Standing Pretty

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= News =

 Last month, we promised this would be a summer to remember. June got off to a flying start with massive and persistent street protests erupting spontaneously in TurkeyGreeceBrazilBulgariaIndonesia and Egypt. While the triggers were different in each case, the protests were united in their underlying contempt for their respective governments. As politicians across the world are beginning to find out, a vote does not by itself democracy make. Nor do elections magically confer absolution for governmental corruption, arrogance and inefficiency. 

First and foremost, democracy is about representation and accountability. Can a government consider itself representative of and accountable to its people when it fails to listen to them? As part of our Global Skills Exchange workshops, we engaged in discussions about the theory and practice of real democracy, assemblies and horizontal organising. We joined Save Lewisham NHS in a People’s Commission that showed evidence that the current government ignored and the People’s Assembly Against Austerity to discuss actions that could be taken against the government’s austerity programme. What could the failed parliamentary democracy be replaced with? There was considerable support for the idea of a new democracy based on people’s assemblies. Some of our livestreams here.

Protests in London against the G8 were met with pre-emptive violence and arrests by the Met and City police. Protests against G8 policies were also held in Belfast, and again in London’s Canary Wharf. The Bilderberg Fringe Festival protested the secretive meetings of politicians, bankers and industrialists held in advance of the G8 and the mainstream media woke up to the threat to democracy. Transparency is another main ingredient of democracy after all.

Talking of transparency, it’s been a few good weeks for whistleblowers. Following information released by NSA Edward Snowden, protests expanded to include official political circles with senior EU officials expressing outrage at revelations of US spying on EU representations, including its own allies, and threatening US-EU trade agreements. Russia and Turkey also reacted with fury to allegations that GCHQ had spied on their senior officials during the the 2009 G20 summit.

More whistleblowing, this time by an undercover policeman, revealed an unlawful spying and smearing campaign on Stephen Lawrence’s family, with the aim of undermining their efforts to bring his killers to justice. Occupy London, in support of this and past abuses of police powers, issued a statement to support the end of such abuses.

While the G8 participants agreed that tax evasion was a bad thing and that, in principle, at some unspecified point in the future, perhaps through some form of persuasion or general good will, legal loopholes that allow large corporations to pay tax could be closed and tax havens could perhaps be abolished, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists made their offshore leaks’ data publicly available. So now anyone can find out which corporation is dodging its tax and start their own boycott campaign.

In Egypt they call it Tamarod. In Turkey chappulling. Elsewhere, it’s been called Occupy. Whatever its name, the fight for our rights is only just beginning. And no one yet knows how it will end because, as the poet once said, there is no road. Not yet anyway.

Stand up, join us. The road is made by walking.


= Event Calendar =

New events are being added all the time. Events might also be cancelled, relocated or rescheduled. Check our calendar for updates.



Monday 1st July 2013

6:30 pm – 9:30 pm

The Spirit of ’45, Presented by Tower Hamlets Keep Our NHS Public

Tuesday 2nd July 2013

6:30 pm – 9:00 pm

Radical Anthropology talks with David Graeber and others

Wednesday 3rd July 2013

6:30 pm – 10 pm

STIR Summer Launch Party


7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

‘The Two Marys: A Conversation Piece”

Thursday 4th July 2013

8:00 pm – 11:00 pm

Community Cinema Night

Friday 5th July 2013

All day

Save Our NHS – Day of Action Against Privateers In Our NHS


4:00 pm – 11:00 pm

Save Our NHS – Give the Cam-Arathon A Good Send-Off

Saturday 6th July 2013

All day

Standing Demo in Solidarity with Global Protests


1:00 pm – 4:30 pm

Towards a new democracy

Monday 8th July 2013

7:00 pm – 9:30 pm

Technology Out of Control? Drones, Killer Robots and the Arms Trade

Wednesday 10th July 2013

7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

“The History of Working Men’s Clubs: London and Beyond” with Ruth Cherrington


7:30 pm – 9:30 pm

Battersea Against Biofuels

Thursday 11th July 2013

7:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Public Meeting: Hands Off Syria and Iran – with Guardian writer Jonathan Steele

Tuesday 23rd – Sunday 28th July 2013

8:00 pm – 9:30 pm

The Red Room Presents: Lost Nation

Thursday 25th July 2013

7:30 pm

Reel News – Film Night – Special Report on Spain






Thursday 4th July 2013

7:00 pm – 9:00 pm (online meeting)

Occupy Global Round Table


Thursday 11th July 2013

7:00 pm – 9:00 pm (online meeting)

Occupy Global Round Table


Thursday 18th July 2013

7:00 pm – 9:00 pm (online meeting)

Occupy Global Round Table

Thursday 25th July 2013

7:00 pm – 9:00 pm (online meeting)

Occupy Global Round Table

= Blogs & Other Media =

Grassroots Takeover Radio
Scriptonite Daily


= Call-outs, Campaigns & Petitions =

Support group for women’s legal action against undercover policing

= Food for Thought =


How to Build a Commons-Based Society

Would you quit your job if you had a state income?


Calling All Thinkers–em-All–em–Thinkers/

The Future of Open

[thanks to  Naomi, Obi, Julie, Clive, Mark, Em and Vica for the tips]


“To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.” – R. Buckminster Fuller


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