Events tomorrow and during the month of May – including May Day and forthcoming strikes

Diary dates for May

Reminder: Notts SOS Meeting tonight, 30th April, Nottinghamshire YMCA (International Community Centre), 61b Mansfield Road NG1 3FN, 7.30-9pm.

Tuesday 1st May – MAY DAY MAY DAY Organising Against Austerity – meeting hosted by the Anarchist Federation at the New Mechanics Institute, 3 North Sherwood St. Nottingham, NG1 4EZ. 7.00-9.00pm. Details:

Wednesday 2nd May – Notts-KONP (Keep Our NHS Public) Branch Meeting Friends Meeting House, 25 Clarendon Street Nottingham NG1 5JD, 7:30pm.

Thursday 3rd May – Notts Uncut planning meeting –
The Stage, 7a Wollaton St, Nottingham, NG1 5FW, 7pm.

Saturday 5th May – Nottingham May Day march and rally organised by Nottingham and Mansfield Trades Council – 10am from Forest Recreation Ground to Nottingham Market Square for rally with speakers. Details:

Monday 7th May – Chesterfield May Day march. Details:

Thursday 10th May – PCS, UCU and Unite health are striking over pensions. PCS town committee are inviting speakers from associated groups to a strike rally.–all-out/. For NHS Pensions Industrial Action Thursday May 10 assemble 10:30am QMC – Rally from 12:00pm Market Square, supporting members of UNITE Health, PCS and UCU who are striking in response to the attacks on the public sector pensions on Thursday. Look out for the NOTTS-KONP banner at the Queens Medical Centre Main Gate and join us – we will move to the Market Square for a rally from 12:00pm. See also, previous industrial action round=up from April:

Thursday 10th May – Nottingham Solidarity Network meeting, Sumac Centre, Nottingham, 7pm – Details: Followed by Autonomous Nottingham meeting at 8pm.

Thursday 10th May – Mansfield Meeting on NHS Changes, hosted by Manfield SOS – A public meeting is to be held in Mansfield on the topic of the changes to the National Health Service and what can be done to protect it from new threats. Starts 7.30pm at the Quakers Friends Meeting House next to the Civic Centre car park entrance in Mansfield.

Saturday 12th May – Notts Uncut Skillshare Workshop, The Sumac Centre, 245 Gladstone Street, Forest Fields, Nottingham, NG7 6HX, 10am – Details:

Monday 14th May – Cancelled – Notts SOS regular forthnightly meeting will not take place today. The next meeting will be 28th May.

Thursday 24th May – Nottingham Solidarity Network meeting, Sumac Centre, 7pm – Details:

Saturday 26th May – Notts Uncut Great British Street Party, Nottingham City Centre, venue to be confirmed. See Facebook event page:!/events/340821982647541/

Monday 28th May – Notts SOS regular forthnightly meeting, Nottinghamshire YMCA (International Community Centre), 61b Mansfield Road NG1 3FN, 7.30-9pm.

More events and meetings:

Reply to Notts SOS from Nottingham City Council about 2012-3 budget petition – add your comments

In response to the Notts SOS petition with over 1700 signatures submitted in March 2012 prior to the Nottingham City Council 2012-3 budget setting meeting, against cuts to services, we have received a letter from Tony Kirkham, Director of Strategic Finance (please note any errors in the scanning of the printed letter to text are ours). Feel free to add your thoughts and comments.

Notts SOS has previously condemned the decision by NCC to set a cuts budget:

Download PDF: NCC Budget Petition Reply Letter 12 April 2012

12 April 2012

Dear Mrs Peterson,

Councillor Chapman’s office has forwarded on to me your petition regarding the Council’s budget for 2012/13. Please find below the
response to the issues raised within your petition.

Under the 1992 Local Government Act the Council is required to calculate its budget requirement for each financial year and budget to meet its expenditure after taking into account other sources of income. The 2003 Local Government Act also places an explicit obligation on the Chief Finance Officer (CFO) to report on the robustness of the budget.

Within the legal framework outlined above the City Council’s budget has been set in response to a challenging financial situation. Above average cuts in Government funding (7.4% in 2012/13) and other pressures means the City Council has had to take difficult decisions on the kind of services it can continue to provide. A further £20m of reductions will be made in the budget above and beyond those already implemented in the recent past.

Our priorities include supporting jobs and the local economy and protecting services for vulnerable people where it can – although growing numbers of people needing adult care and children in care add further pressure on the council’s finances. To meet these pressures the City Council has been looking at how it delivers services and either finding more efficient ways to do so or, in some cases, stopping services where demand has fallen.

The City Council has decided to increase its Council Tax for 2012/13 by 3.4% because it, like a number of other authorities across the country, does not believe that it would be financially responsible to “freeze” council tax at the current level as this would result in significant on- going pressures in future years budgets.

If we had accepted the Government’s Council Tax ‘freeze’ grant for 2012/13 there would have been a significant negative impact on the City Council’s budget position for 2013/14 onwards. The Government’s proposed Council Tax Freeze Grant for next year would involve a single one-off payment with no further funding locked into future financial settlements. This would have had an adverse future impact on our services and priorities; the City Council would either have had to increase its council tax by c6.0% in 2013/14 or find additional savings of £3.5m on top of the Medium Term Financial Plan assumptions of a 2.5% Council Tax increase.
For this important reason Nottingham, like a number of Councils across the country including locally Gedling Borough Council, has not accepted the Government’s offer to freeze our level of Council Tax in 2012/13.

As part of the budget setting process consultation is carried out with a range of interested parties. For 2012/13 consultation on the budget was conducted in two phases. Before the budget settlement was announced, pre-budget consultation was carried out with citizens and with the voluntary sector. An insert into the residents’ magazine, the Arrow, in Autumn 2011 included a survey, which was also available online. In addition, a series of local consultation events were held, attended by local councillors and, where possible, by an Executive Board councillor.

The draft budget was considered by Executive Board on 17 January 2012 and this was followed by further consultation. Due to the need to feedback to the 21 February Executive Board meeting, this consultation could not be run through the Arrow. Instead, citizens were invited to comment via the Council website. Additionally, further local events were arranged and Neighbourhood Management teams publicised these locally. Voluntary sector consultation has continued alongside this as well as consultation with Council colleagues and business.

Appropriate action has been taken in relation to any representations made and feedback from that consultation process has been taken into account in finalising the proposals approved by Full Council on 5th March 2012.

In January this year, the City Council wrote to the Secretary of State, Eric Pickles, explaining the future financial difficulties it would face if it accepted the Government’s grant on a one-off basis and asked it to consider funding the freeze on the same basis as 2011/12. The Government has however, responded by saying that they are not willing to change back to the previous system.
I hope that the information provided has been helpful in explaining why the background to the difficult decisions that the Council has had to take in setting the budget for 2012/13. If you require any further information please feel free to contact me again.

Yours sincerely,

Tony Kirkham
Director of Strategic Finance
Direct line .: 01158764157

MAY DAY MAY DAY: Organising Against Austerity – meeting at the Mechanics – Tuesday 1st May 2012

MAY DAY MAY DAY: Organising Against Austerity


A MAY DAY meeting for all those interested in organising against austerity outside of parliamentary avenues. Hosted by the Anarchist Federation.

Download: MAY DAY MAY DAY Leaflet or read same text below.

As the cuts sink in around us, neoliberalism is adapting rapidly to overcome public resistance. But new forms of collective, direct, and effective action against capitalism have bubbled up across the world at the same time. The work begins locally and spreads rapidly, but it can only happen here if we put our heads together, work with the resources we have, learn from our successes and setbacks, and mobilise. May Day seems like a great place to start!

Come one, come all, but leave anything you’re selling at home. The meeting will be facilitated and focused around main ideas presented before and perhaps during the event. A free literature table will be available and everyone’s encouraged to fill it up. Organisations are welcome but party-political speeches telling us what we already know are not.

Please come with ideas to share on the following sorts of topics or suggest your own via email or facebook

What remains of the anti-cuts/anti-capitalist movement in Nottingham? What is its focus and aims? How do the people involved see things progressing?

Have we lost the battle against the cuts? If not, where should we focus our activity? If so, what does organising against austerity now entail? What do we mean by ‘success’ in this context?

How is our class experiencing and responding to austerity? What will we settle for? How long before regular mass civil disturbances take off? What could they achieve?

How would a successful movement relate to permanent organisations such as trade unions and charities? And what is the role of existing, long-standing campaigns?

Email: nottingham [at] or find the facebook event to find out more or suggest topics, questions or participants.


Sunday 29th April, 2PM: Open House at the Sparrows’ Nest, St. Ann’s: Making plans and placards for Nottingham May Day on 5th May. Bring stuff and ideas. Phone or email The Sparrows’ Nest (details on website).
For more info on this year’s May Day March see facebook, or

‘Too much of this sort of thing’ – Atos Two pamphlet now available in print and online

In September 2011 two Nottingham residents, a retired paediatric nurse and
a wheelchair user, were arrested at the local Atos ‘Healthcare’ assessment

This pamphlet looks into the wider context of their case. It also offers
practical suggestions for persons who need to claim disability benefits &
support and/or want to engage in direct action.

PRINTED COPIES available (suggested donation £1), please email
nottsdefence [at]



    Open letter to the BMJ and RCN
    Devastating Welfare?
    Professor Harrington, independently review my crippled arse!


    On claiming disability benefits/support
    From ESA claim to Atos assessment
    No Comment!
    How to support those in trouble
    Further reading


In September 2011, two Nottingham residents, a retired paediatric nurse
and a wheelchair user, were arrested following a peaceful protest at the
local offices of Atos ‘Healthcare’. Dubbed the ‘Atos Two’, they were
subsequently charged with aggravated trespass.

Faced with an impressive solidarity campaign and having a pathetically
weak case, Atos and the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) backed down in
January 2012. According to the CPS the case was ‘discontinued’ because the
‘complainant no longer support[ed] the prosecution’. It remains unknown
whether this change of mind was due to Atos’ own concerns of further bad
publicity and/or whether the CPS advised the ‘complainant’ to back off
before both company and prosecutors risked humiliation in court.

In any case it is without question that the remarkable acts of solidarity
with the ‘Atos Two’ by hundreds of supporters did make a significant
impact. The public pressure mounting up even before the trial had started
will have made an impression, demonstrating the importance of such
practical acts of solidarity and the potential of mutual aid and support.

Atos ‘Healthcare’, a division of the international IT giant Atos S.A., has
in recent years been the target of numerous protests. The company plays a
crucial role in the government’s attack on people with disabilities as it
administers a phoney ‘medical’ assessment, which is the core element of
the Work Capability Assessment (WCA).

The WCA was originally brought forward by a Labour government and has
since been endorsed by the ConDems. It was specifically designed by the
Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) to force people claiming Incapacity
Benefit (IB) or trying to claim Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
onto Job Seekers Allowance (JSA), regardless of claimants’ physical and/or
psychological issues. Apart from the WCA being structurally biased against
claimants, Atos’ implementation of the ‘face-to-face’ assessments quickly
resulted in the company becoming infamous and feared amongst people in
need of disability benefits.

As Atos is such a particularly disgusting part of the modern British
welfare system, there have been a number of protests against the company’s
offices all over the country. The protest in Nottingham was not unusual in
having been not only entirely peaceful, but also extremely (one might even
say far too) polite.

The rather ham-fisted reaction by the local police, better known for their
frequent blunders and blatant incompetence rather than a particular urge
to repress peaceful protests, and the CPS’s decision to go ahead with the
ridiculous charges, were widely received with astonishment. The
politically motivated prosecution of the ‘Atos Two’ may even indicate a
change in the attitude of the local force and the CPS towards
demonstrations. This perspective was only underlined by one copper’s
comment, stating on the day of the arrests that ‘there’s been too much of
this sort of thing going on and we’ve been told to crack down on it.’

This case of political policing, aimed to intimidate protesters and deter
further acts of direct action, is also not an isolated one. At the close
of a relatively lively year 2011, in which Nottingham saw many protests
and acts of direct action, there were a number of arrests of Uncut
activists, whilst critical journalists faced harassment by the police
(with officers unlawfully confiscating tapes after an arrest had been

Whether or not these cases really mark the beginning of a wider crackdown
on local protests, they exemplify that any attempts of reaching out to the
police will always be futile. Even an apparently sympathetic copper
fulfils a distinct role in society; she/he is being paid to enforce the
state’s monopoly of violence and to defend the property and production
relations. In order to do so they are trained and willing to follow orders
(otherwise they would not be coppers). No matter how much some people try
and get them on board because ‘they are facing cuts too’, that will never
ever stop a cop from going after you and/or your friends if they are
ordered to do so.

The relatively high number of protests in Nottingham and the described
acts of repression need to be seen in connection with the wider upsurge in
direct action throughout Britain since mid-2010 and the attempts to quell
it. Although actions deemed violent by the laws of the propertied have
been relatively rare exceptions, any form of protesting is only tolerated
until a certain line of annoyance is crossed. Therefore even those taking
part in rather fluffy actions are increasingly running the risk of being
harassed, assaulted and arrested in an attempt by police and the justice
system to deter any further direct action.

The offence of aggravated trespass is frequently used to criminalise
protesters. One high profile example is the on-going case of those
prosecuted for the occupation of Fortnum & Mason (F&M), Her Royal
Highness’ sandwich and fizzy pop provider, in March 2011. The offence of
aggravated trespass was invented in the 1990s in response to the successes
of hunt saboteurs and road protesters and has since frequently been
modified to allow it to be used ever more widely.

Offences like aggravated trespass or for example obstruction are handy
tools for law enforcers as their relative vagueness allows them in many
cases to find a judge willing to convict people who have (allegedly) been
involved in very peaceful protests (as in the case of the F&M occupiers).
And even if a conviction is unattainable, arresting and repeatedly bailing
people is a simple but effective tool for gathering intelligence and
keeping tabs on people, often hindering them from engaging in further
direct action for months at a time.

Everyone engaging in any form of direct action, however peaceful and
polite, must be aware of, and vigilant against, the possibility of
repression. Those engaging in more edgy actions must be even more prepared
that the police and justice system will do what they can to go after them.
Even quite harmless acts can get you imprisoned, as despite rising prison
populations, people are being sent down for using joke shop smoke bombs on

With this pamphlet we want to offer practical advice to people who want to
engage in direct action and/or need to claim disability benefits/support
from the welfare system. We also look into the wider political context of
the case of the ‘Atos Two’ by providing articles regarding the demise of
the welfare system in general and the WCA in particular.

There are numerous groups and individuals working hard to resist the
attacks on the welfare system as well as acts of repression. Instead of
trying yet again to reinvent the wheel, we have drawn heavily on some of
their excellent materials written over the years. We would like to thank
everyone for their vital work, which provides such essential support for
so many people.

The first text in this pamphlet is a slightly abbreviated and edited
reprint of an Open Letter initiated by WinVisible with a number of other
campaigning groups, originally published in 2011. It poignantly summarises
the case against Atos, for example by highlighting some of the many cases
in which being dragged through a WCA has directly or indirectly caused the
claimant’s death.

The article Devastating Welfare? discusses the wider context of the
current attacks on the welfare system, providing some historical
perspectives as well as outlining some of the dilemmas facing those
resisting these attacks.

Subsequently the article …review my crippled arse! is looking into the
legitimisation of the WCA. It outlines and criticises some of the
underlying assumptions and the interpretation of evidence in the so-called
independent reviews of the WCA, which (although initially perceived with
some hope) turn out to be nothing but deferential whitewash for the

A number of appendices offer some practical suggestions for people who
need to claim disability benefits/support and/or want to engage in direct
action. These passages draw on excellent materials originally published by
various groups, for example the Black Triangle Campaign or the Legal
Defence and Monitoring Group (LDMG). General advice on disabled persons’
dealings with the welfare system is followed by suggestions for those
facing an ESA claim and an Atos ‘face-to-face’ assessment. Finally two
appendices provide the reader with information on how to protect
themselves and others from the fallout of resistance, offering advice on
what (not) to do if you end up getting arrested and some ideas how to
support others if they become subject to repression.

Occupy Nottingham Withdrawal Announcement 21.04.12

For an update and more info, see also:
Occupy Nottingham Withdrawal Announcement 21.04.12

As of 9:00 pm Sunday 21 April Occupy Nottingham will end their occupation of Nottingham’s Market Place after 190 days.

Prior to the last court hearing our legal team at Public Interest Lawyers has given us a 50-55% chance of success. During the hearing Judge Inglis dismissed all of the Council’s allegations against the camp, but said that any proposed deal between the Council and the camp was not the business of the court, he also stated that any issues over human rights, rights of assembly, or to protest were secondary to the issue of lawful possession of the land. He accepted that the Council were the legal owners of the land and therefore showed inclination to grant the order for possession in favour of the the Council as landowners.

In addition we are in no position to contest the land ownership, as this has to be dealt with at a separate land registry hearing. Based on the fact that legal aid was refused both individually and as a group for the current case, we would be even less likely to get it in assistance with the land status and being as we have so far been unable to gain the services of a land lawyer pro rata, we are currently unable to explore this avenue further.

This meant that at the next hearing of the three day trial due to begin on 30th April, that our barristers had a hugely difficult task to win the argument for the camp to be able to remain on the Market Place.

Whereas initially the risk of costs being awarded against camp members was removed from the previous hearing, that was not the case for the trial with a risk of some 20-30K in costs, which didn’t seem such a worthwhile risk with a much lower chance of success and unlikelihood of winning the case. A protective costs order was denied by Inglis on the grounds of a vested interest in the outcome, insurance cover was attempted but that too was unsuccessful.

It was decided that it would be best to remove Carl Freeman from being named defendant and that he should withdraw from the protest to protect him from costs, but that would then put any other camp members whose names were known to the Council of being at risk for the costs themselves.

Feeling that we were no longer in a good position at this point to negotiate a deal with the Council with their certainty of winning, the camp decided it would be best to withdraw from the Market Place and regroup. It was felt that in order to avoid the hearing going ahead and then costs being awarded against camp members that it be best to remove the camp before the barristers and Judge prepared for the case and generated costs.

It was never Occupy Nottingham’s intention to do ‘battle’ with the Council, as we have said all along, they may have made some decisions that we do not agree with, but we understand their hands are tied so to speak to a certain extent and they are are part of the 99% too. We also realise that should the trial go ahead, then the costs generated be awarded to camp members and there is no way anyone on camp could possibly afford to pay them. That would result in 20-30K in lost resources for the City, which as it is already struggling through lower available funds, we would not want to add to such a problem (even though we still maintain that was never any need for a hearing if the Council had only maintained negotiations and as such the costs generated would have been a direct result of the Council’s mismanagement of failing to reach a comparable position with our protest), no matter who was at fault or liable for such costs. On those grounds too we felt it was time to withdraw.

During the stay of over six months on Nottingham’s Market Place, Occupy Nottingham feel that they have been successful with what they initially set out to achieve in raising awareness of the issues we currently face in our society, the reasons behind them and begin discourse to find solutions to the problems. We have helped raise what were almost unheard of subjects for discussion in to regular daily conversation for many people throughout the City and thus begun a chain reaction of increasingly better informed and more aware members of the public, who are thinking for themselves, researching their own answers and making up their own opinions away from those of the media and government. In turn these people will discuss these subjects with others and so it roll’s on.

We would make it quite clear that although we are leaving the Market Place, we are not packing it up or giving in, we realise there is a lot more work to be done and many more people to be reached. We make no attempt to hide the fact that the past six months of the protest have been hard work to maintain and we are not a little bit tired, many have had to take a break and that has reduced numbers and put more pressure on those remaining, along with the pressure of the court case sapping motivation. Therefore a break and some recuperation was not only needed but well deserved.

We have decided to use a short break to regroup, plan our next actions and reorganise before we take the campaign mobile, there are many people who are still not aware fully of the issues we are facing, or even of Occupy Nottingham. There are many more places and towns that we could and will visit now, and aim to take our protest throughout the Shire and even to support groups in other City’s.

The decision to leave was not an easy one, but the camp now feels that the time is right to move on and begin a new chapter for Occupy Nottingham, this will help us to regain the initiative and put a fresh spark of energy and ideas in to action.

On a final note we would like to thank everyone who has shown or given us support in any way, Public Interest Lawyers for their steadfast advice and support throughout the legal proceedings, Nottingham’s Police Force for their understanding and fair treatment of us throughout, Nottingham Council for being open to some form of liaison and Richard Antcliff for being willing to perform that role.

Occupy Nottingham

Coming to a place near you soon…

We are the 99%

We are legion

Expect us.

Attached Files – Letter to NCC:

Contact email: occupynottingham [at]

Notts SOS meeting, legal observer training and Occupy Notts

This is the latest update from Nottinghamshire Save Our Services (Notts SOS).


We meet every two weeks. We missed a week for Easter, so the next
meetings will be tomorrow (Monday 16th April) and Mon 30th April.

Meetings start at 7.30pm and are held at the International Community
Centre, Mansfield Road. Meetings are usually finished before 9pm and
there’s often an opportunity to carry on any discussion informally in
the pub afterwards. Please do come along and get involved.



Have you ever been at a demo, near a line of police, and witnessed the
police do something you’re pretty sure they’re not supposed to do?
Baton someone, for instance, or stop and search a nearby protester, or
snatch somebody out of the crowd? Ever wondered how you can: a) know
what to do, and b) how you can help them?

Now is your chance to find out.

Nottingham Defence Campaign have invited Green and Black Cross to run
a Legal Observer training session at Nottingham’s Sumac Centre from
2pm on Saturday 21st April.

It is a comprehensive training, that will cover:

* Police tactics
* Stop & search law & procedure
* How to support arrests
* Police ranks & command structure
* Supporting direction action
* How to best legally support activists and nail the inappropriate
policing afterwards

If you are an experienced activist there will be parts you know
already, but the depth we go into should give you more confidence and
knowledge of how to deal with the police.

It will consist of 4 hours of training and some well-deserved breaks in between.

Legal Observers are consistently key to helping people at protests,
whether that is by handing out key legal advice on bust cards or
finding witnesses for arrests.




On Saturday April 14th, Occupy Nottingham marked six months in the
Market Square.

The Council’s plans to evict them continue. At the court hearing on
Thursday 5th April, the judge set a court date for 30th April,
anticipating that the hearing could last up to 3 days.

Report of hearing:


Monday 16th April, 7.30pm
Notts SOS meeting. ICC, Mansfield Rd

Saturday 21st April, 2pm
Legal observer training organised by Nottingham Defence Campaign and
run by Green and Black Cross. Held at the Sumac Centre

Friday 27th April, 7.15pm-late
Notts Trades Council May Day social. The Polish Eagle Club. £5 on the

Monday 30th April
Occupy Nottingham: first day of trial

Monday 30th April, 7.30pm
Notts SOS meeting. ICC, Mansfield Rd

Saturday 5th May, 10am
May Day march from the Forest Recreation Ground for a rally in the
Market Square. Speakers to include Mark Serwotka from PCS

Thursday 10th May, 7.30pm
Kill the Act! Meeting about the Health and Social Care Act. Friends
Meeting House, Rosemary Street, Mansfield,, Notts., NG19 6AB

Nottinghamshire Save Our Services (Notts SOS)

Nottingham Indymedia:

Sign up to our email list for regular updates:

Notts SOS events update for week beginning 2nd April 2012

This is the latest update from Nottinghamshire Save Our Services (Notts SOS).


We meet every two weeks. The next meeting will be on Monday 16th April
(missing a week due to the Easter holiday) and Mon 30th April.

Meetings start at 7.30pm and are held at the International Community
Centre, Mansfield Road. Meetings are usually finished before 9pm and
there’s often an opportunity to carry on any discussion informally in
the pub afterwards. Please do come along and get involved.



On Thursday 5th April, Occupy Nottingham will be back in court to
challenge the eviction notice served by Nottingham City Council.

Press release:



Thursday 5th April
Occupy Nottingham court date

Thursday April 16th, 6pm
“Home delivery” of pasties to George Osborne. Call for Tory candidates
elsewhere in the country to be pied as well

Monday 16th April, 7.30pm
Notts SOS meeting. ICC, Mansfield Rd

Saturday 21st April, 2pm
Legal observer training organised by Nottingham Defence Campaign and
run by Green and Black Cross. Held at the Sumac Centre

Friday 27th April, 7.15pm-late
Notts Trades Council May Day social. The Polish Eagle Club. £5 on the

Monday 30th April, 7.30pm
Notts SOS meeting. ICC, Mansfield Rd

Saturday 5th May, 10am
May Day march from the Forest Recreation Ground for a rally in the
Market Square. Speakers to include Mark Serwotka from PCS

Nottinghamshire Save Our Services (Notts SOS)

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