Saturday, March 31, 2012

DIAZ - Don't clean up this blood - Trailer


An Undercurrents reporter, Hamish Campbell filmed the brutal raid by Police in Genoa. The experience has now been made into a movie.

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

Using a laptop with solar power

Hamish from Visionon.tv explains how to use a solar powered laptop

This is a new 32W panel which is more than my older 25W panel, and runs a bigger laptop.Rugged folding 32.2W solar panel. 18 to 20VDC open circuit voltage. Current 2.4A in full sun. Cigarette socket connector. 16" X 10" folded; 14" X 44" unfolded. 1 1/2 inches thick folded. 6 pound 4 oz weight. Eyelets at each corner and at panel middle to allow mounting or suspension with rope or bungee cords. Very durable and rugged. Ripstop camouflage nylon enclosure. Take this panel anywhere. No glass. Advantages over thin film: open circuit voltage 18-22VDC (thin film tends to be 15 to 16VDC, as panel heats in sun or if in hot climates voltage for thin film panels drops and you may not charge efficiently or at all). Also thin panels are much less efficient. Substantially larger area for comparable outputs.

He uses a 7AH lead acid battery, it is used as a voltage buffer and as a reservoir of power. The cables are a 240v inverter, AA battery charger, Volt meter.
Read more here

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

Thursday, March 29, 2012

'The Sparky From Brazil' - a tribute to Jean Charles de M...


Leave it to the folk singers to recall injustice - this is by Paul Metsers

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

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Tories criminalise squatting

Last night the House of Lords passed a clause hidden in the legal aid bill to criminalise squatting in residential properties essentially making thousands of homeless people criminals overnight.

96% of responses to the governments consultation didn’t want to see any action taken on squatting but despite this the government ignored the results to its own consultation. You have to ask what is the point of having a consultation in the first place? To make matters worse, every debate that took place throughout the parliamentary process happened late at night meaning attendance was consistently low.



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

Monday, March 26, 2012

One Man and his eco-shed

Kevin McCloud who presents Grand Designs is making a eco-moveable shed. The TV company are interested in including our Sol Cinema as part of the programme.

In this series, Kevin explores whether what really makes us happy is creativity and simplicity. So he’s going and building his very own haven away from the world of uniform relentless mass production – a structure he can point to and proudly say "I built that". He said
'Having spent five years with the cameras trailing behind me to make two one-hour documentaries about the Swindon housing project, I am now embarking on a project just as grand in its scope and ambitious in its vision. Channel 4 has commissioned a series of four one-hour programmes in which I’m going to build a shed. More precisely, I’m going to go back to the woods and build myself a shelter from first principles. Like most people, I depend on – and indeed love – the modern world. I love technology, my car, restaurants and shopping. But amidst all the gizmos and luxury of a twenty-first-century life, I know that there’s something missing. I’m a consumer, not a maker. So I want to make something. Something powerful and basic – a shelter to live in with some creature comforts: a chair, a window. And some lunch.

This will involve attempting a host of craft skills, everything from woodturning to forging a knife to growing salad. It will be an exploration of the value of craftsmanship and well-made stuff by, well, making stuff. And probably by cocking it up in the process. I fully expect not to be able to make: iron ore, leather from a dead sheep, a stove, bedlinen, comfortable furniture and insulation out of old moss and seaweed. And a spa, using water from the shed roof and heat from the wood burner I intend to construct. Failure is not an option, it is almost guaranteed. Hence the need for experts and inspiring craftsmen; giants among men and women
More here

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

Friday, March 23, 2012

Living in the Future 42: A New Life


Life in an eco-village in West Wales

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

Black Block documentary trailer



This film uses undercurrents footage of the raid on the Diaz School in Genoa

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

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Bong: Welsh Copper tries to use law from New South Wales (Australia)

Here is an exclusive for my readers. The story was picked up by all national newspapers 5 days after I posted this.

Dozy copper uses laws from New South Wales, Australia in Wales, UK

An over eager Police officer has tried to use a law from Australia to prosecute a shopkeeper in Bargoed, South Wales. Rather than use his Police manual, the dozy copper Googled the law on selling bongs and didn't notice that he had stumbled into the laws from New South Wales, Australia.

The shopkeeper owner of Savers Xtra in Bargoed High street, South Wales sells a wide variety of stock including pipes & bongs. These are entirely legal to sell in the UK; however it is an offence to sell these items if they are going to be used to take illegal drugs.

At midday on Thursday 22nd March 2012 the shop keeper had a visit from PC 1183 Sion Morgan, based at Bargoed Police Station. The uniformed copper informed the shopkeeper that he was trading in illegal goods and that he must cease. He told him that if he failed to do so he would be arrested.

To back up this assertion the PC produced a document titled ‘MISUSE OF DRUGS AND TRAFFICKING ACT 1985 and drew the shop keepers’ attention to Section 11A of the act;

‘It is an offence to sell, supply or display for sale a bong or ice pipe, or the component parts of a bong or pipe, whether or not the bong or pipe was intended to be used to administer a prohibited drug.’

The shop keeper then called his wholesalers who have been trading pipes and bongs all over the UK since 1992.

Martin Palmer, Director of Avalon Wholesale said
'We had never heard of this act and so searched online. We found the act on the Australian government website. The legislation was from http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/nsw/consol_act/dmata1985256">New South Wales Australia.

Shortly after the visit the shop keeper, who was shocked & intimidated by the visit, decided to visit the police station himself to seek clarification.The cop was not available but he managed to speak to a female police officer who backed up his version of the law.We await eagerly to see how this pans out. Will we all have to abide by laws made on the far side of the planet by Governments we haven't elected?

Newspaper coverage I generated with my story
The Sun
The Times
The Mirror
The Telegraph


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

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

This Friday: The 16th Human Rights Watch Film Festival

The 16th Human Rights Watch Film Festival opens at the Ritzy in Brixton,
London, this Friday 23 March. A week-long programme of thought-provoking
films and Q&A sessions focusing on racism, women?s rights, environment and
the global economy.

Human Rights Watch is one of the world's leading independent organisations
dedicated to defending and protecting human rights. Its Film Festival
brings to life human rights abuses through storytelling in a way that
challenges each individual to empathise and demand justice for all.

The closing night film and reception will be on Friday 30 March with Nadine
Labaki's drama WHERE DO WE GO NOW?. This is the heartwarming tale of a
group of women determined to protect their isolated community from divisive
forces that threaten to destroy it from within. The screening will be
followed by a discussion with director.

Visit the Human Rights Watch Film Festival website (http://ff.hrw.org/) for more information about the festival.

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

Benjamin Zephaniah - Prepare for the Police at the Olympics


Poet, writer and patron of Newham Monitoring Project Benjamin Zephaniah explains why it is important for young people in east London to know their rights on stop & search, especially during the 2012 Olympics
Undercurrents is an award winning alternative news service producing videos of people taking inspiring actions.http://www.undercurrents.org

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Video activism workshops

Just heard about an interesting event that's going to tickle your fancy if
you want to know more about interactive documentaries. Activism,
Journalism, Social Media, HTML5, Experience Design, Transmedia Narratives,
Augmented Reality Games, MobileTech, Second Screens and Collaborative
Authorship are all covered in this two day event, crammed full of
fascinating techy topics.

The line up is really something too, and includes
Jigar Mehta (18 Days in Egypt); Brett Gaylor (rip! A Remix Manifesto);
Katerina Cizek (Highrise) and my pal and Subtlemob creator Duncan Speakman

Full details: Watershed Media Centre, Bristol. Thursday and Friday 22/23
March from 09:00 "17:00.

If you want to read more or book your ticket, find everything you need
here: www.i-docs.org.

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

Monday, March 19, 2012

Student arrested for filming buildings wins police payout

Metropolitan police asked to reinvestigate complaint after woman is offered out-of-court settlement

An Italian student has won an out-of-court settlement with police after she was stopped under anti-terrorist legislation while filming buildings in London, and later arrested, held in a cell for five hours and then fined.
Simona Bonomo filmed the moment she was approached by two police community support officers (PCSOs) in Paddington, west London, and later gave the footage to the Guardian.


The video, which went viral, showed one of the officers – PSCO Thomas Cooke – question the art student about why she was filming buildings "iconic to us" and demand to see images on her camera. In doing so he claimed to have powers that he did not have
http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2012/mar/19/police-payout-student-arrested-filming


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

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Enter the Citizen Media Awards 2012

Organisers of the International Citizen Media Award say the rise in the number of older people across the continent is one of the biggest issues facing Europe as we head into the second decade of the 21st century.

They’re looking for media products, such as radio reports, television programmes or internet projects showing how young people and older people can work together to campaign for a better life for all Europeans.
The competition is open worldwide to single participants, groups, associations, civil initiatives, school classes and especially for producers, actors and editorial teams in the field of citizen media work.
Entries have to be in by 31 July 2012 – and should be submitted to the Bennohaus international media centre via their website at http://www.icm-award.com/.


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

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Kony 2012 sinister logo's and invisible children - 10 o'clock live 1...


Charlie Brooker explains the 'phenomenon' of Invisible Children video Kony 2012
Undercurrents is an award winning alternative news service producing videos of people taking inspiring actions.http://www.undercurrents.org

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Teenager charged over Facebook soldier death comments

Freedom of speech is no longer a concept that we can pretend to exist in the UK.
A West Yorkshire teenager will appear in court on Friday after allegedly making comments on Facebook about the deaths of six soldiers in Afghanistan.Azhar Ahmed, 19, of Fir Avenue, Ravensthorpe, faces a racially aggravated public order charge.
The teen was making the point that soldiers get more sympathy than the innocent children and civilians who are killed in the UK/USA occupation of Afghanistan.While he perhaps could have made his point more delicately, it was still just the anger of an angry teenager about an unjust and illegal war.I think it is outrageous that he has been arrested.

This was his post on Facebook

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

Sunday, March 11, 2012

"Eco-Pirate" Movie launch about Sea Shepherds Captain Watson


ECO-PIRATE: THE STORY OF PAUL WATSON tells the story of a man on a mission to save the planet and its oceans. Professional radical ecologist' Captain Paul Watson repeatedly flouts the law, so that he may apprehend what he sees as the more serious law-breakers; the illegal poachers of the world. Using sequences shot aboard his ship as a framing device, the documentary examines Watson's personal history as an activist through archival footage and interviews, while revealing the impact of this relentless pursuit on his personal life. From the genesis of Greenpeace to sinking a pirate whaling ship off Portugal, and from clashes with fisherman in the Galapagos to Watson's recent headline-grabbing battles with the Japanese whaling fleet in Antarctica, this film chronicles the extraordinary life of the most controversial figure in the environmental movement the heroics, the ego, the urgency of the world's original eco-pirate.


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

Thursday, March 08, 2012

Kony 2012 campaign video

Kony 2012 is an internet phenomenon. The 30-minute documentary about a despot Ugandan warlord has been watched more than 30m times online in less than 48 hours.
However behind it lies a bible thumping bunch of Christians intent on military action. Really well done campaign video however.

KONY 2012 from INVISIBLE CHILDREN on Vimeo.

KONY 2012 is a film and campaign by Invisible Children that aims to make Joseph Kony famous, not to celebrate him, but to raise support for his arrest and set a precedent for international justice.

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

Monday, March 05, 2012

Fraudcast News: How Bad Journalism Supports Our Bogus Democracies

With riots and demonstrations on the streets and protest camps in dozens of cities around the world, political systems everywhere are in the spotlight. For Western representative democracies, that means people waking up to the illusion of influence in occasional votes versus their lack of any real power. They are finding how money acts via corporations, financial markets and a minority elite to occupy the vacuum. Fraudcast News, the confessions of an ex-Reuters reporter, dissects media’s failure to highlight people’s powerlessness. It shows how journalism, far from acting as a popular watchdog, suffers just the same problems of capture as governments themselves. Yet this book is a work of optimism and promise. Its conclusions lay out how ordinary citizens can revolutionise their democracies by revolutionising journalism, building from the grassroots upwards.
By Patrick Chalmers
Purchase details are here

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

Friday, March 02, 2012

SchNEWS reports on Occupy LSX eviction

Four and a half months after its conception, Occupy London was dealt two severe
blows on Monday (27th) as the camp at St Paul's Cathedral and the School of Ideas
were evicted in one busy night for the Met and City of London police. What happens
next is anyones guess as OccupyLSX themselves have stated.This morning, the City of
London Corporation and St Paul's Cathedral have dismantled a camp and displaced a
small community, but they will not derail a movement..

While the eviction of St Paul's was not entirely unexpected, the apparent
cooperation of the Cathedral with the authorities was one aspect that took activists
and observers by surprise. Meanwhile, the School of Ideas was illegally evicted
without any hint of due legal process - and incredibly was demolished by bulldozers
in the early hours of the same morning. Around 20 people were arrested during the
events.

SchNEWS was on the ground at the scene, where the first sign of imminent eviction
was the scores of riot vans from both the Met and City of London police which
started to gather at around midnight outside the Museum of London, just a few
minutes from the protest site. People began to flock from all over London, and from
the other two Occupy sites (School of Ideas, Finsbury Park), to join the resistance.
However, within the space of half an hour police had cordoned off every road leading
to the encampment, stopping people from entering the area. A lucky few managed to
sneak in, and the rest gathered in crowds at all the access points, held back by the
police lines.

Inside the cordon were about 150 occupiers and their supporters, some protecting
their tents, others on a massive platform built from palettes where Tent University
once stood, and more gathered on the steps of the cathedral. People had been told
that the police had no right to evict from the steps as they were cathedral
property, and the cathedral had promised to not give them permission. However, the
church's later ambiguous statements said that the steps were being cleared for
"cleaning".

The camp was given half an hour to remove their stuff and go. Although with around
ten massive dumpster lorries were parked around the site to chuck people's
belongings into, it was clear the police and their goons weren.t so into respecting
property. Fifty or so security "guards" were there to remove all trace of the camp,
and there were as many as a hundred riot cops hanging around in squadrons while
vans, also full of cops, lined the surrounding streets. No time was wasted as the
high court enforcement officers in hi-vis started to drag tents, bags, blankets,
kitchen equipment and palettes into the waiting trucks. Lines of cops were formed
around the site, the people on the steps, and the tents. Outnumbered so heavily by
the authorities, people were left watching the process happen with little they could
do but shout "Shame on you". Some managed to rescue blankets and sleeping bags for
those who were going to be left on the streets that night.

Things went from bad to worse at about 1.30am, as the message came through that the
School of Ideas was being evicted at the same time. As one activist told us, "No
attempt whatsoever had been made by the authorities to follow the correct legal
process, no IPOs had been granted, no court papers at all had been issued, so
eviction was totally unexpected". A number of those at St Paul's left to try and
stop the eviction, and also to try and save their belongings. With numbers of
activists inside the cordon dwindling, the media had caught up and collected in the
area to document the spectacle.

Soon all that remained was the platform in the middle of the site with twenty people
on top, out of reach of the bailiffs. Riot cops formed rings around the platform,
pushing the activists out, but bizarrely allowing the press and photographers to
remain inside. The bailiffs started to pull apart the structure, managing to take
out a few photographers with palettes as they went.

By 3am, the structure was down to a bare skeleton of planks of wood, and ? fteen
lads remained balanced on top. The hi-vis destructors went in for the kill. After
much tussling, all were chucked off, with some bailiffs going arse over elbow as
well as protesters. People regrouped on the steps of the cathedral. What followed
was a bit like a playground game: The next hour was spent with police dragging
people off the steps and dumping them on the other side of the road, only for them
to run back and then be dragged off again. This lasted for a fair while but by 5am,
the remaining protesters were left grouped on the other side of the road next to the
pile of belongings they had managed to salvage. A fence now surrounds the old
protest site, leaving access to the cathedral only. As for the people, the overflow
from St Paul's and the School of Ideas has now flooded Finsbury Square, the last
remaining static Occupy site. Some are speculating that the decision to evict both
other !
sites on the same night was a calculated ploy by the City of London to cause an
issue of overcrowding at Finsbury Square, which, up until now, the police have been
able to do little about. Coming under the jurisdiction of Hackney Borough Council,
the camp has been allowed to stay, mainly because the council doesn't have the
funds to evict. An agreement had been reached that the site would be turned into an
ecovillage project, but now the council has made the ultimatum that if extra
residents don't leave, the agreement will be withdrawn.

Squatters and activists from the Occupy movement have been tirelessly searching for
empty buildings to take the homeless occupiers, but with the City of London police
watching, filming, and recording everyone's movements, it's proving difficult. The
question of what occupy will be with much less in the way of actual occupations will
become clear over the coming weeks. In one of their typically flamboyant press
releases, OLSX assures:

"Plans are already afoot: plans of some ambition, employing a diversity of tactics
and delivered with the aplomb you would expect from us. All will be revealed in
time. May is one of our favourite months..."
Read more



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