Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Lights Out - remember Ian Tomlinson and deaths in police custody



 UNITED CAMPAIGN AGAINST POLICE VIOLENCE

office@againstpoliceviolence.org.uk - www.againstpoliceviolence.org.uk

Press: Patrick Ward 07894 49 7705

 

PRESS RELEASE - For immediate release

 

LIGHTS OUT - REMEMBER IAN TOMLINSON AND DEATHS IN POLICE CUSTODY

20.30 – 21.30, Friday 24 April

 

To remember Ian Tomlinson and those who have died in police custody, the United Campaign Against Police Violence (UCAPV) has called for lights across Britain to turn off for one hour this Friday.

 

Businesses, homes, universities, and other institutions are asked to pay their respects through an hour of darkness and contemplation.

 

This is the first activity in a rolling programme of action called by the newly formed United Campaign Against Police Violence, set up following the outcry over G20 policing and the death of 47-year-old newspaper vendor, Ian Tomlinson.

 

The action is supported by, amongst others, ex-Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, John McDonnell MP, Green Party assembly member, Darren Johnson, and Samantha Rigg-David, whose brother, Sean Rigg, died in police custody in August 2008.

 

Darren Johnson AM said: "The images of police violence against innocent people were absolutely sickening. I fully support the Lights Out action – London needs to stick together on this."

 

Ken Livingstone said: "Those who talk up the threat of violence have to ask themselves whether they played a role in creating the circumstances that led to Ian Tomlinson's death."

 

John McDonnell MP said: "Ian Tomlinson's death was a tragedy. We need to know the truth about why and how it happened and we need to ensure that lessons are learned so that no other demonstrator suffers harm or dies on our streets. I fully endorse the call for Earth Hour to be repeated in memory of Ian Tomlinson."

 

Samantha Rigg-David said: "Families have been fighting for years for their loved ones to be remembered, for their deaths in police custody not to be swept under the carpet and for justice. We support the Lights Out action on 24th April 2009 as it will be a small symbol of how it continuously feels for us, to live without them."

 

BOB CROW AT MILLWALL FC v. LEYTON ORIENT MATCH

The Den, Saturday 25th April

Assemble: Zampa Road, SE16, 14.20

 

Bob Crow, general secretary of the RMT union and Millwall fan, will distribute leaflets for the United Campaign Against Police Violence, at the Millwall – Leyton Orient game at The Den. He will be joined by Barry, a friend of Ian Tomlinson and fellow Evening Standard seller. They invite campaigners and the media to the event.

 

Bob Crow said: "This is just the beginning of the campaign against police violence – Ian Tomlinson will not be forgotten."

 

Barry said: "I knew Ian for 26 years and he loved Millwall. I'll be among campaigners to make sure Ian is never forgotten"

 

Further details will follow.

 

Further campaign activities include:

  • Thursday, 30 April: Lobby of the Metropolitan Police Authority meeting on G20 policing, City Hall. With Jenny Jones, Green Party Assembly Member.
  • May Day protests, details to be released.
  • Tuesday, 5 May. Launch rally at Friends House, London.
  • Saturday, 23 May. Mass demonstration through London.
  • (More details on these events will follow.)

 

NOTES TO EDITORS

 

  • United Campaign Against Police Violence is a coalition of protest groups, justice campaigns, political parties, civil rights groups and trade unionists around the slogans: Remember Ian Tomlinson - no more deaths in police custody; Freedom to protest - defend civil liberties.

 

  • Representatives of the campaign are available for interview. Please contact Patrick Ward on 07894 497705.

 

UNITED CAMPAIGN AGAINST POLICE VIOLENCE

office@againstpoliceviolence.org.uk - www.againstpoliceviolence.org.uk

Press: Patrick Ward 07894 49 7705

Miliband lied on British arms use in Gaza

When Miliband said that allegations British arms were being used were not true he was lying

By politics.co.uk staff

British arms were used by Israel during recent operations in Gaza, the foreign secretary has admitted.

The revelation is acutely embarrassing for David Miliband, who assured the Commons this was not the case during the fighting at the turn of the year.

http://gazasolidarity.blogspot.com/2009/02/uk-supplies-israeli-war-machine.html

[update 22 April]
The government is looking at five cases of possibly illegal arms export but none of the cases:

• Israeli reconnaissance satellites, for which Britain supplies minor components, which could have been used to provide information to the Israeli army. Miliband said: "We assess that these might have been used to prepare the operation but would not have played a significant part in the operation itself."

• F16 aircraft were "widely used" to deliver precision-guided bombs, and incorporate British components. Britain has banned the export of F16 components directly to Israel since 2002. But British F16 components are exported to the US "where Israel was the ultimate end user".

• Apache attack helicopters, which incorporate British components, exported to the US for use on helicopters "ultimately destined for Israel".

• Saar-class corvette naval vessels, which incorporate a British 76mm gun, and took part in operations from waters off Gaza.

• Armoured personnel carriers, which included conversions of British-supplied Centurion tanks, and were used as mobile headquarters. The Centurions were sold to Israel in the late 1950s.


But none of the cases mention the exports of drone engines. Drones are absolutely critical to the Israeli death machine in Gaza.

The foreign secretary, David Miliband, has twice been challenged on the issue of the engine drones in the Commons since Amnesty International and the Guardian three weeks ago pointed to evidence suggesting engines made by an Israeli-owned factory in Staffordshire had been fitted to the Hermes 450 unmanned aerial vehicle. .

Miliband told MPs who have been calling for an arms embargo the allegations were false. The engine, he said, "was not being used by the IDF but had in fact been for export. I am happy to stick with that."

The Israeli company that imported the engines, Elbit Systems – the owners of the British manufacturers UAV Engines Ltd (UEL) – has denied they were fitted to military drones in Israel, saying they were incorporated into aircraft for export only to third countries.

But at the committee hearing Jane Carpenter, a senior official with the export control section of the business and enterprise department, said that had not been checked. Sitting with Ian Pearson, the responsible business and enterprise minister, Carpenter said: "We cannot categorically confirm that we have physically checked that the engines have been incorporated. We only licensed them to Israel for onward export."

She added that, had the engines stayed in Israel, "that would be a contravention of the licence condition, and that would be an offence".

Pearson explained what checks had been made to allow Miliband to deny the allegations. "My understanding is, we have spoken to this exporter and they have confirmed what we already know from our own database: that while they export UAV engines to Israel, the engines are a particular variant which is not used in Israel but is incorporated into UAVs for onward export. So they would not have been involved in the current conflict."

Pearson also said that the UK government had no clear idea whether the F16s had used the BAE Systems gunsight technology.

Israel is a major exporter of UAVs, and the Hermes 450 has been sold to the US, Singapore and Georgia.

Britain's sensitivity about its military relations with Israel are acute since the Hermes is also the basis for the drone being developed by Elbit and the French company Thales for the £900m Watchkeeper UAV programme for the British army. The UK version, fitted with UEL engines, is due in service next year.

The Hermes programme , like all the Israeli-developed drones, is classified as a state secret; the IDF has refused to confirm or deny reports, which first surfaced during the second Lebanon war in 2006, that they were armed with missiles.

The evidence accumulated by the Guardian and Amnesty from academic and specialist aerospace public sources, as well as from Elbit's website and filings to the US security and exchange commission, suggested that the IDF Hermes had used engines made in the UK. The IDF first acquired these in 1997, three years after UEL Engines was bought by Elbit's drone subsidiary, Silver Arrow.

The authoritative industry journal Jane's Defence Weekly reported at the time: "It is powered by a 52 hp UEL AR-80 1010 rotary engine with propeller." Despite repeated requests, government departments have been unable to say whether they know what engines are used on the IDF's drones. From the Guardian


Third Ian Tomlinson post mortem ordered as Stephenson says deadly G20 op 'a success'

City of London coroner says third postmortem to be carried out on body of Ian Tomlinson at request of police on Wednesday 22 April.

Commissioner Paul Stephenson told MPs today that: "“This was a successful conference, although there have been a few disturbing images that need to be investigated.”

A few 'disturbing images' - what about the killing of an innocent man?
The IPCC is has now received 185 complaints against the police and is investigating 52 incidents according to chairman Nick Hardwick.

Meanwhile, 58% of people questioned by pollsters ICM were opposed to the police use of excessive force, while right wing MP Gerald Howarth bemoans what he sees as the challenge to law and order by Tamils in Parliament Square - the direct result of what he regards as unwarranted criticism of police violence.

Tamils beaten up by cops can be forgiven for not being aware of the new softly softly 'restraint' being shown by the territorial support group bully boys.

The police blogs have been fighting a rearguard action to defend 'outnumbered' police on public order duties. Now that's unusual - cops inflating figures for demos.

They had better hope that when hundreds of thousands of us, as opposed to the 15,000 in the City on 1 April, turn out again for Gaza etc we are forgiving mood.

As a famous and seminal bunch of US rappers by the name of NWA once said: Fuck the Police.

Palestinians starved of water by Israel

We reported on the dire state of Gaza's sewage system and the huge lakes of untreated waste that can be seen from space. To add to the burdens faced by people to meet the needs of everyday life, Palestinians have to exist on access to only a quarter of the water available to Israelis. At least 150,000 Gazans have no access to tap water and many rely on infrequent lorry supplies.

From the BBC
A World Bank report blames Palestinian mismanagement and Israeli restrictions for severe water shortages in Palestinian areas.

Palestinians get only a quarter of the water Israelis have access to.

The existing problems effect not just daily supply but the development of water resources, water uses and wastewater management.

"Water related humanitarian crisis are in fact chronic in Gaza and parts of the West Bank," says the report.

Journalists challenge G20 police state tactics

My union, the National Union of Journalists, may take legal action against cops.

From the Guardian

Roy Mincoff, the NUJ's senior legal officer, is spearheading the NUJ's preparation of G20-related cases and will be contacting the Independent Police Complaints Commission and the Home Office minister, Vernon Coaker.

Union members that attended the G20 protests in the City of London on 1 April and 2 April complained to the NUJ about alleged assaults by officers, the use of cordons and police refusing to release journalists from areas in which demonstrators were contained for several hours, known as "kettling".

"We may take legal action in relation to the assaults, we may similarly do that in relation to the kettling," Mincoff said.

United Campaign Against Police Violence - action, events and contacts

United Campaign Against Police Violence - contact details

Facebook: www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=162039415042

Web: againstpoliceviolence.org.uk

Email: office@againstpoliceviolence.org.uk

Phone: 07894 497705

Action and events

Friday 24 April - "Lights Out" in honour of Ian Tomlinson and all those who died at the hands of police, 8:30 - 9:30pm

Saturday 25 April - Millwall FC, unfurling the banner of the United Campaign against Police Violence.

Thursday 30 April - Picket of Public meeting of Metropolitan Police Authority.

Friday 1 May - May Day activity, to ensure the campaign and forthcoming events are publicised on all May Day activity.

Mayday Meltdown 2 - the four Horsefolk come out in support of SPACE HIJACKERS Convicts Carnival @ BANK OF ENGLAND, 5.04 p.m.

http://www.facebook.com/event.php. Download the flyer.

Tuesday 5 May - Public rally in Friends Meeting House on Euston Road at 7:00pm. This will be the public launch of the United Campaign Against Police Violence.

Saturday 23 May - National demonstration. March from Trafalgar Square to Scotland Yard via Downing Street.

Video - G20 police agent provocateurs caught on film


The Guardian is sending four new videos on police violence to the IPCC.

The assorted violence includes the disturbing image of tooled-up persons not in police uniform among the police formations.

These, presumably plain clothes, members of the territorial support group have been known about for some time by demonstrators. The police always denied the existence of such units of agent provocateurs operating offically in their ranks.

From the Guardian
The Guardian will today provide the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) with five additional videos shot on mobile phones or camcorders and given to the newspaper in the last week. They are among 14 videos compiled by the Guardian showing alleged police violence or questionable tactics at the G20 protests.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2009/apr/21/g20-protest-video-police

http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2009/apr/21/g20-protest-video-police-2

United Campaign Against Police Violence - contact details

Facebook: www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=162039415042

Web: againstpoliceviolence.org.uk

Email: office@againstpoliceviolence.org.uk

Phone: 07894 497705


Friday April 24 - "Lights Out" in honour of Ian Tomlinson and all those who died at the hands of police, 8:30 - 9:30pm

Saturday April 25 - Millwall FC, unfurling the banner of the United Campaign against Police Violence.

Thursday April 30 - Picket of Public meeting of Metropolitan Police Authority.

Friday May 1st - May Day activity, to ensure the campaign and forthcoming events are publicised on all May Day activity.

Mayday Meltdown 2 - the four Horsefolk come out in support of SPACE HIJACKERS Convicts Carnival @ BANK OF ENGLAND, 5.04 p.m.

http://www.facebook.com/event.php. Download the flyer.

Tuesday 5 May - Public rally in Friends Meeting House on Euston Road at 7:00pm. This will be the public launch of the United Campaign Against Police Violence.

Saturday 23 May - National demonstration. March from Trafalgar Square to Scotland Yard via Downing Street.

IDF terrorises village to let in zionist settlers


Israeli occupation forces at dawn Monday rounded up ten Palestinian citizens in various West Bank areas including a 15-year-old boy from Arub refugee camp north of Al-Khalil, local sources reported.

They said that the ten were arrested in Al-Khalil, Ramallah and Bethlehem districts and were carried to interrogation centers.

The sources pointed out that the detainees also included a teen from Sa'eer town northeast of Al-Khalil.

The Israeli Occupation Forces on Sunday night imposed a curfew on Kuful Hares village to the northwest of Salfit to pave the way for entry of thousands of Jewish settlers into the village to visit what they call Jewish sites.

Thanks to PIC

Police used Tasers to threaten G20 protesters


As reported by Gaza Solidarity at the time following allegations from protesters, police territorial support group thugs deployed Tazers in the raid on the G20 convergence Centre in Earl Street. According to the Standard two videos have now emerged.

From the Evening Standard
Hannah McClure, 21, who was at the squat, said: “We sat on the floor with our hands up showing our peaceful intentions. Dozens of riot police entered. I remember seeing one officer with a Taser gun. He pointed it at us and yelled at us to lie face down and with arms stretched out. Very direct and abusive language was used.

“I heard one guy received more abuse because he was filming. They took the guy away and later I heard him yell, Help, I need a medic'.

“I lay on the ground for around 30 minutes and was then handcuffed, searched and detained on the suspicion of violent behaviour. I was left psychologically and emotionally drained, shocked at the tactics used by police. I feel legal action should be taken for this unnecessary and violent raid.”

Dom Marsh, 26, another demonstrator in the squat, said: “It was terrifying. They rushed in and one was carrying this Taser. He faced the room with his legs apart and was pointing it at people. We were all really shocked. One of the people next to me was filming it. He got hit with a baton. Anyone who was not lying on their front got hit.”

Fatah attempt to murder Hamas MP Beitawi another blow to reconciliation


The talks in Egypt on national reconciliation collapsed a couple of weeks ago although Egypt hopes to drag the paties back to the table, but given the background of continued collaboration with Israel by elements in Fatah it is difficult to see any opening anytime soon.
GAZA, (PIC)-- The Hamas change and reform parliamentary bloc on Sunday strongly denounced the attempted assassination of Sheikh Hamid Al-Beitawi, a prominent religious figure and a Hamas MP, stressing that this crime is a transgression of all red lines and an indication of the gravity of the violations committed in the West Bank against Hamas cadres and leaders.

In a news conference held in the Shihab news agency, MP Mushir Al-Masri, the secretary-general of the Hamas parliamentary bloc, held ex-PA chief Mahmoud Abbas and the leaders of his security apparatuses in the West Bank fully responsible for the safety of Sheikh Beitawi.

Masri told the press conference that a member of the preventive security force called Noman Amir at noon Sunday physically assaulted and cursed Sheikh Beitawi as he was outside a mosque escorted by his son, adding that the assailant also uttered blasphemous remarks before opening fire directly at the Sheikh.

The lawmaker demanded Fatah leadership and parliamentary bloc to state their positions clearly toward this cowardly crime and punish the assailants and corrupt security elements or else they would be considered involved in the assault.

For his part, MP Ismail Al-Ashqar, the head of the committee on security and local government in the PLC, condemned the attempted assassination as a dangerous assault, warning that this crime would adversely affect the inter-Palestinian dialog if Fatah did not declare its position on what happened.

The Palestinian government headed by premier Ismail Haneyya also expressed its strong condemnation of this crime, highlighting that the assault on Sheikh Beitawi is an extension of the crimes committed in the Gaza Strip ahead of June 2006 by the PA security apparatuses which do the same thing now in the West Bank.

In a statement received by the PIC, spokesman for the government Taher Al-Nunu deplored Fatah spokesman Fahmi Al-Za'areer for justifying the crime and trying to provide cover for its perpetrator, saying that such justifications reveal that the attempted murder was already planned and politically motivated.

Spokesman Nunu stressed that such crimes confirm that the PA and Fatah leaders in the West Bank are not serious at all about the national reconciliation and only seek to further aggravate the internal division in the Palestinian arena through persisting in killing citizens, lawmakers and religious figures and coordinating with IOF troops against the Palestinian resistance.

For their part, Hamas-affiliated prisoners in Israeli jails deplored the heinous crime committed against Sheikh Al-Beitawi, calling on Hamas leaders in the West Bank to take precautions.


Thanks to PIC