Paris: Nuit Debout Global Day of Action

A major new movement is growing in France. Thousands occupied Paris’s Place de la Republique for Nuit Debout’s global day of action, as they have done every day for the last six weeks. Similar occupations are happening daily in town squares across France as people from all cultures and classes meet, debate, discuss and practise real democracy. They are now calling on people all over the world to do the same.

Issue 44, March 2015

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1) March For Homes (Reel News) 10:59 ***PLAY***

Thousands march on City Hall over the housing crisis, ending with anoccupation of the Aylesbury Estate.

2) National Gallery Strike (Reel News) 10:12

PCS members strike against privatisation and the victimisation of a leading rep.

3) 12 Bar Club Occupation (Reel News/FFRUK) 13:45

Bohemians 4 Soho resist the gentrification of Soho by occupying an iconic music venue.

4) Blacklisted: Official Trailer (Reel News) 3:10 ***PLAY***

The long awaited book on the illegal human rights of abuse of blacklisting is finally out.

5) Bailiffs Awards Dinner (Reel News) 2:28

Protestors give bailiffs a lively welcome as they meet for their annual awards dinner.

6) Camden Council: Pay A Living Wage! (Reel News) 8:06

School catering workers and care workers demand the London Living Wage from Labour controlled Camden Council.

7) Guinness Occupation (Reel News) 12:42

Tenants successfully resist the eviction of a disabled man.

8) A Different Kind of Tour: Belfast (Reel News/VfP) 21:26

An historic delegation of ex-soliders from Veterans for Peace meet ex-republican prisoners in Belfast.

9) A Different Kind of Tour: Pat Magee & Jo Berry (Reel News) 5:50

Veterans for Peace meet the man who planted the Brighton bomb and the daughter of an MP who was killed in the blast.

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Anger in London over Gaza & West Bank attacks

The escalating violence in occupied Palestine saw angry scenes on the streets of London on Saturday July 5th. This was part of a worldwide protest over recent human rights violations  by the state of Israel.

The recent murder of 3 teenagers from an illegal settlement has seen Israel react with a series of raids, house demolitions and bombings of targets on the Gaza strip. There is no evidence to link Hamas to the murders. In a truly horrific revenge attack settlers kidnapped a Palestinian boy in East Jerusalem and tortured and murdered him. Autopsy finding suggest that he was burned alive by his attackers. Arrests have been made though the homes of the detained individuals face no threat of destruction despite being on stolen land. In another incident caught on camera a cousin of the murdered boy was badly beaten by Israeli police. He is an American citizen so the attack has attracted more publicity than is usual with these cases.

In London, up to 1,000 people attended a protest outside the heavily protected Israeli Embassy in Kensington. A symbolic ‘die in’ at the Embassy gates became a full on blockade with hundreds of people in the road forcing the police to close it. Traffic was briefly diverted and buses stacked up nearby until the police brought in around 80 officers to push the protesters back into their pen across the road from the entrance to the embassy. REEL NEWS remains baffled at how such unlimited police resources remain available to protect the Embassy of a rogue state in these times of cuts and austerity. Meanwhile no officers were available to stop just 7 racists from the fascist Britain First group from invading 2 Mosques down the road in Kent during Ramadam.

Blacklisted workers serve arrest warrant on Cullum McAlpine

Today the Blacklist Support Group marked five years of inaction by the police by attempting to uphold the law themselves. Dave Smith, Helen Steele and a group of supporters visited the London offices of construction giant Sir Robert McAlpine Limited to make a citizens arrest. This weekend is the 5th anniversary of the raid by the Information
Commissioner’s Office that discovered the illegal building industry blacklist.
The target for arrest today by the protesters was millionaire construction boss Cullum McAlpine. When giving evidence to a Select Committee investigation into blacklisting Cullum McAlpine was forced to admit that he was the first chairman of the Consulting Association conspiracy (a post he held for 3 years) and that the first meetings of the shady organisation were actually held in his office at the Sir Robert McAlpine Limited offices in Grosvenor Crescent, Victoria.
It has to be said that staff at the aforementioned offices were not exactly thrilled by the arrival of Dave and his supporters. The only woman present amongst the Blacklist Supporters group, was assaulted by office staff for filming the proceedings on a mobile. The  same staff expressed far less interest in stopping two male journalists from filming and photographing the proceedings. They called the Police who arrived in what can only be described as serious numbers in six vehicles. Though they expressed little interest in the illegal activities that had been plotted in this very building.
The illegal blacklist database compiled in these offices held secret files on 3213 individuals which included information such as name, address, national insurance number, phone numbers, car registration and particularly recorded trade union membership and incidents where workers had complained about health & safety on building sites. Those workers that appeared on the blacklist suffered years of unemployment, repeated dismissals and financial hardship. Dave Smith was one such individual who was victimised and blacklisted for his activities as a trade union health and safety rep.
During the building of the Olympics Stadium in 2008-9, Sir Robert McAlpine was invoiced in excess of £28,000 for blacklisting name checks – which equates to 65 name checks a day, 7 days a week for the period. So the irony of finding an original framed, signed newspaper cartoon on the wall of the office depicting the Olympic project was not lost on the activists present.
The Independent Police Complaints Commission is presently investigating police involvement in blacklisting and has already confirmed that Special Branch “routinely provided information about prospective employees”. This perhaps explains how hundreds of environmental protesters with little or no involvement in the construction industry have ended up on the list.
Dave Smith, secretary of the Blacklist Support Group said: “Blacklisted workers have lost their houses and our kids were on free school meals while Cullum McApline is the lord of the Manor in his £4.5million Grade 1 Listed Mansion in Cold Ashton. In any civilized society, McAlpine and his co-conspirators would be behind bars .We visited the birthplace of the Consulting Association to carry out a citizens arrest. We were pleased when the Met Police arrived and assisted in our search for Cullum McAlpine. It shows how seriously the authorities are taking corporate crime.”
Blacklisted activist Helen Steele said, “It has been 5 years since this conspiracy between big business and the police was discovered. Trade unionists and environmental activists have had their human rights violated. But 5 years later, no one has been brought to justice for the crimes they have committed. Its about time Cullum McAlpine was in the dock” Sir Robert McAlpine and seven other major construction firms involved in blacklisting are joint defendants in the High Court conspiracy case – next
court date April. The other companies in the High Court action are: Skanska, Costains, Laing O’Rourke, Kier, Vinci, Carillion and Balfour Beatty.

Balcombe tripod hilarity 5-9-13

Today another lone activist managed to close the supply road to the fracking site as part of the ongoing month of rolling blockades. The man d-locked himself to the top of a tripod in the middle of the road at about 8am. Specialist police teams were brought in to remove him. The road was still closed when REEL NEWS left at 2pm.

The response of the police was to impose what we believe might have been a Section 14 on the area around the Cuadrilla site. Unfortunately the announcement was made via the PA in a police van which had such poor sound quality that the exact words of the officer (a bronze commander) were completely unintelligible. As no one could understand the meaning of the announcement it was possibly invalid.

Meanwhile an event with a sporting theme is being organised to show Cuadrilla the red card next Wednesday Sept 11th.

Photos by Guy Smallman

Lock-on closes fracking site 2-9-13

Today a single activist closed the Balcombe fracking site for most of the afternoon by locking onto a tanker that was attempting to leave. After initially failing to bring him down police brought in a specialist team to remove and arrest him. Three lorries were reportedly backed up in the village unable to access the drilling rig. Another man was arrested in his tent for flying a drone with a legal card to the man on the lorry (yes really).

As news of the action spread on twitter protesters read out messages of support to the man from the web via a megaphone. Particularly touching were words of praise from Ohio in the USA which has been ravaged by fracking.

This marks the beginning of a month of rolling blockades of the controversial site.

Photos by Guy Smallman

Anti war activists blockade Whitehall 28-8-13

A protest called by the Stop the War Coalition against impending military against Syria attracted over 1,000 people. During the speeches people started blocking the road and heavily outnumbered police were powerless to stop them.

The government seems intent on joining a US led attack on Syria despite the absence of any clear evidence that the recent chemical attack on a Damascus suburb was the work of the Assad regime.

A national demo has been called for this Saturday.

Photos by Guy Smallman

Balcombe march against fracking 18-8-13

The demo was bigger than expected with people coming from all over the country. After the march reached the gates people formed a human chain around the drilling site.

In other news defendant arrested for ‘Assaulting a Police Officer’ in Balcombe on Friday 26th July is appealing for witnesses. If you were there that day & may be able to give a witness statement, please email
ASAP who can forward your contact details.

 Coming soon (in a few hours) a new short film from the day of action against Cuadrilla on Monday (Aug 19th).

Photos by Guy Smallman

REEL NEWS film night on fracking


Topical as ever, our next monthly event will be dedicated to the issue of fracking. We are really pleased to announce that along with two films that we have already produced on this subject there will be a brand new film premiered on the night, and a discussion led by some guest speakers. Charles Metcalfe is a Balcombe resident who has been active in the local campaign against Cuadrilla. There will also be a speaker from No Dash For Gas and someone from somewhere that we’ll announce nearer the time…

Meanwhile the big news is that the Reclaim the Power event has been moved at short notice to Balcombe. This will no doubt boost the local campaign bringing more people to share experiences, information and skills. Police have been accused of increasingly aggressive behavior towards the protesters (video here) so more numbers will be welcome.

Slideshow from the Great Gas Gala day 13:

Photos by Guy Smallman