Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Untrue statement of the week

Commander Broadhurst said: "The Met will always respect the right to protest peacefully, but I would urge all those considering taking to the streets of London again this week to think carefully about the consequences of engaging in violence and disorder.'

The Met are the worst police force to stop protests, using violence to break up peaceful demonstrations!

Undercurrents is an award winning alternative news service producing videos of people taking inspiring actions. http://www.undercurrents.org

Citizen journos get the stories

Citizen journos are getting all the best images it seems.During the G20 demos it was a citizen who who used his video phone to record the cop who batoned an innocent newspaper seller and killed him. The Guardian splashed the story worldwide.

Last night it was BBC showing footage by 'political blogger' (a new name for Citizen Journo/video activist perhaps?) Kate Belgrave (exterior pictures) and Samuel Stewart (interior pictures), shows how the situation developed when a protest erupted at Lewisham town hall
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-11871131

Undercurrents is an award winning alternative news service producing videos of people taking inspiring actions. http://www.undercurrents.org

Sunday, November 28, 2010

A brief history of Police “kettling”

Following from the student demos recently- this gives a background to police tatics

The police tactic of “kettling” was first used at N30, the anti-WTO summit protest at Euston station, London, November 1999. It was introduced after the disastrous policing efforts during J18 (Carnival Against Capital) some months previously where anti-capitalists and anarchist demonstrators roamed free throughout the city of London causing mayhem as part of the global protests against the G8 summit.

The process of kettling involves lines of police forcefully corralling people together into a space then surrounding the whole group on all sides preventing them from leaving the cordoned-in area. Any attempt by people to leave the cordon would result in physically being attacked (usually with batons, often riot shields, boots and fists) in order to preserve the kettle. Detention in this manner would last several hours. After people have become bored, tired and cold they would be released in a controlled fashion, usually one person at a time, after being searched, photographed and had their names and addresses taken.

So successful was the kettling tactic it was implemented at all future potentially inflammatory ‘mass demonstrations’ as a method of controlling, subduing and ultimately criminalising protestors. (Early kettling procedure went hand in hand with the misuse of ’section 60′ order whereby police took the personal details and pictures of all those in the kettle for their database).

Although not defined in law (it still is simply a police tactic) it was given the green light by the High Court after some protestors questioned the legality of their seven hour kettling in Oxford Circus on Mayday 2001. The courts ruled that the police could under certain circumstances detain people against their will for long periods of time to prevent outbreaks of violence and criminal acts – and typically a breach of the peace. The example they gave was the detaining of football supporters in the ground while opposing fans left the area.

In terms of the practicalities of the law it’s an absolute sham and the judges who made the ruling know they got away with a large dose of bullshit. But it also meant the police could continue the tactic along with all the violence and thuggery that goes with it under the protection of the law.

The anarchist group the Wombles developed a strategy (borrowed heavily from the Italian radical left movement Tutte Bianche) of wearing padding and protective headgear and using re-enforced banners to break through police lines on demonstrations.

While this proved very effective in the short term – the police had no idea how to handle such a disregard from their authority, it had to rely on everyone else adopting the same strategy of forcefully breaking out of the kettle to be truly successful. In the end it was seen as vanguardist (by the left, without a hint of irony) or too specialised to be universally adopted by everyone.
http://www.wombles.org.uk/article20060318.php

Undercurrents is an award winning alternative news service producing videos of people taking inspiring actions. http://www.undercurrents.org

Friday, November 26, 2010

Permaculture- investor wanted

Award winning media charity seeks investment to produce innovative video series about Permaculture. Working in collaboration with Permaculture magazine, Undercurrents seeks funding to record the key figures, projects and skills to support this growing movement.For more details contact paulo@undercurrents.org


Undercurrents is an award winning alternative news service producing videos of people taking inspiring actions. http://www.undercurrents.org

The Millennium Stadium Charitable Trust

deadline: 22 December 2011
The Trusts current round of grant giving is targeting local community groups,
villages and towns in Wales.

Any constituted community group can apply for funding of up to ?2,500 to support
programmes that improve the lives of people living and working in Wales. Project
activities must fall into at least one of the categories of Sport, the Arts, the
Environment or the Community. Applicants are asked to bid for the funding via an
application form and process. The deadline for this round is Wednesday 22 December
2010 and trustees will make their decisions in March 2011. For further information
please contact the Trust Office on 029 2049 4963 or access the application details
via the web link below.

The Trust receives its income from a levy on tickets sold at the Millennium Stadium
and since its creation in 2001 has awarded grants in excess of ?3 million.
http://www.millenniumstadiumtrust.co.uk



Undercurrents is an award winning alternative news service producing videos of people taking inspiring actions. http://www.undercurrents.org

Get your pen out

Are you interested a writing challenge? The Natur Cymru competition is a challenge
to write 1,000 words on a subject of topical environmental or wildlife interest in
Wales which inspires you. The winner will receive ?500 donated by WWF Cymru, which
is sponsoring the competition for the third year. The runner-up will receive a
place worth £500 on the nature writing course at Ty Newydd, the National Writers?
Centre.

?The purpose of the competition is to stimulate debate and encourage contributions
from anyone with a passion for our natural world in Wales,? said Natur Cymru?s Huw
Jenkins.

The judging panel, which includes Gillian Clarke, the National Poet of Wales, will
be looking for original content, use of plain language in English or Welsh, and how
the piece engages the reader. The competition is open to anyone who subscribes to
Natur Cymru, the quarterly magazine which promotes the wildlife and nature of Wales,
apart from the employees of the magazine, WWF Cymru or Ty Newydd. Articles, along
with illustrations (if any), are to be submitted by email to info@naturcymru.org by
31 March 2011. The winning entries will be published in the Summer 2011 edition of
Natur Cymru.


Undercurrents is an award winning alternative news service producing videos of people taking inspiring actions. http://www.undercurrents.org

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Pretend to be a Time Traveler Day - December 8th

This seems to be a movement that is growing..rules are that you must spend the entire day in costume and character. The only rule is that you cannot actually tell anyone that you are a time traveler. Other than that, anything's game.

There are three possible options:
1) Utopian/cliché Future - "If the Future did a documentary of the last fifty years, this is how badly the reenactors would dress." Think Star Trek: TNG or the Time Travelers from Hob. Ever see how the society in Futurama sees the 20th century? Run with it. Your job is to dress with moderately anachronistic clothing and speak in slang from varying decades. Here are some good starters:

- Greet people by referring to things that don't yet exist or haven't existed for a long time. Example: "Have you penetrated the atmosphere lately?" "What spectrum will today's broadcast be in?" and "Your king must be a kindly soul!"

- Show extreme ignorance in operating regular technology. Pay phones should be a complete mystery (try placing the receiver in odd places). Chuckle knowingly at cell phones.

2) Dystopian Future - This one offers a little more flexibility. It can be any kind of future from Terminator to Freejack. The important thing to remember is dress like a crazy person with armor. Black spray painted football pads, high tech visors, torn up trenchcoats and maybe even some dirt here or there. Remember, dystopian future travelers are very startled that they've gone back in time. Some starters:

- If you go the "prisoner who's escaped the future" try shaving your head and putting a barcode on the back of your neck. Then stagger around and stare at the sky, as if you've never seen it before.

- Walk up to random people and say "WHAT YEAR IS THIS?" and when they tell you, get quiet and then say "Then there's still time!" and run off.

- Stand in front of a statue (any statue, really), fall to your knees, and yell "NOOOOOOOOO"

- Stare at newspaper headlines and look astonished.

- Take some trinket with you (it can be anything really), hand it to some stranger, along with a phone number and say "In thirty years dial this number. You'll know what to do after that." Then slip away.

2) The Past - This one is more for beginners. Basically dress in period clothing (preferably Victorian era) and stagger around amazed at everything. Since the culture's set in place already, you have more of a template to work off of. Some pointers:

- Airplanes are terrifying. Also, carry on conversations with televisions for a while.

- Discover and become obsessed with one trivial aspect of technology, like automatic grocery doors. Stay there for hours playing with it.

- Be generally terrified of people who are dressed immodestly compared to your era. Tattoos and shorts on women are especially scary.

And that's it. Remember, the only real rule is staying in character and try to fit in. Never directly admit you're a time traveler, and make really, really bad attempts at keeping a low profile. Naturally, the dystopian future has a little more leeway. And for the record, I've already tried out all of these in real life, in costume. It is so much fun you want to pee yourself.

So on December 8th if you see people acting odd, it maybe a time traveler!

Undercurrents is an award winning alternative news service producing videos of people taking inspiring actions. http://www.undercurrents.org

Inspiring music video about making a community garden

One of the UK's top DJ outfits, Above and Beyond, have shot a video for their next single, On A Good Day (Metropolis). The wonderful piece of film features the good folks of Georgia Street turning a spot of typical Detroit wasteland into a garden, transforming their neighbourhood piece by piece into a better place to live. It was directed by Steve Glashier, who has also made videos for famous names like Fatboy Slim and Juliette Lewis. It's superb, not least for featuring ordinary Detroiters and showing the city in a positive light.



Undercurrents is an award winning alternative news service producing videos of people taking inspiring actions. http://www.undercurrents.org

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

My Alien film will be used in an exam

I got an email today asking for permission to use my film in an exam in Quebec. The
theme of the package is about where the line between privacy and security should be drawn. They ask the students to use their critical thinking skills to answer a question given about the film.
It is a new use for my film so i said yes, so soon bunch of Quebec high school students will be sitting their exam to watch the film below.


Undercurrents is an award winning alternative news service producing videos of people taking inspiring actions. http://www.undercurrents.org

The Ecologist guide to video activism

The Ecologist guide to video activism, featuring Undercurrents and VisionOn
Read it here

Undercurrents is an award winning alternative news service producing videos of people taking inspiring actions. http://www.undercurrents.org

Monday, November 22, 2010

A Zebra crossing...with a difference



Undercurrents is an award winning alternative news service producing videos of people taking inspiring actions. http://www.undercurrents.org

Friday, November 19, 2010

Cae Mabon ecovillage



Undercurrents is an award winning alternative news service producing videos of people taking inspiring actions. http://www.undercurrents.org

BT Community Connections award scheme is now open for applications!

If your community group helps, or wants to help, people access the internet and
improve their ICT skills, you could be eligible to receive 12 months' free
broadband. Silver surfers, after school and youth clubs, even 'IT for the Terrified'
groups have benefitted from an award in the past and are now encouraging even more
people to get online – you could too!

We have attached a PDF of a flyer/poster which you may like to email to other
colleagues or contacts. You can also print it off and use it internally – either
putting a colour version up on a notice board or using it as a leaflet for people to
pick up at reception.

Applying for an award is easy. Simply log on to www.bt.com/communityconnections to
access the online application form and the full rules and guidance notes.

The closing date for applications is Thursday 13 January at 5.30pm but in the
meantime, if you have any questions please don't hesitate to contact us on 0845 257
6792 or info@btcommunityconnections.com.

Kind regards,
BT Community Connections
0845 257 6792
www.bt.com/communityconnections




Undercurrents is an award winning alternative news service producing videos of people taking inspiring actions. http://www.undercurrents.org

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The shit is about to hit the fan in Ireand with Mortgages

The morons in power in my home country of Ireland have really screwed it up but the storm is about to get worse.

People are going to extraordinary lengths – not paying other bills and borrowing heavily from their parents – to meet mortgage repayments, both out of fear of losing their homes and to avoid the stigma of admitting that they are broke. In a society like ours, where a person’s moral worth is judged – by themselves as much as by others – by the car they drive and the house they own, the idea of admitting that you cannot afford your mortgage is unspeakably shameful.

That will change. The perception growing among borrowers is that while they played by the rules, the banks certainly did not, cynically persuading them into mortgages that they had no hope of affording. Facing a choice between obligations to the banks and to their families – mortgage or food – growing numbers are choosing the latter.

In the last year, America has seen a rising number of “strategic defaults”. People choose to stop repaying their mortgages, realising they can live rent-free in their house for several years before eviction, and then rent a better house for less than the interest on their current mortgage. The prospect of being sued by banks is not credible – the State of Florida allows banks full recourse to the assets of delinquent borrowers just like here, but it has the highest default rate in the US – because there is no point pursuing someone who has no assets.

If one family defaults on its mortgage, they are pariahs: if 200,000 default they are a powerful political constituency. There is no shame in admitting that you too were mauled by the Celtic Tiger after being conned into taking out an unaffordable mortgage, when everyone around you is admitting the same.

The gathering mortgage crisis puts Ireland on the cusp of a social conflict on the scale of the Land War, but with one crucial difference. Whereas the Land War faced tenant farmers against a relative handful of mostly foreign landlords, the looming Mortgage War will pit recent house buyers against the majority of families who feel they worked hard and made sacrifices to pay off their mortgages, or else decided not to buy during the bubble, and who think those with mortgages should be made to pay them off. Any relief to struggling mortgage-holders will come not out of bank profits – there is no longer any such thing – but from the pockets of other taxpayers.
Read more


Undercurrents is an award winning alternative news service producing videos of people taking inspiring actions. http://www.undercurrents.org

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Ice cream Van cinema

Ice Cream Van cinema
http://www.flickr.com/photos/48980826@N04/with/4551645801/

Undercurrents is an award winning alternative news service producing videos of people taking inspiring actions. http://www.undercurrents.org

Police fail to shut down website thanks to social media

On Monday night FitWatch received notification that their website had been suspended due to “attempting to pervert the course of justice” due to a posting offering advice to the Millbank students.

Fitwatch said
Whilst the email requesting the site be closed on the basis it was being used for “criminal activity” came from DI Paul Hoare, from the Police Central e-crime Unit, the authorisation to close was given much closer to home, by acting Detective Inspector Will Hodgeson. Hodgeson, who was involved in the first Fitwatch case, and has sat through many of our trials and appeals, evidently finally had enough and decided to shut us down.

However, through totally underestimating the power of social media, this pathetic attempt has failed miserably. Within minutes of networking what had happened, people were re-publishing the post anywhere and everywhere. There are now over 100 sites carrying the original post – we haven’t managed to count them all. We have been overwhelmed by the support and solidarity and send massive thanks to everyone who’s offered to help and reposted the information. If we haven’t replied personally, it’s only because we’ve been inundated, and haven’t had time.

This was a real attempt to squash dissent and criticism of the police, as well as attempting to stifle common sense advice to protesters subject to a witch hunt by the right wing press. The solidarity given by so many people has ensured this hasn’t happened, and has shown we can fight back. Even if we were to be arrested and prosecuted now, we would still be grateful to CO11 for the amount of publicity they’ve generated for us.
http://www.fitwatch.org.uk/

Undercurrents is an award winning alternative news service producing videos of people taking inspiring actions. http://www.undercurrents.org

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Off The Grid: in the USA


Undercurrents is an award winning alternative news service producing videos of people taking inspiring actions. http://www.undercurrents.org

Undercurrents in running for another award

Undercurrents have been short listed into the final 3 in the 2010 Network Wales Awards for our Sol Cinema.

We are in the Class award for best communications – for the group with the most effective or innovative way of communicating its message.
We find out on December 2nd how we do so stay tuned.


Undercurrents is an award winning alternative news service producing videos of people taking inspiring actions. http://www.undercurrents.org

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Street Artists chased by cops in Hollywood



Undercurrents is an award winning alternative news service producing videos of people taking inspiring actions. http://www.undercurrents.org

Monday, November 08, 2010

Anyone who has squatted want to talk to the BBC?

I'm from BBC Radio and want to record an interview with some squatters today. As you know, they want to make it harder for you to squat in the future. But I want to find out from you why you do it and why you think its OK to live in empty buildings. I won't identify you OR where you live. Can you call me on 07711-894243 or email me: lesley.ashmall@bbc.co.uk

Undercurrents is an award winning alternative news service producing videos of people taking inspiring actions. http://www.undercurrents.org

Tory Guide to stop squatters to be published online

A Tory minister told the BBC: "Squatting is anti-social, undesirable, and unfair on homeowners who find they have their homes taken over.

Squatting is a key target for the Tories so I wrote the following comment on the BBC website.
I and many other people squatted in East London during the 1990's. First as a protest against the M11 link road, then as a lifestyle choice.

We found out that 250,000 buildings are abandoned for various reasons all over the UK.

There were so many empty buildings, we declared ourselves as care takers. We squatted them, fixed leaks, tidied gardens, paid council tax, gas and electricty bills. Sometimes we stayed for 6months, others a year at a time. We always left the place in a better state that we found it. Squatting was and is vital to allow people to build alternative communities. Too many of us live in tiny boxes paying high rent to be isolated. We need communal buildings to come together to create sustainable worlds.

Ask any artists or journalist or anyone in a creative industry and chances are, they have squatted or attended an inspiring squat party. Squats shape our society for the better.

We even made a film to help people- Squat the lot- a squatters Guide

Undercurrents is an award winning alternative news service producing videos of people taking inspiring actions. http://www.undercurrents.org

YOUTH VISION: £5,000 APE SHORT FILM AWARD

Are you under 25 years of age? Have you got something to say about climate change? Tell us how you feel in a one-minute film and you could win £5,000

BE PART OF THE SOLUTION
Youth Vision: A Better World Is Possible
Sponsored by Artists Project Earth

“The imagination is a powerful tool: artists can use it to show others the world as they see it, and bring others into their dream of how the world could be.” – David R Becker
The imagination plays a vital role in shaping our response to climate change. It is imagination that affects the future, for much of what we see today was previously conceived in the human imagination. To paraphrase Einstein, “We cannot solve our problems with the same mindset that created them,” and so it is the imaginative response of artists, writers and filmmakers thinking ‘outside the box’ that will help to resolve the crises we face today.

With that in mind APE is sponsoring the ‘Young Vision’ category of this year’s 1 Minute To Save the World Short Film Competition. We are inviting young amateur filmmakers, both individually and through school or youth groups - from diverse cultural backgrounds across the globe – to reflect on the challenges of climate change and how society can address these issues.

Films can be presented in any format: from animation to musical; documentary to puppetry – but must be only one minute in length. The winning filmmaker(s) will receive an Award sponsored by APE of £5,000 – but there is a catch…

As well as presenting a one-minute film, participants will be asked to present a Proposal explaining how the prize money will be spent. For example, a school group may want to spend the money on a 'living playground’ or a youth group may wish to create a bicycle-powered sound-system for gigs and shows. Alternatively, individuals may propose to spend the Award on sponsoring the education of a pen-pal in the developing South, or on a film-making course to hone their practical skills. Any combination of film and proposal is acceptable – but of course, the more ambitious, radical and thought-provoking, the better!

The winning entry will be judged on the quality and originality of ideas presented in both the film and the proposal. Once the Award has been made, the winning entrant(s) will then have a year in which to bring their dream to fruition at which point a final one-minute concluding film about the venture’s successes (or failures) will be made, which completes the Award. The initial film will be shown on both the APE and 1 Minute websites and other media platforms. The complete Award documenting the initial film, proposal and final film will be showcased on the APE website. We encourage young people from school age up to 25, years from across the globe, to participate in the ‘Young Vision: A Better World Is Possible’ One Minute Film Award.

For more details and entry rules visit: www.1minutetosavetheworld.com/competitions

Undercurrents is an award winning alternative news service producing videos of people taking inspiring actions. http://www.undercurrents.org

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Launch of the 2011 International Women's Day Grant for Wales

The 2011 theme is 'A Celebration of Women's Achievements in the Last 100 Years'.
Applications should reflect this theme. A total grant fund of £30,000 is available
and each payment will be limited to £2,500. Funding events should highlight issues
and concerns relating to women and represent the diverse needs of women in Wales.
The Welsh Assembly Government will favour not-for-profit organisations that
establish a partnership to organise events together which promote IWD. The deadline
for receipt of applications is 17 December 2010. Further details are available from
Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Division, Welsh Assembly Government, tel 029 2082
6828, email mailto:edidmailbox@wales.gsi.gov.uk

Undercurrents is an award winning alternative news service producing videos of people taking inspiring actions. http://www.undercurrents.org
Joint Welsh Assembly Government and Equality & Human Rights Commission Capacity
Building Fund:
http://wales.gov.uk/topics/equality/funding/ehrcfund/?lang=en

This new small grants scheme has been established by the Welsh Assembly Government
on a joint/matched funding basis with the Equality and Human Rights Commission, to
support capacity development in the third sector in Wales. A total grant fund of
£50,000 is available, with each payment limited to a maximum of £5,000 per
organisation. The programme will consider applications from those wishing to work
together in increasing awareness of equality and human rights issues. Proposals for
initiatives which will strengthen the governance of organisations will be
particularly welcome. Eligible project costs may include: staff costs (salaries and
office overheads); volunteer costs (travel, lunch, expenses, training);
operational/activity costs (equipment or venue hire, food, refreshments, childcare);
and publicity costs (publicity material, information and websites). Third sector
organisations located in Wales may apply. The deadline for receipt of applications
is 17 December 2010.


Undercurrents is an award winning alternative news service producing videos of people taking inspiring actions. http://www.undercurrents.org

Watch on Channel 4 tonight Thu 04 Nov, 9PM

We have supplied images to a documentary which will be aired on Channel 4 tonight.
A group of environmentalists are challenging the movement they helped to create. These life-long diehard greens advocate radical solutions to climate change, including GM crops and nuclear energy.

Watch on Channel 4 tonight Thu 04 Nov, 9PM

Undercurrents is an award winning alternative news service producing videos of people taking inspiring actions. http://www.undercurrents.org

Royalty free images and music

There are numerous royalty free stock footage websites where a one off fee is paid for an unlimited use licence. Here is one example http://www.artbeats.com
There are also similar sites for music. Here's a good one http://www.music2license.com - a one off fee of 40 grants the licensee an unlimited, worldwide synchronisation licence.

Undercurrents is an award winning alternative news service producing videos of people taking inspiring actions. http://www.undercurrents.org

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

The Sol Cinema in the news

This is a week for our Sol Cinema
The USA website Tree Hugger has reivewed our Solar powered Cinema this week. Read it here

ITV films us today for a history of mobile cinema and Michael Fish the weather man gave us a forecast which you can see below!



Undercurrents is an award winning alternative news service producing videos of people taking inspiring actions. http://www.undercurrents.org

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Build your own Home- premiere of latest Undercurrents movie

Join Transition Swansea & Undercurrents for the premiere of an inspiring movie of woodsman Ben Law. A step by step guide to building your own home using local resources.(85minutes) 
No tickets, donations accepted on the door. Start time 7.30pm

Where and when? Wednesday November 24th 7.30pm
 Dylan Thomas Centre Cinema Swansea. SA1 1RR 
Entry by donations on the door


Undercurrents is an award winning alternative news service producing videos of people taking inspiring actions. http://www.undercurrents.org