English university militarised, protesting students threatened


This music video from the USA is called Bob DylanMasters of War – with lyrics.

By Peter Lazenby in Britain:

Navy calls in the big guns to stop peaceful uni protests

Thursday 19th March 2014

STUDENTS who staged a spontaneous peace protest at an armed forces recruitment stand at their university were threatened with arrest yesterday.

The students say they were intimidated by military recruiters, university staff and security guards who called the police.

One protester was told: “Go back to Greece.”

The Royal Navy, navy reserves and Royal Air Force were running a recruitment stand at the University of Bradford’s annual spring careers fair.

Protester and biomedical science student Beth Davies said: “This was just a group of students. We saw what was going on and decided something should be done about it.

“The military called security and security threatened to call the police.

“Nobody was arrested because we left before the police arrived.”

The protesters said one foreign student’s identification card was confiscated by security guards, leaving him unable to attend lectures and facing possible exclusion from exams.

First-year integrated sciences student Mohammed Akhtar, 25, said: “I no longer feel safe and I have completely lost my sense of security in the university due to being lied to and intimidated. I feel threatened.”

The protesters said in a statement: “The University of Bradford’s actions against dissent and peaceful student demonstrations raise questions regarding its commitment to promoting social engagement, debate, and democratic participation.

“In a university with an internationally acclaimed peace studies department, which it heavily depends on for recruiting students, this is particularly alarming.”

Bradford University was unable to make an immediate comment.

Punk music police censorship in English football


This music video from Britain is called Sex Pistols – Anarchy In The UK 1976.

By poet Attila the Stockbroker in England:

Anarchy in the UK – but censorship in Gillingham

Thursday 5th March 2015

Now my autobiography is finished the gigs are beginning to start again. Today my wife and I are off to Lerwick for my first ever appearances in Shetland – hooray! Looking forward to that, and to sampling the ale from the legendary Valhalla Brewery — an extended report of proceedings will be in my next column.

And I had a brilliant show last Sunday at the Winter of Discontent punk festival in north London with Sunderland heroes and old mates Angelic Upstarts, Welsh anti-fascist legends The Oppressed and Edinburgh’s hilarious Oi Polloi.

Now a bit more from the book.

To set the scene — it’s 1997 and the crisis at my beloved Brighton & Hove Albion is at its height. Our Goldstone Ground has been sold to property speculators, we’re playing our “home” games at Gillingham, a round trip of 140 miles, and we’re second from bottom of the entire Football League.

To try and liven things up a bit, I’ve persuaded club chairman Dick Knight to let me be PA announcer and DJ, playing punk, reggae and ska. It’s Boxing Day 1997, at home to Colchester. A noon kick-off.

We’d obviously had to set off really early to get to Gillingham in time for the game and everyone was a bit bleary-eyed. So, for the first time, I decided to play Anarchy in the UK by the Sex Pistols. It had been on for about a minute when a policeman burst into the box.

“Take that off! Take that off! Now!”

“Why?’”I asked. But I could see that he was really angry. So I did, and put the Clash on instead.

This music video from England is called The Clash – Janie Jones (live at the Belle Vue, Manchester, UK 15. November 1977).

“You can’t play that record at a football match. It’s banned. It’s on THE LIST!”

“What list?” I asked. “No-one has ever told me there was a list of records I couldn’t play!”

“Well, it’s obvious, isn’t it!’ he shouted. “It’s obvious!”

I stood there, the Clash playing in the background, perplexed. It evidently wasn’t “obvious” to me and the fact that he needed to explain further made him even more angry. “It incites violence in the crowd!” he exclaimed.

I thought for a few seconds. “Well, officer,” I said. “I bought two copies of Anarchy in the UK in the black sleeve on EMI Records on the day that it came out in 1976. I have played it and heard it many, many times since and not once has doing so given me violent thoughts of any kind whatsoever.

“I have also been to all 92 Football League grounds and every time I have heard In the Air Tonight by Phil Collins I have had to restrain myself from committing serious acts of criminal damage!”

He didn’t get the joke and, a couple of days later, Brighton & Hove Albion FC received a formal letter from Kent Police banning me from doing the PA at Gillingham any longer.

Dick Knight phoned me up. “I’m not having that, John!” He spoke to them and the ban was rescinded, on condition that I didn’t play Anarchy in the UK again. So I didn’t.

This music video is called The Damned – Smash it Up; Old Grey Whistle Test.

I did play Smash it Up by the Damned and I Fought the Law and White Riot by the Clash in the next couple of weeks though. No policeman appeared in the box. Obviously those three weren’t on THE LIST.

This music video is called The Clash – I Fought The Law (Live at The London Lyceum Theatre – 1979).

This music video is called The Clash – White Riot.

David Cameron forcing militarist propaganda down British five-year-olds’ throats


This video from Britain says about itself:

The British Armed Forces: Propaganda in the classroom?

2 March 2015

A critical review of The British Armed Forces, a “learning resource” produced by the UK government and sent to schools. Read a full analysis here.

By Luke James in Britain:

PM ‘forcing’ pro-military propaganda into schools

Tuesday 3rd March 2015

PEACE campaigners accused the Prime Minister yesterday of forcing teachers to push poor-quality “military propaganda” in school for children as young as five.

Activists published a scathing assessment of the British Armed Forces Learning Resource, which features a smiling squaddie and a pilot giving a thumbs-up on the front page of the document.

Launched by the Tory PM’s office last September, it has been promoted to all English schools by the government.

The lesson plans are described as an “immersive resource” designed to “educate children about the work of the UK armed forces” in history, English or citizenship classes for children aged between five and 16.

But an analysis of the Downing Street scheme by Forces Watch and the Quakers blasted it as a “politically driven” attempt to promote military values in schools.

“We consider that the document amounts to political interference in children’s education and that the Department ofEducation is failing in its legal duty to safeguard education,” said Forces Watch spokesman Owen Everett.

The groups claimed that the resource was penned by former military personnel in a month and that not a single teacher was involved in its production.

According to their report, that is reflected in the “largely one-sided” representation of controversial topics.

“Many of the questions that it asks are introduced in a leading way and the material that would be required to explore them fully is not provided,” the report says.

The Quakers and Forces Watch also raised concerns over the “uncritical history of British involvement in war.”

The Star asked the Department for Education for a comment but did not receive one.

Former Citizenship Foundation director Don Rowe, who contributed to the critique, described the document as “demonstrably biased.”

Calling for its withdrawal yesterday, he said: “This is the kind of resource one gets in countries with less-than-democratic structures where civic education is used by governments to manipulate citizens into an uncritical attitude towards the state.”

David Cameron booed and heckled by pensioners over NHS reforms: here.

DAVID CAMERON was booed by pensioners yesterday after he tried to dodge their questions at an Age UK summit. The Tory PM was repeatedly heckled as he refused to give a straight answer to questions about the future of the health service: here.

Newcastle, England demonstrates against Pegida nazis


Pegida National Front demonstrator in Newcastle

This photo shows a demonstrator of the Pegida Islamophobic movement in Newcastle, England. He carries a flag of the neo-nazi National Front party.

Pegida Golden Dawn demonstrator in Newcastle

This photo shows a demonstrator of the Pegida Islamophobic organisation in Newcastle, England. He carries a flag of the Greek neo-nazi Golden Dawn party.

So much for Pegida’s claims to be really cuddly and supposedly not nazi at all. Claims already made doubtful by the Hitler copycat behaviour of Lutz Bachmann, the German leader of Pegida.

Lutz Bachmann posing as Hitler

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

THOUSANDS STAND UP TO THE PEGIDA THUGS

Monday 2nd March 2015

People of Newcastle turn out to make a stand against just 200 red-faced fascists

THOUSANDS of anti-fascists took to the streets of Newcastle-upon-Tyne at the weekend to oppose a demonstration by racist and Islamaphobic gang Pegida.

While around 200 Pegida fascists were protected by a phalanx of police, 3,000 to 4,000 anti-fascists staged a march and rally, dwarfing their demonstration.

Under the banner Newcastle United, they made a clear statement of the broad base of opposition to the racist group.
Hindus, Muslims, Christians, Jews, people of no faith, trade unionists, students and political activists stood shoulder to shoulder against Pegida.

Unions represented with their banners and flags included Unite, Unison, transport union RMT and the National Union of Teachers.

Pegida — whose German acronym means Patriotic Europeans against the Islamisation of the West — peaked last month in Dresden when 25,000 people attended a rally, but its popularity has dwindled following leadership scandals.

Far-right activists in Britain were trying to import its racist beliefs in the forlorn hope of creating a mass movement of their own.

But their turnout in Newcastle on Saturday — and the massed ranks of local people who opposed them — was a major knock to their hopes.

Speaker after speaker denounced Pegida at a rally that followed a march by the anti-fascist protesters.

Among them was Durham Miners Association secretary Davey Hopper — a lifelong campaigner against racism and fascism.

He told the exuberant crowd that the association is restoring a banner of the International Brigades, created in honour of people from Newcastle who went to Spain to fight in the country’s war against fascism in the 1930s.

“When I came here today I thought there would be a few hundred people scattered about,” he said.

“I have been on many demonstrations over the years but today has lifted me.

“The National Union of Mineworkers has never been found wanting when racism and fascism shows its ugly head.

“When you look over there and see the small number of absolutely despicable people, and you look up here and see 3,000 to 4,000 people, it gives you a lift.

“My union has fought fascism through the whole of its history.

“Today’s demonstration must tell those 200 people down there that there is no place for them in Newcastle, Durham and Northumberland, and there should be no place in the country for scum like that,” he said to cheers.

Messages of support were read out from Sunderland and Newcastle football fans’ organisations. Among other speakers was the Lord Mayor of Newcastle George Pattison.

Five people were arrested, including for drunkenness and public order offences.

See also here.

England: MATT WILLGRESS talks to leading lights in the movement for racial equality about the importance of taking to the streets in the run-up to UN Anti-Racism Day: here.

Italy: Racist protest dwarfed by opposition on the streets of Rome. TENS of thousands of anti-fascist and anti-racist activists confronted Italy’s far-right Northern League on the streets of Rome on Saturday: here.

Harbour porpoises studied in England


This video from England says about itself:

Thames Timelapse

2 April 2014

R/V Song of the Whale travels up the River Thames, in search of harbour porpoises.

From Wildlife Extra:

Whale research vessel begins porpoise survey in the Thames Estuary

A research team on board the unique, non-invasive whale research vessel Song of the Whale will carry out the first ever comprehensive scientific study to assess the population of Harbour Porpoises (the UK’s smallest cetacean) in the Thames Estuary between March 5 and 14.

In all, the survey will cover the area from Ipswich, travelling up the Thames through central London to Tower Bridge, the Thames Barrier, Teddington Lock and the Outer Estuary.

Marine Conservation Research International (MCR), which owns and operates the boat, will carry out acoustic and visual surveys using underwater microphones (hydrophones) and visual techniques, funded by the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) and with help from conservationists from the Zoological Society of London (ZSL).

The aim is to find out more about where this shy species is located in the tidal Thames and the threats porpoises face from human activities such as man-made underwater noise and litter.

This essential information can help in efforts to conserve the species.

An open day for members of the public to visit the boat will be held on Sunday March 8 at the Hermitage Community Moorings, Hermitage Wharf, Wapping.

The survey events will be as follow: March 5, when there is a training day in Ipswich; March 6, departure from Ipswich to Southend; March 7, Southend to Tower Bridge (day) and Tower Bridge to the Thames Barrier (night); March 8, 1-4pm, open afternoon for public, media and politicians; March 9, surveying Outer Estuary and Tower Bridge to Teddington Lock; March 10-14, further surveying of Outer Estuary and return to Ipswich.

Shore-based surveys involving members of the public will also take place at Rainham Marshes and Thameside Nature Park in Essex from 10am-4pm on Saturday March 7. These will be coordinated with assistance from the RSPB, Essex Wildlife Trust, Kent Mammal Group and ORCA.

For more information visit www.marineconservationresearch.org.

Beached harbour porpoise rescued in England


This video from British Columbia in Canada says about itself:

Helpless Porpoise Rescued

30 April 2011

On April 26, 2011, a rare live stranding of an adult Harbour Porpoise occurred on Salt Spring Island. Island Wildlife Natural Care Centre, a local non profit marine mammal rescue centre responded to the stranding. Staff members guided the struggling animal ashore, administered some basic, supportive care, and transported the porpoise to the Island Wildlife facility where the porpoise was kept afloat in one of its marine mammal tanks.

The porpoise was later transported to the Ganges Coast Guard Station and loaded aboard the Coast Guard hover craft, Siyay, which rushed the animal to the Vancouver Aquarium who have more Cetacean rehabilitation expertise.

From the Lincolnshire Echo in England, with video there:

Porpoise rescued from muddy river bank at Gibraltar Point

February 20, 2015

A porpoise became stranded in a muddy river bottom at Gibraltar Point near Skegness today.

Volunteers from Natureland Seal Sanctuary in Skegness came to its rescue after it became stranded when the tide had gone out.

The rescuers had to be roped up for their own safety due to the muddy conditions on the riverbank.

They managed to get the porpoise onto a stretcher before transferring it to the beach.

They then waded through the sea water until it was deep enough to release the porpoise.

New ichthyosaur species discovery in English museum


This video from England says about itself:

Ichthyosaur Doncaster – ITV Calendar interview (19.02.2015)

Interview with ITV Calendar, discussing the newly described species of ichthyosaur from the collections of Doncaster Museum (Ichthyosaurus anningae – Lomax & Massare, 2015).

From the Washington Post in the USA:

Museum staff thought this fossil was a plaster model, but it turned out to be a new species

By Rachel Feltman

February 23 2015

The BBC reports that a newly discovered species of ichthyosaur — an aquatic reptile resembling a toothy dolphin that lived at the same time as the dinosaurs — languished in a British museum for 30 years. And it wasn’t mistaken for the fossil of another species, but for a plaster cast of one.

Paleontologist Dean Lomax, an honorary scientist at the University of Manchester in England, was studying the fossil collections of his hometown museum in Doncaster when the education director offered him the use of an ichthyosaur copy for a display he was putting together.

But it was no copy — and it wasn’t a known species of ichthyosaur, either. Unusual features in the limb bones of the 189-million-year-old creature set it apart from other ichthyosaurs that Lomax had studied.

“When I looked at it, I realized this wasn’t a cast at all. It was real,” Lomax said in a video for the BBC. In fact, Lomax found that the fossil had preserved the ichthyosaur‘s final meal in its stomach. He thinks that the fossil shows bits of tentacle from a squid.

Since that first examination in 2008, Lomax and his colleague Judy Massare, a professor at Brockport College in New York, have compared the fossil with nearly 1,000 other specimens to make sure the discovery was unique. Last week, they published their official findings in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology.

Lomax and Massare have named the new species Ichthyosaurus anningae in honor of Mary Anning, a 19th-century British fossil hunter who found the first confirmed ichthyosaur fossil.

“It is an honor to name a new species, but to name it after somebody who is intertwined with such an important role in helping to sculpt the science of palaeontology, especially in Britain, is something that I’m very proud of,” Lomax said in a statement. “In fact, one of the specimens in our study was even found by Mary herself!”

It’s shockingly common for new species to be discovered dusty and forgotten in museum collections, which is why it’s so important that they receive enough funding to store and protect their extensive collections. Every time a researcher goes diving into these neglected archives, they’re almost sure to surface with something new and exciting.

Read More:

Long-forgotten secrets of whale sex revealed

Forgotten for a century on a museum shelf, a ‘new’ cricket is discovered

Museum fossil find pushes snake origins back by 65 million years

New cricket discovered in long-neglected amber collection<