- G20 Summit and Countersummit Broadcast on KPFA – April 2nd
KPFA’s April 2nd coverage features activist Tadzio Mueller on the vigil today at the Bank of England for the man who died during yeterday’s demonstrations there, anarchist scholar Andrej Grubacic on the factory occupations and “boss-napping” taking place across Western and Eastern Europe, as well as the Eastern European debt bomb, French academic Philip Golub on Sarkozy and social and labor upheaval in France, and political economist Leo Panitch talking about the geopolitics of the G20, financial deregulation, US empire, and bank nationalization.
G20 Diary: An arresting scene
April 3, 2009
It may be apocryphal but, true or false, this story deserves a place in anarchist mythology. As you know, 11 protesters were nicked near Bishopsgate on Wednesday on suspicion of possessing a fake armoured car and police uniforms. The word on the street is that when the constable said to one of them: “I’m arresting you for impersonating a police officer,” the immortal reply was: “No, I’m arresting you for impersonating a police officer.” Surreal, or what?
Unsurprisingly, police have busted two squats in London — the rampART social centre and the Payne House — “as the hunt for violent G20 anarchists continued”.
The rampART social centre was established in May, 2004; the Payne House was squatted shortly before the Summit for use as a convergence space.
Police detained squatters for hours, identified or attempted to identify and record the identities of all of those involved, and eventually arrested a handful of those detained on a number of charges relating to the April 1 protests. (See also: Police evict/ing aspaceoutside and the wake, November 17, 2006).
Johnny On the Spot:
Around 12.30 the police set up a cordon around the surrounding area, blocking off roads and refusing access to the space. Then 150/200 police stormed the office/residential complex made up of 12 connected building[s], Payne house being one of them [and the other 11 buildings standing derelict].
A large armored urban combat vehicle screeched into Earls Street as riot cops swarmed in from either side bunching in a phalanx formation around the main doorway.
At the same time more riot cops invaded the surrounding buildings, gaining access to the roof – just in time to meet fleeing activists running to escape the impending confrontation.
Despite countless attempts to engage in conversation with the police, informing them their actions where illegal, they only responded with jeers, while the police outside Payne house were in the process of battering down the main door despite valiant attempts by residents to hold it.
Some residents fleeing from the roof met others fleeing from the ground floor, and barricaded themselves on the first floor, locking themselves in a series of side offices.
What followed was a twisted game of hunter and prey, as protesters attempted to escape – followed by a small army of cops. Despite attempts to hide in the basement or run across the roof tops [or] crawl into the loft space, all were eventually picked off one by one, threatened with Tasers and riot batons, and dragged from the building.
The main body of people on the first floor were made to lie face down with their hands in the air, looking on as the riot cops smashed the kitchens and surrounding spaces that they had just built.
Everyone on the premises was arrested for violent disorder, handcuffed and removed from the building. Around 100 residents evicted from the building were made to sit in plastic cuffs in the gutter.
After a couple of hours of F.I.T identification, the police only arrested one person, and had to de-arrest everyone else. Conveniently in this time the owners, followed by a veritable workforce army, descended on the complex and proceeded to reclaim possession of all the premises, and to repair the enormous damage caused to the buildings by the police.
This eviction was totally illegal, and as one policeman said, the operation was a logistical nightmare and we should enter an official complaint.
Some possessions were reclaimed from the building. If you had stuff inside go to Rampart[?!?], and also for more info/emergency housing.
Payne house was truly a shooting star.
It will be sorely missed.
Witness Statement About G20 Death. Again — unsurprisingly — witness statements contradict state/corporate media accounts which claim protesters attacked police while they attempted to assist the dead man (“Police officers were reportedly pelted with debris as they tried to resuscitate him” stated The Independent). colono also can has infos: G20 Violence: Death at the Hands of the Police.
Malfunctioning Units of Human Capital Value Added
In other news, factory workers have devolved into squatters — fuckwits/bums/lowlifes — by occupying their workplaces in Belfast (Northern Ireland/Six Counties) and Enfield (Middlesex, England) following the announcement of mass sackings. Several hundred unites of Human Capital Value Added have taken over factories properly belonging to car parts manufacturer Visteon. Visteon workers have appealed for solidarity from others in the car industry (especially Ford workers), but it’s unknown if any has been forthcoming.
Personally, I think the company should send in the goon squad.
Cameraderie, alcohol and desperation on Visteon car plant rooftop protestors’ second night
April 2, 2009
ROOFTOP protestors at the Visteon car plant are keeping their spirits up with comradeship and alcohol.
As they prepare to spend a second night barricaded into the Ponders End car plant, an army of wives, partners, former colleagues and friends has swung into action, delivering food, drink and moral support.
Over £160 has been collected from visitors to the protest for supplies and this morning former Visteon shop steward, Steve Parenti, brought in a cooked breakfast for 60 people.
Well wishers have been turning up too, displaying acts of solidarity such as one young woman who brought ten packets of cigarettes yesterday.
Former machine operator, Linda Bartle, said: “I don’t even know her name or where she was from.
“She said she normally gives to charities abroad but she’s decided now that it’s needed here, I was really surprised.”
In one of many poignant displays of love across the barricades, Sue Lloyd turned up to see her partner, Dave Ainsborough, with a hot casserole, beer, cigarettes and a change of clothes.
“I don’t think what they were prepared for this before it actually happened, it was a shock,” she said passing the supplies through the bars of the fence.
“It’s the first night we’ve spent apart in a long time, I’ll definitely be coming back after my shift at the Harvester.”
Ms Lloyd, of Thornaby Gardens, Edmonton, said the two had only recently moved in together to save money.
As well as anger at the fate of the 227 workers there is a strong sense of friendship between the former colleagues, who laugh and joke between swigs of beer and coffee.
The former colleagues, some of whom had spent their entire working lives at the factory, occupied the building on Tuesday after the company went into receivership and they were made redundant with immediate effect on Monday.
They have been told they will only be able to claim the Government-set minimum redundancy pay but it could take six weeks to come through.
This compares to packages of as much as £40,000 under Ford’s terms and conditions.
Meanwhile they have not been paid for their last week’s work and are living on credit, charity and their savings.
Fifty-year-old Lee Cowell, of Shirley Grove, Edmonton, said: “We’re desperately making something of this protest because we’ve no money, we’ve got nothing, literally nothing.
“I say to myself how am I going to pay the mortgage?
“But we’re really surprised at the support we’ve had, it’s fantastic.”
Despite the cameraderie there is a sense of desperation and a firmer feeling of denial.
Ten and seven-year-old Keenan and Tyrone Roach, of Beech Close, Edmonton, are the sons of two people who have been hit by the redundancies.
They turned up with their mother Clare to lend support to their father Dave and colleagues inside.
Mrs Roach said: “I’m trying not to think about it, it hasn’t really sunk in, the worst scenario I haven’t really thought about.
“I just want a reasonable bit of money. I don’t see myself getting another job in six months and we need something to live on.”
Want Keenan wants is simple.
“I want to see my Daddy,” he said.
About Visteon in Europe
European Corporate Office in Basildon, United Kingdom
24 Manufacturing facilities in Europe, including South Africa
7 Focused factories in Europe, to meet just in time and just in sequence lean delivery requirements of OEMs
10 Technical centers in Europe
12 Customer service centers in Europe
Approximately 15,000 people in Europe
Visteon UK Ltd.
150 – 156 Finaghy Road North
Visteon UK Ltd.