BACK ISSUES

SchNEWS 735, 20th August 2010
High Pressure Front - Climate Camp Cymru kicked off on Friday (13th) in South Wales and continued until Tuesday (17th) with an eviction forcing a change of site. The camp ran into problems on Saturday (14th) afternoon when it was evicted from its site. A disproportionately large police force consisting of 10 riot vans accompanied by dogs, helicopters and mounted police, was called into action to remove just 30 activists from a field.

SchNEWS 734, 6th August 2010
Grassroots Struggle - Yet another independent festival has been cancelled after a concerted campaign by bureaucrats, nimbys and police. The Grassroots Festival was a small volunteer-run event due to take place in Cambridgeshire in early September. Organisers had lined up three days of revelry, from poetry to Drum ‘n’ Bass and culminating in a communal banquet replete with juggling waiters.

SchNEWS 733, 30th July 2010
Robot Wars - Want to keep fighting an unwinnable war while keeping down the home team casualty figures? You need remote-control warfare. Drones or UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) are increasingly becoming the face of modern imperial war. Remotely piloted Predator, Reaper and now Avenger drones mean that the world’s great powers can unleash destruction from afar without risking a single soldiers life.  

SchNEWS 732, 23rd July 2010
Getting Away With Murder - “After 16 months of waiting, to hear nothing is being done is a complete joke. Today they gave us no hope. This experience has broken our family apart. The DPP has told us there was an unlawful act, yet no charges are to be brought. This is no justice - everyone has failed us.” - Ian Tomlinson’s son Paul King 

SchNEWS 731, 16th July 2010
Against the Grain - This week sees GM firmly back in the spotlight. On Wednesday the EU took a huge step in pushing forward the genetic modification agenda by copping out of regulation and putting the decision on whether to grow GM or not back into the hands of national governments. The European Commission approved changes to the rules that may break the deadlock which has prevented any significant cultivation of GM crops in Europe. What does this mean for GM production in the UK and other nation-states? And where does this leave the resistance movement?

SchNEWS 730, 9th July 2010
The Hole Truth - There is still plenty of ire left in Ireland as campaigners ready themselves for another summer of action against Shell and their plans to despoil the coast of County Mayo with a new gas pipeline. The project is already a decade late and three times over budget; pretty impressive for a small community fighting one of the biggest multinationals in the world. 

SchNEWS 729, 2nd July 2010
They Think It's All Over... ITT is Now!!! - After a nail-biting twenty-four hour hiatus, the jury came to decision on the Decommissioners Case - 100% Not Guilty! Six of the seven defendants Tom Woodhead, Bob Nicholls, Ornella Saibene, Harvey Tadman, Simon Levin and Chris Osmond came smiling out of Hove Trial Centre at the end of a gruelling three and half week trial. Elijah Smith was remanded in custody for another offence. Five were acquitted on Wednesday afternoon, the other two Chris and Elijah had to wait until this morning. They had waited eighteen months for this moment.  

SchNEWS 728, 25th June 2010
Cutting 'N' Running - So ‘austerity’ took shape this week as George ‘where were you hiding during the election campaign’ Osborne went for broke on Tuesday with his hard-hitting ‘fuck the poor’ budget. Yes, taxes & VAT are going up and almost every type of benefit is being slashed (and tied into being available for whatever work they deem you fit for), but hey! it’s not all bad news - corporation tax is being reduced!

SchNEWS 727, 18th June 2010
Raving Madness - Around 2,500 partygoers descended on Dale Aerodrome in Wales last May bank holiday for the 2010 UK Teknival, only to be met with a massive police response. Police broke up the party on the first day, arresting 17 people in the process. Four remain on police bail and six have been charged.

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

Friday 27th August 2010 | Issue 736

WAKE UP!! IT'S YER WEB ONLY WEEKLY ROUND UP...

SchNEWS

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Story Links : Royal BS | Hovefields Eviction Threat | The Fash Show | War is Over (Killing Continues) | Grow Heathrow Eviction Alert

ROYAL BS

Camp for Climate Action 2010 finished this week having shut down operations at the RBS Global Headquarters, disrupting works at their administration building and closing numerous branches around Edinburgh's city centre. Activists also targeted Cairn Energy and Forth Energy, companies that had received huge wads of cash from the bank for not-so-environmentally-friendly projects.

Climate Campers outfoxed police by swooping fifteen hours earlier than announced and taking a site rather closer to their target than expected at around 9pm on Wednesday 18th August. The first campers arrived at the RBS Global Headquarters at Gogarburn in Edinburgh and erected tents right in their back garden, giving a clear "fingers up" signal to the bankers and cops.

RBS, dubbed the "Oil Bank of Scotland", was chosen as a target for its involvement in various climate crimes, including financing tar sands extraction from an area of pristine wilderness in Canada, and being the biggest lender out of all the banks to the fossil fuels industry. Banners set up to be clearly visible to the 3,300 workers employed at the site included "Nature Doesn't Do Bail-Outs". Campers repeatedly targeted the Gogarburn building (set in acres of woodland and meadows with its own moat, tennis courts and 'education centre') throughout the week, leading up to the day of mass action on Monday (23rd), when RBS told workers to stay at home and left the building empty.

Friday saw campers warming up with an "RBS Rousing". A mobile rave danced around the building, with police apparently seeing no reason to stop them until the ravers entered the building and one woman superglued herself to the reception desk. The woman has changed her name to "Dongaria Kondh" after an indigenous community whose land has been occupied by Vedanta. Vedanta is mining bauxite from an Indian mountain area rich with wildlife, including an elephant corridor, has an atrocious human rights record, and they have been doing it all with money loaned from RBS. The Treasury had to defend its part in the mining project in the High Court last October, when campaign groups challenged why they had allowed RBS to invest taxpayers' money in this destruction. Dongaria sent a report to Andrew Cage, the Sustainability Officer for RBS and says she will not change her name back until Vedanta pulls out of the project and gives the tribe their land back. Dongaria was arrested and charged with Breach of the Peace.

Other mischief continued throughout the week. On Saturday Greenwash Guerillas in biohazard suits marched around the Royal Mile with feather dusters detecting and denouncing RBS greenwash. They did the same at the Gogarburn site, an odd choice of action considering no workers were in the building nor were there any press on site. Police watched with mild amusement and after about 15 minutes the guerillas returned to camp. No trouble was had from the police in town either, even when three women twice invaded RBS sponsored stages at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and sang Lady Gaga rewrites about tar sands.

On Sunday afternoon, 100 people in biohazard suits and masks stormed the small foot-bridge separating the camp from the RBS offices with a sound system, pushed back police lines and gave them a run around the building, smashing windows but getting stopped short of entering the building. There were some successful de-arrests, but police caught two people and charged them with Breach of the Peace. The window-smashers are as yet unidentified. Two people were injured in the resulting turmoil, but both were back onsite the following day. A camp-wide discussion was prompted by the day's events. The workshop by representatives from the Indigenous People's Network campaigning against the tar sands oil extraction was interrupted by the action that resulted in the damage. They addressed the camp in the evening, voicing concerns that the ties of solidarity between the two campaign groups may now suffer due to a clash of tactics, as the Indigenous People's Network did not advocate damage to private property. Camp-wide consensus was that as the Camp for Climate Action is made up of autonomous individuals, a diverse range of tactics are employed to attain a common goal, and property damage was an action that most people in the camp saw little problem with. News also spread around camp in the evening that RBS workers wouldn't be coming in the next day, meaning actions had to be re-planned.

During the night, RBS branch doors were superglued together, and RBS slogans were graffitied around Edinburgh city centre.

Mass-Action Monday got off to an early start with campers waking up to triple the number of police around the site, access roads in and out of the Gogarburn site blocked by police and the building looking decidedly empty. Affinity groups quickly re-organised and a plethora of small actions started to take place all over the city.

Seven people made themselves into a human-superglue-arm lock-chain in the RBS executive car park and a banner was dropped outside the headquarters reading "RBS: Using Our Money to Fuck the Planet". No mean feat considering the vast numbers of police that had been set to work guarding the bridge over the road outside the entrance.

Another affinity group got in on the action straight away by targeting Forth Energy, a company that is pushing biomass solutions that don't meet Climate Camp's stringent eco-principles. Two got on top of the building, dropping banners saying 'BIO MASS HEALTH HAZARD' and 'BIO MASS = CLIMATE CHANGE', two chained themselves to the front of the building and three activists occupied the inside.

Cairn Energy was the next to come under fire as campaigners smashed a giant piggy bank of molasses in front of their offices, in protest of the £117 million in RBS loans the company has used to start drilling for oil off the coast of Greenland – only now possible as the ice caps are melting.

In Edinburgh, most RBS branches had already been shut down by the police before any campers had even stepped foot in the town centre, but protests continued with groups demoing outside shut branches and talking to the public about why they were there. Several performances of 'Oily Gaga' spontaneously sprang up at different locations.

Other activists managed to shut down one of the few branches still open by supergluing themselves across the front entrance and handing out leaflets while another two scaled some scaffolding in the city centre and did a banner drop.

Four campaigners acting in direct solidarity with the tar sands campaign staged a sit-in inside a branch and then outside the bank while covered in molasses, shutting it down for an hour. The group then recreated a toxic tailings pond, complete with dead ducks, on the Royal Mile, drawing a large crowd of Edinburgh fringe-goers to listen to a representative from the Indigenous People's Network's explanation of why RBS's investments are so devastating.

Meanwhile, back on site, a "Molassapult" was thrown at RBS from across the stream, leaving large dirty oily patches clearly visible and a Rhino Siege Tower kept police occupied for several hours as it slowly descended the hill to the main gate. Police, presumably frenziedly thumbing through medieval law books for advice on how to deal with such an incident, ran themselves in circles, eventually deciding to erect a metal fence at the main gate which flummoxed the Rhino's attack. This incident ended with a standoff between police and Rhino, which continued ‘til the end of camp.

By Monday evening 12 arrests had been made, taking the grand total up to 18. Nearly all the arrests made were as result of superglue blockades and most were charged with the Scottish police's failing-all-else charge: Breach of the Peace.

Allegations have been made that Climate Campers were involved with one more event that occurred on the Monday. According to police, unknown persons poured an 'oil like substance that resembled vegetable oil' over the busy dual carriageway outside the headquarters, causing delays and traffic jams while a clean-up operation ensued. SchNEWS spoke to one South Coaster about the accusation; “I don't believe anyone at the camp would have done this. Nobody there would do something that would so recklessly endanger people's lives, that totally goes against the ethos of the camp. And anyway, what's the point of this action? When Climate Camp does 'oil' actions we use something visual like treacle or molasses. It sounds more like an attempt to damage the reputation of Climate Camp to me.”

Did the campers succeed in their stated attempt to "shut down RBS Global Headquarters" then? Well it appears so. Workers were told to stay at home on Monday after the window-smashing and rebel-rousing incident allegedly sparked concern for office workers' safety and the offices were shut down for the day. However, the building was shut down, but were the operations of the business? Employees were on their laptops in their houses working from home, and although the disruption caused to RBS is obviously something that Climate Camp can count as victory, whether this has any real impact on the way the 84% publicly-owned bank spends taxpayers' money is less certain.

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HOVEFIELDS EVICTION THREAT

Gypsy/travellers in Essex are in serious trouble after receiving a 28-day notice of eviction to vacate their site at Hovefields at the beginning of August. This site is near Dale Farm - the largest Gypsy site in the country – which is also under imminent threat (see SchNEWS 702). Twenty families face a violent eviction by bailiffs Constant & Co if they don't leave by next Tuesday (31st). This group includes two children with learning disabilities, plus several elderly residents, and no alternative site is being offered by Basildon Council. It is a breach of the Human Rights Act.

This comes after six families were evicted from Hovefields on June 29th, when Constant & Co bailiffs arrived – with Essex Police – without forewarning in the early hours of the morning and gave them one hour to go. A bulldozer was used to flatten pitches and knock down a building being used as a toilet. Six pitches were empty due to the residents being on the road at the time – they are not allowed to return due to an injunction. No compensation or alternative site was on offer.

Yesterday there was a training day at Dale Farm to help prepare people to defend the eviction, and will surely need reinforcements as Constant & Co, the self proclaimed 'gypsy eviction specialists' – and currently under investigation for breaches of safety law - have a long history of wanton violence (see SchNEWS 439), as they play their part in the ethnic cleansing of traditional travelling peoples.

Dale Farm – which houses around 1000 people – is on land owned by the travellers, but only part of it has planning permission – and the Basildon Council is choosing to evict rather than settle the whole matter by allowing permission for the rest. It is also under direct threat, and some consider Hovefields to be a warm-up for a massive eviction of Dale Farm.

Tory cutbacks have seen the cancellation of funding for new caravan parks for Gypsies and Travellers, but in reality none of this is about saving money – in fact quite the opposite. No expense is being spared to ethnically cleanse those living a travellers' life. So far Basildon Council have spent £2.5 million on legal fees, and will spend £3.5 million trying to evict these sites in Essex. Their offer to provide housing for the Essex families would cost £35-40 million, and it costs tens of millions to keep evicting travellers around the country. The cheaper option of spending £4 million to provide sites for travellers doesn't come into it.

* Hovefield location: off A127, take Gardiners Lane North to Oak Road, Wickford CM11 2YH.

* To help protect Gypsies and their way of life, email dale.farm@btinternet.com or the Essex Human Rights Clinic losori@essex.ac.uk See also www.gypsy-traveller.org

* Roma and Gypsy travelling communities are constantly suffering from brutal evictions across Europe, and at the moment in France there is a campaign to deport 850 Roma people to Romania by the end of August. In the past fortnight there's been several large expulsions with hundreds who the French Government say have outstayed the three-month limit (even though these are EU citizens) being flown to Romania. The French Government are giving a paltry compensation of Eur300 per adult, Eur100 per child for the loss of vehicles and property. See www.errc.org

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THE FASH SHOW

For all you dedicated followers of Fascism, it's a double header this weekend with Islamaphobic goons set to hit the streets of Bradford and Brighton (See SchNEWS 735). While the powers that be have banned the EDL from marching in Bradford on Saturday, they have announced they still intend to hold a 'static' demo and tensions are still running high.

Anti-fascists are still on high alert and intend to be there to meet them. in Brighton the ENA will meet at the train station at around 12.30. They will also be met by both organised and autonomous anti-Fascists. Full reports and analysis next week.

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WAR IS OVER (KILLING CONTINUES)

Crack open the champagne, brush the dust of the Stop The War Banners, and remember those chants from all those years ago. If you didn't hear it anywhere else you heard it here: The Iraq War is over. Or, to be more precise, the American war in Iraq is over. 1,000,000 dead Iraqis, 4,000 dead US soldiers, perhaps 3000 dead coalition and mercenary troops, 2 million refugees and entire cities in ruin; the Americans have left Iraq. Mostly. There is of course the small matter of some 50,000 soldiers that will remain for an indeterminate time in an advisory role, making sure that Iraq's death squads and torturers are up to scratch.

The Obama administration decided to jump the gun, leaving two weeks before their self-imposed deadline of August 31st 2010. The last combat division, the 4th Stryker brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, have driven out with their hundreds of vehicles from Camp Victory to Kuwait. The US strategy perfected in Iraq by General Petraeus has been to declare victory and get the hell out. The good general is soon to repeat this in Afghanistan. The Iraqi government has demanded a complete withdrawal of US forces by December 2011, and the US is likely to accede (they don't have much choice).

As it turns out, there was no war for oil. Or at least, a trillion dollars of war bought at best a few tens of millions of dollars of Iraqi oil.

The US has abandoned most of its bases in Iraq. Many of them were as large as cities, complete with malls, Burger Kings, Pizza Huts (TGI Friday was refused permission because it was considered too provocative to Muslim sentiment). Balad airbase was for a while second only to London Heathrow in its traffic. These garrisons of the US empire were for a while quite an emotional issue for people either for or against the 'New American Century.'

And now they are the subject of one of the largest fire sales in recent history. Entire bases - blast walls, generators, housing units, are being sold at bargain basement prices to Iraqi middle men. US army issue prefab briefing rooms (complete with whiteboards and military maps en situ) are being sold on to Iraqi farmers who can use then to chill out whilst tending their sheep.

If controlling Iraq was the US/UK war aim, they failed abysmally. If the war aim was to cause complete and utter bloody chaos and devastation, then Messrs Bush and Blair can pat themselves on the back. Iraq has no functioning government - the divisive and sectarian system development by the US has meant that, following the elections, there has been a 4 month long deadlock. And while violence may have dropped from it's bloody peak, there is still not even the semblance of security. On Wednesday, around 50 people in seven cities were killed in a series of co-ordinated bomb blasts, blamed on Sunni militant groups aligned to al-Qaida. The attacks were the first to break into the consciousness of the media for a while but violence is a daily occurrence. The following is taken directly from Reuters Alertnet, on just one day- August 18th 2010, (based on police, military and interior ministry reports). Just an ordinary day in Iraq:

MADAEN - Gunmen in a speeding car opened fire at a government-backed Sahwa militia checkpoint, killing one and wounding two others in Madaen, 30 km (20 miles) south-east of Baghdad

BAQUBA - A sticky bomb attached to the car of a government-backed Sahwa militia leader killed him and wounded his brother when it exploded in eastern Baquba, 65 km (40 miles) north-east of Baghdad

MOSUL - Gunmen using silenced guns opened fire at an Iraqi military checkpoint, killing a soldier in western Mosul, 390 km (240 miles) north of Baghdad

MOSUL - A roadside bomb targeting an Iraqi army patrol killed one civilian and wounded two soldiers when it went off in eastern Mosul

MOSUL - Police found the body of a man with gunshot wounds to the head in the town of Bartila, west of Mosul

SADIYA - Gunmen stormed three houses, killing three people in the town of Sadiya, 80 km (50 miles) north-east of Baquba, the capital of Diyala province

TIKRIT - Two people were killed, including a policeman, and one civilian was wounded when a roadside bomb exploded in central Tikrit, 150 km (95 miles) north of Baghdad

BAGHDAD - A roadside bomb wounded four people in Palestine street in north-eastern Baghdad

BAGHDAD - A roadside bomb wounded two people in the eastern Baghdad district of Zayouna

MOSUL - Police found the body of an unidentified man with head and chest bullet wounds in eastern Mosul, 390 km (240 miles) north of Baghdad

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GROW HEATHROW EVICTION ALERT

A squatted garden in Sipson, Heathrow has been served a court summons for eviction. The garden was reclaimed in March this year and guerilla gardeners have spent the last six months working with residents to rejuvenate the neglected plot.

They are currently in negotiations with the landowners for long-term community ownership, and are asking for support in the upcoming struggle by; Signing their petition Emailing info@transitionheathrow.com with a supportive testimony for the project or coming to court and show your solidarity: 2nd of September in Uxbridge County Court at 11am.

Email info@transitionheathrow.com if you have any skills, ideas or experience to contribute in resisting this threat.

 

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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.

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