Climate change protesters blockade oil refinery

Masked climate change protesters surround a bamboo tripod with their arms in cardboard tubes to prevent police from removing themAround 400 climate change protesters converged from all over London to travel to Stanford-le-hope in Essex to blockade Coryton oil refinery. The plan was not fully revealed to protesters until they were on the train to Essex, when organisers distributed leaflets with a map of the area and an explanation of the plan.

Organisers also distributed ‘goody bags’ on the train which included a mask, disposable boiler suit and equipment to make a cardboard lock-on tube. Once in Stanford-le-hope protesters spilt into groups and made their way towards the oil refinery through fields. Along the way protesters had left more equipment that could be used to blockade the road.

The blockade lasted 4 hours and protesters claimed they stopped thousands of gallons of oil being delivered.

Photos: Climate change protesters blockade oil refinery

Police make mass arrests at arms protest

Police made mass arrests at the end of a protest in Brighton against arms manufacturer EDO MBM. Around a hundred, mostly local, activists from the Smash EDO campaign attempted to evade police throughout the day to get near the arms factory.

Police mass arrested over 35 protesters, including a legal observer, who had been kettled on Lewes road for a breach of the peace. Sussex police said ‘many would be released without charge as a breach of the peace was prevented’.

EDO MBM manufacture the release mechanism for bombs on F-16 & F-18 fighter planes used by the Israeli Defence Force.

Photos: Police make mass arrests at arms protest

EDL protest in Leicester

An English Defence League protester is treated for a head injury by a police medic. He said he was hit by a police shield.

Police estimated that around a thousand English Defence League protesters gathered in Leicester. Violence broke out sporadically throughout the day as protesters tried to push through police lines. Bricks, bottles, cans, fireworks and smoke grenades were all thrown at police by the EDL.

Photos: EDL protest in Leicester

Workers march against Coalition cuts

Several thousand people take part in a march outside the Conservative party conference in Birmingham organised by the Right to Work campaign.

The march was made up of mainly trade unionists, with banners coming from all over the country. The unions represent many of the public sector workers who fear they could lose their jobs if the Conservatives agenda for cuts goes though.

Photos: Workers march against Coalition cuts

Thousands march against the Pope

Thousands of people joined a march and rally through central London against the Pope’s state visit to the UK. It is the first time a Pope has been invited to a state visit in the UK. His visit has been controversial because of his involvement before becoming Pope in the cover up of child abuse in the Catholic church.

Photos: Thousands march against the Pope

The Threat to National Security

It is interesting to note in this context that in the last ten years what might be called a “zero tolerance” attitude to terrorist risk in Great Britain has become more widespread. While it has always been the case that the authorities have made every effort to prevent terrorist attacks, it used to be accepted as part of everyday life that sometimes the terrorists would get lucky and there would be an attack. In recent years we appear increasingly to have imported from the American media the assumption that terrorism is 100% preventable and any incident that is not prevented is seen as a culpable government failure. This is a nonsensical way to consider terrorist risk and only plays into the hands of the terrorists themselves. Risk can be managed and reduced but it cannot realistically be abolished and if we delude ourselves that it can we are setting ourselves up for a nasty disappointment.

A sober and unsurprising ‘state of the union’ by Director General of the Security Service, Jonathan Evans speaking yesterday on the Threat to National Security.

Those who are interested in such things might find the Intelligence and Security Committee report Could 7/7 Have been Prevented (PDF) gives greater insight into the Security Service’s focus and capabilities.