BACK ISSUES

SchNEWS 736, 27th August 2010
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.

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!

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

Friday 3rd September 2010 | Issue 737

WAKE UP!! WAKE UP!! IT'S YER RIGHT ANGLED...

SchNEWS

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Story Links : Out of Their League | Brighton Defence League | Grounded At Heathrow | Marx And Sparks | Shell Corrib Pipeline Under Attack | On The Calais Beat | Get Charter | Truth Or Dairy? | And Finally

OUT OF THEIR LEAGUE

IS THE EDL WAVE BREAKING AS THE ‘BIG ONE’ FLOPS?

It was supposed to be ‘The Big One’ - that’s how the EDL were billing their Bradford rally - a climactic moment in their campaign against ‘radical Islam’. According to puff pieces released on Youtube before the event, there were supposed to be 5,000 leaguers descending on the Yorkshire town on Saturday 28th August. The EDL had warned women and children not to be present and one flyer bore the slogan ‘Burn, baby, burn’. A much smaller rally by the National Front in 2001 had sparked three days of rioting (see SchNEWS 313) in Oldham which saw over 200 men incarcerated for periods of up to five years. Bradford braced itself. In the end a mere 700-800 EDLers were on display. Two days later, a march by the English Nationalist Alliance in Brighton saw no more than fifty fascists show up and their march was only forced through the city’s streets by Sussex Police with batons and dogs.

Is this the beginning of the end for the EDL? Before Bradford the EDL looked to be on a roll. Nothing succeeds like success and for a while the League looked unopposed by anybody except the state. Rallies in Bolton and Dudley had attracted possibly up to two thousand. They had held rallies in Manchester, Aylesbury, Nottingham, Newcastle, Stoke and elsewhere.

Attempts to spread to Wales and Scotland were met with disinterest but in northern England at least they appeared to be getting stronger. Organised opposition from the left had largely come from the ineffectual Socialist Worker’s Party (SWP) front Unite Against Fascism (UAF). A few anarchos and direct action types were making regular pilgrimages to the EDL demos but not in the numbers required to make any difference. Often the Muslim community, under pressure from the police, were able to keep their young men off the streets. In Bolton police action was directed at anti-fascists, within even the UAFs Weyman Bennett getting lifted for ‘conspiracy to commit violent disorder’.

Apart from the set-piece demos, followers began branching out under the EDL flag, placing pigs’ heads on mosques and beginning to turn up to small meetings of Indymedia, the Anarchist Federation and the UAF.

NORTHERN LIGHTS OUT

Bradford was different - from early in the day a mixed group of travelling anti-fascists and local Muslim youth began congregating in the area where the EDL were to be confined (their march had been banned on request of the local authority but a static demonstration was permitted). In the event the EDL were bussed into a waste-ground, mostly surrounded by plywood hoarding (the intended site of a new shopping centre). Bradford is shaped like a bowl with the centre at the bottom and the town and its estates looking down on all sides. The EDL were, fittingly, at the lowest point in town. Anyone outside the perimeter had a birds-eye view of proceedings.

At midday there were already 150 EDL inside the cordon, leading to fears that the apocalyptic scenarios promised were about to unfold. Two EDLers even felt confident enough to give a press conference outside their pen. The fact that one of them was the EDLs only asian member confused issues for a few minutes but they were soon chased back with shouts of “Nazi Scum - off our streets”.

By 2pm however, the advertised start time for their demo, it became clear that they had achieved a very low turn out - estimates vary from six to eight hundred. Meanwhile the UAF confined themselves to a cordon five hundred yards away in Exchange Square. Cops established a double ring around the EDL rally facing inwards and outwards. The EDL rushed towards a gap in the hoardings screened only by a couple of police vans and began hurling their racist abuse. “Muhammed is a paedo”, “Who the fuck is Allah?”. Soon stones, smoke flares and half empty cans of lager were being hurled at the more thinly spread anti-fascist crowd. The smoke flares were hurled back. Police baton charges drove anti-fascists back and it was clear that the EDL were getting the same rough treatment.

The afternoon continued in a three-way struggle with the police until, as the main body of anti-fascists were being pushed up the street by mounted police, the less lardy members of the EDL finally hit on the idea of scaling the fence. The rear of the EDL’s pen was totally unguarded and around 150 of them escaped over the hoarding - intent on heading into Bradford and making good on their threats.

On the other side hundreds of anti-fascists broke away from the confrontation with the police and headed around the block towards the Forster Square retail park. Shouts of ‘Allahu Akbar’ mixed with cries of ‘Antifascista’. There was some hesitation when the EDL were first encountered but they soon broke and ran, some of their more hapless members taking a pasting before police with dogs intervened and rescued them. Chased back into their pen the EDL tamely got back onto their coaches and were driven along the motorway under police escort. By this time the Muslim youth from the surrounding estates were in town in large numbers looking for any stray leaguers.

SOON TO BE RELEGATED?

So where next for the EDL? It is true that they have bounced back from worse defeats than this; their first two outings in Birmingham, for example, mainly involved a bit of sieg-heiling and a lot of kissing the pavement. But they were able to turn these into a call-out by painting the conflict as a race war - beleaguered Englishmen surrounded by radical jihadists. They may yet turn it around, after all the mainstream press provides ample fodder for the belief that the UK is under siege by Islamic hordes. The EDL feed off of the kind of patriotism needed to ensure that the domestic population backs Our Boys.

The EDL is not a monolithic body, it is a loose coalition operating on the basis of a lowest common denominator, a belief in the need to prevent the victory of Sharia law in the UK- a goal so easily achievable it’s a wonder they don’t all stay at home. Some of them are die-hard white supremacists, some are football hooligans just up for a ruck, others are disenchanted BNP activists and there’s even an increasingly diminishing number of law-abiding flag wavers. With their taste for bespoke merchandise the EDL are obviously a cash-cow for someone. The ‘leadership’ may want to pretend that they have a very narrow focus on ‘militant Islam’ but the rank and file are simply there for the ‘muzzie-bashing’ and racist taunts are a regular feature of their mobilisations. The contradictions in a movement always show up the moment that a coalition hits a stumbling block and for now at least the EDL seem to be indulging in a fair amount of finger pointing and mutual recrimination. Hilariously, on the front page of their website they’re trying to blame the anti-police violence on infiltrators from Combat 18.

The waving of Israeli flags may have started as simple device for winding up the opposition, but now Zionist organisations have become increasingly involved with the EDL, linked by a hatred of Islam. EDL types have showed up to support Zionists outside Ahava (see SchNEWS 704), target of the Israeli boycott campaign. Once again in their analysis of what went wrong in Bradford they accuse their opponents of being anti-Israel. Which is probably true but begs the question of why the EDL care so much about the affairs of a nation in the Middle East.

At the moment, apart from rumour-mongering on their forums, the EDL do not have any more set-pieces on their calendar. They might go for Leicester next or maybe even back to Luton where it all began.They are failing to grow and anti-fascists, who were mostly stunned by the rapid growth of the far-right movement have shown that together with locals it is possible to counter-act the EDL even on their days of action. At the moment the league are down but not out... time perhaps to finish the job.

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BRIGHTON DEFENCE LEAGUE

The English Nationalist Alliance, a much smaller group have taken things a step further, moving on from targeting ‘radical Islam’ to taking a stand against ‘extremist students’ and their ‘anti-English’ activities (see SchNEWS 736). Very much a poor cousin to the EDL, the ENA is essentially a response to the mobilisation against the March for England earlier this year (see SchNEWS 720).

There were fears that a success for the EDL in Bradford would have a knock-on effect in Brighton. However, only thirty idiots assembled at the train station with a few allies scattered around in local pubs. Those there soon dropped the ENA banner and openly paraded EDL flags and shirts.

The UAF for once did the right thing by arriving at the station en masse and together with other anti-fascists they succeeded in preventing the fash from marching for over an hour, before caving in to police requests to turn tail and march towards a pre-prepared cordon in Victoria gardens.

This left it up to the few non-aligned Brighton anti-fascists to try and stop the march. Sussex Police had clearly made a political decision to allow the march to go ahead, and with batons, dogs, and horses they proceeded to do exactly that. Even so they were forced to change the route of the march. Instead of parading through the town’s main roads, the ENA/EDL were forced on a detour of Brighton’s boutique-ridden North Laines, where they entertained locals with a healthy mixture of moronic racism and homophobia.

The small group of anarchos battled on for the next hour dragging wheelie bins into the road and resisting police charges by hand. They were joined by groups splintering away from the UAF demo and passers-by. Eventually however the fash were escorted back to the station, followed closely by a growing crowd of nosiy anti-fascists, who were clapped through the streets by passers-by. Small bands of racists continued to roam loose and on a couple of occasions breakaway groups were cornered in local pubs and had to be escorted away by police. The day ended with fourteen arrests, nine of ours and five of theirs.

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GROUNDED AT HEATHROW

The action group Transition Heathrow have been granted a month extension in their fight against the eviction of a squatted garden. The guerilla gardners had set roots at an abandoned market garden on 1st of March (see SchNEWS 736). The locality at the time was under threat by plans for a third Heathrow runway but fortunately, as March drew to an end so did BAA’s runaway plans.

This Thursday (2nd) the green fingered activists were due at Uxbridge court after being served eviction papers. Over 50 people showed up to support the gardeners’ fight against eviction. The high flyers have got at least a 28-day long hiatus as the court awaits the return of the land owner, who is rumoured to be away in India.

The ‘Grow Heathrow’ project has encouraged and supported locally grown produce in an area that was once one of the most productive in Britain but has since been laid to waste. Since the garden was established, residents and activists have joined forces to change a derelict area into a flourishing market garden, a community hub and a model of sustainable living and self-sufficiency. 30 tonnes of rubbish have been cleared away and two greenhouses built. There have also been activities such as permaculture courses, growing workshops, bike workshops, clothes making, solidarity support for local workers and direct action workshops.

The case has been adjourned to the Central London County Court after the Deputy District Judge ruled that higher authority was needed to rule on the case. So, for now, the community can continue to enjoy its harvest even if the future remains uncertain.

* See www.transitionheathrow.com

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MARX AND SPARKS

Anti-sweatshop campaigners have called for a demonstration outside London Marks & Spencers this Saturday following an attack on workers and the kidnapping of a union leader at an M&S supplier factory in India.

Last Wednesday (25th), 60 workers were attacked by armed thugs as they arrived for work at the Viva Global factory in Gurgaon. Sixteen women were severely beaten and union leader Anwar Ansari was dragged away. After being beaten and told he would be killed if he returned to the factory he was dumped near his home. He has since rejoined the picket lines.

The attack came after months of campaigning against low wages and the excessive, forced, appalling working conditions by the Garment and Allied Workers Union. One of the attackers has been identified as a labour contractor used by the company to provide workers to the factory.

With the situation still tense, campaign group Labour Behind the Label are now calling for middle class institution M&S to take responsibility for the safety and well-being of the workers that stitch all those sensible blouses and understated jumpers. The demo will be outside M&S at 173 Oxford Street at 11am.

* See www.labourbehindthelabel.org

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SHELL CORRIB PIPELINE UNDER ATTACK

The Shell Corrib gas pipeline has come under attack from all directions in the last week, facing the continuing direct action campaign on the ground (see SchNEWS 733) and a legal challenge in a hearing in North Mayo.

The oral hearing started last Tuesday (24th) and has seen campaigners challenge the legality of the the gas pipeline. Throughout the hearing, which is still in process, Shell has had to defend itself on issues ranging from safety and conservation to compulsory purchase orders.

As yet, the hearing has failed to slow Shell’s drilling operations. This task has been left in the capable hands of Shell to Sea and community activists whose direct action campaign ‘Beat the Boreholes’ continues unabated. Last Sunday (29th) ten activists from the Rossport Solidarity Camp held up work by fixing a rope around the legs of a rig and occupying the space underneath. After around two hours the Gardai arrived and arrested six protesters, forcibly removing the rest. That didn’t stop three activists later returning in kayaks to make a further attempt to stop the rig.

Unfortunately their route was blocked by security in speedboats and one kayaker was arrested. All of the arrested activists were later released without charge.

* See www.shelltosea.com

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ON THE CALAIS BEAT

A 15-strong Samba band from Belgium and Germany provided some welcome respite for Calais migrants from continuing police brutality by leading an end of summer party through the city streets last weekend. After crashing the Mayor’s ‘Hunger for Summer’ party to distribute info, the parade headed to the beach before finishing up at the evening food distribution.

Meanwhile back in Britain, a team of hardy Yorkshire volunteers braved the desolate post-Leeds festival wasteland to scavenge tat to help the migrants in the coming winter. Picking their way through fields of torched tents and bottles of piss, they managed to salvage tents, sleeping bags, roll mats, clothing cooking gear and three wasted students.

* See calaismigrantsolidarity.wordpress.com

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GET CHARTER

Despite the escalating violence and continuing political instability (see SchNEWS 736), the Home Office are continuing to deport refugees to Iraq on special charter flights. One such flight was scheduled to leave on Wednesday (1st) and another due to leave next Monday (6th).

Desperate detainees have contacted detainee support groups and the National Coalition of Anti-Deportation Campaigns having been given their removal orders, asking for help in fighting their deportations.

Previous attempts to send charter flights to Iraq have ended in abject failure. In October last year, the first charter flight was sent back by the Iraqi authorities with 32 of the 40 deportees still aboard. In April, the UK Border Agency (UKBA) tried to send of a flight of Kurdish deportees to the semi-autonomous Northern area of Iraq but a major protest at the destination airport led to its cancellation. However, this time the UKBA has agreed with the Iraqi authorities to accept the deportees.

Many of the victims have already seen their family and friends kidnapped, tortured and killed, while a number have been told they will be killed if they return to Iraq.

* See www.ncadc.org.uk

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TRUTH OR DAIRY?

Dressed in orange jumpsuits and cow heads, animal rights activists struck out in protest against the first UK factory-style dairy farm. Gathering outside the headquarters of Defra on Wednesday (1st), around 100 campaigners launched the WSPA campaign, Not In My Cuppa, which will attempt to stop the resubmitting of the plans for the intensive dairy farm.

Despite cows being housed for 365 days a year in herds of unnaturally large sizes, in battery conditions, several prominent animal welfare charities, including the RSPCA, have said they are not worried by the proposal.

Local community groups in Lincolnshire near the proposed site are not just concerned about the welfare issues, but also the problems of waste and the environmental impact of the huge industrial site.

* See www.wspa.org.uk/latestnews/2010/WSPA_launches_not_in_my_cuppa.aspx

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AND FINALLY

God’s representative on Earth is planning a road-trip to Britain and is obviously pretty scared of the so-called devout believers in heathen ol’ Blighty. In advance of the pope’s first official visit to this hell-hole later this month (16-19th), the Vatican has published a detailed list of do’s and don’ts for the Christian massive planning to turn up like flocking idiots to see his holiness.

Sunblock, flags and folding chairs are approved whilst musical instruments, china plates and steel cutlery do not please the Almighty.

Perhaps some of those at the many protests (gay rights, child abuse, contraception posse to name but a few) planned at the faith-ins should practice a bit of ‘fork-giveness” on the big day.

But the real word of the Lord is that alcohol, gazebos and lit candles should be left at home, because they “could pose a threat.” It seems God in all his wisdom has failed to divine what an explosive combination of things would be to leave at home if you then went out a-worshippin all day.

Or maybe it’s all part of their plan to burn down Britain before it runs out enough of the faithful left to pull it off.

* Check the Pope’s itinerary www.thepapalvisit.org.uk or follow him - on twitter.

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Disclaimer

SchNEWS warns all readers, the EDL are a couple of sausages short of a full English. 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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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

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