BACK ISSUES

SchNEWS 721, 7th May 2010
A Smashing Defence - In the early hours of 17th January 2009 six people broke in to the EDO/ITT weapons’ components factory in Moulsecoomb, Brighton, and caused hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of damage to the production line. On May 17th nine people will stand trial accused of ‘conspiracy to commit criminal damage’. Three were arrested outside the factory. The trial is expected to last for ten weeks at Hove Crown Court. The decommissioners will be running the defence that their actions were legally justified as they were “acting to prevent a greater crime”. 

SchNEWS 720, 30th April 2010
Crash of the Titans - Greece is further troubled as government officials get ready to announce IMF imposed wage cuts that will resonate across the country’s entire public sector. Emergency demonstrations were held across the country (Thursday 29th April) in protest against the cuts by grass-roots trade unions, leftist and anarchist organisations.

SchNEWS 719, 23rd April 2010
Giving the Green Finger - Bristol eco-village set up camp this week with huge support from local people and activists from all around the country. The off-grid, urban community kicked off last Saturday (17th) on a patch of waste land in St Werburghs - previously notorious for fly tipping, arson attacks and hard drug users.

SchNEWS 718, 16th April 2010
Tar-Mageddon - 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” .

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....

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

Home | Friday 14th May 2010 | Issue 722

WAKE UP!! IT'S YER STRONG, STABLE, BUT CHAOTIC...

SchNEWS

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Story Links : Squaring Up To 'em | Not A Clegg To Stand On | Decommissioners Trial Delayed | Glade Rags | Sweaty Palms At Unilever | Raising Arizona | Bounty Bar-stards | Lab- Lib Pact | Crude Awakening | And Finally

SQUARING UP TO 'EM

AS PROTESTERS PREPARE TO GIVE THE TORYS A WARM WELCOME...

Only four days into the brave new Libservative era and the population is getting into the national coalition-building mood - a rag-tag rainbow alliance of the disaffected is set to pitch up in Parliament Square this Saturday (15th). But will it be a strong, stable protest in the national interests?

Rave Against The Machine 2 - Parliament Square street party and sound clash, 4pm-11pm. “A smashing good day out!” Enjoy the carnival and spectacle of a country pissed off with its ‘leaders’! “Just like the last party, invite your friends, and bring booze!” Fuck The Torys! Fuck The Lib Dems! And Fuck Labour!

The Democracy Village was established in Parliament Square on May 1st (see SchNEWS 721) demanding on behalf of the majority of people that the war in Afghanistan is ended and the troops are brought home with immediate effect. The village is still going on strong - all are welcome to get involved. (see http://democracyvillage.blogspot.com for more details)

Guerilla Gardening - Brighten up Parliament Square
- which is in desperate need of colourful flora. Starting at 12pm - bring plants, flowers and picnic food. From 4pm there will be live music, an open mic, and a discussion forum. http://democracyvillage.blogspot.com

Purple Patch - At 2pm a purple ‘coalition’ (mostly pissed-off Lib-Dem supporters) will assemble at Parliament Square for the Take Back Parliament protest. This campaign has marshalled its forces surprisingly quickly and now there’s purple protests all around the country. www.takebackparliament.com

Nakba Protest - Outside 10 Downing St will be a Nakba* commemoration Free Palestine Demonstration 12pm-5pm, called by Palestine Solidarity Campaign, British Muslim Initiative, Stop the War Coalition, CND, Palestinian Forum in Britain. www.palestinecampaign.org

* Arab name for the forced mass exodus of the Palestinian people in 1948

Party At The Pumps Part 2 – The Canadian wilderness is the threatened by Shell’s massive tar-sands mining .. Three days before the corporation’s AGM, come to a party on the forecourt and help shut down Shell Hell. Meet 1pm at Oxford Circus for Party At The Pumps Part 2 – with sound system and samba band. Bring a zone 1-2 tube ticket, make some noise. There will also be a special Party at the Pumps Critical Mass which will begin at Marble Arch at 1pm, moving to the location of the party. http://no-tar-sands.org

Climate Emergency Overnight Vigil - outside Parliament. The event will ‘kick off’ with a candlelit procession down Whitehall, with people assembling at 11pm outside St Martin-in-the-Fields, Trafalgar Square. www.campaigncc.org
One permanent fixture at Parliament Square is the Peace Camp, featuring long-term resident Brian Haw. June 2nd is the 9th anniversary of Brian’s initial camp – he’s still there, just as are troops in Afghanistan. www.parliament-square.org.uk

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NOT A CLEGG TO STAND ON

So the honeymoon is underway for Nick & Dave, who surprised friends and relatives with a shotgun wedding this week, despite having been heard for a number of years forcefully listing all the reasons why the other is a complete twat. But what are the prospects for a happy marriage – as far as the rest of us are concerned?

Welcome to the real arrival of the Age of Austerity, due since the day the financial crisis broke but propped up and put back til the election was finally over.

Swinging cuts across the whole public services sector (well you can’t expect them to skimp on ‘defence’!) is not likely to ingratiate them with anybody but bankers and the richest slice of society.

And of course cuts don’t begin to cover the black hole of debt. Large tax hikes - direct and indirect - are inevitable (a VAT rise looks likely for instance - which taxes the poorest most) as well as a certain amount of deliberate inflation (such as, but not limited to the recent ‘quantitative easing’). This is basically another indirect tax which reduces the real value of everybody’s assets in order to make the fixed-amount government debts smaller in real terms.

Cameron and Clegg
And then there’s Europe – the biggest crack in the Cam-Clegg cabal – which is lurching through a period of financial crisis and threatens to make everyone’s recession even worse.  The just-announced trillion dollar bailout is just that -  a bailout – not any kind of solution to the underlying problems.

It’s papering over the cracks and basically the ‘richer’ countries – those with smaller, more manageable debt mountains than the others – have agreed to borrow even huger amounts to prop up the system in the short term. Much like the global minimal action on the environment, it fails to recognise that delaying an inevitable crisis only makes its impact bigger and more overwhelming when it eventually happens.

Politicians are scared of the market’s reactions to, and the political consequences of, allowing Greece (and potentially others) to default. It could kill the Euro, and lead to a crisis of confidence threatening the whole euro-superstate project. So they’re throwing the kitchen sink at keeping the status quo going.

But without debt restructuring and cancellation, some economists (even MOR FT types) think that all the problems faced down now will be back, bigger and more uncontainable, within three years.

And it could be sooner than that if the Greeks don’t start meekly accepting their bitter austerity pills more readily than they have been. Pausing after an intense period of mass riots, deaths and pitch battles with riot cops (see SchNEWS 711, 720), more general strikes and actions are planned, starting on May 20th. The elites had better hope than the Spanish, Portuguese, Irish and ...er, British aren’t watching and getting any ideas about how to respond when the next levels of Austerity get imposed...  

A strong, stable government in the national interest” - a soundbite which will look increasingly laughable from here on in...

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DECOMMISSIONERS TRIAL DELAYED

The trial of the EDO Decommisioners (see SchNEWS 721) has been delayed for three weeks. The trial now starts on June 7th at Hove Crown Court (TBC check www.smashedo.org.uk closer to the time). But our mates at SMASH EDO aren’t letting the pressure drop. Every Wednesday 4pm-6pm they’re bringing the noise outside the Factory of Death www.smashedo.org.uk/noise.htm

* Picket of Barclays Bank, (the market maker for ITT on the NY Stock Exchange), Western Road, Brighton, Sat May 22nd, 11am

* ‘Gaza: Beneath the Bombs’: Sharyn Lock and Sarah Irving will be talking about their new book, based on ISM volunteer Sharyn’s experiences of Israeli attacks on Gaza. Sat May 22nd 7pm, Cowley Club, 12 London Rd, Brighton.

* Remember Gaza vigil outside the Hove Crown Court (check website for confirmation), 9am, Monday 7th June (moved from 17th May).

* If I had a Hammer - Decommissioners support demo at EDO MBM, Home Farm Road, Brighton, 4pm-6pm. Wednesday 9th June (moved from 19th May)

* Day of the Verdict in the EDO/ITT Decommissioners Trial - The trial will be going on throughout June and July 2010. Whether the verdict is guilty or not guilty our resistance against EDO/ITT will continue... We will be here until EDO are not! We are planning to hold a demonstration as soon as the verdict is known - keep an eye on this site for updates.

If you’d like to receive an update about the verdict and about the demonstrationemail your email address or mobile number to smashedo@riseup.net or text 07526557436. http://decommissioners.co.uk

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GLADE RAGS

Glade is the latest in a string of festivals to be forced to cancel its frivolities because of police pressure to increase security and stewarding. Big Green Gathering (see SchNEWS 685), Strawberry Fair (see SchNEWS 715) and now Glade have all succumbed to the underhand tactics of police who refuse to negotiate in advance but push for licence reviews that would not come to a decision until days before the festival is supposed to start.

All three festivals have reported huge support from local councils despite the police’s demands. The bottom line now seems to be if you try to keep your festie free of corporate sponsorship and refuse to pay disproportionate sums of money for extra policing, it doesn’t happen.

* See www.gladefestival.com

Keywords: festivals, police
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SWEATY PALMS AT UNILEVER

German protest group Robin Wood have been targeting cosmetics and food giant Unilever over the last few days, following them around Europe to take action at shareholder meetings in Rotterdam and London and the German headquarters in Hamburg.

The activists are protesting against Unilever’s involvement in the mass destruction of rainforest to produce palm oil - the cheap fat that, these days, is in pretty much everything from frozen pizza to Vanish.

Protesters unfurled banners saying ‘Unilever – Unscrupulous Destruction of Rainforest and Community for Palm Oil’ and leafletted the shareholders, informing them of the eco-cidal business the corporation is in.

* See www.robinwood.de

Keywords: corporations, rainforests
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RAISING ARIZONA

Hundreds of thousands took to the streets across the US on May Day as Arizona immigration law erupted in mass rallies.

Protesters in more than 70 cities (including Los Angeles, Dallas, Chicago, Phoenix, Washington, Boston and New York) across the land of opportunity marched for the rights of migrants that are being bludgeoned, reminiscent of the unsuccessful attempt for federal legislation four years previously which would have made being a non-status immigrant a felony. Demonstrations had already been held in response to Arizona’s recent ruling but Saturday’s marches were by far the largest held to date, including 50,000 in LA and 6,500 in New York.

Arizona’s severe new immigration legislation, which is due to take effect from July 29th, will make it possible for law enforcement teams to interrogate people about their citizen status if they suspect they don’t carry proper documentation, creating fears of inciting further racism and discrimination. There are an estimated 12 million people living illegally in the U.S.

Protesters included a coalition (groan) of activists, families, students and immigrant organisations as well as prominent political, religious and media figures. Congressman, Luis Gutierrez the representative for the state of Illinois, was arrested along with 35 other people during a sit-in outside the White House which defied orders from the police. Protesters are usually required to stay in motion when demonstrating in front of the White House. It was a reminder to Obama to fulfill his campaign promises to achieve immigration reform. Let’s hope the waves of civil disobedience continue.

* For more see http://arizona.indymedia.org

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BOUNTY BAR-STARDS

On Tuesday 11th, France’s CRS riot squad raided ‘Africa House’, the squat in Calais of African migrants. Six riot vans full of police and two unmarked ‘arrest’ vans arrived to round people up for the crime of having no papers. They spent an hour combing the building and eventually left with 23 people. Most people were only held for a few hours before being made to make the long walk from the Coquelles detention centre back into town.

A day later the police rounded up five Hazara Afghans who are camping out in the shrubbery near the old hover port and also five Palestinians trying to make it to the UK in a truck. The CRS units receive a 1000 euro bonus at the end of a tour of duty if they exceed their arrest quota of migrants. Policing of migrants has been transformed into bounty-hunting.

Police raids on ‘jungles’ are an almost daily occurrence and are part of a concerted campaign of repression by the French state to make Calais a migrant free zone. In April 2009 the French minister of immigration, Eric Besson, vowed to drive all migrants out of Calais. In September of that year the process began with the smashing of the large Pashtun ‘jungle’ and the arrest of 278 people. Since then all pre-existing squats and jungles have been evicted with the exception of Africa House, which is set for demolition in the next two months.

On Saturday 8th, as Calais celebrated the defeat of the Nazis, No Borders activists and migrants organised a march through Calais to highlight their situation. Two No Borders activists attempted to display photos of police brutality at the official commemoration at the town hall but were swiftly dragged away by the police along with two observers and detained until the rally ended.

* No Borders Transnational Day Of Action For Freedom Of Movement
: Paris, May 15th. Meet 2pm at Jaures Train Station. http://calaismigrantsolidarity.wordpress.com

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LAB- LIB PACT

Activists from Stop Animal Experiments at Bradford used the Bradford University Spring Charity Dinner and Ball at Cedar Court Hotel as an opportunity to shame the uni for the vivisection which goes on inside their laboratories. Bradford University conducts vivisection on, amongst other things, the effect of cocaine on mice. (“Look professor, this one seems to have turned into a complete arsehole.”)

Upon arrival, smartly dressed campaigners entered the hotel and left leaflets everywhere for attendees and guests. Unfortunately, the hotel didn’t appreciate people being informed about the horrors conducted by their client, and ripped up leaflets and chased protesters around the hotel and grounds! The police arrived and arrested the protesters for criminal damage before releasing them, but also confiscated leaflets and issued dispersal orders.

Undeterred a handful of campaigners held a noisy protest outside the main entrance to the Cedar Court Hotel.

* See www.academicabuse.wordpress.com

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CRUDE AWAKENING

Also in the USA, anger overflowed this Tuesday (11th) as protesters outraged by BP’s massive oil spill in the Gulf marched on the White House bearing a fifty foot banner saying “President Obama: this is your crude awakening”.

They were drawing attention to the fact that BPs man-made disaster is compounding the pressure put on the local environment by Hurricane Katrina. Eleven workers died after the explosion, and tarballs are slowly but surely now washing up on shore.

Demonstrators aimed their vitriol at Barack Obama, who has been a supporter of the expansion of offshore drilling as the White House defended its drilling plan last Thursday (May 6th) even in the wake of the spill. The US Govt said it would work closely with members of Congress and state governors in any process to open up new areas for offshore drilling.

* See http://dcdirectactionnews.wordpress.com

Keywords: climate change, obama, oil
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AND FINALLY

Is it a sign of decadence or of panic? A cash machine that - instead of wads of the folding stuff - dispenses actual gold-bars was unveiled this week. Unsurprisingly this momentous event happened in Dubai, home of pointless extravagance. And, despite the gimmick (it’s actually more of a gold-dispensing machine), it does beg the question of who needs gold that quickly?

Maybe you’ve got to pay off a gang of shady mercenaries, or grease the palms of high ranking bureaucrats in the ultimate untraceable currency.

SchNEWS awaits the Templar gold ATM where instead of entering your PIN you have to decipher a cryptic Latin scroll.

Keywords: dubai
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Disclaimer

Notice to SchNEWS readers: This week's issue has been done by a caretaker crew. Next week, due to a 6% swing in readers away from SchNEWS towards The Sun, we are forced to form a coalition magazine with Masons Monthly. The hope is to create a strong, stable publication in the national interest. 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

(US Postage £6.00 for individual books, £13 for above offer).

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.