Bath Bomb #32 Out Now

THE BATH BOMB

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Issue #32

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August 2010

“Fast, aggressive, and it wants your sandwich!”

Armaggedon Outta Here

An unpalatable modern-day truth is that human life, far from being sacred, is deemed expendable, almost an inconvenience, when the collision of politics, power and economics provokes conflict. Then, the bigger the conflict, the greater the number of lives wasted.

This month marks an especially poignant anniversary. In 1945, U.S. President Harry S. Truman took the decision to drop atomic bombs on Japan: 'Little Boy' was detonated over Hiroshima on August 6th in that year ; on August 9th, 'Fat Man' was exploded over Nagasaki. Both cities were near-obliterated.

The tens of thousands who died instantly were mostly civilians. The 'rationale' for these acts of mass slaughter, if it is even possible to dignify them with that term, was that Hiroshima and Nagasaki had considerable industrial and military significance, and that their annihilation would put an end to Japanese prospects of territorial aggrandisement , terminating their involvement in World War II.

The body-count from both atrocities was a tragic coda to the tally of the total lives squandered in the entire six-year conflict. The American propaganda machine sought to spin what was in effect mass murder into a moral and military 'success', claiming that if the Japanese hadn't surrendered after two of their cities had thus been blown to pieces, then a land invasion would have undoubtedly had to be carried out to achieve the same effect, costing the lives of thousands of U.S. troops.

It shows just what a moral vacuum the U.S. high command were living in when they had to skulk behind a hypothesis to avoid copping the blame for what in anyone else's language would be interpreted as a cold-blooded war crime.

The bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki was, and still is, indefensible. You can never 'save' lives by taking them. We all need to be reminded of the horrors which took place in Japan in early August 1945, because the nuclear monster that was unleashed upon the world then is still with us. It lurks off the British coast in the form of the Trident submarine fleet.

To tout the power-plant used by these weapons-in-waiting, as Cameron's government is now doing, as a domestic energy source,  shows that politicians continue to bamboozle the public with smokescreens while they harbour fantasies of nuking their way to world domination. 

To blow billions on an unnecessary armament upgrade at a time of swingeing public service cuts would be laughable were it not such an obscenity.

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Join The Resistance!

Considering the state's massive attack on ordinary people, with cuts to jobs, services, pensions and benefits, the time has come to fight back. We should not be expected to pay for the crises caused by politicians and bankers. We are not all 'in this together' – the rich politicians in the Cabinet and the bankers with their bonuses are not affected. Members of B.A.N., along with others in the trade unions, are setting up an anti-cuts campaign in Bath, fighting to protect every job and defend pensions, services and benefits from cuts. The campaign is open to all those affected by government policy. We need to organise and fight back together.

The campaign will be organising a big public meeting at the end of September, and hopes to attract support from all affected groups. If you wish to get involved, contact johnbamphylde[at]yahoo.co.uk or phone 07908 355456.

More info is to follow in next month's issue, but here are some important dates for your diary: the next Bath Anti-Cuts Committee meeting is at the Bell, Tuesday 24th August, 8pm; Sunday 3rd October will be a national day of action outside the Tory Party Conference in Birmingham; Wednesday 20th October will be the day of budget announcement; and Saturday 23rd October will be a regional day of action against the planned cuts.

And here are some websites to check out, too: http://www.righttowork.org.uk, and http://www.coalitionofresistance.wordpress.com.

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Fight And Unite!

Some anarchists argue that the main trade unions are bureaucratic, their leaders have sold out and they have little relevance to working class people. They argue that anarchists should form their own unions. However, many young people find unions boring and do not really understand what they are. Others argue back that unions are still workers' organisations, that they could still be the force to take on the capitalist state, and that workers should join and fight within unions to make them more democratic and combative.

At the Bath Socialist Forum meeting on Monday 30th August, at 8pm, we will be discussing the way forward for workers in trades unions, presented by John Bamphylde of Bath Trades Council. The following meeting, on Monday 27th September, will be presented by film-maker Ken Loach. The meetings take place at St James Wine Vaults, and all are welcome.

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Killer Faces Unemployment!

A disciplinary hearing is to be held against P.C. Simon Harwood on the grounds of gross misconduct with regards to an attack on Ian Tomlinson on April 1st 2009. It is considered likely the outcome will be immediate dismissal.

I pose this question, doesn't it seem a bit extreme to take away this man's occupation simply for a light shove? After all, to push from behind is all part and parcel with policing a large-scale protest. Certainly, Tomlinson wasn't dead immediately after the incident, so why then should Mr Harwood be subjected to mix with the doleys and scroungers?

A few individuals are claiming the P.C. to be guilty of manslaughter and hence deserves to lose his livelihood. These people are clearly revenge-bent or deranged as it is well known that there has been a long (and naturally therefore thorough) investigation by the C.P.S., which decided there was no case. Irrefutably trustworthy pathological evidence has shown the man died of natural causes. Further, the video footage doesn't even show the man hitting the ground, let alone gaining injuries. Surely only one conclusion can be reached, that P.C. Simon Harwood is undeniably innocent.

Clearly, it was a highly volatile situation and a police officer cannot be blamed for getting a bit touchy-feely. If people get so het up about this, then with the home office more and more concerned about P.R., in the end we'll have a police force too scared to catch any criminals.

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Agri-Culture Shock

Transition Bath are starting up a new scheme in Bathampton, working with the Hughes family to restore a six acre area of land to organic production, and hope to bring together locals to explore how this can be done. Transition Bath are a local environmentalist group aiming to build a sustainable future using the power of community, in the face of declining natural resources and increasing costs. They hope to make the transition to a low carbon, local economy, whilst creating positive, self-reliant communities. This project should turn out to be the first Community Supported Agriculture (C.S.A.) scheme in the city – a partnership between farmers and the surrounding community, providing mutual benefits for both, and reconnecting people to the land. Whether you would like to grow your own, meet other locals, or get involved in a project to help reduce food bills and food miles, why not come along to the end of Holcombe Lane, near Holcombe Farm, Bathampton, at 1pm, on Sunday the 15th August for a barbecue and fruit pick. All donations to Transition Bath will be much appreciated. For more info, contact Jamie Colston at jamiecolston[at]gmail.com, or ring 01225 851377.

Another example of the link between ethical sustainability, the community and the food we eat, has been going on down at the Riverside Youth Centre on London Road since 2001. The London Road Food Co-op is a volunteer-run, not-for-profit members' co-operative, opening Wednesdays from 4-7pm at the end of the lane behind the former Porter Butt pub. Membership is affordable and paid annually on a sliding voluntary scale between £3 and £10, and members get access to a whole host of organic, fairly traded and vegan-friendly wholefoods and groceries, without the price mark-up you will see in other stores. In the past the co-op has also operated a weekly veg, fruit, egg and bread scheme, which it hopes to revive. In the meantime, though, this is a great little friendly project, and is keen to attract members and volunteers. If you do want to find out more, why not pop along, or give them a call on 07837 784715?

http://www.transitionbath.org

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Food Fayre Thought

Lazily aping our article from last month, in case you didn't catch it, Saturday the 4th September will mark the day of the second annual Bath Vegan Fayre! Running from 12 midday til 4pm downstairs at Manvers Street Baptist Church, free entry, expect hours of free vegan savoury and sweet delights, as well as a sprinkling of talks and conversation, with a (non-dairy) creamy after-taste of nutritional and ethical info. In a delicious dash of déjà vu, there will also be a benefit gig at the Hobgoblin on Friday 27th August, from 8pm, featuring bands and D.J.s, £3 entry. Helpers for both would be much appreciated! E-mail bathanimalaction[at]yahoo.co.uk, or ring 07717 130954 for further info. And again, don't forget Bristol's grassroots vegan fayre/fair, taking place on Saturday 30th October in a venue near you.

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UPCOMING EVENTS

London Road Food Co-op, Wednesdays, 4-7pm, Riverside Community Centre, London Road, http://www.londonroadfoodcoop.blogspot.com

Bathampton Community Growers workday, Thursdays, 10am-dusk, Mill Lane, Bathampton, e-mail thelostplot[at]googlemail.com/ tel Chris 07792 444628

Bath Stop The War Coalition vigil, Saturdays, 11.30am-12.30, Bath Abbey Courtyard

Bradford-On-Avon peace vigil, Saturdays, 11.30am-12.30, by the peace statue opposite Westbury Gardens by the Town Bridge, Bradford-On-Avon

Recycle Your Sundays, Sundays, 10.30am, starts Abbey Churchyard, the regular series of sociable, easy-paced cycle rides, http://www.bathrys.org.uk/ tel Hazel 01225 469199

Bathampton Community Supported Agriculture barbecue & fruit pick, Sunday 15th August, 1pm, Holcombe Lane, Bathampton, e-mail jamiecolston[at]gmail.com/ tel Jamie 01225 851377 FFI

Regional hunt saboteurs get together, Sunday 15th August, 1pm, Bristol Downs

Bath Cycling Campaign meeting, Monday 16th August, 7.30pm, Rising Sun, Grove Street, http://www.bathcyclingcampaign.org.uk

Climate Camp Ireland, Thursday 16th to Monday 20th August, Victoria Bridge, County Tyrone, http://www.climatecamp.ie

Quebec Climate Action Camp, Wednesday 18th August to Sunday 22nd August, http://www,climateactionmontreal.wordpress.com/climatecam

Family Fun Day – Outdoor Cooking workshop, Thursday 19th August, 12-3pm, Broadlands Orchard, Box Road, Bathford, £15 per family (suitable for over 7s), booking essential: http://www.bathford.net/broadlands.php

Camp for Climate Action UK, Thursday 19th August to Tuesday 24th August, Edinburgh, http://www.climatecamp.org.uk/actions

talk: 'The Venus Project', Saturday 21st August, 1-5pm, Victoria Rooms - The Auditorium University of Bristol, Queens Road, Clifton, Bristol, BS8 1SA, £16.02 entry; http://thevpinbristol.eventbrite.com

Climate Camp Germany, Saturday 21st August to Sunday 29th August, Erkelenz- Borschemich, http://www.klimacamp2010.de

film: 'The War Game', Sunday 22nd August, 2.30pm, the Arnolfini, Bristol; http://www.arnolfini.org.uk/whatson/films/details/716

Bath Hunt Saboteurs meeting, Monday 23rd August, 8-9pm, The Bell, tel Justin 07854 062336

Bath Anti-Cuts Committee meeting, Tuesday 24th August, 8pm, The Bell, Walcot Street

Bath Stop the War meeting, Wednesday 25th August, 7.30pm, Friends Meeting House, York Street, Bath, BA1 1NG; http://www.bathstopwar.org.uk

Family Fun Day – Build Your Own Pond workshop, Thursday 26th August, 12-3pm, Broadlands Orchard, Box Road, Bathford, £15 per family (suitable for over 7s), booking essential: http://www.bathford.net/broadlands.php

Bath Vegan Fayre benefit gig, Friday 27th August, 8-11pm, Hobgoblin, St James Parade; more details tbc

Bath Stop The War Coalition vigil: vote with your money against Trident, Saturday 28th August, 11.30am-12.30, Bath Abbey Courtyard, other Bath human rights/trade & development/ justice/trades union organisations are invited to support Critical Mass Bike Ride, Saturday 28th August, 1pm, Kingsmead Square, http://www.bathcyclingcampaign.org.uk

Climate Justice Action meeting at the Netherlands Earth First! Gathering, Saturday 28th August to Sunday 29th August, Utrecht, http://www.climate-justice-action.org

Bath Animal Action info stall, Sunday 29th August, 2-4pm, Stall Street, e-mail bathanimalaction[at]yahoo.co.uk

Transition Bath Social, Monday 30th August, 7.15pm, the Love Lounge/ back room of the Bell, Walcot Street; bring food to share; http://www.transitionbath.org

Bath Socialist Forum meeting, Monday 30th August, 8pm, upstairs St James Wine Vaults, presented by John Bamphylde/Bath Trades Council

one year part-time 'Practical Sustainability' course, starts September 2010, Bristol; exploring permaculture design, organic horticulture, woodland management, green building, ecological interactions, energy, group dynamics, re-localisation, creating change, community engagement and more; http://www.shiftbristol.org.uk

Bath Activist Network meeting, Thursday 2nd September, 7.30-9pm, downstairs at The Hobgoblin, St James Parade, http://www.bathactivistnetwork.blogspot.com

Kilter theatre : 'Roots: Replanted' (performance about food security issues), Thursday 2nd to Friday 3rd September, St Werburgh's City Farm, Boiling Wells, Bristol, BS2 9YJ, 7.30pm, £9 (£7 concessions), tel 01225 386777 to book, http://www.kiltertheatre.org

Bath Vegan Fayre, Saturday 4th September, 12-4pm, Manvers Street Baptist Church, free entry

Kilter theatre : 'Roots: Replanted' (performance about food security issues), Saturday 4th September, St Werburgh's City Farm, Boiling Wells, Bristol, BS2 9YJ, 2.30pm & 7.30pm, £9 (£7 concessions), tel 01225 386777 to book, http://www.kiltertheatre.org

Kilter theatre : 'Roots: Replanted' (performance about food security issues), Sunday 5th September, St Werburgh's City Farm, Boiling Wells, Bristol, BS2 9YJ, 2.30pm, £9 (£7 concessions), tel 01225 386777 to book, http://www.kiltertheatre.org

Bath Green Drinks, Wednesday 8th September, 8.30pm, the Rising Sun, Grove Street

Kilter theatre : 'Roots: Replanted' (performance about food security issues), Thursday 9th to Friday 10th September, Hampton Row Allotments, Bathwick, 7.30pm, £9 (£7 concessions), tel 01225 386777 to book, http://www.kiltertheatre.org

Bristol Anarchist Bookfair, Saturday 11th September, 10.30-6pm, Hamilton House, 80 Stokes Croft, Bristol; e-mail bristolanarchistbookfair[at]riseup.net; http://www.bristolanarchistbookfair.org

Kilter theatre : 'Roots: Replanted' (performance about food security issues), Saturday 11th September, Hampton Row Allotments, Bathwick, 2.30pm & 7.30pm, £9 (£7 concessions), tel 01225 386777 to book, http://www.kiltertheatre.org

Kilter theatre : 'Roots: Replanted' (performance about food security issues), Sunday 12th September, Hampton Row Allotments, Bathwick, 2.30pm, £9 (£7 concessions), tel 01225 386777 to book, http://www.kiltertheatre.org

Bath Animal Action meeting, Monday 13th September, 8-9pm, The Bell, Walcot Street, e-mail bathanimalaction[at]yahoo.co.uk

Kilter theatre : 'Roots: Replanted' (performance about food security issues), Thursday 16th to Friday 17th September, Peasedown St John Community Farm, Dunkerton Hill, BA2 8PJ, 7.30pm, £9 (£7 concessions), tel 01225 386777 to book, http://www.kiltertheatre.org

Kilter theatre : 'Roots: Replanted' (performance about food security issues), Saturday 18th September, Peasedown St John Community Farm, Dunkerton Hill, BA2 8PJ, 2.30pm & 7.30pm, £9 (£7 concessions), tel 01225 386777 to book, http://www.kiltertheatre.org

Regional South West Animal Rights Coalition meeting, Sunday 19th September, 12-5pm, The Factory, Cave Street, central Bristol

Kilter theatre : 'Roots: Replanted' (performance about food security issues),

Sunday 19th September, Peasedown St John Community Farm, Dunkerton Hill, BA2 8PJ, 2.30pm, £9 (£7 concessions), tel 01225 386777 to book, http://www.kiltertheatre.org

Kilter theatre : 'Roots: Replanted' (performance about food security issues), Thursday 23rd to Friday 24th September, Bloomfield Allotments, Bear Flat, 7.30pm, £9 (£7 concessions), tel 01225 386777 to book, http://www.kiltertheatre.org

Kilter theatre : 'Roots: Replanted' (performance about food security issues), Saturday 25th September, Bloomfield Allotments, Bear Flat, 2.30pm & 7.30pm, £9 (£7 concessions), tel 01225 386777 to book, http://www.kiltertheatre.org

Kilter theatre : 'Roots: Replanted' (performance about food security issues), Sunday 26th September, Bloomfield Allotments, Bear Flat, 2.30pm, £9 (£7 concessions), tel 01225 386777 to book, http://www.kiltertheatre.org

Bath Socialist Forum meeting, Monday 27th September, 8pm, upstairs St James Wine Vaults, presented by Ken Loach

No Borders Camp Belgium, Wednesday 29th September to Sunday 3rd October, Brussels, http://www.noborderbxl.eu.org/?lang=en

National March for Farmed Animals, Saturday 2nd October, 12pm start, Cavendish Square, London

anti-Tory demonstration, Sunday 3rd October, Tory Party Conference, Birmingham more details tbc

Legal fees benefit punk gig: 'SUBVERT 2010 - A Festival Of Resistance', Friday 8th to Sunday 10th October, Bristol, feat Hellkrusher, Ruidosa Immunidicia, War All The Time, Ignosy, The Wankys, The Extinguishers & Bulletridden, as well as vegan cafés/ stalls/ films/ workshops & picnic; more details tbc

Regional day of action against the cuts, Saturday 23rd October

Bristol Free Vegan Food Fair, Saturday 30th October, more details tbc

Camp for Climate Action Australia, Wednesday 1st to Sunday 5th December, Bayswater Power Station, http://www.climatecamp.org.au

Climate Camp Aotearoa, Thursday 16th to Tuesday 21st December, Wellington New Zealand, http://www.climatecamp.org.nz/node/51

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The Only Good Boss Is A Dead Boss?

B&NES Council has managed to well and truly shit on its workers once again through its recent advertisement of a new job role to fill. After cutting loose 70 staff in the last couple months, and planning at least another 300 job losses in the near future, the creation of the new Head of Property post, with its wage packet of between £71,166 and £76,638 per year, tells those former employees exactly what the council thinks of them. The creation of this managerial role could only happen once the rank and file, who actually do the work rather than just fanny around sacking people, had been let go. Set to manage (i.e. leave them all boarded up for years then flog) the council's portfolio of 1,000 buildings, many in retail, worth more than £500 million, this has left union officials furious with the council chiefs. But here at the Bath Bomb, considering the calibre of inhuman slitherings and evolutionary dead-ends infesting the rest of B&NES's Property Services department, we wonder what sort of two-faced reptilian abomination they'll dredge up to fill that role, and which carnival freak show will soon be missing its star attraction?

Bath Activist Network are a local umbrella group campaigning on issues as diverse as development, environmentalism, anti-war, animal rights, workers' rights and more. Helping to produce the Bath Bomb, we are open to anyone, and our members range from trade unionists to anarchists, liberals and greens, and people who just want to change Bath for the better. For details on meetings, demos, or just to get in touch, e-mail bathactivistnet[at]yahoo.co.uk, or see our website: http://www.bathactivistnetwork.blogspot.com

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Gull War Syndrome

There's an epidemic going on! You may or may not have heard about the killer seagulls roaming the streets of bath. Or, EVEN WORSE the murderous foxes patrolling EVERY CITY IN THE UK!!! looking for pets and children to eat. The national press have bravely soldiered on to warn the general public of these menaces, one Bath photographer took his life in his hands to get a picture of the gull menace close up.

Bath landlords are feeling the need to join brave vigilante groups to oil the eggs and stop the demon spawn escaping. Unfortunately these brave souls have neglected to think about why wild animals would chose to move into urban areas.

The only reason that wildlife can survive in cities is our attitude to waste. Pigeons, gulls and foxes all survive on the disgusting amount of food waste scattered all over. 'Gull prevention measures' in one part of Bath simply move the problem to the next street. If homeowners, landlords and the council made a concerted effort to get rid of the birds they could do so easily. All it takes is to clean up our waste.

The disposable culture we live in means that a huge amount is thrown out, a lack of adequate recycling facilities (along with pure laziness on many peoples part) means that waste is left on our streets for days before being collected. Along with animals being able to survive on all of this, it also poses risks to them. The fact that food waste, when not composted, is mixed in with other rubbish means that animals are at risk of choking, poisoning, and numerous other horrible deaths - leading to the sight of rotting corpses on our streets. Surely not good for the tourists?

In order to ensure humans are kept away from this dangerous wildlife entirely, we need to make our cities uninhabitable to these menaces. Cleaning up after yourself – rather than tossing the blame at any old scapegoat – should do it.

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From Our Unclothed Correspondent

“On Sunday 13th June, I took part in the first proper 'Bristol World Naked Bike Ride', to protest against oil dependency, in favour of curbing car culture and to have car- free Sundays in the city and a celebration of body freedom. By riding nude, protesters demonstrate the vulnerability of cyclists on the busy streets. It also feels good and liberating.

We met at the Full Moon pub, Stokes Croft, Bristol at 12 noon, and it was a lovely hot sunny day so people started stripping off beforehand in the beer garden, as you had to stay dressed inside the pub.

The ride headed off about 1pm, most of the cyclists were naked including myself, some were body-painted, others had small costumes on, it's a clothes-optional protest, but the more that are nude the better. There was no police presence.

Spectators lined  some of the route cheering and enjoying the event which went through Broadmead, Castle Green, the Centre, Baldwin St, Old Market and College Green, where we stopped for a photo call before heading back to the Full Moon where many remained naked outside until leaving late afternoon.

The protest was a great success, with good photos on Bristol Indymedia, and the local press. The World Naked Bike Ride is an international event and this year there were rides in London, Brighton, Southampton, York, Sheffield andManchester, it's growing. It's also showing that there is nothing wrong with the human body and being a free spirit.”

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Hitting The Books

Continuing with the current plugging craze, the Bristol Anarchist Bookfair follows hot on the Bath Vegan Fayre's heels, on Saturday 11th September. There is a definite growth of anarchist and alternative bookfairs happening through the U.K. and abroad, which shows both increased co-operation between different anarchist trends, and a growing interest in finding an alternative to the failures of capital – not too surprising, considering the state our economy and planet is in! The event will feature two floors of stalls, workshops, books, zines, merchandise, and talks, plus a radical history zone, film room, creche and vegan café. Taking place at Hamilton House, 80 Stokes Croft in Bristol, from 10.30am to 6pm, the fair (they obviously didn't quite have the gumption to go with 'fayre') is free and accessible to all, and is guaranteed to open both eyes and wallets.

http://www.bristolanarchistbookfair.org

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Don't Think We're Alone Now

For our Bristol readers, 'The Autonomist', Bristol's new radical news sheet and directory, is out now: get it online at http://www.bristolautonomist.blogspot.com!

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I Would Have Got Away With It Too, If It Wasn't For You Heddlu Kids

The long-awaited Welsh Climate Camp/Climate Camp Cymru went into action on Friday 13th of this month, focusing once more on the polluting evils of the coal extraction industry, and set up near the Selar and Nant-Helen (due for expansion) opencast coal mines, in Glyn-Neath in South Wales. Both mines are owned by Celtic Energy. The Selar mine itself destroyed a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) back in the 1990s, for added ecocide – trashing vital marsh thistles, and failing to rehome the colony of rare marsh fritillary butterflies. For the camp itself, as with previous camps, a positive agenda of decentralised, renewable power systems, communal living, eco-action planning and skillshare workshops were all on the cards.

However, the Welsh police put paid to all that the next day, prematurely evicting the site and 30 or so activists present, drawing on a massive outlay of mounted police and at least 15 riot vans full. Maybe Friday the 13th wasn't such a good day after all?

On related news, the 13 remaining defendants of April's Ffos-y-fran coal train blockade were conditionally discharged at Merthyr Tydfil Crown Court on the Friday; the other five had their charges dropped in July. A lifelong restraining order barring them from the vicinity of Aberthaw Power Station and the Ffos-y-fran mine hangs round their necks. They were greeted outside court by more mounted police, two riot vans and the flashes of BBC and ITV photographers. Ahh, the price of fame.

http://www.bristol.indymedia.org.uk/article/693181

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And now, to the disclaimer: as anyone is free to contribute, the opinions expressed in each article are not necessarily reflective of all contributors. Naturally, any right-wing or corporate bullshit will be binned and spat upon. Needless to say, the opinions of the author of this disclaimer do not necessarily reflect the opinions of any other contributor.