Friday, July 31, 2009

Camera Training

The course provides a practical guide to setting up and using the Sony
camera. While aimed at beginners, those with some experience will
and develop their skills and all students will gain a solid foundation
comprehensive, practical knowledge.

Included in the course is a basic guide to lighting and an overview of
equipment available to buy/hire.

This course can act as a stepping stone to the more advanced
cinematography course to be added at a later date.

The course runs for one day on the final Friday of the month. The next
date is Friday August 28th. More dates maybe added if needed.

Course fee 300 to include full lunch at Pinewood's Hitchcock
Places strictly limited to six people. 10% discount for shooting people
members, please state you are a member of shooting people when applying.

For more information please e-mail: stating
camera course in the subject heading.

Funds for Youth

Over the next 2 years, Reaching Out will distribute up to eight grants
of between £50,000 and £100,000.

This fund is suitable for organisations that work across lots of
different areas of England. It is expected to open in Autumn 2009.

Its aims are to:

- Focus on social inclusion and promoting youth leadership.
- Raise the quality of youth leadership opportunities.
- Create more opportunities for young people to influence the
decisions affecting them.
- Extend the organisation’s reach to new groups in new areas.

The money should be used for developing the organisation, rather than
funding specific programmes.

Click here to go to the website:

** Access to Nature (England)

Natural England, in consultation with the Big Lottery Fund, have
scheduled to close Access to Nature with Stage 1 applications by 1
February 2010 with Stage 2 applications to be received by 4 May 2010.
This is due to the amount of applications received at this point

Access to Nature provides support for organisations who want to
encourage people from all backgrounds to learn more about and enjoy
the natural environment. It funds projects in urban, rural and coastal
communities and aims to reach people who currently have little or no
contact with nature. Grants range from £50,000 to £500,000. A small
number of larger grants will be available to projects that have a
national significance.

For more information visit the Access to Nature website here.


Digital Heroes competition

Martha Lane-Fox, the UK’s Digital Champion, is leading a call for
Britain’s unsung Digital Heroes to come forward as part of a scheme
run by TalkTalk, the biggest provider of broadband to Britain’s homes.

Launched today, the TalkTalk Digital Heroes Awards, in conjunction
with Citizens Online, are the only awards of their kind in the UK.
They reward 12 individuals, one from each region of the UK, who are
doing outstanding work using digital technology to bring about
positive social change and improve the lives of people in their local

Martha Lane-Fox said: “Hidden away in charities and local community
groups across the UK are countless unsung digital heroes who recognise
the positive impact the internet can have on everyday people’s lives.

“It is these heroes, who strive to make digital technology more
accessible, relevant and fun for the people in their local
communities, that the TalkTalk Digital Heroes Awards aim to celebrate
and reward and I am delighted to offer my ongoing support of the

Eleven of the Digital Heroes winners will win £5,000 to put towards
enhancing their digital project, with one overall winner receiving a
grand prize of £10,000. All 12 winners get free broadband from
TalkTalk for 18 months.

You can find out more information on the awards and how to enter at:

Entries are welcomed until early September.

Security Firms response over Big Green Gathering

In trying to get to the bottom of the BGG cancellation, I got this response from the security firm at the heart of the equation.

Stuart Security
Stuart Leisure Security
THE leisure security company


I am afraid you have been somewhat misled over this issue by the
directors of the BGG.

To set the background we were owed a substantial amount of money by the
BGG from the 2007 event which they said they were unable to pay us
despite paying all the other security / stewarding organisations
involved fully.

They asked us for a couple of months to pay which we agreed and then
endured a convulted 18 months or so of excuses and reasons they couldn't
pay and received our money in dribs and drabs until finally being paid
up in February of this year. This was a case of us having to chase for
every penny and part payment not one of the BGG keeping us informed of
what was going on.

As a result of this I made it quite clear that any deal regarding the
2009 festival would be a non - negotiable full up front payment for any
work done and this was acknowledged and fully understood by the BGG - in
fact Brig said several times that he didn't blame us for our stance
under the circumstances.

At a meeting in early June (the first time we could tie Steve Muggings
down to a meeting) I repeated these terms and he agreed - Alex
Leppingwell and Dick Sheppard were present and agreed the same terms.

The nominal date for payment was the 15th July - I spoke to Steve
Muggins on the phone 2 weeks prior to this to remind him, and as of that
date nothing had arrived. We tried to contact Brig several time over the
next 2 days without success until he finally rang back and said he was
at the bank trying to arrange a loan! We finally had to tell the Police
and local authority of the situation as they were ringing every day
asking what was happening.

Around the 20th July Brig rang my manager Steve Mac and said to him that
if we dropped our price by £5000 and waited for half our money until
after the event we would be awarded the contract - if not they would
replace us with one of 2 other security companies that they had
negotiated deals with. Obviously we were gobsmacked at this attempt to
renegotiate terms so late in the day especially under the circumstances
and so refused this offer.

So to summarise - I feel that the BGG had at least 6 months warning of
our terms and our prices - they could have used any one of a number of
other security companies ( 4 or 5 of which work at Glastonbury ) that
would have been quite acceptable to the Police and Local Authority. I
know that several other organisations demanded the same payment terms so
it was not just us and under the circumstances of having to wait nearly
2 years for payment last time do not think that this was unjustified.
Hope this clarifies the situation.


Bill Stuart

SLS Security, The Old Station , Wotton Road, Charfield, Wotton under Edge, Glos, GL12 8SR
Tel 01453 843334
01453 843143 Website

Israeli Fencebusters

Israeli activists pull down the Israeli army fences locking the Palestinians in.

Oi Mush 2009

A funny song by Cosmo

Under the weather

'There's no such thing as bad weather, just the wrong kind of clothes'
Billy Connolly

The Met Office thinks August will be wet. Buy futures in sun cream now. Great Poelmic about overpaid weather forecasters

Zombies are alive in Swansea

I saw this on the BBC website today- proves the undead are amongst us!

Close up of Police spy drone at StoneHenge

Show the drone taking off

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Who has cancelled the Big Green Gathering (BGG)?


BGG responses are in bold

Who has cancelled the Big Green Gathering (BGG)?
The organisers of the BGG agreed to cancel it and handed their event licence back to the council.

There were four conditions on the injunction:
The Big Green Gathering surrendered the Licence to an Officer of Mendip
Council on Sunday 26th July at 12.00 p.m. on the advice of our Barrister
as we believed we could not meet the condition on the injunction to ensure
that the road closure order was in place. Our legal advice was that the
other conditions were or could be met. The weekend was spent trying to
answer the proposed injunction. The injunction itself was founded upon an
untrue assertion that BGG had "threatened" to put the event on in breach
of its licence conditions. If the licence conditions were not capable of
being met, BGG had no intention of continuing with the event - and it was
a recognition that that was regrettably the position that caused BGG to
surrender its' licence: It was not the threat of an injunction. The BGG
were subject to further ‘threats’ on the Sunday morning, one of them being
that the landowner would be added to the injunction. We respect the
farmer and his family and we would not want any harm to be caused to them.

Why has the event been cancelled?
There were serious concerns about potential public safety and crime and
disorder, which the organisers of the BGG seem to have recognised they
could not address in time for the event.

The licence was surrendered -
(a) Because the Highways authority were being intransigent and utterly
unreasonable in not giving permission for the road closure;
(b) the Fire Authority were placing unnecessary hurdles in BGG's way -
which were not deemed necessary at the last festival; nor at the time of
the granting of the licence, nor was any objection made by the Fire
Authority at the previous Licence Hearing. They made the objection on
Thursday 23rd July at a multi-agency meeting held at the premises where
the BGG was to be held and

(c) Valuable time was lost, which could have been spent trying to fulfil
BGG's licence obligations, but instead was spent mounting an answer to a
wholly misconceived application for an injunction.

Why did the council consider applying for an injunction?
The seriousness of the concerns meant that despite days of negotiations
the organisers had still not complied with some aspects of their licence
and other legal requirements connected to fire safety. This amounted to
concerns that public safety could have been seriously undermined should
the event take place in such circumstances. Therefore the council had no
other option but to consider applying for an injunction, which if
successful may have forced the event to shut down.

This is just not true. Midland Fire Services were contracted by Big Green
Gathering for the event and they were performing fire service duties at
Womad, which meant they could not be at the Multi Agency Meeting. Midland
Fire Services were due to appear at the Big Green Gathering on the
following Monday before the event and there had been no criticism of the
fire plan until Thursday at the Multi Agency Meeting – just six days
before the event was due to start.

When was the decision made to progress with an injunction?
During a meeting between the council and emergency services at 6.30pm on
Friday (July 24). However, the injunction application was not due to
submitted until Monday (July 27) which gave the organisers more
opportunity to address their licensing issues.

The timing of the threat of an injunction was almost deliberately designed
to make it almost impossible for BGG to get expert legal advice in the
time available and that the decision to pursue an injunction must have
been made way before Friday evening 24th July – The actual injunction was
received by email at 6.54p.m. The Council were sending the solicitor
copies of all the statements, draft order, application at about 7 p.m.
therefore no-one could have put that lot together in six minutes.

When was the council first made aware about concerns surrounding the licence?
On July 17 we became aware there were serious issues about the licence
including the confirmation that an important security company involved
with the event had withdrawn their services.

Stuart Security Services were originally contracted to provide perimeter
services at the BGG. They wanted their whole fee of over £70,000 paid
before the event and the BGG thought this was an unreasonable request. We
offered them alternative terms and they rejected them. Another Security
Firm Coast to Coast was employed and the director of Coast to Coast
Security (who have incidentally provided services at the Bath & West
Showground) attended the Multi Agency Meeting on 23rd July, together with
Green Security who were covering the internal security at the event. Both
Coast to Coast and Green Security were repeatedly called by the Council to
ask whether they had received monies from the Big Green Gathering. The
Big Green Gathering had paid both companies a proportion of their money
for their services and as a consequence has lost a large proportion of
that money.

What happened next?
Internal investigations at the council alongside the emergency services
flagged up other areas of concern. The organisers of BGG were invited to
attend a meeting at the council offices on July 22 to help resolve various
issues. Some issues were resolved at that meeting, but a number of issues
remained outstanding. The council and emergency services had already
arranged to meet with the organisers the following day on-site to ensure
the outstanding issues had been resolved.

One of the issues was regarding South West Ambulance whose invoice was to
be paid on 29th July. We have a copy of the agreement stating the payment
terms. The Council was putting pressure on us to pay South West Ambulance
early and we believed it was correct not to cave into this kind of
pressure. If a company caves into a Council on when and how they pay their
fees for services, when would this stop? The fee for South West Ambulance
was just over £9000 including VAT. We had already budgeted for this
fee. We also contracted doctors, The Red Cross, Festival Welfare
Services, Medical Herbalists to ensure that all medical eventualities were
met. There is also a helipad landing area catered for on the BGG site
plan. We also agreed to watch towers over the site and many more
conditions that would appear to be unreasonable for a peaceful event
primarily concerned with giving people information and advice on
sustainable lifestyles.

Who would have granted the injunction?
The council had prepared a case to take to the High Court where a judge
would have listened to both sides of the argument and made a decision.
There is no guarantee the court would have agreed with the council, but
the council felt so strongly about their concerns that it had no other
option but prepare for an injunction.

The Council knew that a lack of road closure order would be a breach of
the licence. Our lawyer, a QC was pretty sure on the evidence that we
could win the arguments bar the road closure.

Did the police pressurise the council into threatening an injunction?
No, the council works in partnership with many agencies. This decision was
based on advice from emergency services including the police, ambulance,
fire etc. Ultimately, as the licensing authority the council weighed up
all the factors and risks and made the final decision.

The ambulance service was at the Multi Agency Meeting and did not appear
on the injunction therefore there were no concerns about ambulance
provision. From our meetings with the police and the council, it was
apparent that the police were leading the discussion. At the Multi Agency
meeting held on Thursday 23rd July, it was certainly the police that had
most to say. The woman leading the discussions from the Council said very
little and left it to the police to do the talking.

Was the threat of an injunction a political decision?
No, this was purely based on public safety and potential for crime and

We believe this was a political decision. One of our Directors and
(overheard by another of our staff, who holds a responsible position in
the team) was told this was a political decision. At the meeting on
Sunday, we were informed by the police that a decision to stop the event
had been made at had been planned for some time and decisions were made
at a higher level.

Why wasn't this issued sorted out sooner?
The council and other agencies have been working closely with BGG since
February this year on the licence application, which was finally granted.
However, there were a number of requirements that had to be completed
before the event. Some of these crucial elements had not been completed.

This could easily have been sorted out sooner and there was ample
opportunity to complain at the licence hearing if there were concerns. No
such complaints were made on 30th June and indeed Inspector Sean Williams
stated in an email to one of the directors that he believed we had an
Event Management Plan suitable for the next few years.

Does the council not feel that this is a safe and green festival?
This is not an issue about whether it has been safe and green, but is an
issue as to whether the forthcoming event would have been safe based on
the fact that certain requirements were not met.

This is a complete red herring and utterly mendacious.
BGG had professional health and safety teams on site
BGG had provision for 2 doctors on site
BGG had provision for ambulance provision and Red Cross on site - South
West Ambulance

BGG had provision for Festival Welfare Services on site
BGG had provision for fully qualified medical herbalists on site
BGG had engaged the services of Midland Fire Rescue
BGG had provision for400 stewards on site - Green Stewards Ltd
BGG had provision for external trained security on site - Coast to Coast
BGG had provision for internal trained security on site- Green Security
BGG had provision for a helipad area on site
BGG had provision for trained road people on the perimeter and on site
BGG has an exemplary record on health and safety
BGG had provision for a Challenge 21 alcohol policy
BGG had provision for a lost kids and kids area, with a strong child
protection policy in place
BGG had provision for a professional noise monitoring team in place
Trackway, fencing, watch towers and other infrastructure was taking place
when the Council and the police visited the site on Thursday, 23rd July
for the multi agency meeting on site. Gate crew and site crew were already
The Council and the police knew all this – it was in the licence granted
on 30th June, to which they had agreed.
Does the council not support the ethos of events such as the BGG?
The issue here is not about the ethos or messages this event wants to send
out but about ensuring public safety during the event.
Again, it would appear that the Council does not support the ethos of
events such as the BGG, which incidentally brings around £2million to the
local economy. We are saddened by this as it is becoming apparent daily
that individual action on climate change is vital and in order to take
action information is paramount. BGG supplies that information and helps
customers reduce their carbon footprint.

Is the council not victimising this event and those that attend?
Since BGG came to this area a number of years ago it has had significant
support from all agencies in planning and running this event. Over the
past couple of weeks there has been significant ongoing discussion between
organisers, the council and emergency services to try and resolve the
licensing issues. The organisers signed up to legal commitments associated
with the licence, some of which they failed to meet, and are bound by
other legislation.

Our Barrister confirmed to us that the only condition he believed that a
judge would accept is that we had failed to meet was the road closure order.

Did the council not want this event to go ahead from the beginning?
The council strives to ensure that any licence application is considered
properly and fairly, but it also works closely with other agencies and
organisers to attempt to organise safe and well run events. We realise the
potential benefit that large events create for the area and local economy.
In short the cancellation of this event creates many more issues and a
heavier workload for the council than if it had gone ahead safely.

We believe that the Police and the Council did not want this event to go
ahead. We are still unsure as to why this peaceful event appears to create
an atmosphere of fear in some members of the responsible authorities. The
BGG brings in £2 million to the local economy. Traders, local producers,
local contractors have all lost money. The BGG had already spent over
£200,000 in infrastructure and other costs on the BGG. The BGG had paid
in full for the fencing, half the noise monitoring, in full for the
Trackway, half the police costs, significant amounts to the Security
Companies, toilet providers, site crew wages, portacabins, telephone
lines, hire of the land, licence application, marketing and publicity etc.

Has the council gone health and safety mad?
No. However the council has a duty to protect the public from potential
harm, and concerns existed due to certain plans not being in place. We
realise that the cancellation of this event will be blamed on the council
by some and has had a huge impact, however if we had done nothing and a
serious incident had happened the council would have been also been blamed
for not acting where concerns existed.
All events however well run do have a significant potential for crime and
disorder issues, however part of our role is to minimise this effect
through proper licensing. We were not satisfied that this event had
addressed some of those issues.

We agree that protecting the public from harm is very important and the
BGG has a very good record on public safety as the Council very well know.
We think it that lack of a road closure order is disproportionate to the
action taken and the police were very quick to enact road closure orders
in order to shut down the event.

Did we have an intention of creating financial difficulties for the BGG?
No. The council would never wish to see any financial difficulties affect
any local event or businesses as one of our corporate goals is to support
the local economy.

The effect is not just on the BGG but many local businesses that rely on
income from the BGG in these difficult financial times. For example the
local farmer had organised £000’s of food to be ready for the BGG,
Butcombe Brewery had laid on extra drinks, the local Bread lady had bought
supplies especially, Traders who come had bought in extra stock. Those
that we employ that live in the neighbourhood have now lost out. And the
BGG has lost a fortune in lost revenue. The corporate goals seems to have
gone awry on what was in the most generous terms spurious arguments to
stop the BGG

Did the council create problems with the BGG signing up a security firm?
No, we simply needed assurance from the BGG that they had security
arrangements in place.

This is mendacious as both security contractors attended the multi agency
meeting and gave assurances that they would fulfil their contracts. Some
of our contractors have complained of harassment from the Council so much
so that an officer of the BGG telephoned the Council to complain. One
contractor said they were being phoned every ten minutes and the
impression they received was that they should pull out of the BGG

How much crime and disorder results from the BGG?
This is a policing issue and the BGG spent significant time working with
the police on this event.

Very little compared to the number of people on site. There was an
increase in tent thefts in 2007 but BGG were providing campsite
neighbourhood watch and lockers for peoples valuables

Show me your ID

Show me your Identity is a phrase we are sure to hear in years to come so start shouting we don't want ID cards now!

Home Secretary Alan Johnson has unveiled the final design of the controversial national identity card.The card will be offered to members of the public in the Greater Manchester area from the end of this year.
Ministers plan to launch the £30 biometric ID Card nationwide in 2011 or 2012 - but it will not be compulsory.

a national pressure group, is launching a counter-campaign across North-West England to derail the Home Office's plan.
Dave Page, from the organisation, said: "Once you are on that database, you can never come off it.
"From the moment you're registered you'll have to tell the authorities of any change in your circumstances for the rest of your life - and pay whatever fees they ask for the 'service'.
"You'll never know who's looking at your details. It won't protect our safety. It won't be convenient - except for Whitehall. This scheme is an expensive and dangerous con."

Thu, 30th Jul 2009 — Magicians Against ID Cards Benefit
Magicians Against ID Cards Benefit for NO2ID

Roll up for the Magical Liberty Tour at the Inn on the Green on Thursday 30th July from 8pm. London’s top magicians and mindreaders will take to the stage to offer you an evening of mystery and illusion. Find the Facebook event listing here:

You will laugh and be entertained as the performers read your thoughts and show you the impossible. You won't believe your eyes as the magic continues right under your nose during the interval whilst you enjoy a drink or two.

The show is supporting ‘NO2ID’ which will have a stand at the gig.

This is a very special evening and is not to be missed. Easy to get to – it’s just by Ladbroke Grove tube. Tickets are only £5 on the door.

Hosted by the very funny Tim Fitzhigham, who sailed the Channel in his bathtub, the confirmed acts are:

Ian Saville –“A deft and funny routine ... captivating in its charm ... utterly infectious” (Guardian)

James Freedman - pickpocketing and magical identity theft!

Michael Pearse – comedy and juggling that will have you splitting your sides

Katharine Rhodes – miraculous mentalism and mind-reading

Stephen Barry – hilarious magic from this prize-winning performer

Russell Levinson – stunning conjuring with a twist!

Big Brother caught watching at Stone Henge Summer Solstice Festival 2009

At Stonehenge this year, police used their new unmanned areal spy drone for the first time.

Police misused their power to shut down Big Green Gathering

I have just been told by my sources that Police used underhand tactics to force the cancellation of the Big Green Gathering.

Liaison Police were reported to say the injunction was weeks in the planning rather than just 3 days before the festival opened which the Police are claiming
There was never any 'crime and disorder' at the BGG, so the idea that the festival should be stopped on those grounds is nonsense.

As market traders, festival organisers, stagehands and hundreds of other workers dismantle the festival today, evidence is being sought to take the Police to court for blatant misuse of powers. Hopefully it result in the force being successfully sued.
More as the story unfolds.

If you have a BGG ticket, you can use it to attend The Big Chill: Herefordshire, August 6th - 9th (Thursday to Sunday). Details here

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Big Green Gathering in the mainstream news

Big Green Gathering is starting to gain mainstream media coverage about how Police have used political powers to stop the festival

Festival cancellation 'political'
Organisers of a Somerset festival that was cancelled over safety concerns have claimed a "political" decision had been taken to close the event down.

Festival directors today accused the police of taking a politically motivated decision to shut down the festival on the grounds that it attracts environmental activists and would have raised money for a major climate change demonstration, Climate Camp, to be held next month.

But you can't keep the activists down for long
Isle of Wight police prepare for activists after cancellation of green festival

Weather has become the latest victim of spin-doctoring

Remember we were told that this Summer would be hot? Looking out at yet another rainy July morning I wonder-is there pressure from the Tourist board on the Met Office to predict good Summer weather?

The real problem for the Met Office is that this is the third summer in a row where its forecast has failed. In 2007, the Met Office chirped: "The summer is yet again likely to be warmer than normal. There are no indications of a particularly wet summer."
We got downpours and floods in the wettest summer for England and Wales since 1912. Temperatures were below average.

In April 2008, the Met Office forecast: "Summer temperatures are likely to be warmer than average and rainfall near or above average."
That did not prepare people for one of the wettest summers on record with high winds and low sunshine.
read more

Get your films seen in Scotland

Call for film submissions
C venues is currently looking for film submissions to be shown as part of
a short film festival at this year's Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

We are currently accepting all genres of short film and filmmakers,
aspiring and established alike, are encouraged to submit work for

The films will be screened at the C central bioscope as a part of our
Fringe Film Festival from the 7th- 31st August.

If you would like to submit your film for exhibition, please download the
application form from our website:
Please post all submissions on DVD with the application form to:


C the film
Adam House
Chambers Street

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Clever Heathrow airport film

Power to the Pixel

Enter for the chance to win Babelgum Pixel Pitch Prize of £6,000: only
three weeks left to enter.

Power to the Pixel (Shooting People are a proud sponsor) is looking for up
to ten cross-media film projects (UK + International) - stories that can
span film, TV, online, mobile and gaming - to be presented to a select
group of financiers, commissioners, online portals and media companies in
front of an audience of PTTP participants. The selected project teams will
compete for the Babelgum Pixel Pitch Prize of 6,000.

The event takes place on 15 October during Power to the Pixel: The
Cross-Media Film Forum at the Times / BFI London Film Festival. There are
only three weeks left. The submissions deadline is 14 August.

Further details and Pixel Pitch application form here:

Roma/Gypsy Human Rights Film Festival

INVITATION / Calling for the Third NY annual "Roma/Gypsy Human Rights Film Festival"
submission in New York City.
October 1 to 7, 2009.
Dead line for submission is July 2009

Through literally centuries of slavery, genocide, massacres, and relentless
ostracizing, the Romani (Gypsy) People, who presently number around 15 million
worldwide, continue to suffer unprecedented levels of violence, civilian attacks,
fervent segregation, police brutality, and an appalling lack of legitimate
representation in art and media.
The Third annual NY Gypsy Film Festival taking place in October,2009. is dedicated
to embracing the Roma culture and heritage of gypsies from around the world. All
screenings, Q&A's, and musical events will be held at the Bulgarian Bar, Mehanata,
located @ 113 Ludlow St. in the Lower East Side . We would greatly appreciate any
feedback and suggestions. Tell us via email about meaningful films dealing with
issues that the Romani people are facing. We also especially encourage any
Roma/Gypsy film makers, professionals or amateurs to submit their work, considering
this film festival is about the heart and substance of the issues.

Zombie film

A horror film made for just £45 on a camcorder is to be released in cinemas after impressing a distributor.

Zombie movie Colin, which was filmed in London and Wales, is the work of director Marc Price who also wrote, filmed and produced the movie.

Music video

Great use of cheap video effects in this Franz Ferdinand music video

Monday, July 27, 2009

Jeremy Clarkson kicks Ass

Jeremy Clarkson kicks ass in the sense that a clown kicks ass. He was amusing for a while, but now he just scares children.

Chair of the Big Green Gathering about closure

In Red Pepper magazine Brig Oubridge, Chair of the Big Green Gathering, wrote about how the Police were forcing the end of outdoor festivals in the UK

He wrote
'The licensing process this year has been a nightmare. The costs of satisfying the security concerns of over £200,000 were forced on us just a few weeks before the event. We had set the ticket price the previous November on the assumption costs would be no more than £100,000. A figure considered adequate because of our good record on health and safety and the recommendation by the previous police inspector that the Big Green Gathering did not needed policing. Sadly, this year we have a new police inspector with a completely different attitude. He seems to have absorbed the antiterrorist vocabulary, with an often-repeated insistence on the need for us to "target-harden" our event. Demanding additional security measures, including extra security patrols, watchtowers and steel shield fencing'
Read more

More insight into closure of the Big Green

Further insight into the Big Green Gathering being cancelled due to 'Police intervention"

The Big Green Gathering, a fixture in the alternative calendar, was
due to return after two years this week. 15–20,000 people were
expected to turn up on Wednesday (29th) to the site near Cheddar,
Somerset, for Europe’s largest green event - a five-day festival
promoting sustainability and renewable energy, with everything from
allotments to alternative media. Hundreds of staff and volunteers are
already on site, and its cancellation comes just days before gates
were due to open. Organisers, most of whom work for nothing, are
gutted. One told"SchNEWS" below:"> SchNEWS “We are so disappointed not to be having
this year’s gathering – it means so much to so many people”.A
last-minute injunction by Mendip Dis-trict Council, supported by Avon
and Somer-set Police, put the ki-bosh on the entire event - citing the
potential for ‘crime and disorder’ and safety concerns. This was
despite the fact that the festival had actually been granted a licence
on the 30th of June. According to Avon and Somerset police’s website
“[We] went above and beyond the call of duty to ensure this event
took place.” This is of course utter bollocks.The injunction was due
to be heard in the High Court in London on Monday (27th). However,
before that could happen the BGG organisers surrendered the festival
licence on Sunday morning. As soon as this was done a police commander
at the meeting was overheard saying into his radio “Operation
Fortress is go”. Police have already set up roadblocks and promised
to turn festival-goers back. Chief Inspector Paul Richards, festival
liaison, later confi rmed to one of the festival organisers that
“This is political”, adding that the decision had been made over
his head at county level. One of SchNEWS’ sources on site said that
the police were frank about the fact that the closure had been planned
for two weeks. “This was a blatant act of political sabotage – the
Big Green Gathering is now completely bankrupt, they knew that we were
going to be closed down and yet they carried on allowing us to spend
money hand over fi st on infrastructure”.The BGG collapsed fi
nancially in 2007 under the weight of increased security costs. The
new licensing act added an extra £120k to their costs, leaving them
with a loss of £80k. Security accounted for a third of their overall
overheads and the road marshalling bill rose from £5k to over £23k.
In spite of these setbacks, they managed to scrape them-selves back
off the fl oor with shareholder cash and some potentially dubious
corporate involvement. Every effort had been made by the gathering’s
organisers to accommodate the increasingly niggling demands of police
and licensing authorities. The procedure lasted over six months –
just check out
for the minutes of meetings held between organisers and the
authorities. Demands included a steel fence, watchtowers and perimeter
patrols, having the horsedrawn fi eld inside a ‘secure com-pound’
and wristbands for twelve undercover police. At a multi-agency meeting
on Thursday, police took those wristbands in order to maintain the
pretence that the festival stood a chance of going ahead. A catalogue
of other obstacles were also continually placed in the organiser’s
path.All of the businesses associated with the BGG came under
scrutiny, licensing authorities contacted South West ambulances, the
Fire Brigade and the fencing contractors and asked them to get payment
up front from the BGG. Needless to say this caused huge problems.
Under the terms of the Licensing Act 2005, police can insist on
certain security fi rms being used by organisers. This of course leads
to a totally unhealthy hand-in-glove re-lationship, open to abuse.
Stuart Security were forced on the BGG by police, and on Wednes-day
last week, they suddenly announced that they wanted 60% of their fee
up front. Even though the BGG scraped the cash together, the company
still wanted out. So the BGG hired another fi rm – against police
wishes. The fact that Stuart Security rely on police approval for
lucrative contracts at Glastonbury Festival, the Royal Bath & West
Show, WOMAD, Reading Festival, and Glade Festival has, of course, no
bearing on the matter.

The last issue at stake was road closures. Mendip District Council had
insisted on road closures as part of the licensing requirements. A
festival organiser contacted the highways agency to process this
fairly routine request. The decision was passed to junior manage-ment
who reportedly came under intense pressure not to grant the closure.
As the road closures were not secured, the council were able to claim
that the BGG was in breach of licence. A nice little legal stitch-up
that according to one QC meant the BGG stood fuck-all chance of fi
ghting the injunction. Of course, now that “Operation Fortress” is
in full swing, there are road-blocks throughout the area. The BGG is
itself a limited company and could have fought the injunction -
risking no more than bankruptcy - but in a nasty twist two individuals
were also named, meaning that should proceedings have gone ahead
against the festival then Mendip Council would have had a claim on
their assets to settle court costs. Police also threatened to place
the farmer on the injunction, risking his entire livelihood.Anyone who
has ever been to the Big Green will know that the atmosphere is more
like a village fete than any of the mainstream events. There is
virtually no aggro. It’s more about chai and gong-massages than
Stella and fi sticuffs. All power is 12V solar and the amplifi cation
is correspondingly quiet. Music stops at midnight. Compare that to the
24 hr Technomuntfucks that go on with state blessing across the
country. Of course it would be cynical to suggest that the BGG
represents an alternative that the authorities fear. It’s a gathering
place for eco-activists, where the likes of Plane Stupid and No-
Borders hang out and exchange ideas while trying to avoid being button-
holed by 9-11 truthers. It’s clear now that the state views events
like the Big Green in the same light as Climate Camp and the anti-G20
protests. The BGG saga is showing that there may no longer be any
‘safe’ legal spaces for us to gather. The third way of quasi-legal
free-ish festivals is looking like a dead-end.

It’s clear that the Big Green has been singled out – and any
gathering promoting those values or trying to organise in a grass-
roots way will probably suffer the same fate once they get to a
certain size. As corpo-rate-branded Glasto has become a fi xture on
the mainstream calendar, like Ascot or Wimbledon, many have turned
towards smaller more ‘grass-roots’ festivals. Niche festivals have
bloomed across the British landscape. No matter what your bent, be it
faerie wings or S&M, there’s probably a muddy weekend in a fi eld
for you. Of course this isn’t the fi rst time that Britain’s had a
thriving festival scene. See previous SchNEWS’ for how the free
festival scene came under ruthless attack from the forces of Babylon
(or just skin up for an old hippy and listen to them bang on about the
glories of the White Goddess Fayre or Torpedo Town). Some have tried
to go down the quasi-THE HIPPY, HIPPY SHAKEDOWN continued...BIG GREEN
GATHERING SHUT DOWNlegal route, such as Strawberry Fair and even
Glastonbury, until the aptly named Mean Fiddler intervened in 2002.
Unfortunately the corporate dollar is never far behind. Witness how
Glastonbury went from a fence-jump-ing free-for-all where the festival
organisers built the infrastructure, but the fl y-pitchers, buskers
and random naked lunatics made it a real festie rather than a fenced
in, heavily policed corporate theme park.The Big Green was an
exceptional fes-tival, which managed to leap through the legal process
while being crew-heavy and retaining a lot of the free-festival
atmosphere (Not all of course - we still had to put up with plod
wandering around site). It was a unique gathering place for fringe
movements, from eco-activists to crop-circle nutters. We’re not just
banging on about festivals being free because we miss the good ‘ol
days – there’s a huge difference between being a punter who has a
whole experience laid on for them (e.g. Glasto’s themed areas with
helpful stewards pointing you in the direction of the consumer
delights), and being part of a fes-tival/free party where everyone’s
responsible for the entertainment, and even infrastructure like
welfare. A crowd that feels it owns an event behaves differently to
one that feels it has paid to have an experience. The fact that
undercover police now feel free to operate and arrest people, without
any back-up, for cannabis use or nudity (See SchNEWS 684 and 603) at
festivals has a lot do with the sheep-like behaviour of punters - a
mentality that our masters are keen to see enforced.In the SchNEWS
offi ce we’re hearing rumours that people aren’t going to be put
off – alternative sites are being looked at and people are heading to
the West Country anyway.

In the words of one participant “Things are
just getting interesting”. Time for the Big Black Barney?

Award winning Welsh media charity express dismay over cancellation of UK's largest Green festival.

Press Release

Award winning Welsh media charity express dismay over cancellation of UK's largest Green festival.

Plans to launch a unique cinema powered by the Sun has been delayed. The Sol Cinema was to be premiered by Swansea based media organisation, Undercurrents on Wednesday.

Yesterday, Directors of the Big Green Gathering informed Undercurrents that the festival has been canceled. Due to begin on Wednesday, the UK's largest Green festival has been stopped on safety issues according to Police.

The Directors of The Big Green Gathering state on their website
'It is with great sadness that we have been forced into this position and we express our profound apologies to all those concerned....Following threatened injunction proceedings in High Court by Mendip District Council supported by Somerset & Avon Police and having taken extensive advice from a prominent QC and other eminent lawyers, the directors of the Big Green Gathering have been left with no other option than to voluntarily surrender the license for the Big Green Gathering 2009'

Undercurrents director Paul O'Connor said today
'We are dismayed that the Big Green Gathering has been forced to close. During one of the wettest July's ever experienced, it is obvious that Climate Change is affecting us all now. The festival would have brought together 20,000 of the greatest environmental thinkers and skilled minds of this country. Losing this festival is a sad loss for the future of this country.'

Undercurrents would have been just one small cog in the wheel of positive change at the festival. But we are now planning to launch The Sol Cinema, powered entirely by the energy of the sun at the Waterfront Museum, Swansea in August.

Big Green Gathering

Old exchange
Pier Street
Swansea SA1 1RU
+44(0)1792 455900
+44 (0)7973 298359

The News you don't see on the News!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Police & Mendip Council have sabotaged the UK's largest green festival

Police have sabotaged the largest green festival in Europe. I got this from the Big Green Gathering organisers today.

Dear Friends,
following threatened injunction proceedings in High Court by Mendip District Council supported by Somerset & Avon Police and having taken extensive advice from a prominent QC and other eminent lawyers, the directors of the Big Green Gathering have been left with no other option than to voluntarily surrender the license for the Big Green Gathering 2009. The event will now not take place and the directors’ advice and request is that no one intending to attend the event should attempt to do so, as the site is now closed and they are likely to be turned away by Somerset Police. It is our intention to avoid any form of confrontation or public disorder in regard to this and it is our earnest hope that all those involved will follow this advice. It is with great sadness that we have been forced into this position and we express our profound apologies to all those concerned. The Directors of The Big Green Gathering

Undercurrents would have been showing our films at the festival but the Police said
Police are warning people planning to attend the 'Big Green Gathering' 2009, that the event has been cancelled due to a number of contributing factors that could not be overcome.Today (Sunday July 26) organisers of the 'Big Green Gathering' surrendered their licence to Mendip Council.

Rumours are that a new Chief inspector has taken over recently and wanted revenge for activists showing up the Met police during the G20 protests in London and at Kingsnorth power station protests in Kent.

And from Mendip Council-
The main concerns from emergency services and Mendip District Council, which is nationally recognised for its licensing of the Glastonbury Festival, focused on:

• A security company to provide event security.

• Whether proper traffic management and signage can take place before the event starts.

• A road closure order being made in time for the event.

• Whether the South West Ambulance Service will provide emergency help on-site at the event.

• Whether a fire safety consultant, proper Fire Safety Management Strategy, Fire Safety Risk Assessment and the relevant certification about fire safety equipment is in place for the event.

Donna Nolan, who heads up Mendip's legal team, said: "The implications of the issues raised meant that the council and police had significant concerns about the safety of the public attending the event as well as those living, working and visiting the local area.
read more

Joining the Docs is a new documentary channel offering the very best director-led films on demand, via streaming.

The films are made by a passionate, international group of socially committed people who have a mission to try and make sense of the world. They illuminate our times and help to support a fully-functioning society. But they are hard to see. Although some are shown by public service and public-minded tv broadcasters, they tend to be on specialist channels, in the corners of schedules and rarely repeated.

They don’t pay advances, but pay you a royalty of the net receipts that they receive. Will it work- who knows but worth a try so I am considering which films to submit
More on

Let'e hear it for the bicycle

A 2008 Sport England study showed that 1.8 million of us cycle once a week or more, not including commuters, and it is the second-fastest-growing sport in the country after athletics. But the difference is most obvious in our cities. There has been a 107% increase of people cycling on the capital's main roads since 2000, according to Transport for London; it has also risen dramatically in Bristol (up 27% since 2003), Sheffield (60% since 2000) and Leicester (43% since 2003). A ride-and-go cycle scheme was recently set up in Bristol and a London version - which promises to have 6,000 bikes and a docking station every 300 metres - will launch next May.
read more

The evidence for Climate Change which G.W Bush hid

Graphic images that reveal the devastating impact of global warming in the Arctic have been released by the US military. The photographs, taken by spy satellites over the past decade, confirm that in recent years vast areas in high latitudes have lost their ice cover in summer months.
read more

Chinese hack film festival site

Chinese hackers have attacked the website of Australia's biggest film festival over a documentary about Uighur leader Rebiya Kadeer.
read more

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Arrested for photographing a flyover and a cop

Another photographer was arrested on 08/07/09 in Chatham High Street under section 44 of the Prevention of Terrorism Act 2000 for photographing a cop before being let go with no charge. read his full story here

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Cops threathen woman for filming them

Yet another episode of police out of control.
A woman is to challenge the Metropolitan police in the high court, claiming she was handcuffed, detained and threatened with arrest for filming officers on her mobile phone.

Lawyers for Gemma Atkinson, a 27-year-old who was detained after filming police officers conduct a routine stop and search on her boyfriend, believe her case is the latest example of how police are misusing counterterrorism powers to restrict photography.

Link to this video

read more

Women and erotic films

The "JOY AWARD" is short film competition for female filmmakers. The topic
is: "What is erotic to you?" From animation to documentary, music video or
experimental vignette - any genres are allowed. The maximum duration: five
minutes. The deadline is: 15/09/09.

This unique competition is the brainchild of Petra Joy who is a pioneering
erotic filmmaker. Petra and the jury are after films that show sexuality
from a female perspective in creative and artistic ways. You can be as soft
and explicit as you like we want to know what you find erotic. Petra
says: "We are not after technical perfection but a fresh look at eroticism
through female eyes. Even a clip shot on a mobile phone has got chances if
it is innovative and exciting..."

The three best films will be shown at the erotic film festival in Berlin
in October and will receive cash prizes (the best film wins 800!) and
have the chance to be published by Petra Joy on an upcoming compilation if
interested. More info here:,

Prison doesn't work

England and Wales has the highest imprisonment rate in Western Europe at 153 per 100,000 of the population. Prison population across the UK stands at over 92,000.Families of prisoners are the invisible victims of crime, serving their own sentence of isolation, stigma and financial struggle.This is one of 5 short films commissioned by Prisoners' Families and Friends' Service to raise awareness of the difficulties faced by the families of prisoners, and to highlight the contribution they can make to reducing reoffending.According to Government research, prisoners who are supported and visited by their families are 25% less likely to reoffend than those who have no family contact or support.Find out more at:

Watch film

Cops arrest Harry Potter actor

Harry Potter actor arrested after police found pictures of his homegrown cannabis plants on his camera.

But what were the cops doing looking at his photos in the first place?

Police seized the camera after he was arrested for taking a picture of officers as he and his friend drove past, the court was told.

Waylett and Innis were stopped under the Terrorism Act in Lodge Road, St John's Wood, west London, after the actor took a photograph of a police patrol.

So what made the cops think they were terrorists?
I am getting annoyed at how much the cops are stopping and searching people for no other reason than they now can under these new laws.

Monday, July 20, 2009

The UK is covered by CCTV

Using Freedom of Information requests, we asked almost 100 local authorities in the UK how many CCTV cameras they operate.

Both the Shetland Islands Council (101) and Corby Borough Council (90) - among the smallest local authorities in the UK - have more CCTV cameras than the San Francisco Police Department (71).

Eight British cities have more CCTV cameras than the authorities in Paris.

The London borough of Wandsworth has as many CCTV cameras (1,113) as Dublin City Council, the Police departments of Johannesburg and Boston and the City of Sydney authority combined.
Read More

Watch Michael Buchanan's CCTV investigation in full on Newsnight on Monday, 20 July 2009 at 2230 BST on BBC Two.

UK Video Journalists attacked during seal hunt

Subject: URGENT NEWS RELEASE : UK journalist attacked and arrested
whilst covering controversial Nambian seal hunt

A British investigative journalist and his South African fixer have
today been violently assaulted by seal hunters and arrested by police
whilst documenting the controversial Nambian seal cull.

Jim Wickens, a reporter with the Brighton-based Ecostorm agency, and
Bart Smithers, a freelance cameraman and fixer, were this morning
attacked by a group of seal hunters armed with clubs before having their
video camera equipment stolen in the Cape Cross Seal Reserve, Western

The team, working with Dutch NGO Bontvoordieren, are understood to have
been filming the killing of seals for some twenty minutes before a group
of hunters approached and assaulted them - reportedly punching them to
the ground and hitting them with clubs.

Their cameras and video footage were also seized in the incident, which
happened about 7am this morning.

Police subsequently arrived before arresting the pair on suspicion of
trespass and obstruction.

According to Jim Wickens, a seal hunter again attacked them whilst they
were being held in a police vehicle.

They pair are currently being held at a local police station.

Andrew Wasley, co-director of Ecostorm, said: "We are at present working
with the British High Commission in Namibia to establish the full
picture and secure the release of our team. Clearly this was a violent
and unwarranted attack on two journalists doing their job - gathering
information and pictures of the highly secretive Nambian seal hunt."

He continued: "As well as calling for the immediate release of Jim
Wickens and Bart Smithers we want the Namibian authorities to
investigate the assaults and theft of equipment"

Bontvoordieren - and a growing number of international campaigners - are
calling for the immediate release of the pair from police custody.


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Our latest DVD mentioned in the Sunday Times

Our new DVD got a mention in the Sunday Times-

John-Paul Flintoff writes for The Sunday Times, having previously worked for the Financial Times. Since first writing about climate change and peak oil in 2005 he has devoted much energy to reporting on the environment.

He said about our A-Z of Bushcraft DVD

'The good people at Undercurrents, who taught me a couple of years ago how to be a "guerrilla film-maker" have just issued a DVD on bushcraft which, in characteristic style, they're offering to you "for whatever price you can afford.'

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Police and the right to photography

Even more useful are these critiques below on the incomplete nature of this recent Met police advice, which may mislead video/photographers into thinking the police have more rights than they actually do under law.

The NUJ says this information from the Met is inaccurate and has called on the Met to withdraw the advice and to consult with the NUJ:

"Roy Mincoff, NUJ Legal Officer, said: “The police know that we have very significant concerns around these issues, yet they have issued guidelines without any prior consultation.

“Had they spoken to us in advance then we could have pointed out the inaccuracies within the document. The police do not have the right to view photographs unless they reasonably suspect the photographer to be a terrorist – that’s a far higher test than this guidance suggests.

“What’s more, the special nature of journalistic material means that the police will need a court order if they want to see photographs taken by professional journalists. To suggest that police have the power to see anyone’s photos is not just hugely misleading, it’s factually wrong."

Also see this article in the Guardian

And the Police line is...

Photography advice
The Metropolitan Police Service’s approach towards photography in public places is a subject of regular debate.

We encourage officers and the public to be vigilant against terrorism but recognise the balance between effective policing and protecting Londoners and respecting the rights of the media and the general public to take photographs.

Guidance around the issue has been made clear to officers and PCSOs through briefings and internal communications. The following advice is available to all officers and provides a summary of the Metropolitan Police Service’s guidance around photography in public places.
Freedom to photograph/film

Members of the public and the media do not need a permit to film or photograph in public places and police have no power to stop them filming or photographing incidents or police personnel.

Photography and Section 44 of the Terrorism Act 2000

The Terrorism Act 2000 does not prohibit people from taking photographs or digital images in an area where an authority under section 44 is in place.

Officers have the power to view digital images contained in mobile telephones or cameras carried by a person searched under S44 of the Terrorism Act 2000, provided that the viewing is to determine whether the images contained in the camera or mobile telephone are of a kind, which could be used in connection with terrorism. Officers also have the power to seize and retain any article found during the search which the officer reasonably suspects is intended to be used in connection with terrorism.

Photography and Section 43 of the Terrorism Act 2000

Officers have the power to view digital images contained in mobile telephones or cameras carried by a person searched under S43 of the Terrorism Act 2000 to discover whether they have in their possession anything which may constitute evidence that they are involved in terrorism. Officers also have the power to seize and retain any article found during the search which the officer reasonably suspects may constitute evidence that the person is involved in terrorism.

Section 58a of the Terrorism Act 2000

Section 58a of the Terrorism Act 2000 covers the offence of eliciting, publishing or communicating information about members of the armed forces, intelligence services or police.

Any officer making an arrest for an offence under Section 58a must be able to demonstrate a reasonable suspicion that the information was of a kind likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism.

It should ordinarily be considered inappropriate to use Section 58a to arrest people photographing police officers in the course of normal policing activities, including protests, as without more, there is no link to terrorism.

There is however nothing preventing officers asking questions of an individual who appears to be taking photographs of someone who is or has been a member of Her Majesty’s Forces (HMF), Intelligence Services or a constable.

Guidelines for MPS staff on dealing with media reporters, press photographers and television crews

Contact with photographers, reporters and television crews is a regular occurrence for many officers and staff. The media influences our reputation so it's crucial to maintain good working relations with its members, even in difficult circumstances.

Following these guidelines means both media and police can fulfil their duties without hindering each other.

Creating vantage points
When areas are cordoned off following an incident, creating a vantage point, if possible, where members of the media at the scene can see police activity, can help them do their job without interfering with a police operation. However, media may still report from areas accessible to the general public.

Identifying the media
Genuine members of the media carry identification, for instance the UK Press Card, which they will present on request.

The press and the public
If someone distressed or bereaved asks the police to stop the media recording them, the request can be passed on to the media, but not enforced.

Access to incident scenes
The Senior Investigating Officer is in charge of granting members of the media access to incident scenes. In the early stages of investigation, evidence gathering and forensic retrieval take priority over media access, but, where appropriate, access should be allowed as soon as is practicable.
Film Unit

The aim of the Metropolitan Police Service Film Unit is to be a central point of contact, to co-ordinate, facilitate and bring consistency to those people filming in London with MPS support.

We work together with Film London and stakeholders of the Film London Partnership to make London accessible, whilst minimising inconvenience to Londoners and increasing the economic benefits of filming.
Full info on

For more information please visit the Film Unit web site.

Protest for Safety For All Sex Workers

Safety For All Sex Workers
Masked Paradewith Music& Dance
All welcomew SUNDAY 19 JULY 2009 wPart of Soho Festival
Meet 3.15 pm outside St Anne’s Church, 55 Dean St (Shaftesbury Ave

Thanks to the Soho community for helping us keep our doors open and stay in the safety of our flats.‘ Clean ups’ push prostitution underground and sex workers into more danger.

Stop the Policing & Crime Bill
Jointly organised by Soho Working Girls & English Collective of Prostitutes

Herzog Film comp

Taking inspiration from the director's filmmaking spirit his fascination
with the natural world and the obsessive, intrepid individuals who venture
into it we want Shooters to bring their vision of man's relationship with
nature to the screen. The brief is open and we hope you will explore this
idea with originality and creativity your focus may be the emergence of
nature in the urban environment, the story of misadventure in the
countryside, or extreme encounters between man and beast.

The film can be a self-contained short or an extract from a longer film.
It can be shot brand new for this competition or it can be clipped or
remixed from a film you made previously. It can be any genre not just
documentary but fiction or hybrid. It can be a personal film with your own
voiceover or not. It can be live action or animation or both.

The winning film, as chosen by Herzog, will be screened prior to his
documentary Encounters at the End of the World at the Barbican on Sunday 27
September 2009. The film is part of the Werner Herzog Directorspective
which will be running 12-27 September 2009. Revolver Entertainment will be
releasing Encounters on DVD on 31 August.

Emerging as a strong voice of the German new wave, Werner Herzog's
singular and ambitious filmmaking has made him one of the most distinctive
auteurs of his generation. His fascination with the natural world has
brought some remarkable narratives and environments to the screen. We hope
Herzog's filmmaking spirit will inspire Shooters to do something similar.

To find out how to enter, visit

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The influence of 'citizen journalists'

SchNEWS has cast our cynical eye over the HMIC (Her Majesty's
Inspectorate of Constabulary) report about the policing of the G20
protests, 'Adapting To Protest'. The HMIC say they welcome
feedback on the report. Well here's SchNEWS' take...

So why was this report commissioned? Maybe something about the
police being out of order, the fact an innocent bystander was killed
or that all this was caught on camera? In the words of the HMIC:
'The high volume of publicly sourced footage of the protests,
including the events leading up to the death of Ian Tomlinson, has
demonstrated the influence of 'citizen journalists'
- members of the public who play an active role in collecting,
analysing and distributing media themselves. Consequently, individual
and collective police actions are under enormous public

The report is more concerned about the perception of the police than
the police actions themselves. Police were initially pleased with
media coverage, but 'by the 5th April this was becoming more
critical. This intensified following the emergence of images relating
to the death of Ian Tomlinson.' One suggested solution to this
is to have 'embedded' journalists with police on the front
line! Police say they face 'dilemmas around using potentially
sensitive information connected with death or serious injuries at
public order events which may subsequently become evidence in legal
proceedings.' But this didn't stop them spinning a whole
host of lies over the death of Ian Tomlinson (claiming there was no
police contact, medics were assaulted, and he died from a heart attack
- SchNEWS 672).

We are told that in relation to the press there should be
'Awareness and recognition of the UK press card by officers on
cordons, to identify legitimate members of the press.' But what
use is a press card when police officers don't give a damn if
you are press or not? On April 2nd there was a Section 14 notice
(under the Public Order Act) issued to the press. A City of London
Police Inspector told the press to 'Go away for half an hour and
possibly come back to help us resolve this situation.' He was
acting on behalf of Commander Broadhurst who was top cop for the day
- so harassment of the press was coming right from the top and
being carried out by an Inspector. Yet the report makes no mention of
this - it is not a case of a few officers failing to recognise
press cards, it is a systematic abuse of the police's powers to
manage the news and restrict the freedom of the press (it's also
a shame more press don't stand up for press freedom and refuse
to cooperate with unreasonable police demands).

In the build up to the G20 protests, there were lots of media reports
anticipating violence. The report has a breathtaking omission:
'An article titled 'The Summer of Rage Starts Here'
was published on a popular protester website by a member calling
themselves London Anarchists.' But it totally fails to mention
that the phrase 'Summer of Rage' was coined by David
Hartshorn, who heads the Met's public order branch.
Also,?no mention is made of police blogs gleefully spoiling for a
fight, or Commander Simon O'Brien's boast:
'We're up to it and we're up for it.' Such
spin can only be designed to try and deflect blame from the police
themselves for ratcheting up the tension.

The report also conducted an opinion poll survey on the
public's attitude to the police and protesting (well, they need
to frame their PR correctly). It did admit that there was a split on
whether the police handled the G20 protests well, but did show the
public were largely favourable of the police overall. Also it showed a
distinct age and class bias, with young people and the working classes
being the least in favour of the police - reflecting the obvious
fact that the police are there for the rich rather than the poor and
likely to hassle youth.

Curiously, the report is illustrated throughout with rent-a-mob riot
porn photos: masked protesters, a fire, smashed windows, brew crew
with a bottle... but funnily no snarling riot cops without ID numbers
hitting people with truncheons!

There were some acknowledgements that the police did cock up on the
day - apparently we will see all Met officers displaying their
numbers in future (we wait with baited breath). The report is critical
of police planning for the day saying that a whole protest should not
be criminalised - it acknowledges that people have a right to
protest and that this should be protected under human rights law:
'the police, are required to show a certain degree of tolerance
towards peaceful gatherings... even if these protests cause a level of
obstruction or disruption.' How much disruption is a matter of
'debate' according to the report.

The police claimed they were at a disadvantage when it comes to
communication on the ground: they have to cope with a 'flexible
and responsive protest community which is capable of advanced
communication and immediate reaction to events on the ground. This is
in stark contrast to the traditional communication capabilities of the
police.' So let's get this straight - the police
have at their disposal CCTV street coverage, helicopters tracking
movements of crowds, radio communication equipment and a central
command bunker overseeing the whole operation and they are at a
disadvantage over us with mobile phones and a
make-it-up-as-you-go-along attitude on the ground?!

The most controversial tactic of all, 'kettling' gets the
thumbs up from the HMIC, which they qualify as being suitable as long
as it is proportionate - but police should let people leave the
areas if they er, like the look of you (ditch the black hoodie for a
suit?). The report recommends updating ACPO's public order
manual and says that the police need to adapt their public order
tactics. However, the police have already tried to deflect criticism
of their tactics, with Commander Bob Broadhurst, the head of the
Public Order Unit, laying the blame at the feet of inexperienced
ordinary police officers for the violent and repressive policing at
the G20. They ignore the whole issue of kettling and the fact that the
two most reported instances of police abuse (the death of Ian
Tomlinson and the blatant assault on Nicola Fisher) were committed by
the TSG - the Met's fully trained riot goons. The police are
still trying to spin the few bad apples line, when we know it's
the whole damn cart that is rotten.

* See full report at:

More information following the campaign against police violence,
inspired by Ian Tomlinson's death:

Funny Cinema

August 11 - The Yes Men movie

The Yes Men Fix The World will be shown across the UK in participating cinemas on Tuesday, 11 August, via a nationwide satellite link-up. Directed by The Yes Men (Andy Bichlbaum and Mike Bonanno) in collaboration with Bowling for Columbine and Fahrenheit 9/11 editor Kurt Engfehr, who co-directs, The Yes Men Fix The World leads us through the daring political pranks of two gonzo activists as they take on the fake identity of corporate executives in a bid to highlight the brutal selfishness of some of the world’s biggest multi-national corporations. The film received the Berlin Film Festival's prestigious Audience Award earlier this year.

Corporates run away from water

July 13, 2009


London - A new, beautifully-designed line of bottled water - this time
not from the melting Alps, nor from faraway, clean-water-deprived Fiji,
but rather from the contaminated ground near the site of the 1984 Bhopal
catastrophe - scared Dow Chemical's London management team into hiding

Twenty Bhopal activists, including Sathyu Sarangi of the Sambhavna
Clinic in Bhopal, showed up at Dow headquarters near London to find that
the entire building had been vacated.

Had they not fled, Dow employees could have read on the bottles' elegant

B'eau-Pal: Our Story
The unique qualities of our water come from 25 years of slow-
leaching toxins at the site of the world's largest industrial
accident. To this day, Dow Chemical (who bought Union Carbide) has
refused to clean up, and whole new generations have been poisoned.
For more information, please visit

The launch of "B'eau-Pal" water came as Bhopal prepares to mark the 25th
anniversary of the Bhopal catastrophe, and coincides with the release of
an official report by the Sambhavna Trust showing that local
groundwater, vegetables, and breast milk are contaminated by toxic
quantities of nickel, chromium, mercury, lead, and volatile organic
compounds. The report describes how a majority of children in one nearby
community are born with serious medical problems traceable to the

The attractive yet toxic product, developed by the Bhopal Medical Appeal
and the Yes Men with pro-bono help from top London creative design firm
Kennedy Monk, highlights Dow's continued refusal to take responsibility
for the disaster. (Five years ago, the Yes Men impersonated Dow Chemical
live on BBC World Television and announced that after 20 years, the
company was finally going to clean up its mess in Bhopal. That hoax,
which temporarily knocked two billion dollars off Dow's share price, is
featured in the Yes Men's new movie, The Yes Men Fix The World, which
opens in UK cinemas on August 11.)

Though Dow has consistently refused to clean up the mess in Bhopal, they
have taken numerous steps to clean up their image. In a recent press
release, for example, Andrew Liveris, Dow's Chairman and CEO, noted that
"lack of clean water is the single largest cause of disease in the world
and more than 4,500 children die each day because of it." He went on to
assert that "Dow is committed to creating safer, more sustainable water
supplies for communities around the world."

The Yes Men met Liveris' attempt to greenwash Dow's environmental record
with a challenge.

"Since Liveris earns $16,182,544 per year, he could give each of the
children who die worldwide for lack of clean water $10 per day to buy
Evian, Fiji Water, or Perrier," said Mike Bonanno of the Yes Men. "Or,
for vastly less money, he could build them clean-water pipelines, like
the ones that Bhopal so badly needs."

Dow's greenwashing comes while Bhopal is experiencing an extremely rare
drought (,
just three years after facing its greatest floods ever. "Even though
people are already dying by the hundreds of thousands, and we know that
climate change will kill many more, companies like Dow are not being
forced to cut back on emissions," said the Sambhavna Clinic's Sathyu
Sarangi. "Bhopal should be a lesson to the world - one we must learn
before it's too late for all of us."

The Yes Men have elaborate plans to contribute to the movement for
meaningful action on climate change, beginning in early September and
culminating at the December climate talks in Copenhagen. To contribute
financially to these efforts (which of course we can't tell you about),
please visit And if you live in New
York and know how to sew, swim, get arrested, or pretty much anything
else, please write to us.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Newbury Bypass protests- films wanted

For use in an independent documentary.
If you have any video recordings, or audio, of anything related to the Newbury bypass protests circa 1996 please contact:

- e-mail:
- Homepage:

Lancaster over Swansea

I took this photo of an WW2 Avro Lancaster over Swansea- i like all wind turbine combined with the pollution of Port Talbot Steel works.
I have entered into

Conspiracy Theories

It is believed that the theory of climate change is being promoted by Coca Cola in order to finally change Santa's stupid outfit that no more has the catch on the youngsters and replace the spirit of Christmas as we know it with a much younger mascot - eventually a female, but market research on this is not yet finished.

How to shop for survival

Top Ten Survival Books Purchased by Readers

Top Ten Survival Books Purchased by Readers
Here’s the 10 most popular preparedness books bought by Survivalist Blog readers over the last month in their shoppings at Interesting that three books by John Seymour made the top ten.

1. The Self-sufficient Life and How to Live It
2. Crisis Preparedness Handbook
3. The New Complete Book of Self-Sufficiency
4. Gardening When It Counts
5. Tactical Pistol Shooting
6. The Encyclopedia of Country Living
7. The Merck Manual 18th Edition
8. Total Resistance
9. The New Self-Sufficient Gardener
10. Rancho Costa Nada: The Dirt Cheap Desert Homestead

Newspapers spying

This is how the newspapers works it seems

Robert Preston of BBC-
I have learned that the News of the World was apparently eavesdropping on the phone messages of Rebekah Wade, who at the time was the editor of its sister paper, the Sun (she still is - although she will soon become chief executive of the Sun's parent, News International).

Rebekah WadeShe was one of 75 individuals identified by police as having their phone messages monitored by the private investigator, Glenn Mulcaire - who was jailed in 2007 for phone hacking, together with Clive Goodman, the News of the World's royal reporter.

The police informed her that she was on Mulcaire's list of those whose mobile-phone voicemails were being tracked and was asked whether she wanted to press charges. She declined.

It's not unusual for newspapers to spy on each other, even newspapers within the same organisation. read more

Bono's carbon footprint is sky high

U2's world tour might make an enormous impression with its giant claw, but the environmental impact is reportedly just as staggering. According to an environmental group, the band's 44 concert dates this year have the equivalent carbon footprint of a return flight to Mars. And U2 have the same number of shows planned for 2010.
Read more

Friday, July 10, 2009

Burma film

Burma VJ - The Saffron Premiere
Tuesday 14th July,
BAFTA, London and throughout the UK
On the evening of 14 July, cinemas across the country will be linked live
to BAFTA in London to create the `Saffron Premiere', so named after the
distinctive orange robes of the Burmese monks. The evening will include a
full film screening, as well as a one-off chance to join a live debate
with the makers of the film.

In 2007, Burma became headline news across the globe when Buddhist monks
led a rebellion and more than 100,000 people protested the dictatorship
that has held the country hostage for more than 40 years. Foreign news
crews were banned, the internet was shut down, and Burma was closed to the
outside world. Enter the Democratic Voice of Burma, aka the Burma VJs.
Compiled from their handheld footage, this award-winning documentary pulls
us in as the VJs themselves become the target of the Burmese government.