Monthly Archives: January 2011

Read-in and read-out protests at Beeston, Sneinton & Stapleford libraries on Saturday 5th February 2011


Saturday February 5th 2011 is marked as a national day of action against cuts and closures of libraries. ‘Read-in’ events on the day in Nottingham City and Nottinghamshire County so far include Beeston, Sneinton and Stapleford. Do let Notts SOS know if there are others.

In Nottingham, the Council is introducing charges for using library computers starting on Monday January 31 (today). They are reducing the book fund by one quarter – this means many new books won’t be bought. They are changing opening hours. Central Library opening hours have already been reduced- there will be more reductions. They are closing Carlton Road Library.

Update – a great support message sent to Notts SOS: Friends of Somerset’s Libraries video “with best wishes from all of us on the WeLoveLibraries production team”.

Beeston and Chilwell Defend Library Services

Under the proposals, Beeston Library’s opening hours would be cut from 57 hours a week to 52, while at Inham Nook Library in Chilwell the opening hours would be cut from 20 hours to eight. See Beeston and Chilwell Defend Library Services group: https://nottssos.org.uk/2011/01/23/protest-grows-against-library-cuts-beeston-chilwell-campaign-report-and-future-events/. Read-in starts 11am on Saturday 5th February at Beeston Library.

Sneinton Against The Cuts ‘Read-in’

Sneinton Against The Cuts are organising a Read-In at Sneinton Library, Sneinton Boulevard. This is part of a national Read-In to defend library services and coincides with the Nottingham City Council’s decision to begin charging for using Library computers.

The Great Sneinton Library Read-In starts Sat 5 Feb, 11am

We have also made a petition against the introduction of Library Computer Charges and a template complaints letter because there has been no consultation or notice given for the introduction of charges – Let us know if you want these. We are going to do an article about the impact of computer charges.

We have also started a new blog. The address is – http://sneintonagainstthecuts.blogspot.com

Stapleford Libary ‘Read-out’

At Stapleford library they will be having a ‘read-out’ – Day of action against the library cuts – February 5th. Kick off 11am.

About four of us will be reading from books with possibly some storytelling too. One of the readers says he “will be personally reading ‘I wandered lonely as a cloud’ minus 50%”.

City Libraries – Blast from the past: Library Staff Speak Out Against Uniforms and Management Bullying 12/03/2008.

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Indymedia reports on the latest anti-cuts and fees demonstrations in London and Manchester – 29th Jan 2011


NUS president requiring police reassurance in Manchester on 29th January 2011

NUS president requiring police reassurance in Manchester on 29th January 2011

Nottingham students and lecturers from both universities and further education & six form colleges demonstrated again amongst thousands in both London and Manchester on Saturday 29th January against forthcoming rises in tuition fees, the cut to EMA that has already taken place, and cuts to other services.

Some demonstrators who went to London, including some of the Nottingham contingent, ended up at the Egyptian embassy near Hyde Park in solidarity with anti-government protests there, before joining coaches back. Others took action at high street stores of tax avoiding companies, many of which were closed and had to be protected by police (reports and other media below).

In Manchester hundreds of students chased NUS president through the streets with chants including “Students, workers, hear us shout, Aaron Porter sold us out” and “Porter – out”. Eventually he took refuge in Manchester Metropolitan Students’ Union, protected by a heavy cordon of riot police. NUS deputy, Vice-President Further Education Shane Chowan who took his place was drowned out by hostile chanting and pelted with eggs (full story in Manchester link below).

Reports/pictures/video (London): http://london.indymedia.org/articles/7173 and http://london.indymedia.org/articles/7082

Reports/pictures (Manchester): http://northern.indymedia.org/articles/1325 and http://northern.indymedia.org/articles/1324. See also: http://manchestermule.com/article/hundreds-of-students-chase-aaron-porter-through-manchester

Back home, Nottingham Students Against Fees and Cuts (NSAFC) are asking all students to Boycott the National Student Survey http://nsafc.wordpress.com/2011/01/28/boycott-the-national-student-survey/. Follow link for details or goto Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/#!/?sk=messages&tid=1404966704398

Shocking video of UKUncut corporate tax protesters CS pepper-sprayed on Oxford Street, London [plus video of Nottingham demo].


In Nottingham on Sunday 30th January a further UKUncut demonstration was held against profiteering and the hypocrisy of governments that allow companies like Boots and Vodaphone to operate abroad and avoid tax when services are being cut – because the deficit must be reduced at all costs so we are being told time and time again.
Well if the cost is forests in England being sold off, libraries being closed, the NHS being maneouvered further towards privatisation, cuts to benefits and disability allowances going ahead at breakneck speed and an increase in homelessness due to the axing of vital services, then we don’t like it one bit. We are right to be angry. Watch video of Nottingham demo.

Meanwhile, on the demo in Oxford Street in London, after the Policy Exchange thinktank classed UKUncut as ‘street extremists’ who should be dealt with harshly and have their website taken down by the state for daring to suggest that something is wrong, it seems this policy idea was quickly put into practice, with protesters getting pepper sprayed in a manner that could not fail to be likened to the use of tear gas by police in Egypt in recent days.

UKUncut said: Before 15:00 outside Boots on Oxford Street a female activist tried to push a leaflet through the closed door of Boots explaining the details of Boots’ tax avoidance to the staff. A police officer then arrested the individual for “criminal damage”. Around 20 people tried to help the female being arrested and 10 were subsequently pepper sprayed. Three people have been taken to hospital.

Video link: http://another-green-world.blogspot.com/2011/01/walk-like-egyptian-police-pepper-spray.html

Link to pictures: http://london.indymedia.org/articles/7171

What next – tasers?

Full UK Uncut Press release: http://www.ukuncut.org.uk/blog/press-release-uk-uncut-condemns-political-policing-at-peaceful-protest

Useful advice? http://bcwthebristolhum.blogspot.com/2010/12/day-of-action-bristol-sunday-51210-how.html
Or if you don’t fancy that, maybe this phone app for demos? Sukey Roar and Growl: http://sukey.org/

Video of Nottingham demo on 30th Jan 2011:

SHERWOOD FOREST IS OUR FOREST! – report from a well attended meeting in Nottingham on 27th Jan 2011. Plus PCS press release.Plea


Photo of save Sherwood Forest packed meeting on 27th January 2011Contact the campaign: Contact email: info@hiye.org.uk

Update: 3/1/2011Save Sherwood Forest website launched. Please link to the site if you are running a blog or website yourself. Thanks.

Here is a comprehesive report from a very well attended meeting held in Nottingham about the planned sell-off/privatisation of forestry land in England including Sherwood … come back to this page as we should have more specific contact information and hopefully an email group you can join. In the meantime you can contact Notts SOS in the usual way.

On 27th Jan 2011 over 70 people from all over the county packed into a meeting in Nottingham to express their concerns about the future of Sherwood Forest.

They were clear that the ownership of Sherwood Forest matters. It is something that is too vital and deeply rooted in the people of Nottinghamshire to be simply sold off by the Government. The meeting was convened by Notts Save Our Services and the Climate Alliance.

Sherwood Forest is now a complex web of woodland and forest which has a global identity as part of the legends of Robin Hood. A large part of the forest is held and operated by the Forestry Commission on behalf of the people.

Large tracts of forest land have been developed and managed by the Forestry Commission since 1919 following the ravages of the U-boat attacks during the first world war when forests were decimated to sustain war production. These forests freely open to the public and in public ownership are what the Government wants to sell. They have recently been developed as important free public recreational spaces and to be seen as vital environmental resources all at minimal public cost – around 30p/year for tax payers!

It was agreed that we cannot allow the our forest to be sold in haste on global markets in response to the ravages of the banking crisis. Sherwood Forest is at the core of our heritage, a wonderful amenity for all and an essential part of who we are now and also of our common future.

Paddy Tipping speaking as Vice President of the Ramblers made clear the importance of the access to land, access that was hard won over many years of struggle and mass action. We need to be very wary of Government promises, he said, and to be aware of the prospect of future amendments. We should not let go of our hard fought rights to roam or the necessary supporting resources.

Kaye Brennan set out the position of the Woodland Trust who have been working with and lobbying Government intensively over the past three months. They are clear that there should be no disposal of any land until there is a
binding commitment to complete the work to restore ancient woodlands. Like other charities, the Woodland Trust is not in a position to take over responsibility for managing large areas of forest she said.

People expressed concern at the reluctance of the Government to make any clear commitments so far and the majority were strongly against any sale of public land. The talk of the Big Society may be a smokescreen for selling off forests to the private sector.

Andrea Oates of the Nottinghamshire Save Our Services campaign placed the sale of Sherwood Forest in the context of the other Government cutbacks which are facing increasing resistance and also of the large number of jobs that are at risk in and around the forest. Andrea encouraged people to add their names to the campaign by 38 degrees which now has nearly 300,000 signatures, lobby their MPs about their opposition to the sell off and to
demonstrate against these proposals (see below).

Peter Robinson of the Climate Alliance stressed the importance of maintaining the forest to respond to the threat of climate change and of the capacity of forests to absorb carbon dioxide without the need for expensive and elaborate technology.

The meeting was encouraged to hear that some job cuts threatened in Sherwood Forest as part of Government cutbacks have been postponed in response to the public reaction so far – a clear indication of the power of the
public voice.

There was astonishment when we learned that the government is not going to bother to assess the health and environmental impacts of any disposal. We were reminded of the decimation of the Amazon rain forests that followed the collapse of confidence in the new fangled ‘hedge funds’ of ‘Long Term Capital Management’ in the 1990s which were unable to provide the promised financial security.

After a well-informed and passionate discussion it was agreed to organise a protest and rally in Sherwood Forest calling on people from all over the the county and neighbouring towns and cities to demonstrate to Government that we mean to fight to retain our forest. Similar actions are expected to take place across the country.

Many people at the meeting signed up to a ‘Save Sherwood Forest’ organising group which is hoping to launch the campaign in the near future. In the mean time for further information see:

http://www.nottssos.org.uk
http://www.climatealliance.co.uk
http://www.38degrees.org.uk/save-our-forests-campaign

Ian Hewitt, Health in Your Environment, Friday 28 January 2011

Report on Notts Trades Council site: http://www.nottstuc.org/2011/01/packed-meeting-to-start-campaign.html

See the press release from the PCS below

Forestry body costs public less than a packet of crisps a year

27 January 2011

The public body responsible for managing the UK’s forests costs less than the price of a packet of crisps a year for each person in England, PCS says.

The value for money provided by the Forestry Commission, at less than 30p each every year, is highlighted as the government prepares to sell off forests with a ‘consultation’ being launched today.

The union, which represents 900 staff at the commission, says the government should keep the whole of the English public forests in public ownership and publicly run.

The Forestry Commission currently runs multipurpose forests – visited by 40 million people a year – providing economic, social and environmental benefits, as required by internationally recognised principles for good forest management.

Public ownership ensures the commission carries out a wide range of functions that the union does not believe can be provided by the private and voluntary sectors.

In 2009 the commission conducted a detailed study of the long-term role of public forests that concluded public ownership was essential in supporting the forestry estate.

Private sector owners would inevitably want to make a profit and would be likely to cut down swathes of forests, restrict public access and facilities, and would not provide the same level of support for environmental objectives.

With charities having to rely on fundraising, as well as support from taxpayer-funded grants, the union does not believe there are any savings to the exchequer from such a transfer.

In a recent YouGov poll for campaign group 38 Degrees, 84% of the public said they did not want their forests sold for private profit, and more than 200,000 people have signed a petition to oppose the sell-off.

PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said: “Our public forests are extremely important for the environment, for wildlife and to help solve problems such as climate change. The government is putting all this at risk with a dangerous ideological plan to sell them off to the highest bidder.

“While the voluntary sector does a lot of good work in our forests, we do not believe volunteers can replace experienced staff and forest managers.
“With the Forestry Commission providing such good value for money the alternative is clear, and the government should scrap its plans to allow big businesses to profit from our natural environment.

Anti-cuts events from Monday 31st Jan 2011 and into February and March – mainly Nottingham & Notts [updated as new events come in]


picture of a diary to add the following anti-cuts dates toHere is advance notice of (mostly local or regional) anti-cuts events we know about from Monday 31st Jan 2011. These will be added to as more events are announced so please revisit this page. See also: Budget consultation events: Nottingham City Council from 31st Jan until 10th Feb.. Also take a look at our Recent Events, Comments and Twitter feed columns for more info and comments.

Monday 31st Jan – “1 million green jobs”, 7:00–8:30 pm. Friends Meeting House, St Helen’s Street, Derby DE1 3GY.
Details: https://nottssos.org.uk/2011/01/18/one-million-climate-jobs-now-solving-the-economic-and-environmental-crises-public-meeting-in-derby-on-31st-jan-2011/.

Tuesday 1st February. What’s happened to the Big Society? An open meeting to be addressed by Andrew Redfern, Chief Executive, Framework – the umbrella organization for the homeless in Nottingham and Notts. Hosted by St Barnabas’ Cathedral Justice & Peace Group. All welcome! Time/Date: 7.30pm – 9pm, Venue: St Barnabas Cathedral, McGuiness Room, Derby Rd, Nottingham, NG1 5AE. Details: httphttps://nottssos.org.uk/2011/01/18/whats-happened-to-the-big-society-open-meeting-on-1st-feb-2011/

Saturday 5th FebNational Read-In event. Events being organised in Nottingham & Notts on the day include a read-in at Beeston library. Others include Stapleford and Sneinton. All start at 11am.

Saturday 7th Feb Regular Notts SOS planning meeting. Monday 7th February 2011, at ICC/YMCA, 7.30-9.15pm. Fortnightly, but check website for next meeting on 21st as venue may be changed.

Saturday 12th Feb – Anti-academy schools stall in Rushcliffe. Details to be announced. Previous meeting in Broxtowe: https://nottssos.org.uk/2011/01/05/fighting-academies-in-nottingham-and-nottinghamshire-broxtowe-meeting-thursday-6-january-2011/

Saturday 12th Feb – Mansfield SOS demo. March/Protest/Rally. Starts ‘Feather’ 11am. Short march finishes Mansfield Market Place for rally, 11.10am. Download leaflet [Word] [PDF] & poster [Word] [PDF]

Saturday 19th Feb – Keep The Post Public. CWU demo. Date: Saturday 19th February 2011. Assemble from 1pm (march will commence at 2pm). Place: Mail Centre, Padge Road, Beeston, Nottingham, NG9 2RR. Details: http://www.cwu.org/keep-the-post-public-march-and-rally-in-beeston-nottingham.html. See also: http://www.eclectech.co.uk/savethepostoffice.php in case anyone forgets privatisation started under Labour.

Tuesday 22th February Nottingham City Unison is organising a public protest on 12.30 in the Market Square . This is the day that the City Council Executive Board discusses and recommends the 2011/12 budget to the full council. All welcome. Public demonstration with speakers.

Wednesday 23rd Feb – Mencap Big Cuts Event, Nottingham Racecourse. One of a series of roadshow events across the country to tell people about the cuts happening in their area, and to look at ways we can work together to fight them. Details: http://www.mencap.org.uk/page.asp?id=20547. However – their aim to engage as a workfare provider as ‘Disability Works UK’ consortium seems problematic: http://wheresthebenefit.blogspot.com/2010/12/disability-works-does-it.html. If you are going to this event maybe this issue could be raised?

Thursday 24th Feb – Nottinghamshire County Council Lobby. Major lobby of County Hall, West Bridgford on the day the full council meets to set its Council Tax budget. Download Lobby flyer: Alternative to Notts County cuts lobby 24 Feb 2011

Monday 7th March – Nottingham City Council, at 2.00 pm. The City Council’s budget for 2011/12 will be considered at a meeting of the full City Council to be held at the Council House, Old Market Square, Nottingham. The agenda for the meeting will be published a week in advance and agendas for Council meetings can be viewed by following this link http://open.nottinghamcity.gov.uk/comm/goto.asp?Type=1|32. Previously, from Unison: previous article on Notts SOS. See also: http://www.nottinghamcityunison.org.uk/

Saturday 26th March – TUC ‘March for the alternative’: http://marchforthealternative.org.uk/. Put this in your diary now! London – initial details of route are here – http://marchforthealternative.org.uk/march-logistics/getting-there/.

PROTEST GROWS AGAINST LIBRARY CUTS – Beeston & Chilwell campaign report and future events including 5th Feb ‘Read-in’


Opposition to cuts to library services is growing after more than 100 people attended a public meeting in Beeston.

Protesters will gather at 11am on Saturday 5th February at Beeston Library to oppose Conservative-run Nottinghamshire County Council’s plans to reduce opening hours and to slash the new book fund by 75%.

Under the proposals, Beeston Library’s opening hours would be cut from 57 hours a week to 52, while at Inham Nook Library in Chilwell the opening hours would be cut from 20 hours to eight.

Public opposition to these plans is escalating. On Saturday 15th January more than 500 people signed a petition against the cuts during just two hours of leafleting in Beeston town centre.

More than 100 people attended a public meeting organised by the newly-formed Beeston and Chilwell Defend Library Services group (part of the wider Notts Save Our Services campaign) at College House Junior School on Thursday 20th January.

Read full story: [Word] [PDF]

Read report from public meeting: [Word] [PDF]

Beeston & Chilwell residents queue to sign petition in opposition to proposed tory county council library service cuts - photograph

Beeston & Chilwell residents queue to sign petition in opposition to proposed tory county council library service cuts

Anti-cuts events week beginning Monday 24th Jan 2011 [plus Video ‘The Rise of Street Extremism | 10.01.11’]


Anti-cuts events: January 24th-30th 2011. Follow links for details. Plenty to get involved with.
Update: find out about further meetings and events here: http://nsafc.wordpress.com/2011/01/22/action-24th-jan-to-5th-feb/

Monday 24th Jan: Second National Day of Action Against Benefit Cuts. All day. Action in Nottingham – see http://nsafc.wordpress.com/2011/01/22/action-24th-jan-to-5th-feb/

Monday 24th Jan: NCVS meeting impact of cuts on voluntary and community groups, 2-4pm at YMCA/ICC, Nottingham.

Monday 24th Jan: Notts SOS meeting 7.30pm at YMCA/ICC, Nottingham. Our regular meeting. All welcome.

Tuesday 25th Jan – Mansfield SOS meeting, 7.15pm, at the Gas Board Sports and Social Club, Lime Tree Place, Mansfield.

Wednesday 26th Jan: UCU Open Forum, Nottingham Uni, Portland Building C11, 1pm-3pm.

Wednesday 26th Jan: Stand Up For the NHS, 7:30pm at Mechanics Institute, 3 North Sherwood Street, Nottingham.

Wednesday 26th Jan: National walkout to save EMA (Facebook). Download College students flyer about EMA produced at Network X

Thursday 27th Jan: Save Sherwood Forest meeting 7.30pm at YMCA/ICC, Nottingham.

Saturday 29th Jan: Education no-fees/cuts demo in London. Called by Education Activist Network, National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts and University College Union (UCU). Coaches leave Nottingham Trent SU at 8:30am, Nottingham Uni (Portland Building) at 9am. Tickets are £7 concession, £15 waged and must be bought in advance. To book text/call 07849 392 842. Download flyer: https://nottssos.files.wordpress.com/2011/01/national-demo-fees-cuts-29-jan-2011.pdf. There is also a demo in Manchester on the same day which UCU and PCS are also supporting – there are coaches – contact respective unions. Nottingham Students now have tickets to Manchester as well. So take your pick. Email nsafac [at] gmail.com for tickets both events.

Sunday 30th Jan: Nottingham UK Uncut event 1pm Clumber Street.

Video extra: Think tank Policy Exchange worries about ‘domestic extremism’, including anti-cuts campaigns (and websites!). Apparently it’s unfairness that makes ‘the British people’ rise up and this must be addressed by the government before it’s hijacked by the Left and anarchists. It’s a long video with a range of experts, who are mostly ex-police – maybe they are getting a bit worried? They are certainly saying the state should be getting more prepared. See/listen around 3 mins in about those terrible UKUncut flash mobs that have been used to close stores (see also near end of the video a suggestion that it’s time their website be brought down – how democratic!). Then 7 mins in – an infiltrator of CND talks about the general problem of anti-parliamentary groups. Various stuff about kettling and other public order tactics and the terrible constraints of the Human Rights Act. And a suggestion that a royal wedding protest with anti-cuts flavour could be a problem. Enjoy.

PolicyExchangeUK | 11 January 2011 | 0 likes, 42 dislikes
There are increasing signs that significant sections of the extreme left have little intention of confining their opposition to Coalition policies to peaceful, democratic protest. In recent weeks we have seen riots over student tuition fees, the forcible closure of high street stores by flashmobs and also growing demands for industrial action to undermine the Coalition administration, including from the leader of Britain’s biggest trade union.
Do these actions portend a dangerous new trend towards the use of physical force? If so, what can and should be done to prevent this phenomenon becoming a regular feature of the national landscape?

Speakers:
Peter Clarke CVO OBE QPM | former Head of the Counter Terrorism Command and former Borough Commander in Brixton during the 1995 riots
Rt Hon David Maclean | former Minister of State at the Home Office and Parliamentary Adviser to the Police Superintendents Association
Paul Mercer | UK’s pre-eminent expert on extremist groups and author, Longman’s Directory of British Political Organisations [who also likes to spy for arms dealers it would appear.]
Henry Robinson | Anti Terrorist community and street activist and former Irish republican prisoner

Nottingham protests before vote to scrap EMA is passed by government on 19th Jan 2011. [plus link to ITV footage of demo]


Following a Commons vote yesterday, access by 17-18 year olds in England to the Educational Maintenance Allowance (EMA), that supports student to stay in school/college after age 16 is closed to new applicants from now on, then to be withdrawn for existing recipients in September. The means-tested £10-£30 allowance used to be a bursary of £40 but it is now gone completely. This is not gone without significant opposition though – see Nottingham Indymedia with photos of Nottingham students’ protest on 19th Jan:
http://nottingham.indymedia.org.uk/articles/910 following several other demonstrations starting last year.

Watch TV footage of the demo on ITV website including an attempt to ‘storm’ the council house prevented by police (there’s always another time!!): http://www.itv.com/central-west/fighting-ema-cuts95064/

Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales have their own EMA schemes which are still open but these are also under review (see Scotland example).

More info, and forthcoming events: Nottingham Students Against Fees and Cuts (NSAFC). School, college and university students are continuing to oppose cuts and rises in fees.

Nottingham City Council’s budget for 2011-2012 to be considered on Monday 7th March


The City Council’s budget for 2011/12 will be considered at a meeting of the full City Council to be held at 2.00 pm on Monday 7 March at the Council House, Old Market Square, Nottingham. The agenda for the meeting will be published a week in advance and agendas for Council meetings can be viewed by following this link http://open.nottinghamcity.gov.uk/comm/goto.asp?Type=1|32
(we originally said February so please update your diary!).

See also: The City Council’s own risk assessment of affects from budget cuts to ‘Supporting People’ that raises some serious questions about why these cuts are being accepted. Picked up on here:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/patrick-butler-cuts-blog/2011/jan/19/public-sector-cuts-housing

Home care: Nottingham was also in the national news about elderly home care charges which have seen a huge jump and reveal a postcode lottery where the charges are zero in some places and largest in others such as Nottingham. See:
Postcode care lottery denounced as council charges soar, By Simon Gompertz Personal finance correspondent, BBC News, 20/01/2011.

Previously, from Unison: previous article on Notts SOS.

One Million Climate Jobs Now! Solving the Economic and Environmental Crises – public meeting in Derby on 31st Jan 2011


One Million Climate Jobs Now! Solving the Economic and Environmental Crises – public meeting
Time/Date: 7:00–8:30 pm on Monday 31st January 2011.
Venue: Friends Meeting House, St Helen’s Street, Derby DE1 3GY.

Download leaflet: one million climate jobs now – joint NUT Derby Climate Coalition meeting

Speakers:
Suzanne Jeffrey: N.U.T.
Chandra Morbey: Rail Engineer in Derby

Suzanne Jeffrey is Chair of the National ‘Campaign against Climate
Change’ Trade Union group which has produced the best-selling
pamphlet ‘One million climate jobs’. This makes the case for the
creation of employment in renewable energy, refitting buildings,
public transport, industry and education.

Chandra Morbey will look at the potential for railways upon jobs
and the environment.

All welcome.