BACK ISSUES

SchNEWS 739, 17th September 2010
Gauling Behaviour - Weak to begin with, France’s attempts to deny that recent mass expulsions of Roma people were racist have been dealt a blow after a Ministry of Interior circular ordering evacuation of camps of Roma, as “a matter of priority” was leaked. From mid-August to early September this year, approximately 1000 Roma were deported from France and 128 Roma camps dismantled.

SchNEWS 738, 10th September 2010
Caravandals - The Hovefields Gypsy/Traveller site in Essex with 50-60 inhabitants has been evicted this week. At the time of writing, a group of these families are still on the road without anywhere to stop, having been also evicted from two other sites they tried to move on to, all within 24 hours. In fact it is illegal for them to stop anywhere as a group, as they are more than six live-in vehicles.  

SchNEWS 737, 3rd September 2010
Out of Their League - 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’. In the end a mere 700-800 EDLers were on display...

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?

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

Friday 24th September 2010 | Issue 740

WAKE UP!! WAKE UP!! IT'S YER PUMPING IRONY...

SchNEWS

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Story Links : Brussels Sprouts Camp | Rewrite His-Tory | All Mex'd Up | Running Ham-Mock | Stockholme Syndrome | Good Chap on Trial | SchNEWS in Brief | And Finally

BRUSSELS SPROUTS CAMP

NO BORDERS HEADS TO BELGIUM TO FIGHT EU IMMIGRATION POLICIES

No Borders Camp 2010 in Brussels kicks off this Saturday (25th) til the 3rd October, and plenty are converging on that part of the continent in an effort to create a world where no one is illegal. Among the objectives of the camp are the denouncing of European migration policy; showing the links between this policy and the structures of capitalism and repression; the blocking of Brussels’ deportation system and the organisation of an autonomous safe space for the voices of migrants and activists to be heard.

WHERE WILL IT BE?

The camp plans to take space at TOUR&TAXIS, a complex in the heart of Brussels with green areas and buildings usually used for conferences and events. There’s plenty of room for upwards of 1,000 people and finding it is pretty easy once you’re in the city - check out the travel advice on the website. There’s also a section on an anarchopedia website to find travelling partners or arrange liftshares. A decentralised info point will be set up at Gésu, an abandoned monastery which is squatted by around 130 people; from there you can find out what’s going on at the camp.

HOW DOES IT ALL WORK?

Different working groups have been responsible for different aspects of the camp and will continue to do so on site, although all decision are made by consensus. The program group co-ordinates proposals for workshops and affinity group actions, and sets locations and times for activities during the camp; the finance group and logistics group take care of money and materials. Support will be provided by the legal and medical teams. There is a dedicated Big Demo working group to plan for the mass action on the 2nd October, but self-organised and autonomous actions are actively welcomed during the week too. A mobilisation group will be on hand to assist. The process group will be going round making sure that every proposal is running smo othly and nothing gets forgotten. Food will be cooked on site and organised by the kitchen team. Participation in these working groups is open to everyone at the camp.

A general assembly will be held every morning during the camp for decisions to be made, issues to be raised, and for briefings from the different working groups to be given. Workshops will also run throughout the week with a different theme each day: European migration policy, detention & deportations, capitalism & migration, the struggle of migrants, and the militarisation of borders, all culminating in the mass demo day on the 2nd, then debrief the day after. There will be photo exhibitions and a cinema showing informative films while other spaces in the city will host debates, gigs and cabaret.

There is a general policy of no photos or filming on site, even for campers. Journalists will only be allowed into the area at allotted times, escorted, and if you’re in shot, you’ll be asked for your permission before they take any pictures or film. A dedicated media team will be taking care of this.

WHAT DO I NEED?

Whatever camping gear will make you comfy, and if you’re happy to leave stuff like tents and sleeping bags behind at the camp after you leave, it will go to migrants and activists who are camping out permanently in Calais and Brussels and desperately need it.

The logistics group also have a long wishlist of tat and equipment which you can find on the website, so have a read through before you leave in case you happen to be the one who has 300m of plumbing hose lying around in your back garden.

AND THE COPPERS?

Generally aren’t that bad, and the legal team will be on hand, but there are a few things to watch out for..

Belgian police like to break cameras so although its not forbidden to film them or take pictures, make sure you’re doing it out of arms reach.

It’s an offence to cover your face with masks, scarves or make-up in Brussels so be prepared to get arrested and have a fine slapped on you if you can’t overcome your shyness.

Obviously don’t bring anything that can be considered a weapon (even instructions for an oragami crowbar) and if they find drugs on you (even cannabis) they’ll arrest and/or fine you.

The Belgian police do use pepper spray, horses and sometimes water cannons for ‘riot control’.

If you’re a foreigner, the police can hold you for a maximum of 24 hours without charge. The clock starts from the moment they grab you – not when you get to the police station or are put in a van.

You don’t have to give your name at any point during your Belgian custodial experience, but if you don’t, it’s likely you’ll be held for the maximum possible time while they try and find out who you are. Staying anonymous won’t stop you from getting charged and sentenced if the police are determined to follow through on an arrest.

As they arrest you they have to tell you what it’s for, and if you are released without charge, you’ll be asked to sign a register that details who the arresting officer was, why they took you into custody, and the times of your arrest and release. If the details aren’t complete or you don’t think they’re right, don’t sign it.

If they do charge you, and haven’t released you after 24hrs, it mean that a judge has issued an arrest warrant and a trial will follow. The police can hold you like this for up to 5 days, and you only get the right to a lawyer once the arrest warrant has been issued.

As standard, keep schtum and decline to answer any questions or make any statements, and don’t sign a written statement or ‘proces verbaal’ (PV) as its known in Belgium.

You have the normal rights to a translator, food and hygiene supplies and medical aid.

If they try and deport you at any point, they’ll have to get you to sign a deportation order. Don’t do it. You’re protected as an EU citizen so tell them you’re appealing on the basis of EU law.

ANYTHING ELSE?

Spread the word and get channel-hopping. Feel free to keep SchNEWS updated on how its going via the article ‘comments’ feature on our website, or by email: mail@schnews.org.uk

* http://www.noborderbxl.eu.org/?lang=en

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REWRITE HIS-TORY

On October 20th, David Cameron’s old school chum George ‘Tossy’ Osbourne is due to finally announce details of the full horror of the government’s plans to rescue the economy - so nearly ruined by the actions of the bankers and corporations - by getting the poorest to pay for it all. Up to 30% slashings are expected across public services and benefits. If only there were a convenient focus for all that rising anger and need to protest.

Oh yes, the Tory party conference is taking place in Birmingham starting on Sunday Oct 3rd. How handy.

In addition to the usual union and trot run events, an anti-authoritarian bloc is organising under the old-school (if slightly unimaginative) banner of ‘Toffs Out’. With the event sponsored and basically paid for by non-exclusively Toff corporations such as RBS, British Aerospace, Group 4, ASDA and Tesco, perhaps it’s more a case of ‘All Out’.

The meeting point for the unathourised march will be announced on Saturday night and it will converge on the ICC building for a high-noon showdown on Sunday. Check the website for a list of other targets – or fringe events as the Tories call them.

Demo organisers have said they will do everything in their power to stop people attending the event, including direct action and civil disobedience. A Reclaim the Streets party is planned and squats will be available for those wanting to go on through the night.

*See www.toffsout.wordpress.com

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ALL MEX'D UP

The besieged Mexican autonomous community San Juan Copala has been evacuated after an outbreak of paramilitary violence left five seriously injured and one dead.

Around 500 gunmen took over San Juan Copala’s town hall last Monday (13th). According to reports from the community, they spent the days that followed raking the town with constant gunfire, as well as going from house to house beating residents and burning the homes of those who had already fled the violence.

Last Friday (17th), the paramilitaries issued a statement threatening to massacre the 50 families that had stayed in the town if they didn’t leave immediately. All but two of the families have now managed to escape. The two families left are now completely surrounded by gunmen.

In the town square of the city of Oaxaca, women and children, camping there in protest since being forced out of their homes in August, have now gone on hunger strike in an attempt to pressure the government to send police in to evacuate the remaining families.

The community declared itself autonomous in January 2007 following the Oaxaca uprising which nearly drove the governor out of office (see SchNEWS 567). It has been under siege since February when paramilitaries cut off water and electricity and blockaded the town. Earlier this year, attempts to break the siege by international and Mexican activists ended violently when the paramilitaries opened fire on the caravans – in one incidence, killing two (see SchNEWS 726).

Community members have claimed governor Ulises Ruiz Ortiz is behind the two paramilitary groups, Movement for Triqui Unification and Struggle (MULT) and the Union for the Social Well-being of the Triqui Region (UBISORT), who are responsible for around 20 deaths and numerous beatings, rapes and disappearances.

*For more see www.glasgowchiapassolidarity.wordpress.com

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RUNNING HAM-MOCK

More shenanigans at the end of the rainbow this week as those plucky campers in Rossport, Ireland (see SchNEWS 737) make more moves to stop Shell stealing their country’s lucky charms.

At 7am on Monday (20th) nine activists swam out to a drilling platform. Two strung themselves up in a hammock just under the platform, flanked by another two in kayaks and the rest in the water. By 9am the kayakers and swimmers had all been dragged back to shore and one drill on the platform was put to work.

Following complaints over the health and safety of the two suspended demonstrators, the drill was stopped temporarily, but work carried on later while the two layabouts continued to swing in their not so relaxing surroundings for the next 12 hours.

Contractors’ sub-sea-quent peace and quiet didn’t last long though as another 13 protesters waded out to a platform on Wednesday (22nd) and this time three amphibious activists set up in a hammock, stopping the drilling platform being moved to a new location. Equipped with water and food, the last SchNEWS heard is that they were still there; hopefully the wind and waves won’t take their toll too soon.

The direct action coincides with the lengthy hearing into the project, where Shell representatives and ‘expert’ witnesses have been facing a grilling from locals and activists about the proposed raw gas pipeline.

Others from the local area and Rossport Solidarity Camp managed to stop Shell big wigs getting onto their hotel-bound bus last Thursday (16th) after a long day in the hearing. An 80-page submission this Wednesday (22nd) by An Taisce has called for the already extended hearing to be adjourned due to shady tactics by Shell. It remains to be seen whether this will get the result they want.

*See www.shelltosea.com

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STOCKHOLME SYNDROME

Thousands hit the streets of Sweden this Monday (20th) after election results on Sunday showed that far-right party, the ‘Sweden Democrats’ had managed to slither their way into parliament for the first time.

A populist xenophobic party with Nazi-fringe roots, the party now clasps the balance of power between the two larger factions of centre-right and left. With neither the opposition party nor the government with a majority, the bigoted anti-immigrant bunch are looking to demand influence or cause congressional mayhem. But as Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt, currently trying to form an uneasy coalition with the Green party, announced, “There is no need to use words like chaos”. Right you are.

Spontaneous protests erupted in Stockholm as the announcement went out that 20 parliamentary seats had been allocated to the racists. The vexed crowds, an estimated 6,000, waved the obligatory banners and shouted the required slogans, “No to racism!” but lamentably lacked projectiles. There was a smaller similar protest in Gothenburg.

During elections, the two main parties chose to ignore the far-right’s existence. This gave the Sweden Democrats the opportunity to play upon public unease over immigration policy and put forward their nationalist “solutions”. Following the Dutch elections earlier this year, which saw Islamaphobe Geert Wilders’ ‘Party for Freedom’ became the third largest party in the Netherlands, it seems that even Europe’s perceived liberal bastions are falling foul of efforts to infect them all with Islamaphobia.

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GOOD CHAP ON TRIAL

Simon Chapman, the British protester royally stictched up by Greek police after anti-EU protests in 2003, is about to once again appear in a Greek court as he appeals an eight year sentence for rioting and possessing explosives.

Simon was arrested along with six others following an immigration solidarity demo the day before the EU summit. Video and photo evidence showed how police put molotov cocktails in black bags then strapped them to him as he lay bleeding on the ground, after a police beating (see SchNEWS 413). After a 56-day hunger strike by the inmates and an international solidarity campaign brought Greece a wave of negative publicity at the blatant fit up, the seven were released later that year.

However, once the media storm had blown out, and with no sense of the shame in again ignoring the irrefutable evidence against their version of events, the Greek authorities revived the case and re-instated the charges. In 2008 Simon was sentenced to eight and a half years in his absence for rioting, and the construction, possession and use of explosives. Some of the others were either found not guilty, or guilty of lesser non-imprisonable charges, but some received 5 years.

The appeal against the convictions and ludicrously inflated sentences, which begins today (24th) will see Simon stand trial again alongside three other defendants.

* Contact email: thessalonikisolidarity@gmail.com

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SCHNEWS IN BRIEF

* The EDL targeted Newcastle on Wednesday (22nd) evening, in the latest of a series small, violent confrontations. Around 30 men wearing EDL shirts attacked an SWP meeting in the city centre, beating two door staff.

Earlier that day, when two EDL supporters were arrested in Gateshead, a flash mob descended on the cop shop in support of the nicked knuckleheads. The rumour flying around the EDL forum is that the two were busted in a dawn raid by anti-terror police for Qu’ran burning, and later released. At the time of press that remained unconfirmed by anyone with an IQ over 60.

* The new squatted Wildkatz Social Centre on the outskirts of Brighton will be flinging its doors open to the public at large this Saturday (25th).
 From Monday the space will host an alternative freshers week.The location will be released soon

* see http://wildkatzproject.org.uk or email wildkatzproject@gmail.com

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AND FINALLY

Cops in Barranquilla, Colombia found themselves scratching around after an attempted drugs gang bust went to seed last week.

As they crept into position ready to pounce, a sharp-eyed parrot that the gang had trained spotted them and immediately started to squawk ‘Run, RUN!’ repeatedly (in Spanish, of course).
Whilst police flapped around trying to seize the alarming parrot, the warning gave time for the gang to shake a tail-feather and take to the wing. They all managed to escape the claws of the law and flew the nest.

The Bill have subsequently named the parrot Lorenzo, and hoped he’d want a friendly shoulder to cry on, but he is apparently playing it cagey and hasn’t spoken a word since his ‘arrest’.

‘Lorenzo’ remains the only one of the gang currently doing bird. And none of them seem likely to be going up in front of the beak.

(OK, but enough of the bird-related puns, please. Yeah, sorry, you’re right, I must have been avian a laugh...)

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Disclaimer

SchNEWS advises all readers, help Belgium shed its boring rep, get yerself to Brussels. Or Brum, for that 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.

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