements...
Determination has been increased by the huge wave of solidarity from all over France and beyond: daily demonstrations in Nantes and other cities, material support of supplies and food, and actions targeting Parti Socialist and Vinci offices, those airport builders and destroyers of our lives. Though most of the houses have already been evicted, as well as some of the huts, many other occupiers remain, spread out across the woods and fields, and in the trees. New constructions have already been begun.
Apart from the occupiers, the "legal" inhabitants and farmers continue to be threatened. They will also be forced to leave the ZAD in the coming months. In other words, this supersized eviction attempt is here to stay. Those great wits at the Prefecture code-named their military eviction operation "Caesar." It is for us to prove that the resistance to the airport is indeed "implacable" and that they will eventually be defeated and ridiculed.
At Notre-Dames des Landes, the decision-makers and developers have been planning a new airport to perfect their vision of a vast metropolis in endless economic growth. Their plan is to obliterate 2000 hectares of agricultural land and homes with concrete. This ZAD, "Zone dAménagement Différé" (Special Planning Zone) devenue "Zone A Défendre." (Zone of resistance) is 25km north of Nantes. There has been organised resistance to the project since the beginning.
This campaign is at the intersection of issues over which we all must unite and devise collective strategies. These issues include the struggle against the drip feeding of over-refined foods, the industrial society and the consequent global warming, the policy of economic development, the control of the territory, urban sprawl, the conformity of each persons existence, the privatisation of public space, the myth of endless growth, and the illusion of democratic participation...
The opponents of the airport remain as opposed to its construction as ever. The campaign against it continues with demonstrations, legal action, links with other campaigns, hunger strikes, distribution of newspapers, disruption of motorway toll booths, opposition to land surveys, sabotage, interruptions to environmental and archaelogical surveys, occupations of offices and workplaces, etc...