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Home | 28th April 1995 | Issue 20

Justice? Brighton's Campaign in Defiance of the Criminal Injustice Act

SchNEWS
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CJA ARRESTOMETER
Hunt Sabs 148
Footie Fans 42
Road Protestors 17
Travellers 11
Tree Defenders 11
No Live Exports 3
Fascist Printers 2
* at least 500 arrested under the 1986 Public Order Act this year

MAYDAY! MAYDAY!

VILLAGE IN THE SKY ALL SET FOR EVICTION

That's right folks! From Monday 1st May tree-dwellers in Stanworth Valley near Preston in the way of the proposed M65 are all set to defend this beautiful ancient woodland from the bulldozers.

The woods are home to a wide range of species of flora and fauna including Tawny Owls and Goldcrest, and are also recognised by local nature conservation groups as being part of one of the ten most valuable woodlands in Lancashire.

There are presently over 30 tree-houses with 4 km of aerial walkways which even the Under-Sheriff of Lancashire has acknowledged will be "very difficult" to evict. Hundreds of anti-road protestors are expected to arrive over the weekend.

Why not join them in what could be the UKs biggest eviction ever!

The No M65 Campaign are advising everyone to go to the woods by way of the public footpath from the Sun Paper Mill, nr. Feniscowles, Blackburn by very early Monday at the latest. To be in the trees, safety equipment is essential, for specific details ring 0161 861 7895. Please arrive on Sunday for safety training and to find a space. Self-sufficiency in outdoor clothing, food and water strongly recommended.

crap arrest of the week.

As ever, there's quite a lot of competition for the daftest arrest by the boys in blue. But this week it's back to Shoreham to the case of the clearly-a-criminal motorist who had the audacity to give a supportive hoot to demonstrators while driving along the A259. The police quickly weighed up the situation and decided to take the necessary action - three of them dragged him out of his car, shoved him in a police van and drove off.

Call SchNEWS with your crap arrests

RECLAIM THE LAND!

Positive and Sustainable Futures

Last Sunday 400+ people from a mishmash of direct action groups converged on a site in Surrey to reclaim the land that is rightfully everyones. Some farmland on the disused Wisley aerodrome, near Leatherhead is being occupied for a week to draw attention to our lack of access to land. Today 50-75% of England is owned by just 1% of the population!

One enthusiastic occupier told the SchNEWS... "Greetings from rural idyllic paradise as the land rights movement parties its way to the end of a brilliant week. The camp is well sorted - terraced gardens leading to a huge communal bender where acoustic music and singing goes down. There 's a reception area, kitchen with bread oven, healing space and bath (fire underneath it). Amazing response from locals Many people from the area are expected to come to the procession and a St George and the Dragon play (Donga style) on Friday evening..."

Others are less pleased with the venue changing at the last minute, from the symbolically important St George's Hill (Once the site of the Diggers land occupation, now the home of a golf course and some of England's most disgustingly wealthy people).

"Aside fiom the issue of whether the land actually belongs to anyone, such 'private property' was won by the sword and a system of extortion and enclosure in the first place. In the present day exclusion from the 'private property' of the big landowners is a major part of what keeps us down. All of this is what the original diggers were fighting against but unlike St. Georges Hill - the Wisley site this signified nothing." WATCH THIS SPACE!

TRAVELLERS CHALLENGE CJA

A women whose child suffers from a serious medical condition is set to become the first traveller to challenge an eviction order brought under the Criminal Justice Act.

Tracey Foster has been granted Legal Aid to fight the order under the Children's Act which states that a council has a legal duty to safeguard and promote the welfare of children in need.

Wealdon District Council in East Sussex issued the eviction order on March 22nd. About 50 travellers, including two pregnant mothers and 12 toddlers live in Phie forest, a 42 acre woodland site, which is an old army training camp.

Under the Criminal Justice Act, the council does not have a legal duty to find another site for the travellers - it intends to move the group on to a lay-by where they will then be the responsibility of East Sussex County Council.

Another travellers has also been granted legal aid on behalf of her 21 month old child, whose health and safety may be put at risk if she is moved to a place where is nearby road traffic and no access to food and water such as a Lay-by.

Linda Dodge, a spokesperson from the Halelth Visitors Association, said "If children are receiving medical care they should not be evicted at all. Chelsea Foster could easily end up brain damaged if she does not receive proper care if they've got no other use for the land its wrong to evict families with children." The eviction has now been postponed until April 24th.

INSIDE SchNEWS

Jim Chambers still on remand for alleged Criminal damage to a road construction site PV 2504, HMP Pentonville prison. Caledonian Rd., London N7.

John Livingstone,arrested at the No M77 Pollok Free State in Glasgow HMP Greenock, Greenock, Glasgow.

Tracey Hart, on remand on trumped up charges of criminal damage to perimeter fence of Menwith Hill Spy Base in Yorkshire. Low Newton Women's Prison. Brasside, Durham, DH1 55D.

STRANGEWAYS RIOTS FIVE YEARS ON

Five years ago, Strangeways prison in Manchester saw the biggest protest in the history of British prisons. As the CJA threatens more and more of us with prison - as well as reducing the few fights prisoners have - the Strangeways protest still has a lot of relevance today.

'When the sun rose over Strangeways on Monday 2nd April 1990, 140 prisoners were in control of five wings of the prison. Some of those on the roof gave clenched fist salutes to the crowd below. Some wore prison officers' caps and jackets; others sported head or face coverings improvised from towels or blankets. A few strummed guitars and makeshift drums.. .' from Strangeways 1990: a serious disturbance.

The uprising lasted from the 1st-25th April with smaller protests in over 20 other prisons. It was a lengthy and extremely courageous protest aimed at focusing attention on the horrific treatment of prisoners on British prisons. It took place at a time of nationwide resistance to government policies, not unlike today's anti-CJA and anti-road building campaigns - the day before Strangeways kicked off, the battle of Trafalgar Square had taken place when a massive anti-poll tax demonstration was violently attacked by police leading to pitched battles between the police and anti-poll tax protesters.

Every trick in the book was used to discredit and demoralise the protesting prisoners in Strangeways. Without any evidence, the media claimed that 20 sex offenders had been murdered; water was repeatedly sprayed on to the roof and for a while the scene resembled an outdoor rock fesrival as the police played deafeningly loud music to try and force the prisoners down. The Observer described how "bright spotlights and strobes are trained on the roof, rock music is intermittently played and a low-flying helicopter buzzes..." Some former prisoners still refer to the riot as the 'Strangeways Open Air Concert'.

Less amusing were the abuse, war-like hammering on shields, insults to prisoners and their families and ball-bearings catapulted at the roof.

When all these proved ineffective, the prison system devised more cunning ploys to end the protest. Women prison officers crept through the prison at night and seductively called out the names of the protesters. According to the Daily Mirror 'ring-leader' Paul Taylor had two such 'brave young women' all to himself, one imitating a 'devoted girlfriend, softly moaning his name in the night' the other pretending to be his mother urging him to surrender.

Strangeways was notorious for its squalid conditions - men held three to a cell, 23 hours a day, with no sanitation, one shower a week, clean clothing in short supply, 15 minute visits for remand prisoners with no physical contact permitted. It was also notorious for the thuggery and bullying of some of the screws who terrorised prisoners purely for kicks. Many screws openly flaunted their membership of fascist groups like the National Front.

Before the protest was over the government announced the commissioning of the Woolfe Inquiry, the most far-reaching inquiry ever into the state of British prisons. The protest had succeeded in exposing the squalor and brutality of Britain's penal dustbins and something had to be seen to be done. As the final five protesters surrendered on 25th April 1990 no one anywhere was saying that the prison system was working well. Even a government White Paper stated 'Imprisonment can lessen people's sense of responsibility for their actions and reduce their self-respect... Imprisonment is costly for the individual, for the prisoner's family and for the community'.

This mood was short lived. Today the backlash is in full swing with the prison population soaring, sentence lengths increasing and conditions in jail being deliberately harassed. All the while Home Secretary Michael Howard confidently announces that 'prison works' . When Strangeways blew Britain already had the highest prison population in western Europe. It is now higher than ever before - 51,300 men and women are behind bars in England and Wales alone. Only the man who thought up the CJA could see those sort of figures as a success story.

Many of the prisoners who highlighted the state of the prison system by their rooftop protest at Strangeways have been victimised in a series of show finals. 23 men were sentenced to between four and 13 years additional imprisonment for taking part in the protest. And they are being victimised in more grotesque ways - when compulsory drug-testing under the CJA was introduced into Wakefield prison recently, the very first prisoner chosen for a test was Barry Morton, who is serving nine and a half years for his part in the Strangeways revolt.

The final Strangeways trial opens on 12th June at Nottingham Crown Court. David Bowen is charged with escaping from custody on the way to Manchester Crown Court to be tried for riot. David is currently serving 12 years for charges arising from the revolt, charges of which he strongly maintains his innocence. At the time of the protest in April 1990 he was in Strangeways awaiting a trial for shoplifting.

For the full inside story read Strangeways 1990 - a serious disturbance by Nicki Jameson and Eric Allison (Larkin Publications 7.95 - phone 0171 837 1688 or through AK Press).

SchNEWS IN BRIEF

One of the Northamptonshire 5, the first Hunt Sabs to be done under the CJA, was arrested for blowing a horn up a tree during a hunt. He was fined 200 and given a two year bindover

*** Chaotic scenes at the Wimpey AGM last Monday! A group of protesters from Pollok turned up and the delegates refused to answer their questions. The protesters then clambered onto the display to make their point but it collapsed. Sound monitors outside the conference centre picked up this and the noisy expulsion of the people involved!

*** A long established biker club was chased all over Wiltshire by police wielding the CJA when they tried to hold a spring rally last week. At one point they even tried to set up their PA on their own land but police eventually hassled them into a neighbouring county. The section of the CJA which refers to "repetitive beats" is not just being used against ravers it seems.

*** Monthly mag to include info on CJA, music and anything vaguely controversial wants people to contribute Contact Amy & Sam, PO Box 430, Orpington, Kent, BR6 0AP

*** Bristol has a new Anti CJA Centre with squatting advice (given by Bristol Housing Action Movement). @ 4 Sussex Place, St. Werburghs, Bristol

*** Thanks to police intervention Norwich cyclists brought their city centre to a standstill on global warming day. Initially the police had threatened the Norwich Cycling Campaign with the Public Order Act and considered banning the ride as it was intended to disrupt traffic. It was pointed out that bicycles are traffic too! In the end 2 van loads of police led the 150 cyclists which included children and o.a.p.'s with 16 traffic wardens stopping cars at every junction giving the riders probably the safest journey they'll ever have thru the city centre!

*** Next Wednesday special banner making day at Justice? squat. Meet at midday with paints, ideas, sheets 01273 685913

*** The women's peace camp outside Menwith Hill US Spy-Base in Yorkshire was recently evicted. Six women were arrested for chaining themselves to caravans and charged with obstruction of the highway

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Party and Protest

FRI 28th -1 MAY Action vigil and party, SHUT SELLAFIELD 0706 371 387

SAT 29 -30 APR Barricading fun-day + party afterwards at the last house on the route on the proposed M11 Link Road 0181 5274896

SAT 29 APR Leyline Beacon light up May Hill. Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire

SAT 29 APR WaIk route of Wells relief road! Meet Milton Roundabout, Blueschool, Wells. Rally later for a Dragon Drama (?) 01749 880639

SAT 29 APR Live Exports. Shoreham and Beyond, Gardner Arts Centre, Falmer, Brighton. 10:30AM.

SAT 29 APR 6-Midnight Anti-A299 Party, Umbrella Centre, Whitstable. Kent. Sound systems, bands etc.

SUN 30 APR National Demonstration against CJA Embankment; London 12 noon followed by carnival in Clapham Common. Organised by 'Coalition' against CJA 0l8l 801 5285

SUN 30 MAY. Beltane Free Festival. Calton Hill Edinburgh.

FRI 28 - MAY 2 Beltane Gathering at Anti-A30 camp Fairmile, 0385 278157

INTERNATIONAL MAY DAY PICKET of the Bank of England (Bank tube) 12pm then onto Coutts Bank (opposite Charing Cross St. Strand)

MON 1 MAY Anti-CJA Demo, Leicester. 0181 8015285.

MON 1 MAY Anarchists picnic at Mote Park, Maidstone 2pm

MON 1 MAY Beginning of month long Operation Roadblock at Pollok Glasgow. Month of non vioient direct action against proposed M77 thru Europe's largest urban green space. 0141 810 1600

THURS 4 MAY Protest British Aerospace AGM, Marriot Hotel, Grosvenor Square. Meet 1PM. 0171 2810297

THURS 4 MAY Court date for people arrested under "ag. trespass" for defending trees on the A3 in Surrey. 01635 521770

SAT 6 MAY Anti CJA Rally in Cheltenham

SAT 6 MAY Oxford Anarchist Bookfair. East Oxford Community Centre, Princes St, Cowley Rd.,

SAT 6 MAY Congress of the Networks. Gathering at Exodus Collective in Luton sharing info about Agenda 21 01582 508 936

THUR 11 MAY Women's Beltane Walk Info- Greenham common women's peace camp 0374 136 728 (8 - 9.30pm only)

For further copies of the SchNEWS send stamps/donations (payable to Justice?) SchNEWS c/o on-the-fiddle PO Box 2600 Brighton East Sussex . Tel: (01273) 685913. Or pick one up @ Peace Centre, Gardener St, Brighton and around town e-mail: Justice?@intermedia.co.uk

Justice? meet every wednesday 7pm @ the (71) grand parade squat

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