Tag Archives: clear blue films

Class War Autumn Statement

As George Osborne gave his Autumn statement in Parliament on 25th November, announcing both more austerity and yet more deficit, Class War activists visited his family business, Osborne & Little on the King’s Road, London.

They were there to protest, that despite massive turnover, and excellent remunerations to top staff and shareholders, the business has somehow contrived to pay virtually no corporation tax over the past few years, and in one recent year it even acquired a tax rebate of £12,000 due to some creative accounting.

The group of fewer than a dozen activists held a large banner and some small placards outside the shop, and engaged with locals, while police stood in front of the doors, and another twenty officers lurked in vans round the corner.

 

24th Oct 2015, Occupy the Daily Mail – video report

On 24th October 2015, media and climate activists began a 48-hour vigil and protest outside the London HQ of the Daily Mail in Derry Street, Kensington.

Natalie Bennett, leader of the Green Party, joined one of the group, Donnachadh McCarthy, for a meeting with the Managing Director of the Daily Mail, Charles Garside, and their Environmental Correspondent.

During the meeting they presented evidence of misleading and unscientific headlines, which the newspaper staff undertook to respond to.

Later there was a candlelit silent vigil to remember the people killed by climate change (which the UN currently estimates is nearly half a million each year).

Several activists continued to camp outside the building until Sunday.

Paul Mobbs – Arrest the Cabinet

It’s been awhile since a blog update, mainly because I’ve been busy making films.

I’ve been working with Real Media covering their Manchester pre-launch conference. Also doing some editing for Bez’s Reality Party. Some more stuff for the Talk Fracking campaign, and a series of gigs and actions with the anti-consumerist ‘preacher’, Reverend Billy, over with his 12-piece Stop Shopping Choir from the States.

So this is the first of a few posts pulling some of my favourites together, beginning back in March when ecological researcher and futurologist Paul Mobbs attempted to get the Cabinet arrested, and when Downing Street police refused to help, he tried to perform a citizen’s arrest, before eventually being arrested himself under a Road Management section of the Terrorism Act.

His ‘Frackademics‘ research presents a compelling case against members of the Cabinet of misconduct in public office over their support for fracking in the UK. Before his arrest, he handed a dossier to police and they later gave him an official crime number relating to his evidence against David Cameron et al, so in theory, the Police claim they are investigating his allegations.

He will be representing himself in his own court case which is currently scheduled for August.

The film was a collab with Gathering Place Films.

Democracy Dan and the Battle of the Plinth

democracy dan 01

On Tuesday at about 3pm, a man called Dan scrambled up on to the plinth of Churchill’s statue, and began a lone occupation that continued for 29 hours until an operation involving a scaffolding team, specialist climbing officers, and around 100 other police finally got this peaceful and committed young man down and into custody.

During his protest, two supporters were arrested for throwing him supplies, police claiming that they were therefore obstructing officers who wanted him down.

On Thursday evening both Caroline Lucas MP and Jenny Jones GLA Assembly member were warned by police after trying to throw supplies too. Superintendent Kohli argued that in this case “Human rights are an irrelevence” as the police were entitled to “use force” to execute an arrest.

It is generally agreed in law that force should be used as a last resort, with consideration to the nature of the offence, and the level of resistance. It’s hard to see how torture through starvation and dehydration could be a legitimate and proportionate response to a man sitting peacefully on a plinth.

When Dan finally came down, he was arrested on suspicion of causing harassment, alarm or distress, and criminal damage (using sticky tape to secure a banner). He was later released on bail and returned to the Square, but there were reports later that he was re-arrested after feeding a sausage to a police dog!

Despite the constant police pressure, events continue at Occupy Democracy, and an announcement has been made that the occupation will now extend until 5th November in solidarity with Anonymous’ “million mask march”.

democracy dan 02

29th June 2014 DPAC occupation at Westminster Abbey

Please note: This event was Saturday 28th June, not 29th. I won’t correct the title because there are now a load of links to it.

DPAC (Disabled People Against Cuts) staged a dramatic protest on Saturday at Westminster Abbey. They were highlighting the planned abolition of the Independent Living Fund (ILF) and the terrible consequences such cuts would have on the lives of disabled people who gain some little freedom from being able to afford personal carers and who would otherwise end up in institutions.

The occupation was aided by UK Uncut and the Occupy movement, and was very nearly successful in its aim to establish a camp.

However, despite pleas from the protesters, the Dean of Westminster instructed police to confiscate tents and other equipment vital to the safety and well-being of the disabled activists, and he refused to communicate or negotiate directly with any organisers.

After a few hours, a meeting was held on site and a consensus reached, that although many of the supporters were ready to continue the occupation, the safety and comfort of more vulnerable colleagues was not guaranteed without the planned shelter, cooking, and toilet facilities, and so everyone agreed to leave together in solidarity.

The protest was attended by almost 200 police, who outnumbered the activists by at least 3 to 1. Given that the protest was completely peaceful other than two minor scuffles when police used force to prevent additional supporters from coming into the area, this certainly seemed to be more a political show of force than any proportionate response.

When the police threatened people with arrest for ‘criminal trespass’ they said the protesters were stopping the Abbey from going about its ‘normal business’. I received a tweet from @lightacandleOTM that summed it up perfectly – isn’t the normal business of the church to stand up for the persecuted?

 

Back with a little film about BP sponsorship of the arts

After a busy time and an untended blog, I return with news of a lovely action by the “Art Not Oil” coalition at the National Portrait Gallery.

Tonight, the gallery is celebrating its 25th year of BP sponsorship of the Portrait Awards, and to mark this sorry milestone in green-washing, we launch our short film of the serene “25 Portraits In Oil” action that took place in the gallery at the weekend.

 

‘Art Not Oil’ staged a peaceful visual protest at the National Portrait Gallery at the weekend.

While BP are celebrating their long association with the gallery, Archbishop Desmond Tutu says:

“Twenty-five years ago people could be excused for not knowing much, or doing much, about climate change. Today we have no excuse.
Those companies primarily responsible for emitting carbon and accelerating climate change are simply not going to give up. They need a whole lot of gentle persuasion from the likes of us.
We can encourage our universities and municipalities and cultural institutions to cut their ties to the fossil-fuel industry”.

Sponsorship arrangements with prestigious art institutions provide oil companies with an image of being “good corporate citizens” while in reality their main business model depends on destroying a safe and habitable climate for all of us.

The amount of finance they contribute to institutions is actually tiny in terms of overall budgets, and if oil companies paid their taxes without huge subsidies and massive loopholes, the money raised would hugely exceed the small contributions the oil companies make in return for their and apparent generosity.

Web: artnotoil.org.uk
Twitter: @artnotoil | #BPPortrait
Facebook: End oil-sponsorship of the Arts