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December 12, 2015

UK\’s \’ban Trump\’ petition passes half-million mark

UK’s ‘ban Trump’ petition passes half-million mark

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Saturday, December 12, 2015

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Image: Gage Skidmore.

A petition on the UK government’s website, calling for US Presidential hopeful Donald Trump to be barred from entering the country, has now passed a half-million signatories becoming the most-popular petition ever posted on the site. The signatories include a majority of UK MPs.

The petition was originally submitted late November by campaigner Suzanne Kelly from Aberdeen, preceding Trump’s remarks which prompted the overwhelming response. Kelly, saying her attention was drawn due to concerns over Trump’s golfing developments in the area, noted, “I never in my wildest dreams imagined it would get so many signatures”. Locally, Robert Gordon University have stripped an honorary degree from Trump, and First Minister Nicola Sturgeon removed him from the GlobalScot network of business ambassadors.

Following the tycoon’s call for a “complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States”, an NBC/WSJ survey found the majority of adults in the United States disagree with him. The remarks also prompted global criticism of Trump.

London mayor Boris Johnson said the demand made him “unfit to hold the office of the president of the United States”. French Prime minister Manuel Valls stated on Twitter, “Mr. Trump, like others, fuels hatred […] our only enemy is radical Islamism.” The director of the American university in Cairo‘s Kamal Adham Center for Television and Digital Journalism, Hafez Al Mirazi, said: “What we are getting now is really terrible […] Stuff that only the Ku Klux Klan and others would say.” Kassem Allie, from the Islamic Center of America, accused Trump of evoking fear “reminiscent of Nazi Germany“.

In contrast, a humorous petition calling on NASA to “send Donald Trump into Space and Leave Him There” on the change.org site has exceeded 30,000 signatures. Autumn Boehle from Michigan, who started the petition last Wednesday, says, if the petition garners sufficient signatures, she will provide a link where people can: “donate to make this happen. It wont be cheap, but it will be worth while.”

The petition to ban Donald Trump from the UK, having passed 100,000 signatures, is now eligible for debate in the House of Commons.



Related news[]

Sources[]

Wikinews
This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.

External links[]

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March 14, 2015

Reflections, Lichtenstein, two new exhibitions at Edinburgh\’s Modern One

Reflections, Lichtenstein, two new exhibitions at Edinburgh’s Modern One

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Saturday, March 14, 2015

This weekend saw the opening of two new exhibitions at Edinburgh’s National Gallery of Modern Art. Wikinews attended Thursday’s press preview for the event where a full contingent of the capital’s press turned out to see the striking collection of paintings, photographs, and other works. Presented below are a selection of images captured at the preview.

REFLECTIONS: A Series of Changing Displays of Contemporary Art, billed as a showcase of a “diverse range of internationally-renowned contemporary and modern artists” is to display major works from the Gallery’s permanent collection, alongside important loans. Alongside this broad range of works, a three-room display of pieces on-loan from the Roy Lichtenstein Foundation — with a dramatic painted steel relief, ‘borrowed’ from the Tate in London — runs from March 14 through to January 10 next year.

Admission to both exhibitions is free; being located in Dean, to the north-west of Edinburgh’s city centre, a free Gallery bus service is available.

Edinburgh‘s press pack at the Roy Lichtenstein exhibition preview.
Image: Brian McNeil.

The exterior of the Modern One building of Edinburgh’s Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art.
Image: Brian McNeil.

A film crew sets up with one of Roy Lichtenstein’s works as a backdrop, and the steel roundel on-loan from the Tate Gallery in London dramatically displayed on the wall of the main Artists’ Room.
Image: Brian McNeil.

The exterior of the Modern One building of Edinburgh’s Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art.
Image: Brian McNeil.

A rather unusual installation; part of the REFLECTIONS exhibition at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Dorothy Lichtenstein, at the press preview for an exhibition of her late husband’s works.
Image: Brian McNeil.

A pair of Lichtenstein’s paintings, hanging in the main gallery of the Artists’ Rooms.
Image: Brian McNeil.

The exterior of the Modern One building of Edinburgh’s Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art.
Image: Brian McNeil.

A selection of prints and postcards, available for sale in the Gallery’s shop.
Image: Brian McNeil.

The ‘scrum’ of photographers capturing Roy Lichtenstein‘s widow, Dorothy, in front of one of her late husband’s paintings.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Dorothy Lichtenstein, being lit as she poses for the cameras at the press preview of her late husband’s work.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Another pair of Lichtenstein’s paintings, with the doorway through to another part of the Gallery.
Image: Brian McNeil.

A corridor in the Gallery makes an effective space to display a range of the works from the REFLECTIONS exhibit.
Image: Brian McNeil.

The main Artists Room of the Gallery, displaying some of Lichtenstein’s dramatic works.
Image: Brian McNeil.

A different take on the corridor display part of the REFLECTIONS exhibit, with mirror at end of corridor.
Image: Brian McNeil.

A display of photographs from the REFLECTIONS exhibit.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Member of the press admiring one of Lichtenstein’s works at new exhibition in the Modern One building of the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art in Edinburgh.
Image: Brian McNeil.

One of the display galleries hosting part of the REFLECTIONS exhibit.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Wall of artworks making up part of the REFLECTIONS exhibit, with mirror at end of corridor.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Press film crew sets up and tests lighting levels in front of one of Lichtenstein’s most-famous works.
Image: Brian McNeil.

The licensed cafe on the lower level of the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art.
Image: Brian McNeil.

The kitchen garden to the rear of the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art.
Image: Brian McNeil.

The licensed cafe on the lower level of the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Rear of the Modern One building of the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art in Edinburgh.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Display of cakes and biscuits in cafe of the Modern One building of the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Douglas Gordon’s dramatic List of Names which adorns the wall of the stairwell in the Modern One building.
Image: Brian McNeil.



Sources

Wikinews
This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.
Wikinews
This article is a featured article. It is considered one of the best works of the Wikinews community. See Wikinews:Featured articles for more information.

External links

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December 16, 2014

Chantel McGregor: Live at Edinburgh\’s \’The Caves\’

Chantel McGregor: Live at Edinburgh’s ‘The Caves’

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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Edinburgh, Scotland — Sunday saw Chantel McGregor, voted Best Blues Guitarist at the British Blues Awards, headlining in The Caves. Wikinewsie Brian McNeil took along his camera to capture this remarkable young Yorkshire musician playing live. The previous evening saw her playing in Glasgow, with the current tour hitting Morecambe yesterday, Bristol‘s The Tunnels on Wednesday, and Derby on Thursday.

Supporting Chantel were local, self-styled “Rootsy/Country/Soul” three-piece The Rising Souls. Despite The Caves — which local lore claims is haunted — being buried in the city’s Cowgate, their percussionist was playing a Cajón; often-seen in the city as musicians try to avoid running foul of the City of Edinburgh Council‘s licensing board, and risking venues being closed down over as-little as a single noise complaint.

The image gallery below may take some time to load on slower connections. You may click on the first image to view the images with the new Mediawiki Media Viewer; again, full-size/full-screen images may take time to load.

Chantel McGregor on guitar, Keith McPartling on drums, and Richard Ritchie on bass.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Local support act, The Rising Souls
Image: Brian McNeil.

The crowd were quiet throughout, with one notable exception, paying more-attention to the musicianship than dancing.
Image: Brian McNeil.

The Rising Souls; from left to right: Tom on cajón, Dave on lead vocals and guitar, and Kelso on bass.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Dave and Tom, taking full advantage of the venue’s acoustics.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Dave and Tom, taking full advantage of the venue’s acoustics.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Despite the cold, the crowd soon warmed to support act The Rising Souls.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Despite the cold, the crowd soon warmed to support act, The Rising Souls.
Image: Brian McNeil.

The woman everyone had come to see: Chantel McGregor.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Although — initially — reacting nervously to an over-enthusiastic inebriated fan, Chantel played a stunning set.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Drummer, Keith McParting, gives the fan at the front a hard stare.
Image: Brian McNeil.

The woman everyone had come to see: Chantel McGregor.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Chantel McGregor on guitar, Keith McPartling on drums, and Richard Ritchie on bass.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Drummer, Keith McPartling.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Chantel McGregor on guitar, Keith McPartling on drums, and Richard Ritchie on bass.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Chantel, making her Fender Stratocaster cry.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Cold? Richard Ritchie seemed to think so; wearing a fingerless glove on his picking hand.
Image: Brian McNeil.

With her long mane of blonde hair, Chantel is an impressive sight on-stage.
Image: Brian McNeil.

With her long mane of blonde hair, Chantel is an impressive sight on-stage.
Image: Brian McNeil.

The set was a mix of well-known covers, and numerous of Chantel McGregor‘s own compositions.
Image: Brian McNeil.

As the performance progressed, the crowd moved closer to the stage.
Image: Brian McNeil.

The Caves proved an intimate venue for Chantel‘s brand of blues playing.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Chantel’s band played-off each-other particularly-well.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Chantel playing her white Gibson Les Paul.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Chantel’s band played-off each-other particularly-well.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Chantel with drummer, Keith McPartling.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Chantel with drummer, Keith McPartling.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Chantel with drummer, Keith McPartling.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Drummer Keith McPartling and bassist Richard Ritchie.
Image: Brian McNeil.

View from the floor, literally.
Image: Brian McNeil.

View from the floor, literally.
Image: Brian McNeil.

View from the floor, literally.
Image: Brian McNeil.

From the balcony in The Caves, you’ve a perfect view of the stage.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Unlike other venues Wikinews’ photographer has visited, the acoustics of The Caves still give a great sound upstairs.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Upstairs in The Caves, looking down onto the stage.
Image: Brian McNeil.



Related news

  • “City of Edinburgh Council seek to improve local music scene” — Wikinews, November 18, 2014

Sources

Wikinews
This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.

External links

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This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

November 18, 2014

City of Edinburgh Council seek to improve local music scene

City of Edinburgh Council seek to improve local music scene

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Interior (stairwell) of Edinburgh‘s Usher Hall
Image: Brian McNeil.

Musicians gather outside the Usher Hall prior to the meeting
Image: Brian McNeil.

Attendees inside the Usher Hall
Image: Brian McNeil.

Yesterday evening saw the Usher Hall in Edinburgh host a meeting between representatives of the City of Edinburgh Council (CEC) and the local rock and pop music scene. The meeting was dominated with local musicians’ complaints over the “zero tolerance” policy Edinburgh is viewed as having adopted towards amplified music. The meeting began with the leading panel — Norma Austin Hart, vice-convener for Culture and Sport; John Stout, promoter from Regular Music; Kevin Buckle, of local store Avalanche Records; and Karl Chapman, manager of the Usher Hall — introducing themselves and outlining the purpose of the meeting. This being best-summarised as a desire to emulate the vibrant music scene of places as far-flung as Austin, Texas and Sydney, Australia.

Councillor Hart indicated officials from Austin had already offered to get involved in improving the live music scene in the city; although none were present from Austin, US-born local musician Pat Dennis provided his frank opinion on where Edinburgh fails to nurture the local music scene: that failure to support a grass-roots, small venue, music scene prevents the city being capable of organising events similar to Austin’s South by Southwest festival outwith August, when Edinburgh hosts the Festival and Fringe.

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Coming in for the lion’s share of criticism, staff from CEC’s Licensing Board were visibly uncomfortable when the topic of the “single complainant” was brought up time and time again. Unlike any other business within the city, or residential properties, noise pollution within premises permitted to sell alcohol is not managed by environmental health staff. That responsibility is bundled with the alcohol license, which leaves publicans fearful that their premises will be forced to close if they do not comply with demands to cease use of any amplification, or hosting live music. This was characterised as a ‘tyranny of the minority’, a most-undemocratic approach where one person — for example, recently moved into a property adjacent to a long-established premises hosting live music — could force the closure of a business which has hosted local talent for 30+ years.

Taking heed of the strength of feeling from the majority present, Councillor Hart made a number of personal commitments towards the end of the meeting. Those included setting up a working group, Music is Audible, to look at how the council could better work with venues, and to have a follow-up meeting in March next year.



Sources

Wikinews
This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.
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This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

November 7, 2014

Edinburgh\’s \’Million Mask March\’ flies distinctly Scottish colours

Edinburgh’s ‘Million Mask March’ flies distinctly Scottish colours

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
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Friday, November 7, 2014

Amongst other Guy Fawkes Night partying, the now-regular march to the Scottish Parliament by Anonymous saw significantly higher attendance, Wednesday, at this year’s event. With Catalan flags and pro-Independence Saltires flying, activist numbers had clearly been swelled by the referendum result.

The image gallery below could take some time to load on slower connections.
You may click on the first image to view the images with the new Mediawiki Media Viewer; again, full-size/full-screen images may take time to load.

Banner — later used to lead the march — laid out on the Castle Esplanade before setting off.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Police waiting, on the adjacent Johnston Terrace, prior to the march setting off.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Saltires by moonlight, as the growd gathers on the Castle Esplanade.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Anonymous Scotland banner surrounded by group of protesters.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Pro-Independence supporters mingling with masked members of Anonymous.
Image: Brian McNeil.

As the march prepares to set off, the banner is raised and the crowd asked to assemble behind it.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Crowd heading off Esplanade, with the Outlook Tower Camera obscura to top-right of frame.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Police Scotland watch as the crowd progresses down Edinburgh’s High Street.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Walking down Castle Hill on the Royal Mile.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Edinburgh Castle as backdrop to the crowd leaving the Esplanade.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Further down Edinburgh’s High Street, with the banner passing the High Court.
Image: Brian McNeil.

The crowd progressing down Edinburgh’s High Street towards the Scottish Parliament
Image: Brian McNeil.

Passing the top of Cockburn Street on the Royal Mile.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Passing the top of Cockburn Street on the Royal Mile.
Image: Brian McNeil.

The crowd progressing down Edinburgh’s High Street towards the Scottish Parliament.
Image: Brian McNeil.

A Police van leads the procession down the bottom-half of the High Street.
Image: Brian McNeil.

March walking down The Canongate.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Passing Edinburgh’s New Street, which leads down to the City of Edinburgh Council‘s Waverley Court HQ.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Marchers walking down Edinburgh’s High Street towards Scottish Parliament.
Image: Brian McNeil.

The March progresses through the city’s Canongate area.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Regardless of chanting, which included taunts over the lack of BBC presence, marchers were in good spirits.
Image: Brian McNeil.

The crowd outside the Scottish Parliament was a wide mix of ages.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Not all who took part wore Guy Fawkes masks.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Most of the crowd were well wrapped-up to guard against the night air chill.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Pro-Catalan independence flag flying as part of the protest at the Scottish Parliament.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Police Scotland were conspicuous amongst the crowd, although not present in large numbers.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Pro-Catalan independence flag flying as part of the protest at the Scottish Parliament.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Some protesters self-identified as part of the 45% of the Scottish electorate who voted Yes to Independence.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Pro-Independence sentiment was highly-visible amongst protesters at the Scottish Parliament.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Some banners were particularly direct with their message.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Several humorous Independence-related tropes were on display.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Some banners were particularly direct with their message.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Several humorous Independence-related tropes were on display, although the protest was good-natured throughout.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Free paper masks were being handed out to those not prepared to buy mass-manufactured ones.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Protesters waiting for the event’s speakers whilst PA problems were sorted out.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Guy McV at the protest outside the Scottish Parliament.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Crowd walking across grassy area between Parliament and Queen’s Drive.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Protesters waiting for the event’s speakers.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Kilted protester with Saltire mask.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Protesters waiting for the event’s speakers.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Kilted protester with Saltire mask.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Banner with Scottish Parliament partially visible in the background.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Much of the crowd treated the gathering at the Parliament like a party.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Attendee filming the event, with Parliament building in the background.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Wrapped up against the cold, outside the Scottish Parliament.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Many draped themselves in Scotland’s flag, the Saltire.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Staring through a paper mask into the camera.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Not all present were overly-concerned with the cold weather.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Protesters outside the Scottish Parliament after marching from Edinburgh Castle
Image: Brian McNeil.

Speakers address the assembled crowd after some technical difficulties with the PA system.
Image: Brian McNeil.

A documentary-maker films the protest speakers.
Image: Brian McNeil.

A few of the collected donations intended for a local food bank.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Many treated the protest more like a party.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Protested, with beard jutting out below Guy Fawkes mask.
Image: Brian McNeil.

The crowd listening to speakers at the Parliament.
Image: Brian McNeil.




Related news

  • “Scotland says ‘No’ in independence referendum” — Wikinews, September 19, 2014

Sources

Wikinews
This article is a featured article. It is considered one of the best works of the Wikinews community. See Wikinews:Featured articles for more information.
Wikinews
This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.


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August 27, 2014

Wikinews wanders the Referendum-year Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Wikinews wanders the Referendum-year Edinburgh Festival Fringe

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

With many venues reporting sell-out shows, the 68th year of the Edinburgh Festival attracted visitors from around the globe. Wikinews‘ Brian McNeil roamed the city for the four weeks of the event, capturing the colour, spectacle, and comedy, in photos.

The image gallery below may take some time to load on slower connections. You may click on the first image to view the images with the new Mediawiki Media Viewer; again, full-size/full-screen images may take time to load.

Visitors crowd onto Edinburgh’s High Street, adjacent to the Tron Kirk, for the first day of the 2014 Festival Fringe.
Image: Brian McNeil.

A street performer sets up in Hunter Square, next to one of the city’s golden postboxes, unpacking paraffin for his act.
Image: Brian McNeil.

View across Edinburgh’s High Street (Royal Mile) onto the top of Cockburn Street.
Image: Brian McNeil.

A musician prepared for Scotland’s unpredictable weather at the side of the Tron Kirk.
Image: Brian McNeil.

The Tron pub, next to the top of Blair Street, advertises live comedy in the basement, along with their 3am license.
Image: Brian McNeil.

A performer balances on top of a bollard just inside the pedestrianised part of the High Street.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Tourists on the High Street for the 2014 fringe.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Tourists mingle with performers handing out fliers on the Edinburgh High Street.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Track-suited performers wait to go onstage in the High Street.
Image: Brian McNeil.

A troupe performs for the crowd in traditional dress.
Image: Brian McNeil.

A troupe performs for the crowd in traditional dress.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Performers on Edinburgh’s High Street for the Festival Fringe 2014. In the distance, the Firth of Forth.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Crowd looks on as performer spins disk on a stick before throwing it high into the air.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Performer throwing spinning disk from stick into the air.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Performer throws spinning disk high overhead.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Fliers and posters advertise a few of the shows on-offer at this year’s Fringe.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Stall selling tied-balloon creations with Fringe show fliers as backdrop.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Edinburgh’s ‘Auld Reekie Tours’ (Venue 129) advertising their underground and graveyard tours of the city.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Food stall situated at the side of the Tron Kirk.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Blackboards list the day’s, and tommorrow’s, performances on the doors of the Tron Kirk in Edinburgh’s High Street.
Image: Brian McNeil.

The bar, with stained-glass window backdrop, inside the Tron Kirk.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Susana Silva, more-used to busking, performs inside the Tron Kirk on the Fringe’s opening day.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Susana Silva performing in the Tron Kirk, Edinburgh fringe 2014.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Susana Silva performing in the Tron Kirk, Edinburgh fringe 2014.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Pat Dennis, Sean O’Malley with Michael Dodds on Cajon.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Pat Dennis, Sean O’Malley and Michael Dodds performing in the Tron Kirk.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Pat Dennis, Sean O’Malley and Michael Dodds performing in the Tron Kirk.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Pat Dennis, Sean O’Malley and Michael Dodds performing in the Tron Kirk.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Crowds in Edinburgh’s Grassmarket for the 2014 Festival.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Street performers in the Grassmarket.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Bruce Fummey performing his 2014 Fringe show, “Aaah’m Votin YES” in The Beehive.
Image: Brian McNeil.

A few minutes walk from The Beehive, a busker plays with an array of effects pedals.
Image: Brian McNeil.

View down the Grassmarket from the West Bow end.
Image: Brian McNeil.

View of St John’s at the west end of Princes Street.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Some people at the art & craft fair, in the grounds of St John’s, enjoying themselves despite a downpour
Image: Brian McNeil.

One of the city’s tour buses, at the west-end of Princes Street.
Image: Brian McNeil.

View of the Festival Wheel, situated in Princes Street Gardens.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Various festivals take place in Edinburgh throughout the summer, including the The Guardian-sponsored Book Festival.
Image: Brian McNeil.

View of the castle, with posters for Festival shows on the railings of Princes Street Gardens.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Chalk art outisde the Scottish National Archives at the East-End of Princes Street.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Banner for The Caves, just off the Cowgate.
Image: Brian McNeil.

The Cowshed in Edinburgh’s Cowgate; a venue well-liked by performers, apart from the beer prices.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Musician walking up Niddry Street, with guitar in hard case.
Image: Brian McNeil.

The Blind Poet, in Edinburgh’s West Nicholson Street.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Bar staff, working in The Blind Poet on Nicholson Street.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Baz Simpson, who organised The Wolf Sessions at The Blind Poet; before, and during, The Festival.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Baz Simpson, who organised The Wolf Sessions at The Blind Poet; before, and during, The Festival.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Performers in the Blind Poet, West Nicholson Street, last Saturday of the Festival Fringe.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Performers in the Blind Poet, West Nicholson Street, last Saturday of the Festival Fringe.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Performers in the Blind Poet, West Nicholson Street, last Saturday of the Festival Fringe.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Performers in the Blind Poet, West Nicholson Street, last Saturday of the Festival Fringe.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Aaron Robbie Wright, performing in The Blind Poet on the last Sunday of the 2014 Festival Fringe.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Aaron Robbie Wright, performing in The Blind Poet on the last Sunday of the 2014 Festival Fringe.
Image: Brian McNeil.

The High Street’s taxi rank stretches from the top of Niddry Street halfway to the Scottish Parliament.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Unfortunately, trouble at the High Street taxi rank is not uncommon – regardless of the festival being on, or not.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Unfortunately, trouble at the High Street taxi rank is not uncommon – regardless of the festival being on, or not.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Unfortunately, trouble at the High Street taxi rank is not uncommon – regardless of the festival being on, or not.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Fringe performers, and flier distributors, come in all shapes and sizes.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Some artists continued distributing fliers right up until the last couple of days of the Festival Fringe.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Age is no barrier to busking during the Festival.
Image: Brian McNeil.

With so many visitors, rubbish (garbage) is somewhat of an issue during the Festival.
Image: Brian McNeil.


Sources

Wikinews
This article is a featured article. It is considered one of the best works of the Wikinews community. See Wikinews:Featured articles for more information.
Wikinews
This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.
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This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

April 22, 2014

Glasgow cannabis enthusiasts celebrate \’green\’ on city green

Glasgow cannabis enthusiasts celebrate ‘green’ on city green

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Coinciding with Easter Sunday, Glasgow Cannabis Social Club’s annual 420 event was held on Glasgow Green, under sunny blue skies, and overlooking the river Clyde. Despite the city’s council attempting to revoke permission for the gathering at the last minute, police were happy for it to go-ahead with approximately a dozen officers attending in high-visibility vests.

Setting up the stalls, with the river Clyde and Adelphi distillery as a backdrop
Image: Brian McNeil.

Good weather, albeit tempered with a cool breeze, saw higher numbers than the prior year’s event
Image: Brian McNeil.

Glasgow Green, in the East End is the city’s oldest park
Image: Brian McNeil.

A speaker from Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP) explained his organisation’s position on cannabis
Image: Brian McNeil.

Police were in-attendance from early-on, with Monday’s issue of the Daily Record reporting five arrests, but no trouble
Image: Iain Macdonald.

A section of the crowd, with the People’s Palace in the background
Image: Iain Macdonald.

One of the bands setting up to entertain the crowd
Image: Iain Macdonald.

A neon-bright sign for the Glasgow branch of the UK Cannabis Social Club
Image: Iain Macdonald.

Small stall, with obvious pro-cannabis signage
Image: Iain Macdonald.

Home-made sign for the Legalise Cannabis Campaign Scotland
Image: Iain Macdonald.

View of stage from partway up the hill
Image: Iain Macdonald.

People buying refreshments from the stall
Image: Iain Macdonald.

Several attendees wore clothing with slogans openly advocating cannabis
Image: Iain Macdonald.

A view of the tents over the stage and stalls from across the Clyde
Image: Iain Macdonald.

Attendees watch the stage entertainment while police look on
Image: Iain Macdonald.

Small groups of attendees regularly walked away from watchful police once it was made clear people would be arrested and cautioned for smoking
Image: Iain Macdonald.

View of the stage area from opposite bank of the Clyde
Image: Iain Macdonald.

Trumpet player in one of the Reggae bands that performed
Image: Iain Macdonald.

A small stand offered hydroponic supplies
Image: Iain Macdonald.

Clear view of the hemp products stall
Image: Iain Macdonald.

Close-up of some hemp-based products on sale
Image: Iain Macdonald.

The Daily Record reported five arrests were made for minor offences, likely smoking and possession of small quantities of cannabis. Taking a less-sensational — and more accurate — line of reporting, the Monday edition of Glasgow’s Evening News stated five were referred to the Procurator Fiscal who is responsible for deciding if charges should be brought.

Official figures provided by the police were that 150 attended. With people coming and going, Wikinews reporters estimated upwards of 200 attended, compared to nearly 700 who had signed up for the event on Facebook. Hemp goods were advertised and on sale at the event, and some attendees were seen drinking cannabis-themed energy drinks.

“I was searched and charged under the Misuse of Drugs Act (which is a lot of bollocks)” one attendee noted online, adding “not fair to happen on a brilliant day like it was, other than that I had a great day!” A second said they were openly smoking and ignored by police, who “were only really focusing on people who looked particularly young”.

Cannabis seeds were openly and legally sold at the event and a hydroponics supplier brought a motortrike towing an advertising trailer. Actually growing cannabis is, however, illegal in the UK.

With the event openly advocating the legalisation of cannabis, speakers put their arguments for this to a receptive crowd. Retired police officer James Duffy, of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, spoke of the failed United States alcohol prohibition policy; stressing such policies needlessly bring people into contact with criminal elements. Highlighting other countries where legalisation has been implemented, he pointed out such led to lower crime, and lower drug use overall.

One speaker, who produced a bottle of cannabis oil he had received through the post, asserted this cured his prostate cancer. Others highlighted the current use of Sativex by the National Health Service, with a cost in-excess of £150 for a single bottle of GW Pharmaceuticals patented spray — as-compared to the oil shown to the crowd, with a manufacturing cost of approximately £10.

Similar ‘420‘ pro-cannabis events were held globally.


Sources

Wikinews
This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.
Wikinews
This article is a featured article. It is considered one of the best works of the Wikinews community. See Wikinews:Featured articles for more information.

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February 11, 2014

Wiki loves the European Parliament in Strasbourg

Wiki loves the European Parliament in Strasbourg

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
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Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Wikimedia-logo.svg This article mentions the Wikimedia Foundation, one of its projects, or people related to it. Wikinews is a project of the Wikimedia Foundation.

The European Parliament building in Strasbourg
Image: Ralf Roletschek.

A special Wikinews video report from the parliament visit
Image: Brian McNeil.

Last week fifty volunteers, from nine countries covering nineteen languages, spent four days at the European Parliament buildings in Strasbourg photographing and filming members of the parliament (MEPs). This being an effort to significantly increase the audio-visual content available in Wikipedia and other Wikimedia Foundation projects.

Members of the team, who were all granted guest press accreditation, began arriving at the hotel in the small town of Kork, not far from the France–Germany border, on Saturday. The team base, Hotel Ochsen, has an interesting history. Placards on the courtyard wall explain it served as headquarters for Field marshal Kollowrat-Krakowsky battling Napoleonic forces in the 1796 Siege of Kehl.

Those arriving later came directly to the Louise Weiss building, which hosts the parliament’s plenary sessions and all voting on EU matters. Whilst staying in the hotel, the Wikimedian group met two MEPs who chose it in-preference to dramatically more-expensive Strasbourg accommodation. One of the ushers from the parliament also chatted with volunteers at the hotel, self-depricatingly describing his ceremonial attire as a “penguin suit” due to the long-tailed jacket.

One of the first day’s MEPs to introduce themselves to the visiting Wikimedians was Christian Engström; delivering copies of his book, The Case for Copyright Reform, co-authored with Swedish Pirate Party founder Rickard Falkvinge. Engström explained that, in the book, he argues Wikipedia is one of the losers under current copyright legislation. One of numerous MEPs who recorded video introductions in multiple languages, he was more-confident than some colleagues — the most-challenging taking thirteen takes to successfully record.

Wikimedia volunteers pose for a group photo in the parliament
Image: Claude Truong-Ngoc.

Planning meeting in Hotel Ochsen, prior to travelling to the EU Parliament in Strasbourg
Image: Claude Truong-Ngoc.

Something to tempt MEPs into allowing their photos be taken
Image: Marcus Cyron.

Travelling by bus to the parliament
Image: Claude Truong-Ngoc.

Unpacking and setting up in the parliament
Image: Claude Truong-Ngoc.

MEP Michel Barnier talking to the mainstream press in the parliament
Image: Ralf Roletschek.

Elmar Brok giving a press conference in the parliament
Image: Claude Truong-Ngoc.

The Wiki loves parliaments photography ‘booths’ in the parliament
Image: Texaner.

Italian president Giorgio Napolitano addressing the parliamentary chamber
Image: Claude Truong-Ngoc.

The parliament’s Sakharov Exhibition, adjacent to where Wikimedians set up photo editing stations
Image: Brian McNeil.

French journalist Serge July inside the parliament during a press conference where it was demanded journalists held in Syria be released
Image: Claude Truong-Ngoc.

MEPs in makeup prior to being photographed
Image: Marcus Cyron.

Portrait photo of Hungarian MEP Livia Jaroka
Image: Leila Paul.

Interior shot of the parliament’s Louise Weiss building
Image: Brian McNeil.

Wikimedians uploading photos, and editing articles, in the parliament
Image: Claude Truong-Ngoc.

Banner in the courtyard of the parliament, calling for release of journalists held hostage in Syria
Image: Claude Truong-Ngoc.

William Legge, 10th Earl of Dartmouth, MEP for South West England
Image: Leila Paul.

Wikimedian Manuel Schneider (in background) filming a statement from MEP Bruno Gollnisch in the parliament
Image: Claude Truong-Ngoc.

Re-packing equipment after the Wiki loves parliament event
Image: Brian McNeil.

Wikimedians have a final shared meal after the event
Image: Brian McNeil.

Over 1,000 new, high-quality, photographs were taken and uploaded for use on Wikimedia projects during the visit. The second and third days in the parliament saw the highest number of MEPs coming to see the visiting Wikimedians and have their photographs taken. Once photographed, MEPs were encouraged to make video introductions in languages they were comfortable speaking in. In excess of 200 video clips of MEPs introducing themselves were captured; this providing freely-reusable audio and video records available via Wikimedia Commons.

A medley of MEPs introducing themselves
Image: Brian McNeil, Manuel Schneider.

Parliamentarians became more-enthusiastic about the project in its later days, with significantly more turning up to be photographed and filmed. Given some turned up as Wikimedians were packing up on the last day, some still lack freely-licensed photographs for their Wikipedia entries. French MEP, and National Front member, Bruno Gollnisch was amongst those disappointed when turning up after much of the equipment was packed up; although Gollnisch has already provided some video recordings, he had returned with additional prepared texts — including Japanese — for use in a video introduction.

Despite much of two levels within the parliament set aside for the press, the event received little coverage from mainstream media. France TV‘s channel three broadcast a report on the Thursday, making footage available via their website on the Friday.

In contrast the Voice intro project (WikiVIP) started by Andy Mabbett, and brought to a far-wider audience with Stephen Fry‘s endorsement, saw Mabbet give an interview from one of the parliament’s radio studios with United States‘ public radio network NPR. With Fry’s recording catching the attention of the press, that project has received coverage from as-far afield as Italy, Russia, and Japan.

Audio for use on Wikipedia is to be extracted from video recordings of MEPs for use on Wikimedia projects. As available storage and bandwidth increases, it is a longer-term goal of the Wikimedia Foundation to increase freely-available, and reusable, multimedia content across all projects hosted by the Foundation.

The project also served as an opportunity to emphasise that all Wikimedia content is created through people donating their time and effort. Whilst MEPs knew anyone could edit Wikipedia, meeting a group representing all ages, and much of Europe, served as an effective public-relations exercise.



Sources

Wikinews
This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.
Wikinews
This article is a featured article. It is considered one of the best works of the Wikinews community. See Wikinews:Featured articles for more information.
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March 31, 2013

Thousands take to streets protesting \’ratbag\’s Bedroom Tax

Thousands take to streets protesting ‘ratbag’s Bedroom Tax

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
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Sunday, March 31, 2013

Protester at Edinburgh’s anti ‘bedroom-tax’ demonstration.

Protesters assembling around the modern art in St Andrew Square, Edinburgh with Jenners department store in the background.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Demonstrations took place across the UK over the holiday weekend, echoing the message personally delivered to Iain Duncan Smith at a Capita-sponsored talk last week. Chants of “Axe, axe, axe the bedroom tax” could be clearly heard throughout Edinburgh’s demonstration. At the end of his minute-long tirade at the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Willie Black labelled Duncan Smith a “ratbag”; several people turned up with this printed on their tee shirts.

Wikinews photographed the march from Edinburgh’s St. Andrew’s Square to the Scottish Parliament. Various estimates put the number in-attendance between 1,200 and 1,600.

Other protests took place in London, with an estimated 1,000 at Trafalgar Square and Downing street. Glasgow saw around 2,500 take to the streets. Those demonstrating equated the package of changes that see benefit rises at a below-inflation 1%, and housing benefit cut by 14% for those with one spare room, 25% if they have two or more spare rooms, with the ‘poll tax’ which saw riots in England during Margaret Thatcher’s time as Prime Minister.

Head of the UK’s National Housing Federation David Orr commented: “It’s bad policy, it’s bad economics, it’s bad for hundreds of thousands of ordinary people whose lives will be made difficult for no benefit — and I think it’s about to become profoundly bad politics.”

With the policy coming into effect now, protesters are intent on a “can’t pay, won’t pay” civil disobedience campaign.

Images from the Edinburgh protest

Panoramic shot of the protesters gathering outside the Scottish Parliament.
Image: Brian McNeil.

There was a widespread belief amonst the protesters that the cuts being imposed by Westminster are the upper-class attempting to reassert themselves.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Protesters gathering in Edinburgh’s St. Andrew’s Square.
Image: Brian McNeil.

One protester’s hand-made signs demands rent controls.
Image: Brian McNeil.

The ‘Yes’ campaign for Scottish independence attended.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Some Edinburgh members of the UNISON union joined the march.
Image: Brian McNeil.

The Grim Reaper puts in an appearance at parliament.
Image: Brian McNeil.

The Scottish Green Party‘s banner arriving at Parliament.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Protesters setting off from St. Andrew’s Square, marching to the Scottish Parliament.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Police, who gave an on-the-spot estimate of 1,200 at Parliament, prepare to close streets for the march.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Protesters walking out of St. Andrew’s Square, with wheelchair user’s sign reading “Do you want my carer to sleep in my bed?”
Image: Brian McNeil.

Marchers line up whilst press talk to police in-attendance.
Image: Brian McNeil.

“Axe the Tax”, a popular slogan and chant during the march.
Image: Brian McNeil.

St John’s Episcopal Church, at Edinburgh’s West-End, has a mural skewering the tax with a religious theme.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Many disabled people face benefit cuts over a spare bedroom a carer may sleep in a few nights each week.
Image: Brian McNeil.

The march heads down towards Princes Street.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Princes Street, with the Scott Monument in the background.
Image: Brian McNeil.

The head of the march passing the £310-a-night Balmoral Hotel
Image: Brian McNeil.

The march waits as the last people join from St. Andrew’s Square.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Press, foreground, photographing protesters sitting in the road.
Image: Brian McNeil.

More join the sit-down protest.
Image: Brian McNeil.

The march moves up onto Regent Road, which skirts the city’s Calton Hill.
Image: Brian McNeil.

View of the march from the foot of the steps to the City Observatory.
Image: Brian McNeil.

The march towards the Scottish Parliament with the city skyline as a backdrop.
Image: Brian McNeil.

The march around Calton Hill passes the Dugald Stewart Monument.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Slogans and visuals on placards equate David Cameron with Margaret Thatcher.
Image: Brian McNeil.

There is genuine anger behind some of the messages aimed at Westminster, by people who feel they are being penalised to enrich bankers and the country’s richest.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Pro-Scottish independence supporters arriving at parliament; many feel the current UK government does not represent Scotland, which returned only on Tory MP at the last election.
Image: Brian McNeil.

The lead marchers stopped several times to allow people to catch up, but some gaps between groups were noticeable when arriving at the Parliament.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Passing the gates to Holyrood Palace.
Amongst the chants during the march were “They say cutback, we say fight back.”, “Tory, tory tory, scum, scum, scum!” and “We won’t pay your bedroom tax!”
Image: Brian McNeil.

All ages took part in the march to the Scottish Parliament.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Many see the bedroom tax as a policy which would not be in-place were the country independent.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Edinburgh’s James Connolly society arriving at the Parliament.
Image: Brian McNeil.

A small section of the crowd assembled at the Scottish Parliament.
Image: Brian McNeil.

Occupy protesters rub shoulders with ‘Yes’ campaign supporters, observed by part of the contingent of Lothian and Borders Police in attendance.
Image: Brian McNeil.



Sources

Wikinews
This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.
Wikinews
This article is a featured article. It is considered one of the best works of the Wikinews community. See Wikinews:Featured articles for more information.
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December 11, 2011

Republican hopeful Gingrich fuels controversy over Palestinian \’invented people\’ remarks

Republican hopeful Gingrich fuels controversy over Palestinian ‘invented people’ remarks

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
Jump to: navigation, search

Sunday, December 11, 2011

File photo of Gingrich at Iowa fair.
Image: Gage Skidmore.

Front-runner for the United States Republican Party Presidential candidacy Newt Gingrich declined an opportunity prior to Saturday’s Iowa debate to back down from his earlier assertion that the Palestinians are an “invented people”. Amongst condemnatory responses in the US, Democratic Senator Carl Levin issued a statement saying, “Gingrich offered no solutions — just a can of gasoline and a match.”

Candidates seeking the Republican nomination for the 2012 Presidential election campaign are jostling for support from the influential Jewish block; Gingrich’s inflammatory remarks were made earlier this week in an interview with cable TV’s Jewish Channel. “Remember there was no Palestine as a state. It was part of the Ottoman Empire,” Gingrich asserted. “We’ve had an invented Palestinian people, who are in fact Arabs, and were historically part of the Arab community […] They had a chance to go many places. And for a variety of political reasons, we have sustained this war against Israel now since the 1940s, and I think it’s tragic”.

Hanan Ashrawi, spokesperson for the Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO), said Gingrich appeared to have “lost all touch with reality” and that his comments “reveal ignorance and racism as well as a cheap attempt to woo pro-Israeli voters at the expense of Palestinian rights and peace in the region.” She summed up her view of the US-Israeli relationship as, “many people, including Americans, […] consider Tel Aviv the architect of American foreign policy.”

Saturday’s debate between the candidates in Des Moines, Iowa, the twelfth since the start of campaigning, saw Gingrich’s rivals also criticising his background in Washington; Mitt Romney, ex-Governor of Massachusetts, pushed his ideas on rescuing the country’s economy and stated, “[w]e don’t need folks who are lifetime Washington people”.

Gingrich, in the debate, further defended his comments to the Jewish Channel about Palestinians: “Somebody ought to have the courage to tell the truth. These people are terrorists.”

Current polling by Gallup puts Gingrich 12 points ahead of Romney on 23%. The remaining five candidates, all with single-digit support, are Ron Paul, Rick Perry, Michelle Bachmann, Rick Santorum, and Jon Huntsman. Their degree of support runs down from 9% for Paul to 2% for former Utah governor Huntsman, who did not attend the debate.



Sources

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