Charges dropped against two arrested Newcastle FRFI supporters!

Picket of Barclays bank by supporters of Newcastle FRFI

Two FRFI supporters who were arrested at a Palestine demonstration on Saturday 14 October have been informed by Northumbria Police that no further action will be taken against them as there is insufficient evidence to pursue a prosecution. In fact, there is no evidence, because the two were arrested on entirely spurious charges of ‘leading an unauthorised procession’, a public order offence. Northumbria Police are arresting activists at Palestine demonstrations on whatever flimsy grounds they can muster to repress the right to protest for Palestine. Especially targeted are those who display explicitly anti-imperialist demands, linking the occupation of Palestine to long-standing economic and political support from British imperialism.

 

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Kurdish refugees demand No deportations to Rwanda - Resist the racist Borders Act!

Kurdish refugees demand No deportations to Rwanda - Resist the racist Borders Act!

On 20 September, Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! North East collaborated with the local Kurdish community to organise a demonstration against the Borders Act, passed earlier in 2022 and the attempt to deport newly arrived migrants to Rwanda. Over a hundred Kurdish and Iraqi migrants rallied at Grey’s Monument in Newcastle to protest the racist Borders Act and demand the scrapping of the Rwanda scheme. The first attempted flight was grounded on 14 June thanks to last minute legal action and sustained protests. Many of those given removal directions to Rwanda were refugees from Iraq.

 

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Home Office hear us say – Borders Bill no way!

Protest against Sovereign Borders Bill, Home Office Newcastle

Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! Supporters joined others at Link House Home Office buildings on Saturday 8 May to protest the proposed Sovereign borders bill and the opening of a new immigration prison near Consett, county Durham. The action marked the end of the sham multiple choice consultation on the 'biggest overhaul of the asylum system in decades' promised by Home Secretary Priti Patel. The new proposals will further strip away appeal rights and legal processes for people claiming asylum, will make asylum applications dependent on route into the country rather than the merits of each individual case and once again raises the prospect of offshore immigration prison camps.

 

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Newcastle Labour Council: unanimous in cutting £40m of services

Newcastle FRFI protest against Council cuts

Supporters of Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! (FRFI) in Newcastle launched a campaign to fight the latest round of council cuts. We got a huge amount of support from local communities. Despite this all Labour councillors in the city voted in favour of the cuts on 3 March 2021, with the deputy leader of the council contemptuously rubbishing our petition.

 

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Defending Black Lives Matter: another victory in Newcastle

Anti-racism protest defence campaign collage

Anti-Racism Protest Defence Campaign (Newcastle) - public statement 21/02/21

The Anti-Racism Protest Defence Campaign was launched in June 2020 in response to a number of arrests of Black Lives Matter activists by Northumbria Police. Since then, it has rallied public support and brought pressure to bear on the police with a program of (Covid-secure) street events and online meetings. It has accompanied and supported those summoned to police interview and helped to coordinate a collective legal defence and case publicity. Northumbria Police has continued to employ the same tactics against the Defence Campaign as it used against Black Lives Matter activists in Summer 2020: where it has had notice of the campaign’s events, it has banned them on public order grounds; at other time the police have fallen back on the Anti-Social Behaviour Act to disperse campaign publicity events. And yet it has failed to deny the campaign a continued street presence – and, therefore, it has failed to isolate campaigners from the wider public. That has meant, not only has the Defence Campaign survived, but it has gone on to win important victories – the latest of which came in February at North Tyneside Magistrates’ Court when charges were dropped against an anti-racist activist who had been due to stand trial in March.

 

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Newcastle Labour-run council cutting £400,000 from Free School Meals subsidy in March 2021

Newcastle FRFI street stall against the cuts

Students had only one day in school after their Christmas break before the sudden announcement of the third UK lockdown. The Government assured parents it would continue to provide free school meals, yet as we have seen in the past few days the food parcels sent out were shockingly inadequate. 1.4 million children claimed free school meals this January, with the highest proportion of claimants (23.5%) in the North-East. The Government’s willingness to offload part of its responsibilities to private companies like Chartwells when it could have prioritised providing the more flexible food vouchers as it had previously - and will now continue to do - shows a contempt for the people relying on support the most during this pandemic. However, even with the Government's U-turn, the trouble is not over for Newcastle residents.

 

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Anti-racist solidarity in the face of police harassment

From the Anti-Racism Protest Defence Campaign:

"Kevin Blowe, the coordinator of Netpol: The Network for Police Monitoring (netpol.org) has sent us this amazing video with a statement of support. He explains that Newcastle and our defence campaign is on the frontline in defending democratic rights for all leftwing groups and activists in Britain. Thank you Kevin and NETPOL for your message - solidarity."

Please watch and share: https://youtu.be/ny_3TkeJaZw

 

Black Lives still matter – anti-racists reclaim Newcastle Monument despite police harassment and opportunist division

In the first publicly advertised anti-racist event at Grey's Monument in Newcastle City Centre to proceed without facing a police ban since June, activists took to the streets on 5 September to declare 'Black Lives Still Matter'. Fight Racism Fight Imperialism North East and the Anti-Racism Protest Defence Campaign supported the event called by North East Against Racism (NEAR), who had called on people to protest against US President Trump following the racist police shooting of Jacob Blake and the murder of two BLM protestors shot by white supremacist Kyle Rittenhouse in Kenosha, Portland.

 

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Organisations in Newcastle stand together to defend LGBT rights and the right to protest

On 15 August, supporters of FRFI and the Anti-Racism Protest Defence Campaign supported an LGBT event at Grey's Monument, Newcastle. The protest was organised by the Alliance for Workers Liberty (AWL) in response to the re-election of Andrzej Duda in Poland and his homophobic policies. We stood in solidarity with the LGBT struggle in Poland making the links to the homophobic and transphobic character of the British state - as evidenced in the government’s U-turn on the Gender Recognition Act. We have an article on this in the current issue of our newspaper.

We got a great response from the crowd when speaking about the defence campaign and the need to challenge police proscriptions of anti-racist and indeed all left-wing events. We provided our sound system for speeches and chants. The organisers ran an open mic which we used. At the end, the AWL and most people on the protest stuck around for longer to support the defence campaign with a speak-out.

This was a great show of solidarity and shows that different organisations can work together in a non-sectarian way to defend political spaces. There were a lot of police, with riot vans, keeping a close eye on the event. If there had not been so many people standing together then they may well have tried to disperse FRFI supporters, like they did just two weeks earlier.

See: Newcastle police publicly working with fascists

 

Protest against standardised grading - Newcastle

On Tuesday 18 August, supporters of FRFI in Newcastle took part in a student's protest against the blatantly anti-working class standardised A-level and GCSE grading. Even after the government U-turn on the 17th, students refuse to be fobbed off and are still on the streets fighting back against the capitalist education system that they realise will never serve them.

The National Education Union (NEU) initially organised a rally at Grey's Monument, for which they had lined up a long list of speakers made up entirely of trade union representatives and Labour MPs. Unimpressed and unsatisfied with having their voices unheard, students organised themselves to march from the Civic Centre to Grey's Monument. The march was loud and energetic, everyone could participate.

 

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Newcastle police publicly working with fascists

On Sunday 2 August, supporters of Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! (FRFI) alongside the Anti-Racism Protest Defence Campaign, tried to set up information stalls at Grey's Monument in Newcastle. Both stalls were shut down by Northumbria Police because one racist threatened to set up a pro-racism stall next to the anti-racists. Below is the full statement from the Anti-Racism Protest Defence Campaign.

 

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Defend the right to stand against racism!

In response to the Black Lives Matter protests, Northumbria Police have cracked down on anti-racists in Newcastle – arresting and harassing people, banning events and imposing bail conditions in an attempt to prohibit activists from joining anti-racist protests. FRFI supporters joined other defence campaign activists at an anti-racist event in the city centre – this is an important step in regaining the right to protest against racism in Newcastle.

 

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First victory for the Newcastle defence campaign!

First victory for the defence campaign! More victories to be fought for and won.

In a significant victory, draconian bail conditions for two anti-racist activists were dropped on Friday 10 July, which means that they can take part in future protests. Northumbria police have lost in this first battle against political policing. The Anti-Racism Protest Defence Campaign will continue in this struggle until bail conditions and charges for all anti-racists are dropped.

 

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Newcastle RCG supports Black Lives Matter protest

FRFI banner showing victims of British state racist violence

On Saturday 6 June, Newcastle RCG supported a huge Black Lives Matter protest that demanded an end to police killings in the US and Britain. Over 2,000 people rallied and marched through the city centre for five hours, despite attempts to dissuade people from protesting by Stand Up To Racism and Newcastle Unites, who held an online meeting instead. So many people who have never been on a protest before spoke on the open mic passionately and confidently to defend their right to protest and to speak out against racism in Britain. FRFI provided our megaphone on the march and at the end rally for dozens of people to speak. We also called an online meeting to discuss next steps in the struggle. This will be held on Tuesday 9 June, 7.30pm on Zoom: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82320112061   Meeting ID: 823 2011 2061

Hundreds of people on the protest also decided to come back to the Monument at 12pm on Saturday 13 June for another protest.

Below is a speech given by an FRFI supporter: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=McNxdq1LHnk

 Video of march and rally: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oCF831CooAw

 

Palestine supporters protest inside Newcastle library against Nakba exhibition ban

On Saturday 19 October 2019, Palestine activists including supporters of Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! and Palestine Action Group held a protest inside Newcastle’s city centre library. This was in response to Newcastle Labour council and the library which it runs shutting down an exhibition marking the Nakba of 1948 when 750,000 Palestinians were expelled from their homes and lands by Zionist terrorist organisations as they violently established the Israeli state. The library said the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) exhibition was cancelled because of ‘the one sided nature of the display.’ Newcastle Council has adopted the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism but claimed that the definition would not lead to any ban on events in the city expressing support for Palestine. Labour councillors lied and so protestors took action.

 

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Newcastle Labour council bans Palestine Nakba exhibition

Newcastle City Council: solidarity with Palestine is not a crime

Newcastle Labour council has banned an exhibition commemorating the Nakba of 1948 when 750,000 Palestinians were expelled from their homes and lands by Zionist terrorist organisations as they violently established the Israeli state. The exhibition was due to run for four weeks from May 2019 but was shutdown after just nine days without any prior notice or concerns being raised with the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) which had organised it. Newcastle council joins Labour-run Tower Hamlets council now in banning a Palestine solidarity event.

 

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Video: Extinction Rebellion protest against Newcastle City Council

Newcastle Council - No open cast mines in Newcastle! No profiting from deadly mines in Latin America! On Wednesday 26 June, supporters of Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! worked with Extinction Rebellion North East (XR) to lead a march and protest to a full meeting of the Labour-led council in Newcastle. The council declared a climate emergency in April this year and committed to becoming carbon neutral by 2030 – more hot air from a council that promises the earth but slashes public services and does nothing to defend working class communities.

Join the RCG to build a movement for socialism, the only alternative to extinction: https://revolutionarycommunist.org/about/join-the-rcg

 

Newcastle Council - No open cast mines in Newcastle! No profiting from deadly mines in Latin America!

Newcastle FRFI address the crowd

On Wednesday 26 June, supporters of Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! worked with Extinction Rebellion North East (XR) to lead a march and protest to a full meeting of the Labour-led council in Newcastle. The council declared a climate emergency in April this year and committed to becoming carbon neutral by 2030 – more hot air from a council that promises the earth but slashes public services and does nothing to defend working class communities.

 

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Newcastle Unites capitulates to the police

On 6 April, Newcastle Unites, a coalition between the SWP and Labour councillors, backed down ignominiously when police insisted it make room for a bunch of fascists at the city centre Monument. The police used Section 14 of the Public Order Act 1986 to claim that Newcastle Unites was intent on ‘causing intimidation towards others with a view to compelling them not to do an act they have a right to do.’ The use of the law to protect the right of 30-odd racists to spread their poison needed to be met with determined opposition. But Newcastle Labour councillors from Heaton, Byker and Elswick who were at the protest decided that their role was to ensure the 100 or more counter-protesters abided by the police instruction.

 

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Imperialist hands off Sudan!

Supporters of Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! (FRFI) in Newcastle have been attending protests and meetings organised by the Sudanese Revolutionary Support Group. A member of the Sudanese Communist Party and a supporter of FRFI also spoke together at a public meeting on 19 February. FRFI demand the cancellation of all Sudanese debt, British troops out of Sudan and an end to agreements between Britain and the EU to use Sudan to stop migrants leaving Africa to get to Europe.

 

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SWP ejects anti-Zionists from meeting in Newcastle

Israel flags on an 'anti-racist' march

On 2 March, members of the Socialist Workers’ Party (SWP) in Newcastle physically prevented RCG comrades from attending a meeting of the Stand up to Racism (SUTR), working with security guards to manhandle comrades from the event. The meeting, entitled ‘The road to Genocide and Institutional Racism’ would not have discussed the institutional racism of the Labour Party – SUTR President is Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott, who calls for 500 extra border guards and immigration controls dictated by the needs of British business – ie British capital. Nor would it have discussed the decision of SUTR/SWP to allow the Zionist Confederation of Friends of Israel to join the SUTR march in Glasgow later this month.

 

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Newcastle’s Latin American right wing backs Trump’s coup in Venezuela

Imperialist hands off Venezuela

On Saturday 9 February 2019, supporters of FRFI petitioned against British support for the coup in Venezuela, presenting a viewpoint not covered in mainstream media outlets, even those characterised as being ‘liberal’ or even ‘left wing’. We stood against self-appointed, US-backed opposition leader Juan Guaido and called for an end to sanctions on Venezuela. Comrades highlighted how crippling US sanctions imposed since 2017 have resulted in a crash in oil production and severe restrictions on international finance, costing Venezuela at least $6bn last year alone. These sanctions are hardly mentioned, with widespread media coverage of food and medicine shortages being blamed on socialist policies. We also stood against Britain’s part in the suffocation of the Bolivarian revolution, demanding that the $1.3bn of Venezuelan gold withheld by the Bank of England be released to the Venezuelan government. Britain’s backing of Guaido and the coup actively strengthens US imperialism in its attempt to recolonise Venezuela.

 

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North East England branches

Newcastle
frfinortheast@gmail.com
078 5834 6276
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North East Events coming up

We have street actions and political educational meetings in Newcastle every week.

For more information on events in the North East you can also join the FRFI North East e-mail list and the mailing lists of campaigns we are involved in on the following pages:

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Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! North East
Tyneside Community Action Against Racism
Palestine Action Group
Viva Cuba! Rock Around The Blockade
Facebook: www.facebook.com/FRFINE

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