BACK ISSUES

SchNEWS 722, 14th May 2010
Squaring Up To 'Em - 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?

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. 

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

Home | Friday 21st May 2010 | Issue 723

WAKE UP!! WAKE UP!! IT'S YER STAKES ARE HIGH

SchNEWS

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Story Links : All That Romains... | Thailand: Red With Blood | Crap Arrest Of The Week | Village Greens | Lost In Transnational | Nama-ed And Shamed | Genoa A Good Lawyer? | Brim And Proper | And Finally

ALL THAT ROMAINS...

AS THE EURO ECONOMIC MELTDOWN HITS ROMANIA.....

Welcome to the age of austerity. Romania has erupted in protests as harsh measures continue to grow and waves of discontent flood Europe.

Romania’s capital, Bucharest, stood still for a day on Wednesday (19th) as ferocious cuts cripple the Romanian populace. The city was brought to a halt as an estimated 50,000 protesters marched through the streets in the largest of the demonstrations seen since the cuts were announced. Protesters poured in from all over the country, despite police attempts to block the streets to uphold order.

The government’s latest bright idea is proposed wage cuts of 25% and pension cuts of 15% to reduce the country’s budget deficit along with the stated intention of slashing 70,000 state employees out of a public sector workforce of 1.36 million (a third of the workforce) before the end of the year. Romania’s economy shrunk more than 7% last year and is going for an IMF bail-out to meet its wage bill. The government says it needs to implement new austerity measures to qualify for the next instalment of the 20m euro (£17bn) IMF loan. No monetary aid packs are likely until the chiefs can demonstrate an ability to suppress dissent.

Last Tuesday (11th) thousands of farmers, furious over overdue agricultural subsidies, blockaded the area, surrounding the main government building in Bucharest as they arrived in tractors and parked up outside the cabinet command post. As Wednesday rolled on, 500 irate pensioners had a crack at the presidential palace, with other demonstrations taking place around the country. The protest followed four days of protests by unions.

The economy ministry official Marcel Hoara had stones hurled at him and was doused with water as he was jeered during a live televised debate in the middle of the protest. Police had to escort him from the area to safety after he was ambushed by demonstrators on his way out. “We will not leave until the government quits,” said Bogdan Hossu, leader of the Cartel Alfa trade union. Marian Gruia, head of the policemen’s union, called on Romanians to unite, “as we did in 1989, when we overthrew the dictatorship”. Unions have issued a warning of a general strike on the 31st May if the Government continues to ignore their cries of insurgency.

The demonstration was one of the largest to be seen in the country since the days of the Romanian Revolution of 1989, when the communist government was overthrown after a week long series of escalating violent riots and street fighting. The conflict ended with the execution of President Nicolae Ceausescu and his wife. Romania was the only eastern block country to overthrow its government forcefully or to execute its leaders. Since then the leadership has been more in the style of an austere free market capitalist product.

Heavy foreign investment in the course of the last decade led to embellished economic growth which surprise, surprise has totally imploded as a result of the international economic crisis.

The Romanians’ competence in resisting the measures will judge whether they will be the ones having to pay for the economic collapse. So it started with Greece, now we have Romania, so the question is “Who’s next in the Euro zone?” Any takers?

* See also www.libcom.org/news

Keywords: eu, financial crisis, riots, romania
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THAILAND: RED WITH BLOOD

Mounting oppression is sweeping Thailand as, at the time of going to print (20th May), a state of emergency has been declared across 23 provinces, mainly in the north of the country - the main Red Shirt stronghold.

Thailand has been convulsed by a bitter struggle between the nation’s elite and its disenfranchised poor, played out in protests that have paralysed Bangkok for weeks and now threaten to envelope the country.

The protesters’ fortified camp in central Bangkok was attacked by the army on Wednesday (19th) morning. By evening, fires were ablaze across the city. There were over 1,000 Red Shirts (made up of the rural and urban poor) hiding inside the protest area, distrustful of government offers to ship them to safety. Fourteen were killed that day as the army moved in to suppress protests, with the bodies of six protesters shot by troops found inside a temple designated as a refuge for women and children. Two months ago saw the Red Shirt opposition movement stage relatively peaceful, ritualistic actions (see SchNEWS 714).

However, the total number of deaths since the protests began are now reported to be at around 82 with over 800 injured.

Despite recent bloodthirsty government tactics to quell it, the insurgency continues, with Red Shirts holding rallies across the rest of the country. In the northern territory, town halls have been occupied and burned to a cinder. Banks, the stock exchange and media outlets have been some of the targets of rioters, furious at their mistreatment. There have been reports that on “Red Radio”, in defiance of ceasefire call by Red-Shirt leaders, a call out was made that “if you pass by a bank, burn it down”.

This recent chapter was set in motion after the Government of Abhisit Vejjajiva - as supported by the Yellow Shirt movement (a sect of Thais opposed to former leader Thaksin Shinawatra and his allies) came to power in 2008 following a parliamentry vote engineered by the military. The Red Shirts movement began as supporters of Thaksin (a former policeman and brief owner of Manchester City Football Club). Thaksin was deposed in a military coup in 2006 and convicted in absentia for corruption.

In past years, similar rebellions have been calmed by Thailand’s 82-year-old monarch, Bhumibol Adulyadej, who has reigned since 1946 - making him the world’s longest serving current head of state and the longest-reigning monarch in Thai history. But as the country suffers through its worst political crisis in decades, the king has disappointed ‘his subjects’ by saying nothing that might calm the turmoil, as he did in 1973 and 1992 when - with a few quiet words - he halted eruptions of political blood letting. The geriatric and ailing king is no longer in a position to influence events as his power fades.

This time the divisions in society have become too deep and the anger too hot to reconcile with a few words.

Keywords: financial crisis, thailand
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CRAP ARREST OF THE WEEK

FOR BEING FAILURE OF FIRST PAST THE POSTER...

Met Police paid a heavy-handed election day visit to the home of a 63-year East London man, David Hoffman. His crime? Sticking a poster in his window showing a picture of Dave Cameron emblazoned with the word ‘wanker’.

No doubt startled by having four burly officers arrive on his doorstep demanding identification, he momentarily tried to close the door, but the cops forced their way in, roughly seizing and handcuffing the top-toff-hating Hoff. They said he’d committed an offence under section 5 of the Public Order Act, was being detained and could be arrested.

Ironically enough, after cops confirmed his identification as a well-known photojournalist who has been cataloguing police brutality for over three decades, they calmed down somewhat and left, taking the offending item with them. It was swiftly replaced by another copy altered to say ‘Onanist’ instead.

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VILLAGE GREENS

Last Saturday’s weekend of discontent in London enticed the full spectrum of subcultures to the capital, drawing diverse groups of anarchists, pissed-off politicians, eco-hippies, alcoholics and space cadets to raise their various issues with our glorious new leader(s) Clameregg. Protests sparked off all over the city, centring around the Democracy Village in Parliament Square.

Party At The Pumps 2 kicked off when the No Tar Sands Campaign hit a Shell garage in Islington, shutting it down for the afternoon. Around 50 activists unfurled banners proclaiming ‘Closed’ and ‘Danger Keep Out – Shell Hell In Operation’ across the entrances while a samba band partied away on the forecourt. ‘Crime Scene’ tape was wrapped around all the pumps and people leafleted local houses, cafés, car windscreens and passers by. Also present at the protest were campaigners from Shell to Sea who have been fighting the building of a gas pipeline in Rossport, Ireland (see SchNEWS 716), and supporters of the campaign against Shell’s destruction of the Niger delta.

As well ecological disaster, human rights abuses were top of the agenda, with hundreds rallying outside the gates of 10 Downing Street calling for the new government to demand an end to Israel’s oppression of the Palestinian people. A letter signed by supporters was delivered to number 10, asking Clegg to stick by the pledges he made before the election to fight for the rights of Palestinians.

About 2,500 people joined in the ‘Purple Patch’ march outside the Houses of Parliament calling for electoral reform. Waving banners and purple ribbons, activists covered the railings around the building in purple and later delivered a petition to number 10. Mostly present at the march were disenfranchised youth, angry at the under-representation of their views in the current political system.

All of this was viewed from across the street by the Democracy Village at Parliament Square. A fascinatingly bizarre mix of guerilla gardeners, poi-spinning hippies, homeless alcoholics, militant anarchists and people who take orders from their pet rabbit (to name just a few) - came together to plant strawberries and form a new government. The afternoon was full of sunshine, reggae, vegetable planting and the most eclectic open mic session you’ve ever sat through. Despite the comical mix of characters, the common goal was definitely actively working towards a solution to the failings of the current system.

The day’s excitement drew to a close with a candlelit procession through Whitehall, highlighting the ongoing climate emergency. Starting with a service organised by Christian Ecology, the march ended at Old Palace Yard for a night of speed debating, poetry, theatre, arts and crafts, and a climate-themed pub quiz until the dawn broke.
Visit the websites below to find out how you can be part of the next ones.

* Oil Industry/Climate Change Direct Action: www.no-tar-sands.org, www.shelltosea.com, www.risingtide.org.uk

* Palestine: www.palestinecampaign.org

* Electoral Reform: www.takebackparliament.com

* Democracy Village: www.democracyvillage.blogspot.com

* Climate Emergency: www.campaigncc.org

Keywords: climate change, democracy village, elections, oil industry, palestine
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LOST IN TRANSNATIONAL

Hundreds took to the streets of Paris and Berlin to protest the treatment of migrants in Calais at last Saturday’s (15th) day of transnational action.

A crowd of over 200 people joined the main demonstration in Paris, despite police attempts to disrupt the action by ordering all cars to leave the area and shops to close. The protesters stopped traffic and set off flares in their calls for an end to the escalating repression of migrants in Calais and across Europe. Afghan migrants gathered to watch, despite threats from the police to arrest any migrants associating with the No Borders activists.

At a simultaneous demonstration in Berlin, several hundred people protested outside the French Cultural centre.

Following the demo, No Borders activists put out an urgent call out for activists to join the campaign in Calais as numbers have now dropped while police harassment is on the increase.

The ‘Africa House’ squat in Calais is facing daily raids, with the CRS (riot police) harassing activists and arresting migrants, often violently. The morning before the demonstration, the CRS forced their way in, smashed up tents and cooking utensils and poured the migrants’ water over their bedding. While the activists were rounded up and searched, 19 migrants were arrested.

Police have also returned to the Hazara and Pashto camps, now little more than scattered shelters built out of scraps of tarpaulin. Still, the CRS have trashed what camps they have found and arrested any migrants they have seen, usually those leaving their hiding places to head to charity food distribution centres.

* See www.calaismigrantsolidarity.wordpress.com

Keywords: calais, immigration, migrant rights, no borders
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NAMA-ED AND SHAMED

With the spectre of economic crash lurking, the Irish have been nervously eyeing the situations in countries like Greece and Romania, wondering if they will be next. Irish anti-capitalists however, are not about to sit back and wait patiently for the crisis to bite.

Tuesday (18th) saw the third protest in eight days as an “anti-capitalist” block of 200 people, pushed past police lines to join a thousand strong Right to Work demo taking place outside Anglo Irish Bank.

The protest followed a demonstration and roof top occupation of Anglo Irish on Saturday (15th) which was violently broken up by police. The Tuesday before (11th) also saw a Gardai attack as they enthusiastically cracked the heads of protesters trying to enter the Dail (the Irish parliament) car park, resulting in five arrests.

Protesters are up in arms over the Irish government’s bank bailout and the creation of the National Asset Management Agency (NAMA), which props up the market by swapping dodgy property development loans for government bonds.

The campaign has picked up pace since an occupation of the Anglo Irish building on April 24th – timed to coincide with the 94th anniversary of the Easter Uprising and the day in 1916 when the Proclamation of the Irish Republic laid out a vision of Irish society that guaranteed equality for all. Brian Leeson, chairperson of Irish socialist republican party éirígí said, “The time for polite debate has passed. We believe that the only way that NAMA, the bank bailout and the cutbacks can be defeated is through a campaign of mass civil disobedience.”

* See www.eirigi.org/index.htm

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GENOA A GOOD LAWYER?

More senior Italian police have been sentenced for their part in the infamous violent Carabinieri police raids during the G8 in Genoa on the night of July 21st 2001 (see www.schnews.org.uk/archive/news314-5.htm). Since then it's been a nine-year legal effort to bring justice for the many who were mercilessly beaten while sleeping, arrested, denied medical attention, laid with false charges, and more, during the raid of the two schools being used as protest bases and accommodation. 93 were arrested that night, with 28 of those being hospitalised, three of them critically injured – one of them, Mark Covell, from UK Indymedia, who was in a coma for two days. It was an attack which was pre-planned and then covered-up by the police and state. Tensions were already high before the raid, as the day before, the Carabinieri had murdered protester Carlo Giuliani.

Two trials against the police held in 2008 were only conditional victories with mainly lower-rank officers getting convictions, but those in commanding roles walking free. Fifteen police were convicted – and 30 cleared - after the July 2008 'Bolzaneto' trial, which focused on police brutality of the arrestees in the cells (see SchNEWS 640). Camp commander Antonio Gugliotta got five years, while the others got up to 28 months. Now, after the appeal, 25 of the 27 defendants in the November 2008 'Diaz' trial – which focused on the raid itself - have been convicted, getting sentences up to five years.

Some of the names who lost the appeal include Giovanni Luperi – who was since promoted to chief of the Italian equivalent of MI5, and two of the country's most senior detectives - Gilberto Calderozzi and Francesco Gratteri, who went onto a senior intelligence job after Genoa. They all got four years. The head of the riot squad unit that lead the raid got five years, and the two who planted the Molotov cocktails in the building were each sentenced to three years and nine months. The evidence against the commanding officers of the raid included video footage of them outside the building as it happened.  

Unfortunately these convicted police will not be imprisoned because their offences will expire under a statute of limitation, but they have also got five-year disqualifications from public office (as if a police officer who's been sentenced to prison but hasn't been made to go inside should remain in the job).

* For indepth coverage of Genoa see www.schnews.org.uk/sotw/genoa-eyewitness.htm

Keywords: anti-capitalism, g8, genoa
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BRIM AND PROPER

An EDO Decommissioners solidarity action organised by Target Brimar took place in Manchester this Monday (17th). Target Brimar is a campaign group opposing Brimar, the Manchester based company which makes military components used by the British and American armies in Iraq and Afghanistan and by Israeli forces in Palestine and Lebanon.

Nine protesters leafleted outside Barclays (the UK’s largest investor in the global arms sector including EDO/ITT) on Mosley Street, brandishing banners and placards. The picket started at 12.30 to coincide with the street’s busy lunchtime hour.

All Brighton locals are cordially invited to a Barclays picket on Saturday 22nd May outside the North Street branch starting at 11am.

* See smashedo.org.uk, targetbrimar.org.uk

Keywords: anti-militarism, edo decommissioners, smash edo, target brimar
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AND FINALLY

Send out the Clowns: Many people in Spain have failed to see the funny side of a PR custard pie thrown by an increasingly jumpy and paranoid Israel. Israeli ringmasters were resolutely unamused by the recent visit of Spain’s most famous clown, Ivan Prado. The organiser of the International Clown Festival in Spain, he was hoping to help set up a similar event in Ramallah. But his arrival at Ben-Gurion airport must’ve set off alarm klaxons in the paranoid security forces’ minds.

He was swiftly detained before being in-terror-gated for six hours about presumed links with ‘Palestinian Terrorists’ before being unceremoniously booted out of the country.

In true clown fashion, Prado kept schtum throughout the ordeal, although attempts to leave via an imaginary door and chucking a bucket of water over himself only led to further questioning.

The deportation caused a media circus in Spain, with even the Israeli embassy reported as outraged after the only explanation they were given for the ejection was ‘security reasons’.
Whilst their image in Spain has taken a comedy ovesized hammering, Israel obviously couldn’t risk any outbreaks of organised clownsurgence and the possibilities for smuggling rocket launchers around in over-sized trousers.

Denying activists, humanitarians and anyone publicly critical of the great ‘One State Solution’ access to Palestine is now an old worn out routine, but this new stunt has succeeded in making Israeli a genuine laughing stock once again.

Keywords: israel, palestine
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Disclaimer

SchNEWS warns all readers, clowning around in occupied territories is no joking matter. 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.