BACK ISSUES

SchNEWS 706, 22nd January 2010
Haiti: The Aftershock Doctrine - As the rescue effort winds down SchNEWS looks at how the international aid effort is being subverted by military and corporate power... plus, Monday’s Smash EDO demo forced the Brighton bomb makers to shut up shop, the EDL’s racist roadshow is moving on to Stoke, Mainshill solidarity camp in South Lanarkshire is gearing up for an eviction date, and more...

SchNEWS 705, 15th January 2010
Wild at Heart - Our comrades at SMASH EDO have announced the location of their Remember Gaza demo... plus, Gaza convoy finally allowed in after being held at port and attacked by Egyptian police, legal observer arrested at Smash EDO Carnival Against the Arms Trade finally overturns charges, European Court rules Section 44 stop 'n search illegal, the Christmas period has seen no let up for migrants in the squats and camps of Calais, and more...

SchNEWS 704, 20th December 2009
Not a Hopenhagen - As World Leaders dither inside, SchNEWS looks to the thousands of dissenters outside the Copenhagen Climate Conference.... plus, the Camp for Climate Action activists target Canada for wanting to exploit the oil their climate koshing tar sands, as much of Iraqs's oil finally got auctioned off last week was was mission accomplished for the US?, a prominent member of the EDL is charged with soliciting murder and using threatening, abusive or insulting words, Israeli goverment irked as UK warrant for war crimes issued to foreign ministe, and more...

SchNEWS 703, 11th December 2009
SchNEWS Guide to Copenhagen - Due to too many people being away (probably) burning babylon, being sick or generally too lazy, there is no print issue this week. But we didn't want you not gettin' any of yer regular fix and wanted to give you the lowdown on going to Copenhagen, so have patched together this 'blink and you'll miss it' Climate Conference special edition for the web only (where special means er, compact.)

SchNEWS 702, 4th December 2009
If You're Not Swiss-ed Off... - Ten years after Seattle, thousands congregate in Geneva to resist world trade organisation meeting... plus, 25 years after the Bhopal disaster and still no justice for the victims, protests in Wales over biomass plant at Port Talbot, Sussex students protest at staff cuts, Lithuanian national is imprisoned over London G20 protests, we gloat as the capitalist edifice of Dubai crumbles, and more...

SchNEWS 701, 27th November 2009
Buy Buy Cruel World - SchNEWS hopes the anti-consumerist message will finally gain purchase with international 'Buy Nothing Day' tomorrow... plus, the Target Barclays campaign is launched, opposing their investment in the arms trade, protest camp against opencast coal mine in Scotland is under threat of eviction, protest camp by the sacked Vesta workers on the Isle Of Wight is evicted, and more...

SchNEWS 700, 20th November 2009
Good Cop Bad Cop - Things are hotting up for the COP15 UN Climate Conference in Copenhagen next month... plus, despite being out of the news, the plight of the Tamil people in Sri Lanka continues to be dire, protesters disrupt the NATO Parliamentary Assembly in Edinburgh, the state clampdown on animal rights protesters continues as four are raided and arrested, the far-right march in Glasgow – and again are outnumbered, but next month move to Nottingham, and more...

SchNEWS 699, 13th November 2009
Mexican Wave - Around 200,000 workers, teachers, students, unionists, farmers and social campaigners shut Mexican cities down on Wednesday (12th) in a national strike... plus, importer of Israeli produce grown on occupied Palestinian territories sees sustained protests, ex-soldier who served in Afghanistan is arrested over his opposition to the war, protests against the NATO meeting in Edinburgh begin as anti-militarist convergence space is opened, and more...

SchNEWS 698, 6th November 2009
Post Apocalypse - British postal workers are on strike as looming privatisation brings in a round of lay-offs, wage cuts and higher work demands... plus, racist far-right march in Leeds and London - where violence breaks out between far-right groups, Brighton film-maker has his charges dropped, fox hunting monitors are violently attacked by hunt supporters in Sussex, harsh repression continues to be dealt out to refugees at Calais, and more...

Copyleft - Information for direct action - Published weekly in Brighton since 1994

Home | Friday 29th January 2010 | Issue 707

WAKE UP!! IT'S YER IN THE NA'AVI NOW...

SchNEWS

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Story Links : Lanarky In Action | Citizen's Arrest Of The Week | Edl: Gone To Potteries | Calais: Gimme Shelter | Festival Clampdown: Toking The Piss | Crawley: No Boarders | And Finally

LANARKY IN ACTION

AS THE NATIONAL EVICTION TEAM MOVE IN ON MAINSHILL...

Early Monday morning bailiffs and police under the auspices of the National Eviction Team (http://ukevict.com) began the long expected eviction of Mainshill Solidarity camp. (See SchNEWS 681)

At the time of going to press the eviction was still ongoing with the tunnel teams working 24/7 to get at the hold outs underground - 43 arrests have been made so far - the majority charged with aggravated trespass.

Mainshill in South Lanarkshire, is the proposed site of a massive open-cast coal mine. Ten years of local opposition (Mainshill is set to be the fifth such mine in the area) culminated in the protest site. The camp was occupied 7 months ago in solidarity with communities in the Douglas Valley and support has been consistent ever since, with the camp kept well supplied by neighbours - including a full Christmas dinner. The site is owned by Lord Home, who is set to profit from allowing Scottish Coal to dig out 1.7 million tonnes of coal from Mainshill.

Local communities have been blighted by the detrimental health impacts of the 4 existing open casts in the immediate area. Harry Thompson, former chairman of the Douglas Community Council, said:

Despite massive community opposition to the mine at Mainshill, Scottish Coal and South Lanarkshire Council continue to disregard the interests of those living in proximity to the mines. The particulate matter released in the open cast mining process in this area has caused unusually high rates of cancer and lung disease. Granting permission to a new mine 1000 metres from the local hospital is the final straw”. Local supporters arrived as soon as news of the eviction spread. Interestingly local press were barred from site but national media were permitted entry (see Carluke Gazette 28/01/10).

Mining in the Douglas Valley is intended to feed Britain’s increasing reliance on coal as an energy source. Coal taken from the proposed mine at Mainshill would result in the release of 3.4 million tonnes of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere if burned. If this and the other 18 proposed mines in Scotland go ahead it will be a massive contributor to climate change. The Scottish Government is in the process of approving up to 33 new open cast coal sites.

Rather than sitting round the firepit, the Mainshill crew have spent the last seven months waging a continual direct action campaign against the mining. Campers have organised physical blockades of work and at night groups of autonomous pixies have wreaked havoc on site equipment, with drilling rigs, vehicles and even giant timber harvesting equipment being put out of action.

Spread out over 360 acres, the camp’s fortifications are “complex and varied” and, thanks to an eviction tip-off, are now well manned. Over the months activists have dug tunnels, built tripods and hung sky-rafts from the trees. The ‘fort’, which took the whole of Tuesday to evict, was described by one treehugger as a “multi-layered defence” and by another as “big logs and random metal and shit topped by a precarious scaffolding tower”

SchNOTE - A skyraft is a platform suspended between several trees.

By the end of Monday there had been 19 arrests. Arrestees are being held overnight and after being brought before the courts are bailed away from site. One of the ground support monkeys told SchNEWS, “The two main barricades, the bunker and the ‘buckfast communal’ were JCB-ed, with the underground lock-ons in the bunker proving a challenge for the bailiffs. Three treehouses at the ‘buckfast’ gave the climbing team a run for their money, as protesters occupied walkways and climbed into the very highest branches of the trees. Behind one of the barricades a double-layered tripod with a prism shaped skyraft hanging from its apex cost the NET another three or four hours. It was eventually defeated when NET built their own walkway above the raft, attached ropes around it, cut the existing ropes which were suspending it, and lowered it to the ground. In a spectacular fit of risky behaviour, the NET then took down the double-layered tripod structure by kicking it.

Bulldozers were forced to stop work on Wednesday night after discovering tree-sitters in an area of young pine trees known as ‘the plantation’. An overflight by a police helicopter was enough to convince contractors that there was no-one there. Floodlit bulldozers were only halted after frantic phone calls were made to the camps liaison with the eviction team.

Also on Wednesday the nearby Ravenstruther coal rail terminal was brought to a standstill by one locked-on protester. Ravenstruther is where South Lanarkshire’s coal is transported en masse to power stations in England. In solidarity with the Mainshill Solidarity Camp (which is, like, solidarity squared) the plucky activist climbed to the top of a digger and locked on by his leg. Around fifteen coal trucks were then forced to dump their loads outside the terminal.

On Thursday it was the turn of the sycamores and the “Ewok village” - the last major above ground hold outs on site. Large numbers of ground bailiffs and police were brought in to allow the specialist eviction teams to work without the need for a perimeter fence. There was a surprise waiting for them in the “Ewok village”, the macabrely entitled Deathworm - an industrial bin suspended between two trees with somebody locked on inside and surrounded by metal obstacles to the eviction team’s cutters. The rate of arrests slowed with only nine made.

One activist told SchNEWS, “Although the majority of the site has now been evicted, the site is so big that it’s impossible to fence off. People are sneaking in the perimeter and getting up trees. But what’s important to remember is that the eviction of the site actually makes us more flexible, a lot of energy has gone into maintaining site, that energy can now be directed into action. The campaign against the Mainshill Opencast isn’t over yet
.”

* see http://coalactionscotland.noflag.org.uk

*http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2010/01/445308.html?c=on#c241714

*http://www.indymediascotland.org

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CITIZEN'S ARREST OF THE WEEK

For War Crimes...

You probably wouldn’t need much encouragement to try and perform a citizen’s arrest on Britain’s greatest living War Criminal, Tony Bliar. But, just in case you are the kind of money-grabbing mercenary who does, someone has had the genius idea of offering hard cash to anyone who can collar the mad vicar.

Wanted
They have set up a website called www.arrestblair.org and invited donations to offer up as bounty to anybody who can stand hand to shoulder with the Great One and invite him to accompany them to the nearest police station to await trial for his crimes against humanity. 
A popular idea or have people ‘moved on’ as Blair prepares for his smarm offensive in front of the Chilcot Whitewash? Within two days they had over £9000 quid in the kitty. Not quite the billions spent on murdering up to a million in Iraq, but not to be sniffed at (SchNEWS is already hard at work cooking up a masterplan to bag the cash).

One quarter of whatever is in the pot is available to everybody who manages it - like a lucrative reality gameshow (when to strike?! Let that pot build up, but don’t wait too long!) - with the added bonus of leaving ‘man of the people’ Blair feeling hounded in his homeland and in the news for all the wrong reasons.

For a full briefing on your mission, should you choose to accept it, go to www.arrestblair.org

This article will self destruct in 5,4,3...

*For those chomping at the bit to administer some justice, Blair will appear before Chilcot and chums today. Stop The War are pushing ahead with plans for a demo on the green in front of the QEII despite police opposition.

Keywords: bounty hunters, chilcot, game show, iraq, tony blair, war crimes
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EDL: GONE TO POTTERIES

The EDL march in Stoke saw a violent mob tear through the city centre before embarking on a racist rampage through a predominantly Asian part of town.

Trouble began even before the marchers were released from their Wetherspoons’ holding pen as boozed-up rival football crews slugged it out in the pub.

After being released, the crowd of around a thousand descended on the city centre, hurling racial abuse as they went. On catching sight of the 300 people assembled for a UAF counter demo, the mob surged towards the police cordon separating the groups. In the clashes that followed, bottles, rocks, wooden planks, metal fixtures, cigarette lighters, burning rags and coins rained down on the police and journalists, and police riot vans were trashed. Three photographers were punched, one hit in the chest with a plank of wood and one hit in the face lobbed coins. One member of the public and six police were also injured.

After around two hours of brawling, the EDL broke through the police lines and headed towards the predominantly Asian area of Cobridge. They left a trail of destruction behind them, smashing shop and car windows and terrifying the locals.

In total, police arrested 17 people. Six have been charged with racial and public order offences.

See www.jasonnparkinson.blogspot.com

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CALAIS: GIMME SHELTER

It’s been a harsh winter in Calais so far with police arresting over 100 migrants, destroying camps and raiding squats countless times in the last month. In the freezing wet conditions of a French January, police have been slashing tarpaulins, seizing blankets and closed the one night shelter that had briefly opened to offer 150 of the estimated 300 Calais migrants respite from the weather and constant police harassment.

Following the closure of the shelter last Tuesday (19th) around 100 migrants camped out around the site in protest. Within half an hour police arrived, and on being threatened with the destruction of their makeshift camp, the migrants scattered, closely pursued by officers.
Some were advised by the police to return to the site of one of the former camps in the now demolished ‘jungle’ and they set up shelters, having been promised they would not be attacked. What followed was 24 hours of search and destroy, with police smashing up anything that resembled a hideout, both at this promised ‘safe’ site, and wherever else they found signs of migrant dwellings.

With over 2,000 migrants now living along the coast of France and the price for a smuggled passage into the U.K. having doubled since the destruction of the jungles, support and people are desperately needed to fight the sustained oppression of these people by the French authorities.

*http://calaismigrantsolidarity.wordpress.com

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FESTIVAL CLAMPDOWN: TOKING THE PISS

After successfully shutting down the Big Green Gathering (see SchNEWS 685) with political manoeuvrings, and killing the atmosphere at the Stonehenge summer solstice party with sniffer dogs and unmanned drones (see SchNEWS 681), the law are at it again in their War on Fun. After September’s Thimbleberry festival in County Durham, police arrested organiser Andrew Norman on suspicion of allowing his premises to be used for smoking cannabis. They also swiped all the money he had on him - £3513, gate receipts to be used to pay for the festival’s security and toilets - and held it as ‘proceeds of crime’.

According to Andrew the only police on site were undercover cops who had bought their own tickets. There were no arrests. He said during his interview police told him was seen standing next to someone smoking a bifter and he “should have known”.

Police are prosecuting Andrew under the 1971 Misuse of Drugs Act, which states if owners or staff become aware of drug use on their premises they have to take ‘reasonable action’ to stop it. The law, which was initially targeted at opium dens, only applies to smoking cannabis and opium. As Andrew said, “If people were jacking up heroin, I couldn’t have got done for that.”

What constitutes ‘reasonable action’ is unclear, but the use of ever more spurious grounds to clamp down on festivals, ‘legal’ or not, is a clear escalation in police killjoy tactics and has been met with a mass show of solidarity from furious music lovers and festival goers.

The band Sicknote have released a downloadable single, all the proceeds of which will go to replacing the three grand the police nicked. Several Facebook campaign groups have started, one, ‘Drop the ridiculous charges against Andy Norman’, already has over 14,000 members. Supporters are also preparing to hold benefit gigs to help fund the legal battle and next summer’s festival, with offers pouring in from local DJs, bands and venues willing to help out.

After not entering a plea in a preliminary hearing in December, Andrew will now appear before Bishop Auckland’s magistrates for committal to crown court on 5th February. He said, “With Professor [‘Office’ ] Nutt [joke © SchNEWS 2010 - the government’s chief drugs advisor sacked for making the radical suggestion that government drugs policy should be based on evidence rather than Daily Mail opinion columns] and everything like that, it’s a political offence nowadays and I’d prefer to be tried by 12 of my peers than two school teachers and a Methodist minister.”

While the charges may seem like jumped up nonsense, if the prosecution succeeds it will pave the way for a full on police assault on the UK festival scene. And while the thought of Michael Eavis being bundled into a paddy wagon might amuse some, it will be the small, independent festivals that find themselves in the dock.

See www.saveourfestivals.com

Keywords: festivals, police, thimbleberry
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CRAWLEY: NO BOARDERS

A grand coalition of No Borders activists and local nimbys managed to scupper the proposed transformation of the Mercure Hotel, Crawley into a deportation centre this Monday (25th).

Activists from No Borders Brighton and No Borders London were alerted after planning permission was granted in principle for the building of the detention centre. Owners Arora International Hotels had planned to turn their 254 bed hotel into a Class C2A Secure Residential Institution.

Around 20 No Borders activists showed up with banners and flyers, to be met by twice their number of security and police. Despite the overzealous security presence, the protesters were allowed into the meeting to spectate on the adrenalin-fuelled world of local council politics. One No Borders activist was nearly chucked out for daring to ask for a minute to speak on behalf of the detainees.

The Arora hotels chain had decided to go it alone with this development. Rather than responding to demand set by the Home Office and the Borders Agency, the owners had decided to pre-empt on the assumption that the governments’ send-em-back plans would continue unabated.

What they hadn’t banked on was the opinions of the locals, who, not exactly motivated by love for their fellow man, were much more concerned about such fundamental issues as the appearance of the proposed perimeter fence and, of course, the crime that escaping Johnny Foreigners would commit. The application for planning permission was voted down 14 to 1. Described by one activists as ‘kicking in an open door’ the strength of the local aesthetics lobby was powerful enough to ensure that narrow minded provincial concerns outdid draconian racial policies this time.

One well prepared activist from the Close Campsfield campaign had managed to get a whole 3 minutes to explain the effect that detention has on young children and point out the findings of last November’s ‘National Inquiry into Children in Immigration Detention’ that detailed the traumatic effects on children’s mental health that detention invariably has.

Leaving home empty handed, the Arora Hotels’ management were met by jeers and heckles from the No Borders mob.

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AND FINALLY

It’s the defining cultural conundrum of our time – should we really bother to go and see the Avatar movie? 

If a few mates saying “wow, mad special effects, shame about the plot but at least its got one..’’ wasn’t enough for you, how about effects good enough to you convince you the 9/11 was a hoax after all? One Cinema-goer M. Mahathir (Malaysia’s former president as it happens) stumbled blinking out into the sunlight and declared “If they can make Avatar, they can make anything,” adding he now believed there was “strong evidence” the US faked the September 11 terror attacks as an excuse to go to war against Muslims.

Now we think about it, there were reports of people handing out 3-D glasses minutes before the planes struck...

He followed his self-outing as a conspiracy nut by launching a tirade against Jews in general, pretty much claiming the only problem with the holocaust was, it didn’t go far enough. On second thoughts we might just wait for the DVD...

Keywords: avatar, britney spears, war on terror
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Disclaimer

SchNEWS warns all readers, don't stay indoors, follow the coal off the wild. Honest.

 

SchMOVIES

REPORTS FROM THE VERGE - Smash EDO/ITT Anthology 2005-2009 - A new collection of twelve SchMOVIES covering the Smash EDO/ITT's campaign efforts to shut down the Brighton based bomb factory since the company sought its draconian injunction against protesters in 2005.

UNCERTIFIED - OUT NOW on DVD- SchMOVIES DVD Collection 2008 - Films on this DVD include... The saga of On The verge – the film they tried to ban, the Newhaven anti-incinerator campaign, Forgive us our trespasses - as squatters take over an abandoned Brighton church, Titnore Woods update, protests against BNP festival and more... To view some of these films click here

ON THE VERGE - The Smash EDO Campaign Film - is out on DVD. The film police tried to ban - the account of the four year campaign to close down a weapons parts manufacturer in Brighton, EDO-MBM. 90 minutes, £6 including p&p (profits to Smash EDO)

TAKE THREE - SchMOVIES Collection DVD 2007 featuring thirteen short direct action films produced by SchMOVIES in 2007, covering Hill Of Tara Protests, Smash EDO, Naked Bike Ride, The No Borders Camp at Gatwick, Class War plus many others. £6 including p&p.

V For Video Activist - the SchMOVIES 2006 DVD Collection - twelve short films produced by SchMOVIES in 2006. only £6 including p&p.

SchMOVIES DVD Collection 2005 - all the best films produced by SchMOVIES in 2005. Running out of copies but still available for £6 including p&p.

SchNEWS Books

SchNEWS At Ten - A Decade of Party & Protest - 300 pages, £5 inc p&p (within UK)

Peace de Resistance - issues 351-401, 300 pages, £5 inc p&p

SchNEWS of the World - issues 300 - 250, 300 pages,£4 inc p&p.

SchNEWS and SQUALL’s YEARBOOK 2001 - SchNEWS and Squall back to back again - issues 251-300, 300 pages, £4 inc p&p.

SchQUALL - SchNEWS and Squall back to back - issues 201-250 - Sold out - Sorry

SchNEWS Survival Guide - issues 151-200 - Sold out - Sorry

SchNEWS Annual - issues 101-150 - Sold out - Sorry

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These books are mostly collections of 50 issues of SchNEWS from each year, containing an extra 200-odd pages of extra articles, photos, cartoons, subverts, a “yellow pages” list of contacts, comedy etc. SchNEWS At Ten is a ten-year round-up, containing a lot of new articles.

Subscribe to SchNEWS: Send 1st Class stamps (e.g. 10 for next 9 issues) or donations (payable to Justice?). Or £15 for a year's subscription, or the SchNEWS supporter's rate, £1 a week. Ask for "originals" if you plan to copy and distribute. SchNEWS is post-free to prisoners.