Nottingham Indymedia: review of 2011Tagged as: 2011 new_year review
Neighbourhoods: nottingham nottinghamshire notts uk world
Published by group: Notts Indymedia
The past year has been a particularly tumultuous one which has seen the wave of Middle Eastern revolutions, the Libyan war, the August Riots, the indignados and occupy movements, the Eurozone crisis, Hackgate, the continuing militancy of the anti-cuts movement and much more. Nottingham has felt the reverberations of many of these global events, with an Occupy Nottingham camp in the Market Square, anti-police riots, the biggest trade union march for decades and many solidarity and anti-cuts actions and demonstrations.
January saw many issues carried over from the previous year. The Ratcliffe Trial was to have been concluded, but all came to a shuddering halt as the truth about Mark Kennedy was unearthed by the mainstream media. Student-led protests against cuts to EMA also continued.
February saw Nottingham respond to the revolutions beginning to spread across the Middle East, with solidarity demonstrations and concerns about the involvement of local arms dealers Heckler & Koch. In other arms trade-related news, a Nottinghamshire businessman was implicated in an international arms trafficking racket. Workers at Nottinghamshire County Council were the first to take strike action against the cuts. The Beeston offices of notorious work capability assessors, Atos Origin, had windows put in and were graffitied by ‘Angry People’.
Corporate spy was active in Nottingham | Nottingham Solidarity with Egyptian Revolution | Middle East dictatorships armed by H&K | Notts County Council workers strike against cuts | Notts arms dealer in trafficking conspiracy
March saw local campaigns against the cuts step-up a gear as the city council met to set it’s budget for the next year, dogged by protesters. Protesters disrupted the council meeting and chased Jon Collins around Market Square. Later in the month Nottingham residents would be among the hundreds of thousands who joined the TUC march in London. Direct action was taken by anti-capitalists against a branch of Tesco’s and Natwest bank.
Notts Uncut campaigners shut Natwest Bank | No Cuts in Nottingham! | Resistance to Nottingham City Cuts | International Women’s Day 2011 in Nottingham | Notts Joins March Against Cuts | Notts Arms Dealer Back in Spotlight | Notts Strikes, Protests and Marches Against Cuts
In April, animal rights activists were pleased to announce a local success as a Derby Road shop committed to no longer selling fur. Campaigners concerned about the future of the NHS started to organise with health-focused Uncut actions, a national day of action and a public meeting cheekily titled “Kill the Bill.” New revelations emerged about the “Nottingham Two,” Hicham Yezza and Rizwaan Sabir, arrested at the University of Nottingham, in a paper by Dr Rod Thornton that was highly critical of the University.
Notts Shop Withdraws Fur After Protest | Nottingham Mobilises to Save NHS | Save Hayward House Daycare | Heckler & Koch armed Bahrain regime | Big changes are coming to Indymedia UK | New light shed on the Nottingham Two
As is traditional, May got started with the usual celebration of International Workers’ Day. A campaign to defend university whistleblower, Rod Thornton, after he was suspended. A dispersal order was imposed and resisted by local activists. Campaigners for the NHS got to grips with the government’s “listening” process while later in the month, Notts Uncut joined other groups nationally in acting to defend the NHS. Anarchists attacked a Nottingham company responsible for selling CCTV cameras to local schools in an action against social control.
Mayday 2011 in the East Midlands | Censorship at University of Nottingham | Protests against Office Angels and ATOS | Dispersal order in Forest Fields | Notts Uncut: Still Protesting | Support grows for Uni of Nottingham whistleblower | Victories for Notts Campaigns | Notts Rejects Plans For NHS | Nottingham Solidarity with Spanish Revolution
Local Tory MP and Justice Minister, Ken Clarke, was targeted by direct action against his constituency office and the West Bridgford Conservative Club in the aftermath of comments he made about rape and cuts to legal aid. More concerns about surveillance were raised following the announcement that the City Council’s Workplace Parking Levy would use a spy car equipped with ANPR technology. The month ended with the first of the year’s large national strikes as teachers and civil servants too action in defence of their pensions on June 30th.
The 63rd anniversary of the NHS was on July 5th, campaigners marked the date with a demo at the London Road Roundabout and followed it up with a “trial” of Health Secretary Andrew Lansley. A Reclaim Nottingham party toured the city centre in an attempt to reclaim public space. Activists held a protest at the Morton Hall migrant prison. Vivisection breeder, Highgate Farm, had a delivery vehicle put out of action by animal rights activists.
Increasing social control in Nottingham | Nottingham Workers Join June 30 Strike | Protests in Notts Mark 63rd Anniversary of NHS | Reclaim Nottingham! party hits town | Climate activists’ convictions quashed | Campaigners target Morton Hall IRC
In August, the rioting and looting which had begun in London following the police shooting of Mark Duggan, spread to Nottingham. Nottingham was also at the forefront of post-riot repression with courts handing down ridiculous sentences and city council leader Jon Collins calling for rioters and/or their families to be evicted from council homes.
In September good news came through that anti-fascist defendants in London had been acquitted, much to the delight of supporters in Nottingham, while Tescos lost their battle for a new store in Keyworth. At the end of the month, a protest was held at Atos Healthcare as part of a national day of action against the company, Nottinghamshire Police arrested two of the participants.
On October 15th, Nottingham joined the growing ranks of occupied cities around the world. Originally planned as a 24 hour occupation of the Market Square, the camp is still there at the time of writing. Meanwhile an arson attack was carried out against a vehicle at Nottingham Prison.
November saw the occupation continue and indeed grow, while the two protesters arrested at the Atos Healthcare demonstration in September were charged with aggravated trespass. Council Leader Jon Collins’ was visited by a No Evictions demonstration outside his home to protest against his plans to evict social tenants found to have been involved in the August riots. An old Tory social club was temporarily occupied for an anti-cuts free space. The month ended on a high with the public sector strike action in defence of pensions and the largest demonstration in Nottingham in decades.
Occupy Nottingham: Still there | No Evictions campaign targets council leader | Lowkey “Soundtrack to the Struggle” Gig Success | Nottingham’s ‘Atos Two’ Charged | STRIKE on 30th November! | NSAFC Report on @OccupyNotts 36 Days In | Occupy Nottingham: No plans for eviction. Yet. | Solidarity With Nottingham’s ‘Atos Two’ | Bigger Society Free Space in Nottingham | All out for N30 in Notts!
As Christmas approached, the occupation found itself surrounded by the “Winter Wonderland”, nevertheless they persisted continuing through Christmas and inviting supporters to join them for New Year’s Eve. Nottinghamshire Police failed to get into the festive spirit and took it upon themselves to arrest two people at the Notts Uncut “Christmas Special” and a third at the police station later that evening. They also wrongfully confiscated a student photographers material outside the Occupy camp. Meanwhile, the dubious smell associated with Mark Kennedy returned as the first report into undercover policing was released, to widespread criticism, while eight former lovers of undercover officers began legal proceedings against the Met.
Student photographer hassled by Notts Police | Notts workers strike for pensions | First report into undercover policing: “whitewash” | OccupyNottingham: Two months in | Criminalisation of protest in Nottingham | Women sue Met over undercover cops | Occupy Nottingham: Xmas and New Year in Market Sq