News in brief

Daring dialogue?

Members of Brighton's SmashEDO campaign (see various PNs) have engaged in a unique open-letter negotiation with the local police, informing them of their planned demonstration against the EDO weapons plant on 10 December, International Human Rights Day. The letter was posted on UK Indymedia and, rather bizarrely, an open dialogue between members of SmashEDO and an officer of Sussex Police appears to have been taking place on the site.

The application for an injunction against SmashEDO has been postponed to allow an abuse of process hearing regarding the conduct of EDO's legal team. This is due to be heard on 23, 24, and 28 December.

Critical Mass defiant

Following last issue's frontpage article on the threats made against London Critical Massers, we are pleased to report that the ride on 28 October saw a massive turnout, with at least 1,000 cyclists and other unpowered wheelsters showing up. Colourful, vibrant and powerful the Mass was untouchable by the police and - in fact - the forces of law and order never even tried to interfere with what was the biggest ride seen in the capital for many years. Trafalgar Square and Buckingham Palace were taken in before ending up at the heart of the protest exclusion zone - Parliament Square (pictured) - where many riders showed both their defiance at the repressive legislation and their joy at participating in such a fab ride, particularly when, trundling up Whitehall past Downing Street, a group of around 50 skaters and bladers blasted past in the opposite direction. November's ride had a smaller turnout, but was also left unmolested, the Met seem to have got the message for now: this is what happens when you threaten us. As ever, there seems to be safety in numbers: join your local Mass, make a practical comment on car-culture and climate change, meet other cyclists, and celebrate the magic of cycling!

Nuke power debate hots up

On 29 November, Tony Blair's planned pro-nuclear speech at the CBI con-ference was delayed for 45 minutes after being disrupted by Greenpeace activists. Two Greenpeace climbers scaled the ceiling beams above the speakers' podium, held banners saying “Nuclear - wrong answer” and then released “radioactive” confetti. A Scotland Yard spokesman later confirmed that two men had been arrested. Blair's speech described his new energy plan, with a new energy policy expected in 2006, which “will include specifically the issue of whether we facilitate the development of a new generation of nuclear power stations”. Stephen Tindale, Director of Greenpeace UK, said, “Today Blair is trying to launch a new nuclear age and we are here to stop him. Nuclear power is not the answer to climate change - it's costly, dangerous and a terrorist target. Today's new review is simply a smokescreen for pushing his new found enthusiasm for nuclear power.”