Violent repression in Taksim Square, Istanbul, Turkey #occupygezi #direngeziparki

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Just received the following urgent request from a Facebook friend:

Hi Steve. Please can you share this? My friend is in amongst the chaos in Taksim Square right now. 60,000 people are in the square. The police are firing chemical gas – worse than tear gas. 4 people have died. 1000 police have resigned and joined the demonstration. Twitter has been shut down. The demonstrators want the world to know what’s happening. http://occupygezipics.tumblr.com/

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International Demonstration “People United Against Austerity” on Saturday 1 June (across Europe and New York)

I have produced a music video (at http://tinyurl.com/notausterity), with a song I wrote the lyrics of and performed with my Rochdale band Fruity Frank and the Frisky Freaks, to promote a “decentralised” international demonstration (consisting of linked protests across Europe, plus an attempt to re-occupy Wall Street in New York). Details of the London demonstration are shown at the start of the video. At the moment, YouTube is showing 301+ views, probably to stop it going viral! The following is the description of the video:

On Saturday the 1st of June we come together, people in solidarity and in struggle against austerity and the troika, and demand a political and economical change for the future. People United Against The Troika! [People United Against Austerity in the UK.]

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Non-payment advice

I produced the leaflet with the text below providing advice for non-payment of both the bedroom tax and new poll tax (attacks on council tax benefit) before the initial meeting of Middleton & Rochdale Against the Bedroom Tax (for details of further meetings, lobbies and demonstrations in the Greater Manchester area, go to http://www.nobedroomtax.co.uk) and handed it out in Rochdale town centre. I first handed it out outside the job centre, and after a while a G4S security guard insisted I move from the doorway, saying it was their property. Silly me, I thought it belonged to the state (i.e. you and me)! I moved a small distance away and he hassled me again asking me to go somewhere else. I said he could call the police if he wanted to – I wasn’t scared! A nicer security guard eventually recommended me moving to the shopping area, which I thought was a good idea then since it wasn’t very busy (and most of those leaving I’d leafletted on the way in).

Anyway, I thought it worthwhile to pass on advice to other campaigners and non-payers. I’ve already posted the contents of the leaflet to various places on Facebook, but I’m posting it here for the benefit of those who read my blog – or get a leaflet containing the lyrics of my song “The New Poll Tax” (see http://soundcloud.com/fruity-frank), to which I’m putting a link to this blog entry.

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