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Update: The Bus, its seizure and our story

Here is the latest on the campaign to pressurise Nigeria Customs release the Living Memorial to Ken Saro-Wiwa and the Ogoni 9 known as the Bus. Customs seized the Bus in 2015 and has refused to release it despite the huge efforts and directives described below. The guest blog is written by Celestine AkpoBari, National Coordinator for Ogoni Solidarity...

Aliyev re-elected as President for another 7 years – the chain of oil autocracy that binds Azerbaijan

On 18th April Ilham Aliyev will be inaugurated for the fourth time as President of Azerbaijan. His re-election comes as no surprise. It is so predictable that it barely counted as ‘news’ and consequently got next to no coverage in the international media. Originally the election was scheduled for 17th October, but at nine weeks...

Spring in the Thames Valley – The extraordinary resistance of the more than human

  Even in the dark the Blackbird sings. The bubbling song fills the night outside our bedroom window. You sleep silently, the bedclothes rising and falling, as the notes of the bird flow over you. Hours later, the grey light of dawn has come and with it the calls of Song Thrush and House Sparrow....

Avebury and the infrastructure of community

Over the Winter Break I walked at Avebury in Wiltshire with Nick Robins, a long term Platformer, who’s worked on several projects and was a Trustee. We had the chance to reflect on time and community. The soft whale back curve of the Ridgeway rose to the left, its skyline punctuated by barrows ringed with...

UK-based and angry about #MuslimBan? Here’s 5 things to do.

UK people. Are you angry about Trump’s attempts to deport people from the US? Did you perhaps go to the Women’s March, or sign that oddly-worded petition about cancelling Trump’s visit? Well, we’ve got more work to do (join a protest against the #MuslimBan this week), and more importantly, more work to do at home. Muslim lives, the...

Egyptian political prisoners remembered in unsanctioned performance at British Museum’s ‘Sunken Cities’

24 November 2016 Unsanctioned vigil held for jailed human rights campaigners at ‘Curator’s Introduction to the BP Sponsored Exhibition Sunken Cities: Egypt’s Lost Worlds’   Exhibition displays objects from ancient sunken cities in the Nile Delta, where BP is now drilling for fossil fuels. Community opposition successfully halted BP’s gas plant plans – the North...

Paradigm shift in the House of the North – reflecting on ‘The Sky’s Limit’

  I’m trudging towards the top of Am Faochagach following my dear friend Greg Muttitt, who was for a long time central to Platform and is now part of the wider family. The smooth crest of this mountain rises like a whale’s back. Its lack of crags must have led to its name – Am...

Ffos-y-Fran and Nant Llseg – the struggle to #keepitintheground

On the morning of 3rd May 2016 there was a successful occupation at the Ffos-y-Fran opencast mine in South Wales by Reclaim the Power. This blog was written in the build up to that action. We’re heading for our tent in the incessant drizzle, weaving between clusters of newly sprouted tents and trying hard to...

Possession – the Boxing Day Floods and the recommoning of the rivers

We wake in a B&B in Kilnsea, the last village before the shingle bar of Spurn Head that juts out from Holderness in East Yorkshire. All night a South Easterly wind of Force 6, gusting to Force 7, has buffeted the farmhouse. From the windows we can see white horses on the River Humber and...

Stranding the Leviathan – a report from the Shell AGM in Den Haag, Netherlands

We are in the dim light and red velvet of the Circustheatre in Den Haag for the Shell AGM. Up on the podium are the assembled bishops of the company. Eight in the back row all non-executives. Five in the front row: the Chief Financial Officer, the Chief Executive, the Chairman and two non-excutives. Behind...

The Management of Democracy – a report from the BP AGM 2015

The low hanger of the ExCeL building – the London Exhibition Centre – squats grey and devoid of windows on the northern quayside of the former Royal Victoria Dock which was closed and privatised in 1981. Despite having visited this hall for most of the BP Annual General Meetings of the past decade, the place...

SuAndi of National Black Arts Alliance on justice in arts funding

In November I participated in a seminar* on arts policy and heard writer, performance poet, and Freelance Cultural Director of National Black Arts Alliance, SuAndi give an arresting paper to an almost totally white audience of arts practitioners, funders, and policymakers. She generously agreed to it being published here.     “I have told this before Many times Too...