Friday, February 21, 2014

A video letter from Kiev- produced by Kony2012 producers?

As people in Ukraine rise up against violent police and what many are viewing as a corrupt Government but is that story too simplistic? According to some, it is a US backed and organised revolution

This slick video which is a direct plea from the streets to the people of the wider World has gone viral with 5.5million viewings in just 2 weeks. It is a strong message, to the point and powerful- just what all campaign videos should be. But it appears to be produced by the same people who made the Kony 2012 video- a bunch of God Squad, US funded media types.The company made $20m from their Kony2012 video which went viral. Are they planning the same for their Ukraine videos?

Undercurrents is an award winning alternative news service producing videos of people taking inspiring actions.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Awaiting justice for being spied upon

John Jordan who was spied upon by undercover cop Jim Boyling is waiting for the decision on whether the reasons can be disclosed. I wrote earlier about Boylings involvement in a riot.

The undercover cop went to court alongside John for a protest where John was found guilty of assaulting a police man. The cop allegedly gave false evidence on oath while pretending to be an environmental campaigner.Years later the case was over turned when it was revealed that there was an undercover cop involved.

John Jordan wrote this week 
'We have to wait for the secret court to meet, they say march ???? and the judge wants to immediately (same day ) have the public hearing !'

So far there have been 15 official inquiries and investigations into undercover cops in Eco-protests. While many women are demanding justice for how they were spied upon, I also know of women who have decided to have nothing to do with the inquiries. They have no faith in the Police finding fault with their
own cops. So these police led investigations have served only to delay and distract. Another farce coming from the Police?

This month the first public meeting about the undercover cops debacle is being held in London.

Undercurrents is an award winning alternative news service producing videos of people taking inspiring actions.

Lloyds Banking Group Social Entrepreneurs Programme (UK)

The Lloyds Banking Group has announced that its Social Entrepreneurship 
programme is open for applications.

The programme aims to support individuals and organisations with project 
ideas to improve local communities. The programme provides two levels of 

•New organisations or projects at an early stage can apply for funding 
of up to £4,000 as well as one year of training and development.

•Established organisations that are looking to scale up their projects 
can apply for funding of up to £15,000 and one year of training.

The closing date for applications is 3pm on the 3rd April 2014.


Undercurrents is an award winning alternative news service producing videos of people taking inspiring actions.

Met Office report link floods to climate change

Me filming in 1995 at anti car protests
I have been using video to support campaign groups since 1993. It made sense to help people trying to stop more roads being built (which both actually increases traffic and pollution). Thousands of trees and entire forests were destroyed all over the UK to make way for the Tories massive road schemes (biggest since the Romans). Due to the direct action, many of the roads were shelved by 1999.
Then I supported Reclaim the Streets, a vibrant movement to curb car expansion which all led to supporting campaigners involved in averting climate change (chaos).

All the scientific predictions of floods, high winds, heatwaves and general mayhem has all come true this year. Maybe I should have concentrated on being a plumber or flooding engineer as these skills will probably be of more use in the coming years than being a film maker.

The Met office released a report called Global Perspective on the Recent Storms and Floods in the UK.Finally, they are linking the chaos to climate change too

They write
'...recent studies have suggested an increase in the intensity of Atlantic storms that take a more southerly track, typical of this winter's extreme weather. There is also an increasing body of evidence that shows that extreme daily rainfall rates are becoming more intense, and that the rate of increase is consistent with what is expected from the fundamental physics of a warming world.'

Yet Media Lens today write that 'no matter how extreme the weather, and how awful the hardships endured by ordinary people in the floods, the culpability of corporate-driven industrial 'civilisation', its inherent ecological unsustainability, and the urgent need for radical changes, must not be addressed in any meaningful way. '

They cite 'a careful analysis by Carbon Brief of 3,064 flood-related newspapers stories, published between the start of December 2013 and 10 February 2014, makes this clear. Their stark conclusion is that over 93 per cent of press stories did not mention climate change (never mind the role of humans in disturbing the delicate balance of climate).'

They end their report with 'unless drastic measures are taken to curb global warming, we will be engulfed by catastrophic climate change.'

I have filmed for 20 years and all Governments have dragged their feet on climate change (probably due to their corporate links). So I don't expect much radical action in the near future so invest in boats and wellies, you are going to need them.

Undercurrents is an award winning alternative news service producing videos of people taking inspiring actions.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

The Accidental Death of a Cyclist - Trailer

The Accidental Death of a Cyclist is a new documentary produced by a friend of mine Paola Desiderio. As she told me 'I gave my blood sweat and tears for it' which is a good enough reason to help her film become a success.
In 1998 Marco Pantani, the most flamboyant and popular cyclist of his era, won both the Tour de France and Giro d'Italia, a titanic feat of physical and mental endurance that no rider has repeated since. He was a hero to millions, the saviour of cycling following the doping scandals which threatened to destroy the sport. However, less than six years later, aged just 34, he died alone, in a cheap hotel room, from acute cocaine poisoning. He had been an addict for five years. This is the story of the tragic battles fought by the most important Italian cyclist of his generation; man verses mountain, athlete verses addiction, Marco Pantani verses himself.  
The Film will use race archive and contemporary news footage, stylised dramatic reconstructions and interviews with Pantani’s friends, family, colleagues, and rivals.
It will be in UK cinemas in April and the feature-length documentary is  telling the story of Pantani's dramatic rise and fall.  

Undercurrents is an award winning alternative news service producing videos of people taking inspiring actions.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Performance meets Permaculture at The Green Gathering

The Green Gathering is an inspiring event in Chepstow, South Wales and there is a special offer today on tickets.

July 31-August 3 2014, Piercefield Park, Chepstow. It’s a date.

13.2.14: Order your tickets on St Valentine’s Day (14th Feb) and claim our Valentine Special: Seize The Day‘s sparkly new CD Standing Strong, which is absolutely packed with inspiring lyrics and rhythms.
(That’s just one CD per order, not per ticket! It will be automatically mailed out to you shortly after you order.)

Undercurrents is an award winning alternative news service producing videos of people taking inspiring actions.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

My first cinegraph

I learned today how to make cinegraphs and this is Dai on his banjo. Very cool technique

Undercurrents is an award winning alternative news service producing videos of people taking inspiring actions.

Today is day of Activism Against NSA Surveillance

A broad coalition of activist groups, companies, and online platforms will hold a worldwide day of activism in opposition to the NSA's mass spying regime on February 11th. Dubbed "The Day We Fight Back", the day of activism was announced on the eve of the anniversary of the tragic passing of activist and technologist Aaron Swartz. The protest is both in his honor and in celebration of the victory over the Stop Online Piracy Act two years ago this month, which he helped spur.

London, United Kingdom
Cryptoparty and the launch of an UK coalition to end mass surveillance:
February 11th, 2014 at 7:00 pm

Meet at Free Word Centre 60 Farringdon Road, London EC1R 3GA, London
Meetup page

Brighton, United Kingdom
February 11th, 2014 at 6:30 pm

Meet at 68 Middle Street 68 Middle Street, Brighton
Meetup page

Southampton, United Kingdom

Cryptoparty February 11th, 2014
Details: Southampton University
Website: none


Undercurrents is an award winning alternative news service producing videos of people taking inspiring actions.

Putin on rocky road

The above photo is displayed in a shop window in Southsea,near Portsmouth.
Putin- The Russian President has for years been able to get away with invading (and still occupying) Georgia, fuelling Assad’s murder machine, rigging elections, jailing journalists and opposition activists. Other than the odd bleat of protest from the European Union or US State Department, all that has had few serious consequences.

But Putin can’t have anticipated the magnitude of worldwide outrage that would pour forth in response to his gay propaganda law.

Undercurrents is an award winning alternative news service producing videos of people taking inspiring actions.

Thursday, February 06, 2014

My video of undercover cop car is on The Guardian website today

My exclusive footage is on the Guardian website today. I recorded the car which an undercover cop used to blockade a road to kick start the mass protest in London in 1999. The cop dumped the car at the junction of Upper Thames Street and Queen street place. This is what it looks like today.


The Guardian wrote beneath the video;
Footage from 1999's Carnival Against Global Capitalism in the City of London shows a car alleged to belong to undercover policeman Jim Boyling being used to prevent police from reaching the protest. Forty-two people were injured and £1m worth of damage was done when the protest turned violent. The Met said it lost control due to a lack of police information on the protesters' plans
Watch the video on The Guardian here

Undercurrents is an award winning alternative news service producing videos of people taking inspiring actions.

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Citizen journalist assaulted and set up by a UK police officer

During Fracking protests last month, Steven Peers, a Citizen journalist attempted to film an arrest. Continuing to be shoved away from the scene, the journalist is suddenly accused of drinking, a clear attempt by the officer to intimidate and coerce the man into leaving.
Pushy cop on left and Dr Steven Peers filming on the right

Dr Steven Peers, who was filming the demonstration at Barton Moss in Salford, was arrested for refusing a breath test after the policeman accused him of driving to the site drunk. “Are you drunk? Have you been drinking this morning,” the officer begins repeating.

Despite only drinking tea, the Citizen journalist was harassed and pushed away from the scene and the arrested for refusing to do a breathalyser test.
When he came to court this was the result-

Prosecution - "The prosecution is not satisfied that there is sufficient
evidence to substantiate the charge, therefore we withdraw the case"
Clerk - " Do you understand that the prosecution is withdrawing its case"
Citizen journalist  - "No I do not understand, but I do comprehend"
Magistrate - "Whether you understand or comprehend, the prosecution is
withdrawing its case, so the case is dismissed and you are free to go"

A worrying case of how Police are using any tactic to stop people filming.
 Read more:

Undercurrents is an award winning alternative news service producing videos of people taking inspiring actions.

Tuesday, February 04, 2014

The Zoomquilt

I just found this stunning creation-The infinitely zooming image.

The Zoomquilt project emerged from the surroundings of the internet platform, a site where people collaborated on patchwork paintings in earlier days of the internet. Notably drawing inspiration from Gridcosm, a similar and ongoing project, the Zoomquilt aims to create a more seamless and immersive experience.

A project by
Nikolaus Baumgarten

Watch it here

Undercurrents is an award winning alternative news service producing videos of people taking inspiring actions.

Did undercover cop organise one of Londons largest riots?

On June 18th 1999 a car skidded across a road in the financial heart of London. As traffic was blocked thousands of anti capitalist protesters including Reclaim the Streets barged their way into various corporate buildings.

The J18 Carnival Against Global Capitalism according to George Monbiot 'went well beyond non-violent protest. According to the police, 42 people were injured and over £1m of damage was done. One building was singled out: the London International Financial Futures Exchange (Liffe), where derivatives were traded. Though protesters entered the building at 1.40pm, the police did not arrive until 4.15pm.'

Jim Boyling's car blockading the road
A man who was in that car was Detective Constable Andrew James 'Jim' Boyling - an undercover cop. In Monbiot's Guardian article 'He alleges that the same man helped organise a street party that went wrong and turned into the worst riot in London since the poll tax demonstrations.'

I filmed his car being pulled furiously away by cops (video still above) once they manage to break the steering lock.

Monbiot continues
'After furious recriminations from the Lord Mayor and the people who ran the Liffe building, the City of London police conducted an inquiry. It admitted that their criticisms were justified, and that the police's performance was "highly unsatisfactory". The problem, it claimed, was that the police had no information about what the targets and plans of the protesters would be, and had no idea that Liffe was in the frame. The riot was "unforeseen".

undercover cop Jim Boyling
 Was it really unseen? The Met Police had a cop working undercover on organising the carnival and which buildings would be occupied.

Jordan was a member of "the logistics group that organised the tactics for J18. There were about 10 of us in the group and we met weekly for over six months." Among the other members, he says, was Boyling. "The 10 of us … were the only people who knew the whole plan before the day itself and who had decided that the main target would be Liffe."

A Reclaim the Streets activist John Jordan said Boyling who went undercover with the name of Jim Sutton 'drove one of the two cars that were used to block the road to the building.'

Activists were furious when Sutton/Boyling 'accidentally' left the window open allowing six of his fellow cops to break the steering lock and push it out of the way.
Undercover cop Jim 'Sutton' Boyling

Monbiot lays it out
'It is hard to think of a more serious allegation. For six months an undercover officer working for the Metropolitan police was instrumental in planning a major demonstration, which ended up causing injuries and serious damage to property. Yet the police appear to have failed to pass this intelligence to the City of London force, leaving the target of the protest unprotected.'

BBC Newsnight broadcast a report on Boyling, Watch it here

My video footage will hopefully help bring the full details of what occurred on that day.

Undercurrents is an award winning alternative news service producing videos of people taking inspiring actions.

Free Media Training

The Network is a free media training event held at the Edinburgh International Television Festival in August, designed for anyone interested in a career in TV. 
Last year, 50 people – including 5 from Wales – took part in various practical activities including

  • Making the News with Sky News
  • Scriptwriting and Directing with Casualty
  • Production skills with CBBC
  • Research and Shooting with the Million Pound Drop
  • Pitching your own idea with Thames TV (The X Factor, Take Me Out)
One of last year’s participants, Max Davies from Aberystwyth, was working part-time in a bar when he applied for the Network, having been unsuccessful applying for work with the BBC and Channel Four.  Now working in Cardiff in documentary production for Wild Dream Films, he believes his experience with The Network was the kickstart his media career needed.

The Network 2013 was without doubt one of best few days of my life” says Max, “I was directed to interviews with the likes of RDF and TwoFour.  I'm also co-producing the launch of Casualty's 'Behind the Scenes' content.”

Max is just one of the many participants now working in the media.  To get a foot in the door with The Network 2014, there’s no need to have any qualifications or experience, just a passion for getting into television.  If you meet the following criteria, you can apply: 
  • You must be over 18 years of age by August 2014
  • If you are in full time education you must currently be in your final year of college/university and available for work in 2014
  • This is not a scheme for presenters. The Network is a training opportunity for those who want to work behind the camera
  • You must have less than 3 months PAID experience in TV
The deadline for applications is 31st March 2014 – it’s completely free to apply for The Network, and successful applicants will have free accommodation and meals in Edinburgh in August. 

Apply online at

Undercurrents is an award winning alternative news service producing videos of people taking inspiring actions.