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Peace News log archive: October 2011

Articles from the Peace News log.
For archive articles from the whole site, look here

Natalia Grana writes from the occupation in the city centre.

ImageSince 2 October, a group of around 30-40 people have made an Occupy camp in Manchester city centre which is still growing. Its conception started at the same time as the TUC march against the Tory conference (which was held in Manchester from 2-5 October).

The camp began by taking over Albert Square and a few days later, when a food festival came to the square, occupiers negotiated with authorities to peacefully maintain a presence in one corner of the square with a stall and a tent. They moved the camp to the Peace Gardens in St Peter’s square just 200 yards down the road, which is right by a tram stop, so is still very visible to the general public.

The diverse group of motivated and committed occupiers may stay indefinitely. They have had good relations with Manchester police so far. The one exception was on the night of 15 October, when police did not show up despitebeing asked to be present when right-wing “English Defence League” supporters were in the city. Luckily no-one was hurt, although a board was lobbed at a tent, which stayed up.

The Occupy MCR group hold regular general assemblies open to the public in which anyone who wishes to is free to speak. Public meetings are held daily at 1pm and 8pm. Topics covered include how society is dehumanising us, how the system worldwide is corrupt and keeping down 99% of the population while 1% live it up and control the banks, corporations and are even now trying to demolish our NHS and our other public services.

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Jill Gibbon reports from Britain's biggest arms fair.

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Appropriate clothing for selling weapons

A sign at the entrance to the Defense and Security Equipment International arms fair warns that visitors must wear business dress. The pinstriped suits, school ties and polished shoes shroud the event in sham respectability. However, the dress code does not extend to sales staff. Here, the main aim is to entice.

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O. Bertin, M. Gurung, N. Tegmo and  S. Rai write from Kathmandu.

If one does a search on the entrance of Genetically Modified (GM) food and crop products into Nepal, there really isn’t much written on the topic. According to a Food Research Officer for the Government of Nepal Yakindra Timilsena, resident of Kailali district, “Till now no published data was found about the GM food and crop products which enter Nepalese market” [sic]. This was posted in his personal blog on 20th March, 2011.

This small article wishes to highlight the impending doom that Monsanto, one US based bio-tech giant who’s aim is to control the source of all the world’s food (translates as, rather than weapons, if you control the world’s food production, you are the most powerful entity in the world) is here in Nepal. The Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives is very close to signing a deal with Monsanto, with full support from USAID. One wonders, what kind of ‘aid’ is this? According to the recent Himalayan Times article on 13th September “…Monsanto is one of the companies, the product of which when used in the Tarai last year had turned out to be a fiasco with farmers failing to produce corn cobs. Maize planted in thousands of hectares of land had been wasted, and despite protests from the farmers, Monsanto had refused to pay compensation.”

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Photos and video from the start of Occupy London Stock Exchange.

At 12 noon, outside St Pauls Cathedral and the London Stock Exchange, 15 October 2011.

For more info see www.occupylondon.org.uk

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Six activists arrested marking the 10th anniversary of the 2001 invasion of Afghanistan.

Today marks the 10th Anniversary of the war against Afghanistan. This morning peace activists gathered outside Downing Street in a protest organised by the London Catholic Worker. Red paint was poured on the pavement outside the gates to symbolise the blood of the 25,000 civilians and 2,500 soldiers who have been killed or wounded in the last decade.

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