The Arab Spring signaled hope for millions across the Middle East. But with Tunisia, Morocco and Egypt having elected religious-dominated governments, women remain as marginalised as ever and – ominously – risk the loss of even more pre-revolution rights, as was the case in post-1979 Iran. 

In an illuminating article for the New York Daily News entitled “The Arab Spring's Misogynist Winter”, Deborah Scroggins writes:

“A year after they marched alongside men to topple regimes in the Arab Spring, Arab women are facing a wall of misogyny.

In Tunisia, Salafist vigilantes have been attacking unveiled women and occupying universities that do not allow the face veil. In Egypt, only eight out of 508 newly elected parliamentarians are female, and the country’s Islamists are threatening to repeal laws making it easier for women to divorce and to gain custody of their children. The head of Libya’s transitional government has promised to bring back polygamy.”

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No Cuts massive demo, London, 26 March

The Trades Union Congress has called for a massive demonstration in London against the Con-Dem government's cuts, and for the alternative.

Supported by the Coalition of Resistance, it promises to be huge, and the springboard for active mass resistance to the cuts doctrine.

The student protests last year forced the first cracks in the Con-Dem strength, and the demo on 26 March could be the springboard for active mass opposition to kick in. They are not going to give up easily, and every day they stay in office we see more wilful damage to the services we depend on, and more power moving to the super-rich.

It's time to get out and be heard and turn the enormous anger in the country into real momentum for change.

Those wanting to offer or find transport can check the map here

More info at March for The Alternative

Facebook event here

And as the student marches have shown, you don't need to be a rabid threat to public safety to get kettled. Help keep the kettles at bay and keep yourself at liberty by getting Sukey on your smartphone.

National demos against the cuts, 29 Jan

The National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts (the people behind the recent student demonstrations) have called two fresh days of action for late January 2011.

The first will be on the 26th and will see student walkouts and protests take place across the UK.

On the 29th demonstrations will be held in London and Manchester. This will be the first of their protests to be held on a Saturday and they are encouraging workers to join them on the streets. Trade unions Unite and the GMB have given their support to the demonstration.

At the first student demo on 10th November, protesters issued a statement from the roof of Conservative HQ saying;

"We oppose all cuts and we stand in solidarity with public sector workers, and all poor, disabled, elderly and working people. We are occupying the roof in opposition to the marketisation of education pushed through by the coalition government, and the system they are pushing through of helping the rich and attacking the poor. We call for direct action to oppose these cuts. This is only the beginning of the resistance to the destruction of our education system and public services."

National Walkout – Save EMA! Stop All Cuts! Free Education!
Wednesday 26 January
Facebook event here

National Demonstration – No Fees, No Cuts! Defend Education and the Public Sector!
Saturday 29 January, London
Facebook event here

Demo for Alfie Meadows, New Scotland Yard, Tues 14th

At the student protest in London last week one of the protesters, 20 year old Alfie Meadows was batoned over the head. He suffered a stoke and lost consciousness. Police apparently tried to stop him being treated at the hospital he was taken to, but relented and Alfie got the surgery he so urgently needed.

As has been mentioned on U-Know before:

The practice of batoning heads, like kettling, will kill someone sooner or later. A single hard blow to the head can be fatal. You'd be unlucky to have it happen in a solitary strike, but it has happened before, with the death of Blair Peach at a London Anti-Nazi League demonstration.

Peaceful protest for Alfie Meadows at New Scotland Yard, London. Tuesday 14th December, 1pm. Please wear a hard hat.

New Scotland Yard,
10 Broadway, (just off Victoria Street)

The nearest mainline train is Victoria and the nearest underground tube station is St James’s Park on the District & Circle lines. Take the Broadway Exit and enter New Scotland Yard via Visitors Entrance (near the revolving sign). Bus routes 11, 24, 148 and 211 stop in Victoria Street.

Crude Awakening – anti-oil action, London 16 Oct

Climate activism in the UK has targeted coal, aviation, the nuclear industry, carbon offsetters and more. For too long, oil has been given an easy ride.

With the new deepwater drilling promising to take us faster toward climate disaster, and trash wild areas in the process, it's time to step up.

In recent weeks, Greenpeace activists have stopped deepwater drillers in the Atlantic. Activists have taken inspired action at the institutions that BP sponsor to greenwash their real business.

On Saturday 16th October 2010, ten oil industry institutions in London will be targetted. Details are not being released until the day, in the hope this will prevent police pulling the rug from under us. This is not a march, or a camp, it is direct action. If you can be in London that day, and think governments can't be trusted to take proper action on climate change, it's the place for you.

It is supported by Plane Stupid, Climate Camp, Rising Tide and others.

For more info, see:

Mainshill anti-coal camp, fortification weekend, 23-26 Jan

Ever wanted to build yourself a treehouse? Dig yourself a tunnel? Make yourself a lock-on? Now is your chance!

Mainshill Solidarity Camp in south-west Scotland has been occupying woodland due to be obliterated for an open-cast coal mine. They are under imminent threat of eviction and so are hosting a gathering to intensify the building of defences from Saturday 23rd to Tuesday 26th January.

Anyone who wants to be a part of resisting the expansion of coal-burning, anyone who wants to fight corporate greed, corrupt government and the feudal land ownership, and anyone who wants to defend a community from the self-interest of the few, should come.

What to bring:

* Warm clothes and waterproofs
* sleeping bag

Tasty vegan food will be provided, but bring any supplies you can. Any building materials, tools, climbing equipment, bedding or anything on their wish list you can spare please bring it along.

For more information and directions, see:

For the wish list, and how to donate money to the camp, see here:

Remember Gaza – Smash EDO demo, Brighton, 18 Jan

For three weeks in January 2009, the bombs rained down on Gaza. At the end of Israel's brutal bombing campaign and ground offensive over 1400 Palestinians had been murdered, including 314 children.

In Brighton EDO-MBM/ITT manufacture some of the weapons components that devastated so many lives. All over the world thousands of people watched appalled at the carnage on the streets of Gaza. Thousands marched and raged at the destruction of peoples' homes and lives.

On January 18th 2010, the anniversary of the final day of Operation Cast Lead, we will come together to remember the people of Gaza.

We will not allow those who supported their pain and profited from their suffering to go unchallenged. We will not let this genocide be forgotten. On the first anniversary after their deaths, we will rise up. We will take to the streets. We will remember…

Assemble in Brighton at 1pm, wear black. More details, including the precise meeting place, will be published on the smash EDO website closer to the date.

Alternatively you can sign up to receive a text when the location is announced - email your phone number to [email protected] or text your number to 07538093930

The Wave – Make yourself heard ahead of Copenhagen climate talks

On Saturday 5 December 2009, ahead of the crucial UN climate summit in Copenhagen, tens of thousands of people from all walks of life will march through the streets of London to demonstrate their support for a safe climate future for all.

Part of a global series of public actions, The Wave will call on world leaders to take urgent action to secure a fair international deal to stop global warming exceeding the danger threshold of 2 degrees C.

# Assembly & rally: 12pm, Grosvenor Square
# March sets off 1pm (please see route below)
# Climax: 3pm Encircling of Parliament
# Dress code: Blue! Please bring blue gloves if you have them, or paint your hands blue for the 3pm climax!

There are coaches coming from all over the UK, and Megabus are doing a special deal so it's only £2 return on their coaches.

For more info, see

For a full schedule of events on the day, see

Support Mainshill, Scotland's anti-coal camp, 31 Oct & 1 Nov

Work has started at Mainshill in South Lanarkshire, where Scottish Coal want a new coal mine but the community does not. Huge areas of plantation are being felled and JCBs have moved in. This gathering will strengthen the campaign and give new energy to the established Solidarity Camp.

See the gathering and actions to stop work video

Join us at Mainshill Wood for the weekend of the 31st October & 1st November or longer if you can.

Events over the Weekend:

* Saturday 31st October, 13:00: A walk of the area with people from surrounding and affected communities, visiting areas that have been destroyed by Scottish Coal and areas that we can still save. A discussion on the campaign so far and where we can take it will follow.

* Climbing, treehouse building and tunneling workshops

* A “work day” to build the Solidarity Camp some new defences

* Evening camp-fire entertainment

* Plenty of chances to stop a beautiful area of Scotland’s countryside from being turned into an opencast coal mine

What to bring:

* Warm clothes and water-proofs, a tent, sleeping bag and mat
* Any food, building materials and tools you can
* Most importantly, bring yourself and your friends

Contact us on: [email protected] / 07806926040

The Solidarity Camp has been doing its best to stop work on the site, but now we need your support and solidarity to win this fight against Scottish Coal, Lord Home and South Lanarkshire Council!

See this Coal Action Scotland page for more information.

Disarm DSEi, Europe's biggest arms fair

Every two years a big chunk of public money is spent subsidising DSEi, Europe's largest arms fair.

Held in London, it allows arms manufacturers to tout their wares to a range of regimes, many with very dubious human rights records.

And every time, the fair is met with protests and direct action to stop delegates from attending. Roads get occupied, trains have people scramble up on the roofs, and some resourceful souls get inside the exhibition and trash or occupy stalls.

This time there is to be a concerted effort to obstruct exhibitors as they try to get their weapons to the fair in the first week of September. The police operation at the fair will be large, but with over a thousand exhibitors there will be a wealth of low-security targets. And as they're spread around the country and beyond, it means you can take action near where you are at the time of your choosing instead of having to get to London.

There has been a callout for a concerted effort to take action against these companies. There is a list of exhibitors here

Our country is awash in arms manufacturers. The shackles round the ankles of prisoners in Guantanamo Bay are made in the West Midlands. When we are at liberty, we have a duty to defend those who are not. When we see crimes being planned, we have a duty to stop them. It's happening near you, and you can simply walk out there and lock yourself to their gates.

As well as obstructions around the country, there will be an action in the City of London on the day DSEi opens, 8th September. Exact details have yet to be announced. Keep an eye on the Disarm DSEi site for more info