Where did the idea for the festival come from? Helen:That was me. I started the festival with Rachel Greensmith in 2009. We used to go to the Comedy Store in London and wondered why there was nothing like it in Nottingham. There’s a huge comedy scene here, and somebody needed to come along and bring it all together. We talked to a few comedians and promoters and it happened from there.
This protest was an act of solidarity with all those who are fighting against the building of Shell's destructive gas pipeline in Rossport, Ireland. Following over 10 years of battling with the local community, work began on laying the pipeline a few weeks ago, and people are continually blockading to delay Shell.
In the aftermath of the riots in Nottingham, Council Leader Jon Collins has sought to win some cheap political brownie points with reactionaries by seeking to evict the families of any rioters in council houses. This follows the first riot-related eviction notice given by Wandsworth Council in London on Friday. This double punishment for rioters as well as the collective punishment meted out to their families is not only wrong in itself but will create more of the resentment and social problems that sparked the riots in the first place. It is also extremely hypocritical for Jon Collins to call for the evictions of small-time looters whilst his Council has refused to investigate the misallocation of social housing to employees, relatives and friends of NCH employees in which a number of council members are implicated.
What do you think of welfare reforms? What you you think of the Tory party portraying disabled people as work-shy scroungers; or worse, as damaged goods to be sold at half price? What do you think about unemployed people being forced into a full time work placement under threat of losing their benefits? Tomorrow is your opportunity to tell Baroness Stowell, a Tory peer, exactly what you think of Conservative welfarepolicies.
Lats night was the final planning meeting in Nottingham for the Hardest Hit campaign which takes to the streets this Saturday. Nottingham's campaign event will be held in the Old Market Square, outside the Council House form 12 noon. If you are in Nottingham do go along and support this excellent campaign which is highlighting the cuts imposed on disabled people by the government.
Not in Nottingham on Saturday? Hardest Hit are also having an event in Birmingham's Victoria Square, again starting at midday.
Highlighting the level of contempt for people receiving disablility benefits, that has been cynically mounted by politicians and amplified by the media over the past few years, a medical examiner working for the private company ATOS Healthcare has been caught calling people they are assessing ‘the down and outs’ on Facebook, whilst an ATOS administrator called them ‘parasitic wankers’.
Following the showing of a film called 'The Pipe' at the Broadway cinema this Tuesday night, which charts the battle against Shell in Rossport, a few of us are planning a demo outside the Shell petrol station on Carlton Road this Thursday (18th Aug) at 6pm. Please bring banners and things to make noise with.
The petrol station is a 15 minute walk up Carlton Rd from the city centre. Please spread the word to anyone you think may be interested.
Nick Clegg has previously admitted behaving “appallingly, irresponsibly, criminally” in torching two greenhouses of rare plant specimens in the early 1980s — but seems loathe to discuss the issue in the aftermath of riots which saw multiple incidents of arson.
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