Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Cops take 4 years to say sorry

Police finally apologise after 4 years for arresting an innocent man on trumped up charge.This is his story.

"I would like to apologise on behalf of the Metropolitan Police Service for the circumstances that arose on 28 July 2005 including your unlawful arrest, detention and search of your home. I appreciate this has had a deep and traumatic impact on your lives and I hope that the settlement in this case can bring some closure to this.

Just over four years ago, I entered the tube station without looking at the police officers who were standing by the entrance. Two other men entered the station at the same time. My jacket was allegedly too warm for the season. I was carrying a backpack. While waiting for the tube, I looked at people coming on the platform, I played with my mobile phone, I took a piece of paper from inside my jacket.

The police found my behaviour suspicious and instigated a security alert. They surrounded me. They asked me to take off my backpack. They handcuffed me in the back. They closed and cordoned off the tube station. They stopped and searched me under section 44 of the Terrorism Act 2000. They emptied my pockets. They loosened my belt. Explosive officers checked my backpack, gave the all clear and joked about my laptop. The handcuffs were taken off (for a few minutes) and some of the stuff I was carrying in my pockets was given back to me.
read more

The Global Climate Wake-Up Call

Monday, September 28, 2009

Want to save the planet- grab the condoms!

The greenest technology available to us may not be solar panels, but instead contraception, according to a new report.

The study has been causing quite a stir, especially by people who missed the main point (not that we should put a cap on kids, but that we should provide family planning to people who want it).

"The $7 cost of abating a ton of CO2 using family planning compares with $24 for wind power, $51 for solar, $57-$83 for coal plants with carbon capture and storage, $92 for plug-in hybrid vehicles and $131 for electric vehicles." That's a heck of a lot of savings.
Read the article by Tara Lohan, AlterNet. here
Photo AZAdam

Dan Le Sac vs Scroobius Pip 'The Beat That My Heart Skipped'

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Free WiFi installation for communities and charities

Freerunner are offering 50 communities in the UK the chance to have a
free WiFi service installed in a public place in the community, for a
three-year period. If your community is interested, you need to
contact them to tell them why your community needs WiFi.

The funding for the service comes from the commercial side of their
business, corporate sponsorship and advertising which is placed at the
start of your Internet session.

They have also partnered with JustGiving.com to come and install the
Freerunner service for free for 500 charities. Your charity needs to
have a broadband connection in place, and if you are successful,
Freerunner will come and install their WiFi service free of charge.

See the Freerunner website for more information:

Friday, September 25, 2009

October 22-24 May You Live in Interesting Times

May You Live in Interesting Times- Festival of Creative Technology, Cardiff
22 - 24 October 2009

This three-day Festival is all about ‘do-it-yourself’ with a programme that celebrates the latest intriguing uses of everyday technology and social innovation, enabled through shared ideas. Undercurrents are planning to show our Solar Powered Cinema off.

There’s a fantastic range of commissions, exhibitions, a tinker faire, discussions, workshops, screenings and participant-driven events.

One click and you can help us win £5000 for our solar cinema

Help Undercurrents win £5000
Helen from Undercurrents has been short listed to receive a grant of £5,000 to fund our Solar Powered Cinema project. We just need you to Vote for Helen by simply clicking Vote beside Helen's profile.There is no registering or login, just click to vote!

Details here. Please support Undercurrents.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Me with my new Sony HVR-Z7E

Photo by Ingrid Bousquet

The HVR-Z7E is the world's first HDV handheld camcorder with an interchangeable lens system, native progressive recording. It is great to have full control over the exposure, focus etc rather than the limimted scope of the basic camcorders i have used for years.

Star Wars – The Environmentalists Version

I dont know if you know this, but the original draft of the movie star wars was not written by Lucas, the original draft was written by environmentalists. And its a little bit different Those were the first words I ever heard Derrick Jensen speak, and my world view has never been the same since. The year was 2006 and I had just moved to New York City to work for Democracy Now!. I was taping the Community Solutions conference, a peak oil convention held at Cooper Union. Unlike the other speakers, Derrick did not talk about about solar panels or wind turbines. He spoke of our cultures systematic destruction of the planet and of the failure of the environmental movement. After hearing his talk, I immediately sought out his books and the first seeds of END:CIV were planted. The Star Wars piece is one of Derricks best analogies, one that delivers a precise critique of mainstream environmental groups. Directed by Franklin López, Motion Graphic support by pussykrew . Production assistance by Paul Clarke, Annette Fick, Rosalee Yagihara and Chris Bevacqua http://endciv.com

Sunday, September 13, 2009

The problem with WALL-E

It was a 90-minute lecture on the dangers of over-consumption, big corporations and the destruction of the environment. All this from mega-company Disney, who wants us to buy WALL-E kitsch for our kids that is manufactured in China at environment-destroying factories and packed in plastic that will take hundreds of year to biodegrade in our landfills.
Review of WALL-E

Saturday, September 12, 2009


BANANAS!* trailer from WG Film on Vimeo.


Glastonbury 2009 - The Aftermath

What was once called a 'green' festival has lost that accolade as this video sadly shows

Tesco to sponsor Glastonbury festival 2010

Letter to the Met police

Dispatches intend to use this video letter in their latest programme about Police and protest

A report from the media team at Climate Camp TV

ClimateCamp.tv was a studio set up in the middle of the Climate Camp last month- an activist zone crossed with a festival.

Over 7 days on Camp, we put out 46 shows: 9 action films, 7 short docs made
on camp, 7 workshop inspired template films, and 23 studio shows - including
6 live music programmes!

We had a film up the same day as the swoop (taking of the site), we got at least one film out everyday (Thursday was a close one, but we made it!) and from there followed
a stream of fantastic work, flooding the channel with interesting and provoking narratives not seen elsewhere in any other media coverage of the Camp.

We produced entire shows on-site powered only by solar power, and beamed one show directly from camp via 3G - it took about 3 hours to upload a 2 minute film, and we quickly resolved to send the rest from off-site, but we did do it!

We even had a peddle powered screening of our highlights on the last night
of camp (thank you Bicycology).

We also had a screening of our output at the Ritzy Cinema in Brixton on the 31st, while we were still in production in the field! (thank you Merlyn for making that happen).

We were hooked into a number of websites and blogs who carried our main page feed through out the week. We were syndicated via visionOn's extensive existing syndication connections.

I think that we also showed how fruitful it can be to work closely with the
media team. I'm very glad that we ended up sharing a space with the rest of
the media circus, it allowed us to keep each other informed and to work
together to amplify the message of the camp. This relationship bore fruit
even before camp though, with the very successful *Letter to the Met*, which
Richard made using the media teams letter as a backbone. It got over 26,000 views, and was our most watched piece.

We all worked very hard to make the Climate Camp TV project a success

Friday, September 11, 2009

U for Urban Bushcraft (azbushcraft.com)

Wild trees,free food and healing plants are growing all over our cities. Andrew takes to his bike to show you how you can practice Bushcraft where-ever you live.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Derren Brown's Lottery Predictions: BBC/C4 Split-Screen

Any ideas on how he did this?

Cops search kids

Police caught stopping and searching young children.
An inquiry has been launched after two children were allegedly stopped and searched by police under "terrorism legislation" in south London.

Two officers carried out a stop and search on a man, 43, his daughter, 11, and another child, six, near Woolwich Arsenal station, the man said. The allegation comes after nine-year-old Jadan Shepherd was stopped and searched by police in Camberwell, south London, last month.His mother Sandra Shepherd subsequently lodged a complaint, which is being investigated by the Directorate of Professional Standards.

More than 157,290 stop and searches were carried out in London last year, nearly triple the number carried out in 2007.

Three miles north of Molkom

Three miles north of Molkom, hidden deep in the lakeside forests of Sweden, lies Angsbacka; a 21st Century playground for adults. Once a year, their gates open to a thousand international participants, placed in 'Sharing Groups' at random. A Swedish celebrity, a Californian hippy, a Finnish grandmother and a back-packing Australian rugby coach, who stumbled on the wrong party, are amongst the group that take us on an unforgettably quirky, two-week emotional roller-coaster. Firewalking, Shamanism, Tantric Sex and myriad other physical, psychological and esoteric experiences, guide our unlikely heroes towards enlightenment, love, loathing and themselves. Will they ever be the same again?

The Luckiest Nut In The World

A singing peanut and his gang of shelled friends explain that sometimes free trade is just nuts

Take One Action film festival-Edinburgh.

**Rise Up: Take One Action film festival launch party
Thursday 17th September 2009, 11pm – 3am at The Bongo Club, 37 Holyrood
Road, Edinburgh.

*You are invited to the biggest event in the campaigning year. A
celebration of campaigners old and new and a gateway to activism for those
who want to get involved but aren’t sure how.

The Rise Up launch party for the Take One Action film festival will be a
musical extravaganza of hip-hop, funk and roots music, featuring Edinburgh’s
own BAFTA-nominated hip-hop duo, Northern Xposure (www.myspace.com/nrnxpo)
as well as DJ sets from Glasgow's Beatroute, AKA, Erskone (
www.myspace.com/erskone) and 1SP (www.myspace.com/onesp).

All welcome, spread the word to your friends.
Come one, come all. Rise up!

We will cut your broadband connection if you listen to that music

In its Digital Britain report, originally published in June, the government set a target to reduce file-sharing of music across the internet by 70% in the first year.That report gave media regulator Ofcom until 2012 to consider whether "technical measures" - such as reducing broadband speeds or blocking access to download sites - were necessary.

But musicians like Radiohead, Billy Bragg and Blur are saying they don't want the Government making criminals out of their fans.
read more

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Make money from your world-changing film

The new movie screening licensing software has just passed an income of 50,000 pounds with 628 screenings of Age of Stupid booked since March.It's a simple concept: people buy a license to screen a film, the cost of which is set on a sliding scale according to whether they're a scout troop or a multinational company.
Then they hold their screening, charge for tickets and keep the profits. So anyone can make cash off our films. Anyhow, they are going to be adding one new film a month from
November, so if you'd like to submit your film, please write to ben@indiescreenings.net. Only change-the-world type films (dramas or docs) please - the next few months are going to feature Heavy Load, The Yes Men Fix the World, Black Gold and, McLibel and Drowned Out.

Keeping the rich men flying

The UK may have to cut emissions of greenhouse gases by 90% by 2050 so the aviation sector can continue to grow. It seems insane the levels the Gov is going to just to ensure that the rich can keeping flying!

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Alternative media interview for radio podcast

Last week I did an interview with the Outdoors station which can be heard online from today. There is a direct link to the mp3 or play online at http://backpackinglight.co.uk and scroll down to

No 278 – Sleeping Mats and Environmental Protests!
In this podcast a couple of items catch Roman’s ‘lightweight eye’ at the trade show in Germany as Pacific Outdoor Equipment are launching in 2010 some lightweight cycling panniers and a new sleeping mat to rival the very popular NeoAir. I on the other hand meet an interesting guy who produced the A-Z of Bushcraft DVD, not only that, but I hear about his background of many years filming and archiving protests and actions over environmental issues never seen on TV. So much so he’s become a library for main stream media. Fascinating!

(my interview starts at 16mins in)

Monday, September 07, 2009

Age of Stupid USA Trailer

TV network's attempt to stifle Silvio Berlusconi documentary backfires

When the Italian TV networks RAI and Mediaset refused to screen the trailer for Videocracy, they hoped to dampen interest in the film, a documentary feature that accuses their boss, prime minister Silvio Berlusconi, of fomenting a debased and chauvinistic media culture. Instead, requests from Italian cinemas to screen the film have doubled, and its director credits the broadcasters' ban for the surge in interest.

Videocracy screens today at the Venice film festival, in the independent International Critics' Week strand. It opens with footage from one of the notorious "stripping housewives" gameshows that first aired on Berlusconi's channels in the 70s – material, the film argues, that set the tone for the culture Berlusconi would dominate and degrade for more than three decades.

Police drop charges against activist media website

Police have dropped their controversial six-month investigation of a Sheffield IT worker who had a minor role administering the activist media website Indymedia UK.
The man was arrested at his home in February as part of an probe by Kent Police's domestic extremism unit.

Officers were seeking the identity of an Indymedia UK user who had posted the home address of Mr Justice Neil Butterfield and an invitation to "tell him what you think". Mr Justice Butterfield is a senior judge who had recently handed down jail sentences for blackmail to a group of animal rights extremists.

Indymedia UK had told Kent Police it did not keep server logs and was incapable of helping to identify the poster. The assurances did not satisfy detectives, who obtained a warrant to seize a server from a Manchester colocation site owned by UK Grid.

The UK Grid contract (the server was registered under) was held by the Sheffield IT worker. He ran several machines at the site for small businesses and had agreed to add the Indymedia UK server as a favour.This was his only involvement: he did not have software adminstrator privileges, so could not have accessed server logs even if they had existed.

Nevertheless, after two weeks of repeated discussions of this fact, Kent officers travelled to Sheffield and raided the man's home at 7am on February 9. They seized computer equipment and questioned him for several hours at a local police station.

It marked the first recorded use of broad new powers granted by the Serious Crime Act 2007. He was arrested under suspicion of offences including "encouraging or assisting an offence believing it will be committed". Indymedia UK described the arrest as "an attack on press freedom".

The IT worker was bailed to reappear at the police station three months later. In May, he was bailed again until the end of August while investigations continued.
A spokeswoman for Kent Police today confirmed the case has now been dropped and no charges will be brought. However, she said the broader investigation to identify the Indymedia UK user who posted Mr Justice Butterfield's address would continue.

She declined to discuss the investigation of the IT worker, citing ongoing inquiries

Sunday, September 06, 2009


I just got an email from Channel 4 BRITDOC that stated
-We are launching a great new initiative - a website called GOODFILM.org which will introduce the top social action film projects to NGOs, foundations, campaigners, educators and anyone else who has an outlet, use or network for important films about social
issues. The site has been part-funded by the Open Society Institute -
part of the Soros Network.

It is basically a match-making site for filmmakers and the third sector.
The site is now in the process of being really well-populated with great
films (because it is invite only Britdoc assure the quality of the
film). I've just started inviting third sector organistions.

It is really easy to sign up, takes about 5 mins, but you need to put a little fotie of you etc.
Click on Log-in and then sign-up.

Friday, September 04, 2009

Power & Place: good energy practice in the transition from fossil fuel dependency

2 - 4 October 2009
Centre for Alternative Technology, Straw Bale Theatre

The most recent scientific evidence on both climate security and
energy security reveals a situation more urgent than had been
expected. However, it's not too late, and solutions do exist.

A great deal of experience on the transition from fossil fuel
dependency is available to share, on a range of different scales and
from a range of different regions. This conference will explore 'good
practice' case studies, looking at not just the technologies, but also
the human stories, how the projects got off the ground, what the
barriers were and how they were overcome, and how people benefited.

This conference is kindly supported by the Carnegie UK Trust and EU DG
Environment support to INFORSE– Europe, which means that we are able
to offer very reasonable delegate rates of £45.00 per person, or
£90.00 with accommodation.

Full programme and booking details are available from

If you have any questions please contact Deborah Sale on 01654 704973
or email zcb2events@cat.org.uk

Train stoppers up in court today

Climate protesters including film-makers who hijacked a coal train on its way to Drax power station in June 2008 are expected to be sentenced today at 4.30pm. The 22 men and women, including a senior university lecturer, teachers and film-makers, were convicted in July of obstructing an engine or carriage using a railway. The judge has already ruled out prison and they are likely to receive heavy community service sentences.
I think they should have medals instead!

Thursday, September 03, 2009

How i fund my films about environmental topics

This was the photo of the crew who served more than 1000 brave people who ventured out in the torrential rain to attend the first ‘Wild Wales Bushcraft and Environment Day’on Monday. Co-ordinated by Andrew Price the event was held in front of Margam park castle, near Swansea. Luckily the rain passed over as the event opened and stayed away until the last people left.While Peter built debris shelters and Ami taught youngsters to make bracelets from nettles, Jim demonstrated how to cook a tasty dinner over the fire. After a hard days work, his lamb on a spit and vegetable pot was very welcome.

Which brings me onto how I have been trying a new technique which is helping me fund my film making so thought i would share it with you.My interests is in documentaries about environmental issues and activism so I co-founded Undercurrents- the alternative news agency.

While doing a course on woodland skills, I met Andrew Price, a tutor who I reckoned would make a great presenter. So we began an A-Z of Bushcraft- 26 x 5minute videos distributed online for free.

We now have an audience of more than 1 million and thousands of subscribers to our RSS feed. So how do we fund it? Well thanks to YouTube and others, most people believe they shouldn't have to pay to watch online video.

Which leaves us with adverts plastered all over our work which isn't great.So our model is based on giving our work away for free online and asking our audience directly to fund us. Rather than just donating, we ask that they buy a DVD for whatever they can afford.

In June 2009 we released the first series of A-Z of Bushcraft on DVD. We put it to our audience that they can pay whatever they can afford, minimum £3 for post/packing.Making it clear that their funds will ensure that we continue producing the online videos.

While many only paid £3, hundreds of people paid £10, £18 and even £25. So within a month we covered all the costs of duplication and production of the DVD. In September we set the price at £10 and have been selling them ever since. Shops are ordering them and taking out adverts on our site so the model seems to be working.

While Andrew, the presenter hasn't been paid, it is working for him too, as 2 Hollywood productions companies have seen the series online and want to cast him for Survival shows in 2010

Our website is unique in the way it is designed which has inspired us to make an A-Z of Climate Change and A-Z of Rock Climbing amongst others. Check them all out via

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Aspirational TV - Charlie Brooker

Insight into what TV makers are producing

Sucess equals more pollution it appears

Franny Armstrong, director of The Age of Stupid, talks to Guardian about the launch of her new campaign, 10:10 but reveals that to be a successful campaigner means increasing your carbon output.

School girls expose Ribena corporation as liers

Two New Zealand schoolgirls humbled one of the world's biggest food and drugs companies after their school science experiment found that their ready-to-drink Ribena contained almost no trace of vitamin C.

Students Anna Devathasan and Jenny Suo tested the blackcurrant cordial against rival brands to test their hypothesis that cheaper brands were less healthy.

Climate Protesters glued to floor of bank

Protesters have glued their hands to the floor of the Royal Bank of Scotland headquarters in the City of London.

Twelve Climate Camp protesters dressed as construction workers stuck themselves to the floor while a further eight unfurled banners outside.The activists said they were protesting against the bank's investments in fossil fuel projects.
The group are protesting in particular funding for the coal industry and tar sands extraction in Alberta, Canada.

A further 15 protesters staged a naked demo on the roof of public relations company Edelman in central London. Today at 8:45, Climate activists, some naked, have occupied the roof and window of Edelman PR on 105 Victoria St, the firm behind EON’s glossy green spin on Kings north power station. The world’s largest independent PR company are helping EON in their efforts to rebuild Kingsnorth into the first coal fired power station the UK has seen in 30 years.

Fundraiser event for film about the experience of psychosis

The Candid Arts Trust in Angel, London is hosting a fundraiser to raise money for
this important film on the experience of psychosis on September 8th 2009 with a
night of film music, words, comedy and massage.

Date: Tuesday 8th Sept 2009
Venue: The Projection Room, Candid Arts Trust, 3 Torrens Street, London, EC1V 1NQ
Travel: Angel Tube, & Buses
Time: 6pm to 9.30pm
Price: £5
Contact: dollysen70@hotmail.com
Web: http://www.idomind.org.uk/id6.html

A Guided Tour of Climate Camp 2009

A guided tour of the site of Climate Camp 2009 in Blackheath, Greenwich, London