Monday, 28 July 2014

WWI at The Forum Monday 4th August

The Day We Went To War

FREE event at The Forum

The Day We Went To War

Monday 4 August 2014

10am - 6pm

On 4 August 1914 Britain declared war on Germany and entered into a dreadful conflict which changed the world forever.

Exactly 100 years later a FREE event is being held at The Forum to reflect upon the sacrifices made by soldiers, civilians and communities.

Visitors to this one day exhibition can ‘take the King’s shilling’ at a recruiting office, discover how to research their family military history, view wartime documents, letters, posters, photos and much more.

Roll of Honour

The Fusion Screen will show the Norwich Roll of Honour, in memory of the 3,500 Norwich people who lost their lives in WW1.

The names will be displayed on the screen throughout the day and into the evening. The space will provide an opportunity to remember those lost and for quiet reflection.

A memorial wall will be in the main Atrium of The Forum where people can post the name of a family member who served in the war.

Lord Mayor

The Norwich town crier will officially start the day’s events at The Forum at 10am and The Lord Mayor, Councillor Judith Lubbock, will be attending too.

The Day We Went To War is an event organised by Norfolk Library and Information Service, the Norfolk Museums and Archaeology Service, the Norfolk Record Office and The Forum.

Other WW1 events

This historic anniversary will be marked in a variety of ways in Norwich.

Lights will be dimmed across the city centre at 10.30pm and a candle lit service is being held at St Peter Mancroft, opposite The Forum, from 11pm until midnight.

More details of what’s going on around the city on Mon 4 Aug can be found at the Visit Norwich website.

Photos from Norfolk Record Office

Saturday, 26 July 2014

Norwich Pride Parade, 2014

Norwich LGBT Pride and Why we need it still

From bubblews by Katy J, &katyjon:

The 6th Norwich Pride is today! And it still matters, because one should be able to just go out without having to hide, repress or 'come out' everywhere you go. Because it reminds us of the freedoms we have won, and the many still to win. Because homophobic and transphobic hate crimes still happen.

Because it demonstrates beyond our British shores that we are a safe(r) space for LGBTIQ+ people, whether asylum seekers persecuted for their gender/sexuality or those in other countries needing hope and a reminder that the path to freedom and human rights via protest and petitioning may be long, even dangerous, but is worth it.

Photo of Norwich Pride 2013 by Ruski
Pride is a day to be visible in order to give courage to those wondering how to come out, first to themselves and then to friends, family and society.

Pride is a day to be proud of who you are, of who you love, of your freedom to be...

...yourself, one day we won't need all the letters of LGBTI... ...2AAAAAAABCCCCDEFGGGGGGG HHHHHHHHHHHIKLMMMMNNN OOOPPPPPPQQSSSSTTTTTTUUU or LGBT+/LGBTIQ*, instead we'll be celebrating human rights, identities and freedoms, but for now, at least, minority sex and gender identities still need protection, support and celebration.

Norwich Pride events schedule (26 July):
2pm Parade from Chapelfield but many events from earlier including from 10am in Fusion tackling LGBTphobia in schools, the opening ceremony with Vince Laws' Umbrellas of Love (just back from the Commonwealth Games), the Lord Mayor and Poppy-Rose at 10:30am outside the Forum, CN Lester giving the Natasha Curson trans memorial talk and discussion in the Curve at 11am on "Beyond a fringe issue: Why everyone should care about trans rights", Pride Question Time with CN, veteran gay rights activist Peter Tatchell & LGBT in schools campaigner and educator Elly Barnes at;id=319f964bbe

Full programme:

Report on London Pride 2014

Why we need Pride (2013 response to a Channel 4 Pause 4 Thought broadcast)

© Katy Jon Went  (copied with permission)

Nigel Farage for Great Yarmouth?

As Great Yarmouth UKIP contender Matthew Smith steps down - could leader Nigel Farage enter the fray?

Nigel Farage could enter the political fray in Norfolk, as UKIP’s contender for the target seat of Great Yarmouth has stepped down.

Former prospective parliamentary candidate (PPC) Matthew Smith announced last night that he had left the role to fight electoral fraud charges.

Party insiders have revealed that the coastal constituency is among UKIP’s top five target seats in the country for the next general election, after ten of 13 Great Yarmouth Borough Council seats went purple at the May local elections.

And while party leader Mr Farage has been linked to constituencies in the south east, the UKIP hotbed of Yarmouth may prove an attractive proposition.

He would be up against current Yarmouth MP and Conservative Minister for planning and housing Brandon Lewis and Labour hopeful Lara Norris.

Mr Smith, 26, was the preferred PPC, having served as local UKIP party agent and holding Gorleston St Andrews division as an independent county councillor.

But he announced that he was stepping down last night, after denying charges of electoral fraud at Norwich Crown Court in ongoing proceedings.

He wrote: 
I am sad to say that I am stepping down as UKIP’s PPC for Great Yarmouth in light of the continuing court case.

I will continue to fight this case knowing that I am innocent of all charges and it is a sad indictment that this case has taken such an unusually long time to progress.

However I believe that I owe it to the people of Great Yarmouth to have a UKIP candidate, democratically selected by the local branch members in due course, who is free from such distractions and can give the people of Yarmouth the time and attention that this case is depriving me from doing to deliver a famous UKIP win in 2015.

I have written to my local party chairman to this effect.
The move poses questions about who will stand for the eurosceptic party, with leader Nigel Farage and UKIP MEP and former Daily Express journalist Patrick O’Flynn yet to firmly commit to be PPCs elsewhere.

Mr O’Flynn, who is UKIP’s economic spokesman, refused to rule himself out when approached for comment last night.

But he said: 
I think it’s highly unlikely it would be me.

It’s one of our top target seats, not only in the region but also nationwide.

I think it’s important that the local party gets a candidate it’s happy with and that’s made the most important consideration.
It is understood that a grassroots candidate could be favoured, with the party wary of how locals may react to a candidate parachuted in from elsewhere.

And a surge of interest in the position is expected from within UKIP’s ranks.

A UKIP spokesman said: “No decision has been made as to who the successor will be.”

The party did not hold any seats on Great Yarmouth Borough Council before May this year, when it took ten of 13 seats that went to the polls.

UKIP candidates took five of nine Norfolk County Council divisions around Great Yarmouth in May 2013.

The party is expected to consider members for the role of PPC in Great Yarmouth in the coming weeks.

Friday, 25 July 2014

26 July 2014 : The 6th Norwich Pride!

The 2014 Norwich Pride will take place on Saturday, 26 July 2014

10am onwards Stalls at The Forum, Millennium Plain

The Pride Village will have over 40 stalls inside the Forum and outside on Millennium Plain. Look out for the Norwich Pride Help Desk where you can find up-to-date information on the day. We’ll also have a Norwich Pride Shop, where you can get your rainbow goodies. Plus, look out for more stalls at Chapelfield Gardens.
10am Breakfast with BLAH LGBT Youth in Fusion at The Forum.

Be the first to see their Proud Schools multimedia exhibition showcasing the work of Norfolk Schools, tackling homophobia and transphobia in the classroom and the playground. BLAH is part of the Norfolk LGBT Project. Proud schools will continue throughout the day.
10am onwards Proud Schools at Fusion in The Forum

A multimedia exhibition showcasing the work of Norfolk Schools tackling homophobia and transphobia in the classroom and the playground.
10:30am Pride Opening Ceremony at The Forum

Join us for the official start to the 6th Norwich Pride! We are proud that Norwich Pride 2014 will be opened by Judith Lubbock, the Lord Mayor of Norwich (!

Vince Laws will be there with his Umbrellas of Love, protesting homophobia throughout the Commonwealth. And this year’s rainbow flag bearer Poppy Rose will read from her collection of poems.
11.00 – 12.00 Storytime in the Millennium Children’s Library at The Forum.

Includes simple activity aimed at under 8s but any child can join in. Telephone 01603 774781 for more information.
12 noon Entertainment and picnic at Chapelfield Gardens

Bring your family, friends and a picnic and have a bite to eat while you enjoy entertainment from the bandstand by Dead Goats, Bean Juice Electrical Fire, Johnny Jump Band and Ballroom dancing!
2pm The Parade

Follow the fabulous sound of the Norwich Samba Band as we parade through Norwich! We start at Chapelfield Gardens and loop through the city centre, taking in Gentlemen’s Walk and passing City Hall before passing through Millennium Plain and arriving back at Chapelfield Gardens. Bring yourselves, bring your friends and family, gay or straight, dress to impress and help us turn Norwich into a rainbow. Look out for the Sing with Pride Choir, who will be singing their socks off to provide a musical rainbow!

For details see “Norwich Pride Parade 2014“.
3:30 – 5pm Pride show and speeches at Chapelfield Gardens

Join us for entertainment around the bandstand after the Parade with CN Lester, Kimberley Moore, Voter Kernel and Dan Herman!

For details see “The Pride Show & Picnic 2014“.

Into the Night

26 July from 10:30 am to late night : Coach & Horses – BBQ and Fire Show!

26 July from 10pm – to 6am : Loft NR1 – After Party

26 July from 2pm to 4am : The Castle Pub – Pride @ The Castle

26 July from 12 noon to 1:30 am : Lollard’s Pit Pub – Pride @ Lollard’s Pit

26 July from 4pm to 3am : Catherine Wheel – Pride at the Catherine Wheel

Pubs, clubs and cafés before, during and after Pride!

The Greenhouse Café on Bethel Street (vegetarian / vegan) is an active supporter and other LGBT friendly venues include Norwich Art Centre, Norwich Playhouse and Cinema City.

There will be lots to do in the evening after Pride at events organised by local pubs and clubs.
Why not check out one of the Pride Parties at venues across the city?
The Coach and Horses, Union Street.
The Catherine Wheel, Saint Augustine’s Street
The Castle Pub, Spitalfields
Lollard’s Pit
Loft NR1

Where we know of events we will publish them on our events calendar!

Tools of protest

From The Guardian by Oliver Wainwright:

Disobedient Objects, the V&A's subversive new show

From the pan lid that helped topple four presidents to the giant inflatable cobblestone that leaves police baffled, a fascinating new exhibition celebrates the most unlikely protest objects

Inflatable cobblestones and tiki trucks: protest designs take over the V&A – in pictures

The 'inflatable cobblestone', 
designed by the Eclectic Electric Collective to outwit authorities at street protests. Photograph: V&A

A battered pan lid sits next to a crudely printed teacup, alongside other odds and ends that look more like the sort of stuff you'd pick up in a jumble sale than exhibits you'd expect to see at a national museum. Yet these humble bits and bobs, on show at the V&A in London, have helped to win rights, change laws and even topple governments.

The teacup, which is stamped with what looks at first glance like a shonky counterfeit Starbucks logo, actually bears the emblem of the Women's Social and Political Union – it was designed by Sylvia Pankhurst and deployed as a way of bringing the suffragette campaign into the genteel heart of Edwardian drawing rooms. 

Meanwhile, the misshapen lid was used on the streets of Buenos Aires in 2001, one of thousands of pots and pans furiously beaten in response to the Argentinian government freezing the bank accounts of 18 million people. In what has since been described as the first national revolt against neoliberal capitalism, this cacophony of kitchenware succeeded in forcing out four presidents in three weeks. In both cases, the story behind the artefacts of disobedience has rarely been told.

"We wanted to show the collective power these domestic objects can have when grabbed and repurposed with political intent," says Gavin Grindon, co-curator of Disobedient Objects, an exhibition that gathers together tools of protest from around the world. While shows of activist art are not uncommon, this is the first major exhibition to focus on the actual instruments of direct action. As co-curator Catherine Flood says, "It is design taken out of the hands of designers." As such, it has a refreshingly frank power, a collection of tools made or redeployed for specific – and often desperate – ends.

There are the tiny Solidarność pin badges, worn under the lapel by Polish trade unionists in the 1980s as a sign of solidarity, sitting next to DIY versions made from resistors ripped out of radios and worn, in turn, to show support for the pirate radio station Solidarity. These are displayed next to finely crafted dog tags designed by prisoners kept in solitary confinement in Louisiana; the tags are handmade by other prisoners and then sold to generate funds for the legal campaigns of those in solitary, and to raise international awareness of their plight.

Carrie Reichardt's Tiki Love Truck being driven through Manchester driven in protest against the death penalty. Photograph: V&A

At the other end of the scale are objects made to be noticed, from the mosaic-covered Tiki Love Truck, driven in protest against the death penalty. It was made to commemorate John Joe "Ash" Amador, who was executed by the state of Texas in 2007, and features his death mask on the front. Made by the British artist (or "craftivist") Carrie Reichardt, a friend of Amador's, for the 2007 Art Car Parade in Manchester, it is not the only vehicle on show here: there's also a four-wheeled, sound-blaring bicycle contraption made for the 2010 Hamburg climate camp.

But some of the most powerful exhibits are the simplest ones – things that engage with the more theatrical side of a demonstration and show how the balance of power on the street can be swung with just a bit of mischievous wit. In one corner, a cluster of gigantic inflatable cubes hangs above a line of placards, like metallic clouds. These are inflatable cobblestones, made by the Eclectic Electric Collective, and used in worker protests in Berlin and Barcelona in 2012, as a way to outwit the authorities.  Grindon says:

The police just don't know what to do with things like this. Do they throw the inflatable back, in which case they're engaging in this weird performance? Do they try to bundle it into a van and arrest the cobblestone? Or do they try to attack it and deflate it?
Either way, as accompanying footage shows, they end up wrongfooted and humiliated, their authority brilliantly undermined by an ingenious reference to the traditional tool of the street protestor.

A similar tactic is embodied by another object, an orange felt hat: 10,000 of these were worn at a 1988 protest against communist rule in Poland by members of the Orange Alternative. Declared by its anarchic organisers to be the "Revolution of Dwarves", the demonstration resulted in the police having to round up and arrest thousands of people in dwarf hats – a farcical scene not lost on an image-hungry media. A statue of a dwarf, dedicated to the memory of the movement, stands today in the city of Wrocław, where the Orange Alternative has its origins.

A 'revolution of dwarves hat', as worn by 10,000 protesters at a 1988 march against communism in Poland. Photograph: V&A

The exhibition also brings together objects that show how movements have learned from each other around the world, from recent student protests against education reform using book covers emblazoned on shields (so riot police would be shown attacking books) to the ubiquity of"lock-on" devices. First used in Australia at demonstrations against forest destruction in 1989, lock-ons take the form of long metal tubes, into which protesters place their forearms. These allow them to shackle themselves round large, immovable objects such as trees, and can only be released using special skin-detecting steel saws; anything else will sever the limb. The lock-on design has since spread, thanks to such pamphlets as The Intercontinental Deluxe Guide to Blockading, to anti-road protests in the UK, anti-occupation activists in Palestine and anti-World Trade Organisation demos in Seattle. "It's probably the most successful object in the show," says Grindon, handing me a leaflet on how I can make my own – one of several tear-off how-to guides subversively included in the exhibition.

In all, some 99 objects are packed into the gallery, which brims with inspiration for aspiring activists. The show concludes with space for a 100th, though – left blank "for future disobedient objects".

Disobedient Objects is at the V&A, London SW7 (020-7942 2000), from Friday until 1 February 2015.

About the Exhibition   26 July 2014 - 1 February 2015

From a Suffragette tea service to protest robots, this exhibition will be the first to examine the powerful role of objects in movements for social change. It will demonstrate how political activism drives a wealth of design ingenuity and collective creativity that defy standard definitions of art and design. 

Disobedient Objects will focus on the period from the late 1970s to now, a time that has brought new technologies and political challenges. On display will be arts of rebellion from around the world that illuminate the role of making in grassroots movements for social change: finely woven banners; defaced currency; changing designs for barricades and blockades; political video games; an inflatable general assembly to facilitate consensus decision-making; experimental activist-bicycles; and textiles bearing witness to political murders.

Thursday, 24 July 2014

Norwich Pride "lowering standards"?

From attitude magazine by Will Stroude:

Minister accuses Norwich Pride of ‘lowering standards’

A Norfolk minister has accused Norwich Pride of “lowering society’s standards”

Reverend Mark Taylor of Carleton Rode Baptist Church is one of several local religious leaders to criticise the event, Network Norwich reports. The parade is set to take place this Saturday (July 26).

Reverend Taylor said. 

I feel saddened when humans flout the laws of God. We all do it in many avenues of life and faith – the Bible calls it sin and it is sin Jesus came to deal with, and remove the separation it beings between God and Humanity.

By seeking to lower society’s standards, and even worse the standards of our faith, we see to make the unacceptable more palatable.

I do not think the homosexual lifestyle is compatible with Christian living, but let’s seek to rectify the problems of broken living rather than flaunt it in the streets.
Celebrations for the sixth annual Norwich Pride will take place throughout Saturday at The Forum, Millennium Plain – including a multimedia exhibition showcasing the work of Norfolk schools in tackling homophobia and transphobia in the classroom, as well as “story time” in the Millennium Children’s Library.

The Pride parade departs from Chapelfield Gardens at 2pm, while the event will also include an appearance from human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell.

Reverend Philip Young, a Norwich Anglican minister and Quaker, was quick to defend the event, saying: 
I will yet again be supporting the colour and diversity of Norwich Pride, which I believe enriches the Norwich community – and its colourful presence and challenges the community here to be an inclusive and welcoming one.

Well done Norwich Pride and keep bringing colour to the streets of Norwich.
For more information on the event visit the Norwich Pride website.


Reverend Taylor should take a look at the Norwich Pride website, which clearly explains that 
Norwich Pride is a celebration from the LGBT community for everyone. Our mission is to ensure that Norwich is a city where everyone can feel safe and proud to be themselves.
The festival is not for LGBT people alone, but rather an excuse for all of us to relax, be ourselves and celebrate life in all its diversity.

Not so much lowering standards but rather setting new standards of tolerance, acceptance and warm inclusion that the Reverend Taylor might well seek to emulate in his own life.

Boogie against Bigotry

Creativity in Activism

People's History Museum, Left Bank, Manchester, Saturday, August 16  at 2:30pm - 3:30pm

Alex Jones from the English Disco Lovers will join us at the People's History Museum to discuss the role of creativity in activism. 

EDL in action

As founder of the alternative EDL, Jones has Google-bombed search terms, blasted "I Will Survive" at the English Defence League and organised club nights, supporting various community charities up and down the country. 

He'll be talking us through the Disco Lovers deployment of music, dance and humour against xenophobia and aims to inspire people to engage creatively with socio-political issues.

The English Disco Lovers will also be holding a club night at Manchester's Roadhouse where you'll be able to boogie against bigotry. See you on the united dancefloor! 

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

So long, suckers

From Huffington Post by Chris York

Irrelevant Party Leader Stops Leading Irrelevant Party

In a political move that will affect approximately no one, Nick Griffin has stepped down as Chairman of the BNP.

The irrelevant Mr Griffin will be replaced by the even less relevant deputy chairman, Adam Walker, who will now lead the irrelevant party into further irrelevance.

A press release from the BNP states the former leader actually stepped down on Saturday but the whole world failed to notice until two days later.

The BNP have had a tough time of late, losing all of their seats in the European elections as their voters switched to the much shinier, Ukip.

The main key performance indicator for the new Chairman will be to boost the BNP's share of the electoral vote above the 1.1% mark.

Griffin will take up the position of 'President', a grand-sounding title that will give him absolutely zero political influence and do nothing to increase his approval ratings which are so low everybody stopped bothering to measure them years ago.

It is not known if Griffin will continue with his unintentionally hilarious cookery show in which he dispenses such golden tips as: 

Remember to remove the foil from stock cubes.
Griffin's departure marks the ideal time to look back on the overly long and ultimately fruitless history of the BNP.

Highlights include:

1) That BNP Youth video that showed terrifyingly brainwashed kids pledge allegiance to an ideal of Britishness that never existed while decrying gays, Zionists, bankers, media, immigration and Stephen Lawrence's mum.

2) The time Griffin was reduced to eating roadkill and selling scrap metal to fund his party.

3) When he said children will die if they are brought up in "homes which aren't married".

4) Oh, and let's not forget the feeling of sympathy that failed to sweep the nation when Griffin was declared bankrupt.

So Nick, here's to repeating the success of your old job in your new one. CHEERS!


 Past Norfolk supporters of the BNP drumming up funds for Nick Griffin's retirement plan

As Nick himself might say to all those who supported this sad, racist, homophobic, misogynist far right party dedicated to fomenting hatred and division in our communities:
So long suckers, and thanks for all the dosh!

Past Norfolk supporters of the BNP at BNP's money-making Trafalgar Night dinner