police state

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High Court rules government’s anti-protest law enabling more police action is unlawful

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 21/05/2024 - 9:48pm in

Legal challenge to government’s lowered threshold to classify inconvenient protest to allow police to intervene succeeds

A legal challenge by rights group Liberty has won its court case against the government over its change to the definition of protests this morning.

The government had used ‘secondary legislation’ to push through a change to the definition of serious – avoiding proper parliamentary scrutiny – that meant anything more than ‘minor’ was ‘serious’, allowing police to lower the bar to escalating their actions to break up protests. The proposed changes had already been rejected in the Lords, so the government was using the move to bypass usual parliamentary process. Liberty said the government had no legal power to do this and the High Court has agreed that it acted unlawfully.

Liberty has demanded that police forces immediately cease the use of the new definition. The government has said it will appeal the ruling.

If you wish to republish this post for non-commercial use, you are welcome to do so – see here for more.

Far-right Bannon endorses Starmer

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 08/03/2024 - 12:20am in

Less than a week after Labour tried to use comments by BNP’s Nick Griffin to smear George Galloway, Starmer receives his own extremist – and criminal – endorsement

Last week, Labour talking heads and supporters tried to tarnish George Galloway’s landslide win in the Rochdale by-election by pointing out that the BNP’s far-right figure Nick Griffin had spoken positively about Galloway’s win. Galloway, known for taking no nonsense from interviewers, pointed out that he has no control over what people say, but this did not deter desperate Starmeroids from using the tactic.

Today, news has broken that Keir Starmer has been endorse by US far-right figure Steve Bannon, the architect of Trumpianism and a convicted criminal, who said he is ‘very impressed’ by Starmer. Right…

Bannon also infamously talked of Trump ‘declaring victory’ despite losing the 2020 presidential election – and appeared to allude to the storming of the Capitol by a right-wing mob:

Unsurprisingly, the so-called ‘mainstream’ media hasn’t leaped to the obvious conclusion that if Galloway is bad because a right-wing extremist spoke positively about him, then presumably Keir Starmer – endorsed by someone arguably far worse – is, too.

But grassroots commentators are enjoying much merriment at yet another smear blowing up in the face of Starmer and his acolytes – and with far more justification, given Starmer’s extreme affinity for police state laws, assaults on democracy and genocide.

If you wish to republish this post for non-commercial use, you are welcome to do so – see here for more.

Jewish former S African MP Feinstein will stand against Starmer in Holborn St Pancras

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sun, 11/02/2024 - 8:55pm in

OCISA selects candidate to fight for ‘Labour leader’s seat at next parliamentary election

Andrew Feinstein speaking at the ‘Stop Starmer’ initiative in London’s Conway Hall last year

The OCISA group formed with the aim of ousting so-called ‘Labour leader’ Keir Starmer has selected Corruption Watch UK director Andrew Feinstein, a Jewish former South African MP and adviser to Nelson Mandela, to stand against Starmer in Holborn and St Pancras in the next general election. Feinstein now lives in the seat.

Feinstein. the son of Holocaust survivors, has a long record of substance and principle that stands in stark contrast to his ‘broken every promise’ opponent, who is known as a ‘long-time servant of the security state’ and became known as the ‘kid starver’ after breaking promises to end the hated ‘universal credit’ benefit system and saying he would not end Tory benefit cuts that have put hundreds of thousands of children into poverty and hunger.

Feinstein has also consistently stood against Israel’s apartheid and genocide in Gaza, arguing that the same tactics his ANC party in South Africa used to bring down apartheid there must be used against Israel and pointing his social media followers to information about Israel’s slaughter of innocents. Starmer, in contrast, has said Israel has the ‘right’ even to impose the blockade on Gaza that is causing horrific starvation and disease.

Despite Labour’s significant majority in previous elections in the seat, the candidacy of someone with such substance and track record must be seen as a threat to Starmer’s position, particularly in a seat where one in six voters are Muslims and even more so in the light of South Africa’s leading role in the fight against the Gaza genocide – and soon against the UK’s complicity. The campaign is likely to be supported by large numbers of people from the constituency and around the UK, who are outraged at Starmer’s complicity in genocide and his abetting of the Tories’ assault on our rights and freedoms in the UK.

Starmer and his team are said to be ‘raging’ at the news and deeply concerned:

Those who wish to donate to Feinstein’s campaign fund can do so here.

If you wish to republish this post for non-commercial use, you are welcome to do so – see here for more.

Palestine Action activist remanded to prison after Stock Exchange arrests

Anti-war activist Sean Middleborough

Palestine Action activist Sean Middleborough was remanded to prison yesterday following his arrest on Sunday morning over an alleged plan to disrupt business at the London Stock Exchange (LSE), charged with ‘conspiracy to commit public nuisance’ under the draconian Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act 2022, after appearing at Wirral Magistrates Court. Five other activists were released from police custody without charges pending further investigation. 

On his way into the custody van, Middlebrough was heard to shout “Free Palestine”. Lawyers will be submitting an application for immediate granting of bail.

Middleborough and five other activists are accused of having planned to blockade the LSE, which through its trading in bonds and shares plays a significant role in facilitating the occupation of Palestine. The LSE has raised over over £4.73 billion in bond sales for the apartheid state of Israel in the past six years. The exchange describes itself as “a key partner to Israeli businesses, by enabling them to raise capital internationally” and trades shares in weapons manufacturers arming Israel’s regime. 

A meeting on 8 February 2022 between UK government and Israeli investors, which included representatives from Israeli weapons companies Elbit Systems and Rafael, noted that “The London Stock Exchange has a strong and important relationship with Israel”. This includes the LSE holding capital market conferences in Israel and hosting Israeli business on the exchange with a combined market capital of $14.7 billion. 

The arrests came after a Daily Express ‘journalist’ spied on the group in order to report on activities and hand information on alleged plans to the police. Most of the UK press and broadcast media have ignored Israel’s crimes and worked to manufacture consent for its ongoing genocide of Palestinians, which so far has killed almost 32,000 Palestinians, mostly women and children, according to the latest Euro-Med Monitor report. If failing to report even the basic facts of Israel’s crimes – including against its own people on 7 October – wasn’t bad enough, ‘reporters’ have now gone as far as acting on behalf of the state to criminalise direct action movement opposing Israel’s war crimes. 

The UK state has been taking ever more draconian measures to try to punish and deter activists who stand on the side of humanity and against genocide. Numerous activists seeking an end to bloodshed have found themselves detained by the British state and often charged, with varying levels of state success. Palestine Action has stated repeatedly that it will not be diverted from the struggle for Palestinian liberation and the ending of all UK arms production and shipments to apartheid Israel. 

If you wish to republish this post for non-commercial use, you are welcome to do so – see here for more.

Exclusive: police try to gag Greenstein, invade privacy through bail conditions

Human rights activist arrested by anti-terror police for a single tweet faces censorship and snooping for speaking out against genocide

Image: S Walker

Brighton-based Jewish left-winger and human rights activist Tony Greenstein faces censorship and an assault on his privacy after he was arrested last week for a single tweet supporting Palestinian resistance in Gaza against Israeli genocide.

Greenstein was bailed until spring after a nine-hour detention and the confiscation of his electronics, but Skwawkbox understands that the bail conditions imposed upon him represent a severe invasion of his privacy and an assault on his freedom of speech:

  1. Greenstein must reside at his flat and sleep there every night – a significant issue when he has a son with special emotional needs living at a separate address
  2. He is banned from commenting on Twitter/X about Gaza and Palestine
  3. If he buys a new phone – his previous one remains with police – he must notify police of the phone number and also of the IMEI number of his handset

Phone manufacturer Blackview strongly recommends that anyone with a mobile phone keep their IMEI number – the unique 15-digit identifier of the physical handset – private and do not share it with anyone untrustworthy(!), because of the grave security risks, because possession of the IMEI allows a third party to:

  • Track your phone. If your phone is stolen, the person who stole it can use your IMEI number to track your phone’s location [even if it is switched off or the SIM card is swapped]
  • Block your phone from being used on a network. If you report your phone as stolen, your phone carrier can block your IMEI number from being used on their network. This will prevent the phone from being used to make calls, send text messages, or use the internet.
  • Use your phone to commit fraud. Some criminals use stolen phones to commit fraud, such as making unauthorized calls or sending spam messages. They can also use your phone to access your personal information, such as your bank account details.
  • Clone your phone. It is possible to clone a phone’s IMEI number. This means that the criminal can create a duplicate of your phone that has the same IMEI number. This can be used to commit fraud or to track your movements.

Of perhaps even greater concern is the ban on posts about Gaza and Palestine. As one of the UK’s most outspoken Jewish advocates of Palestinian rights and Israel advocates’ war on freedom of speech in the UK and elsewhere – and a fearless critic of Israel’s fake news and invented evidence used to justify its genocide in Gaza – Greenstein’s importance to the political debate is considerable – which may well be a contributing factor to his targeting by police, presumably acting on complaints from pro-Israel right-wingers.

Greenstein was given a suspended sentence in September after a farcical trial at Wolverhampton Crown Court in which he and fellow Palestine Action activists were convicted of criminal damage against Israeli arms manufacturer Elbit despite no damage being done, and so faces the imposition of that sentence if convicted of the latest accusation. The pro-Israel lobby, however, has no qualms about seeing troublesome opponents jailed for speaking out against mass murder and apartheid.

If you wish to republish this post for non-commercial use, you are welcome to do so – see here for more.

Two Palestine Action activists acquitted by jury for putting ketchup on Balfour statue

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 20/12/2023 - 9:26am in

Pair charged ludicrously with criminal damage for putting sauce on a statue have been found not guilty

Protestors who squirted tomato ketchup on to a Commons statue of Arthur Balfour, after whom the UK’s commitment to the creation of an Israeli state on Palestinian land is named, have been found not guilty of criminal damage by a unanimous jury decision.

The protest by the two women took place on the 105th anniversary of the ‘Balfour Declaration’ by the British Government in 1917:

Video released by Palestine Action

According to the defendants’ legal firm,

this case is thought to have been the first trial to take place in the Crown Court as a result of Section 50 of the Police Crime Sentencing and Courts Act 2022 – which amended the mode of trial for low value criminal damage to memorials.

Legal argument during the trial included whether the protest amounted to damage, whether the defendants had a lawful excuse in accordance with their right to freedom of expression protected under Article 10 of the EHRC, and also due to their belief that the public would consent to their protest as a form of expression and if they were aware of the history, consequence and legacy of the Balfour Declaration.

The pair were defended by Hamish McCallum of Garden Court North Chambers’ protest rights team.

If you wish to republish this post for non-commercial use, you are welcome to do so – see here for more.