Monthly Archives: January 2011

Thessaloniki 4 all found Not Guilty!

The four comrades, including UK anarchist Simon Chapman, have been found not guilty in Greek court of the charges going back to the EU Summit protests and riots in Thessaloniki in 2003.

from a comrade in Greece:

ALL four of the defendants are free. All the initial charges were dropped apart from “distinguished defiance of authority” which was then reduced to “minor defiance of authority”. It is a misdemeanour, carrying a 6-month suspended sentence, but they won’t be imprisoned unless of course someone is charged again during these 6 months. This was the best the juries could ever do, since they had to be charged of something, in order to justify the 6 months they had spent in prison back in 2003.

Small correction: these 500 euros is to cover trial expenses. The Europeans (Simon and Fernando) signed a paper confirming they are EU citizens and they promise to pay some other time, Kastro is an Athens permanent citizen and Michalis doesn’t need to pay it, since he is in prison already.

http://www.freedompress.org.uk/news/2011/01/31/thessaloniki-4-all-found-not-guilty/

Emergency Solidarity Demo for the Thessaloniki 4 // 11am Sat Jan 29th

Emergency Solidarity Demo for the Thessaloniki 4 // 11am Saturday Jan 29th* // Greek Tourist Office, Central London

Location of demo

The saga of the trial currently taking place in Thessaloniki, Greece continues with a judgement on the four now due on Monday January 31st. It was always clear that the trial and the repression which preceded was motivated and directed at the highest levels of the Greek State.

We do not think that justice is a value known to the courts, especially when the police have taken upon themselves to enforce the repression of the political establishments and continue to perpetrate lies to ensure convictions.

This Monday, January 31st, will see Simon’s lawyer give his final summary to the courts after which the Judges and Jury will retire to consider a decision.

We call on all comrades, sympathisers and freedom-lovers to show their solidarity with the four defendants

Solidarity to Simon Chapman, Suleiman “Kastro” Dakdouk , Michaelis Triakapis and Fernando Perez Gorraiz

We are with you all!

Everyone to the Streets!

+++ Spread the Word +++
Text this message to your friends:
“Emergency solidarity demo for the thessaloniki four, 11am Saturday Jan 29th at the greek tourist offices, 4 conduit st ( off regent st ), w1s 2dj – pass it on”

Tweet using #solidarity and/or #demo2011

http://www.salonikisolidarity.org.uk…hessaloniki-4/

Witchcraft To Blame For Economic Slump Claims Osborne

George ‘Gideon’ Osborne today blamed witchcraft for the recent slump in economic growth.  Speaking from a ski-lift in Davos Osborne said that whilst Trade Unions, weather and the Labour Party all shared some of the blame he now believed a coven of witches, possibly located within the media, may be responsible.

Osborne claimed:

“Having looked at all the possible scapegoats, including benefit scroungers, single mothers and cripples, it is clear that something far more sinister is at work.  The Coalition Government will not tolerate sorcery of any form and this is yet another example of women and godless socialists attempting to break Britain.”

Several leading members of the previous Government are believed to have been witches.  A panel of Witch-finder Generals has been hastily assembled to track down the evil crones including Tory MP Dominic Raab, Andy Gray and Ashley Cole.  Osborne believes that only a burning will restore confidence in the city and bring an end to the economic downturn.

Some have accused the man-hating Loose Women presenters.  An angry mob of brown leather jacketed men wearing badly fitting jeans are currently on their way to ITV Studios brandishing unused Black and Deckers.  Several undercover police officer are suspected to be amongst them with the Met warning all god-fearing men to give the missus a slap just in case.

Theresa May is believed to have scarpered.

Atos Origin Mobbed – Poverty Pimps Shut Down By Benefit Claimants

The Second National Day of Protest Against Benefit Cuts took place yesterday with events targeting poverty pimps like Atos Origin and A4e.

Over 100 disabled protesters and claimants gathered at Triton Square, London where a noisy mob made their way to the front doors of Atos’ shiny corporate headquarters despite the best efforts of police to stop them. Police formed a line protecting Atos whilst chants rang out of ‘Atos Kills’. Many people spoke out of their often heart-rending experiences at the hands of Atos’ medical testing which has repeatedly stripped sickness and disability benefits from the most vulnerable.

Anti-poverty and disability protest groups were well represented including Disabled People Against Cuts, Welfare Action Hackney, London Coalition Against Poverty, Mad Pride and many more. Also present were members of PCS Union’s Euston branch who work in Euston Tower which overlooked the protest and who expressed solidarity with claimants.

Over the top as ever, the police briefly kettled the protesters. After some time however people were able to leave if they agreed to be escorted from Triton Square, which lies on a privately owned business estate where protest is presumably not part of the corporate strategy.

One disabled protester valiantly attempted to breach the police line, but was bundled to the ground and dragged away to chants of ‘Let Him Go’. With cameras everywhere and no doubt fearing another Jody Mcintyre youtube sensation they complied and as far as we know there were no arrests on the day.

Speeches and chanting continued as well as one impassioned song whilst many people, who had brought food to share, laid out a picnic alongside the impromptu free shop that had also been established.

It is unclear whether Atos closed their offices, but certainly the only people going in or out for the afternoon appeared to be cops and private security guards. Also doing slow business were Virgin Health Clubs who found their main entrance inside the police lines and were therefore effectively closed for the afternoon. They might like to think about that at their next meeting cosying up to the Condems in the hope of stealing a slice of the NHS.

As the day wore on police melted away and around 20 protesters headed to the Atos Testing Centre and Jobcentre Plus administrative offices just up the road at Marylebone. Entering the, admittedly almost closed building, they briefly occupied the Atos waiting room leaving messages of their experiences of Atos stuck to the walls.

Protests also happened around the country. Atos testing centres were leafleted in Nottingham, Archway and Glasgow. The protest outside Atos’ Scotland offices, reportedly in the middle of nowhere, still drew around 40 people and an equal number of police who surrounded the building and once again protected the poverty pimps. Latest reports indicate heavy-handed policing but the good news is it appears Atos Scotland’s offices were closed for the day. It’s nice to see Atos Origin being the vulnerable ones for a change.

A protest held in Leeds outside Atos called by West Yorkshire Solidarity Federation and autonomous claimants was successful in closing the Leeds branch of Atos’ corporate empire whilst a smaller, but successful protest in Burnley gathered significant local support. Protests were also held in Newcastle, Lydney, Birmingham, Crawley, Chesterfield, Hastings and possibly elsewhere, please send details to notowelfarecuts (at) yahoo.co.uk.

Earlier in the week the Cardiff Unemployed Disco drew a fine crowd and they’re holding another one on February 18th. It’s not over for Atos yet either as Brighton Benefits Campaign are holding an event this Saturday highlighting the pantomime which is the Work Capability Assessment.

Finally tories the length and breadth of the internet were well and truly trolled as part of the second National Troll A Tory Day. Comments were left, letters to MPs written, petitions signed and Atos were not left out as many took advantage of their recently published health advice phone-lines.

Benefit claimants have vowed to be back with a third National Day of Action to be announced soon. Atos Origin, the rest of the poverty pimps and the farcical Condem coalition should know that we are not going anywhere.

Pics of the London demo can be found at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/peteriches/with/5385496598/

This report first appeared on Benefit Claimants Fightback

Above pic from:  http://www.gimphag.com/

DWP Publish Secret Atos Origin Advice Lines

Tomorrow (24th January) is the second National Day of Protest Against Benefit Cuts with actions and events taking place around the country.

Amongst those visited on the day will include notorious poverty pimps Atos Origin, architects of the vicious system of testing for health related benefits which has seen people with terminal cancer declared fit for work.

If you can’t make an event in person, or even if you can and have a spare five minutes, why not rings one of Atos’ top secret advice lines and tell them what you think.

Here’s the phone numbers they didn’t want you to see taken straight from: http://www.dwp.gov.uk/healthcare-professional/guidance/atos-healthcare/

“Advice from Atos

Atos Healthcare can give telephone advice to clinicians on medical matters relating to:

* certification – such as completion of certificates and reports
* disability benefits.

They are only able to offer general advice and cannot discuss individual cases of people who are being assessed for benefit. This advice service is strictly for healthcare professionals.

Atos Healthcare can also provide more formal educational sessions to clinicians by prior arrangement.
Atos help lines for clinicians

Please do not give these numbers to patients.

Birmingham 0121 626 2941
Bootle 0151 934 6070
Bristol 0117 971 8382
Cardiff 029 2058 6750
Croydon 0208 633 1324
Edinburgh 0131 222 5055
Glasgow 0141 249 3616
Leeds 0113 230 9068
Manchester 0121 335 0720
Newcastle 01264 837 789
Nottingham 0115 975 8362
Wembley 0208 795 8772″

Dr Hans-Christian Raabe: Homophobic Scum Gets Job Dictating Drug Policy!

Mad bastard and member of the Maranatha Christian cult, Dr Hans-Christian Raabe has been given a job on the Advisory Council for the Misuse of Drugs according to the Guardian.

We’d already pointed out that clever people were not welcome in this Government and this radical new direction shows that neither science nor reason has any place in the chinless attempt to destroy the United Kingdom.

Dr Hans is one of the weirdo Christians who hung around the likes of Debra Bell from the infamous and largely defunct Talking About Cannabis and the decrepit and almost dead scientology lovin’ freaks of the National Drug Prevention Alliance.

As well as hating tokers Dr Hans really hates the gays.  In his role as medical co-ordinator of the Council for Health and Wholeness (CHW), a Christian loon front, he has written briefings on the ‘risks’ of a homosexual lifestyle for the Government with such choice garbage as:

“The media and the gay movement portray the homosexual lifestyle as happy, healthy and fulfilled. However, the homosexual lifestyle is associated with a large number of very serious physical and emotional health consequences.”

I”A high proportion of homosexual men engage in a destructive lifestyle, for example contracting HIV/Aids or other STIs, and develop addictions to drugs or alcohol. There is a higher burden of depression, [and] attempted or completed suicide among the ‘gay population’.”

“While the majority of homosexuals are not involved in paedophilia, it is of grave concern that there is a disproportionately greater number of homosexuals among paedophiles and an overlap between the gay movement and the movement to make paedophilia acceptable.”

With nasty old homophobe Theresa May as Equalities Minister and gay hating nutters being invited onto scientific advisory boards once again the tories reveal their true colours as a tired bunch of out of touch bigots intent on dragging the country back into the dark ages.

Gays needn’t worry however because Dr Hans and his cult can cure you.

UPDATE 28/01/12:  Dr Hans-Christian Raabe: Homophobic Scum Tries to Win Back Job Dictating Drug Policy

Party and Picnic in Triton Square, NW1 – 24/01/11

Come to a picnic and party in Triton Square, London on the 24th January 2011 from 2pm as part of the National Day of Protest Against Benefit Cuts.

Bring music, drums, whistles, banners, food to share and let’s brighten up the faceless corporate wasteland that is home to poverty pimps Atos Origin Ltd.

Musicians, poets, orators, ranters, shouters, all benefit claimants and supporters welcome. Please help spread the word and invite your friends.

Triton Square is on the North side of Euston Road, a minute or so from Warren Street tube and less than five minutes from Euston/Euston Square or Great Portland Street tube stations.

Part of the National Day of Protest Against Benefit Cuts on the 24th January 2011. For details of events in other cities please visit: http://benefitclaimantsfightback.wordpress.com/

Facebook event at: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=126713940728397

Thessaloniki 4 trial update day #1 by some attendants in solidarity

What follows is the first in a series of updates that will cover the Court of Appeals of our four comrades in Thessaloniki, day by day. Background information at http://www.salonikisolidarity.org.uk/

Friday 14 January 2011, 9am, Thessaloniki Courthouse.

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Justice-For-Simon-Chapman-and-the-Thessaloniki-4/113450595384764

The legal team of the defendants succeeded in its application to change one of the panel of three judges (a former state prosecutor) for another, less-biased one. Also, a fair number of the police witnesses (5-6 of the originally about 40 in number) asked to be excused because they knew nothing of the case.

The first prosecution witness was Police Officer Stamatis, the arresting officer of Simon Chapman. Simon’s lawyer, Christos Bakellas, set about demolishing the police witness testimony.

The next two prosecution witnesses (policemen) almost admitted the fact that they planted evidence against the arrested protesters. Neither police witness could say if forensic examination ever took place. These two officers were credible in that they didn’t know anything of our comrades’ arrests and could only say that they stuffed various molotovs and weapons in any available backpack to hand. Point being: any evidence found in a backpack is compromised.

The first day of the trial adjourned around 3.30pm Greek time (GMT+2).

Solidarity demo for Thessaloniki 4

A demonstration is planned at the Greek Embassy in London on the first day of the trial at 2pm, Friday 14th January 2011.

Check the website or facebook pages for full details nearer the time as well as regular updates on the campaign.

Background: Beaten Up, Fitted Up, Don’t Let Them Get Banged Up

Over a hundred people were arrested after a demonstration confronting the European Union summit, held in Thessaloniki in Greece back in 2003. Seven people were imprisoned and held on remand, including UK protester Simon Chapman. The prisoners began a hunger strike that lasted more than 50 days.

A massive worldwide solidarity campaign followed including demonstrations, direct action and occupations leading to all seven being released on bail. All the charges were eventually dropped.

Years later after appeals from the Prosecutor the charges were reinstated. The first case finally came before the Courts in January 2008 where Simon Chapman and three of the other defendants – Suleiman “Kastro” Dakdouk (Syrian origin), Fernando Perez Gorraiz (Spain) and Michaelis Triakapis (Greece) – were found guilty.

All of those accused maintain their innocence and video and photographic evidence clearly shows police planting a rucksack filled with petrol bombs next to Simon see the photo, and also see: http://athens.indymedia.org/front.php3?lang=en&article_id=162765.

This didn’t stop him receiving a prison sentences of more than eight years, with the other defendants all receiving over five years.

They will now face the Appeal Court again in January 2011, when they have the opportunity to appeal against their convictions. This means we have less than two months to build a campaign, raise vital funds and show true global solidarity to the defendants.

Please link to the campaign’s website on your web sites, forums, blogs, facebook profiles etc, tell friends and family and help to spread the word. Join and share the facebook page at:
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Justice-For-Simon-Chapman-and-the-Thessaloniki-4/113450595384764

or join and share the facebook group:
http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=150278698345263

Solidarity with the Thessaloniki 4!
http://www.salonikisolidarity.org.uk/

National Day of Protest Against Benefit Cuts: Day 2

Target Atos Origin and the Poverty Pimps

Take Action Against Atos Origin and the Poverty Pimps on the 24th January 2011:

Atos Origin have just been awarded a £300 million contract by the Con-dem Government to continue carrying out ‘work capability assessments’.

It is claimed assessments are to test what people can do rather than what they can’t. The real purpose is to strip benefits from as many people as possible.

This testing system has already led to people with terminal illnesses and severe medical conditions being declared fit for work and having benefits cut. GP’s are ignored in favour of decisions made by Atos Origin’s computer.

Plans announced for the scrapping of Disability Living Allowance have also revealed that this intrusive testing is likely to be extended to everyone on some form of disability or health related benefit.

To date around 40% of appeals against Atos Origin’s decisions have been successful.

The Government also plans to cut £2.5 billion from Employment Support Allowance. Plans to limit the benefit to just one year will mean that even those who are deemed unable to work will be presumed to have made a miraculous recovery. Meanwhile the budget for Disability Living Allowance is to be cut by 20%.

With the recent changes in Housing Benefit and possible changes to Council Tax benefit, these cuts will leave hundreds of thousands of people with severe health problems without enough money to feed themselves and heat their homes.

That’s if they aren’t forced into unpaid labour, no doubt inflicted on them by poverty pimps like SERCO and Action for Employment. Whilst millions of people face homelessness, disruption, debt and ill health the gravy train is being extended for those companies which seek to profit from the misery of others.

It’s time to fightback and hold these companies to account.

Atos Origin do not just do health related testing. They are a global IT and Consultancy company with offices around the UK. One speciality they boast of on their website is having: “a team of Organisation and HR professionals who undertake the analysis, design and execution of headcount reduction.”

A list of Atos Origins locations can be found at: http://www.uk.atosorigin.com/en-uk/about_us/locations/

Other poverty pimps include:

Action for Employment

REED

Manpower

Serco

Please list more examples in the comments and organise now. Contact us with details of actions, protests and events taking place near you.

facebook page at: http://www.facebook.com/#!/event.php?eid=173084439389460

email: notowelfarecuts (at) yahoo.co.uk