Autonomist November 2010 (pdf)
Police Attack Local Anti-Cuts Demo
Around 800 protesters marched through Bristol city centre on October 23rd to voice their anger at the government’s cuts to services and welfare and their attack on the working classes. Many trade unions were represented along with community groups and an anarchist contingent.
There were a large number of cops, and as soon as the demo left the park the police tried to snatch an anti cuts banner in the anarchist bloc. Their attempt failed as marchers hung on and pushed the cops away. A second attempt to take the banner was more violent, injuring some protestors.
At College Green the Police attempted to film individual marchers - a common tactic used to gather evidence of political involvement and harrass acitivists. When people blocked the filming, mounted police were sent in. Many of the protesters split from the main rally to help, and the cops were forced back.
Bristol Council are embarking on a programme of cuts to local services to meet government demands for savings. Jobs are being cut in many departments, planned social care homes have been abandoned, and the price of school dinners is going up. Meanwhile all the mainstream media seem to care about is the loss of child benefit by those poor few who somehow manage to earn more than £40,000 a year.
End Violence Against Women Week Exhibition
A variety of bristolian organisation are holding events between the 22nd and 26th of November for End Violence Against Women Week. The events aim to increase awareness and visibility of the prevalence of gender-based violence, which the UN estimates affects around 70% of women.
Bristol Feminist Network are putting on an exhibiton of art and writing by survivors of domestic violence. Exhibition organiser Jan Martin says "The idea behind this project is to communicate the message emotionally, in words and images that are the direct experience of survivors. Hopefully it can encourage a change in attitudes from the ground up, and so bypass the need to persuade the politicians and policy makers."
Bristol Anarcha-Feminist Group meet at 8pm at the smiling chair every thurs.
The 28 Portland Square social centre has seen off an eviction attempt after a judge ruled that there was no immediate legal reason to evict. Further attempts are expected, but the occupants have vowed to keep the centre open as long as possible. "As the government presses ahead with cuts, the closure of council services to the poorest communities is inevitable, and self-run spaces such as this will become even more vital" one of the collective said.
Five vehicles left Bristol last month to join the Roads to Hope Convoy to Gaza. Travelling by road across northern Africa, the group of 11 will attempt to break the Israeli-imposed blockade of humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip. If they make it there without being shot by over-zealous Israeli soldiers, they will donate the vehicle's loads of medical and educational materials, plus the vehicles themselves, to local community groups.
The nuclear power station at Hinkley Point was blockaded by local activists in protest at Edf's plans to build 8 new nuclear plants throughout the country, including a new one at Hinkley. The activists, who were mainly from Bridgewater and the surrounding area, wore badger masks and used arm tubes to prevent their removal. The morning shift were unable to get to work for four hours until the people responsible for protecting us from horrific nuclear accidents remembered they had another gate.
Activists from Bristol and Bath Rising Tide dropped a banner reading 'Import Coal: Export Poverty' from Avonmouth bridge near Royal Portbury Docks as part of a global week of action for climate and environmental justice. The docks contains one of the largest coal import terminals in the UK. There are currently plans to build several new coal power stations in the UK, and 71% of coal used in Britain is imported. Tracy Jones from Rising Tide said “Coal extraction devastates communities, from villages destroyed by floods in Pakistan to landgrabs in Colombia.”