Activists who occupied a well-known Trade Union building are claiming the direct action was a success.
A dozen members of the Teesside Anarchist Network, Teesside Solidarity and various individuals occupied the Trade Union-owned Cleveland Trade Unionists and Unemployed Workers Centre on Marton Road, Middlesbrough on Friday.
The activists said the building was neglected and dilapidated and should be renovated and put to good use for various activities like a clothing bank, advice centre, creche and bookshop.
Cleveland Police were called and the anarchists and socialists agreed to leave after Cleveland Trades Council representatives agreed to meet with them to discuss how the building could be better used.
A statement by Teesside Anarchist Network said: “Direct action gets the goods.”
Bob Stephenson, secretary of Cleveland Trades Council, said:
“Those people do not have any connection with us or our centre. They said they were trying to support us but their actions have done more harm than good. They gained access by booking a room under an other name.”
Gay rights activists staged a protest in a bid to get one of the world’s biggest companies to speak out against Russia’s controversial laws on homosexuality.
About a dozen supporters took tohomosexuality in Sunderland to campaign outside McDonald’s as they called on its bosses to speak out about the country’s stance.
Last year, its Government banned the promotion of “non-traditional” sexuality, which has been seen as an attack on gay rights.
The country is holding this year’s Winter Olympics in Sochi, with the opening ceremony held yesterday.
People of all sexualities attended the protest, which also saw a letter handed to the restaurant’s management setting out why the event was held and how lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people were being beaten and persecuted in Russian.
Sam Willey, 22, one of the organisers, said: “What we’re trying to do is push them to at least accept Russia is persecuting gay people.
“It’s not necessarily to say they should pull out of their sponsorship but to speak out.
“They are paying a lot of money for the Olympics, and the least they could do is a little bit more to call for action.
“A lot of us saw the Dispatches documentary, and that really shocked a lot of people to the core.”
Among those to join in the event was Ryan Houston, chairman of Sunderland Pride, who said: “I think this highlights what we take for granted in the North East, and we support the work they are doing.”
The protest backed an international campaign called All Out, which states no person should have to sacrifice their family or freedom, safety or dignity, because of who they are or who they love.
A spokesman for McDonald’s said: “We are aware that some activists are targeting Olympic sponsors to voice their concerns regarding the Russian LGBT legislation.
“McDonald’s supports human rights, the spirit of the Olympics and all the athletes who’ve worked so hard to compete in the Games.
“We believe the Olympic Games should be open to all, free of discrimination, and that applies to spectators, officials, media and athletes.”
Source – Sunderland Echo 08 Feb 2014
Thanks to Nicola Jones for this … worrying times indeed!
A British citizen was held for days without charge in a London mental hospital under little-known laws which allow the police to arrest and detain anybody who voices criticism against politicians or celebrities.
The Fixated Threat Assessment Centre (FTAC) was quietly set up to identify individuals who they claim pose a direct threat to VIPs including the Prime Minister, the Cabinet and the Royal Family.
It was given sweeping powers to check more than 10,000 suspects’ files to identify mentally unstable potential “killers and stalkers” with a fixation against public figures.
The team’s psychiatrists and psychologists then have the power to order treatment – including forcibly detaining suspects in secure psychiatric units.
Using these powers, the unit can legally detain people for an indefinite period without trial, criminal charges or even evidence of a crime being committed and with very…
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