For more on ongoing protests visit: www.stopwar.org.uk

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To access citizen journalist reports at the Climate Change Summit – live coverage at this link.

Riazat Butt, the Guardian’s religious affairs correspondent, and Simon Woolley, director of Operation Black Vote analyse what happened in yesterday’s BBC Question Time. The Guardian asks: “Did the panel and the audience expose the weaknesses of his argument and the hatred behind (Nick Griffin’s) ideology?”

Follow this link to access the Guardian podcast.

I read Olly Zanetti’s article on police surveillance in the ‘New Internationalist’ magazine today and immediately renewed my subscription.

We know some of what Zanettii is saying already, but there’s plenty more ‘meat’ there for activists and journalists alike. Marc Vallee, a photojournalist describes a Gaza protest in Britain:

‘I was working at a protest against the attack on Gaza. I saw an officer with a camera speaking to another officer, who I know works with the FIT. (The Police Photographers Forward Intelligence Team -the FIT as they have come to be known – F.L) They were going through a notebook which had a number of pictures in it, spotter’s cards. And I got a shot of it. Enlarging the picture, you can see the mug shots with people’s names underneath each one. Not codes or aliases, but full names. They were clearly looking for particular individuals.’  (New Internationalist, July 2009)

Natalie Abou Shakra of ISM Gaza and Jenny Linnell have told me by email of the threats and intimidation they experienced whilst attempting to cross the border at Rafah. See my previous post ‘Natalie’s Testimony at the Gates of Hell’.  The two women have now turned to the British Embassy at Cairo with a letter which raises questions about why they received such treatment, when (as described in the letter) they believe they had permission to cross and passage should have been assured. Their letter has been published here.

Campaign for the Accountability of American Bases. Leaflet.

Campaign for the Accountability of American Bases. Leaflet.

A 24-hour news culture doesn’t always lend itself to putting things in context. But blogging can be usefully reflective and I’m still struggling to answer questions thrown up by Lindis Percy’s talk on ‘The Right to Protest’ (see also previous post on Menwith)…

Lindis Percy is most famous for climbing up the gates of Buckingham Palace on Tuesday 8th. November, 2003. How and why did this trained nurse, midwife and health visitor find herself doing such a thing?

Like some other activist grandmothers such as Helen John , Sylvia Boyes and Joan Meredith – she sees a clear and terrible contradiction in the world. Whilst some of us (particularly women) spend much of our time  creating and protecting the lives of future generations, others are busy nuturing a new nuclear arms race. That’s my understanding of Percy’s Bush protest at any rate. Pretty basic, I suppose. Outrage.

Percy’s involvement with Menwith Hill is fuelled by questions about this military base near Harrogate. Starting with “Why is Menwith Hill called an RAF base when there isn’t a runway there and it seems to be American?”).

In her recent talk, Percy grappled with two more fundamental questions:

Firstly: “Is there a legal right to protest?”

and secondly: “To what extent is protest protected in the U.K. as a right at all?”

Finding answers to these questions seems like a huge challenge for all of us. (For more see my next post on this topic: “The Right to Protest, Menwith Hill and Lindis Percy” and the Campaign for the Accountability of American Bases)