BACK ISSUES

SchNEWS 717, 9th April 2010
Counter Strike - Roll up, roll up, one and all for the ‘Counter Terror’ Expo 2010. Kicking off at London’s Kensington Olympia on April 14th, the two day event will showcase the surveillance and ‘security’ technologies of 250 companies hoping for a slice of the paranoia dollar. Also on the Big Brother bandwagon are NATO, the MoD and other representative associations from the police, military and private security industry.

SchNEWS 716, 2nd April 2010
Eire We Go Again - The Irish state’s determined persecution of protesters against Shell’s experimental pipeline started to unravel last week as 25 of the 27 standing trial had their cases withdrawn or dismissed. They did however manage to stitch up campaigner Niall Harnett, who received three five-month sentences after being roughed up by Gardai in a court building. 

SchNEWS 715, 26th March 2010
A Twist of Fete - In what is fast becoming a summer tradition, yet another gathering has fallen victim to party-pooping police tactics. The UK’s last free open-air festival has been cancelled under police pressure. Strawberry Fair, in Cambridge, viewed by many as the starting gun for the festival season, has been stopped in its tracks after 37 straight years.

SchNEWS 714, 19th March 2010
Tit Top - Well blimey. Against all the odds it looks like Titnore Woods has been saved from the developers’ evil clutches. The decision made by Worthing Council’s planning committee to reject the development plans for the new housing estate on the ancient woodland site on Monday (15th) had everyone shouting with joy and dancing in the public gallery. 

SchNEWS 713, 12th March 2010
Sussex, Lies and Videotape - Following last week’s ‘Stop The Cuts’ demonstration and occupation of the senior management’s offices six Sussex University students had been suspended and excluded from campus. The six had been ‘positively identified’ following Sussex Police’s thuggish altercations on campus....

SchNEWS 712, 5th March 2010
School of Hard Knocks - Students at Sussex University came into violent conflict with riot cops on Wednesday (3rd) as they occupied the executive nerve centre of their university. Several weeks in the planning by Stop the Cuts campaign, around 80 students rushed the ‘fortified’ Sussex House building with a supporting demo outside of around 300 people, all in protest against the proposed cuts to university funding...

SchNEWS 711, 26th February 2010
Greek Fire - Greece has once again been rocked by protests, strikes and civil unrest as Eurozone austerity measures kick in... plus, far-right losers the SDL are seen off the streets of Edinburgh, Colombian riot police attack protesting workers demanding better conditions at BP owned oil company, Tree hugging tramps declare war on Tesco, Protests are called as more Gaza defendants are banged up, and more...

SchNEWS 710, 19th February 2010
Gaza Defendants Hammered - As Judge-mental Dennis hands down vicious sentences to London Gaza protesters.... plus, 700 activists converge on Aldermaston nuclear facility for mass blockade, Irish Shell protester jailed for seven months, after last week's illegal eviction activists re-establish migrant solidarity centre, Cameron's cuddly conservatives promise a crackdown on travellers and squatters, and more...

SchNEWS 709, 12th February 2010
Slung Out On Yer Frontier - SchNEWS asks you and whose gendarmerie? As French cops crackdown on migrant welfare centre... plus, activists take on companies importing goods from illegally occupied Palestinian territories, Iranian anti-regime campaigner Bita Ghaedi goes into the fourth week of hunger strike in her fight against deportation, Turkish anti-militarists set to stand trial for “alienating people from military service” and “praising crime and criminals”, and more...

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

Home | Friday 16th April 2010 | Issue 718

WAKE UP!! WAKE!! IT'S YER LOW TAR...

SchNEWS

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Story Links : Tar-mageddon | Crap Arrest Of The Week | For Pete's Sake | Camp Hill Races | Counter Punch | Lunartics And Asylum | Experimentalists | Mains Still At It | Milking It | And Finally

TAR-MAGEDDON

AS ACTIVISTS TARGET BP’S REACH FOR THE TARS.....

After two weeks of direct action, the “BP Fortnight of Shame” concluded yesterday (15th) with protests outside the oil giant’s AGM and a rooftop occupation in Brighton. Throughout the country, activists targeted BP over its plans to extract oil from the Alberta tar sands in Canada (see SchNEWS 716) in protests which peaked last Saturday (10th) when hundreds of climate activists in London, Brighton, Oxford and Cambridge descended on BP garages for the “Party at the Pumps” .

Described by campaigners as ‘the most destructive project on earth’, the Alberta tar sands extractions are already the world’s largest industrial operation. Millions of barrels of tar sands oil are being extracted every day, producing three to five times as many greenhouse gas emissions as conventional oil extraction - committing eco-trocity across vast areas of ancient forest whilst producing lakes of toxic waste. By 2020, the tar sands are expected to have released over 141 megatonnes of greenhouse gases – twice that produced by all the cars and trucks in Canada combined.

Oil prices are now at around $90 a barrel – but in the long term prices simply have to rise as peak oil nears. The decline in availability of easily refinable oil means that the carbon and labour intensive process of getting refined oil from the tar sands is economically viable. BP claims that the reserves in the area are second only to Saudi Arabia’s alleged oil stock and there are many greedy mouths waiting to suck the tar sands dry.

After purchasing a stake in the ‘Sunrise Project’ (the wonderfully fluffy name for this last ditch attempt to feed the developed world’s oil-guzzling lifestyle) in 2007, BP have since announced its potential involvement in two other tar sands developments.

The ‘Party at the Pumps’ campaign, organised by the UK Tar Sands Network, Rising Tide, the Camp for Climate Action and the Indigenous Environmental Network, has been hailed a huge success in bringing these issues to light.

On Saturday (10th), amidst sunshine and soundsystems, party ready acivists took part in simultaneous demonstrations, including forecourt invasions, which shut down three BP petrol stations in London and Brighton.

Spokesperson Sheila Laughlin said, “Today we did exactly what we set out to do – we hit BP’s profits by shutting down their petrol stations, and we hit their brand by informing thousands of people about their destructive tar sands plans. Nearly everyone we spoke to was shocked and outraged by the horrific climate, ecological and human impacts of tar sands extraction. If BP want to completely alienate the UK public, they’re going about it in exactly the right way.”

The oil giant didn’t get off lightly inside their own AGM either. Lobbyists, environmental groups and shareholders called on BP to take a vote on a resolution at their AGM on Thursday (15th) that would force the corporation to review its investment in the tar sands project. BP shareholders however proved their commitment to the systematic destruction of the planet by voting with a 93.9% majority to sweep the issues under the carpet and not review the ecological and economical viability of the scheme. With BP’s ‘strategic move’ into the tar sands hailed as “a good example of how we aim to tackle the challenges facing us” by chairman Carl-Henrik Svanberg (who trousers £4m quid a year) there seems to be, more than ever, a need for those with a slightly less biased viewpoint to take action to ensure projects like this are not accepted as a solution to the world’s energy crisis.

ACTION ROUNDUP:

Brighton:
Activists successfully invaded and shut down two separate BP petrol stations (Lewes Rd and Ditchling Rd) for the afternoon by camping out in tents in the forecourt. They brought with them soundsystems and a jovial attitude. Several banners were dropped in the vicinity and lots of leaflets went out. There were no arrests, police reportedly taking a very hands-off approach, much to the annoyance of the BP garage management. The Lewes Rd garage saw more protest on Thursday (15th) as activists occupied the roof and shut the station down for the day, police only turning up to discuss the results of the AGM before wandering off. As SchNEWS goes to press they’ve been up there for 7 hours and counting...

London:
Around 150 people invaded BP’s Shepherd’s Bush petrol station and held a ceilidh in the forecourt. They climbed on the pumps, hung banners from the roof and stopped operations for the remainder of the day. There was a heavy police presence, but no arrests.

Oxford:
About 25 people from the Thames Valley Climate Action group reconstructed a model of the tar sands on Oxford’s central shopping parade, including a pipeline and a ‘toxic’ tailings pond complete with toy ducks. They played music and made speeches to thousands of Saturday shoppers using a cycle-powered sound system. Around 5,000 anti-BP leaflets were given out and video messages were collected from the public to send to BP’s AGM.

Cambridge:
Local activists from the Cambridge Tar Sands Network led an unconventional tour group through the city, visiting RBS Branches and University Facilities funded by BP, all of which are linked to tar sands investment. The event caught public interest and was hailed as a successful public expose of Cambridge’s Tar Sand affiliations.

14 DAYS LATER....

Since the annual Fossil Fools Day on April 1 kicked off the “Fortnight of Shame” the UK has seen actions springing up all over the place • 22,000 “rebranded” BP logos were delivered to BP HQ – see the video:    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KNLzN3zld7o

• A BP petrol station was blockaded in Plymouth, with protesters chaining themselves to petrol pumps. The station was closed for an hour and a half, and there were two arrests:http://www.thisisplymouth.co.uk/news/Greens-protest-closes-petrol-station/article-1992261-detail/article.html

• A demonstration by Youth Against Climate Change in St. Albans, targeting RBS, who are one of BP’s key funders in the tar sands: http://www.stalbansreview.co.uk/news/6646160.St_Albans_demo_targets__RBS/

• RBS cash machines were rendered temporarily out of order by Brighton Against Tar Sands(BATS):http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2010/04/448446.html

• A walking tree from Alberta, Canada, turned up at BP HQ (and other key London locations) to complain about tar sands deforestation – video here:  http://vimeo.com/10630598

• “Free money” stained with oil was given out at a Natwest (owned by RBS) branch in Norwich: http://felixinnorwich.wordpress.com/2010/04/01/fossil-fools-day-in-norwich-tar-sand-protest-at-natwest/

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CRAP ARREST OF THE WEEK

FOR CHALKING BACK...

When a Banksy wannabe tried to scrawl his message of dissent on the wall of the Olympia in Kensington during the Counter Terror Expo on Wednesday (14th) he was promptly jumped by police and arrested for criminal damage.

Strange, given that all evidence of damage, criminal or otherwise, was quickly erased when plod wiped the offending words - written only in chalk - clean off the wall. When a handful of protesters tried to intervene in the man’s arrest, three police cars, a riot van and a swarm of undercover cops swooped down on the scene.

Well if a carton of orange juice (See SchNEWS 715) can be a weapon you can’t muck around when it comes to chalk...

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FOR PETE'S SAKE

Banged up Sea Shepherd campaigner Pete Bethune is facing a long prison sentence after boarding a Japanese whaling ship during protests in the Southern Ocean in February. Operation Waltzing Matilda was the most successful Sea Shepherd campaign yet against illegal Japanese whaling (see SchNEWS 713), but it wasn’t without a cost for Sea Shepherd after their £2 million boat the Ady Gil was rammed and sunk by a whaler on January 6th.

Bethune was captain of the Ady Gil at the time. He later undertook a one-man mission to board the offending whaler - Shonan Maru No. 2 – to confront and make a citizen’s arrest of its captain and to hand him a bill for £2 million. The captain of the Whaler is not even being investigated by Japanese authorities after ramming and sinking another vessel at sea, putting six lives in danger.

After Bethune boarded the boat, it set a course for Japan to turn him in to the authorities. He is now up on charges of assault, illegal possession of a knife, destruction of property, obstruction of business and trespassing. The charges could land him a prison sentence of up to fifteen years plus fines. Sea Shepherd are calling him a political prisoner.

Figures just back on this year’s whaling season show how successful Operation Matilda was. Over half of the 1035 whales which the Japanese government permitted to be killed were saved. Of the 935 protected minke whales earmarked for death, only 506 were killed. The whalers failed to bag any of the 50 allotted endangered humpback whales and only one of the 50 endangered fin whales.

The Japanese whalers will have lost a lot of money as they need to kill 700 whales to break even – and that’s not including the additional expenses of the security, surveillance flights, extra fuel used while being chased, public relations and paying workers on ships as they did nothing. Following this year’s low catch, the Japanese Fisheries Agency Takashi Mori laughably said, “The lack of samples could affect the accuracy of our research.”

www.seashepherd.org/news-and-media/news-100412-1.html

*Send Pete emails to supportpete@seashepherd.org or donate money to the legal campaign

*see www.seashepherd.org/matilda/support-captain-bethune.html

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CAMP HILL RACES

Dan Wadham, long term AR prisoner was punished this week for daring to raise money for Sea Shepherd. Dan is serving five years for activities relating to SHAC (see SchNEWS 663) and is currently at HMP Camp Hill on the Isle of Wight.

Having access to a small prison running track, he hit on the idea of doing a sponsored marathon. He completed the well publicised run on 15th April - without any interference from the prison authorities. However this week he found his prisoner status had been dropped from ‘enhanced’, meaning a significant loss of privileges.

The prison’s security advisor had apparently retrospectively decided that this charitable act counted as a ‘political action’.

*To write to Dan Wadham (A5705AA)
HMP Camp Hill, Newport, Isle of Wight PO30 5PB

Keywords: dan wadham, isle of wight, prisons, sea shepherd
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COUNTER PUNCH

Over 30 protesters showed up to voice their discontent at the warmongering parasites assembled for the Counter Terror Expo 2010 in London’s Olympia in Kensington on Wednesday (14th).

Things got off to a banging start when activists fronting as event organisers and armed with a look of authority, misdirected some of the arms fair participants to Earl’s Court, citing security reasons. It is always heart warming to hear how muppets that accept authority without question continue to do so at their own detriment.

A swarm of 15 reporters huddled around the protest, ready to record events as they unfolded. Protesters came armed with banners, flyers and songs of dissent. Old favourites were sung including you can stick your counter terror up your arse, shame on you, we all live in a terrorist regime and other such well loved classics.

After the arrest of a protester for the criminal use of chalk (see Crap Arrest), one eyewitness told SchNEWS, “Police showed they would tolerate a zero tolerance attitude towards the demonstrators quite early. The message was clear, we won’t allow any action that undermines our authority. They serve and protect the parasitic capitalist vermin that came to sample the raucous delights of the arms fair.”

The rest of the protest rolled on smoothly, with the polite restraint shown on both sides probably due to low numbers. One demonstrator tried pulsing waves of positive energy to the damned inside through the medium of meditation, in the naïve hope of resetting their moral compass. We’re not getting our hopes up.

*see www.counterterrorexpo.com

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LUNARTICS AND ASYLUM

A BNP anti-immigration protest outside Lunar House - where asylum seekers sign on - on Thursday (15th) was gate crashed by the anarchist bloc, who managed to land a few punches before being cordoned off and pushed back by the police.

Protesters started gathering at around 12.30. Officers of the law had helpfully allocated two sectioned spaces on either side of the building - one for the BNP and the other for the 100 strong amalgamation of socialists, liberals, anarchists and general immigration supporters that had come to stand up against repression of asylum seekers and the tolerance of fascist ideals.

As the clock struck 2, a small horde of around 25 British Nationalists crawled past the tunnel entrance next to the Home Office to their allocated kennel. They carried banners slurred with “Britain is full up” and “Asylum seekers don’t unpack, you’re going back”. They were counteracted by shouts of “Smash the BNP!” and “Nazi scum off our streets!”. The feisty anarchists (15 or so) were the only contingent that voiced any real resistance and ignored police summons to stay in the proposed area. They confronted the fascist minded idiots and managed to give a few a hiding before police rushed in to protect the BNP.

The handful of anarchists were soon surrounded by around 35 riot police, as 8 riot vans descended. The kettled formed and immediately started shoving the protesters behind liberal lines, where the socialists and co had actively been standing by doing nothing. Actually that is a lie, they watched 2 arrests happen. A reckless assault and another for a possession of a legal high. After that police kept the two opposing parties at a safe distances. After an hour of cowardly standing around behind their blue protectors the fascist posse decided to call it a day.

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EXPERIMENTALISTS

On Saturday (24th), animal rights activists will be gathering in London to mark the World Day for Animals in Laboratories.

The national rally, which begins at Cavendish Square near Oxford Circus at 11.30am, is an opportunity to re-invigorate the anti-vivisection debate and remember the many million of animals worldwide who are needlessly tormented and killed in experiments each year.

There will be speeches, info stalls and vegan food before the march takes off through central London, past Whitehall and Downing St to the Houses of Parliament, calling for an end to animal experiments once and for all. Around 3.30pm there will be a protest and vigil at the site of the proposed huge bio-tech and virus research centre near St Pancras Station. An evening social will follow. Coaches and minibuses will run from all over the country.

*See www.wdail.org.uk for more info.

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MAINS STILL AT IT

The Mainshill Solidarity Camp may have been evicted last February (see SchNEWS 707), but you can’t keep a good direct action collective down.

In the wee hours of Monday morning, a band of pixies sabotaged two Catapillar D9Ts and 170 tonne earth scrapers at the now active mining site, rending them inoperable for the day.

The autonomous environmentalists behind the raid declared, “The only thing that has changed since the eviction of the Mainshill Solidarity Camp is that the machines on the site are bigger and more expensive.”

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MILKING IT

A North Kesteven District Council ruling has put the skids on plans for a 8,100 cow dairy farm following strong opposition.

While the council raised concerns about slurry management and smell, campaigners have also highlighted the issues of animal welfare, the spread of disease and the effect on smaller scale dairy farmers. The company behind the plan, Nocton Dairies, announced their intention to resubmit its plans.

*See www.veggies.org.uk

Keywords: animal rights
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AND FINALLY

A major hotel in Denmark is cranking up the greenwash.

Guests at the The Crowne Plaza Copenhagen Towers (handy for the airport and the centre of town) are to be invited to saddle up for their supper and jump aboard bicycle-powered generators – if they can produce 10 watt hours of power to the hotel they will be given a free meal.

The aim is to get guests matching or beating the return from the hotel’s solar panels – although whether that is overstating the potential return from either or both methods compared to the power demands of a 366-room ‘international’ standard hotel is not dwelt upon.

Perhaps this is a foretaste of the future, this all leaves SchNEWS with a wheelie dark, post-2012 vision of an oil poor future where power companies enslave the world’s dispossessed masses to pedal up a non carbon based utopia for a small elite. The ultimate manifestation of working on the chain gang...?

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Disclaimer

SchNEWS warns all readers, don't get tar-red with the corporate brush. 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)

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