Is Tottenham a little village? Some one involved in the literature festival was a friend of a friend of mine, an ex-colleague of another friend and the colleague of another, although none of us knew about these connections until yesterday. [Link to the festival’s page]
We met at different stages of the festival, the first one being the opening evening with Haringey Independent Cinema, showing films on Palesinian issues, mainly Gaza. [Link to Haringey Independent Cinema]
The second day, Friday, saw the first stalls with books and the first ’round table’, about travelling to Palestine (should we, privileged Westerners, travel to Palestine as activists, or tourists, and if so, under what conditions?)
Saturday was too full of events happening at the same time to list them all; the program can be seen here: [link to the pdf file in hjpf site]
I was there with copies of my book [link to the page on this blog] and copies of the booklet ‘Tech Tools for Activism’ [link to ttfa site] [link to flossmanuals], talked to lots of wonderful, committed activists in different fields, including bookshops from around the area, and generally very nice people with very open minds prepared to learn (even more).
The first session was invaded by some EDL activists, I wasn’t in the auditorium where it happened but when I heard the tumult I went to help and witnesses said that about four people had invaded the stage and shouted abuse. These people turned out to be ‘regular trouble makers’ in this type of events. When some of the attendees or organisers confronted them, they were sprayed with some nasty dye that doesn’t go off in days no matter how much you wash.
When I arrived I saw some shouting and people saying the police had been called. The bigger men, and a woman with her daughter left, still shouting abuse in the entrance hall, but one woman remained inside, shouting that her mobile phone had been stolen from her pocket. The woman in question happened to be Roberta Moore, known to pro-palestinian activists and the police.
The police arrived a while later, when only the woman was still inside; they took statements from a good number of attendees, wrongfully arresting one of them, with the ‘wrong appearance’, in the process.
The rest of the event went on peacefully, with lots of fruitful discussion, and an apparent common call for a one-state solution in Israel, secular and inclusive.
Rik is an expert on Fukishima [link to wikipedia]
Fukushima is a nuclear power plant on the East coast of Japan that on 11 March 2011 suffered a meltdown of three of the plant’s six nuclear reactors.
A meltdown is when the uranium fuel rods in the heart of the reactor overheat, to maybe 3000 degrees centigrade, then melt down into a white hot sludge and burn their way out of the reactor into the environment. The radioactive fuel then spreads into everything, including the food chain, and causes deformities and cancers.
Rik says it had 3 meltdowns in 2 days, then the relevant figures denied it, maybe because admitting it would mean to have to clean it and it would cost money, which is allegedly more important than babies getting cancers.
Rik was living in Berlin when Chernobyl popped off and is now also helping with the campaign to try to stop them building another new one near Bristol.
fuku update spring 2014 a4
Attached are the latest updates, from spring 2014, and the previous 5 as well.
For more info: [link to the london anti nuke people web site]
[link to the best news site for fukushima]
[link to video of Rik talking in a room in the Houses of Parliament]
worth watching some of the videos linked to on the right too
The Grosvenor Pub is a pub in Sidney Street, SW9, London, where radical groups and projects can do their fund rising, and fund rising gigs regularly happen to the enjoyment of many.
It is situated very near Stockwell Station, in an area currently undergoing gentrification. As part of this, the whole building containing the pub and the flats above it has been purchased by a private company that has asked for planning permission for conversion.
Below are guidelines on how to formally try to stop the disappearance of this pub. From this point on they are not my words, they belong to an email that was distribute with the Subject: Objection to Planning Permission for the Grosvenor Pub, Sidney
There is a planning application to build flats above the pub and we need
to object because in doing so, we can ask the Planning Committee to
ensure the pub stays a pub and doesn’t become another Tesco shop.
I attach my objection below – please feel free to rip it off. But the
important words are in bold / between asterisks * – please use them!
You can either write to the Planning Committee at Phoenix House, 10
Wandsworth Road, London SW8 2LL quoting 14/02772/FUL or register online
click on the ‘Visit the planning applications database’ and then
register. Once you are in, you can search for 14/02772/FUL and object.
I object to this planning application to build flats on top of the
This pub is a great, local amenity on Sidney Street, SW9, that serves
it’s local community well and also the wider area by holding music
events that draw people from North London and as far away as Brighton.
Despite having bought flats above a pub, the new occupants will not like
the noise and the result will be many complaints to the landlord and
Many successful applications like this one have resulted in an eventual
change of use from a pub to more flats, or shops.
If you do agree to allow the building of these flats, please put in a
planning condition that the pub area is to be used only as a pub, unless
further planning consent to use it otherwise is granted by the Planning
Committee. *Please ask the planners to make the removal of permitted
development rights for the pub a condition of said development in order
that any change of use should be brought within planning controls, i.e.
made dependent on approval of a planning application following due
The Grosvenor is an excellent local that is a great supporter of up and
coming music acts, and has a first rate reputation in the local
community. It would be a real shame if it’s future was put in doubt.
In conclusion, I object to this application because it has inadequate
conditions to prevent change of use of the pub area putting the pub
under threat of change of use.
Critical Mass – Learn the Lingo
(source : Facebook – I won’t post links to sites that require logging in and commerce with your details in the process)
These words are used at some Critical Mass events:-
Bike-lifting (Also known in Chicago as the Chicago hold-up)- is when a participant raises his or her bicycle in the air. This occurs when an intersection is corked, when a cyclone is occurring, or at any point a participant desires to hold a bicycle in the air.
Corking- Corking is a tactic used to prevent traffic from entering the path of the cyclists.
Cyclone Cyclones- form when the mass begins to circle an intersection. Popular in Chicagos large six-point intersections, cyclones can be used to mass up the critical mass, so that it can maintain the density of cyclists necessary to prevent the flow of automotive traffic. The tactic also allows splinter masses time to rejoin the group.
Die-in Die-ins- are when participants lay down on the ground with their bikes to symbolize cyclist deaths and injuries caused by automobiles, very popular in Montreal.
Mass up or Mass it up- In the middle or at the end of the group of
cyclists, the number of cyclists traveling on the road can grow thin, resulting in dangerous conditions for riders if automotive traffic attempts to cut through the middle of the mass while cyclists are still passing. Participants in some cities will yell mass up or mass it up in order to tell the front of the group to slow down. Different tactics are used to mass up such as simply slowing down or stopping as well as cycloning.
Splinter mass- Splinter masses are a common occurrence due to the unorganized nature of the event. A splinter mass occurs when a smaller group of the larger critical mass separates from the main mass inadvertently. They often no longer possess a mass that is critical enough to stop traffic. Massing up allows splinter masses to rejoin the group.
Tina is very opinionated and she likes writing. The result is a great conversationalist and an excellent writer.
She has written so much and so well, that she is now a paid columnist as a result, and she has already written inspirational , enraging, well-researched, enlightening and always interesting, reasonable pieces that makes one think.
And she is also an avid reader – not surprising as all good writers are good readers first.
She read my book and she so kindly put a review of it in some commercial websites and in one not so commercial one.
And in addition to that, she also had wonderful words in private emails that she has kindly given permission to put in the books page … but first I wanted to enjoy sharing them separately on this post.
I LOVED Bearing Witness. It is so well-written, moving, honest and informative. I couldn’t put the book down once I’d started it. It is excellent.
Words like this were what encouraged me to continue writing that diary, and eventually put my diary in a book. Thanks to all out there who review the books and blogs of the unknown. Thanks Tina.
I have now converted my book to electronic format. Some say pdf is the ‘de facto’ format for electronic publication. It can be used for computers on all platforms.
However for other devices like mobile phones […]
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