Nicola needed to get to hospital. Tree felling barriers blocked the way.
Jennifer Saul

Blockadia in Sheffield

Blockadia in Sheffield / Jennifer Saul

In This Changes Everything, Naomi Klein writes of Blockadia, where corporate greed, aided and abetted by the militarised state, comes into conflict with local communities.

Blockadia resembles a war zone, and too often looks like a police state.

In Sheffield we have Blockadia, the state in the form of local government spying on activists, private security thugs attacking activists, and now the police, as the security arm of the state acting not to protect ordinary citizens from harm but to act as reinforcements for the local state and on behalf of corporate greed.

It is descending into police brutality and repression, the only policing this corrupt and rotten police force knows.

There has been calls in the past for South Yorkshire Police to be disbanded. Is that time now not long overdue?

Local councillors have repeatedly lied on behalf of Amey who hold a 25-year PFI contract.

There has to be a Public Inquiry into what is happening in Sheffield.

Labour has spoken out against PFI, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has spoken out against PFI, and yet a deafening silence on Sheffield and the abuse of office by Labour councillors, Labour councillors who are unfit to hold public office, Labour councillors who should be suspended for bringing the Party into disrepute, Labour councillors who should be deselected.

Fine words by Jeremy Corbyn on privatisation but hollow words if we do not see action where he can act.

Jeremy Corbyn is rapidly losing all credibility in Sheffield, the longer he fails to speak out, the longer he fails to act, the more tarnished will be his reputation in Sheffield.

And it is not only Sheffield. In Lewisham cutting down of trees, only this time in a park not the street. As with Sheffield, arrogant labour councillors unfit to hold public office showing contempt for the local community.

I would suggest Jeremy Corbyn takes time out to visit Sheffield, not to speak with the local Labour councillors but to talk to the local communities on the street trying to protect their trees from destruction.

South Yorkshire Police has an appalling track record, one of a bunch of thugs, as was seen at Orgreave, one of a bunch of liars, as was seen at Hillsborough.

In Sheffield, they are showing their record is well deserved, that no lessons have been learnt from past injustices.

We have had a week of snow. One street was cleared in Sheffield to enable trees to be cut down, police attended. Was this not an appalling use of police and public resources when roads were not cleared, when motorists were stranded?

Nicola was left collapsed on the street after being knocked to the ground by security thug / Jennifer Saul

This week, how many police on one street?

Again overkill, and one lady nearly died on the street.

Failure of police to come to her aid, emergency services unable to get through because the road had been blocked. It was a member of the local community who came to her aid, not South Yorkshire Police.

Trees improve the urban environment and yet in Sheffield the trees are being cut down.

Local communities wish their trees to remain and yet trees are being cut down.

What we are seeing is a contempt for local committees, contempt for democracy.

Misconduct in Public Office is a criminal offence, councillors can be surcharged for misuse of public money. There must be an independent investigation into both Sheffield City Council and South Yorkshire Police.

The Chief Constable must be held to account for the action of his officers.

Lord Scriven has raised a number of valid points on the behaviour of the council, of the contractors, of the police, he has demanded answers.

It is less than two months to the May local elections at the beginning of May, local communities in Sheffield must follow the example of Madrid, Barcelona, A Coruña and closer to home Frome in Somerset with their flatpack democracy revolution, hold open public meetings, choose independent candidates to stand in these elections, seize control of Sheffield Town Hall, open all meetings to public participation, network across Europe with other citizen-controlled Town Halls.

A crowdfunder has been launched to support those on the streets opposing this corrupt and rotten council. Please give them your support.