February 2014

26
Feb
2014
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From Olympic spectacle to social crisis: review of Future Suspended

Future Suspended

Review: Crisis-Scape's new film invites us in to the shadows of Athens, a city tenuously held together by state imposed order, privatisation, anxiety and violence.

New documentary by the Crisis-Scape collective, Future Suspended focuses on the hues of the Greek crisis usually absent from media headlines that hover between flaming streets and indecisive boardrooms. Both elegant yet unflinching, the film draws upon voices from everyday life tracing the trajectory of Greece’s recent history: ‘from Olympic spectacle’ to what the film names, ‘the dawn of the authoritarian – financial complex'.


21
Feb
2014
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Cases dropped against arms fair campaigners

This week the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) discontinued a case against five activists charged with disrupting the Defence and Security Equipment International (DSEi) arms fair. Here is a personal account from one of the defendants:

“Next week myself and four other people were due to be on trial for taking action at the DSEi arms fair. This week we found out that they have decided to discontinue our case. Although it's a relief not to have to go through the trial process, deciding to discontinue it because it's 'not in the public interest' shows the court's reluctance to deal with the real criminals - the arms companies that have been committing crimes at DSEi's arms fairs since 2005.


19
Feb
2014
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Out of the frying pan...

Rewarding failure? The damage to Campsfield's roof after the fire in October 2013 has not stopped Mitie winning more Home Office contracts

Mitie, the company the Home Office has chosen to run some of Britian's biggest immigration detention centres, say they are “unable” to answer our questions about a senior staff member's role in the lack of fire safety provision in one of their other detention centres.

As Corporate Watch reported last week, Mitie recently won contracts worth £180m to run the Harmondsworth and Colnbrook centres near Heathrow, overtaking G4S and Serco as the biggest beneficiaries of the government's outsourcing of detention centre management.


19
Feb
2014
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Who is Greek debt 'sustainability' for?

International lenders and their domestic Greek collaborators (the coalition government) are imposing widespread impoverishment and austerity in order to serve their interests. Meanwhile, the debt mechanism continues to chip away at the last remnants of rights that have remained.

Despite this, there is a lot of talk these days about the “sustainability” of Greek public debt, a measure that emerges from the rather arbitrary ratio of debt to GDP. The trajectory of sustainability is estimated via various fanciful and imaginative economic baselines and other scenarios which try to locate the precise ratio at which Greek debt would be sustainable.


12
Feb
2014
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Serco surrender flagship detention centre to Mitie

Kerching! Mitie will take over both Harmondsworth (left) and Colnbrook (right)

Serco have given up a lucrative government contract to detain hundreds of asylum seekers at Colnbrook Immigration Removal Centre outside Heathrow, following a Home Office reshuffle on Tuesday. American custody firm GEO Group were also stripped of their contract at the adjacent Harmondsworth facility. In a surprise move, outsiders Mitie won a £180m bid to run both detention centres over the next eight years, starting from September 2014.


12
Feb
2014
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Will the flowers of Gaza break Israel's siege this Valentine's Day?

Valentine's Day is almost upon us and for supermarkets and florists that means a massive increase in the sale of flowers. But where are the bouquets they are flogging to romantic couples grown?

Farmers in Gaza have long been encouraged by Israeli companies to focus their production on high risk 'cash crops' such as flowers and strawberries, and the arrival of carnations from Rafah to European markets for Christmas or Valentine's day is often cheered on by the Israeli Government which uses it as a PR exercise to show how it 'facilitates' Palestinian exports. Unsurprisingly, this is not the full story.


07
Feb
2014
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Ahava blockaders' Supreme Court appeal fails, but campaign remains victorious

ahava closed

The sign on the door of Ahava's flagship London store the day it closed due to a successful direct action campaign

An appeal to the Supreme Court by two campaigners against the Ahava store in London has been unsuccessful.

The campaign