Wednesday, 2 December 2009

... but not for long

This morning brings the good news that Iran has released the five British yachtsmen it has been detaining for the past week.

We're delighted that the five sailors have their liberty and, on a more trivial level, that we won't have to try and remember where we left our placards after the last protest.

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

We are back

We hoped it wouldn't be necessary to reactivate this blog, and get the campaign together again. Sadly, it seems the day we all hoped would never come has arrived - Iran has taken five British leisure sailors hostage.

In 2007, when the Iranians kidnapped at gunpoint 15 Royal Navy sailors and Royal Marines, to use as political tools, we got together as a group of private individuals to hold protests outside the Iranian Embassy in London to demand their release.

Happily, they were eventually released unharmed but at the time we warned that if Iran felt it could get away with such outrageous actions, they would be tempted to take hostages for political purposes again in future.

We are of course deeply concerned by the latest news regarding the detention of the crew of the Kingdom of Bahrain. If they are returned swiftly then that will be a welcome relief to everyone.
However, if the Iranian authorities continue to detain them and use them for political ends, then we intend to restart our protests.

To sign up for news of our campaign and any protests, please email us at or join our Facebook Group.

Thursday, 5 April 2007

Free the Navy 15! on TV

For those interested in a more in-depth discussion of the hostage crisis, one of the co-founders of Free the Navy 15! will be on 18 Doughty Street, the internet TV channel, this evening at 8:30pm for the Worldview programme.

We'll be discussing the importance of grass roots protests in situations like these, specifically with reference to the great support FTN15! received from the public. Obviously, where the discussion deals with the wider crisis and the political background with Iran and so on, he will be representing his own views rather than any official view of this group.

Wednesday, 4 April 2007

A Celebration

As it seems clear from the footage currently being broadcast, as well as the news reports, the 15 hostages are being released!

We are of course overjoyed that the British personnel are being released from their captivity. Their families, like the rest of the British people, will of course be relieved when they are back, safe, on home soil.

The protest planned for 6.45 this evening outside the Iranian Embassy in South Kensington is therefore cancelled and is being moved to a celebratory drink in the nearby Hoop and Toy pub round the corner from South Kensington tube station. Map here. We will bring a couple of "Free the Navy 15" placards with us so you can recognise us.

Should anyone have trouble finding it, please call 07736009548. There will also be someone opposite the Iranian Embassy at 6.45pm to bring along anyone who turns up there.

We will let you know as soon as we learn when and where the hostages are to arrive back in the UK, so we can organise a welcome party to greet them.

Free the Navy 15

From the horse's mouth

Confirmation from the Iranians that the sailors and Marines are to be released. Fantastic news - now we're just waiting to hear that they're safely back in British hands. Once that is the case our protest will be called off in favour of a celebratory drink at a nearby pub - details here if and when we have confirmation and have fixed a venue.

Breaking News

As you may have seen, reports are coming in that the Iranian President has just said he intends to free and pardon the hostages "as a gift to Britain".

We are awaiting further confirmation of the genuine release of the hostages before making any decisions about this evening. We will update again soon.

Tuesday, 3 April 2007

Wednesday's protest - further info

As previously mentioned our second demonstration is happening this Wednesday. Below is some more detailed information about the location and how to get there.

We will be demonstrating opposite the Iranian embassy (map). The embassy overlooks Hyde Park near the junction of Prince's Gate and Kensington Road, and our protest will be on the opposite the embassy on Kensington Road (i.e. the Hyde Park side).

The nearest tube stations are South Kensington and Knightsbridge. Prince's Gate is effectively the top part of Exhibition Road, so from South Ken tube follow the signs towards the Science Museum which will take you into Exhibition Road, then keep going till you hit the park - you'll see the embassy on your right. To get a route to the embassy by tube or other public transport go to TFL's journey plannner and enter your destination as "Iranian Embassy" (marking it as a 'place of interest').

We have a few placards, but do bring your own if you can. If anyone's unsure what to put on their placard the sort of slogans we've gone with are:

Free the Navy 15 / Hostages
Iran kidnap shame
No state kidnapping
Honk for (the Navy 15 / Navy hostages)
Let them go!